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Tales of Love, Sex, and Danger$
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Sudhir Kakar and John Munder Ross

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198072560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198072560.001.0001

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The Phenomenology of Passionate Love

The Phenomenology of Passionate Love

(p.177) 8 The Phenomenology of Passionate Love
Tales of Love, Sex, and Danger

Sudhir Kakar

John Munder Ross

Oxford University Press

Passionate love lies in the intermediary space between body and mind, bounded by biological instinct on one side and imaginative impulse on the other. It was ‘discovered’ only after sexual love between man and woman had begun to emancipate itself from its biological function of reproduction alone. Passionate love has been characterized by the sharp stabs of jealous possession, burning torments of unrequited or unconsummated love, and the high pitch of ‘supreme joy’ that comes with loving. Yet passionate love also associates itself with devotion and meditation, along with religious intimacy and the ‘gravity’ of the lovers' world. This chapter discusses the phenomenology of passionate love and analyses Sigmund Freud's concept of desire and longing. It also examines aggression, arousal, and violence in relation to passionate love.

Keywords:   passionate love, desire, longing, Sigmund Freud, aggression, arousal, violence

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