I have a confession to make: I can never keep anyone interested in me for more than two weeks. The opposite sex finds me boring after the initial interest levels off and falls below Dead Sea levels. I have a theory about this—as I have theories about virtually every other aspect of my miserable life. Virtually everyone I know has experienced the whole “honeymoon phase” both in marriage and in simple inter-sex relationships. I’ve been through it at least a dozen times and am getting over one right now. (Which is why I am writing this essay—great subjectivist that I am who “thinks with his blood”!) Moreover, I have yet to read a book written by a marital therapist that would not mention the fact that many marriages are only good for a year or two. And then the honeymoon phase ends. It comes to a screeching halt. Why? Well, everybody knows this: mystery fails. People like to have sex with strangers sometimes, too. (I couldn’t do that, but many claim to.) What’s so fascinating about mystery? I have a theory about that. Here it goes.
People are all subjectivists. Whether we like it or not, we all are. This is why existentialist thinkers are almost always ahead of themselves and their time; they realize that everything for the most part is being processed by our “meat-grinding” mind and everything on earth is subjective. A whole lot of people, dwelling outside of the existential-subjectivist camp, are entirely deceived. This is one reason, at the very least, why we have so many problems today: not enough existentialists around! (What happened to all of the Kierkegaards and Martin Bubers?) People—virtually everybody—who are not existentialists (in the Kierkegaardian/Buberian way) think they understand themselves and their actions (when they really do not). Why? Because they think they are rational objectivists who know love when they “see” it. And this keeps getting people in trouble. As we all are now aware that many marriages today end in divorce. So what’s so special about thinking subjectively versus objectively? And how is that related to mystery and love?
Love is irrational. Being irrational, one cannot use reason to comprehend love in its entirety. Love is completely— in its most purest, passionately beautiful, and covenantal forms—subjective. This means a number of things for the relationship. Let me provide an example. (I know you all love examples.)
Lily meets Mark. At some point in their relationship, Lily tells Mark that she loves him. She says the very objective thing that we all say: “I love you.” From an objective perspective, Lily spoke in English, the words flowed out of her very examinable-to-our-senses mouth, with a very certain amount of measurable sound waves that ended up triggering a neural reaction in Mark’s eardrum. This is all very scientific and matter-of-fact. When Lily said to Mark “I love you,” thirty scientists and a handful of marital therapists were all watching. They were all taking notes rapidly. One particular scientist had his love-o-meter pointed right at Lily’s cerebrum, where he thought the love molecules were most likely highly-concentrated. These scientists and researchers all concluded, independently, that Lily told Mark that she loved him. They packed their bags and left.
But then I came in to interview Lily. I was a nobody, just a subjectivist thinker familiar only with myself—even “myself” remained a no-man’s-land to me at times. I asked Lily if she loved Mark, and she said yes. Well, I wasn’t going to buy that. I later interviewed Mark and I asked him if Lily loved him and had, in fact, said those three words. He told me no. As far as Mark was concerned, Lily did not love him. “What was going on here,” I thought to myself. The more I dug, the more I discovered. Apparently, objective content given to individuals is not necessarily truth if it means nothing subjectively to them. Lily served Mark “love” on an objective platter. She expected him to respond in a loving manner and probably understand everything she communicated to him. Mark, unfortunately, did not buy into Lily’s statements. He felt that it was too soon for her to love him (as he had not revealed too much of his “true self”). He also felt that the words spoken were not authentic. For them to be authentic, Mark expected more time and a few other subjective things that he liked. Lily thought she told Mark “the truth.” Oh well. You see, truth is not as objective as we would make it out to be. Love, which is one of the most important things that mankind lives for, is completely subjective and irrational! What I had in fact discovered was that it doesn’t matter what is being said, it matters in how something is said. Objectively, the phrase “I love you” can communicate “love”; from a subjective perspective, it could also communicate nothing or even hate (think Judas and Jesus here). Truth does not lie in the objective content of what is said, it lies in the subjectivity of how it is said. In fact, I may not even have to tell my wife that I love her. She may subjectively “feel” it on so many different levels. Love is subjective.
So why do women put up with me for only 2 weeks? I have a theory: they are subjectivists who do not realize their biases. I believe that all subjective individuals love mystery because of one thing: the ability to project our loves upon an unknown person. We construct the “unknown individual” and make him/her out to be our best friend and lover. We create images of people that do not exist. Why? Because truth is subjective. The man that you met yesterday and believe you “know” objectively does not even exist. He exists in as many forms as there are humans that know him. I exist in as many forms as there are humans that know me. (The only qualification being that I am a quality versus quantity person and, therefore, I tend to hang out with few friends and tend to have people around me who actually “know” me in any meaningful sense of that word.) The girls that spend two weeks with me realize that I am not their charming prince. I am an honest individual who prefers quality time spent knowing and understanding people. I don’t bullshit anyone and don’t want people bullshiting me. This means that I am far too quick at breaking down girls’ constructs of me. Not that I am an “evil” person in any sense; I am only an honest person who refuses to be labeled by subjective people. I don’t want you to create a construct of me that doesn’t exist. If you want to create a construct, go find yourself someone willing to put up with your crap. Not me. I’d rather you hate me for who I really am than love me for who I am not, to paraphrase Andre Gide.
People love mystery because it gives them a sense of knowledge and control. Knowledge and control, you say? Yes. The reason I say knowledge and control is because unknown people who have ideals projected upon them are not actually “unknown” to you—in fact, the subjectivist who creates constructs of other people unknowingly, thinks that he or she is actually in love with someone or something they believe they “know.” Thus, when they claim that they “know” someone, they are claiming nothing more than knowing themselves and the things they like—since the things they like they have projected upon another individual (who, unsurprisingly, looks nothing but like a replica of their [very known] selves)! People like control and knowledge. Love is something that such deceived subjectivists (people are all subjective; some are deceived because they don’t know they are) truly fear. Love is fear for them because they are afraid of the unknown—the truly unknown. The unknown that scares people is what love is. Love is an act of absolute faith. It may begin with some form of reason, but it ends in absolute faith. Faith is believing in things unknown completely. When you truly fall in love with someone, you are taking an Abrahamic leap of faith into the unknown. You say that you love someone, and yet you hardly know them. How do I know this? Because I’ve spent a lifetime documenting myself and I don’t even know me—how much less do I know others!
The truly unknown is true mystery. The so-called mystery that modern lovers love and have wet dreams about is nothing but love of self. It is the “thrill” of discovering that the Prince Charming you met is a rapist who is wanted for raping parades of women. That is nothing but an adrenaline rush. Only when another individual human being approaches another human being on an individual and highly-personal level, can true love exist. Only when I approach I woman that I claim to love in absolute awe, admiration and complete faith—it is only then that I truly love her. When I consider that my life and hers is nothing by a split-second away from cancer, heart attack, car accident, or death. I only love her when I know that I know nothing about her. I only love her when I do not categorize her and accept her for who she is at any given moment. I love her holistically. A human being, by definition, is a being that is known by the sum of all activities. A human being is only truly human when dead—when we all know what he or she has accomplished. When I say I love someone who is still alive, I am claiming her past, present and future. I am saying that I love her holistically. I love the person she was, is and will be. I love her for who she is and will become as a dead human being. I put my love upon an individual who will change, grow and age with me. I do not know where this “change” will take me—it is all unknowable and irrational. I merely take a leap of faith and leap along with the love of my life wherever she takes me. That is true love. That, right there, is the whole of human existence. I love her because I have made a covenant with her—to love her no matter what. I love her because I have placed my faith in her. I don’t know where it’ll take me, but that’s what faith is. That’s what true love is.
As for the girls who love “mystery,” you will never be satisfied. You will only disappoint others and yourself—not to mention all the people who will be disappointed by you. I prefer to remain as elusive as possible because that is what I am. I have accepted myself and I hope I can accept others. This is life and it is all an act of faith.