Love = Awareness of Mutually Benificial Relations
My original idea of how to define Love as an organizing principal for human systems was formed like this; Love = consciousness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. I thought that would be a good systems oriented working definition. Now I want to change the systems definition of Love to; Love = Consciousness of existing and potential mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Love as an individual conscious experience can be short of the full realization of Love, the mutual awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries, and still be Love and a legitimate goal of systems development. I also want to add co-evolution into the Love definition on a bio-genetic level. When relating to nature, as the scope of an individual’s consciousness expands to the point they start to become aware of the continual beneficial exchange of life substance from nature into the living domain of the self-producing individual, the ability to feel the support of this exchange as Love arises.
Once awareness of receiving support from nature begins, development of a relationship between the individual and nature can move into the awareness of an individual’s return of life substance to nature. Awareness of the continual cycle of exchange between the individual and their environment engaged as a mutually beneficial process is Love.
The childish relationship to nature receives only, the adolescent relationship to nature takes only, and the adult relationship to nature develops the awareness of beneficial mutual exchange as Love in, of, and as, the dynamic process of life supporting its continuance and expansion. So, the goal of system design would be to make systems the ally of increasing awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across boundaries of all kinds. For any exchange that needs a conscious system a part of the design would be to work with the semi-permeable boundaries involved and create conditions of exchange that reduce the barriers to the flow of mutually beneficial exchange and increase the barriers to extractive depleting types of exchange. Another factor that can be used in system design is to open the scope of awareness in an exchange process so that the participants in the process are both able to be as aware as they can be, that increased awareness in and of itself should increase the consciousness of potential and actual mutually beneficial exchange and decrease the type of exchange that benefits one and depletes the other side of the exchange.
It is easy to see the exchange process that exists between people eliminating the artificial walls of secrecy between the government and the people, or corporations and the people would improve the awareness of mutually beneficial exchange and inhibit the opposite. Community centers that bring people together for community gardening that provides local food for a community would enhance the awareness of mutually beneficial exchange, a larger system that would require employers to allow workers x amount of time off per week to participate in local community building projects would reduce a barrier to participation in community building activities.
It is harder for most people to visualize exchange between humans and the rest of nature. On the exchange between humans and nature it is so pervasive, like the existence of human consciousness itself, that it often fades into the background of individual awareness. Where would a person start being aware of the continuous exchange and its patterns of benefit or harm, with breathing, or water, or climate, or food, or appreciation of beauty, or the fascination with other living creatures. On the economic system front one way that awareness could be facilitated would be t increase the flow of information about environmental positive and negative effects and costs of products, services, and industries. Lowering barriers to positive exchange and increasing barriers to negative exchange with our environment can also be done. Taxation of carbon is an idea that raises awareness and increases a barrier to negative environmental impacts of our economic activity which increases the love generating quotient of the system. Just as systems can produce damaging exchange, well documented in Zimbardo’s, Stanford prison experiment, where the social system of students pretending to be prison guards or inmates resulted in abusive behavior, systems can be used to encourage awareness of actual and potential mutually beneficial exchange across any semi-permeable boundary. This is love made practical through system design, not just the emotion of love.