Monday, 18 November 2013
Reading Buber, and thinking about love
Love seems to depend on the nature of individuality. Is it the qualities, the 'accidents' of someone's personality and lifestyle habits that one is called to love? Or the irreducile, the 'soul', that which is them in their itneriority and absolute individuality? One thinks it should be the latter. But all internality is identical; it is only the exterior which grants difference; it is the perception of difference itself which generates difference. The I of all is identical. How can one love that which is identical to oneself? What meaning or value would this have? The answer is clear: none. That would not be love but masturbation; narcissism; dissolution, to love what of oneself one sees reflected in the other. But love must admit difference. It is precisely that infinitesimal space between two which allows love to exist: that gap which cannot be materially breached but still across which electrical sparks might fly; through the name, through and via those qualities (middot) of difference, the accidents, into the soul of another wich precisely in its hiddenness, its concealedness behind that gap, cannot be known as identical but known only as other; as different. The spirit of one which reaches out to me through these material qualities is still the spirit which I love, unknowable in its unclothedness but perceivable in its represented form.