There may be no more confusingly, gloriously polysemous English word than "love."

Love of your country, love of your family, love of chocolate, of a favorite movie ... love of life ... passionate romantic sexual love ... love of God; pure love with no object ...

What does it mean?

Love has to do with empathy, but it's not the same -- you can empathize a lot with those you only love a little; and sometimes people display shockingly little empathy for those they love deeply...

According to the Beatles, "all you need is love" -- but according to Charles Bukowski, "love is a dog from hell."

What most of the varieties of "love" have in common is: Love is an emotion a mind has toward someone or something else, that is associated with experiences going beyond the self.

And if one wants to get metaphysical, then there's "universal love" -- the love of the Cosmos for itself! Whenever one part of the Cosmos is separated from another, there's a chance for those two parts to overcome their separateness via love.

Some of the particular varieties of love we humans experience may be inapplicable to transhuman minds -- and these love-specifics may change a great deal even for humans, as we modify and advance ourselves.

Minds without sexual reproduction and death wouldn't have the same kind of family love as we do -- let alone the complex beautiful mess of romance....

Don't necessarily expect Valentine's Day to continue past the Singularity!

But love itself -- emotion toward an Other, which brings us beyond our Self -- which extends our Self to encompass that Other -- love will almost surely survive, in any future that embraces joy, growth and choice. And not "just" universal love -- love between individual minds will almost surely exist, as long as individual minds do. Because minds do seek joy, growth and choice -- and love is an extraordinarily powerful way for a mind to grow beyond its self, experiencing a joy greater than it could have on its own....

No comments:

Post a Comment