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Concerning the Flesh, and Its Arousal. §22. Individuality By Desire We are defined more by what we lack than what we possess. “That which I lack defines.

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Presentation on theme: "Concerning the Flesh, and Its Arousal. §22. Individuality By Desire We are defined more by what we lack than what we possess. “That which I lack defines."— Presentation transcript:

1 Concerning the Flesh, and Its Arousal

2 §22. Individuality By Desire We are defined more by what we lack than what we possess. “That which I lack defines me more intimately than everything that I possess.” (108) By Eternity We are defined by a desire for eternity. “At the moment of love loving, the lover can only believe what he or she says or does under a certain aspect of eternity.” (109) By Passivity The oath makes me depend upon the other. “The advance opens the floodgates of intuition.” (111) The risk rids oneself of the activity of the ego.

3 §23. My Flesh, and the Other’s Your flesh is only yours; no one can experience it like you can. “I do not have flesh, I am my flesh, and it coincides absolutely with me.” (112) And such the other’s flesh is its own; no bodies can ever touch: there is no such thing as a caress. “Still one flesh never touches another flesh, because the one immediately draws back and fades away.” (120) As the world resists you, you rely on the other flesh to let you in, give you a place. “Since the world makes no room, another flesh must do it for me…By entering into the flesh of the other, I exit the world and I become flesh in her flesh, flesh of her flesh.” ( )

4 §24. Eroticization as Far as the Face “The other gives me what she does not have…And I give her what I do not have.” “Pleasure exists only in my experiencing taking flesh.” “Our suspended gazes renders our common soul apparent.” “Above all because she and I have left the universal.” Eroticization is not about rules or words, but about “particularity”—mine and hers. It’s about the two people involved.

5 §25. To Enjoy Enjoyment: your flesh becomes each other, in which your enjoyment becomes your partner’s enjoyment, back and forth pleasure, “erotic phenomenon”; your flesh becomes their flesh. Marion says that a climax may seem selfish at first, but in all actuality it’s enjoyment for both sides where love recognizes the love of each other. “The erotic reduction of the ego to the lover to the advance and finally to the flesh and glory.” Questions of selfishness, etc., dissipate in the process. The question of self goes away when you’re with another, but what of love when you’re by yourself? Is self-love out as important?

6 §26. Suspension “Flesh crosses without merging.” “Orgasm is not a summit…it resembles a cliff…where one falls all at once” (135). Desire disappears after one has sex. The urgency one feels before orgasm is gone after climax. Death of Eroticized Flesh Why are we only aware of our nakedness after orgasm? Prior to orgasm, we are outside the physical world. After, we become physical beings once again. We experience shame—we “cover our bodies in order to hide from ourselves and from others.” Discussion What do you think? Is there any truth to the belief that the flesh is “uneroticized” after sex?

7 §27. The Automaton and Finitude Off We Go No control; crossing of two bodies; inward, abstract will; “abandoning myself to the automatic eroticization” (141) Finitude Not by flesh alone; comes upon you and leaves unconsciously; depends on the other flesh; “the fact of finitude comes and goes” The Reason or Finitude Arousal without end would distract from the world; “Eroticization’s finitude assures me the infinite repetition of the erotic reduction itself.” (143)

8 §28. Words for Saying Nothing Through the for of erotic language, each lover allows the other to partake in the flesh. There is a difference between the erotic/obscene language and the communicative laguage. There are three different lexicons: obsenity, puerility, and theological. Also they do not contradict each other.

9 Concerning the Third Party, and Its Arrival

10 §36. Faithfulness as Erotic Temporality “Faithfulness becomes the condition for the persistence of the erotic phenomenon. More precisely, the actuality of the erotic phenomenon depends upon its temporality…” (184) Faithfulness requires eternity. “Faithfulness thus temporalizes the phenomenon of love, by assuring it its only possible future.” (185) Even in its lackings… I must respond to the question “Do you love me?” for the lover. “You love me truly, I know, I assure you.” The lovers give one another this present for as long as their present lasts. (190)

11 §38. The Advent of the Third Party §39. The Child, or the Third Party of the Point of Leaving “A question thus cannot not be posed: couldn’t we lovers entrust my lover’s oath…to a third party, who would assure it more durably than we can?” (196) The third phenomenon is the (possibility of the) child, who makes visible the oath and thus renders the lovers “themselves visible to themselves…The child appears as their first mirror.” (197) But this visibility doesn’t last, and the oath must again repeat itself.

12 §40. The Adieu, or the Eschatological Third Party Looking for assurance, again. Here is the eschatological precept: “Love as if the next instant of your erotic reduction constituted the final instance of your oath. Or again, love now as if your next act of love were to accomplis your final possibility of loving. Or finally: love this instant as if you no longer had any other in which to love, ever.” (208) This “accomplishes the promises of eternity in the present instant.” (209) The adieu / à Dieu (see page 212)

13 §41. Even Oneself I cannot love myself without the mediation of the other. “Loving oneself henceforward signifies that insofar as I discover myself to be a lover, and thus lovable, I will be able to end up by loving even myself.” (213) An inversion: “You loved me first.” I admit that the other loves me more than I hate myself. In the end, I love even myself, because the other lover, through her own advance, has made me a lover, and thus lovable in her eyes….” (214)

14 §42. The One Way “Love is said and is given in only one, strictly univocal way.” (217) Objections considered: What about love of money, drugs, sex, or power? (This doesn’t concern love.) What about friendship? (“If it remains within the erotic reduction, let us conclude that it does not exclude itself either from love’s one way.” 220) What about eros and agape? (These are not two different loves, but “two names used to think and to say the one love.” 221) What about God’s love, isn’t it a different love? (No, “God loves in the same way as we do,” but “he loves to perfection.” 222)


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