“Falling in love” is an interesting phrase. It speaks clearly to losing our balance, to becoming weak kneed, tripping and stumbling into another state of being. One moment we understand ourselves as independent operators with goals, and skills to reach them. The next moment those goals become back-up to the one focused discovery of another person; someone to share a life with.
Every romance story or song repeats that theme. But they never talk about it as a “conversion” process, which of course it is. That is as true when the object of our love is a person as it is when it is an idea.
At the moment we concede that we love someone, we recognize that we are now different from what we were. The love takes hold of us, fills us with the heady combination of possibility and promise; we dress for a journey of discovery.
That is also what happens when we fall in love with an idea. A review of every successful person will tell us about how they discovered their purpose, their direction, a sense of the promise of meaning that discovery offered.
All religions share that experience in their founding, and in their discipleship. The aim of the rituals that come later is to re-create for the newcomers the same kind of experiential discovery of a new self that filled the original group with their mission.
But loving ideas is not confined to religious practice. Every subject, or, as meaningfully identified, every discipline, from economics to physics, from literary criticism to psychiatry offers “schools of thought” that define, elaborate, and explain the way that discipline works, and why it works, and why, if you choose to study that subject, why it is an important subject, and why that particular way of thinking about it is the right way.
A long sentence. Deliberately.
For a variety of complex and questionable reasons we link loving with ownership, and ownership with identity. In my mind, a very unholy trinity of beliefs. Which I consider leads to an even longer sentence; too often a life time sentence in which we suffer the consequences of trying to make reality conform to what we believe it should be.
Ross Gelbspan on Belief Systems Stanley S. Smith on We Are What We Believe Brock Hansen on We Are What We Believe Stanley S. Smith on Knock on the Door Ross Gelbspan on Knock on the Door