“Sensuality often hastens the growth of love so much that the roots remain weak and are easily torn up.”

The circles I’m in tend to be rather religious. People in them “get married to have sex,” as one very wise friend put it. That leads to the idealizing of sexual intercourse and an unhealthy obsession with romance.

We all know sensuality can lead to people using each other for sex. But what about the problem of two falling in love physically too much and too soon?

It is a strange problem. Right now I’m thinking the section of Beyond Good and Evil from which this aphorism is taken depends on supposing truth a woman. Is the love discussed here between man and the truth? If so, the danger of truth could be that it ultimately hastens self-knowledge to a degree one falls apart. Sensuality, on this reading, is something like an attempted body-soul unity.

That makes some sense to me. But I’d like to know why two actual people could fall out of love precisely because of their strong physical attraction. Nietzsche gives a hint with the plant metaphor. A couple, just like one’s knowledge, has to grow a certain way. You can’t just memorize the encyclopedia and call that wisdom. Something about self-knowledge may be critical for knowledge generally. Something about a less-than-physical future is necessary for even a more erotic love.

2 Comments

  1. David Brooks attacks Krugman for being trapped in 1975 and having a small package![only one of those statements is true, possibly]

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/02/krugman_vs_brooks_the_times_columnists_amazing_brawl_over_charles_murray_s_new_books_.html

    [one of the greatest comments in response to the authors ultimately bs conclusions was too good to pass up, make sure to read this after you get the gist of his article: “You are 24 years old, have a liberal arts degree and live with your mother. Your future, as far as you can see, is a service job with no challenge, no real advancement, a daily dose of disrespect and a $15/hour pay cap. You stop reading the news when it all suggests an even grimmer future. You have endless, inexpensive entertainment and nuclear strength pot. I am inspired and ready to change the world just typing this.”]

    London wastes a few billion dollars:

    http://www.foxsportswest.com/02/15/12/Rogge-believes-2012-Olympics-will-turn-p/landing.html?blockID=667100&feedID=7972

  2. Maybe the problem is that sensuality is not without a sense of mystery. It promises to reveal something, although I think it is unusual to talk about sensuality as a way of learning.
    The end-game, I think, is a sense of vacuity, an awareness that there is nothing there to reveal.
    I suspect there is an intermediate stage, feverish sensuality, the attempt to preserve or protect the sense of mystery. I think this is funny, because people seem to me to pursue sensuality not for its own sake, but thinking it leads somewhere they haven’t been, but they’d like to go.

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