HUMINT: Unconditional Love
HUMINT: Unconditional love can be expressed in many ways. I think of unconditional love as the emotional expression of a part for the whole. A mother and her newborn are emotionally inseparable. That’s an expression of unconditional love. Brothers may share it, if they’re close confidants. Soldiers may feel a version of unconditional love for those they risk everything for. A priest may feel unconditional love for his parishioners and vice-versa. Unconditional love is usually detached from materialism but it can indeed exist over purely material relations. A zealous store owner may feel a version of unconditional love for their most loyal customers.
The interconnectedness between part and whole is a transcendent bond that engenders unconditional love. Only through exercising those bonds can love be replenished. Without a sensation of unity; a part yearning to be whole, unconditional love is impossible. To understand unconditional love we need to consider what is conceivably whole and all the parts that contribute to its wholeness. Alternatively, we might assert, when parts are missing from the whole, there is an observable incompleteness.
At first glance, it’s apparent that none of the relationships that tie a part to its whole is ambivalent. In other words, the cohesion that binds a part to its whole is biased. It makes sense in the context of righteousness. There’s no such thing as righteous ambivalence. Pragmatism is often masqueraded as righteous ambivalence but instead, it’s self delusion; a form of escape; a part abandoning the whole.
Examples abound. Tribalism is often an elaborate expression of the bond between a member and their extended family. Nationalism is an elaborate expression of the bond between a citizen and their state. Consumerism is a bond between a consumer and their market choices. Environmentalism is a bond between a person and the earth. Spiritualism is an elaborate bond between the individual and their universe. None of these bonds is mutually exclusive. Each tug and push on the other, vying for equilibrium.
When these cohesive forces contradict each other too quickly or for too long, the inevitable result is a crash. In terms of tribes and nations, these crashes are called revolutions. They’re called recessions in terms of markets. When discussing the environment, they’re called extinctions. Only religion asserts its permanence yet we know that religions are as equally capable of extinction as are all of a faith’s adherents.
That said; how do we know these things? Inversely, how could we thrive if we did not know these things? Even if you’ve never heard of the scientific method, or never conducted a single laboratory experiment; we’re all aware of the past. Our unique interpretations of the past may deviate wildly; nevertheless we all know our present condition is a product of events that occurred in the past.
Humanity, in the here and now, represents all people --- a seemingly comprehensive whole to consider. Unconditional love exists between individuals and humanity, although it is very rare. It’s rare because it’s impractical. It only works for individuals loosely bound to their own past, and the history of all the wholes they belong. It might work for revolutionary idealists, but not their children or their children’s children. That’s because unconditional love for humanity is not the same as the whole represented by all of human history.
Human history is a truly comprehensive whole. Like religion, history, so long as there is a person capable of learning and remembering it, is impervious to crashing. Unlike religion though, humanity’s history includes all of the religions any one of us or our ancestors have ever believed in. Indeed, unlike these other sub-wholes [Tribe Nation Market] are each included in human history. Unfortunately, unconditional love does not exist between historical events (the parts) and history (the whole). History’s many parts are incapable of emotion; therefore past events have no cohesion to the whole of human history. It’s only through iterative interpretation of historical events that cohesive parts begin gravitating toward a unified whole.
That’s what all of us do with the history we think we know. The truth is, only historians operate with the legitimate qualifications, AKA, academic license, to organize historical events into a cohesive unified whole. Every other interpretation of history is just a convoluted opinion cobbled together by the emotional mix that guides each of us through our lives.
Maybe, one day, when historians are allowed to abandon their own [Tribes Nations Markets Environments Religions] and begin articulating human history as the whole that it truly is, the rest of us highly emotional laymen will understand the deeper meaning of our life, love and work in the context of all the life, love and work that was accomplished before us. From that awakening, we will see ourselves anew; we will find a new respect for history and an unconditional love for the future.
Among the competing forces that define who we are now, there is a force generated by the image of who we intend to be in the future. Constantly baptized by the fires of history making events, for better or worse, we are all changing. The questions we should be asking ourselves and each other are “how?” and “why?” Arguably, the force compelling us to succeed in harmony with each other is the most potent of all forces. Its power is an enduring theme throughout human history because it is a complementary force. Given freedom, and an accurate history, there is no reason to believe we couldn’t all be born again, in sustainable peace. That’s my definition of victory.
In short, our history deserves unconditional respect and our future deserves unconditional love.