“Whoever looks seriously will find neither for death, which is difficult, nor for difficult love has any clarification, any solution, any hint of a path been perceived; and for both these tasks, which we carry wrapped up and hand on without opening, there is no general agreed-upon rule than can be discovered. But in the same measure in which we begin to test life as individuals, these great Things will come to meet us, the individuals, with greater intimacy. The claims that the difficult work of love makes on our development are greater than life, and we as beginners are not equal to them. But if we nevertheless endure and take this love upon us as a burden of apprenticeship, instead of losing ourselves in the whole easy and frivolous game behind which people have hidden from the most solemn solemnity of their being, then a small advance and lightening will perhaps be percieved by those who come long after us. That would be much.”
(Rainer Maria Rilke, 1904)
I’ve been thinking about polyamory quite a bit lately. I find that I’m of many minds on the subject. It brings up a host of challenging and intriguing issues for me, and forces me to examine my fundamental assumptions about love, loyalty, relationship, magic, trust, boundaries, freedom, ego, and identity. It’s important work, I suspect, wherever it may lead. Business as usual is disappearing from the menu on a number of fronts, and the examination of one’s core principles is an art that must be honed with practice.
Our moment in history is marked by a general shift towards diversity. The emergence of the superculture is anathematic to ideology. Bombarded with an impenetrable surfeit of often contradictory memes, we tend to choose ourselves from the superabundance; moving beyond belief itself towards an overlapping assortment of partial models that can be switched in and out like lenses to address various aspects of a multifaceted and constantly mutating situation. Our philosophy is syncretic, our aesthetic is broad and pastiche is the artform of the day. I predict that our romantic relationships, like everything else, will continue to become more modular with fewer standard features taken for granted. The relationships of the future will be even more fully works of art, unique and entirely configurable. Mass culture is dead, and it’s rotting corpse is no longer sufficient motivation or excuse. We have unprecedented freedom, if we will just reach out and take it, and with it the implied responsibility for our own happiness. No mere ideological shift, the honor falls upon our generation to carry the piebald banner of the true Metarevolution. It is my devout hope that we can each contribute to the evolving social fabric by sharing our process and experience, thus helping to pave a multiplicity of ways for those who will be born into the postcultural era.by