Wanting children but not having them is not sad, it is depressive, that means it makes everything look like it doesn’t matter. It is a special kind of want which fucks you up.
Maybe you will. Most people do, at least currently, have children. But maybe you won’t. If you won’t, can’t or don’t have children, be prepared.
You will be part of a minority and you will be discriminated against
As any member of any minority on earth can testify, discrimination is natural human behavior. And as a non parent you are in a minority. How, you might wonder, could discrimination work for people who don’t have children?
Well, in many ways. First you don’t really have any kind of real problems. Anything that happens to you is superficial stuff. The good and the bad. All your enthusiasm will be instantly compared with some kind of matching parenting experience, which most of the time is absolutely and completely unrelated.
Second, you will never really be believed at an empathetic level about at least the following subjects: tiredness level, amount of work worked and budget. Sure, depending on your friends and family the feedback will be dissimulated so as to match whatever you normally expect, and this will depend on how well the others can perform on their acting skills. But on the first occasion to break the spell, which will occur because you’re a human being who, like all other humans, fucks things up, you’ll get an avalanche of revelations that you’ll then work immensely hard to ignore.
Because, third, you can be anywhere, at anytime, in any place, for any reason, in any way because, “hey, you have no kids!”. At work, people will throw shit your way while trying to appear perfectly rational. It’s like you’ll be carrying the fault for the fact society at large is not more child friendly so you need to pay up, and people will ask for this payment, with interest.
Having friends will be harder
Because they’ll most likely have kids and that will be a problem. For them and for you. I’m not even going to go into the cliche of a feed filled with every step of a toddler, because that is a perfectly normal thing. I’ll say this: children get bored very, very, very quickly.
The boredom of children will get in the way of your house hosting friend gatherings, it will get in the way of many other places which lack playgrounds hosting friend communication; boredom will cut everything short and hurry everything up including your friendships.
Not having friends will be harder
Everything starts to slowly lose meaning once loneliness sets in. And being a childless loner is even more lonely, even inside a couple.
Finding couples with no children just to make new friends is a highly disliking adventure. You’ll end up doing friend auditions and you’ll participate on both sides of this gameplay. Anyway, everything fun is taken by people too young but highly marketable, while everything else slowly gets unattended to, the older you get.
The hard hits when the common ground of people with kids will be a moat for you, a moat guarding the citadel of basic human social behavior.
You might be stuck with a reversed warm and fuzzy
Maybe you’ll forget having children. Maybe you just can’t have them, whatever you’ll try. Maybe there won’t be anyone to have them with. Who cares? Not your body. If you have the bad luck of wanting children, but definitely not having them, there will be this reversed warm and fuzzy feeling, which is not cold and spiked, but hot and dense. It is a quirky feeling stuck somewhere deep inside and activated by the most unexpected of things, impossible to be pinned onto avoidable circumstances.
If you want children, but end up not having them, you will feel a raging need to mourn children you’ve never had, and you should allow from and give to yourself this mourning. It’s a health choice.
You will, without escape, try to rationalize your story. You might start to advocate childlessness as freedom from children. Maybe you’ll even mean it, if you’re lucky. But your body don’t care for philosophy. If you want them and won’t have them, you’ll know eventually that you lie to yourself no matter the truths you invent.
Probably the worst thing is to hit into that documentary about the great virtues of not having kids just to find out then that every single one in that documentary eventually had children. Rest assured, something similar will happen at some point, just be ready for it.
The encompassing warm peace of a child’s laughter will feel better
Parents are tired, specifically tired of kids. You’re not. Not having children will keep you in that child fever mode, without the fever, where you’ll see all the bright sides of a child.
This is actually a good thing, but one that’ll make you also enraged at the dark spectacle of how parenting darkens the bright of a child year after year, and it’ll also make you filled with guilt after the rage, since you don’t know shit and probably you’d be as shitty a parent as those that enraged you.
And don’t cling on that encompassing warm peace, it’s the door knock of the reversed warm and fuzzy.
You really gotta love your significant other
If you’re in a couple that ends up having no children and you both want them and you won’t have them, then your love needs to come first. Not having children can break a love story, just as well as having them does.
In a two person family don’t let your lives become habit, habits blur out reality.
There will be times when an empty house because you arrived first, or the sigh of your significant other at the sight of some cute kid doing a funny face, or the sudden discussion about “trying again”, or the subtle infiltration of subjects like how you’d raise your imaginary child in your pillow talk, any of such things like these will hit you both hard.
So, if you’ll never have kids, do make sure to love your significant other or let them go to either be alone in peace or, if the case is, to try and have another go with another one.
As unhealthy as “staying together for the kids” is, for most of the routine problems inside couple life, the joint responsibility of raising a child is a force that irons many problems out existence. Being childless or childfree, there will not be something “above” yourselves and there will not be a “most important thing” other that you two. That’s a lot of pressure. There is less hiding and less subjects to cover unresolved issues with, hence couple life will be rougher but also a million times more authentic.
In any circumstance, just remember: life is feeble, rare and you are still alive.
We tend to offer a lot of importance to big issues, and no importance to smaller issues. That means we’re made to withstand adversity, given adversity is grand, yet we’re also made to ignore adversity, given adversity is little.
One can live with urinary infection and depression their whole life.
We go over hardships and never look back.
We go through rough times and never stop and consider what just happened.
We do that, given we’re not meeting big bad wolves.
However we are furless tropical creatures. Do you know why we lack fur? Because our big brains couldn’t stand it. It’s true, we have the most intricate critter detection system, millions of sensors fine tuned to detect the smallest of invaders crawling on our skin.
The raging panic triggered by some harmless bug, or worse some cold blooded creature, one which finds itself, by mistake, in contact with our skin, well that raging panic is a zero tolerance reaction. However we have not evolved this sense into our societies.
Because we do not love each other. We are not a single humanity glued together by the absurdity and beauty of our existence. We don’t love each other and because of that we don’t want to share a greater skin, the skin of the body of the world.
We rip through it.
Hence we never detect the small critters. The worlds we build deal with the big issues and are systematically taken down by small issues: the handful of naturally occurring sociopaths that end up leading us into killing each other, the natural envy that tears all communities apart eventually, the normal insecurity that opens our souls to the merciless whims of the powerful.
Where are our zero tolerance reactions when we need them?
All the small things no one has time for. “I ain’t got no time for that”. There are wolves and dragons out there. Better watch out.
In the meantime, our children get ready to pay our debt, and we don’t care. We care too little. We don’t care enough to stick to our guns. To be over sensitive. To kill the critters in a fit of rage and manic haze.
How can you just go on? Don’t you feel the slime dripping on your skin? The slime of forbidden reality? The millions of tickling insects of the exploitation that’s using you? How can you be so numb? Why do you go on and act every day following your script and shutting me up because I am a bore?
And yet you mercilessly kill a poor ant which the wind has blown on your shoulder, disgusted that your’re wiping your fingers off the dead ant’s guts on that grass which looks up at you in big awe of your impossibly quiet ignorance.
I have seen in my brief existence a lot of people. I am grateful to be me.
I am grateful that I can let go. I’ve let go of everything that went too far away from me. This makes me light. I don’t have no special skill, I simply have a light grasp from birth. Practically and metaphorically.
I am grateful I feel joy and enthusiasm with voracious abandonment. No inner numbness ever plagued me. I am naturally drawn to the unfamiliar, while fear settles in later in the adventure.
I am grateful I feel pleasure and pain, and I am also grateful I enjoy certain combinations of them. No outer numbness ever covered me. I have no idea what it is like to want to refuse an invitation.
I am grateful my mind is alert, and it answers back when I ask things. I have a great companion in myself and that lowers my need of approval to bare minimmum. I did nothing for this to exist, it was there as a response to being unpopular as a kid.
I am grateful I care and am polite by default. I don’t do suspicion unless you intentionally hurt me and I know it. This frees my mind a lot. But I invest no effort in this, I just work that way since forever.
I am grateful I learn easily. I don’t even learn, it is an unexplainable state, for which I am grateful. I am merely immersed in something until I eventually feel like I know. Because of this I am a notorious underachiever, but I feel constantly safe, safe enough to risk and feel alive.
I am grateful I can relax. I just can. I see the blue sky or smell the air and suddenly nothing is immediate, important or catastrophic.
I am grateful I constantly doubt myself, it keeps me alert, but I couldn’t have done it without my native self love. Genetic? Maybe. Narcissistic? You bet. But doubt constantly keeps me tight.
I am grateful my will can grasp my feeble ego and straighten it up, whenever I actually don’t know and make a fool of myself. I suffer little when disillusion hits. I never drown in tears. I cry but magically bounce back up. I don’t do anything for it, I just suddenly feel better.
I am grateful I can always enjoy the brightness of our star and the light of this world. It is engraved deeply within me that this brightness and shine of the world is the one thing that will spark in my dying mind before I go.
I am grateful I can lie to myself about many things, but I always know I am lying. I never learned that, I just did it to face my childhood, and in time got accustomed to it. I think it is impossible to learn doing this as a grown up, and I also think this is the reason most personal development techniques fail.
I am grateful I can silence worries by thinking of things that don’t worry me. It is not a skill, I don’t know how I do it, I think it is a native talent and that it cannot be taught and it is, I believe, the reason most mindfulness techniques are bullshit.
I am grateful for the tenacity of my explaining, even when I’m not really sure of myself. Words come to me and I’ve never searched more than three seconds for self confidence. I find it, although I don’t know where it comes from.
I am grateful for my upper averageness. I have no obvious or special talent, or if I do I am too lazy to perfect them. But with very little effort I often appear to be better than the mean, I glow by default when not fully confronted by higher value. I did not learn nor practice this, it’s been there by default.
I am grateful for being detached. Detached from missing out, detached from future losses, detached from past losses.
I am grateful for the carelessness of my parents, parents who, at the very least, had the common sense of not being against anything — other than my marriage. Luckily by then I was grown enough to know better and their carelessness forced me into myself. But they let me be. I had no braids of emotional pain to untangle. My pain was free flowing and easy to trim.
I am grateful for finding love. I never searched for it, I am grateful for being saved that meandering anxious search.
I am grateful I dream in colour and for all my flying dreams. My dreams are so realistic I sometimes make an effort to not remember them as memories. I fly so easily and so often that I sometimes feel crushed by the weight of the awaken conscious.
I am grateful for being curious and peaceful about it. My curiosity burns like a warm late summer evening, my curiosity keeps me away from existential angst, but it doesn’t leave burns nor does it make me too thirsty for the truth. I have the kind of curiosity which makes me able to be alone. That is just the way it is, it is not a skill nor a talent.
I am grateful for being alone just enough time to take a hold on my quirks, to explore and see them there. I am grateful for the power to be quirky with myself without judging myself for it. I am grateful for every single quirk that gets out of the closet and is accepted by those towards whom I am also grateful. I just happened to have that much alone time, not more, not less.
I am grateful for my hair, which is going away, for my looks which in a very manly way become apparently better, for my height, for my bone structure and overall health. I am grateful towards my pancreas for not giving up once. Overall my body does well against my consistent persecution of it. With this too, I have nothing to be proud about, just grateful.
I am grateful for all my priviledge. I am male assigned, mostly able bodied, mostly caucasian, mostly straight on a Kinsey scale.
I am grateful for falling asleep. I couldn’t go on without it. I have no insomnia, my pillow is always soft. With pain, with sickness, with longing and with sorrow, I’ve always got shut eye and awaken with that feeling given by magic restoration potions.
I am grateful for every single thing that is right about me and that keeps me away from the torment, suffering, doubt, worry, chaos, depression, sadness, waste, angst, aimless wandering I see around, but I have no merit whatsoever and no advice on how I do whatever. I am me and I am grateful for it.
These are all defaults. They were things I had or discovered I had with almost no compromise.
I have no idea how you could become me.
I have no clue what you should do to learn easier, sleep better, be healthier, be happier, and enjoy living as much as I do.
I don’t know, because I am not you. I am me.
I am grateful to be me and I wish you’re grateful to be you.
“Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”
Here is some advice. I don’t know better than you, and I did not achieve the art of following my own advice.
Also, I have opinions about some things I know through reason, yet I did not have the visceral experience of these things (like my own children, for instance). However, that should not make you nervous, but instead you could try to take it as a perspective opportunity, a way to peek into a different lens.
Life is like music: for every song there is only one score.
For virtuosity with any given score, you must play those exact notes and do your best to not play others by mistake.
Virtuosity is what success is: you are playing life exactly as the score says.
First, all people start early. Just like virtuous musicians.
All these millionaires and billionaires start in their 20s, as well as others who don’t make it. All these globe trotters start early, as well as others who don’t make it. People raising five children start early, they don’t make five children in their 40s, as well as others who don’t make any. And do not start to point out the exceptions here. Early start is the rule.
Second, the difference between the virtuous at life and the ones who suck at life is that most people abandon plans, stray from paths, switch directions, or simply stop. Consistence in life is not about staying stuck in bad conditions, it is about knowing what score you’re playing and not fucking it up.
Do you want to be rich? There is one score to play and the notes include grit, wit, persistence, failure, ass kissing, immoral actions, pride, self loathing, fear, uncertainty. You can’t pick and choose what notes you want to play, because inevitably you’ll sing a different music.
Do you want to be good at something? There is one score to play and the notes include boredom, nitpicking, stagnation, tedious repetitive tasks, ten thousand hours of no progress, failure. There is no way to sing performance without them.
Do you want to have freedom? There is one score to play and the notes include poverty, fear, uncertainty, searching for talent and realising there is none, observing the absurdity of life, observing the absurdity of yourself, existential crisis, self loathing, self love, feelings of grandeur, humility, mistakes, repeated mistakes, loosing people, loosing love, loosing money, loosing faith. Freedom is a wonderful song.
Can I compose my own music? Yes, of course, go ahead. Just don’t expect to churn out a masterpiece without the magic potion made of luck, divine grace and serendipity.
Be good at what you do. This is the best money advice you’ll ever get.
It is not enough to have skills. Be top notch. The better you are, the more money you’ll have. It doesn’t matter if you like it. It doesn’t matter if it is interesting or not. If you have access to better trades go for it, but if you are socially and economically stuck in lame trades don’t despair: improve!
Know your shit. Be up to date. Practice. Be good.
Never stop learning. I did for parts of my life. I remember how a friend and business partner shouted in awe: “There is a shitload of money, here just learn how to work with this”. But boredom got the best of me. It cost me time. And time is the only thing you cannot buy back. If there is something you can learn to become better, don’t think twice.
Great skilled people will only make more money even when robots will invade the workforce completely. Who manually made watches was in a dire position a while ago, today they are the select few producing ultra expensive products.
It doesn’t matter if you wash dishes for a living. Wash them really good and really fast.
The better you become at work the more it becomes creation instead of work. That is the secret. All art evolved from greatly skilled work. Still does.
Pay attention and suddenly life is better.
All parents are tired. Everyone is overworked. We’re all sick.
All parents are tired because they don’t pay attention to their children.
Everyone is overworked because they don’t pay attention to their work.
We’re all sick because we don’t pay attention to our bodies.
If you pay attention you will improve your condition. It’s a built in function of your humanity. That’s why we’re still around despite being born as weak naked pink blobs.
If we pay attention we begin to improve our condition. Pay attention to everything, everyday, every time.
Your child will tell you what to do to not be tired. You’ll enjoy your child then. Your job will tell you what to do to finish the work. You’ll benefit from your work then. Your body will tell you what is wrong. You’ll feel good about yourself then.
But where to get all the attention from?
Train your will.
Attention is the aptitude of the will. Just as resistance is the aptitude of action. It’s different aptitude, but an aptitude nonetheless. That is also why some people are talented: natural attention wranglers, amazing multi-taskers, true Lean In folk, the “have it alls”, and so on.
We the rest train our will. Normal, average, people need passion, love, drive, interest, hope, desire, belief, curiosity or lust to power up their will. And it’s fine! Whatever.
Feed on what your will needs so that you can pay attention to buy your life back from time.
Make all bathrooms unisex, and stop fetishising the dick.
Sex segregated bathrooms is a relic of religious guarding of sexuality, a practice that continues to convert intimacy into shame.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Look at a dick.
What is wrong with people who don’t see how random sexual restrictions are? For example, you can’t show dick but you can show pussy on TV before 10 PM. This regulatory randomness is mind numbing.
Also, you do not have intimacy in a bathroom because there is nothing to feel ashamed about. You can have a private space in a bathroom, because what people do in bathrooms is unflattering, and we do not want to waste our short life reconstructing social status after every burrito we eat. But a private space is completely different from intimacy.
People who seek intimacy in public bathrooms have intimacy issues. Intimacy is different from sex. You may seek consensual sex in a public bathroom because it is one kind of many human sexual fetishes. But, at the same time, no one is sane and expecting sexual behavior just because they’re in a bathroom at the same time.
Anything not consensual is a problem which segregation does not solve.
Be like Elsa: let it go.
You are neither a sponge, nor a box, you are a flowing state.
Look at people founding things and how they introduce themselves. 25 years at Linked In, 40 years at Google, a century of advising at Andreessen Horowitz. What does this mean?
You’d think these people are filled with answers. But they are not. They are people who have had one thing: consistence. Some also persevered. From consistence and perseverance comes great intuition.
Intuition is the correct guess. Top notch players have higher odds of making correct guesses because they are trained well by their assimilated experience.
Everything that happens to you changes who you are. After each experience your state is different. You don’t offer value by articulating things people can find in compendiums. You don’t become a linchpin because you’ve absorbed indicators and methodologies.
You are priced based on the quality of your experience distilled into intuition. You sell intellectual booze.
Stop fact checking the bible, it is stupid.
These people who feel so smart that they start proving the great flood was impossible make me nervous. Why? Because they’re supposed to be smart.
Fact checking the bible is one of the worst possible ideas, starting from discussing the logic of divine existence, and ending with counting years since creation, as if that’s what counting years means in the bible.
The bible, the vedas, the talmud are not reliable history to prove, nor are they cookbooks for civilisation, like other idiots think. They are politics manuals.
Except for some revelation, which is personal.
Stop preaching what you do as a source of truth, or people will secretly hate you.
OMG. That guy is great. OMG. This girl had it worst. OMG. They made it against all odds. I got it. I got it. BUT I cannot imitate no one, and no life, made up of some random list of friends and foes, give anyone any moral superiority.
I’m ashamed to say: the fact that an, in any way, handicapped person is better than I am at whatever, fills me with awe for that person, but at the same time lowers incrementally my self-esteem. I am not ashamed to say it and I believe this is how it works for everyone.
That is why I think personal example is problematic and why archetypal stories have mythical heroes in them, not real historical figures.
Get married and have children, because you are free to divorce.
Jesus fucking Christ. Stop it with the stupid advice of “don’t marry, live your life”.
People don’t want to marry by default, no impulse to not do it is required. But not getting married or being a childfree progressive, or a childless conservative, is no key to happiness.
If you’re a woman, chances are you’ll be fine after birth. The younger you are the greater the chances. Careers do not stop with children. Neither do they fail to start. It’s just that you need either a supporting husband or be alone and happy. Don’t stick to fathers who are tired of your breastfeeding. Don’t let go of your dreams just because there is a newborn around. At the same time, remind yourself, from time to time, that there are things which are better done at a young age. Like drugs, serial drunken lost nights and children.
If you’re a man, stop being a large kid and own up to your balls. Help the mother of your child, or let her be. Don’t be Elon Musk who thinks he should be more with his kids after “they start forming their consciousness,” aka after the shit and pee is over. Be wiping shit or thankful she does it all the time.
Stop this stupid idea of marriage as a trap, no one is out to get you. Unless you marry a psychopath, you can end it.
Think for yourself and you’ll see, there is nothing wrong with marriage or with having a family. It is an experience well worth it. Just don’t make a tragedy out of it, when, and if, it ends.
Divorce is not a bad event. Unless you married an asshole. Both sexes can be a real pain the ass when you must split random matter between appartments.
The real advice seems to be: be careful who you marry. That’s it.
And try to have children young. Diversity does not solve low natality. Low natality sends entire cultures into the drain of history. Just like colonialism. We’re too far to count on technology yet. Ask from your society child support. Be politically active.
BTW polyamory is very complicated. Polyamory is hard. Because emotions are wrong, because passion hurts, because biology doesn’t care, because polyamory is natural and monoamory isn’t, but humans love to try impossible things.
The solution to the fact that marriage is a totally unnatural and hard life experience, is not to refrain from it. This is one thing, among others, that conservatives have gotten right. Even if you’re polygamous, marriage is a good idea, even if fictive because of law constraints. The making of families, gay families, straight families, poly families, S&M families whatever floats your boat, is a wise move, it creates social foundation and social foundation is what holds the thing we call world standing.
The solution to the fact that marriage is a totally unnatural and hard life experience is to embrace the potential failure of it.
“Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary”.
The opposite of freedom is boredom
Freedom is the most important thing for an aware and intelligent creature. For an aware and intelligent creature freedom is more important than being alive.
Freedom is a sentiment. Freedom is not a state.
Because freedom is not a state, you cannot “bring freedom” anywhere, it is either felt or it isn’t at all. Because it is a sentiment, it’s close to impossible to have a general recipe for freedom and one can be free in a cell, while another is not free in a paradisiac landscape.
The opposite of freedom is not captivity, which is a state, nor oppression, which is an action.
The opposite of freedom is boredom, another sentiment.
Boredom is the sentiment signalling your lack of freedom.
People get bored wildly different. Some people get bored in five minutes, some people get bored once a year, some people get bored at forty, for about three months.
We’re optimising for routine, because we consider freedom to be a state. And states need stability. Yet we’re wrong, dead wrong.
Sentiments need change to be experienced, which is why routine results in lack of freedom.
The world stands on huge routines, it is mostly a place of repetition, endurance as virtue. If you can do the same thing over and over again for as long as possible the rewards sometimes crawl beyond expectations.
But this is wrong, because it is boring, wich means we’re trapped.
Love is sold cheap so you buy into slavery
I have some beef with this easy love thing.
Why are there all these kinds of “loves” available to buy? They’re all on display and you must choose and consume each one of them, and, worse, opine on each.
First, love is cheapened by consumerism.
Don’t you just love beards? Don’t you just love black bezel glasses? Don’t you just love roses? Don’t you just love ice cream? Don’t you just love my Instagram?
Second, love is cheapened by sexual fidelity.
Sexual fidelity is completely its own thing. Sexual fidelity is not a given. People forget to celebrate the fidelity of their significant other as if love is a chastity belt. It isn’t. Fidelity is an effort that ought to be appreciated.
Third, love is cheapened by the institution of marriage.
The evolution of heterosexual relationships towards asexuality is defining the reason gay marriage is morally fine.
Fourth, love is cheapened by exaggeration.
For a long time, I used to think that being content is synonym with giving up. But in time I realized that contentment is the launchpad of happiness.
Can you launch a rocket from a forest? No. You need a plain field to fire up the boosters and not destroy everything around in a wildfire. That’s contentment: the plain field.
But contentment also has the power to ignite love. And that’s why people find it so hard, so late, so many bruises later, because everyone is stumbling and rushing to “find” love in the forest of life events, when in fact there is nothing to be found.
Nothing. Love is ignition. Which brings me to fifth.
Fifth: love is cheapened by complication.
Compound basic attractions evolve into love. Just like you.
You are, after all, the result of compounding small interractions. From protein to love story, what an architecture!
All in all a basic advice for life seems legit: just go along and don’t ever, ever, loose yourself. That’s about it.
Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.
Like, as a person and a human. Let’s say we make some androids to visit distant planets and, who knows, maybe meet the local intelligent lifeforms they might encounter there.
Should your self be cloned and uploaded into an android visiting the universe on behalf of the human kind? Do you represent humanity? Should you?
I mean, really, beyond what the body can do for you, skin, hair, teeth aside. How is your personality in its entirety? Do you like yourself?
Is a part of having children a way of plastering ourselves into the future? Does it work? I mean, if I think about myself, I conclude constantly that I am an accident. A happy accident, because I like myself. But an accident nevertheless.
On rare occasions I find my parents in me, usually in the badly lit portions of my self. Some other times I effectively recognize physical features of theirs when looking at my self. But all superficial. I always say the greatest thing my parents have done, indirectly, was to let me be, or in easier terms, to leave me alone. Most of the time they succeeded at doing this.
So I plowed ahead in my life as best as I could. My answer to the question is yes, I like myself, I would have me embedded as a software kernel inside some android’s self. It won’t be me, this is not about immortality, it is about a self aggrandizing perspective I have on the fact that I ended up midlife as an open minded, somewhat kind, somewhat loving, somewhat funny, somewhat experienced human. Oh and I have an above average introspective capacity, which I owe to the fact that I learned what loneliness can be used for.
Do you like yourself? How out are you to yourself? In my book, this is key. I constantly preach the difference between sincerity and honesty. I strive to be honest to the world and sincere to myself. Sincerity cuts deep and lets the light in the closets we keep building. I have outed myself to me a dozen times at least. Hurts like hell but less than what the others can do. I find lying to be moral, deceit isn’t.
Here is a thesis, the world is a better place when we’ll genuinely like ourselves. No egomaniacs, just people true to themselves who work on knowing what they want and who they are. Egomania is always about the others in the circle, a never ending fear of loosing the center spot, forget about that.
Do you like yourself? No love, loving yourself is a weird subject. We all have a love-hate relationship with ourselves. But, I mean, do you like you? Enough to set yourself up as a token for all of us?
Another thesis, democracy and its tool of political participation is terribly affected by people not liking their selves and there is a constant gap of resources filled by egomaniacs.
Do you know that saying: you can’t love no one if you don’t love yourself first? Bullshit. Of course you can. You can hate yourself most of the time and still be madly in love. But, can you be loved, if you don’t like yourself?
So I wanted to comment on the highlight above, but then this comment thing got my attention:
There is also no evolutionary purpose to the in love feeling lasting longer than it takes to produce offspring, Sara Lynn Michener said in her article.
And raise them, and provide for them, and protect them. There is an evolutionary reason, thnidu appropiated swiftly the idea of Sara’s love
Pretty sure that comes from the “nurture” side of things rather than nature, and sociology statistics back me up on that. But the nature/nurture argument is obviously a bigger debate 😉 Sara Lynn Michener replied
Here is the thing, if there are any aliens in space and they also have brains and conscious phenomenons like we do in those brains, I bet there is a nature versus nurture debate on other planets as we speak.
Maybe their subjects are different: do we love to invade less evolved civilizations because it is in our nature or because we’ve been nurtured into it, might such an alien astronomer wonder, while gazing at the star map showing the bounds of their galactic empire. But the theme is the same if they are self reflective creatures like us, also known as beings.
Unlike creatures, beings have a very weird geography of knowledge, like: mountains of misunderstandings, valleys of ignorance, plateaus of facts, rivers of ideas, seas of wonder and canyons of identity.
Canyons of identity are the saddest and, at the same time, magnificent part of a being’s geography of knowledge.
The recursiveness inside our heads makes us have ourselves perceiving ourselves, this creating the ego. We have one personality. The personality is real. There are two mirror reflections of our personality one inside, the ego and the other outside, the identity.
Identity is the internal representation of an external personality. Thus, the others create one’s identity and the experiences create one’s personality. Hence the conflict: socially you are what other people make of your personality, aka your experience, while they have had none of your experience. You’re defined by noobs. [Evolving, god! I am citing myself, the shame]
A canyon is the erosive effect rivers have on rock during huge periods of time.
A time limited being, such as a human, does not have huge periods of time as a direct experience, but we get them as an indirect experience from society through education and entertainment. So we feel as if we’ve been here forever. Sadly we also feel like we will be here forever. It is often perceived as if we’d be moved back one thousand years ago we’d feel weird but quickly we’ll be like home, especially if one likes to read up on history. It is a continuity sensation that ties our small flicker in the universe’s timeline with the past we never lived and the future we’ll never live.
At the same time we are idea factories. Our brains make all these ideas, that all flow together, like rivers do, into our seas of wonder. The more ideas we make, the more fresh water our wonder will get. But because of the continuity our social behavior creates, we get connected to rivers of ideas that belong to our entire species’s history: humanity! We inherit this geography of humanity’s entire knowledge from the human peers that groom us for the life among the living
Some rivers of ideas are so old, much older than one human will ever be, they dug huge canyons in the plateaus of facts and in the the mountains of misunderstandings. Some of these canyons are dry, no ideas flow through them for centuries but they still are deep cracks in the way we see the facts and connect the misunderstandings.
The there is one such canyon that is so deep and so long it basically allows one to live off intellectual tourism to it: the nature versus nurture debate. It was once a river of ideas, fast and swift in its flow, with frothy little cascades here and there, ever since we’ve moved our eyes towards the heavens at night and wondered what does that twinkling light could be, or that blue gem sitting proudly next to the shiny circle that kept us safe at night. So we began to create culture, because that is what we do when take sail on our inner seas of wonder.
In essence, what we call nurture is our mirrored selves, our mirrored creation, the effort we make to rise as high as required to be the giants our future generations will stay on. What we call nurture is the collective reliance on our ancestor’s best guess, which we call wisdom, but which is seldom so. Nurture is the the screen saver that shows up in our minds where we’re not working on it consciously. Alas, we can only think about nurture like this, just like I am doing here, writing this.
But we feel nurture differently.
We feel as if it is our creation, our brainchild, the thing which we “teach” others to be, or the thing they are “taught” to be by their experience. We separate it and cherish it so dearly. But this separation is false.
Nurture is a mere side effect of nature.
Nature is the all encompassing circle of effects of existing as a living aware being, including nurture. You cannot have a score board between the two, because nurture is nature, just retrofitted with the models our brains require to predict what’s next. Nurture is nature with bells and whistles. We sure like bells and whistles. But take them out and nurture is just plain old nature.
See the paragraphs of words above all written as metaphors? As you see you need not talent to make metaphors, we all do it.
Metaphors are the maps we use to navigate the geography of our knowledge.
Bam, another one. If you liked any you’ve been exposed to nurture.
Everything is natural, including things we don’t like. This is the reason that the single valid moral argument is the golden rule. Everything else is debatable, specifically because everything is natural. Once we acknowledge nurture as a simple side effect of nature at work, we’ll stop taking refuge in arbitrary moral rules to selectively approve worthy humans that are having experiences we know nothing about.
It is natural to raise a child to be adapted to the society they enter into, the act is natural and the result is natural. It is natural for social beings to groom others for stability, it is natural to behave according to your models about your experience (which include sexuality, the big bugaboo) and some of all the natural effects of your existing and of the other’s existing intertwine in a common timeline, which help us thrive as long as we don’t fill up the atmosphere with too much crap, or kill off all the bees who have no way to moralize us and ask if our ruthless expansion of habitat is nature or nurture ….
At this point I feel like Fabiana Cecin said some place, pouring ideas out like notes to self. Yet, I couldn’t skip again laying out my dislike for this concept that is so common and dry: nature versus nurture.
So, back to the main theme.
Now, my question was: isn’t polygamy about monogamy, relationship exclusivity, and polyamory about sexual exclusivity? I mean all this mixup is confusing. You can be monogamous and polyamorous at the same time. You can be ploygamous and you’ll NOT be ployamorous by default, ask Suleiman the Magnificent who despite a great opportunity at polyamory chose monoamory 🙂 Is monoamory a thing?
If you are that person, who has ended a long-term relationship over not feeling the magic, then you owe it to yourself and others to become a polyamorist.
This should be the most highlighted sentence,
P.S. For the folk to read this and have an ad literam background process that skews their metaphor perception so that all roads lead to Rome:
I used the word “our” about 21 times in this and yet I don’t mean to generalize but to involve the reader in my worldview
I don’t endorse generalizations and labeling, but we must trust and / or train our (22) billions of neurons to discern when that happens
I have found in my searches and learning that, apparently, the real history of mankind is built on various answers to the question of questions: what do women want? And somehow, almost always, the answer was power. My fellow men, you’ve been misguided and so have I.
First, I am married for 15 years so this is not dating advice. I’d be an idiot to give dating advice, ’cause I am clueless about it in this day and age. I did notice that most dating advice today is about avoiding certain swipes. Also, I have plenty of quarrels and sad days and stupid mistakes in my relationship, so this is not advice on marriage either. What it could be, maybe a pale apology to my wife. What it actually is, a thought that dawned on me at random.
Here is the gist:
women want two things: to be appreciated for the same qualities other women are appreciated for and to have an intelligent man by their side.
Not shocked? Good.
Part 1. Women are not crazy
The reason why the most sought after quality in a good man is a strong sense of humor, is the fact that intelligence is a sucker for novelty. That is what general intelligence is for, to help us handle new things. Humor is not the capacity to tell jokes, although that also counts, but the capacity to be funny, which depends heavily on wit and innovation.
Women selecting men is the biggest pressure factor for general intelligence selection pressure in human evolution.
If you think general intelligence has been selected genetically because we wanted to make fire, roast beef and hunt deer with tools, you miss how there are plenty of other animals who do the thing except roasting the beef. Ambush, use of tools, group hunt, all these things are already out there, they are not some new human development.
What made us sparkling intelligent is the fact that the females of our species are intelligent and they constantly have chosen, or at least tried to, select intelligent men, and this is the evolutionary and civilizing reinforcing cycle we owe to the girls. This is not a novel discovery, the idea that the big brain is for sex is something other people researched already. What I am trying to emphasize is how the so called “mysterious” behavior of women is an expression of a biological evolutionary truth.
The more intelligent a person, the more the inclination for unusual, interesting and rare things and experiences. And if you think about it for a bit, the romantic experience, monogamy, spouse dedication, masculine reliability, simple lounging and relaxing time off, and also the use of plenty verbal communication, are all novel and fresh things for the human species.
All men can select based on body looks. The woman need not say a word, and we men know which female is fit and what to do. But, if you carry your decision in your womb and then have it sucking milk out of you, choosing solely on looks will be a painful shortcut. So women raised the bar higher than men, literally.
I am one of those who think men choose first, and I am one to also try and talk women out of the myth of her selecting power. But that also means that the woman chooses second, from the group of men who chose her first. Because, you see, with our big brains came another pain in the butt, happiness. All men know if they make their woman happy or just fill a role. Yes, you can be an uneducated redneck and you still have this mind reading force of knowing if your woman is not happy, especially if you care about her.
The selective pressure manifests later in the game. Any guy with a working dick will signal the reception of a woman’s good looks, without the slightest of efforts. That is why women are turned on by complex behavior such as romantic ideas, by complex plots of courtship, by innovative ways to show determination, by gestures and presence, by consistence and so forth.
The fact is masculinity means initiative, confidence and determination and to show off these things you need more than abs. Just as femininity is availability, vulnerability and sex appeal and to show off these you need more than … mmm, well men will not search for femininity but only for sexually available females, unless they’re intelligent men. Intelligent men are, as women, suckers for novelty too. So far, if you look closely, an available, vulnerable woman that has sex appeal is labeled difficult, because men are lazy.
In other words, of course that if your only approach is to constantly communicate on her good looks and your lust about her, you will bore the hell out of her. She is hard wired to see your brain in action and when you communicate what is also obvious to every single other man around, you do not stand out at all in the smarts sector.
All the complex so called “rituals” women devised, are simply intelligence tests for the men they meet. Desperation is what makes most women give up, not adaptation. Let’s not forget that about 90% of our history, more then 80% of men did not reproduce, but then suddenly all women were redistributed by force to all the other dudes who needed reasons to stay put and fight wars.
But, then you may ask, if women are so fancy that they care more about intelligence than about the pecs, abs, ass, eyes and hair, why do they put such a price on feeling like “the only girl in the world”, as Rihanna sings?
Because they are human.
Humans don’t give a shit about averages. We look at our neighbor and we measure our status in regard to them, not in regard to the average of our species. We don’t care that in Somalia people starve to death every day. We want a grass greener than our neighbor’s.
In the viral experiment scene where two monkeys are given a cucumber prize for a simple act, suddenly one monkey gets grapes and the other keeps getting cucumber. The cucumber monkey sees that, and becomes so enraged that is aims and hits the human with the cucumber piece in the face. She also wants to mop the floor with the other monkey. See a pattern yet?
That is exactly what men do with their stable partners. We keep giving them the cucumber. Sure, cucumber is fine as long as all the girls around get it. But when you start to move up to grapes for some girls, you’ll make your woman revert to simple instinctive insecurities and also cause a basic dislike for your behavior. In simpler words, the problem is not that you’re attracted to other women, and not even that you are attracted more by other women. Women know this behavior of men without any education. Their problem is that you treat other women better. That is where the rage appears and the basic fury and shit storms originate. As a metaphor, the cucumber monkey did not measure and weigh how much piece of cucumber the other monkey got as long as it was not blatant, as in giving one the whole thing. But when you start acting different fundamentally towards other women, by giving them the metaphorical grapes you’ll be in trouble.
And this cucumber versus grapes thing is so common in men.
Think about the basic rating behavior we men have towards: models, porn stars, powerful men’s trophy wives, powerful men’s girlfriends, famous women, actresses or singers. Sure many of these women do have the artist’s reality distortion field, but few men are in the fandom zone of being mesmerized by talent when watching Stoya doing the things she did in her generic title movies or Milla Kunis washing toilets pretending to be ugly and unwanted in Jupiter Ascending. Ratings, we assign ratings to women. If we continue to rate women after we enter a relationship that we want to last, it will probably not make a happy wife or partner, because at some point she’ll get the cucumber.
This whole thing of searching for what women want for centuries, writing poems about it, singing songs about it, writing novels about it, is in fact based on our simple evolutionary curse and blessing: laziness.
Part 2: men are lazy
And there are more kinds of lazy.
First, the generic lazy is the effect of sexual entitlement. Sexual entitlement in men comes primarily because of mothers of boys. Ten thousand years ago it made sense because they were raising warriors. This is probably not a very feminist opinion but it is nonetheless accepting the truth of how our society got to this.
Mothers of boys, unfortunately, still instill the male privilege into their sons as a means of motivation. It is very likely that a woman that sides with the basic instincts of her son will also be and feel more accepted and loved by her son. Any mother who will try and teach her son about respecting women like another self existing with equal good and bad as he, she will be a mother perceived as not a “best friend” type of mother. But parents should not be their children’s best friends, other children should be their children’s best friends. Aiming to be your son’s best friend is a shortcut in parenting that pulls out of the child a certain type of honesty and obedience, giving you, the mother, easier control on the son.
Then there are the other three types of laziness: physical laziness, intellectual laziness and emotional laziness.
Emotional laziness comes primarily from fathers of boys. This is probably not a very MRA approved opinion, but it is nonetheless accepting the truth of how our society got to this.
Dads are rocks who don’t cry and strive for about twelve years in the life of a young boy to raise a tough cookie who doesn’t bat an eye when a human is cut in half two feet away. Ten thousand years ago it made sense because they raised men with few chances to get a woman, so that promise fell on religion and other parts of society to fulfill. The problem is that fathers don’t teach boys how to handle and face their emotions, they teach ignoring emotions by acting as if they don’t exist. It is important to understand that emotional laziness is not about not accepting emotions, nor is it about acting tough. It is effectively about running away from the acknowledgement of the emotional self. When fathers cry they act as if it is a solemn activity, a ritual, an unusual occurrence that has to be marked.
Lack of confrontation with the emotional self creates the emotional laziness and it is why men keep secrets, why they do not open themselves up in relationships, it is why men and women do not talk about things and instead do all kinds of crazy plans to fend off issues that all life on Earth will pose for everyone.
Men are emotionally lazy and this leads to poor sex. We don’t have the inner attire to spell out our likes, safe words and weirdness. Many women are left in the gutter while we sponsor an entire industry of sexual fantasy fulfillment because of our emotional laziness, and the bare truth which we men don’t acknowledge is that the love and dedication of a woman is far greater than we’d like it to be. We fear the reality of the fact that if our partners would actually be let in our depths they’ll join our wilderness and, behold, hold our hand in the emotional carousel inside our hearts. A woman will go for far more than we men are conditioned and taught to think, just because they love us and are dedicated to the relationship.
Physical laziness happens because all boys are pampered into maturity by society, plus a horde of well meaning women. Starting from chores ending with the idea that a job is the “hard” work, while you lounge at the office as the inefficient employee you are.
Men are physically lazy and, incredibly, this leads to a lazy sexuality. They dream up of all kinds of acrobatics with all kinds of imaginary characters but are made of wood in bed, and not the right kind of wood. This is not bad sex, but bad sexuality, one forged on only taking, never giving, and which forms the bread and butter of the rape culture, the same rape culture we fail to acknowledge while grinding our teeth in indignation, like a kid who has to clean up the room before going out to play.
Intellectual laziness is simply because monogamy and civilization redistributed women. Women will eventually give up, and we know it. I have seen so much desire to be athletic and victorious because that is by default an exemption from the requirement to be smart. I have also seen how deeply rooted our manly entitlement is, because we imagine that competitiveness is more ingrained in our default behaviors than our sexuality.
Intellectual laziness makes poor lovers. Unimaginative men make the bulk of the lover offering in the dating market. Just stop for a moment and think about this: considering all the lust a girl gets for simply putting a good picture on the Internet, how much novelty to you think she finds in your posturing and stallion performances? We men love. We are fierce lovers of our women. We love our women more than we love our children. But damn it if we’re not having the lowest of standards about ourselves.
And the crazy ideas we have. Like if we shall ever become super intelligent enlightened beings we’ll loose our sex urges. Do you know how common this line of thinking is? Do we not see how all spiritual practice and religion keeps prepping people into this lie of dumbing down the masculine sexual confidence and praising the masculine competitive determination?
The laziness of men is what turns woman normal behavior into craziness.
We’re too lazy to ask for what we want, clearly, outspokenly, openly. We’re too lazy to stick to our plans and fulfill our potential. We’re too lazy to accept that the grapes are the thing and start having only grapes to give and forget about the cucumber. Men are lazy in relationships, men are lazy with children, men are lazy in marriage, men are lazy with other men too, friendships held together by fear of invalidation.
Man up should mean something again.
Man up means pick up that bone sack and put some electricity at work between those two ears. Be a man means not violence and stubbornness. A man is in no way whatsoever more endowed by nature to own up to himself than a woman is to own up to herself. To be a man is hardly about bringing the food home or putting the money in the bank or not even about being good with tools, the competitive fear of my kin in the twenty first century of civilization.
Be a man means be industrious! Find your energy, enjoy your manhood and stop whining at the feminists about your unfair persecution. Feminism so far appears to be a great effort towards making men use their brains. Overall feminism gives men their much coveted sexual freedom and asking for a little effort of intellect in return. You should be the more intelligent of the pack to rise up at a level where owning your masculinity will melt the knees of that strong feminist you secretly love so much, but hate like a lion all over the Internets.
Women don’t want powerful men. Powerful men love power more than the woman, and women know it. Women want intelligent men who want them as women first and as friends forever.
Love is just one of the many facets of the human experience
Behold! I’ve been summoned to mull over an idea. As I am used to tinkering with thoughts, mulling on ideas is a related pleasant activity. However, tinkering is synthetic, while mulling is analytic. The problem with analysis is that it is a time hungry option, and time is the least available resource ever for us humans. Therefore, my mulling will be less deep than it should be.
BHD has written a great perspective piece on how civilization is in fact a history of oppression. First thing, evolution is not civilization, just to clear things up. We are not more evolved than the Romans were, we’re even just barely more civilized. We are strongly technologically superior to our ancestors, but we’re very much the same as far as evolution goes.
Why did I start with evolution vs civilization? Because it is important to understand that we’re the same people today as the people who were trying to figure out what makes volcanoes shoot flames to the sky and concluded there must be a dragon inside. We just base our construction on a priori knowledge, not on better brains or bodies. No evolution.
is a great description of the situation I’ve seen in a long time. Sure, it speaks volumes, but only if the volumes have spoken to you. Ask around and see how it is hard to get folks to convey the meaning of the phrase above.
But then the perspective’s vanishing point is revealed: love. So I immediately got back to one of my previous “posts”, tinkering on love.
Love gives meaning to live, and that’s about all it does. I don’t see how “love is where evolution is guiding us”. For many reasons, first being that love is a sentiment or a state, but it is one of many. It is not the end, nor the beginning.
I believe the person to blame for our misguided voting of Love as president of all beingness is Kierkegaard with his interpretation of religious and dogmatic principles as the pillars of a good life. Soren gave us the idea of agape love and it took in exchange clarity in our thinking about the diverse problems we’re facing in our brief existences.
These are Christian reflections; therefore they are not about love but about the works of love, says SK.
The idea above exists simply because we are limiting God by stating “God is love”, but I, a mere human, can state that definitely God is not love. God may love, can love, would, could love. God should love. Me. You. But to reduce every thing to one thing must be a fallacy of thinking, even if we do it for temporarily grasping vague infinities such as the Trinity. We cannot shrink God beyond the tzimtzum.
I have no idea why we like to artificially hand pick “chosen” parts of ourselves and declare them to be better than other parts. Love is a very good ingredient in our lives, with enough self education and grounded attention we might even act as beings of love, immersing our entire activity (“work” in Soren’s words) in our state of love. Because, indeed, love can be a state or a sentiment. When it is a state, we look at it as more than the love we give to girlfriends, brothers, parents, as Tremaine L. Loadholt argues, we start to believe we are it. We believe we are love when love is our current state.
But is love the most desirable state to be in?
Love is this bully that snaps you from the strings inside you never knew you had and puppets you into being everything you’re not.
My view is that the only true love a human being is capable to experience is the love towards their child. That is the basic wiring inside ourselves on which the state or sentiment of love is weaved upon. What crawls upward on that hard wired conditioning towards raising our progeny is then refracted through our personality as all the other “types” of love we spread around: love for life, love for the other, love for the kin, love for the parents, love for the lovers and so on. All these other types of love Tremaine, are not of a lower type, they are the same thing.
It doesn’t matter if you have children or not. Love is a state which sucks energy from higher, more distilled forms, and sends it in a downward spiral as fuel for our will to live and, well, keep calm and carry on. But it does this as a dictatorship, you do not have a choice here. If you can choose, you usually exhibit some kind of sociopath diagnosis.
1 Corinthians 13:4–8 describes the dread of being taken by love in its purest form. Love is an efficient machine of ripping out of you any way of asserting yourself above Life. Love gives the meaning we require to stop our inner barbaric and maniacal impulses to kill each other because we hate the tea we had this morning.
If those whom we begin to love could know us as we were before meeting them … they could perceive what they have made of us, (A.C.)
and without a clear idea if he meant what I think he did, I still find this to be a nice way to put my bully perspective above.
Love is the best thing (IMHO) we can gift to someone else. It is priceless, takes several seconds to display, and lasts a lifetime.
The best gift to someone else is the gift which matches exactly what they need. If one needs answers, love isn’t it. If one needs health, love doesn’t cut it. Of one needs time, love takes away even more of it. If one needs freedom, love will make their captivity easier to bear, and freedom farther still. If one needs a future, love will infuse it with such a disillusion that when it arrives the past suddenly appears idyllic. And not everyone can perceive love in several seconds, even if we can display it ever so fast. It is priceless and it does last a lifetime, indeed, you cannot fall out of love. But you can hate, which means fighting the love in you because you can’t stand its dictatorship anymore.
Nietzsche does something good in regard to our subject, that is to shine some light on another problem with the all encompassing notion of Love: love has very little to do with lust.
There is no such thing as erotic love!
As far as erotic states go there is only lust and hunger. This terrible limiting idea of “erotic love” keeps sex and sexuality at bay from entering society as normal human-ness for millennia. Love is love, sex is sex. Love does lead to lust. Lust does lead to love. Yet they are separate states, and sex is an effect of the state of lust, while sexuality is a personality aspect that encompass everything from reason, to love, to attachment, to perception, and to simple biology. There is an abyss of human sexuality precisely because it is a personality aspect, something that gets built and cooks inside one’s unique experience. Love is a part of sexuality, sometimes a very, very small part, other times a huge part, mostly depending on your childhood, that’s where Freud as weird as he is got it right, in my view.
The notion that love and a ‘pure soul’ will do whatever is needed without any grit or sweat from the effort and thoughtfulness of our choices and deliberation, is a huge and pervasive catastrophe to me. Classical Sass
Not only to you! But the notion is right, even if not correct. A person in a state of love, or experiencing the sentiment of love, will do whatever is needed and the grit and sweat are lubricated by love to such an extent that for an outside observer they are not there. It is not correct though, because we humans keep everything we were into who we are so that we can be who we become. Therefore a drop of hindsight will reveal the grit and sweat that appeared to not be there.
Love is unconditional only if it is reciprocal.
Unconditional unidirectional love moves to a different state called devotion. That is not love anymore. That is why it is good to be friends to those whom you “marry”.
Plato said that love must contain admiration for its object, and I agree. My opinion is that you cannot feel direct love or altruism at another human unless you honestly believe they are better than you. Because the root is our hard wiring to raise progeny, and we all think our children will do better than us.
BHD, though, summoned me for another point as an answer to Dave Araki: to talk about how we need to stop talking about love, and talk about things that can really bring about change.
Why is love better than, say, compassion? Or wisdom? Or equilibrium? Or continence? Who made the chart? Isn’t it a bit mistaken to teach the supremacy of love in a world where people are controlled by anger? I wonder a lot if love really emancipates the human being. Its irrationality and downward direction are giving me the doubts.
So, yeah, my view on civilization’s next step is to move from oppression to wisdom. Peace is attained through victory, not love. No lover ended a war ever, but many loves started wars. The concept of peace is a concept of force. I would go as far as to rename History into Power. Power strong enough is effecting victory. Victory has nothing to do with battle or war. Victory is the only deity the warrior worships, and as long as we’ll be competitive creatures, we’ll have warriors. Victory means creating a skewed equilibrium, where the lower power succumbs.
Peace is a concept we misuse a lot. When we assume peace as a mission we are merely building bigger armies and more evil guns.
What we sometimes mean by peace is prosperity. Prosperity is attained by wisdom. Many times by peace we mean advancement. Advancement is many times in the realm of determination, because it is generally the result of failure. Some other times we mean by peace, communion. Communion is the effect of compassion. Which brings me to: the bonding behaviors.
In my ideas about what we are, I see a behavior as composed of many states. In my view a “good” behavior will produce many more good effects than a “good” state. Therefore I’d go as far as to consider that empathy, compassion and sympathy are far better things to forge than love, both at the scale of humanity and at the simple human individual level.
Desire that emerges out of connectedness to all other life is love in action. BHD
That is beautifully put. But it doesn’t deal with the individual ego of every human. Why we pretend that once submersed in universal awareness we’ll loose ourselves, beats me. Love is not the timeless piece of the universal puzzle, BHD. Love lasts just for your lifetime.
Empathy is a feature we can grow into humans, just as we grow math skills in children, helping them figure out numbers by counting beans. Who ever had a class of empathy? Compassion is a concept where humanist science culture and education help immensely, but we need more coders! And to feel sympathy we require more than the automaton life choices of nine to five wage slavery, because sympathy is rooted in direct experience.
There are ways to move our society in the direction of prosperity, advancement and communion, ways that cultivate the proper human development that is required way longer after we experience the life enhancing gift of meaning that love will give us at some point in life.
Martin Rezny replied to me in a very beautiful piece I’ll end it for now with this quote, as a warning on making human evolution the story of love:
Dreams can turn into nightmares very easily in the absence of spiritual awareness informing a moral conscience, while even the most primitive state of affairs can actually be a utopia, if the humans living in that community manage to glean enough transcendental insight.
Lovers are those two providential meetings between two musicians who have a blast. I remember one of our local greatest artists, Gyuri Pascu, was once telling a story how once he had a jam with a female singer, and they sang so well, eye to eye contact, perfect pitch, unison chorus, that he realized that cheating on his wife was nothing compared to what he experienced without any kind of touch or even conversation involved.
You suddenly get in a serendipitous sync with someone, maybe you both play the same instruments, maybe you are the voice and they are the bass, or you are the cello and they are the piano, you get the idea. The tunes you sing now will stay with you for your entire life, even if you leave, even if you split badly, even if they make you feel like trash, because, be warned, love is not reciprocal by default, and some folks know all the strings and sing all the songs and we’re deluded to think they sing with us or for us.
Relationships are a jazz band. Now it is all improvisation, so a good jazz band. Late night jams with booze and smokes. That is where the perfect time for honesty arrives. Do you secretly want to try polyamory, talk about it. Do you want some specific sexual experiences, talk about it. Do you want a lifetime of travel and leisure? Do you want kids, take a pet as a couple. In the relationship stage we are open to these things, open to improvisation which is creating novelty as we go, because we feel safe in our still existing independence.
Sure, this doesn’t mean that after marriage you can’t or shouldn’t do these things or that you cannot marry and preserve your independence, but it is childish to not reckon the increased difficulty and slimming resources which the activity of planning a single life together will bring on board.
When you marry you are an orchestra. No more improv, you will assume the hard work of playing a score written by someone else, someone you’ve never met. You are both the orchestra and the conductor. The instruments are all the aspects of life that suddenly must keep the tempo, be in tune, miss no note and know exactly when to start and when to stop playing. All your hopes and dreams are the conductor.
The first thing you’ll notice is that some scores get you raving reviews, other scores get you tomatoes. Some conductors suck as people but they make the orchestra be out of this world good. Some conductors are mediocre and some are having good and bad seasons. But the force of the conductor in the marriage symphony is not external, it is in your both’s hopes and dreams.
That is why exploration inside marriage is so hard. Because you need a conductor (common hopes and dreams) who wants to work on new and experimental stuff. Sometimes you make a bric-a-brac of some special hopes and dreams and get a conductor that sees how most of the classic masterpieces have been done over and over by others, done exquisitely well sometimes, before you, and now the standards are so damn high that it accepts the experimental method.
Married with children is like being managed by the NASA control center. Once you have children you are guided by people you don’t see in a pitch black space where any mistake leads to a horror movie level implosion. Causality in space is very hard to manage because you depend on a plethora of information coming from the control center on Earth. The mission is the child or children and it happens very often, as you see the Earth spinning below you, that you realize you have no idea what you’re doing, and wonder with deep puzzlement why did you think this was a good idea in the first place. But you are the heroes of humanity after all, aren’t you?
Now, instead of an ending, a bit of algorithmic. Music is a lot about order. Read the following keeping in mind that man and woman, can also mean male and male, female and female, because gender is a social convention, which means man and woman is a metaphor for a couple. Here it goes:
When you are lovers you are first man and woman, and second humans. In a relationship you are first humans, and second man and woman. When you are married you are first humans, second lovers, third man and woman. When you are married with children, you are first parents, then human, then man and woman, then lovers.
We badly mix the order of these states. We also try to mess with their order because we feel like we want back to the original state: first man and woman, and second humans. But just as you will never feel as comfortable as in the womb of your mother, just as so you cannot go back to the primordial good and safe place we’re mesmerized by. There is nothing wrong with how things fall in their place as the adventure of a couple progresses, we’re just fighting them or not paying attention.
There are enough hours in one day to be anything, so want everything!
I am made of things I know, about the things I know. If you strip away the things I know, about the things I know, I am left only with the things I know — which keep me alive, but I will not be me anymore, I will just be It.
Many times I see the It. Many times I see the me on top of the it which makes me I.
I see some around me and I call them them. The It calls them the others. The others become them to me only when I see the me in them. I see the me in them, because of the things I know, about the things I know, about the others.
And there are those who are among them, about whom I even know things, about the things I know, about the things I know, about them, and I call them we.
And there is the other me in we, Confusing my it, who doesn’t get how an other can be me, that other me out there in we, which makes my it let go of me, because of you.
I am now split in a me and a you, and I call them us.