Oct 15, 2014

Love is an Addiction

"That's not love, that's oxytocin" It's a colorful line of a husband catching his wife in bed with another man in Sarah Ruhl's, Stage Kiss, theater play. While I did not made it yet to New York to see this 2014 late success, I found this paragraph in a fascinating book I read in the past months.

Few months ago, when in London, Camelia was training herself into flowers and I was wandering between bookshelves, sunny streets and my own ghosts. In the turmoil of thoughts, shadows and restless search for answers, I got myself attracted on the neuroscience library section, my late interest, by this title: "THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN US. Love, sex and the science of attraction"

It took me a few plane trips to finish it (lately I get to read only on planes) but I devoured it and read second time the most of it. Half of it is too technical and too much about lab rats experiments, animal studies and testing. Even the former engineer in me got overwhelmed at some point about the data. But the rest it's fabulous.

"Love is an addiction. Not in the poetic, metaphorical way, but a real one. Love it is just chemicals stimulating neural activity on well defined neural circuits, and not meany to elevate us in some kind of a higher spiritual plane, but to lure us unthinkingly into reproduction, thus maximizing our evolutionary fitness. It is all so base"

" ... the brain processes activated during sexual bliss, and during the development of fetishes and partner preferences, have tremendous overlap with the brain circuit that makes drug use fell so good. They both relies on the same structures, the same neuro-chemicals and create the same changes in the brain ..."

Got you interested? The room for debate is huge. With or without scientific arguments everyone has his own views about love and its importance in our lives. We do love. We need to love. We want to love. Or we just LOVE. Deeply, madly, passionately love sometimes. How can this be trivialized and reduced just to some neurons and the juice flowing between them?

Larry Young and Brian Alexander explain that.

"We can know exactly how love, desire and gender work in our brains, yet we'll still invent meaning to go alone with that knowledge. We'll still celebrating the feelings and the thrills, as well as lament the sadness.

Now we have a chance to be more wilful and more conscious of what we are doing. We have the opportunity to end uniformed prejudice, to appreciate the power of the love mechanism and to try to guard against heedlessness. Like those who don’t believe in God, or in a life after death, yet who construct ethical lives and find meaning despite the conviction there is no supreme being waiting for them ..."

Me, I chose love. I chose to believe that love exists. I chose to live and fight for my love. For my wife, for my family, for my life. Yet, I know the guys are right. I know that sometimes drugs and addiction might flow onto the same brain circuits and inhibit any other flows wanting to pass in the same time. Reading this book helped me, once more, to understand that sometimes nature can be defeated, but only by the awakened, informed and self controlled human being.

Write me if interested to read it, I will happily lend it to you. Or try Amazon.