All the faces and graces of Krishna


 

Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 

From:  A <emailaddress@s.edu> 
To: Petros 
CC: Sue 

Subject:       Seeking support..

Hey my loves... 

This is probably the first time that I  am seeking your  moral  support. I have been feeling very close to you these past few  weeks. They have been very turbulent, on all levels of my  personal life. I encountered a person who appears to have had the greatest emotional effect  on me. She forced me to face my self and re-assess my principles (or lack  thereof) of life and relationships with other humans. As of yesterday, it  appears that it's been extremely emotional for her too (there's a week's  time lapse between our reactions, which appear to be quite similar, mine  being ahead). In this internal search that I have  undertaken as of very  recently, it emerged that I could consider monofidelity to a much  larger extent than I would guess before. However, I (and she also) find it very difficult to identify when such a relationship might stop being  faithful and actually becomes posessive or  monopolistic. I wanted your  opinion on that (?) and generally the subject... I know that you both are very  busy, and I appreciate that. I will appreciate even more a speedy,  reassuring (if possible) comment and will be indebted always. 

I love you both so much! 

xxx 
A. 
 
 
 

All the faces and graces of Krishna
 

Hi, 

Just got your letter, and I thought "I should have another cuppa coffee" before attempting to write. So, that cup is now in the works, and Iíll try to compose myself so as to sound halfway intelligent - while Iím actually still only half awake. 

You broach difficult and heavy subjects, here, and the  explorations into our feelings, thoughts, perceptions, ideologies tangent to them, are legion. This particular body of text then, will only be a dense, crude bridge into those realms; hopefully a conduit for further sharing, a catalyst for more. 
Please read slowly; it's dense. 

So, you broach difficult and heavy subjects, here, and who am I to pretend to possess any wisdom available for others to apply? In my own life, Iíve experienced  a giant chunk of painful and unbearable conflicts and dramas whose generating powers resided within the question of "shape and structure" of love relationships; more specifically, the center of the cyclone being that of compulsory morality - enforced monogamy -  that cyclone has poisoned more of my own life and the lives of people I care for,  more than anything else I know of. 
  

(And, in case thereís anyone reading this whoís unfamiliar with my personal history, growing up on our tiny island- republic of Cyprus (the size of Long Island!), before I was even 21 years old I had already survived two medium scale intercommunal race-wars; the persecution of my family and jailing of my father; assassination of an uncle; several years of being in the youth section of  the underground resistance as a teenager; a near civil war which tore apart not only our community, but whose lines of division cut right through our family as well; a coup dí etat; a full-scale war and military invasion (I was right on the beach watching it unfold); two years in the armed forces during the political transition period - "Metapoliteusis"; and my first love relationship -  which was a long- term one, and which existed smack in the middle of the political events Iíve relayed here. The near civil war we experienced in those years, drew its terrible line of division right down the very middle of our identity as a couple, as well.)
Reading this "little parenthesis" above, I realise itís easy to miss the point: the point is that none of the above have upset my life as much as the illness of jealousy and compulsory monogamy. 

Why do I start off this way? Well, I want to set the tone, gain a sense of proportion, to state how ba-a-a-a-ad things have been in my life.  And also, so that I can relate the comparison a little better, when I say that Iíve also been blessed in my life with some rare, beautiful moments and times when relationships in my life have been entirely free, honest, honourable and dignified, and none of the crap was able to infect our shared sense of love and bonding. 

The person who just recently catalysed within you this exploration, must be a very special one, since  her presence was able to bring you in touch with pressing feelings previously less visible, more hidden, waiting for the right conditions to come  out. If itís ok with you, Iíd like to address her as well, through this letter: Friend, thank you for having this presence. I hope we someday get a chance to meet in person. If anything you read here sounds offensive or disturbing, please forgive me, the intentions are to build, not erode trust and faith. 

What "great words of wisdom" can I share with you? I can tell you this: Iím sorry if this statement might disappoint you, but the truth is, there is no set formula to solve these problems - they are solvable, and the solution comes only through an emotional,  political and spiritual process. There isnít any particular thing one might read in order to solve the problems (even this letter is not going to), there isnít a film made which can heal us when we watch it. There is only a personal process of opening up to our emotions, exploring who we are, what we want, how and why we want it, sharing our feelings and desires, discovering or refining our guiding principles, and re-shaping our lives according to those principles, to the degree thatís feasible. And, sorry to disappoint you further, this is a process which lasts  a lifetime. It has to. 

It never ends - this process - because all the beautiful people who come into our lives, continually bring us in touch with parts of ourselves which need exploring or resolving, and also because this contact brings them in touch with similar stuff acting within themselves, and these involve either a continuous crisis, or, a shared process of communication and healing. The powers that be, continually create situations where everyday we are bombarded with messages and emotional events which poison us and our relationships, and we therefore need politically committed and spiritually inspired communities of love and nurturance and struggle, in order to overcome the shit we encounter. 

On the basis of  my claims above, what can I offer you? I can offer you my own desire to see you happy in your love life, and my openness, if you want it, to be a part of a process which perhaps you might use in order to normalise stuff, in the sense of  dialogue, mutual masturbation  - oops, I meant mutual "exploration" there - in the exchange of ideas, feelings, thoughts, stories, resources, which taken together, over a period of time might increase (not just for you, but for all of us involved), our abilities to harmonise our feelings, desires, our principles and the arrangements of our love lives. 

I can also offer you this: The core of my personal truth is, that I have not really matured much in my life, I think, on these issues! It would be very easy to dismiss everything I tell you here as being the ramblings of an immature person. Historicaly, it's true! 
Most of my feelings, "beliefs", principles, whatever we might call them, in relation to the shapes of relationships regarding the issue of monogamy,  had clarified for me emotionally around the age of 12 or 13, and I was able to vocalise them around age 13 or 14. Nothing much has changed for me actually, in that arena, except my ability  to express them a little better, and my ability to participate as a "better person" now (I like to delude myself) in shared attempts to solve these problems within groups and relationships. 
Whatever progress I may have experienced I owe to the benevolent influence on me of the radical feminist section of the Liberation Movement, the gay liberation section,  the (now defunct, deformed and embarrassing even as a term) "sexual liberation" section of the movement, and to the personal commitment and the courage of people Iíve loved who have helped as allies and comrades in these struggles to build communities where love relationships can be supported to be free, in a climate of equality, dignity and justice. 

My "early teen wisdom" (read "hebephrenia"), is actually pretty simple: 
I feel that itís in our nature that  in order to  become complete, mature, balanced individuals with self- knowledge, capable of transcending that Self at some point, we need to experience at least one long- term relationship of love in our lives. 
And that itís also part of our nature, to be experiencing erotic interest and attraction for many other people in our lifetime. In order to be complete as individuals, and for a long- term relationship to actually work as a part of our path to personal growth, we need to be open to the eroticism of contact with other people, as lovers, in our lives. 
We need to experience support for each otherís need to be open to "others" in our lives, as absurd as this may sound, from within the framework of a long- term significant relationship. Not outside of it, privately, or secretly. Within the embrace of it, to whatever degree feels comfortable and feasible. A long- term love relationship, built on mutual respect, equality, and communication, is the ideal vehicle to provide this support, much better that what most friends, colleagues at work, or family members can ever provide! 
And to look at it from the "negative" point of view for a moment, I can not ever fulfil all the possible roles a lover might need to be for my significant lover, ever, no matter what process of growth and changes I may go through. I simply can not be someone else - I can not embody all the faces and graces of Krishna! The Divine as Lover, visits our loved ones in our own form and as the "other".  I want  her to be sexually happy and to have a complete and fulfilled love life: therefore there is a need for actual, not imagined or fantasised "others" to be all those kinds of lovers, tangible erotic presences, for my lover. 
And I have the same desires for myself as well. 

The terrible and, I hope, obvious truth to all this, is that men are the bearers of the prime responsibility to effect the social, political and personal changes in this realm. This is because men are the primary conduits of authoritarianism in life, enforcing on women and children the anxiety, fears, prohibitions and ideologies on which the system of compulsory morality and enforced monogamy is founded. Itís only much later in life that women begin to gravitate to enforcing this crap on others, in their role as betrayed wives, embittered lovers, bossed- over daughters, sisters and mothers - itís the natural response of the disempowered to attempt to enforce some sort of equality with their immediate oppressor even if it spells "injustice for all". We must accept this as a guide to how we build relationships within which there can be trust, first, and only then everything else! 
The problem, and its solution,  resides in the degree to which men collaborate with the system of authoritarian male-chauvinist patriarchy as enforcers of its ideology and its ways of being. To the degree that we are able and willing to consciously and openly challenge that system of power and authority, and acting in unison together in alliance with women,  build democratic communities within which relationships of love can exist in a spirit of equality and respect, then trust will flourish, and along with it, all other things. 
As men, we need to recognise that the greatest enemy to solving these problems, is our emotional  immaturity and inability (or unwillingness), to experience feelings of tenderness (taken to an extreme level of insight, this is really homophobia and a fear of being degraded - raped  by ridicule - as a punishment for having feelings). This, is very often at the core of what parades around as a declared desire for "open" or polygamous relationships. Fear of experiencing our own emotions, and an inability to shoulder responsibly the sharing of another personís emotions with us, even when itís a person we say (or think that), we love. 

Well, there is the level of abstractions and that of the nitty-gritty. Letís get a little closer to the nitty-gritty: No problems can be solved at the level of abstraction. 

Resources: 
There is a public discussion forum, an electronic womenspace, where some of these feelings are explored. There is an  intense courage involved here, because what is going on is identification and naming of some emotions, desires, feelings, situations, problems, solutions - exactly as they are really being experienced. This is priceless. 
Iíd suggest reading specific selections, and then Iíd encourage an exploration into these themes on your own, in whatever sequence strikes your own sense of emotional need, morality, social and personal principles. 

Two triads - 3 entries in a row  beginning with each of next two these links, give you a good dose of the flavour of honesty these explorations require of us, if weíre ever to emerge capable of loving sanely: 

 
Is it jealousy or insecurity?
(just press "next", at the end of each, please read messages  115-117) 
First time blues 
(just press "next", at the end of each, please read messages  118-120)
Three entries
More words of  wisdom and clarity, from  your very own Sue Scandalous
 
An intentional family 

We need to have supportive people around us 

SO means "Significant Other", not "Son Of a"..


Iím really open for a lot more dialog on all this. Your feelings, commentary, thoughts suggestions, questions? 

Embraces, 

Petros