This is my third re-write. The third re-write speaks more of the respect I have for the person who asked me the question rather than the lengths I strive to produce the content that appears on this site. The first draft I felt quickly devolved in an over erudite disposition on Western Philosophy which while that’s fun didn’t really share with you anything about what I really thought. The second was overly sarcastic and satirical and frankly that helps nobody. So here it is just my personal reflection on the question.
Do you think love is a project doomed to fail?
Love is the most charged well in English. Two people can both say to each other: “I love you” and each person can walk away with a different understand both mental and emotional as to what was meant by the act, gesture and words. So where then does that that leave us? There are many questions within this one question two of which are as follows:
- Do I agree with the metaphor that seeks to compare and contrast love with a project?
- Is there something about how I understand/define/ and articulate what I feel love is that resigns it to a kind of determinism -a kind of unfortunate ending impossible to stop perhaps?
This question is penultimately a reflection on our own mortality. As we are all going to shuffle off this mortal coil isn’t that an indication that whatever we endeavor to love is doomed? I don’t think we can ever approach what is “is” as the famous philosopher Heidegger asked once. We take ‘being’ for granted a lot. There is some truth to the saying that fish are the worse people to ask about water.
What is being, of course we can describe qualitatively the aspects of being, but with whether we use language, thought or even science I we can’t say what being is. Philosopher Karl Popper gave a great summary of science Science seek to discover and formulate the conditions under which events occur. By its very nature though science sheds a lot of light on existence, it too cannot approach the core of being. So if it is a given that being is not something we can define clearly how can we say what love is? This may seem like excessive extreme captiousness on my part but it’s a very significant for me at least.
So where does that leave things ?
We have to look at the subsequent ramifications of comparing love to a project. A project has a definite beginning and end and a goal, or an end that validates the means used and effort put in to reach it. For example the building of the trans Siberian railway was a project it had a end goal. For me love whatever it is, cannot be a project. It doesn’t have a fixed end goal because our own end as mortal beings is definite but are not fixed.
Looking at language usage there is a strong tendency to focus on the events that indirectly speak of love. We focus on relationships,(the love of a husband for his wife, the love of a mother for her baby) or as we seek out beautiful things and people so as to create the grounds for love to manifest. I think the common phrase “to fall into love” says a lot; whatever love is, it is something that happens experience we through a plethora of vehicles of its own manifestation, outside of our control.
Relationship where “love manifests” are a secondary phenomenon. They [ these secondary phenomena] aren’t itself love. Also the issue I feel is that the relationship are complex exchanges. There is a personal component, societal and national component I feel. Everyone is such a unique confluence of internal as well as external influences and drives. Each person has such a unique sense of “time and “being” that at the end of it all we are only left with our own unique experience as spoken so brilliants by the Sufi poet Jelaluddin Balkhi known in the West as Rumi. Rumi despairs of defining Love and being too if you read his other works as well
“However much i might try to expound or explain Love, when i come to Love itself, i am ashamed of my explanations… Love alone can explain the mysteries of Love”.
That was my honest to go free flowing thoughts on the question. I’m kind of glad I put aside my want to impression my questioner with my questioner and ultimate confirm my complete lack of it.
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