Simone Du Var, Jamie, United States discussed on Serious Inquiries Only
I still. I still think he would have. He would have hated. It would have been really fun to Tweet Crab Emojis at him I would. I would have enjoyed that. But so we've talked. Say Jamie say something so I guess he had done hit had like a really bad trip was LSD or acid Lesko maskell and he had hallucinated crabs. And he was this hallucination was ongoing and residual and he used to Mike have the sensation of being harassed by crustaceans Very Funny Story. Yeah they apparently they followed him around and He would call them. I don't know my little friends or something and you know. He really struggled to get rid of them until I think how it ended was one day he said right. I'm just GonNa talk to them anymore. And they went away. Yeah so we had a really unrelenting case of crabs but not not the kind that you would think given his sexual proclivities which kind of crabs sounds worse or something just nagging you all. The time I don't know I think the hallucinatory crabs might be more comforting actually but for those who don't know John Paul Satra and Simone Du Var had this sort of almost infamous packed where they decided that they were one another's essential loves but they would be able to have contingent lobster right and that caused a lot of collateral damage over the years but it went to become this sort of iconic relationship and yet it's iconic in a way that's very different from how are more modern even the right word but how relationships tend to be played out more commonly right. We tend to kind of pair off into monogamous relationships. And that was very much. Not How Sean Paul? Satra and onto boo Var lived their lives. And so the question I have is. Is there an insight here that can help us help? Guide us into what can be authentic for couples. Is it less about doing any one particular thing so much? As it is the couple coming together and deciding for themselves to decide on a trajectory of the relationship that might work for them and that could take a variety of different sorts of pats and would include defining romantic terms to one another to maybe mean things that they don't always meet right to get very clear about what it means. When you say that you love one another or that I'm yours in a way that's different than how he normally take those kinds of phrases to function. Yeah I mean you're absolutely right. It was really their relationship was really outrageous at the time But you know in. That's one of the I mean. I am not Paulie Morrison's or don't have an open relationship but what I admired was that they did kind of Throw all these like social expectations out the window and created a relationship on their own terms. And I think Jamie you're absolutely right when you say you know it's it can be hard to avoid certain times and Yeah. I think defining the relationship on your own terms finding specific times. I think it does help to talk about You know not only what you mean by certain things but also what's really important is talking about what you expect out of the relationship and I think some of the language of love kind of perpetuates harmful notions especially possessiveness in submissiveness Especially when it's used in manipulative ways like y'all my girlfriend therefore you own me devotion or whatever it is when we start to compel juicy on the other person for being in a relationship. I think that closes down people's freedom and I think it would be really valuable if more people kind of practiced more accurate ways of expressing themselves and they love. I mean for example My partner and I kind of joke. You Know How's the how's the marriage going so far good And you know. It seems dismissive. But for us that's really meaningful because what it means is that you know. We're not specifically tied by the marriage contract but we both recognize that relationships are contingent and that either one of US could walk away. If one person breaks the reciprocity or one person Kind of really violates the agreement that we've come to and you know we're not trapped in the relationship forevermore and I think for me like being having that kind of Honesty is is really romantics. Me Sorry and it's not only what you say but it's also you know what you do because for the Central Philosophies. I think I'm love really does exist in the actions of love as well as the language but it's I get my point is that it's not just about talking the talk sawyer like walking the walk to musically yet. So what thing? I'm curious about with this. You talk about how. It's our relationships to one another. That help us understand who we are right in our genuine sense of self comes from knowing others and I worry about The difficulty with expressing romantic feelings in a way that can be taken to be genuine in that framework. Because if I can't know myself until I'm relating to other people by somehow lack self knowledge or like setting aside something metaphysically problematic like the self not existing or or whatever like that. How can I genuinely communicate feelings of affection to my lover or is romantic expression? Just fundamentally disingenuous until we have a clear sense of who we are. And how do we come by that? Yeah so I mean this is. This is a tough question. I think so for example. Nietzsche would say that you love you have to be firmly grounded in yourself and you have to be able to stand here bravely on your own two feet So nature kind of says yes absolutely self mastery is basically a prerequisite for being in you know a great loving relationship but I think for the the later. Existential views is that Yeah you can't really ever know yourself because as I said we are being and nothingness and you can't no nothing nothing but that's home yet so facade tra- the goal of life is to know ourselves to become our own foundation. But's that's actually impossible because part of like an aspect of Al being lies with other people and actually we weren't ever really know ourselves until death But I think what we need to do in in. That situation is come. Try and be comfortable with the fact that we are not yet. Because you know as as you know. The human condition is ambiguous. We can't fully know ourselves. We know another person but that shouldn't stop us from from loving and from from acting one of the things that You know one of the I guess. The implications of the existence precedes essence. Is that sometimes? We don't know what we want or don't know the wearing love until we kind of pursue a romantic relationship we'll throw ourselves into into loving and so I don't know that I think we can still talk about love in an honest way express feelings but I. I don't think it's knowing ourselves is either possible or you know even necessarily desirable when you talk about love and this way I think you know there's there's like a chemical component and there's more like an intellectual component. Do you think that's right or do you? How do you think about that? I mean when it comes to like for example my kids. There's not really much thought involved. You know it's just instant for me anyway Instant love about maximize the brain chemicals For me 'cause they're they're still very. Yeah they're under two and under so it's it's But but and I think that that can be true to when you first meet someone or maybe early on the honeymoon phase. They say Versus later on. Maybe there's different kinds of love that evolves does that ring true to you or did you thoughts on that. Yeah absolutely a lot of the philosophers talked about this before neuroscience discovered like oxytocin. What are what are the other stuff mainly active peptides or whatever they also Yeah I mean I think people have known about these phases regardless and yeah. It's true that these brain chemicals tend to spike in the early stages of love that tend to lost anywhere between six to twenty four months depending on which which study you look at and I mean that's certainly not incompatible with The existential view of love. And I think that would fit into this You know the facts of our existence and they. I mean. They don't seem to talk much about why we fall in love with particular people or I mean if we why we fall in love immune yes their chemicals but I mean there are so many different reasons why we're attracted to other people that end. It's going to be different for every single person. And so I think maybe these The Chemicals and sort of thing is kind of maybe pot of the infectivity of our existence that I mentioned earlier. And but the question is you know. Maybe you're attracted to someone but the question is how. Are you going to act on that attraction when animals who suddenly were attracted to someone we try to have sex with them? Well maybe some people going states and I'm sorry politics. Yeah Yeah so. The point is that we can choose whether to act on that animal attraction or not we can choose behavior in response to it so we seem to be able to override those kind of animal lusty feelings and that's kind of where the existential freedom and choices kind of start to kick in. Awesome. I just noticed. We're we're kind of running close to time so I'm going to shift focus a little bit because there are a couple of things that I wanNA make sure that I get to ask you before we do. Run out of time As should be obvious to anybody. Listening to the PODCAST. Your work has been heavily influenced by Simone to before and she's got quite quite a number of works ranging from the second sex to her novels to her political essays to the speeches that she gave to her memoirs. Could you tell us what your favorite of her works is and why it resonates with you and also if that's different than what you would recommend somebody to read if they if they wanted to to get to know who simone to before was sure? I mean it's really hard to choose a favorite And I mean for a long time. My favorite has been She came to stay which is above US first novel and it's quite a a juicy story based roughly on Baronne Saunas life and how they have a relationship with the young woman so it becomes like a whole steamy like nausea twelve. And why I like. It is because it deals very much with a love and freedom and jealousy and being caught in cycles of possessiveness submissiveness of loving relationships. And what I find interesting about it. Is there all the characters in the novel China? Find kind of a place of hominy with one another in China you know give each other freedom and and see if that works desert trying to be a like commit to one another of being no devotion to one another but you know all these kind of dynamics different ways that people are trying to And she's not necessarily happiness but I think hominy in life so at that stage she was very much exploring the dynamics of laws but another favorite so I guess that's Valley Straightforward and really nice to read and of introduction. But I really love the Mandarin's which is though One that won the Prix gone call. Which the big French Literature Prize And deals with a lot of the same issues but it also on the wall was older when she wrote it. So it's more I guess more mature and it's also more political so it talks a lot about the resistance posted around World War. Two so I really love that one But if novels aunts your thing then I would recommend. Ambiguity is a really important one is. It's a tough one but it's Is a really important in terms of her philosophy and it's not very long yes very short dense but but not a lot of pages so I also happen to know that you're Camus Fan as well which is by unrelenting current obsession And so in fact when I had seen you and Massimo speak at the night of philosophy ideas at the Brooklyn Public Library two years ago I was actually struck by how readily and fluently you just sort of quoted Camus while speaking off the cuff so I have really strong opinions on. Which of Heaven's works are the best people where people should start But I wanted to know if you would tell us what your favorite was and what you would recommend people start reading.