Why do we love? A philosophical inquiry

A romantic love, beautiful and intoxicating, heartbreaking and soul-wrenching, often all the same time. Did you ever wonder why we chose to fall in love to put ourselves through its emotional wringer? Does love make our life meaningful, or is it just an escape from loneliness? Is it a biological trick to make us procreate? Do we need love at all? Does love have a purpose in our life? Neither science nor psychology has discovered the meaning of love. But there are some philosophical bases for the building of love. Some theories and hypotheses have explained the process of love and its purpose in our life. Plato, a philosopher, has said that we love to become complete. One day in his symposium, he explained how we complete ourselves by falling in love. He named a god Zeus, who had created a man with 4 legs, 4 arms and two heads but later, he cut the man in half and separated 2 arms from the other two, a brain from the other and the 2 legs from the other two. Since then, man has been missing the other half of him or her. Love is the longing to find a soul mate who can make one feel whole and complete again. A German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer disagreed with Plato. He said it is just tricking humans into procreating. He explained that when our natural desires are fulfilled under the tutelage of love, we are thrown back to our tormented existence. According to Bertrand Russell, we love to quench our physical and psychological desires. Our fears of the cold, cruel world tempt us to build hard shells around us. Love takes us out of this shell and liberates us from the shackles of fears. Its warmth removes the coldness from our hearts. Love’s delight and intimacy helps us overcome our fear of the world. Love enriches our souls. It is the best feeling ever that happens to a human being—loving someone and being loved.

Love is misleading affection. Sidharta Budha disagrees with Russel and blames love for human suffering. It has less gain than pain. Damages outweigh the benefits. It is a sort of program that extinguish the fires of desire so that we can reach the zenith of Nirvana. A Chinese bestseller novel’ a dream of the red chamber’ said the love is folly. The moral of the story says that such attachment spell tragedy. In short, love exists. Our Punjabi poets and philosophers of the subcontinent tell the matter of love differently. They start from the love for God and end up loving God. Sufi poets have told us how to love from falling in love for a human to reach Allah. Love is the only base of this universe. If love were not there, souls would never accept each other, and the whole world would end up dying in isolation.

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