“The Mix-up in Every Wife about Selfishness & Generosity–& the Aesthetic Answer!” will be the subject of the Understanding Marriage! class on Saturday, October 11th. The class takes place from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.
Selfishness and generosity is a huge matter in married life, with many, many permutations. For instance, though she marries wanting to be “giving,” many a wife also feels—often at the very moment she’s doing something for her husband—that she’s neglecting herself and should focus on just herself. Yet the same woman can feel she’s selfish. And there is the wife who seems utterly devoted, even “sacrificial”: she feels superior to the floundering man (whom she sees as needing her desperately), which is really another form of selfishness!
The class is taught by Aesthetic Realism consultants Barbara Allen, Anne Fielding, and myself, Pauline Meglino. Discussion will focus on the following great sentences by Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism— from his landmark lecture The Furious Aesthetics of Marriage:
We are interested in another, we want to please that person. There is a desire to fetch unknown cups of water for unknown thirsts….[But] two married people find out very soon that with all the devotion, the selves uttering the devotion seem to be interested in themselves. No matter how many errands have been run, how many kind words have been said, self is still there, doing business in behalf of the central firm…. There is an aesthetic mix-up, which means there is bad aesthetics, in the business of being oneself and another self, too, which marriage insists on.
The class will show: the major interference “in the business of being oneself and another self, too” is one’s contempt for the world and other people. Mr. Siegel defined contempt as “the addition to self through the lessening of something else.” Women will also be educated and get new hope learning that the mix-up about selfishness and generosity is solved in art: the artist expresses him- or herself by trying to be fair to objects and people. The artist’s purpose, Aesthetic Realism explains, is our largest purpose in life: to take care of ourselves in a big-time way by valuing, seeing meaning in, the world and people, including the man we married. Women are going to have a thrilling time as they learn about the importance of aesthetics to their lives and marriages!
The Aesthetic Realism Foundation, 141 Greene St., off W. Houston St., in SoHo, is a not-for-profit educational foundation. The fee for the class is $10. For more information, call 212.777.4490.