A recent comment to my blog mentioned the over-used word “love,” which is subject to this blog article.
Heraclitus described how a fish loves water, echoing Leonardo da Vinci in describing how nature moves towards end states that is necessary, for a fish loves water because water is necessary for it to live.
People have many subjective opinions about love, obscuring it in magical, mystical terms, even describing it as an energy. People describe qualities of love such as sharing, caring, trust and attraction. Love in reality is a feeling generated by the hormone oxytocin. All qualities of love such as caring, plus all social ethical rules such as prohibitions on stealing, dishonesty and killing, start and end in the hormone oxytocin. When a cow rejects its calf, an injection by a veterinarian of oxytocin into its butt resolves the problem, a similar solution can be obtained when a human mother rejects her baby.
People may angrily reject the truth that love is a by-product of oxytocin, but that is all it is. All human feelings from fear, anger, trust, passion and hope come from hormones, there is nothing elusive, mystical or magical about it. I have experienced too often people in a situation of distress run out of oxytocin and instantly transform into monsters, abandoning their ethics such as truth or former expressions of sharing and caring. It is vital to become aware that a quality like kindness, or an ethic like being truthful only exists when oxytocin is present, and is replaced with cruelty and dishonesty when oxytocin vanishes.
Michael and Susan Schofield were a loving couple who had the misfortune of having two children suffering mental health issues, one suffering schizophrenia and the other a bad case of autism. If an individual is unable to connect with another human being, they cannot produce oxytocin. The child with autism made it difficult to connect with it, it became “background” to the father, only gaining full attention when it had a “meltdown.” The child with schizophrenia was easier to connect with as she was able to articulate her feelings and experiences, she got attention because oxytocin was produced. The mother and father had no time for each other due to the constant state of crisis of caring for two mentally unwell children:
“I looked at Susan and didn’t see my friend any more. I saw my fellow caretaker. My fellow employee in the service of two special needs children. We were co-workers. Worse still, we had turned into something I didn’t like. We were angry all the time. Worse. We were embittered. Not at the children. At each other. But why?”
Why? The constant crisis denied the opportunity for production of oxytocin. The couple fell out of love with each other. The father had an affair, and they started divorce proceedings. The father describes the situation in his blog post.
It is important to see qualities such as trust, charity, forgiveness, empathy, caring, sharing, kindness; and social ethics such as prohibitions on stealing and dishonesty as built on the foundation of oxytocin; that when oxytocin vanishes, so will all these social ethics and qualities. Society is built around competition, consumerism and opinion, all which wipe out oxytocin, and so qualities and social ethics associated with oxytocin become fragmented, unstable and vanish like morning mist in an instant. Psychopaths, marketing people and sales people are skilled at manipulating the oxytocin pathway of their targets for their own ends, so is your cat, if you have one.
Oxytocin is the relationship hormone that binds people, family and community together for mutual benefit in the end states of living, growing and reproducing. Oxytocin like everything in nature has an adverse side as well as a beneficial side, it is also associated to envy and racism. The strength of a community can be directly measured by how much oxytocin is present, which throws up something like a shadow that I can sense, both its strength, intensity and size, from the tell-tale signs that I sense and experience in that community. It is this oxytocin shadow that determines if I am prepared to get involved with an individual or a community in solving a problem. When someone comes up to me talking woo-woo about love, and I notice the homeless person sleeping in a shop doorway that they are ignoring, then the reader will understand that I have a skeptical outlook to qualities and social ethics associated with love; since these things fluctuate with oxytocin, and the evidence of everything becoming sick, broken and lost is all around me from an oxytocin shadow that is breaking apart throughout human society.