Thought I had love all figured out, and one evening I’m wandering cluelessly about until i fall into a deep pit where I’m greeted by an old blonde guy, the late Roger Scruton. In this post I am exploring my upgraded thoughts on love and beauty after watching Roger Scruton’s documentary-made-with-love, “Why Beauty Matters,”
This is the pit that transforms, re-enables your mana bar.
Prior to this short event of a video-watching I thought that by figuring out that by not needing anybody (call it love in alpha-testing), but by wanting somebody I had figured out “true love”. I was happy with my definition for years (call it love in beta-testing).
My definition back then had seemed like an upgrade from what it had been before. Upgrade from a desperate, slimy need. I was thinking then, needing someone is the sort of thing people go for when they have no love and are confused about what it is and how to get it (might not be untrue). There and then, desperate and troubled with loneliness, we need someone to respect us, love us, appreciate us, and most fundamentally: we need someone else to validate us.
Forgetting about getting validated seemed like a big step up. I won’t chase breadcrumbs by trying to please people and by neglecting my own wants and needs. I imagined now I could find someone attractive and pursue him (or her?) instead. I imagined this will be a rational choice, not a passive random pull.
And things didn’t turn out so bad with that method – but turns out I got lucky, it worked out for the wrong reasons.
Stated beautifully in the video above: to love – truly love someone… Is to want to give.
Before getting back to exploring it from the angle of testing phases, here’s a thought on why we get to testing anyway.
Firstly – if you don’t have anything to offer, or if you don’t want to offer – is it love that you have towards the other? Simply wanting someone or something is desire and lust, not love – it’s nowhere near the same thing.
Secondly – what becomes of your love when you keep giving to someone who can’t love, who can’t offer anything back? Someone also more familiar with lust and desire?
Thirdly – what is it when there is someone trying to offer his or her all to you, and you accept it, but don’t have it in you to offer anything back?
We don’t really feel it is reasonable to feel guilt over such a thing – yet we do. I suspect it is so because it’s not like we can be ordered to love someone. Love has to come naturally. But what should we do if we don’t feel it? Just take it all from the sucker and run, lol?
Why not just turn down the person trying to offer it to you, why not walk away – because the way I see it – taking a love offering from someone when we don’t really feel like offering back – is a serious offence.
Now, of course, there is no point in arguing against the fact that people keep taking love without having any intentions to give it back – they might not even be aware this is happening – neither the giver or the taker – it’s just what happens in life until each and every agent learns what’s what.
Reflecting back on my own life – there has been giving, taking, fool me once, no, wait a minute, fool me 768 times…
OffEnded & ConFused
When I offer all of myself to someone (maybe wishfully thinking they are an exemplary person to whom I really want to give?), and the person accepts it without comment – what’s the first thing I take away from it? Yay, he loves me! But in time it starts to show when within he has no intentions of offering anything back, when it was lust and desire all along. You’re not only offended, but you’re also conned. Offended and confused about love, loving and being loved.
It’s not like I could ever demand from the people I wanted to offer my everything to, that they offer it back to me the way I see fit. That wouldn’t be love. The giving can’t happen trough extortion. It just won’t be it when someone says or demands it should be done and how it should be done. The doer knows it, the demand-er knows it – it’s all a foul play.
Similarly to how I have not received from anyone that I have (mistakenly) offered my devotion to, I have probably unanswered someone else’s calls to it, too. But I really can’t recall having knowingly lead someone on while having other plans for the future. Does anyone really ever, though? In good faith I’d like to believe that no – it’s all been accidental; but I seem to be swaying to the opposite side, as I cling to the evidence that people do, sometimes indeed, use you up like ketchup bottles until their grand prize appears on the horizon (which will, very likely also be used up like a ketchup bottle).
Choice or Happenstance?
So, is it a choice to love, really? Because if it is, the choice will have to be mine, not what someone else dictates. And since I don’t really know what the fuck I want – the choice is also beyond what I can comprehend, somehow based in my feelings, in my gut. The whole nervous system of me handling calculations I can’t even begin to measure; or maybe it’s just a combination of that and the Dowry Problem. Like, alright, this guy is pretty good compared to the ones that I let pass (or passed me!), I will devote here and now and see how it goes. In this case you keep bouncing against different people with different ideas on what they want out of life until one with a more or less similar understanding or direction sticks. We don’t have any active control over how many and which people we will get exposed to; so there’s another restriction.
And either way – who is to say, since so many relationships, friendships, projects are equally random – no matter how wonderful and right they feel at the time – they all come with expiration dates (if not separated by anything else, death itself will do).
Alpha-testing phase of love-life
It may as well be that during alpha-testing phase of love-life we never looked for validation – but indeed were exposing ourselves to the option of reciprocated love; but after enough failures ended up believing it to be an unhealthy approach. If anything – maybe the missing links (at least to some of us) were a misunderstanding about how to get someone to love me (or the belief that such a thing can be manipulated into existence). There were also other mistakes – being unaware of the fact that we tend to see people closer to our ideals (or nightmares) when we meet them, wishfully imagine the nature of that person to be completely lovable, dive right in, invest all you have – after which it will be very difficult to convince yourself that you were WRONG about that person and you basically blew yourself up making a naive investment in him or her.
But instead of seeing a mistake where it really was, after several attempts of trying to fit in somewhere, trying t make something work, I end up believing the mistake or problem is in who I am. I’m surely not the only person to ever have asked from herself, “why wouldn’t anyone love me back? Why do they just take take take? Why do they use me up and discard me like I’m something you can by from a supermarket?” Troubleshooting my situation with those questions is what might have led me to new incredibly irritating problems, later faced in the beta phase of testing love experience.
Beta-testing phase of love-life
From getting utterly discouraged and demotivated from trying to offer yourself, you might eject yourself to the opposite side to the spectrum – completely natural thing to do when you’re trying to solve the wrong non-problem.
The opposite of crazy, as has been said before, is still crazy – but in perspective, at least for a while, this side of the lawn seemed way better than things used to be for me. Instead of saying to myself I NEED someone (and I spent some years alone – even without friends), I told myself I won’t care about it until I meet someone that I really WANT to know and get close to. And this has been the basis I have been operating from, more or less until now. This has been the method of life and love I had convinced myself that I was going with until the end. And it reflected in my story writing, in my dates…
Figures, in my dates it did not work because I have no way to fucking know what I want (apparently we can operate from only knowing what we don’t want! And even then we can end up being wrong), and for the story – this method ran me to the rocks and I was stuck there for a long while.
Something was missing, I was digging at the wrong problem – I could feel it, but I couldn’t figure it out.
For personal commentary, from the bottom of my soul, sure, I was still in this phase when I met The Man™ I’m about to marry. I got unlucky plenty of times – enough so that I stopped trying to get in touch with people for a few years altogether – and add to it some other terrible instances, I finally got lucky. Had I operated better, I would have clipped the risk like a pro – but I was dumb and naive and was trying to solve the wrong problems, meanwhile completely missing the mark thanks to not understanding how to apply on life methods like “optionality” – there was nothing really wrong with the problems I was trying to solve (what a mistake-a to make-a).
Hopefully lucky, hopefully right for the wrong reasons, because let me remind you – I did mention expiration dates earlier, as well as getting things wrong, or getting things right for at-least a while, for some purposes… Now, is there a purpose we’re not discussing, I do not know, but there not being a purpose to discuss would be a good starting point for a beautiful relationship.
Love and Beauty
I couldn’t figure it out and the meaning seemed so hopelessly out of my reach I started to believe there is nothing else there and that’s just how life is. Boom, figured out depression and nihilism.
I was pretty hopeless about it, too, although I don’t consider myself neither depressed or nihilistic, until I read and watched and tinkered and experimented my way up to understanding what Roger pointed out in the video. Weird that the understanding didn’t spark before, because the words itself aren’t really new to me – that’s also what Rory was writing about, I find this is also what C. Alexander is writing about, and frankly I’d say even what Incerto, at least in part, is about – the divine, beauty, magic, the property that cannot be named, miracles, blessed by random big events – all that… It is all connected, works in concert – works out like a divine dance when conducted the way it is supposed to work. Love and beauty, that is – rules and restrictions in this incomprehensibly unpredictable reality.
Here I can start looking what I do and how I do to live a life of love, how it has been and how it might resolve going forward.
I have had my doubts on whether my love for the work I do ever gets reciprocated. It has been gnawing at me for weeks! In my experience, my working path has mostly been a one way street. The kind of street where you don’t go find love, but go play prostitute.
We discussed this bit with the boyfriend earlier at lunch, and he added: many companies seem to expect that you work for them like a prostitute – just do the necessary work, get your money and shut up about it.
I don’t think I’m really cut up for that kind of life, though – when I do something, my soul is in it – if I try to just grind trough something – it makes me stressed, gives me back aches, drains the soul – I wither, the leaves fall, it makes me feel rotten. How can people do this to themselves?
Here I am, once again, yet in a non-romantic situation, where I let the other entity not fool me once, but 768 times; but MAYBE, just maybe I am getting there – where I won’t any longer be as addicted to a monthly salary as I am to loving what I do, as I am to putting my soul into work.
Do not mistake me – I love doing the work; but doing it long enough without getting any actual love back will eventually run me to the rocks. At least this time around I know that the tune won’t change if I “give more”, as if I didn’t offer enough utility already to deserve some love.
Since love is also a part of the long thing I’ve been writing, understanding it this way FINALLY brought back the flow and will to write.
I had been stuck on a few parts for a while now, almost believing the project will die and be forgotten forever. I was unable to figure out how some events and situations in it would resolve – there was no right way forward, I had played myself in the corner. People in the story wanting this or that, and everything seemed correct by making them so – but it all felt somehow dead, regardless of the reasons and backstories I kept adding; YET a very small change – from desire to devotion, from lust to love – a new dimension appeared and I have been writing non stop now. Even adding to the parts of story that seemingly have nothing to do with love or beauty.
Of course, it can always turn out that in two weeks or so I will discover all these frantic notes are complete gibberish. But hey, I say it is progress even when the current iteration itself won’t survive my future meltdowns and revisions on the story progress.
I had a utility > aesthetics phase – at least this is how I marked it down in words somewhere. I am embarrassed by it now. Thanks to this film by Roger Scruton, a hero, that ugly dragon has now been slain.
It had worried me before that the music or pretty thingies I make have no utility, people have no practical use for what I do. Turns out the pretty of the thing is the art part, anyway. Very inspiring and motivating, nurtures to bloom – as if this film itself was done LOVE.
This pit of a documentary may also direct me to offer more episodes of beauty in my relationships with my man, with my friends, you, with my family. How liberating and refreshing it is to find out the idea behind love and beauty is not to be useful.
Here I am, out of habit, attempting to isolate the purpose I was going for when I started writing this post, but oh wait, there needs not be any, it’s just a contemplation.
I know you wanna say it! Say it here:
— Silvi Simberg (@ishirubi) February 29, 2020