Origin of Love

In Plato’s Symposium, Aristophanes told the story of the origin of love.  According to the speech:

Long ago humans were of three sexes.  Those of the sun were male-male beings stuck back to back.  Those of the earth were female-female beings stuck back to back.  Those of the moon were male-female beings stuck back to back.  They each had two heads with two faces, four arms and four legs.  At one point they tried to scale the heavens and attack the gods.  The gods feared their strength and debated whether or not to kill them, but they did not want to lose the worship of the humans, so Zeus came up with another plan.  He decided to cut them down the middle to decrease their power.  After the split, the halves sought each other out and threw themselves into an embrace, longing to grow back into one but never being able to.

“And such a nature is prone to love and ready to return love, always embracing that which is akin to him. And when one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment: these are the people who pass their whole lives together, and yet they could not explain what they desire of one another. For the intense yearning which each of them has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lover’s intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell, and of which she has only a dark and doubtful presentiment.”

Before this, human beings did not know love.  The separation of our two halves gave us both the capacity to love one another and the pain of separation and longing.

Oh, pretty.  Right?  Look, we’re all wandering the earth looking for our other half and we’ll find them and everything will be rainbows shooting out of our asses and sunshine and stars and magical magic and birds singing.  HAHA.


Love is a bullshit.



  1. August 5, 2010

    I think the mistake we make is believing that there in only one person on this entire earth that is our “other half” and that we will love this person forever and that this person will love us forever. I think there are many different people on this earth that will “fit” with us at certain times of our lives, but as we change and evolve as individuals, they may no longer fit with us as well as they used to. We can move on and try to find a better fit or we can make do with an unperfect fit. I think there are also and maybe at the same time many different people on this earth that we can love and from whom we can receive love in many different ways. Love is on one single entity that has parameters and rules and definition. And it’s not bullshit. It’s what we impose on it and the unrealistic expectations we have of it that’s bullshit.

  2. August 5, 2010

    That should say “love is NOT one single entity…”(I should proofread before hitting “send”)

  3. heathen
    August 5, 2010

    I remain unconvinced!

    Come back in a year and try again.

    Or, maybe, tomorrow. I might be convinced tomorrow.

  4. Elaine
    August 6, 2010

    Love IS bullshit and it’s high time everyone knew it! Preach on, sister.

  5. August 11, 2010

    have you seen hedwig and the angry inch?

  6. heathen
    August 11, 2010

    monica – YOU BET I HAVE! 🙂

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