Love and Health
Laura Barrios Di Pascuale
November, 2011 Sociology of Love and Intimacy Laura Barrios Di Pascuale
Love and Health It is not difficult to see for any psychologist that people usually appeal to therapy only when they have reached the highest stage of desperation. It seems that for human beings it isvery difficult to reach a point of enough humility as to realize that they have made a mistake – regardless of the nature of the mistake- and that a different point of view is necessary to reach a state of wellbeing again. Depression is a good example to illustrate the truth of this reality: the most common cases of depression start by erroneous thoughts that the patient repeats more and morefrequently over the time. Once the thought is installed in the mind as an established premise, the connections of the brain cells start changing creating neural networks that reinforce the feeling that causes erroneous or depressive thoughts. Without noticing it, suddenly a patient finds him or herself unable to control the sadness and the constant thoughts of misfortune, then a professionalintervention seems to be necessary, and in more severe cases, like in risk of suicide, not only a psychological assistance, but a medical intervention is needed. Nevertheless, there are some few cases in which, after reaching that highest point of desperation, an individual is capable of changing his or her reality and reach a state of wellness that provides him/her a marvelous experience of compassion,tolerance and union with the rest of the world, and then all erroneous thoughts are immediately eliminated. This situation is impeccably described by Dostoevsky in The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (2006)(1) when the main character has been planned to commit suicide, and precisely the night he was about to end his life, a deep understanding of humanity and himself came to him in a dream that made himfeel
passionate about life and other people in a way he had never experienced before. This dramatic change is the consequence of understanding what love is in the most profound way. Henceforth, the question is: how is it possible for some people to go from the deepest sorrow to the highest level of wellbeing without the intervention of drugs or therapy? This essay claims that love producesimportant changes that lead to a deep impact in biological health and psychological wellness. In the first place it is important to define love in the way that it will be used in this essay. Love will be referred to as a healthy relationship between two or more people as in a friendship. It will also be referred to in means of healthy romantic love: “The passionate attachment between man and woman (…)[that] can generate the most profound ecstasy (…) [and] a passionate spiritual-emotional-sexual attachment between two people that reflects a high regard for the value of each other’s person” (Nathaniel Branden 1988, p. 218-220)(2) (Although Braden also says that romantic love can generate profound sorrow, this essay will refer only to the former case.). However, the former views of love aretaken into consideration as different ways to reach the ultimate form of love –which is the main concern of this essay- referred to as spiritual/enlightened love which is a profound connection with the spiritual world to which no kind of pain is compatible; it is compassionate, limitless, unconditional, wise, humble, trustful, and deeper than any other kind of love –not of the flesh, but of thespirit. This kind of love is the one mentioned earlier in reference to The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. In reference to the latest definition of love, the words “enlightened” and “spiritual” will be used indistinctly. In the second place, it is also important to understand how love, as a real energy, affects the world. In this sense, Dr. Masaru Emoto (2005)(3) demonstrated how different thoughts (mental...