Friday, September 25, 2009

A dialogue at 22,000 feet

Woman: Perhaps it’s not really jealousy. Maybe it’s just being a bit sad because your partner suddenly becomes interested or shares some time with another person. And besides, there’s still this desire to share the partner with other people, with the world. – Man: I’m afraid it’s still jealousy. The disgruntled philosopher once called it the “lust for possessions”. It’s just the other side of what people usually call love. Though in that case you’re describing, it’s lust by a weaker nature. Somebody who agreed to give up the power over the loved one, power that should have been exerted towards subjugation and exclusion of others in the equation.

Woman: Are you saying that love is just a constellation of all these emotions like lust, greed, possessiveness, domination? Is that all there is to it? And no alternatives? – Man: You see, our disgruntled philosopher considered the common folk’s version of love, particularly sexual love, as essentially an exercise of power over other people. Love is something that paradoxically involved both benefiting or hurting the object of one’s power. And, this has been the dilemma for such a glorified notion of love – that you hurt those you care about the most, while showering them with benevolence. The alternative is going beyond this love and wanting a higher ideal.

Woman: A higher ideal? – Man: The disgruntled philosopher often calls it “friendship”. Woman: Some kind of open relationship? – Man: Perhaps not really in the sense of allowing oneself to be swayed here and there by the prospects for new conquests. But something based more on a willful and calm acceptance of people's individuality. As with Napoleon’s explanations for his infidelities: “I have the right to answer all accusations against me with an eternal ‘That’s me’. I am apart from all the world and accept conditions from nobody. I demand subjection even to my fancies, and people should find it quite natural when I yield to this or that distraction.”


len said...

great conversation,randee. were you eavesdropping at 22,000 feet or you made this all up?

the martian said...

conversation just played itself out in my head. after an hour of reading nietzsche and some white wine :)