Perspectives on Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral Issues: Host – Lowell Qualls

Where does love come from?

This is a real question, and not some gimmick.  I want to know where this particular part of the human experience comes from.  What generates it?  What is its origin?

Comments on: "Calling All Atheists and Theists" (7)

  1. It would matter what type of love your talking about.

    On the topic of romantic love, lust and companionship, friendship I would lean towards an evolutionary development such as proposed by Helen Fisher (search her name on youtube along with TEDtalks for the video). It develops to encourage the continuation of a species both for reproduction and for protection. A sudden deep empathic entanglement with a stranger about to hurt him or herself and you find that your driven to stop him almost as if its going to hurt you just as badly, I’d consider part of the protection drive even though stories of its kind aren’t as recounted by popular culture. Quite the opposite really, these days its more common to hear of people standing and watching than even yelling at a person to stop harming themselves or another.

    If you mean that which is probably best described as disinterested love, the “all encompassing but not wanting nor needing” love of the advanced spiritual devotee is harder to explain. If I were to venture a guess, it would seem to me to generate from a centering within one self that has reached that point where they are detached from suffering their experiences and can simply enjoy them as experiences themselves. Some shift to a right brained absorption of life rather than a more left brained contrasting and codifying of events as we are taught to perform. Obviously the best result is a balance of these two, but I’d imagine the immovable center is more to the right of the usual brain system we listen to. I can’t say for certain what purpose it served in evolutionary standards but it has probably be around quite a while.

  2. Thank you! This is the kind of information I hoped to see/read. Excellent!

  3. Theres a book Drawing in the Right Side of the Brain, that might have some evolutionary theory on why the right side is associated with the trance/”everything is good” state but I can’t for the life of me figure out where my copy got off to. Jill Taylor gave a talk at a recent TED convention about her experience with having a stroke and the left side of her brain shutting down. You might find that one interesting as well if you haven’t run across it yet (Been popular on the blogs for its spiritual parallels though, so i imagine you did).

    To just kinda wing a theory from the top of my head though it could have developed for instinctual purposes were the left brain might not react so quickly, or perhaps in animals the dominance of one side isn’t as bad so they can use both to interrupt and react in a fast, efficient, and clear/decisive manner.

  4. Here’s what I think.

    The idea in the essay I wrote that we all respond positively to the recgonition of our own happiness and negatively to the recognition of our own suffering. This is justifiable from an evolutionary standpoint.

    The idea is that compassion is just an alteration of this mechanism, such that if we respond to the recognition of someone else’s suffering as if it was our own – not just superficially, but a deep and powerful sharing in that other person’s suffering – that ability is what we call compassion. The same thing can work for shairng in another person’s happiness in the same way, which we call affection.

    The combination of compassion and affection is love.

    The abilitiy for compassion and affection can be justified as a ‘mutation’ of our cognitive self interest that could have been naturally selected for improved fitness, both as a social conditioner and as a runaway sexual preference under the assumption that a loving partner would be preferable to an unloving partner.

  5. I want to thank Ubiquitous Che and For Prez ’24 for their insights. I’m interested in the contents of “Drawing From the Right Side of the Brain,” so I’ll be checking that one out. For Prez ’24 – I have not visited a Jill Taylor site. Could you help me (could anyone help me) track her down?

    Ubiquitous Che – I’m going to be asking some other questions related to thought, feelings/emotions, self interest, the will, good and evil. I have very strong opinions on a variety of subjects (as you can tell from my site), and I have an insatiable appetite for truth, the opinions of others, and the building of relationships through honest exchanges.

    Aloha! Lowell

  6. No worries – I’ll be keeping an eye out for further questions. I have strong opinion’s too, so it’s good to come across someone else who doesn’t bother with the kid’s gloves. :P

  7. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is a book that helps people develop artistic ability past where they were at the age of around 10 when most people get frustrated and stop trying. It was written in the 80’s by an art teacher who stumbled across some emerging brain studies and mixed knowledge of the two fields and experience to create the book. I found my copy, doesn’t actually give a theory for why the right side developed in that manner (again its an art book so the science is really only in there to explain how she came to her ideas and demystifying the ability to draw realistically).

    Like my reference to Helen Fisher’s TED talk, a quick youtube search of Jill Taylor should bring it up.
    Helen Fisher: Love, Lust and Antidepressants –
    Jill Taylor: Stroke Experience –

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: