Saturday, 14 August 2010
Freedom in life and relationships - is it the ultimate perfection or fundamentally flawed idea?
Freedom in life and relationships - is it the ultimate perfection or fundamentally flawed idea?
Are you truly free? No one is truly free actually. Even, the tramp, the person that seems to be the most free is trapped in his body that owns him. People dream of being free and many of us in the western society cannot imagine a different life then the one governed by actions of free will. Needless to say, certain actions in your life can be free. In fact, to be imprisoned is considered to be one of the worst things. You go to jail when you do bad things - it is a punishment.
Freedom is only helpful to those that know how to use it sensibly and somewhat troublesome for the ones that don’t know what they want. For people that don’t know what they want, freedom gives an ability to try things, make mistakes and learn from them. Have you ever heard an expression that grass is always green on the other side? I am sure, you have, it is a fairly popular saying. It means that we often tend to think that something else will give us more happiness than status quo. This thinking is somewhat flawed, often what we cannot imagine is a new set of problems that we will encounter on the other side. Some of them obviously are impossible to imagine, some of them, however, are foreseeable. It is often lack of imagination of negative aspects of grass on the other side that makes us fall into a trap that the current state is bad and all will be sorted when we change. What tends to happen is that we do swap problems, we eliminate certain problems and we encounter new ones. When we actually swap a better state for worse state, we may be tempted to go back. Sometimes it is possible, sometimes the doors are closed, so we have to factor that while making decision to move on.
Concept of freedom starts to be really properly complicated when it is analyzed in relationships. I have been analysing how freedom is somehow flawed in this area. Some time ago I reached a conclusion that relationship is like a way together towards the same destination. There are many ways, forks, junctions, crossings, with different people walking there but both people choose the same path to walk on. That is act of free will but also this act is an act of eliminating parts of own freedom. Both people cannot be truly free when they are together. It is an imprisonment. The most beautiful kind of imprisonment is when someone enslaves oneself out of free will. We already know that imprisonment can be considered to be a punishment, that is why some people actually want to be free. One can ask a question - what keeps people together then, so that they devote the most precious thing they have - freedom. People do it because of feelings, spiritual connection of some sort and last but not least ability to “dope” chemistry of another person through intimate encounters. I think many people thousands of years ago have noticed how freedom in relationships can be flawed for both people to stay together in the long term. Women are best known to be undecided and not knowing what they want, men are infamous for cheating because naturally they just love to spread semen around and their brain is easily turned on by new sexual objects. There have been numerous ways of fixing it - in almost every culture. In Indian culture, parents choose the groom for their daughter, in christian culture, marriage is considered to be - to the grave - no matter what. It makes sense if you think about it - problems will have to come, frustrations will appear, an initial enthusiasm will wear out, chemistry will weaken as apparently according to research people can be in love chemically only up to three years. The only ideal relationship is the one that is in your head, in your imagination, where you cannot imagine potential problems. As a small digression, vivid imagination is one of the most important components of falling in love, when you idealize person to be more perfect than they actually are. When you see flaws straight away, that is a killer. So people that are most likely to fall in love a few times in their lifetime are the ones that have actually vivid imagination.
We humans, undeniably, are partially animals. Animals mate everywhere and when you look at mating habits of mammals, you can clearly see that relationships between female and male have not been devised or engineered to favour time and “couples” don’t stay together in the long term. Time is not a necessary component for offspring to be born and raised. Cubs grow up and move on. There was no other hidden agenda, the only need is for the offspring to be born and survive up to a point of mating again. Having said that, marriage, long relationships between humans are somewhat artificially created because they have not been designed by evolutionary forces. In practise what that means is that often if you do indeed crave for long term relationship you will have to face inevitable problems and changing nature of a relationship. A recent trend of more popular divorces and in a sense collapse of marriage that will only be broken by death of one or both spouses is the realisation of the trend to be as long as you want to be and then move on with life to experience new thrills. If you think about it, it is going back to evolutionary roots and baking on nature - evolutionary gift - chemistry of love. That means you are a good on a market that has to sell, in case of woman, has to be young, fertile, educated, smart, etc and in case of a man rich, tall and clever. You have to be somewhat capable - healthy, no go for ugly, fat or disabled people really. That is why what you may notice is abundance of many females over 50 on dating columns in newspapers that have a few responses and a “full voice inbox” of the ones between 20 and 35. It is the way nature operates. It gets harder for a woman to be inseminated and give birth to a healthy child once she is over 35. It is not a coincidence that women tend to marry around age of 35, this is when they slowly start to realize that their time as heart breakers and guys tripping each other to get the beautiful ones is soon to be over.
Modern relationship, one without rules known in religious cultures resembles working in a company, applying for a job in a company and being interviewed for a job. In this case, both people do interview themselves. I often hear that people change jobs every now and then, it is because they cannot progress, because they want more money, because their boss is a bully, etc. It is uncommon to find somebody working for one company more than 3 years these days and even if they do, they are usually already quite bored and thinking of changing. Sometimes they cannot change, sometimes it is not easy, etc but they already start thinking of changing. Thinking is the beginning of leaving.
Relationship can be considered to be like working in the same company. Company has certain goals and there is always a political element to it and as we have already established you have to devote parts of your freedom for cooperative reasons. Why do you wake up every day to go to work? Is it because you want to change the world? Maybe for some people it is the case, until they notice flaws and dark aspects of companies, they fact that they are just a fungible resource for them. Sooner or later a wonderful boss will be mood, sooner or later frustration and complications will appear. In fact the longer we work for a company the more flaws and imperfections we tend to see. All this beauty is gone then and people think about - money when they wake up every day to go to work. They think about the bills to pay and their tummy that burps, craving for food. That means that we are not motivated by anything extraordinary but very mundane - thing - money. The longer we are in a relationship, the more flaws we tend to notice. If there is nothing mundane that our ego may want and that relationship provides, it is not hard to imagine that one person or both people may go separate ways. In the same way, we would not work for company that is imperfect. An initial period in the company - the honeymoon period is a perfect period, because you cannot see flaws, of course there are flaws, you just cannot for-see future problems. That state is a blissful state actually. The same happens in a real relationship - when there are problems, people often split - thinking that grass will be greener with another person. The problem is that actually sometimes it is. Therefore people tend to gamble, literally, they gamble they relationship for the potential of another relationship - if they are lucky to be with someone else, someone that can provide them with more resources, more options, more happiness. Some people think it is morally wrong to do so, but morality and ego’s own egoistic paths are somewhat different concepts.
The most successful couples and as the most successful I mean the ones that stay together for long time are the ones that do so out of some sort of political need or something that boils down to very mundane aspects. Good example is when a wife is with a husband because she doesn’t work and has to look after children. She cannot really easily leave the husband because it will be hard if not impossible for her to provide for children on her own. Others stay together because they want to bring up the child together and a child needs a parent, Christians stay together for better or worse because it would be an act against God’s will to do otherwise, Indians stay together because their parents have chosen that for them. Women marry wealthy men because they want security. That is why to really know that someone wants to be with you is to make both people completely free - without any socioeconomic ties. This is when you find the real answer - in most cases very brutal. One person eventually can and wants to live without another person and prefers freedom over imprisonment of relationship.
People who experienced love, often know that it can get close to feelings of hatred, this love and hatred as emotions are very close. Ambivalent feelings of love and hatred are not uncommon. hatred is very liberating for us when we are angry with that person. From my observation over time hatred is gone and usually turns itself in either indifference or actually feelings of love. Why is this important in the context of freedom, it is very actually. When you do capture your state of mind when you feel hatred all you want is so be apart from that person. You want freedom because that imprisonment is too painful.
Knowing what one wants may be harder than one thinks. We go from school to school, often without knowing what we want to do with our life, it is not uncommon that pure coincidence decides rather than our free will. In a very distant past, the profession was often passed from generation to generation, there was not as much choice as now. A blacksmith father passed skills to a blacksmith son, in Indian culture once you were born in certain cast, you stayed in that cast. Lack of freedom could be, paradoxically, liberating because the pain of over analysing and thinking about other options was gone, taken out of thinking process so one could focus on other aspects.
It is well known that people seek themselves in another person, yet someone who is a bit different. Why would they want to be with themselves only if they have themselves all the time? What tends to happen is that while they do indeed enjoy the qualities of another person that they lack, they may not accept an inevitable component, the vices that come along with that package. in addition, people are problem solvers, so we tend to focus not on good aspects but aspects that are bad - that require resolution. A minor problem can therefore grow to an enormous size and can be lost in the context of other parts working fine. Thus, a split and use of one’s freedom seems to be unavoidable in such cases, and mostly when there are no socioeconomic ties. I do seriously question reckless thinking of people when they do split based on trivial issues.
Another path that one may choose is to be with someone, not because there are God wishes that or parents have chosen but because since it is good for a child to have a biological father and mother. It is then much more probable for people to split when they have no child together.
The reason I wrote this is because you can think through what kind of life you want to lead. The path that you choose, will have advantages and disadvantages. You will make that decision yourself - without any coercion. I do not endorse particular style of life I just show their good and bad things so you can make your own decisions. Last but not least - I do have my own opinion of how I want to lead my life but I wouldn't be able to tell anyone 100% how they should live - this very much depends on who they are and what their ideals are.