A while ago, I got a sort of inkling regarding the multi-faceted nature of intimacy. I had ideas about what kind of form this would take, but really I guess that I needed more time to comprehend exactly what that entailed, etc.

In looking into intimacy though, to me, it’s become apparent that several constants will surface. To understand these though, we need to assume two things for the sake of argument.

1. Our true, core, unadultured selves lie omnipresent within us. This is the deepest part of ourselves that is so inherent to us that we can do nothing (immediately) to change it .

2. That said selves lie latent, perhaps, under adaptations, or additions, or expectations, gates, insecurities, defenses, histories, that go along with being a part of a socially dependent society. Understanding this, in what way is the removal of those things maybe an attempt to comprehend what our latent “untouchable” selves consist of? Is this the goal of intimacy?

There is something, obviously, atypical about all of those things inside of intimate interaction that separate it from a normal, social one. For instance, take even physical proximity. Physical proximity fundamentally, is the first indication of a separation between intimate and social communication. There is something about being right up next to a person physically, that, on a most basic level is to some degree an exposure. Smell, or minor physical imperfections for instance,  naturally illuminate parts of ourselves that only those interacting intimately are privileged to. Communicative of a desire to have those things removed by that person, so in this regard, intimacy is always inherently going to imply some degree of risk.

Maybe this dictates to a great degree the impact that sex has on the western psyche. If the laws outlined above are true, than perhaps sex itself is the closest possible physical manifestation of our latent selves, shared completely with someone else.

Thus, genuine intimacy, outside of that influenced by drugs, etc..ushers with it a certain degree of exposure, nakedness in the sight of understanding that more than society’s comfortable distance exists between you and another. In a way, this is a sacrifice made on the part of both parties, an admission to a little bit more of themselves, as they are, without all of the typical defenses, without the brilliant golden gates that we so diligently upkeep, that we have been taught, and are all too proud to show everyone else. A directness and a purity of sorts regarding the deepest entities of ourselves.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

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~ by crossmd on December 29, 2009.

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