Anything that can go right can go wrong, and love is obviously no exception. It's not as simple as the discernment of truth from error or illusion. For most of us, if we find out that something we think we know is wrong, we make an adjustment. We reject the falsehood and move on.
But love isn't so black and white. We can love the "wrong things," and yet, find it difficult if not impossible to let go of them, even when we know full well they're not good for us.
Then again, perhaps this isn't so different from truth after all, since people also "fall in love" with all sorts of theories and doctrines and ideologies for reasons other than their truth value. President Obama, for example, has seen his entire beloved worldview crumble before his eyes. But has he actually seen it?
Yes and no. As we've discussed in the past, Truth doesn't require a thinker, since it is true regardless of whether or not anyone recognizes or believes it. The world still revolves around the sun, even if everyone thinks the sun revolves around the earth. Perception is not reality. But accurate perception comes close, at least on its own plane.
Conversely, the Lie not only requires a thinker, but requires some prior recognition of the truth (otherwise there would be no need to lie). For example, the lie that the Libyan terror attack was the result of a You Tube video required the prior recognition that it wasn't. When simple truth starts to get so convoluted, you can generally tell that you're actually dealing with lies and liars.
Thomas Sowell mentions this in this new collection I'm reading. He says that he wants the book to "reduce the likelihood that readers will misunderstand what I have said on many controversial issues over the years."
Of note, when you misunderstand someone, you can't actually disagree with them, which is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to talk to a liberal. Almost everything they disagree with may be traced to a misunderstanding, either willful (i.e., a "dis-understanding") or unconscious. Bullshitters think everyone else is one.
Sowell points out that, ironically, "One reason for some misunderstandings is that my approach and my goals have been too plain and straightforward for those people who are looking for hidden agendas or other complex motives."
In other words, liberals unconsciously assume that we are as devious and agenda-driven as they are. For example, they are obsessed with race, or greed, or homosexuality, so they assume we must be.
But let's get back to Love. There is much in the world that is lovely. I mean, right? The beauty is infinite. But just as with knowledge, we must take care to love the right things in the right way.
Women, for example. Who doesn't love 'em? Most men will tell you -- even in the teeth of a restraining order -- that the female body is the most unsurpassably beautiful form in all of creation. Here I am reminded of another aphorism:
The laws of biology alone do not have fingers delicate enough to fashion the beauty of a face. Female beauty evokes a kind of ache, or longing, in men, that easily shades into transcendence. I mean, here it is, in this world, and yet, how could it be?
Another truenbeautiful aphorism: From an aesthetic experience one returns as from a sighting of numinous footprints.
And for men, woman is the quintessential aesthetic experience, whether or not they (women or men, for that matter) wish to believe it. It is as easy for a man to worship a woman -- or women more generally -- as it is to worship a god.
Which is, of course, where the trouble arises. It brings to mind a crack by the unorthodox Orthodox Boris Mouravieff, about how Adam and Eve fall for "the mirage of temporal goods": "Adam turned away from his real 'I' and identified with his personality," or what we call (•). Then "the beauty of the daughters of man did the rest."
And still does. Woman is, writes Perry, "the veil of universal illusion, both seducing and dispersing, for the same veil that refracts the Light also veils it. Thus woman, in spite of herself, can pull man away from the Spirit and therefore needs man's strength to reconvert her energy heavenward."
Dennis Prager has often spoken of how men and women face very different battles with themselves in this world. But our society focuses exclusively on those impulses men must master, e.g., the impulses to dominate, rape, and generally do violence. But I am not aware of any comparable attempts to tutor and channel female nature.
As a result, pathological femininity gets a free hand to do as it pleases, and if you say anything about it, well, you're a misogynist! Which is so far from the truth that one hardly knows where to begin.
For one thing, it is specifically because we love women that we want what is best for them, and by extension, us, since man's nature will generally only rise to the level demanded by women. If women make no demands, men are only too happy to oblige, so long as they are ensured sexual access.
Yes, it's true: "depending on his degree of virile self-domination," a man "can be dissipated" by female beauty (Perry). Which means dispersed, spread thin, and deprived of his true vector and purpose. And a man without a transcendent purpose isn't much of one, is he? And besides, Sex does not solve even sexual problems (Don Colacho).
While looking for that quote by Mouravieff, I also found some relevant thoughts in Volume 1. He says that "the role of a woman, on the ascent to Redemption, must be comparable to the part played by woman in the Fall." Makes sense, no?
Recall that Eve inspired Adam, so to speak, to turn away from his higher source: "Having conceived in her fertile and artistic imagination the notion of Illusion, the woman, after tasting its fruits, offered them to her husband" -- which you might say is what gets the whole nightmare of history underway.
Reversal of this tide requires a man to "go in search of the being without whom he is not real."
I am lucky enough to have met and married the person without whom I am not real (we are speaking here of the human-human plane, not divine-human per se). I had this distinct sense of reality, of "ontological heft," as it were, on our first date -- which is not to say that many kinks and mind parasites didn't have to be worked out between then and now, so no idealization please! -- and it is interesting to see Mouravieff so accurately describe such a peculiar phenomenon:
"Without clearly being conscious of it, the polar beings know each other, and this knowledge, as ancient as they are themselves, is expressed by the voice of subconsciousness. This creates an atmosphere of absolute confidence and sincerity from the moment they meet....
"Polar beings do not lie to each other. They do not need to lie, for inwardly both are one single being, from the depths of which the real 'I' issues his call and gives his assent. After this, that absolute, spontaneous sincerity constitutes the basis of their relations, and this in turn will give these two beings the otherwise inconceivable feeling of freedom in unity, which ends the impression of servitude and isolation under which we ordinarily live."
(There's quite a bit of occultish stuff in those Mouravieff books, but also some things it's hard to find elsewhere -- like MOTT, only much more so.)
This rambling post is over for now, but there's a whole lot more to this business of male-female relations. To be continued...