Sunday, January 29, 2017

Musings from Sunday morning heartbreak

Love is a phenomenon that has been written about so much over the ages, most songs, plays, and many art pieces try to capture its ephemeral qualities.  For me, love is a quest, a mission that I keep seeking.  Intuitively I know I have huge lessons here and therefore the possibility of huge boons, yet, it seems to be the one part of my life I can't get right.

Some of this is that I grew up in a household that was non-traditional in some ways.  Yes, I grew up in a family with a mother and a father, 2 kids, a dog and a cat.  However, my mother was not a typical woman.  She was uber intelligent, strong-willed, and was intensely the head of household.  The rest of us lived in her world.  My father treated my mother as an equal with respect and admiration.  Everyone had privacy and free reign to live their lives as they saw fit. 

This situation is contrary to what I have experienced in heterosexual relationships I've been in.  My main lesson here is that love does not imply ownership.  How do you get someone to leave you alone in a club?  The most effective is to say "I have a boyfriend,"  It means I'm taken.  This language implies that you are owned by a man.  Most of the time I have found that when someone says, "I love you," what they are actually saying is, "I want you to need me," or "I want to own and keep you as part of my world."  Yet, what is also implied with this language is that the woman is to fit within his world and accommodate him as a kept entity within those confines, but he does not also want to bend, change, and develop in ways that will equally fit within her world.  The patriarchal tradition of the woman changing her name is a good example of this idea. 

The problem is I saw my parents as co-creating a life together.  Both followed their dreams and desires and worked toward common goals like any joint-venture.  They also tried to help each other in those endeavors.  Not following my dreams and sacrificing my life goals for the sake of someone else seems like slavery to me.  One thing my High Priest really tried to hit home with me is that moving from maiden to mother aspect would imply sacrificing my desires for the good of the group.  I made sacrifices that hurt my life purpose and made me miserable.  I want someone who thrills in my success and can be boosted from it, not someone who tries to share in their misery at a broken, miserable level. 

It's a slippery slope, giving up things.  You have to decide where is too much?  One night of not enough sleep?  A little too much out of this or that budget?  Getting your feelings hurt?  Where does it end? 

I'm a person with varying tastes.  I enjoy a lot of experiences.  I can enjoy things I have in common with someone and therefore am pretty flexible and accommodating.  However, when I get to places where I cannot compromise, since I jive well with so many other phenomenon, it is seen as a rejection and a lack of commitment.  In a way it is as if part of my world does not fully fit within someone else's.  Imagine a Venn diagram here.  There are plenty of overlapping areas, yet, my world/personality cannot be subsumed into someone else's.  I'm completely okay with maintaining my personality, friends and interests that vary from someone else's.  However, that doesn't seem to be acceptable in a heterosexual relationship. 

The goddess Artemis is called the Virgin Huntress.  Virgin in this context is not one who has not had sex, but a woman who is not owned by a man.  She is beholden to no man.  Can I maintain full individuality and person-hood and also experience relationship?  Is conjunctio only possible by the losing of one's self-hood to the will of another?  Can it be a joint effort like the concerted efforts of a canoe or tandem bicycle rather than a 2 headed monster joined at the hip? 

Lilith wanted joining her way.  She wanted to be on top at times.  She had desires and she communicated them.  Adam couldn't handle this other creature so God made him a new partner that was created from his rib.  Eve was made as a small part of Adam rather than as a separate person.  In this way I am a child of Lilith.  I demand better and refuse to lose my self-hood to be subsumed by a man's world.  I say this unapologetically.

What do I want from romantic love?  Someone to chat with over coffee, and hug at night.  Someone to share my pondering with on the great mysteries of life.  Someone to help each other be healthy and be successful.  Someone who sees me and knows me and can say when I'm not myself.  I don't want someone to create an "us against the world" attitude with, but I joining of forces and power, life energy---an amalgamation and synthesis that creates a new 3rd force to send out into the world. 

It's time for me to read All About Love by Bell Hooks again. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Perspective and Reality and Black and White Thinking

In the process of intellectual discourse lately, I was trying to explain the origin of the term metaphysics. It comes to us from Aristotle who used this term as the title of the sequel to the book he wrote called Physics. The term Metaphysics was literally that which is beyond Physics, meaning what is next.
By the time Aristotle was writing, the tradition of Greek philosophy was only two hundred years old. It had begun with the efforts of thinkers in the Greek world to theorize about the common structure that underlies the changes we observe in the natural world. Two contrasting theories, those of Heraclitus and Parmenides, were an important influence on both Plato and Aristotle. 
Heraclitus argued that things that appear to be permanent are in fact always gradually changing. Therefore, though we believe we are surrounded by a world of things that remain identical through time, this world is really in flux, with no underlying structure or identity. By contrast, Parmenides argued that we can reach certain conclusions by means of reason alone, making no use of the senses. What we acquire through the process of reason is fixed, unchanging and eternal. The world is not made up of a variety of things in constant flux, but of one single Truth or reality. Plato’s theory of forms is a synthesis of these two views. Given, any object that changes is in an imperfect state. Then, the form of each object we see in this world is an imperfect reflection of the perfect form of the object. For example, Plato claimed a chair may take many forms, but in the perfect world there is only one perfect form of chair.
I really like this example since it uses the classic example of the idea of chair becoming the non-idealized form. This idea is illustrated by Lon Milo Duquette gracefully in the Chicken Qabala. I think the difference between the theories of Heraclitus and Parmenides is some of the struggles that we are currently experiencing politically in this country. 
I ascribe to systems theory and believe that everyone has a personal, limited perspective and we all sense the world through varied senses, lenses, and interpretative senses. I think many interpretations are valid and useful. Many people come to different conclusions based on their own system of values. This does not make any one conclusion better or more right than another. When these conclusions are hurting other people, that is where the line is drawn. Furthermore if the belief becomes maladaptive and is hurting the person holding the belief to the point they are distressed, decompensating, or not able to function is when those beliefs have to be reevaluated. 
With this said, I am concerned that the idea that there is one truth and one form of reality lends itself to people arrogantly assuming they are right and everyone else is wrong. I like that there are people with different foci on reality and the human experience. I like that people live according to different perspectives and values. I enjoy getting to know how they see things and learning from them. Only that way can we learn more of the bigger picture.  I think the desire to see the world as valid from other people's perspectives is one of the keys to multiculturalism and embracing diversity. 
My main point here is that different does not correlate with righteousness or wrongness.  This idea is a major limitation of black and white thinking.  How can anyone assume that they have more information and are less mistaken and more right than someone else?  To take the stance of debunking or refuting someone else's reality is to set up divisiveness and refute the wisdom of the shadow.  Only through embracing and integrating differences can we fully know what it is to be human.  The embracing is an illuminating inside job.  To become human, we must do so collectively.