“Love can do all but raise the dead,” the American poet Emily Dickinson tells us. Alas, raising the dead is exactly what we demand of it.
Falling in love is a common mode of immortality-seeking.
Falling in love is resurrection and rebirth.
We are cradled in the womb again. We are given a new start in life. Everything is possible again. We feel all-powerful. We are, for one shining moment, beyond time.
Lovers are a different species. They inhabit a glorious distant planet. They don’t walk, they float. They don’t talk, they swoon. They don’t need gods to worship, they have each other.
Love gives us a foretaste of divinity. So we keep coming back to its well. To drink of its elixir. To partake of its mysteries. Just one more time. Oh, we implore the gods to be kind, and grant us one last fling.
Always one more time. Perhaps this time it will last. Perhaps this time it will work.
And though we hope against hope, so long as Death reigns, Love always disappoints.
For passion to flourish and continue, we need illusion. But illussion is impossible when two live together in close proximity.
We are appalled to find that our lover farts, belches, even shits.
We did not know that he or she suffers from body odor or “morning breath” or high-decibel snoring, These are understandable for other mortals, but we didn’t know they also apply to our beloved.
Obsession comes from the need to possess. We want to hold the lover in our hands and be assured that he or she is ours to keep. Not just for now, but forever.
But Love always fails–because our lover is ravaged by Time.
She gains weight. He wrinkles. She gets cellulite. He grows a beer-belly. She acquires stretch marks. He goes bald. She becomes double-chinned. He becomes stooped. She shrinks and gets fat.
Yes, Love gives us a glimpse of the divine state, of bliss beyond time. But therein lies its cruelty. We cannot linger. Instead, we are confronted with a lover who reminds us of the inexorable passage of Time, who mirrors and mocks our own aging, our own slide into the abyss.
Time always turns our lover into a stranger physically.
Love always becomes tragedy–worse, a farce.
No wonder middle-aged men trade in their aging wives for young bimbos. Beauty may be skin-deep, but it’s deep enough.
We fall in love with beauty, with youth, with energy….with Life. We did not bargain for ugliness, obesity, decline and decrepitude. But that’s exactly what we end up with.
Love and Death are inseparable. Even Christianity saw this truth as it intertwined Love and Death on the cross.
“I lived in misery,” Augustine screamed upon the death of his beloved friend, “like every man whose soul is tethered by the love of things that cannot last and then is agonized to lose them.” “What madness,” he concluded, “to love a man as something more than human.”
Love fails. It never lasts. Love fails. It’s subverted by Death.
Adapted From Cure Disease, Old Age & Death: The ImmorTalist Manifesto by Elixxir. Hardcover. Chapter 11, Page 161ff.
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