I am impressed by the rate of progress in the last few years we are making, demystifying everything that I found about humans as a mystery, we are in an era where everything is being absorbed and measured, analyzed and understood.

Wandering in a shop at Tamarin in Mauritius, I picked up a book
“The Course of Love ” by Alain de Botton, and decided to read it during tea breaks during the next weeks while I wait for my residence permit to get renewed.

So when it comes to human relationships, there is so much already out there. Love languages, Resource theory of relationships, the value hierarchy, and anatomy of passion, how to achieve a flow state, etc.

As Richard Feynman said, understanding how the atoms and molecules work does not take away your capacity to enjoy the beauty of a flower, in fact, it enhances it.

The book deconstructs a lot of things, previously in the “fuzzy” zone.

One of the key arguments is that we are all mad, in our ways. The only people who are not mad are the people we do not know intimately yet!.

So when it comes to relationships, it is often a decision on what kind of madness are you willing to suffer as the initial infatuation ( nicely deconstructed in the book) withers away, you will soon realize that everyone is mad in their ways.

The author states ” A few centuries from now, the level of self-knowledge that our own age judges necessary to get married might be thought puzzling, if not outright barbaric. By then, a standard, wholly non-judgemental line of inquiry, to which everyone would be expected to have a tolerant, good-natured and non-defensive answer, would simply be ” So in what ways are you mad?”

The book nicely deconstructs several aspects of like love, sex, sulks, censorship, transference, universal blame, teaching, and learning, sex, and parenthood, adultery, secrets, maturity.

Everything is analyzed and expressed in fabulously comfortable language.

For example:

Deconstructing Sulk:

Under the hood of sulk lies a confusing mixture of intense anger and an equally intense desire not to communicate what one is angry about. The very need to explain forms the kernel of the insult.

It is a privilege to be the recipient of a sulk; it means the other person respects and trusts us enough to think we should understand their unspoken hurt. It is one of the odder gifts of love.

Recommended 🙂