Analogies and metaphors

Life fascinates me, people fascinate me. I want to know and understand things and thereby help fix things, remove poisons, untwist knots. But, why do I want to “fix” things? I’m not sure.

Today I have been thinking about addiction and escape. Why people cling to their addictions for fear of themselves. In composing my thoughts tying extraversion to sadism, introversion to masochism, I reread some Weininger. His ideas on sadism and masochism are profound, although in his view sadism and masochism seem to be terms of expressing duality especially as relates to male/ female nature.

From his notes and aphorisms:

Applied to the sexual: to the one, the individual woman is real; he is the sadist: The sadist is very attractive to women because she is the greatest conceivable reality for him (cf. Sex and Character, 1st ed. pp.397-401) To the masochist, on the other hand, the individual woman is never real, he always seeks for something other than the woman in her. That is why he is not attractive to women.

The sadist lives discontinuously in individual moments of time, he never understands himself: for him, every moment already has reality in itself; that is why he makes decisions easily, while the masochist can always only act on the basis of everything. The masochist is never in a position to ask himself, “How could I ever have done that? I don’t understand myself!” This is the sadist’s usual attitude to his
past, which still does not, for that reason, lose its punctuated reality for him in the slightest. The sadist has the finest capacity for perception and the best memory for every momentary particular; his senses are continually engaged because all particulars have reality for him. The masochist suffers from long pauses, which he cannot fill with any reality.

The masochist suffers from what is unreal to him as from guilt. That is why he feels embarassed in front of women, the sadist never. He is passive toward women, as toward every sensation, which he can only make real for himself through association that in the end leads to concept formation. The sadist does not make associations: in the face of a sensation he is breathless, ready and willing to plunge himself into it completely, to be totally absorbed in a sensation.
The masochist can, therefore, never love a picture or a statue: here there is all too little reality (activity) for him. The sadist can very well love them; he is also, of course, gallant, and gallantry is primarily the adornment of statues, from which one later removes the ornaments, or which one smashes, when there is no more reality to be sucked from them.

The true concept of God is incomprehensible to the sadist; in art he is an oversensitive person, constantly focussing everything, and unjustly, on a man, on a moment, on a situation. He can tell stories; the masochist never (not even jokes), because no particular is real enough for him to be able to be lovingly absorbed in it.

To the masochist, the character of Napoleon is a starting point from which he distances himself in order to think, and to comprehend him through thought: for the sadist, all the world lies in such a figure.

The masochist is thus helplessly weak in face of the sensory world: the sadist is strong in it. The masochist seeks to assert himself against appearance, against change: only he understands the concept of the Absolute (of God, of the idea, of meaning). The sadist does not question things about their meaning. For him, “Carpe Diem!” is the command of his I; change appears real to him. What strikes him about time is not change, but rather duration (“aere perennius”).

Rhythm, which attends precisely to every individual note, every individual syllable, is sadistic; harmony is masochistic, as with true melodious vocal music (in which the individual notes do not emerge as such).

The masochist is initially struck by similarity, the sadist by difference. Clocks and calendars are the greatest enigma for the masochist even as a child, because time is always the main problem for him.

The masochist can never lightly brush aside something that has happened earlier, which the sadist always does, when the new moment promises more reality than the old.

The masochist takes everything as fate; the sadist loves to play fate. For masochists, the idea of fate is especially contained in concrete pain; pain has only as much reality for him as it has a share of this idea. So the sadist is the fate of the woman; the woman the fate of the masochist. “Woman” is sadistic (whoever is active in the sensation of woman); “Mrs.” masochistic.

The relationship of the sadist to the masochist is the relationship of the present to eternity. The present is the one thing over which a person has power; whoever feels free in it will use it, like the sadist; whoever feels that he suffers in it, because it is not real for him, seeks to awaken it to eternity. So also may the ethical striving of both be characterised: one wants to transform all eternity into present, the other, every present into eternity.

The same holds for space. The sadist believes in, and hopes for, happiness on earth: he is the man of “Tusculum”, of “Sans-Souci”. The masochist needs a heaven.

Remorse offends the sadist and he holds it to be a weakness (Carpe diem!); the masochist is penetrated by its sublimity (Carlyle).

The suicider is almost always a sadist, because he alone wants to get out of a situation and can act; a masochist must first question all eternity whether he may, should, take his own life.

The sadist seeks to help people (against their will, their constant disposition) to (momentary) happiness or pain; he is grateful or revengeful. In gratefulness and revengefulness there is always a lack of compassion, thoughtlessness towards our (timeless) fellow man; both are, like all immorality,
boundary transgressions, i.e., functional connections with our fellow man.

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