The Psychopolitical Meaning of Marriage
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A friend of mine is getting married next week (as do I!), so we threw a bachelor party for him this weekend.
The guy is a bit of an intellectual, currently studying history of esoteric movements (his first degree was in engineering), so, instead of organizing a poker game with strippers—or whatever stag parties are supposed to be like—we held a series of talks about marriage and romantic relationships broadly. Each friend prepared his own presentation, without sharing its content with others.
One was too private for me to say anything about it, except that it used graphs to trace the influence of the author’s “key gals” on three metrics of his spiritual well-being.
Another talk had no structure and only a single slide:
(It’s more concise and expressive in Russian.)
My presentation was titled The Psychopolitical Theory of Marriage (“theory,” because, unlike my peers—one divorced, one remarried—I am a little less than a week away from practice).
We discussed the issue at hand over beer and some grass.
The beer was brewed specifically for the occasion. I collaborated with Dall-E to design the beer labels.
The groom had recently shared a remix of John Dee’s Hieroglyphic Monad with me.
He took Dee’s original glyph:
…and rearranged the elements to create a cat’s face:
I started by asking Dall-E to produce a “sharpie drawing by Rene Magritte of a face of a black cat wearing a crown with a cross on top.”
It presented me with four options:
I liked the last one and requested a longer-shot version
After a few manual adjustments, I had the labels: one for the light APA, and one for the dark something or other that, by now, had already been poured into recycled beer bottles.
My talk started with a vague description of the psychopolitical method: I said, my basic approach is to put the sacred and the profane, the private and the public, the exciting and the mundane, and all the other polarities into one funnel; mix them up through a creative process whose nature remains a mystery to me; and end up in a new version of reality as a result.
That’s how I think of my art and writing, but the description seems to apply to marriage almost suspiciously well.
All the polarities are there: There is love, but there’s also the sweeping of the floor and the doing of the dishes; there’s the mystery of introducing a new consciousness into the world, but also the wiping of the butt of this consciousness’s bodily vessel; there’s the intimacy of sharing a life with one other person, but also a creation of a “social unit” through that, which is supposed to fit into the larger society and affect it in a positive way.
I compared relationships—all of them, but especially those between men and women—to chemical, or rather alchemical, reactions.
Each person is like a substance, or an interplay of several substances, and a relationship is what happens—or doesn’t happen—when two people are put in close proximity to one other.
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