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Thread: Possession in relationships, Sartre and others

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Bamboo's Avatar
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    Jan 2009

    Default Possession in relationships, Sartre and others

    Inspired in part by "You Should Date an Illiterate Girl", I went out to gain some literacy.

    So I read some paraphrased Sartre, he claimed that we enter into relationships in order posses another person and their consciousness - the goal being gaining access to an objective, outside understanding that could help us understand ourselves.

    I personally find this somewhat contentious, but I'll jive with the concept that I value my partners perspective and ability to understand the world around them. Do I aim to truly possess their consciousness? Well, I don't find myself comfortable with the possession concept, but I do hope to find someone who's opinions and perspectives I can trust, if not totally, at least in part, if I would like to have some counsel.

    In this case an intelligent partner has a large advantage, although it depends what I seek counsel on.

    I have found it difficult to get advice from friends about what they really think about how I'm doing things, I assumed this was a way for them to avoid confronting me with something uncomfortable or was an effort to spare my feelings, but I wonder if Sartre is right, and that I have not done enough to possess them (though he claimed that this process was inevitably flawed).

    I found it interesting also how competitive his concept of this possession seemed rather than cooperative, but I have found those existential types to be odd ones.

    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  2. #2
    lurking Array Rasofy's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    I think this theory is closely connected to the needs of the director type (Helen Fisher has a personality theory that divides people into builders, artisans, directors and negotiators). In other words, I believe this priority is far from being universal.

    That said, I relate.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    I think the point is more that relationships in general act as mirrors for self discovery. Having a sense of holistic being where as you change in real time that change is reflected in the interaction with the other and vice versa. This allows those involved to exist as a continuous process, a sensory - stimuli network that has recursive effects on itself and grows into a consciousness of appreciation and kindness, the feeling we call love.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array cafe's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    I don't want an objective understanding of myself. I'd probably blow my brains out if I ever really got that.

    One of the perks of 'possessing' a partner is that they are now part of my clan and no longer see me objectively, but through a lens of loyalty and belonging. How else is someone going to put up with me?

    I like having a brain that is in alliance with me to help me understand other stuff, though. Two heads are better than one, as they say.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I don't want an objective understanding of myself. I'd probably blow my brains out if I ever really got that.
    Indeed. I think most people would.
    Jarlaxle: fact checking this thread makes me want to go all INFP on my wrists

    "I'm in competition with myself and I'm losing."
    -Roger Waters

    ReadingRainbows: OMG GUYS
    ReadingRainbows: GUESS WHAT EXISTS FOR ME
    hel: fairies?
    Captain Curmudgeon: existential angst?

    Johari Nohari

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