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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
James Park's take on the HOAX

Summary

How can we transcend our romantic delusions and fantasy feelings and build our loving relationships on reality?

Romantic love may be the most pervasive myth of Western culture. Romance is a cultural invention, not a natural phenomenon. We have been so deeply indoctrinated into the romantic myth that we have no awareness of the process of emotional programming that created our romantic responses.
Popular culture is the main way we learn how to 'fall in love'.
Movies, television, popular songs, novels, and magazines
all train our feelings into the wonderful delusion of romance.

Our romantic games would be harmless if everyone knew
that romantic love is a fantasy feeling. But while still under the influence of romantic illusions, some people make the life-altering mistake of getting married. Perhaps we guard against every form of political or religious mythology, but what about the most potentially harmful myth—romantic love?

Religious indoctrination demonstrates emotional programming.
Is 'being saved' the religious equivalent of 'falling in love'?
We are taught what emotions to expect—then we try to create them.

If romantic love is a hoax, what should we do? Real information can replace romantic illusions. We can love on the basis of who we choose to be rather than trying to reproduce romance as been on television.

I. The Myth of Romantic Love

Most of us emerged from childhood believing that romantic love is a natural phenomenon. When we 'fall in love', we seem to be possessed by an irresistible passion, filling our hearts. So, how could these romantic feelings be a cultural creation, invented only 800 years ago?

Before the Middle Ages, some people probably experienced exaggerated, fantasy feelings close to what we now all "romantic love". But such accidental eruptions of personal, deluded feelings
did not become the passion of the masses until the French troubadours refined and spread the emotional game of love.

Who were these people who—as a matter of historical fact—
started the feeling that has now become a taken-for-granted phenomenon? The French troubadours were traveling entertainers who put on plays, recited poetry, and sang the popular songs of the day. Their audiences especially liked romantic stories and songs. The tradition they started has continued into the popular culture of today.

II. 'Falling in Love' as Temporary Insanity.

Romantic love is an altered state of consciousness. We seem possessed by an alien force taking over our minds. Everything seems wonderful—especially the object of our love.

Our 'spontaneous' love-reactions pull us together into a whirlpool of hopeless, uncontrollable, overwhelming passion. It is like surfing on an ocean wave —sliding down a surging force beyond our control. Romantic love is blind because we are really responding to our own internal fantasies, well-prepared by the romantic tradition. For years, we have been yearning for our Dream Lover. And when a close approximation appears, we project all our pent-up fantasies upon that unsuspecting victim.

These experiences are really being in love with love. Such 'love' is entirely an emotion, taking place inside our own skins. Perhaps we remain basically closed persons, intensely enjoying our own private, internal feelings, using others as props or supporting characters in our grand love stories.

III. Love & Marriage: Fantasy & Facts.

In the American way of love, marriages are contracted 'for love'.
But often the kind of 'love' that leads to the altar is romantic infatuation. After the honeymoon is over, grim reality submerges the fantasy. The bubble of romance, which seemed so exquisitely beautiful for a moment, vanishes with a silent pop, leaving only a small wet mark. In other cultures, marriages are created for more practical reasons. If there is to be any affection, it can come along later. But perhaps romantic love and marriage are incompatible.
Projected fantasies seldom survive years of living together.
Romantic love can be an enjoyable and harmless emotional game
—as long as we don't attempt to construct our lives around it.

IV. How Did We Learn the Romantic Response?

Almost from the moment of birth, we have been surrounded by the romantic mythology. Every element of the popular culture assumes that romance is real: television, movies, novels, poetry, soap operas, advertising, popular music of every kind, newspapers, magazines, dating services. We grew up in a milieu of romantic love. Everywhere we turn, even tho we seldom notice it, someone is making positive refererences to 'falling in love'.

The reason for the uniformity of our romantic beliefs and experiences is not genetic similarity, control by the gods, or a common 'human nature' —but a common cultural tradition going back to the Middle Ages. As diverse as we are, most of us pursue the same dream of romantic love. Without the help of any organized conspiracy, hundreds of accidental elements of popular culture have shown us how to 'fall in love'. These ever-present perveyors of the romantic mythology have shaped our deepest emotional-psychological structure: We have been programmed to respond when someone pushes the love bottom.

V. Emotional Programming: Romantic & Religious.

That we human beings can be programmed emotionally is amply demonstrated by such diverse phenomena as nationalism, ethnic pride, loyalty to a sporting team, or attachment to a television program. But the deepest examples of emotional indoctrination
come from the diverse religions of the human race. When we are surrounded by people who fervently believe 'truths' about themselves and the universe, we often grow up with the same religious assumptions. Or we may have had a 'conversion experience', in which our feelings were suddenly transformed into a new condition.

But what was the source or cause of this new emotional state?
Was it not the emotional expectations we had internalized from the sub-culture that followed that particular religion?

We can be objective about religions emotional indoctrination
because only a certain segment of any population embraces a particular form of religious faith. But the romantic mythology surrounds everyone. We have all learned the proper emotions to expect. Almost all of us try to have the romantic emotions we believe are real.

VI. Good-bye to Illusions, Hello to Reality.

The difficulty we may have in making ourselves 'fall in love' is not our emotional deficiency but our intellectual honesty. If we eventually become convinced that romantic love is an illusion, a web of projected fantasies and artificial feelings, what do we do next?

We can abandon these cultural delusions and begin to establish
our relationships based on real information about each other
and genuine commitment toward each other. Reality-based relationships may not have the same emotional high, but, in the long run, they are much better for us. Instead of projecting our pre-existing fantasies on others, we can get to know them as they really are —and as the persons they are becoming.

The wild, extravagant feeling of being hear-over-heels in love is certainly an enjoyable delusion while the emotional 'high' lasts, but should we attempt to build relationships on fantasy feelings?

---

So, what do ye adults make of this? ;) Most of it is utter tripe, but I think he's hit the nail on the some accounts, what better way to commemorate Valentine's Day than read this existentialist rant. For someone alluding the birth of an emotion to French Troubadors, this guy is pretty presuasive.
 

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Hey, if it's wrong to believe in romantic love, then I don't want to be right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He's a writer, pseudo-existentialist, obsessed with the history of what he calls, "the myth of romantic love", hell bent on proving it's a hoax. He's even written a book about it, and the passage I posted was the prologue.
 

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!bob said:
...hell bent on proving it's a hoax.
Some people cry a lot when they get dumped. Others watch chick flicks and eat ice cream. Others try to be mature and keep their heads up. Oh no. Not this guy. He has to go write a book proving that what everyone else has felt at some point or another is a hoax.
 

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Mostly I'm intrigued by this obsessed Park fella. Why the hell does he care about the concept of "romantic love" in the wider world?

What's not romantic about two sweating animals determined to provide pleasure? Pfffft, take a wider conceptualisation of "romantic love" and his whole premise collapses killing thousands of words, many of them women and children.

I believe in the possibility of a perfect love and that some people confuse the willingness of their partners to settle for them due to pity, fear, boredom with "love", which is not a bad thing at all might I add ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The factual side of his account is actually largely correct, but as soon as he gets subjective you can see how completely deluded HE is. Largely hypocritical.

The difficulty we may have in making ourselves 'fall in love' is not our emotional deficiency but our intellectual honesty.
This part is especially amusing, but phrased well enough for people to believe it whole-heartedly, I have a feeling it's going to be quite a popular book...with rejects such as James Park. I still think that those who deny that he has a persuasive style are living in denial though.

The wild, extravagant feeling of being hear-over-heels in love is certainly an enjoyable delusion while the emotional 'high' lasts, but should we attempt to build relationships on fantasy feelings?
YES! I think his refusal to realize this is at the heart of his confusion.
 

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It seems that this dude has not been blessed enough to get a taste of what it is to be in a romantic relationship and because of that, because of his own lack of success/luck, he's trying to vainly spread the erronous belief that it's an hoax. :groan:

Next...:eek:

Cheers.;)

FORZA ROMANTIC LOVE!!!:stuckup::star: :cool:

:tongue::D
 

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Kudos to anyone who got past the first paragraph.
 

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!bob said:
He's a writer, pseudo-existentialist, obsessed with the history of what he calls, "the myth of romantic love", hell bent on proving it's a hoax. He's even written a book about it, and the passage I posted was the prologue.
That guy Park need to get a girlfriend. Life is just so much more beautiful when you lie there in spoons. :)
 

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The Noam Chomsky of love.
 

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!bob said:

We can abandon these cultural delusions and begin to establish
our relationships based on real information about each other
and genuine commitment toward each other. Reality-based relationships may not have the same emotional high, but, in the long run, they are much better for us. Instead of projecting our pre-existing fantasies on others, we can get to know them as they really are —and as the persons they are becoming.

These are wise words actually.There should be a difference between true love and romantic sentimentalism.Love the real person, not some kind of ideal mental image of her/him.
 

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Originally posted by !bob

We can abandon these cultural delusions and begin to establish
our relationships based on real information about each other
and genuine commitment toward each other. Reality-based relationships may not have the same emotional high, but, in the long run, they are much better for us. Instead of projecting our pre-existing fantasies on others, we can get to know them as they really are —and as the persons they are becoming.
What I have to say is that love is all about feelings and emotions. One cannot and certainly shouldn't make it as dry as a business transaction or as an accounting act of balancing the books with "getting the real numbers and information about the other person" for the sake of reality as this Park dude is advocating it, at least IMO. Love is an advanced expression of a burning fire, a burning passion for someone we have very strong and geniune feelings for. I agree it's crucial to know the other person the way they are and love the person for whom they are and them as a whole and not an illusion. However, I certainly do not agree with the author when he suggests that relationships should be solely as dry as a business transaction. Sorry, this is NOT love, but a sort of dry agreement which takes away the whole magic, poetry and beauty of LOVE.

I don't know if I'm expressing myself clearly but I hope you get what I'm trying to say...;)

Finally, if I may, I'd suggest this Park dude to go out and see first hand, from first hand experience what romantic relationships and love really are before talking about it. I'm convinced he'll notice in a very short time that the real illusion and illusive land is where he's been locking himself with this kind of repressive and endangering thoughts of his.

Just my 2 cents.

Cheers.:)
 

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San Siro said:
What I have to say is that love is all about feelings and emotions. One cannot and certainly shouldn't make it as dry as a business transaction or as an accounting act of balancing the books with "getting the real numbers and information about the other person" for the sake of reality as this Park dude is advocating it, at least IMO. Love is an advanced expression of a burning fire, a burning passion for someone we have very strong and geniune feelings for. I agree it's crucial to know the other person the way they are and love the person for whom they are and them as a whole and not an illusion. However, I certainly do not agree with the author when he suggests that relationships should be solely as dry as a business transaction. Sorry, this is NOT love, but a sort of dry agreement which takes away the whole magic, poetry and beauty of LOVE.

I don't know if I'm expressing myself clearly but I hope you get what I'm trying to say...;)

Finally, if I may, I'd suggest this Park dude to go out and see first hand, from first hand experience what romantic relationships and love really are before talking about it. I'm convinced he'll notice in a very short time that the real illusion and illusive land is where he's been locking himself with this kind of repressive and endangering thoughts of his.

Just my 2 cents.

Cheers.:)
That was just as difficult to get through as was the original piece of crap, but for opposite reasons.

 
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