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Saturday 6 October 2012

Love is the Law (3): Surety of love

That's right, I made a Hamlet meme. What of it?

Surety of love.

Am I sure of my love for JJ? Does the questioning of the fact admit to some weakness or inherent failure? If we believe the modern lies about love, i.e. love as the ideal state that one finds oneself either in or not in, this might indeed be the case.

Take this example of the recurrent discussion about when one should tell their partner that they love them. Most advice seems to revolve around this coming about only after a gradual build up of contact. Love is not to be questioned, just felt, like an endless divine moment. A perfection that cannot be denied or inquired into.
Too much thinking” or “don't overthink” comes the cry. However, we shouldn't just passively accept our emotional state, at least this emotional state, but it requires one to work at it. Love as a developing 'thing' – isn't this reification of love simply as dangerous as the simple acceptance?
Something like a private determination, as Murdoch describes it in 'Sovereignty', but it can't be just this because it isn't just a private feeling (as in the feeling of repentance) but instead it is the 'something shared' with a specific other.

How can I be sure of JJ's love for me? Is this a totally different question? Can I be more sure of my own love for JJ?
What are we looking for in this surety, if we find it answered with an instance of love won't we later require yet another? Surety wants something final, but if it is an ongoing 'test' (a test of who you are; how honest you are about yourself, both to others and yourself) then it can never be totally sure.
The surety cannot be held onto as it also involves this specific other, whose mind you cannot directly influence and if you begin to try and subtly influence them then this is manipulation and control, which is surely not an act of love.