Be my ... infinity

Valentine's Day always makes me feel incredibly lonely, not just because I habitually seem to be single every February friggin' 14, more so because it makes me realise we all do ultimately walk alone.

There's a line in the only great Jake Gyllenhaal film, Donnie Darko, where an allegedly crazy woman whispers to Donnie (played by Jake before we knew he could only do one schtick) - "every living creature on earth dies alone".

I remember having this exact epiphany watching my biological father die of cancer. He did everything right. He wasn't a smoker, he exercised every day, ate well, he'd stopped boozing and he was surrounded by five children who loved him and a wife who adored him.

But when I looked into his morphine-addled eyes, I saw that realisation; he knew he was dying alone, and all the love in the world didn't change the fact he'd have to travel that path by himself.

Yeah, yeah, nothing new there; it's why half the world drinks.

The thing is - and I've probably thought about it a little too much - it is only through loving another person or through creation (not necessarily parenthood), that we feel the full extent of what it is to be human.

It's also what makes us the most vulnerable because "we become hostages to other people who may rebuff our love or destroy our work".

That quote is from a gentleman I've referenced before, Harvard professor, philosopher, social theorist and the man who taught Barack Obama law, Roberto Unger.

Says Unger in his ridiculously-layered lecture series 'Beyond Nihilism': "We always want more."

"As we are bound to a wheel of longing, of satiation, or boredom and of more longing, we demand the infinite of the only thing we have around us; the finite.

"The chief target of this longing, are the others. From other people we demand an assurance that there is for each of us an unconditional place in the world. We demand from them, more than they can ever give us," says Unger.

I don't think I've ever heard a better description of both the aspiration and frustration of love.

The crazy thing is when we do get this kind of adoration from someone who's jusssst not right, we recoil, it's almost horrifying to be thought of in this way by someone we don't share similar feelings for.

Comedian and journalist Taylor Orci, nails it in her heartbreaking piece for The Atlantic when she says of rejecting a dude who'd sent her a Valentine in Year 7: "A hopeful rat of a voice inside me said, 'There will be others.' There weren't."

You pays your money, you takes your chances, I guess.

Lest you think I'm trying to drive you all over a cliff of despair, lemme give you a bit more Unger, who says: "This dependence on the others is not our due, it is our salvation.

"All of this is cause for joy. Right now we are both alive. Better you and I not think too much about this fact, or we might be overwhelmed and paralysed ... by joy."

Feel free to share any other defects you've noticed in the human existence.

You can follow Sam on Twitter here. His email address is here.

As we are bound to a wheel of infinite desire and seek the infinite from the finite, we hope for an object of our desires that would be worthy because it would be infinite.

We deal with our greatest terrors and our highest hopes. In the beginning these terrors and hopes had to do with our dependence on nature, then as we built our civilisations them emphasis shifted to the defects in human existence.