Love as a Tyrannical Experience

Painting by Rene Magritte

There is something deeply tyrannical about love or perhaps about the idea of love that denies all other possibilities of experience. Where we have dedicated an entire version of reality to achieve this alienating desire, dating. But of course, this is presumptive of us to know what love as an experience really is. What is the difference between “love” behavior and “like” behavior? After all, kissing can be interpreted as “I like you” but not necessarily “I love you”.

If anything, looking for love is self-alienating and destructive. The way one experiences love is not the same as the other experiences love. The way one wants to experience love is not the same as the other wants to experience love. There is no true monogamy between two people for the third is always love. The irony of the third is that without it, the relation between two partners will soon cease to exist. Love is an enigma but the idea of it sits on a golden throne. We have placed love as the ruler of all possible experience. Anything other than love is forbidden or lackluster in the quality for satisfaction.

As with all tyrannical rulers, what is it about love that is forbidding? The common phrase “I love you” in the forbidding sense, translates to “I love love and nothing else.” Love forbids the “I” from ever coming into contact with the “you”. Love is the obstacle between the “I” and the “you”. Therefore, “I don’t love you” translates to “I choose love but not you”. In both instances, love is chosen rather than “you”. The former is the illusion, and the latter is the disillusionment. We seem to never see one another for everything is either love or not love. Love as the only desired experience lumps every other possible experience as “not love”.

Love forbids everything that is not love and here we begin to see what is utterly hypnotizing. We never moved past our own infantile interpretations of experience where everything is mother and not mother, breast and not breast. If our idea of love forbids what it is not, what is this “not love” that could be loving? If we are both looking for love, then we as persons have both declared ourselves as not love. I cannot experience myself as myself because I rather experience love, or I hate experiencing myself as myself because I rather experience love. Love as the other forbids us from experiencing ourselves as ourselves. The only experience that we do know is the experiences of ourselves without love. We are then split between two selves, the experience of the self of what we think and might be love and the experience of the self with what is not love. Love makes us schizophrenic because love itself, whatever love is, exposes how split as a subject we really are.

The problem is we don’t know which self can make possible for love to emerge. But what I do know is, to define love is to stop the conversation and to stop the conversation is to under interpret love and all the possibilities of what it could be. We may even be rather unsure about what love is but more often that not, we are confident in presuming what love isn’t. The question then arises, what is it about our idea of love that we desperately want to under-interpret? This in my opinion is the danger, the danger of having one king (one interpretation) and never allowing the possibilities of what another king would be like. This utter denial is a denial of a possible or unknown self, a self that we desperately want to experience, a self that makes love as an experience possible.