Falling in love can be scary, because with it comes strong feelings of longing, which may render us emotionally exposed. As such, we may feel like we are embarking on a journey into the unknown.
We think about whether the intensity of the feelings is healthy or reasonable, we try to regulate our feelings to ensure that we don’t fall too hard, that we maintain our independence.
While it is conceived as healthier to lead independent lives, we cannot help but ‘fall’ deeply in love, which has an element of surrender to it.
Are we supposed to tame that part of our human nature? Would it be a way to protect ourselves from hurt and anguish?
Or does romantic love include some sort of entanglement? Attachment? Deep longing? Surrender?
According to Alan Watts, a British philosopher, being in love involves seeing the significant other as a divine being. The way in which the relationship works is through a “tremendous outpouring of psychic energy in total devotion and worship to this other person who is respectively the goddess of the god”. He adds that there is a particular fusion with this person in which you enter their “divine center” that bounces back and you discover your own.
With that fusion comes longing—the feeling of intense desire for the other’s presence, attention, body. When they are not there, feelings of yearning and misery. You’re entangled to them because you would want more and more of them. This involves a spiritual element — an awakening or enlightenment — that is constructed in such a way to allow the feeling of mutual love to the extent of passion to have an enormously fitting fulfillment and expression.
It’s not quite clear how it happens considering it hits people who were not actively looking to fall in love; it’s utterly unpredictable, thus, crazy. It does not happen to everyone, but when it happens, it’s spontaneous and contains an element of madness. Although society teaches us to contain this kind of madness, Watts argues that it would be a complete denial of life to refuse it.
We are social beings wired with the need to connect. Yet, we live our lives with the pursuit of maintaining our independence and individuality. We think it would be healthier to love, but still have a completely separate identity. But can you truly love without surrendering? Can you truly love without getting your walls down and let yourself fall?
Falling in love is a dangerous form of divine madness; it would be insane to willingly choose to surrender to another person. To give up yourself bare to another person. It’s a disruptive experience because you never know when it will break off for any reason.
Love is about crazy falling — taking the risk is the possibility of life. The moment you have fallen in love, you do it based on an act of faith, which is inevitably means giving up pieces of yourself. But you are connecting those pieces to another person, enabling you to sense the spirituality of connectedness.
Love is about total abandonment, which is insane. It’s insane — complete madness — to give up all control to someone, willingly.
It appears that in madness… lies sanity.