“Love is tenacious adventure…. Real love is one that triumphs lastingly, sometimes painfully, over the hurdles erected by time, space and the world.”
Words of the great French philosopher Alain Badiou on what love means to him, those who have come before us have given their own definition of love based on their own true experience of it. Tolstoy once wrote to Gandhi that “love is the only way to rescue humanity from all ills,” but a century later Badiou emerged and unlike Tolstoy and Gandhi who advocated for a more platonic kind of love, Badiou advocates for a more intimate kind of love.
“Love…..is a quest for truth… truth in relation to something quite precise; what kind of world does one see when one experiences it from the point of view of two and not one? What is the world like when it is experienced, developed and lived from the point of view of difference and not identity? That is what I believe love to be.”
Badiou considers that the differences in each of us are what we seem to fall in love with not the individuals themselves, and no matter what kind of love you experience sometimes the results are always the same; you can never put in words how you feel. In one of the selected letters of James Joyce, at 27 years of age James wrote to Nora his as he referred to her soul mate;
“[……] my dear true good little Nora do not write again doubtfully of me. You are my only love. You have me completely in your power. I know and feel that if I am to write anything fine or noble in the future shall do so only listening at the doors of your heart.”
And yet to this day and century am yet to read any love letters of poems that have really captured the true meaning of love because of the different experiences there is no real definition or maybe there wasn`t supposed to be one? And the other question is why do we fall in love?
In the book MISSING OUT (IN THE PRAISE OF UNLIVED LIFE) by ADAM PHILIPS,
“All love stories are frustration stories…. To fall in love is to be reminded of a frustration that you didn`t know you had (of one`s formative frustration, and of one`s attempted self-cures for them); you wanted someone, you felt deprived of something, and then it seems to be there. And what is renewed in that experience is an intensity of frustration, and an intensity of satisfaction. It is as if, oddly you were waiting for someone but you didn`t know who they were until they arrived. Whether or not you were aware that they were missing in your life, you`ll be when you meet the person you want. What psychoanalysis will add to this love story is that the person you fall in love is really the man or woman of your dreams; that you dreamed them up before you met them; not out of nothing – nothing comes out of nothing – but out of prior experience, both real and wished for. You recognize them with such certainty because you already, in a certain sense know them; and because you have quite literally been expecting them, you feel as though you have known them for ever and yet, at the same time, they are quite foreign to you. They are familiar foreign bodies.
It seems like experiences define love to us, whether we can be able to define love or but what we feel in words, does not matter, what`s clear is, it`s part of us from the beginning hidden within our frustrations and our dissatisfied hearts. And whether it`s platonic or intimate also matters less if not. Like Philips said;
“ falling in love, your passion, are attempts to locate, to picture, to represent what you unconsciously fell frustrated about, and by.”