‘We are all one. Only egos, beliefs and fears separate us.’ I don’t know who said that and I’m too impatient to get thoughts out to spend any more time on Google trying to find out. Perhaps it’s the prolific Anon.
My own version of that, at the personal level, in the microcosm that is our internal universe, is: between our desires and our behaviour is our conditioned mind. In that rag-bag collection of beliefs and attitudes lurk a multitude of reasons for NOT acting out our desires.
‘Civilization, after all, is defined by what we forbid, more than what we permit.’ Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram
I’ve been thinking about a dear friend with whom I am currently sorely estranged 😦
The problem is, you see: he has blue eyes and I have green.
I’m being faceticious, of course. That’s not the real problem, but it might as well be for all the nonsense of it.
The real problem is not about eye colour; it’s about a different aspect of DNA. It’s about the alphabet of chromosomes, or rather the politics of the alphabet of chromosomes. You see, he has Y chromosomes and I have not.
If we both had the same chromosomal arrangement we could enjoy a friendship unhindered by attitudes of ‘wrongness’. We could go out together, get pissed and fall about laughing, go to the movies and hold hands in the scarey bits (or any bits, for that matter), go into town on Saturdays, phone each other up in the evenings and weekends for a chit-chat, text at any time of day or night, hang out at each other’s houses and eat pizza, curl up on the sofa with a book each, and swap birthday and Christmas presents… you know, things that are normal behaviour between friends.
But because one is avec, and one is sans, the essential Y ingredient, and because we are each ‘spoken for’ in a culture with a hysterical attitude to monogamy, we cannot. (I speak from the viewpoint of a heterosexual.)
The ‘right’ thing to do is shun each other.
Oh, fuck off.
In this ‘civilized’ culture of ours, if we act according to our desire to celebrate a connection with a fellow human (golly, such wantonness!), we would be ‘bad’ people. And our egos won’t allow that. Besides, there’d be trouble at’mill, so fear of consequences keeps us in line.
Good old ego, good old fear, keeping us on the right track by ensuring we behave ‘correctly’; ie, do what others demand and pretend to be happy about it; allow ourselves to be controlled and manipulated and pretend we acted of our own volition; resist temptation.
People think they’re so liberal; people think they live in a permissive age, an age of sexual liberation. But they reveal themselves to be pretty puritanical when the edifice of the private-ownership arrangement of relationship exclusivity is challenged.
And anyone who believes the proliferation of pornography in the mainstream is proof of sexual liberation is deluded. All it’s proof of is a morbid fascination for degradation generated by a disgust for sex. It’s an example of misanthropy.
But sex isn’t really the problem in the politics of gender. It’s much more about EMOTIONAL fidelity, the betrayal of which is deemed a far greater crime than the dreaded ‘meaningless’ shag.
Ironically, the person most sympathetic in this situation is my husband, who is the least disapproving of all my cohorts! (I suspect, from things said, that my friend has given in to his girlfriend’s protestations instead of standing up for his rights.)
There will be many reading this, no doubt, who believe it audacious of us to believe we have any ‘right’ to be friends, and what’s ‘right’ is that we should be treated, and punished, as though we were naughty children; and that, rather than feeling aggrieved, I ‘ought’ to feel ashamed of trespassing on someone else’s ‘property’. That’s if I were a ‘good’ person.
The message of monogamy is: “You belong to me. It’s your job to make me happy and allay my fears. You must construct your life around the fulfilment of these goals. If you fail you will encounter my wrath, which may be of such magnitude that you might find yourself destitute, homeless and denied a relationship with your children. You must not interact with anyone else that results in you, or the other person, experiencing joyful exaltation at your existence because you might decide you prefer their company and abandon me and I can’t live without you because I haven’t learned how to be emotionally self-sufficient.”
Although intoxicating things like love, romance and desire are involved (at least, in the beginning), monogamy is – essentially – a reclusive, co-dependent arrangement where each party is a service provider for the other.
People in monogamous partnerships simply have no right to an independent emotional life, no right to freely connect with others, no right to choose their own friends, no right to choose how they spend their time. In short, they have no right to freedom of self-expression. If they were ‘good’ people this wouldn’t be a problem, of course. If they were ‘good’ people and loved their partner, why would they want independence or freedom of self-expression? If they were ‘good’ people and loved their partner, it would not be possible for them to love any other(s)… right?
Oh, fuck off Civilization with your nonsensical morality that rains suffering on us all.
Monogamy is a manifestation of fear: the fear of being alone, which is a perfectly reasonable fear in a creature that is hard-wired for connection but lives in a society of disconnection where the threat of excommunication from loved ones for undesirable behaviour has been a constant since infancy.
Monogamy requires us to avoid connection with our fellow humans.
(I’m getting much more into my beef about monogamy than I intended, and I have a draft version hanging around somewhere, so I think I’ll go and dig that one out and tidy it up instead of rambling on any further.)
We have become habituated to disconnection from our fellows. We have become habituated to suppressing our feelings. We have become habituated to being ashamed of our emotions and our sexual urges. We have become afraid of our desires for the discomfort they cause us. We have become habituated to being afraid of ourselves. And in our shame and fear, we have become habituated to being suspicious of others, believing them to have nefarious intent when all they might have wanted to do was curl up on the sofa with a book and a fellow human they felt a connection with… on the other hand, if that led to a shag in the upholstery, why would that be a problem in a society populated by liberated people who had outgrown the enslavement of their infantile relationship with their parents? (See my next post on monogamy for an explanation of that.)
The result of all this moral nonsense is one helluva lot of psycho-sickness. The result is hysterical control over others’ existence.
That’s what living in this world does to us: makes us fearful of love, makes love into an evil, makes us cowardly about loving each other, makes us ashamed of our loving natures, makes a sin of friendship. It makes us believe that people are only appropriate for us to connect with if they have the right DNA construction.
In this instance, I have the wrong DNA construction and that makes me inappropriate for friendship with my dear friend.
Something’s wrong, innit? It’s a crazy belief system. What are we gonna do about it? I think the answer to that is: nothing. Not enough people are interested in changing the status quo. Why? Because liberation is far too terrifying a prospect for the majority of us – we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves. We’re so accustomed to constructing our lives around not being naughty that we need our framework of naughtiness so we know what behaviours to avoid in order to avoid getting in trouble. Why? Because the majority of us have an infantile attitude to relationships in which partners are perceived as ‘in loco parentis’. (Ditto re next blog post.)
‘You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.’ Morpheus, The Matrix
PS: Okay, so Western men are unlikely to hold hands with each other in the movies but that, too, is an illustration of our pathological attitude to emotional expression and connection with our fellow human. Why shouldn’t they?
PPS: Today there is this on my Facebook page from one of my Likes, Spiritual Awakening Process: ‘The depths of connection and love that you can touch when you clear away the garbage you’ve buried your soul under will leave you dizzy.’ Eek. A girl could get giddy. That quote seems relevant to the quotes above, although perhaps not at all relevant to a.n.other particular relationship(s) I might currently be concerned about. But who knows? Time will tell.