By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Is Love Desire?

Ortega y Gasset en un fotografía tomada por la...Image via Wikipedia
José Ortega y Gasset
The philosopher José Ortega y Gasset wrote a book called Estudios sobre el amor (literally "Studies on Love"). Below is an excerpt distinguishing between desire and love:


Desire has a passive character; 
when I desire something, what I  
actually desire is that the object come to me. 
Being the center of gravity, I await things  
to fall down before me. Love, 
as we shall see, is the exact reverse of desire, for love 
is all activity. Instead of the object coming to me, it is 
I who go to the object and become part of it. In the 
act of love, the person goes out of himself. Love is 
perhaps the supreme activity which nature affords 
anyone for going out of himself toward something 
else. It does not gravitate toward me, but I toward 
it.

St. Augustine, one of those who have thought 
about love most profoundly and who possessed per- 
haps one of the most gigantic erotic temperaments 
that ever existed, succeeds sometimes in freeing him- 
self from the interpretation which makes of love a 
desire or appetite. Thus, he says with lyric expansive- 
ness: Amor meus, pondus meum: illo feror, quocumque 
feror. "My love is my weight; where it goes I  
go." Love is a gravitation toward that which is loved.

Source link On Love: Aspects of a Single Theme by José Ortega y Gasset. Translated by Toby Talbot. New York: Meridian Books, 1957) [bold emphasis added].


Thus, love is a risky venture. It is not a matter of having something fall into your lap, so to speak. Love is a matter of going out of oneself.
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