Last night I had a discussion. Somebody asked me the question: Do you love yourselve? I could not answer this question.
On the rational level I don’t know what “love” and “yourselve” is. Lets try do define something. To define something I always use the website
The website defines the term “love” in the following way: O.E. lufu “love, affection, friendliness,” from P.Gmc. *lubo (cf. O.Fris. liaf, Ger. lieb, Goth. liufs “dear, beloved;” not found elsewhere as a noun, except O.H.G. luba, Ger. Liebe), from PIE *leubh- “to care, desire, love” (cf. L. lubet, later libet “pleases;” Skt. lubhyati “desires;” O.C.S. l’ubu “dear, beloved;” Lith. liaupse “song of praise”). Meaning “a beloved person” is from c.1225. The sense “no score” (in tennis, etc.) is 1742, from the notion of “playing for love,” i.e. “for nothing” (1678). Love-letter is attested from c.1240; love-song from c.1310. To be in love with (someone) is from 1508. Love life “one’s collective amorous activities” is from 1919, originally a term in psychological jargon. Phrase make love is attested from 1580 in the sense “pay amorous attention to;” as a euphemism for “have sex,” it is attested from c.1950. Love child “child born out of wedlock,” first attested 1805, from earlier love brat (17c.). Lovesick is attested from 1530; lovelorn from 1634 (see lose). Phrase for love or money “for anything” is attested from 1590. To fall in love is attested from 1423. The phrase no love lost (between two people) is ambiguous and was used 17c. in ref. to two who love each other well (c.1640) as well as two who have no love for each other (1622).
To make it simple lets take the meaning “to care”.
So we can rephrase the question as “Do take care of yourselve” and now the answer is simple “Yes, I try to do this”.
We can make it more complex by defining the term “self”.
The website defines it as “O.E. self, seolf, sylf “one’s own person, same,” from P.Gmc. *selbaz (cf. O.N. sjalfr, O.Fris. self, Du. zelf, O.H.G. selb, Ger. selbst, Goth. silba), P.Gmc. *selbaz, from PIE *sel-bho-, from base *s(w)e- “separate, apart” (see idiom).
To make it simple again we use the meaning “one owns person”.
So we can rephares the question again in “do you take care of your own person”.
Wauw now it becomes complex. What the hell is person?
Ok again we define the term: c.1225, from O.Fr. persone “human being” (12c., Fr. personne), from L. persona “human being,” originally “character in a drama, mask,” possibly borrowed from Etruscan phersu “mask.” This may be related to Gk. Persephone. The use of -person to replace -man in compounds and avoid alleged sexist connotations is first recorded 1971 (in chairperson). Personify first recorded 1727. Personable “pleasing in one’s person” is first attested c.1430. In person “by bodily presence” is from 1568. Person-to-person first recorded 1919, originally of telephone calls.
A person is a “character in a drama, a mask”.
So we come back with a new question “do you take care of your own mask” or “do you take care of the mask you are waring called self?”
Now we are getting somewhere.
We are all actors in a play and in this play and she wanted to find out if I was able to play the role of “a self” who is caring for “itself”.
In the play there are two actors “self” and “self” who are caring for eachother.
Next question. Who is watching the play (the observer)?
Again the answer could me “the self”.
So “self and self are caring for eachother and are also watching the process of caring.
Is this possible?
Now I want to direct you to a document I have written (sorry in Dutch) about thinking.
In Chapter 2 I cite Bakhtin (my favorite philosopher)).
Here are some of his insights. They speak for themselves.
‘All our dialogues are taking place against the background of the responsive understanding of an invisibly present third party who stands above all the participants in the dialogue… The aforementioned third party is not any mystical or metaphysical being (“although, given a certain understanding of the world, he can be expressed as such) – he is a constitutive aspect of the whole utterance, who, under deeper analysis, can be revealed in it. In our dialogical relations something absolutely new appears here: the supraperson, the supra-I, that is, the witness and the judge of the whole human being, of the whole I, and consequently someone who is no longer the person, no longer the I, but the other’
“The word in language is half someone else’s. It becomes “one’s own” only when the speaker populates it with his own intention, his own accent, when he appropriates the word, adapting it to his own semantic and expressive intention. Prior to this moment of appropriation, the word does not exist in a neutral and impersonal language. . . but rather it exists in other people’s mouths, in other people’s contexts, serving other people’s intentions: it is from there that one must take the word, and make it one’s own”
“In order to understand, it is immensely important for the person who understands to be located outside the object of his or her creative understanding — in time, in space, in culture. . . . Our real exterior can be seen and understood only by other people, because they are located outside us in space and because they are others”
“A context is potentially unfinalized; a code must be finalized. A code is only a technical means of transmitting information; it does not have cognitive, creative significance. Code is deliberately killed context”
My conclusion: The question cannot be answered because “love” and “self” are codes and to answer the question we have to explain a unique highly complex emotional context that is changing all the time.
We cannot code this context in a few words.
We need an infinite amount of words most of them never invented to explain a little detail of what “I am”.
I end with a statement of Goethe (another favorite of mine and Bahktin): “The highest thing would be to comprehend that everything factual is already theory. The blue of the heavens reveals to us the fundamental law of chromatics. One should only not see anything further behind the phenomena: they themselves are the theory”
I am what I am and it is what it is.