Inside Out

Do we have arguments or do arguments have us ? Our sense of privileged ownership of those contexts in which we find ourselves may be only half-true. Our individual expressions of conflict are just as often pressure-release valves for broader cultural energies and historical forces of which we and our antagonists are merely microcosms. Don’t wonder about skyrocketing divorce rates or relationship breakdowns, wonder instead about the cultural, economic and social forces which make such unhappy resolutions more probable. In a sense, and beyond a relatively limited scope of self-determination, we do not own our failures – they own us. There could be freedom and continuous self-improvement in seeing the bigger picture in this way if we were not all so content with our limited, isolated selves. Ownership and possession (of self, of other or of things) is little more than a convenient, if persistent and reflexively compelling, myth and empty fantasy.

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