Published in  
April 1, 2015

Love is all there is

We often speak about love and lovers in a way that suggests that the latter is a material embodiment of the former.

In other words, the lover is one who loves, one who somehow reifies love and wields it, his hands firmly on the hilt. But love is not held. It is not a property, a characterization, a localized possession of a human or nonhuman subject. Such determinations emerge from an ‘old’ ontology that tells the story of a universe comprised of separate ‘persons’, private interiorities and concrete, non-permeable exteriorities. In this narrative, bolstered by classical science and other myth-making institutions, the ethical quest of the lover is to bridge the gaping divide that lies between himself and the distant other. To do this, the prospective lover is invited to deny himself, to transcend his ego, to sophisticate his mind with imperatives that offer surer means of breaking through the impregnability of otherness, to ‘reach out to someone’, to obey predetermined creeds emphasizing the right responses to a ‘radically exteriorized other’, to try the inscrutably Sisyphean task of embracing another who stands on faraway grounds. Perhaps nothing could be more ironic than attempting to synthesize that which is already entangled. And this irony finds poignancy when we re-configure our understanding of reality – not as an assemblage of discrete things, but an entanglement.

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There is no exterior in a reality that is relationship – entirely relational. Instead of a world with pre-existing actors in relationship with other actors, we are beginning to understand that nothing predates relationship. There are no discrete actors, no sealed egos, no final boundaries. Love is entanglement – and an entanglement is not the meshing together of two distinct objects, it is a prodigious inseparability manifesting as two. It is not cosmetic, an addition to the ordinary, a ‘choice’, or a sacralization of the commonplace. Love is the ordinary – a material field of possibility, an enactment that enlists participation. There are no lovers, per se. There are no ‘others’. In a sense, the Beatles got it wrong: love isn’t all you need, love is all there is.