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Episode #093 ... Nietzsche pt. 4 - Love

2016-11-05 | 🔗

Today we look at the concept of love from several different angles in an attempt to better understand our own thoughts on love. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hello: everyone I'm Steven W. This is philosophize this big thanks to all the people on Patreon that help support the show and a big thank you to the people that go through the Amazon banner. I hope love the show today, so by now, you're, probably realizing something about nature, you're, probably realizing well if for no other reason disk as I've needlessly rambled about it over the course of this entire seer but what you probably realize by now is it in each is not writing his philosophy so that each and every single person in the world can write it down and take a little something from it. He's running want free for a select few people that are actually going to try it. Existence is running it for a small handful of people that aren't interested in feeling like they know everything about the world. The people that are actually going to try to understand things deeper than they've been led to believe about things over the course of their life. I mean at any stage of life, it's very easy to be coaxed,
the complacency about how you look at the world. I'm sure we can all imagine some forty five year old person and they're listening to some passionate, two thousand one hundred and twenty two year old person, and they have strong reinforced convictions about how people are and how the world works and all kinds of things like that and the forty five year old. They say to themselves. Look kid. I've been where you are before. I too used to think. I knew everything about the world, but you know what happens is what happens live a couple years longer if you failed marriages later few heated discussions at a PTA meeting, eventually are going to wake up and realize how the world actually works. Like I do believe me, I've been where you are before. Whenever I Nietzsche's philosophy. I always see him. It's like this one hundred and twenty your old guy and he's talking about forty five you're. Only saying you know what sunny I been where you are before you know what happens see a few more presidential elections play some badminton down at the YMCA watch. A few more seasons of the price is right like I have then then you'll
just and how the world actually works, or maybe just maybe you'll come to terms with the fact that this whole life thing is actually much bigger than that that may be one hundred years is just not enough time to become as well versed in things as he want to believe you are well there. And subjects out there that people like to tell themselves they have arrived at the destination about some subjects are more common, now there is in one of the most common ones. Is the concept of love we all feel like. We know what love is. We all felt it before right, powerful concept, love, probably not a big surprise that so many philosophers over the years have tried to take a closer look at it and understand it better given how good it feels to experience. Love, probably not a big surprise that so many people build their lives around feeling it or giving it or spending time with the people they love the most. Some people even take this to the extreme. Some people say that all you need is love, though they look around them the world understandably, and they think this people, stealing from
each other. People are killing each other. Cyber bullying is the pandemics chords of our time. Look allthesephilosophers, dot, com Ok things, it's actually very simple. Everyone just needs to love each other if only we could show everyone in the world how great it is to love people. These people say love is some sort of panacea for all the world's problems. Instead of dropping nukes, we should be dropping giant canisters of vidis of when Harry met Sally. If only the whole world understood love like I do, then everything would be fixed, but way that you treat somebody that you love hasn't always been. The way that her retreated Sally know that, as we do in the name of love, have changed drastically over the course of history and can easily change in the future in one hundred years ago. My kid could, I don't know, let's say they went down to the grocery store and get an ice cream cone without permission for four tenths of a cent. And when he comes home- and I see all the chocolate on his face at that point- I may say to Myself- you know what I love this kid. I love
him dearly and I am not going to allow him to become a person who and understand the value of discipline for the rest of his life. I don't want to Lord knows I don't want to, but I have to beat to name the love. I have to be tons of other examples of this, but the point is the way people treat the ones they. Love is highly influenced by the cultural backdrop that they were born into center. Stine's man burning in a building comes to mind, in other words and if everyone in the world loved each other people might still steal from people they love in the name of feeding others that they love. They may still assault people that they love in the name of love. Maybe love is actually a pretty complex thing that needs to be unpacked. I mean love is far from a static thing right. We use the word love to describe any number of different emotional states. We say things like I. I love my dog. I love my children. I love my parents. I love my domestic life partner. I love this pizza that I just ate from Chuck e cheese and all these different contexts the same word as being used to describe emotional states that are very different from each other. So what
we do we mean when we say love, maybe, something similar about all these different situations that we're touching on. So I think when somebody says that all people need to do is love each other. It's one of those statements that most philosophers were here and they'd say yeah. That sounds great, but they probably wouldn't think it's a very useful synopsis when it comes to actually getting to the bottom of the cause of these problems or how to actually solve them. In other words, in practice, how do you actually get everyone in the world to love each other? A little bit like walking into a hospital? You see all the different kinds of pain and suffering in a hospital. You see people in the cardiac ward, so you got the broken leg. So someone with hypertension, you say you know what These doctors is doctors going to complicate things all the time, but in reality it's actually very simple. I got to solution all these people need our trucks yeah, but what kind of drugs? How high of a dose of these drugs? When did they need
these drugs is, giving him drugs really a solution, or is it just temporarily masking the problem, there's more to it than just saying drugs case closed well. The point of this episode today is to eventually talk about how Nietzsche sees love, but I think it will give you some context. We take a look at some other notable philosophers. About history and how they viewed love and when it comes to philosophers running about love. By far the most famous account of love ever written has to be play doh in his work, the symposium. We talked a little bit about this on the Plato episode, but let I mean come on three years ago: people I was horrible doing this back then make it quick right. The symposium was a fictional book written by the greek philosopher. Plato about a dinner party to dinner Party were various. No. The figures from Athens at the time all meet up to talk about a particular subject? Partly they did that kind of stuff back then, the subject of, particular nice dinner party is love, everybody takes turns getting up in front of the group giving their thoughts on love now, barring the funny
pretty ridiculous. They were given by our Stoppani is, which is really probably just played of getting back at him for slandering Socrates and one of his place besides that, in terms of philosophy, the it's pretty slow up until we start hearing what Socrates has to say about what he heard about love from a philosopher named day team- and I team up nobody he knows for sure whether she actually existed, but it's one of those things like everyone else in the symposium existed. I went this be a real person, but that Emma told soccer about how she sees love as sort of a progression. It's a progression ascending up rungs of a ladder where, throughout your various experiences with love in your life, you go through a number of phases, each one of these phases as a rung on the ladder we become more and more aware of what love truly is and seeing as how this is one of the most famous accounts love ever given. Let's talk, But these wrongs, a little sodia table, would say that when you come of age in this world and you enter into a romantic relationship of some sort, the first type of love that you
experience. The first rung on this ladder is what she calls bodily love. Bodily love is exactly what you expected to be a love of someone's body and infatuation with another person. Maybe they make you smile. A lot Maybe you have this uncontrollable desire to touch the person when you're around them, but either way. We all know about this. One we've all seen this one before I'm not going to waste your time, give a ton of examples of it but the. Testing thing is to die, says once you're in this place where, love someone for their body. If you start to look closer at that feeling that you have towards this person in words, if you think about what exactly it is that you love about the body, whenever we happens, is that you start to notice the things you like about this person's body are not exclusive to them in anyway? What other bodies out there that have these exact same qualities given to realize there are thousands, if not millions, of bodies other the my potentially life now much like Socrates does where he goes into the public square. He asked people for their definition of, say, courage. He looks at all the different definition.
Said, tries to find what's similar about them to hopefully arrive at a better understanding of what courage is in the same way. Maybe you take a look at all these millions of bodies that you love and try to find out what similar between them and at the end of that process, what you're left with is a certain type of person. You know I like people with brown, hair and blue eyes, for example a type but remember this is only the first rung on the ladder by Tina says it wants to get to this place. Then what happens? Is this person? Who body you're in love with well, it's inevitable you're, probably going to be spending a considerable amount of time around them right. Eventually, if you spend enough time with them- but you have to Realize- is that this person is more than just their body is persons more. I'm just a piece of meat, no there a person they have feelings inside. We realize that we can have conversations with him about all. There really interesting thoughts, opinions and ideas on things
Diotima says it would eventually happens after we've had enough of these conversations with them. You start to realize that love is not a shallow, as you first thought. It was sure you love their body that body that you love yeah. Ok, it looks good now. Look I don't care if you're, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Okay, in fifty years, your body going look like a sun, dried tomato like the rest of us Diotima says what you realize is that there's a deeper form love available to you by loving someone's personality or she refers to it, the sole. Now it's in these first two stages that most people spend their entire lives. I mean you think about the progression of the average person's love life, maybe throughout their 20s they have a few debaucherous relationships may be there with the wrong people personality wise, but they tend to overlook it because I think they're attractive, maybe eventually they want someone more mature than that. Maybe they end up finding one whose personality they admire and they decided to get married to that person, but that doesn't put you on the second rung of the ladder. Necessarily I mean, even if you find yourself admiring something about the personality of someone you're married to when it comes to most
those relationships, you still have one foot in so I have this bodily love right. I mean I don't care something the best person in the world most people aren't going to and they look like Gollum from Lord of the rings. Most people sort of get into a mixture between bodily love and love of the soul. Not important thing to note, I think, is getting stuck in any of these rungs on this latter for your entire life doesn't make you a bad person play, it would save it still. Love love is a good thing. All this love is good. The question just becomes how much of a good thing do you would it's throughout your life, because what happens once you love this collect, in personality traits that somebody has is that just like in the case of the bond we love, what you realize is that these characteristics that you love about, someone aren't somehow exclusive to them. I realize there are thousands of other people out there that embody these very same characteristics. Now, the greater implication of realizing this to Diotima is that it removes this visage. That's been clouding
ability to move on to the third rung of the ladder that to truly understand love, is to understand that love is not this interpersonal exchange between two people that can only exist between two people. What you realize is that what you love about so the person really has nothing to do with them as a human being. What you love our concepts that they embody now again today, but once you realize this, the next step is to realize that person you love was not born in a vacuum. His person was not floated down the river Nile in a basket
and raised as one of their own by a pack of hippos. Ok, this person was born into a very specific cultural context by very specific group of people who all had ideas of their own, and what you realize at this point is that everything about this personality that you love so much really was forged by certain aspects of culture, laws and institutions that cultivated these personality traits that this person embodies, that you love. The ultimate point is the next few rungs on the ladder are as follows: loving the laws and institutions that create the people are things that you love
then a love of knowledge of those laws and institutions that turns into a love of knowledge itself. Finally, culminating in a love of the platonic form of beauty or the good itself tons of interesting conversations to be had about these last three rungs interior, all clamoring for them, but I think, what's most important to say, is that look? Let's say you never get to the top rung of the ladder where you understand the form of beauty itself that doesn't make you a dumb person that doesn't make you a bad person die team is just saying that the good feelings you feel when you're experiencing love greatly increase with each successive wrong that you move up on this ladder and that much like a dog, a dog. That's got a little too the human blood for the first time once they tasted it, they can never go back to Lamb and Rice Alpo that once you've tasted that forbidden fruit on the next rung of the ladder, all the other forms of love sort of just lose their appeal, they're, not as good as what you've already experienced. I'm sure we can all imagine that right for your whole life, all you did was love people for their body
and then all of a sudden you get together with some pelican looking podcaster dude and he dies and some magic podcasting related incident after experiencing that higher level of love on this ladder, it stands to reason that if you back and had a relationship that was just for the body would probably feel like something's missing there at least that's what I tell myself every day. So as you know, if you listen to this podcast from the beginning, is it this hierarchical conception of love, that's laid out in the symposium? It paved the way for love was laid out in the middle ages. That love in its most basic flawed form is love of the body. Some people would even say that we shouldn't consider that love. It's considered lost that moves onto a love of your fellow human beings that moves onto a love of the truth, all of which is inferior to the Ulta.
Love, the love of God, and this became the dominant perception for what love is for quite some time, and although there was work done sporadically on left before this, something very interesting happens to the concept of love right about the mid 18th century. More specifically, with the way that you treat somebody that you love, what happened was romanticism happened romanticism, as we talked about before is a cultural movement. Somebody even say it's a codified doctrine of ideas about the way human being should be interacting with various aspects of the world that they live in falling, underneath that umbrella, of course, is the way that we treat people that we love romanticism is oftentimes, seen as a push back to an error that came just before it, where there's a lot of info,
put on reason. It's the way to arrive at conclusions about things too much reason: there's got to be a better way may be. The best place to start is to say that, historically speaking, being in a relationship with somebody or getting married, hasn't always been about what we would often call today romantic feelings that you have towards this other person. People used to get married for all kinds of practical reasons, because it was financially prudent to do so because they had a relative that could help you greatly advance your career. Any number of reasons, not today's world. If you got married to somebody simply because it was a good financial move for you, people wouldn't really take too kindly to that tell your getting married for all the wrong reasons that something's missing there, but where did that come from a big part of it? Comes from this movement of romanticism in the mid 1700s romanticism pushes the idea that it's possible and even expected to meet someone you get to know them
You feel these intense romantic feelings that you often feel in the beginning of a relationship, and you should expect this heightened emotional state to persist indefinitely all throughout the course of your together a life, long love story at this off and put that the litmus test for who he should lover, who should marry shouldn't be based on practical considerations like how good it is for your career or something like that, but that these initial feelings that we have they're going to decide for us when you meet someone and they make you feel this way You've done it. You have now found your soul mate. You found the one, and only someone for you from this point forward. You and your soul. Mate are going to be doing it all expenses paid vacation where every day of your lives, you fall deeper and deeper in love with them, with each passing day, any boredom within the relationship any longings for somebody else or novelty within that relationship. That's not something that should be expected in a long term relationship. That's something to be avoided need to prevent that. It's a sign
the relationships not going well, it's a demon, that's tormenting the relationship that needs to be exercised now in many traditional conceptions of romanticism and there's some variance here. 'cause we're talking about a very large period of time, but the General idea is that when you love someone deeply enough deeply, if you can't accept them at their worst, you don't deserve them at their best. The to truly love someone is to be tolerant of all their shortcomings. As people you know, love is patient, love is kind. Love is understanding. Corinthians thirty If someone comes home from work and a lot of the times are in a bad mood and you're, not really forgetting that love every night. Might say, you know what I love this person. I understand this isn't the entirety of who they are understand. This isn't about me right now. Sure the way they're treating me in this moment makes me feel bad, but I'm going to find something else to do while they work through these emotions, another example: if someone quits their job and they pursue their dream of becoming a street performer,
a mine mine and let's say they go out mine in the streets for three years and people just don't seem to like their act that much you know kind of boxes. That was horrible. Someone might say. Well, you know what we may not have that my money and yes, they could easily go back to their other job and help out, but I don't care if we have to live in squalor for the rest of our lives, at least we'll be together with the strong feelings that we have what's interesting. To think about is that many of these romantic ideas of love ask you to be totally to current about some things, but totally intolerant about other selective things I mean if the person love has romantic feelings for somebody else or if they're telling you tons of things need to change about yourself or, if they're, not fornicating, with you on a regular. These are all signs that there's something deeply wrong with the relationship, not things you need to be tolerant of again, love should be this highly intuitive thing. This feeling that, had you spent six years, your life at the university learn to become a dentist, but when it comes to asking how to love or who to love or why do love
or anything like that that stuff, let's kind of wing it I'll figure it out now. This sounds change, remember romanticism is a movement that was the antithesis to a world where they thought. We were reasoning way too much about the ways we behave. Don't forget reasoning. What really matters is how you feel about this person we can use in the bachelor the show the bachelor. I haven't, of course, but I, if I ever had, I would have to say man, look at what the shows become in the last few years. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I would say first episode. I think I could potentially fall in love with this guy third episode. I think I might be falling for him right now. Fifth, Ok now definitely started the following process. I I tripped on something: I'm off balance gravity is definitely pulling. My project read in the downward motion, but haven't quite falling. Yet one of these people, even talking about this, is what you get when you fully eradicate reason from this process, emotional states waiting for some other
vague emotional state to arise, and people honestly can't even tell other actually in them or not. But here's the thing if that sounds critical sounds like it came off critical. This is not their fault at all. This is just what they told to expect when it comes to finding a long term. Relationship by every tv show, ram common Disney movie they've ever come across from the moment they were born. Nobody should feel bad about having this expectation, it's not their fault, it's cultures, fault and even on the note, there's nothing wrong with bringing this expectation in deer relationships. Really. I just think a lot of modern commentators would say that if you do choose to bring in these expectations, barring a level of comparable to winning the lottery, you're, probably going to end up being largely disappointed by your relationships. It's such a tall order to fill most people will look at the discography of their love life. Most people are probably go stick it out in a relationship far too long telling themselves. This person is their soul, mate and then one day when it all goes up in flames will tell themselves well. You know what looking back
signs were there all along. Maybe this next persons, my one and only someone where's, my Ryan Gosling, either that or they'll find themselves six months in saying man. I just don't get those butterflies I used to get, maybe they're, not the one for me and they spend their whole lives. Looking for this sixty year, love affair that might not ever come now. It's because of this fact that when most modern thinkers talk about love, they usually start from this point in the discussion and one of the most famous accounts above ever was by a guy named Arthur Schopenhauer. He has this parable where he compares marriage to two porcupines trying to huddle together to keep warm and that the art of being with somebody that you love is trying to find the right distance where you're still each other, warm but you're, not so close that your porcupine spikes are stabbing each other. You know to Schopenhauer. Everything is about this survival oriented will to life and that when we get married- and we have these romantic relationships, what we're at reacted to and someone else are really What we see as our shortcomings, the hope, being subconsciously, that if your counterpart
makes up for these areas that you're a little bit weaker in that those weaknesses are I'm going to be less likely to prevent you from prospering as a unit, you guys are better off together now. This brings us to the great Frederick Nietzsche, Nietzsche's view on love, there's multiple low. Here's to it on one hand, just like he tries to do with everything else we tell ourselves. We have these strong convictions about he's, trying to get us to question. How selfless were actually being when we love someone, but, on the other hand,
it's not denouncing anyone for being in love any certainly not saying that nobody should be in life, see each up as we talked about before huge fan. Heraclitus loves the idea of looking at two things that we commonly think of as opposites and finding ways that they're actually the same thing manifesting itself in two different ways, for example, day and night, are these two different things that are opposites? Were we talking about the same thing? That's just in two different states. Same thing goes when he breaks down the psychology of love, often times people. When they talk about love, and someone will say things like love is caring about somebody more than you care about yourself. I love this person. I would sacrifice in I think for them, I'm completely selflessly committed to this other being now, nature would say how convenient this person is trying so hard to paint themselves as such a selfless person, because you know what love truly is when you look at it closely enough love starts to strongly resemble greed.
He says, quote: greed and love what different feeling these two terms of oak. Nevertheless, it could be the same instinct that has two names once deprecated: those who have an whom the instinct has calmed down to some extent and who are afraid for their possessions and the other times scene from the point of view of those who are not satisfied but still thirsty and who therefore glorify the instinct's good in quote, in other words, we love to pat ourselves on the back, tell ourselves how great we are doing things in the name of loving this other person, and we often I'm thinking somebody who's greedy in a negative light. But what? If love and greed, are the same instinct manifesting itself in different ways that at the root of either of these words, is this instinct or this desired, that something will be hours or, as he puts it, to change something new into ourselves? He says love in, read are actually the same thing. The only difference between whether we classify it as love or greed in the moment comes down to how sad
find somebody is with what they already have. For example, let's say you're a huge fan of italian sports cars and you save up you finally get one sit in the drive way out there look at it wow somebody else comes along. Maybe he likes italian sports cars too. Maybe he wants that the time sports car you're sitting in the driveway? Let's say: there's nothing. He wants more in the entire world than to have your italian sports car sitting in his half vacant warehouse where it will live out the rest of its sports car days with this guy. But you say no, no! You love that car. You don't want to go anywhere. Let's say this guy doesn't give up. Let's say he persist, he's going to write a persuasive essay to the car begging it to come. Live in his warehouse is going to do whatever it takes to make. It is. Maybe is going to try to find some way to convince the state to take your sports car away from you so that he can have it not crazy to think you might feel. The guy was being a little bit greedy, yes, being a lover of cars yourself. If, in your travels you came across the very same car, you would certainly want it, and in that context you just think about
how much you wanted the car is your love of cars, not you being greedy, now replacing italian sports car with your significant other and take note of the similarities. Now. Here's the interesting part, even if we can agree upon the idea that love is greed, let's just say that it is Nietzsche's, not judging you for that he's not saying this makes you a bad, person for loving someone he thinks it love just like everything else is a will to power, and in this case, love is sort of a mutually beneficial will to power. When two people are in love, yes to need. They are just both greedily desiring to change something new into themselves, but greeter. No greed need thanks, love and chip or some of the most amazing things life has to offer. He says he should find someone love them joy. The very real benefits of loving someone just take a closer look at why it you're actually doing these things and don't try to
justify your actions with a nice sounding story. The elected tell yourself about how it's really all about this other person. The reason I chose love as the topic of today's episode. Well, two parts to it. One is that this is a perfect example of one of these concepts that everyone comes in to the episode having strong opinions on that need to loves, to try to get us to question our deepest assumptions about and number two is. This is also a perfect example of one of nature's ideas and if you just heard the first line of it yeah you just heard, love is greed. You might read. Negatively would like. You might think. Nature's just this empty joyless become powerful, take advantage of everyone kind of guy, but then when he won Reese coming from, though, admittedly it's still abrasive. His is a lot more nuanced and you might first think is actually something powerful there. I honestly is the reason why so many people misunderstand each it did they read a single line out of context and they make tons of sweeping generalizations about the guy's a person. I seriously think this is the reason, as we talked about before why
work could be so easily distorted by his sister after his death when she was bumping elbows with Hitler and the third Reich. But one of the most chilling passages I've ever read from nature is not from any of its full. It's a line out of his autobiography. It's a line where he seems to foreshadow exactly what happened with his work after he died. He seems to predict how impactful his work was going to be he says quote. I know my fate one day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous: a crisis without equal on earth, the most profound collision of conscience, decision that was conjured up against everything that I've been believed demanded hallowed. So far, I am no man, I am dynamite. In quote. Thank you for
Transcript generated on 2019-10-15.