A Clockwork Orange

Vision of a Crow

New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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I miss the days before the great bot-apocolypse when there was a thriving yahoo community of pagans. I was happy to find a place where i could discuss things like free range spirituality again.

I have been struggling with something recently, i suppose it started after breaking up with my ex-girlfriend.

I understand the need for conflict in a relationship, but am wondering if it is a necessity. You see the same persuasion surface in religion. Tame and subdue the earth. Mother as an example of a fallen sephiroth in the Kabbalah.

Women as the root of all evil and such.

So what i would like to discuss is relationships and conflict, both on the macro and the micro.

Vision
 

Foinah

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Merry Meet, Vision.
Can you clarify your position?
I ask because of the Clockwork Orange title. The book (and the movie) glorified ultraviolence, specifically towards women.
And then this:
I understand the need for conflict in a relationship, but am wondering if it is a necessity. You see the same persuasion surface in religion. Tame and subdue the earth. Mother as an example of a fallen sephiroth in the Kabbalah.

Women as the root of all evil and such.


So I'm trying to figure out whether or not you are referencing conflict in terms of violence?

And violence (subjugation, domination, willful pain) is anathema on the pagan path.

Relationships are meant to be beneficial.
Take the rune Hagalaz (H) -- it represents disruption.
But disruption is not necessarily a bad thing. A boulder rolls into a river, disrupting the flow, and the water finds another way around. The earth pushes upwards for a seedling.

Conflict in a relationship that leads to communication or growth can be beneficial.
But I'm slightly put off by your examples and framing of the question so far. I know that the interwebz is not ideal for communication. It's easy to misinterpret things without face-to-face cues or dialogue.

Therefore, please clarify.


I miss the days before the great bot-apocolypse when there was a thriving yahoo community of pagans. I was happy to find a place where i could discuss things like free range spirituality again.

I have been struggling with something recently, i suppose it started after breaking up with my ex-girlfriend.

I understand the need for conflict in a relationship, but am wondering if it is a necessity. You see the same persuasion surface in religion. Tame and subdue the earth. Mother as an example of a fallen sephiroth in the Kabbalah.

Women as the root of all evil and such.

So what i would like to discuss is relationships and conflict, both on the macro and the micro.

Vision
 

Maythe

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Why do you feel you need conflict? I discuss things and sometimes disagree with my husband but we never *fight*, not even verbally. The things that are necessary to a relationship are communication, compromise, understanding and love.

And what is this bullshit about women being the root of all evil? That's some Abrahamic crap right there. (Edited to add: and a misunderstanding of the Abrahamic religions at that.)
 
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Gavin Aendless

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A while back it struck me that conflict is the root of narrative.

A story, any story, it seems to me, presents a conflict to the protagonists in one of at least three ways: situational (the characters find themselves in a setting in which they have to survive, figuratively or literally); a quest (and what is a quest without obstacles and enemies?); or a way of thinking (to remain steadfast or to change one's mind). Conflict drives story. And, as I remember from my writing classes back in the day, an author pretty much inevitably takes a moral stance regarding story-conflict, no matter which side the protagonists find themselves.

Can anyone think of a narrative that doesn't involve a conflict of some form?

And, to make this relevant, how can pagan authors engage with conflict, when earth-based spirituality looks to a cycle of birth, growth, dying and renewal, rather than the simple binarisms of (exoteric) Abrahamic religion?
 

blacbird

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A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian black humor satire, told from the POV of its disaffected juvenile narrator. It isn't a work intended to advocate that character's philosophical viewpoint. It is one of the best examples of an "unreliable narrator" that I can think of in fiction.

And one of the finest novels of the 20th century.

caw
 

Dawnstorm

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Can anyone think of a narrative that doesn't involve a conflict of some form?

Recently someone (I think it was WildeAtHeart) shared this interesting article about a Japanese plot structure ("kishoutenketsu") that doesn't involve conflict.
 

Hapax Legomenon

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Dawn, it's a really interesting article, but I wish they had better examples.
 

kuwisdelu

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Can anyone think of a narrative that doesn't involve a conflict of some form?

There are plenty of us that keep saying you don't need conflict for a story.

What you do generally need is something best described as tension.

Recently someone (I think it was WildeAtHeart) shared this interesting article about a Japanese plot structure ("kishoutenketsu") that doesn't involve conflict.

Kishōtenketsu creates tension in its tenku (twist), which is resolved in the kekku (conclusion).

"Tension" may not be the best word for it either, but it is something which must be resolved. However, that resolution need not even be on the page in some cases.

In haiku, what I am calling tension is created via ma, which is resolved in the mind of the reader.

Hasegawa Kai said:
A more realistic problem for discussion is that of ma. This Japanese word can have a spatial meaning, as in "empty space" or "blank space," a temporal meaning (silence), a psychological meaning, and so on. Ma is at work in various areas of life and culture in Japan. Without doubt, Japanese culture is a culture of ma. This is the case with haiku as well. The "cutting" (kire) of haiku is there to create ma, and that ma is more eloquent than words. That is because even though a superior haiku may appear to be simply describing a "thing," the working of ma conveys feeling (kokoro).

In contrast to this, Western culture does not recognize this thing called ma. In the literary arts, everything must be expressed by words. But Japanese literature, especially haiku, is different. As with the blank spaces in a painting or the silent parts of a musical composition, it is what is not put into words that is important.

The reader of a haiku is indispensable to the working of ma. This person must notice the ma and sense the kokoro of the poet. A haiku is not completed by the poet. The poet creates half of the haiku, while the remaining half must wait for the appearance of a superior reader. Haiku is literature created jointly by the poet and the reader. A Western poem is the product of the poet alone, and thus here also the way of thinking about haiku is different.

http://www.simplyhaiku.com/SHv6n3/features/Kai.html

And, to make this relevant, how can pagan authors engage with conflict, when earth-based spirituality looks to a cycle of birth, growth, dying and renewal, rather than the simple binarisms of (exoteric) Abrahamic religion?

A cycle carries implicit tension in the space before it restarts.

Rebirth is as much a form of resolution as it is a beginning.
 
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regdog

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Relationships do not need conflict.


Tame and subdue the earth. Mother as an example of a fallen sephiroth in the Kabbalah.

Women as the root of all evil and such.

Vision

Women are NOT the root of evil. Ignorance, bigotry and hate are more in line with that. As is the idea of subduing them.
 

Chrissy

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A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian black humor satire, told from the POV of its disaffected juvenile narrator. It isn't a work intended to advocate that character's philosophical viewpoint. It is one of the best examples of an "unreliable narrator" that I can think of in fiction.

And one of the finest novels of the 20th century.

caw
QFT
 

phantasy

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There are plenty of us that keep saying you don't need conflict for a story.

What you do generally need is something best described as tension.



Kishōtenketsu creates tension in its tenku (twist), which is resolved in the kekku (conclusion).

"Tension" may not be the best word for it either, but it is something which must be resolved. However, that resolution need not even be on the page in some cases.

In haiku, what I am calling tension is created via ma, which is resolved in the mind of the reader.



http://www.simplyhaiku.com/SHv6n3/features/Kai.html



A cycle carries implicit tension in the space before it restarts.

Rebirth is as much a form of resolution as it is a beginning.

That was a fascinating article. I think the Studio Ghibli film Up on Poppy Hill, was a good example of this structure, if anyone can back me up on this. Where the characters by the third act get a change in something they believed was true and must reconcile that change by the fourth act. Really great to keep this in mind for future stories.
 

Foinah

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I wish Vision of a Crow would come back and participate ;-)

There have been some great replies in terms of conflict in a story, but if I understood correctly the framing of the original question was in regard to relationships.