Dissimulated emotional authenticity…
“Dissimulation” is a curious term for Nietzsche to use; something is lost in translation? It is all about concealment, obfuscation, to pretend not to have what one has and to pretend to have what one most certainly does not. Perhaps he was suggesting that there is an irreducible element of theatre in all emotional experience or aspiration to psychological truth, or, perhaps he was seeding a little constructive entropy. The wily old dog of European philosophy is playing with our expectations and assumptions; is this (yet) another game of words that he has won before anyone else has even stepped upon the field of play?
Love may be felt just as we expect other people feel it, which means we do not and can never actually know, semi-isolated and enclosed in our dark craniums (as we all are); harvesting appearances from which to infer the realities of Other’s emotions; an essentially metaphysical assertion. This is a fine source of dissimulated emotional authenticity and suggests that doubt is irreducible, but in useful ways – that the seeded doubt of uncertain self-identity or Truth is always theatre and that love is as ultimately fictional as all other facts. Do we invent these things? Transcendental truths must remain unutterable.
2 replies on “What does love feel like?”
I like Nietzsche, but I don’t think he had anything of value to tell us about love. He lacked a modicum of sensitivity. His manliness, in spite of being most appealing to other men, might very well have been dissimulation, but love? I doubt he felt it. The romanticizing of love, which was common in his generation, probably was a dissimulation. I know that there are a lot of people who have never experienced love and many, including myself, who have experienced it. Whether it lasts or is evanescent is not the issue. Whether the term, “love”, has been over-used or hyper-inflated or not is not the issue either. I find Jacques Lacan’s analysis of love to be the most relevant. It is a form of ego-canceling insanity, which may sometimes be transformed into a more normalized form of caring and empathy.
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I can not disagree. I think the value of a great mind is not necessarily embodied in the content of their thought but in the general shape, form, flow and topology by and through which they think. Learning to think is as recombinatory, recursive and open as are living systems. Gather what is useful, discard what isn’t but learn, learn, learn all the time…
“Fred Netzsky” (😉) has been an inspiration for me for years, not always for what was said, but for the ways in which it was said. I use powerful thinkers as springboards, not wading pools… contemplation does not imply commitment.
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