Commentary: On Valentine’s Day, celebrate the insanity that is love
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 23:02
Valentine’s Day: The one day when each of us expresses our love for our significant other in unending and exponentially greater ways.
Perhaps, some of us will not be celebrating it at all, for a plethora of often cited rational reasons. But Thursday, we should celebrate the existence of love. Love, in its purest sense, drives each of us to do things that with different motives would fall under the term insanity.
“New love can look for all the world like mental illness, a blend of mania, dementia and obsession that cuts people off from friends and family and prompts out-of-character behavior … that could almost be mistaken for psychosis,” said Benedict Carey in a New York Times story published May 2005.
The article provides a synopsis of a study Dr. Lucy Brown and Dr. Helen Fisher conducted, in which 2,500 brain images were taken of 17 college-aged subjects who were in the first two months of a relationship. Brown said the results found that our desire for our loved ones, “is all happening in an area of the mammalian brain that takes care of most basic functions, like eating, drinking, eye movements, all at an unconscious level.”
This very nature of a mind in love, a mind unbounded by sanity in its truest sense, a mind entirely outside the realm of rational, is what we should celebrate each year.
To the rational mind, England’s great military was due cause to stay timid. But our Founding Fathers’ love of liberty and freedom led them to create this great nation when all common sense proclaimed them mad men surely on a path to the gallows.
“This drive for romantic love can be stronger than the will to live,” Fisher said in the NYT article.
Our Founding Fathers’ love for the transcendental notions of liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness became stronger than the will to live. On July 4, 1776, they signed The Declaration of Independence attesting to that fact.
To the irrational mind, there is neither such a thing as impossible or too high a cost. The irrational mind sees beyond the barriers of rationality and spurs revolutions, art and literature the world would otherwise find itself in need of. Even creativity has been found to mimic the neurological pathways of schizophrenia, according to a study Sweden’s Karolinska Institute conducted in 2010.
Love is a human perplexity, a pure state of madness, which acts subconsciously within our most basic of neurological pathways, and yet love is that which drives us forward, love is that which comforts us, love is that which makes us whole.
This Valentine’s Day, celebrate the insanity of that emotion we call love, and all it has given us.