Warning: label

It occurred to me today on a drive back to Sydney from our nation’s capital that we humans tend to present a cognitive phenomenon whereby we feel that by labeling something we have solved it. If we categorise our experience, situations, emotions, etc, we can move past them and focus (our rampant egos) on the next challenge.

Ever wonder why most people lose the romance or sexual impulses, even the underlying connection that brought them together in the first place, when they get married? Perhaps it’s partially because marriage is a well-documented classification. Everyone knows what happens when two people get married and so the delicious ambiguity, the enigmatic magic of the whole thing, goes out the window. The looser term “partners”, on the other hand, could mean anything. It roughly approximates to people ‘being together’ but how that plays out is largely undefined, whereas marriage dictates specific behaviours and courses of action.

Notice that nobody has moved past religion? It would appear to be suitably ambiguous, and I think there’s something beautiful around faith (or negative capability if you prefer to ditch loaded terms) in here as well. Possibly it’s faith that helps us maintain a sense of wonder. Faith and categorisation would appear, in this context, to be antitheses of each other.

As much as I love language I think it’s time to at least experiment with relaxing the obsessive pigeon-holing and liberate ourselves into something closer to the “immaculate mess” a dear friend of mine is currently consciously cultivating. (Apologies for the alliteration.)