In September of 1968 two high school sweethearts from Miami, Florida were saying goodbye to each other. Allan and Linda had been dating for several months and neither of them liked the idea that they would not be seeing each other until Christmas break, which was over three months away. Allan had been accepted by a university in California that had a very respected political science program and Linda had been accepted by a college in Chicago that had one of the best nursing programs in the United States. They were both headed off to the schools that they had dreamed of going to for a long time. (Allan, Linda, and the other characters in this story are real for the purposes of the story but they are not real in real life).
During the final two weeks before they took off to go to different parts of the country they talked a couple of times about how they would handle social pressures from their peers when they got to their new schools. Linda knew that she might feel some social pressure from the other girls to get involved with one of the guys at the school in Chicago and Allan knew that he would probably feel some pressure to impress the guys in California by demonstrating to them that the girls there were attracted to him. They discussed these pressures a couple of times but they came to the conclusion that they both had matured beyond the point where they used love as a tool to impress other people. Before they met each other they both had been involved with other people who they had cared about. Linda felt that her relationship with her former boyfriend had made her a stronger person. The strength that she received from him helped her to be better able to handle the pressures of life. When she met Allan she experienced the same positive feelings that she had experienced with her previous boyfriend but being as Allan was a better match for her, she knew that she could never receive the same level of emotional support from another guy she might meet in the future as she got from Allan. And Allan felt that Linda gave him more emotional support than he would ever be able to receive again from another girl. On their last night together in Miami they agreed that even if the pressures of college did push one of them into getting emotional support from someone else, that when they got back together again their relationship would be stronger than ever.
When Allan and Linda got together again during Christmas break three months later they were very excited. They had a lot to talk about and they were very happy to see each other again. They decided to go out to one of their favorite restaurants on their first night back in Miami. It did not take long until Linda raised the topic that was on both of their minds. "Allan", Linda said gently, "do you think this is a good time for us to talk about the guys I met in Chicago and the girls you met in California?" Allan looked a little bit concerned and said, "the last couple of weeks at school were very hectic with the final exams. I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to sit down and think about what was going on in California. I need a day or two to analyze what happened. How about if you go first and talk a little bit about Chicago. I'm sorry that I'm not prepared. I just need a day or two to think about things."
"No problem, Allan", said Linda. "I'll go first. On the first Saturday night that we were in Chicago I went with some of the other girls in the dormitory to a party that was designed for all of the 1st year students so that they could get to know each other. It was a hot Chicago night in late September and nobody really wanted to go back to the dorm when the party was over so several of us decided to take a walk down to a park on Lake Michigan, which was only a couple of miles away from the school. Out of the six guys who were a part of the group that went down to the lake I could sense that two of the guys kind of liked me. One of these guys was from Oregon and his name was Ron. He was kind of shy but not afraid to talk to me so we walked along together talking for most of the way down to the lake and back. The other guy who I thought liked me, Eric, seemed a little bit nervous about approaching me and he kind of reminded me of Peter Johnson. Eric was from Ohio and a couple of his friends from Ohio were with us that night going down to the lake. He kept joking with his friends and he didn't talk to me very much. I sensed that he wanted to talk to me but didn't know how to approach me."
"Let's see if I have this straight", asked Allan. "You were with a shy guy from Oregon named Ron and you were also with a guy from Ohio named Eric, who reminded you of your first boyfriend, Peter Johnson?"
"That's right", said Linda. "What was really odd is that the situation that night was similar to when I got together with Peter back before I met you. When I met Peter I sensed that he liked me but he seemed afraid to approach me. Then one night I noticed that he looked surprised when he saw another guy showing some interest in me. That guy was also kind of shy like Ron from Oregon was. Within a week or two after Peter saw me with the shy guy he came up to me and asked me if I was dating the shy guy. It took me by surprise and I said "no". Peter said he was just curious because the shy guy seemed to have kind of a limited emotional structure and everyone knows that love is based on strong emotions."
"That's interesting", said Allan. "I think I remember you telling me once about how you and Peter got together but I guess I didn't pay much attention to it at the time. Now, I'm more interested, of course, because I think you are about to tell me that a couple of weeks after the walk down to Lake Michigan and when the pressures of your first college classes started, you were approached by Eric from Ohio and he used Ron from Oregon as a basis for developing a relationship with you in the same way that Peter Johnson used the shy guy you knew in high school as a basis for developing a relationship with you at that time."
"That's correct, Allan. When I met Peter Johnson in high school I transferred spiritual energy that I had exchanged with other guys in the past who I had known to Peter. Even though the relationship had kind of a shallow basis (the fact that Peter was capable of stronger exchanges of spiritual and emotional energy than the shy guy was), I felt that I was exchanging a lot of spiritual and emotional energy with Peter. Then I met you and that spiritual and emotional energy that I had been exchanging with Peter was transferred to my relationship with you. The relationship with Peter made me stronger than I had been before but my relationship with you was much better than my relationship with Peter. Being as the basis for our relationship was more solid than the basis for my relationship with Peter, I was able to put more of myself into the exchanges of spiritual and emotional energy that I had with you than I was able to put into the relationship that I had with Peter."
"Allan, do remember the letter I wrote you where I said that even though we were 2,000 miles away from each other, I could still sense your spirit and your emotions very strongly?" "Of course I do" said Allan, "and I felt the same way. You were not physically with me in California but it almost seemed like you were there". Linda smiled sweetly at Allan and said, "Well, here is what happened when Eric from Ohio approached me two weeks after classes started and used the same line that Peter Johnson used on me three years ago. I suggested to Eric that we walk over to a pizza place close to the campus and talk. As I listened to him and started reacting to him emotionally I started to feel weaker and not stronger. I could tell that he was bringing back some of the same emotions that I had developed with Peter Johnson. It was interesting that those old feelings were still there but those feelings made me feel weaker and those feelings clouded my mind. I got a really low score on an exam during the week that I was getting to know Eric and I felt that I was starting to fall apart spiritually and emotionally. I had to tell him to leave me alone. I realized that some of the spiritual and emotional energy that I had been exchanging with you through the Collective Subconscious (or by whatever technique it is that people exchange spiritual energy with) was starting to be transferred towards Eric. My exchanges of spiritual and emotional energy with Eric from Ohio were interfering with my exchanges of spiritual and emotional energy with you."
Allan looked a little bit confused for a moment and then he said "if your initial friendship with Ron from Oregon was responsible for getting you into an unpleasant involvement with Eric from Ohio, then I imagine that you also felt the need to cut off your contact with Ron from Oregon."
"That's right Allan", said Linda. "I knew that if I got too friendly with Ron, there would soon be somebody else like Eric around trying to compete with Ron by providing the spiritual and emotional energy that Ron was not capable of providing. I could tell that Ron did not think it was fair when I started avoiding him. He couldn't understand what he had done that would make me want to avoid him. If I could have explained it to him the way I just explained it to you, I think he would have understood. But how could I tell Ron that he is not only spiritually and emotionally weak, but also that people like Eric will sometimes use the weaknesses of people such as Ron as a basis for establishing a relationship with one of the girls who Ron likes?"
Allan thought things over for a few seconds and said "if I had a chance to explain to Ron what happened between you, Eric, and Ron, I would start out by explaining to him that most people are constantly experiencing automatic exchanges of spiritual and emotional energy with other people. But sometimes people do not succeed in developing automatic exchanges of spiritual and emotional energy with other people. These spiritually and psychologically vulnerable people (people such as Ron) become spiritual slaves. Their spiritual energy is taken from them and it is distributed to other people. Early in life (perhaps even before their first memory) they learn that if they ask for the same things that the other people ask for they will be put under a lot of pressure. They learn that they are better off when they keep their opinions to themselves because whenever they speak up, they are punished. The end result of the pressure that they are put under is that their spiritual energy levels and emotional energy levels are never really allowed to develop. When a person is made into a spiritual slave they are also from an early age put under a lot of negative pressure if they try to develop relationships (or exchanges of spiritual and emotional energy) with people of the opposite sex. As a result, as these individuals go through life they will try to develop relationships with people of the opposite sex but they will only be able to exchange a small amount of spiritual and emotional energy with the other person.”
“I would then explain to Ron how you got involved with Peter Johnson in high school when Peter used the weak exchanges of spiritual and emotional energy you had with a spiritually and psychologically vulnerable guy who you knew in your high school as the basis for Peter to develop a relationship with you (the reason being that Peter Johnson had higher levels of spiritual and emotional energy that the did the vulnerable guy you knew in high school). I would explain how that relationship made you a stronger person. But then I would explain how when you and I got together you transferred the spiritual and emotional energy that you had been exchanging with Peter Johnson to me because we were very much alike in many ways and we were able to exchange with each other larger amounts of spiritual and emotional energy than we had ever been able to exchange with anyone else. Then I would explain what happened during the week that you and Eric from Ohio started exchanging spiritual and emotional energy on the basis that Eric had higher levels of spiritual and emotional energy than Ron had. I think at that point Ron would better understand some of the things that have been going on between him and people of the opposite sex who he has met during his life. And he would start to understand why some of the girls and women who he has met during his life suddenly started to avoid him when he felt that he had not done anything to hurt them. The relationships that girls and women develop with guys like Eric from Ohio tend to be a bit on the shallow side and when those relationships are over the ladies often want to not only avoid the guy who they actually got involved with (the Eric type), but they also might feel the need to avoid the shy guy (in this case Ron) who set things up for the Eric type.”
By this time it was about 9 pm and Allan and Linda had finished their dinner. “Linda”, Allan said. “It’s only about 9 pm and the night is young. Let’s go out dancing, ok”? “Great idea, Allan”, replied Linda. “Let’s go”.
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Copyright Don Bergquist 2010