“…The only love worth the name is God’s, and that is pure, uncaused. God does not love because [God] wants or needs anything: [God] loves the utterly unlovely and unloveable. We can’t love like that, because all our love is selfish, wanting our own profit. If I pretend to love God , all this means is that I want to use God to produce nice experiences for myself. The only proper response to God’s love is faith: blind trust and commitment, unadulterated by any search for experience…”
One might add, unadulterated by any desire for personal gain, and so Williams’ can reflect:
“…Like it or not, love is hopelessly entangled in need and dependence – the need to find in another, human or divine, human and divine, the happiness we cannot generate in ourselves; the recognition that we must let ourselves be made, to some degree, by others, because we cannot complete ourselves…”
I was reflecting on just this theme in a wide-ranging and fascinating conversation with someone yesterday; this notion that in relationship we each act as “mirrors” for the other, a metaphor I got from Roger Housden in a reflection on the “hidden joy” of marriage:
“In marriage there is no escape,” reminds author Roger Housden, “from the dark corners of another human being. There is no escape from the mirror another casts on my own sorry state”, nor we on theirs. It "summons into awareness”, he continues, “the fears, the resentments, the disillusion, the sheer difficulty that comes with the fact of being human.”
But my, how we resist letting ourselves be made by an other. How we resist seeing and experiencing ourselves as the other sees and experiences us; resisting the very gift of the other, the gifts of their seeing and experiencing which become the means for our own change, growth, and quest to become more fully and deeply human; to live for freely and authentically; and to find our “completion”, as Williams reflects above.
We make, and are made in our inter-dependence; in our need of others through whom we experiences the truths of who we are; others who will help us see our unconscious, our conditioned ways of being; our false selves and the possibilities of healing and wholeness through, and in, and for love.
For love to work, we need the other/Other precisely because they are not like us. We need more than what Nick Cave calls “fair-weather” friends.