I will continue to talk about the subject of my last post, about “friendship”. I am going to focus on “understanding”.
But before I do so, I want to talk about the story of “Possession” a little bit more because I finished the novel (I listened to an audio book, and I was sometimes distracted and not fully concentrating. So, it is at least possible that I missed something important that could change my view. But I doubt it, not for what I am going to say at least.) I want to question whether the relationship between Ash and Christabel is out of “passion”. I don’t think so. Actually, I am very troubled by the story because I see very little “love” (in the sense of “good will”) toward each person in the story actually.
I want to point out this story is not a story about “friendship” either. First, Ash’s interest in Christabel is more in her person, not just because of her thoughts. Second, it does not appear that they value talking to each other as much because they made the choice of not seeing each other.
I have said several times in my posts that I don’t want to look at things from “moral” point of view. But why am I so troubled by this story? Because it violated the principles of Love and Reason. One may look at this stories from different angles (because it is an odd story, there might be various interpretations about it). But I failed to make sense of it based on Love and Reason.
Reading this story, we need to ask the question of whether men want to understand women or want to be understand by women? Here, I want to talk about Mr. Knightley’s view of Emma, especially related to Harriet Smith. Now, I actually doubt whether Mr. Knightley had very positive opinions about women. But I think Emma changed his mind.
Here, I want to emphasize that I don’t think of Mr. Knightley and Emma as “heroes” in traditional sense. They are people with various flaws. However, I don’t think we can find people (at least very rare) who can actually measure up to them. This means we have a long way to go towards actually become “civilized people”.
Although I am quite pessimistic lately, I still want to keep a positive view (at least I still want to hold on to my hope). I hope by firmly establish the principles of Love and Reason, humanity can actually enter the era of “civilization” in the future. This means we need to update existing concepts and rules, based on the principles of Love and Reason.
I cannot emphasize enough how refreshing Emma’s attitude about “love” is in its context (historical conditions of the time). I think Emma is the first fictional character that we know of (or at least I know of), that had the healthy attitude about marriage and “love”, because she is being proactive to seek her place in the society as a single woman, although eventually she failed, which is the failure of the society, not really due to her own faults, which is tragic. But at the same time, the “love story” between her and Mr. Knightley becomes a “successfully story about love”, so her efforts are not in vain. But this result cannot be achieved without willing participation of Mr. Knightley. This is why I want to emphasize that changing conditions of women in the society cannot be achieved by women alone.
Mr. Knightley had accused Emma (or women in general) of “vanity” and “weak mind”. But he is wrong. Emma is neither. This is why she is very refreshing. However, “vanity” may be applicable if we analyze Ellen’s behaviors (refused to have sex with Ash), and “weak mind” may be applicable if we analyze Christabel’s behaviors (for having sex with him).
If we look at the story of “Possession”, we may conclude that Ellen’s “vanity” is at least somewhat “rewarded”, while Christabel’s “weak mind” is being punished more. It might be not as simple, because Ellen’s behaviors could be viewed more “favorable” than Christabel’s for other reasons. My point is, Mr. Knightley is quite right that these traits are common problems with women (although the same traits would be applicable to men, although they might manifest them differently, and the society’s view on them is quite different, mostly accommodating or even endowing. I will talk more about this in my later and in my later posts.)
But is it the fault of women or they are products of the circumstances? If we look at the story of “Possession”, it is very possible these traits are the products of the circumstances.
Did Ash want to be “in love” or he likes the idea of being “in love”? It is quite possible that he likes the idea of being “in love” more. Or, maybe many men are like him. If we look at our culture structure, this interpretation seems to make a lot of sense. First of all, the teaching of culture leads to the conclusion that we ought to love something good, and mostly better (love of God, love of Jesus, etc.) But if women are “second sex” (there is even a book with this title), full of flaws, how can any man love any woman?
The “solution” is to create imagination of women that are deemed “worthy” of “love”, often associated with “beauty”, “status” sometimes “virtues”. To maintain this imagination, the less they are known the better. Thence, Ellen’s refusal of “physical love” seems to be quite consistent with this effort.
The book’s treatment of Christabel is more favorable than the movie. I think the movie basically enhanced what was in the book, but twisted the relationship of Ash and Christabel even more. But I still strongly oppose any talk about “passion” for this story because it is against what “passion” is all about. My definition of “passion” is “strong love”. So, it should have all the characteristics of “love”, including “good will”. This means one should not do things that no good will come from it.
The lack of concerns for the so called “loved ones” are so shocking in this story. What Ellen did to Ash, what Ash did to Christabel, and what Christabel did to Blanche are all very “cool blood”. I don’t quite get why Christabel blame Ash for Blanche’s death. I don’t see why she had to abandon Blanche (which is the true cause of her death) if she is bitter about being alone. It seems that she had abandoned herself (and Blanche) because of “”love”” (I have to use double quotation mark because this “love” is quite unhealthy and questionable), thus definitely she had a very “weak mind” for a person who is supposed to be a “pioneer” of women’s “liberation moment”. Even Blanche’s suicide does not make sense because for a woman trying to be independent from men, she seems to be too dependent on a woman.
But if we think about it, how much of this “weak mind” is caused by the misconception of “love”, and how “convenient” it turns out to be (without it, could “love” actually exists in the world we live now)? With emphasis that “love” is “unconditional”, and “love” can exist in people’s mind alone, once this “fire” is burning, it can be burning out of control. And this seems to be the case here. Did Christabel actually ask herself whether Ash “loves” her or not? I just cannot believe anyone with clear mind would think that Ash’s “arrangement” can be interpreted as “love”.
It is this kind of behaviors that gives “passion” bad names. As I said, “passion” means “strong love”. It is possible that because the emotion of “love” is so strong that people would do things that they would not do otherwise. But it does not mean people would do stupid things knowingly, especially when the stupid things are done in “cold blood”. What they did does not make any sense.
It is possible that people “rebel” against the “rules” due to “love”. In other words, if Ash and Christabel decided to be with each other, in spite of all the possible consequences, then I would call this story the story about “passion”. However, we could still think about whether there is “true love” between them. And if there is not, their “passion” could be lost later, and this would be another argument against “passion” (For example the novel of “Anna Karenina” would be an example. I will write about “passion” in my later posts). This is why “true love” is important.
This story actually demonstrated how messy things can be just because of one simple assumption, that one person can be “in love” with two people simultaneously. Again, I am very suspicious whether Ash actually “love” Christabel (or Ellen, let alone he could be “in love” with both of them. At this situation, I think it is fair to say that he loves neither). Actually, I wonder whether he knew what is “love”. I think he might like the idea of being “in love”, but would rather kept it at distance (in this sense, he and his wife might be made for each other. This would not be a surprise, because they are both influenced by the same culture structure.)
Well, if all women are “vane” and “weak minded” (I don’t know how many men think so, but at least not very few), then perhaps men would not care too much about understanding women, or to be understood by women, even if women do. But if they do want to understand each other, is it possible for men and women to understand each other?
Now, I want to talk about Philipp Lachenmann’s show, “DELPHI_Essentials”.
The title DELPHI_Essentials refers to “Delphi” as place and oracle, alluding to the origins of the conveyed (self-) knowledge and to the notion of art as the “center of the world”. The relation to antiquity and its mythology furthermore implies the crucial themes of the exhibition as “beginning & translation” and its wider meanings change, transformation, transition and echo.
“In myths dating to the classical period of Ancient Greece, Zeus determined the site of Delphi when he sought to find the centre of his “Grandmother Earth” (Gaia). He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, and the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found” (Wikipedia on ‘Delphi’).
Infact in Lachenmann’s understanding the artist’s practice at best incorporates a dualistic approach, representing simultaneously both eagles, on their way to what better be called the “black hole of ratio”.
- Extract show information at ACE Gallery’s website,
I was not able to talk to him in depth about his show, and I have to admit that my understandings of his works are incomplete (so, I could be wrong) and still evolving. But I want to take his theme and “run with it”, to say that my interpretations of his works might also reflect the essence of his works even if (or even though) they might not be what he intended.
I might spend more time talking about his works in my later posts, but now I want to mostly talk about his video installation, “DELPHI_Rationale”. Although I cannot exactly recall what went through my mind when I first saw information about his show online, this video installation definitely caught my attention at that time and may be the primary inspiration for my project “Circumstantial Evidence”.
The backdrop of this video is CERN’s Delphi particle detector. At the time, I was very interested in CERN’s artist residency program, I even applied to it (now I realized my chance of being selected probably is even much slimmer than I initially thought, although my interest in this program vanished as well, as I started to doubt whether this method of experimenting makes sense at all. Before I can think through this subject, I don’t think I want to get into this program, although interestingly my project would be a valid project for this purpose) and visited the visitor center when I was in Geneva in March
But from reading his notes about this video installation, one may conclude that I am very much in “different camp” with him. Not only I am questioning the existence of God, I am also questioning the mystic altitude of Indian culture about life, and I am also questioning the validity of the “Big Bang” theory (and now, I am questioning the method of experiment in the particle detector as well), not to mention I am talking about Love and Reason, while he emphasizes the “irrational aspects” of science. How can I say I am his my “soul mate” (well, I did not say he is my “soul mate”, I have not reached conclusion yet, although I have not dismiss the possibility based on his notes about this video)?
But if we interpret “soul mate” as “in agreement of essence”, then I am not wrong, because even if I disagree with all his evidences (whether one can assume he is using all things I disagree with in his notes as evidences is still a question) that support his argument, if I agree with what he is trying to prove, I am in agreement with him in “essence”, I might still be his “soul mate”.
What is he trying to prove? Based on my understanding, he is trying to prove that “ultimate truth” (substantial truth) is unattainable (or he is trying to make a statement about his opinion on this. I think the role of the artist is not to prove anything, but to point out the possibilities, or directions of thought processes. In this sense, he might just be using things that people accepted as “truth” to lead to certain directions. In other words, what he is trying to say might be, “if you think these are true, then this might also be true as well”, which is a valid form of argument, and philosophers and lawyers are using this form of arguments all the time, but ironically, it seems that people have often misinterpreted this, and trying to fool people to ignore the “if”) which is what I have been talking about all the time.
And, the Delphi particle detector looks like an eye. Interestingly, the theme of my project for CERN is “Observation”. My image “I” in my website is the image I sent when I applied for the program in 2017 and 2018. I used “I” as the title for my image because this image is initially made for Los Angeles Art Association’s “User to User” show and I was using “I” for both indications of each “user” is an “I” looks out (to summarize) and the phonic sound of “I” also resembles “eye” which basically is constant with shapes of the image (I am very happy about this piece, I feel the end result of this piece exceeded my own anticipation, basically things have fallen into places for me to make this piece).
Observation is obviously an important step of finding the “Truth”. But anyone’s observation would be affected by the conditions of the observation (affected by “I”), hence the conclusion will be depending on the “context” (the theme “context” is explored in his other works I mentioned in my last post, his light sculpture of Einstein’s famous equation e=mc2 with parentheses, which in my brief conversation with him, might lead to another meaning, which is why I am still confused about my experience), hence, “Ultimate Truth” is unattainable. But “Truth” in particular context is possible through the way of verify the collaboration of evidence (which is basically the point I want to make in the project of “Circumstantial Evidence”, so it is not an accident that I was inspired by his work.), the point he wants to make using the ancient myth of Delphi (based on my understanding).
The duality of “Ultimate Truth” and “Truth” in “context” echoes another duality about “Truth”, in the realm of “expression”. Representation (expression) is a form of interpretation (that is limited by the limitations of observation), hence what is being presented could not be identically produced in replica. Meanwhile, the replica will have its own characteristics and limitations that might betray the purpose of the representation. Hence, any form of communication has its own limitation (there are other works in his show on this subject as well), hence “perfect understanding” is impossible (not to mention the interpretation of the representation will add another layer of obstacle).
There is another complicity about expression, or “duality”, which I think is presented in this video, but mostly obviously in his “Mirror Paintings”. The question his works raised is, when we look at art works, what exactly are we looking for? I think the simplest and basic answer is we are looking for patterns. But what kinds of patterns and in what way would be the questions. And, what is the role of colors, sounds, time, and other circumstances (installation means one needs to take into consideration of other circumstances as well)?
Through my interpretation of this video installation, one can see that one can draw different conclusions from this work. But what is the most reasonable explanation or explanations? I identify myself mostly as a “conceptual artist” (at least this is what I want to be). But what is “conceptual art”? And, is it possible that “conceptual art” could be misinterpreted by symbolism which is in vogue in Medieval time (if we are not in this kind of era, it looks like things are heading to that direction at least)?
I don’t think “conceptual art” has much to do with symbolism. Based on my understanding, conceptual art relies on interplay of elements, and environment, not on ideas expressed by particular symbol. What this means is, I want to be an artist like Philipp Lachenmann. In other words, “conceptual art” is more suitable for leading to “truth” that is “transcendent” (or in other word, “rules that are substances independent”) than “truth” that is “of substances” (limited by context).
I am so in awe about his work because he places the elements in his works with such precision that his works are simple and elegant, yet complex, and yet well balanced (some of his works have more expressionist touch, and I am drawn to more emotionally, no surprise. This raised the question about the role of art. I probably will talk about it later. In essence, should art focus more on “Love” or “Reason”? I think I can see both kinds in his works, and I have to admit I am personally drawn more to his works that have more emotional substance in them, but at the same time, I am more in awe about his works that are heavy on “Reason”.) This means his art works serve best as a platform to lead people to think, and lead to their own conclusions. But can people necessarily draw the correct conclusions?
I feel that I can spend infinite amount of time talk about this work (there are still a lot to talk about), and talk about the subjects of “interpretation”, “understanding” and “cultural Influences” (I think I will talk more about them in later posts). Here, I only want to point out a few things. I want to refer to “Possession” again. I think the story line is a mess. I think the novel is a little better than the movie, but overall I still think it is very problematic as well. But I don’t want to completely dismiss it as “trash”, because when I was trying to make sense of this story, I did end up thinking about a lot of things.
I have spent sometimes talk about artistic works that made me suspicious of the creator’s intents. I even suspect there might be some conspiracies of “undue influence” in culture development. At this time, I am convicted that I cannot be completely wrong on this. But how to deal with it? Would people be shy away with creating meaningful works because of the fear of misleading people? I don’t think so.
This is the reason I emphasize the importance of the principles of Love and Reason. Ultimately, the responsibility of drawing the correct conclusions from art works (and not to be “unduly influenced”) is on the viewers. In this sense, the “Mirror Paintings” and this work all delivered this message. You see what you can see. The role of art works is trying to point to the directions for you to explore. Ultimately, if one does not have the capacity to understand, then art works will fall on “deaf ears”.
Meanwhile, if people do have the capacity to understand, even if there are people who want to mislead people, they will not succeed. The reality is, since there are full of misconceptions, it is inevitable for people to make mistakes. This is especially truth for the pioneers. If fact, I think (I don’t think I am the only one have these thoughts) that history is not necessarily made by people who are most able. But by people with flaws, even due to their own self interests. I have talked about this point in my earlier post, using Emma and Frank Churchill as examples. They all have flaws, yet they are mostly responsible for changes. Even Mr. Knightley has flaws, but he is also essential for the outcome of the story. Meanwhile, Jane Fairfax seems to be the most “perfect” here. But her role is quite passive. Actually, I wonder what will happen if Jane Fairfax has Emma’s personality. Perhaps people will call her lunatic? Mr. Knightley, Frank Churchill (eventually), even Robert Martin all have “means”. What if they don’t? This illustrated how people are limited by their circumstances.
One can say that art is a “dangerous game”, because it reveals things. If one is not being truthful, then people will be able to know. If people are really being “truthful”, they might reveal their own flaws. Maybe this is probably why many art works are very much opaque now, or “purposefully without purpose”. Generally speaking, I think all arts have their values, but since art is a way to communicate, if it says nothing, it is not very useful, even though we don’t usually talk about art as “useful”.
I do want to point out that when looking at art, I don’t think one should focus too much on what is being revealed about the artists themselves. Or, at least not to interpret the artworks too literarily. I would rather interpret artists’ works as based on their general observations, than based on their personal experiences alone.
There is another point I want to make about “essence”, form and substance. If we look at what Emma did, she is wrong in trying to meddle with “other people’s affairs”, but she is not wrong in trying to be useful to the society as a single woman (because at her time, “single woman is basically useless” is the general consensus. Well, maybe it is just for single women with certain status. Anyway, it seems that there is really very little she could do, so I think her mistake is reasonable mistakes under the circumstances. This is why I call her pioneer, and value her more than Ellen, Christabel and Blanche.) Actually, as I think about it, although she is wrong in meddling with “other people’s affairs”, her goal is not wrong. She is trying to practice what she believes, which is, “love” should be about “love” itself. The more I think about this book, the more I can identify with Emma.
I want to go back and talk about the video installation more. I think there is another layer on the subject of interpretation, which is in the context of science. I think there is a commonly shared confusion about science, because science often is confused with mathematics. What is the essence of science? I think the simplest definition of science is it is the inquiry about the “Truth” in nature world, but commonly people mistakenly reduce science to use mathematics to present the rules of the nature world. Yes, use mathematics to present the rules of the nature world is generally the goal, people got to realize there will always be distance between the mathematic equations and the real world (as indicated in Philipp Lachenmann’s notes), and the critical steps of scientific discovery is understanding, and the process of “understanding” or “discovery” is mostly not a deductive process (hence not a mathematics nor logical process).
I want to extend these thoughts further to the Realm of “Artificial Intelligence”. First, I want to say that without Reason (Logic) there will not be “Intelligence”. Second, language system is not necessarily ruled by logic alone (as I have illustrated that social rules do not necessarily follow logic, the rules of languages do not necessarily follow logic either). One can debate about whether logic is part of mathematics (yes and no, depending on the definitions for them), but if we appreciate mathematics because of its characteristics of certainty, then statistics is not part of the mathematics. So, as so called “Artificial Intelligence” that people are using now relies heavily on statistics (in essence), it is not actually “Intelligence”, nor with certainty, nor will they be very useful as people often are led to believe (depend on the circumstance, when reliability is important). Although I have said the science cannot guarantee accurate understanding of the natural world, we usually know its limitations, so they are useful to us in most circumstances. But without certainty and predictability, “Artificial Intelligence” (as they are now being developed) can be useless or even dangerous because of the unpredictability and uncertainty.
I said as I thought about his works more, I started to “freak out”, this is an example, because his work can lead to so many thoughts that it is very important to me. But I have not answer the question of whether he is my “soul mate”. In my last post, I said he met the requirement of any definition of “soul mate” from my point view. But now, I want to retract my statement a little bit. More accurately, I want to emphasize that my statement is based on the assumption that he is a “good person” (meaning he will think and act based on the principles of Love and Reason), which I have said is the necessarily condition for anyone to be “the one”.
I want to point this out not because I have any doubt about him being a “good person”, but because I realized how difficult it might be for anyone to be a “good person” at all time. So, this necessary condition is a very high standard (for now, because there are so many misconceptions. For example, I have mentioned earlier, I don’t quite agree with Jeremy Northam, on what he said about “Possession” in a GMA interview. As I said, I don’t think “Possession” is a story about “passion”, and I don’t think it is warm hearted. But according to the interview, he thought so. I have to admit when I first saw this movie, I probably would agree with him if I saw this interview. It is only after so much thinking about the subject of “love”, my opinions are different from him now on this matter. By the way, I am not saying he is not a “good person” because of what he said here. Because people’s casual opinions on things do not necessarily equals to what they will do. I am only saying that it is impossible for anybody to be “perfect”.) I don’t think anyone can actually meet the standard at all time (because our culture system, any culture system, is filled with misconceptions.)
I have not been able to talk with him about his view on anything yet. But from thinking about his works and from listening to him, I concluded that he is a “good person” (meaning he will think and act based on the principles of Love and Reason in general), and he could very well be my “soul mate”.
I don’t want to talk about how I come to this conclusion in too much detail, as I think there might still be steps to go through to reach this conclusion. I think I will be able to talk about it more later. But here, I want to emphasize that the determining factor will have more to do with “Love” than “Reason”. I think everyone is capable of being “reasonable” if they are full of “Love”. I think he is full of “Love” (by “Love”, I mean different from “love”, “intimate love”. I did not sense in particular of personal interest towards me although I have to admit my sense regarding this matter is generally erroring towards ignorance) at the moment he opened his heart to me (I do think he opened his heart to me when he heard my comment. I don’t think my perception is influenced heavily by my impression of him, and even if it is, it might still indicate what kind of person he is.)
I only mentioned being a “good person” is necessary condition to be “the one”. But what it has to do with being a “soul mate”? First, I think it is obvious if I assume I am a “good person” and being a “soul mate” means in agreement in essence, then one has to be a “good person” to be my “soul mate”. Second, I don’t think anyone can be anybody’s “soul mate” without the will of trying to understand the other, and without “Love”, one will not be willing to truly understand the other (what is the point of it?) And, without “Reason”, one would not be able to understand each other. So, being a “good person” would be the necessary condition for being anyone’s “soul mate” as well.
But is he my “soul mate”? I think it depends on whether he thinks I could be his “soul mate”. The question turns into whether one can have more than one “soul mate” (assuming he already has a “soul mate”). If we define “soul mate” as someone who can agree with the other in “essence”, then I could not see how not. I think all the talks about “one and only”, “soul mate”, etc. have a lot to do with religious, mystic sentiment, and fueled with people’s insecurity about themselves. In essence, the so called “merit based” society has people obsessed with the feeling of being superior than others, but at the same time, the fear of not actually being superior than others is overwhelming. This is why people buy into the notion that “love” is “unconditional”, because they might want to “lock in” “love” as soon as they see fit.
Actually, without sexual context (real or imagined), “soul mate” could lose its significance at least to some extent. I don’t think understanding is governed by “all or nothing rule”. Again, I think understanding has a lot to do with the will to understand, but here, I want to emphasis the importance of friendship. I think often people could not understand something because they do not want to understand, either because they think it is not important, or because their fear that they could not understand it. So, being friends with people who are different in some ways could be very helpful, because one can expand one’s interests and ability to understand with the help of friends. This point is illustrated in Emma, with the friendship between Emma and Harriet Smith.
But I do think there is something unique here even without any sexual context, because for some times, I felt I am the only one talking about what I have been talking about for sometimes. I became fixated with Jeremy Northam because the projects he had worked with and the comments he made in various occasions are quite unique and I can very much identify with (with very rare exceptions. Actually, I think the GMA interview about “Possession” is probably the only occasion that I disagree with him). But Philipp Lachenmann’s works draw me much closer. I think it is quite obvious I cannot totally misunderstand him, thus it seems that we are in a “camp” with very few members (I don’t know any others as of now). But the distance he kept is quite to my surprise. Is it because he wanted to avoid any misunderstanding of his attitude towards me, or did he see some significant disagreement with me that I am not aware of? Or, could there be other reasons?
As I said, I am pretty sure our personalities are quite different. But I sensed there are some similarities of sensibility and perhaps even sensuality (I am not too sure about this as of now) between us (it is still not clear to me what this type of connection is. At least for now, I will say it has something to do with “dreamer” quality. I plan to write more about it in my next post) that cannot simply be categorized as chemistry or attraction in general sense. Combined with so much similarity in our thoughts, I have to say I am very much confused. Maybe he is facing the same confusions but react differently due to different circumstances or due to his personality? I don’t know I will have the opportunity to find out, but I am very curious obviously.
If we use the notion in his work “DELPHI_Rationale”, we might be able to conclude that we could be “soul mate” and friends, and men and women could truly understand each other in “essence”. Although we have similar interest, our background and personality could be quite different. I even suspect that our thought processes could be very different as well. For example, due to my background in engineering and law, I might be more comfortable with verbal and logical expressions, while he is obviously the master of visual or even sensual representation (however, his background in philosophy made him unique, I feel deep sense of balance and logic in his work). But at the same time, me being a woman (and relatively unpolished) and him being a man (and more grown up like) would likely make my behaviors more spontaneous while his behaviors are more poised.
Here, I want to write a few words about the different perceptions about men and women in general. I think it is fair to say that all flaws usually people are dismissive about women can be found in the current president. For example, he is very “vane” and “weak minded” (for example, he run on the promise of regulating “Wall Street”, but all I can see is to bent over to “Wall Street”) but those “manly men” are basically bow down to him, meaning in their mind, he can do no wrong.
People say it is a “men’s” world. This is not necessary truth. I think more accurately, the world is the world for the rich and powerful men, but ordinary men think it is their world, because they can feel superior over women. This why I am not very optimistic about changing the relationship between men and women very easily. But if this could change, then the world would definite change.
I think in general it is possible that “the world” (“the system”) impose more on the men to keep the “order” by the promise of becoming “rich and powerful”. So, in essence, men are more “vane and weak minded” than women. But in appearance, because men are often “in charge” of keeping the order (often through their own convictions), they are often viewed as more “reliable”. I was and I am never strongly attracted to “manly men” (although on occasions, I might feel some attractions towards men that may fit the definition in some way). One can say it is not about who is “better”. But it seems that it is a judgment based “values” as well.
So, when I say “love” is not competition, there is another side of this statement. I often feel the need to look things from different angles. So, I often make statement that can be misinterpreted as contradicting myself. But at least most of the time, I was just trying to be thorough, by trying to see things from all angles possible. If people really pay attention, my statement usually don’t contradict each other.
I hope I could be friends with him. The dynamics of our friendship could be festinating to experience. I have said I doubt our conversation would be like what I have experienced before, that we can finish each other’s sentences. But I think it is possible that sometimes, there might be things that might not even be said, but will be understood by both, which is what “agreement in essence” means. As I said, I don’t think he is as verbal as many of the people I have talked to. I imagined that my conversation with him might be at times like students seeking teachings from “sage man”, but he is quite accommodating in explaining himself. As I said, I certainly will learn a lot from him. But would it be good for him too? I think it would if I do have good understanding about his works. I think articulate his thoughts relatively in details in relaxed setting would help him to crystallize his thoughts and even lead to more insights on the subjects he is interested in. Even general comments about arts or even questions directly related to me might be helpful to him if we could understand each other well.
I think maybe in a strange way, the story of “Possession” illustrated the importance of friendship between men and women. I think the biggest mistake men and women make is trying to seek understanding and try to understand each other through relationship only. Ash in most sense is not a “bad person”. But what he did is “bad” because he violated the principles of Love and Reason.
I want to go back to the point Philipp Lachenmann made in the duality of representation. If we look at the story of “Possession” again in a different angle, we can say it is possible that all Ash was trying to do is seeking “understanding” (the opposite of the conclusion I drew earlier in this post) in women. But he did it the wrong way. “Understanding” is not “love” (this is why I hesitate to draw direct connection between “soul mate” and “the one”), because one can be understood deeply by different people in different ways at the same time, but “love” (at least “true love”, which is “love” without all the misconceptions) could only exist between two people. In the end, “love” is more about emotion than anything else. I think my experience with Philipp Lachenmann perhaps illustrated it very well. Without “understanding”, “true love” is impossible. But “understanding” alone is not “love”. This is probably the duality of “love”.
August 6, 2018