the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

quotes: Pessoa on the intractability of individuality & love

Posted by rigorousm on June 19, 2012

104.

We never love anyone. What we love is the idea we have of someone. It’s our concept—our own selves—that we love.

This is true in the whole gamut of love. In sexual love we seek our own pleasure via another body. In non-sexual love, we seek our own pleasure via our own idea. The masturbator may be abject, but in point of fact he’s the perfect logical expression of the lover. He’s the only one who doesn’t feign and doesn’t fool himself.

The relations between one soul and another, expressed through such uncertain and variable things as shared words and proffered gestures, are deceptively complex. The very act of meeting each other is a non-meeting. Two people say ‘I love you’ or mutually think it and feel it, and each has in mind a different idea, a different life, perhaps even a different color or fragrance, in the abstract sum of impressions that constitute the soul’s activity.

— Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet p 112.

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