To the lover and the visionary, It’s life as its being lived. Rumi – UZAYR
Contemporary Western society does not seem to give a fair representation to the art of flirtation. Stoic adherences to pious standards of conduct have shamed this craft of exploration, which received great approbation from the likes of Rumi, Rilke, and Socrates.
Perhaps due in part to Western culture placing so much emphasis on our individual autonomy rather than the connected collective; perhaps Victorian and/or fundamentalist values have assaulted this aptitude of discovery, either way, human beings flirt. It’s what we do and we do it with creativity spawning a range from ideas to disaster. It is in our genetic code.
The definition I invite you to consider for flirtation is one of a brief period of casual experimentation with inspired interest in a particular concept, event, or projection. Perhaps in this way you can re-frame flirtation as the internal combustion of the Muse. It is the Muse that conjures our curiosity for reflection on ourselves, the hunting out of Eros, and its inherent influence on the transcendence of identity. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but the Muse is the embryo of living imagination which emerges from the mother of necessity to transform reality through invention. Flirtation is the energy one puts to a task that illuminates us.
Consequently, flirtation can be fraudulently applied to easy pleasures and corrupted applications that violate its integrity within us. It can take on a threatening quality when one’s energy is shifted from an approved endeavor to an unapproved endeavor. Yet even this expression is not inherently wicked. Let us consider relationships: flirtation itself is not evidence of evil and if one is secure enough to hold the flirtations of a partner, a greater, non-destructive potential can arise if chaperoned with a proper accord. When the one holding the projection of disapproval is not secure in themselves, escalation to tragic levels of jealousy and grief can ensue, but like any exercise of the psyche, a thing can be made ugly or beautiful in its expression. When we take a dualistic view of this marvelous skill, we miss its greater contribution: the kindling quality of self-exploration.
Autonomy of consciousness is only a part of our nature. We also need that part which connects us to the collective consciousness (unconsciousness notwithstanding), for it is in this that we find a critical element of our self-exploration, a validating reflection. Flirtation tells us something about ourselves. Where we spend our time, our energy, our passion; who we are in the eyes of another and how our energy is received. Is it not the sonar of our soul? It informs us of our thirst, encouraging our quest for self-fulfillment. Potentially intoxicating and dangerous if handled recklessly, wise and attentive flirtation invites the Muse and when the Muse is engaged, we cannot help but experience change.
The passionate Phoenix of Firefly Horizons and conceptual prognosticator of Mutatis Mutandis reborn through the scorching forge of his annihilation into creative sanctuary. Steve translates the fury of his Phoenix experience into experiential exegesis in search of perspectives not yet in view. Read more about Steve • Articles by Steve