Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Love and Love's Duty" the first section of the sub-essay "commitment"

And so we begin the next part of my essay on the strategies for the game of life, the stategy of Commitment. What does it mean to commit to something, and why should we do it? Perhaps we have lost what COULD be meant by a commitment, a life long loyalty, for good or evil, as its own excuse as its own reason, for the sheer sake of love! The tension between love and truth, intimacy and justice, becomes paramount.








Michelangelo - Doni Tond.JPG



Jealous lover

Wants all of me

She’ll have no other


She robs me

Through my very hands

I love her more

For her demands


She ruins me

to the edge of death

Soon I swoon

With wits bereft


I love the flush

full feeling of rush

I call out for it

She makes me hush.



1. Love and Love's Duty

            There can be no absolute demand for duty, since duty is always and only a means to securing a relationship with what we already love. I am duty bound to my wife because I love her, and the only way to secure and perfect that love, to bring out its greatest potential, is to bind myself with vows of duty and commitment. The only way to fully fulfill your self, to be fully selfish, is to accept necessary duties and sacrifices, and this because you love, not because you at any given moment feel it.

            Love is enjoyment, the pleasure of expanding and unfocusing the mind, just as fear is pain, and finds relief in concentrating and focusing the mind. Both love and fear bring happiness, and yet ultimately they regard opposite objects, and use opposite means. In our studies, in our friendships, in our work, in all things, we have only so much energy and power – selection and focus – to care by, and this energy gets colored by the object it seeks. What we care about we can engage. Engagement is to grasp a thing, to consider it, to look at it, to see it eye to eye, to speak to it in its own language. And in any engagement, there are brief but perfect moments of intimacy, self to self. We must be able to press the intimate kiss, and then back up and breathe. We must be able to engage a thing intently for as long as necessary, and then disengage from it at will, to engage the next thing. We ought to be able to care for all the important matters in our lives, and to take our care away from trivialities, distractions, depressants, nonentities.

            Love is not in being expanded, but in expanding. One can engage love only for a while, and then must rest from it. Pleasure exhausts itself. It has its use, and any more would be abuse.

            Power is in concentration, focus of the will, in the pain of fear transfigured into the pride of mastery. Both love and fear start out as pains. And one may love as a woman who has a hole that needs to be filled, as in Pascal’s “God shaped hole in the heart,”; or one may love as a man, who has too much and needs to give it away for relief, as in the gods of either sex, those plus-souls that forever increase and like an infinite star, sheds spermatic light throughout the universe. Power is concentration, love is release. Both are necessary, both interrelate, both support, allow, challenge, and contradict each other. To spoon your lover at night in your bed is to release the day’s anxiety, to breath out the surplus energies that have built up in the brain and muscles, to express all excess in a final act, as in orgasms or paroxysms of laughter, like the artist’s triumph or the nervous breakdown, which breaks the dam and cleanses the soul.









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