Be cautious about love just as you need to guard yourself against fear and hatred. But if you feel like living adventurously, go ahead and pursue your passion. Just be sure to prepare yourself for the possible consequences.
Although kindness is important, you should also know its boundaries. Kindness leads to love—all kinds of love. There is sexual love, friendly love, and family love. But any type of love, pushed to the extreme, leads to psychosis. In fact, psychiatrists consider extreme love to be a mental disorder.
Certainly, some sectors of society know this more than others. For instance, when I had a chance to go shopping in the night markets of Silome, Bangkok, Thailand, with my work buddies—Heather and James—I noticed the almost empty girly bars along the street. While hundreds of European tourists haggled with street merchants, I could see the wide-open doors of numerous nightspots next to swarms of merchant stalls. Dozens of young ladies in bikinis, dancing on a ramp, were visible outside, as you walked along the street. But the tables inside were mostly empty at that time. Apparently, the tourists were more interested in the bargains outside, than the chances of “love” inside. Perhaps they prefer the clubs of Amsterdam, Toronto, New York, or Tokyo, where wilder "activities" happen on stage.
Or perhaps, at that particular moment in Bangkok, some tourists were distancing themselves from these spots, fearing that they might fall in love with an angel who is HIV positive, or perhaps an angel who is only interested in his money. On the other hand, while many of these angels are dreaming that one of their customers would marry them someday, these angels are also cautious about tourists who will only use them for pleasure and quickly throw them away. In reality, even the average person in the City of Angels, or anywhere else in the world, knows all too well that love can lead to depression, anger, psychosis, and even suicide.
Of course, love has many variations. Other types of love include love for your country, for an ideology, for your religion or philosophy, for your work, or for some other passion. These types of love also produce negative consequences when they are experienced to the extreme. In fact, history shows us that these types of love can lead to massacres, holocausts, inquisitions, and wars. Nazis, Communists, Catholic clergymen, and the like are all too familiar with it.
Admittedly, the power of love can also greatly improve the overall quality of your life if you know how to control it and move it toward the right direction. But this doesn't happen all the time. So be on guard, and be cautious of where love leads you. Otherwise, you'll end up suffering.
As Hong Ying Ming says, “think about food on a full stomach, and you find you don’t care about taste. Think of lust after making love, and you find you don’t care about sex. Therefore, if people always reflect on the regret they will feel afterward to forestall folly at the moment, they will be stable and will not err in action.”