Friday, September 05, 2014

Love and the Reunited Soul

There is, moreover, another state, or, rather, quality of the soul, wherein the else divided reason and fancy are intimately associated and entirely reunited. This is a natural, pure affection, and the very faculty of love, which is itself the soul and the peculiar essence of man's spiritual soul. For example, a mother's love for her child, which is the deepest and strongest of the natural affections; no one can call this love irrational, although it must be judged by an entirely different standard from the reason. At least it does not arise from any carefully-weighed process of the reason, for it is over it that it gains its greatest triumphs. In love both halves of the soul are united. For, taken separately and apart, reason is only one half of the soul, and fancy the other. In love alone do both concur, and the soul is there present totally and perfectly. In it both halves, which otherwise are ever apart, being again united, restore a perfect state of the consciousness.

Friedrich Schlegel, Philosophy of Language, p. 362. Since Schlegel has just finished discussing the fact that what differentiates human rational consciousness from any kind of angelic consciousness is the fact that our faculties are disunified, an implication here is that love makes us more angel-like. He has also noted that "true genius" is an occasional exception, of a sort, -- in moment of sheer inspired genius our faculties click together, so to speak, so that they act as if they were one -- so a further implication is that love is like genius in some of its more important effects.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.