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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.} ========================================================== %TRAGIC EVIL PERVERTED ADDICTIVE LOVE CARE RESCUE 890218 The roots of evil are often to be found in perverted ideas of ideal love. When people are not clear about the nature of love and its responsibilities, they will in tragic ways be confused about the differences between evil and love. Some people feel and think that love is possessive; taking exclusive care of the object of the love. Such people feel that falling in love is the process of entering into a relationship of exclusive intimacy and care which is special by virtue of how it excludes others from intimate dialogue. In exclusive love the lovers are bound to come to treat the object of their love as an impersonal object; some thing which can be owned, possessed, controlled, manipulated. Their ideal love depends upon the idea they have about the nature of love. Their ideas and ideals lead them to a tragically perverted conception of love. That conception leads them to the realization (making real) of a tragic "love" life. If the essence of love is regarded as concern for and taking care of the object of the love, the idealist is bound to focus upon taking care of the object of love. In the absence of a more integrative conception of the nature of love, such caretaking is bound to be manipulative; focused upon control of the object of love, to do with it what the lover feels and thinks will be good for it. In such caretaking there is not likely to be much giving of self in conversation, dialogue, and authentic intimacy. If the essence of love is regarded as feeling good in the presence of the object of love, the idealist is bound to try to manipulate the object of love to achieve good feelings. Being in love then becomes a process of mutual manipulation and mutual self deception in efforts to achieve the good feelings which are regarded as the essence of love. If the essence of love is thought to be generosity, then the there are no limits to what lovers can demand of each other in manipulative games of mutual extraction of favors. They become addicts and supportive codependents who are constantly testing each other's love, in attempts to test each other's generosity. They cannot believe the authenticity of each other's love because it is not authentic; so they are bound to constantly test its authenticity with greater and greater demands. Their immersion in addictive and codependent rituals is endless, and leads to their disintegration. If the essence of love is believed to be conformity to some ideal pattern of behavior, defined in terms of traditional conceptions of the nature of good people, then lovers are bound to work on getting each other to conform to their own particular conceptions of what is good behavior. Ideal love then becomes an expression of compulsive idealism striving for an unattainable perfection. A compulsive dedication to such an ideal leads to collusive games of mutual self deception in tragic efforts to appear to achieve that which cannot be achieved. It makes a great difference to people how they conceive of love; what their ideas of it are, and so what their ideals are. Love has to do with personal and communal integrity. Integrity has to do with the integration of differing parts through open and honest communication, conversation, dialogue, listening, confirmation, affirmation, profession, giving, accepting, receiving. Love does not seek to control people through analysis, manipulation, deception, threats, coercion, etc. Love does not engage in games of mutual self deception in order to make things appear to be other than the way they are. Love does not seek to make things appear to be ideal when they are not ideal. Love deals with tragic situations and predicaments openly and honestly; not with pretense. Love is not preoccupied with technologies by which preconceived goals can be achieved through manipulations of objects and people treated as impersonal objects. Love seeks to know and be known in authentic intimacy which promotes both personal and communal integrity. Love seeks to transcend all preoccupations, ideas and ideals which threaten personal and communal integrity. It seeks to transcend all forms of personal misunderstanding and conflict. Love does not seek to impose any one understanding or ideal upon others who are regarded as inferior and in need of improvement or elimination. It is important to be able to recognize and confront in a loving way the perverted forms of love. In the absence of the freedom and knowledge required to so confront perverted forms of love, it is natural that such perverted forms will successfully pass as the real thing. Real love is not naive. Real love does not fall for deceptive counterfeits. Falling in love is not falling for deception; not even falling for mutual self deception. Falling in love is letting go, but not letting go of a commitment to personal and communal integrity. Falling in love is letting go of misleading conceptions of: love, responsibility, good, evil, perfection, salvation, fulfillment, heaven and hell. People who are really In- Love are not confused about the difference between misfortune and tragedy. Misfortune is a matter of unfortunate chance. Tragedies are created by people who are confused and mislead by perverted conceptions of love, responsibility and integrity. People who are In-Love enjoy both personal and communal integrity without confusion. They are not naive, misled, deceived, deceptive or uninformed. They know the difference between being In-Love and being In-pretense. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================