Sunday, July 14, 2013

engaging by degree

“feeling for each other,” redux

When I now reread my long-past webpages, I feel a little like I’m reading someone else. The pages belong to their time. The improviser is someone I know well.

And you care about my creative processing.

Let’s pretend.

I’ll be brief. It’s about sex.

OK, now I have your attention.

Very indirectly, it’s about eros of life: Sexual life may be part of an intimacy, and intimacy is the most engaged pole in a continuum of our engagements: less engagement with kindredness (family, friendships), less still with solidarities (cultural life, organizational projects, etc.), and least of all, mere civility is barely engaged. This feature of interpersonal life—degrees of engagement—is axial for my philosophical sense of ethics (but I’m not going to “do” theory today).

I came across January 2011’s “feeling for each other” (link at the end here, but wait) almost accidently today; saw a silly error, then let correcting of that become revision of several points throughout the discussion. But the result isn’t what I’d write from scratch now. Though I do identify with all I’ve done, I wouldn’t do those things now, even though the interests persist (often beyond earlier prospecting).

So many preludes to sailing on.

What makes desire into commitment, then fidelity?

With “feeling…,” I see easily that I was obtusely thinking about action as such (intention, intentionality,…), as a matter of one’s valuing and wanting to give preference to some more than others. My interest in a continuum of valuing relations—interpersonal, interpsychal—is many years old. My interest in seeing what I’ve done be part of a continuum of growth is as old as my journaling, born in my teens. But that’s about going on, not looking back; yet too about having a potential narrativity of it all available for old age—or for you when I’m dead.

“Feeling for each other” has the air of a theorist, that rhetorical tone, which I easily frame now as a mode of excursion, contrary to a true air of intimacy I want to share highly.

Yet, isn’t it interesting that there can be modes of engagement, as well as degrees.