A Wife in France Learns How to Have True Warmth—
As her consultation trio spoke to Felice DeChamp
across the Atlantic Ocean, we heard a wife of twenty years complaining
in a beautiful lyrical language about her husband being cold to her. "He
is orderly and keeps his emotions hidden," she told us, "while I express
mine." But when we asked her what she had most against herself, she said
"I feel guilty—maybe I am not doing enough for others." And we asked "Is
one of these others—your husband?" We told Mme. DeChamp Aesthetic Realism
understands why we feel guilty, and we read to her these words from Self
and World by Eli Siegel: "In every instance of a guilt feeling, there
is evidence pointing to the fact that the cause is a feeling of separation
of oneself from reality as a whole." And this we told her can definitely
change. "That is beautiful," she said.
Or, Aesthetic Realism
Mrs. DeChamp, like many wives on both sides
of the Atlantic, felt when she married Maurice that he should make her
feel warm, and safe. We asked: Was she enough interested in the
outside world, in other people—and she told us sadly that it is hard to
look outside when you do not feel good. Mme DeChamp did not see marriage
as a time for her to try to know what a man deserves.
When we asked her: "Do you like thinking
about your husband?" she answered, "No, I don't. I feel my life is like
a clock that runs down." "Do you think your husband is lonely in his own
house?" we asked. And she told us he wants to be. We asked:
Do you want to see him as a tyrant who
worships you?...If your husband felt his wife wanted more to know him,
than find reasons to complain, do you think he would be so separate and
"I am very preoccupied with myself." she said.
Yes, and we asked was she aware that each time we asked her to give thought
or describe something her husband felt, she changed the subject and centered
on herself. We asked: Did she want to be displeased with her husband in
order to go back to the warm kingdom of herself?" "In this world, men and
women often find refuge in coldness," writes Eli Siegel in The Right
of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known,
Coldness, quite clearly is allied to
contempt; and contempt has been seen often as a protector of the distressed
or uncertain self.
With all her intensity, her seeming "warmth," Mme DeChamp began to see she stubbornly preferred coldness to asking what
does the world deserve from her, how can I have a good, strengthening effect
on my husband?
She was learning a very great deal in her
consultations, becoming happier and honestly warmer. We asked: "Do you
think you and he could both spend these coming days and months finding
out more about the whole world together? "Mais oui, certainment!" she said.
"Can you say: 'I Felice DeChamp have a new, living, vital desire to like
the world and that is what I am going to go for with you dear Maurice?'"
"Yes," she said, "thanks to Aesthetic Realism, I can say this—I do have
a stronger desire to like the world and I will tell my husband this."
In Music Is the
Oneness of Opposites We Are Hoping For
Ellen Reiss writes in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known:
Coldness and warmth are... ethical
opposites: what we are warm to and what we are cool to determine how just
a person we are. And on the oneness of coolness and warmth depends the
quality of any instance of art; because for something to be art,
there must be, working as one in it, that severity or coolness which is
structure and that warmth which is feeling.
In Wagner's Die Meistersinger there is a passionate song, which has the relation of warmth and precision
that every wife needs to have. Here a young man, Walther, wins the hand
of his beloved Eva, by singing in front of the whole town a song that he
had composed. It is about his desire to have his love for a woman and his
love for art be the same thing. It is so sincere and beautiful, he is chosen
to become the next Meistersinger. The melody is a beautiful relation of
yearning and joyousness, structure and emotion. It has those opposites
Mr. Siegel spoke to me about: intimacy and remoteness. You it is constantly
reaching for new heights—while it is ever so warmly the feeling of one
person. And structurally, the song is in the key of C, but Wagner never
lets you rest on the tonic until the final syllable of the final words "im Paradies," in paradise. Here is Placido Domingo singing this opening
[Play "The Prize Song"]
This great melody and Placido Domingo's
voice embody tenderness and warmth that are the same as respect, feeling
that is not possessive or based on narrow approval of oneself, but a celebration
of a person's relation to everything. Yes, the true warmth marriages are
looking for is here—in the study of Aesthetic Realism—and we are very
glad each week husbands and wives are meeting this great knowledge which
teaches: the purpose of marriage is to like the world!