Monday, February 21, 2005

A Change of Mind -- and Heart.

I have always believed in the sanctity of love between people. I don't have much respect for marriage, either instituted by the society or by some church. Love may or may not exist in both, the married state and the unmarried state. I used to believe that romantic love, the highest form of eros, can only be shared between two people. I believed that inorder for eros to be at its highest form, only one person by definition could be the object of such intense desire and profound admiration; One loves another and is immersed in the beauty and passion of that bond. One partakes in the mutual beauty shared by that relationship, and thus they are together called lovers. However, if one loved more than one person at the same time, or felt some resemblance of love for more than one person, then I suppose that love has not reached its pinnacle in any of the partakers. Love, it seems to me, is in this situation distrubuted among the partakers of the relationship, thus effectively reducing each individual's capacity to experience eros fully. Each person involved in such a relationship, then, is unable to give or receive entirely from their full capacity to love. I believed that only two people can share entirely from their mutual capacity to love, and be able to love each other to their fullest extent. I believed this was possible and achievable. I believed that one can, and sometimes does, find that one special person who becomes the receptor of their entire capacity to love. Obviously then, such thinking lent great credence to the concept of monogamous relationships. Again, I have no care for the context within which these monogamous relationships arise, only that they do. Then, the implications of the nature of eros as described above reveals that monogamy can be the only system within which a claim to moral certitude can be made. Since true love, the highest and purest form of love can only be achieved between two individuals, to call anything else that might exist romantically between more than two persons as love would be akin to emotional and intellectual embezzlment. But, a proper moral code does not make room for willful dishonesty or deception. Thus, when an individual claims to experience a deep and profound sense of romantic love for another, it can only be pure and honest love if it is exclusively felt for that one person. In other words, experiencing a kind of romantic interest for more than one person at the same time cannot be seen as an experience of the highest form of love that one can offer another. Similarly, making claims to an experience of profound, romantic love for more than one person is purely dishonest. Moreover, I believed that maintaining a semblance of a monogamous relationship while engaging in strictly sexual encounters without any emotional involvement is also a breach of committment in the relationship. Romantic love is not only cerebral or emotional and therefore, cannot be constrained as such. The true achievement of eros requires, by definition, the amalgamation of the physical, the emotional, and the cerebral. Taking any one of these parts out of the experience of eros diminishes the quality of that love, rendering it to nothing more than infatuation, fascination, admiration, or lust. Having said all of the above, I have now decided that I would like to change my mind. I realize that my analysis of the concept of monogamy, and it's moral implications, are logically sound and appear to parallel mainstream thinking in society. However, recently I re-evaluated my ideas and came to realize that I may have accepted some faulty premises while constructing my moral argument for monogamy. Thus, now I believe that humans can, should, and most likely do indulge in romantic love (whether deliberately or unwittingly) with more than one person at the same time. I now believe that monogamy is purely one of the myriad of relationship choices that humans can choose to engage in. I also believe that like monogamy, all of the other relationship choices involving consenting adults (including purely sexual relationships) have fully consistent morality.

Friday, February 11, 2005

February 11, 2005

Ephemeral, life is. How can one truly know one has lived? Memories are hardly reliable. They are not even exhaustively complete. There are huge chunks of our lives that we just don't remember. We just don't remember how we lived those moments, or perhaps whether we lived at all! Sure, there are other sources that can be utilized to assist one's memory - photographs, letters, clothes, homes, other people, etc. Nonetheless, having lived an entire life span, when one arrives at the moment of their death at-- say 80 years old, can one really feel like they lived all 80 years of their lives? Or does one just remember and feel the last 40 years? - And even those are probably only scattered visions. I guess that leads me to ask the question, is there anything not ephemeral in our lives? How do we recognize, identify, and remember that which is lasting and not transient? I notice strange characteristics in people. Like, there are some who walk on the ground, and they seem like they are simply walking. Nothing unusual. But then, you see some people who seem to be gliding across the floor. They are simply walking, but they give off the perception of being light, floating, gliding above the ground. They don't just walk. I wonder about these people. How are their lives? What gives them that characteristic walk? Is it really nothing more than just their physical gait?