Monday, May 15, 2006

Do my thoughts affect her soul?

It's Monday morning, and I have my exams in a few days. I am over my head in studies, but the interesting thing is that I believe that everything will work out.

I've been focusing heavily on doing everything that a Jew should do -- (praying), putting on , etc., because I believe that now that I am getting married, I need to fix whatever weaknesses I have before I stand under the with her and declare our everlasting unity.

The interesting thing is that while I am so time-pressed, I find that we spend a lot of time just being in love. My family is actually upset that I haven't yet told her that I love her, but I don't think the time is right and I don't feel it is appropriate to have "I love you" conversations before the chuppah (wedding). Nevertheless, I am convinced by the countless hours we spend just looking into eachother's eyes (it's corny, but when we're doing it, it doesn't feel corny), I am sure she is feeling my feelings for her.

The interesting thing is that as you have probably guessed, we are totally platonic until we get married, which means that my body and her body don't touch at all. This means that as many times as I've wanted to kiss her or hold her hands, I've controlled myself because we are waiting for marriage to start being physically intimate. However, I can't deny that recently, my thoughts have gotten a bit more sexual, and I find that while I am looking into her eyes, in my mind I am imagining things and I am wondering whether I am wrong for thinking these things.

But further, I wonder whether there is a difference between thinking about things, and imagining that I am doing these things "to her" / "with her" while she is sitting right next to me. Part of me says logically, as long as I don't touch her or do something here on the physical world, my thoughts don't have much of an affect [I used the word "affect" and not "effect" because I thought it was more appropriate.].

YET, I must confess that I do feel many of my thoughts as if they ARE real, meaning that when I imagine that I reach out with my arm and I touch her shoulder, in my mind ON MY HANDS -- not the hands that are sitting on my lap, but the HANDS IN MY MIND, I can actually feel what her shoulder feels like as if I was really touching her.

My psychologist has told me that me confusing my thoughts for being real is a psychosis, and it is a problem because my thoughts are thoughts and reality is real. Yet I disagree because as many of you HAVE seen on the videos I put up on the site a few months ago, you know [with a video recorder in my hand], I imagined clouds in the sky disappearing and they disappeared EXACTLY as I intended them to. In fact, in the videos, with my finger, I "circled" which clouds would disappear next, and then THAT CLOUD ONLY proceeded to vanish in front of my eyes [and your eyes too because you saw the videos.]

For reasons like this and for reasons like what happens with a , I am convinced that a person has both a physical body, and what new age mysticism calls an "." While I don't understand exactly how things work, you know that I've been experimenting with these concepts for a few years now and I've come up with some interesting observations. One observation is that my thoughts are real on some level, and I don't think it is a psychosis to think of them as such. Please don't judge me for this example -- I read it in a book once and have tried many variations of it with interesting results: As a joke, I once was sitting on a bus, and I wanted to get the person (guy or girl) a few seats in front of me to turn around abruptly. So I imagined [note that I didn't move a muscle -- this was all in my thoughts] -- I imagined that I came up behind them and I licked their earlobe. You would be surprised how many people on this exercise alone have jumped and turned around abruptly to find that nobody was behind them. Hehe. I've also in my mind said "turn around" and many -- not all -- have responded by turning around and smiling. From all this, I am convinced that thoughts are not just thoughts and therefore, I understand why Jewish law says "control your thoughts" because while on one level, indulging in your sexual thoughts might lead to either masteurbation or actual forbidden sexual activity with the other out of wedlock [great word], however, I am convinced that there is something deeper and more tangible to our physical world with regard to thoughts being real things.

I read a while ago in a Kabbalistic text that a Jew should be careful with whom he fantasizes about, because through his activities he not only spills his seed and makes his own soul impure, but rather, he also makes the person's soul with whom he was fantasizing about impure as well. In my eyes, this is why I believe Rava the great sage [and I'm sure you more educated Jews will correct me on this, and non-Jews, bear with me for this story because the way I am saying it makes this guy look like a pervert when what he was doing was a holy thing] would stand by the woman's bath house, so that when the women would come out, they would see his face and his long beard, and then when the woman and her husband were cohabiting, she would think of Rava's face and she would as a result have holy children. I MUST SAY HERE FROM THE SHOCK AND HORROR ON YOUR FACES THAT I TOTALLY KNOW I MESSED UP THIS STORY AND NOT ONLY DID I PROBABLY TELL IT WRONG WITH THE WRONG CHARACTER, BUT I MIGHT HAVE TOTALLY MISSED THE POINT. However, my point is that in line with what I read a while ago, I am of the suspicion that when one thinks sexual thoughts about another, such as I have been doing recently, my thoughts not only affect my soul, but they affect her soul as well. Therefore, I am thinking that I need to be more careful with the content of the lascivious thoughts that have recently crept into my mind.

With all that said, I am enjoying our engagement and I cannot wait to get married. I feel that all the blogging I did over the past 398 blog entries have really helped me sort out a whole bunch of things that were on my mind.

Lastly, I hope you don't mind me not giving details about my callah (the woman I am engaged to) or stories about us, how we got together, or the things we are going through because I am convinced that she is one of you, however she hasn't made the connection yet that Zoe is me and vice versa, and when she talks about people she reads about on the internet, especially "that Zoe character from Colorado," she doesn't realize that Colorado is a small piece of misinformation intended as a distractor, and that "Zoe" is really sitting right across from her, drowning in her eyes and falling more and more in love every moment we spend together. For that reason, I have been finding it difficult to blog because I don't quite feel that the blog is that private or anonymous anymore. So until I sort this one out in my head, allow me to apologize for my lack of writing. I don't exactly know how to handle this one.


Jewish Blogmeister said...

The best advice it to ask g-d for direction he will guide you on the right path.

Newwordsmith said...

Sorry to say, but I believe that marrying someone to whom you have not professed your love is a gigantic mistake.

You are potentially going to spend the rest of your life with this woman. Figure this out BEFORE you say "I do."

There is a thing called sexual compaptability. Sometimes two people have it and sometimes they don't. It's critically important that there is a potential for this compatability to develop (if it doesn't exist now) for the happiness of the marriage. Don't you think you should find this out before signing on the dotted line???

Michal said...

I've been reading your blog for a long while without commenting, and I wanted to say mazal tov on your engagement!

I do want to agree with your family (and especially after reading this post) that you need need need to tell your kallah that you love her - not just before the chuppah but whenever you feel it and as often as possible. To be thinking thoughts of lust when you look at her, and worried about those thoughts (totally normal, and hopefully she's having them too ;) - ) without remembering that she's a part of the sexual relationship (2 people) that is to come, is a really bad idea for your future together. Because right now it sounds like you're being really selfish, sexually. You're phrasing it as if by thinking of having sex with her, somehow you're actually having it (and with the earlobe reference, it's almost as if you're saying you may be telekinetically giving her pleasure by having sexual thoughts about her? But maybe I'm reading too much into it there for her sake, and you're only thinking about how it feels to you). But in any case, if it feels that real to you, then you're describing "having sex" without being in a relationship where you've expressed love to her. Even though it's all in your head, if it feels real to you, that's using her. Because you're giving her nothing emotionally in return. Do you see what I mean?

Either way, there's an adage, that men use love to get sex, and women use sex to get love. It's a bit cynical, but there's a grain of truth in it: The two are interconnected, and for women they're completely and totally tied. Having sex without being absolutely certain that you are loved can be emotionally scarring. As it is, many kallot have awful first-night experiences, between niddah issues (have you learned the taharas hamishpacha laws yet?) and being unprepared. And it's possible she will be freaking out about the first night together as much as she is excited. Because, and I shouldn't have to tell you this, but apparently I do, for many women, the first time hurts. Sometimes a lot. She needs to feel 100% safe with you. And she won't feel that way unless you start telling her that.

I trust that you believe that you are sending these rays of understanding and love toward her, and that you truly believe that she is receiving them. But (I'm sorry), I trust your psychiatrist's diagnosis even more than that. (And I hope he's a psychiatrist and not a psychologist - if you have a different doctor prescribing you drugs and you're making your own guesses as to what's wrong with you, you're going down a dangerous road - please don't take that the wrong way, but you're under a lot of stress as it is). I don't know her, and you do. And I hope she's your bashert and that everything I say is advice and only matters a little in a long timeline. But by expecting the beginning of your marriage to be special because it's the first time you say "I love you" and the first time you touch her, and the first time you have sex with her, you run the risk of damaging your entire first year. Living together for the first time in your life is HARD. Just sharing a bathroom causes fights. Why jeopardize your night-time life together, when that's supposed to be the safest place you have? All for the sake of a moment - one moment - of saying it to her, which you could be giving to her now?

She will treasure the first time you tell her in her heart forever, no matter when it is.

In fact, every time you tell her you love her will be special.

Check with your rabbi if you're not certain it's appropriate, or frankly, check with the rebbetzin. But in my opinion this is way too important to withhold until it's too late to fix.

Mazal tov again - and I wish you many many years of happiness together

Zoe Strickman said...

I felt that you raised important questions, which I just responded to in my latest blog entry here.

Rowan said...

Yay! You are back, it's now May 26th, so you probably won't see this, but I hadn't expected so many entries from someone who seemed to dissappear in so short a time!

You remain my favourite blogger and I'm glad to see I have catching up to do.