Life

How Different Cultures Teach Us to Express Love in Unique Ways

Nowadays, culture is becoming increasingly global and universal, but this globality and universality can no longer be controlled. They are out of our control, and use different beliefs, opinions, dreams or experiences to differentiate and separate us. We now seem to It is time to return to something we can control, and that something is love.

How to say “I love you” in different ways? This is one of the most pertinent questions of our time. We have learned a little bit about sharing pain, money, and life situations. We show generosity or kindness to more or less vague or concrete kindred spirits, those who are farthest from us are often more respected than those who are nearest to us, and the dead are more revered than the living. We don’t yet know how to love one another with respect and reciprocity in the here and now. Whether physically or discursively, we are still subject to the power or hierarchy exerted by those who are sometimes all in the arrangements of relationships attached to objects, things, and possessions, especially love relationships. The person, sometimes the person with more or less wealth and knowledge or sex life, sometimes the person who can give or receive something. We know next to nothing about sharing between individuals as human beings, about sharing love between two people. We have yet to make the transition from one stage of individual and collective human history to another.

The most fundamental and fundamental thing about this evolution (or revolution) at the cultural level is that it occurs in the transformation of the relationship between men and women, and the male group and the female group.

So, how do you say “I love you” in another way?

To answer this question while respecting existing realities, I investigated how women and men speak, and conducted additional surveys about their words, their dreams, and their experiences of love. I advance these investigations with female and male collaborators who have different native languages, different cultures, and different religious backgrounds. The age and socio-cultural level of the respondents also varied.

The responses given by the women’s and men’s groups revealed several differences that explained not only their attraction to each other but also the difficulties they encountered in realizing their desire for each other and in bonding with each other.

In this book I record one of the differences that struck me: the female group places special emphasis on relationships between subjects, while the male group gives priority to relationships with objects.

Thus, the real or imaginary words spoken by the little girl to her mother always concern two people speaking to each other, who are presented as people doing something together. Apart from communication behaviors, there is rarely an object lingering between them. The little girl shows loving intention to her mother, which is ethical in a sense. Between the little girl and her mother, a reasonable and connected micro-society is established from her to her. This group arose between two women, one younger and one older, one with lowercase she and one with uppercase she.

Unfortunately, the mother did not show the same intersubjective respect when facing her daughter. Even though they are still two individuals, they no longer have the same right to speak. The mother gives orders and the daughter listens and obeys. The elder seems to be repeating on the younger what was imposed on her as a woman. A male-dominated culture intervenes between mother and daughter, interrupting the symbolic exchange of love. The male’s stance toward the object separates the two women, who are both subjects. The messages passed between them are no longer questions that leave the other party the opportunity to speak, but become commands expressing the desired behavior. There is another reason for the almost subversive element of the daughter’s intention in the mother’s words, which is his (their) priority relative to her (them), which makes the daughter’s status lower than that of the son. The mother uses when speaking to her son is another way. The ongoing reduction of woman to mother also deprives woman of the cultural intermediaries that help her connect to her own gender.

However, girls still dream of inter-subject communication. Their ideal is to share physical and spiritual love with a male lover (sometimes with a female lover first). What they dream of is a community of body and spirit, a community of discourse exchange and social activities. Strangely, they longed more for sharing love with a male partner than for motherhood. For them, procreation is the fruit of love with someone rather than the result of possession.

Therefore, little girls speak lovingly and socially, and teenage girls long to share their love. Little girls and adolescent girls alike demonstrate a willingness to enter into intersubjective relationships, that is, to live with someone.

Young boys talk about possessing things, and later discuss various ideas; adolescents dream about sexual, romantic, and social accomplishments rather than sharing. This is largely explained by the claim that they need an objectification to prevent the desire to regress back to incest.

How to build a bridge between two identities that are so different?

This task requires us to engage in cultural change and judicial change. Changes in customs take a long time, so judicial changes are even more urgent.

To love, there must be two people. People are defined by citizenship. However, there is no definition of woman as a woman in the civil law, and there is no definition of a man as a man in the civil law. Therefore, in love, men and women are not defined as two identities with gender differences, but as neutral individuals that do not actually exist, or as instinctive, reproductive nature.

To stay true to the sexual liberation and political transformation they inspired, and to achieve our cultural coexistence here and elsewhere, it is necessary to empower groups of women and men with rights consistent with their respective realities.

For women, such rights include at least the following four items:

– The right to physical and mental inviolability, i.e., citizenship guaranteed by a positive law that makes every woman safe in the face of rape (which is assimilated into a crime but not considered as rape), assault, incest, pornography and non-consensual prostitution without constantly having to defend oneself through punishments solely for these acts, and especially through the conventions associated with the public representation of women’s bodies and discourses;

– The right to freely choose to be a mother or not to be a mother, i.e., a woman is free to make this choice without any financial or ideological real power exerted on her, either directly by the head of state or the church or indirectly through institutions. Influence;

——Women’s right to have culture, that is, ensuring women’s rights to have language, religion, science, and art that are suitable for their female identity;

——The preferential and reciprocal rights of mothers and children, in particular, should protect them from violence and economic hardship, and should assist mothers and children in cross-cultural marriages. Currently, there is still a lack of legislation specifically targeting such marriages.

In the absence of such legislation, a woman remains subject to a certain family-couple system in which she has no rights as a woman, nor do lovers. In this system, the main content of the marriage contract is to support a spouse, give birth to and raise children, and acquire and possess property. The man as the father has been considered the most important manager of property from the past to the present (only when legislation has been passed to allow women to own In the country of property ownership and within the scope of the application of this law, women can own movable or immovable property on an equal footing with men).

The provisions on the legal age for marriage in my country’s Civil Code confirm this: for men, the minimum legal age for marriage is the civil age of majority, for women, the minimum legal age for marriage is the physiological age related to childbirth. The age of maturity. Although there are some exceptions, the codes of neighboring countries generally follow this rule. Underage girls enter adulthood “through marriage”, which once again reflects that women are governed by existing systems and customs, rather than civil recognition of their autonomy as human beings.

Therefore, people should change the law for love. Only when woman and man reach civil adulthood can lovers remain two individuals in love, and their union can be secured by a promise of value to each of them.

The problem in civil law, as in the whole field of culture, is that one should think less in terms of possession and more in terms of existence, in order to realize the understanding of existence through the existence of two different human beings, namely, the existence of man and woman. defend.

It is best if legal changes are brought forward quickly so that we have time to change our usual practices and customs. These changes help give the men and women who make up civil society a true identity, no longer defining them by their possession of private or public property.

In order to intervene in the evolution of culture, especially in the relationship between love and words, we can take two actions at any time, both of which are related to the inertia in our habits: changing the way we speak and communicate, and changing The way we love people.

Each of us can focus on recognizing him or her as an irreducible source of meaning. We can give or leave the right to speak to the female community just as we give it to the male community, and we can deliberately allow and promote the exchange of words between me and you of different genders. Both women and men can use the word she as often as he, which means that I her and I he, you she and you him have the same objective appearance of value. Although women have begun to learn to use me – or are they stuck in the “I”-centered stage of our culture? ——But they still rarely use she (they) to refer to themselves or other women. So when they talk about you, you, and we, they often refer to you, him, him/her, them.

Deliberate use of them can unknowingly change our habits, making the relationship between the sexes and the gender manifestation of this relationship dialectical. We can also listen to women’s words in the same way we listen to men’s words, whether they discuss questions of meaning, truth, or beauty, and this practice can help build a sense of respect for the different identities of the sexes. Here are just a few of the possibilities: we can work to promote discourse, to listen to each other rather than prioritizing objects or possessions, and we can work to find ways to coexist rather than fight for ownership against each other.

We can gradually try to change our ideas and learning about love.

In the field of sexual theory, the father’s role was and still is that of a legislator, as reflected in Freud’s or Lacan’s theories; libido is defined as impulsive, masculine or at best neutral. ; In this type of theory, desire should have nothing to do with love; what dominates adult sexual behavior is reproduction, not the realization of self-fulfillment by men and women.

These theories may be academic, but they do not propose a sexual culture. What they describe and perpetuate is a cultural loss.

This lack of culture is accompanied by a lack of legal organization at the individual level, reflected in the fact that every man and woman surrenders part of their identity in a system associated with patriarchal family power; citizens are defined as male One neutral, the content of the concept of citizenship is unclear; considerations of property ownership take precedence over considerations of people and their rights and obligations themselves; civil, military, and religious are confused with each other; the rights and obligations of female citizens, more generally speaking, are gendered The rights and obligations of different individuals have not yet been defined.

One of the dangers our culture faces is the loss of female identity as a group, where their identities are either reduced to attributes, objects, or the property of men, or they are equated with male identities. However, growing into a complete man is not the same as growing into a woman. The above-mentioned danger corresponds to the loss of a general identity, which does not help to solve the problems of individuals, couples and gender-differentiated human society. Solutions based on this lack are also incompatible with the identity makeup of every human being, male and female, who are born out of both women and men.

The collusion between the female group and the closed male society is also the reason for the increasingly impoverished sexual concepts and the increasing tendency towards sexism. Desire appears as an almost mechanical force that operates in a pure state, free of sensual and physical pleasure. According to this theory, a woman does not have libido herself, and her energy is used to relieve men’s tension. She becomes a place for men to release stress. In this abstract, breathless, frustrating and even cynical relationship between body and body, reproduction is still a real representation of life and perceptual existence. This is also where the price of childbearing comes from.

If we go back to the origins of our culture, we will find that the situation at that time was completely different from today. In that era, women were the initiators of love. At that time, woman was not a servant but a deity, guarding the physical and spiritual dimensions of love. For her, love and desire are inseparable. The most important attribute of the goddess is tenderness. This quality does not refer to general goodwill towards all living beings, but to the differential emotion oriented to the other sex, which runs through the physical act itself. In our mythology, Aphrodite represents the first incarnate image of love. This love is not chaotic, it is not without measure, rhythm or temporality. It is not merely cosmic and purely incestuous. nature of love.

The acquisition of a gendered identity is therefore not based on a patrilineal prohibition against incest but on the gratification of sexual desires by women and men with respect for each other and each other’s human attributes.

According to our Western tradition, sexual confusion dominated society in the era before and after Aphrodite. One of the reasons for this regression seems to be the seizure of power by the male father. It is because the male lover fails to distinguish himself from the mother that the mother is once again assimilated into unconscious nature. The incest ban imposed by the father did not prevent the man from regressing into chaotic sexual impulses, in which the energy accumulated in his estrangement from the mother woman was not shared with others but wasted without restraint. Lost. The undifferentiated state was conceived as the state of man’s fused association with his mother before birth, and the obligation to reproduce was conceived as an antidote to death and regression to the undifferentiated state. Apart from work and the acquisition of property, the only tangible reality that could keep a man from giving himself over completely to love was thought to be procreation and starting a family. In our culture, work and the acquisition of property are seen as forms of punishment or redemption, in terms of physical transformation or the possibility for oneself that corresponds to the marriage contract between husband and wife.

From the above perspective, men’s needs determine the relationship between the sexes, and women’s identity is not taken into consideration. What women’s identity actually contains is the desire for him (her) and the desire to share with him (her). . A woman is born of a person of the same sex, and she knows less about the nostalgia of regression to fusion with her mother than a man does, and she knows it more through unnatural, artificial means.

The girl first experiences a desire for a relationship with her mother, which is then transferred almost exclusively to a man, and she does so for positive or negative motives, and our culture lacks the intermediaries that allow a girl to maintain her identity as a woman. As I pointed out earlier, it is touching to note that the most intersubjective systems of language emerge from the relationship of a little girl to her mother, but the mother’s relationship to the little girl does not have this quality. Women’s melancholy stems from the desire for communication rather than the nostalgia for return, especially not the nostalgia for regression to an undifferentiated state with nature.

But in an era when a patriarchal lineage was common, the female genealogy was wiped out, the wife (of a certain son) became the mother (of a certain son), and the father’s daughter who was still a virgin was turned into a virgin among men. However, woman should be a virgin or a mother for herself. These attributes of her nature create her spiritual being, her rights and duties, and she should not be reduced to the most elementary naturalistic creature. For a creature, chastity is equivalent to the existence of the hymen, and motherhood is equivalent to the act of procreation in reality. Do not religious and state institutions today still believe that woman is a body with natural attributes, and that man, whether he is the head of the church, the head of state, or the head of a family, is the spiritual head of this female body?

In this arrangement, the intersubjective relationship between the sexes is immature, especially at the level of sexual relations. Men and women do not see each other as two individuals with different identities. The basis for their marriage or meeting is a contract regarding possession of food, shelter, finances, children, etc. The fact that both sexes are subject to such civil commitments reflects primarily the prohibitions and shame associated with sexual behavior. But such a legal formulation is not conducive to the realization of subjective immanence. The demand for equal rights, especially in the legal field, may also lead to a regression in the definition of each gender’s own identity.

The fact is that for us, culture related to the idea of ​​sexuality, the body, and sexual identity in general is still missing.

We are trapped between love and a system of taboos. Love comes naturally, and the less we talk about it, the smoother it goes. A system of taboos affects relationships between people of different biological sexes. So, what kind of love is this?

The traditional methods of the Far East, especially the practice of yoga, coupled with the philosophical meditation inseparable from it, pointed me to another path, which leads not to release, but to the filling, regeneration and cultivation of energy. Specifically, as I talked about in the introduction, this means that there are energy centers in our bodies, called chakras, that sit at the intersection of various different physical and mental functions. According to tradition, the awakening and circulation of energy takes place through these transit stations and is attached to the original states of matter, namely earth, water, fire, air, ether, corresponding to specific concentrations, forms, colors, syllables, spirits and base point.

Thus, “In the body of a practitioner, the part between the feet and knees belongs to the element of earth; the element of earth is a yellow square; the syllable Lam symbolizes the element of earth; the flow of breath in this area of ​​the body is accompanied by the meaning of Brahman. Meditation, Brahma is the god of golden colors…”

Practitioners make appropriate postures and movements, control their breathing, outline shapes and colors, and make sounds, trying to connect the different chakras in the body with the many dimensions of the universe. Experienced practitioners teach them this knowledge about energy, and people prefer word-of-mouth teaching. Whether it concerns microcosmic or macrocosmic nature, its spiritualization is associated with the worship of gods who are guardians of parts of the body or of the world and who themselves have always been subordinated to the incarnations of becoming and energy. This incarnation can be achieved by giving up the physical desires between the sexes, which is similar to the life chosen by Western monks, but the place of retreat is the forest or mountain instead of the monastery, and the practitioners prefer to live in a group. Living a solitary life, they choose abstinence after experiencing a full erotic life.

The cultivation of energy may also be for the purpose of obtaining the bliss of love. Therefore, in the published texts, we often see men worshiping the body and sexual organs of the goddess. However, this does not prevent energy knowledge from becoming the carrier of the physical and spiritual relationship between men and women. This is a reciprocal relationship in which two people participate. In this relationship, the two sexes are combined as the human nature of the microcosm and the macrocosm. Together.

In this way, the love between man and woman becomes the mastery and cultivation of energy, rather than the need for procreation in this world, and the belief in the gender-neutral happiness of heaven – which people have through the acquisition of non-sentimental logos. Faith is an instinctive expenditure of energy that comes with salvation. This is especially true of the physical act, which is no longer a regression to zero degrees of desire and zero words, but is for each of the two lovers a place of rebirth and becoming. According to our tradition, the beloved has the passive attribute of being an object or animal, while the lover has more or less active attributes with consciousness and courage. However, love is completed by two people, and there is no beloved between them. and the division of the role of lover. In love, women and men are still two different people. Their first mission was and remains to protect and create the universe.

Such a culture about gender relations can be transplanted into group relations. Men and women, women and men are not attracted (to each other) to expend energy (on each other), they both bring something to each other that fosters desire for each other.

From this perspective, the way women meet men changes.

Men and women no longer have words missing when approaching each other. Discourse in which both parties are present allows both individuals to retain their identities. For example, “I love you” risks reducing the person to the object of my love. We need to be vigilant when using words like this. Perhaps a more appropriate statement is: I love you, or I love the part of you that is and will be, which will always be foreign to me. “I long for you” risks questioning intersubjective relations even more than “I love you.”

Another type of discourse can better respect two subjects meeting each other:
I greet you and I praise you
I thank you and I celebrate you.
I interrogate you and I bless you
I give it to you…

Such discourse usually presupposes two persons, the relationship in which they participate, and mutuality. The hidden medium may always be: Who are you?

This problem may always lurk between men and women, who are irreducible to each other. Of course, everyone is irreducible, but the most fundamental irreducibility lies between man and woman. To make a man or woman one’s property or one’s likeness is to obliterate the question “who are you?” which sustains the becoming and inter-sexual relationship of man and woman.

Love and desire, therefore, may always remain questioning and always in the process of forming questioning patterns. Who do I love? Who am I to be able to love others? who I am? Who are you?

In cultures that foster sexual attraction, certain actions speak of a desire for encounter and union.
The gesture of greeting, moreover, people engage their entire body when performing this gesture.
The request for physical union is made, and people use their hands to complete this action.
Depending on the degree of bonding required, people use different gestures.

These speech and action patterns can establish relationships with:
various types,
various colors,
various sounds,
various flavors,
All kinds of smells.

These elements are compatible with men and women and each of their chakras.

Through this, love, including physical love, was cultivated and sanctified. The act of making love constitutes a transsubstantiation of the spiritual and physical aspects of oneself and one’s lover. It is a feast, a celebration, and a rebirth, not a decay, a fall, or redemption through procreation. Desire for (as an object?) him or her is transformed into a desire to be with him or her, and this transformation makes love the salvation of the body.

What is noteworthy in these traditions is that thought began to listen to nature and to sensibility. Buddha’s gaze at a flower is a famous example. This gesture was perhaps the most perfect act for the Buddha, who achieved spirituality while respecting nature. As a result, the transcendence of spirit over matter, or the superiority of speculation over sensibility, no longer exists. Buddha is spiritual through having a sensible and awakened physical body. Isn’t this a beautiful lesson about love? Another lesson about love comes from our non-patriarchal interpretation of the Annunciation as a symbol of sexual relations.

The way we interpret the Annunciation today is too univocal: Mary, you are young and a virgin, and therefore you are beautiful, and the Lord who has dominion over you makes it known to you through his messenger that he wishes to be the father of a son who is born to you. To this declaration Maria could only answer “yes” because she was the Lord’s possession or His thing. Angels remain a mystery.

Here is another possible interpretation: Maria, you have been divine from puberty because you were a girl born of a woman true to herself—Anne, the Immaculate Conception. The ability to practice intersubjectivity. Intersubjectivity is the expression of love between humans. Are you willing to be my lover and conceive a child with me? Even though you are young and inexperienced and have no property, I think you deserve to be a mother. My love and my Son have redemptive properties only with your consent. Without your word we cannot have physical redemption or salvation.

This interpretation of the Annunciation is based on a tradition that concerns the physical and spiritual centers of the body, which are the chakras.

So in terms of iconography:
words from heaven,
the sun’s rays,
the singing of birds,

Rather than the proclamation of spiritual conception, Mary’s (and sometimes angelic) hands touch or point to the body in the heart, breath, and words.

In other words, God did not bring Mary into a realm where word and flesh enrich each other in an intentional way without communicating with her in words. The free sharing of words and listening between lovers makes possible the conception of the Son of God. It was preceded by the transition from almost undifferentiated physical matter and isolation between the sexes to a verbal alliance between men and women. In our tradition, the coming or incarnation of God is announced by the angels, the messengers of God and his cosmic rule.

In Indian tradition, birds often assist in the birth and protection of life, and subsequently help people gain wisdom. It is a bird that assists the creators Vishnu and Brahma, and it also assists anyone who aspires to achieve spiritual birth. Initially, the way birds accompanied the gods was to carry the gods with their bodies to facilitate their movement in space. Later, the birds accompanied the gods in the form of asking questions. The help provided by birds increasingly resembles words. In the mutual relationship, God’s messengers are angels. Angels walk everywhere but still retain their wings. When angels move, breathe and speak, the wings are a symbol of the harmonious relationship between angels and air and breath.

The proclamation addressed to Mary can therefore be read as a question posed to her in the form of words concerning her acceptance of being the lover of God and the mother of his Son. The question is of course incomplete, since it focuses primarily on conception, and especially on the conception of a son; it also omits some content, since it posits, although not explicitly, the words of Mary as the Father and the Holy Spirit. Son’s separation. This question should be understood as a proclamation of Maria’s spiritual ascension, thanks to a God who knows His own will, internalizes it and shares it with others in word and body.

In this way, this God may be a transcendent or perfect image like the Buddha: He is an awakened person with a compassionate heart who is willing to speak, love and give birth to people, so that he can work with people to redeem the entire world of the macro and micro universe. In this gesture, God truly gives up possessions, objects, and power to reach human existence, and realizes the perfection of intersubjectivity with the existence of woman, who can also break through or maintain her virginity. This alliance, first between the two and then extended to the group, may become the embodiment of the ultimate purpose of human history, or at least usher in a new era for it.

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