Hegel and Kant inspired Marx. But those philosophers cannot be considered influences of Marx until Marx was well, Marx as we know him. Hegel and Kant on their own are two of the greatest philosophers to ever live, though we would never imagine them as an inspiration for someone like Marx until he had emerged. A Schrodinger’s cat sort of thing, is the cat in the box? Well you cannot know until you open it. The phenomenon of falling in love is quite the same, according to Zizek. The event of falling in love may be haphazard though as soon as the event happens it is perceived by the faller that their entire life has been leading up to that moment in time. Much like we equate the influence of muses to the producer once the producer exists.
So assume you are leading a happy life, perhaps a good job, amazing friends. Though you may not be in love. Until one day you go to reach for a book at the same time as someone else, and BAM. All of a sudden your cosmos has shifted. Perhaps it does not always happen this suddenly. Though the moment someone falls in love, everything they perceive becomes contingent on that moment. The illusion of I have been waiting my entire life for you. Love is traumatic for the course of our life as we know it. Every moment of the past leading up to that specific moment in time. The future impossible to think of without that person in it. It is a cosmic catastrophe for all who experience it.
We fear that cosmic shift. Modern philosopher Zizek claims this fear is helping humanity regress to pre- romantic times, when families were the matchmakers and the love event is becoming more and rare. This time the matchmaker is dating agencies and the internet: Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, Her, and others. All of it to fill the subconscious void of the cosmic shift. It allows us to date efficiently and get all the emotional benefits of a relationship out of a fleeting meetup. We desire love, but fear the drastic changes that come with it. The avoidance of falling in love is the same as wanting the things without the price we must pay for it. We want to eat a hamburger without the calories, we desire to feel love without the fall.
Perhaps this new phenomenon matches a superficial consumer culture. The call for Minimalism as we overindulge in all we can. Can the question of how much do we need to possess to make us feel fulfilled transcend into the way we form relationships, specifically romantic encounters? What do you think?
By Jorie Dybcio