Monday, 17 November 2008

City Lights Lay Out Before Us

A little piece of paper with a picture drawn
Floats on down the street till the wind is gone
The memory now is like the picture was then
When the paper's crumpled up it can't be perfect again


"A man's sexual choice is the result and sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds a sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the women he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he's taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment - just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! - an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces him to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and to accept his real ego as his standard of value. He will always be attracted to the women who reflect his deepest vision of himself, the women whose surrender permits him to experience - or to fake - a sense of self esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value will want the highest type of women he can find, the women he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer - because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.

"He does not seek to gain his value, he seeks to express it. There is no conflict between the standards of his mind and the desires of his body. But the man who is convinced of his own worthlessness will be drawn to women he despises - because she will reflect his own secret self, she will release him from that objective reality in which he is a fraud, she will give him a momentary illusion of his own value and a momentary escape from the moral code that damns him.

"Love is our response to our highest values - and can be nothing else. Let a man corrupt his values and his view of existence, let him profess that love is not self-enjoyment but self-denial, that virtue consists, not of pride, but of pity or pain or weakness or sacrifice, that the noblest love is born, not of admiration, but of charity, not in response to values, but in response to flaws - and he will have cut himself in two. His body will not obey him, it will not respond, it will make him impotent toward the women he professes to love and draw himself to the lowest type of whore he can find. His body will always follow the logic of his deepest convictions; if he believes that flaws are values, he has damned existence as evil and only the evil will attract him. He has damned himself and he will feel that depravity is all he is worth enjoying. He has equated virtue with pain and he will feel that vice is the only realm of pleasure. Then he will scream that his mind cannot conquer, that sex is sin, that true love is a pure emotion of the spirit. And then he will wonder why love brings him nothing but boredom, and sex - nothing but shame."

- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, pages 453 - 454

I've always had an idealistic view of love and that it should be held in the highest esteem not in the sense of priority but rather to be intertwined amongst the things that one values the most, if not it isn't worth one's pursuit at all.

But Ayn Rand's piece is mind-bogglingly something else altogether.

"We live in deeds, not years: In thoughts not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best."
- Aristotle

Audio Candy:
Adele - Chasing Pavements

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