The title of this post, Love and Oneness, sounds so nice. So beautiful.
Love is a supreme positive force, and surely something we could all use more of in our lives? Oneness is synonymous with peace and feeling complete.
Love is such a profound feeling that there is no one way to describe it, and if there was, surely we wouldn’t have half as much artwork and literature from back through the centuries of human history? (The same is also true if mental illness was never a thing.)
In the mind, love is most likely a combination of many turbulent emotions and drives that promote varying experiences from moment to moment, and even though it’s seen as a singular drive, it is clearly the result of many neurological factors crashing together to support how we see ourselves and how we see others. Dwelling on the people (and things) that we love can influence our mood and shape our planned behaviors over the coming hours and days.
Love also induces feelings of possession.
This is where love can become sinister. When you start to love someone, their value to you increases. You have invested emotional currency in them. Why this happens can be debated at length, but the fact remains, when it happens, the brain is going to become active and thoughts of this person become frequent. As we apply ownership to all of our thoughts, inside our heads, we also apply ownership to our thoughts of other people.
When we are thinking healthy, there is nothing wrong with thinking of others, especially those we love. It’s good that they command more of our brain time, as this can only serve to maintain good relationships with those who are important to us. We also reap the benefits when it’s reciprocated. Thinking of loved ones and being thought of by loved ones creates a oneness – you are in their mind, they are in your mind. More brain time results in more planning to be with each other, and the result is shared experience – the same experience – oneness. Owning thoughts of our loved ones, and shared experiences with our loved ones, contribute to making us feel like they are a part of us.
When we have thoughts of those we admire, or are enamored with, it is not always possible to have a shared experience; the subject of your admiration might not have reciprocal feelings towards you, or perhaps you’ve never actually met the person. The thoughts we ‘own’ of these people become our fantasies, which sublimates/compensates for a lack of shared experience. A world where these fantasies become obsessive or a world that continually lacks shared experience, could quickly become miserable places and can even lead to malignant or criminal behavior.
In fantasies, the behavior of those you love are controlled by you (in this sense, the people in your dreams have no rights). In the absence of shared positive experiences (experiences that promote the feedback necessary for personal growth), the sense of oneness a person might have about others could result in the imposition of their will over them. The ‘ownership’ of thoughts of a person, coupled with the history of controlling the person’s behavior in fantasies, create a sense of entitlement over others’ behavior; you wish to control them, as you control you, because you have a sense of ‘oneness’ with them.
It is easy to see, here, how the most heinous of acts can be carried out because of love and oneness.