My last post had a link to the Wikipedia page for Compersion, which is a sub-section of the article on Polyamory. I found the article interesting, and I can dig polyamory as a relationship philosophy. It almost seems like a utopian relationship ideal, granted all parties involved can handle it. It’s also interesting that compersion is considered to be the “opposite of jealousy”, but it is noted that the feeling of compersion can often co-exist with jealousy, which when I think about it, makes perfect sense.
After reading the article, I was reminded of a chapter of Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut that I had just finished reading a few weeks ago. I found a PDF of the book online (here), and I’ve copied the related chapter below. (Forgive the formatting. Text surrounded by _underscores_ should be read as italicized.)
How I Almost Lost My Mona 93
“Do you find it easier to talk to me now?” Mona inquired.
“As though I’d known you for a thousand years,” I confessed.
I felt like crying. “I love you, Mona.”
“I love you.” She said it simply.
“What a fool Frank was!”
“To give you up.”
“He did not love me. He was going to marry me only because
‘Papa’ wanted him to. He loves another.”
“A woman he knew in Ilium.”
The lucky woman had to be the wife of the owner of Jack’s
Hobby Shop. “He told you?”
“Tonight, when he freed me to marry you.”
“Is–is there anyone else in your life?”
She was puzzled. “Many,” she said at last.
“That you _love?_”
“I love everyone.”
“As–as much as me?”
“Yes.” She seemed to have no idea that this might bother me.
I got off the floor, sat in a chair, and started putting my
shoes and socks back on.
“I suppose you–you perform–you do what we just did with–
with other people?”
“I don’t want you to do it with anybody but me from now on,”
Tears filled her eyes. She adored her promiscuity; was
angered that I should try to make her feel shame. “I make people
happy. Love is good, not bad.” “As your husband, I’ll want all your love for myself.”
She stared at me with widening eyes. “A _sin-wat!_”
“What was that?”
“A _sin-wat!_” she cried. “A man who wants all of somebody’s
love. That’s very bad.”
“In the case of marriage, I think it’s a very good thing.
It’s the only thing.”
She was still on the floor, and I, now with my shoes and
socks back on, was standing. I felt very tall, though I’m not very
tall; and I felt very strong, though I’m not very strong; and I
was a respectful stranger to my own voice. My voice had a metallic
authority that was new.
As I went on talking in ball-peen tones, it dawned on me what
was happening, what was happening already. I was already starting
I told Mona that I had seen her performing a sort of vertical
_boko-maru_ with a pilot on the reviewing stand shortly after my
arrival. “You are to have nothing more to do with him,” I told
her. “What is his name?”
“I don’t even know,” she whispered. She was looking down now.
“And what about young Philip Castle?”
“You mean _boko-maru?_”
“I mean anything and everything. As I understand it, you two
grew up together.”
“Bokonon tutored you both?”
“Yes.” The recollection made her radiant again.
“I suppose there was plenty of _boko-maruing_ in those days.”
“Oh, yes!” she said happily.
“You aren’t to see him any more, either. Is that clear?”
“I will not marry a _sin-wat_.” She stood. “Good-bye.”
“Good-bye?” I was crushed.
“Bokonon tells us it is very wrong not to love everyone
exactly the same. What does _your_ religion say?”
“I–I don’t have one.”
I had stopped ruling. “I see you do,” I said.
“Good-bye, man-with-no-religion.” She went to the stone
“Mona . . .”
She stopped. “Yes?”
“Could I have your religion, if I wanted it?”
“I want it.”
“Good. I love you.” “And I love you,” I sighed.