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INTERSUBJECTIVITY: LOVE1

Introductory Note: There are many kinds of love (love of friendship, marital love, etc.) Our phenomenology of love here is not a description of a particular kind of love but of love in general between persons). What is LOVE? The question has been asked since thenyet the reality of Love has not been exhausted. Therefore, love is part and parcel of human life. What are the indicators that you are in love? Common tendencies about love: 1. Tendency to equate love with romance, sweet melody, two lovers. 2. Love is pictured many times as an act of possessing or being possessed by another person. People fight and struggle. Here, I Love you means you are mine and I want you to do the things I want, I want you to be what I want you to be. Or, I am yours, and you can do whatever you want to me 3. For many love has become synonymous with sex. This idea led that friendship is not love. 4. Love is blind and lovers do not see. Love has come to be equated with admiration-to be attracted to the good qualities of the other.

1.0 We begin our phenomenology of love by first using epoche, bracketing the popular notion of love as a pleasant sensation, as something one falls into. 1.1 According to Erich Fromm in his book The Art of Loving, love is an art that requires knowledge and effort. 1.2 Erich Fromm cites three reasons for this wrong popular notion of love as falling in love. 1.2.1 The first reason is that nowadays the problem is stressed on being loved rather than on loving. Note the proliferation of books on how to win friends and influence people, how to be attractive, etc. 1.2.2 The second reason is that nowadays the problem is focused on the object rather than the faculty of loving (ideal girl, ideal boy, Mr. Right). Nowadays people think that to love is easy but finding the right person to love or be loved is difficult. So, love is reduced to sales and follows the fad of the times. 1.2.3 The third reason is the confusion between the initial state of falling-in-love and the permanent state of being-in-love. Infatuation is not love

2.0 The experience of love starts from the experience of loneliness. 2.1 Loneliness is one of the basic experiences of the human being because of self-awareness --awareness to the persons unique self and the possibilities open to him/her.

Summary notes by Manuel Dy, Ph. D., Philosophy Department, School of Humanities, Ateneo De Manila

University, revised (in italics) by Mr. Roland L. Aparece, MA PM, MAT PH, Social Sciences and Philosophy Department, College of Liberal Arts, University of Bohol.

2.1.1 Thrown out of a situation which was definite and secure into a situation which is indefinite, uncertain, open, the human being experiences separation. 2.1.2 This experience of separation is painful and is the source of shame, guilt and anxiety. 2.2 There is then a deep need in man to overcome loneliness and to find atonement. 2.3 Some answers to this problem are the following: 2.3.1. Orgiastic states: trance induced by drugs, rituals, sexual orgasm, alcohol. The characteristics of these states are: violent, intense, involving the total personality, but transitory and periodical. They are also addictive. 2.3.2. Conformity with groups: joining a party or an organization. The characteristics of these groups are calm, routine-dictated. In our society today, we equate equality with sameness rather than oneness where differences are respected. 2.3.3 Creative activity to keep oneself busy: a productive work which I plan, produces, and sees the result. Nowadays, this is difficult. 2.3.4 To self-stimulate as an outlet to get self-acceptance. 2.4 All the above answers are not interpersonal. To answer the problem of loneliness is the reaching out to another person as other. Reasons why relationships are very important to teenagers: WHO AM I? a. Relationships are important because we are Filipinos. b. Adolescence is the time when teenagers are face with the challenge of defining who they are. c. Defining who they are requires drawing away from our parents. d. Teenagers discover who they are as they try to experiment with different roles in the context of new relationships. 2.5 Love is the answer to the problem of loneliness, but love can be immature. 2.6 Immature love is symbiotic union where the persons lose their individuality. The following are immature forms of love: 2.6.1 a. biological: the pregnant mother and the fetus: both live together. 2.6.2 b. psychic: two bodies are independent but the same attachment psychologically. 2.6.3 c. passive: masochism. The masochist submits himself to another. 2.6.4 d. active: sadism. The sadist is dependent on the submissiveness of the masochist.

3.0 Loneliness ends when the loving encounter begins, when a person finds or is found by another. 3.1 The loving encounter is a meeting of persons-who choose to share themselves. 3.1 The meeting of persons involves an I-Thou communication-a communication of selves.

3.3.1 The meeting of persons is not simply a bumping into each other, nor an exchange of pleasant remarks, although these can be embodiments of a deeper meeting. 3.3.2 This meeting of persons can happen in groups of common commitments although social groups can impose roles. 3.4 The loving encounter presupposes the appeal of the other to my subjectivity. 3.4.1 The appeal of the other is embodied in a word, gesture, and glance. 3.4.2 The appeal of the other is an invitation to transcend myself, to break away from my occupation with self. 3.4.3 I can ignore the casual remark of the other as a sign for a meeting. 3.5 My self-centeredness makes it difficult for me to understand the others appeal to me. 3.5.1 I need more than eyes to see the reality of the other, to see his goodness and value. 3.5.2 I need an attitude that has broken away from self-preoccupation. If I am absorbed in myself, I will not understand the others appeal but will just excuse myself. 3.5.3 I must get out of the role I am accustomed to play in daily life to understand the others appeal. 3.6 What is the appeal of the other? It is not the corporeal or spiritual attractive qualities of the other. 3.6.1 Qualities can only give rise to enamoredness, a desire to be with the other, but love is the firm will to be for the other. 3.6.2 Once the qualities cease to be attractive, then love also ceases. 3.7 The appeal is not any explicit request. 3.7.1 Because even if I have satisfied his request, the other may go away dissatisfied, because my heart was not in the fulfillment of his request. 3.8 The others appeal is himself/herself. 3.8.1 The call of the other is his/her subjectivity. Be with me, participate in my subjectivity. The other person is himself/herself the request. 3.9 The appeal of the other makes it possible for me to liberate myself from narrow self. 3.9.1 The appeal reveals to me an entirely new dimension of existence: that my self-realization may be a destiny-for-you. Because of you, I understand the meaninglessness of my egoism. Perhaps I can truly be myself with you. 3.10 What is my reply to the others appeal? It is not the outpouring of my qualities to the other. 3.10.1 Compatibility of qualities is not necessarily love. 3.11 Neither is my reply the satisfaction of his request or desire. 3.11.1 Sometimes, the refusal to grant his request or desire may be the way of loving him, if granting it will do him harm. 3.12 My reply to the others appeal is myself. 3.12.1 As a subject, the other is free to give meaning and new meaning to his life. 3

3.12.2 His appeal then to me is an invitation to will his subjectivity, to consent to his freedom, to accept, support and share in it. 3.12.3 My reply then is willing the others free self-realization, his destiny, his happiness. It is like saying, I want you to become what you want to be. I want you to realize your happiness freely. 3.13 This reply is effective. 3.13.1 Love is not only saying but doing. 3.13.2 Since the other person is not a disembodied subject, to love him implies that I will his bodily being, that I care for his body, his world, his total wellbeing. 3.14 Willing the happiness of the other implies I have an awareness, a personal knowledge of his destiny. 3.14.1 My love will open possibilities for him but will also close others, those that will hamper his selfrealization. 3.15 I can be mistaken in what I think will make the other happy or I may impose my own concept of happiness, so love requires a respect for the otherness of the other. 3.16 This respect for the other also necessitates patience, because the rhythm of growth of the other may be different from mine. 3.16.1 Patience is harmonizing my rhythm with the others like a melody or an orchestra.

4.0 Is love then concerned only with the other, and not at all with myself? No, because in love I am concerned also with myself. 4.1 This does not mean to be loved but in the sense that in love, I place a limitless trust in the other, thus delivering myself to him. 4.2 This trust, this defenselessness, is a call upon the love of the beloved, to accept my offer of myself. 4.2.1 The appeal of the lover to the beloved is not to will to draw advantage from the affection for the other. 4.2.2 The appeal of the lover to the beloved is not compelling, dominating or possessing the other. Love wants the others freedom in that the other himself/ herself choose this safe way and avoid that dangerous path. 4.3 There is indeed an element of sacrifice in loving the other which is often (mis)understood as loss of self. 4.3.1 I renounce motive of promoting myself, abandoning my egoism. 4.4 But this does not mean loss of self. On the contrary, in loving the other I need to love myself, and in loving the other I come to fulfill myself. 4.4.1 I need to love myself first in loving the other because in loving I offer myself as a gift to the other, so the gift has to be valuable to me first, otherwise I am giving garbage to the other. 4.4.2 This loving myself takes the form of being-loved: I am loved by others.

4.4.3 I come to fulfill myself in loving the other because when my gift of self is accepted, the value of self is confirmed by the beloved, and I experience the joy of giving: I also receive. 4.5 Thus, there exists in loving the other the desire to be loved in return. But this desire is never the motive in loving the other. 4.6 The primary motive in love is the you-for-whom-I-care. 4.6.1 The you is not a he or she I talk about. 4.6.2 The you is not just another self (not just a rose among roses of the Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery) 4.6.3 The you is discovered by the lover himself, not with eyes nor with the mind but with the heart (It is only with the heart that once can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eyes, said the fox to the Little Prince). I love you because you are beautiful and lovable, and you are beautiful and lovable because you are you. 4.7 Since the you is another subjectivity, he is free to accept or reject my offer of self. Love is a risk. 4.8 What if the other does not reciprocate my love? 4.8.1 The rejection of the beloved can be a test of how authentic my love is. 4.8.2 If I persist in loving the other in spite of the pain, then my love is truly selfless. 4.8.3 The experience of rejection can be an opportunity for me to examine myself, for self-reparation, for emptying myself, allowing room for development.

5.0 But when love is reciprocated, love becomes fruitful, love becomes creative. 5.1 Loving, although it presupposes knowing, is different from knowing. 5.1.1 In knowing, I let reality be, but in loving I will the others free self-realization, I somehow make the other be. 5.1.2 In any encounter, there is a making of the other. e.g. the teacher makes the student a student; the student makes the teacher a teacher. 5.1.3 In the loving encounter, the making of the other is not causalistic because love involves two freedoms. 5.2 To understand the creativity of love, let us do a phenomenology of being-loved. What does the lover make of me the beloved? 5.3 When I am loved, I experience a feeling of joy and a sense of security. 5.3.1 I feel joy because I am accepted as myself and a value to the lover. I feel free to be just myself and what I can become. 5.3.2 I feel secure because the other participates in my subjectivity; I no longer walk alone in the world. 5.4 So, what is created in love is a we.

5.5 Together with the we is also a new world our world, one world. My life is very monotonous, he said. I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike and all men are alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat The fox to the Little Prince. 5.6 Again, the creative influence of the lover is not causalistic because the beloved must freely accept the offer of the lover. 5.6.1 Only when the beloved says yes will the lover become fruitful. e.g. the teachers love is fruitful only when the student accepts freely the education.

6.0 The we created in love is a union of persons and their worlds. Therefore, they do not lose their identities. 6.1 In the union of things, the elements lose their identities. 6.2 In love, a paradox exists: the I becomes more an I and the you becomes more of himself/ herself. 6.3 We can clarify and deepen this paradox in love by describing the nature of love as a gift of self. 6.4 A gift is something I cause another to possess which hitherto I possess myself, the giver. 6.4.1 The other has no strict right to own the gift. 6.4.2 The giving is disinterested, unconditional. There is no string attached to the giving. I do not give in order to get something in return; otherwise the giving is an exchange or selling. 6.5 In love, the giving is not a giving up in the sense of being deprived of something because the self is not a thing that when given no longer belongs to the giver but to the given. 6.6 Nor is the giving in love coming from a marketing character because I do not give in order to get something in return. 6.7 The giving in love is also not of the virtuous character. I do not give in order to feel good. 6.8 Why do I give myself in love? Because I experience a certain bounty, richness, value in me. 6.9 I can express his disinterested giving of self to the other as other in the giving of sex or material things, but when I do so, the thing becomes unique because it has become a concrete but limited embodiment of myself. 6.10 To give myself means to give my will, my ideas, my feelings, my experiences to the other all that is alive in me. 6.11 Why do I love this particular other? Because you are lovable, and you are lovable because you are you. 6.11.1 The value of the other is his being a unique self. Therefore, since every person is unique, everyone is lovable. 6

6.11.2 If I am capable of loving this particular person for what he is, I am also capable of loving the others for what they are. 7.0 From this nature of love as disinterested giving of self to the other as other, we can derive other essential characteristics of love. 7.1 Love is historical because he other is a concrete particular person with a history. 7.1.1 I do not love abstract humanity, but concrete persons. 7.1.2 I do not love ideal persons, nor do I love in order to change or improve the other. e.g. the friends of Jesus, his apostles, were not ideal people! 7.1.3 We always associate the person we love with concrete places, things, events like songs. e.g. in the Gospel of St. John, the old St. John recounts his first meeting with Jesus and ends that account with It was about four oclock in the afternoon (John 1: 39) 7.1.4 When friendship is breaking down, and we want to reconcile, we recall the things we did together. You are beautiful, but you are empty, he went on. One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passer-by would think that my rose looked just like you the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose. (The Little Prince in passing by a garden of roses.) 7.2 Persons are equal in love because persons are free. 7.2.1 The equality in love is the equality of being, not of having. 7.2.2 In love, I do not surrender my liberty to the other, I do not become a slave to the other. The wifes submission to her husband is done in freedom, in recognition of his position in the family. 7.2.3 Rather, in love two freedoms become one and each becomes more free. 7.2.4 The union of several freedoms in love results in a community, which is different from a society. In a community, persons are free to be themselves. 7.3 Love is total because the persons in love in indivisible. I do not say, you are my friend only insofar as you are my colleague. 7.4 Love is eternal because love is not given only for a limited period of time. For Gabriel Marcel, I love you means you shall not die. 7.5 Love is sacred because persons in love are valuable in themselves. When confidence is betrayed, something beautiful in that relationship dies

8. Love is to be practiced rather than talk about. So lets begin!sir Roland