What is love? LO22867

Richard Karash (Richard@karash.com)
Wed, 13 Oct 1999 09:53:58 -0400

Replying to LO22808 --

I like the definition by Humberto Maturana for thinking about love in
communities and in the workplace.

Maturana defines:

Love is the domain of relational behaviors through which another (a
person, being, or thing) arises as a legitimate other in coexistence
with oneself.


Aggression is the domain of relational behaviors in which another is
negated as a legitimate other in coexistence with oneself.

(I belive "love" and "aggression" are mutually exclusive sets of behaviors.)

That is...

- Love is a set of relational behaviors (a little odd, but try it...)
- ..through which the other arises
- ..as legitimate in coexistence with oneself

So, love is REALLY listening to another person, acting in a way that
demonstrates that their thoughts are legitimate. Maturana might say,
"acting in a way that MAKES their thoughts legitimate."

Love is related to respect.

Love is what Deming talks about in human relations.

Now, Maturana goes on to say that Love is the ONLY domain of
relational behaviors that expands intelligent behavior.

That is... Love... creates learning. Hmm...

This IS the learning-org dialogue...

His argument is that the domain of behaviors we call "Love" is a
domain in which we have more interactions with others, a domain which
increase the range of interactions that affect us, and creates more
possibilities for our behaviors. From this larger set of
possibilities we are more able to demonstrate intelligent behaviors.
(My words are inadequate here. He says it much more clearly.)

I first heard this in his lecture at the SoL meeting summer 1998. It
has been stimulating to me ever since.

-=- Rick

p.s. How about "Romantic Love"? There's some overlap. The other
"arising as a legitimate other in coexistence" is certainly part of
Romantic Love, but the above is not adequate to explain romantic
love. In my view. But, this is the LEARNING-ORG dialogue, so romantic
love would be off-topic.

p.p.s The definition below by Nick is pretty close to Maturana's.

>I have a definition. Love is anything you do that leads to the healthy
>growth of the object of your love. So love is not a feeling, it is



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