that which endures to the end

by Andrea Elizabeth

Not that an engagement breaker can’t know about love. Some quotes.

Although [romantic] love is based essentially on the sensuous, it nevertheless is noble by virtue of the consciousness of the eternal that it assimilates, for it is this that distinguishes all love from lust: that it bears the stamp of eternity. The lovers are deeply convinced that in itself their relationship is a complete whole that will never be changed. But since this conviction is substantiated only by a natural determinant, the eternal is based on the temporal and thereby cancels itself. Since this conviction has undergone no ordeal, has found no higher justification, it proves to be an illusion and therefore it is so easy to make it ludicrous. (p. 21)

Therefore, the true eternity in love, which is the true morality, actually rescues it first out of the sensuous But to bring forth this true eternity requires a determination of will – but more on that later. (p. 22)

Like all depression, it is defiant and is conscious of it; it thinks: Perhaps just this, that I bind myself to one person with an indissoluble bond, will make this being, whom I otherwise would love with my whole soul, become intolerable to me, perhaps, perhaps, etc. (p. 25)

Therefore, a marriage based on calculation [convenience] is to be regarded as a capitulation of sorts that the exigencies of life make necessary. But how sad it is that this seems to be almost the only consolation the poetry of our time has left, the only consolation that of despairing; indeed, it obviously is despair that makes such a connection acceptable. Therefore, it is usually entered into by persons who have long since reached their years of discretion and who also have learned that real love is an illusion and its fulfillment at most a pious wish…. Consequently the eternal, which, as already indicated above, belongs to every marriage, is not really present here, for a commonsensical calculation is always temporal.  (p. 27)

This is why in a recent play a commonsensical little seamstress also makes the shrewd comment about fine gentlemen’s love: They love us but do not marry us; they do not love the fine ladies, but they marry them. (p. 28)

yet it would be beautiful if the Christian dared to call his God the God of love in such a way he thereby also thought of that inexpressibly blissful feeling, that never-ending force in the world: earthly love. p. 30)

those for whom romantic love has an appeal do not care much for marriage, and on the other side, so much the worse, many marriages are entered into without the deeper eroticism that surely is the most beautiful aspect of purely human existence. Christianity is unswervingly committed to marrkage. Consequently, if marital love has no place within itself for the eroticism of first love, then Christianity is not the highest development of the human race; and surely it is a secret anxiety about such a discrepancy that is laregely responsible for the despair that echoes in both modern poetry and prose. (p. 30-31)

Seems he doesn’t think romantic love is an illusion after-all. Sustaining it may be another matter.