What’s Love Got to Do with It? What if love were more than a feeling? What if it were also a very specific kind of spiritual task? The point is raised indirectly in The Symposium, as, through the person of Socrates, Plato suggests that love is a state continually refined and perfected through the actions and reflections of the beloved. Love is, at least partly, a kind of work. It requires us to think and to enact our reflections in the form of behavior that allows us to reach the higher rungs of love. In The Symposium, no one who lacks either reflective power or the dedication to actually modeling love is allowed access to these higher rungs of love. In making the transition from The Symposium to Candide , we become aware of a jarring...The end:
.....haps it is no coincidence that Plato, who believes the most in love, is the most religiously committed of the three authors discussed here, whereas Houellebecq is the least religious and also the least committed to love as a reality. Meanwhile, suiting his agnosticism, Voltaire is neither here nor there on the matter. It might be the case that belief in the full-fledged kind of love described in The Symposium also requires some form of belief in divine transcendence, which serves as a mirror and model for human love, but this is a matter for another essay. References Houellebecq , M. (1999). whatever. New York; Serpent’s Tail. Plato. (1967). The symposium. Charleston, SC: Forgotten Books. Voltaire. (2008). Candide . New York: BiblioBazaar .