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“Love” By Leo Buscaglia – ESSAY

“Love” By Leo Buscaglia – ESSAY

“Love” By Leo Buscaglia – ESSAY



Leo Buscaglia, Ph. D.






Boston, Massachusetts

















Copyright © l972 by Leo F.Buscalia.

All rights reserved.

See.p. 169, which is an extension of this page.



Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data


Buscaglia, Leo F.
Love / Leo Buscaglia. _
p. cm.—(G.K. Hall large print book series)
Reprint. Originally published: Thorofare, N.J. : Slack, c1972.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 0-8161-4511-3 (lg. print)
1. Love. 2. Large type books. I. Title.
[BF575.L8B842 1989]
l58’.2—dc19 88-25170





This book is dedicated to Tulio and Rosa
Buscaglia, my father and mother who were
my best teachers of love, because they never
taught me, they showed me.
This book is also dedicated to all those
who have helped me to continue to grow in
love, and those who will help me tomorrow.


Leo Buscaglia





“To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible
deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is
no reparation, either in time or in eternity.”















Forward to Love


Love As A Learned Phenomenon


Man Needs To Love And Be Loved


A Question of Definition


Love Knows No Age


Love Has Many Deterrents


To Love Others You Must First Love Yourself


To Love You Must Free Yourself Of Labels


Love Involves Responsibility


Love Recognizes Needs


Love Requires One To Be Strong


Love Offers No Apology








In the winter of 1969, an intelligent, sensitive female student of mine committed suicide. She was from a seemingly fine upper middle clas s family. Her grades were excel lent. She was popular and sought after. On the particular day in January she drove her car along the cliffs of Pacific Palisades in Los A ngeles, left the motor runn ing, walked to the edge of a deep cliff overlooking the sea and leaped to her death on the rocks below. She left no note, not a word of explanation. She was only twenty.

I have never been able to forget her eyes; alert, alive, responsive, full of promise. I can even recall her papers and examinations which I always read with interest. I wrote on one of her papers which she never received, “A very fine paper. Perceptive, intelligent and sensitive. It indicates your ability to apply what you have learned to your ‘real’ life. Nice work!” What did I know about her “real” life?

I often wonder what I would read in her eyes or her papers if I could see them now. But, as with so many people and situations in our life, we superficially experience them, they pass and can never again be experienced in the same manner.

I was not blaming myself for her death. I simply wondered what I might have done; if I could have, even momentarily, helped.


It was this question, more than anything else, that led me, in that year, to start an experimental class. It was to be an informal group with voluntary attendance, where any student could be present or drop out at any time, if he so desired. It was to be dedicated to personal growth. I did not want it to become problem-centered or group psychotherapy nor an encounter group. I was an educator, not a psychotherapist. I wanted this class to be a unique experience in learning. I wanted it to have a definite, yet loose, framework and be of broad interest and import to the student. I wanted it to be related to his immediate experience. Students with whom I was relating were, more than ever, concerned with life, living, sex, growth, responsibility, death, hope, the future. It was obvious that the only subject which encompassed, and was at the core of all these concerns and more, was love.

I called the class, “Love Class.”

I knew beforehand that I could not “teach”—in the formal sense—such a class. It would be presumptuous. I too was limited in my knowledge and experience of the subject. I was as actively engaged as any of my students in discovering what the real meanings of the word were. I would only be able to act as a facilitator to the students as we guided each other closer to an understanding of the delicate phenomenon of human love.

My determination to start such a class was met with no resistance as long as it was taught free of salary and on my own time without load credit. Of course, a few eyebrows were raised by those who didn’t consider love a scholarly subject nor a serious part of a university curriculum.

I was highly amused in the ensuing weeks by the odd looks I received from some colleagues. One professor, in discussing my plans over lunch in the Faculty Center, called love—and anyone who purported to teach it—“irrelevant!” Others asked mockingly and with a wild leer, if the class had a lab requirement and was I going to be the primary investigator.

Nevertheless, student attendance at the class kept growing until we had to close enrollment with 100 students per year. The students were of all ages, from freshmen to graduates, obviously of varying degrees of experience and sophistication. All were unique and, as such, had individual approaches to the subject and some special knowledge to share.

This book is an outgrowth of “Love Class.” It is, as such, in no way intended to be a scholarly, deeply philosophical or definitive work on love. It’s rather a sharing of some of the practical and vital ideas, feelings and observations which emerged from the group that seemed to me relevant to the human condition. It might be said that the classes and I wrote this book together. The book may be said to have over 400 authors.

We never attempted nor in three years were able to define love. We felt as we grew in love, that to define it would be to delimit it and love seemed infinite. As one student stated, “I find love much like a mirror. When I love another, he becomes my mirror and I become his, and reflecting in each other’s love we see infinity!”






Forward to Love


(An excerpt from a speech delivered in Texas 1970— and since.)



If we are going to be “loving” together, it’s important that you know who I am and where I’m “at.” My name is B-U-S-C-A-G-L-I-A, and it’s pronounced like everything in the world. I always start by telling this story because I think it’s delightful. Recently I placed a long distance call, the line was busy, and the operator said she’d call me back. I gave her my name, waited a while, and then the phone rang. When I picked it up, she said. “Would you please tell Dr. Boxcar that his telephone call is through?” I said, “Could that be Buscaglia?” She giggled and said, “Sir, it could be d amn near anything!”


I have a wonderful time with my name because not only is it Buscaglia, but if you’ll look at it you’ll see that it’s also Leo F. Well, it’s really Leonardo, the middle initial is F, but that’s really the first name, and it’s Felice, that means happiness. Isn’t that fantastic? Felice Leonardo Buscaglia! Recently I wanted to visit the Communist-block countries, and I needed a visa. I was in a large room in Los Angeles and filled out a very official form which I turned in. After which, I was asked to sit down and wait for my name to be called. When the time came, this poor man stood at his counter for a moment and looked at the form and I knew it was me he was going to call. He did sort of a double take, took a deep breath, looked up, and said, “Phyllis?” And I swear I’ll answer to anything, but Phyllis.

Yes, I am in a “love bag,” and I’m not ashamed of it. I have one single message, and I can give you that now. Then you can lay the book aside, go for a walk and hold hands with someone or what you will.

We are in a time in our society when we’re really beginning to look at what life is all about, what is learning, and what are the processes of change. We’re becoming acquainted with a new nomenclature. We’re looking at “conditioning,” we’re looking at “behavior shaping and modification,” reinforcement, that it is necessary to reinforce, that what is reinforced will probably effect behavior. We are using all kinds of things to reinforce. We’re us ing money, w e’re using bells, we’re using electric shocks. We’re even using candy. M M’s have become the big thing, and when somebody gives the correct response, we pop an M M into his mouth. My message to you today is simply that the best M M in the world is a warm, pulsating, non-melting human being—YOU! Real love is a very human phenomenon.

About five years ago I started a love class at the University. I am—-I’m teaching a class in love, and we are probably the only University in the country that does have such a class. It meets on Tuesday nights. We sit on the fl oor and relate, and I’m sure the vibrations are felt all over the world. I don’t teach love, of course, I simply facilitate growth in love.

Love is a learned phenomenon, and I think the sociologists, the anthropologists, the psychologists, will tell us this with no hesitation. What worries me is that maybe many of us are not happy with the way we’ve learned it. As exper ienced human beings we must certainly believe in one thing more than anything else—we believe in change. And so, if you don’t like where you’re at in terms of love, you can change it, you can create a new scene. You can only give away what you have. That’s the miracle. If you have love, you can give it. If you don’t have it, you don’t have it to give. Actually it’s not really even a matter of giving, is it? It’s a matter of sharing. Whatever I have I can share with you. I don’t lose it because I still have it. For example, I could teach every reader everything I know. I would still know everything I know. It is possible for me—and not unreasonable—to love everyone with equal intensity and still have all the love energy I have ever had. There are a lot of miracles to being a human being, but this is one of the greatest miracles.

Only recently has it become at all defensible to even mention the word “love.” Every time I go to speak somewhere, someone asks, “Will you talk about love?” I reply, “Sure,” and they say, “What’s your title?” I reply, “Let’s just call it ‘Love.’ ” There’s a brief hesitation, and then they say, “Well, you know, this is a professional meeting, and it may not be understood. What will the press say?” So I suggest “Affect as a Behavior Modifier,” and they agree that sounds more acceptable and scientific and everyone is happy.

Love has really been ignored by the scientists. It’s amazing. My students and I did a study. We went through books in psychology. We went through books in sociology. We went through books in anthropology, and we were hard pressed to find even a reference to the word “love.” This is shocking because it is something we all know we need, something we’re all continually looking for, and yet there’s no class in it. It’s just assumed that it comes to us by and through some mysterious life force.

One of Pitirim Sorokin’s last books was called The Ways and Power of Love . It’s full of wonderful studies of affect in which this man engaged because he was really worried about the fact that everybody seemed to be going in opposite directions. Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, “We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.” I feel this, you know this, and Dr. Sorokin thought it was true, too. In his book he is trying to share some of the things that might bring us together again. If we’ve ever needed it, we need it now. In his book’s introduction, he says this: “The sensate mind emphatically disbelieves in the power of love. It appears to us something illusionary. We call it self-deception, the opiate of the people’s mind, unscientific bosh and unscientific delusion.” Some of you were brought up in Econ I class with a textbook by Samuelson. Remember that dreary book? Yet in his latest edition after five editions—can you imagine five editions of the same book?—there is a chapter that’s going to freak you, called “Love and Economics.” It’s a beautiful chapter. In his introduction, he says, “I know my colleagues at Harvard are going to say I have lost my mind, but I want them to know that I have just found it.”

Sorokin also says, “We are biased against all theories that try to prove the power of love in determining human behavior and personality, in influencing the course of biological, social, mental and moral evolution, in affecting the direction of historical events and in shaping social institutions and culture. In the sensate milieu they appear to be unconvincing, certainly unscientific, prejudiced, and superstitious.” And I think that’s really where we are. Love is prejudicial, superstitious, unscientific bosh.

I’d like to relate with you about some of the ways in which I think we can be reinforcing, non-melting, gorgeous, tender, loving human persons. First of all the loving individual has to care about himself. This is number one. I don t mean an ego trip. I’m talking about somebody who really cares about himself, who says, “Everything is filtered through me, and so the greater I am, the more I have to give. The greater knowledge I have, the more I’m going to have to give. The greater understanding I have, the greater is my ability to teach others and to make myself the most fantastic, the most beautiful, the most wondrous, the most tender human being in the world.”

Some exciting work has been going on in California by some great humanist psychologists like Rogers, Maslow, and Herbert Otto. These men and others are saying that only a small portion of what we are, are we, and that there is an eno rm ous potential in the human being, that it isn’t outlandish to say that if we really desired to fly, we could fly! We could have the ability to feel that would be so spectacular that we could feel color! We could have the ability to see better than an eagle, the ability to smell better than a birddog, and a mind that could be so big, it would constantly be full of exciting dreams. Yet we are perfectly happy to be only a small portion of what we are. A London psychiatrist, R.D. Laing, in his book, The Politics of Experience , suggests something very provoking—something alien and rather frightening, yet a wondrous challenge. He says, “What we think is less than what we know: What we know is less than what we love: What we love is so much less than what there is; and to this precise extent, we are much less than what we are.” Isn’t that a mind blower?

Knowing this, we should have a tremendous desire to become. If all of life is directed toward the process of becoming, of growing, of seeing, of feeling, of touching, of smelling, there won’t be a boring second. I scream at my students, “Think of what you are and all the fantastic potential of you.”

It seems to me that in the past we have not sufficiently celebrated the wonderful uniqueness of every individual. I would agree that personality is the sum total of all the experiences that we have known since the moment of conception to this point in our life along with heredity. But what is often ignored is an X factor. Something within the you of you that is different from every single human being, that will determine how you will project in this world, how you will see this world, how you will become a special human being. That uniqueness is what Worries me because it seems to me that we’re dropping it; we’re losing it. We’re not stressing it; we’re not persuading people to discover it and develop it.

Education should be the process of helping everyone to discover his uniqueness, to teach him how to develop that uniqueness, and then to show him how to share it because that’s the only reason for having anything. Imagine what this world would be like if all along the way you had people say to you, “It’s good that you’re unique; it’s good that you’re different. Show me your differences so that maybe I can learn from them.” But we still see the processes again and again of trying to make everyone like everybody else.

A few years ago with some of my student teachers at the University, I went back into classrooms and was astounded to find the same things going on that had been going on when I was in school—a million years ago. For example, the art teacher would come in. Remember how we always anticipated and got ready for the art teacher? You put your papers down and you got your Crayolas out and you waited and finally in would walk this harried person. I really feel sorry for an itinerant art teacher. She comes racing in from another class and has time only to nod to the teacher, turn around and say, “Boys and girls, today we are going to draw a tree.” She goes to the blackboard, and she draws her tree which is a great big green ball with a little brown base. Remember those lollipop trees? I never saw a tree that looked like that in my life, but she puts it up there, and she says, “All right, boys and girls, draw.” Everybody gets busy and draws.

If you have any sense, even at that early age, you realize that what she really wanted was for you to draw her tree, because the closer you got to her tree, the better your grade. If you already realized this in grade one, then you handed in a little lollipop, and she said, “Oh, that’s divine.” But here’s Junior who really knows a tree as this little woman has never seen a tree in her life. He’s climbed a tree, he’s hugged a tree, he’s fallen out of a tree, he’s listened to the breeze blow through the branches. He really knows a tree, and he knows that a tree isn’t a lollipop! So he takes purple and yellow and orange and green and magenta crayons and he draws this beautiful freaky thing and hands it in. She takes one look and shrieks, “Brain damaged!”


There’s a wonderful story in education that always amuses me. It’s called The Animal School . I always love to tell it because it’s so wild, yet it s true. Educators have been laughing at it for years, but nobody does anything about it. The animals got together in the forest one day and decided to start a school. There was a rabbit, a bird, a squirrel, a fish and an eel, and they formed a Board of Education. The rabbit insisted that running be in the curriculum . The bird insisted that flying be in the curriculum. The fish insisted that swimming be in the curriculum , and the squirrel insisted that perpendicular tree climbing be in the curriculum. They put all of these things together and wrote a Curriculum Guide. Then they insisted that all of the animals take all of the subjects. Although the rabbit was getting an A in running, perpendicular tree climbing was a real problem for him; he kept falling over backwards. Pretty soon he got to be sort of brain damaged, and he couldn’t run any more. He found that instead of making an A in running, he was making a C and, of course, he always made an F in perpendicular climbing. The bird was really beautiful at flying, but when it came to burrowing in the ground, he couldn’t do so well. He kept breaking his beak and wings. Pretty soon he was making a C in flying as well as an F in burrowing, and he had a hellava time with perpendicular tree climbing. The moral of the story is that the person who was valedictorian of the class was a mentally retarded eel who did everything in a half-way fashion. But the educators were all happy because everybody was taking all of the subjects, and it was called a broad-based education. We laugh at this, but that’s what it is. It’s what you did. We really are trying to make everybody the same as everybody else, and one soon learns that the ability to conform governs success in the educational scene.

Conformity continues right on into the university. We in higher education are as guilty as everyone else. We don’t say to people, “Fly! Think for yourselves.” We give them our old knowledge, and we say to them, “Now this is what is essential. This is what is important.” I know professors who teach nothing but one best “way,” they don’t say, “Here are a lot of tools, now go create your own. Go into abstract thinking. Go into dreaming. Dream a while. Find something new.” Could it not be that among their students there are greater dreamers than themselves? So, it all starts with you. You can only give what you have to give. Don’t give up your tree. Hold onto your tree. You are the only you—the only magical combination of forces that will be and ever has been that can create such a tree. You are the best you. You will always be the second best anyone else. ‘

We are living in a culture where a person is not measured by who he is or what he is but rather by what he has. If he has a lot, he must be a great man. If he has little, he must be insignificant. About seven years ago I decided that I was going to do something really weird, at least at that time it was considered weird. I was going to sell everything I had, my car, my life insurance policy, my house, all the “important” things, and I was going to take off for a couple of years. I was going to look for me. I spent most of my time in Asia because I knew less about Asia than any other part of the world. The countries of Asia are underdeveloped countries. They have very little and, therefore, they must be terribly insignificant. Well, I found out very differently. Those of you who have been there or have delved into Asian culture will agree how wrong this Western concept is. I learned many, many things in Asia that I brought back with me which have really put me on a different path. Where it is leading I don’t know and I don’t care, but it’s different and exciting and wondrous.

I found a very interesting thing in Cambodia. The country is made up mostly of a great lake called the Tonle Sap. Many people live and work around it. When tourists go to Cambodia, they go directly to Angkor Wat, as they should; it’s fantastic. The Buddhist ruins being devoured by forests of great trees with monkeys swinging through them are unbelievable. It’s beyond your wildest dreams. While I was there, I met a French woman who loved the country so much she stayed on after the French left Cambodia, even though she was a secondary citizen. She really loved the people and the country, and she was willing to put up with whatever it meant. She said to me, “You know, Leo, if you really want to find these people, you won’t find them in the ruins. You’ll find them in their villages. Take my bicycle and go to the Tonle Sap and see what’s happening now.”

Nature in Cambodia is very severe. Every year the monsoons come and wash everything into the rivers and streams and lakes. So you don’t build great permanent mansions because nature has told you that it will only be washed away. You build little huts. Tourists look and say, “Aren’t they quaint but poor people! living in such squalor.” It’s not squalor. It’s how you perceive it. They love their houses which are comfortable and exactly right for their climate and culture. So I went to the lake. I found the people in the process of getting together and preparing for the monsoons. This meant that they were constructing big communal rafts. When the monsoons come and wash away their houses, several families get on a raft and live together about six months of the year. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to live with your neighbors? Just think if we could make a raft together and live together for six months of the year! What would probably happen to us? All of a sudden we would again realize how important it is to have a neighbor—that I need you because today you may catch the fish that we will eat or I like you because I can sit down and ta1l with you if I’m lonely and learn from you and understand another world. After the rains are over, the families once again live as independent units.

I wanted to help them move so I walked in and offered myself in sign language. But they had nothing to move. A few pots and pans, a couple of mats, a few articles of clothing. I thought, “What would you do if tomorrow there were a monsoon in Los Angeles? What would you take? Your TV set? Your automobile? The vase that Aunt Catherine brought from Rome? Think about that. This was dramatically portrayed to us during the Los Angeles fires. A couple of pictures appeared in the Los Angeles Times that really freaked me. One was of a woman running down the streets of Malibu with a great pile of books, her house in the background being consumed by flames. I thought, “Wow, I would like to know this woman. I would like to know what are those books that she considered to be so valuable.” I brought the picture to a graduate seminar of supposedly really beautiful students. I asked, “What do you think those books were?” You know what they said? “Her income tax reports!” That’s where we are in the U.S.A. I even heard of one woman who fled with her blue chip stamps! She said, “I don’t know why I did it,” which shows you how silly it all is. But you know what she did have? She still had herself! That’s what it’s all about. In the end, you have only you.

Then I think this loving person rids himself of labels. You know, we are really marvelous. Being human is the greatest thing in the world, but we’re also funny, and we have to learn to laugh again. After all, we do funny things. We created time, for instance, and then became the slave of time. Like now—you may be thinking in the back of your mind that you have only ten minutes before you must do this or that. You may be somewhere where something really incredible is happening, but it’s 10:07, time to leave, and so you’ve got to move on. We have bells which ring. Bells! Every time we hear a bell, we respond. It tells us that we must be here or we must be there. We created time, and now we have become the slave of time.

The same thing is true with words. When you read books like Hayakawa’s The Use and Misuse of Language or Wendell ]ohnson’s book, People in Quandries , you see how tremendously powerful language is. A word is just a few phonetic meaningless symbols side by side. You give it meaning, and then it sticks with you. You give it a cognitive meaning, and you give it an emotional meaning, and then you live with it. Dr. Timothy Leary did some fantastic work on the mind when he was at Harvard. He said, “Words are a freezing of reality.” Once you learn a word and get the intellectual and emotional meaning of that word, you are stuck with that word the rest of your life. So, your world of words is built. Everything that happens is filtered through this stuck, frozen system, and that keeps us from growing. We say things like “He’s a Communist.” Pow! We turn him off. We stop listening. Some people say, “He’s a Jew.” Pow! we turn him off. We’ve ceased respecting him. “He’s a Dago.” Pow! Labels, labels, labels! How many kids have not been educated just because someone pinned a label on them somewhere along the line? Stupid, dumb, emotionally disturbed. I have never known a stupid child. Never! Never! I’ve only known children and never two alike. Labels are distancing phenomena. They push us away from each other. Black man. What’s a black man? I’ve never known two alike. Does he love? Does he care? What about his kids? Has he cried? Is he lonely? Is he beautiful? Is he happy? Is he giving something to someone? These are the important things. Not the fact that he is a black man or Jew or Dago or Communist or Democrat or Republican.

I had a very unique experience in my childhood. You can look in the annals because it’s all recorded. I was born in Los Angeles, and my parents were Italian immigrants. A big family. Mama and Papa were obviously great lovers! They came from a tiny village at the base of the Italian Swiss Alps where everyone knew everyone. Everyone knew the names of the dogs, and the village priest came out and danced in the streets at the fiestas and got as drunk as everybody else. It was the most beautiful scene in the world and a pleasure to be raised by these people in this old way. But when I was taken, at five, to a public school, tested by some very official-looking person, the next thing I knew I was in a class for the mentally retarded! It didn’t matter that I was able to speak Italian and an Italian dialect. I also spoke some French and Spanish—but I didn’t speak English too well and so I was mentally retarded. I think the term now is “culturally disadvantaged.” I was put into this class for the mentally retarded, and I never had a more exciting educational experience in my life! Talk about a warm, pulsating, loving, teacher. Her name was Miss Hunt, and I’m sure she was the only one in the school who would teach those “dumb” kids. She was a great bulbous woman. She liked me even if I smelled of garlic. I remember when she used to come and lean over me, how I used to cuddle! I did all kinds of learning for this woman because I really loved her. Then one day I made a tremendous mistake. I wrote a newspaper as if I were a Roman. I described how the gladiators would perform and so on. The next thing I knew I was being retested and was transferred to a regular classroom after which I was bored for the rest of my educational career.


This was a traumatic time for me. People went around calling me a Dago and a Wop, very popular expressions at that time. I didn’t understand it. I remember talking to Papa, who was a big—still is—patriarchal type of guy. I asked, “What is a Dago? What is a Wop?” And he replied, “Oh, never mind, Felice, people always call names. It doesn’t mean anything. They don’t know anything about you by calling you names. Don’t let it bother you.” But it did! It did because it distanced me. It put me aside. It gave me a label. I felt a little sorry, too, because it meant that these people didn’t know any- thing about me, although they thought they did, by calling me a Dago. That categorized me. That made them comfortable. They didn’t know, for instance, that my mother was a singer and that my dad was a waiter when he first came to this country. He used to work most of the night, and Mama was a little bit lonely. And so she would gather all eleven of us around and play Aida or La Boheme, how we’d fight over the roles! I remember I was the best Butterfly in the family. I still am, and when the Metropolitan Opera discovers me, they’l1 have their definitive performance. By the time we were ten or eleven, we knew these operas by heart and could play all the roles. People missed all this by a narrow label.


They also didn’t know, for instance, that Mama thought that no diseases would come if you had garlic around your neck. She’d rub garlic and tie it up in a hanky and put it around our necks and send us off to school. And I’ll tell you a small secret: I had perfect health. I was never sick a day. I have my theories about this—-I don’t think anyone ever got close enough to me to pass any germs. Now, having become sophisticated and having given up my garlic, I get a cold a year. They didn’t know this by calling me a Wop and a Dago. And they didn’t know about Papa’s rule that before we left the table, we had to tell him something new that we had learned that day. We thought this was really horrible—what a crazy thing to do! While my sisters and I were washing our hands and fighting over the soap, I’d say, “Well, we’d better learn something,” and we’d dash to the encyclopedia and flip to something like “The population of Iran is one million . . .” and we’d mutter to our- selves “The population of Iran is. . . .” We’d sit down and after a dinner of great big dishes of spaghetti and mounds of veal so high you couldn’t even see across the table, Papa would sit back and take out his little black cigar and say, “Felice, what did you learn new today?” And I’d drone, “The population of Iran is. . . .” Nothing was insignificant to this man. He’d turn to my mother and say, “Rosa, did you know that?” She’d reply, impressed, “No.” We’d think, “Gee, these people are crazy.” But I’ll tell you a secret. Even now going to bed at night, as exhausted as I often am, I still lie back and say to myself, “Felice, old boy, what did you learn new today?” And if I can’t think of anything, I’ve got to get a book and flip to something before I can get to sleep. Maybe this is what learning is all about. But they didn’t know that when they called me a Dago. Labels ar e distancing phenomena—stop us ing them! And when people use them around you, have the gumption and the guts to say, “What and who are you talking about be- cause I don’t know any such thing.” If each and every one of you stop it, it’s going to stop. There is no word vast enough to begin to describe even the simplest of man. But only you can stop it. A loving person won’t stand for it. There are too many beautiful things about each human being to call him a name and then put him aside.


Then this loving person must be one who recognizes responsibility. There is no greater responsibility in the world than being a hu man being, and you’d better believe it.


This loving person is a person who abhors waste—waste of time, waste of human potential. How much time we waste. As if we were going to live forever. I have to tell you this story because it is one of my greatest experiences. We had a young lady in our School of Education that I thought perhaps had the possibilities of being one of the greatest teachers of all time. She was absolutely psychedelic, and she loved kids. She was so turned on that it was impossible to hold her down—“I want to get with them, I want to get with them.” She went through school, was graduate d and was hired, of course, be cause she was so beautiful—spiritually, men tally, every way. She was assigned to a first grade class. I remember the whole process because I was let in on it, step by step, in great moments of wonderment on her part.


When she got in her classroom she looked at the Curriculum Guide which said-—and you know we are still doing this—the first unit would be “The Store”—the S-T-O-R-E. She looked at it, and she said, “That’s not possible. This is 1970, U.S.A. These kids were raised in stores. They were wheeled around in little baskets in stores. They knocked over Campbell Soup cans and they spilled milk. They know what a store is. What are we doing studying a store?” Nevertheless this was what it said in the Curriculum Guide, and so she thought, “Well, maybe there is some merit and I can have a really exciting unit on the store. I’ll really try.” On that first day she sat down with the kids on the rug, and she said, very enthusiastically, “Boys and girls, how would you like to study the store?” They said, “Rotten!”


Kids are not as stupid nowadays as they used to be. McLuhan has shown that most children have seen 5,000 hours of TV before they reach kindergarten. They have seen murders and rapes, they have seen love affairs, they have heard music, they have been to Paris, to Rome. On their TV set they have seen real people die violently. Then we bring them to school, and we teach them about stores. Or we give them a book that says, “Tom said, ‘Oh, Oh.’ Mary said ‘Oh, Oh.’ Grandma said, ‘Oh, Oh.’ Spot said, ‘Oh, Oh.’ ” Well, damn Spot! It’s about time that we started realizing that we are educating children, not things. We must say, “Who is the new child we are educating and what are his needs?” How else can he survive tomorrow?”


And so this little girl, because she was a real teacher, said, “Okay, what do you want to study?” One little kid’s eyes opened real wide, and he said, “You know, my father works at ]et Propulsion Labs, and he can get us a rocket ship, and we could put up a rocket ship and learn all about it and fly to the moon!” All the kids said, “Groovy! That’s great!” So she said, “Okay, let’s do it.” The next day the father came and set up a rocket ship. He sat down on the rug with the kids, and he told them about flying to the moon and how a rocket ship works. You should have seen what was happening in that classroom. They were talking about science astronomy, complex theories of math. They had a vocabulary not of “oh, oh,” but of parts of a rocket ship, galaxies, space; a meaningful vocabulary.


Then one day in the middle of all of this fantastic learning, in walked the supervisor. She looked around and said, “Mrs. W, where is your store?” Some day I’m going to write this story for The New Yorker , and I’m going to call it “Mrs. W, Where Is Your Store?” The young teacher took the supervisor aside, saying, “You know, we talked about the store, but the kids wanted to fly to the moon. Look at our vocabulary lists and look at the books they are making. Next we are going to have a man from Jet Propulsion who is going to do a demonstration. . . .” The supervisor said, “Nevertheless, Mrs. W, the Curriculum Guide says you will have a store, and you will have a store”—(tight smile)—“Won’t you, dear?”


She came to me and said, “What’s this bit you have been feeding me about creativity in education, getting me blown up and excited, and then I begin teaching, and I have to make clay bananas!” You ate a banana, you slipped on a banana peel, you got sick on bananas—then you spent a six-week unit making artificial clay bananas for the store. Time’s awasting! And so do you know what she did? She sat down with her kids, and she said, “Kids, do you want Mrs. W to be here next year?” And they said, “Oh, yes!” “Well, then, we’ve got to make a store.” And they said, “Okay, let’s do it, but let’s do it fast!” In two days they did a six-week unit. They made those damn clay bananas, and they pounded boxes together and put everything in them. She also told them that when the supervisor came, it would be necessary to show her that they could function in a store. When the supervisor came, she was very happy because there was the store, and the little kids would say, “Would you like to buy some bananas today?” And as soon as she left, they flew to the moon! Hypocrisy! And waste, waste, waste!


It isn’t enough to live and learn for today. We have to dream about what the world is going to be like in fifty years and educate for a hundred years hence and a dream world of a thousand years hence. The world today for the first grader is not going to be his world in thirty years. Look at how our world has changed. No wonder we are confused and up tight and anxious — we were not prepared to deal with the world we are living in. And it’s moving so fast! There isn’t time for “Grandma said, ‘Oh, Oh.’ ”


Then I think this loving individual is a person who is spontaneous. This is something that I feel really, really strongly about because I think that we have lost our ability to be spontaneous. We are all marking time, and we are all regimented. We have forgotten what it is to laugh and to feel good laughing. We are taught that a young sophisticated lady does not laugh boisterously—she titters. Who said? Emily Post? She’s sick! Why should we listen to somebody else tell us how to live our existence? Yet every day we see in the papers “Dear Miss Post, My daughter is being married in February. What kind of flowers should she carry?” If your daughter wants to carry radishes, let her carry them. “Dear Interior Decorator, I have puce curtains in my living room. What color should my rug be?” I can just see this little cat sitting in his office saying, “Heh, heh, heh.” And he replies, “Purple.” So you run out and buy thousands of dollars worth of purple rugs with puce curtains, and you’re stuck with them, and you deserve it! We don’t trust our own feelings any more. Men don’t cry. Who said? If you feel like crying, you cry. I cry all the time. I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad, I cry when a student says something beautiful, I cry when I read poetry.


If you feel something, let people know that you feel it. Don’t you get tired of these stoic faces that don’t show anything? If you feel like laughing, laugh. If you like what somebody says, go up and give them a hug. If it is right, it will be right. Spontaneity again, living again, knowing what it is like to tingle. Sometimes I get up in the morning, and I feel so freaky and good, I can’t stand it. I remember once driving to work, and I was singing Butterfly, the love duet, both roles, best performance I’d ever given, and a policeman stuck his head in the window, he had a great big grin on his face, and he said, “This is going to be the funniest ticket I’ve ever given.” I said, “How’s that, Officer?” He said, “I was chasing someone for speeding, and you passed us both up.” I love that. I hadn’t even seen him. I was in my own beautiful world.


We are constantly moving away from ourselves and others. The scene seems to be how far away you can get from another person, not how close you can get to them. I’m all for going back to the old-fashioned thing of touching people. My hand always goes out because when I touch somebody, I know they are alive. We really need that affirmation. The existentialist says that we all think we are invisible and that sometimes we have to commit suicide to affirm the fact that we have lived at all. Well, I don’t want to do that. There are better, less drastic ways of affirming it. If somebody hugs you, you know you must be there or they’ll go through you. I hug everybody—just come close to me, you’re more than likely to get hugged, certainly touched.


We need not be afraid to touch, to feel, to show emotion. The easiest thing in the world to be is what you are, what you feel. The hardest thing to be is what other people want you to be, but that’s the scene we are living in. Are you really you or are you what people have told you you are? And are you interested in really knowing who you are because if you are, it is the happiest trip of your life.


And this loving person is also one who sees the continual wonder and joy of being alive. I am sure that contrary to the media, we were meant to be happy because there are so many beautiful things in our world—-trees and birds and faces. There are no two things alike and things are always changing. How can we get bored? There has never been the same sunset twice. Look at everybody’s f ace. Each face is different. Ev erybody has his own beauty. There have never been two flowers alike. Nature abhors sameness. Even two blade s of grass are dif ferent. The Buddhists taught me a fantastic thing. They believe in the here and the now. They say that the only reality is what is here, what is happening between you and me right now. If you live for tomorrow, which is only a dream, then all you are going to have is an unrealized dream. And the past is no longer real. It has value because it made you what you are now, but that is all the value it has. So don’t live in the past. Live now. When you are eating, eat. When you are loving, love. When you are talking with someone, t alk. When you are looking at a fl ower, look. Catch the beauty of the moment!


The lovi ng person has no need to be per fect, only human. The idea of perfection frightens me. We’re a lm ost afraid to do anything anymore b ecause we can’t do it per fectly. Maslow says there are marvelous peak experiences that we all should be experienc ing, like creating a pot in ceramics or painting a picture and putting it over here and saying, “That’s an extension of me.” There’s another existentialist theory that says, “I must be because I have done something. I have created something – therefore, I am.” Yet we don’t want to do this because we’re afraid it isn’t going to be good, it isn’t going to be approved of. If you feel like smearing ink on a wall, you do it. Say, “That came out of me, it’s my creation, I did it, and it is good.” But we’re afraid because we want things to be perfect. We want our children to be perfect.


Drawing from personal experiences, I remember my physical education classes in junior and senior high school. If there are any physical education teachers reading this, I hope they hear me loud and clear. I remember the striving for perfection. Physical education should be a place where we all should have an equal opportunity, where our only competition should be with ourselves. If we can’t throw a ball, then we learn to throw a ball the best we can. But that wasn’t it—they were always rewarding perfection. There were always the big muscular guys standing up there. They were the stars. And there I was—skin and bones with my little bag of garlic around my neck, and shorts that didn’t fit and always hung way down my little skinny legs. I’d stand there in line while we were being chosen in games, and I used to die every single day of my life. You remember! We all lined up, and there were the athletes standing there with their big chests out, and they’d say, “I choose you” and “I choose you” and you saw the line dwindling away, and there you were, still standing there. Finally it got down to two people, one other little skinny guy and you. And then they’d say, “Okay, I’ll take Buscaglia” or “I’ll take the Wop” and you’d step out of line dying because you were not the image of the athlete, you were not the image of perfection they were striving for. I have a student in class who is a gymnast. He almost made the Olympics last year. He has a club foot. In every other way in this world he is as perfect as you can imagine, a body that would be the envy of anyone, a beautiful mind, fantastic crop of hair, sparkling, alert eyes. But he isn’t a beautiful boy in his perception—-he’s a club foot. Somewhere along the line somebody missed the boat, and all he hears when he walks down the street is the clump of a foot even though no one else is aware of it any longer. But if he sees it, then that’s what he is. So this idea of perfection really turns me off.


But man is always capable of growth and change, and if you don’t believe this, you are in the process of dying. Every day you should be seeing the world in a new personal way. The tree outside your house is no longer the same—so look at it! Your husband, wife, child, mother, father all are changing daily so look at them. Everything is in the process of change, including you. The other day I was on a beach with some of my students, and one of them picked up an old, dried-out starfish, and with great care he put it back in the water. He said, “Oh, it’s just dried out but when it gets moisture again, it’s going to come back to life.” And then he thought for a minute, and he turned to me, and he said, “You know, maybe that’s the whole process of becoming, maybe we get to the point from time to time where we sort of dry out, and all we need is a little more moisture to get us started again.” Maybe this is what it’s all about.


In fact, an investment in life is an investment in change to the end, and we can’t be concerned with dying because we must be too damned busy living! Let dying take care of itself. And don’t ever believe that your life is ever going to be peaceful—life is not like that. With change taking place all around you, you’ve got to continue adjusting which means that you are going to constantly be becoming, there is no stopping. We’re all on a fantastic journey! Every day is new. Every experience is new. Every person is new. Everything is new, every morning of your life. Stop seeing it as a drag! In Japan, the running of water is a ceremony. We used to sit in a little hut when the tea ceremony took place, and our host would pick up a scoop of water and pour it into the teapot, and everybody would listen. The sound of the falling water would be almost overpoweringly exciting. I think of how many people run showers and water in their sinks every single day and have never heard it. When was the last time you listened to rain drops?


Herbert Otto says, “Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.” Isn’t that fantastic? A person has risked himself and dared to become involved with experimenting with his own life, trusting himself. To do this, to experiment with your own life, is very exhilarating, full of joy, full of happiness, full of wonder, and yet it’s also frightening. Frightening because you are dealing with the unknown, and you are shaking complacency.


I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate—it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn. If somebody hates me, they must “feel” something about me or they couldn’t possibly hate. Therefore, there’s some way in which I can get to them. If you don’t like the scene you’re in, if you’re unhappy, if you’re lonely, if you don’t feel that things are happening, change your scene. Paint a new backdrop. Surround yourself with new actors. Write a new play. And if it’s not a good play, get the hell off the stage and write another one. There are millions of plays—as many as there are people. Nikos Kazantzakis says, “You have your brush and colors, paint paradise, and in you go.”


A loving person recognizes needs. He needs people who care, someone who cares at least about him, who truly sees and hears him. Again, perhaps just one person but someone who cares deeply. Sometimes it takes only one finger to mend a dike.


I don’t know how many of you have ever seen the play Our Town but one of its most poignant scenes is when little Emily dies, and she goes into the graveyard, and the gods tell her that she can come back to life for one day. She chooses to go back and relive her twelfth birthday. She comes down the stairs in her birthday dress, her curls bouncing, so happy because she is the birthday girl. And Mama is so busy making a cake for her that she doesn’t look up to see her. Papa comes in, and he is so busy with his books and his papers and making his money, that he walks right by, doesn’t even see her. Her brother is in his own scene, and he’s not bothering to look either. Emily finally ends up in the center of the stage alone, in her little birthday dress. She says, “Please, somebody, look at me.” She goes to her mother once again, and she says, “Mama, please, just for a minute, look at me.” But nobody does, and she turns to the gods, if you remember, and her line is something like, “Take me away. I forgot how difficult it was to be a human being. Nobody looks at anybody anymore.”


It’s also about time we started listening to each other. We need to be heard. I used to love the idea of “share and tell” in the classroom. I thought this was a time when people would listen. But, you see, someone told the teachers that they had to have their enrollment slips in by 9:05 so they used this time for share and tell. Little kids went up and said, “Last night my daddy hit my mommy with the rolling pin and knocked out two front teeth, and the ambulance came and took her away, and she’s in the hospital.” And the teacher looked up and said, “All right, who’s next?” Or the little kid came up and showed teacher a rock, “I found a rock on the way to school today.” She said, “Fine, Johnny, put it on the science table.” I wonder what would happen if she picked the rock up and said, “Let me see the rock. Look at that. Kids, look at the color of that rock. Feel it. Who made a rock? Where does a rock come from? What’s a rock? What kind of a rock is this?” I can see how everything could stop all day long, and you could just groove on learning about a rock. But “Put it on the science table.”


And man needs a feeling of achievement. We all do. We’ve got to be able to be recognized for doing something well. And somebody’s got to point it out to us. Somebody has got to come up occasionally and pat us on the shoulder and say, “Wow! That’s good. I really like that.” It would be a miracle if we could let people know what was right rather than always pointing out what is wrong.


And then, the lover, to learn and to change and to become, also needs freedom. Thoreau said a wonderful thing: “Birds never sing in caves.” And neither do people. You’ve got to be free in order to learn. You’ve got to have people who are interested in your tree, not the lollipop tree, and you’ve got to be interested in their tree. “Show me your tree. Show me who you are, and then I’ll know where I can begin.” But birds never sing in caves. We need to be free to create .


I had an incredible experience recently. I talked to a bunch of gifted kids in a California school district. I ranted and raved in my usual fashion, and they sat there just sort of glued—the vibrations between us were incredible. After the morning session, the faculty took me to lunch. When I came back, the kids met me and said, “Oh, Dr. B., a terrible thing has happened. Remember the boy who was sitting right in front of you there?” And I said, “Oh, yes, I’ll never forget him, he was so with it.” “Well, he’s been thrown out of school for two weeks.” I said, “Why?” It seems that in my lecture I had been talking about the way that you know something, really know it, is to experience it fully. And I said, “If you really want to know a tree, for instance, you’ve got to climb in the tree, you’ve got to feel the tree, sit in the branches, listen to the wind blow through the leaves. Then you’ll be able to say, ‘I know that tree’.” And the boy had said, “Yeh, man, I’ll remember that. That’s where it’s at.” So during lunch time, this kid saw a tree and climbed up in it. The boys’ vice principal passed by, saw him up there, dragged him down, and kicked him out of school.


I said, “Oh, there must be a mistake; there was a misunderstanding. I’ll go talk to the boys’ vice principal.” I don’t know why it is but boys’ vice principals are always ex- P.E. teachers. I went to the office where he was sitting with his bulging muscles, and I said, “I’m Dr. Buscaglia.” He looked up at me furious. He said, “You’re the man who comes onto this campus and tells kids to climb trees? You’re a menace!” And I said, “Well, you didn’t understand. I think there was a little mis . . .” He shouted, “You’re a menace! Telling kids to climb trees! What if they fell out? They’re problems enough!” Well, I never got to him, it was impossible, I couldn’t deal with him. So I went to the house of this boy who now had two free weeks to climb trees, I sat down with him, and he said, “I think the thing I’ve learned from this is when to climb trees and when not to do it. I guess I just used bad judgment, didn’t I?” He had listened, and he’ll have to adjust to this man in the front office—but he’s still climbing trees. There are ways to meet the needs of society, and still do your own thing. It’s knowing where and when and how.


Everybody has his own way and must be allowed the freedom to pursue it. There are a thousand paths to loving. Everyone will find his own way if he listens to himself. Don’t let anybody impose their way on you. There’s a wonderful book called Teachings According to Don Juan written by an anthropologist named Carlos Castaneda. It’s all about the Yaqui Indians whom he studied. In it there is a man called Don Juan, who says, “Each path is only one of a million paths. Therefore, you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. If you feel that you must now follow it, you need not stay with it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I warn you: Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question. It is this: Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush. Does this path have a heart is the only question. If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.” If your path is love the goal is unimportant, the process will have heart.


You can only be “real” on your path. The hardest thing in the world is to be something you’re not. By straying from yourself you must get closer and closer and closer to what you are. You’ll find it’s an easy way to be. The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position. Find “you,” who you are, be as you are. Then you can live simply. You can use all of the energy that it takes to “hold back the spooks,” as Alpert calls it. You won’t have any spooks to hold back anymore. You won’t be playing games anymore. Clear them all away and say, “Here’s me. Take me for what I am with all my frailties, all my stupidity, and so on. And if you can’t, leave me be.”


Now we are ready to share a trip into love. This trip is not meant to be a path. It’s a sharing. Take what is right for you. But first, I’d like to offer a wondrous bit of philosophy. It’s written by a man named Zinker, who is at the Gestalt Institute in Cleveland. He wrote this as the end of a paper which he called On Public Knowledge and Personal Revelation. He said, “If a man in the street were to pursue his self, what kind of guiding thoughts would he come up with about changing his existence? He would perhaps discover that his brain is not yet dead, that his body is not dried up, and that no matter where he is right now, he is still the creator of his own destiny. He can change this destiny by taking his one decision to change seriously, by fighting his petty resistances against change and fear, by learning more about his mind, by trying out behavior which fills his real need, by carrying out concrete acts rather than conceptualizing about them”—(I feel strongly about that— let’s stop talking and start doing)-—“by practicing to see and hear and touch and feel as he has never before used these senses, by creating something with his own hands without demanding perfection, by thinking out ways in which he behaves in a self-defeating manner, by listening to the words that he utters to his wife, his kids, and his friends, by listening to himself, by listening to the words and looking into the eyes of those who speak to him, by learning to respect the process of his own creative encounters and by having faith that they will get him somewhere soon. We must remind ourselves, however, that no change takes place without working hard and without getting your hands dirty. There are no formulae and no books to memorize on becoming. I only know this: I exist, I am, I am here, I am becoming, I make my life and no one else makes it for me. I must face my own shortcomings, mistakes, transgressions. No one can suffer my non-being as I do, but tomorrow is another day, and I must decide to leave my bed and live again. And if I fail, I don’t have the comfort of blaming you or life or God.”








“We are all functioning at a small fraction of our capacity to live fuller in its total meaning of loving, caring, creating and adventuring. Consequently, the actualizing of our potential can become the most exciting adventure of our lifetime. ”


—Herbert Otto



Love As A Learned Phenomenon

At the turn of the century a child was found in the forests of a small village in France. The child had been abandoned for dead by his parents. By some miracle he did not die in the forest. He survived, not as a child, even though he was physically a human being, but rather as an animal. He walked on all fours, made his home in a hole in the ground, had no meaningful language above an animal cry, knew no close relationships, cared about no one or no thing except survival.


Cases such as this—that of Kumala, the Indian girl, for instance—-have been reported from the beginning of time. They have in common the fact that if man is raised as an animal he will behave as an animal, for man “learns” to be human. Just as man learns to be a huma n being, so he learns to feel as a human being, to love as a human being.





Each man lives love in his limited fashion and does not seem to relate the resultant confusion and loneliness to his lack of knowledge about love.

Psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, anthropologists and educators have suggested in countless studies and numerous research papers that love is a “learned response, a learned emotion.” How man learns to love seems to be directly related to his ability to learn, those in his environment who will teach him, as well as the type, extent and sophistication of his culture. Family structure, courtship practices, marriage laws, sex taboos, for instance, all vary according to where one lives. The mores and folkways involved in love, sex, marriage and the family are different, for instance, in Bali than they are in New York City. In Bali, for instance, the family structure is close; in Manhattan, it is loose and less structured. In Bali, marriage is polygamous in Manhattan, at least for legal purposes, monogamous.


These facts concerning the effects of learning upon behavior appear self-evident when stated. Yet, they seem to have little, if any, effect upon the majority of people when applied to love. Most of us continue to behave as though love is not learned but lies dormant in each human being and simply awaits some mystical age of awareness to emerge in full bloom. Many w ait for this age forever. We seem to refuse to face the obvious fact that most of us spend our lives trying to find love, trying to live in it, and dying without ever truly discovering it.


There are those who will dismiss love as a naive and romantic construct of our culture. Others will wax poetic and tell you that “love is all,” “love is the bird call and the glint in a young girl’s eyes on a summer night.” Some will be dogmatic and tell you emphatically that “God is Love.” And some, according to their own unique experience, will tell us, “Love is a strong, emotional attachment to another . . .” etc. In some cases you will find that people have never thought of questioning love, much less defining it, and object violently even to the suggestion that they think about it. To them love is not to be pondered, it is simply to be experienced. It is true that to some degree all of these statements are correct, but to assume that any one is best or all there is to love, is rather simple. So each man lives love in his limited fashion and does not seem to relate the resultant confusion and loneliness to this lack of knowledge about love.


If he desired to know about automobiles, he would, without question, study diligently about automobiles. If his wife desired to be a gourmet cook, she’d certainly study the art of cooking, perhaps even attend a cooking class. Yet, it never seems as obvious to him that if he wants to live in love, he must spend at least as much time as the auto mechanic or the gourmet in studying love. No mechanic or cook would ever believe that by “willing” the knowledge in his field, he’d ever become an expert in it.


In discussing love, it would be well to consider the following premises:


One cannot give what he does not possess. To give love you must possess love.


One cannot teach what he does not understand. To teach love you must comprehend love.


One cannot know what he does not study. To study love you must live in love.


One cannot appreciate what he does not recognize. To recognize love you must be receptive to love.


One cannot have doubt about that which he wishes to trust. To trust love you must be convinced of love.


One cannot admit what he does not yield to. To yield to love you must be vulnerable to love.


One cannot live what he does not dedicate himself to. To dedicate yourself to love you must be forever growing in love.


A human child, newly born, knows nothing of love. He is totally helpless, mostly ignorant, dependent and vulnerable . If left alone, uncared for for any time before he is six or seven years of age, he will most likely die. He will take longer to learn independence than any living creature. And, it seems that, as societies become more complicated and sophisticated, the time before independence is attained is extended to the point to which the individual remains dependent, if not economically, emotionally, until his death.


As the human child grows, the world which surrounds him, the people interacting in his world, will teach him what love means. At first, it may mean that when he is hungry, lonely, in pain or discomfort, he cries out. His cry may bring a response, usually someone who will feed him so he’ll no longer feel hunger pains; hold him so he’ll no longer feel lonely; remove or eliminate the source of his pain so he’ll again feel comfort. These will be the first interactions which will teach him to identify with another being. He is still not able to relate this source of comfort to a human role, like mother, father, servant, female, governess, grandmother. It is likely that if a wolf-which has been known to serve this purpose for a child-were to fulfill his basic needs, he would form an attachment of need to the wolf. But it’s not yet love, simply a need attachment. No matter. It is this first reaction-interaction, one-sided and simple though it may seem, that eventually will lead to the complicated, multifaceted phenomenon, love.


At this point, the attitude of the object upon whom the child depends and reacts plays an important role. The object, too, has needs. According to his needs, so will he respond to the child. The reinforcement for a mother’s rising in the night and caring for the child or doing the thousand different chores required of the 20th century mother, for example, may be simply the feeling of fulfillment in having created life or the smile of the child or the warmth of the child against her body. But, nevertheless, she’ll need the reinforcement or she will abandon the child. According to how these acts meet her needs, so she will respond in kind. It has been noted that in mothers of autistic, totally nonresponsive infants, the mothers tend to pull away, to hold the child less, fondle and caress him less, and generally respond to him less.


As the child grows, so does his world and so do his attachments. His world of love is still limited, usually to his family; his father, his brothers, his sisters, but mostly his mother. Each family member in his turn will play a role in teaching the child something of love. He will do this by how he handles the child, how he plays or speaks with him, how he reacts to him. Certainly, no family member has ever set out deliberately to “teach” love to a child. Love is an emotion, that is true. But it is also a “response” to an emotion and, therefore, an “active” expression of what is felt. Love is not learned by osmosis. It is actually acted out and acted upon.


In turn, each family member can teach only what he knows of love. The child will more and more act out what he’s learning. Those positive elements he expresses which are approved and reinforced according to the family’s feelings and beliefs will be adopted as part of his behavior. Those elements of his expressed behavior of which his family disapproves and which are not reinforced, which may even be punished, will not become a part of his behavioral repertory. For example, if the family is a demonstrative group where affection is outwardly expressed, the child will be reinforced by a positive response when he expresses this. The c hild leaps into his father’s arm s and plants a kiss on his mouth, full and juicy. The father return s this in kind, joyfully, verbally, tenderly, smilingly, approvingly. He is teaching the child that this outward expression of love is a good one. On the other hand, a child may spontaneously leap upon his father who may be equally loving, but whose expression of love does not include demonstrative acting out of affection. This father may tenderly hold the child away from him and smilingly say, “Big men don’t hug and kiss each other.” This father has taught his child that it is well to love, but that an outward show of love is not approved in his environment . The French philosopher, ]ean-Paul Sartre, has said, “Long before birth, even before we are conceived, our parents have decided who we shall be.”


Aside from the immediate family, there are other influences which teach love. The effect of these influences can be strong. One of these is the individual’s culture. It is this culture which, in many cases, has taught the family its responses to love. So it will serve to further reinforce the child’s actions.


A French child, for example, born and raised in a Chinese society by Chinese parents, will grow up as a Chinese child with the Chinese child’s games, his responses, his manners, his reactions, his likes and dislikes, his language, his aspirations and dreams.


On the other hand, this same French child raised in a Chinese culture by French parents will become a French child in a Chinese society-holding on to those aspects of the French culture he is being taught by his parents and adapting them as he grows up in order to live in a Chinese society. He will then develop those French characteristics common to French children, but will have, also, to adjust them to the Chinese culture.


No person can be totally free of cultural pressures and influences. To become a “socially approved” person, one must always give up some of himself. A Robinson Crusoe can be totally free on his island, but he pays for his freedom with isolation. When Friday, a second person, appears, he has a choice. He can either co-habit with him and make him one like himself which would involve changing his habits and participating in a democratic interchange, or he can make Friday his slave. This decision will require little or no change of Crusoe’s personality and life except that he keep a continual, forceful, watchful eye on Friday, his slave.


In the fall of 1970, I had an interesting experience in social living. I enjoy fall leaves, the colors, the sound of the leaves as you walk on them. For this reason, I allow them freely to collect on my path and on the walk that runs before my home. They become like a crackling, multi-colored sound carpet under my feet. One day, I was at home with some students and responded to a knock on the front door. It was a group of neighbors who had come to complain about the accumulation of what they saw as a neighborhood “eyesore.” They asked if I would clean up the leaves and they also politely offered to do it for me. I quickly agreed to comply with their request, much to the disillusionment of the students who felt that I had “copped out” and should have told them to which layer of Dante’s Hell they might go. I explained that we could reach a mutually satisfactory solution if they’d help me to rake the leaves into the baskets. They complied questioningly and begrudgingly, cursing the “hung-up” culture that would infringe upon an individual’s rights. The leaves finally collected, I gathered up the baskets and poured the leaves over my living room fl oor. Now the neighbors would have a more acceptable scene to gaze upon and I would have my wondrous fall color world to crackle beneath my feet to my heart’s content. (It was such a simple thing to sweep and vacuum when I so desired.) I had yielded to the culture, for I enjoy and need neighbors, but I also met my own needs. I enjoy and need fall leaves. It is possible that when we choose to give up one freedom of a lower order, we achieve a freedom of a still higher order. (By sweeping the leaves I still have neighbors who care. A man never kn ows when he will need a cup of fl our.) The culture and society has the power, then, if we choose to be a member of it, to affect our thoughts, limit our choices, mold our behavior, teach us its definition of adjustment and show us what it means by love.


How you learn love, then, will be somewhat determined by the culture in which you grow.


The unique family and the individual’s culture may, at times, come into conflict. My parents and family, a large, warm, demonstrative, highly emotional Italian one, with strong personal ties and attachments, taught me an outward expression of love. But going to school and hugging and kissing the children and teachers was soon taught out of me as immature, effeminate and, to say the least, disruptive. I can recall the confusion in my mind when one of my classmates’ mothers came to my home and explained to my confused parents that I was not a suitable playmate for their children, that I was too “physical.” But it no longer became a conflict when it was explained, and I was able to understand, that when I was in our home and homes like ours there was a correct way of expressing our affection but in other homes it might be different. I was to observe and respond accordingly, using my own judgment. By this time of course I was convinced that a handshake or even a warm smile could never mean as much pleasure for me as a warm embrace or a tender kiss. (I still believe it’s true.)


The child, so far, is continually at the mercy of his teachers —the environment in which he l ives and those individuals (hum an persons) with which he’ll come into contact. They are responsible for teaching him to love. His parents, of course, will be his foremost teachers. They will have the strongest impact upon him and will teach him only the kind of love they’ve learned and only to the degree to which they’ve learned it. For they, too, have been at the mercy of their teachers and their culture. Teachers can only teach what they have learned. If the love they’ve learned is immature, confused, possessive, destructive, exclusive, then that is what they’ll pass on and teach to their young. If, on the other hand, they know a love that is growing, free, mature, they’ll teach this to their children. The child cannot resist his teachers. He has little or no power to do so. In order to exist at some level of comfort, he must accept what is offered, often without question. In fact, he has few questions for he has little knowledge and nothing to compare it to. He is spoon-fed his world, handed the tools to meet its requirements and the symbols with which to organize it. He is even taught what things are significant, what sounds to listen for and what they mean, and what is valueless. In other words, he is taught to be a particular type of hum an lover. To be loved in return, he need but listen, see and respond as others do. It is a simple matter but the cost to his individuality is great.


Language is the main means by which we transfer knowledge, attitudes, prejudices, feelings and those aspects which make personality and culture unique. Language is taught and learned in and through the family and society. Any normal child has the biological, mental and physical equipment to learn any of the world’s languages. He can execute, as an infant, all the sounds of the Universal Phonetic Alphabet. Although he will never be formally taught, by the time he is three or four years of age, he will be speaking, intelligibly, t he language of his culture. He’ll learn the system of the language and the color and tone of that language. The words he’ll use and what they mean will be decided by those in his immediate world who will be teaching him. He’s unable to read, of course, and therefore he’ll learn his language orally. He is unaware that the language he learns will determine who he is, how he will see the world, how he will organize the world and how he will present his world to others.


All words have an intellectual co ntent. We could have little difficulty defin ing, for instance, a “table” or a “home.” But each word also has an emotional content. It becomes a very different thing when you are asked to define a “home” as opposed to telling about the “fi rst home” you can remember. We all know the superficial meaning of the word “free.” But if we were to try to define freedom in terms of ourselves in our present milieu, we would be hardpressed.


Timothy Leary, when he was doing his interesting work in language and awareness, called words: “The imprint (the freezing) of extern al awareness.” He explained that each time a parent or society teaches a child a new symbol he is given both an intellectual and an emotional content for the symbol. The content is limited by the attitudes and feelings of his parents and society. This process begins too early for the child to have much to say about what words will mean for him. Once “frozen,” the attitudes and feelings toward the objects or persons to which the words refer become very stable, in many cases irreversible. Through words, then, the child is given not only content but attitude. His attitudes of love are so formed. A sort of map is set up, Leary continues, which is static and upon which all subsequent learning of attitudes and awareness take place. The child’s “map” will be determined by how closely the symbols resemble the facts and how they are taken in, assimilated, analyzed and reinforced through experience. The important language for establishing behavior, relationships, action, attitudes, empathy, responsibility, trust, caring, joy, response—the language of love, in other words, will thus be set.


From this point the child is still at the mercy of his teachers. He has been coerced, due to lack of experience and through his dependence, to trust his teachers and to accepting the love world they offer him as reality.


At about this time he goes to school. Great hope lies in education. Through education he’s offered his first possible escape—broad, new worlds to discover, full of different, exceptional and exciting attitudes and definitions of life and love. But he’s soon disillusioned. In place of freeing him to pursue his own world, he is now in a new environment often even less fl exible than his home. Charles Reich makes this point dramatically in The Greening of America : “While the school’s authority is lawless, school is nevertheless an experience made compulsory by the full power of the law, including criminal penalties. (The option to go to private school does exist for families that can afford it, but this is not the students’ own option, and it is obviously available only to a few.) School has no prison bars, or locked doors like an insane asylum, but the student is no more free to leave it than a prisoner is free to leave the penitentiary.”


With the child thus imprisoned, formal education assumes as its major task the process of passing on the “accumulated knowledge of the past,” usually at the expense of the present and the future. It is a “feeding in” rather than a “leading out.” Everything is taught but seemingly what is necessary for the growing individual’s knowledge of self, of the relationship of his self to others. He finds many of his teachers lifeless individuals, devoid of enthusiasm, hope or joy. Erich Fromm said, “Living is the process of continuous rebirth. The tragedy in the life of most of us is that we die before we are fully bo rn .” Modem education does little to guide the child from death to rebirth.


Neither the love of self—what educators call self-respect—nor love of others—responsibility and love for his fellow man—can ever be taught in our present educational system. Teachers are too busy “managing” to be “creating.” As Albert Einstein said, “It is nothing short of a miracle that instruction today has not strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry. For this delicate little plant lies mostly in need of freedom without which it will fall into rack and ruin and die without fail.”


So the individual, now fully grown, leaves our schools confused, lonely, alienated, lost, angry, but with a mind full of isolated, meaningless facts which together are laughingly called an education. He knows neither who he is, where he is , or how he got there. He has no concept of where he’s going, how to arrive there nor what he’ll do when he gets there. He has no idea what he has, what he wants, nor how to develop it. In essence, he’s a type of robot—old before his time, living in the past, confused by the present, frightened by the future, much like the teachers who made him.


Nowhere along the way has he been directly exposed to love as a learned phenomenon. What he has learned of love he has come upon indirectly, by chance or by trial and error. His greatest exposure and often his only teaching has been through the commercial mass media which has always exploited love for its own ends. Frustrated poets with the aid of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and 20th Century Fox created Romantic Love for the world market. Their concept of love usually goes no deeper than boy meets girl, girl hassles boy (or vice-versa), boy loses girl, girl and boy gain insight through some magical stroke of fate, boy gets girl, and they live “happily ever after.” All this with variation.


A classic case in point was the succe ss of Rock Hudson-Doris Day film s. Rock meets Doris. Rock woos Doris with attention; gifts, flowers, kind words, wild chases and special manners. Doris keeps running from Rock’s advances for six reels. At last, Doris can resist no longer, she yields and gives herself to Rock. Rock carries Doris across the threshold. Fade out.


What would be most interesting would be to see what happens after the fade. Most certainly, any girl such as the character Doris portrays, who has run from a man for six reels, is frigid and any man who has put up with that kind of nonsense is impotent. They deserve each other.


Still, it’s this example and countless others that create for us the notion of what love is.


Deodorant ads, cigarette commercials, cosmetic companies play an additional role in strengthening this insane notion of love. You are assured that love means runn ing together through a meadow, lighting two cigarettes in the dark or applying a deodorant daily. You are given the idea that love just “happens,” and usually at first sight. You don’t have to work at love—love requires no teacher—you just fall into love-—if you follow the right rules, and play the “game” correctly.


I would not want to form a partnership with an architect who has only a little knowledge of building or a broker who has a limited knowledge of the stock market. Still, we form what we hope to be permanent relationships in love with people who have hardly any knowledge of what love is. They equate love with sex, attraction, need, security, romance, attention and a thousand similar things. Certainly, love is all of these and yet no one of these things. Someone in love class once said, “I wish she could love me more and need me less.”


So most of us never learn to love at all. We play at love, imitate lovers, treat love as a game. Is it any wonder so many of us are dying of loneliness, feel anxious and unfulfilled, even in seemingly close relationships, and are always looking elsewhere for something more which we feel must certainly be there? “Is that all there is?” the song asks.


There is something else. It’s simply this-— the limitless potential of love within each person eager to be recognized, waiting to be developed, yearning to grow.


It’s never too late to learn anything for which you have a potential. If you want to learn to love, then you must start the process of finding out what it is, what qualities make up a loving person and how these are developed. Each person has the potential for love. But potential is never realized without work. This does not mean pain. Love, especially, is learned best in wonder, in joy, in peace, in living.








“Scientists are discovering at this very moment that to live as if to live and love were one is the only way of life for human beings, because, indeed, this is the way of life which the innate nature of man demands. ”


—Ashley Montagu.



Man Needs To Love And Be Loved

It is true that in the last analysis each man stands alone. No matter how many people surround him or how famous he may be, in the most significant moments of his life he’l1 most likely find himself alone. The moment of birth is an “alone” world, as is the moment of death. In between these most significant moments there is the aloneness of the moments of tears, moments of struggle for change, moments of decision. These are times when man is faced only with himself, for no one else can ever truly understand his tears, his striving, or the complex motivations behind his decisions. Most men remain essentially strangers, even to those who love them. Orestes was alone when he decided to kill Clytemnestra, his mother, the act that freed him. Hamlet was alone when he made the decision to avenge his father’s death, the act that destroyed him and virtually all those about him. John Kennedy was alone when he made the famous Bay of Pigs decision, a decision which might have brought another great war upon the world. Most of us will never know the weight of such momentous aloneness, but each time we, too, make a decision, insignificant though it may seem, we are just as truly alone.


The concept of aloneness becomes even more devastating when we equate “aloneness” with “loneliness.” These, of course, are two radically different things. One can be alone and never feel loneliness and, conversely, one can be lonely even when he is among people. We have all experienced degrees of aloneness. They have not always been frightening. At times, we’ve found aloneness not only necessary but challenging, enlightening, even joyful. We’ve needed to be alone with ourselves to become reacquainted with ourselves in the deepest sense. We’ve needed time to reflect, to tie loose ends together, to make meaning of confusion or simply to revel in dreams. We have found that we often do these things best alone. Albert Schweitzer stressed this poignantly in his comment that modern man is so much a part of a crowd that he is dying of a personal loneliness.


Most men seem able to contend with the knowledge of being alone as a unique challenge. But they do not choose aloneness as a permanent state. Man is by nature a social being. He finds that he feels more comfortable in his aloneness to the degree to which he can volitionally be involved with others. He discovers that with each deep relationship he’s brought closer to himself, that others help him to gain personal strength and this strength, in turn, makes it more possible for him to face his aloneness. So man strives consciously to reach out to others and bring them closer to himself. He does this to the degree to which he is able and to which he is accepted. The more he can ally himself to all things, even to death, the less fearful of isolation he becomes. For these reasons man created marriage, the family, communities, and most recently, communes, and some contend, even God.


There seems to be accumulating evidence that there is actually an inborn need for this togetherness, this human interaction, this love. It seems that without these close ties with other human beings, a newborn infant, for example, can regress, developmentally, lose consciousness, fall into idiocy and die. He may do this even if he has a perfect physical environment, a superb diet, and hospital-type hygiene. These do not seem to be enough for his continued physical and mental development. The infant mortality rate in well-equipped but understaffed institutions in the past decade has been appalling. In the previous two decades, before an understanding of the import of human response on child development was accepted, the statistics of infant mortality in institutions were even more horrible. In 1915, for example, at a meeting of the American Pediatric Society, Dr. Henry Chapin reported a study of ten institutions for infants in the United States where every child under two years of age died! Other reports at the time were similar.


Dr. Griffith Banning, in a study of 800 Canadian children, reported that in a situation where children whose parents were divorced, dead or separated, and where a feeling of love and affection were lacking, this knowledge did far more damage to growth than caused by disease and was more serious than all other factors combined. Skeels, a noted psychologist and educator, reported recently on his most dramatic long-term study conducted on orphaned children where the only variable was human love and nurturing. One group of 12 children remained housed in an orphanage. Each of 12 children, in a second group, was brought daily to be cared for and loved by an adolescent, retarded girl in an institution nearby. His findings have become classic in the literature. After over twenty years of study he has found that of those in Group I who remained in the institution, without personal love, all were at present, if not dead, either in institutions for the mentally retarded or in institutions for the mentally ill. Of those in Group II, who received love and attention, all were self-supporting, most had graduated high school and all were happily married, with only one divorce. Startling statistics, indeed!


In New York City, Dr. Rene Spitz, in the past decade, studied children who lived in two different but physically adequate institutions. The institutions differed mainly in their approach to their charges in the amount of physical contact, and nurturing which the children received. In one institution the child was in contact with a human person, usually his mother, daily. In the second institution, there was a single nurse in charge of from eight to twelve children. Dr. Spitz studied each child in terms of factors of his development, medically and psychologically. He concerned himself with the child’s Developmental Quotient which included such important aspects of personality as intelligence, perception, memory, imitative ability and so on. All else being comparatively equal in the children who had the nurturing, the caring human contact, the Developmental Quotient rose from 101.5 to 105 and showed a continued rising trend.





Love is like a mirror. When you love another you become his mirror and he becomes yours. . . . And reflecting each other’s love you see infinity.

Those children deprived of nurturing started with an average Developmental Quotient of 124 and by the second year of study the Developmental Quotient had fallen to a startling 45!


There are several other studies by Drs. Fritz Ridel, David Wineman, and Karl Memiinger, all of which indicate a positive correlation between human concern and togetherness, and human growth and development. A very interesting and more thorough report on these studies and many of a similar nature can be found in a fascinating article by Ashley Montagu in the Phi Delta Kappan, May 1970.


So it seems the infant does not know or understand the subtle dynamics of love but already has such a strong need for it that the lack of it can affect his growth and development and even bring on his death. This need does not change with adulthood. In m any cases, the need for togethern ess and love becomes the major drive and goal of an individual’s life. It is known that a lack of love is the major cause of severe neuroses and even psychoses in adulthood.


A few years back, I spent Sunday evenings on a rap-rock radio station ir1 Los Angeles. It was an open line to the city. There were just two of us in a small, glass booth full of electrical equipment and outside, a sole telephone operator who managed six working lines. From 7:00 P.M. until 10:00 P.M. we talked to strange voices out of the city. The lines were never free, always one speaking, five waiting. The subject was love. It was interesting that the majority of calls concern ed themselves with loneliness, inability to love others, confusion in interpersonal relationships, the fear of loving for fear of being hurt. Every one of the hundreds whose calls were received each evening wanted to love but found that they did not know how. One young man said, “I’m all alone in a small apartment on Melrose Avenue. There are all kinds of people like me on this street, everyone in his own apartment, all of us wanting to be with someone, none of us knowing how to break down the walls. What’s the matter with us, anyway?”


In fact, the fear of aloneness and lack of love is so great in most of us that it’s possible we can become a slave of this fear. If so we’re ready to part with even our true self, anything, to meet others’ needs and in this way hope to gain intimate companionship for ourselves.


There is a popular Broadway musical called Company which suggests that the only reason for love and marriage is so that one can have company, for better or for worse. It suggests that anything is better than nothing. In Wild Palms , William Faulkner has said, “If I were to choose between pain and nothing, I would choose pain.” So do most men.


The child will comply to unreasonable rearing habits for the love of his parents. The adolescent will lose his identity, will part with his self, to be accepted as one of a group. He’ll dress like his peers, wear his hair like them, listen to the same music, dance the same dances and take on the same attitudes. In adulthood, we find that the easiest way of being accepted is to be like those by whom we wish to be accepted. So we conform. We take up bridge, we read the same bestsellers, we give similar cocktail parties, construct like houses, dress properly according to group standards, so that we can feel the sense of community and security. During courtship and the period of romantic love, we’ll change ourselves most radically for the approval and acceptance of the one we love, to the extent of the lyrics, “He likes curly hair and I never cared for curly, but he likes curly hair, so that’s my weakness now.”


In old age, we either will it or are forced to move into artificial environments for the aged to escape from a youthful world where we seem to be no longer useful or wanted, into a world where we can continue to feel one with the group.


No matter how much we deny it, we find that at every stage of life we move toward others—to parents when we are a child, to peers when we are adolescents, to possible sexual partners when young adults, to appropriate communities when adults, and to retirement communities when we are older on to our death.


We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death.








“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous, or conceited, or proud; love is not ill-mannered, or selfish, or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs: love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up: its faith, hope and patience never fail. Love is eternal . . . There are faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love”


-I Corinthians 13


A Question of Definition

To a great extent, the job of dealing with love is left to poets, philosophers and holy men. Scientists seem to avoid the subject. Abraham Maslow has stated: “It is amazing how little the empirical sciences have to offer on the subject of love. Particularly strange is the silence of the psychologists. Sometimes it is merely sad or irritating, as in the case of the textbooks of psychology and sociology, ‘particularly none of which recognizes the subject.”


Pitirim Sorokin, the famed Harvard sociologist, in his book, The Ways and Power of Love, explains why he feels the scientist has long avoided the discussion of love. He states: “The sensate minds emphatically disbelieve in the power of love. It appears to us something illusionary. We call it self-deception, the opiate of people’s minds, idealistic bosh, unscientific delusion. We are biased against all theories that try to prove the power of love and other positive forces in determining human behavior and personality; in influencing the course of biological, social, mental and moral evolution; in affecting the direction of historical events; in shaping social institutions and culture. In the sensate milieu they appear to be unconvincing, unscientific, prejudiced and superstitious.”


So, science and scientists remain silent on the subject. Some recognize it as a reality while others see it only as a fantasized construct to give a meaningless life meaning. Some condemn it as out-and-out pathological.


There is no doubt that love is not any easy subject with which to deal. Perhaps to be concerned with it is to “walk in where angels fear to tread.” But for such a powerful life force to remain ignored, uninvestigated, condemned by the social scientists, is ludicrous.


Perhaps the fears are founded in a semantic base. There is perhaps no word more misused than love. Francois Villon, the French Romantic poet, decried the fact that we constantly “beggar the poor love word to base kitchen usages and work-a-day desires.” A person may “love” God and “love” apple pie or the Dodgers. He may see “love” as sacrifice or dependency. He may think of “love” only in a male-female relationship; as a referent to sexual “love”; or he may see it only in saintly purity.


We are obliged as individuals to arrive at some understanding of love before we can deal with it. This, as we indicated earlier, is not an easy task and we’re often satisfied with giving it but small consideration. The task may even seem to us impossible and limiting of so broad a concept. For the scientist, therefore, it seems better to ignore it altogether.


It has, then, fallen into the hands of the saint who defines it in term s of a state of ecstasy; the poet who sees it in an exaggerated state of joy or disillusionment ; the philosopher who attempts to analyze it in his rational, point-by-point, often obscure fashion. Love, it seems, fits perfectly into no one of these molds, for it may be all at once; a state of ecstasy, a state of joy, a state of disillusionment , a rational state or an irrational state.


Love is many things, perhaps too many things to be definitive about it. So, one who attempts a definition runs the danger of ending up being vague or nebulous and arriving nowhere.


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