Only love expands intelligence. To live in love is to accept the other and the conditions of his existence as a source of richness, not as opposition, restriction or limitation.

Humberto Maturana

Humberto Maturana is a biologist who designed and executed biological experiments that supported a philosophical viewpoint that we create our own reality. So, through science, Maturana demonstrated that the reality that we each live is a result of our individual interpretations. In my assessment, his work is amazing, and truly fascinating.

I love this particular quote of Maturana’s, which I think is referring to the love of mankind in general, as well as of our own self. I interpret the quote as saying that when live in love, we can accept and treat others in the world as legitimate, seeing our interactions with them as something from which we can grow and learn, rather than judging them or seeing them as a limitation or perhaps even a threat. To me, this sounds like the most wonderful place to be.

When we come from a point of interpreting our interactions with ourselves and others as placing limitations on us or as threatening us in some way, this can potentially lead to suffering. I think that what Maturana is saying is that love can counter this.


To continue my reflection around love, I chose to refer to “The Unopened Gift: A Primer in Emotional Literacy” by Dan Newby and Lucy Nunez. The story that this book associates with love is “I accept and cherish this person as he or she is”. The action the book suggests that love predisposes to is “To legitimise another as they are”, and that it is taking care of a concern of “maintaining connection regardless of circumstances”.

This seems to align very well with the quote from Maturana, which then led me to thinking…

What would it be like to live in a society where the basis of our actions towards ourselves and each other was a mood of love, and where we actively looked for the learning in our interactions with others while holding them as legitimate?

– The featured image in this blog post is a photo by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

Further Reading:
– Maturana Romesín, H. and Verden-Zöller, G. (2012). The Origin of Humanness in the Biology of Love. Luton: Andrews UK.
– Newby, D. and Nunez, L, (2017). The Unopened Gift: A Primer in Emotional Literacy. Dan Newby: USA.

Who am I? 
I am a leadership and life coach, available for coaching and facilitation services. If you feel that it would be useful to have a conversation with me, please feel free to view my services on the Leading and Being website.

3 thoughts on “Words for the Weekend 8-9 June 2019

    1. Thanks for commenting! I am so glad that this was helpful. I also think it would be an amazing place to be. Where I think this could be incredibly useful is in leadership. Look at some of our world leaders at the moment and how they behave. There are some that I think are operating from love and there are others that are not. What difference would it make to the world if they all operated from love? Being kind does not mean being weak or being a bad leader. I think that it is quite the opposite, to be honest.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. I often wonder that if their were more women leaders in the world, would it be a more positive environment filled with more love. Not saying it would be, but it’s something we haven’t been able to witness.

        Liked by 1 person

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