About Love and Existential Loneliness

Laplace is reported to have said on his deathbed that science was mere trifling and that nothing was real but love. Love, for such a man, obviously involved ideas: it was love of thought. The same revulsion of feeling went on to Lucretius saying that passion is a torment because its pleasures are not pure, i.e., they are mingled with longing and entangled in exasperating things. All in existence have found in some moment of their lives, an unreasonable joy, which made all the rest of life seem a farce, as if corpses play the living. Seekers habitually look beyond rationality for the infinity to ecstasy. In all these different thought bubbles, there is indeed a level of justification that systematic living is after all an on-going experiment, as is the form, spirit and the inorganic pulp out of which they very likely have obtained their own incommunicable values, its supreme thrills, which we vainly defend in our ego, and to which, in moments of closure, we may half revert. Pleasures and pains may be the manifested substance of consciousness; and as matter seeks its own level of consciousness so all passions and ideas when spent, may re-join the base node of feeling, and expand their volume as they lose their form to the spirit. This loss of form cannot be unwelcome, if it is the formless that, by anticipation, sounds through what is surrendering its being.

If a dog, while sniffing about indifferently, sees his master after long absence, the shift in the mutt’s feeling is not merely in the quantity of pure pleasure; a new circle of sensations appear, with new principles governing interest and desire; instead of defiance, instead of pure love. The brute asks for no reason why his master went, why he has come again, why he should be loved, or why presently while lying at his feet the animal forgets him and begins to grunt and dream of the chase −− all that is unspeakable. It moves wholly by inspiration; every event is providential, every act unrehearsed. The absolutes of freedom and helplessness have met together: you depend inherently on divine fervour, yet that unknown intervention is not discernable from your own life. This is the condition to which some forms of indifferent devoutness invite men to return; and it lies in truth not far from the level of love.