Falling in Love
Falling in love is a mind-bending experience of ecstasy and transcendence.
I want to love you then
I want to love you never
And then begin again'
~ Leonard Cohen
There isn't a more talked-about experience in life than the magic of falling and being in love. Day after day millions of people on the planet find themselves caught up in a spiralling fountain of infatuation and romance. Just about everyone dreams of finding a loving and compatible partner ~ and keeping that love.
No wonder then that the phenomenon of love has become the subject of extensive study by philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists and biologists.
The Biology of Infatuation
As much as we'd like to believe that love is a matter of the heart, it's in fact very much a matter of the brain.
In a report that was published late in 2010, The Neuroimaging of Love, some interesting facts were noted:
* You can fall in love in one-fifth of a second;
* As you fall in love, 12 areas of the brain work together to form a biochemical torrent that sweeps you away in euphoria-inducing chemicals, including dopamine, oxytocin, adrenalin and aldosterone;
* Falling in love activates similar areas of the brain to cocaine and elicits the same euphoric feelings;
* Widespread changes are experienced in the body, including an increase in tolerance to pain.
Falling and being in love is thus a very real and even measurable phenomenon on the physical level, but there are also psycho-spiritual elements that come into play.
In the first one or two years of being in love, you have a real sense that you and your lover have melded into one. Psychotherapist M. Scott Peck explains in his best-selling book, The Road Less Travelled, that this sense of merging into one as we fall in love is a kind of psychological trick to get us to make a commitment. He says, 'The essence of the phenomenon of falling in love is a sudden collapse of a section of an individual's ego boundaries, permitting one to merge his or her identity with that of another person. For Peck, this very process is the source of the ecstasy of falling in love.
The Gift of Being in Love
But more than any psychological trick, falling in love is a blessing. In his book, Path to Love, Deepak Chopra says, 'Love's gift is to strip away a lifetime of imprints in the psyche that condition us to believe in separateness, returning us to the reality that we were born in, which contains only love.'
There is no doubt that love is a real and transformative state of being if approached in the right way. It is one of the highest states of human endeavours and for most, the ultimate source of happiness.
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