There is no better personification of beauty than Helen of Troy. As symbol and as a person she is as close as I can get to an apt metaphor on this thing, this overpowering, frightening combination of wonder and awe that can cause a man to launch 1,000 ships.
Archive for the ‘Lust’ Category
Does one ever love another? On what grounds do they do so, and for what reasons? Furthermore, if all things were merely material, then what would love be? Does it or does it not indicate something higher than man to aspire to?… a realization, if you will, that we are supposed to be in a certain condition that we are not born into? Or is it merely a mechanical animalistic instinct that drives us to procreate? A mere desire for pleasure – and if so, then what are children – punishment or blessing? A necessity for survival, or a gift, or a curse? What is that we do, what is it that we mean, when we say “I love you”. Furthermore is that meaning diminished when we say “I love the Beatles” or “I love my car” or “I love French toast”? Can one love French toast? Can one love love itself – or in other worlds, can one love a non-material object? Can one love without knowledge of a thing? And if not, can we have knowledge of anything other than ourselves? If not, then can we love anything but ourselves? And if that is true, then doesn’t radical doubt imply human ego, a stroke of pride justified by rational thought? Can we trust ourselves to doubt love in this way, and if it can be doubted in this way, by subjecting it to reason, are we not assuming that love cannot be otherwise than rational – yet doesn’t our experience point to emotional rather than rational? If all that can be loved, all that can be thought of as loved properly according to reason, is our self… then what is the point of it all? Why are we here? and why do we expect others to be here as well?
“In the world to come, I shall not be asked, “Why were you not Moses?” I shall be asked, “Why were you not Zusya?” – Rabbi Zusya.
The stranger’ mouth opens and has only one question: “Who are you?”. There is not a harder question, no more frightening inquiry then this assault on one’s being. It demands simplicity, it demands accuracy, and it forces the person to sum all of his actions in one easily defensible statement. The usual response is none of these, it is usually a name. “My name is Jonas”Who are you is not merely one question, it is all questions. To answer it properly one must know what he is, how he is what he is, and most important why he is. The biggest problem with this is that there is no proper response to the question: “who are you?”. There is no possible way, no amount of words that can sum up a human being’s character for in the process of self-assessment one is radically changed. To even begin to ponder the answer to the question “who am I” is to reflect on the very foundation of your soul. What is the thing that you call your self?
A name is never enough. Let us take the prime example of a human relationship, that of the lover. Is it enough to know your lover’s name? Does saying her name actually sum up what she is, or why you feel the way you do about her? Does her name in any way actually reflect the thing that she is or is it merely shorthand for all the things that compose her? Let us take it further. Make a top 10 list of attributes which best compose your lover make no shortcuts, have no brevity, and list the top 10. We are left with 10 words, and nothing more. We have come no closer to the understanding of our lover at all; we have only asked more questions.
For each attribute described in words there are 10,000 reasons why we feel our lover represents these traits. Every action we have observed somehow informs the tremendous scale that weighs our heart. Each action is then represented in another word, equally as meaningless, which in futility describes the one we love. So the process continues onto infinity and we are left with only on conclusion – the utter worthlessness of words when it comes to adequately describing the truly beautiful.
What ever makes up a man, it is not words. For instance, more often than not, the response to hearing one’s own name is very different depending on tone and source. When my mother says my name it means an entire list of indescribable feelings that entirely different than the entire list of indescribable feelings I get when a lover says my name. So what’s in a name? Nothing except what you put into it. The concept of identity is one that has long been the bane of mankind. It defines the unearthly schism that tears man’s being in two. Man’s duel nature often causes a great gap between ought and is. Whether through self-reflection or in the eyes of others, mankind is forever trapped in the ‘is’ and aiming at the ‘ought’. Self-reflection is the topic for another discussion, and involves tremendous difficulties. For now we will look through another’s eyes.Whether we like it or not our identity is thrust into public domain every time we leave our home. Whether we like it our not, everyone should and must make judgments on the identity we present. Whether we like it our not light is faster than sound, and as such, people will see us before their ears can hear the defense for our actions. A person’s first insight into the identity of another is almost always the ‘is’ of a person. It removes all future plans, all non-physical traits, and the direction the human being as individual is traveling. The first insight mostly concerns itself with very basic observations which one is forced to make a judgment on.As much as we like to say that a book should never be judged by its cover, the book must be judged by its cover. The cover of the book contains the title on the front and the synopsis on the back, between the two of them is the summary of the entire book. If the title is unclear and the description insufficient one should not pick up the book. Certainly a book shouldn’t be judged merely by its cover, but at the same point, if a book wants to be read it must present itself accordingly. This is the nature of man in the eyes of others. When one enters the world for the first time he is largely defined by how he presents himself physically, whether we like it or not.
The idea of the ‘is’ is very important in modern day because it forces people to take responsibility for how they present themselves. When someone presents themselves physically in public they should take into consideration that this is the first thing people will know about them. The first thing people know about you will effect greatly how the rest of their thoughts about you progress because their idea of your ‘is’ determines how they view your idea on the ‘ought’. Since man almost always turns to the future to determine if the journey is worth the outcome, it is very important for him to attempt to understand how another person views their ‘ought’ or their path. Since the ‘ought’ of a human being, their idea of who they want to become, is often clouded to even the person himself, it cannot be expressed well. Therefore one is left to make assumptions on a person’s ‘ought’ based on what they have presented their ‘is’ as.
A growing problem, especially among teenagers, is extreme vulgarity in how they present themselves. When they even wear fitting attire, which is rarely, it is covered with slogans, words, and signs which are designed to insight three emotions: Sexual arousal, anger, or fear. This is what teenagers and children are presenting as their ‘is’ and we should take it as a sign of their ‘ought’. What I am really interested in talking about is this particular form of presenting the ‘is’ among women my age, but a few quick words for the guys.Modern clothing for men is usually oversized and covered with swears, gang signs, is tattered, or is mobile advertising for their favorite band, sports team, or video game. The former 4 are clearly forms of intimidation and toughness which will either promote fear or anger among viewers. The latter three are ways of alerting the viewer of your likes and dislikes which allows them to understand you better, and in most cases, is fairly harmless. A person’s favorite band printed on their t-shirt can help them find others interested in the same types of music without having to even say a word, which can be useful. But once again, if this is all the person wears, they become merely a stereotype that others can’t relate with unless they know EVERY band for EVERY shirt he wears, which can be bad.
Finally to the point. Women’s clothes are almost always woefully insufficient at covering their bodies and when they do actually cover something it is skin tight. On top of this grotesque visual prostitution are words printed in giant letters. These words are usually distorted and stretched by the tight fabric it is printed on and begs the viewer to read what they say. This obviously simple ploy is to direct attention to where the slogans are written which is almost always across their chest or across their ass. It looks like these women forgot to dress before they left their house. Some of these girls wear more clothes to bed then they do to the mall, it’s very disheartening.
Lack of clothing breeds an intimacy between an individual and the one viewing it. The more you reveal of your actual self in public affects two things: How other people view you, and how you view yourself. Beginning with the former. Lack of clothing, for instance, increases proximity by allowing someone to know more about you (the physical manifestation of you, that is). By wearing less, in public, you promote the idea that more of you is public. This of course means, less of you is private. When less of something is private it encourages an outside viewer to treat it accordingly. Lack of clothing then is a limitation on an individuals ability to say “this is MY body” because they have presented it so publicly and without shame that others have no choice but to assume “this is her body, which she willingly shares with us”.Tight clothing reveals in a different way. Tight clothing is meant to highlight parts of your natural body without actually revealing the skin that makes it up.
This slight type of modesty only promotes lust in other people. The more one promotes their physical aspect in first insights the more they are viewed as someone who is physically oriented. The viewer is then forced to make the assumption that a women dressed in this manner is driven primarily at physical beauty which tells them how to act around them. This presentation of the self will usually attract people who are only interested in the body. Combined with the former assertion this will attract people who are interested only physical stimulation and feel that their are few boundaries between them and what they want. This is true, with some exceptions, whether we like it, or not.What you wear also says a lot about how you view yourself. Some of this was touched on above. Someone who dresses in scant amounts of tight clothing is obviously proud of their body, not an entirely bad thing. The down side to this is that they view their assets, a good body, as something to be shared with the public. It is good to be proud of your body, but sometimes being proud of something means saving it for the proper viewer. It’s like showing the Venus De Milo to a 16 year old, sure they think its cool to look at a naked woman, but do they really understand its beauty?
Close proximity and increased willingness to be physical combined with the intoxicating hubris of half-naked individuals often leads to increased lustful activity. We have become a society where teenagers are getting pregnant, divorces are becoming prevalent, and children without homes are becoming greater in number and we refuse to see where all of this is coming from. Our society is becoming ever more comfortable with the idea of ‘is’ and would rather not have an ‘ought’. This combined with a subconscious embrace of lustful activities has lead to a rash of poor decisions. These poor decisions stem from a lack of any forward thought because of overwhelming momentary pleasure – a rejection of the ‘ought’.