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Re: [Sartre] ncandau82: Sartre on Love

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  • barger@justice.com
    I think this string began with a discussion over whether Sartre s view that every for-itself is in immediate conflict with every Other permits any real romance
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 31, 2002
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      I think this string began with a
      discussion over whether Sartre's view
      that every for-itself is in immediate
      conflict with every Other permits any
      real romance in a sexual relationship
      (or at any rate, that's my abbreviation
      of the discussion). In B&N, Sartre
      describes love as a kind of
      sado-masochistic struggle for domination
      (pp. 361-430, esp. 364-412.) In his
      "Notebooks for an Ethics," he adds to
      this the observation that while this
      struggle is still present, he
      acknowledges that there is "No love
      without deeper recognition and
      reciprocal comprehension of freedoms (a
      missing dimension in Being and
      Nothingness)."
      But he continues: "However, to attempt
      to bring about a love that would surpass
      the sadistic-masochistic stage of desire
      and enchantment would be to make love
      disappear, that is, the sexual as a type
      of unveiling of the human. Tension is
      necessary to maintain the two faces of
      ambiguity, to hold them within the unity
      of one and the same project. As soon as
      one loosens the ambiguity, duality takes
      over again. There is no synthesis given
      as to be attained. It has to be
      invented. (Similarly for the challenge
      and for friendship. Cf. the Potlach)."
      (pp.414-415).
      I won't attempt to translate this
      into clearer language other than to
      observe that Sartre recognizes that his
      earlier description of love (in B&N) was
      inadequate.
      Sartre's own love life was perhaps
      less dialectical and more more
      recognizable to ordinary mortals. In
      her biography
      "Sartre: a Life", Annie Cohen-Solal
      tells of an intensely emotional, almost
      uncontrollably irrational, infatuation
      Sartre experienced for a woman named
      "Dolores V." whom he met on his second
      trip to the U.S., in 1945-1946.
      Dolores later told Cohen-Solal that he
      proposed marriage (which would have
      stunned Beauvoir) but she
      refused--already being married. His
      account to Beauvoir of his relationship
      to Dolores apparently were not models of
      transparency--the notion they would
      conceal nothing from one another. She
      is said to have asked him, "Her or me?"
      His response was, "I am extraordinarily
      fond of Dolores, but you are the one I
      am with." (p. 278-279)
      Not the kind of candor that would have
      eased the concern of his lifelong
      companion. In any event, we probably
      should take his technical analysis of
      love with a grain of salt--or a shot of
      bourbon.


      On Thu, 31 Oct 2002, "Helen Brady" wrote:

      >
      > With regards to the ‘love’ question!
      One
      > could suggest that ‘love’
      > exists in the out-itself model as it is
      > based on a reciprocal
      > relationship between compliant
      > individuals. Ideally it should exist in
      > an altruistic sense, in that - ‘I’m
      > happy if your happy’ which, on
      > reflection, is a form of self sacrifice
      > which may have a damaging affect
      > on ones authenticity. The family, I
      > would presume [being the capitalist
      > alienating institution it is today] may
      > also affect ones authenticity.
      > Being a novice to Existentialism, but
      > not to Marxism have I got the
      > wrong end of the stick? – would you
      care
      > to elaborate?
      >
      > Helen.
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have
      > been removed]
      >
      >
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      Bill Barger--Manhattan Beach.
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    • John Foster
      ... From: Helen Brady To: Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 10:17 AM Subject: Re: [Sartre]
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 1, 2002
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Helen Brady" <helen@...>
        To: <Sartre@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 10:17 AM
        Subject: Re: [Sartre] ncandau82: Sartre on Love


        With regards to the 'love' question! One could suggest that 'love'
        exists in the out-itself model as it is based on a reciprocal
        relationship between compliant individuals. Ideally it should exist in
        an altruistic sense, in that - 'I'm happy if your happy' which, on
        reflection, is a form of self sacrifice which may have a damaging affect
        on ones authenticity.

        'Self-sacrifice' I think belongs to a different dimension of existence. I
        don't think that anyone contemplating the consequences of an act of
        'ultimate' love would actually consider that there are such things as
        boundaries between one self and another self. I suspect that there may be a
        'lack of care' for the self in that the self contemplating a selfless act
        does not 'weigh' all the consequences of the act which may be a
        self-sacrificing act. Sure there are those acts which are contemplated, such
        as bull fighting, and other dangerous acts, where the actor is conscious of
        the possible consequences; however, the actor is prepared to accept the
        possible consequences apon weighing the benefits with the costs. The fact
        that the bull may be harmed and itself destroyed is there, but the reason
        why the bull fighter is able to engage in the act is for the love of the
        spectator. Many dangerous acts are accomplished simply for the spectator.
        The bull fighter if gored is perceived as selfless by the spectator, but has
        no real consciousness herself of what is 'self-sacrifice' since there is no
        reflection on the alternatives. There may be 'remorse' which Johnny felt
        after he obtained his gun, but he perhaps did not consider the
        'consequences' adequately before he Got His Gun (cf. Dalton Trombo's, Johnny
        Got His Gun). The bull-fighter is fully aware of the consequences and
        therefore cannot be 'self-sacrificial'; it simply comes with the job. While
        Johnnie's love was 'misplaced' and inauthentic as for guns, the bull-fighter
        has love which is authentic because it was what she wanted to do for the
        crowd. So the bull-fighter was to become a hero, but Johnnie became
        anonymous canon fodder, fertilizer. And he did not want that...

        This transphenomenality (a Satrean term) means that not only is the bull an
        object of consciousness, but that it also is part of a spectacle and that
        spectacle plays on/out the engagement of the actor with the spectator and
        the imagination, ultimately a dynamic contest between nature and nuture. The
        bull symbolizing the daemonic and the practiced bull-fighter as grace
        (essentially grace means understanding).

        I think the intentional aspect of what we refer to as altruistic is what we
        also refer to as a form of transphenomenality. We simply engage in the
        'authentic' during the act; for others, then we exist only as long as we
        exist for them, since they cannot exist for-their-selves. We attempt to save
        them, knowing apon reflection that we are possibly about to make our own
        exit, and this exit is not a 'material' exit, but a passage. Passage for me
        is the supreme metaphor for the spiritual and therefore to have faith, or
        good faith is to be certain that the act culminates in the passage from one
        state of being or existence to a different one. The mode of being or
        presence thus became saturated with meaning, and deep, uniting both
        retention, history, with protention, destiny. The metaphor of the passage is
        referred to in others as deep change and in the psychological sense as
        passage in the self to a 'beyond', a 'higher plateau' but really a peak. A
        pass in the mountains, and a passage connotes the spiritual. The metaphor of
        the body making a passage through high walls, columns, and irregular spaces,
        and an opening beyond.




        The family, I would presume [being the capitalist
        alienating institution it is today] may also affect ones authenticity.
        Being a novice to Existentialism, but not to Marxism have I got the
        wrong end of the stick? - would you care to elaborate?

        Helen.

        For a family to exist there has to be some thing called value. Family itself
        thus is 'feeling' and the term institution has a 'quasi legal' sense to it.
        The 'enemy of family' is bureaucracy according to Robin Fox. The 'intention'
        behind the term 'bureaucracy' is set of frozen rules, rough-hewn shapes that
        'precast' feeling as concrete. Where there is a member of the family, a
        'consanquine' perhaps, who does not contribute to the feeling, there is
        bureaucracy.

        I consider the 'stars' part of my family, even though I do not yet know they
        live like I do....Capitalists do love to account for all transactions, all
        value is no referred to as price, and the legality of having is a
        'constraint' to true family. This is why Marx, et al, believed that everyone
        should have what they need, and also what the deserve according to the
        abilities. Capitalism only rewards the 'legal' owners of capital....and
        never anyone or all.

        chao

        john






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