Lesson VII Phenomenology of
Foundational Premise: A philosophy of Man without a philosophy of Love is incomplete .
Common understanding of LOVE: 1. Equating Love with Romance 2. Love as Possession I want you…
3. Love as Sex 4. Love as Admiration
Popular understanding of LOVE: As “Falling in Love.” 3 Reasons: 1. Emphasis on being-loved than on loving.
2. Emphasis on the object loved than on the faculty of loving. 3. Confusion between falling in love & standing-in love…
“It is all the more wonderful and miraculous for persons who have been shut off, isolated, without love. This miracle of sudden intimacy is often facilitated if it is combined with, or initiated by, sexual attraction and consummation. However, this type of love is by its very nature not lasting.” Erich Fromm
Phenomenology of LOVE We need to apply first the Husserlian’sEpoche approach. Thus setting aside all the above concepts of love.
Phenomenology of LOVE First point: The experience of Loneliness. • Self-consciousness = self-awareness • Who am I? Man searches & discovers • his own identity& uniqueness. • At times, he felt unwanted, alone…. LONELY.
Coping up with Loneliness 1. Seeking out others for understanding & acceptance… - But still one remains lonely amidst the crowd… until the experience of boredom… 2. Resorting to other ways, e.g., drugs, alcohol, etc… 3. Keeping oneself busy, occupied with all sort of activities…
What is the Answer to LONELINESS? - It is only in love that I find atonement and still remain myself.
The LOVING ENCOUNTER A meeting of Persons An “I-Thou” relationships
The loving encounter necessitates an APPEAL… An invitation to transcend oneself, to break away from self-preoccupation. This maybe embodied in a word, gesture, or a glance. • To be able to see the appeal of other, I need more than eyes & mind – I need an attitude, a heart that has broken away from selfishness.
The Appeal of the Other: • Not corporeal/spiritual qualities. Love is more than infatuation; more than liking such qualities of the other. Rather, love is the experience of this depth and mystery of the other and the firm will to be for him/her.
The Appeal of the other: • Not an explicit request coming from the other (hindipagmamakaawa). One heart is not in it. The Appeal of the other is the call to participate in his subjectivity, to be with and for him.
My reply to the appeal of the other, since it’s not his quality or explicit request cannot also be an outpouring of my qualities to the other… • Compatibility or submission is not necessarily LOVE.
My reply to the appeal of the other is MYSELF. His appeal to me means an invitation to will his subjectivity, to consent, accept, support and share his freedom. • LOVE means willing the other’s free self-realization, his destiny, his happiness.
When I love the other, I am saying “I want you to become what you want to be. I want you to realize your happiness freely.” • LOVE is not only saying it, it is doing it. It takes actions… • LOVE implies awareness of the other’s destiny. It necessitates personal knowledge of the other…
LOVE is not a domination. It must be balanced by respect. Respect doesn’t mean idolizing a person; it simply means accepting the person as he is, different from myself. • The other as he is, is also in potentialities, in his becoming… his pace of becoming maybe faster or slower than my own. Thus, one needs patience…
Reciprocity of If love is wholly concerned with the other, What happens to myself?
There is an element of sacrifice in loving the other… In love, I renounce the motive of promoting myself. • I have to break the provisional structure I have given to my own life, and this is painful.
The pain lies in abandoning my egotism… This does not mean the loss of myself. On the contrary, in loving the other I need to love myself…
What about Unreciprocated Love? • When the other rejects the self one offers, no doubt, the experience is painful and will take time to recover… but the experience is an opportunity to examine oneself. In this sense, it could still be an enriching experience…
Union of Love • The “we” that is created in love is the union of persons but not an objective union. It does not involve the loss of identities.
The Gift of Self A.The essence of gift-giving is that I give not in order to get something in return.
B. The giving in love is not a giving up: I am not deprived of something when I give in love because the self is not a thing… C. To give myself in love is not so much to give of what I have but of what I am and can become…
Love is Historical It is historical because the other who is the point at issue in love is a concrete particular person. Love is not love if it is simply love of humanity in the abstract… Love is concrete.
Equality in Love Love can only grow in freedom… Love is not a bondage but a liberation… There exist an equality of persons in love… as subjects.
Love is Total, Eternal & Sacred Love is an undivided commitment to the other. It is offered from the totality of my being to the totality of the other’s being.
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…. It is immortal.
Love is sacred. Friends and lovers share secrets & intimacies not for public consumption. They have a common world that may include others but can never be made vulgar. It needs trust.
SUMMARY We experience love from the moment of conception until death and even beyond. • Love is both a form of surrender and a form of transcendence. When we love and when we are loved we surrender ourselves to the other in the sense that we take the risk of being vulnerable in offering our heart, our being to the other person…
Love is the other person’s appeal to us which we answer by abandoning ourselves to make ourselves available for the other. But this abandonment is not total because in the process we find ourselves in others. The other person allows us to see things which we would never have known are there.
Love is an act, a way of life. More than words could freely express, love is manifested by actions for and from the other person. More than just looking outwards in the same direction as Antoine Saint Exupery put it, love is moving forward in a mutual course.
Love is an acknowledgement that we are alone and an invitation to the other person to be with us so we would no longer be alone. It gives us the comfort that in our struggles we are not alone and we have someone else to share our joys with.
Love is not always the bed of roses others think of it to be. In one way or another we will come to a point when we must make sacrifices. But such sacrifices are meant to strengthen the bond, the act of love even more.
Love time and again would remain one of the greatest phenomenon mankind will experience yet fail to comprehend. Paradoxically, this elusiveness is what prompts man to savor and cherish each moment spent in loving and therefore, gives essence to his existence.
“So, faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.” (NAV 1 Cor. 13:13)