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"an attainable ideal of love would exist

between self-realising personalities"


relationships • 20.07.97

In “The Female Eunuch” Germaine Greer quotes from Maslow saying that an attainable ideal of love would exist between self-realising personalities. It is a good ideal in any form (married or otherwise) but the majority of people are not capable of it. They might be able to conceive of it or be inspired by it but not capable of living it. For them, having someone is more important than who the someone is. Greer says that egotism, exploitation, deception, obsession and addiction have more place in us than eroticism, joy, generosity and spontaneity. I agree with her.

She also says: “Love is not possible between inferior and superior, because the base cannot free their love from selfish interest, either as the desire for security, or social advantage, and, being lesser, they themselves cannot comprehend the faculties in the superior which are worthy of love. The superior being on the other hand cannot demean himself by love for an inferior; his feeling must be tinged with condescension or else partake of perversion and a deliberate self-abasement.”

Love is not possible in this way? I don’t know, surely some kind of love is possible but maybe just not reciprocal enough for the ideal. She also uses the terms inferior and superior which have the wrong connotation. But I go with the essence of what she says.