The Mechanisms of Love
Judaism has a strange statement that says 'God desired to give merit to Israel therefore he multiplied their commandments'. Well thank you very much Mr God. Give us more orders why don't you? Make us work harder to connect to you and get our 'prize'. If you really loved us you would stop treating us as slaves and just give us what we need.
But we are not built that way. We need to work for our achievements otherwise we get no satisfaction from them, and we need to actively involve something in order to elevate and link it through its core. This is because at the center of everything is our free-will, our will is our core and link to God and anything else is just chemistry. To make a choice that God wants is the only way to remove ourselves from our little biological spheres and touch something beyond determinism.
To love someone by wishing them well is all very nice, but to connect to them you have to activate your free-will and choose to DO something that they truly need. It's NOT just the thought that counts. When you lift a finger out of love you linked your finger and elevated a part of yourself to something beyond biology and psychology.
To psychically link to someone is to reach out and touch their soul and you do this by actively avoiding what you feel like doing and learning the buttons and knobs that are the unique interface to your partner. You move beyond your own physical circle and connect, touch, love... become God.
Love is the connection, and the materialistic buttons and knobs are the mechanisms that enable you to keep in touch. We need them because our bodies need participation, and the more buttons, the merrier. God loved Israel by giving them as many commandments as possible so that love can be expressed and the link maintained through every aspect and part of their bodies.
Note that to love a person or God is to choose to do what they asked for, not what you feel like doing for them. If you choose to worship God in your own 'spiritual' way, you are not actually working beyond the physical level. You have not moved out of your biological circle of determinism and you are worshipping yourself. Same goes for love: everyone has their own combination lock and unless you disconnect from your drives to figure out the combination THEY asked for, you will never connect to anything.
The Hebrew book 'Song of Songs' is called the holy of holies and in it, God's love to his people is described using the metaphor of man's love for a woman, amongst other things praising her hair, lips and breasts. What we just said shows this is much more than a metaphor. To serve God is to love, to worship God is foreplay.
(By the way, feel free to replace the word God with a spiritual or prime force of your choosing if this religious talk makes you nervous. I don't see how the topics can be separated however.)
But love is a two-way mechanism. What does the other side of the coin look like and what is the yang to the yin of tuning in and connecting?
There is another strange concept in Judaism: Jews are supposed to thank God for the chance to praise him. Now how arrogant can one get? Not only do I have to praise someone but I have to thank him for the chance to praise him?
But here's what we need to complete the picture: When people wish to express their love to a celebrity, they usually wish the celebrity were more accessible in order to accept this admiration from them. When a man loves a woman, he needs her to understand how he feels about her. How can you praise and love a perfect God so far from our experience without knowing where to start or without limiting his worth? So in an act of love, God allows us to connect to him by giving us instructions and opening doors where we need them, and we thank him for it.
To allow someone to love you is an act of love whereby you consciously open your doors and let them activate their mechanisms and link to you.
Note the careful wording of that statement: To love is not to demand. To demand what you need pressures your partner into doing what you want, which basically means they aren't engaging their free-will and activating any kind of link. By demanding you are not allowing the basic ingredient of love, which is free-willed, active participation.
So to love also means to let them in, to let them know what you need and to accept it when they give it to you. Although this is relatively passive, it is also something that must be actively switched on, and it must be done correctly and with the appropriate person.
Love is hard work dammit.