Love – Control – Greatness

“Love has no age, no limit; and no death”. John Galsworthy

“Because we are afraid of life, we seek to control or master it”. Alexander Lowen

“We expect nothing but greatness from ourselves”. Karl-Anthony Towns

An author, a psychologist and an athlete coined the 3 quotes above. I have written down on these 3 words Love-Control-Greatness on the top of my white board in my office. In this post we will explore these 3 concepts from my humble perspective on how it can have a positive effect in a person life. Life is very different for everyone and at 53 years of age I am discovering that humanity has the greatest diversity of species on this planet. Not from biological model although genetic hereditary is different in every soul. The expression of human thought, voice and action is overwhelmingly diverse. If we examined each of these concepts, I’m sure the reader will say, BUT what about? I encourage you to contradict my perspective because then the words are not just words on this post but ideas to assimilate. The brain loves familiarity, and it seeks the easiest route via thought to action. When you have a new appraisal of a familiar idea it will add a new dimension to your mind because of neuroplasticity of the inner workings in your biological mechanism of reality. Civilisations are here with all its splendour and manifestations because someone had new perspective or idea to share and made it grow by different perceptions. Here goes challenge your perspective and the author concept.

 “Love has no age, no limit, and no death” John Galsworthy an author

What does love mean to you? In therapy a therapist is taught to have unconditional love for the client. What does that mean in practice? The individual has internal conflicts that often spills out into the real world. The results affect their relationships and in turn that effects their life. For example, a person has internal anger for a million different reasons. The inner conflict of anger is threatening to their homeostasis (Body at optimum potential with no conflicts) because naturally humans want to feel at peace biologically and psychologically etc. We know the effect of being around an anger person because we want peace to thrive. The angry person vents their inner conflicts to the therapist if they desire. The therapist is trained to manage their personal feelings so the person can feel accepted and feel safe and unconditionally loved despite the eruption of volatile emotions. The relationship does have boundaries for the safety of all. The object of unconditional love allows the angry person to understand the anger they have internally. The therapist has empathy for the person because nobody really wants to be angry all the time it’s not natural live like that for anyone. A trained therapist is one example of what unconditional love is from a different perspective. 

Humans equate love very often in terms of love = something in return. For example, the parent may say to the child I love you if you do this or don’t do that? What if the child can’t do this or that? Many parenting styles have been introduced into society through various domains and have changed their modals of behaviour. I am a parent and what I know today is different from what I knew 20 years ago about child rearing. Having 4 children each of them are totally different, yet all from same biological parents.  The point of this is acknowledging diversity in a family cannot be restricted to one shoe fits all approach in parent child relationship.  John Galsworthy said “Love has no age, no limit”. Healthy Relationships are the glue that holds humanity together in love. 

Love for humanity starts from within not externally. The baby can learn love from birth but sadly like a bruised apple being mishandled incorrectly they can be misshaped in their perspective and identity. The human spirit can show a magnitude of goodness despite falling from the tree. The love from within will affect the outer world of the person reality. The inspirational example of human resilience is all around us because many people love life, and they love others.  John Galsworthy said at the end of the quote love has no death. My neighbour was a lovely old lady who had challenges the last two years of her life. Her husband after 68 years of marriage had go into a home during the covid restrictions, he was a gentle man and she had restrictions on seeing her husband. She had complications of her legs. On one occasion shell feel and I had to get the ambulance because she was stranded on the floor with broken ankle. She went in and out of hospital with ongoing health complications. She didn’t give up because she loved her family and she loved life despite her limitations. Six months after her husband death she died and now she is at peace. Her mother died when she was 6 years old and was raised by her grandmother for a while. She had other challenges in her life, but she loved life because it came from within not her circumstances. Finally on this story to emphasis about love, her daughter text me and said she will be missed by many, or I would say she is still loved even though she dead.

The big question is how can I develope the love from within? One simple word is compassion. Being compassionate is about perspective and what better place to start with is with self. The inner voice we carry can either be compassionate or opposite. The antonyms are animosity, cruelty, meanness, mercilessness, hatred, harshness, and indifference. These negative traits are fuelled by core beliefs, ignorance, and inner conflicts with projections of unresolved conflicts of a person life. The narratives we carry are linked to past histories and often not our own ideas or words but others. The compassionate soul would say I can’t do that, but the harsh dictator says in a person head “I’m lazy, they want love me if I don’t do it, I need to do it because etc…” Learning compassion isn’t easy for many because of a lifetime of not having compassion or understanding the term. It wasn’t until my wife was fighting cancer, then dying that I am now beginning to understand compassion. My body in the past would often say to me via my inner voice says, “You need to do it”. Now I am learning to be kind to my body give it what it needs.

Compassion covers all areas of life with the relationship we have with ourselves first then to others. The work we choose to do, the life we live and the impact we have on the world around us. Let us go back to the quote again and reflect about life “Love has no age, no limit, and no death” Love has no age is a great reference for living because society and the brain like to classify and label abstract ideas, so it is easier to navigate. In different cultures the parameters of age are very different. In some cultures, age for marriage, sexuality and love is vastly different. The other end of the spectrum the age a person in society effects what responsibilities and employment choices. We are influenced by age as a negative catalyst in the media of the endless youthful lust on screens and magazines only the young can have. The stereotypes of love = age constraints stop a person embracing love for themselves and others. For example, the saying “you’re too old” or “you’re too young” is simple way of classification without examining the actual situation and person. With this limiting belief stops individuals trying new opportunities. Changing your career, that person is too old or too young for you and give up work and retire etc. Love has no limits with age its only a perception of a person life.

 “Because we are afraid of life, we seek to control or master it”.

The simple reason why we don’t do certain actions or avoid it is based in fear. I have written a book all about fear and how it relates to life, for further reading. Closely related to fear is control either imagined or real. The brain is in simple terms is lazy in making decisions. Let’s face it if it was that easy there would be no obesity, no debt, no upsets, and every task we started would be finished. I am a very determined guy and many times I have taken the easiest route knowing it’s not the best route. Remember we are all human and it is a part of life to fail or give up at times. The brain must have quick decision responses for survival, or we would die. The brain of the average adult in a resting state, consumes about 20 percent of the body’s energy. In real terms that about a fifth of your resources without exertion. The brain uses binary system of response yes or no simply put. Imagine our neurons on the synapse gap across a nerve cell or neuron had multiple choices to transmit energy on a roundabout of 10 exits before it sends an impulse to another neuron. In essence the time delay would cause the body to a standstill and all systems couldn’t work together in synchronicity and collapse. 

Have you ever been in the presence of someone who is like a control traffic light? They act in such a way as when the light says stop, everyone must stop or when the light says go everyone must go. Living or working with someone like that is exhausting and do they really have full control. Since the industrial resolution the control factor in life has been fabricated by the institutions. Modern work life, family life and social life time tables are all constrained by other people’s ideas. The realty is in large part of our life we are in the control of others. At this juncture I will say there are many benefits to the structure and management in society so we can function as a group. 

I love the origins of words in the English language and one example is the word control. Defintion “To check the accuracy of, verify; to regulate,” “a counter, register,”

diminutive of rota “wheel” medieval method of checking accounts by a duplicate register. https://www.etymonline.comThe root word suggests revaluating for mistakes not the idea of do or die of binary thinking that many conceptualize in their world. The control an individual seeks is often connected to emotional response. The fight or flight response which is fantastic mechanism to help us escape from the danger. The control response of fear is associated to trauma that is not resolved in a person inner world. Problem with being stuck in the fight or flight response the brain is not present to make a proper appraisal of a situation. For example, as a child we were keen to have our approval from friends and parents which is natural. But the high expectations for example of passing all your grades reflected on your identity either as a good or negative label. Imagine the young child who doesn’t have the ability at that time to fulfil their parents’ expectations. Thankfully my parents were not like that, but they were too much the other way which is not the best solution either. The young child who failed to have approval of others the brain will remember that. The child will have the fight or fear response when similar situations in the future. For example, the child is an adult and is doing well in their career. A chance for promotion is encouraged but the individual needs to go on few courses or night school. The friends or partners could take on the role of the adult’s parents pushing the adult to succeed, or they may disapprove of them for not trying hard enough. This is a simple illustration seek to control the situation of others. The first quote Love has no limits is the foundation of healthy life as the motivation of why we and others act not by control.

We seek to control or master it is a powerful motivation for personal growth. The great athletes didn’t take the easy option. Reading the pages of history, the amazing feats of human’s accomplishments is inspirational. I am thankful to the scientist through their diligence and perseverance, the inventors, the scholars, the authors, and many more for sharing their efforts. We have examples who can motivate and teach us to become greater.

I am reading parts of Confucius Analects every morning when I get up to start my day.  He was alive between 770–481 BCE and lived in China. Often the Analects would start with “The Master said… sayings and teachings about everyday life from past sages in China. Confucius philosophy was to keep learning or seek knowledge of self and the world as the beginning of heaven on earth. For example, Analects V:26 “The Master said” It is all over! I have not yet seen one who could perceive his faults, and inwardly accuse himself”. Maybe one reason we don’t want to examine our inner world because afraid of what we might find and don’t want to change our faults.  Remember the 2nd quote “Because we are afraid of life, we seek to control or master it”. When we acknowledge our faults is the beginning of healing and knowledge to become a better version of ourselves. Carl Jung calls this shadow work or it is introspection in Psychology. The inner mind or subconscious thoughts are the real you are driving your reality. One reference put it this way “The unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that are outside of our conscious awareness”.  

The big question is how can we access that reservoir and fill it with what we want to be conscious? The simple or direct answer is changing your life patterns and guess what I have written a book about that. The book is about life patterns and the law of attraction if you want to read further with science and useful tips. I’m not trying sell my books but by synchronisation they are in this post, it must be my subconscious manipulating me lol. In brief conclusion on this point on change, less is more and we are all working progress to master the life we would like.

“We expect nothing but greatness from ourselves”

If life sucks or you are stuck the reason is you’re at a plateau probably. The Chinese word Dao means a way or a path. Confucians used the term Dao to speak of the way or lifestyle. The Dao De Jing says: ‘Humanity follows the Earth, the Earth follows Heaven, Heaven follows the Dao, and the Dao follows what is natural”. (Lao Tzu) I believe life is like a stream that has its own route and water can effortlessly flow over or around a pebble or stone. When water is restricted or stopped in its track it becomes stagnant and polluted. All streams flow into the rivers and all rivers flow into the oceans. Similar way our life path or course may seem like an insignificant stream, but the big wide oceans need the contribution of many streams. Our perspective on what greatness means to us now at this moment not yesterday or tomorrow. When you compare yourself with others you will truly despair with a distorted view.  When your path or stream is not flowing with greater intentions of being great the river may dry up.

There could be many reasons why we are at a plateau or feel stuck or even life may suck. The change of greatness is not what we do but how we think and believe. Our friend the brain doesn’t like change or unfamiliarity, so it takes the most comfortable route. Go back to the fight or fight response the brain remembers failure and avoids disaster again for survival mechanism. The brain likes reward because of dopamine response so use that as a trigger to get started for change to become great. The secret is to start small achievable goals then you will feel great and be motivated to try again. For example, you want to lose weight. The Best way to lose weight is to reduce calories or use calories in a positive way. Exercise will help but its not always guaranteed because you can’t always exercise. You can guarantee whether what you are going eat or too fast.  Many individuals go from a high calorie then straight to a prisoner diet which is a shock for the body. Reduce your intake slowly adjusting your lifestyle then it’s not too taxing on the brain and body. The idea is small changes over time will create big impact, they call it compound interest.

Being great requires motivation and knowledge. Learn everything you can about changing a part of your world. Feed your unconscious with positive information and learn why, where, and how and have a go. What has helped me to be motivated when my brain says otherwise, I tell myself “I am a samurai and want to follow the path” I envision myself as a mighty samurai who can take on the world because of my honour. Think of a role model who can teach you and inspire you to become the greatest version of you.

I want to finish with a Sufi story that will encapsulate deeper significance of this post as a gift. The allegory help you see not the present situation or future goal but the work. 

There was once a man on his death bed, and he asked his 7 lazy sons to sit next to him as he was dying. He told them he had buried gold in the field, and they would become rich. He said also to them, when he is dead, they can find the treasure. After their father death the lazy sons started digging for gold in the field but couldn’t find any. Instead of just digging they decided to plant wheat after working hard looking for the treasure. They did this every year, and they repeated the process of planting wheat. They became rich selling the wheat and honest hard-working farmers and forgot what their father said about the hidden treasure.


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About Stephen Hyne

I am creative and curious about life. I have a passion for the brain and the psychology of human behaviour. I love the renaissance art, culture and architecture. Music is my best friend follows me on my life journey of discovery.

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