Ultimate Power: The Universal Science of Love

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Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love. In the 20th century, the science of psychology has written a great deal on the subject. In recent years, the sciences of psychology , anthropology , neuroscience , and biology have added to the understanding the concept of love. Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst.

Lust is the feeling of sexual desire ; romantic attraction determines what partners mates find attractive and pursue, conserving time and energy by choosing; and attachment involves sharing a home, parental duties, mutual defense, and in humans involves feelings of safety and security. Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating , and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms.

Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including the neurotransmitter hormones , dopamine , norepinephrine , and serotonin , the same compounds released by amphetamine , stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate , loss of appetite and sleep , and an intense feeling of excitement.


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Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years. Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades.

Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children , or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin to a greater degree than short-term relationships have.

Evolving Beings

Psychology depicts love as a cognitive and social phenomenon. Psychologist Robert Sternberg formulated a triangular theory of love and argued that love has three different components: intimacy, commitment, and passion.


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  6. Intimacy is a form in which two people share confidences and various details of their personal lives, and is usually shown in friendships and romantic love affairs. Commitment, on the other hand, is the expectation that the relationship is permanent. The last form of love is sexual attraction and passion. Passionate love is shown in infatuation as well as romantic love. All forms of love are viewed as varying combinations of these three components. Non-love does not include any of these components. Liking only includes intimacy. Infatuated love only includes passion.

    Empty love only includes commitment. Romantic love includes both intimacy and passion. Companionate love includes intimacy and commitment. Fatuous love includes passion and commitment. Lastly, consummate love includes all three components. His work states that three factors constitute love: attachment, caring, and intimacy.

    Following developments in electrical theories such as Coulomb's law , which showed that positive and negative charges attract, analogs in human life were developed, such as "opposites attract". Over the last century, research on the nature of human mating has generally found this not to be true when it comes to character and personality—people tend to like people similar to themselves.

    However, in a few unusual and specific domains, such as immune systems , it seems that humans prefer others who are unlike themselves e. Some Western authorities disaggregate into two main components, the altruistic and the narcissistic. This view is represented in the works of Scott Peck , whose work in the field of applied psychology explored the definitions of love and evil. Peck maintains that love is a combination of the "concern for the spiritual growth of another," and simple narcissism.

    Psychologist Erich Fromm maintained in his book The Art of Loving that love is not merely a feeling but is also actions, and that in fact, the "feeling" of love is superficial in comparison to one's commitment to love via a series of loving actions over time. Evolutionary psychology has attempted to provide various reasons for love as a survival tool. Humans are dependent on parental help for a large portion of their lifespans compared to other mammals. Love has therefore been seen as a mechanism to promote parental support of children for this extended time period.

    Furthermore, researchers as early as Charles Darwin himself identified unique features of human love compared to other mammals and credit love as a major factor for creating social support systems that enabled the development and expansion of the human species.

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    This would favor monogamous relationships over polygamy. Biological models of love tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst. Certainly love is influenced by hormones such as oxytocin , neurotrophins such as NGF , and pheromones , and how people think and behave in love is influenced by their conceptions of love.

    The conventional view in biology is that there are two major drives in love: sexual attraction and attachment. Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles that lead an infant to become attached to its mother. The traditional psychological view sees love as being a combination of companionate love and passionate love. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal shortness of breath, rapid heart rate ; companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.

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    Greek distinguishes several different senses in which the word "love" is used. At the same time, the Ancient Greek text of the Bible has examples of the verb agapo having the same meaning as phileo. The term s'agapo means I love you in Greek. The word agapo is the verb I love. It generally refers to a "pure," ideal type of love, rather than the physical attraction suggested by eros. However, there are some examples of agape used to mean the same as eros. It has also been translated as "love of the soul. The Greek word erota means in love. Plato refined his own definition. Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself.

    Eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth.

    Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros. Some translations list it as "love of the body".

    Choose your life partner wisely

    Philia is motivated by practical reasons; one or both of the parties benefit from the relationship. It can also mean "love of the mind. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and his guest, who could previously have been strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was expected to repay only with gratitude. The importance of this can be seen throughout Greek mythology —in particular, Homer 's Iliad and Odyssey.

    Love - Wikipedia

    The Latin language has several different verbs corresponding to the English word "love. The Romans used it both in an affectionate sense as well as in a romantic or sexual sense. From this verb come amans —a lover, amator, "professional lover," often with the accessory notion of lechery—and amica , "girlfriend" in the English sense, often being applied euphemistically to a prostitute.

    The corresponding noun is amor the significance of this term for the Romans is well illustrated in the fact, that the name of the City, Rome —in Latin: Roma —can be viewed as an anagram for amor , which was used as the secret name of the City in wide circles in ancient times , [37] which is also used in the plural form to indicate love affairs or sexual adventures. This same root also produces amicus —"friend"—and amicitia , "friendship" often based to mutual advantage, and corresponding sometimes more closely to "indebtedness" or "influence".

    Cicero wrote a treatise called On Friendship de Amicitia , which discusses the notion at some length. Ovid wrote a guide to dating called Ars Amatoria The Art of Love , which addresses, in depth, everything from extramarital affairs to overprotective parents. Diligere often has the notion "to be affectionate for," "to esteem," and rarely if ever is used for romantic love. This word would be appropriate to describe the friendship of two men. The corresponding noun diligentia , however, has the meaning of "diligence" or "carefulness," and has little semantic overlap with the verb.

    Observare is a synonym for diligere ; despite the cognate with English, this verb and its corresponding noun, observantia , often denote "esteem" or "affection. As it arises from a conflation with a Greek word, there is no corresponding verb. Two philosophical underpinnings of love exist in the Chinese tradition, one from Confucianism which emphasized actions and duty while the other came from Mohism which championed a universal love.

    In Confucianism, one displays benevolent love by performing actions such as filial piety from children, kindness from parents, loyalty to the king and so forth. In this, he argued directly against Confucians who believed that it was natural and correct for people to care about different people in different degrees.

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    Mozi, by contrast, believed people in principle should care for all people equally. Mohism stressed that rather than adopting different attitudes towards different people, love should be unconditional and offered to everyone without regard to reciprocation; not just to friends, family and other Confucian relations. In Buddhism, Ai was seen as capable of being either selfish or selfless, the latter being a key element towards enlightenment. Instead of frequently saying "I love you" as in some Western societies, the Chinese are more likely to express feelings of affection in a more casual way.