love. week thirty three.

date. 2021

city. new york city

July 20​ 

 

The Metropolitan Museum Art, Gallery 601

 

Part I

Love is almost beautiful

 

There is a love which is crushing. Ecstatic. Suffocating. Orgasmic. Devotional. Passionate. Annihilating. Transcendent.

 

And there is a love which is joyful. Abundant. Charitable. Full. Living. Tranquil. Caring. Imminent.

 

They are not opposed to each other. They operate across different axes.

 

One: the mundane <> the holy

The other: protect <> spread

 

But both:

differentiation <> identification

Particular <> universal

 

The first identifies by escaping the self. The other identifies by bringing everything into the self

However, this all operates on the level of the I, of the self (and the other, the non-self)

 

Part II

It is possible to recognize the existence of other 'I's, of other selves.

In this case, it's not enough to distinguish between I <> World, but a further distinction must be added: I <> You <> World

Once I recognize that you are a You, and that for you, you are an I; then I must also recognize that for you, I (for you) am not an I, but a part of the World. Or, if I'm very very lucky, I can be your You.

In which case, me and you can both be 'I's to ourselves and 'You's to each other. Perhaps we can call this We.

The We is once again another I (opposed to the World and other 'Wes'); And the process repeats.

In conclusion, I can behave, naively, as myself (in which case, I am surrounded with the World and/or You), or I can behave as your World, or your You. And, if we can both recognize each other's existence, we can become a We; i.e. a more expanded I.

Part III

Love has two opposites: hatred and fear

When I fear you, I retreat from you into myself.

When I hate you, I impose myself onto you.

In either case, you and I cannot be friends. We are enemies.

I have two opposites: you and we

In love, the opposite of I is We

In fear/hate, the opposite of I is You

In love, I and We do not destroy each other. They strengthen each other.

In fear/hate, I and You must destroy each other. They weaken each other.

Even opposites have opposites

"Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around itself.”

- Hegel