No. 13

April 15, 2017

Preparing my heart

on this silent spring night’s walk

for tea with a friend.

Dragging my sore heels, I plodded along like Saigyo, all the time with the memory of his suffering at the River Tenryu…Nevertheless, it was a great pleasure to see the beauties of nature, rare scenes in the mountains or along the coast, or to visit the temporary abodes of ancient sages where they spent secluded lives, or better still, to meet people who had entirely devoted themselves to the search for artistic truth. Since I had nowhere permanent to stay…I walked at full ease, scorning the pleasure of  riding in a palanquin, and filled my hungry stomach with coarse food, shunning the luxury of meat. I bent my steps in whatever direction I wished, having no itinerary to follow…Every turn of the road brought me new thoughts and every sunrise gave me fresh emotions. My joy was great when I encountered anyone with the slightest understanding of artistic excellence…Indeed, one of the greatest pleasures of travelling was to find a genius hidden among weeds and bushes, a treasure lost in broken tiles, a mass of gold buried in clay, and when I did find such a person, I always kept a record with the hope that I might be able to show it to my friends.

Matsuo Basho, Records of a Travel-worn Satchel

A Theory on Love

September 30, 2012

In contrast to my earlier post on love, which asserted the place of choice in loving, I’ve developed a new theory less alluring than the last. But at this time I find it more probable.

My original conception of love concerning people was divided into three types. One love is a general love for people which results in a desire for their well-being: the Unparticular Love. The actualization of this love does not necessarily result in intense feelings or a desire to be nice to everyone, but rather stems from the realization that each person is a self with thoughts and feelings of their own.* I used to give not a damn about this type of love because I saw love as a thing to be earned, a thing not to be applied to anyone without basis lest it lose its meaning. But self-interest led to the realization that other people, having selves of their own, have their own interests and their own potential  to achieve. In other words, out of my Self Love arose a second Unparticular Love for all selves universally. Not as a collective, but as individuals. The loss a single individual has to suffer from being unable to fulfill his potential is irreplaceable; yet this happens to the enslaved and poor as their lives go to shit and the world watches on. But if this love is personal, it is only to the degree that a person recognizes another as having a self  and a subjective world of his own.

Self Love is therefore the first love, Unparticular Love the second. The third love is the Selective. It is not universal, but personal. It is the love one has for a friend, sibling, parent, or paramour, which seemingly cannot be replaced by another, for it implies that the beloved is to the lover something no one is.** Many believe the Selective Love has a kind of meaning the Unparticular Love cannot in virtue of its exclusiveness.  This third love could be considered a transcendent love: in the eyes of the lover, the beloved has a value above the universal. The beloved is not just another person but “the person” that stands out among the crowd in the eyes of the lover.

Each of these types of love can be divided into feeling and action. The emotion of love inspires the act of love, yet one can act love without the emotion if they find it necessary to act in love, and one can seemingly feel love without following through and acting in that person’s interest. I may feel indifference or hate towards a person but decide to act with his well-being in mind, and this would be an act of love. Pure love could be seen in acting in the interests of another with more or less indifference to self-interest–for love can be generally defined as realization of the other’s worth.

Consider the basis for Selective Love. Read the rest of this entry »