Friday, June 12, 2009

If Love Could Save The World

Romantic love’s central limitation is its exclusiveness. By it not more than one person can be loved. Therefore, its nature is essentially centripetal and restrictive. It does not open itself to the stars, to the beyond and, more particularly, to other people. Not by romantic love, to be sure, is the world to be saved. And not in terms of romantic love did Jesus enjoin the virtues of love upon us. One cannot, perhaps, be so sure about John Lennon. When he said: ‘all you need is love’, he stood triumphantly beside Yoko.

That said, if in loving one's lover one recognizes that they are not merely one's lover but another human being like any other (who can deny this?), one can recognize that when one loves ones lover, ultimately, one is not loving them but through them humanity itself, in its entirety, expansively.

In this way they become a gate, a portal, though which the love of others can be realized.

In so far as romantic love is not such a love, I am wondering, how can it be considered the highest type of love?

Another drawback of romantic love is that it is often a love of one person’s ego for another's, not the love of one true self for another. Hence romntic love's conditionality and frailty. Too often we love one another in defiance of Kant’s imperative: as means not as ends, as organic commodities to serve our purposes, only for as long as we do.

Still, you don’t have to remind me that without romantic love, love can be a somewhat disembodied, bloodless affair.

A question: What kind of an understanding of love would there have to be if love were to become an item in political discourse? Not sure, but I suspect love would first have to lose its highly privatized, embarrassing nature (when grafted into the public sphere that is).

This reltes to how talk of a generalized, extra-romantic love in the context of a divine framework had always worked, at least when it did. Here, we love through the medium of a third entity, which removes the pressure, and supplies a shared point of reference and trans-individual framework. In loving one another we are loving more than one another; and this both allays our disappointments with one another and allows us to look beyond.

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