Are there politics inside every object? Inside a couple?
Try imagining a place where it's always safe and warm.
"Come in," she said, "I'll give ya shelter from the storm."
All reality unfolds in the interior of an object—or rather, in the interiors of countless objects, stretching above and below each other indefinitely. *
So those of you who weren’t already in 📰 Domestic Cozy mode, welcome to the Great Indoors. Wash your hands and settle in. This ain’t as bad as you think. *
Yesterday for some reason this thought appeared in my mind: there's Politics on both the inside and the outside of every object.
Inside my mind, as I learn from Internal Family Systems, there's a multitude of agents with their own desires and conflicts, but I don't usually see it like this because I'm biased against my own Multiplicity.
Firms and organizations have office politics especially when they claim they're "flat" or "structureless."
There seems to be a very general pattern of wanting the inside of an object to be smooth, unified, and cozy. And it seems like this can often lead to attempted melting of the distinct parts, suppression of difference, and ontological confusion.
Romantic Love provides one example.
Erich Fromm's 1956 book 📙 The Art of Loving starts with the basic impulse to join together as fundamental to human life.
This desire for interpersonal fusion is the most powerful striving in man. It is the most fundamental passion, it is the force which keeps the human race together, the clan, the Family, society. *
But the relationship conceived as a cozy shelter from the outside world is a mistake.
In “love” one has found, at last, a haven from aloneness. One forms an alliance of two against the world, and this egoism à deux is mistaken for love and intimacy. *
A mature loving relationship can have a cozy interior, but it can't be completely and permanently cozy. That would only be possible if the two people who enact the relationship could actually fuse and merge into one smooth interiority.
Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together; even whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence, that they are one with each other by being one with themselves, rather than by fleeing from themselves. *
In the first decade of the 1900s, Rilke wrote about this theme in the Letters to a Young Poet, in a grandiose mode appropriate for a young romantic poet:
Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person (for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent?), it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances. *
He describes the marriages of his time as "filled with error," but he saw a new form of love on the horizon.
And this more human love (which will fulfill itself with infinite consideration and gentleness, and kindness and clarity in binding and releasing) will resemble what we are now preparing painfully and with great struggle: the love that consists in this: that two solitudes protect and border and greet each other. *
I'm trying to think about this through a kind of Object-Oriented Ontology lens.
Timothy Morton writes in 📙 Humankind:
Ontologically, a married couple is smaller than two unmarried people. *
If the inside of a relationship can't be made cozy by melting the individuals, what are good and true ways to nurture that inside space?