Monday, June 16, 2008


"One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to."
-Alexander Solzhenitsyn


At 9:07 AM, Blogger Crystal said...

so you're saying you want to eat me.

splendid idea. i'll go get the ketchup.

At 10:27 PM, Blogger Cootera said...

"...a beast gnawing at its prey" is about as affectionate as some people get.

And don't worry: your leg will grow back. But it will be tanner.

At 2:39 AM, Blogger Jammie J. said...

But don't you think that mutual affection can bring happiness?

At 11:56 AM, Blogger tinyhands said...

GodDammitCrystalAnn- Eat you? Eat ME!

Ang- I'll be pacing in circles until it grows back.

J- I think the assertion is that mutual affection can bring happiness, but happiness does not necessarily bring affection. For example: Our mutual affection makes me happy, but your happiness with Tony just makes me hate* you.

*never! ;)

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Beth said...

I don't get it. How can you be happy with someone and not grow to be fond of that person? "The beast gnawing at its prey" kind of happiness is only temporary and shallow. Can you truly call it happiness then? I'd call it contentment.

And happiness does bring affection. Look at Mia. She was this tiny little baby that did nothing but poop, cry and eat. But she made so many people happy, we're all so very fond of her. And all she ever did was exist.

I think that happiness, true happiness, the kind that doesn't leave you wanting more (like the beast, once "happy" and fed, will want to be fed again later) can give you anything you want.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Ev said...

i will eat you...

with fava beans and a nice chianti.

damn that's hot.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

badbeth- I believe the point about happiness is that you can have bad happiness but you can't have bad mutual affection. Serial killers may consider themselves happy without experiencing mutual affection with their victims. Thus, it's about mutual affection.

With Mia, you loved her even before she ever threw a tantrum. I say the affection for her came first, and remains even when she smells ripe because she loves you too.

Just as you needed to clarify in your last paragraph, true happiness is different from happiness. There's no need to make that distinction with mutual affection.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Tiny - yes you can have bad mutual affection! That's why they invented "The Safe Word." And you can't say those sadists aren't happy together! :-P

At 1:30 AM, Blogger Jammie J. said...

I just thought that I'd let you know that your reply comment made me laugh. Thereby bringing my affection of you just a smidgen higher today. However, lest that give you hope to aspire higher, you should know that my affection for my husband grows by enormous leaps each and every day.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger christelpistol said...

i'm affected. does that count?


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