Sunday, August 24, 2008

Love and Addiction

Wow, so I just experienced a minor epiphany. I had mentioned that David was to be keenly interested in the neurological process of addiction...well, I was researching alexithymia and pondering why David hangs out at the cafe so much. His interest with Claire's physical effect on him would be passing, I'm sure. But what if he became addicted to his lust reactions? It's possible. There is a strong scientific research base for addiction to love. And then it hit me: David's real passion for Cognitive Sciences stems from his struggle to understand love. So he studies the chemical/neurological processes that occur when a person claims to be in love. Perhaps he scours the campus for young couples who can't seem to refrain from touching each other as they walk to class. Anyway, it's a terribly good thing for young adults to know about. They've been warned about drugs and alcohol and nicotine for years, but has anyone ever warned them against the brain-altering effects of erotonin, oxytocin, serotonin, vasopressin and endogenous opioids? I think not.

This may require me to re-write the first chapter wherein David first becomes interested in CogSci at the tender age of 14. Well, perhaps not a complete re-write. Perhaps just one small but vital paragraph.

The genesis of this line of thinking, I recognize, goes back to Steve Martin's fantastic novella Shopgirl and to several sermons I've listened to that outlined the addictive nature of sex for the purpose of discouraging pre-marital sex. Alistair Begg and Kyle Idleman are two preachers that I've heard give this type of sermon. I have added a new topic to my research notes "On Love and the Process of Loving" to keep my various resources organized. It's fascinating stuff.

From Shopgirl:
A woman needs to be held, even, and science has shown this, if its with someone she doesn't care about. Protective hormones are released, and the amount of hormones released depends on the degree to which she is held. The first and best is the complete surround. He wraps you in both arms, whispers how beautiful you are. Second best is the 'arm around.' He is next to you but with one arm around you. Third is he's just next to you on his elbow, but he rests his hand on your stomach and looks at you. Fourth is you snuggling up to him with your head on his chest, while he looks away into space. But when the first best happens, you feel completely, wonderfully like a woman.

And now I shall continue setting my outline down on paper. I've started putting key events onto notecards, an idea I stole from Penny in Stranger than Fiction.

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