Fascination, Transference and Romantic Dissatisfaction

Flowers from January this year, photographed on the South-East coast of Australia in a narrow aperture of opportunity between catastrophic bushfires and Global pandemic.

My recent fixation on flowers is quite plausibly an instance of psychological transference, where feelings or emotions that might find themselves unattainably inhibited in one direction find new avenues, channels and vectors of (self) expression. We often enough observe the rapid and adaptive transmutation of emotional needs and impulses from one goal to another and, indeed, much of cultural history is really little more than the collaborative (if unwitting) manifestation of great tides of psychological transference and insecurity displaced from one acceptable place to another.

It is quite possible to question whether a majority of romantic engagements fail, not because of any essential incompatibility that desire and oxytocin might initially blind us to, but due to problems of acknowledging that the Object and Other of love is generally a token for someone or something else that we find ourselves rendered as implicitly unable (or unwilling) to see as they occupy some necessary blindspot of unconscious unknowing that tends to sit quite transparently in and as the central pivot of all our behavioural and cognitive practice.

Further to this, it seems that love itself is a broadly undefinable or at best poorly-defined entity or state of being, experience and – let’s face it – generalised dissatisfaction and paradoxically pleasing discomfort or obsession. This is not purely because it may inhabit a unique logical position in our lives and experience as being an example of a class of entity – like freedom or peace – that is of such inestimable value precisely because it remains antithetical to thorough definition or explanatory closure.  It also appears to be true that the extent to which these categories or entities are poorly defined is an inverse measure of their personal utility and cultural or historical impact and influence.

Might it be that when we attempt to define and capture what must (in my opinion) remain undefined to be truly valuable and of enduring affective worth to us, we almost always replace the undifferentiated with a referential token that displaces the generalised unknown into the symbolic known and forever ensures that our serially problematic interpersonal partnerships and emotionally hollow romantic endeavours serve not only to keep a cottage industry of poorly-equipped relationship counsellors in business, but provide a visceral and concrete means by which the improbability of self-definition, of love or peace, generates endlessly-extensible new grammars and logics of intra- and interpersonal metamorphosis?

The sum total of our romantic dissatisfactions provides one of many concurrent psychosocial thresholds of entropy through which integrated cognitive, cultural and distributed communications systems are driven by marginal errors to evolution and metamorphosis. In regards to my own aesthetic fascination with flowers (as really being little more than a displaced interest in beautiful faces and personalities), it is the same psychic principle as drives any person or tribe to obsessions with football, car racing, musical and fashion genres or ideology and politics. To each their own and for me, flowers seem to be the least possibly destructive impulse of cognitive and cultural transference as existential self-gravitation.

Flowers are never just flowers.
Image by @raidesart on Instagram.

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