We continue the conversation on the theme of the value of relationships and closeness mentioned in the last article. Read, if you have not read yet, otherwise it will not be clear what this is about. And sorry for some confusion – before you can talk about the same thing clearly, simply and briefly, you need to dump and digest a bunch of draft material. In one article, everything does not fit, so wait for the continuation.
Is it possible to live a lifetime without relationships and true intimacy? Can! And if we again turn to a personal example, then my first serious relationship was without any closeness at all — pure hunger and pragmatism — and yet, they lasted long enough. If the situation was a little different, it was quite possible to live a long life together, without knowing that everything could be somehow different. As a matter of fact, something like this, most around and live out of need, and not the call of the heart.
And for the rest of my life I deliberately kept away from everyone at a distance, not allowing myself to approach either too much or myself. And do not say that I was unhappy or lonely. There are a lot of advantages in keeping separate from everyone around. And at that stage of life, when it is necessary to fully concentrate on a large-scale task, this is generally a very reasonable position. It is also possible to live your whole life in such a state, and this life – like, for example, a monk or a scientist – will be completely fulfilling.
On the relationship and intimacy, the light did not come together – it is not oxygen, without which it is impossible. However, it is quite possible to understand those who think differently and are convinced that life without intimate relations does not make sense. If you take an irreconcilable belligerent position here, you can call this a manifestation of weakness, lack of independence and immaturity. But you can look at it from the other side, which today seems to be deeper and more balanced. This is what the conversation is about – the value of relationships beyond the neurotic need for love … and some other things that need to be clarified in order to cover the topic.
Imagine that one terrible day you suddenly became invisible and since then you can only see yourself as a reflection in the mirror. And everything is so bad that you are no longer quite sure whether you really exist or now you are just a ghost, like those whose silhouette sometimes appears in random photos.
From now on, you will probably begin to pay special attention to any reflective surfaces and look for opportunities to check whether you are still alive or not. You will look into each mirror, move objects to make sure of their materiality and to recheck all the time whether other people see you or not.
And what if once looking in the mirror, you will not find yourself there anymore? And what if the hand suddenly passes through the handle of the door that you were going to open? And what if you look at a person directly in the eyes, and he doesn’t notice you at all? Imagine how terrible it will cover you and how you want to destroy everything around and shake a person by the shoulders to make sure that you are still alive, that you … are still there?
Now transfer this metaphor to ordinary life and to the feeling of being invisible psychologically and socially. Not everyone knows it well, but everyone knows its echoes. For example, very often a psychologist is asked how to separate his true desires from those imposed by other people, or how to understand what I like myself and what is brought in from the outside? Who am I on my own, and not in the eyes of my friends and relatives? This is all a consequence of the impossibility of understanding oneself without relating to the outside world and other people.
In a more acute form, this can be a very literal sense of its own invisibility for others, when it is not possible for a long time to confirm the fact of its existence through public recognition and / or significant achievements. And if you look more closely, then the panic fear of your own non-existence is found in the depths of each person’s soul, and it is this that underlies all other more obvious and familiar fears.
In essence, we are really just ghosts. Not in a literal material sense, of course, but in the fact that our self-perception is formed exclusively through reflection in the outside world. Looking inward, we do not find any “self” there, but we see only a gaping void and convulsive attempts to convince ourselves of our reality, autonomy and independence. And if you are in any way prone to introspection, you will have to admit that doubts about this have visited you more than once.
We cannot feel “ourselves” directly – you can poke your body with your finger, you can twist the neck to examine it almost from all sides, but it is absolutely impossible to see “yourself” – your essence, your individuality, your soul, your “I”. Only in the eyes of others, in someone else’s assessment, in the actions and deeds that we get or not get, do we get the much-desired confirmation of our own being and at least some idea of what we are.