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Love Decoded

Love Decoded

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The science behind Love

Explore the paradox of love, its historical impact, and its dual nature as a source of both good and evil. Discover the scientific basis of emotions and the heart’s symbolic role in love. Delve into the complexities of love, its connection to happiness and pain, and its enduring significance in a world increasingly driven by technology.

Love….an overrated emotion? Much hype over nothing?! Or something that does make the world go round ?? If one looks at history, love has been behind deeds both good and bad. It has spurred on armies against each other, time and again, in different eras; it has caused murders and jealousy-infused face-offs, lovers taking their own lives, and every kind of dark and conspiratorial act imaginable and unimaginable!

At the same time, it has been the reason behind beautiful acts of philanthropy, benevolence, sacrifice, selflessness, and every kind of good, imaginable and unimaginable!!

What then, exactly, is this oft-abused word, all about? Is it truly seeded in the heart?

I must confess l hate to be the one doing this, but the heart is in fact, not the seat of sincere apologies to all the poets and litterateurs out there who have waxed eloquent on the vagaries of the little organ in our chests that faithfully goes ‘Lubb-dup’ ever so often! The fact of the matter is that all emotions, including our friend ‘love’ here, emanate from that fellow that sits steady, on our shoulders (no, not Vikram’s Betaal, sorry!), the head, which houses the brain. Embedded deep within the brain we have a system dedicated to emotions, comprising of different parts connected intricately. This system, one would be intrigued to know, is driven by chemicals and hormones, the secret behind all thoughts and feelings….not all that poetic or romantic, right? Science surely knows how to take the glamour off things and spoil the fun!

So then, why has the heart stood accused for ages? Why has humankind been shunning all scientific logic and wrongly romanticising the heart? Is it because it does seem a little ridiculous trying to visualise one clutching one’s head while declaring undying love for another?! And all said and done, the heart actually beats rhythmically, rather heroically, while the poor brain does no such thing! So much for being the seat of love!

I believe that the chemicals and hormones spouting love (l can’t stop myself from leaking the name of one, Oxytocin) have a more pronounced and tangible effect on the heart than on any other human organ, and that has led human beings to be convinced that this four-chambered, muscular structure, is responsible for all the mush in the world!
Whether it is the steady love one has for one’s parents, heady first love, or tender, sweet, selfless love for one’s child, the first and most powerful emotion allied with love is happiness, followed by a sense of fulfillment. From it is born several other beautiful emotions….but love also leads to hurt and anguish, does it not? How and why?
There is no denying that accompanying love, of most kinds, are expectations and a need to claim some kind of ownership. These, as we all know well, are fertile grounds for pain.

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Is there any other emotion that evokes both pain and pleasure, as does love? I doubt it very much.
We live in an increasingly mechanical and unfeeling world where artificial intelligence or AI will soon take over all spheres …will all emotions be wiped out in the near future? Will we run only on bits and bytes, will oxytocin and pheromones become history in the true sense?! On a planet that is fast losing land space, facing population explosion, loss of vegetative cover, ozone, senses, and sensibilities, love is the only thing that is right and it is indeed the only fuel that has kept humankind running thus far!

If one analyses carefully, it becomes increasingly clear that love and only love is the driving force of life on the blue planet! All other virtues are offshoots of that very love. There is so much that is wrong with this world, so much of death, disease, destruction, and devastation, and yet each dark night ends in a beautiful morning, a sapling grows where trees have been uprooted, a child is born every now and then, bringing untold happiness and hope into many hearts… war-ravaged countries and their people resurrect themselves, strife-torn and disease-ridden populations overcome all odds to survive…how do they do it? Only because someone somewhere, a philanthrope, is doing all the right things, out of love for fellow human beings, or because there is an environmentalist who loves nature, and so on and so forth. Even at the very heart of the deepest of darkness and hopelessness, love lives on, in some form or the other, holding up a beacon of hope for all life! It does indeed make the world go round!

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  • Deconstructing love down to the basics? And yet showing it to be the greatest emotion – perhaps the “mother” of all other emotions? This is the journey that the author is taking us, from a physical plane (or chemical or biological – whatever you choose to call it) to the emotional, in her typically brilliant fashion of eloquence. Along with it the final declaration that love truly makes the world go round and will keep doing so as long as love exists. We “love” your articles. Keep them flowing!!

  • Hi Anon,must say you are a loyal reader! And l appreciate that very much, especially because l am on shaky ground in the writing world.. every bit of encouragement helps! Thank you from the bottom of my…..not mind,no…my heart!

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