I recently had a conversation on another blog, whose author was asking the question:
‘Which is stronger, love or hate?’
Stripped down, the dialogue, in essence, went like this:
Me: ‘Hate appears stronger because it is extreme. Mostly, (although maybe not in all cases) it is similar to anger in which it is relatively short lived and channelled. The strength shows in the initial burst. But love endures, it has a constancy that stretches on and so does not appear extreme. It’s strength is in the longevity of the emotion. It can outlast hate, I think.’
Blogger: ‘I agree with what you say. I have never thought of hate being similar to anger before. I wonder if holding grudges has any role in this one? Love, yes-I see. But what about infatuation? Can that be classed as love?’
Me: ‘I would say that infatuation is akin to obsession. Love is, or should be, selfless, whereas infatuation is all about self.’
Blogger: ‘That is a new thought, too. So are infatuated people aware of their own ‘selfish’ behaviour?’
Me: ‘I would say that they are aware of what they are doing, because they are feeding their own needs so are not acting subconsciously, but are perhaps confusing infatuation for love. They see only from their own perspective.’
Blogger: ‘Ah, there we go!’
In considering the question set by the blogger, that of which between the two is the strongest emotion, I took this to mean not as the strongest emotion felt, but as an observation in an almost abstract, disengaged manner. I gave my answers as above, but this cannot be definitive. Context, experience, and circumstance must all play a part.
We cannot help but bring to the question our own preconceived perceptions and prejudices.
Also, how we view our life here colours our view. If we see ourselves as living a spiritual life, and our time here as just the beginning of a long journey, then love must be our default setting. Any straying from this core essence is but an aberration to be corrected.
If we view our existence as purely physical, and temporary, then the process of living leaves us prone to the whole, reasonable gamut of emotions, each as valid as the other.
But back to the original question: which is stronger, love or hate? What do you guys think?