"I may now add that civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. Why this has to happen, we do not know; the work of Eros is precisely this. These collections of men are to be libidinally bound to one another. Necessity alone, the advantages of work in common, will not hold them together. But man's natural aggressive instinct, the hostility of each against all and of all against each, opposes this programme of civilization. This aggressive instinct is the derivative and the main representative of the death instinct which we have found alongside of Eros and which shares world-dominion within it." --Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, P. 119, 1930.
WWW--The Dalai Lama's right, you know. There's a gal who I see when I go out who's interested in me, and I think she's all that, cute, etc. . But I don't want any part of it. This isn't to say that I don't believe there are those magical folks among us who can handle love and intimacy, but they're a tiny minority of humanity who don't let it get to them and who can control themselves. It's also not because I don't want to see humanity perpetuate--it's that I know there are too many of us, and we're not all that.
The Lama stated some of the unholy truth this week:
Sexual pressure, sexual desire, actually I think is short period satisfaction and often, that leads to more complication. ...[There] are too [many] ups and downs. ...Naturally as a human being ... some kind of desire for sex comes, but then you use human intelligence to make [the] comprehension that those couples [are] always full of trouble. And in some cases there is suicide [and] murder cases. (AFP, 11.28.2008)
What? The Buddhists are cynics? Uh, yeah, that's a big part of Buddhism, a renunciation of this world. Most Buddhists view the world as being a place of futility, a trap for the soul, something very transitory, and brimming with evil. Correct, and it's how I view the world. Are all relationships futile? No, I don't believe this. But it's close, very close to being that way given the predictability of people's behavior in a relationship.
Freud was right once again. Sex binds us, even when it shouldn't. There would be no point whatsoever to any of this without some carrots (go wild with the symbolism of that, I know you will). The most horrible truth is that when one partner loves another more than the other, they're the inevitable victim in the equation. Almost no one is capable of coping with the responsibility of someone who loves you more than you love them. Being a restless species, we try perversely to make things worse. Not content to leave intimacy despoiled, we inject crass materialism into-the-mix, then blame each other when we fail to meet our mutual expectations.
The worst aspects of humanity have been nurtured under the capitalist order we've all inhabited in our lives, not that it's the only system or order to ruin love and sex. Women in West are especially guilty of promoting this convenient commercialism, wrapped-up as it were in "gifts" that are a mandatory prerequisite for things to be "romantic." Even worse is the female-fixation on the blustering mate who shows constant certainty that they have "things under control," the "Mr. Fix-it" syndrome, when they most definitely have nothing under control.
"Lie to me," she said, "Tell me what I want to hear, not the truth, not ever."
"If you insist," he said. You could just as easily rearrange the genders here, it doesn't matter. We just want to get laid. Men, women, regardless of sexual orientation or how raging our libidos might be. At some point, the flesh needs servicing, empty notions of "romance" aside. Lies are crucial in a culture where the lines between instinct and the repressive conditioning of civilization have blurred.
Self-interest and false sentimentality have been used to keep us buying garbage we never wanted or needed, distracting us away from what's important--each other. We bought it, literally. The Lama goes further than I ever would, Buddhism not being an entirely "humanist" religion and philosophy. He says that we shouldn't get too attached to anyone--not even our loved ones or our children.
This is where I would draw-the-line, and I believe we all need focus on empathy towards others.
There are many sects of Buddhism, so you can tell that they don't agree on such issues either. Yet, he's right about sex. That spells trouble and the over-complication of our lives, it means unnecessary drama and irrational compromise. Men and women are going to have to live separately for a long time before we're all ready for sustainable cohabitation...if that's even possible or desirable.
Hats go off to the lucky few who've already achieved it.
The basic difference between the East and the West is geographical location. The cultural sources are the same. Men and women--and individuals-in-general--are much farther apart than mere cultures in the modern world.
Freud was also right that we're always going to be in conflict with our animal side. Sometimes, a cigar really is just a cigar (why do some feminists use Freudian imagery so much?)...and you can keep it anyway. "Let's do it" might be about the most intellectually and morally honest greeting, but honesty is the last thing anyone cares about. It's enough to turn anyone off. Trouble? Brother, you don't know the meaning of "trouble."