|This moved me...
||[Apr. 14th, 2009|10:35 pm]
”The beloved represents the self’s potential. The self’s potential for action is to be loved by the beloved again and again. Active and passive become reversible. Love creates the space for love. The love of the beloved ‘completes’- as though one were talking of a single action instead of two- the love of the lover. |
With all those with whom we are not in love we have too much in common to be in love. Passion is only for the opposite. There is no companionship in passion. But passion can confer the same freedom on both lovers. And their shared experience of this freedom- a freedom which in itself is astral and cold- may give rise between them to an incomparable tenderness. Each time, the reawakening of desire is the reconstituting of the opposite.
The modalities of the opposition cannot easily be seen by a third person. What is more, they are continually being transformed within the lovers’ subjective relationship. Each new experience, each fresh aspect revealed of the other’s character, makes it necessary to redefine the lines of opposition. This is a continual imaginative process. When it ceases, there is no more passion. To conceive of the loved one as ‘all that the self is not’ means that together the lovers form a totality. Together they can be anything and everything. This is the promise which passion makes to the imagination. And because of this promise the imagination works tirelessly drawing and re-drawing the lines of opposition.
Lovers incorporate the whole world into their totality. All the classic images of love poetry bear this out. The poet’s love is ‘demonstrated’ by the river, the forest, the sky, the minerals in the earth, the silk worm, the stars, the frog, the owl, the moon.
The aspiration towards such ‘correspondence’ is expressed by poetry, but it is created by passion. Passion aspires to include the world in the act of love. To want to make love in the sea, flying through the sky, in this city, in that field, on sand, with leaves, with salt, with oil, with fruit, in the snow, etc., is not to need new stimuli but to express a truth which is inseparable from passion.
The lovers’ ‘totality extends, in a different manner’, to include the social world. Every action, when it is voluntary,, is undertaken in the name of the beloved. What the lover then changes in the world is an expression of his passion. Yet passion is a privilege. An economic and cultural one.”
"Some attitudes are incompatible with passion. This is not a question of temperament. A cautious man, a mean man, a dishonest woman, a lethargic woman, a cantankerous couple may all be capable of passion. What makes a person refuse passion - or be incapable of pursuing a passion which has already been born, thus transforming it into a mere obsession- is his or her refusal of its totality. Within the lover's totality- as within any- there is the unknown: the unknown which is also conjured up by death, chaos, extremity. Those who are conditioned to treat the unknown as something exterior to themselves against which they must continually take measures and be on guard, may refuse passion. This is not a question of fearing the unknown. Everyone fears it. It is a question of where the unknown is located. Our culture encourages us to locate it outside ourselves. Always. Even disease is thought as coming from outside. To locate the unknown as being OUT THERE is incompatible with passion."
Passage from the book "Sense of Sight" Written by John Berger