Secrets of a Successful Marriage | Inspirational Podcasts

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from The Mental Highway by Thomas Parker Boyd, published in 1922….

The most vital application of psychology is in the study of the supreme passion of life called Love, because it takes hold essentially of the feeling element of consciousness. Nothing so tones up the body, illuminates the mind and glorifies every object about you, as the influence of love.

Likewise, nothing can so undermine physical vigor, depress the mental processes, drape the soul in gloom and annul all the processes of action, as much as a disappointment in love. This is true not only because of the beneficent effect of love as an emotion, but because love brings to fruition the fundamental Creative Impulse.

We have not worked out the psychology of love as we have the more somber experiences of life. When we feel good, we surrender ourselves to enjoying it, without analyzing the causes. But when our general vital feeling is that of illness or discomfort, we study all the minutiae of cause and effect, the self-pity, and the self-blame. Very few people ever stop to analyze their love emotions.

Love is often an unconscious affair in its beginnings. You are unconsciously in love. You know that something out of the ordinary is the matter with you, but do not know what it is, although everybody else does. Love is the carrying out of a general feeling of pleasure into something specific. It is inseparable from desire, for desire is impulse directed by ideas.

We trace the psychology of love in this way: First we find pleasure in the presence of another, followed by the egoistic desire to continue or increase that pleasure. The desire follows to hold or possess the person exclusively, which in turn is followed by a solicitude for the person’s welfare, the feeling of responsibility, and the extending of protection. Then follows a feeling of exclusive possession and ownership. And then love comes to the full bloom of the Creative Impulse from which it started, or it dies of suffocation.

We may call one phase of love “intellectual love,” which is another word for idealistic sympathy. It loves for love’s own sake, and has no ulterior motive, beyond the delight of mental association.

Going into speculative psychology, love arises in the Universal Mind. It is the birthright whose image is engraved upon every individual born. Each person comes into the world with an unconscious ideal of our mental counterpart or other half, our partner to be. With that mental picture or ideal, which is purely spiritual, we are always in love unconsciously.

Then one day our senses report the image of someone who resembles this mental picture in physical form. The more perfectly they look like the picture, the more positively and consciously are we in love. Sometimes the discovery is gradual, as in those cases in which friendship ripens into love. Often our eyes are blind to all defects. The object seems to step in and fill perfectly the picture, and we are in love at first sight…..

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