Why Do We Fall In Love?


INTERVIEWER: The poet Roland Barthes talks about the amorous

embrace as this post-coital cuddling,

this intersubjective ecstasy that you enter

with your romantic partner.

And that is beyond sexuality.

That is beyond physical attraction.

That space of shared soul-smearing.

Sort of sexually enabled, technologically mediated,

Buddhist space where two become one.

I keep bringing back term intersubjective, ecstasy.

Why do we love to cuddle?

Why do we love to give each other baby names and treat

each other like we're little children

and create kind of womb-like spaces of comfort and divinity

for one another where we can be as gods outside of time,

temporarily stepping off that people mover that's

carrying everyone else towards death, as Alan Harrington says?

We're trying to find escapes from the despair.

Together we are creating a shared universe

where we can float above the clouds of entropy.

Where we cannot die.

That is what love is about.

It's about saving ourselves from mortality.

We are the gods with anuses, as Ernest Becker says.

And we do everything we can to deny our own creaturely-ness,

to deny our own decay, to deny all you despair.

Can you blame us for squeezing so tightly around one another?

Can you blame us for wanting to listen to beautiful music

and cry together?

Can you blame us for wanting to seek out

comfort in each other's cold soul space and to say,

please tell me you will not leave me,

you will not disappear.

I will not be alone.

I'm not going to drown.

Just like, ah.

That's what we want.

That's what we seek.

And they say, oh, we're co-dependent.

We're weak.

We should be independent.

But come on, man.

It's what all the psychedelic explorers have told us.