Archive for February, 2010

Post#82: On Intimacy

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Dear Alice,

I’ve got a few ideas floating around on this topic, so here goes.
I revised the definition of a friend of a friend on intimacy.

Intimacy: where similarity of self between one and another is found.
Romantic Intimacy: where sexual contact serves as the differentiating factor.
Familial Intimacy: where blood relation serves as the differentiating factor.
Fraternal Intimacy: where neither blood nor sexual contact are involved.

In the Wikipedia article, Intimacy, in contrast to intimate relationships, there’s mention of strategic relationships, in which the relationship is not complete, in and of itself, but a means to an end other than “to have a relationship”.

It’s interesting to think about relationships as a form of wealth.

Q: Why do we want a relationship?
A: We find them intrinsically valuable.

This is the sort of dogma my friend, Mike, was trying to overcome. “What makes them intrinsically valuable?”

Here are some of the answers offered:
1. They are a means of improving our sense of self-knowledge.
2. They are a means of producing offspring.

Now, there are alternative means towards both of these ends, but arguably the intimate relationship is the best means we have available for both. “What is that argument?!”

I liked the thought offered by another person, where love is a sort of cheat which allows two people to become intimate, and enjoy the benefits that result from such a relationship. Similar to tricking a child into cleaning his room by offering him a toy, the promise of “love” can be considered the initial lure, that leads you through the motions, and afterwards, you’re left with your experience and the end result: a cleaner room.

Of course, consider the possibility of there being no toy given at the end of the tunnel. Do you feel cheated? You’re left with nothing but the experience and end result. Is that enough?

Personally, I need to believe in the promise of the toy, every now and then. I’m weak that way, but I’m also confident in my abilities to see the intrinsic value in the successful completion of most of my actions.

I falter when I make a move I should have known better not to make, especially when it’s a fundamental principle. I do this more often than I care to admit.

I despise the thought that I’m here to make more of me. It seems like a circular argument. Then, I’m struck by how intrinsically enjoyable it is to reproduce. I enjoy performing the act, as well as observing the end results.

Making replicas of myself does not seem to be my purpose: it seems to be my hobby. I distract myself, until I no longer wish to be distracted. Forget finding a purpose: the important questions seem to be “can I distract myself forever?” and “can I do so and continually enjoy it?”

I thought about it, and the ability to forget is a necessity.

I must admit that I’m, at times, bitter about life’s attitude. I want it to make me promises, to woo me, to love me. I want certainty in its feelings towards me. Instead, it’s not going to make that extra effort to win me over. It is what it is, take it or leave it, and either way suits it fine.

I’m also a sucker for peer pressure. As factual as the statement, “People who don’t have kids will die out anyway” is, it conjures up irrational emotions in me. “You want those people to go extinct?! I’ll show you….”

In the end, the question of kids does seem to be a vote, or survey of sorts.

1. “Do you wish that you were never born?”
2. “Would you wish to inflict life upon another being?”
3. “Do you believe that having a child would improve the quality of your life?”
4. “Do you believe that having a child would improve the quality of life itself?”

Unfortunately, my response to the first one is “What other option did I have?” while the following three questions are all circumstantial. For instance, number two is related to the question, “Can I promise to give my child a life at least as good as my own?” is just as difficult to predict as the weather.

Anyway, the only answer that seems to satisfy me is, of all the narcissistic/artistic things that I may create in my life, there would be nothing more beautiful to me than to create a child with someone I love.

Post #81: Of course I might have choice!

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Dear Alice,

A friend of mine sparked up a discussion on intimacy, and people have been throwing their philosophical weight around like it’s the end of the world or something. I love it. I’m trying to collect my thoughts, but how do you do it when you don’t have a good structure. I’ve just got piles and piles!

I don’t think these thoughts are meant to be in a blog post, so I’m making a page of it instead. It’s too formal, the way I care to write it out.

I like my philosophy to be organized, and my trains to be linear.

Last night, my friend threw the age-old question of “Do you have choice?” at me. I can only speculate over why he decided to bring it up for the umpteenth time, because it’s very clear to me that he and I shall forever agree to disagree on this point: While we both agree that only thing one can prove is cause and effect, I insist that there must be more to life than cause and effect, whereas he refuses to do so.

I admit that it’s nice at times to let go of my ego, and embrace cause and effect as the sole driver of all that exists. Then, as I’m lying down in the grass, my ego grabs hold of “cogito ergo sum” and just won’t let go: there must be a purpose for ‘me’.

“If a tree falls in the forest, and ‘I’ were not around, does it still make a sound?”

Is my purpose solely to be a part of the audience, observing the story of the universe?

When I think about it, that purpose should work wonders for me. I’m a performer too! I know what I like in an audience, so I should be able to make the universe like me.

My brother asked me why I waste my time thinking about these things. To be honest, coming up with a moral code is probably a bad idea, since it’s so circumstantial. New circumstances that’ll contradict your set-in-stone beliefs are fairly common (are they?) and the ability to adapt should be paramount.

I’d draw parallels to medicine and that some diseases are preventable, and some we’ve no choice but to learn how to catch early.

I feel like even the ability to adapt needs some sort of planning. Also, I hate being challenged with a moral question, and then not having an answer. I hate when people ask me, “Do you like fish?” and I can’t give them an answer.

It’s quite possible that I just need to get better at rolling with the punches, but if you wait until the punch is thrown, you might not have the reflexive training to respond fast enough.

Post #80: Standard Stuff

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Dear Alice,

I’ve been having discussions with the fam about my future. It’s pretty standard stuff.

Dad: nobody knows yourself better than yourself.
Mom: get to know yourself better in the meantime.
Bro: your current job is more valuable than you think.
Sis: look around and see what else is out there.

Pretty standard stuff. I’m generalizing, because they were more specific.

Dad: Be your own boss; become a contractor!
Mom: Consider the benefits of seniority at your job.
Bro: Your job isn’t stopping you from doing music, you are.
Sis: There are a ton of places for a programmer!

So, there we go. The grass seems pretty green on my side. I’m just blind to it, eh?

I need to go on auto-pilot again, and regroup. Now that my girlfriend is on the road, I can focus on myself again. Time to prepare myself better for when she returns!

David =B~)