“Love conquers all things. Let us too surrender to love”. The Eclogues by Virgil (Rome), 70-19 B.C. I've been thinking about this famous saying a lot lately. Basically, I've been pondering its truth, or lack thereof. I think at one time in my life I would have accepted its premise without much thought. Sure, love conquers all things. If you love each other, you can get through anything.
I think that is a nice, romantic notion, but these days I think love is conquerable. Time and time again if we examine the history of our lives and the lives of people throughout the ages, we see examples of its failing. Love isn't enough to live on. Love isn't self-sustaining. Here I mean eros, romantic love. Brotherly love or Love of God - maybe these do have it in them to conquer all things; right now I only mean the love that leads two people, man and woman, to choose to try to make a life together. These days, most people marry for love. But so many marriages fail, so why is that? Did they not really love each other to begin with, or was that love conquered by other things?
Sometimes maybe people mistake a physical attraction for a deeper level of loving and that causes the downfall of the marriage. But more often than not, I think this foolish notion that love is enough for a marriage contributes to its destruction. What is love if there isn't communication, trust, responsibility, work, time, space, thoughtfulness, overlooking faults...? Some may argue that if love is real, these things naturally follow. But maybe they don't come so naturally to some folks. They feel love but for some reason can't live up to its demands. After time, people lose faith in love alone, because it doesn't meet their needs. People have real needs that a feeling alone can't suffice - and I'm not talking about the mundane physical essentials of shelter and sustenance, but emotional needs not satisfied by the feeling of love alone.
Someone can love and yet be distant, and that distance is the conquerer of love.
Distance and time conquer all things - that's a law of entropy, and the only way to delay this conquering is the active struggle against it. Eventually it will get you, too, but if have a strong will to succeed you may out-fight a great many.
People with that will to live, I wonder where that comes from? Is it from fear of death and Afterlife? Is it a sense of unfulfilled purpose? Or something entirely instinctual? If someone is confident of peace waiting for them after this life, would that not affect their will to struggle for life in a life or death situation? I mean, let's say you're stranded in Arctic waters, trying to stay awake and afloat. If you feel that after death, you will be okay, wouldn't you end up letting go sooner than someone who fears death? Or, if you are someone more focused on worldly life, wouldn't you hold on tighter than someone who is not as concerned about the world?