Love and Selfishness in Love in L.A. by Dagoberto Gilb Essay

If we are practicing metta and we cannot see the goodness in ourselves or in someone else, then we reflect on that fundamental wish to be happy that underlies all action. "Just as I want to be happy, all beings want to be happy." This reflection gives rise to openness, awareness, and love. As we commit to these values, we become embodiments of a lineage that stretches back through beginningless time. All good people of all time have wanted to express openness, awareness, and love. With every phrase of metta, we are declaring our alignment with these values.

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The objection, however, lies precisely in this attempt to explain myconcern for my beloved egoistically. As Whiting (1991, p. 10) puts it,such an attempt “strikes me as unnecessary and potentiallyobjectionable colonization”: in love, I ought to be concernedwith my beloved for her sake, and not because I somehow getsomething out of it. (This can be true whether my concern with mybeloved is merely instrumental to my good or whether it is partlyconstitutive of my good.)

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Although Whiting’s and Soble’s criticisms here succeedagainst the more radical advocates of the union view, they in partfail to acknowledge the kernel of truth to be gleaned from the idea ofunion. Whiting’s way of formulating the second objection interms of an unnecessary egoism in part points to a way out: we personsare in part social creatures, and love is one profound mode of thatsociality. Indeed, part of the point of union accounts is to makesense of this social dimension: to make sense of a way in which we cansometimes identify ourselves with others not merely in becominginterdependent with them (as Singer 1994, p. 165, suggests,understanding ‘interdependence’ to be a kind of reciprocalbenevolence and respect) but rather in making who we are as persons beconstituted in part by those we love (cf., e.g., Rorty 1986/1993;Nussbaum 1990).

Women in Love (1969) - IMDb The battle of the sexes and relationships among the elite of Britian's industrial Midlands in the 1920s.

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Lou was like a father to me. I have never felt so perceived and loved for who I actually am by a man than by Lou Reed. He fought tirelessly for me to have a place in the daylight culture. My career would never have taken off without Lou's tremendous influence. Those close to Lou knew him as a lion-hearted and intensely caring friend. When discussing death a couple of weeks ago, he told me that I was focussed on the wrong thing. His goal especially recently has been to exercise his mental discipline to stay in the present and not be held hostage by fear of an illusory future. He faced death with dignity and courage, and even then remained a teacher and mentor to me. i miss him with all my heart. It is hard for me to reconcile that such a giant could really be gone. Antony October 28th 2013

Another worthy example of this fear of engagement is the 1999 movie Love Stinks, starring French Stewart and Bill Bellamy.

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It is also questionable whether Velleman can even explain theselectivity of love in terms of the “fit” between yourexpressions and my sensitivities. For the relevant sensitivities on mypart are emotional sensitivities: the lowering of my emotionaldefenses and so becoming emotionally vulnerable to you. Thus, I becomevulnerable to the harms (or goods) that befall you and sosympathetically feel your pain (or joy). Such emotions are themselvesassessable for warrant, and now we can ask why my disappointment thatyou lost the race is warranted, but my being disappointed that a merestranger lost would not be warranted. The intuitive answer is that Ilove you but not him. However, this answer is unavailable to Velleman,because he thinks that what makes my response to your dignity that oflove rather than respect is precisely that I feel such emotions, andto appeal to my love in explaining the emotions therefore seemsviciously circular.

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Metta is the priceless treasure that enlivens us and brings us into intimacy with ourselves and others. It is the force of love that will lead beyond fragmentation, loneliness and fear. The late Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba often said, "Don't throw anyone out of your heart." One of the most powerful healings (and greatest adventures) of our lifetime can come about as we learn to live by this dictum.

by Dagoberto Gilb

The essay is still very much a love ..

Contemplating the goodness within ourselves is a classical meditation, done to bring light, joy, and rapture to the mind. In contemporary times this practice might be considered rather embarrassing, because so often the emphasis is on all the unfortunate things we have done, all the disturbing mistakes we have made. Yet this classical reflection is not a way of increasing conceit. It is rather a commitment to our own happiness, seeing our happiness as the basis for intimacy with all of life. It fills us with joy and love for ourselves and a great deal of self-respect.