Love is subversive. Recently, Sagarika Ghose wrote eloquently on her blog, Bloody Mary, that “…in our country [India] love has always been a socially revolutionary force destroying taboos of caste, class and religion.” She is by no means the first to notice that peculiar fact about love.
When the notion of romantic love entered Western Culture around 1200 C.E., the Catholic Church adamantly opposed it on the grounds that love was subversive of the medieval social order. And today, in India, reactionary groups like the Sri Ram Sena are just as set against love as was once the Catholic Church, and for pretty much the same reasons.
Yet, as many of us know, love is subversive of much more than the social order. Our love for someone can, in the right circumstances, lead us to question the whole range of our core values and beliefs. It can lead us to question who we are, and to even inquire into the very nature of the self. If water can be called the universal solvent of the chemical world, love can be called the universal solvent of the psychological world.