Book: The Art of Loving

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Book: The Art of Loving by Mind Map: Book: The Art of Loving

1. I. Is Love an Art?

1.1. Flawed concept of love premises:

1.1.1. 1) being lovable -- popular with high sex appeal -- is a higher priority than understanding how to consistently express love

1.1.2. 2) worthy "love objects" are difficult to find whereas knowing how to love is easy to figure out so more time must be spent searching for the perfect "love object"

1.1.3. 3) falling in love is difficult, staying in love is easy

1.2. Mastery of art:

1.2.1. deep understanding of theory

1.2.2. rich experiences practicing

1.2.3. prioritizing the mastery above all things

1.3. Book summary

1.3.1. what it means to define love as art

1.3.2. theory of love

1.3.3. practice of love

2. II. Theory of Love

2.1. Problem of Existence

2.1.1. Awareness of separation

2.1.1.1. being cut off without the reunion of love due to lack of capabilities to make connections with others

2.1.1.2. is the main source of our:

2.1.1.2.1. Anxiety

2.1.1.2.2. Shame

2.1.1.2.3. Guilt

2.1.2. Man solves the conundrum of separation by

2.1.2.1. Animal sacrifices

2.1.2.2. Human sacrifices (military conquests, murderers)

2.1.2.3. Indulgence in luxury

2.1.2.4. Ascetic renunciation

2.1.2.5. Obsessional work

2.1.2.6. Artistic creation

2.1.2.7. Love of God

2.1.2.8. Love of Man

2.1.2.9. Achieving orgiastic states helps man deal with his separateness:

2.1.2.9.1. Orgiastic Union characteristics:

2.1.2.9.2. Auto induced trances

2.1.2.9.3. hallucinogens/drugs

2.1.2.9.4. alcohol

2.1.2.9.5. Sexual orgasms

2.1.2.9.6. Negative effects of this need for an orgiastic state to overcome separation:

2.1.2.10. Overcoming separateness in western society:

2.1.2.10.1. predominant method: Union of the herd

2.1.2.10.2. democracy allows for nonconformity but conformity provides a much easier answer to the quest for union

2.1.2.10.3. Developing concept of equality affects the outlook and treatment of separation anxiety:

2.1.2.10.4. Standardization of man = equality

2.1.2.10.5. Gender equality is an example "men and women are now the same, rather than being equal on opposite poles."

2.1.2.10.6. Union of conformity/Herd Conformity

2.2. Love is the mature answer to the problem of existence

2.2.1. makes man overcome the sense of isolation and separateness

2.2.2. also permits him to be himself and simultaneously maintain his integrity

2.2.3. Marketing character

2.2.3.1. willing to give unless they are not receiving something in return

2.2.4. Productive character

2.2.4.1. Character for whom giving is an expression of their aliveness

2.2.5. Love is the only way of knowledge

2.2.5.1. which in the act of union answers my quest.

2.2.5.2. In the act of loving, of giving myself, in the act of penetrating the other person, I find myself, I discover myself

2.3. Defining "Activity"

2.3.1. Defining "activity" has nothing to do with motivation

2.3.1.1. Active worker with no purpose

2.3.1.1.1. moves all day as a slave to passion

2.3.1.2. Active meditative reflective person

2.3.1.2.1. technically does nothing

2.3.1.2.2. yet meditating is the highest activity of the soul

2.3.2. Spinoza's two definitions of activity:

2.3.2.1. Using energy for the achievment of external aims;

2.3.2.2. use of one's inherent power for any purpose;

2.3.3. Root of respect

2.3.3.1. "respicere" "to look at"

2.3.3.2. Respect is defined as, "the ability to see a person as they are, to be aware of their unique individuality"

2.4. Masculine and feminine qualities in sexual function:

2.4.1. Masculine

2.4.1.1. penetration

2.4.1.2. guidance

2.4.1.3. activity

2.4.1.4. discipline

2.4.1.5. adventurousness

2.4.2. Feminine

2.4.2.1. receptiveness

2.4.2.2. protection

2.4.2.3. realism

2.4.2.4. endurance

2.4.2.5. motherliness

2.5. Types of Love

2.5.1. Mature person develops father and mother consciences based on fatherly and motherly love

2.5.2. Brotherly Love

2.5.2.1. the sense of responsibility, care, respect, knowledge of any other human being

2.5.2.2. the wish to further his life

2.5.2.3. based on the experience that we all are one

2.5.2.4. "The differences in talents, intelligence, knowledge are negligible in comparison with the identity of the human core common to all men."

2.5.3. Difference between romantic and motherly love

2.5.3.1. In erotic love, two people who were separate become one.

2.5.3.2. In motherly love, two people who were one become separate.

2.5.4. Erotic love

2.5.4.1. the craving for complete fusion, for union with one other person.

2.5.4.2. by its very nature exclusive and not universal;

2.5.4.3. perhaps the most deceptive form of love there is.

2.5.4.4. Paradoxical; erotic love is exclusive yet to feel it causes you to feel love for all living things

2.5.4.5. It loves in the other person all of mankind, all that is alive.

2.5.5. Erotic love is not monogamy; defining monogamy

2.5.5.1. two people “in love” with each other who feel no love for anybody else

2.5.5.2. Their love is, in fact, an egotism à deux

2.5.5.3. they are two people who identify themselves with each other, and who solve the problem of separateness by enlarging the single individual into two.

2.5.5.4. They have the experience of overcoming aloneness, yet, since they are separated from the rest of mankind, they remain separated from each other and alienated from themselves;

2.5.5.5. their experience of union is an illusion.

2.5.6. Self Love

2.5.6.1. "It is assumed that to the degree to which I love myself I do not love others, that self-love is the same as selfishness."

2.5.6.2. Key question about self love:

2.5.6.2.1. Is selfishness identical with self-love or is it not caused by the very lack of it?

2.5.6.2.2. Are selfishness and self-love one in the same or does the lack of self-love cause selfishness?

2.5.6.3. Realization

2.5.6.3.1. not only others, but we ourselves are the “object” of our feelings and attitudes

2.5.6.3.2. the attitudes toward others and toward ourselves, far from being contradictory, are basically conjunctive.

2.5.6.3.3. love of others and love of ourselves are not alternatives.

2.5.6.3.4. It is not an “affect” in the sense of being affected by somebody

2.5.6.3.5. an active striving for the growth and happiness of the loved person, rooted in one’s own capacity to love.

2.5.6.3.6. Love of man is not, as is frequently supposed, an abstraction coming after the love for a specific person,

2.5.6.3.7. Love of man is premise of self love, although genetically it is acquired in loving specific individuals.

2.5.6.3.8. If an individual is able to love productively, he loves himself too; if he can love only others, he cannot love at all.

2.5.7. Mother's love

2.5.7.1. Positive: does not need to be deserved since it is unconditional

2.5.7.2. Negative: this love cannot be produced or controlled or acquired

2.5.8. Fatherly love

2.5.8.1. Positive aspect: love can be acquired and therefore in a way controlled

2.5.8.2. Negative: love has to be deserved

2.6. How to love

2.6.1. not just a strong feeling

2.6.2. a decision, a judgment, a promise.

2.6.3. "If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever."

2.7. Defining sexual desire and the motivation for it

2.7.1. Sexual desire

2.7.1.1. aims at fusion

2.7.1.2. not only a physical appetite, the relief of a painful tension.

2.7.1.3. But sexual desire can be stimulated by negative drives;

2.7.1.3.1. the anxiety of aloneness

2.7.1.3.2. the wish to conquer or be conquered

2.7.1.3.3. vanity

2.7.1.3.4. the wish to hurt and even to destroy

2.7.2. Sexual attraction

2.7.2.1. creates, for the moment, the illusion of union

2.7.2.2. without love this “union” leaves strangers as far apart as they were before

2.7.2.3. sometimes causes mutual shame or hatred because when the illusion has gone they feel their estrangement even more markedly than before.

2.8. Selfishness and "Unselfishness"

2.8.1. Selfishness definition

2.8.1.1. The selfish person is interested only in himself

2.8.1.2. wants everything for himself

2.8.1.3. feels no pleasure in giving, but only in taking

2.8.1.4. The world outside is looked at only from the standpoint of what he can get out of it;

2.8.1.5. he lacks interest in the needs of others, and respect for their dignity and integrity.

2.8.1.6. The selfish person does not love himself too much but too little; in fact he hates himself.

2.8.1.7. This lack of fondness and care for himself, which is only one expression of his lack of productiveness, leaves him empty and frustrated.

2.8.1.8. Truly selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.

2.8.2. Unselfishness

2.8.2.1. The “unselfish” person “does not want anything for himself”

2.8.2.2. he “lives only for others,” is proud that he does not consider himself important

2.8.2.3. puzzled to find that in spite of his unselfishness he is unhappy,

2.8.2.4. puzzlwed that his relationships to those closest to him are unsatisfactory

2.8.2.5. one paralyzed in his capacity to love or to enjoy anything;

2.8.2.6. pervaded by hostility toward life with a subtle but not less intense self-centeredness hidden behind the façade of unselfishness

2.9. Defining God

2.9.1. God stands for the highest value, the most desirable good

2.9.2. Hence, the specific meaning of God depends on what is the most desirable good for a person.

2.9.3. the matriarchal and the patriarchal elements in religion

2.9.3.1. show that the character of the love of God depends on the respective weight of the matriarchal and the patriarchal aspects of religion.

2.9.4. The truly religious person

2.9.4.1. if he follows the essence of the monotheistic idea, does not pray for anything, does not expect anything from God;

2.9.4.2. he does not love God as a child loves his father or his mother;

2.9.4.3. he has acquired the humility of sensing his limitations, to the degree of knowing that he knows nothing about God.

2.9.4.4. God becomes to him a symbol in which man, at an earlier stage of his evolution, has expressed the totality of that which man is striving for, the realm of the spiritual world, of love, truth and justice.

2.9.5. Writer's Opinion

2.9.5.1. the concept of God is only a historically conditioned one

2.9.5.2. God is concept in which man has expressed:

2.9.5.2.1. his experience of his higher powers

2.9.5.2.2. his longing for truth and for unity at a given historical period

2.10. Love of God in Eastern and Western Religions

2.10.1. Western Religious THought -- Love of God as Thought Experience

2.10.1.1. Love of God is essentially the same as:

2.10.1.1.1. Belief in God

2.10.1.1.2. God's Existence

2.10.1.1.3. God's Justice

2.10.1.1.4. God's love

2.10.2. Eastern Religious Thought -- Experience of God is experience of Oneness/Paradox

2.10.2.1. Oneness is love experienced in all acts of living

2.10.2.2. Paradoxical logic

2.10.2.2.1. leads to the conclusion that the love of God is neither the knowledge of God in thought, nor the thought of one’s love of God

2.10.2.2.2. leads to the conclusion that the love of God is the act of experiencing the oneness with God.

2.10.2.3. One key difference between eastern and western religious attitudes

2.10.2.3.1. the place of logical concepts in religious practice and thought;

2.10.2.3.2. Western religious thought

2.10.2.3.3. Eastern religious thought