all about love


listening to: blueberry fields (eidolon ost) - michael patrick bell

finished reading "all about love" by bell hooks last night. i'm not sure why i only started collecting quotes halfway in, probably because i knew i'll re-read the book anyway? there was some solid gold in the first half as well, e.g. how you can't be both committed to the lies of patriarchy and to love at the same time. but here are the bits i did save:

relationship anarchy adjacent:

when we see love as the will to nurture one's own or another's spiritual growth, revealed through acts of care, respect, knowing, and assuming responsibility, the foundation of all love in our life is the same. there is no special love exclusively reserved for romantic partners.

my problem with 99% of tarot writings and pagan groups:

much fancy footwork takes place to make it seem that new age mystical evocations of yin and yang, masculine and feminine androgyny, and so on, are not just the same old sexist stereotypes wrapped in more alluring and seductive packaging.

love = doing:

giving is healing to the spirit. we are admonished by spiritual tradition to give gifts to those who would know love. love is an action, a participatory emotion. whether we are engaged in a process of self-love or of loving others we must move beyond the realm of feeling to actualize love. this is why it is useful to see love as a practice. when we act, we need not feel inadequate or powerless; we can trust that there are concrete steps to take on love's path.

when talking about the lack of responsibility and uncertainty of feelings in the expression "falling in love", she quotes fromm:

love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. if love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. a feeling comes and it may go. how can i judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.

about end-of-life regrets and fear of death:

when we love every day we do not need the eminent threat of sure death to be true to ourselves. living with awareness and clarity of mind and heart we are able to embrace the realization of our dying in a manner that allows us to live more fully because we know death is always with us.

on combating the fear brought about by lack of love:

the transformative power of love is not fully embraced in our society because we often wrongly believe that torment and anguish are our "natural" condition. this assumption seems to be affirmed by the ongoing tragedy that prevails in modern society. in a world anguished by rampant destruction, fear prevails. when we love, we no longer allow our hearts to be held captive by fear. the desire to be powerful is rooted in the intensity of fear. power gives us the illusion of having triumphed over fear, over our need for love.
to return to love, to know perfect love, we surrender the will to power.

more thoughts
back home