OR: Crush me under the weight of 1,000 CBT manuals
First, congratulations. Looks like a beautiful wedding. Second, this reminds me so much of Max Weber and the iron cage. The idea that rationalization (and science) have taken all the mystery out of modern life and turned us into “specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart.”
Also, proud to be an educator who feels my job is to leave students with more questions than they came in with and to say, “I don’t know the answer to that,” as often as possible.
Your writing always makes me feel like you're filling up a whole lot of that red bubble, which I think is extremely impressive. Congrats, from one internet stranger to another.
That's the sort of wedding picture that makes me go 'eeeeeeeeee' and grin. Congratulations!
Marriage is great. For something that's done so much, I see so little non-religious defence of it, but for the record: Marriage is a wonderful institution, and it has supported and deepened my life to no end. (Babies are also great, but I'll wait for that one).
I'm glad you are in love. Feelings are the hidden landscape for which, as you point out, we have no language and yet, and yet ,they can be everything.
The middle of the essay reminded me of this truly delightful recent article on misunderstood intentions, and how oblivious speakers are to that missed connection, even when speaking entirely different languages. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2022-47583-001
Oh how lovely to be reading this great piece and suddenly to see your oh so beautiful wedding picture. I’m so happy you found the mysterious thing you’re attempting to describe. And what colors! I once officiated a wedding between a Hindu and a Christian...they each had their half, I was the less colorful half rejoicing at the more colorful half. They had the more colorful half officiant sign the marriage certificate coz the more colorful side paid for more of the wedding I think, but I was happy the West didn’t win. Their still happily married. I’m no longer an officiant. I guess it’s good the other guy signed.
That was a good read!! I feel the same about communicating my experiences or feelings. Loved the little cartoony graphic.
Congratulations, and may you have long and happy lives together!
You had an Indian wedding!! I did not expect to see such a beautiful picture in my inbox today. Many congratulations to you and Priya!
As a writer, I've often found myself unable to describe what love feels like, and that has led to be being disappointed--what kind of writer am I if I can't describe love? So many others have done so, after all. But this post makes it clear why. Some things really are undescribable.
I think I'm gonna stop trying to describe love and focus more on actually enjoying its mystery and ineffableness.
Thanks for continuing to be my absolute favorite.
And there's also the possibility that the married couple you witnessed weren't in love, or maybe it was one-sided, but they did anyways because of societal pressure, or the hope that the marriage would cause them to fall in love, or their reluctance to be alone or they're defeated and believe that they won't find anyone else willing to put up with them.
Sometimes we are so desperate to feel something that we'll follow what we think love is, like copying how it's portrayed in the media. Like buying someone flowers not to make them happy, or because it made you think of them, but because "that's what good boyfriends do". A robotic approach to love
Congratulations! I just finished Erik Hoel's new book and there are some similar themes to this essay. Erik frames it as science, with its extrinsic perspective that purposefully cleaved consciousness out of the equation, lacking the tools to explain, much less understand, the intrinsic. Your framing, using love, makes it seem clearer and more concrete, I think. Also, I really loved that simple speech bubble graphic.
Congratulations!!!! This is a beautiful article on the balance between accepting mysteries and being rational. My girlfriend keeps asking me why I love her and I was never able to describe it or rationally understand it. The next time she asks I am sending her this article as the answer.
That was a lovely read. Thanks!
Love is weird. Every good wish with regard to yours.
And yeah, woo is irreducible: https://worldofwonders.substack.com/p/maimonides-and-spinoza-and-god