Before I begin I must firstly apologize. I began this discussion some time ago, 11/24/2006 with Part 1 – Fear, and somehow neglected finishing this series out. In the previous posting we looked at how people will do things out of fear, or not do something out of fear. This is a strong motivator and one that is most common in our world today. Today’s topic, love, is second on the list. Now there is a very fine line between love and hate, anyone scorned by a past love will testify to that, and here we will see the polar opposite of fear as a motivator. Love compels people to do many things, write books, songs, poems, built statues, buildings, and monuments, create almost anything… but it also has a dark side. Just as its opposite there can be positive and negative motivations coming from love. Romeo and Juliet are classic romanticized illustrations of the bad motivation of love, loving a person so much you will end your own life because that person has passed on. Love for ones ideals and beliefs can also cause one to lose objectiveness and clarity, many a leader throughout history have set a series of events into motion over love, many of which led to many gallons of spilled blood and years of suffering, remember Troy, Cleopatra, the communists revolution.
Loving in something so blindly is not always bad, it may blind but it does lead to spectacular events for the most part. People in love will ignore simple flaws and strive for the final outcome with a passion only matched by that of pure hatred. A grandmother so loved her grandchild she moved a car the child was pinned under (no, not incredible Hulk style but still impressive). Love between two people will bring them together across the planet or across enemy lines, fostering an understanding between communities and peoples that helps to spread good will and understanding between different peoples. Love for one’s self prevents us from getting involved into truly fool hardy diversions, like Russian roulette. Love for an ideal can inspire a nation to work past its differences and problems to achieve a new standard that benefits all. Love can inspire many wonderful things.
Without getting into too much detail it can have the opposite effect as well, for the phrase ‘there is a fine line between love and hate” is around for a reason. With many things in this world there is always an opposite and equal. There is a mirror on some level where you can see the two sides of the same coin. If this is the case, and it is, then we must look at the coin, not one side of the other. One of my favorite songs for the old late ‘80’s group Extreme was 3 sides to every story (your side, my side, and then there is the truth). Well, if hate and love are opposites, what is the core, the fulcrum, the peaceful middle ground of neutrality where all is calm and peaceful (as any one in either state will attest, there is no calm or peace involved when in love or hate)?
This lack of passion is the opposite of motivation. It is a state of pure contentment. An equilibrium where there is no motivation to go one way or the other. This is I am finding what motivates some eastern philosophies. Not finding total love or hate, but the calm peaceful center, pure contentment. Motivation to the center is abandoning love and hate, accepting everything for what it is and feeling the harmony between all worlds. It is here the gateway for all things resides. It is here where a person is most objective, untainted, pure.
In Dungeons & Dragons, the original version and not AD&D, there were only 3 alignments, Chaotic, Neutral, and Good. AD&D realized this is a pure black & white approach and not realistic, so there were added layers with true forms of all three being nearly impossible to play. In finding the center between love and hate you step into a world of black and white. There are slight shades of gray but it is pretty much like being pregnant, either you are or aren’t. Now where I am going in this is here; if fear’s opposite motivator is love, and people in one state or another are driven to keep achieving more (never being 100% satisfied) and contentment is the lack of both, then there is more then 2 motivators out there. And this is true.
Love for one’s country and self will lead an ill prepared teen to take enormous amounts of abuse in boot camp and go off to war with little to now understanding of what, why, who, or how this is going to happen or workout. Love for another will lead a person to ignore all warnings from family and friends to be with another person, risking all for being next to another person they really do not know that well. Love will cause a person to sacrifice their wellbeing and life for another or others. Love will allow a person to give without any anticipation of receiving in return. All of this is a good thing, but we must ponder if this is only one end, what motivates someone to go to the middle?
Motivation is a fuel, a means from going from one state to another. We are motivated to reach an end result. A body at rest remains at rest until acted upon by a greater force. This is not only physics, but human nature, as people tend to live in a state of comfort, an area they feel equilibrium. We always return to a state of contentment… even if we fail to realize it. People in love fall out of love, or more accurately they move in a circle, from content being lonely to being on the edge while in love, and finally back to the center as being content but with another now. The same is true for the opposite. Hate motivates us to a state of comfort to destroy, or build to destroy, until we reach the end and eventually comfort at being back where we started. These two states do not make us change so much as grow, for we always end up back where we started, but with a new set of experiences, outsights, wisdom we did not possess before. It is said a rolling stone gathers no moss. But it will not roll forever, when it stops it is back where it started, in a state of rest, but it is not the same, it was shaped and altered by its journey, even if the state is the same from its beginning movement to its end of movement.
Fear and Love are the two strongest motivators, the two oldest motivators, and the two most primitive to our existence, this is why they are so strong, and they are the oldest and most pure to our true nature. When we are motivated out of love to act in any way we must take a small step back and think things through. It is wonderful to feel the rush of love and elation of the moment, but least we forget the heart may be noble, it is terrible at making a sensible decision or an informed outtake on any situation. That is why, in the realm of motivation, I label these two as passion motivators. Fear and Love, both of which are strong emotions and cause us to have snap or jerk reactions that in the long run seldom end out as well as we thought they would. They also are mirrors in another respect, they receive what they broadcast. Act out of love and you will receive it back. At this point I will mention there are other motivators out there, and not just shades of love or fear. We can be motivated out of understanding or curiosity, the need to know (this is my personal daemon). Its opposite is guilt, the motivating factor of knowing so we have to act to resolve what we know. Desire and dread are another pair, and almost as old as love and fear yet distinctly different. And finally the only single motivating factor I know of, motivation by the unknown. Think there is no such thing? As a person why they did something completely stupid when you know they knew better, better yet… ask a child why they drew on the wall with a crayon… The ‘I don’t know’ response comes up every time. Why did you go to the bar on Tuesday night, you know you had to work this morning? This is the large one because from infants to elderly will give the same answer to the motivation as to why they did something stupid.
**Note: I used fear in the first section and here too, I did not interchange it with hate for a reason. Hate is the end result of fear. You can act out of fear without hatred. Remember fear can motivate to act or not to act, just as love can. Each motivator has two distinct actions, to do something or not do something. Hate is a result; we hate things because of the result of its actions, being, or ideology. We can fear something without knowing anything about it; you can’t hate something unless you know at least something about it. Fear is being scared of the unknown, perceiving something bad will transpire, or being scared of a known outcome. Hate is just hate, there are always reasons, just like love, but here love means something slightly different then when I referred to it as a motivator. I did this for a reason I will explain in desire vs. dread.