The ‘Chanced’ Placebo

Before someone might accuse me of equating love to almost everything, which I believe really is by the logic of its chaotic excess, I would have to be direct in saying that love is this holy perchance – a divinely fated yet ultimately chanced encounter. Against oversimplifying it, this is not merely the thing we call fall as in falling in love, but with a certain divinely stratagem in mind, a holy birthing of a moment where all accidents collide. Not even a spark may describe this. I think that, to be perfectly abstract, love has the most excruciatingly paradoxical effect of a placebo. In that moment, which albeit in abstract terms but I surmise is happening almost every unconscious time, one considers oneself as in love if one cannot bear the fact that an encounter is really happening. The encounter, being effected much as a placebo, is nothing different from every encounter; there is no conscious drive, destiny, or whatever to think about love but voila! And by voila I meant not the ‘eureka!’ thing, but more of an unconscious fruition: one does not anymore imagine oneself as already in a divinely inspired moment and yet one already is under the spell of the placebo, a ‘chanced’ placebo. Now the paradox of the holy and the perchance brought together is a vital dialectic.

On the one hand, holy might presuppose the romantic obsession with serendipity, destiny, fate, and so on. But really, even if Einstein says that God does not play with dice, I think that the holiness entitled to love is purely a divine act. Think about it: God does not in his will, intentionally play with chanced encounters, but the fact that he does not, that is, without his will for chances, it also might imply that he might have allowed it. He does not get hold of the dice, but he allows that there is a dice anyway, a possibility, a perhaps of moments, an allowance that brought the dice into the hands of humanity. This allowance, I claim, is in itself a divine act inasmuch as nothing escapes his grasp. The allowance was not for humans to play with the dice, but for the dice to jive with the chance where humans get a hold of the divine. The holy here is not therefore a plan or a destiny that God has set us up with some stranger out there, but the holy here means that God has not played but allowed, for the most possible of possible things to happen. On the other hand therefore, perchance meant that the allowance has become successful, that humanity received this divine grant. The question in this term would have been: “why perchance?” Perhaps a great argument for God not playing with the dice is because He is in the plane of eternity. He does not play chances, even though He can, in the domain of pre-determined causes, etc. But in the plane of time, the dice works, and the dice rolls over time, in the domain of chances, of possibilities, of moments! When therefore the holy allowance meets the temporality of the perchance, the dialectic functions, and the two are brought together.

That is why the effect of this holy perchance is likened to the effect one experiences in a placebo. There is not really an effect in the first place, but when the moment happens, it is as though, psychologically and unconsciously, one begins to think that there is something meaningful and divine in the encounter, an encounter that is no way different than the rest. When this encounter happens, when this chanced placebo effect happens, the holy perchance can only be described in human terms as love. Love is more than the fall and spark. But for what they are worth, I think that both the fall and the spark are constituted too. It happens when we say that there is a divine element attached to love, and we have to thank eternity for allowing its dice to fall on us in a sparkling fashion!


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