Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lust & Wonder

It's like this, it seems to me. Wonder is a state of mind. Lust is a longing of the heart. Wisdom and love result from our ability to temper these experiences, to absorb them, if you will, in our temperament. Both lust and wonder, are moments during which we experience the rootedness of experience in the body, but in equal and opposite ways.

Lust is the heart longing to be free of its flesh. It is the heart reaching out beyond its body. It is always an example of overreaching. There is no such thing as well-tempered, or measured, or even appropriate lust. If it is lust, it is going too far. Sometimes, one goes too far. It is not that the heart desires too much, it is that it does not master its desire.

Wonder is the mind bound to its limit in the flesh. If lust is movement, motion, outward beyond the limit of the skin, wonder is sensation turned back at the limit of the senses, the skin. It is the mind becoming aware of its own limits. It is not that it can't believe what it sees, it's that it does not know what a belief would here involve.

The skin is the limit, and it is interesting to note that the difference between lust and wonder may lie in the particular asymmetries of a given situation. A man meets a woman. Her beauty may cast him into a state of wonder, or spark his lust. This will depend on his body as much as hers.

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