Empty Days

Monday, June 21, 2004



My brother is 32 years old and is a virgin.

For a boy-man this is an unbearable failure and humiliation - almost an ontological one. For all our quarrels (when we still shared the same space) I never once touched on this subject - never even dreamed of taking it up against him for all my anger(s).

Perhaps my magnanimity towards him is also a sign of contempt. But I think he accepts it as the natural judgement of the structure of the human world. He is lonelier than I am for that one reason. He still lives with my parents and they treat him as if he were still a child. That too he accepts with humility and has learned not to mind while constructing his own little niche of meaning.

He is less well-protected than I am yet he is able to believe in his humble self - against all odds. His sense of humour is subversively defensive and examplifies a total rejection of wordly judgement. He is ill at ease in all surroundings, and all surroundings are equally indifferent and equally painful to him. He has nowhere to go and he knows it - yet he keeps on trying in the bigger world.

***

My own celebacy is chosen. I do not suffer from absence of sexual life (thank God - it could well be otherwise) and I am not plagued by a nagging sense of defficiency in that respect. I am not particularly sexy since I devote strictly no effort to it and never have, but I know from past experience that this could well have been otherwise.

I also know that seeking sexual pleasure involves meddling with the world - accepting its hierarchical servitutes, its received ideas, its stupidly dependant relationships. I don't see how mere erotic ecstasy could justify all these concessions.

As to emotional involvement - frankly, it's even worse. Emotional involvement always means social involvement - no matter how exclusive the binary relationship might be. The world looks down on you and you have to rise up to it to satisfy your partner's sense of the world. Two perfect reclusives cannot mate - it's a pretty ridiculous illusion, this (though I realize that a lot of lonely and horny subjects imagine otherwise).

***

Either way it is clear that looking for mates is only possible if there is a firmly established inner base to go back to. Then all the individual humiliations of human interaction can be breezily forgotten and repaired. The modus operandi is simple - use and desist.

Emotional (and sexual) neediness is the chief enemy of the hermit. It promises the fullness of life and leaves you with nothing but shame and regret that you were foolish enough to believe that the gates might finally open.

No - you are the only one who is able to open and close the gates of life. No one else should be trusted with that task.

***

In general, human relationships are only possible in some sort of a socially-supported context. Without it everything immediately falls apart. This has to be remembered when you think of the value of human interaction. Emotion does give life - but it also sucks it out of you.

People are needy and weak.





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