love is love is love

image by mary ann reilly

love – is the movement

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adding page while reading maria popova‘s – Whom We Love and Who We Are: José Ortega y Gasset on Love, Attention, and the Invisible Architecture of Our Being – https://www.brainpickings.org/2021/06/25/jose-ortega-y-gasset-on-love/

notes/quots:

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity, the great French philosopher Simone Weil

Defining love as “that sense of spiritual perception with which one seems to touch someone else’s soul, to feel its contours, the harshness or gentleness of its character,” Ortega notes that love reveals “the most intimate and mysterious preferences which form our individual character.”

“Falling in love” is a phenomenon of attention.. “Falling in love,” initially, is no more than this: attention abnormally fastened upon another person. If the latter knows how to utilize his privileged situation and ingeniously nourishes that attention, the rest follows with irremissible mechanism

The person in love has the impression that the life of his consciousness is very rich. His reduced world is more concentrated. All of his psychic forces converge to act upon one single point, and this gives a false aspect of superlative intensity to his existence.. At the same time, that exclusiveness of attention endows the favored object with portentous qualities… By overwhelming an object with attention and concentrating on it, the consciousness endows it with an incomparable force of reality. It exists for us at every moment; it is ever present, there alongside us, more real than anything else. The remainder of the world must be sought out, by laboriously deflecting our attention from the beloved… The world does not exist for the lover. His beloved has dislodged and replaced it… Without a paralysis of consciousness and a reduction of our habitual world, we could never fall in love.. If in the paroxysm of falling in love we could suddenly see the beloved in the normal perspective of our attention, her magic power would be destroyed. In order, however, to gain this perspective we would have to focus our attention upon other things, that is, we would have to emerge from our own consciousness, which is totally absorbed by the object that we love.

When we emerge from a period of falling in love we feel an impression similar to awakening and emerging form a narrow passage crammed with dreams. Then we realize that normal perspective is broader and airier, and we become aware of all the hermeticism and rarefaction from which our impassioned minds suffered. For a time we experience the moments of vacillation, weakness, and melancholy of convalescence.

But despite its potential pitfalls, love remains at once the most interior and the most influential experience of our personhood. In a sentiment evocative of that exquisite line from The Little Prince — “What is essential is invisible to the eye. — Ortega considers how love, so invisible yet so essential a feature of our humanity, polishes the lens of our entire worldview:

The things which are important lie behind the things that are apparent.

Observing that many persons extraordinary creative power have tended to take their loves “more seriously than their work” — the very work for which they are celebrated as geniuses, and a choice for which they have suffered derision by their contemporaries and by posterity — he admonishes against this common cultural judgment:

It is curious that only those incapable of producing great work believe that the contrary is the proper conduct: to take science, art, or politics seriously and disdain love affairs as mere frivolities.. We do not take into sufficient consideration the enormous influence which our loves exercise upon our lives.

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