order. The stricter the better. In my life universal love preceded my love for a woman, but it followed friendship. It made me aware that love was a gift of oneself, an unconditional gift, without counterpart to be received except by grace. All these perceptions of love were never discussed with anyone, they were never debated. They appeared as obvious and obviously true. They remained as the first intuitions of a life that could be dedicated to love. But the course of events differed from the vision. I did not become a monk. I experienced three times as an adolescent, intense but short lived infatuations for three young ladies who found the offering of my love peculiar, grotesque and amusing, and returned it in the form of full contempt for my daring. How could one be as serious as I was, as inexperienced and as dedicated as a Don Quixote, a Cyrano de Bergerac — my alter egos? I still think my alter egos and I knew better and got much from our love for our ladies, even if the amounts in return look nil on a balance sheet. However much experience one may get in love in a life, the truth about love is that it remains a quality of the self and not a quantity to be added to. What happens with age is that the experiences of the other functionings of the self become additionally available to one. This allows one to see how one’s intuition at the moment when one is most vulnerable to love, impregnates the rest of one’s life. Because of the years of contact with love, with oneself in love, with oneself making love, one can reach an acquaintance of oneself which permits one to remain close to the truth of living love, and to control the impacts of
What can be learned about love if one considers it as an energy that is the result of self-awareness? In his essay On Love, Caleb Gattegno a...