Sex is for love!
— Vince Vaughn’s character lecturing his slutty daughter in The Watch
The modern elevation of unconstrained romantic love to something pure, transcendental, wise, and moral is something future cultures will look back upon with great curiosity. Wiser cultures understood that romantic love is an incredibly powerful force which unless carefully constrained tends to wreak great havoc, as Wikipedia explains:
In the classical world, erotic love was generally referred to as a kind of madness or theia mania (“madness from the gods”). This love passion was described through an elaborate metaphoric and mythological schema involving “love’s arrows” or “love darts”, the source of which was often the personified figure of Eros (or his Latin counterpart, Cupid), or another deity (such as Rumor). At times the source of the arrows was said to be the image of the beautiful love object itself. If these arrows were to arrive at the lover’s eyes, they would then travel to and ‘pierce’ or ‘wound’ his or her heart and overwhelm him/her with desire and longing (love sickness). The image of the “arrow’s wound” was sometimes used to create oxymorons and rhetorical antithesis concerning its pleasure and pain.
…passionate love often had disastrous results according to the classical authors.
Similarly, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet serves as a warning against the dangerously childish nature of feral romantic love, although today audiences are very unlikely to be able to comprehend this message.
Our modern view of romantic love is so profoundly foolish because it fails to grasp the fact that the unconstrained search for romantic love leads to a never ending stream of new love, ultimately followed by disappointment/disinterest for one and heartbreak for the other. This constant quest for a new high or fix followed by the inevitable crash is at the core of choice addiction. For women pursuing choice addiction the reality of the larger pattern is nearly universally ignored, and the momentary feeling of “I will love him forever” is frozen in time with the trail of wreckage conveniently forgotten. Former manosphere commenter Paige described this frame of mind perfectly:
Relating Pump-n-Dumping to Serial Monogamy assumes more self-awareness in the woman than she actually has. At the beginning the woman is convinced she will be in-love forever…if the romantic feelings decline she believes the relationship is no longer worthwhile for either partner. But she doesn’t just assume at the beginning that this will happen.
When men act this way we call them players or cads, but when women act this way we tend to say:
She was following her heart!
Indeed, the quest for “true love” is at the core of women’s sacred path to marriage. In the event that she finds herself not wanting to keep her commitment this is nearly universally offered as proof that it must not have been “true love” after all, and there is great suspicion that the man must have somehow deceived her. Even Christians have fallen for this toxically foolish concept, and as a result when Christians approach the epidemic of wife initiated divorce the focus is not on the scriptural framing of marriage but on demanding that husbands make their wives love them instead of the new man she has fallen in love with. This is after all the core message of the movie Fireproof (along with the concept of wifely headship and husbandly submission). That hundreds of millions of Christians watched this movie and delighted in its presumed Christian message on marriage is immensely troubling.
While women tend to either ignore the cyclical pattern of feral love altogether or frame each new emotional train wreck as an essential stone on the ultimate path to the one, men are at least generally more aware of the absurd nature of uncommitted romantic love. The music video below portrays this with an interesting blend of old and new:
Our foolish elevation of romantic love to a moral force and the ultimate good is even more disastrous because large numbers of women now also feel that they have the right to marry a man they aren’t able to fall in love with. Our current madness stands in stark contrast to the elegant wisdom of the Bible on the topic, which explains that lifelong marriage is the only moral safe harbor for sex, but that it is only wise to marry if you burn with passion for your future spouse (1 Cor 7).
Love is not a feeling but an act of the will.
When I was young my parents told me about the differences between
1. Infatuation (junior high puppy love)
2. Raw sexual lust or erotic love (high school/college/early adulthood)
What they told me was
This post describes women confusing and conflating infatuation (need) and sexual lust (raw animal attraction) with love (a genuine desire for companionship with its object, and a genuine desire for that person’s well-being and happiness).
Pretty basic stuff, 101, not meaning that snidely. This lesson is simple enough to be shared, and simply must be. My older son, 19, has simply stopped dating because of this, thankfully.
Recently I wrote about this too, can’t recall the post so no link, that this notion of even the Christian relational wisdom that you can keep it fresh and new is bunk. You CAN have a great fun relationship, but not fresh and new…..that expired gradually as you ran out of new info to garner from your contact with each other. There is no way to hang on every word when you’ve heard them all before, and the man cannot sit gape mouthed as you prattle about yourself…..sorry sweety. Confusing that with love and romance and wrapping it in scripture is a tragedy.
Father Robert Barron has a wonderful Video about Love here:
My thoughts about this are here.
Dammit Dal, why do you drop good stuff like this at 5pm EST as I’m heading out to a promo? I will contemplate this while fishing the flats this weekend.
To me love is equal parts correction and affection. Each should be used at the proper time.
“1. Infatuation (junior high puppy love)
2. Raw sexual lust or erotic love (high school/college/early adulthood)
I think this is a modern error as well, Deti.
As Dalrock pointed out marriage should only occur if you burn for the other and puppy love is certainly this. Civilization and society do everything to minimize it because it is not very useful to building society. It is in fact a hold over from the classical view that this love is madness.
So we have a mix, we undermine the most romantic and powerful love in society and then undermine marriage by promoting a belief that all love should feel like this first love.
understanding that this is not reliable, from personal observations the most long lasting and relatively happy marriages I have observed in life have been high school sweethearts that married.
It really is the worst strategy for a civilization.
I told our children last night my prayer for them is to be crazy with desire for their spouses, long suffering with the wisdom of the responsibilities of Biblical marriage, and then overflowing with compassion and understanding as they grow old together.
Such a shame so many live without the blessings God had in mind for them. I heard my husband tell my son that sex has never been better for him than it is today with his wife of 17 years. New is not better. Right is phenomenal.
Am thinking of the line in “Like Water For Chocolate”: “Pedro’s been hit by the thunderbolt”. Of course the girl was hit by it too. and then the rest of the movie followed the thunderbolt up and down. Really all over the place.
Very tumultuous like Romeo and Juliet. If you can’t get into Shakespeare, think of the version of this one with DiCaprio and Clair Danes.
Also a very persuasive argument for arranged marriages.
C.S. Lewis has a good take on this (from the male point of view) in his *Out of the Silent Planet*.
The protagonist, Elwin Ransom, is talking to a male hrossa (one of the three sentient species on Mars) about marriage. The conversation goes as follows:
“Is the begetting of young not a pleasure among the hrossa?”
“A very great one, Hman [=man]. This is what we call love.”
“If a thing is a pleasure, a hman wants it again. He might want the pleasure more often than the number of young that could be fed.”
It took Hyoi a long time to get the point.
“You mean,” he said slowly, “that he might do it not only in one or two years of his life but again?”
“But why? Would he want his dinner all day or want to sleep after he had slept? I do not understand.”
“But a dinner comes every day. This love, you say, comes only once while the hrossa lives?”
“But it takes his whole life. When he is young he has to look for his mate; and then he has to court her; then he begets young; then he rears them; then he remembers all this, and boils it inside him and makes it into poems and wisdom”
Ransom, musing on this, has the following thoughts:
Among the hrossa, anyway, it was obvious that unlimited breeding and promiscuity were as rare as the rarest perversion. At last it dawned upon him that it was not they, but his own species, that were the puzzle. That the hrossa should have such instincts was mildly surprising; but how came it that the instincts of the hrossa so closely resembled the unattainable ideal of that far-divided species Man whose instincts were so deplorably different? What was the history of Man?
Yes, I know Lewis was a nearly life-long bachelor, who had a White Knight marriage to a divorced woman with cancer from the United States; so his ignorance of hypergamy and the female imperative (wrt mating, he suffered under women’s domination in his private life in other ways) is understandable.
The question is, why even non-Christian men hold to some idea corresponding to the hrossa — they wish to, or are content to, have different roles and activities at different stages of their lives; but why women, despite the formal doctrine of the church, and their own Cinderella / Prince Charming fairy tales (which *always* seem to begin with the woman causing a calloused unavailable alpha to get in touch with his inner tenderness, and marry her, and end with “and they lived happily ever after”), never seem to subscribe themselves to “happily ever after” — but instead substitute the phrase “as long as I am happy for the moment” in place of “for the rest of our lives.”
I suspect one of the drivers of hypergamy is simply *boredom* — no matter how alpha the man, once a woman has lived with him long enough, the “thrill” is no longer there: she knows his faults, whether they be true deal-breakers like snoring, or even worse, growing less impressive to other women than when she first captured him. And rather than accepting the natural progression of different roles or positions within an individual’s life (courting, marriage, begetting, raising children, imparter of wisdom), women seek to turn the clock back to the most exciting emotional phase over and over — unless they are engaged in godly submission to a masculine husband.
And a great argument against love at first sight.
I addressed this issue in my novel ‘The Gypsy Queen’… the contrast between love without rules, and love within rules. It was the central theme of the book.
Love without rules is useless. Love within rules can thrive… and the ‘feral love’ that the girls love so much these days doesn’t allow for the other part of love-
So they just go for the twinkly feelings, and then don’t understand why it doesn’t satisfy.
My mother specialized in family law. She told me that nearly everyone of her clients who sought divorce were in relationships where they claimed to love each other at one point. But they never respected each other. It was my parents firm conviction that love without respect was meaningless.
Mutual respect is the foundation of all useful interpersonal relationships. I do not involve myself with people whom I do not respect. It is a complete waste of my time and their time.
when men ran thingz love was defined by serving a love of moses’s and chirsts’s code of honor one flesh no adultery no divorce
now dat womenz run thingz love is defined as serving her butt and gina tingelzozlzozlozzl
one leadz to families and civilizatzioznz
the oteh rleadz us on back to our babboon dayz from which moses and jeuss and the hroic phroetepets hericlaly heroiclalay emerged zlzlzozo
One of the fun factors at play is that as long as a woman was “following her heart,” she is not at blame for any consequences of her actions.
Get knocked up and abandoned by the high school football star? She thought he loved her!
Waste seven years of her life with a guy who never promised to nor intended to marry her? He was just taking advantage of the way she loved him!
As long as the male fails to adhere to the feminine imperative in his actions, the female is not in any way responsible for her own decisions, no matter how stupid.
Nothing Higher to Live For: A Buddhist View of Romantic Love, by Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano
“Romantic love, by its very nature, is inevitably entangled in unskillful states of mind. To whatever degree it springs from attachment, passion, or a hunger to fill one’s own inner emptiness — to that degree will it heap suffering upon all involved. This short essay explores how the Dhamma can teach us what it might mean to truly love, free of attachment and fear.”
the other part of love-
Team woman does not allow for this. Rebuke = unpleasant feelings. Nothing will round the herd more than the cries of the wounded because he dared love her enough to rebuke her. The hardest influence I fought off was that of my female herd (who I’m embarrassed to say I shared our marriage challenges with) encouraging me to leave the man that dared hurt my feelings. The other side of rebuke (coupled with maturity and Hope in the Truth) is an overwhelming awe of the love it took to correct my ways. This love, the rebuke, forms the most intimate indebtedness and gratitude. Passion – one that puts feral love to shame, follows.
Dalrock, I immensely enjoy reading your site, and I agree with much of what you say, but this post seems built on some shaky foundations. Since you (rightly) challenge those who disagree with you to argue the facts of what you present, rather than do what that silly Lydia chick did, here goes…..
“Wiser cultures understood that romantic love……” Wiser cultures also understood that you should kill the women and children when you conquered a new territory (Greeks, Romans and pretty much any of their opponents, anywhere, all the way up through, say, the 1860’s or so.). Those same cultures had no problem with raping as part and parcel of the conquering process. The “careful constraints” tended to be that women couldn’t own property and were limited in pretty much every way it was possible to be. Kind of like Islam (ancient or modern). Romantic love pretty much didn’t exist. Marriages ranged from “arranged” to “common law” to “find a woman who can cook / a man who will provide for me and our kids” These wiser cultures also considered the earth to be the center of the universe, and flat to boot. The latter ones were also absolutely positive that other races were categorically inferior to white people.
The points I wish to make here are that 1) Primitive cultures that you think did something better than our culture does today are not “wiser cultures,” and it is not a well-considered position to take. The other point 2) is that these cultures were incredibly poor compared to ours. Life was short, brutal, and hard, all of which tend to focus the mind wonderfully on the basics of staying alive. When you’re wondering when your family will eat meat again, you don’t have time to contemplate equal rights, from either end. Its just not in the cards. Romantic love is a luxury brought about by our excess of wealth and material comforts.
Next up, Wikipedia!
“passionate love often had disastrous results according to the classical scholars.”
This is a specious statement, and pretty much worthless for purposes of proving your point (not to be confused with the definition that precedes it, which is, well, defining the topic). Which classical scholars? What disastrous results did they document? Not “opine on,” not “sex is bad, lay back and think of England.”
Passionate love affairs that explode can do so spectacularly, and human nature being what it is, exploding things are fun and get noticed. The “classical scholars” apparently didn’t talk much about arranged marriages that failed quietly, or illegitimate births, or all the things that are out in the open now that didn’t have a name when the classical scholars were writing. It wasn’t “domestic abuse-” it was the accepted practice of a wiser culture keeping romantic love under control.
And reading the Bard’s mind centuries after his death is bad juju too.
Yeah, I know. I tut-tutted wikipedia, then source a quote from wiki.answers. Romeo and Juliet was written to entertain, first and foremost. The morality of those whom it was written to entertain was pretty significantly different from ours. Romeo & Juliet is a masterpiece because it continues to inspire and entertain centuries later.
Given all the discussion and dissection of Romeo & Juliet over the centuries, I think that presuming to know exactly the message being sent, and dismissing “today’s audiences” as being unable (not unwilling- unable) to comprehend this overarching message is just not well done, either.
As to your conclusions-
“Our foolish elevation of romantic love to a moral force and the ultimate good is even more disastrous because large numbers of women now also feel that they have the right to marry a man they aren’t able to fall in love with.”
I don’t know how much our idealization of romantic love is a problem, and I don’t think you or anyone else does either (my marriage wouldn’t be much fun if it weren’t for the passion). When you combine it with the total lack of constraints on the female imperative, and the current absence of rights in the eyes of the law for men, well, yeah, Houston, we got humungous problems. Romantic love didn’t cause the current crappy state of affairs that you regularly and effectively point out. Romantic love was an idea that both sexes have bought into. The sexes just react to it differently. It seems like the long-term effects are to make men dumb and women unhappy, but I confess to a jaded viewpoint.
And as an aside, I don’t think romantic love is something women pulled over our eyes. I expect that Shakespeare’s original audience, which was more men than women, took it as a given that they were expected to die to protect their women if need be. I think they probably watched Romeo and Juliet and said to themselves, “man, it would be COOL to love a woman so much that you would rather die than be without her. How neat would that be?” Or whatever the equivalent was in Shakespeare’s English.
“Our current madness stands in stark contrast to the elegant wisdom of the Bible on the topic, which explains that lifelong marriage is the only moral safe harbor for sex, but that it is only wise to marry if you burn with passion for your future spouse (1 Cor 7).”
I don’t feel at all qualified to argue against 1 Cor 7 or any other part of the Bible being elegant wisdom. It certainly provided a lot of people with a moral framework to live their lives in, down through the centuries. But it seems to me that, given the rarity of romantic love in those wiser cultures with much higher rates of enduring marriages, that quite a few people must have gotten married and stayed that way without ever having felt that burning passion for their spouse.
If I am following you on this post, your assertion is “Older Christian cultures avoided romantic love and all the problems it caused by being good Christians who followed the word of the Bible closer (than we do) and didn’t get married unless they felt romantic love, except that lots of them got married while avoiding the problems caused by romantic love by ignoring 1 Cor 7.”
I will certainly appreciate your comments on this. In thinking about this, I find that I am really annoyed about the situation you are shining light on, and I don’t have any great solutions to the problems. So maybe I’m just chewing over the details because the problem is too big to digest.
Anyway, once again, I do very much enjoy reading your blog, even if aspects of the state of our culture that you write about piss me off.
Mitchell: It is very difficult to say whether romantic love was a sentiment men projected onto women for their own psychological well being, or whether it was simply a con put on by women for the purpose of survival. Both sexes appear to benefit from the fiction though, or at least they did traditionally.
Either way, men’s often idealistic view of love is dangerous in the current environment and i for one are glad that there are men like Dalrock offering sensible advice to young men.
Fair point. It isn’t my intention to present the classical Greeks or Romans as the epitome of society. I meant this more narrowly on the topic of romantic love. We have idealized it beyond all sanity, and ironically killed the best prospects for experiencing it at the same time.
I think you have misread my fundamental point. This isn’t a treatise against romantic love in marriage. I have argued passionately in other posts regarding the importance of romantic love in marriage. My point here is romantic love isn’t a virtue unto itself, and it isn’t a substitute for commitment. The comments by Sarah’s Daughter as well as RasAlGhul above are in line with my thinking here. My objection is not to romantic love, but to feral romantic love, and specifically to the absolutely insane idealization of feral romantic love.
When I was doing some research for a yet-to-be-published article on my blog, I found an interesting paragraph in one of David deSilva’s books on first century culture in the (ancient) near east.
– An Introduction to the New Testament – 2004, David A. deSilva. (Emphasis mine.)
So, for many Greeks or Romans (not Jewish or Christian ones, clearly), it may have been the norm for wives to “turn a blind eye” while their husband visits prostitutes because it was considered more honourable. Actually, I know it’s relatively common even today in counties like Japan and Korea where preserving the outward appearance of a successful marriage is far more important than the truth, and some husbands are expected to go elsewhere if they want sex.
Really interesting stuff.
I think it’s pretty cool we’ve singlehandledly moved ‘feminine imperative’ into the lexicon.
Major step to new awareness for the masses.
SD wrote: “The hardest influence I fought off was that of my female herd (who I’m embarrassed to say I shared our marriage challenges with) encouraging me to leave the man that dared hurt my feelings”
I agree with this. Don’t share marital issues with your girlfriends, women, not even minor stuff. It is none of their business, and it is shocking how easily your “friends” will begin to whisper poison into your ear.
This simply can’t be, as Lydia has clearly explained that wives are 100% impervious to the whispers.
love (a genuine desire for companionship with its object, and a genuine desire for that person’s well-being and happiness). Most of that is just not possible for a woman.
When Eros becomes the defining perameter for inter sexual relationships there is no difference between no fault divorce marriage (or serial monogomy) and PUAs practicing pump and dumps.
Both operate under the premise than Eros is the defining virtue for their practice, the only difference being that each operates according to their own preferences or imperatives.
Both come from the foundation that Eros is a force that wanes with time, the other is responsible for their ‘attraction’ and there should be no impediments to separation.
Mitchell: very or even most often wise conduct is achieved from necessity. Wise conduct with less necessity is more impressive, but that does not make the more frequent wise conduct unwise.
romantic love is historically linked with sentimentality, and changeable sentiment is an inherently unstable thing upon which to make any decision, least of all marriage. It is for this reason that in the marriage ceremony (or those of which I am aware) the officiant is careful to note that marriage should be entered into ‘soberly’ and not ‘unadvisedly,’ which is to say that the sentiment of a moment, or even of a few months, are not really to be considered seriously as it relates to marriage. I don’t believe romantic love (as popularly conceived) really has much if any place in the decision about marriage since it is so changeable and unstable. Romantic feeling or sentiment can be generated by looking at cute pictures of babies, kittens, and puppies on the internet especially if accompanied by the right kind of music.
The sober reflection needed for marriage is what the ancients knew in their wisdom (contra Mitchell’s assertion to the contrary). The wisdom they evinced came from an intimate awareness of the human condition and the fragility of life (though they did, also contra Mitchell, have lots of time to devote to contemplation, etc., as evidence by the fact we here continue to live in light of their contemplation). This awareness of life’s fragility and of human nature gave them a decidedly unsentimental view of love.
Philatles: seems like very interesting book. I guess you have read about attachment as one of the five kleshas in pys as well?
I do not agree with you AT ALL. The way it plays out is like this –
If guy ditches girl – he is playboy
If girl ditches boy – she has a right to her own happiness.
Its the female imperative. I’ll tell you a story. I was with a group of ladies when we wewre discussing a mutually known couple where the guy had ditched the girl for a younger women. I used the feminine technique saying “He deserves some happiness!!”
All women jumped at me. Called me a creep, etc.
I jus said – “You are all WRONG. And I KNOW it” And I kept quiet.
There was a mit of angry voices and then silence. I was asked to PROVE what I know.
I said – “I contacted more than 30 people and ALL women and asked trhem this:If you were in relationship with a guy but found out that you loved another, would you leave him?”
ALL of them said “Of Course. We women too have a right to our happiness.”
Noewthis was a fictional story. When I told it, there was silence. Then they all said “But its different when a man leaves a woman!!!”
Hahahaha. The female imperative came out. Thats what I do all the time.
Thats why, with due respect to you, I disagree with you and feel its nothing but the old female imperative ie whatever woman does is right, whatever man does is wrong>
“In fair Verona where we set our scene, Two star-crossed lovers” – you know the rest; so it is worth remembering that young Romeo begins the most famous story of romantic love, in love – not with Juliet – but with fair Rosalind.
Shakespeare however has a variety of female heroines whose approach to love is somewhat different from that of Juliet: there is for example Ophelia, who always strikes me as a bit hopeless – would you really want to get serious about Hamlet, a boy who can never make his mind up about anything, let alone her; then there is Marina, in The True History of King Pericles, who gets herself abducted by two pirates (“half parts, mate”) and doesn’t seem to be putting up much of a fight, but when she ends up in the brothel, plays hard to get – claiming that she is not that sort of girl – whilst attempting to shame local wealthy Alpha-male Lysamachus, although that does not stop her from driving her own father (unknown to her of course) mad with sexual desire. Yet who could forget BDSM afficianado Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, or alleged domestic-violence-victim Lady Macbeth or the monstrous Tamora in The Tragical History of Titus Andronicus. Yet Shakespeare acknowledges that love is changable, such that that almost equally famous pair of lovers, Beatrice and Benedict, spend most of the play – Much ado about Nothing – with Beatrice cordially detesting Benedict.
“Get thee to a nunnery.”
I like it. I have a great idea to push along the lines of TFH urinal notes campaign. this yahoo article is a feminie imperative big time. Check out the comments http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/dad-creates-time-lapse-video-showing-mom-really-132436610–abc-news-parenting.html
In the comments is where we reach the mainstrean and teach people about the female imperative and explain it.
disagree with you and feel its nothing but the old female imperative ie whatever woman does is right, whatever man does is wrong
This is correct, up the ladder so to speak this is the overarching FI. So we already were down a few rungs on the chivalry aspect of it.
Man Bad Woman Good —-and, like the FI, men suffer it equally now. Someone had written that the secular feminists were the genesis of the FI. I disagreed, its a natural thing. Secular femz may well have been the genesis of the FI in men.
when Christians approach the epidemic of wife initiated divorce the focus is not on the scriptural framing of marriage but on demanding that husbands make their wives love them instead of the new man she has fallen in love with.
That disposition is there, and I can name names among participants on ecumenical boards. I think that is more of an evangelical disposition; for the most part, it would be non sequitur on Catholic boards. You also see troublesome behavior among some (male) posters, who cannot abide being witness to critical engagement with the opinions of women posting.
The young within my field of view (and the field of view of those I converse with) may be unrepresenative. However, if I had to wager, my wager would be that romantic enthusiasms are less prevalent and intense among the young of today than was the case among my contemporaries a generation ago. Just my $0.02.
Most if not all of the behavier in women on all of these topics and points of view are naturally occuring in women. I hate to say this as an MRA but feminism is a failing of men. women are naturally childish and selfish and always have been. it is the folly of men assuming more than is actually there. All done for the favor of woman. It is like the garden of eden played out over and over again. Each time he pleased his wife and not god and failed the shit test.
“The modern elevation of unconstrained romantic love to something pure, transcendental, wise, and moral is something future cultures will look back upon with great curiosity.”
As soon as I read that, I thought of Andre Maurois’ famous quote: “We owe to the Middle Ages the two worst inventions of humanity – romantic love and gunpowder.”
What has been interesting is a cold ‘logic’ (how I hate to use the word for femenists) that now possess women. They have divided their minds into this cold ‘one night stand only’ mentality (eg sex in the city style) while also holding a belief that somewhere out there is a prince that will forgive her for all her slutting.
“Philatles: seems like very interesting book. I guess you have read about attachment as one of the five kleshas in pys as well?”
Well, actually it’s not a book, but an article, found in its entirety at the given link. Not sure what “pys” refers to, nor was I familiar with a list of five kleshas (mental afflictions) that includes attachment (though I did find it at Wikipedia’s article on kleshas); as you know, Buddhism abounds in numbered lists, but the various lists of defilements are all based on the original “three poisons” of greed (aka attachment), hatred (aka aversion), and delusion (aka ignorance) . Anyway, discussion of these points is rather OT for this thread; I was just reminded of this one article specifically addressing the matter of “romantic love”. I realized, though, after I posted, that I should have quoted directly from the article, which is more powerful than the third-party description of it:
“The love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man is often the floor to which people fall after the collapse of other dreams. It is held to be solid when nothing else is, and though it frequently gives way and dumps them into a basement of despair, it still enjoys a reputation of dependability. No matter that this reputation is illogical — it still flourishes and will continue to flourish regardless of what is said in any book. Love, or possibly the myth of love, is the first, last, and sometimes the only refuge of uncomprehending humanity. What else makes our hearts beat so fast? What else makes us swoon with feeling? What else renders us so intensely alive and aching? The search for love — the sublime, the nebulous, the consuming — remains sacred in a world that increasingly despises the sacred. When the heroic and the transcendental are but memories, when religious institutions fill up with bureaucrats and social scientists, when nobody believes there is a sky beyond the ceiling, then there seems no other escape from the prison of self than the abandon of love. With a gray age of spiritual deadness upon us, we love, or beg for love, or grieve for love. We have nothing higher to live for.”
Sorry. Common TLA for the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. Haatha Yoga Pradipika is HYP. I was writing on my smartphone.
Yoga philosophy adds ego and fear of death.
“Fair point. It isn’t my intention to present the classical Greeks or Romans as the epitome of society.”
Yes, Penelope, who waited for her soldiering husband Odysseus for twenty years, despite being wooed by all the best, is a bad role model.
On the other hand, all the hypergamy and harems in the old testament, and later on in mormonism, as well as all the “righteous” wars and stonings and justifications for slavery, represent the epitome of society. 🙂
Both Athens & Jerusalem offer good and bad, but their greater message is living by a code of honor as opposed to butt and gina tingellzlzlzlzzozlz.
Feral love…well, one time I was tending bar and there was a “grils nite out” pack in the place. One by one they thinned out. There was a pair of them left, upper 40’s I would guess now looking back, came to sit at the bar. Maybe to get quicker service, maybe they were cougaring, I dunno. They were going on about the perfidity of men, naturally. This one had been fun but then was a drip, that one had just “hit and run”, the bastard, the other wanted to settle down “too fast” and a girl’s got to have her freedom, y’know. And so forth. And so on. I heard bits and pieces as I did my job, and didn’t say much because I was in my early 20’s and this sort of talk was new to my ears.
Then they got to the maudlin stage, around their 3rd or 4th frozen daq. And one of them got a little soppy about her first husband whom she’d divorced, and the other one sat and sat. And then she said, “I just want to be married like my parents. I want a marriage like Mom and Dad have”. Even in my callow youth, even with zero knowledge of Game, even as a man with zero interest in marriage, I could see she was asking for a time machine – way too many miles on her odometer to ever have a chance of pulling that off. They’d both walked down a road that they could not walk backwards on. And both of them were lousy tippers, too.
I can state where feral love leads to in some cases. It leads to women who are alcoholics.
Forgive me for going off topic, but I have a question about something I’ve been mulling over ever since giving up Christianity for being an atheist in all but name (I call myself an agnostic). Is there a difference between the feminine imperative and the leadership imperative overcompensating male leaders adopt in their feminized churches?
1. Leadership is accountable to nobody (or leaders are only accountable to other leaders, which is the same thing). You are to just shut up and obey – no challenges allowed. I’ve seen irrational responses from male leaders when challenged that bar skanks would be embarrassed by.
2. The evangelical rationalization hamster allows leaders to get what they want by any means necessary (like word games designed to pretend that a lie by omission isn’t a lie, because it was done by a leader who has the absolute right to decide what you are to know). Leaders only lie to get the submission that is for your own good; they only lie because they love you. Double standards run rampant, because nobody is saved from hell from obeying some random chump in the pews.
3. Pedestalization – since submission and obedience to leadership is of such importance, leaders’ faults are covered up. This also involves #2 – the butts in the pews don’t need to know what the leaders did, they’d just react incorrectly by stopping their obedience. For instance, if a head pastor has an affair, how many churches hold him publicly accountable vs. how many sweep it under the rug and allow him to resign quietly and go victimize another church “to protect his children” or for some other excuse?
Personal charisma = leader = man of god (or in the south where I’m from and still live, athlete = leader = man of god).
If you want someone who has spent his entire life being built up and given a sense of entitlement worthy of a princess, go find someone who was groomed to be a leader in his church from an early age.
4. Leadership is vital, so the leader is vital, so the leader is the most important person in any relationship. Anyone not a leader is a disposable beta and exists simply to volunteer and tithe – a person from whom to extract resources, if you will. You exist for the purposes of the leader like men exist for the purposes of women.
I walked away from my decades in the church and my decades in the dating pool with the same experience. I was a disposable beta who was expected to shut up, pay, and obey the rules. Aren’t threats of damnation and hellfire just massive negs designed to put people in their place? Isn’t the combination of “women submit to men” (yes, I know, just lip service) and “men submit to leadership” (fought for to the death) essentially “submissive, non-leader, beta men are basically women as far as this church goes, and will be gamed accordingly”? I suppose this makes ministers more PUAs than anything else.
I think “feminine imperative” is a very good term, too. A formal definition of it is desired, however.
(It’s been used on this Web site a number of times, and I’m sure most of us understand it, but can someone define it?)
“Wiser cultures also understood that you should kill the women and children when you conquered a new territory (Greeks, Romans and pretty much any of their opponents, anywhere, all the way up through, say, the 1860′s or so.)”
Are you sure on that? Are you claiming that to be the general rule of warring groups throughout history? I always thought the general rule to be somewhat different than your account Mitchell. In the cultures in which biblical marriage was the ideal, (a general topic of this blog, as I understand it), massacres of non-males are very few and far between, and have been for probably the last 1500 odd years, especially as compared with attrition rates for males in various types of service to their societies over the same period.
But that’s not even the point. The point is that the long and varied list of human atrocities down through the ages in no way constitutes any kind of valid argument on this topic. That would be like saying that modern notions of romantic love are flawed because women and children are regularly killed in drone strikes in other parts of the world. Which would be correctly thought of as an absurd argument. What is being asserted, (again, as I understand it) is that modern notions of romantic love are flawed – because it often doesn’t last and can’t (on its own) provide the basis for a stable marriage and society.
It seems like there’s plenty of specious arguments to go round, not to mention arguments based on factually dubious assertions to start with.
“I do… until I don’t feel like it, then I get cash and prizes to keep looking for ‘The One’– isn’t marriage fun?”
I think the common denominator is unearned power. Both women and most leaders are asking us to give them power over ouselves, rather than earning it.
Both women and most leaders are asking us to give them power over ouselves, rather than earning it.
Give them power based on their own personal wonderfulness. The church still has a real gift for making anyone who tried to follow the rules feel like a beta chump. I left out the shaming and the like used to keep the betians (beta Christians) in line.
What else makes our hearts beat so fast? What else makes us swoon with feeling? What else renders us so intensely alive and aching?
Downhill skiing and mountain climbing.
“Powder snow teaches us how to live.” – Dolores Lachapelle
(wife of the author of the Field Guide to Snow Crystals)
Romeo and Juliet was a comedy. A black comedy, but farce nonetheless. It was the point of the play, absurd people doing absurd things and receiving absurd results. Hell, the play was set in (at the time) modern-day Italy/Holy Roman Empire, where all of his comedies were set (Taming of the Shrewd, Two Gentlemen of Verona, etc.)
@Mitchell onDecember 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm —
Regarding the classical writers, you might check out Ovid’s Ars Amatoria (“The Art of Love”) — written as satire to show the problems “falling in love” might cause, it was more or less picked up as an instruction manual for the late-medieval phenomenon of “courtly love”.
For more on courtly love itself, as shown by the literature of the period, try C.S. Lewis’s The Allegory of Love. (Warning: Lewis shows the full power of his mind and his literary prowress here, in a way that makes his science fiction novels, and even his apologetics, look like child’s play.)
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First, the facts:
Love is illusory, yes. It is a type of madness, and can even be categorized as an addiction. The madness of love is temporary.
Now, the available interpretations:
1) Therefore we should find meaning not in what is temporary, but have a broader view and carve out some stability. But Dalrock also says that you should first also have a fiery passion for your wife to be. He advocates first harnessing the madness of love, and then fixing stability through a force of will and contractual obligation.
2) Avoid the madness of love altogether
3) Have a moment to moment appreciation for feelings where the only thing that matters is what is in front of your face
4) Embrace the madness and have a bigger vision, but be flexible, adaptable, and embrace change. Serial and parallel monogamy. Understand the long term patterns, and use them to advantage.
I choose number four. Just because love is an illusion doesn’t mean that it isn’t real enough. It is subjectively real, and inter-subjectively real. Are the emotions a crowd feels at a music concert “real”? They are felt to be real, and that’s real enough. Yes, they are temporary. In a few years you might not even like that genre of music anymore. So what? It feels good to go with friends and lovers to music concerts.
I know that some people crave meaning in the form of long term stability. Long term stability and family is deeply important to some people, and perhaps for them it’s a bedrock upon which to build a happy life. I’ve seen that approach work, in the families of my parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. Sometimes that solution is interrupted by divorce, but still, that approach can be solid.
But others of us find meaning within change. We don’t need a long future time orientation in order for our feelings to be meaningful.
4) Embrace the madness and have a bigger vision, but be flexible, adaptable, and embrace change. Serial and parallel monogamy. Understand the long term patterns, and use them to advantage.
So no children, no marriage, and no putting the house and bank account on the line for a short term relationship that is going to vanish anyway.
Having really just started my life post-divorce, I often wonder if my wife will ever look back as you described in the above post. I truly wonder how, in the face of some pretty glaring statistics, not the least of which is the horrible impact of divorce on children, why the webosphere is not overrun with blogs from women warning their sisters of the fate that likely awaits them. I suppose the rationalization force is stronger than i ever could have imagined.
The idea of fraternal correction or rebuke has simply become passe in today’s society in general. It is unspeakably unacceptable for a husband to ever think about rebuking his wife.
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