Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hither, obviously

Young Bette Davis

Araki, Watermelon

O'Keeffe, Iris

Edward Weston,
The Elegant Nude

Been thinking, during the interval since I so enjoyed being manipulated during the lead up to Susan Boyle's moment:
is it sometimes best to just allow yourself to be manipulated?
Sometimes, ought we just go with it?  Is it the best thing - and not only for the person doing the manipulating - but also for us?

Sometimes, isn't the us who is being manipulated actually the true us?  Isn't there something inside the manipulative circumstance which calls out to something true within us?  If so, isn't it - in a way - inauthentic for us to then resist?  Are we not resisting our true selves?  Conversely, in this scenario: if we give in to manipulation, aren't we giving in to our true selves?  Isn't that a good thing?

I resist manipulation. Maybe most do. We resisters have an obvious desire for control.  Also, I desire to be authentic - which is kind of a joke, b/c I'm inauthentic to an alarming degree. Still, allowing manipulation seems a move away from truth and towards fantasy.  Such must be bad, mustn't it? 

Maybe it's not bad. Maybe truth is in there. Maybe I should allow myself to be manipulated in situations which call to the truth of who I am.

I thought of the above photos & painting. To me, they are overtly, blatantly manipulative.  Unsubtle.  Almost embarrassingly ham-handed (see if you can see how; please email or comment if you have thoughts).  Yet, who am I to deny they call to me?  It is inauthentic to pretend they do not.

Anyway, the manipulation of "Britain's Got Talent" - which I as the manipulated fully enjoyed, and the manipulation of the photos & the painting - which I as the manipulated also fully enjoy: spur thoughts of being manipulated by a spouse.  We can resist being manipulated by a spouse: but, then, what have we really gained? Nothing that I can see.  If we resist, we lose.  

We can, of course, work to mature and grow the relationship; work to reduce instances of unjust manipulation.  However: who are we kidding? There's still going to be manipulation. 

Is allowing ourselves to be manipulated maybe more true, maybe more authentic, than resisting? Think, especially, of a marriage in which a loving spouse sees you better than you see yourself, and in which she manipulates you according to who she sees you truly are.  

Which, if your spouse sees you fully, how much more so God?   If your spouse lovingly manipulates you, how much more so God?  Danged dratriternal (s/b a word) nuisance conscience.

My authentic and true self definitely wants to go along with certain manipulations.  Aspects inside those manipulations speak to the true me.  I really and truly want to cheer Susan Boyle and cry like a blubbering fool.  That's who I truly am.  That's the authentic me.  The show manipulated me, and so what?  I enjoyed it.  Catharsis.  Truth.

It just ... seems odd ... to see a manipulation coming from miles and miles away: obvious, galumphing directly towards me, and to still give in and go along with it.  Offends my dignity!

Wish I understood what I'm trying to get at, because I do not!  Lettin' it marinate.  That often helps.

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