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Life Arts

Ruminations on Four Types of Love

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Closing mumblings

Probably I'd be happier if I were less selfish. All the major religions preach the doctrine that true happiness comes from loving others, and there's probably a lot of truth to that. One needn't believe in God(s) to realize that selfishness tends to cause people to be alone and miserable. We're all doomed to die, and we can't get everything we want. So it's wise to lower one's expectations and give in to love and to the human instinct of altruism and self-sacrifice. Money and competitiveness make life miserable, but it's hard to see how we can avoid them: pure socialism or communism don't work. Nor does pure capitalism.

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"Where there are people there are flies, and also there are Buddhas." -- Issa

I'm attracted to Buddhism because it offers the promise of love and of transcendence, without the need to believe in myths about God and saviors. But the emphasis on altruism in Buddhism kinda annoys me, because it seems artificial and groundless. Without a God, why bother? Because it makes us happier?

In any case, you can't fake love, and I suppose it's a waste of time to worry about it. Those who talk about it don't know, and those who know don't talk about it. Just be real -- like children.

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DFA organizer, Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, writer, and programmer. My op-ed pieces have appeared in the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and elsewhere. See and for my writing, my (more...)

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