Love is a kind of motion, or so says Augustine. Love is a kind of motion and all motion is toward something. The motion of love takes us to the good: we crave what we know, which is good, otherwise we would not crave it for its own sake.

Hannah Arendt: “The distinctive trait of this good that we desire is that we have it. Once we have the object our desire ends, unless we are threatened with its loss.”

Love as craving reaches back to once we once knew, “desire is a combination of ‘aiming at’ and ‘referring back to’.”


We know the good can never be achieved. Love is ideally a mediation of amor and caritas: love your partner as a neighbour; satisfy (for the moment) your lust. To give in to either drive would inevitably lead to personal dissolution. Like Arcite, your horse startles at an imagined phantom and you are thrown (or like Vronsky you push the horse past its limits and it is destroyed). Or, like a character out of Nightwood or an old english poem you relentlessly persue a past that never was (neither theirs nor yours).

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