Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Reconsiling with Desire

(preface to the audio)

In the past year I have read an exhaustive collection of books, articles and texts, from western psychologists like Freud, Jung, Mark Epstein, DW Winnicot, and Jessica Benjamin, to the Pali Cannon's version of the life and teachings of Buddha. Of great interest and insight were Miranda Shaw's book on women in tantric buddhism, as well as John Steven's book Lust for Enlightenment: Buddhism and Sex. Otto Kernberg's book on love relationships contained an analysis of a Hindu text known as the Ramayana, which struck me and resonated within me for days: "...the beloved presents himself or herself simultaneously as a body which can be penetrated and a consciousness which is impenetrable. Love is the revelation of the other person's freedom. The contradictory nature of love is that desire aspires to be fulfilled by the destruction of the desired object, and love discovers that this object is indestructable and cannot be substituted." He implied that a healthy anger at this seemingly irreconsilable duality is required to keep loving relationships alive, and partners seeking each other out, even after years together. All of my reading has progressively re-oriented my relationship to desire, particularly as I examined my dissociation of emotion and sex as members of the erotic subset of desire. The synthesis of all that I have read is represented as an essay-poem. While incomplete, it is what I have grokked, the distilled essence of my slow (and ongoing) reconciliation with Desire.
this is an audio post - click to play

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