In the long position of love, do we fear that we are short-changed when two lives share a common one during love’s blossoming and enduring? Are we fearful that in love we know too much about each other that we lose trust altogether? Is love about who is in control or is it about who sacrifices more? What does it really mean when Erich Fromm says that the paradox of love is when two becomes one, yet remains as two?
It is not that love is so unfathomable that we lose ourselves, though it does happen. At the same time, the word itself is so overused that the meaning of it is lost with the slightest mention of the word. Yet William Blake understands it the way it is in his poem ‘The Clod and the Pebble.’
＇Ｌｏｖｅ ｓｅｅｋｅｔｈ ｎｏｔ ｉｔｓｅｌｆ ｔｏ ｐｌｅａｓｅ，
Ｎｏｒ ｆｏｒ ｉｔｓｅｌｆ ｈａｔｈ ａｎｙ ｃａｒｅ，
ｂｕｔ ｆｏｒ ａｎｏｔｈｅｒ ｇｉｖｅｓ ｉｔｓ ｅａｓｅ，
Ａｎｄ ｂｕｉｌｄｓ ａ Ｈｅａｖｅｎ ｉｎ Ｈｅｌｌ＇ｓ ｄｅｓｐａｉｒ．＇
Ｓｏ ｓｕｎｇ ａ ｌｉｔｔｌｅ Ｃｌｏｄ ｏｆ Ｃｌａｙ，
Ｔｒｏｄｄｅｎ ｗｉｔｈ ｔｈｅ ｃａｔｔｌｅ＇ｓ ｆｅｅｔ，
Ｂｕｔ ａ Ｐｅｂｂｌｅ ｏｆ ｔｈｅ ｂｒｏｏｋ
Ｗａｒｂｌｅｄ ｏｕｔ ｔｈｅｓｅ ｍｅｔｒｅｓ ｍｅｅｔ：
＇Ｌｏｖｅ ｓｅｅｋｅｔｈ ｏｎｌｙ Ｓｅｌｆ ｔｏ ｐｌｅａｓｅ，
Ｔｏ ｂｉｎｄ ａｎｏｔｈｅｒ ｔｏ ｉｔｓ ｄｅｌｉｇｈｔ，
Ｊｏｙｓ ｉｎ ａｎｏｔｈｅｒ＇ｓ ｌｏｓｓ ｏｆ ｅａｓｅ，
Ａｎｄ ｂｕｉｌｄｓ ａ Ｈｅｌｌ ｉｎ Ｈｅａｖｅｎ＇ｓ ｄｅｓｐｉｔｅ．＇
The poem did not describe the Clod sacrificing itself for love yet love can become the pebble when it seeks only for itself to please. The ease of love comes when love builds heaven in hell’s despair. Yet when it is over domineering, it joys in another’s lose of ease.
Have you ever been at ease with love or delights in the lose of ease due to the love of another? Are you the one giving hell in heaven’s despite or builds heaven in hell’s despair? Whatever your experience of love or search of it, the poem by William Blake suggests that love when nurtured well can become the wonders of nature and when human nature lost the beauty of love, hell is definitely in the present as well as in the afterlife.
Unless you are a masochist or a sadist, the premise for love is altogether a totally different intellectual prepositions that involves the pleasures of pain. Otherwise Erich Fromm’s paradox is definitely true when there is a balance (intellectually and morally) between two lovers in love and in marriage.
One thing I know is certain, love endures fear. But when fear is part of love rather than love enduring the fear factor, the love between the two is no better than Erich Fromm’s paradox – it does not become one and remain as two; it consumes one to the other and remain as one.