On Loving Love

Does love have an other? Does it have its opposite that opposes it? Is hate the other of love? Is there a lucid boundary between love and hate? Why do we love to hate? Is hate another form of love? Maybe we can see the depths, heights and breadth of love if we think together both love, self-love and hate. To do this we have to give up the structure and logic of our either/ or thinking. The logic of either/or thinking is contrastive and oppositional. It takes sides. When love is opposed against hate, it makes us take the side of love and side against hate. Can love take side and side against anything? Will such siding love be love enough? Is love measured by an absence of hate? Is love to militate against hate to stay as love? Is love displaced by hate? Do love and hate belong to the same side? Can we think love on the side of hate? We do love to hate. We enjoy hating others/ things/ events etc. Hence the question: ‘What is love?’ Is love always on the slippery slope that can dissolve into hatred? Is hatred breaking the boundaries of love? Do we have to break the boundaries that think love, self-love, and hate separately? Do we have to collapse the cognitive distance that separates love, self-love and hate and think them together?

Love is always haunted by hate. Love becomes less love and even becomes fake when traces of hate mingle with it. Do the traces of hate come from outside and contaminate love? Thinking together love and hate means we have the challenge to break the barriers that separate them. It means that we may have to recognize that love and hate stay together. They are on the same side and live on the same ground. Our love is not always pure. It has traces of selfishness/ hate etc. We may have to think love, selfishness and hate together. Love can turn into hate quickly. Love that is always tainted by hate and self-love lives in the closed horizon that closes on us and closes us to love and to receive love. Love as a pure gift can be lived only with our openness to the absolute horizon. The future in the absolute horizon is never closed and we cannot see the future coming. This keeps love in the coming. It can never fully come because love cannot be exhausted. It can never be finished. It is undying. This is why love is another name for the impossible. We can still do the impossible. We can love without loving the way the market does. We can love without waiting to be loved. This love does not belong to the order of the exchange of the market. It belongs to another order, it is the order of excess as taught by George Bataille. The logic of this love is mad. It does not love to get loved or because one is loved. It just loves for the sake of love. it embraces otherness/ alterity. It is the way God loves us. It doesn’t consume its beloved as an object.

This means in the absolute horizon love is a gift that continues to give without looking and waiting for reciprocity. Its logic is illogical. We call it mad logic. It loves and loves and loves. This love is dissymmetrical and disproportional. There is no concern to receive back. Any concern for the return remains at the economic level. Real love shatters the give and take the economy of the market and consuming desire of narcissism. It is giving love out of sheer love of alterity. But we cannot forget that love is fragile and needs nourishment and nurturing. We need to love love to let it flourish in our life. Loving loves loving. Loving loves loving to the point of death. Loving is higher than being loved. Derrida makes this point when he says, ‘Loving will always be preferable to being loved, as acting is preferable to suffering, act to potentiality, essence to accident, knowledge to non-knowledge. It is the reference, the preference itself ’. Loving instantiates, stages and performs love. When we love, I am and I love merge together. We then embody love and become love. This means the distance between being and doing collapses and we become love by loving and live for the beloved. It is by loving that we become love and hence there is more love to come. We have more love to give and more love to become.

Love that loves loving that remains always in the coming to it ever-growing to fullness is close to the way God loves. This love draws the beloved in a relationship where love meets love and participates in the perichoretic love. Love of the lover and the beloved indwells together through their embodied acts of love. This love is impossible in the Derridean sense and is without closure and is not contaminated by the traces of hatred and narcissistic self-love. Love at the possible level is always haunted by possibilities of narcissistic self-love as well as hatred. These are conditions of the impossibility of love. There is no real love in narcissistic self-love and hatred. But we love to love ourselves as well as we love to hate. We enter the love in the impossible only when we are free from the conditions of the impossibility of love. This can only happen when we are open to the absolute (open) horizon that opens us to the love to come and the beloved to come without any point and instant of closure. It is only by living on the absolute horizon where the future remains the future to us and where love has an open field to love loving and pour itself in acts of love that transform our life into love itself. We can become love. To be love, we have to love to love and not love to hate or even love to love our own self. Loving to love can free us from the chains of loving to love oneself or loving to hate others.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao