Simone van Saarloos writes columns that I always read, not always like, but often do, and off and on she manages a beauty. Her latest is one of those. Won’t reblog it in total this time, just some fragments. The core of the column is about our corporeality, our connections being in the flesh (as is our mind, but that’s another story). Not sensually engaging is a doorway to evil. It uses the research of psychologist Arthur Aron as its point of entry (this is a fun piece to learn more), showing the deep impact of face-to-face, eye-to-eye engagement with the guards down. But let’s start with something appropriately upbeat to fortify ourselves against the desperation that my misanthropic self sees shining through her nice plea.
Love is not something that just happens to you, you need to create the right conditions for it.
Where the fleeting and shallow is normally associated with the body – that banal instrument requiring gratification – it may actually represent depth and sustainability. The body is where it is. Discomfort and pain cannot be avoided, while the mind is able to find escape routes…
Physical presence brings about… real engagement. It may limit us to a very personal idealism, but it safeguards against false involvement, wrapped in abstract words. The political leader who talks about ‘the people’, or a secretary of state who decides about an asylum seeker as a ‘file’, easily forget that every macro issue, every statistic starts with skin and bone.
Not an eye for an eye as moral code but eye to eye.