Matus1976 Blog - Philosophy, Science, Politics, Invention

11 December

Author Neil Gaiman's nihilistic take on romantic Love

A friend of mine posted this.

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' or 'how very perceptive' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love."

~Neil Gaiman

My comments -

I think that's a sad and very nihilistic sentiment, and not a surprising one from someone like Gaiman who makes his living focusing on angst and suffering. Love (good love), even when unrequited, is a beautiful and amazing thing. It is the embodiment of all the greatest essences of humanity: the recognition of values, a cherishing of ones own existence and of happiness, striving for a life of flourishing, and the use of reason in the recognition of values. 'True love' or, the best kind of love, is not dependant on reciprocation but is instead based on an intrinsic recognition, appreciation, and deep admiration of a persons qualities. Lives may lead people on different paths, but their essence, that which we love, remains the same. If you love someone, you love 'them' as a person, as an identity. Part of them may choose a different course in life, but this is no reason to not love. Being hurt by someone choosing a different course in life is a testament that Gaiman thinks reality and everyone else's dreams, passions, and desires ought to change entirely to satisfy each of our own whims. To scorn love so as to never be hurt by it is nihilistic Buddhism to its core - advocating never valuing anything because it's loss might cause you to suffer. Why stop at love? Why not eradicate joy and happiness as well, but the only way to do this is to never care about anything. Is this the life Gaiman advocates? Would this be a good life to live? To love a person includes wanting what is best for them for their own sake, not for yours. A flourishing fulfilling healthy relationship exists where two people who love each other and admire each other for their intrinsic qualities travel and grow together on the same course in life.

posted at 14:18:49 on 12/11/07 by Matus1976 - Category: General


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