Posted in Of Psyche

Of Being Good

goodness

After having covered almost half of my life (I think it is irrational to consider 40 or 50 half of your life, when most people don’t live until 80 or 100), I’ve come to have an idea of what turns me on. Just, in general – mentally, physically, emotionally etc. And that is, be prepared for something extremely shocking, potentially scandalous – idealism. Yes, my idea of what turns me on are ideas. Or rather, a person or a thing that stimulates ideas, and not just for its sake. Oh, no. But, ideas that can mean something. Which is just a roundabout way of saying what I want, relationships cliché alert, is a meaningful connection. Talk dirty to me, tell me how we can save the world.

This is not ideal, believe me. I referred to some of this a while back in a post called Sapiosexual (a person who finds intelligence most attractive), but the whole premise of being turned on by an idea is based on inequality, and very strong power relations. Of which the one idea that defeats them all, even love and hate, is goodness. My goodness, it will take me a lifetime, if at all, to know all that goodness comprises of. Nothing ever was so illusory, so ephemeral, so un-pin-down-able. The history of all philosophy, i.e. human thought, is a history of trying to figure out what being good and doing good is. Looking for evidence in human action, trying to formulate universal bullet points of what can be done in order to be good, even if it entails doing questionable things to get there. Goodness is the ultimate tease, the fool’s gold or any other metaphor of kind deception you can think of.

Even if most of us generally believe ourselves to be good. I know you do, and so do I. I think it was either said of Byron, or something he said of himself (he was, what we call in pop culture, a “bad boy”) that when someone is continually called bad, they can only get worse, without any hope or interest for redemption and benign action. What I used to believe as ‘good’ was merely innocence, high idealism or a strong defence against corruption. But, after putting in much thought, I’ve realised a corrupted goodness is more truthful and valuable for our species than any other variety. We’re of an age where in all our art, culture, politics, science, what we continually look for is redeeming the bad. We’re obsessed with it, whether it be charismatic villains in stories, or fallen celebrities. We’re brutal in our opinions of them, but we crave to sympathise with them. Some of us even put them on pedestals, because the innocent, uncorrupted goodness just doesn’t seem relatable and doable anymore. If someone has gone to their metaphorical hell and come back, chances are we can too.

But, the illusion happens primarily on our own end, when we believe that by attaching ourselves to these ideas, whether it be a person or a thing, we can dissolve ourselves in their inherent goodness. Not only will it rub off on us, but that by identifying with these examples of goodness, we don’t need to be in the process of finding our own good anymore. And then, when we are passed that idea, either disillusioned by it or by outgrowing it, we blame the idea for lost time, time we could have focused on finding that inner good. But, here’s the catch-22 of it all – we can’t find that inner good without searching for that outer good, wherever we may find it. This is my problem with all Personal Development ideology. You can’t develop your person to, let’s admit it, that ideal good self, without facing all the good and bad you are to find coming your way. You cannot exclude that illusory goodness, because the only illusion it carries is that of excluding you the trouble of finding it within yourself.

Perhaps, it might help if we try to be honest about our own corruptions. To ourselves, if not to someone we trust. I feel we are doing that already, with our enthusiasm for the “grey” in human emotions. It is very difficult to do, especially when your inherent goodness maybe your only defence mechanism to face the world. But, surely, that is not enough. Not enough to make the most of your life, and find some meaning in it. It is very hard. I am finding it very hard to do myself. But, like the revelation I made which I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it is helping me in, well, understanding things. It’s worth a try anyway.

Do you find goodness attractive?

Author:

Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

22 thoughts on “Of Being Good

      1. Got exposed to her while I was in college. She’s brilliant. My friends and family never understood why I digged her. Once in a while I’ll put her on Spotify and my daughter will be like “What on earth are you listening to?” I just smile.

      2. Yes, it’s a shame that most people don’t get her, but then I suppose it is impossible to be a casual fan of Kate Bush. You either get obsessed, or simply don’t understand her. I am glad I didn’t grow up with her being a cultural phenomenon, like she is in the UK, because appreciating her has always been a niche thing, even if she has had mass appeal.

      3. She’s truly an artist. She has some common themes that she has wrestled with, such as obsession, lust, fatal attraction, empowerment….and her theatrical performances were something else. What really got me was her voice. She has this edgy elegance that makes me want to abandon all my principles.

      4. It definitely is a very interesting instrument. I love its progression, from the earlier flights of fancy i.e. the high-pitched singing, or the programmed effects on The Dreaming and the increasing warmth Hounds of Love onwards. Who else could sing the value of Pi almost like a lullaby?

      5. Yes, well put! She matured as she got older and I think as she felt more confident in who she was she reigned in some of the gymnastics and focused on the overall presentation more. She was blessed with a unique talent but what set her apart is what she did with it. Genius.

      6. Yes! I feel the word “genius” is used too freely these days, but it is a word that can’t be used more appropriately than it is for her. I love all her phases. I love the madness and humour behind the early stuff, and I love the vocals on them equally as with the later albums. Some people object to the shrieks and squeals, but would “Violin” be such an amazing, absolutely mad song without it? I feel she’s only playing a character with the vocal gymnastics. After all, next to the high-pitched “Wuthering Heights” is “The Man with the Child in His Eyes”. But, the warmer, richer vocals were necessary for songs like “The Sensual World” or “Moments of Pleasure”. I am sorry for going on, but I can never be brief when talking about her!

      7. I understand. I think “50 Words for Snow” is a beautiful, haunting piece of work that really illustrates how she’s developed herself. All the same elements that were there in the early days are still there (it’s quite amazing how well she’s aged!) but under control and used sparingly. Her mid-range has taken on a rich, earthy, woody undertone with age, which only adds more credibility to her sound on the more delicate compositions.

  1. I find kindness and patience attractive. Goodness is something that I find hard to pin down in just a few interactions. Perhaps it’s because usually kindness and patience come with goodness, but there are people who are good who are just not very kind or patient, if that makes sense.

    In my experience, though, honesty is the sexiest thing. I, too, like to be open about my corruptions, although in the past I’ve rarely spoken enough to one person in order to get to them. Fear of rejection is paralyzing, and what really puts the clinch on the double bind is that we are never “good enough” in our own minds, so it’s like the only safe space is the perpetually single one.

    Anyway, that was my long and rambly way of saying I like this piece.

    1. What a fantastic comment! It’s one of the best I’ve ever had, and it has certainly got me thinking! Thank you so much for sharing your views. I agree, honesty is incredibly appealing, and the true test of any relationship. People put up with each other for all sort of reasons, some that aren’t quite so respectful, which is why honesty is no doubt the trait of a real relationship that has integrity. And certainly, goodness comprises of kindness and honesty, though it may not often be immediately obvious, and pretended goodness can easily do the trick initially.

      My long and rambly reply to your brilliant comment. Thank you do much for reading!

      1. Honesty gets a lot of bad rep these days, mostly because douchebags use it to hurt others. “Just being honest”: three words everybody dreads now.

        This is why I said that good people can sometimes be unkind or impatient. It’s a fine art, being honest without being cruel or mean, and the worst is when people don’t even bother to learn it. I’ve never really thought about this before but wow, commenting has really been good. Once in a while you need to put your thoughts into words.

      2. You sure do. And I agree with what you say. I can be brutally honest at times, or “blunt”, but I do it more in a good-natured, teasing sort of way, though it may not come across as that. But, when honesty is presented seriously, even if it is hurtful, you can’t help but admire it. I don’t like arguments and confrontations at all, but I have a friend whom I even enjoying arguing with, because she is never cruel, but always honest. It is rare to find such rationality in emotional situations, which just makes you feel like you are actually going somewhere, instead of a circle of hurt and pain.

  2. Ideas are what turn me on too. In more ways than one. There is the cartoon light that goes on when someone has an idea. But great ideas and great conversation are another kind of turn on! Goodness is a must, But not a turn on, in itself.

    I don’t get this: “the whole premise of being turned on by an idea is based on inequality.” Hopefully both have ideas,and that turns each other on.

    1. It is just what I have personally experienced, I am sure it is not universally applicable. I’ve found that often in relationships based on intellectual exchanges, especially if you happen to be the person admiring the other person’s intellect, there is inequality. Look at any number of real or pseudo mentor-pupil relationships, whether they be romantic or not. The mentor encourages the pupil, often by behaving equally, but is usually threatened by it after it starts to develop or even surpass his own. Unfortunately, intelligence is usually accompanied by ego, and it is very hard to maintain equality with that.

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