Loose thoughts about love
Aegra amans. Love is a form of sickness (Virgil).
I have nothing against Love, but I think it is over-rated. I am not convinced that Love is the great sustainer that many people assume it is and blithely repeat among themselves. I mean, I think the case for love is greatly overblown by a population brainwashed by the sentimentalities of Romance - the language of romantic poets, descendent from the Courtly Love tradition of medieval Europe - and the romance of the mundane universe of the physical sciences. There is an errant definition of romance forced on us by international corporations bent on feeding us a world view that fills their pockets with gold.
First, there are different kinds of Love - Platonic love, agape, eros, caritas, etc. Sadly, the different etymological permutations are rather lost by over-use of the lone English word, “Love.” I say “sadly” because over-dependence on the lone word “love” throughout the culture makes it difficult to make my point to a random audience.
Second, we all love, and most of us fall in love at some time. But loving, being in love, and falling in love - none of these is synonymous. And, like the song says, Cupid rules us all. But love is a barbed hook - sweeter than honey and bitter as gall. It is not so much a panacea as a holocaust that scars us for life. It is an apocalypse from which we never recover. It is an inferno that incinerates our hearts and senses and smelts pathology in our hearts, not out of them. It is an Armageddon that leaves us bent and lame, mutilated beyond our own self recognition. It is a knife that, after it pierces you, leaves you conscious and alive, like a zombie. It is a cataclysm, a deluge, a poison, a fiery hell, a freezing and isolated place in Nowhere, a demon that torments you, a hypocrite that mocks you, and a sweet pain you yearn more of. Kind of like a drug. And there is the thing of it. It is a sweet, sweet, sweet torment. Give me more, damn it, because I’m a junky!
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not irritable, ill-mannered, or selfish. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Poppycock!
The death of love often nurtures a love of death - there is some kind of attractive symmetry there - and you never recover. Forget what your parents or friends might say after that break-up with your first partner. They are peddlers of and accomplices in the polite fiction that everything will work out if we just bury our heads under the blankets and act as if our hearts are not smashed into smithereens. Time will not “heal” you of that condition, and you will never “get over” it. Nor should you want to. What you will do is get around it and then continue down the road of life, crippled inside. Love is not that mawkish thing that TV psychologists tell us is necessary for fulfilling our humanity towards becoming properly socially adjusted people. In fact, if I am crippled in such a fashion I would rather be/remain socially, emotionally, intellectually, sexually, morally mal-adjusted than live my life the way someone tells me to, or for one moment to grant another person the grounds to think that he/she knows better than I do what is best for me. I mean, my mistakes are mine and mine alone to make, and I have a right to them.
Are you married to a mate, or involved in a fulfilling, deep relationship that convinces you that you have found your lost half and are now fulfilled? Chances are that person is the replacement for the Big One, the one that got away: a booby prize. Do you think you are happy with your partner and have been for a long time? So what? I know it has been put forward for millennia that happiness is a hallmark of love. But I disagree and, personally, I rather think that happiness is over-rated, much like love, and the way most people use the word makes it out to be a synonym for Selfishness - which is not an appropriate, ethical pillar on which to build a world view
As an adult I have a much different view of the opposite sex and the role and function of sex than I did as a timid, whimsical, soft-brained teenager. Less a matter of sweet, delicate intimacy, the practice of sex seems now more like an automatic function of adults - almost a reflex. Practically everyone you see in your daily life has recently had coitus. That knowledge gives me a very different perspective on every woman I see every day - at work, on the trains, on the streets, etc. - and it diminishes the role of affection in my estimation of people and their relationships.
Love is a different matter than mere liking. I mean, it is not simply an abundance of, or a fullness of liking - the same way that Eternity is not an infinite extension of time. Eternity means no-time, timelessness, and by a similar formula, Love is beyond any definition of Like. I mean, you do not always like the person youlove, which is okay because it does not mean that you do not really love them after all. It means, first, that love is able to incorporate dislike because it is bigger than the latter. Second, it means that love is not what you think it is. Well, nothing is, is it?