I was mumbling around in my last post, so I want to go back and make myself more clear on the subjects I was talking about, and explain them further.
The central theme of my posts is “Love” (along with Reason). In my last post, I am trying to talk about “love” (“intimate love”) more specifically. But my overall goal is more about “love” or “Love”. My ultimate goal is more about changing the world than anything else (as it becomes more clear I cannot bear the world as it is in many ways). Here, I also want to clarify what I have said about myself. I have questioned my reason to live. But I don’t want to give people the impression that I think if one cannot find “true love”, then there is no reason to live. Well, it might depend on how to define “true love” (more about this later). What I meant in my last post (and the one before it) is, it is increasingly difficult for me to try to live the life that I can feel good about myself. In other words, I start to question whether “true self love” is possible as the world surrounding me has deteriorated. More and more I discovered how difficult to reason with people, when people are determined to be unreasonable. I feel like I am a straw in the middle of the surge of flooding muddle water of unreasonableness and chilling “selfishness at all cost”. As I said, I don’t think being selfish itself is a bad thing. But some people’s being selfish without any respect for Love and Reason chilled me to my bones and heart. The most horrifying thing is, they are mostly done in very “civilized” ways. In other words, they are in the very condition of being reasonable, but refuse to do, while using all the trickeries to give the impression of being reasonable. [By the way, although I disagree with Kant about “duty”, what he said about the “coolness of villain” is quite on point.) I felt like I am all alone and the world is going mad in very cold blood way. I felt my “fire” is in danger of burning out soon.
So, it seems that if I can find “true love”, then I will learn that I am not alone in the world, because there will be at least one person who thinks it is not me that is going mad. But is it necessary? In other words, if I cannot find “true love”, does it mean that I am all alone in the world, and will not feel any hope? At least at this time, I am not willing to come to this conclusion.
In my last post, I expressed my opinion about “Ethics”. As I said, I don’t have very high opinion about “Ethics”. In fact, I very much dismissed “Ethics”. In my early posts, I have spent some time talking about how the “selling point” of “Ethics” (happiness) is very problematic. Now, I want to talk more about how I think the goal of “Ethics” is very problematic as well. In fact, as I think about it, it seems that pretty much everything about “Ethics” is wrong (or at least there is something wrong with everything in “Ethics”). I will try to explain my points, and probably will go back to more details later.
I already said in my last post that I think emphasize on “duty” is wrong. This is quite clear when we think about the way Kant describe it. The way he describe it, it is something arbitrary, so people can only leaning on their “faith” to think there must be some mysterious extrinsic values. But I don’t think he should take the blame (at least not full blame). In other words, he just crystalized with what it is, he did not define it.
This problem is pretty much everywhere in “Ethics”. Pretty much every “moral value” is quite arbitrary, or mysterious. This is often the reason people “justify” the “existence of God” (basically to coerce people to follow “moral rules”). But if we look closer, it seems it is often the result of unreasonable people trying to coerce people to do unreasonable things (more about this point later.)
But I want to go further with the problems with “Ethics”, about the concept of “virtue”. This time, I am not talking about any particular virtue, but about the concept of “virtue” itself. Basically, I am question the merit of the existence of the word “virtue”. Why would people keep on feeling the need to elevate something (and someone) above others? I think the concept of “virtue” had done a lot more wrong than good. In practice, “virtue” leads to “privilege”. In fact, we only see “privilege”, but can rarely see true “virtue” (might have said something similar in my earlier post, but I do want to stress this point even more. As I said, my posts will be circling around many concepts, and I will often go back to some of the points as I talk about related things).
Alright, I will come back and talk about “true love”. What is “true love”? In fact, I think the definition of “true love” is not any different from the definition of “love”, and my definition(one of my definition at least) is when the sight or even existence of someone (or something) will make one happy. As I think about it, it appears to me that the talk about “true love” (besides “love”) is quite unnecessary if the world we are living in is not such a “messed up” place, just as the talk about “Ethics” and “virtue” are quite unnecessary. However, I want to make a distinction. Talking about “true love” (other than “love”) is basically harmless, but talking about “Ethics” (at the way we know it) and “virtue” is basically the reason why the world is such a “messed up” place.
Let me explain. The reason that people kept talking about “Ethics” (the way as it is now) or “virtue” is not to emphasize that people should do what they are supposed to do, but to ask people to do something beyond reason (as illustrated quite adequately by Kant). This is why I am “against” religion and “duty”, because they are the sources of things that are unreasonable. Why would we need religion or “duty” if people could just do what is reasonable? We do not need religion nor “duty”. If we can take out religion and “duty” from our culture existence, then we can pretty much solve all problems in the world (in western culture and eastern culture).
I am aware that people can be very small minded and unreasonable (and it seems that at least most people are, I will give some examples in this post). But I think this is the product of the system. If we can change the system, this problem will disappear. If I look at how we get to this messy world, it seems the cause is quite simple. No one is actually looking at the big picture from neutral and systematic point of view (another evidence that there is no “God”), and if there are people who are looking at the big picture, they are looking at it from “rulers” point of view (at least the thoughts that we can get know of mostly like will fit the narrative of the “rulers”). I am against the talk about “duty” and “virtue” because “duty” only applies to the “little people” and “virtue” is mostly the privilege of the “rulers”. Since there is no unbiased people (in other words, there is no “God”) to make judgement on anything (in other words, the “little people’s” opinions do not actually have much impacts, unless they fit the narratives of the system), the talks about “duty” and “virtue” are just sugar coating the unjust system we have in the world.
As I have said many times, if people all be reasonable, there is really no reason to ask people (force them) to do what is reasonable for them to do. I don’t even want to emphasize “kindness” and “compassion” because they are usually empty words. If I am an engineer to design a system, would I rely on any unpredictable factors (such as “kindness” and “compassion”) to assure the system will work? My point is, “kindness” and “compassion” is something extra (again, I am not against people to have “kindness” and “compassion”, just that I think a system should rely on them to work), one cannot expect everyone to do so out of their nature. If I do so, I don’t think I am a good engineer. But why people insist on the “Ethics” system as it is? “Ethics” system has no real way to enforce their “unnatural” values. The only way they have if to fool people use “God” or duty, etc. There is obviously something wrong with the system. In the “real” world, many people are not very “kindness” and “compassion”, or at least they cannot “afford” being “kind” and “compassionate”.
Even if people are “kind” and “compassionate”, would it make any difference? I don’t think it would. I can use the example in “Emma”. I have already used this example in my earlier post, so I am just re-emphasizing this one more time. I am talking about Mr. Knightley’s invitation to Harriet Smith to dance. It is a “kind” gesture, but it is also a deceptive gesture, and the reason it is a “kind” gesture makes it a deceptive gesture. Based on my understanding, I don’t think Mr. Knightley had any intention to establish an “intimate relationship” with Harriet Smith. But the reason his gesture is so “heroic” is to suggest that he very well could. But he did not have, and it seems to me he would not have ever. My point is, as illustrated in this example, “kindness” and “compassion” usually don’t really change anything, only give people false hope.
I have always insisted on knowing the truth, the whole truth. At this time, I think I basically know the whole truth, not all the details, but all the possibilities pointing to one direction, I am comfortable to draw conclusions. The truth is very ugly, and makes me question whether I want to live in the world. But I don’t regret knowing the truth, because it is the only way one can think about how to change the world. Looking back, I am to admit I have been very ignorant (by the way, I am not proud of my ignorant. But my ignorant did keep me operating as the way I like to operate, which is basically keeping my integrity), because I think I am aware of all the elements of the truth. But because I did not have too much personal experience about people operating in the dark, I did not put everything together to see the world as it actually is.
I am saying this because it is related to what I want to say about “true love”, “being friends” and understanding. I have said I have no secret. This is very much the truth. I don’t think I will say I am a particularly “good” person (as what is “good” is questionable, and I don’t agree with people’s attempts on emphasizing the concept of “good”. But I will say with my definition of being a loving and reasonable person, I am not too bad), but I am who I am. And, now, I realize the biggest problem with me is I am very different from most people, and I usually anticipate people as much “better” than they actually are, a habit of my wishful thinking. The biggest problem I have dealing with people (for example my family) is, it seems that many people are having problems facing themselves, as if they are afraid of actually knowing who they are. I think people are “smarter” than they appear to be, but their very “smartness” is actually their foolishness. In other words, people are quite sophisticated in establishing their own system to protect their own interests, they basically always fall into the “grand scheme” to maintain this mad cold world as it is.
I am always shocked by how people are maliciously protecting their lies, and how often I am attacked simply by pointing out the obvious truth. I could not understand it. This is why I am often feeling very alone, and I am mostly happy when I am with my books, my arts, or my thoughts. Can I find “true love”? The reason I used the word “true” is because I think it is not too much to say that there are at least something “untrue” in most “love”. If I accept there is any use for “Ethics” as the rules to guide our actions, then the only “rules” I can accept are to be true, loving, and reasonable (being truthful is implied if people are loving and reasonable. But it seems it is a very big problem for many people. So, I have to emphasize it. In fact, as I think back, almost all the problems I have with my relationships with other people, including “intimate relationships” are rooted in this). There are many factors that could be only relevant for myself in determining whether I could find “true love”. I might analyze some of them later when I am talking about relevant subjects. Here, I want to say only things that I think are relevant to this post. By this time, I have accept that I am a very “odd bird”. And, so many strange things happened in my life, so it is very reasonable to think that there are people want to put traps for me, and sabotage my life. So, the chance of me finding that person I could love whole heartily and who would love me whole heartily is very slim (but as I said recently I did get to feel how it could feel like, even in my imagination, so I don’t think I could accept anything less.) But I do need to say that it is not necessary for me to find “true love” in order to restore my faith in humanity, although finding “true love” would be the fast way to restore at least some of my faith in humanity.
Since I am not able to find “true love”, I cannot really talk about it right now from personal experience. But there are some materials I can use to talk about it. I have watched this season of the show “The Bachelor”, and have been thinking about it as well. I have met the current Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr. quite a few times a few years ago, and I think it is accurate to say I had a pretty big “crush” on him. Although I believe all my interactions with him did not cross the line of being a “super fan”, I do think I can say there are some chemistry between me and him. Looking back, I do think he is a special person, and we somehow clicked in some ways. I don’t think I can say very clearly what it is. He is very sweet and charming and there were something quite “magically” when I spent time with him. It did not happen very often in my life. But eventually I decided we are just too different from each other (comparing to all the obstacles), it did not make any sense for me to consume so much energy on him.
Watching the show did validate my thoughts about him. I think it is quite clear he is who he is, and some of the rumors about his past might be from people who don’t understand him very well. I do think from his point of view, what he did make sense. First of all, he did pick three incredible women (people who think he is clueless are obviously wrong), and I don’t think he should be condemned for his “change of heart”. In some sense, at least from his point of view, his problem is a good problem to have. He did make some good choices, then it is just a matter of who is more compatible with him. I have said quite a few times that “love” is not a competition. I think his story proves it. It is not a matter of who is “good enough” and who is not. Generally speaking, Becca does seem to be a “perfect wife and mother material”. She seems to be very strong, yet loving and giving. But it does seem that Lauren has something more in common with Arie than her. The way Lauren handled the break up (pretty much everything else afterwards) makes me think she does have a future with Arie, that they could have the “prefect love” together. The way she and Kendall talking about Arie makes me think they do treat him as a friend, and their foundation with Arie may be more solid than they appeared.
I think the reason I was drawn to Arie is because I think he is emotionally sophisticated, and he did not lost his “sparks” (there is certain dreamer quality in him). I think it is the same with Lauren. In fact, I start to think she might be more suitable to Arie than Emily would. I don’t know if I am wrong, but it seems to me that Emily has certain wanton or reckless (or shrewd, or mischief) in her (for breaking up with Arie so unexpectedly), while Lauren is more modest and sincere (and it does seem that she has more inner strength than we would assume). I do feel Lauren’s relationship with Arie is more about “love” (understanding each other, connecting with each other), while Becca’s relationship with Arie is more about “marriage”(whether it would work, how to make it work).
By the way, watching the show, I was a little disappointed. It seems that Arie did “lost his sparks” a little, he seems to be less sure of himself than I would hope. Maybe it is the pressure of being “The Bachelor”, or maybe it is living his life under the scrutiny of public eyes? It seems to me that he went with his “head” when choosing Becca, but his “heart” is more with Lauren. Well, only Arie knows how he feels. But looking from outside, it does seems that either way, it could work, meaning he could have a lasting marriage with both of them, but the quality of life might be better if he is with Lauren.
I don’t think people should be bashing Arie, not at all. It would be very unfair. If he is insincere, he could just stay with Becca for a few more month, and break if off once the hype is down, and go off chasing whomever he wants to chase. The reason the outcome is messy is because he really takes it very sincerely. Real life often is messy, and people make mistakes, more so if they are being sincere and trying to be true to themselves in this mad cold world.
Well, now I want to say something that might be very “unpopular”, and I could be wrong. But I think it is quite possible. So, I will use my thoughts as an example to illustrate my points, as I believe what I will say is very much possible, even if it is not actually the case. To tell the true, I was quite surprised by the outcome. I did read spoilers early on, and I did think it could work out for Arie and Becca. So, initially, I don’t really know what to think about Arie’s “change of heart”. But watching how it unfolded did give me some thoughts. I think Becca might have more to blame than Arie for the outcome.
I said I felt that Arie might have lost his “sparks” a little. I think it is possible that he was a little confused about himself, and he might not have clear understanding of what is wrong. By the way, I don’t buy the theory that he was a “last minute” pick for the show. It seems to me that these women were specially picked for him, the show was just to try to mess with his head (this could be one of the reason why he lost his “sparks” a little.) The whole #notpeter thing was very strange (I did not watch the previous Bachelorette show, and did not get what is so special about that “Peter”), I don’t know if Arie knows what was going on.
It seems to me that Arie has a weakness for women who are a little unpredictable (or a sense of mischief. I think it might have something to do with his “dreamer” quality, his sense of adventure, and him being a sweet person, eager to please), and he might have sensed this problem, although he did not quite understand what exactly is the problem. I think he did not pick Lauren because he was trying to avoid this problem (maybe he thought his problem is he is attracted to women who are “hard to get”, and Lauren is such a woman). But I don’t think Lauren is an “unpredictable” woman. It seems to me she is just more sensitive and reserved. As I said, I think she is sincere and emotionally sophisticated, but has some “dreamer” quality in her. I think many people’s opinions about Lauren are “judging a book by it cover”. She is definitely not a “dumb blond”. The more I observe, the more I think she might be a “hidden gem”. She definitely hit all the marks in her actions and words in my mind. It is interesting how people who are very different could think alike in some fundamental ways. And, it is also very “interesting” (actually, I should say very upsetting) how “hidden gems” often get dismissed so “casually”.
Ok, now, I want to talk about Becca. Watching her, at least two things stood out. I was bothered by how she looked at the engagement ring and how long she looked at it when Arie proposed to her. Even if I should not be too picky about this “little detail”, I am still very bothered by how she did not want to listen to what Arie want to say to her. If a man who I want to spend the rest of my life with breaking up with me, I want to listen to every word he wants to tell me, especially when he tried very hard to do so. I understand she might have acted the way it is because she was on camera, and she was so shocked she did not know what to think. But I still think I would want to at least listen to everything that could have been said by him. The way she acted made me think she might be more “in love” with the idea of “being in love”, than was actually “100 percent in love” with Arie. She herself might not have realized it (because I am not accusing her of “faking it”). Well, maybe only she knows if she was “faking it”. Or, maybe she did not know (you don’t know what you don’t know). Either way, it is a problem. And, it is not a small problem, at least a reasonable ground for Arie to break off the engagement.
Should Arie be aware of the problem before the engagement? I would not be too surprise he could not detect this problem in such short period of time before the proposal. But did he rush into the engagement? I actually think the result might be for the best. If they did not have the conviction of engagement, Arie might not be able to tell the difference with her as clearly as it could be. And, I think for Lauren, knowing that he tried with Becca and was convinced it would not work, would bring more “peace of mind” in her than it would otherwise (as she pointed out herself.)
I want to make some other points now. I have said, “love” is a choice. There are people who are very sensitive who could be “very understanding” (although it would not necessarily be true), but they could also be “over bearing” at the same time. There are people who are very “forgiving” and “easygoing”, but they could be not very sensitive and “understanding” (although it would not necessarily be true). I think Arie might have fear about Lauren about the first scenarios, and did not think too much about Becca for the second scenarios. I think it has something to do with the situation. People like Becca could give good impressions in competitive environment more than Lauren. But it seems that not only Lauren is very sensitive and understanding, she is quite forgiving and reasonable. Lauren definitely impressed me more than Becca, and I think she is more suitable for Arie. It does seem I have just saw a “true love story”, a “happy ending” for Arie. I am happy for them.
There is a quote attributed Bertrand Russell: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.” I certainly don’t want to insulting people with this quote. But I do want to point out the wisdom behind this quote.
I do think Becca is a “good woman” in basically every sense. But if we are talking about “true love”, sometimes, being “good” is not enough. This is often the point I am trying to make when talking about myself. It is not that there is no “good men”, but there is no man who is suitable for me (due to all kinds of reasons.) My problem is, since the men that I like are so rare (I think it should not be a surprise for anyone. After all, everyone is just looking for one person to be with), whenever I saw someone who realize could be the “one”, I would lose my “cool” immediately and making a fool of myself. But I am not afraid of making a fool of myself. I don’t think anyone should be afraid of making a “fool” of themselves. I don’t quite understand all these hate for Arie or even Lauren. For what? Because they embarrassed Becca? As I said, it is at least possible it is more to her fault than Arie. To be honest, the way people reacted is not for the benefit of women. It makes me think that deep down, people think women are burden that ought to be “unloaded” to men, and then the men ought to be “stuck with her”. It is an insult to women. As I have said in my previous post, undermining women, and making them depending on men would make them not able to truly think about “true love”. So, “true love” (which would not be too hard to find if the world is not such a “messed up” place) is rare.
March 7, 2018