Love is Progressive Part 47: Imperfect People, Perfect Love

It is an axiom that nobody is perfect. We all muddle through life with our imperfections, foibles and faults, some better than others. Both our imperfections and our differences contribute to the difficulty of relationships, whether they be intimate relationships, potential intimate relationships, family relationships, or friendships.

Yet, most people manage to form close bonds with certain other people. The drive for emotional, and physical intimacy is certainly very strong in most of us, but also, the capacity to collaborate in loving ways. Here I suggest that it is genuine love that allows people to overlook their differences and find commonality -- the recognition that we all truly are one.

Love means acceptance of and caring for a person as she or he is. It means having basic faith in a person, patience and understanding. It means reaching out across the gap between us to touch each other spiritually. In committed relationships it means loyalty and devotion, but not compromising one's principles. I know all this not only from descriptions of loving relationships, or observation, but from experience. I have been blessed to know genuine, unconditional love from others, not only by giving it. I have known such love from my early days when I was dependent upon my adoring parents, and again when I found my future wife who loved me intensely from early on, and still does. I would even say that my older brothers and I have a close bond of unconditional regard for each other, and they have been largely good role models for me. And I know unconditional love from certain close friends.

I have been blessed with love and I thank those who love me. But not everyone is so blessed. In Humanistic Psychology theory, lacking unconditional love undermines a person's quest for self-actualization, but I think it is more complex than that. A person whose inner compass is out of whack, will not move in a positive direction when given the support and latitude to. A person who is damaged, seeks to compensate for that damage, sometimes in ways that are counterproductive. People are often motivated by their lives' shortcomings, and mistake cognitive biases for the truth. Perhaps that applies to us all to a degree, as we deal with our flaws. But when we experience love, even our own love, it allows us to see past those flaws, and we experience something of the perfection of this great creation, the Universe in which we live.

I know that whatever may come between two people conceptually, when I experience love, nothing can come between us, and that is the perfectness of love.

We need to experience togetherness now, as a society. We need to experience Universal love, and the Oneness that it brings, in order to move forward. We have seen where reliance on an economic model of capitalism has led humanity, and we are fast sliding down a slippery slope to extreme inequality, intransigent social ills, and ecological disaster. The future progress of humanity lies in taking care of each other and nature, working with each other rather than against in fierce competition, working with nature rather than against nature to satisfy our greedy wants. With a spirit of love, humanity can overcome whatever differences we may have, and focus on our common goal. How we may dismantle the current system, I am not sure, but I know that change is inevitable, and we can succeed in creating a more perfect world if we move in the same direction together. If not, humanity will be in for a very difficult time. Evolve or go extinct; that is nature's dictum. I just noticed something about the word "evolve." It is a double anagram for "love." Both the first 4 and the last 4 letters can be used to spell love, so let us feel the love, let nothing come between us, and evolve, for it is toward love that we must evolve if we are to succeed.


mlk.silenceisnotanoption (not verified) 4 years 12 weeks ago

TY for yet another thoughtful post. I recall Derek Jensen's theory that we all suffer from some level of (complex) PTSD given that we are all (at least the 99%) held "captive" within a sociopathic society which requires sociopathic behaviour often towards our fellows in order to achieve (materialistic) sucess. Unconditional love is a treasure that I think fewer and fewer of us receive, and thus, the repetedtiveness and re-dramatization of acting out "what we know", in which love and affection are things commodified; to be traded, barted, bought or sold, on and on, on and on. sigh.

peace and love NaturalLefty.........mlk

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 4 years 11 weeks ago

The commodification of everything is a consequence of the capitalist mindset, and it creates winners and losers in an endless competition that results in insecurity and stress. Insecurity and stress are not conducive to unconditionality, so I think this outlines the reason for your observation that unconditional love is difficult to come by, perhaps increasingly so, tragically. I think a change in morality and values is on the way, though, which will help us. It is incubating and may need a lot more time to incubate fully, but inevitable crises will catalyze change, if nothing else will.

Thank you, mlk. :)

Robindell's picture
Robindell 4 years 11 weeks ago

The next president could very well be a Republican. That would not represent a change in "morality and values." What about some compassion for the people who will be hurt before such a hypothetical, theoretical, abstract, ambigous, unproven, speculative, subjective, change occurs. The idea that there will be a crisis that will force change is more like hoping for a crisis that would harm people and will not guaranty any positive change. When exactly will this crisis occur? When will the aftermath, the change, occur?

This country was started through a revolution. You are oversold on the notion of revolutions. They may make things worse. What is the alternative to capitalism? There is none, at present. It is annoying to read blog posts about future predictions which are unproven, subjective, speculative, hypothetical, and theoretical. Talking about the future is not useful, especially when being done in such an abstract, ambiguous, and unclear fashion. Hope for the future is actually much more like a belief system, a religion, than science. If higher education is reduced to a religious institution, then I don't see any prospects for any positive developments. It does not follow that a change in the physical world, the environment, will inevitably bring about improved human relations. I don't believe human beings are capable of that amount of modification of their ideas, rules, and structures. Change might be good for financially well-off people, but not for those who have limited ability to change their station in life and to afford to pay their way.

The survival of people is more important than ideological-based speculation. An objective anaysis does not lead to the inevitable conclusion that the future will be better than the past in terms of relationships and institutional workings.

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 4 years 11 weeks ago

I didn't say anything about a crisis in the post, Robindell, much less about hoping for one. Admittedly talk of the future in the fashion that I am doing is vague. I practically said that. But does that mean we should not attempt to plan for the future? I don't think so.

If a republican becomes president as a result of the next election, which I doubt, it will probably be the result of poor voter turnout and maybe election fraud or help from the Supreme Court, as in 2000. It is very unlikely to represent the will of the majority of the electorate, who prefer liberal change along the lines of Bernie Sanders' proposals. Maybe they would not end capitalism, but they would limit it by having more workers' co-ops, unions, business and environmental regulations, higher tax rates on the rich, etc. At this point, that would be a "revolution" of sorts. I don't see who that would be hurting, aside from those who are already rich and people who insist on being against whatever their political opponents are for.

I think there is science behind the needed policy changes as well as behind the need for more people to find their way out of immersion in the hypercompetitive (while not realizing that the game has already been rigged) "money rules" mindset.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 4 years 11 weeks ago

You added below the original that inevitable crises would if anything would catalyze change. When it this change going to take place? The economic system is adversely affecting the political system, and vice versa. When has there ever been a utopia in the democratic sense on earth, let alone in a given country such as this one? In order for there to be changes in policy, there have to be technologically and economically viable solutions. From discussions I have heard, I don't think engineers who design these things are quite there yet, and the public as a whole is not there yet, either, both attitudinally and in terms of being able to afford expensive investments in new personal equipment. I hope we have better technology in the future where people are not dependent on power companies and can simply dial a number and soon have a self-driving car stop in front of one's home. Traffic accidents might result in even more deaths than do guns. The amount of gun violence and the continuing unwillingness of both the public and most lawmakers to pass some form of precautionary gun control, and of government law enforcement agencies to do a better job of listing past arrests or convictions on gun-related charges, or past hospitalization in a mental hospital, and the degree of uneduated inner-city residents and others who resort to violence through shootings as a way of settling the score, these things all point to a lack of willingness to change on the part of Americans.

California has a new program that would limit access to guns by certain people based on their previous record. Most states are lax in catching past violations on the part of those wanting to by firearms. Gun show dealers don't have to do any background checks. Illegal gun sales by unlicensed sellers are common in many places.

I have heard any number of commentators recently who have said that as desirable as it would be to have a Constitutional amendment getting rid of the Citizens United decision and proclaiming that you can't give unlimited amounts of money to political candidates and office holders, and that corporations cannot be treated as people under the campaign finance laws, and that policians reform the Federal Election Commission so that it actually does its job and stops illegal contributions, it is just not realistic for the forseeable future, as much concern over this issue that exists, that there could be this kind of amendment to the Constitution. Maybe in 100 years, campaigns will financially be entirely different than there are now, perhaps with public funding. As one economics professor from a state university in Illinois who is relatively progressive said, capitalism is inherently instable. Many people are obviously in favor of the things you just mentioned, such as more cooperatives, unions, workers' rights, job safety laws and enforcement, and environmental regulations. But other than minimum wage increases in some local jurisdictions or states, and small number of votes on the part of employees in favor of joining a union, the trend so far is more often than not against these things. I just watched a report about a small town in Louisiana, populated almost entirely by African-Americans, that has been taken over by something like 6 or 7 seven chemical plants. Many of the residents have developed various medical symptoms or illnesses which they believe are a direct result of the chemicals that are being dumped into the environment. The newest plant that is being built there is owned by a huge South African company, which is offering to buy out any and all remaining residents of the town. The people have complained that the amount of money that they have been offered is not high enough so that they can buy or build a house in some other community. It is the price that the company wants to pay. But it is anticipated that all of the people residing there will eventually leave the community, because it simply has too much industry and too many chemicals. There is a proposal for still another plant that would make disel fuel from some kind of chemicals. The South African company did a study in which it is concluded that their new plant when it is fully operational will meet all state and federal regulations, but Lousiana and the federal government have previously granted exceptions to existing regulations for some of the companies located in the town, so that they can exceed the established limits without being cited. The public lacks both the expertise and the political clout to stop these kinds of situations from happening.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 4 years 10 weeks ago

To also respond to something that you said above, people have various psychological difficulties be it confusion, frustration, conflict, cynicism, or hopelessness based on any number of possible circumstances. One thing that has been mentioned elsewhere on this Web site are problems in inner city neighborhoods, failing schools and crime being two issues that were brought up. The problems of inner city schools are complex, and conservatives want simple-minded answeres that usually involve scapegoating teachers or administrators. Some people simple use their prejudice toward blacks to overgeneralize about crime or objectionable behavior, never mentioning the progress that many African-Americans have made since the civil rights movement and the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King. Researchers have found that upward mobility is statistically tied to the education and income levels of the parents. Many Americans seem to either so poorly informed or so anti-intellectual that they don't know anything about and don't care that a significant amount of research has found differences in how middle class parents communicate with their children, compared to the communication that takes place between low-income and working class parents and their kids. There are some programs that have been found to have statistically significant levels of success in improving outcomes for children and young people who live in low-income neighborhoods and come from working class families. There is still a lot that is not understood by scholars looking into this whole area, such as why some kids mange to
"escape" poverty and go onto college and are successful in establishing a career, whereas others don't continue with their education beyond high school and may end up involved with illegal drug sales and with street gangs. Some people will cite an teacher or other adult who took the time to talk to them about their futures and showed some extraordinary concern, which is often referred to as "mentoring." It would be helpful if people with some knowledge of research in child rearing and social class would respond to the conservatives who bring up these topics in a non-constructive, antagonistic way. Also, when it comes to both intelligence and certain occurences of mental illness, I think most psychologists would agree that genetics often plays a role, and that some people may not have the ability to be academically successful in college. We don't have enough good alternatives for them. Industry has moved increasingly into high tech, requiring computer and other technical skills. Lower income people and mentally ill people in my opinion may have a greater likelihood than middle class professionals of either ending up divorced or being socially isolated for most of their lives, outside of their family of origin. Not having any relationships was omitted from your above discussion.

Here in the Westchester Public Library, I notice serveral magazines that might be of interest. There is Rodale's Organic Natural Life, Natural Solutions, which says on the cover, "Daily Detox: Give your skin a scrub, The Lincoln Highway Forum, a periodical about the historic Lincoln Highway which passed through this part of Indiana and ended up in California, and most importantly Skeptical Inquirer magazine, which is not a technical or academic journal, but which I would recommend trying to locate and time permitting to read. A lot of their articles have to do with science. One of their heros who I think supports their work is James Randi, who is known for uncovering psychics, mind readers, and certain magicial tricksters. On the current issue, which is Vol. 39 No. 5, September/October 2015, they have one article that seems to be related to social psychology and a study that was done involving the influence of two scientists on people's attitudes. One is Richard Dawkins who wrote the book, The God Delusion. The other is Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, which I have visited, and an evangelical Christian who wrote his own book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. The study found that with people who had never heard of Dawkins before, after reseachers told them about his ideas on religion and science, citizens reported that their opinions had not changed, but after being told about the views of Collins, and more people in the study had not heard of Collins compared to the number who had not heard of Dawkins, they shifted their views toward a collaborative view of religion and science being compatible. The study was done by West Virginia University sociologist Christopher Scheitle, who said that results confirm that Americans are distructful of atheists and tends to view them more negatively than other groups. There is also an article in the same issue about a Dr. Wallace Sampson, an expert on false medical claims who died at age 85. I think it would be worth the effort to see if a local library such as the Riverside Public Library or University of California at Riverside library subscribes to Skeptical Inquirer. Although not overtly political, there are some issues that indirectly pertain to public policy, such as articles criticizing the National Institutes of Health for funding studies on alternative or complementary medicine, which authors who write for the magazine indicate have little or no scientific proof of efficacy behind them for the conditions for which they are studied. Another issue that is written about is a book review involving the subject of evolution vs. creation. There are some lively discussions all centering around science, empirical research, and rationality that I think you would both find interesting and benefit from. One statement that I have read in recent years is that there is a trend in America toward magical thinking and irrationality which plays into the hands of regressive politicians, who want to push things like creation over evolution, or to be opposed to making health care available to people on the basis of playing off ignorance and anti-scientific thinking, or even fear tactics being used against certain groups such as Latinos or blacks through stirring up irrational fears through exaggerations and mistatements. The magazine touches upon the underlying philophical and cogntive aspects of irrational, backward thinking, and that is why it is worth looking at.

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