What is called Loving? Where does Love come from?

lawgiverz:epiphany, anxiety, panic, duty, fear, awe, indifference, ecstasy, guilt, nostalgia, remorse…
If you wonder where love is in this picture, let it be known to yourself that it’s the black hole at the centre in this time… Love is always in-between, for it is the production process of both modes of being at once; that which matters and that which is thought… It splits as it unites…

We know so little about one another. We embrace a shadow and love a dream. ~  Söderberg

If you’re trapped in the dream of the Other, you’re fucked. ~ Deleuze

I’ve actually written two synchronous pieces on this matter, both of which attempt to clarify the issue at stake within a psycho-philosophical context…  Those two articles are an analysis of Badiou’s little book called In Praise of Love… But since they are both in Turkish and many people are deprived of that which is written therein for this reason, I decided to give a brief summary of them in English herein…

“I think… that love encompasses the experience of the possible transition from the pure randomness of chance to a state that has universal value. Starting out from something that is simply an encounter, a trifle, you learn that you can experience the world on the basis of difference and not only in terms of identity. And you can even be tested and suffer in the process. In today’s world, it is generally thought that individuals only pursue their own self-interest. Love is an antidote to that. Provided it isn’t conceived only as an exchange of mutual favours, or isn’t calculated way in advance as a profitable investment, love really is a unique trust placed in chance. It takes us into key areas of the experience of what is difference and, essentially, leads to the idea that you can experience the world from the perspective of difference. In this respect it has universal implications: it is an individual experience of potential universality, and is thus central to philosophy, as Plato was the first to intuit.”

To a certain extent I agree with Badiou that love is an idea, a thought; but this thought is so powerful that we cannot consider it an ordinary thought, for it’s a thought that matters and has material effects… There are many thoughts that do not matter and have no effect at all…

“We shouldn’t underestimate the power love possesses to slice diagonally through the most powerful oppositions and radical separations. The encounter between two differences is an event, is contingent and disconcerting… On the basis of this event, love can start and flourish. It is the first, absolutely essential point. This surprise unleashes a process that is basically an experience of getting to know the world. Love isn’t simply about two people meeting and their inward-looking relationship: it is a construction, a life that is being made, no longer from the perspective of One but from the perspective of Two.”

When a person falls in love, or rather finds itself in love s/he becomes detached both from nature and culture alike… And yet the thought of love produces that which is cultural and that which is natural at once…

“Love is a quest for truth… Truth in relation to something quite precise: what kind of world does one see when one experiences it from the point of view of two and not one? What is the world like when it is experienced, developed and lived from the point of view of difference and not identity? That is what I believe love to be.”

So the proper answer to the questions of “what is called loving?” and/or “where does love come from?” is this: Loving involves creating the beloved object in your mind, but there is also something singular in the beloved, which transcends the bounds of culture and produces desire in you towards the object of love as it is in itself…

“Love cannot be reduced to the first encounter, because it is a construction. The enigma in thinking about love is the duration of time necessary for it to flourish. In fact, it isn’t the ecstasy of those beginnings that is remarkable. The latter are clearly ecstatic, but love is above all a construction that lasts. We could say that love is a tenacious adventure. The adventurous side is necessary, but equally so is the need for tenacity. To give up at the first hurdle, the first serious disagreement, the first quarrel, is only to distort love. Real love is one that triumphs lastingly, sometimes painfully, over the hurdles erected by time, space and the world.”

A further answer to these two questions in a nutshell would be that we can learn to love if we are capable of it, and we can love only insofar as we are capable of learning how to do it…

“To make a declaration of love is to move on from the event-encounter to embark on a construction of truth. The chance nature of the encounter morphs into the assumption of a beginning. And often what starts there lasts so long, is so charged with novelty and experience of the world that in retrospect it doesn’t seem at all random and contingent, as it appeared initially, but almost a necessity. That is how chance is curbed: the absolute contingency of the encounter with someone I didn’t know finally takes on the appearance of destiny. The declaration of love marks the transition from chance to destiny, and that’s why it is so perilous and so burdened with a kind of horrifying stage fright.”

There are people who wouldn’t even know the meaning of love, let alone fall in it if it wasn’t written in dictionaries, or not depicted in films and novels…


You create your object of love in such a way that it creates your desire in turn… Love is divided within itself into two separate but contiguous components; matter and idea… That said, love and desire are not the same thing; healthy love is conscious desiring… Love can also take many pathological forms, though, just as evil can manifest itself in many pleasant shapes…

“The locking in of chance is an anticipation of eternity… The problem then resides in inscribing this eternity within time. Because, basically, that is what love is: a declaration of eternity to be fulfilled or unfurled as best it can be within time: eternity descending into time.”

When Zizek says that Love is evil what he means is that love is a selfish act, a violence done against the rest of the world… Among all the other things in the world one picks up a single individual and falls for something in it more than it…

It’s good to be in love, but sometimes it can turn out real bad… If both sides involved in a process of passionate interaction, for instance, tend to manipulate the state of affairs within that particular situation, it inescapably becomes impossible to come up with a win-win position… In such cases all become losers and actualise what they thought they were resisting against, namely the condition of being a loser…

“Happiness in love is the proof that time can accommodate eternity. And you can also find proof … in the pleasure given by works of art and the almost supernatural joy you experience when you at last grasp in depth the meaning of a scientific theory.”


Two humans trapped in one another’s dreams is what we call sick love, it’s the worst nightmare if ever there was one… Two humans freely floating in one another’s realities is what we call healthy love, and it’s the best hopeful dream available to humanity so far…

“To love is to struggle, beyond solitude, with everything in the world that can animate existence. The world where I see for my self the fount of happiness my being with someone else brings. “I love you” becomes: in this world there is the fount you are for my life. In the water from this fount, I see our bliss, yours first.”

Sometimes there’s something in the shadow of a person more real than that person him/herself… And some dreams have something to tell us more real than the reality itself… Perhaps that’s why we have to become capable of seeing into and being in touch with that which is in a person more than that person him/herself… Only then we can learn a little bit more about one another so as to become capable of loving each other with a greater love in a healthy way…

Reference Matter

Alain Badiou with Nicolas Truong, In Praise of Love, trans. Peter Bush (London: Serpent’s Tail, 2012)


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