Love at first sight. People often ask me if I believe on this aphorism. I used to give a neutral answer and refer to Love through my personal insights. Looking back, I have difficulty recalling how I answered, but now that I have an interesting manner of dealing with this saying, it’s good to return and reexamine it with full attention. It started when a friend and I were brainstorming on common aphorisms of Love. An amusing wordplay occurred to me: Love at second sight. Although this has been used in songs and stories, I have felt a new way of seeing it. In fact, the sequence through which we become aware of Love is an important process worthy of deeper understanding.
We fall in Love. That’s a fact. Even our parents and grandparents did. We have heard stories of lovers of their generation who fell in Love on their first meeting. They longed for each other and fulfilled their romantic vows. In modern times, these stories only changed characters and plots and continue to bear the same theme. It has been perpetuated in songs, soaps and films to feed the romantic thrill that we have discovered in our transition from childhood to young adulthood. For the first time, we can see Love as a tangible force in our hearts: our desire to connect with another human being. It is romantic and sexual in nature, and it anchors us to continue the growth and propagation of our species.
Beside the evolutionary impulse, we have defined Love as Romance, a common concept of our society. Symbols such as Cupid and red heart shapes, secular celebrations like Valentine’s day, and concepts such as soul mates have immortalized Love as a romantic phenomenon. Cultural norms like dating, courtship, sex and marriage are all associated with our definitions of Love. Whenever I ask people about Love, apart from Romance, they also refer to it as a religious virtue, a philosophical puzzle or psychological constructs. And more so, Love is primarily boxed in as two possibilities: either it is too mushy or too painful. They all comprise of how we see Love the first time.
Our second sight is the force of our awakening from the illusions that separate Love from the rest of existence
After seeing Love through the eyes of others, we must now see Love through our own eyes. A renewal of our opportunity, this is seeing Love the second time around. Falling in Love, which seems an end goal, is not the terminus of Love. In fact, it is an opening to a new pathway of understanding Love. Love as a Romance and other notions are true but limited perspectives. In hindsight, we are dissatisfied by just fulfilling romantic potentials between men and women. There is more to what we used to expect. In foresight, we envision Love that is beyond the thresholds of our common ideas. Love becomes more than just our usual symbols and definitions.
The direction is to see Love in every person and thing that exists around us. That we see Love both as an essential principle and a powerful technology that eases between the paradoxes of our realities. That it becomes both material and immaterial, an idea and a tool that puts meaning to anything we do in our lives. That Love must be seen as unlimited and found in our fundamental truths and thoughts. That we can begin to see Love not just in the best but also in the worsts of all things. That we begin to create and discover Love as the core that connects everyone and everything, the source that sustains all and the point to which all converges back.
Love at first sight is a limited seeing, a desire to find out Love’s concrete and visible truth through the fragments of others’ viewpoints and our conditioned responses. Our first sight dictates that Love has different categories such as the difference of Love between parents and kids and Love between couples. We have assumed that these categories are disconnected and have separate issues. In this view, we learn Love as a separate entity from everything in our lives. It restricts Love within its boundaries of our abstractions.
But Love at second sight is a bird’s eye view seeing, an awareness that sees Love not just its physicality but also what is unseen and untouched. This is a perspective that gathers all separated perspectives to see the whole picture of what Love really conveys. It encourages us to see what is whole about Love and how it puts together the seeming fragments that we use to define it. Our second sight is the force of our awakening from the illusions that separate Love from the rest of existence. We now unlearn Love and build a new view that Love is at one with all.
Love at Second Sight (A Commune Lecture), Feb 11, Saturday. For details, click here.