Fondazione Zoé

What makes a bond true is the reciprocity of the relationship.

We usually say that we are tied to our home, watch, or dog. But we also say that we are attached to our friends or relatives. And we are aware that the tie to the latter is stronger than the one to the former. In fact, the proper object for a human being is another human being. To tell the truth, we also care for the objects-things, but they affect us to the extent that they symbolically pull us near the human horizon. Moreover if they are not close, we can take them close to us, i.e. we overdetermine them, until they become obsessions (a dress, a necklace, a field or a house etc.), as the wish of a human being can be gratified only by a similar object, namely by another human being.
However, the other human being may agree or disagree with us. If he/she disagrees or withdraws, he/she cannot satisfy the subject’s wish. The only true gratification is provided by an agreeing human being: in other words, someone who wants to establish a relationship with us, with a for us approach. This is a real tie. In fact, if a human being offers himself/herself to us, he/she desires us, or wants to forge a tie with us. Obviously, this movement is mutual: we offer ourselves, in turn, with a for him/her approach. Only in this case, the tie is properly complete, otherwise it is a unilateral bond, with respect to one of the two parts, and then is likely to fail. In this case, it is possible to parasitically “feed” on something else, for example based on imagination. But imagination is not reality. And, sooner or later, it shall take its toll.


A human being with a for us approach is always free in himself/herself (otherwise he/she is not a human being.) As a result, the persistence of the relationship (and a long-lasting tie) necessarily implies the free desire to remain part of the relationship by both of the members. In other words, the main issue affecting the ties is the coexistence of two freedoms within the bond itself. In fact, it is difficult to find a way to “tie” two free subjectivities through an “external” bond. Well, to tell the truth, it is impossible, since nothing can tie freedom, except for freedom itself. On the other hand, a “self-bond” is the absence of ties, since the ego has always the faculty to forge or put an end to the tie.

How is it possible then to avoid the end of a tie? Meanwhile, it is worth remembering that, in order to preserve the stability of a relationship, human beings have always applied to an outsider, as if they were diffident due to their fragility. They have freely forged ties for themselves, starting from the promises made to another individual, culminating with a public one. In other words, one the one hand, human beings are free to self-determine and even stop their movement with respect to a bond, thus settling their future decisions beforehand (through a promise, men freely unfold their intention in a predetermined and predictable way), while, on the other hand, human beings have always the power to subject the promise made to a new free decision, i.e. through a self-determination process. They can even break their promises. This is exactly when public protection takes the stage. Promises broken or infidelities are common and painful experiences. Fortunately, promises kept and loyalty are common as well.

What happens when the promise is kept? Why do we tend to preserve the ties? Let us focus on this issue. If human ties are based on a free arrangement, the two parts must necessarily agree on the bond itself: they must agree upon the “convenience” of the subject for us. But the other one is good for me, if he/she is a desire for us, or if he/she desires us, i.e. when we realize that the reference to the free will of the ego, unilaterally limited by the promise, is not enough to protect a bond. However, the recipient of the promise must prove to be worth of the promise itself. Only then, from a human point of view, the persistence of the ties makes sense. In fact, every individual offers, within a mutual reciprocity, his/her subjectivity to nourish the desire of someone else. A true relationship is always mutual; conversely, unilateral relationships are likely to fail.

Therefore, the persistence of a tie is based on a free and mutual agreement, but at the same time, a free and mutual agreement can be preserved, in turn, by a decision which takes into account not only the simple emotional tie, but also the bright emotional one; in other words, the tie must rise following the spirit. The world of emotions leads to a totalisation, but it is a time-related totalisation, actively controlled by time, especially because the world of emotions is closely linked to physicality and physicality is subjected to time. Conversely, the soul rules over time, but is not subjected to it. Therefore it is able to go beyond the totalisation taking place over time and connect them. In this sense, the soul acts as the totalisation of all the emotional totalisations. Consequently, the soul alone is able to preserve a long-lasting realtionship: it is the indispensable condition.



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