elizabeth lane lawley
michael "OC" clarke
e v h e a d
sweet fancy moses
wood s lot
m. melting object
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Can Love Last?
it's not looking too good out there...
I can't remember if I ever recommended this book here. I guess I could search the site...
Yeah, it looks as if I mentioned it en passant back in April. I wrote there: "Check chapter 4 on why intimacy and anger, love and hatred, aren't opposites. Contrary to the notions of many new-age fuckheads (see above)." Of course, to "see above" you'll have to click the "back in April" thing in red, above here. Do you even know how the web works? Do I have to explain fucking everything? Jesus, read a book!
Anyway, in that selfsame Chapter 4, titled "Aggression and the Danger of Desire," Mitchell ends with this:
"Passionate hatred derives from humiliation and endangerment to the self. Because romance generates hope, longing, and dependency, and because hope, longing, and dependency always risk humiliation, love is necessarily dangerous. Aggression is love's shadow, an inextricable accompaniment and necessary constituent of romantic passion. The degradation of romance is not due to the contamination of love by aggression but to the inability to sustain the necessary tension between them. Since the effectiveness of aggression is directly proportional to how much one knows about one's target, aggression is much more dangerous in long-standing love relationships than with strangers; the capacity to love over time entails the capacity to tolerate and repair hatred."
It's not often that you encounter anyone these latter days who is willing, not to mention qualified, to speak of love and hatred in the same breath. Not just aggression or anger or -- my favorite -- negativity (ewww!), but full-out real-deal hatred.
And, notice: without prescribing the repression, removal, "cure" or "overcoming" (not to be confused with [caution: click at your own risk] bukkake, another stellar contribution of Eastern Thought) of such atavistic affects, as is the case with the recent book (one of the thousands, it seems; it's amazing what CIA backing can do for your PR program) by the Dalai Who-Can-Kiss-My-Ass Llama
and Daniel Once-President-of-the-Association-for-Transpersonal-Psychology-Who-Can-Also-Kiss-My-Ass Goleman.
All of which is why it sickens me that the clueless dipshit publisher of Mitchell's profoundly humane and intelligent book attempts to foist upon the unsuspecting, and/or the stupid, the following marketing spew: "Not since Thomas Moore's Soul Mates has a major thinker redefined our most basic human emotion."
Oh sure, right. I hate these publishing salesdroids that try to link every goddam book they kite to some hotselling POS New Age trash. Comparing Stephen A. Mitchell to Thomas Moore is like comparing... well, let's say Christopher Moore to M. Scott Bungwad Peckerwood.
Caveat emptor: If you click on that Stephen A. Mitchell link, above, be forewarned that Amazon's notion of a bibliographic database is fundamentally braindamaged. To wit: you will also get the works of one Stephen Mitchell, who is not the same guy. The latter is, in point of fact, one of the aforementioned new-age fuckheads. So watch out you don't mix them up or you could get your brains badly scrambled. For instance, if you find yourself perusing titles like The Bhagavad Gita, The Tao Te Ching, or The Enlightened Heart, you're in the wrong pew, dude.
In contrast, Stephen A. Mitchell is one of the writers I've come to most respect. The guy had heart. And a rare ability to sort out and make sense of disparate psychoanalytic theories, practices, and human relational dynamics. He died a few years ago, very young, which was a real loss. Can Love Last is the most accessible of his books, and perhaps the closest to the bone. Highly recommended by this reviewer. Five stars.
And what the hell, while I'm at it, I might mention Nathaniel Branden, the undisputed czar of self-esteem, who for quite some time was boinking Ayn Rand, until she dumped him -- and dumped on him -- and was responsible, back in the early '60s, for a good half of "Rand's" (Brandon's name doesn't appear on the cover) eye-opening book, The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism
, which, if one digs a few centimeters beneath the surface -- and it's pretty much all surface -- turns out to constitute Aynie-baby's foundational apologia for Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal -- essentially, a strident brief for free-wheeling yee-hah no-brakes economic rape. But it's in the summation of her, if you'll pardon the expression, "philosophy" -- For the New Intellectual [gag, choke] -- that we get a real taste of how the old bat thought about women and "self-esteem." The book consists mainly of passages collected from her fictional works (if these can be distinguished from the purported non-fiction). Here's an included selection from Atlas Shrugged if you can stomach it...
"Do you remember what I said about money and about the men who seek to reverse the law of cause and effect? The men who try to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind? [wha???] Well, the man who despises himself tries to gain self-esteem from sexual adventures -- which can't be done, because sex is not the cause, but an effect and an expression of a man's sense of his own value.... No matter what corruption he's taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment.... an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation.... It is an act that forces him to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and to accept his real ego as his standard of value. He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience -- or to fake -- a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer -- because only the possession of a heroine will give him a sense of an achievement, not the possession of [are you ready for this?...] a brainless slut..."
And if our man in Havana does not follow the dictates of his "self-esteem"? Why, then...
"His body will not obey him, it will not respond, it will make him impotent toward the woman he professes to love and draw him to the lowest type of whore he can find.... And he cries with despair, because he can feel nothing for the women he respects, but finds himself in bondage to an irresistible passion for a slut from the gutter."
EDIOTRS NOTE: needless to say: emphasis added -- to reflect my ever-burgeoning amazement. (A shaggy garment, indeed!)
I am not kidding, sportsfans. That's really what it says. Holy fucking shit, huh? But dig it: "With a Ph.D. in psychology and a background in philosophy, Nathaniel Branden is a licensed psychotherapist, a lecturer, a corporate consultant, and the author of twenty books, including The Psychology of Self-Esteem, Honoring the Self, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, and The Art of Living Consciously. Worldwide his books have sold in the neighborhood of four million copies and his writings have been translated into eighteen foreign languages." And to think that a brainless slut like Ayn Rand wound him up and set him loose on the world. I guess there must be a God after all.
It's a tough call, but the man of integrity will know what is right and make the choice that best reflects the true estimation of his own self-worth. Or sex-crazed auto-eroticism, whichever comes first, so to speak.
One of Branden's older titles is (take a deep breath if you move your lips when you read) The Psychology Of Romantic Love: What Love Is, Why Love Is Born, Why It Sometimes Grows, Why It Sometimes Dies. I wish my scanner was working, because the picture of good old (actually then quite young) Nathaniel Branden [NB] on the back of my shopworn out-of-print edition, with his square manly jaw and no-nonsense-look-right-fucking-through-you GAZE is a piece of genu-wine motherfuckin art, I wanna tell ya. Even in photos taken 30, 40 years later, he still looks very much like that big-headed interocitorized alien smartypants Exeter dude from This Island Earth. Separated at birth? You be the judge...
Here's an Amazon reader review of The Psychology Of Romantic Love...
"I have always wondered if I really even understood what real love is. This book explained it all to me. It's history, how my self-esteem effects it, why selfishness is a normal and valid part of love, what characteristics help love to succeed, and what missing links cause it to remain unfulfilling. I'm going to make my children read this before they get married. Everyone needs to know this stuff."
Yeah, Mom, make em read it! You dumbfuck twit. And another...
"This is a great book about the nature of romantic love over the centuries. It puts the kind of love called romantic love into perspective with other kinds, and talks about what makes for a stable relationship. As a spouse of 27 years, I find it is very interesting to try to understand the nature of love and commitment. The fact that Branden is an authority on self-esteem also helps for this topic. I have read the book from the library, and now I am trying to find it to buy."
Everyone out of everyone who voted on both reviews found this mindless drivel "helpful."
You can even go to the dickhead's website, where you are greeted by Deep Thoughts such as this: "If you choose to live non-self-responsibly, you count on others to make up your default. No one lives non-self-responsibly on a desert island."
Island? ISLAND! Wait. Was he thinking about Exeter
too, do you suppose? I feel like I'm living in a game-show universe when I read this kind of shit. Somebody change the motherfucking channel before I go totally batcrap!
Oh, that's right, I forgot. Too late.
7:50 AM | link |
get your badge here.
"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
28 October 2004
||More of Chris Locke's photos
Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of.
I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos."
It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.
what I'm listening to...
egr on topica
on yahoo groups
terms of service
It is too late.