Love is the soul of genius, Mozart said. It is at the heart of many things we want to do well, need to do well whether we want to or not. Without love, it is not possible to do anything well enough. What we desire to do, to accomplish, we should do with love. But what is love? We have to ask. Defining terms is a good place to start. I know that we recoil from these intellectual musts; nonetheless, I have to continue this line of questioning and responding. I’ve read too many intellectuals for whom the label genius is used, yet from whom nothing like love exists in what they say. You can’t feel it at all; there is a sterility in their power. It is why the likes of Wittgenstein remains remote from the currents of thought, except for other mules like himself.
I imagine that the power elite love power. It is safe to say that anyone who succeeds in the games of power played in the world must be a lover of power. I imagine that the monied elites love money, love making money, accumulating money. A line from Citizen Kane resonates in relation to this love of money. One of the characters responds to the reporter investigating Mr. Kane’s last word, that “it’s not hard to make a lot of money if the only thing you want to do is to make a lot of money.” The love of acquisition leads to acquisition, we might assume. But is this love of acquisition actually love in itself love? Some say yes, others say no. What I say I have to find out. I ask, in aside, does Bloomberg love the City of New York, or the opportunities it provides to make a lot more money. Cronyism for a later discussion . . . cronyism could be the symptom of a kind of love of power or of money or of control or of manipulation. I know that in a different time, he would have been investigated by the Feds, but then that was a different age for our media. There were different kinds of men running our newspapers. No one in the media hits Bloomburg where he lives, not really. Anything they do say is used as a ruse against claims that New York’s media elite are in league with him.
Again, I ask, what is love? Love is obsession; love cannot be obsession; love is grace; there is no grace. Grace is an affectation of the debilitated religio-centric mind, or so we could believe. To be obsessed with somebody some say is love; others insist cannot be love. Jesus loves and by love saves, Christians say. Love is kindness; love is compassion; love is sacrifice; love is altruism; love is giving and not taking; love is . . . what? What is love? The Buddha speaks of love as the only antidote for hate. I recall the Dhammapada and Lord Buddha’s pronouncement that only love can dispel hate. Do the lovers of money dispel the haters of money, the haters of materialism?
Many think of love as a spiritual principal pervading the world. But how can it pervade the world when the globe turns on an axis of contempt, violence, corruption, greed and death? Yet, as I have said above, what if you loved power, what if you loved money? Certainly greed is an obsession, lust is an obsession . . . all the deadly sins are obsessions, we have said in our traditional conception of these losses of light. And they are losses of light–except we can then say that those who do not love the accumulation of wealth are those who have not seen the light. but then doesn’t Satan shine his own peculiar light on things in the world, of the world. Jesus does say be in the world , not of it. But then a Christian is supposed to believe in a God of light, a God of Truth. A Christian is supposed to believe in a body of spirit and flesh. The human being is not solely a being of material/of body without spirit.
Sin is darkness; love is light. This is old. Love and obsession cannot be the same? Love is forgiveness; obsession becomes jealousy; jealousy is not love? Love is redemption and transcendence; obsession is descent and the kitchen knife in your lover’s chest? But then that’s it. Love can become jealousy; it just doesn’t have to become a bullet in the heart.
Is love of money, though, the same as greed? Ask Bloomberg, I say again. From the above sense of what love could be, I would have to say, no. Love of what you do can make you a lot of money, but the driving force of greed corrupts the love of what you do. Even when a lot of money is not the result; you can love what you do and you can corrupt that love of what you do.
The soul of genius, that’s love. Loving too much what you love in order to love it enough? Can the very, very rich be rich through the agency of love and not greed, or is the love of money in itself what we mean by avarice. Do Satan’s followers love him? Is what we call love applicable to Satan and anything satanic. Isn’t Satan and all things satanic a corruption of good, sin again being the absence of good, all things sinful devoid of any goodness, or some goodness, entering the darkness is sinful? We would need to explicate love further than we have so far herein to understand what we are saying about love and sin; light and dark, the latter pair as a mutually exclusive pair of spiritual forces, metaphors we live by.