Unconditional love

I Find Karma (adam@milliways.cs.caltech.edu)
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 12:46:02 -0700 (PDT)

I'm merging two threads here, for no particular reason other than that
"2 Become 1" is running through my head.

Ernest Prabhakar writes:
> I seem to remember an email where Adam claimed "unconditional love is just
> a particular form of conditional love", since repeated 'abuse' of that
> love would lead to its decline. Is that in any way correct? [And is
> referring to a private email better than quoting from it? :-]

:) You can quote me if you like.

Maybe my definition is skewed. But I believe the equation


That unconditional love is something we as humans can strive for, and even
theoretically achieve in the limit, but cannot fully ever achieve.

> If that's the case, then I have to seriously disagree with your definition
> of unconditional love. Perhaps you just meant "acceptance." For me,
> unconditional love is precisely that love which will love you no matter
> what you do or become. It does NOT imply unconditional trust. What it
> does imply is that someone will actively seek and promote your welfare
> even if you kick them out of your life.

I can agree to disagree with your definition.

To me, humans are not capable of unconditional love. But we can get very,
very close.

But show me the most unconditional of loves in human relationships, and
I can show you a way of breaking that. Through a violation of trust.

> The model for this is not just theological (though it appears prominently
> in both Hebrew and Greek scriptures) but also familial. I KNOW my
> parents would continue to love me no matter what I did to them, or myself.
> Their love for me is not because of what I do, but in spite of it. It is
> tied to the core immutable aspects of who I am, independent of behavior.

If you brutally, cruelly, calculatingly tied them up and made them watch
you while you repeatedly raped, violated, and murdered several thousand
people in front of them, I'd be willing to bet that unconditional love would

Their love is unconditional for all intents and purposes, though, because
the likelihood you'd commit such atrocities that violate their trust in
how you'll conduct yourself, is next to zero. Hence, we have an excellent
approximation of unconditional love, without quite being there.

In my mind, the only unconditional love there can ever be, requires a
divine element to it.

> This is why love is such a remarkable thing. To discover someone who
> loves and accepts you as and who you are. Where you don't need to worry
> about performing for them, or hiding your dark side. Where it is
> sufficient just to be.

All I'm saying is that, no one can continually commit atrocious acts and
expect someone to unconditionally love them, unless that someone is divine.

Next, Tim Byars writes:
> > We don't have to experience EVERYTHING in this life. There's not
> > enough time, and frankly, not everything is worth experiencing.
> agreed. but without a base of experience you don't really know what it is
> you want.

I'll agree to disagree with you here.

> as an example, ever hear of some food that you said to yourself, "I
> wouldn't like that." Then you try it and find you do?

People are NOT food. :) Soylent green be damned.

> > That's why you have a brain: to filter out the stuff in life that
> > is unimportant. And believe me, pursuing lots of relationships,
> > in the grand scheme of things, is vastly inferior in import and
> > quality, than pursuing that one, single, meaningful relationship.
> again, how do you find that one, single, meaningful person if your not out looking?

Looking is fine. But as soon as you know --- and people usually know
pretty quickly --- you should move on. That's all I'm saying.

> > I repeat: we do not have to experience everything in life. Period.
> no but experience is important.

Right. Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.

> > I don't have to murder someone to know that killing is wrong.
> depends on what they did to you.

Doesn't matter what they did to me. Killing is still wrong. It may be
necessary, but it's still wrong.

> > I don't have to steal someone to know that theft is wrong.
> get out of the computer industry today.


> > I don't have to betray someone's trust to know that duplicity is wrong.
> agreed.


> > And I don't have to pursue many relationships to know that all you
> > end up doing, ultimately, is forfeiting future time you'll spend
> > with THE ONE.
> if you already have THE ONE.

Or if you hope one day to meet THE ONE. Because that person's gonna want to
know what you've been doing in the time you've been waiting for him/her...

Look, I don't need a 126 page manual to tell me how to satisfy a person
every time. It's simple.

Caress, praise, pamper, relish, savor, massage, make plans, fix,
empathize, serenade, compliment, support, feed, tantalize, bathe, humor,
placate, stimulate, jiffylube, stroke, console, purr, hug, coddle,
excite, pacify, protect, phone, correspond, anticipate, nuzzle, smooch,
toast, minister to, forgive, sacrifice for, ply, accessorize, leave,
return, beseech, sublimate, entertain, charm, lug, drag, crawl, show
equality for, spackle, oblige, fascinate, attend, implore, bawl, shower,
shave, trust, grovel, ignore, defend, coax, clothe, brag about,
acquiesce, aromate, fuse, fizz, rationalize, detoxify, sanctify, help,
acknowledge, polish, upgrade, spoil, embrace, accept, butter-up, hear,
understand, jitterbug, locomote, beg, plead, borrow, steal, climb, swim,
nurse, resuscitate, repair, patch, crazy-glue, respect, entertain, calm,
allay, kill for, die for, dream of, promise, deliver, tease, flirt,
commit, enlist, pine, cajole, angelicize, murmur, snuggle, snoozle,
snurfle, elevate, enervate, alleviate, spotweld, serve, rub, rib, salve,
bite, taste, nibble, gratify, take her places, scuttle like a crab on
the ocean floor of her existence, diddle, doodle, hokey-pokey,
hanky-panky, crystal blue persuade, flip, flop, fly, don't care if I
die, swing, slip, slide, slather, mollycoddle, squeeze, moisturize,
humidify, lather, tingle, slam-dunk, keep on rockin' in the free world,
wet, slicken, undulate, gelatinize, brush, tingle, dribble, drip, dry,
knead, fluff, fold, blue-coral wax, ingratiate, indulge, wow, dazzle,
amaze, flabbergast, enchant, idolize and worship, and then go back,
Jack, and do it again.

Show up naked.

End of story.


All men live in abject fear of beautiful women. All women are
beautiful. Therefore, all men are cowards.
-- Megan Coughlin