Our relationship to objects taints our approach to love : accumulating, optimizing, possessing. The amorous treasure has turned into a hoarding of love units... But love can't be bought, it is experienced.
❝ Measures birthed laws, they organized the invisible world by creating for it a visible frame. Could we measure love, and regulate ? ❞ Tweet
When we question the meaning of love, it’s often about measuring the depth and sincerity deployed in one’s attachement to others. Can we objectivize love, a feeling so intimate and indescribable ? The idea that we could control our emotions could easily cheer up modern individuals who have worked towards turning measuring the immeasurable into one of the highest forms of art : how much money am I ready to spend to be loved ? How long will that last? The quantitative disposition of our approach is visible through social networks where everyone’s value depends on the number of likes, of stars, or of matches they receive. Adding value to objectivize, give ourselves with an imperfect yet graspable image of a mysterious feeling.
Measures birthed laws (Carl Schmitt, 1950), they organized the invisible world by creating for it a visible frame - cutting, dividing, distributing. Measuring love means providing a frame for it, rules, in sum organizing it. Love transactions, with time, evolved into their own economy, following the commercialization trend. Valentine’s day, weddings, honeymoons are as many rites and celebrations birthed by uncontrollable, sometimes irrational, consumption, all in the name of love.
❝ The amorous treasure has turned into a hoarding of love units ❞ Tweet
From this objectivization of love's procedures we created the illusion that we could store it, as we could any other commercial good. Or even that it could appreciate when accumulated. Turning the amorous treasure into a hoarding of love units. A fantasy fed by a judo-christian archetypal approach to love. A world view in which God is Love ; loving other is only a pretext for loving God. Thus, the stronger our love for others, the stronger our salvation. In the end, this economy of love demonstrations is an economy of Salute. In our compulsive commercialization of love demonstrations, we find the material expression of signs of redemption.
Experiencing rather than buying
This « commercialization + eternal salvation » equation that embodies our modernity, is contradicted by a more vitalist conception : polyamory, tantric influences, sexual communities… Numerous cultural expressions crystalize the myth of love whose prime feature is eroticism. This structured opposition between christian-love and erotic-love has been described by historian Denis de Rougemont. Romanticism and literary works dealing with passions are the first to reintroduce physicality and sexuality when approaching love, inscribing love-destiny in tragedies of impossible romances (Tristan and Isolde) and taboo-love (Robert Musil, 1943). Today, contemporary expressions of love are marked by an « eternal present » (Michel Maffesoli, 2000).
❝ Love celebrated in the present tense, is wasted, dilapidated, destroyed, it discards its cursed form.❞ Tweet
Current generations are more aware of its fleeting nature, of whether it burnt away faster than it could be enjoyed. Living in the moment, to the fullest, rather than saving up for what's to come : skin parties, burning festivals, risk culture, are as many declinations of social upheaval (re)introducing Dionysian myths by new rituals, standards, and values : consecutive sincerities rather than ad vitam faithfulness, loss of self in other. Love celebrated in the present tense, is wasted, dilapidated, destroyed, it discards its cursed form. In this regard, it's an outlet from moral obligations that aim to rationalize passions. As common wisdom states, love can not be stored, it is spent.