Being in love means uploading love from the mimetic settings of love
Everywhere and all the time people are looking for love; the greatest happiness in life. However, when looking back, love may seem for most people the biggest disappointment in life. Often, love has long since dissipated, while togetherness as a remnant of a past happiness still persist. Generally, love has never been a permanent guest in peoples life. Even God has understood that it’s always only passing through. After all, it is not the duration of love that is conjured up in the imperious “till death do us part”, but the continuance of a marriage. Which is as helpful for the continued existence of love as a box of JOHNNY WALKER for the crew of a drifting lifeboat with scarce water supplies.
Lovers usually appear as couples. And when couples newly in love book a vacation trip, or buy a TV together, then such activities are meant to be the beginning of a cohabitation. Unfortunately, it is inevitably in the nature of the sake that all kind of conflicts start simultaneously with the beginning of such a relationship. The first
vacation trip, for instance, may not at all be as anticipated, and the acquired TV can create disagreements when it comes to the question what to watch on TV. To have a slight difference in opinion about this or that restaurant, or about football versus a refugee documentary, are, of course, rather trivial disagreements and have usually no significance to the relation in itself. Nevertheless, one should not overlook the fact that such things contain with regard to the “constant dripping of the rock” principle an insidious property. Insofar, as even the happiest relationships have a malicious tendency to turn gradually, and in the course of time, into real distressed areas. In
which the sobering certainty that things have come to an end demand a break up from the relation. Very often, however, this certainty is associated wit the devastating insight that the desired break up is linked to insurmountable obstacles. Mostly due to jointly entered, legally binding obligations, children, common debts, or other circumstances.
The desire to get away from each other, but without being able to do so very easily, is an enormous psychological and existential burden. Which is written in the faces of many couples with a mix of desperation and resignation.That only about half of all marriages are divorced must be seen as a surprise. But one should not be surprised that sometimes bitter weather
struggles are held, where hatred and feelings of revenge are working towards terrible “final solutions”. Those who have put a violent end to their hell are mentioned on a daily basis in the newspapers: “Postman shoots family and kills himself.”
Of course, there are always particular circumstances responsible for each relational misery. However, one may also recall within this context a nowadays completely overlooked impediment to longer relationships. We do not know anymore that private partnerships between women and men have not existed for a long time in the history of man. The often believed assumption of the couple and the family as the germ cell of human societies turns out to be wrong on closer inception. One has to take into account the fact that people still lived in promiscuous circumstances as relatively recently as in ancient times. In an open practice of sexual contacts with constantly changing partners, or simultaneously with multiple partners.
Everyone did it continually and spontaneously with everyone. There were no lasting relationships. And what is understood today as love was more or less unknown in our culture before the second half of the first pre-Christian century. The Greek historian and ethnologist Herodot (484BC – 425BC), who knew the old world on his own account, describes typical promiscuous situations. “If some wants a particular woman”, he says in the face of Lybian customs, “he puts his stick away, and has intercourse with her”. This does most probably not correspond to today’s moral standards. Neither can this be said about Scythian women, who “during their housework are doing it with every man who suits them.” Such kind of behavior is nowadays labeled as “infidelity” or “cheating”. Something that might not necessarily be a
reason for divorce, although it is usually regarded as deeply offensive. Besides,it is rather common to anticipate such an outcome from the very beginning. Many people are accusing their partners in a worst case scenario prediction of having a “build in” tendency to infidelity. Needless to say that this ruins a relation. Nevertheless, if we like it or not, the realistic assumption is close at hands that we might not be done for lasting relationships. Simply because of a promiscuous past, dating back to the dawn of man, and that is deeply anchored in our sensuous nature.
Uploading the images of love. Why lovers appear as couples.
We can usually say straightaway very well why we hate this or that person. Comparatively hesitant becomes the speech when the question is to be answered why we maintain a relationship with someone. Strange enough, even the motivations that led to the relationship often seem puzzling, and in retrospect incomprehensible. Of course, it is said that mutual sympathy and attraction made the match. That we fell for the other person’s personality, and that we felt the need for a continued closeness etc. etc. Such explanations are true. But only partially! The real reason why we long to fall in love with a suitable partner has to do with the desire to imitate the images of love. A very short excursion into philosophy is necessary to illuminate this claim.
The ancient Greek word mimesis is used in philosophy and aesthetic theories, and means imitation. The OED defines mimesis as the “…deliberate imitation of the behavior of one group of people by another”. According to Plato, whatever man does is mimetic; by necessarily always expressing the imitative image of an idea. Every house, for example, appears according to Plato as a replica of the idea of the house, a boat as the replica of the idea of the boat etc. Also, everything meant to beautiful contains the idea of beauty. These hints are sufficient enough to derive a convincing access to something one could describe as “the permanent mimesis of the beautiful world of lovers”.
Love, to start with, is without any doubt something beautiful in itself. And the true beauty of love is shown continuosly in the images of true romances. Even though the world we live in is brutally ugly, the beautiful world of lovers is dominating our visual experiences . Everyone has seen these beautiful pictures over and over again.
The breathtakingly beautiful picture, for example, of a heavenly beautiful togetherness somewhere on a tropical beach. Or the picture of a romantic boat trip on a river. Perhaps with
swans around the boat, their necks stretching into the water, and a picturesque castle in the background. Not to be forgotten in this visual tsunami of overwhelmingly beautiful romance settings are pictures of infinitely smiling couples in a blooming meadow, or images of a
candle light dinner for two. What purpose are these images supposed to serve? Despite their tiring omnipresence and uniformity, such images are consciously and unconsciously perceived as beautiful role models for the creation of happy couple relations. It might sound insensible and soullessly, but couples newly in love are doing nothing but imitating the mimetic settings of love. This implies that couples are practicing mimesis by doing exactly the same thing as on the images of love. And by imitating the mimetic settings they successfully manage to create for themselves an upload into the beautiful images of love.
As a provisional conclusion one could say that people, without realizing it, are not looking for love but for the opportunity for an individual upload into the mimetic settings of love. Seen from a reverse angle; the gradual abandoning of these settings during cohabitation can serve as an explanation for that peculiar void in which many couples are auratically enveloped. Generally, the mimetic settings of love are nothing but a form available as an upload, whereas love, the content, is something that necessarily must be constructed by the lovers. That design mistakes are made in this process can’t be avoided. With plenty of unpleasant consequences. But such experiences can be avoided nowadays.There are great opportunities to step into love affairs that guarantee eternal happiness. Of course, it does not always have to be a lovable human being that can make us happy. On the contrary, the delightful intimacy with lovable, purchasable objects such as cars, sun glasses, watches, smart phones etc. is becoming more and more an alternative to love as we know it.
To be continued