by Nejmi Mohammed
The timeless nature of the constant row between men and women over love and its diappointments is symptomatic, at least to the perceptive.
It is a fact that many indeed do consider this form of parasitism to be the best of all possible worlds.
After all, they certainly get lots of momentary satisfactions for themselves from all the ups and downs. This is a form of greed. So, a corollary is that they would not thank you for conveying them to a better world. At best they might appreciate a place where the needs of any actual children didn’t interfere.
And another result is that they would immediately set to work, on “automatic pilot” so to speak, trying to make over the new place into their remembered images, of chronic low-level discontent punctuated by divorces and murders and other betrayals.
After all, the romantic quest is most of all a remarkable way of increasing the sheer number of opportunities for out-and-out lust to sneak in its licks too. Another advantage therefore is that you can hide out from yourself and what you are really up to. Not to mention lifting the whole business by brute force to the level of academic study, professional counseling and so forth.
At this stage it is mainly a matter of the blind leading the blind — but one must not rule out the role of blind luck too.
All of this reaching for an imagined heaven on earth is fueled by a certain dim perception, namely that some of the wise are married, others are not, but that in all cases they seem to be unaccountably happy.
The unstabilized look at the happily married and are envious.
They think that if only they can trade in the present spouse that they will “get lucky” next time. Of course they do not, and so…try, try again! These poor souls simply do not have enough information. They think of love as an especially magical state that doesn’t need to take into account the real human situation of lovers.
In other words, if you just keep playing the lottery one day you will win. This is the blind-chance theory of romantic happiness and eternity. It ignores the problem of boredom that goes with eternities generally and, instead, works by a kind of special exposure osmosis that doesn’t need to take into consideration the true readiness yet of the personality to be happy.
Or even the general maturity of any of those involved….
What envious onlookers do not notice in looking at the calm and peaceable relations of others is that in any case the latter are not so much “happy” as they are just not obsessionals.
This is because the envious do not realize clearly that right here and now they, too, are as happy as they can be just as they are.
Happiness is a function of capacity.
In this case, the capacity is for putting up with more and more sustained periods “when nothing is happening.” The happiness of obsessionals, however, does not lie in peace and quiet. This is boring. Instead, for them it lies in all of the excitement and the thrills of various kinds that go with endless disappointment and the romantic quest, over and over.
This is accounted for mainly by the spasmodic periodic floods of endorphins which are generated more readily by bouts of emotional excitement than calm. The latter state is more steady, but it involves work. This in principle is especially boring, but the good news is that in most cases people grow out of it:
If not before, then at least when they are laid by the heels in the nursinghome not a few will then find the opportunity, if only under enforced conditions, to learn calm.
In any case, just because some couple or other you know is happily married doesn’t necessarily make them wise or results reproducible for you, it only means that marriage is not their particular problem.
[Emmett R Smith
[all transcription-rights reserved
[1 August 2008]