Sunday 13 April 2008

The Holy Grail

I woke up this morning feeling extra good.
I went to bed pondering, not so much a great question, but a great answer. Problem was, I had no idea what the question was.

I woke up having the question.

Because the question was, for me, always the big question.

A can it be done? question.

The question was posed at 19. It identifies that for most people, the great ideal is Romantic Love.
The question was, is it possible to escape that, to find a MORE fulfilling life, without putting yourself in that position.
Can you truly protect your back? Can you save yourself from going through that, can you have the rewards, without the potential heartache? Can you have all that Love offers, without ever being dependant on a single human being in that way?

And the first realisation, is that it is a political principle. Like all things, it's about structure. The problem is, tyranny on a personal level. The personal IS political. We know how to prevent political tyranny- in theory. We don't apply the same logic to our personal lives.

We adopt a bad life strategy. We put all our eggs in one basket, we look for one person to fulfill all our needs, we create our own tyrants to lord it over us, to train us to fulfill their needs, and then, we set ourselves up to be broken.

Foolish, surely.
So the question was this. Could you separate it out? Separation of power, the John Locke principle applied to interpersonal relationships.

Could it be done, so that every one of your needs was somehow fulfilled, without anyone having a monopoly over you, an a way that immunised you against falling in love, BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAD EVERYTHING LOVE COULD GIVE YOU?

It seemed to me, there was the Million Dollar question. Could it be done? Was it possible, now, in our state of culture, to create a love-family, a group of people, a life system, that gave you everything, yet never rendered you vulnerable.

I remember first propagating this question in our living room in 1999. At this point the theory wasn't particularly sophisticated. I pointed out then, that my friends, one way or another, already fulfilled most of it, some filled intellectual needs, some filled emotional needs, some filled physical needs, but they were rarely the same people. I figured the Rave scene, and possibly one day getting a dog, pretty much covered most things.

Unfortunately, this eminent theory had a rival to contend with, a bit like the Big Bang theory had the State theory thrown up to rival it.
This was the theory that there is a safe way of falling in love. It involves avoiding people who could really get to you, and focusing on the ones who are most obviously attracted to you. That way, you can evaluate them and see if they're suitable. You should falling love with them, if they love you properly, surely?

Unfortunately, this second theory is pants. It actually doesn't work one jot.

Because you still actually feel things for one lot of women, who you'd never do anything about, and you end up with women who you don't actually like. Why? Because you've gone for the ones who make it obvious to you. And the paradox is, you find women like that difficult to actually fall in love with. They lack the qualities you fall in love with. Trust never emerges, so love doesn't. Then they twig you don't love them, but don't realise you really are trying.

The theory just doesn't work. The first theory, is a much better one, it's just it takes a long time to identify each need you have, and finally get a structure in place.

And suddenly, you realise 'Wow. That's it. Every angle covered. I'm not going to die alone, and I don't have to settle down. I have every need covered, every need provided for.'

It just means a wide spread of affections for a large circle of people. Your total output of Love, is greater than or equal to, that of anybody else, but spread over a wider area. No one person holds the key. Each one is going to be hard to replace, should you lose them, each piece is crucial, but losing one, still keeps the other people and pieces in place, you can survive whilst you tackle the loss of that one person, or piece.

Protecting each part is easier than protecting one piece. It's safer. The whole system cannot be threatened in one go. Life is easier, it's safe. Protected.

No one can ever, no one will ever, get to me now.

I really could live like this forever.

There have been times when I've almost given up on the idea, thought that no, it was a doomed effort. But now I've found that Holy Grail, I think, a sense of having fulfillment, without any need to surrender my person to anyone.

Is it sustainable? Ah, I don't know that. That is a question. Theoretically, yes, thing is, we don't really live in a society geared up to pursue this method of seeking fulfillment.
But I like to think so. I feel better than I have for a long time. Because I know, that as things stand, I have everything, and it's well protected.

And really, I think I deserve a drink. I have succeeded in my number one life objective. It's just whether I can sustain it.


Anonymous said...

I think, what you have just described there is family, Crushed.

Most people have parents/siblings/cousins/granparents etc to rely on, then they have their friends and finally they meet that someone who completes the puzzle for them. Every connection provides some unique support.

No one person's life is vested solely in another's.

It's more of a question of whether that network is enough for you or whether you need that unique relationship or not. And of course if you find it.

Anonymous said...

I've got a number of decidedly unique relationships goin on, I think, with different friends, each providing some unique level of support.

I think I HAVE completed the puzzle, just not the way a lot of people do.

No one else to find- keeping the people I've already got, is what it's all about. And keeping life as it is now.
Everybody in it, is a special someone, in their own way.

Serendipity :)

Anonymous said...

Life has a way of shooting these theories down Crushed. It is so unpredictable, but that's what makes it exciting. Who knows what's going to happen next? Embrace it. Enjoy its unpredictability.

Anonymous said...

So what were you looking for when you found it then?

Anonymous said...

Ms Bunny- That's not easy to answer, because I didn't know what was missing.

An outlet for sentiment, I think. Someone to fulfill your sentimental side, without it being any more than that. Someone you can care about, without fretting about, or giving a damn whether they care about you. Someone you don't want anything from, just think about in a nice way, sweet sugary thoughts. And those thoughts won't ever come back to haunt you.

jmb- I think it's a good theory, and it does seem to work.
Yes, life is unpredictable, true. Which is why you have to consider all possibilities.

I don't think everything is perfect yet, but the overall structure seems to fit into place. Now all I need to do is earn more money :)

Anonymous said...

Over-thinking again, Crushed.

The secret to love and family is to overlook trivial imperfections.

The best relationships are between equally forgiving people.


Anonymous said...

In all relationships you need to keep a little bit of you for yourself! I think that is what you are describing here. So new an different relationships are always possible on this basis.

Anonymous said...

Romantic love was an invention, Crushed. From it some of the greatest literature of the world has blossomed - but it was a medieval invention, nonetheless - the "cult of the unavailable" and all that. But maybe we can have something better, that is true empathy and understanding of the other?
Oh, well, cincin with that drink!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Crushed, I don't have an opinion on this as yet, so can you show me where the bar is?

Anonymous said...

E-K- Unfortunately, you may have a point.
But basically, the problem is this.

As D points out, in one sense I have VERY LOW standards. As in 'Female- up for it, not overly repulsive'.

On the other hand, I have very high standards. Almost impossible, in fact.
And I pretty much judge everyone the Sales way- to me, everyone is only as good, as their last month's figures. I don't forget when people let me down. I forgive them, move on, but I retain the memory- and I won't trust you a second time. That's sound sense.
In fact, it's the basis of why Christianity works- it takes this prnciple as the rule- learn from people's errors, don't punish them.

And if I've argued with somebody just once, their chances of getting back in to my good books, are slim. That doesn't mean they are in my bad books, just they've blown it. I don't trust easy, one breach is enough.

Thing is, I think I'm entitlede to take that view, because actually, I don't ask for much. But what I do ask for, I ask for, for a reason.

Cherrypie- Yes, I agree, but I think I have everything I need, kind of. I mean, it's always great to add people, but I don't want anyoneI've got subtracted. Together they make up a lovely whole.

Welshcakes- Ah, yes, you see, i'm kind of stuck in that.
Funny isn't it, I loathe the whole chivalry idea as the antiquated relic of a violent age, yet a lot my ideals are pure Arthurian legend.

Yes, I do have in my head an image of a kind of Virgin Mary/Freya/Guinevere/Arwen, which inspires in me those kind of Troilus and Criseyde type ideals.

The unrequited lover worshipping at the shrine of his beloved.

Of course, it's a powerful image, in a psychosexual sense, isn't it really the inspiration behind so much of medieval thought, only they turned that image, to that of an ethereal woman.

A love that could never break the hearts of its devotees, and in her service, they'd spread the faith?

I think you can, yes. Empathy is a powrful thing, and actually yes, come to think of it, that's been exactly the word I've been thinking of, but didn't find it.

Nunyaa- Hmmm. You think this blog needs a bar? Interesting idea. Wonder if you can install a virtual bar on a blog?