Forever and ever

If you would describe me by a fragrance, I would choose “forever and ever.” As you can see on my picture, the bottle is almost empty. Forever and Ever Dior by Christian Dior is a floral fragrance for women. It was released in 2006. Top notes are freesia, ivy and jasmine; middle notes are almond blossom, rosehip and geranium; Base notes are musk, vanilla and amber.

I always found Dior a romantic brand. And when I found my almost empty bottle, the title made me think. What is love?

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Michel de Montaigne

Si l’on me presse de dire pourquoi je l’aimais, je sens que cela ne se peut exprimer qu’en répondant : Parce que c’était lui, parce que c’était moi. – Essais, I, 28, De l’amitié de

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Let’s quote Montaigne. The famous street in Paris, Av. Montaigne where Dior is seated is named after the writer. I always thought they were referring to a hill. Since that street is so steep.

Forever and ever. Reminds me of wedding vows. The eternal seems so symbolic to me. Life and everything around it is perishable. Time is precious and sometimes I wonder if love and feelings can last forever until death separates two souls.

There’s a difference between to be in love and to cherish someone. Lust and affection. Does love arise? Or is it a phenomenon that instantly happens to us. And why does Montaigne quote friendship when he talks about love? Perhaps we could substantiate this biologically or scientifically, but I prefer to quote the views of some philosophers.

Lust

In Symposium Plato defends the proposition that love has many similarities with philosophy. They both transcend human existence and both connect the finite with the eternal. For Plato, love is more about friendship than eroticism.

“The early stage of love is accompanied by lust and possessiveness. We are in love and want to win the other completely for ourselves in an erotic way. When we have done that job, lust can make way for friendship. The love relationship then becomes the connection of 2 souls in a deep, friendly connection.”

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one of my drawings in the Toile de Jouy notebook

 

 

He suggests that there are two aspects of loving someone. The instant physical attraction between two people. Longing for someone. The superficial. A bit instinctive, hunting and catching. And when there is no doubt about lust, a mental connection is made. Deep appreciation. Know what drives the other. Expose oneself intellectually.

Love

Plato quotes friendship in his analysis of love. What does friendship mean? And what is the correlation between friendship and love. French rationalist, René Descartes describes friendship as “a form of love that arises on the basis of esteem or respect.“ We can conclude that every friendship is a form of love. Thomas Aquinas goes even further and considers the ontic-anthropological love “amor” as the foundation of friendship

Virtue

The same way of thinking and acting also plays a role, according to Aristotle. He calls true friendship character friendship, because it is a relationship between people who are “good in themselves” and who “are equals in virtue”. Cicero complements this theory and adds that one cannot obtain material if there is friendship. “ It’s characterized by mutual aid without the aim of material benefit. Friendship is based on virtus (virtue): inner harmony, reliability and constancy,” he says. The “good” often comes back when philosophers try to define friendship. As well as acting ethically and morally

Freedom

Immanuel Kant sees friendship as “the union of two persons through reciprocal love and esteem.” Respect implies keeping a distance and not acting possessively. According to Kant, friendship is therefore an obligation to two conflicting interests. And also for the sake of benevolence, you want to position yourself in such a way that you want to help realize the goals, interests and interests of the other, and to respect for the other as an autonomous individual.

Love and friendship

I think friendship is a form of love. But friendship is platonic, there is no lust and desire which is present between people who love each other in a romantic way. I agree with Plato’s theory. If I love someone, a coups de foudre arises at the first meeting, but besides desire there is an intimate mental connection. According to Kant, friendship is giving each other space and freedom and that is lost in love.

Loving implies giving space, partly giving your autonomy and freedom to the other. You unconsciously limit each other. Look at monogamous relationships. We then demand monogamy. Set boundaries and make rules so that we don’t hurt the ones we love. Restricting freedom is not necessarily negative. We surrender ourselves. Expose our thoughts. And that is where friendship differs from love. There are less expectations, more freedom and, as Kant says, more distance. Would you be my forever and ever?

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