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Longing for Limerence

In the Social Animal, our favorite Republican, David Brooks, tells us about the glorious concept called Limerence.  “Limerence” is the yearning for harmony in which external and internal patterns are meshing and flow is achieved. It can also mean being in harmony with our surroundings, our work, our talents. “A surge of pleasure when some clarifying theory clicks into place.” A feeling of oneness, or connection.  Sensing another’s joy.  A strong desire for reciprocation.

Brooks argues that we spend large parts of our lives trying to get others to accept our patterns and trying to resist others’ patterns, which we may see as a form of mental hegemony.  We need to let go of seeing ourselves as self-contained entities with boundaries that exclude and define others.  In reciprocity we do not need others to accept our patterns; yet, curiously, when we let go of that need, it happens: our patterns gracefully seem to mesh.  We come to realize that the joy that others feel, we feel also; that the success that others achieve, we do also; that the insights that others acquire, we do too.  We call this friendship; we call this love.  What a useful notion.

Our happiness—bliss, as Joseph Campbell reminded us—may just lie in limerence.

Linda and Mary


This entry was posted on Monday, August 1st, 2011 at 10:49 am and is filed under Education, Family, Leadership. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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