What modern science thinks about love and obsessions
Obsessive thoughts—engine of progress, even though they can in fact be quite a drag. It all depends on the direction they take. By the end of the “journey”, a person gets what he always wanted all his life.
Brilliant discoveries often happen accidentally. Perhaps, that was how alcohol, tobacco, narcotics and other pleasure causing substances were first “invented”. “Have you ever drank or given someone else to drink?”-asks a Catholic priest his confessor, a native Indian, meaning of course juice of a well-known cactus Lophophora Williamsii peyotl. Why think hard if our own chemistry projects fascinating cartoon-like images onto our subconscious and attracts evil spirits? It is doubtful that Mendeleev (famous Russian chemist) has discovered his table of chemical elements in his sleep by accident, just as Einstein has come up with his probability theory, physicists have constructed their nuclear bomb and militants—the Internet.
In order to really achieve something in life, one should constantly think about it day and night. One should be completely absorbed in his/her idea and work hard to attain success.
Nobody knows exactly how compulsive thoughts originate in a man’s conscious and how they continue to follow him for the rest of his life. Scientists contemplate about the sixth sense, about genetic memory, about a certain connection between neurons that tends to develop with age, about man’s desire to fully rely on his own intuition and trust it fully and so on. Teachers talk about the immense importance of proper upbringing, psychiatrists point out harmful effects of compulsive thoughts and behaviors, which may lead to schizophrenia and total degradation. Sigmund Freud for instance found two persons in the history of mankind whose mind, in his opinion, was completely free: Moses and Leonardo Da Vinci.
Instinct is a dangerous thing. Scientific axiom regarding the fact that “phylogenesis repeats ontogenesis” leads us to believe that a human being does not really differ much from an animal in his secret desires. Every human being has an inborn predator’s instinct—aggression. It is virtually impossible to get rid of it completely. It would be nice however to direct it to the right direction, to benefit society at large. That is why we always have to think before taking this or that move.
Despite Freud’s assumptions, there do exist quite a few people who are very close to “normal”. These are just ordinary people, neither “Pharisees” nor “bookworms”. These people are not burdened by any abstract ideas, thoughts of the higher matters and things of this sort. They tend to live by simple rules, without high expectations.
At the same time, there are also those human beings whose mental state contrasts that of the accepted norm. These people may fall in a trance, thus turning into uncontrolled creatures capable of murder, rape and suicide. Some people have a tendency to change their sexual partners constantly, participate in orgies, sadistic and masochistic acts as well as other violations of commonly accepted behavioral patterns. Such people can really be a danger to society.
An absolute majority of people appears to be in a normal state of being. Everyone can experience anger and frustration. But different people have various ways of showing it. Overall, however, these are normal people, who are capable of realizing and be responsible for their actions.
What about aggression in love's passionate embrace? It’s been scientifically proven already that a person in love does not experience only pleasant, happy thoughts. According to several research studies, we have to deal with complex chemical and psychological processes when it comes to love. The exact type of such processes changes depending on various stages of emotional experiences.
Scientists draw a direct correlation between the very beginning of love and natural brain stimulants such as dopamine, norepinephrin and other amphetamines. Once these elements begin to stimulate one’s brain, the person will most likely lose appetite, sleep and self-control. Research suggests that a person in love experiences the same processes in his brain as a gambler or a drug addict after another dose. This fact leads us to conclude that drug addiction can in fact be much more dangerous, since it destroys our natural feelings. Similar to the feeling of drug euphoria, love stimulates the exact same brain regions.
As love grows, there appear to develop three distinct phases. The first phase entails immense physical attraction, when both men and women are desperately seeking a partner to satisfy their sexual desires. The second phase comprises romantic feelings, when the brain remains flooded with chemical processes. Oxytocin secreted by the brain makes nerve endings more sensitive and stimulates muscle contractions. Scientists assume that this particular oxytocin causes man and women to passionately embrace each other during the intercourse and causes orgasm.
Some people believe in everlasting love. Historians in turn, determined that in ancient times love had not last longer than 4 years. After carefully examining culture and traditions of 60 nations, they concluded that most divorces had happened after 4 years of marriage. Only a baby’s birth could extend a couple’s union.
The third phase of attachment and sensitivity differs from the previous two by significantly lesser passion. Perhaps, Nature intended to keep both parents together at least during the first few years of their child’s birth. In 2-3 years a person’s organism stops producing a needed amount of stimulating chemical elements and this puts an end to all passions. Amphetamines are being changed by endorphins, substances that calm the nervous system. It is them that give loved ones a feeling of peace, comfort and security. In case one loses his or her beloved during this particular stage, consequences can be rather dreadful. The person may experience terrible depressions and grow indifferent to life. From chemistry’s stand point, the person is being deprived of his daily dose of “drugs”, meaning that endorphins stop their secretion, while the body has not gotten used to the transformation.
Love and creativity—this is a long and tedious job, assure scientists. English people for instance draw a distinct line between “falling in love” from “being in love”. The first appears to be quick and depends solely on one’s state of mind. It is much harder to learn to recreate such feeling of falling in love over and over again in the course of one’s entire life. It entails studying, just as one would study Greek, math, literature.
Poets, not scientists are the ones who can describe the feeling of falling in love the best. Giovanni Kazanova, who is best known as world’s greatest lover, remains the best expert of human souls. His sexual powers started to betray him before he turned 40. The last 30 years of his life (he died at 73), Kazanova devoted to working in libraries in Bohemia; he did not have any contacts with women. Physically, confessed Kazanova himself, he received just as much pleasure from reading as he used to get from women. He even came up with this aphorism, “A woman is a book. Bad or good, it has to cause you pleasure from the very first page till the last.” Obviously, it was never his goal to conquer numerous women’s hearts. It all came naturally to him. Similar to Shakespeare, Oscar Wild and Bernard Show, Kazanova was obsessed with the idea to get out of his poor neighborhood and reach high society.
The same can be said of all obsessive thoughts. It is always nice when it give a person wings to fly, encourages him to pursue his goals. Similar to the global navigation system GPS, this guiding star allows us to keep on moving through the stormy waters of today’s society.