History thrives on contradiction. There would be no words to fill textbooks if world events and facts did not clearly oppose that which was taught the year before. The reasons behind wars alter like the tides, and entire countries burn to the ground to be built up again under a new leader and a new goal. Nothing escapes this endless sea of change, this constant refocus of energy; not even love. For love, what was once a gift of sacrifice to the gods, the love of eternal gratitude toward an omnipotent power, became a love nothing short of disgraceful. The love of Eros, of agape, of wisdom and piety, minds and souls, evolved into the love of everything human in the eyes of romantics. It evolved into amore. And with this dawning of a new love, of a love for the skin of humans rather than the invisible bodies of gods, came a new set of rules, a new definition, a new goal. History has prodded the world toward this present era, and while the views of Romanticism are still accepted as the true doctrine of love, what may appear on the surface as a glorious concept is an ugly monster embedded in the flesh. Even amid Shakespeare and poetry, magic and potions, love has forged its own path, a path that leads straight into the fires of self-destruction. As the lesser noticed aspects of Romanticism illustrate, the best way to prove the existence of true love is to examine the pain it leaves behind. For to be in love is to suffer from the endless disease of validity, of the longing for the perfect evidence to be certain of the perfect love.
[...] It directs human nature upwards, toward a higher pursuit, and the Bible and Christianity are merely outlines of the path that leads to the embodiment of agape. It outlines the plan for each individual Christian, the necessary sacrifices for immortality. Romantic love replaces agape, and it therefore has no place in the human conscious. For when Paul proclaimed that is better to marry than to he spoke with malice Cor He spoke of marriage as the ultimate sacrifice to God, as the final separation of the spiritual from the carnal. [...]
[...] And if they are hurt, it then becomes proof of the love in their relationships to overcome the hardships. Fights only prove how much lovers care for each other, and a lover who strays and commits adultery, but comes back, merely proves that even a new taste cannot compare to the old. How romantic love can cloud the minds of lovers will forever remain a mystery, but there is no doubt that the uncontrollable passion created by such bouts of suffering and satisfaction is partly to blame. [...]
[...] Even the act of falling in love relies heavily on the burden of proof; one rarely says love if they do not expect it in return, if they have yet to weigh the odds against the evidence. A lover will wait forever for those three small words before he will ever admit to being a lover, but once his ears have heard that sound, that promise, he falls. And it is a battle, it is a risk, this exchange of preliminary vows, but the challenge remains in staying in love, because he cannot help but watch his lover through haggard eye of doubt” (Stendhal 136). [...]
[...] The driving force behind Eros, Plato's Symposium, seeks to prove the nonexistence of amore. The only love acknowledged by any of the speakers is an inferior physical love, and any “immediate object of love really stands in for or represents an ultimate value” (Neu 323). This value is the zenith of Diotima's ladder, Heavenly love, the love of gods and wisdom, the embodiment of immortality. Only one man is willing to discuss anything close to the idea of romantic love in the presence of Socrates. [...]
[...] And through all of this, the one thing that mars the otherwise beautiful ideal of romantic love is that it is completely narcissistic. How else would it cause such pain? In the midst of romantic love, it is not really about the lover. It is about self-contentment. It is about pride. It is about a need to feel stable and safe to the point that one's lover no longer has any identity beyond an object that must be retained at all costs. [...]
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