Thursday, March 31, 2005

Love and Relationships

As Human Beings, each one of us is inexplicably complex. Each of us have unique and varying methods of perceiving, experiencing, and integrating the multiplicity of sensations, emotions and stimuli generated within and without us. We have differing ideas of our own self-image and the subconscious principles that we hold true of the world. Some hold an essentially benevolent view of the world, while others believe in the faculty of human choice as the cause of much good or evil in the world, while still others hold an antagonistic view of the world. There are some who hold certain values as paramount - like their god or religion, their nationality, their fraternity/sorority, or family, etc. Such values create a conscious or subconscious impetus within each individual to pursue those activities or live in a certain manner that would allow for a deeper, more enhanced experience of their values. Whatever the case may be, each of us has created a personal paradigm of our reality (our identity and our place in this world) and our view of the world. We grow up believing it to be mostly true; we assimilate our experiences within the molds of our set principles, and we even subconsciously assess or seek those principles in others during our daily interactions with people. There comes a few times in a person's life when they come across someone who not only fits their own views of what a person should be, but also realizes that the other person holds in common the same values and subconscious principles as them. At such times, one can be almost certain that a new and close relationship will be formed: the individuals might end up being good friends or might get involved in a closer, more personal relationship. Nonetheless, since no two persons can ever be the same entirely - psychologically, physically, and emotionally - the two individuals will find in each other traits and behaviors that are not shared commonly between the two. This does not always need to lead to any sort of dissatisfaction, though in some cases it does. How a person deals with this dissatisfaction while still being in a relationship or deciding to exit the relationship is an issue that is at the crux of the morality of human relationships. It is self-evident that no human being is perfect. We shall talk about what 'perfect' means later on. But in the common sense of the term, we all believe that we have areas in which we are lacking, in which we could be better, and more importantly, we are able to recognize these areas of possible improvement even in other people. Then, to put this into the context of human romantic relationships, finding a 'perfect' partner might not just be elusive, but impossible. There is no 'perfect' partner - only partners that are good for you, bad for you, or better than the one you had before. Also, there is no such thing as a partner that is 'perfect' for you. Using the word 'perfect' in such subjective sense loses the very essense of the meaning of 'perfection'. By the essential definition of the word "perfection", any object being characterized with that quality of perfection should be rendered beyond comparison. There cannot be varying degrees of perfection. Perfection is either complete in its attributes, or it is simply not perfect. By that same token, there cannot be more than one kind of perfection in any one kind of attribute or category; similarly, there can only be one (metaphysically speaking) "Ultimate Perfection." That is given purely by definition. However, the actual existence of any kind of "Ultimate Perfection" i.e. God cannot be deduced by this definition, and the discussion of that topic is way beyond the scope of this blog. Nonetheless, let it suffice to say that based on the implications of the definition of "perfection", the concept of God appears extremely conflicting and contradictory, thereby rendering the existence of that god highly dubious. I'll let you work that one out for yourself. Coming back to my discussion of romantic relationships, when an individual gets into a romantic relationship with another person, there might arise expectations from and for each other that might be objectively well beyond the scope of the individuals to provide or meet in that relationship. In other words, one's perceptions of the other person (this mental picture of the other person) might be not be fully realized in real life. That idea of a perfect partner becomes not only elusive, but impossible.