The Double Flame Questions and Answers
by Octavio Paz

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In The Double Flame, Octavio Paz writes about the five elements of love 1. Exclusivity 2. Obstacles/Transgression 3. Domination/Submission 4. Freedom/Fate/Attraction 5. Body and soul What does Paz mean Freedom/Fate/Attraction also Body and soul?    

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In the book, Paz hypothesizes that the five elements of love can be simplified to three of primary importance. These three are exclusivity, attraction, and the body/soul.


In his book, Paz presents love as a reciprocal arrangement. The lover has the freedom to choose his lady, just as the lady has the freedom to accept or reject her suitor. Once either party makes a choice to love each other, both are fated to be bound to each other. The quote below explains the dichotomy of freedom and fate in attraction. Bolded words are my own.

Love is the involuntary attraction toward a person (fate) and the voluntary acceptance of that attraction (freedom to choose).

The lover is then bound in voluntary servitude to the lady. Paz refers to this as the 'knot made of two intertwined freedoms,' where both choose to enter a union based on the tenets of love. Again, bolded words are my own.

The giving up of personal sovereignty (by the lover) and the voluntary acceptance of servitude (by...

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