There are good ideas and there are bad ideas. It is always this black or white.
Good ideas lead a person towards good outcomes. A well-designed chair creates comfort and class. A good book or film creates imaginative stimulation and satisfaction. A good philosophical thought creates a deeper level of meaning and understanding.
Bad ideas send a person in a backwards or downwards direction. A poorly constructed car creates multiple problems. A wrong direction in one’s life creates inner and outer turmoil. Bad music creates a dullness and stupidity in the minds of the listeners.
Good ideas and bad ideas have a profound effect upon a person’s life. The importance of being connected to good ideas is often greatly underestimated in our day-to-day lives. Many mental health problems could be avoided if the individual had more good ideas in their life. The absence of good ideas from a person’s life is often as simple as the absence of education. It requires a certain level of education to fill one’s life with good ideas. Lower levels of education cause a person to latch onto ideas perpetuated by popular culture.
Often we have to make an effort to seek out good ideas on our own.
I would go so far as to say that most of the ideas that fill our minds on a day-to-day basis, are bad ideas. Working jobs we do not like, living for money, starting businesses, signing a mortgage, having more than one dog, driving everywhere we go- these are a few bad ideas that we run into each day.
But there is one fundamental bad idea that most of us subscribe to like a religion. It is a bad idea most never question. It is a bad idea which has been conditioned into a person’s mind long before they have any idea that their mind is being conditioned. This bad idea is our idea about love.
Love has been commodified. How we think about love in relationship to another is a totalitarian and fundamentalist belief system. You could say that love is a main religion, more popular in its practice than Christianity. Ideas about love are some of the most common and destructive ideas in the world.
This idea that love is about possession is a bad idea. When we are in relationship with another person we feel terrible if we do not feel loved. “I do not feel like she loves me,” means “I do not feel like she wants to possess me and only me.” This idea about love provides us a false and totalitarian sense of belonging to one individual. If we do not feel like our partner wants to possess us (loves us), we became enraged or deeply sadness. We get frightened because we think they want to possess another.
Love as a display of ownership, love as a securing feeling of being possessed, love that implies that it is you and only you that I want to possess is a terrible idea. We do not know how to be in relationship without feeling and being possessed. If we do not feel like our partner wants to possess us and only us, we freak out. We do not feel loved. We feel alone. We think our partner will fall in love with another. The idea of love as possession is simply a bad idea. Ultimately it is an idea that creates turmoil, insecurity, depression and heartbreak.
Love as an idea that suggests letting an individual be free, supporting that individual to do whatever they want, allowing oneself to be more independent and secure within themselves and never growing dependent on another- this is love as a good idea. This idea of love allows people to not cling to or want to possess another person. It is a way of loving that allows another person to be free while trusting that this kind of love will be what brings two people closest together. Love as non-possession and independence terrifies people only because they will have to be comfortable spending more time by themselves and they will have less security with regards to having control over the individual so that they can make sure that individual does not leave them for someone else. They will have to be comfortable not controlling future outcomes.
Ultimately our common idea of love is an idea of control. How we love our partner is how we control them. This is why our popular idea of love is totalitarian. We want to possess another person so that we can keep them from leaving us for someone else in the future. Love as possession is merely a popular idea that allows us all to hold each other hostage. Love is an idea we use to psychologically manipulate each other into doing what we want them to do so that we can feel safest. This kind of love build walls around ourselves and our partners and children. No one likes being walled in.
Love as possession, love as domestication, love as being held hostage- this is a bad idea. Human beings have free will. This makes it impossible to possess another person. Any attempts to possess another human being will most likely end in catastrophe. An angry son, a cheating wife, a betrayed husband, a suicidal girlfriend, an expensive divorce, a sick wife- these are all outcomes of our bad ideas about love.