In the ancient Greek myth of Eros and Psyche, Eros demands that Psyche never want to know his face. He offers her abundant material goods during the day - while he is absent - and at night they meet amorously only in the dark. Their marriage brings a lot of happiness to Psyche, until mistrust, curiosity and fear sets in. She breaks her promise and goes with a lamp into the night to meet him, to see his face even for a moment, but holding a knife just in case. Then, as she beholds the beauty of his form, her hand trembles with happiness, and a drop of oil awakens Eros, who angrily leaves her.

In the myth the man-Eros does not wish to reveal himself to the woman-Psyche. It supports mystery, secrecy, awe. The relationship is unequal, as the woman is in a subordinate position. Vulnerable to closeness, the man, according to the legend, does not want the woman to know him. He is afraid of losing his power if he shares his feelings and thoughts. He leads his partner to adopt indirect ways of communication, since he forbids sharing and transparency.
How important it is to be able to cultivate honesty, which while approaching the revelation of the mystery of the other, will maintain awe and respect for unique persons, awe towards the mystery of love!
The ancient myth by association brings to mind the instructions found in the old handbooks on marriage: it was suggested that the woman express her desire - if she had one - without exposing herself and without putting her man in a difficult position.
Is it possible to approach love with unequal status of partners, with unequal satisfaction, with different expectations and with hidden thoughts?
It is important to emphasize that at different times love is wounded in a different way. It is worth pointing out that one trauma leads to another. E.g. The devaluation of women led to extreme feminism.
We carry the wounds of conservatism into the soul and body of the relationship. The contempt for the material element on the part of Puritanism and the consequent devaluation of the body, as well as the devaluation of the woman fatally led to the devaluation of love.
According to Schubart, whoever considers that love separates him from God underestimates love, because he confuses it with a bulimic impulse, which treats the desired as a thing, pursuing only the ephemeral.
He who is disgusted with worldly things sees only the world devoid of God, from which he longs to depart. He primarily despises the libido, as an inexhaustible source of renewal of existence, then the body as the seat of the libido, and finally the woman as an indefatigable guardian of life, as a temptation that seduces into life.

But we also carry the wounds of liberalism. The downgrading of sexuality to a lowly consumer commodity deprived it of any inner necessity. Alienation, depersonalization, the pursuit of pleasure without commitment, without love, i.e. without a person, are the painful consequences. And love is avenged, as we questioned its spiritual dimension.
Amidst the intoxication of freedom from guilt and limitations, partners rush to tear down the walls of loneliness and enjoy love. The traditional admonition: "keep your distance" has long been debunked. Distance has now been won but it has been won by force and then too often leads to saturation and apathy.
In New York, on a Sunday morning, some young women walk around in high heels and a black plain dress. They look out of place as the time is not suitable for this type of attire. But the others know, that the previous night after a Saturday night out and plenty of alcohol they ended up having a one-night stand, so they approach them and whisper ironically, with envy and contempt: walk of shame! When love is hurt, then the trauma is mainly suffered by the woman.
Of course, the very system of the multinationals that prohibits employees from creating relationships in the workplace that requires their full commitment, that leaves no room for companionship, leads to the walk of shame and later to the search for a spouse through blogs, on the Internet. A very large percentage of young people in America resort to special blogs on the Internet where they are asked to submit specific detailed information about themselves, absolutely reliable - prosecuted in case they mislead - as well as information that they wish their partner to have. The match is left to the computer.
In Medicine we learn that trauma is the solution to tissue continuity. What else is this image of the walk of shame on the one hand and the search for a partner via the Internet on the other, but a trauma, a solution to the continuity of love?
The continuity solution refers to the psychological concept of fragmentation, i.e. the discontinuity of experiences, when one phase of life does not unfold within the other, history is not utilized and mistakes are repeated.
Using others in a consumptive way and abandoning oneself to be used by others hurts love and leads to fragmented lives that fail to include the continuity and completion of existence.
We hurt love when we deprive it of the greatness of its wholeness. When people meet in meeting need they meet in terms of deprivation. Sexual intercourse implies vulnerability – since it does not involve the whole being – and leads to the desperate drive to rescue the self, as the temporary satiation of the faceless need results in unbearable loneliness. Later the unbearable loneliness will lead to the desperate search for a new sexual partner: a painful cycle of love injury and depreciation.
Opposite to need is the concept of desire: the ability to delve into ourselves, the expectation to change the future, the starting point by which we orient ourselves in life. Desire contains meaning of life and creativity, it is the quintessentially human energy.
The couple risks being hurt when they do not preserve the sanctity of desire. Often the desire is thwarted as it is not always possible to coordinate the timing of the partners. The one who expresses desire by demanding its immediate satisfaction becomes vulnerable and at the same time incriminates the other. Then desire descends into excruciating need as it does not respect the refusal of the other, it presses, threatens, begs, blackmails, cannot bear the anticipation. Desire withstands frustration, keeps the flame of life unquenchable, respects the freedom and diversity of the other.
The desire for complete union with the other rests on the commonalities of the couple, all richness is expanded with diversity. It is a demanding process to exploit diversity, to metabolize it and to challenge development as interaction constantly opens new avenues. The utilization of diversity leads to the harmony of the relationship, to the harmony of existence.
Love is hurt when partners fail to embrace each other's diversity and end up leveling off or living parallel lives with hidden, lonely thoughts. It is an easy trap to seek the illusion of a partner who will follow unconditionally.
Abandoning the sport of loving relationship that requires an expansion of mind and heart leads to the need to escape from the real self and seek an imaginary other – but how long can the soul endure being deceived?
The culmination of this trend is the resort to virtual reality: in the film "Her" the protagonist, tormented after his breakup, finds interest in a new artificial intelligence operating system. The manufacturers promise that this new product will reveal a completely different personality depending on the buyer. Somehow the protagonist meets Samantha, a digital personality with sensitivity and humor. In the film, the protagonist falls in love with the computer's voice, the absolute conformity of another, even if he is non-existent, to his own needs.
Reading a review of the movie “Her”
"Man always seeks love for the flame of his birth, for the pleasure of his growth, for the enlightening peace of his climax, for the soul-destroying agony of his impending decay, for the unbearable pain of the end, for the bittersweet melancholy of memory and the refreshing anticipation of the next".
The panic of proximity exists and we are called to recognize it. According to the ancients, "everything dissimilar to the touch causes pain". There is the fear that closeness will reveal our unworthiness - are we ever worthy of love? Fear that the other person will disappoint us, fear that the relationship will not be able to meet our desires and dreams. Fear that when our desire is revealed, we become vulnerable to the partner as they gain access to the secret sanctuary of our soul.
We are hurt by the fact that in the love relationship closeness reveals our unrealistic expectations, thwarts them, as they come to the light of reality. The emptiness of existence created by the lack of meaning tries to be filled by unrealistic expectations and fantasies: the other person is perfect, the other person loves me unconditionally, my desires will come first, our relationship will be carefree, our lives will be perfectly harmonious .
In the love relationship, the personal existential void is revealed to be terrifying, and this causes unbearable pain.
But does proximity reveal personal potential? Does the closeness of each person's exposure not only become a vulnerability, but an opportunity for healing?
I would then like to make an allusion from the side of clinical experience to the sadomasochistic relationship. It is an addictive game of pain and pleasure where the victim has the power. There is a constant recrimination of how much the other is hurting them. Partners don't love, they want the other to love them.
The real other is repulsive, it matters who dominates.
They need viewers both to project their love and allies in the conflict. The position of children is difficult when parents are related in a sadomasochistic way. They seek destruction.
Old unsatisfied needs come to the surface. The partner feels alive when he allows or rather encourages the other to hurt him. The other becomes important until it is acquired. When conquered it has no value, just as it has no value itself. Only betrayal restores the original drive and illusion of love.
We hurt love but it insists on being the greatest challenge to overcome the limits of the self, to discover new experiences that will expand the meaning of existence.
In part we know, through mirrors we see, we will never approach beauty whole. But the moment comes when love casts aside the veil and the soul is flooded with gloom, and this knowledge burns us and keeps our desire unquenchable.
We feel the goodness of love as meteors between the desire of the absolute that our soul demands and the reality of decay, the reality of constant daily losses, the constant taste of death.
If we deny the desire for the absolute we betray ourselves. If we deny human imperfection we will not be able to approach life.
The desire for absolute union is pitted against the desire for the supreme good of freedom. The first reading finds them contradictory. Ultimately, love provides the much-desired freedom, as it covers and completes the deepest personal desires and therefore protects against need. Isn't freedom somehow transcending necessity?
They called love ∙ the desire for beauty. And what else is beauty but a promise of happiness?
We seek the beauty that transcends the futility of the ephemeral. We seek the beauty that brings out the spirituality of material things, that unites body and soul.
Necessary condition, the existence of the amorous person who devours life constantly, in every way.
In the ancient Greek myth the soul finally manages to move from passivity to femininity and stand by the man's side as she wins love again and he grants her immortality.
Desperate Psyche turns to the mother of Eros Aphrodite, asking for help to win back her husband. She assigns her difficult tasks, which she manages to accomplish in a completely feminine way. Psyche, moving from passivity to the discovery of femininity, finally stands by the man's side, as Eros not only returns, but raises her with him to the realm of the Gods and makes her immortal.

Eleni Karagiannis
"The trauma" conference, Rhodes, October 2014