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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %CONDITIONAL LOVE 870106 Conditional love involves the offering of openness to dialogue and intimacy, conditional upon the meeting of certain explicit or tacit conditions. In the absence of conformity to such conditions the conditional lover is unwilling to perform the role of lover, blocking thereby the service and sacrifice which are the essence of love. Conditional love is a consequence of finitude. To survive as lovers finite creatures must take care of themselves as well as of the needs of others. A person who pays no attention to their own needs can not be a lover for long, especially in a society in which there are few genuinely loving people. If everybody is possessive and out to meet their own needs, it is difficult for a truly self-less lover to survive for long without putting some conditions upon the expressions of love. Thus there is a natural tendency to survive through conditioning the expressions of love. Totally unconditional lovers run the risk of being used and abused by people who are not seeking a balance between personal and communal integrity and so are dominated by selfish unbalanced motivations. Enabling such perverse people to continue successfully in behaving as they do without any honest challenge to their ways--- leads to additional perversions. Charitable challenges are not obvious nor easy to consummate effectively. It is not an act of love to refuse to challenge disintegrative behavior. It is not an act of love to refuse to call people engaged in disintegrative behavior to seek to promote balance between personal and communal integrity in charitable ways. Neither is it an act of love to callously condemn and reject the person trapped in disintegrative behavioral patterns. The integrative alternative to dichotomous extremes is usually not obvious. The dichotomy is a consequence of disintegration and engenders further disintegration. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================