Sunday, June 12, 2005

Scientists Discover Love to Be Transcendental Union of Two Human Souls

Leading evolutionary psychologists and neurobiologists are beginning to converge in their efforts to understand the mechanisms responsible for the human experience of romantic love. As science unravels what was previously a mysterious phenomenon, evidence increasingly points to the theory that love is the miraculous transcendental union of two star-crossed souls.

Renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene, is one who is putting his intellectual weight behind the theory. “My original view was that love developed as an adaptive strategy in which certain genes inclined individuals to form mutually altruistic pair-bond relationships to raise their offspring, thus increasing the chances of the genes' further propagation” admits Dawkins. “But there are now compelling reasons to believe that romantic coupling in homo sapiens is a magical gift from heaven, ordained only by the stars”.

Dawkins says scientific advances reveal the naivety of what he calls “traditional folk beliefs” about romantic love. Take the moment when you stare transfixed into your lover’s eyes, for example. While you might think your brain is simply awash with post-coital dopamine, science tells us that you are actually experiencing the first spark of an invisible eternal flame, burning you up from within.

Racing pulse and butterflies in the stomach? What might appear to be the products of a blind biological imperative to procreate are now thought to be the first stirrings of a heavenly tempest, carrying you and your lover away on the wings of passion. “It's a force from above”, says Dawkins.

Working at the cellular level, neurobiologists are probing the chemical structures underlying the romantic experience. Professor Jane Fisher of Cambridge University says the neurochemistry of in-love human subjects differs from what had been predicted by previous studies of coupling in voles and fruit bats: “ Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs” she explains. “Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes. Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears. What is it else? A madness most discreet, a choking gall and a preserving sweet”.

Findings suggesting the transcendental nature of love have been supported by the physics community, with some physicists saying it demonstrates “spooky action at a distance”. In trials conducted at Imperial College, London, lovers were found to be joined by ties stronger than any chains, bonds which defy time and space. “Their hearts are actually connected by invisible strings”, says one researcher.

The process by which people fall in love is also beginning to fall under the purview of science. It is thought that microscopic agents known as Currently Unidentified Passion-Inducing Demonites (CUPIDs) are responsible for love-specific emotions. Researchers think that CUPIDs release tiny darts, which pass through the affected individual’s eyes - what scientists term “the windows to the soul”. After entering the blood stream, the CUPIDs’ darts eventually lodge in the heart, “probably somewhere around the left ventricle”, according to Professor Fisher

While increasingly well-understood at a theoretical level, this process is difficult to observe, says James Larsen, a postdoctoral research fellow specialising in romantic neuropsychology. “Once in a while, two people meet. Seemingly no reason, they just pass on the street. Suddenly it showers, there's flowers everywhere, who can explain, the thunder and rain, but there's something in the air”, he says. “You have no idea how many rolls of film we’ve used up trying to capture that sequence of events”.

Where science goes, technology is hot on its heels. With new breakthroughs in the understanding of love’s miraculous nature, pharmaceutical companies are looking at the possible development of potions, charms and elixirs to address love-related medical conditions.

Global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has already applied for patent rights to a formula which it is calling Love Potion Number 4. According to a company spokesperson, the potion is the “latest iteration in a series of stardust-based love elixir technologies designed to improve the user's romantic outcomes”. She says the company will continue to develop new, upgraded potions to help consumers realise their heart’s destiny.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Circles, … revolves back. Too small our world. Though love it may be, how do we know?
If the words of your blog are true, then why do I feel such a silly old fool? This magical phenomenon happens rarely but when it does, the sad truth is that mutuality is even rarer. Twice for me involved, but for the first it was the other who had this passion for me. I remember sitting on the bank of the Olentangy all night long with Colleen. She had written me about her overwhelming attachment to me. Although I had worked with her in a dorm cafeteria for a couple of weeks prior to her writing me, I had no idea she felt as she did. It went on for a long time before we finally talked it through. I asked her to go for a walk in the early evening and she told me about her experience in depth. I could only tell her as kindly as I knew how to do that I did not feel the same and by that time I knew I never would. I liked her but did not love her. We sat through the night; I held her and she laughed and cried. After that we were always friends; I liked her and she loved me. I know she has never forgotten me and I have, in these long years, never forgotten or wish to forget Colleen. It's not so bad to be loved. But now, of recent times, I have become Colleen.
Some of us are burdened with the compulsion to contemplate all sorts of matters. You, Simon, a kindred spirit, are one of these; world traveler, over-turner of stones, and thoughts, compulsive, unending, and fortunately recorded. From Christchurch and back but probably not yet finished? I began my world travels in Venezuela and traversed the continent to the southern straight, then spent years in Southeast Asia, then the Middle- East with frequent trips to Europe and other places. Ever exploring, searching, and thinking. Finally, it all became the same. That circle is closed. Now I take my canoe and go "fishing" among other endeavors. I put bait on lines but I use no hooks. I get to go to quiet places and I think. On this subject phenomenon I have thought, for really I have no choice. Some take easy roads, for others crossing forbidden or little used bridges brings them in contact with the incompatible life paths of others. Though the researchers think they may explain it, and somehow it is a little satisfying, if struck, one is burdened even so. At first, I thought I had become unbalanced (it's too easy to plead insanity), but now I believe the phenomenon is something too powerful to resist. It seems composure can only come through introspection and rationalization (oh yes the cursed word). Sometimes a mess is made that can never be untangled. Tragedy really. Revealing one's personal confidences is risky. And it's a little unfair to force yourself into another's memory. Nevertheless, this phenomenon births a trust, and even knowing your conduct will probably be perceived as outrageous, an awkward revelation seems necessary. Isn't it better to be unforgotten, even though possibly unforgiven, rather than simply forgotten? Is there no value in just telling another your thoughts of them? Nothing more is expected. There's no lurking in the shadows. There will be no further confrontation. The circle is almost closed.
You have "populated!" your page with this subject and I doubt it was without reason. I venture no guess as to that reason but consider the possibilities. It was an interesting piece and so I share my anecdotal story. Beware, although rare, it can happen to you at any unexpected time. Blog on.

Notromemos said...

Circles, … revolves back. Too small our world. Though love it may be, how do we know?
If the words of your blog are true, then why do I feel such a silly old fool? This magical phenomenon happens rarely but when it does, the sad truth is that mutuality is even rarer. Twice for me involved, but for the first it was the other who had this passion for me. I remember sitting on the bank of the Olentangy all night long with Colleen. She had written me about her overwhelming attachment to me. Although I had worked with her in a dorm cafeteria for a couple of weeks prior to her writing me, I had no idea she felt as she did. It went on for a long time before we finally talked it through. I asked her to go for a walk in the early evening and she told me about her experience in depth. I could only tell her as kindly as I knew how to do that I did not feel the same and by that time I knew I never would. I liked her but did not love her. We sat through the night; I held her and she laughed and cried. After that we were always friends; I liked her and she loved me. I know she has never forgotten me and I have, in these long years, never forgotten or wish to forget Colleen. It's not so bad to be loved. But now, of recent times, I have become Colleen.
Some of us are burdened with the compulsion to contemplate all sorts of matters. You, Simon, a kindred spirit, are one of these; world traveler, over-turner of stones, and thoughts, compulsive, unending, and fortunately recorded. From Christchurch and back but probably not yet finished? I began my world travels in Venezuela and traversed the continent to the southern straight, then spent years in Southeast Asia, then the Middle- East with frequent trips to Europe and other places. Ever exploring, searching, and thinking. Finally, it all became the same. That circle is closed. Now I take my canoe and go "fishing" among other endeavors. I put bait on lines but I use no hooks. I get to go to quiet places and I think. On this subject phenomenon I have thought, for really I have no choice. Some take easy roads, for others crossing forbidden or little used bridges brings them in contact with the incompatible life paths of others. Though the researchers think they may explain it, and somehow it is a little satisfying, if struck, one is burdened even so. At first, I thought I had become unbalanced (it's too easy to plead insanity), but now I believe the phenomenon is something too powerful to resist. It seems composure can only come through introspection and rationalization (oh yes the cursed word). Sometimes a mess is made that can never be untangled. Tragedy really. Revealing one's personal confidences is risky. And it's a little unfair to force yourself into another's memory. Nevertheless, this phenomenon births a trust, and even knowing your conduct will probably be perceived as outrageous, an awkward revelation seems necessary. Isn't it better to be unforgotten, even though possibly unforgiven, rather than simply forgotten? Is there no value in just telling another your thoughts of them? Nothing more is expected. There's no lurking in the shadows. There will be no further confrontation. The circle is almost closed.
You have "populated!" your page with this subject and I doubt it was without reason. I venture no guess as to that reason but consider the possibilities. It was an interesting piece and so I share my anecdotal story. Beware, although rare, it can happen to you at any unexpected time. Blog on.

Tim said...

Nice Blog Simon,

Not a hint of sacrcasm to be found.

Anonymous said...

Now just sorry and ashamed. I was wrong, very wrong.

Anonymous said...

Wrong to not have remained silent, wrong to impose on someone who I did not know, wrong to believe remembrance is more important than forgiveness...

Anonymous said...

I come back to this obscure place just to close out the unfinished. A tidy-up.

In the world of human emotions there is so much we know of others and so little we know of ourselves. It is difficult to understand ourselves because we don't generally question why we feel a particular way; people are often wrong; I was wrong. I have learned there are many kinds of love for other people and that love between people can easily be confused as romance when it is only compassion. For some I'm sure this is intuitive but for others who have thrived in an easy black and white world it simply is ungrasped. Maybe I learned too late but I'm glad I know now.

So when you think you are struck with a romantic attachment be cautious before acting because it may only be a deep compassion driven-up by some other unresolved emotion and a misunderstood but powerful primordial instinct.

The ability to have compassion for others is a gift but compassion must be applied with care and precision or dignities will suffer.

This circle is now closed but the memory prevents an unfractured peace.

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