Attraction and repulsion

When someone devotes himself body and soul to something, we tend to admire his dedication. Yet there are sometimes details that must be taken into account. A person spends his time telling jokes. Is it for the joy of entertaining his friends? Is it to attract anyone's attention by fear of loneliness? A mother sacrifices everything for her children. Is it for them to be happy? Is she seeking social pride to avoid seeing her own wounds? A scientist spends his days and nights in his laboratory. Is it a passion for discovery? Is it to shine like a highly intelligent being because he doesn't know how to fit into society? A man has sex with other men. Is it because he admires virility? Is it because he is terrorized by femininity? A man wants to change his gender. Is it because he feels like a woman? Is it because he hates to be a man?

When I look around me, I see 2 types of forces which cause movement : attraction and repulsion. Attraction means being attracted to an object. Repulsion means being pushed back from an object. In a cable, the electron is attracted to the negative pole. On the soccer field, the ball is pushed by the player's foot. Under the ground, roots attract the surrounding water. On the mirror, the light is repelled by the polished surface. The metal is attracted by the magnet. The falling stone throws water in all directions.

In attraction, the goal is specific even if it contains unknown parts. The path leads to the goal even if it is fraught with pitfalls. When there is a price to pay, it is possible to compare it to the value of the goal to make a decision. By contrast repulsion is more uncertain. Getting away from something, where does it lead? The destination doesn't matter, the road is constantly changing, it is difficult to assess the route. In terms of human relationships, attraction is translated by the word "love", while repulsion is called "hatred" or "fear". Love leads to something, hatred and fear move away from something.

In these circumstances, it seems to me that attraction should be a daily engine while repulsion should be used occasionally. The reason is simple. In order to have a meaningful life, it is better to have goals, something to focus our efforts on. The more we like these goals, the stronger our motivation, the more our investment is enthusiastic. Sometimes the vagaries of life are such that we need the burst of repulsion to get out of difficult situations.

What happens if we do the opposite?

Living on repulsion everyday necessarily brings stagnation. It is the survival mode where each day is a fight or a runaway to avoid disaster. It is the stealth mode where everything that bothers us is to be avoided in full stress. It is the destruction mode where everything we hate must be destroyed at any price. Living constantly on repulsion wastes energy for poor results.

Wanting attraction in exceptional circumstances necessarily brings stagnation as well. Instead of taking the risk of a leap into the unknown, we remain in the pain or mediocrity that we know by heart, hoping for an unlikely miracle, longing for a hypothetical savior. This is the blind faith mode where the being fades with joy, boredom or anxiety as things get worse. The exceptional situation ends up being seen as normal and the being gradually regresses to adapt.

Order reigns in nature because attraction is permanent while repulsion is occasional. The rock is always subjected to the attraction of gravity. Sometimes it falls before stabilizing elsewhere. Water is attracted by the air or the ground, depending on its density. Sometimes an object pushes the drops before they resume their usual course. The air is subjected to the currents created by the temperature, pressure and moves of the earth. Sometimes physical or chemical reactions may disperse it before it is picked up by the terrestrial forces again.

Harmony is generated by the permanent attraction and the occasional repulsion. Chaos is the opposite. It is the permanent reign of repulsion, punctuated by occasional attractions. When chaos is channeled, it can give a misleading impression of order. It is an illusory energy-consuming pseudo-order  that shatters at the slightest opportunity. Water is forced at high speed in the firefighters pipe. The pressure is such that any technical or human error could cause an accident.

In today's world, I see 2 trends among cultures. On the one hand there are repulsion cultures, which are essentially based on fear of some things, hatred for some people, contempt of some practices, prohibition of some actions. On the other hand there are attraction cultures, which are mainly based on attachment to things that are entertaining, useless, hollow, ephemeral, addictive, hypnotic, misleading, numbing, absurd and even dangerous. These 2 cultural trends are at war, as each claims to hold the key to true happiness and each blames the other for leading humanity to destruction.

Personally, I would like to see a 3rd trend appearing on the world stage.

Links to go further

Go back