The future is an ever shifting pageant of shadow puppets that darken as light shines more directly on them.
Our minds have evolved in ways that we are not consciously aware of most of the time. One of the ruling factors of that unconscious, but still very tangible facet of the human mind, is that we are especially sensitive to intentional behavior. Scientists say we have “theory of mind.”
Instinctively, our brains constantly scan our environment for what looks anything like an animal, or gives even a hint of intentional movement, and that same deep seated element of our mind can’t meaningfully distinguish between actual people and things that behave with “character.” This is why we sometimes dream of objects as if they have intentions. Anyone ever have a dream like that?
So it isn’t crazy to fall in love with a cartoon character? No it’s not. It just becomes crazy if that is allowed to distort your relationship with the rest of the world.
We want to live. Every instinct we have is toward survival, and for a time they believed this meant personal survival. Now that we can look deeply both into the function of living brains and into DNA and how it affects behavior, this has proven to be very much not the case.
If you subscribe to conventional theories of evolution, nature has selected for pro-social species. Those species that get along best with each other survive very much better than those who limit interaction to moments of biological necessity.
We want to love because in love we feel whole. We seek to affiliate because we feel insecure when there is nothing beyond ourselves we feel sympathy for, identity with, to the point that our nervous systems react much the same to the loss of a relationship as they would to losing a vital body part. That loss almost literally rips our heart out. It is very bad for our health.
How would you distinguish infatuation vs. love? Infatuation is cognitive. One can develop such an intellectual fascination with the experience of being with someone that the feeling of immersion can be mistaken for love. Like watching a really good movie, for a time you almost feel like you might prefer to live in the setting depicted in that movie, but when the movie is over you are very clear that you would want no such thing. And when you do actually love someone it is in a sense “elemental.” It has nothing to do with what you are thinking about. Your very flesh and blood reacts when you are away from them. The world doesn’t seem right at all when you are out of communication with them. The world with the loved one in it is the world they have adapted too. Does this sufficiently distinguish between love and infatuation?
Yes. I start getting kind of irrational thoughts when my husband is even half an hour late getting home. Like, oh, I will get a call saying he’s been in an accident. That’s spurred by an instinctive insecurity.
Is that love? It’s a complicated side effect, but not by itself love. Love is a force written into our very beings, and so is thought. These two things don’t always mesh well.
Hence the obsessive tendencies? Yes.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.