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Love and death

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 at 20:41

Rilke and Lou Salome on Dr John Dunn. Profound encounter - Rilke and Lou Salome

Rainer Maria Rilke on the seriousness of love and the value of encounter. He understood the role of love in the awakening of consciousness to new life, as did Jesus of Nazareth, but he did not understand the socio-political importance of love as a counter to the all-pervasive Spinozism of his and our times. Nevertheless, what Rilke had to say about love is of the highest value. Here Rilke likens love to death in terms of its profundity as an experience - something lifted out of time and, as such, taking us to a thin point in the veil. © John Dunn.

Itis a disturbing thought that the instant of love that we experience so fully, profoundly, and peculiarly as our own could be so entirely determined beyond the individual person by the future (the future child) and on the other side by the past. But even then: this moment of love would retain its indescribable profundity as an escape into the self. Which I strongly tend to believe. This would correspond to our experience of how the incommensurate moments of our most profound rapture occur as if they had been lifted out of time itself. Such experiences truly run perpendicular to the directions of life, just as death runs perpendicular in relation to them. Such experiences have morein common with death than with any aim or objective of our vitality. (The Poet's Guide to Life)

Enduring love

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 at 18:05

Rilke on Dr John Dunn. Rainer Maria Rilke on the seriousness of love and the value of encounter. He understood the role of love in the awakening of consciousness to new life, as did Jesus of Nazareth, but he did not understand the socio-political importance of love as a counter to the all-pervasive Spinozism of his and our times. Nevertheless, what Rilke had to say about love is of the highest value. © John Dunn.

There is no force in the world but love, and when you carry it within you, if you simply have it, even if you remain baffled as to how to use it, it will work its radiant effects and help you out of and beyond yourself: one must never lose this belief, one must simply (and if it were nothing else) endure in it!

Is love, taken together with art, not the only licence to surpass the human conditions and to be greater, more generous, more unhappy, if necessary, than common man? Let us embrace this possibility heroically—let us renounce none of the advantages afforded to us by our animated state.

To take love seriously, to endure it, and to learn it the way one learns a profession—that is what young people need to do. People have misunderstood the role of love in life like so much else. They have turned love into a game and pleasant distraction because they thought that games and distractions are more blissful than work; but nothing is filled with greater joy and happiness than work, and love, exactly because it is the most extreme joy and happiness, can be nothing but work. A person in love thus has to try to behave as if he had to accomplish a major task: he has to spend a lot of time alone, reflect and think, collect himself and hold on to himself; he has to work; he has to become something!
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