My apologies to my normal rational readers of this blog; you may have noticed a preoccupation with this concept recently. This is unacceptable and so I shall soon be stopping. BUT…I shall say this…
I recently obtained a lovely book called “Conditions of Love: the philosophy of intimacy”; and it has quite an interesting philosophical treatment of the issue; Master Destre has just addressed in (I believe) the previous post about “Wittgenstein words”; and this suggestion is insinuated by Armstrong. I have to accept that, according to Armstrong; I have made the following fatal mistakes in construing the notion of Love:
Using Goethe’s Werther as the paradigm case of love (when it ignores so much; including…)
Non-emotional/physical elements of love
Long term relationships
The time after the ‘magic’ of feeling those very strong emotions, and first kisses and all the other typical stuff people associate with 80s teen movies.
I remember in my old Collegium; my teacher once told us that:
“People often think of love as expressed by those annoying couples who kiss each other and hold hands on the street, sharing physical signs of affection and saying such pretty things to each other. That’s not love, that’s not even half of it; love is standing by your lover’s side as you see her dying in pain, as a huge part of you dies away. Love is caring for your students and giving such a damn about them that you have to be very hard on them so that they can be better people; love is wanting you guys to grow up to be good; virtuous, strong and intellectual people. Love is staying back for your mate and looking after him during a bad time. If love is just a matter of holding a pretty girl’s hand and planting kisses on her perfumed neck; I want none of that. Love should mean giving up on our concern for the wellbeing of others, social justice; protection of the weak and cautioning of the strong who abuse their power; to give up the important personal goals you have to the wellbeing of others and dedication and obedience to the good. THAT is love, boys…”
I’ll try my best never to forget your lesson, Mr. Doran…thank you.
I should aspire not to be like Werther; but to be like those dedicated individuals who care for those which need so much and demand so much of their own energies, individuals who do not care for their own sacrifice to care about others…
“Teach me to be generous
To serve as you deserve
To give and not to count the cost
To fight and not to heed the wounds
To labour and not to ask for any reward
Save that of knowing that I do your will”
I was writing for the past couple of weeks a very long dialogue on the nature of love (a la Plato); but I have given up, thinking of it as a hopeless and unoriginal pursuit; now that I have read John Armstrong!