Of the Purpose of Friendship

Today, our planet is miniscule to us. Two things have contributed to this, our knowledge of the size of the universe and our planet’s size relative to it, and the advancement of communication technology.

In earlier, more innocent, or one may argue, more ignorant times, we imagined that this planet was immense, the entirety of the universe maybe.  Now, with the internet becoming a necessity rather than a luxury, no corner of the world is out of reach for us. The planet lies at our fingertips.

While this has its obvious advantages, which I will not get into here, it brings along with it certain complexities that did not previously exist to this degree. I speak of human interaction.

A comic strip I recently read stated that “Happiness is your family staying at least one expensive plane ride away.” The point it made was valid, almost profound. It is too easy for everyone to reach everyone today. Distance is no longer a barrier to contact. And so clarity in dealings with fellow sophisticated primates becomes all the more crucial. One must know what one is doing when maintaining a bond of any kind with one’s fellow beings.
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Social existence was conceived by man, evolutionarily, to improve his chances of survival against nature. We may safely say he succeeded. The fact that his survival is now threatened by these very same social contemporaries does not take away from its success. He has managed to at least alleviate some degree of danger from predators and natural calamities, though it will never be completely alleviated.

 Having banished that problem, the use of relationships evolved. A study of history will reveal that the greatest benefit mans social nature has granted us is the sharing of knowledge. We have, through the cooperation of man with man and the magic of communication, been able to erect monuments, philosophies, technologies and ideologies, not a single one of which could have been created without the platform provided by the men before us. A child in today’s world has access to information that has been in existence and is being collected since as long back as 3000 BC. Before the age of 25, he can acquire information that on his own would not be knowable to him in a million lifetimes. Relationships provide one with the benefit of tackling many different problems at the same time, or tackling the same problem in many different ways. No two men are alike, and therefore, their method of approach must also necessarily be different, the slightness in the degree of deviation is irrelevant. The repeated and ruthless testing of facts by the men of science ensure that we do not rest our research on shaky foundations. They have built us a platform of reinforced titanium. From here the only direction we can go is upward.

So, relationships are then to lead us to a higher form of existence. I speak of higher forms not in the supernatural or religious sense, but in the worldly sense. They are to help make us what we could not be on our own. That is their true purpose.

In each friendship, there is the host (the individual) and the guest (the friend). A friendship may occur when the will or spirit of the host comes into contact with that of the guest. As to what form of friendship results from the meeting, is decided by the nature of their respective wills.

The friend is here referred to as the guest because he requires admittance from the host. In some cases the admittance is given reluctantly, but nevertheless, a “friendship” cannot occur without the host allowing it. The host is breaching the defenses of his self in order to allow the guest in, so that he (the host) may experience and learn things that would not be possible on his own. However, this pre-assumes the admittance was voluntary.

Where the host’s will is much weaker

Abusive: In some cases, the will or spirit of the guest is so overpowering, so overwhelming, so all encompassing in comparison to the host’s own, that the admittance is acquired by sheer force rather than by willful consent. These circumstances, where the host has little or no force of will in comparison to the guest’s, are the ones that give rise to all forms of abusive friendships. The host is, in this case, a helpless pawn. The guest may do with him as he pleases, use him as a tool and then toss him aside when he is no longer useful. No control resides with the host, he is now a passenger. In milder cases, the superior will remains with the inferior just so as to have a constant reminder of his own superiority. It is a perpetual ego boost, if you will. In more extreme cases, there is financial, mental, emotional or physical exploitation. This only takes place when there is a massive difference in force of wills.

Other forms of abusive friendships start off as normal friendships, with the host consenting to admit the guest and a mutual benefit occurring. However, in due course of time, the superiority of the one (the guests’s) becomes apparent over the other(the host’s). The guest, becoming aware of the advantage he possesses, begins to wield his power, testing his limits, taking it further and further, until he has absolute control over the host.

In both forms of abusive relationships, the host is unable to break it off of his own volition. Subconsciously, his will recognizes it is in contact with a higher form, and it craves it and is loathe to break it off. Consciously, this may take the form of fear, reluctance, love, procrastination, or any emotion that will put off the thought of breaking off the friendship from his mind. In these cases, the host remains bound to the guest by choice despite suffering abuse at his hands.

This does not include the cases where there is actual physical intimidation from the guests preventing the host from breaking it off.

Non Abusive: A variation of non abusive relationships that results from this type of meeting of wills is that of the dependant host. This occurs when an inferior host will meets a superior, non malicious guest will. The host, consciously recognizing the superiority of the guest, feels indebted to the guest merely for maintaining the bond. What results is the gradual disintegration of the self esteem, morale and confidence of the host. How long it takes for the process to be complete depends on whether the guest acts to impede the process or help it along. But there is no way to put a stop to the process outside of ending the relationship.

Another type, probably the best possible under the circumstances, is that of the imitator. This occurs when the inferior host meets the non malicious, superior guest and spends the entirety of their relationship in an attempt to bring his inferior will up to the level of the superior. This form of friendship is most beneficial to the host, while not so much for the guest. The host has a living model to replicate, he may observe, study, question, practice all the traits of the superior. He lifts his own self to a height he has never been able to scale before. For a weaker will, this is the only form of friendship with a stronger will that is beneficial and true to its purpose. It is the only form that takes him upward and not downwards.

Where the host’s will is much stronger

A Hollywood movie (Revolver) famously proclaimed that, “The first rule of any game is that you can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent.”

Occasionally, even Hollywood happens upon the truth.

When the will of the host is stronger than the guest’s and yet the guest is let in nonetheless, there can be many precipitating causes. However, outside of boosting one’s self image and reinforcing one’s comfort in one’s own superiority, no relationship of this form yields any true benefit for the host. There may be naïve positives pointed out under the guise of phrases like, “they teach me the beauty of simplicity” or “every man is special in his own way”, but these are empty phrases created to pacify the hearts of those who are vain enough to believe them. One who believes there to be truth in these phrases would also soon believe that Marxism does actually create a classless, sustainable society and environment for the world to live in. And once you have gone down that path, you are lost to logic.

The truth is, when allowing a weaker willed guest, you are diluting your energies. This form of friendship mainly takes place in two scenarios.

The Egotist Friend: This host does not wish to climb higher. His purpose is not elevation. His purpose is impression. He wishes to be considered elevated and achieves his purpose through comparison. He surrounds himself with people who are no equal of his in any way. Instead of striving to achieve a higher existence, he strives instead to feelhigher by mingling with the minions. This may achieve the desired result as far as he is concerned. Within his circle, he may be considered with a certain amount of respect, admiration and maybe even awe. However, for our purposes, as far as the true purpose of friendship is concerned, he has achieved nothing. In the best possible outcome, he will have stagnated. In the worst outcome, he will have degraded himself to the point where he no longer deserves the tag of the “superior”, no matter what he is perceived to be. In short, he will have received credit for something that he is not. And how commonly we perceive this tragic phenomenon!

The Charitable Friend: The second scenario takes place when the host, knowing it is stronger, better placed or higher, call it what you will, condescends to befriend the lowly guests, not out of a feeling of self aggrandizement, not out of egotistical ulterior motives, but out of a belief that because it resides on a higher plane, it is somehow duty bound to help others get to that plane as well. The age old dogma that man owes a debt to mankind and must do everything he can to help his fellow beings even at the cost of himself. The motives behind this form of friendship may be noble (If they are genuine at all), however, that does not make them correct. Not in the least. Whenever a will is concentrated downwards, whether for positive or negative reasons, the outcome is always negative on the whole.
Yes, its condescension may have lifted a few paltry guest wills to a slightly better plane, but the duty of the higher will resides in forging a new path, so that the rest may follow more easily. Not in personally carrying the incapable on one’s back and being bogged down by their crippledness. This form of friendship is the most dangerous to the higher will and to humankind at large, because it is regarded as nobility, humility, charitability. In short, it is praised. And thus reinforces the downward course of the higher will.

It is worth considering that this kind of action may be so highly praised because the mob subconsciously always strives to discourage individuals from rising alone too far above the pack, and in this way they cover their malice and insecurity in a cloak of admiration.

When the host is equal to the guest

Neutral wills: This is one of the most commonly found forms of friendship amongst humankind. And unsurprisingly, it is one that does not involve much thought. All the other forms mentioned above and that will be mentioned below, whatever their positives or negatives, had at least this to their credit, that they had a logical thought process behind them. Whether the thought was conscious or subconscious, malicious or gratuitous is immaterial. The thinking was existent and so it lent itself to some purpose. This form of friendship, however, is a thoughtless one. Instinctual, comfortable, easy. One could almost say natural, if only its outcome was not completely counter natural. When a host meets a guest whose will is exactly its equal, but the host derives no effect nor produces any upon the guest, but the both of them merely coexist exactly as they are, that is what is known as the Neutral Will friendship. It is an anesthetic, a zombie mode, if you will. There is no purpose served by this except to while away time, alleviate loneliness, distract one from the harshness of realities. Maybe have a shoulder to cry on. One may even argue that is all one needs from friendship. But again, standing above the narrow, naïve short termed perspective, one must recognize the error in this thinking and guard oneself into falling into this rut. No form of stagnation can ever be productive. And when one is not moving forward, one is always falling behind.

Binary Star
In space, binary stars are two stars that have attached themselves to each other through a common centre of mass. They neither collide with each other, nor do they move apart, but are eternally bonded with each other through their respective gravitational pulls and as a result spend eternity spiraling through space, ever locked in an almighty embrace with each other.

I can find no better analogy to explain the last two forms of friendships, and possibly the two most important ones.

Downward Binaries:
Herein lies the most dangerous form of friendship. When two wills of equal might collide, and the host cannot overpower the guest nor allow itself to be overpowered, then two situations may arise. This is the first of them, and the deadliest of all the forms. In the Downward Binary scenario, the host and the guest attach themselves to each other, and from then on ensues what are commonly known as mutually destructive relationships. One complements the other perfectly, but only the negative sides. Neither will is able to bring forth its positive side, and on the other hand, the negative traits of both wills are reinforced. Friendships of this kind are capable of bringing down the highest of wills, and in each case it results in a double tragedy, because not one, but two will spiral down to their annihilation in unison. They each find justification for their actions in the support of the other, and they in turn dispel any doubts that the other may have about the course their lives are taking. They walk hand in hand and willfully traipse towards oblivion, and barring divine intervention, very few forced on earth can stop them.

Upward Binaries: Herein lies the treasure, the arkenstone of friendships. This form is rare, one is lucky if one encounters it even once in a lifetime. Multiple occurrences are almost unheard of. An Upward Binary is a friendship that results when the host admits a guest of equal might, and the two lock themselves in the binary girp. However their spiral goes not down, but up. From the beginning to the very end, this form of friendship serves no purpose but to spur both host and guest on to immeasurable heights. Neither will would be capable of scaling half as high on its own, however every time one falters, the other is there to spur him on, and so on and so forth to eternity. The binary stars may be dissimilar or identical, complementary or clone like, the medium of elevation differs. However, what does not differ is the result. The result leaves both spellbound. And very often leaves something behind them that holds the whole world enthralled. Separating the two is just as improbable as in the case of the Downward Binaries. And truly, to take the analogy further, the binary system is only broken when the stars perish. And usually, when one persishes, the other is not long behind. This bond is more sacred than love, than honor, than loyalty, even dignity. This bond is the only one that succeeds completely in achieving what is, in the end, the true purpose of friendship.

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