Why is Voyage to the Heart so important?
This is like asking why is the periodic table so important?
Before Mendeleev’s characterization and ordering of the elements, there was a vague understanding of the nature of chemistry. Some elements are liquid whilst others are solid or gas. There are those that are green, others blue. Many don't burn, while several explode. These characterizations were the height of knowledge.
By Mendeleev ignoring their characteristics and realizing elements are all made of the same atomic stuff but with differing quantities and arrangements tremendous insight was gained on how the world works.
What does Voyage to the Heart cover?
The book is of five parts.
The first challenges what we believe love to be: A feeling proper!
Love is a bestowal of value upon the beloved by the lover based on the lover’s commitment and attachment.
The second concentrates on romantic love. It opens with ‘liberal romanticism’ as the Western backdrop of all modern relationships with its emphasis on sex and the pursuit of female freedom. This contrasts with the Christian romantic era of just 50 years ago.
Who am I?
Born in Liverpool, England in 1968 I grew up in Cheshire where I met my soulmate with whom I studied, worked and travelled the world before settling in New Zealand with our daughter.
When not researching and writing about love, which has been an obsession for over a decade, I provide systems consultation to NZ government agencies and big business.
Is Voyage to the Heart original?
Yes. The theory described in the book is a synthases of Irving Singer's Value, Commitment and Attachment and Plato's love as the possession of the good as a universal and unifying theory.
Above and beyond the syntheses of Singer and Plato is 'The Three-Pillar Model' described in the book that further unifies the emotional with the rational aspect of love. This horizontal unification is something Singer attempts to show in his trilogy The Nature of Love but fails. Voyage to the Heart does this successfully.
Furthermore, the book describes and characterizes, with the help of modern films songs and literature, all the natural loves discovered to date which no other book in history has achieved.
What research is Voyage to the Heart based on?
The primary sources have been academic philosophy and psychology. Philosophers of interest are Professor Irving Singer (1925-2015) and Plato (427-347BC) both of whom I’ve brought together to create a synthesis called the Three-Pillar Model of Love. Others include Jean-Paul Sartre, Allain De Botton, Simon May and many more as background research.
Psychology includes Dorothy Tennov, Lewis, Amini & Lannon, Frank Tallis and Irvin Yalom.
Beyond the academic several religious texts including the Old and New Testaments are referenced in the section on religious love.
Personal experience along with contemporary media has played a significant part in research. The book’s particular use of cinema brings home the relevance of the theory to the reader.
How does Voyage to the Heart compare to others on love?
Voyage to the Heart does not tell you how love should feel, it tells you how love works.
Think of a car in 2 ways: with the top down, music playing, sunglasses on, the wind through your hair, the roar of the engine and the exhilaration that comes with sharp corners, steep hills and passing traffic at high speed. Then comes the rain and you get wet, the top goes up and the brakes slow you down before the sun comes out once more. This is how it feels to drive.
Or think of what holds the car together in all conditions, what starts it, turns it, slows it down and stops it. This is how the car works. Armed with this knowledge the driver not only takes in the driving experience but understands why the car doesn't start, run smoothly, turn or stop as expected making them a better driver overall.
Offering an understanding to love makes Voyage to the Heart: The Nature of Love unique as other books explain love as a feeling without the meaning as to why love fails to run the way lovers expect.