Friday, May 25, 2007

On Women and Romantic Love - by Email

Elberry suggested I write up here the last paragraph of the from a theological angle. I enjoy my emails to Elberry. Knowing I'm writing to him helps me organise and express my thoughts. I include the earlier sections too, though not all of the original, and I've also edited it a bit. I'm not sure why I include the earlier bits, perhaps because I'm feeling controversial.

"I know what it's like to have no desiring feelings of torment for can be peaceful. Yet then suddenly someone comes into view and you feel you'd been missing something magical. But try and reach out and touch that mystique and it won't allow itself to be touched or else will transform into something bland and banal. Someone wrote that women are sphyxes without secrets....they suggest mystery and otherness but its just an illusion..hmmmm..

Certainly it does seem that once you get them talking they are more down to earth/non-abstract than men, and like Prufrock don't seem intent or set on declaring some great matter after rolling the universe into a ball.

I sometimes wrestle with guilt feelings regarding whether or not i'm a misogynist. I suppose it doesn't matter really, just as I don't matter. I think I was brainwashed to fear making misogynist remarks in my upbringing, coming as I do from a matriarchal upbringing.

It's true that for me I have sought in romantic love something transcendent, something divine,not human, something other-worldly. Nietzsche would call me weak/escapist etc. Maybe or perhaps I just have ethereal tastes? To me Jessica was like a divine feminine incarnation that spoke of some kind of redemption / perfection of existence beyond suffering and war....and its weird how seldom I thought of her erotically..the union I sought was something soulful, and mystical.

It does seem to me that women can seem very sublime? What perhaps is sublimity but the union of matter and spirit in somekind of graceful harmony?

But now I'm pretty cynical sometimes and suspect its giggling, babies, gossip and ambition for material gain that occcupies most women's thinking. Even now I shock myself fearfully with this thought. Anyway I know I ultimately mean well to women so its ok I suppose.

I suppose what I think about romantic love from a theological perpective (I theologise in waves, like the tide, not always) is that we feel it so keenly because it reminds us of the love that should be everywhere surrounding us like oxygen..and for all people. Banished as it is from the collective world, this love when we stumble upon it with one single other seems like some incredible precious jewel shining out at us in the mud. And indeed it is. But we mistakenly associate the love we feel with that person with that person exclusively instead of seeing it as something more common and universal and which could be had from and with everyone. And so we dont use that flash of illumination we experience with that other to spread light and love universally but reflect it back only on that person in a self insulating 'egoism for 2' (if the beloved loves us back) or a self-insulated unrequited love bubble. Unfortunately, unrequited love is painful and forlorn as well as delectable, and requited love involves us loving a finite receptacle that is trying to contain an infinite feeling. So after a while the love pales and fades somewhat.

Or maybe im just feeling a bit sad."

I should say of course that many men can also be incredibly superficial, so please desist from comments to that judicious effect. Anyway, not being gay I harbour less designs and expectations upon men..and so for that reason am understandably more tolerant towards them. That I am myself a man will also no doubt be a factor.

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