06 Feb 2015

3. The Mystery of Love

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Saying yes to life”, then, is not just an attitude. It's an experience, an intimate experience, which involves feelings, sensations, state of mind, mood; it's a way of perceiving and looking at things and people; it's a "mode of life generated by life".

I’m unable to say if it’s generated from the inside or the outside world. Again: I have no words for it. But I'm not saying that love is an experience that cannot be described. I'm rather saying: it cannot be described to those who haven't experienced it, while it's quite useless to describe it to those who have. Let’s try to explain it that way: can we describe a colour to a blind person? I cannot. Do we need to describe a colour to someone who is able to see it? I do not. I may mention it, and this would suffice to be understood. Besides, some discussion is possible about a colour’s shade; then, we solve this discussion by showing the colour. Which, in the case of love, means: we act, we go beyond words.

So, as I see it, behind the word "love" there is a big mystery that cannot be touched by concepts or explanations; yet, those who have experienced that mystery can try to describe it. The weak part of that resides - for me - in the fact that we cannot rely only on words if we hope to describe it effectively, understandably; I think we need also to act consistently with what we say - unless those who are listening have had a similar mysterious experience (and even so, when talking about it, there can be misunderstandings, because such an experience is very personal). To me, love is not an ordinary experience: rather, it’s an extra-ordinary one; and so, I am unable to describe it and explain if fully. And this is what makes it "a mystery".

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Laura Capogna

I am a philosophical practitioner living and working in Rome. I am a member of Phronesis, the Italian Association for philosophical counselling (www.phronesis-cf.com).

I entered Phronesis (in 2011) for two reasons: to learn if and how it was possible to put philosophy into practice again, at the service of common people in everyday life, like Socrates and the ancient Greeks did; and to meet, and become part of a community of modern, living philosophers, with whom I could share, compare, and “put on trial” my vision of the world. I accepted Ran Lahav’s proposal to work on the Agora project for these same reasons.