Today, I was listening to an interview with Yuval Harari. In it he discussed the link between humanity’s evolution of cooperation with the unique ability of Homo sapiens to create and believe in fiction. During this he matter-of-factly announced that love was a fiction. This thought wasn’t so much a destruction of anything I adhered to. I know love is subjective; this is why I dislike division. But due to how I’ve been feeling recently regarding my love for another, it was pertinent and raw. His research had led him to surmise that it was this ability to create fiction and believe fiction which distinguished us from other animals and hominids and pushed our leap from mid-table omnivore to top predator, and further towards agriculture and civilisation. Though, I would still contest that love maybe isn’t necessarily restricted to humans, or that love is black and white attachment, but for the sake of exploring it I will restrict myself to his parameters for simplicity. I don’t really want to write a book on the subject.
I’ve never been one for burying my head in the sand, or purposefully believing fiction beyond the suspension of disbelief. In fact, I would say I am an individual who seeks out fictions to debunk. However, I now know I really wanted to love, and to love a particular woman. This is not going to be reciprocated. So if my love is a fiction, then why do I still invest myself so heavily in it? Especially, considering that my feelings of ‘grief of loss’ have now gone way beyond the 3 months that psychologists suggest is about the cut-off for a normal recovery from emotional trauma. I am now in the realms of PTSD.
I have discussed in other posts about how I acquiesced a healthy and useful philosophy to negate conflict with the woman I love’s narrative. The philosophy of objectivity and consideration thrown aside for a fiction. Why did I choose her for my fiction when I didn’t originally seek or want the fiction? Why do I still love her? Why do I still believe in a fiction? When I consider Yuval’s hypothesis for cooperation, I have perverted it. It is no longer serving the function intended. Maybe Yuval has it wrong, or maybe his research is incomplete, or maybe he’s saving it for his book. Who knows? All I do know is that the link definitely exists.
It seems ludicrous to think I may have a PTSD. Our love for one another was brief. I don’t think it is so much that I have lost, if I ever had, her; but what I gave up to invest myself in her. Let me just point out that I wanted to invest myself in her and do not regard this investment bad. Though she rejected me, and has subsequently chosen not to communicate with me anymore; I am a different man. I may be unhappy, and at times destroyed and desperate; yet now I know I can love. I can now believe in this fiction. I can believe in this evolutionary ability that apparently allowed our species to cooperate beyond the hunt. I can believe in the same fiction that allows us all to trust.
You may, or may not know that there was a scientist in the 1800’s called Henry Cavendish. Historians through the ages have perpetuated a narrative of him being an abnormally shy man. The anecdotal clincher is that he apparently created an extra staircase in his home specifically for the purpose of avoiding contact with his housekeeper. From what I’ve read about Henry Cavendish I do not believe he was a shy man. I think he was a man with intent. When you think about what is actually mentally constructed by humans, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that a man so intent on empiricism and the objective would want to avoid falsehoods in fear of his critical thought processes and methods becoming clouded and/or conflated. He was a genius, and perhaps saw the dangers to the purity of his methodological naturalism. I am merely a statistically abstracted above average intelligence quotient, and in consideration of Cavendish, this is why I do not want to beat myself up about this fiction. I haven’t his will, his ambition, or most importantly, his sacrifice.
I only mention Henry Cavendish to highlight the lengths someone would have to go through to avoid the creation of fictions. I’ve never deliberately or consciously alienated myself because of these created fictions, except for maybe now where relationships with/of others upset me to the point that I cannot deny I’m purposefully avoiding them. Hopefully, my avoidance will not last too long. I want to love. I want to trust. I want those fictions. I want to create those fictions. I want others to invest in those fictions. Despite the impracticalities and inertias to progress that some fiction creation now poses, such as corporations, gods, nations, and money, the creation of love and trust from adversity is what binds humanity together, and what drives social evolution and social justice. This is why I must seek help to overcome its perversion within me. Love isn’t created to fool. I’m not a fool to love. Love is created to bond. I really enjoyed loving her, that’s maybe one reason why I grieve so hard. But regardless of my current torment, I will always choose to convince myself of my love for her, despite being convinced already.