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Thursday, February 5, 2009

The pathways of love

I have started to focus my current blogs on the topic of Love, not just because its February and Hearts Day is coming, but because I believe it is the best virtue we must have, not only once a year but everyday of our lives.

A lot of you guys maybe familiar with romantic ways to express love to your love partners-spouses or lovers I mean, and I guess you also knew about how to express Christian love. But there are maybe some few things you need to understand about how the feelings of love manifests in our body. Why does the emotion of love comes out? How do our neurons function to respond to situations that require love.

Dr. Helen Fisher, a Biological Anthropologist and a Research Professor of Rutgers University, talked about the science of love (see video) and explained there are three stages in the process: lust, attraction, and attachment. Each stages are governed by specific hormones that controls how humans act.

Lust is associated with sexual urge and are controlled by sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Attraction is controlled by three hormones: adrenalin-a stress response hormones that promote hyperactivity, dopamine-a chemical that stimulates desire triggered by rush of pleasure, and serotonin-a chemical that modulates behaviors in humans like anger, mood, sexuality and others. Combined these three plays a greater role in the process of attraction. In the final stage, attachment usually is governed by the hormones oxytocin-a hormone released during orgasm that facilitates increase closeness and vasopressin-also released after sex and believed to be responsible for bonding of couples.

Well, science have discussed these complex mechanisms and mentioned several technical terms. I want to emphasize on two of these chemicals or hormones responsible in Love. These are dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine controls a lot of brain activities at normal levels but at low levels schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease could be possible. Love can therefore be a good medicine. Serotonin in the other hand regulates aggression and that at higher levels eagerness in humans who are in love overtakes reason. This effect can be harmful. It goes to show that severe love could be dangerous also.

"Too much of everything is dangerous." This is also true for love. In the case of loving a partner we must take this precaution. But there is one love that requires no regulation and that is -Christian Love. We'll talk about it next post.

1 comment:

pchi said...

Hi Romy!

I was also interested in the connection of love and chemical hormones before

but nothing transcends the fact that we love because God causes us too! It's God's expression of himself to us...

maybe the science findings are true though. The brain for example is so complex to understand but we know God designed it that way and it has so many functions. Love may have chemical circuitry and only God knows how they work...

but I agree with you... human love that centers on another person besides God can be dangerous....

I've been there... done that and glad that I am back on track