“After all, did he not deserve their praise? Had he not given them endless joy? Would it not be more amusing to obtain undeserved praise, to be worshipped by beings that he tortured?” –Mephistopheles.
‘Unconditional Love’-An oxymoron, isn’t it? To love unconditionally means: to value something with, and for no reason at all. It is tantamount to asking someone to enjoy a book with no regard to the pleasure he derives from it. Enjoyment presupposes pleasure; in the same manner love presupposes virtues. Yet, I’ve always heard airheads repeat ritualistically and foolishly that love is unconditional, without giving a moments thought to what they’re trying to put across. I have no idea what they really mean, or, if they do mean anything.
What should one feel towards a person he loves? One can feel any of these – admiration, contempt or nothing at all –‘blankness’ .There is no other way one can feel. I don’t think any well meaning person would advocate contempt or even blankness towards a person one loves. Neither morality, nor human nature supports it. So, it definitely must be a blank feeling they see as an indicator of love. What distinction does that blank feeling has from other feelings? What distinguishes that person from others? Nothing at all! What does that person in love feel? Nothing at all-Like a machine, like a robot, like a moron. It must be some dull feeling he can neither define, nor cure. No, it must not even be a feeling. It must be ‘blankness’-emotional and rational ‘blindness’. Unconditional love expects you to be so, accepting it as the highest of virtues.
A brief analysis of unconditional love makes any intelligent person pick up a brick and break its advocate’s skull. If so, what makes them click and spread a delusion as wide spread as that? You’re provided with two choices-To love a person for ‘What he has’ or ‘the fact that he is’.
To love a person for ‘what he has’ means to love him for his material possessions irrespective of his spiritual values -To love a person for his fame, eluding the fact that he hasn’t done anything to deserve it; To love a person for his money, evading the fact that he has earned it by pull or fraud; To value a book or movie on the scale of awards or popularity eluding the fact that it’s of no intellectual or philosophical value; To respect a person for his position or age with no regard to his intelligence or knowledge ability; To love a person for her looks, regardless of the content of her mind. Any person who has achieved fame or fortune can see the above sort of love and the lack of it before – As in a laboratory experiment – When there is no change at all in his intelligence or values. Any person who has lost the above too is humbled when he sees love crumbling and friends disappearing-When this person undergoes no change at all in his value system.
What does it mean to love a person for ‘the fact that he is’ means? – The fact that he is a ‘what’? He is born, a human being, a sibling, a parent, an acquaintance, a classmate. I don’t think it means anything. In most probability he is another moron, a mindless machine which passes no judgment and loves back for the fact that he too is. Men are not mindless robots. Men can’t be and shouldn’t be. Even if it were true that men are mechanical robots which don’t pass judgment and has a feeling towards others just for the fact that he is, why should we call it love? What is so sacrosanct about that? Nothing in human nature makes it possible for a person to love another by cutting off ones senses – Is there anything in men that helps him to enjoy music cutting off his ears? The answer to the last question explains the previous statement.
When a person is provided with the above choices –To love a person for ‘what he has’ or to love a person for ‘the fact that he is’, which one should he choose? Well, he can’t choose any – Not without a feeling of guilt. The ‘pseudo idealist’ professes to love another person for ‘the fact that he is’, but deep inside he knows it isn’t the case. The ‘vulgar materialist’, in order to scoff at the pseudo idealist loves another for ‘what he has’ loudly and explicitly and realizes that all he feels is exhaustion. Beneath his pretensions, he feels inferior to the ‘pseudo idealist’. He is just screaming in cynical frustration that all love is ‘conditional’. In fact one turns into a materialist after his pretensions at ‘idealism’. ‘Vulgar materialism’, needless to say is a creation of ‘pseudo idealists’.
When the ‘pseudo idealist’ claims love isn’t conditional and brands the love of a ‘vulgar materialist’ as not real, he is openly making a cause against himself. He presupposes the conditions as ones material possessions. His whole manners shout his deep down fascination for material possessions and his nature of placing it over spiritual values. He can’t even see any other conditions than the ones he denounces as evil. I remember a poem I had to study in school, of which I remember neither the title nor content. The theme is that of a girl meeting his lover after a long time and her love remains intact, though he has lost his physical appeal. When a pseudo idealist upholds this as a classic case of unconditional love, he just reveals his definition of conditions and lack of respect for spiritual values. This just proves both –‘pseudo idealism’ and ‘vulgar materialism’ meld.
It’s easy to brand love for ‘what one has’ conditional and to argue the fact that it is ‘conditional’ is evil, regardless of the conditions. As if ‘conditionality’ is evil-not the ‘conditions’. Have a look at the implications of it. It regards a person who values a book of superior intellectual value equally vulgar as a person who values thrash on the basis of its popularity. The value systems of both are ‘conditional’ in their eyes-The difference is only in the nature of ‘conditions’.
Most people tend to believe, to love unconditionally, which means: to love anyone irrespective of his virtues, means justice. Quite the contrary, in fact. When you smile at a fool, it’s an act of treason towards all geniuses. When you love someone who has harassed you, it’s an act of betrayal towards anyone going through the same phase. When you applaud mediocrity, it is an assault on the not-so-mediocre. I wouldn’t say it is impossible, but it’s unjustifiable. Needless to say, most people stoop to that level-Making up silly, unjustifiable excuses like ‘blood is thicker than water’ & that one must always love and respect their elders.
When one upholds the notion that one should love everybody and that one should love unconditionally, he is simply revealing his secret desire for unearned appreciation. The outcome of such a desire is not as confined as people usually think. Volumes could be written on mans desire for unconditional love and his granting of the same-And it ought to be written in the very blood shed in that name. Men hear of such monstrous desire from their parents, teachers and alleged superiors of the respect and love to be granted-Just for the fact that they are. What are ‘they’? One deserving of love and respect never begs for it. He would never ask for it, regardless of whether he has done anything to deserve it or not.
Everything comes down to trade-Whether on a conscious level, or not. Would you trade with the person who promises chocolates for your cakes and withdraws it when yours is done? Or, would you cry in cynical frustration it’s a virtue to do so, but no one is good enough for that virtue? In the least you are providing fewer incentives and hindering production, not to mention the harm you do unto yourself. If you love a person irrespective of his cruelties, stupidity and mediocrity, you’re simply encouraging such behavior and harming yourself primarily, and as a marginal issue, the society in general. I could even argue you are responsible for everything evil in the society-From loneliness & mass slaughters to poverty and dictatorships. Do you see?
It is of course true that the vast majority of men are made to believe that we should forgive everyone and everything. It is often said that one attains the height of spirituality when he is capable of ‘unconditional love’ towards everyone. It is out of such love that world’s cruelties are made of! True, people preach to their children that they are to respect their elders regardless of whether they had done anything to deserve it. They are urged to love their parents who have shown no concern at all to their dreams, and hence, have only caused them hatred. They may even do so, rebelling against all their instincts, making themselves believe they stand up to their claims. No matter what men pretend, in a level deep down, they realize that it is neither possible, nor justifiable. They live through their lives pretending something they can neither rationalize, nor define. It is out of such love that world’s loneliness is made of!
Ones belief in a ‘God’ of unsubstantiated existence, to love and respect some one simply for the fact that he is a sibling, parent or a teacher, to profess surveillance to a dictator-all are born out of the same desire-to grant or ask for something with no reason at all to justify the same. It is the same desire which makes a man to seek shelter in a routine bound career where he is granted false security, not giving a moments thought to the fact that he has no prospects of growth in such a career. All dictatorships, religions and its collectivist variants have roots in such a desire-to grant or yield to someone for no reason at all. If one feels not that injustice is done when forced into military service, how could he feel any sympathy toward the same perpetrated on another man? If he feels not the right hatred toward cruelty and injustice, would he hesitate in doing the same? One should be true to oneself and not repress his hatred. One should know the root of his emotions. No one gains anything by replacing reality by an illusion. Why isn’t hatred a virtue toward the most of the men we see around?
The most common argument against conditional love is the mother-child relationship. What is so unconditional about it? One could argue a child-a newborn one, doesn’t possess any values as such and ask whether the love a mother feels for it is conditional – If so, in what sense? It is true that the child doesn’t possess any inherent values; at least in a manner that the mother can recognize it. As far as I know, babies aren’t born automatically and the mother, at least partly has the responsibility to love, look after and educate her child. It’s what she should do in an ideal case, not just in a sense of duty, but in her own interest as she values the child born out of her effort. I haven’t but seen a mother traveling all over the world searching for children to look after, though have found that most of the children who die, die out of their parents mistakes and that most of the child trafficking deals are done by parents themselves. Yes-such ‘love’ is unconditional in the sense they aren’t even willing to take responsibility for their acts –An apparent lack of conditional love. Branding love of that sort as unconditional just defines the nature of it more honestly in a way most of the world can’t get it!