Monogamy Part 1: The Death of Freedom?
The year after I graduated high school, I met up with my grade 12 philosophy teacher for a bite to eat. We talked about a pallet of things life and philosophy, I suppose, but that was four years ago, and most of the details pass me.
I do recall, however, that I was pretty intently focused on my newly budding relationship (with a boy I’d spend the next 2.5 years with, making it my longest lasting romantic/sexual relationship to date).
I expressed my concerns about the constraints of monogamy and their relation to my freedom.
He then asked me….
“Of the following, which is true freedom?
Banging one’s fists wildly on the keys of a piano, or sitting down diligently, day after day, to one day, be able to play a masterpiece?”
Now, although one can argue either of the previously stated (that the seemingly mad movement of fingers across keys is pure freedom in its lack of controlled structure, and that dedication to mastery is freedom by nature the product), I was, for the first time, in belief that the latter was true for two main reasons:
- FREEDOM LIES WITHIN CHOICE, AND SO, CHOOSING TO PRACTICE MONOGAMY INDICATES AUTONOMY.
2. HAVING THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE THE MASTERED PRODUCT IS FREEING BECAUSE NOT ALL CAN DO SO, WHEREAS ALL CAN BANG ON KEYS WILDLY.
- (continued): The art of choice.
For years the definition of art was a vague, indefinite and inconclusive concept in my mind, but recently, I have come to a concise definition I feel comfortable with:
Art is choice.
And, by abstract, choice is art.
Therefore, the ability to choose to practice piano (or commit yourself monogamously to another), is, by definition, art.
Now, of course choosing not to commit yourself to another, is by that same definition, also art. However, the second factor of the artistic equation deems various decisions with various degrees of value.
The greater the choice to the subjective individual, the more meaningful the art.
Art is choice.
And, by abstract, choice is art.
And, the greater the choice, the greater the art.
This is so because:
-art is choice CHECK
-choice requires meaning (at conscious and/or subconscious levels) CHECK
-the greater the choice, the more meaning CHECK
-the more meaningful, therefore valuable, the more so it is artful CHECK
The aforementioned deduction is not in the eye of the beholder, like many definitions of art are, but in the hands of the sculptor
If a person makes a decision that does not seemingly affect their life significantly (although every decision does pose infinite effect), this act of art cannot be valued to be of the same calibre as if that person made a decision that has the consciously assumed potential to shake their being at its core.
Consider the following t-chart of commonly agreed upon examples for a practical understanding:
Not that the products of these acts/decisions cannot be considered to greatly different from their preceding reality, but the act of the decision making is the topic currently in discussion. In this case, if value were derived from anything but the decision making (prior to the consequence), the capacity for infinite consequential realities would render all decisions of the same value, and therefore, meaningless.
Even without a guiding t-chart of commonly aggreged upon examples, because different people can value decisions differently, the point still stands that the decision to the decision maker will be of the same value at the time the decision is made whether or not the consequence highly or lowly obviously life-altering.
To the point of monogamy in its relation to freedom, I will add that choice, as well as it is art, is freedom, for choice cannot exist within the realms of obligation, and obligation is the antagonist of freedom.
The opposing concepts of freedom vs. slavery and choice vs. obligation, are dualities (that cannot, by their nature, coexist) that paint an understanding of monogamy.
If we choose monogamy, we are free. If we are obligated, by our own inclination, with or without external pressures, to abide by obligatorily monogamous self-structure/relational structures, we are slaves.
Monogamy: the death of freedom if existing under obligation.
2. (continued): The presence of a product worked for is, by nature, freeing.
Ludwig Van Beethoven had the option to bang his fists on the piano at any point, however, he chose to write what his soul felt, he chose patience, he chose to listen, to care. At any point, a master can seize to create, the same is not true for an armature to chose to create mastery.
In more literal terms, all can, on any day, decide we want to pursue a new sexual partner, in or out of a monogamous relationship, but not all can decide to realise a long-term monogamous partner.