Have you ever wonder what exactly is hidden under the word „to love”? I know that you went through thousands of books, poems or films concerning love. But, this is a question that rankles me; what do I mean by saying ‚I love’?
I do not want to try to describe my internal concept of love. Even if there were such a thing I would not be able to put it into words (it follows from its interiority). I would rather analyse how we use the verb „to love” and show what the nature of love is like. I will base my consideration on philosophy of Jewish philosopher, Franz Rosenzweig.
To the first, the use of the word „love”; usually it is used to express one’s attitude/feeling or to make the Other feel like Beloved; then one becomes a Lover. This shows that there are always two sides in love; Lover [the active one] and Beloved [the passive one]. Of course, you may say, that it is not good for a relationship when one only gives and the other takes only. I am completely agreed with you. However, I want to show that the boundary between giving and taking is fuzzy. These two actions interpenetrate each other. Look.
We can infer so far that love comes down to continual giving and taking (not only receiving). Let’s assume that Lover is the one who gives, and Beloved is the one who takes. The question arises: what does lover need in this relationship? „They both must take something and both must give something” – you may say. Well, Lover needs someone, who will receive his gifts or, in other words, who will receive his love. That’s why Beloved does not only receive, but takes. Beloved is not completely passive. They both are taking and giving something in this relationship. Without taking, that is, without accepting Lover’s gifts, the relationship cannot work. Such a relationship turns sweethearts to each other; that is, Lover is turned to Beloved in his giving, and Beloved is turned to Lover in her taking.
To the second, the time at which love occurs. If love consists of continual giving and taking, it must relate to present. The only determiners of time that love accepts are: „now” and „at the moment”. The only time can capture love is present continuous, because of its present nature. Love is happening now. Nor yesterday, nor tomorrow; today.
From that follows the third property of love: it is constantly changing. Rosenzweig says that the only constant thing about love is that it is inconstant (constant it its inconstancy). That means that love is always different, always newer than it was a moment ago. What’s more, love is self-contradictory; that is, it denies itself because it is continually changing. Love denies the past in the name of the present. The same happens with the future; love does not care about tomorrow, because it is happening today.
These are three properties of love by Rosenzweig: it is based on both giving and taking (1a) and it makes the lovers entirely directed to one another (1b); it is happening only in present: now (2); and because of that it is constantly changing – in the name of being new (3). Of course, both myself and Franz Rosenzweig did not say everything in this [infinite] topic, but I hope that these three attributes of love will help you in understanding what it really is and it will help you to put your money in it.
I cross my fingers,