~Fear and Passion ~

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“What makes a person refuse passion – or be incapable of pursuing a passion which has already been born, thus transforming it into a mere obsession – is his or her refusal of totality.  Within the lover’s totality – as within any – there is the unknown: the unknown which is also conjured up by death, chaos, extremity.  Those who are conditioned to treat the unknown as something exterior to themselves against which they must continually take measures and be on guard, may refuse passion.  This is not a question of fearing the unknown.  Everyone fears it.  It is a question of where the unknown is located.  Our culture encourages us to locate it outside ourselves.  Always.  Even disease is thought of as coming from outside.  To locate the unknown as being out there is incompatible with passion.”

~John Berger, “The Sense of Sight”

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