Archive for August 21st, 2009
First, I want to begin by saying that this is my wife. We have been married 38 years. I have avoided bringing her into this blog for a host of reasons, the primary one being her privacy. That said, it is only natural that I include her in today’s post about love. One of our frequent discussions revolves around trying to define what love is. Of course, such a discussion is usually disappointing in terms of finding a common definition. I don’t think that a definition can ever be achieved when looking at it from two separate poles, that of the masculine and the feminine. The best I can do, is speak from my core, from my level of consciousness and the intuitions that arise.
First, the basic premise that opposites attract hold. Magnetism proves this in nature. This is vital for survival of all species. Male attracts female; female attracts male. This instinctual attraction leads to renewal of the species. But, this isn’t enough to approach the idea of love. There is so much more. So many women, so many men; if this was all there was to it, a man could fall in love with all women or a woman could fall in love with all men simply because they were the opposite gender.
No, the opposite has to be much more significant. When we look at personality, even here opposites attract. The more they are opposite, the more the fire, the energy, the clash. One is extrovert and the other is introvert. One trusts intuitively, the other trusts based on what the senses reveal. One processes based on feeling tones, the other cognitively. Now, how can two people who are so totally different, ever possibly arrive at a common definition of something that defies definition even when two other people are paired with the same personality?
Here are Jung’s words on the topic that might be of help. But in saying that, one has to be of a mind to hear and understand the world, humanity and the human psyche from a Jungian point of view. Complicated, isn’t it?
Love has more than one thing in common with religious faith. It demands unconditional trust and expects absolute surrender. Just as nobody but the believer who surrenders himself wholly to God can partake of divine grace, so love reveals its highest mysteries and its wonder only to those who are capable of unqualified devotion and loyalty of feeling. And because this is so difficult, few mortals can boast of such an achievement. But, precisely because of the truest and most devoted love is also the most beautiful, let no man seek to make it easy. He is a sorry knight who shrinks from the difficulty of loving his lady. Love is like God: both give themselves only to the bravest knights. (Carl Jung, CW X, paragraph 232)