David Brooks says being in love can’t be done by a person in a self-oriented mind-set…

“Being in love can’t be done by a person in a self-oriented mind-set, asking: Does this choice serve me? Online dating is fascinating because it is more or less the opposite of its object: love.

When online daters actually meet, an entirely different mind-set has to kick in. If they’re going to be open to a real relationship, they have to stop asking where this person rates in comparison to others and start asking, can we lower the boundaries between self and self. They have to stop thinking in individual terms and start feeling in rapport terms.

 Basically, they have to take the enchantment leap. This is when something dry and utilitarian erupts into something passionate, inescapable and devotional. Sometimes a student becomes enraptured by the beauty of math, and becomes a mathematician. Soldiers doing the drudgery of boot camp are gradually bonded into a passionate unit, for which they will risk their lives.  Anybody who has started a mere job and found in it a vocation has taken the enchantment leap.

In love, of course, the shift starts with vulnerability, not calculation. The people involved move from selfishness to service, from prudent thinking to poetic thinking, from a state of selection to a state of need, from relying on conscious thinking to relying on their own brilliant emotions.

When you look at all the people looking for love and vocation today, you realize we live in a culture and an online world that encourages a very different mind-set; in a technical culture in which humanism, religion and the humanities, which are the great instructors of enchantment, are not automatically central to life.

I have to guess some cultures are more fertile for enchantment — that some activities, like novel-reading or music-making, cultivate a skill for it, and that building a capacity for enchantment is, these days, a countercultural act and a practical and fervent need.”

- David Brooks, The Devotion Leap – NYTimes.com, January 22, 2015

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Roger de Bussy-Rabutin says absence is to love what wind is to fire…

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.”

- Roger de Bussy-Rabutin

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Katherine Mansfield says the mind I love…

“The mind I love must have wild places.”

– Katherine Mansfield

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D.H. Lawrence says perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness…

“Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.”

– D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

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Sylvia Plath says I was my own woman…

“I was my own woman.
The next step was to find the proper sort of man.”

– Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez says it was the year they fell into devastating love…

“It was the year they fell into devastating love. Neither one could do anything except think about the other, dream about the other, and wait for letters with the same impatience they felt when they answered them.”

– Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

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Emily Giffin says there is no better audience for someone in love…

“There is no better audience for someone in love than someone in love.”

– Emily Giffin, Something Borrowed

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