I Want To Know What Love Is

After I jot down the topic about Aristotle’s Philia last week, another task was given to me and it’s all about Stendhal’s book called “On Love”. So, I was delighted to share the notes that I took down.


photo credited to the owner http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

Stendhal is the pen name of the French writer named Marie-Henri Beyle. He wrote the book “On Love” in 1882. On the first chapter of the book “Concerning The Birth Love”, he penned down about what will happen if we fall in love;

“A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love.”


He said that the first idea of falling in love is Admiration (the ways that we can admire someone).

After we admire someone, then we will start to have that kind of Attraction (which means that the sexual attraction will allow us to think, kiss, and touch them).

When we are attracted, then we will start the idea of Hope. This is the time when we see the good qualities of the beloved (which causes us to take away our sense of pleasure), and that  we are completely taken by their appeal.

After we feel that Hope, then that’s the time that the love will be born.These are our mutual desires and romantic connections. He said that love is to enjoy from the other’s company and the way of getting the love as our possession.

When we will have that kind of love, then that’s the start of Crystallization. The idea of seeing them as the one when we fall in love, and that’s the time when we think that the person is very special to us. Stendhal said that the passion and the desire of hope will eventually distort us and that made us feel so caught up; however, in the end we overate and we deluded them.

Then Stendhal used the metaphor of salt of mines (the big crystal salt) which can be found in Salzburg. This is the time that salt of mines will happen when we fall in love and think that person is covered with diamonds. He pointed out the idea that we have to be perfect when we are in love. And if we are in love, we tend to forget to look at the good and the bad side of the person.

When we start the idea of crystallization it means that we expect them that they will love us back.  This is the time of the second level of crystallization when we are looking for the best on why they want us back. It is like a feeling of a romantic fantasy.

Crystallization according to Stendhal  is actually not based on reality, but it is the natural feeling of a certain person when they are in love. It is reinforcing the idea that we expect them that they will love us back the way we love them.

Then after all of that, we will then start to magnify the idea of qualities that they have, Stendhal said that, “When we fall in love, we must find all the reasons before we fall in love”.

Right, it has the same idea on what Aristotle said that he want us to develop our critical thinking by figuring out the reasons before we will fall in love.






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