What is Love?
Three Loves: Aphrodite, Eros, Pan.
The original marble group of statues most likely dates from Hellenistic Times. They are on public display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Aphrodite carries a shoe or slipper in her right hand.
Your feelings when you meet it,I am told you can’t forget,I’ve sought it since I was a childBut haven’t found it yet.I’m getting on for thirty-five,And still I do not knowWhat kind of creature it can beThat bothers people so.
Music from Cabaret Songs by Benjamin Britten, Poem by W H Auden.
Throughout intellectual, literary, and cultural history rarely has there been just “one” love. In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates says it was a woman who taught him the true meaning of love. Her name was Diotima; and she is probably the first female philosopher in recorded history.
Typology of Loves
CS Lewis was an author, academic, philosopher, religious thinker popular in the UK during the 1950's. and early sixties. He wrote The Chronicles of Narnia as well as science fiction and academic tomes. In the book below, published in 1960, he wrote about four loves.
The four loves championed by Lewis were
- Romantic love
- Agape (Christian love)
However seminal the book, it was very Western in its orientation. For example, in addition to the four loves Lewis could have added a few more such as:
- Chesed חֶסֶד, (Hebrew) faithfulness
- Neo-Platonic love, chaste love, and courtly love celebrated by troubadours in Mediaeval times
But Lewis didn't.
- عشق Ishq in Suffi poetry which is a passionate love dedicated to God through poetry, dance, music
With the sixties came a mix counter-cultures involving indian mysticism, meditation, rejection of capitalist systems, sexual exploration, psychedelic drugs, rejection of family structures. The Age of Aquarius was a very different world from Oxbridge of Tolkein and Lewis...... and so was its loves.
Bits & Pieces: Small Round Extrances
An exit is way out. Entrances are how you get in to some place or other.
Extrances are -simultaneously or separately- both . I like this neologism because present in it is the word extra: in the language of advertising there are lots of them, great choice, offering more satisfaction the you ever conceived. Below a mouth is depicted in a skull lacking ear holes and nostrils. Inside the skull offers a startling array of corridors, compartments, and mazes to explore -both going in, coming out or inquisitively wondering around.
During the first seminar in this series, I asked whether transference is necessarily a whole unified package. For example it might be supposed clients could be transferring the needs of a child, adolescent or lonely adult onto the practitioner. This supposition is understandable given the moral importance afforded to individual subjectivity in Western liberalism. Because people and the personal are so valorised, there is a natural tendency to feel that everything concerning human beings has to be personal.
Not so with either transference or love. Living and loving have their entrances and exists.... which are prized, hated or desired for oneself.
How many entrances/exits are there in the average human body?
- nostrils, for breathing and sense of smell
- mouth: eating, breathing, vocalization: alarm, pleasure, speech
- ear canals: hearing
- lacrimal ducts: carry tears from the lacrimal sac into the nasal cavity
- males, the urinary meatus, for urination and ejaculation
- females, the urinary meatus
- females, the vagina: menstruation, sexual intercourse and childbirth
- nipple orifices