Wednesday 21 December 2011

Dependency & the Other...

All societies are obsessed with what others think, from individuals, to families to governments - it's called the public image to keep at all cost. Even in affirming "one's individuality" (no one really knows what this means - except some abstract conceptual definition), one is also keeping a public image.

Whether mainstream or marginal, seeking some form of approval for thoughts, acts, seeking some form of affinity, resonance, recognition and some form of support is INHERENT to all of us. There is no escape.

What changes from one individual, one family, one government, one country to another, is the degree of this need for recognition, for approval, for support/solidarity.

If for example from a scale of 1 to 10, some people (and derivatives - family, society, government etc...) will rate around 2 and some will rate around 9. 1 and 10 being the extremes of nearly total independence of others and total dependence on others.

It is clear that the more power you have, the less dependent you are. The less dependent you are, the less the need for public recognition, affinity, resonance, gratification, recognition, support, the less the concern for maintaining the public image. And the more vulnerable as in less powerful you are, the more the need. It seems to me kind of logical.

So by correlation, the more powerful you are (power as in means of subsisting, decision making, range of choices/options, possibility of knowing and exercising your rights, of pursuing leisurely/intellectual/creative interests...etc) less reliance means more possibility to express your "individuality" - in other words, power as defined above, forms the basis of the process of individuation.

I am aware am using loose concepts here, but overall, I think the above is a good yardstick for a basic understanding.

And both extremes, on a scale of 1 to 10, let's say 1/2 to 8/10 are fertile grounds for all kinds of independence and dependency delusions and abuses.

to be continued.

Monday 19 December 2011

A Memory...

It's been insistent, persistent in an almost irritating way...I say "almost" because it was not all ugly...but that particular scene keeps popping out of nowhere...and I feel a particular bitterness every time it knocks on the doors of my memory...

It was years back...sometime in winter, I had just lost my dad, it was all mother was with me...she was particularly fragile...she had just lost her mate and her support.

He on the other hand, was always cheerful, he wasn't polished by life yet...he had it quite easy, well cushioned background, well off, tall, dark and handsome...he was a nice guy, charming, with a killing smile -- he was the perfect gentleman.

We met through a common acquaintance. I was still unsure of myself, my father's death didn't help much, I was vulnerable on so many levels, particularly in comparison to him. My family was not rich, it believed in investing in education instead of stocks and bonds...

So I had my education, some good looks and a meager salary as my supporting pillars. But he liked me and I liked him too. Not that we discussed this issue, it was way too early...but somehow he insisted that I meet his mother over a cup of tea, asking that I bring my mother with me. I don't know why but I went along with this proposition...traditionally he's the one who should come over to visit us and bring his mother with him...not the other way round. I do remember saying - why don't you come over with your mom ? He replied - not it's best we meet in a neutral place. The neutral place was a hotel lobby. So we did.

I sort of dragged mom along, asking her to make her self beautiful in spite of the black she had been wearing for some months now. We arrived at the hotel lobby, and we waited till mother and son appeared. She was dressed in a lovely silk dress with row upon row of pearls around her neck, she had her hair up...she walked across the room with an air of disdain, an air I could spot miles away. She was the exact opposite of her son. Cold, distant, contemptuous.

She checked my mother and I, out...studying our details...trying to suss out our net worth.

The son ordered some tea, that came in fine porcelain cups, cups as fragile as my mother and I felt. She hardly spoke, she picked up her cup and drank in small sips.

I remember the seating - she was on the heavy sofa, almost reclining with her cup in hand and mom and I were on the chairs opposite, nearly seated on the edge, as if tending our hands for a bit of conversation, anything to break the blizzard ice cold wind that she carried with her. I remember the son, he was also seated on the edge of his chair, still smiling, but his smile was somehow frozen on his face, as if he had been paralyzed -- with it, plastered on his lips.

I don't know how long the meeting lasted -- it felt like ages, interminable, suspended in time, heavy with non verbal messages, messages of strong disapproval. She would just keep sipping from that cup and give a faint em, em em, while her son was trying hard to go past an elementary introduction...she wasn't interested. She had figured out from "our details" that we did not belong to the right class. Education, travel and culture didn't impress her much, she saw no diamond rings on our fingers, no designers hand bangs and no row of pearls to speak for us...our humbleness, modesty, was a liability.

I don't exactly know when, at which point, in the silence that reigned between us, that I noticed her raising her eyebrows to her son, as if to say -- No.

The son went silent like his mother. My poor mother looked rather lost. I must have been swallowing my shock with my lukewarm tasteless tea...the mother fidgeted in her seat, redressed herself as if to say - the meeting is over. I put down my cup. I remember my hands were very cold, I could see how tightly my fingers had been gripping that cup handle and now they were free, leaving blue marks where the blood had stopped flowing...

I stood up and said "nice meeting you Mrs x", gestured towards my mother who was still on the edge of her seat, waiting for something, trying to make sense out of this cold aborted introduction...

We left the hotel lobby, and as we walked out in the fresh air, a chilly wind slapped our faces, hard.

Years passed, I saw Mr.Nice again, he still had that charming smile and he was still a gentleman, and I still saw that eagerness in his eyes, the same eagerness when he asked me to meet his mother that very first time...but him and I knew by now, it was a -- No.

Saturday 17 December 2011


But of course it's going to be hard...depending on what you aim for.

But of course, you will be judged, misunderstood, ridiculed, criticized...But of course you will have to relentlessly strive.

Finding your true Self is no easy task.

You decide at every step ---is it authenticity I want or not.

Yes it's hard but the end result is GUARANTEED.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Bound Feet

Every time I come to write, I distract myself with something else, leaving words to churn not sure if it is writer's block or just consciously or maybe not so consciously an avoidance strategy to not deal with certain issues...

And this is what happens when you shelve and leave pending certain issues...the universe conspires against your avoidance, and ultimately in your benefit...making sure that these certain issues keep simmering inside to the point of unbearable and forces you to finally spit it out.

It does so in some benevolent cunning way, when day after day, an article is shoved in front of your eyes, and those certain issues come back to the surface again, you who thought you could sidestep or leave them hanging somewhere there in your mind.

Well it happened today.

Was reading a rather benign article on the health hazards incurred by women wearing high heels, in the long run they risk fracture of ankles, hips, sciatica, arthritis, bad posture that can lead to chronic back pains, etc...I am not an orthopedist, but I know that your feet carry three times your weight. Imagine your weight multiplied by 3 mounted on stilettos ?!

Not that I have anything against high heels. I love shoes, used to collect them, much less so now. Shoes are pretty and can beautify and they can also enslave.

I remember once I was heading to a workshop led by a woman who was considerably older than myself, hence dotted with more wisdom - as she was greeting me, she looked at my feet and said "did you come here walking ?" Taken by surprise, I mentioned that I took public transport. She repeated her question "did you come here walking - adding - with those shoes ?" Obviously the answer was self evident, it was impossible for me to WALK any longish distance in those shoes.

That was a period of my life when I didn't do much walking in Life. I thought I was walking but in fact I wasn't. It would be unfair to say that I was crawling but I was definitely not walking, I was limping in life with those shoes.

Of course, any "intelligent" reader (hopefully, but most likely a misnomer) would understand that the high heel shoe is a symbol, a metaphor, and not the shoe itself.

Cinderella was dressed by the Good Fairy into a princess, with exquisite sandals fit for a prince. At it so happens, the prince took the sandal she dropped behind and searched for her...finding the missing pair and finding her in the process. She was identified through her gala sandals. Had Cinderella been wearing flip flops, am sure no prince would be looking for her.

Of course the Cinderella fable can be interpreted in a myriad of ways but am sticking to this version right now.

And so it is with women, in the hope of attracting the prince (as the Male), in the hope of being desired by the male, they would torture themselves in many ways starting with the physical and of course the foot - stilettos are just the tip of the iceberg.

Deforming bodies and faces to be desirable to the opposite sex, for his look of approval, women have fallen in the self mutilating trap, the self deprecating trap without even being aware of it.

The trap in question is not just wanting to be desired by the opposite sex, because both genders want to be desired as desire is a natural thing, but the trap consists of becoming psychologically dependent on the approval of the other sex at all costs. Because this is what it really boils down to. And not just a physical approval of desirability, nothing is just purely physical. This is what a "visual" society and "visual" men like you to believe. You know like when they say - men are visual - they are really saying - you are to cater to our needs of what desirable means, into what solely turns us (males) on, your female desire is a reflection of ours.

So once you devote your life to being desirable - to cater for the phantasmagorical  and libidinal needs of men (mainly derived from pornographic images - notice in porn films women are fucked while wearing high heels) - you are eroding your center, eroding your self. A bit like the erosion of your ankles, feet, legs, hips, spine, when you are bound in high heel shoes.

Who can stand their ground or run for their lives when mounted on stilettos? No one. Not even superwoman.

Same for this pathological dependency need to be desirable - you become paralyzed in life.

It is of no coincidence that in China (till not long ago), women's feet were bound --you can still see the relics of this practice in some Asian cultures, specifically in traditional Japan, where women take baby steps when walking...

Bound feet and baby steps --- baby steps, infants...infants are dependent beings. They depend on the adult for food, shelter, care, desirability, love and a sense of belonging. Baby steps of an infantilized Feminine, made dependent on all the above, with the source being the male, now substituting himself for God.

The parallel with the stiletto shoe cannot be missed.

An oddity that women seem to constantly miss when having their lives focused on making themselves desirable to men - they fail to understand that it is in particular these type of men (alas the great majority) that fear and shun the principle of Female Desire.

And in closing this chapter, I would like to remind men and women, in particular non Western ones, that in ancient times, in the Arabian Peninsula, neither the Prophet nor his companions needed porno films with women in high heels to desire them.

Saturday 3 December 2011

Hell & Heaven

Have you ever been to Hell ? I am sure some of you have. I am also sure some of you have lived in Hell for some time. Could have been days, maybe months, maybe years...and maybe some of you are living it right now.

Only someone who has been to Hell and back, will identify, will understand...the others won't. And that's just the way it is.

Hell is not just a place, it is a place with different levels, different intensities...Whatever burns you is from Hell, and whatever soothes you is from Heaven.

Who burned you here on Earth and who soothed you ? These were your heavens and your hells.

In turn how many did you burn and how many did you soothe ? Did you make it a hell for your fellow men or did you try to make it a heaven ?

Did you divide, separate or did you unite ? Did you strive forth or did you withhold ? Did you give or did you just take ? Did you bring Truth and Love to your relationships or did you just recline in Arrogance ?

These are the Questions to ask...these are the only Questions that matter.

No one is asking you to be perfect, but do try to make it a small Heaven for others - a safe haven when the rest are making it a Hell.