Romantic Love is a fantasy construct

The cool thing about Actualism is that you get to explore and investigate not just the outer construct of romantic love but also the deeper instinctual pull.

At the end of the day the goal is to minimise both of them! and in turn orient yourself towards the felicitous and innocuous feelings. Then the relationship can become exemplified by things like : equity, fun, delight, intimacy and freedom.

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I don’t think they are necessarily lined up neatly though.

That’s the cool breazy understanding I am getting from these contemplations, one of them is entirely from the outside. A learnt set of behaviours which I invest in and make ‘me’.

The other is ‘pure’ mating instinct; Fuck the very best.

The first, the made up social construct, is there to gloss over what most people ( the middle of the “bell curve”) have available to fuck.

“If you can’t have the one you love, love the one you are with”

Here is our glossy brochure on how to do that.

Buy her flowers.

Cook him dinner.

Remember anniversaries.

Dress nicely.

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I think Peters writing from the ‘guide for practicing actualists’ is perfect here - Peter – Guide on the Path to Actual Freedom

It is vitally important to understand that two stages happen with every investigation of a particular deep seated emotion over a period of time, such as aggression, sex, love, sorrow, authority, desire, etc. – first the social identity is dismantled, only then are the raw instinctual passions underneath are exposed. I know, I keep flogging this point but it is the only way to go deep sea diving into one’s own psyche. The initial tendency is to go straight into trying to look at the instinctual passions, but this is a disingenuous short-cut that can only lead to snorkelling around on the surface. This two-stage investigation is the crucial difference between the spiritual version of denial, selective awareness and remaining a passive watcher of life and the Actualist’s application of sincerity, all-encompassing awareness and becoming an active participant in this moment of being alive

So this whole construct of romantic love needs to be dismantled so that you can begin to see the instinctual animal hiding underneath, but the questioning does not end there, the next step is to explore that part of yourself fully, to really see what is hiding under all the rocks. Otherwise ‘I’ will simply claim another construct and replace love with that, the game will continue and nothing fundamental will change.

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Reading that bit of Peters writing has really reminded me of something important, specifically the below part :

What I see now is that usually we look at the instinctual passions through a layer of : beliefs, values, morals, theories, concepts etc this actually prevents a clear seeing and a full understanding of those instinctual passions in action.

What this means is that I have to be very diligent in ensuring that this initial layer is first dismantled, otherwise ‘I’ will forever twist the exploration and will not get anywhere, because I will not see clearly to begin with.

All the beliefs, morals, values, principles, concepts, theories etc need to be removed sufficiently so that what is bubbling underneath can be seen clearly, without distortion.

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Yes. Nice find. I was thinking about Peter’s metaphor of “unscrewing the cap” and all the instincts are exposed.

Very interesting indeed.

I would definitely own up to short cutting, mixing and matching and not being patient enough to really get through to simple awareness.

Certainly sometimes it’s clear, but I need to up my feeling good and use what I can from this to get pure intent running.

I noticed tonight how slippery I can be to twist back around and rehash the insights, but without the jovial edge now. Like cherry picking for my collection of grievances.

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Putting feeling good back on top priority. Check.

Nice thread guys, great reading. Another thing I’ve noticed about love is how much it’s driven by attachment. When you are in love with someone you have a bond with them, not too dissimilar to the way a child has an attachment to the parent.

Much of our negative behaviours related to love, such as jealousy, being controlling etc are fear of this bond breaking. We need constant re-assurance that the bond is safe via things like affection.

And if that bond breaks, via cheating or separation, all hell breaks loose. It’s like a trauma with grief, sadness, anger and a whole range of emotions.


@carpe_vitae very interesting points.

Yes, I haven’t really thought about that at all, thats the psychic component.

I guess that is what @Kub933 is getting at when saying after the construct is dismantled properly, then one can examine the instinctual passions, but even before then there is this connection, or is it part of the construct?

Very interesting. Well, we shall see.

Exciting times to be alive.

I think that when you fall in love it becomes part of your identity, your being. The other person takes up a huge space within ‘me’.

And dismantling love would take some doing :sweat_smile: I expect it would be easier to cut off at the pass, prior to it arising than to remove love whilst in a well established relationship. I remember Srinath saying something on the old slack board along the lines of “it’s difficult to truly give up love until you’ve experienced a better alternative”. Meaning actual intimacy.

As far as the instinctual passions, love seems to have its roots in Desire. Probably some nurture too (you care deeply for the person and many would die for them). I’ve noticed that when I’m in a higher state of desire then loving feelings can flood the body. This could be more of a male thing but I’ve experienced similar vibes from female partners too.


Hmm, yes. I remember reading that Richard, having no precedent to advise him, would completely give into that connection with his first wife. During the 8-9 months (guess, needs checking) between the PCE and his ego dying.

Powerful stuff.

He wrote once that on one occasion he ask his wife what her experience of the sex was, interested I guess on what effect the complete immersion in those feelings he was deliberately doing was having on her. It turned out she was fantasising about the latest popular “heartthrob” , whoever that was from the movies etc.

I like how you put it that they become part of me, and take up space. Yet, it doesn’t have to be mutually experienced, infact in my experience it was similar to Richard.

Love was something I was doing internally, with little effect on the other. Like what @son_of_bob (I think) said, “selling the relationship to oneself”.

“This is it! He/She is the One!” Almost completely oblivious to how ineffective it is in making the other see oneself like that.


I came across this quote by Richard which I found interesting:

To fall in love is not something which just happens involuntarily; the feelings of love are aroused by the presence of the potential lover and it is a choice made deep-down, at the core of one’s being, to either go with the powerful passions engendered, and thus become and be that very passion, or not

The fact it happens at the core of one’s being explains the depth and power of love. ‘I’ am love and love is ‘me’.


Great find!

Wow, that makes it even better really. I think Kuba was saying something about love being like another instinctual passion on it own, but perhaps it’s the very action of being a self!

Hmm. Very interesting. Considering a “god person” will consider themselves “love personified”,

That will come in handy. :clap:

Another golden nugget from the archives:

When Peter and I met, he had grasped enough from Richard’s radical discovery to not want to fall in love again. And yet, as he has described it in his Journal,, falling in love happened despite all good intentions, inevitably unfolding all the typical emotions between man and woman within the Human Condition. To get a handle on the overwhelming impact of my tender emotions, I had to feel, experience, acknowledge, label and investigate each and every single emotion of the bundle called love in order to understand what love consists of. There was sexual attraction, fear of loneliness, my personal dreams and fantasies, my emotional dependency, my expectations of the other, the male and female conditioning, constant mistrust, fear, jealousy, worry and feelings of inadequacy that I tried to overcome by anticipating, attempting to interpret and empathizing with the other’s moods and feelings.

As I successively became aware of and understood one feeling after the other, I first had glimpses and then increasingly longer periods where neither tender nor savage emotions would interfere in the delightful magic of a direct unimpeded peaceful interaction with another human being. It became more and more obvious that love is nothing but a shield of ‘my’ projected feelings that act to keep me at a safe distance and therefore love only stands in the way of intimate interaction with others.


Wow, that is gold.

By the way, what she’s describing here is investigation… back & forth between experiencing the emotion, noticing things, getting clear, thinking about what’s sensible… investigation works!

27 posts were merged into an existing topic: Investigation

“… is there not an artificial entity, an ‘I’, that one takes to be me as I actually am? One’s most intimate ‘being’ is a fiction anyway, so any gender identity overlaid is equally false. If ‘I’ am false, artificial, then any connection – a bridge – between two psychological entities can only be as artificial as the separation itself.

Love is this bridge. Love is artificial.”


This rocked my world when I read it last night. The reason love doesn’t work is it’s ‘me’ doing the loving, so I’m already lost. No matter how fervently I love, I’m no closer to feeling good (though I believe my love can accomplish that)… in fact I am farther than ever.

This makes sense with my recent observations…

I’ve been tracking my mood for a few months now and the two major dips in my affect have come immediately after having an experience of love with someone, and then spending some days thinking about them in a loving way a lot. Being preoccupied with love & desire, I was (& have been) cut off from the feeling good that I had been having success with

That’s because the love is in ‘me,’ and the enjoyment is when there’s less of me



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