Analects on Love

(from Letters of Hadewijch, Beguine of Brabant)


Love is invisible and a mystery. Only the Beloved sees it. No one knows when love will arrive.


When love kills the heart, the heart love kills cannot die in itself.


Love will teach the Beloved to live and die in love, which is the greatest mystery. No one can love without pain.


Love shows her darkest secrets to the Beloved, the misery of living without love. The Beloved has found love since he was with her and believed in her.


Love takes the heart and soul, but drives the soul out so it will forget its pain, for when the Beloved comes to know love, he knows nothing.


Love does not accept anything rational, but makes everything possible. Reason is against true love, because it can add nothing to love, nor stop it, because love’s only law is to increase forever or die, and nothing can be added upon that.


The only thing that can live in love and touch her is desire. The secret name of love is touch. Love is perfect and can live in all things, but love lives best according to her desire and touch.


Love is a mystery. Her countenance is a secret. Love herself is in herself and through herself the soul will better know her.


Love is the fiercest, attacks most fiercely when she is the sweetest and most gentle. She deeply wounds the soul when she is gentle and envelops the Beloved entirely within herself.


No one is responsible for love, but she passes judgements on all. God gives her this power and does not give such fruit to angels or anyone else. Even the most victorious are chained with the command to love Love.


Love possesses the Beloved. His soul cannot err. Love enters his memory so he can remember that he loved no one else but love.


Love is the highest quality. She was born of herself. She labors on her own, and then reposes into herself. Love is happy on its own. Love is love and her name is above and below everything, even if no one has loved.

my dear depression
In the Present State of Witness