Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Limerence and I (Part 2 of...I'd better spare you, 2)

Thanks to those who endured Part 1 of this post, which I've backlinked for anyone picking up from here.

In part 1, this bunny touched upon the impact that an episode might have in the life of a serial limerent by drawing on my own experiences. It should be said that there is no designer template that covers the range of thoughts and emotions that an active limerent might go through, but I hope they served as a useful rough guide. It made me ponder exactly what Limerence had done to shape my view of the world, socially, philosophically and politically.

Before I wrote this duplex, you might have got a very different response to the question "Daz, why are you a Libertarian or Instinctive Liberal?". This bunny would probably have answered along the lines of small state, lower taxes and nanny keeping her nose out of other people's lifestyle choices as well as their bedrooms. All of this remains correct, but does not explain fully why my Liberalism is as consistent and instinctive as it is.

Ever heard the long-running rumour that Hitler became rampantly anti-semitic because he contracted syphilis off a Jewish prostitute named Hannah? Or seen the episode of 'Monkey Dust' where it turns out that Omar, 'the mad Mullah of West Bromwich' developed his hatred for all of humanity and the West in particular because he was unhappy with the marking of an exam paper?

The Baggies-supporting Jihad cell is immensely funny, anything to do with Adolf less so, but the point is a serious one - sincerely held belief of any type tends to have two levels to it, the obvious and logical level consisting of the sorts of answers that you might give to a question along the lines of "why do you believe what you believe?", and the more subtle level based on personal experience and your personal interpretation of it.

I don't doubt that people who reach socialist or racist conclusions work in exactly the same way - the difference is likely to come in the way in which they have interpreted that 'intimate' level of the belief. Let us suppose for a minute that the 'Jewish Hooker' story is kosher (no pun intended). Could you, at a massive stretch and taking into account that Hitler was also a psychopath, understand why he reached the conclusion he did? Just about. Was his conclusion the right one? In the view of 99.9% of the civilised world, of course not.

So from where this bunny is stood, the logical conclusion (paradox in itself) is that the 'illogical' part of a belief system probably drives the 'logical' one. Malpoet kindly praised my self-awareness in the comments section of part 1, and it's an immensely valuable commodity to have, Self-awareness is an ability to understand the hitherto unknown reasons why you might do something, or look at life and its situations in the way that you do.

Once acquired, it goes a long way towards explaining why real experiences shape and change beliefs far more than the reading of a book ever could. Lock, Mill, Hayek and Friedman are all names with which I am familiar, but then I've read bits of 'on Liberty' and small contributions from the others on the subjects of freedom and State intervention. I don't own any books that deal specifically with the issues - my Instinctive Liberalism is overwhelmingly the result of personal experience, and what I see as an accurate interpretation of it.

So where does Limerence tie in with Instinctively Liberal thinking? Again we're back to that seemingly infinite font of knowledge, Malpoet esq. In his response to Part 1, he talked about 'the freedom to work out how you relate to other people'. Now this is little more than common sense on the surface, but on a deeper level that is what Limerence takes away from the individual - that freedom to choose what Morrissey would refer to as "all the things that you love, and the things you loathe".

You've seen these mathematical equations before:-

Freedom - Responsibility = Anarchy
Responsibility - Freedom = Slavery
Freedom & Responsibility = Liberty (ok the plus sign on my keyboard doesn't work).

This is why Limerence is such a damaging and dangerous state to be in, because it deprives the individual of their freedom to choose and temporarily enslaves him or her for a length of time that is unknown to them. Personal liberty is something that an individual tends to place a much higher value on once they understand when they have both had and lost it and Limerence takes a huge slice of that freedom from you in a swift and brutal way.

So many people enter adulthood with preconceived notions of 'what they should want from life' that by the time they actually discover whether or not it was what they wanted, the ball has rolled too far down the road and their situation is irreversible. I'm not necessarily equating the marriage/two kids/dog/lawnmower combo with slavery, but when it is the result of pressure from some mystical hand of society, or mum and dad tapping them on the shoulder, as opposed to an expression of their own free will, then yes it is a form of slavery - there's no point sugar-coating it.

Some people genuinely want all these things, and good luck to them.

Others don't, and good luck to them too - this bunny genuinely hopes that they follow the path that brings them the most fulfilment.

Outside of respect for the life, liberty and property of others, there is no such thing as 'the greater good' or 'the right thing'.

Anyone or anything that deprives the individual of that freedom to choose their own path is a cancer in their lives and needs to be regarded as such - this might come in the form of parental pressure, organised religion, manipulative forces either socially or at work, or even a total curveball like Limerence. One of the most rewarding elements of writing this piece, as well as hopefully providing some guidance for others, has been that ability to get closer to the 'illogical' element of this bunny's belief system, then concur with everything that he previously held to be self-evident.

So - sincere thanks to Tim, Richard, John and Malpoet - it's much appreciated.

I'm off for a glass of wine and a lie down - take care and I'll catch you soon.


  1. Another great post Daz, with lots of thought provoking points. You wrote, quite profoundly I thought: 'Outside of respect for the life, liberty and property of others, there is no such thing as 'the greater good' or 'the right thing'.' I agree absolutely; we are all complete individuals and we must be given free rein to do what we want, as long as not harming or oppressing other people in anyway, even if at first we only have freedom to make mistakes as we all do from time to time.

    Even Western societies with long and cherished traditions of all sorts of freedom and tolerance can hem in individuals where a person feels they 'must' do a certain thing even if it's not what they really want to do or what won't make them happy. If you know what you want to do and you simply do it, as long as you take responsibility for whatever you do, then you will be happier than the person who is bound by a sense of duty, or whatever. Personal freedom with responsibility is where it is at.

  2. Bingo Tim - you're sounding almost like a Libertarian mate!!

    Duty is merely the feeling of being manipulated into acting against your own interests...

    The greater good will usually reflect the personal interest of whoever has put themselves in charge.

    Happiness is a state that is felt first from within.

    If what you've done was never what you wanted to do, then how on earth can it make you happy?

    I own my life, you own yours and everyone else owns theirs. Why do I get the feeling that life would be a whole lot nicer if we all understood this?