Love: changeable in perception, intact in substance...

Philosophical journey into the least original and most pervasive feeling of the universe, fruit without innovation of the same wonderful mistakes

Love: the “Lovers of Teruel” funeral monument
The funeral monument to the so-called "Lovers of Teruel", united even in death and whose marble hands touch

Among apparently immutable things and others, evidently subject to changes and innovations, there are some that appear changeable in perception, but which, in fact, remain intact in their substance.

To put it better, certain phenomena undergo epistemological innovations, maintaining their essence, the Platonic Eidon.

Thus, in this column which is dedicated, in a certain sense, to innovation philosophy and in this online magazine, which has made innovation its stigma, I'd like to talk to you about love: the least original and most pervasive thing in the universe.

And, to begin with, we need to make an immediate distinction between the three phenomenal manifestations of love: lived love, recounted love and observed love.

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Love: the “Wall of Love” in Montmartre
The "Wall of Love" in Montmartre in the city of Paris: the phrase "I love you" is reported in 250 different languages, resulting in 2000 a work by the calligrapher Fédéric Baron and the artist Claire Kito

The love told between autobiography and invention

Let's start with the story of love, because it is the one most subject to innovation and, therefore, more, so to speak, similar to our editorial line.

The love told, Machiavellian, can be divided, in turn, into autobiography and invention.

The first often has the character of an outlet or of regret: more rarely, of revenge or thanksgiving.

The autobiographical narration of love, both through an intermediary character and directly inspired by one's own events, almost always indicates a discourse interrupted in the middle: a love that is not fully satisfied.

Basically, more often than not, a love story is not told, but rather its failure, looking for the reasons, the faults or the fatalities.

In short, “…singing, the duol clears itself”.

More rarely, fiction is dedicated to successful love: it becomes a celebration and monumentalization of the loved one.

In the invention, on the other hand, amorous aspirations find space above all: there is a frequent tendency to tell a love story as it should or should not be, rather than as it is and as it is not.

Ultimately, it is a kind of great dream, in which, for once, things go as the omniscient divinity decides, that is the writer, and not according to the convoluted eventualities of fate.

The novel or romance, then, represents a powerful creative act: an attempt, at least in art, to keep things from going wrong.

And right here, in this vast and complex field, innovation has reigned supreme: the jealousy of Medea and that of Othello, the beauty of Elena and that of Clorinda, have marked the eras, the costumes, the hairstyles , the crimes, through the centuries.

Of course, today television outfits or photos on television have a greater influence on common sentiment Instagram: the reasoning, however, does not change.

Love renews itself and innovates in its formal aspects, remaining true to itself in the substantial ones: it is conservative in its soul, but dresses in the latest fashion.

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Love: "Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift"
An image of love on the “Codex Manesse” or “Manessian Code”, also known as the “Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift”, which is the richest and most famous medieval songbook in the German language

The "amour" observed in the wake of the happiness of others

We come then to the observed love: to the love of others, which usually can arouse admiration and envy, curiosity and emulation.

The observed love is, paradoxically, more complete than the one experienced in the first person: the external observer, as long as he is shrewd and expert in the things of the world, reads between the lines what the lover cannot or does not want to see.

He recognizes the symptoms of betrayal or decay: he is the first to read, in the simple flash of a glance, the evolution of events.

And, if he has known similar experiences, he imagines, advises, foresees.

The observer, whether he is neutral or not, has a more objective perception of love as it unfolds: he looks almost with compassion at the happiness of others, knowing full well how fleeting and fragile this condition is.

In short, observed love is haloed with skepticism, with a realistic tendency to pessimism, just as much as lived love is filled with marvelous illusions and ferocious disappointments.

An observer cannot be deluded, because he is the one who is not deluded right from the start: “Oida!”, it seems to say, "I know!".

Of course, he appears more solidly set than the poor lover, at the mercy of his own blinding feelings: but he lives less.

The pay in terms of intensity: observed love smells of regret for a life never had or lost, in which the only defense is solitude.

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Love: "Siege of the Castle of Love"
Back of the relief sculpture "Siege of the Castle of Love" dating back to the fourteenth century and kept in the Louvre Museum

It's always love lived the only one in the flesh

And finally, we come to lived love: love, so to speak, in the flesh.

It is impossible to say how it is born and how it dies: it is a sum of desires and hopes, chimeras and expectations, which makes us decide to place our existence in the hands of another person.

Sometimes it explodes like spring when it arrives: it's a powerful jet of gems, a hymn to life.

Other times, it slowly grows, at first simulating other forms, until it reveals itself.

In any case, lived love is always the same: contexts change enormously, but love remains as it is.

It is a catastematic feeling.

As we said, it is, at the same time, always new and always the same.

What should be said, perhaps, by way of comment, is that love feeds on misunderstandings: one might say that it is itself an enormous, wonderful, misunderstanding.

To break out and thrive, it needs a formidable act of will between two people who establish their mutual affinity: which, almost always, it is not.

Almost always, one gives a face to one's desires and that face, as in a police somatic research, corresponds to the loved face according to percentages.

You never have the certainty of success: indeed, one might say that the exact opposite is true.

Yet we try, because loneliness is an ugly beast: because, deep down, we were made to love.

And we have been repeating, since the dawn of time, with the changing times and history, always the same wonderful mistakes: without the slightest innovation, this time.

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Love: "Elsa and Lohengrin" by Gaston Bussière
The painting "Elsa and Lohengrin" by Gaston Bussière dating from 1910