Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes:
What is love, really? And how can we have it? Why do people who saw themselves as loving each other, so often disappoint and pain each other? —Does all this have to do with the way we see the world? Read “About Love, Need, & Pride,” the tremendously kind new issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
It is an honor to publish part of a 1965 Aesthetic Realism lesson conducted by Eli Siegel—on the magnificent, confusing, thrilling, tormenting subject of love. The woman having the lesson, here called Colette Grayson, was in the situation of millions of people today. She and her husband, married for two years, were both disappointed. They were causing each other pain, and were for and against each other in a way they didn’t understand.
What Mr. Siegel says in the lesson is grandly clear, deep, logical, subtle, down-to-earth, kind. It is knowledge that’s simply far beyond what people are hearing from counselors and therapists: in all politeness, the difference is that between civilization and barbarity. Aesthetic Realism’s understanding of love is real understanding, and men and women are thirsty for it.
What Love Is
Mr. Siegel speaks here about the Aesthetic Realism definition of love: “proud need.” I think that definition is great. And since, for reasons of space, I must be brief, I’ll only add: I’ve seen with tremendous happiness that the definition is true, and I’m grateful for it with all my heart.
The distinction Aesthetic Realism makes between two kinds of need, one that we can be proud of and one that can never make for pride, is new in the history of thought. The difference, in relation to how we see a person, is this: our need for the person is either to like the world—which he represents, which made him, which he has to do with, without which we both couldn’t be—or our “need” for the person is for him to make us superior to everything and to provide a world apart from the large world of people and happenings. The criterion, then, is the following: A true need—for anything—is one that has in it respect for reality. A false need is impelled by the desire for contempt, and we can never like ourselves for it. >>Read more