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silverlining's avatar

A theme of the book The Awakening is described as "the delusion of ecstatic love." Do you agree that "ecstatic," passionate love is a delusion?

Asked by silverlining (78 points ) June 23rd, 2011

You know those fluttery, swelling feelings you get for a special someone, when the love you feel for them is so powerful and overwhelming that it swallows you whole? Makes you understand all the passion in songs, movies, etc.? You know, those feelings that tend to fade over time.
Do you think those feelings are temporary because they’re artificial? Is that wild love really caused by the person, or by a general yearning? Is it all just a “delusion?”

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9 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Yes and no. It’s real at the time, and while I do believe in a true reality, I believe it’s beyond our comprehension and grasp as humans. So for the reality that each person gets, it’s just as real as the later and more nuanced views. But I also think it’s based more on emotion than on logic and careful calculation. I think it’s temporary because everything is temporary; the only thing that stays the same is that everything changes.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think it’s a delusion. It’s a real feeling. No doubt chemically induced, in part. Just because the feelings may fade over time does not mean they are delusions.

A delusion would be seeing something in somebody that isn’t there. But it isn’t that simple figuring that one out. You might put your lover on a pedestal, and your lover might feel that you see him or her as someone they can never match up to. So they think you are deluded about who they are.

I would say that is part of the rose-colored glasses that oxytocin gives us. We may inevitably not see that halo around our partner, but it doesn’t seem fair to say that means you were deluded. We see the best we can, I think, and it’s hard to see straight under the influence of love’s chemistry.

I also think it’s possible to see someone with their faults—as a complete person—and to feel that kind of love. Like I say, reason and passion are running along separate railways at this point. I don’t know the lines ever get together. One might just take off wandering across the countryside and get totally separated from the other. That’s probably not good.

It’s not a delusion. It’s different way of seeing, and I would not judge it as any better or worse than other ways of seeing. It does help us make different choices in life, but again, that can be a useful way to shake your life up and learn new stuff.

I have no prejudices about how life should go. It can go any way we want it to, so long as we can get it to go that way. Calling this a delusion is an attempt to reduce its power in your life. Maybe all the sober elders tell you to be careful about that. I wouldn’t. I’d say that passion is one of the greatest things to feel in life, and you should take every opportunity you have to feel it.

atlantis's avatar

I don’t know about what a delusion is defined as here. But we as humans have been falling for what you call love for as long as we’ve been around. What I do know for sure is that the state of being in love is triggered by neuro-chemical release in the brain. So even if it is a delusion or impossible mirage in the desert of our lives where the novelty wears off as quickly as it came, it must have a biologically relevant role to play in our evolution as the human species. Otherwise we would have reproduced it out of the circle of life.

Bottom line, it may be a delusion but it just as surely may be much more beyond that.

crisw's avatar

It’s not a delusion, it’s an evolved chemical response to ensure procreation :>)

The issue is- it doesn’t last. And this is perfectly normal. That’s what people need to realize. Otherwise, we might be like marsupial mice that mate themselves to death.

obvek's avatar

Not delusional. Often mislabeled or misappropriated.

silverlining's avatar

GAs everyone, thanks for thoughtful responses

lonelydragon's avatar

No. Just because it only lasted for a short period of time, how does that make it any less real? That passionate, ecstatic feeling can’t last forever, partly because it’s chemically induced and also because it’s unrealistic to expect to stay at that same level of excitement with someone you see every day. But that does not invalidate the feeling

@crisw Actually, that doesn’t sound like a bad way to go.

blueiiznh's avatar

It varies from person to person. We all change over time and have different needs at times. So sometimes it is delusional and we create it for our own needs.
Other times, it is propogated by the other one for their needs and we believe it and let it run the gamut.
Once we break it down we all hope it is there for real.

So hard to remove rose collored glasses when you need them to see.

Roby's avatar

Love is a delusion. As a rule I never really totally believed in love. Before love can be ecstatic love, it has to be mutial. If I have learned one thing in my life, and it really is a realization; no matter how much you love someone…that don’t mean they will love you the same way.

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