BC - Discovering Love
Hi, I’m Lee Hayden, website owner, manager, and author . Welcome to the Hayden Center For Educational Excellence. The Hayden Center offers students a variety of educational programs of study, each program leading to an opportunity to experience a unique form of lifestyle enrichment. Click here to review the available programs of study, courses, durations, and costs. Contact Lee Hayden at 707-945-1294 if you have questions.
The purpose of this brief course summary is to provide 1) a cost free introductory understanding of the subject matter, and 2) short course purchase information.
To love and be loved is a basic human need. We all have a love and belonging need - it’s part of the human condition. According ot researcher Abraham Maslow, the need for love and belonging must be satisfied before we can meet our esteem needs and our self actualization need. Maslow’s hierarchal chart of human needs is shown below.
an understanding of love at a level corresponding to my client’s desired lifestyle level. At this SHAL website, people have chosen one of the following lifestyles goals: 1) re-inventing their life (romantic love), 2) living their life more abundantly, 3) discovering their personal true-self, and 4) discovering their community true-self. Understanding and experiencing love becomes Increasingly difficult with increasing lifestyle levels. Achieving a level of love supporting the true-self requires that a person be self-actualized.
In general, each person wants more love in their life. Ultimately, everything in our life is about love - friendship, family, sexual intimacy, and even work, politics, and religion. Although not a “need”, each person “wants” some form of a long-term committed relationship at the center of their being. In the special case of a marital relationship, a person usually wants romantic love. Romantic love corresponds to love/belonging level of need on Maslow’s chart. According to Maslow, satisfaction of the need for love and belonging is a necesary basis for acquiring high self-esteem and becoming self-actualized.
In order to discover their personal true-self and community true-self, a person must have already expanded their cognitive, emotional, and social intelligences to a very significant degree. Despite their multiple intelligences, many people have not learned the skills necessary to understand and expresss love. Fortunately, these skills can be learned, but the learning process is often difficult and time consuming. But, the experience of love dramatically enriches our life beyond all description so that the learning process is worth the effort..
Perhaps, we should spend as much time learning to love as we do in learning algebra or history. Perhaps, we should spend as much time learning to improve our personal intelligence , i.e., our ability to read another person’s emotional state. Perhaps, we should then spend as much time learning to express love to a friend or stranger using just our eyes. What a world we could create!
Importantly, we also discover the need for a high degree of personal intelligence.
All of these intelligencies are discussed in other brief courses.
Learing to love generally requires a significant degree of self-understanding. And that is the major difficulty. An individual must be understood in the context of a wide variety of concrete relationships, loyalties, and networks of obligation - in contrast to a laissez-faire view of the self. The unique individual is the point of intersection of a wide variety of physical, phychological, and social-cultural forces and, consequently, that individual can not gain self-understanding without attention to these forces. The individual forces may represent positive or negative influences on character development. At each point in time, each person has self-organized according to the historical nature of those forces prior to that time. Thus, an individual’s character is unique, complex, and changeable with time.
An individual’s personality and character determines his conduct in the world. An individual’s character must be understood as just discussed. Consequently, an individual must understand himself in the same way if a change in some aspect of their personality is desired. We remind ourselves that an individual’s character is unique, complex, and changeable with time.
Each individual also has a core self, which is the unconscious part of the mind. iAn individual’s core-self is similarly also unique, complex, and changeable with time. For analytical purposes, we can assume an object oriented model. Each object is defined by its attributes. . Thus, the core-self object and personality-self object are objects of interest.
Learning to love also requires the individual to possess mental toughness, i.e., a will that is open to recognition of the various forces, influences, and painful claims against it. It is the proper exercise of our will that makes us capable of becoming both “responsible-selves” and “responding-selves”. These twin concepts can only have meaning and be understood in the context of relationship with other people and options provided by the social environment. Learning to love requires affective recognition and appreciation of the social patterns we support of oppose, the forces we enhance or inhibit, and the structures we sustain or destroy. These social patterns of behavior are reflective of the core of our being, i.e., our existential-self.
We need to make a momentary detour.
All the great disciplines represent the current state of human knowledge. Each discipline make a major faith based assumption and then develops knowledge extensions using the scientific method to assure knowledge conforms to reality to the maximum possible. . Here, faith-based is not used in a religious sense. Theology is a faith-based discipline that assumes existence of final cause of the universe; philosophy is a faith-based discipline that assumes the universe is comprehensible; science is a faith-based discipline that assumes existence of a deeper or ultimate reality; and psychology is a faith-based discipline that assumes existence of the true-self. Assumptions are statements projected to be established as true sometime in the future but presently allows the discipline to continue dvelopment of new knowledge. The risk of knowledge not being true is inherent in the discipline. When the basic assumption of a discipline is discovered to be untrue, a paradigm shift must occur. Paradigm shifts have frequently occurred in the past and will undoubtedly occurr in the future.
The great disciplines are traceable to ancient Man’s experience of the human condition. We can visual ancient Man as a cave man experiencing a world of unexplainable chaos. Roaming only a short distance from the cave, He is only partially able to satisfy physiological, safety, and belonging needs. Occasionally,on a quiet, full moon night, with warmth of glowing embers, he lies down in a bed of grass and ponders the presence of the moon and star studded night. With simultaneous feelings of awe, wonderment, powerlessness, and humility, he metaphorically bows in recognition of an unknown power greater than himself. Wanting to share the experience with his mate lying beside him, he reaches to grasp her hand and discovers her hand awaiting his.
By direct observation, Man through out the ages has bowed before an unknowable power greater than the universe, the world, and Man himself. Believing this unknowable could be appeased or possibly knowable, unable to account for his own existence, unwilling to be defeated in the struggle against chaos, and vaguely aware of the twin gifts to the human condition: freedom and anxiety, Man began his search for knowledge and understanding. Out of direct observation, Man founded the great disciplines of knowledge.
Ideas and symbols are among the especially powerful social forces. They express and shape profound human choices and social relationships. They are rallying points for social action and group behaviors. They legitimize and challenge the very existence of cultural behaviors and institutions. A person who praises ideas and symbosas being powerful is called an idealist. Sometimes, practical men curse the idealist.
Sometimes, the idealist must lower the level of discourse to achieve a common understanding with the practical man. Since the practical man is the typical man, the idealist must be capble of transfoming ideas into a meaning understandable by typical men. Such a transformtionshould be straigtforward since the idealist would have begun by specification of starting assumptions and then presenting the logical path from the assumptions leading to the idealistic sounding conclusion. Academics, philosophers, and theologians, consciously or not, often make statements about the character and direction of human life that are too abstract for general understanding.
It is important to recognize that ideas and symbols may have an emotional content that pulls people in a positive or negative direction. Generally, ideas and symbols rooted in reality and are manifestations of reality pull people in a positive and mentally healthy direction. It is the responsibility of the idealist to assure that the audience possesses a high degree of cognitive, emotional, and social intelligence. Unthinking religious leaders sometime make the mistake of appealing only to the emotions. Such appeals miss the mark, are unethical, and tend to destablelize societal structure.
As mentioned previously, learning to love is a difficult and time consuming process. The difficulty with learning how to express love is that you must be introspective and focus inwardly and resolve a network of personal issues before you able to focus outwardly on a loved one or your community.. Ithe process of learning to express love can be viewed as a downward journey full of pitfalls and insights.
During the downward journey, identify major events in your life for which your behaviour was not admiral. .
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