Friday, November 26, 2010

The Difficulties of a Love Unlimited?

What rustic girl bewitches thee,
Who cannot even draw
Her garments neat as they should be,
Her ankles roundabout?
--Sappho of Lesbos

And the tragedies of love's "limited". Defining for Pan-dora a "container/box"... complete with "defining limit" for the "all-good/gold" of "love"... for as Isaiah Berlin stated, there was an "unavoidability of conflicting ends" or, alternatively, "incommensurability" of values. He once called this "the only truth which I have ever found out for myself... Some of the Great Goods cannot live together.... We are doomed to choose, and every choice may entail an irreparable loss." In short, it's what Michael Ignatieff summarized as "the tragic nature of choice".

So what should we choose to form the limits of our love so that we avoid Pandora's mistake of unleashing all the evils in the world in the vain hope that nothing bad will happen as a result? You can't love EVERYTHING (all at the same time), can you? ;)

35 comments:

  1. What Al Einstein would say...

    "A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

    "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

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  2. Why the fascination with lesbian love?

    So what should we choose to form the limits of our love....
    ---
    very good question.
    any suggestions?

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  3. I must admit that I might favour different forms in response to specific different circumstances. Are you familiar with the stories of Lot?

    And it's not a "fascination" so much as attempt to fathom a perilous depth most thinkers would avoid.

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  4. It has often been said that "G_d is Love". Well, in the days before Christianity, "Aphrodite/Venus" was Love. And the cult of Sappho was one aspect of the more ancient religion. I'd like to understand it better, to answer the question "why" and perhaps "how" it developed.

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  5. DH Lawrence seemed to think that all great thinkers (men) were at one time homosexual.

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  6. I am familiar with the story of Lot.
    Do you favor turning and running, never looking back?

    What is it about Lot's story that you admire?

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  7. I don't admire it. I seek to understand it. And like Lot's wife, i can see why I might be pilloried for it. ;-)

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  8. DH Lawrence seemed to think that all great thinkers (men) were at one time homosexual.

    Perhaps that's why I never made the category...

    Actually, The Theban seer Teiresias spent some time as a woman... perhaps a part of wisdom (at least 50%) is the ability to see things through the eyes of the opposite sex... in empathy.

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  9. because we are more alike than different.

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  10. perhaps a part of wisdom (at least 50%) is the ability to see things through the eyes of the opposite sex... in empathy.


    :-)
    Yeah.

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  11. Yes, for unlike the gods we can (and do) take from each other and grow. The gods cannot overstep their boundaries lest "Saturn" be bound (the enforcer of "just" boundaries). ;-)

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  12. ...Is there a "no-limits" table here? lol. Just joking.

    ...on another note, I believe THE ONLY TRUE LIMIT OF LOVE IS INCEST. We love something only in so far as it is our own creation, and where that is not the case we instantly set about "CHANGING" it... A SECOND DERIVED LIMIT OF LOVE THEN, so far as our creations reflect us (are made in our own image), IS NARCISSISM.

    ...This to me explains why "earthly love" is such an "effort" and so fraught of difficulties.

    p.s. As you may have noticed, i have used limit not in the sense of what i wouldn't do, but what I WOULD do...

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  13. ...let's put it this way.

    "Incest" is what my love is CAPABLE of, the rest is all effort.

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  14. let me re-rephrase it:

    INCEST IS WHAT WE ASPIRE TO IN EVERY RELATION, THE REST IS AN EFFORT.

    yes, that's final. Excusez moi.

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  15. Interesting observations... but let me ask this. In incest, is it that we seek/desire/love something that is exactly "like" us or something that is slightly different and "unlike" us? In other words, is it a homosexual incest, or a heterosexual one? For every child is in reality only "half" a creation of ours...

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  16. I would argue as Plato did in "Symposium", that what love really seeks is to be eternally united with the Good (a privileged immortality in which to enjoy one's creations)... and one's own child merely symbolizes a perpetuation of that immortality. So I might "flip" your 2nd derivative and make IT the first derivative.

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  17. ...it was actually first derivative only. Supposed to be read something like second, derived (derived of the assertion re incest) limit of... and so on. :)

    ...In incest, is it that we seek/desire/love something that is exactly "like" us or something that is slightly different and "unlike" us?

    ...narcissism for me is the derived limit, SO FAR AS WE CREATE IN OUR OWN IMAGE. It is not THE limit. A man can create something that is quite unlike him, and yet feel the incestuous love for him.

    ...about incest symbolizing man's vicarious desire for immortality, I must say i am not sure. Why? Well, let me give a "metaphysical" answer, having taken my cue from you...

    ..."God is love" it is said. And rightly, too, since God's love for man is nothing but incestuous ... Man being his creation. But would you say that God seeks immortality through man? Wouldn't that be a paradox?

    ...But, even otherwise, I have serious problems with the concept of immortality. But about that some other day. :)

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  18. But about that some other day.

    ...I mean I must have "worked it out" at some time, but have now forgotten. Will come back to me sooner or later... :)

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  19. Generally we only seek that which we don't possess. Once we possess something, we cease seeking it, UNLESS we seek to continue to possess it in the future (ie- eternally... things like "health"). So perhaps "metaphysically", what G_d seeks through man is mortality and the ability through necessity to "change".

    As the philosophers say, there is "generation" from opposites.

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  20. I have serious problems with the concept of immortality.

    I'm no fan of Struldbrugs, or other "limitless" concepts, either.

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  21. yes, memento mori is fine by me, too. :)

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  22. INCEST IS WHAT WE ASPIRE TO IN EVERY RELATION, THE REST IS AN EFFORT.
    ---------

    I couldn't agree more. HOwever, I don't see it as narcissistic or negative at all.
    It's me seeing a reflection of my beauty in you, or seeing your beauty that I aspire to. (I'm just rephrasing you, I think.)
    But it's not just me wanting to be with a different version of me. I will agree that there's a need for the other to change, or rather "grow", but that's just for the comfort of knowing that the love object is dynamic and alive, not stagnant. That's not "attractive".

    Anytime I've tried to change someone, it's been a negative experience...if memory serves me well.

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  23. but talk makes me angry...it's just talk.
    words.

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  24. There's something incredibly loving about accepting someone as they are, loving them THERE, and going forward.

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  25. ...well, if you are seeking positives, Jen, then you must concentrate on the latter part: ...THE REST IS AN EFFORT. In the context of the distinction Dostoevsky makes between "to be in love" and "to love".

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  26. A loving father/mother does not coddle his/her children.

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  27. The rest is an effort because we are imperfect beings. All of us! Not one of us is perfect.

    I think I know the difference between "to be in love" and "to love", and although it's a thrill to be in love, I'd rather LOVE.

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  28. And TO LOVE does require an effort. In my opinion, that's just part of life. You can't have the light without the dark, the pleasure without the pain.

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  29. I think I know the difference between "to be in love" and "to love", and although it's a thrill to be in love, I'd rather LOVE.

    ...well, in that case, you understand "love" perfectly. I mean it. :)

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  30. It's much like choosing between physical labor and lounging around eating junk food. The latter may be more "fun" at the moment, but a day of hard work has many more long term benefits.

    Seems like we do disagree that love does require work sometimes, though. For me lately, it's more of a surrendering of my desires to control the other. I guess that might be similar to grace. Letting the other be creates an anxiety in me that I must deal with on my own, with my own abilities. Attempting to control the other is just a way to diminish my own anxiety, but there's no grace there and ultimately love can't grow in that atmosphere.

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  31. ...well, in that case, you understand "love" perfectly. I mean it. :)
    --------

    Well I have my ideas. :-)
    I'm reading Keats lately, and it's not helping one single thing!

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  32. Seems like we do disagree that love does require work sometimes, though.

    ...I do not know how do you mean disagree. SO let me just re-state my position: WHERE LOVE IS NOT INCESTUOUS, IT IS ALL WORK. Or, to put it in the context of divine/man, TO BE IN LOVE IS DIVINE, TO LOVE IS MAN.

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  33. Nietzsche's GirlNovember 29, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    "And it's not a "fascination" so much as attempt to fathom a perilous depth most thinkers would avoid."

    Trust me. It's perilous.
    I would avoid it, if at all possible.

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