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PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

University of San Agustin


AY: 2014-2015: First Semester

CHAPTER 2: INTERPERSONAL DIMENSION


Lecture 3: The Human Person as a Lover
The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
What Love IS NOT
Falling in love is an erotic feeling. It focuses on meeting the right person. Love focuses on
being the right person. M. Scoot Peck

Love is not falling in love.


o To fall in love means to love in a hasty manner or to love as a matter of
chance. It is a state wherein we are out of control.
o The three problems with love as falling in love:
The problem of being loved rather than that of loving, of ones
capacity to love
The emphasis on being-loved rather than loving how to be
attractive? How to have sex appeal?
The emphasis on the object loved (the ideal girl, the ideal
boy) rather than on the faculty of loving. What should I get
rather than what I can give
In this notion of love, a person is concerned with how to be lovable and
thus pursues to be attractive or sellable to the other. The faculty or the
capacity of loving is put aside or only secondary. One factor that
shapes our understanding of this kind of loving is our consumer/
market oriented culture. The other person whom we love is an
object with a price or value contextualized in a marketing
culture.
Factors determining attractiveness:
Proximity nearness makes the heart grow fonder.
Repeated Exposure Effect the more often we are exposed
the more familiar the stimulus becomes and the more
comfortable we become.
Similarity and physical attractiveness.
o The confusion falls between the initial state of falling in love and the
permanent state of standing in love or being in love. People have mistaken
the initial feeling of infatuation as love.
o Infatuation versus Love:
Love brings out the best in us; secure and inspires trust; calm and
unhurried; socially inclusive; knows romance and spirituality are
intertwined and fully compatible
Infatuation inspires mediocrity; insecure and generates suspicion and
intense jealousy; rushed and frenzied; socially exclusive.

PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

University of San Agustin


AY: 2014-2015: First Semester

For Max Scheler, there is no such thing as falling out of love or before I
love him/her, but now no more.

I love him that cant live without him parasitism. M. Scott Peck

Love is not dependency


o Love is decision; an act of the will or of our free choice.
o Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living
without each other but choose to live with each other.
o In dependency, there is no freedom and without free exercise of choice, there
is no love

Love is a spontaneous act and a movement whereas feeling is passive, or receptive and
active. Max Scheler.

Love is not a feeling


o Love is a movement and it puts everything in motion. Feeling is passive,
it does not move on its own unless there is a stimulus. Feeling speaks of limit
of time or period. In the case of love at first sight, it is not yet love until it
begins to move to the higher potentialities of value in the beloved object.
o Love can be said as an unemotional decision of the will which implies
that even if there is no feeling, we can still love.
o Feeling is value blind. Love is not feeling because feeling is passive or
receptive and reactive; love is a spontaneous act and movement.
o If love is a feeling, then it can change easily and abruptly just as one
can be angry for a moment and after some time be happy or one can
feel irritated for a minute and then feel comfortable after an hour. Love is not
feeling-states for it changes, whereas love endures. Love is the cause of
feeling-states.

People can become addicted to the other person in the same way they become addicted
to drugs.
Dr. Stanton Peele
Love is not an addiction
o In love, the one being-loved cannot be likened to a drug wherein after a
while, the one loving reaches a level of tolerance and eventually withdraws to
the world.
The heart has its own reason which reason itself does not know. Blaise Pascal

Love is not blind


o Love affords an evidence of its own, which should not be judged in terms of
reason. The beloved is the reason enough for the lover.

PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

University of San Agustin


AY: 2014-2015: First Semester

Love is not relative to the polar co-ordinates of myself and the other.
o One can love genuinely (different from egoism). The object of egoism is not
my individual self, behaving as if I were alone in the world, but myself in
competition with others.

Love is union under the condition of preserving ones integrity, ones individuality. Love is
an active power in man, a power which breaks through the walls which separate man from
his fellowmen, which unites him with others, love makes him overcome the sense of
isolation and separateness, yet, it permits him to be himself, to retain his integrity. In love
the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.
Erich Fromm
Love and Loneliness
The following concepts are excerpts from A Phenomenology of Love by William Lujpen

The experience of love begins from the experience of loneliness, as a human


experience.
The traces of the experience of loneliness:
o Childhood toys, candies and people around were mere extensions of his ego
to satisfy his desire;
o Adolescent the search for his own identity, who am I?, he seeks his fellow
adolescent for understanding and acceptance, this equality will mean
oneness in difference; in conformity to the group and the hiding of ones
individuality, he experiences boredom he resorts to drink, drugs, creative
activities to overcome his boredom; in the end, he still faces the anguish of
being alone.
Reaching to other person as an other (answer to his loneliness). Love is the answer
to the problem of loneliness.

I want you to become what you want to be. I want you to realize your happiness freely.

The Loving Encounter


o The loving encounter necessitates an appeal of the other addressing my
subjectivity.
o The appeal may be embodied in a word, gesture, etc., inviting for me to
transcend myself, my preoccupation with myself. The appeal of the other is
not his corporeal or spiritual attractiveness qualities (the person is more than

PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

University of San Agustin


AY: 2014-2015: First Semester

his qualities); not an explicit request coming from the other (could be but it is
a sign of a deeper appeal; not also pity); the appeal of the other is himself, a
call to participate in his subjectivity, to be with and for him.
The appropriate response to the appeal is Myself. As a subjectivity, the
other person is free to give meaning to his life. His appeal means an
invitation to will his subjectivity, to consent, accept, support and share his
freedom.
Love means willing the others self-realization, destiny and
happiness.

To love the other is to labour for that love, to care for his body (embodied subjectivity), his
world, his total well-being.

o Love is effective, it takes actions.


o Love necessitates a certain personal knowledge of the other.
Love requires respect in order to avoid domination (imposing ones
understanding of what can make one happy to the other person); it is accepting the
person as he/she is, different from myself. He/she is is not static the other has
potentials, a becoming. The rhythm of becoming may be different from each other,
respect would also mean patience.

Reciprocity of Love
o The gift of myself to the other must be first valuable to myself (despise
myself throwing myself, not giving)
o Love of self takes the form of being-loved (loved first by my parents)
o The primary motive of loving is you you-for-whom-I-care

Creativity of Love
o In love, a being-togetherness, a we is created; a new world
Union in Love
o The I does not assimilate the you or vice versa. The I becomes more an
I, the you an other. We become more of ourselves by loving each
other.

Love is essentially a disinterested giving of myself to the other as other; it is not giving up.

The Gift of Self


o A gift is causing another to possess something which hitherto you possess
yourself but which the other has no strict right to own (compared to selling
and exchange).
o I am not deprived of something when I give in love because the self is not a
thing that when given no longer belongs to the giver but to the given. I dont
give in order to get something in return (marketing character); I dont give in
order to feel good (virtuous character).

PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

University of San Agustin


AY: 2014-2015: First Semester

To give myself in love is not so much to give of what I have as of what I am


and I can become. And this self that I am and can become is given to
the other as other, not so much of what you have but of what you
are and can become to give my will, ideas, feelings, experiences,
all that is alive in me, to the other.
Why do I share myself to the other? I experience a certain bounty, richness in
me, which cannot help to overflow to the other. Why this particular other?
You are lovable and you are lovable because you are you unique, original,
irreducible and one of its kind.

Love is Historical
o Love is historical because the other who is the point at issue in love is a
concrete particular person. Love involves no abstraction (humanity,
mankind); everything in love is concrete.
o The concrete other is not an ideal person but a unique being with all its
strengths and weaknesses. I love you because I want to improve you. To
love is to love the other historically.
Equality in Love
o Love between two persons can thrive and grow in freedom. Love is a
liberation; not a bondage.
o Equality between two persons in love is the equality in what they are, as
subjects, as freedom and not in what they have. The great thing in
friendship is being equal to an inferior. Cicero

Love implies immortality. I shall commit myself to you, in sickness and in health, for
richer or for poorer till death do us part.

Love is Total, Eternal and Sacred


o Man as person is not bundle of functions and qualities. As a person, he is
indivisible and persists through time and space, unique and irreplaceable.
o Love is eternal. The gift of myself to the other is not given only for a limited
period of time, otherwise, it becomes a loan and not a gift.
o For Gabriel Marcel, I love you means you shall not die.
o Love is sacred.

The Two Kinds of Love

Eros human physical or sexual love (bodily); desire for an object; acquisitive and
longing; egocentric love; not spontaneous but evoked and motivated; recognizes
value in its object
Agape divine cognitive or spiritual love (rational); commitment for the others
sake; sacrificial giving; unselfish love; spontaneous, overflowing and unmotivated;
creates value in its object

PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

University of San Agustin


AY: 2014-2015: First Semester

Pope Benedict XVI if body and soul cannot be separated in man, then eros
(physicality) and agape (spirituality) cannot also be separated. It is neither
the spirit alone nor the body alone that loves: it is man, the person, the
unified creature composed of body and soul, who loves.

What love IS
Characteristics of Love

Love is an Encounter
o Encounter means that you and I joined together to generate
something new. We travel in bus, we are very close with other people but
we dont encounter them.
o The loving encounter always presupposes the appeal of the other to ones
subjectivity. A call goes out from him; this call embodied in a word, gesture, a
glance or a request. It is a request or a plea which Marcel beautifully
expresses thus, Be with me.
o Basically love is a call which is addressed to a human persons being-withothers to be possessed, not to possess, to be needed; not to need; to be
owned and not to own. Love is really appealing. Love calls the human person
to be with others. Love, therefore can never be dislodged from its beingothers oriented. This other-orientedness of love should start from the self.
This could be the reason why Antoine de Saint- Exupery, a French
philosopher says, love is the process of my leading you gently back
to yourself.
Love is a Gift
o Love is not just a simple act of giving but the highest form of giving for it
gives nothing else but the self. This is to say that the lover experiences
self-dying for the sake of the beloved. Self-giving in the name of love, is
made manifest particularly in marriage. In this light, if one seeks to be loved,
he has to give love first.
o Love as gift is something to be given or to be shared; refers to the self of
the giver, material gifts are extension of the giver; not bounded with
conditions
Unconditional love says John Powell is a love without limits
We are lovable on the basis of being rather than of doing; on the
values we are rather than on the values we do or we have.
Love does not even desire to change the beloved. Max
Scheler

PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

University of San Agustin


AY: 2014-2015: First Semester

Love is an art that requires patience, confidence, discipline, concentration, faith and
practice daily.
Erich Fromm

Love is Mature
o Mature is the agreement between the way one lives and ones true nature.
o Three Myths or Error Of Maturity
Conceive maturity as invulnerability cannot be wounded or
affected
As infallibility free from error
As inflexibility permanent state or seriousness
o Maturity does not mean perfection. We can never expect a perfect
partner but each is still a perfect-able- partner.

Love is Discipline
o Love is a dynamic or a learning process
o The bedrock of character is self-discipline; the virtuous life is based
on self-control.
Love is Empowerment
o Power is significant to relationships where the partners are seeking to control
each others behavior.
o To love is to empower; it is not just a question of doing things for others but
of helping them to do things for themselves.

The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe
from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell. C.S. Lewis

Love is healing and growth


o Pain is part of life but it is not life itself.
o When our partners reject us, the pain we feel is created by our own
feelings of rejection.
o According to the song of Nazareth, love hurts. Love can make a person cry.
How romantic! But love is really like that. If love hurts, then, one may
convince himself/herself that is better not to love. But if one ceases to love,
one deviates from what is natural in him.
o Pain is part and parcel of love, but it makes love grow. Growth is a result
or an effect which can only be attained in a painful process.
Communication is the best means to alleviate the pain in love.
Love is an art of listening
o God gave us two ears but only one mouth perhaps a divine indication that
we should listen twice as much as we talk. John Powell
o Listen with understanding and empathy; also remain non-judgmental
Love is action

PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

University of San Agustin


AY: 2014-2015: First Semester

For love to be love, it must be expressed. Though words are powerful,


love makes action more powerful than words. The prevalent adage
goes, action speaks louder than words. It is true that love is an impetus
that drives people to act even to the limits of their ability. Some becomes
heroes some becomes rebel because of love.
Love is creative
o Love finds its own way; it creates a union of two unique human persons who
are seeking for a new meaning of life. Love makes persons discover
things and reach for new heights and dimensions. Love is a creative
force that motivates persons to be more productive. If love creates, it only
creates the union of persons. Thus, the lovers only find each other; and in
love they become productive. Growth, therefore, is the inevitable
consequence of love.
o

Love is mutual
o To love someone, or a community of persons in general is a gamble. The
gamble here lies with the very risk of loving. To love is not an assurance of
being loved in return. Love does not necessarily mean an imposition to the
beloved for love cannot be imposed; it is a gift which is freely given.
However, when two hearts meet, the heart of the I and the heart of the
Thou, there love gets mutualized.
Love is mysterious
o Despite the many characteristics of love mentioned above, we may still,
somehow, claim that love can never be captured in capsulized
characterizations. So, we may further say that it cannot be analyzed and
dissected into components.

References:
Babor, Eddie R. The Human Person: Not Real, But Existing, Second Edition. Philippines: C & E
Publishing, Inc. 2007.
Hinacay, Marionito L. and Maria Belen S.E. Hinacay. The Human Person, 2006 Maiden Edition.
Philippines: Vitasophia Book Center, 2006.
Max Schelers Phenomenology of Love by Manuel B. Dy, Jr.