On shame and triumph

Monday, 19. December 2011

Desire, passion and love; it’s so easy to be glib about these things and the idealised people we project them on to as their perfection in turn allows us to feel blessed, literally blessed.

Let’s not mention repulsion for now; let’s try to stay with one side of the coin. Let’s not open up that ugly equation whereby one may only feel good by denigrating another, by bathing in the triumph of possession (of the wholesome relationship and by implication, the healthy life) – while the damned walk away distraught and alone…

One must glow in the light while the other hides ashamed in darkness. It’s the same desire. It’s the same passion. It’s the same so-called love.

Handle it skilfully, never owning up to the sordid parts and you will be rewarded by a complicit partner who is also playing the game, albeit lifelessly; handle it badly, acting out too much vulnerably – you will be mocked, rejected and reviled out of all proportion to your supposed crime.

The key thing that most people really desire is to be included and yet all social systems at all epochs in all territories have turned upon rewarding exclusivity for the select few and damning exclusion for the rest. Power, popularity, respect, wealth, beauty, love, influence – they are related and all collectible. To fail is to be cursed and we know this in our hearts.

Most of us have failed too much and need to pretend that we have not failed at all; this is sometimes called mindless optimism. Some of us are so afraid that we may have failed that we search like crazy for greater failures than ourselves; this is sometimes called gossip. They are both despicable.

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