Economy of Kindness

And since love is something which cannot be farced or manufactured and it is something which has to be acted upon the human intellect by an even greater form of intellect, it follows that love is as rare as it is sought out. As Nietzsche said: “Kindness and love, the most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse, are such precious finds that one would hope these balsamlike remedies would be used as economically as possible; but this is impossible. Only the boldest Utopians would dream of the economy of kindness.” 

In turn, the all-too familiar norm – and what we have become numb and accustomed to in both conscious and subconscious life – is “German indigestion” and “English cannibalism” in both its overt and subtle forms and manifestations, even in a day and age when choice and diversity have become mainstream as a result of globalization and technology. The “German spirit” comes from “distressed intestines” to borrow from Nietzsche. He wrote: “The German spirit is an indigestion: it does not finish with anything.” He added: “But English diet, too – which is, compared to the German and even to the French, a kind of ‘return to nature,’ meaning to cannibalism – is profoundly at odds with my instincts: it seems to me that it gives the spirit heavy feet – the feet of English women.” 

Another reason why love is rare and hard to find is because love is inclined towards what is the highest good. And to achieve the “highest good” requires an ascent or an uphill climb to the highest of human faculties which in turn is no easy task. As Rumi wrote in a poem titled “The Image of Your Body”:

You have made it out of the city. That image of your body, trembling with traffic 

and fear, slips behind. Your face arrives in the redbud trees and the tulips. 

You are still restless. Climb up the ladder to the roof. You are by yourself a lot. Become the one that when you walk in, luck shifts to the one who needs it. If you have not been fed, be bread.

It has also been argued that love is an attempt to forge “wholeness of being” by merging two different levels of consciousness into one. But given that this merging requires the “obliteration” of one level of consciousness in favor of the other, the result is “contradiction and conflict” with other people. And those who refuse to take the bold step of merging these two levels of consciousness by obliterating one level of consciousness in favor of the other are essentially living in “bad faith” with others. 

One must also take the modern feminist perspective of love into account, which is largely shaped by a discourse that views love as an instrument wielded by man which is aimed at ultimately subjugating women to the will of men and in turn using women as a vehicle for the advancement of men’s parochial goals and interests. Hence, this discourse is just one factor or reason as to why love can only amount to a failed endeavor in most cases unless love is to be attained and perceived in its highest form and as being intrinsic to the “highest good” from both an intellectual and spiritual standpoint. Any kind of love outside of its highest form and outside of its contingency upon the “highest good” can only lead to headaches and problems, based on what we have mentioned and noted thus far.

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