Friday, July 24, 2009
The Opposite of Love
For awhile now, I have been thinking about a blog that I read months ago. It was a very interesting post about the opposite of love (still waiting for GP to write more). This is something that I have been thinking about. In that post, there is the thought that selfishness is the opposite of love. Then there is the thought that hate would be the opposite. Finally there is the suggestion that indifference might be the opposite side of love. I think I have explored this and have come up with a answer.
Let me go into my exploration. Love is the perfect emotion. I think that many of us can achieve it, but many of us tend to lose it. I have often thought that hate is the opposite of love. With hate comes negative feelings and emotions like rage that leads to violence. Whereas Love is more peaceful and calm. So it just makes sense that love and hate are on different sides of the same coin.
It was suggested that indifference is the opposite of love. Well, indifference is the lack of emotion. I think many people can pretend to be indifferent toward other people but that is just difficult to do. You can expend much energy to pretend not to care. However, true indifference is just a lack of enthusiasm and not caring. I am not sure this is the opposite of love. It is like saying that having no emotion at all is on the other side of the coin of love. I don't know about that.
Selfishness is actually pretty close. The idea that you can do things that only benefit yourself is a very far cry from love. However, we can all be selfish and I think that in some cases it is a requirement. We can love so much and lose ourselves that being selfish at times is what keeps us grounded. Besides there is something else that is much worse than selfishness.
Let me digress here for a moment and have my geek side take over. There is a reason why I have been thinking about this (besides my current issues). As you all know, I collect comic books. One of them is Green Lantern. This is a book about a man who is a part of a intergalactic police force. More importantly, his green ring represents a color in the emotional color spectrum. There is a series called Blackest Night which is a war that is taking place within the books that has to do with the various colors of the color spectrum.
Bare with me here. Green represents Willpower and that means that you need to have a certain amount of willpower to use the ring. So lets see the colors: Yellow is Fear, Orange is Avarice (greed), Blue is Hope, Red is Rage, Violet is Love, Indigo is Compassion, and Black is Death. So what I find interesting is the different dynamics of all this. Each color has a ring and each ring has a symbol. What struck me the most about these symbols was love and compassion, which are close in colors. Violet, which is love, is a star with a circle in the middle, which represents the outward feeling of love. Compassion is similar, the indigo symbol is a circle in the middle with two triangles pointing outwardly (both up and down) which represents charity and concern for other people.
From what I can tell, Rage (red) is the opposite of compassion. However, the opposite of Love is Avarice. The symbol for Avarice is this orange circle with points and lines pointing inward, representing the power of greed. That made me think. I consider compassion and love, in the real world, to be the same thing. You cannot have one without the other. However, avarice is not the right fit for the opposite of love. Avaraice is more about greed and wanting material things. Which makes me think about selfishness but more directly made me think of pride.
Love is such a powerful emotion that make us think outwardly. If we have that feeling of love we would be willing to do anything for people we are close to. Once we are in love, then we think more about that other person than we would ourselves. We would put our own safety aside for loved ones. We would die for our children, parents, and spouses. That is because we feel that love and it is strong.
Pride is also powerful, but it will make us think inwardly. Sure, we would have the ability to love, but it would be mostly for ourselves. We would never admit we are wrong and would refuse the advice or help of others. Sure, we would help people, if it benefited us. Our arrogance would be very apparent. We would think our own worth is greater than others. Basically, we would think we are all that and we are above any subjection. Which is why pride is sin in just about every major religion: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Taoism. Clearly my examples of having pride is extreme but I think I made my point.
The quote that I have always heard was "Pride goes before a fall" which is a paraphrase of a passage from the book of Proverbs, in the Old Testament. I have dealt with prideful people in my lifetime and it is not something that I would not wish on anyone. Family members tend to be the worst at this. I am not sure what color of the emotional spectrum Pride would be, but I would guess it would be somewhere between Avarice (orange) and Fear (yellow).