Superiority Complex

If I had a clone
with the same memories,
identical smile,
slightly bowed at the knees,
with love that he held
that was equally great
for you whom he saw
as his one true soulmate,
then what would you do?
Would you treat us the same?
Would you love someone more
if you had to proclaim?
“The original” is what
I think you would say,
“Superior, surely, in every way.”

But what if I lost
all the memories I had
of my life with you
and was not even sad?
With no recollection
of dreams that we shared,
my personality
also somehow impaired,
would you stay with me
now that everything’s changed?
all my love for you gone,
completely estranged…
or would you perceive
my clone in a different light?
the love that he has
for you shining bright.
He’d tell you to stay
while I’d tell you to leave,
now who is superior
do you believe?

41 thoughts on “Superiority Complex

  1. Ah…and to think…that is a problem that really faces people at times…I think of “Notebook” bitter-sweet 85% pure sweet love story.

    1. I’ve actually never seen the “Notebook”…or maybe I have…no, I think that was something else…although I see Ryan Gosling’s face in it somewhere. I have a horrible memory when it comes to movies, although if I see a scene from one it will trigger whether I’ve seen it or not (but no other relevant details of the movie). 85% sounds a bit too bitter for me…75% would be better…

      1. ’twas first a book…the film comes out with a romatic twisty end that made it an 85%…the book as usual was better, though not what I usually read.

  2. Hmm, that’s a toughie…

    1. I just watched the movie “Oblivion”, and it triggered this line of thought. πŸ™‚

      1. Fascinating!

        I did not “like” this post originally because it did not “touch” me personally. Not good; not bad; just indifferent. Now, with your comment on my posting and my reading the comments here, I think it’s a terrific insight into the loss of “shared” experience / memories. This is also something I failed to get from the movie (Oblivion).

        This now raises an interesting notion about my dealing with other folks blogs. I read some in email and some I click through to the site. Your blog is one of the latter. It now appears that may not be enough, either. By clicking through to your blog (homepage), I see the posting, but not the comments. I only get to see those if I click on the post topic title. Then I see the post and comments.

        Back on topic… I did not make the leap to dementia or Alzheimer. I also did not make the leap to “Oblivion”, but now recognize it as obvious! If you read my review of the movie, you’ll see I had no mention of this either, so I missed that from the movie, too!

        Thank you! You once again shown me facets (blogging, movies and mental illness) beyond my first observation. You are helping me see myself better (in your mirror).

        Namaste

        1. I looked up your review of Oblivion and liked the matter-of-fact way you dealt with it. Very much agreed with all the “yes” and “no” replies. It takes a lot of time to go through other people’s comments, but if I am confused by someone’s writing and suspect I may be missing the key point of it, I will read the comments to see if there are any clues or explanations provided. Otherwise, I usually don’t read comments on other blogs unless I choose to write something and do not want to repeat someone else’s words.

          Near the end of Oblivion, TC said something to his wife about him not being the same man she fell in love with, and she said, “Yes, you are.” This struck a chord with me.

          The reason I follow your blog is because it inspires me and allows me to expand my mind in different ways. That I can help show you anything in return is very gratifying. πŸ™‚

          1. The honor is to serve…

  3. Indeed a toughie.

    But if you had a clone
    With your every pore
    Who loved that which was once yours.
    Would you feel sad
    Would you feel betrayed
    If he took what was rightfully yours?
    For he is you in every way.
    So he only takes what is his in every way?

    (I hope you don’t mind me playing with your poetry). πŸ™‚

    1. Not at all! It’s a wonderful response to my poem. I love it when people comment with impromptu poetry. πŸ™‚

      1. Not something that I can do every day. Poems are hard work :p

      2. I’m usually never an impromptu poet. But I thought that was an apt discussion to you questions πŸ™‚

  4. Beautifully written πŸ™‚ Love it.

    1. So happy you feel that way! πŸ™‚

      1. πŸ™‚

    1. Thankfully it is a “what if” and not a “what is” πŸ˜‰

  5. I guess the answer to this is that the inner thoughts, memories, and feelings we have are what make us who we are. In losing them, we are no longer that person…no longer the one who was loved. But to love another the same as the “original”….that’s a poser. The inner and outer person is the same as the “original”…but to go from loving one to the other….can we love two people at once? Well, yes…since there are so many kinds and shades of love, we already do that. Ow. My head hurts. Too early to think.

    1. It is definitely a question that requires some careful thinking about what a person’s essence really is. Is our essence simply the product of experience and memories that we have accrued? Or do we fall in love with the byproduct of life, without truly recognizing its essence? I believe we fall in love with the personality that has been shaped from the person’s experience. Maybe true essence is a blank slate of sorts that requires experience to transform it into something greater, something more readily recognizable, and the personalities that develop from experience are this “greater” state of being. If we had to choose between someone with all the memories of the person we loved and with the same feelings for us over someone whose memories had gone and personality had changed, do we choose the person who represents the essence of the person we loved? Or do we choose the person now a stranger out of loyalty and obligation even if that person no longer wants you in his/her life? I don’t know. My head hurts too now. Sigh.

  6. This is now one of my favourite works of yours. It makes me wonder if what defines whom we love and the basis of that love. “Would you still love me if I were not me but a replica of me?” It echoes the same thought. What makes us different from a replica? If the speaker knows the clone is not her then there must be in essence that makes us different.

    1. The way we were created is what makes us different from a replica…which is what is so interesting about identical twins as they share the same genetic makeup and are created in the same way, literally biological clones of each other in the beginning. However, experience and environmental factors will modify their personalities, perhaps not drastically, but in small ways as they bank different memories, emotions, and interpretations of life. If their essence can be likened to a deck of cards, then experience can be what draws out and flips over these cards to be exposed and expressed in their personalities. Thus you would end up with two different personalities from the same “essence”. If “essence” can be cloned, but personalities need to develop through experience, which one is more important?

      1. Then truly “essence” consists of the genetic make-up, environment and personality as you said. It can not be cloned. Certainly, each card in a deck is flipped at a certain orientation exclusively. If essence do feed into personality then both are important. Your personality won’t be yours if it loses it essence. In this sense, the speaker loses all his memories then would not what feeds into into be more innate then environmental?

        1. Psychologists say, when it comes to personality development, that it is 100% nature and 100% nurture. I interpret this as meaning that it is the complex interactions between our genes and environment that result in our personalities and that one relies on the other and cannot act independently. If the speaker loses all his memories, then the environmental influences would also be lost, although if similar environmental circumstances arose, the genes could react in a similar way with similar results.

          1. Yes, absolutely! I do agree that it is the complex interaction between the two that gives a unified response. The last bit about similar responses is interesting. I don’t agree or disagree – it is an interesting idea. Certainly, there are other factors that do play into a behaviour or a decision. Your thoughts and immediate emotions can definitely not exactly similar to the ones earlier on. If everything was indeed just clinical (genes and environment), then the world would be a much simpler place.

  7. This is very interesting to me because it brings to mind some of my clients who become different people because of Dementia and other brain disorders of the older population. The spouse who is care taking always says my better half is no longer here. Good topic and what a brain jolter!

    1. It is so sad when spouses lose their loved ones to dementia. Yeah, the topic hurts my head if I think too hard.

  8. So very beautiful, and heartbreaking–as I was thinking about Alzheimer’s/dementia immediately; and then about how so much of our relationships, the folks we love so deeply and dearly, is about our shared memories. What do we do when the other has forgotten all or most of that?? I dare say I’ll love my “one and only truest” even past death, forever–but it’s easy for me, since he’s not here. Love is a peculiar mystery–I believe it chooses us, and thus I’ve no power to let him go.

    1. I think when the other person has forgotten all of, or most of, our shared memories or their memories of us, then we can still cherish the memories we have of them but let them choose how they would like to pursue their relationship with us in their current form and not unduly force our shared memories upon them. Love is indeed a mystery of the heart. It saddens me that your loved one is no longer with you, but I hope you still find happiness in being with other loved ones and people who care about you.

  9. I have never seen, ‘Oblivion’. My first thought was – no, not my first, I read it a few times. My thought was that it related to dementia. That it was questioning the loss of that person’s self through loss of all memories and personality. Almost looking ahead to a future moment and posing the question of a partner or inner self. Having read the comments, I can see other interpretations now. Very philosophical poem. My mind was definitely somewhat twisted in the process. I will also now need to watch that movie. πŸ™‚ x

    1. I like movies that make me think. It is worth watching in my opinion, especially if you enjoy science fiction movies. You can untwist your mind by spinning around in a counterclockwise direction…or is it clockwise…or just eat something yummy. πŸ™‚

  10. Nice piece. Cool thoughts.

  11. So many good questions! Makes me think of a book I’m reading – Before I go to Sleep. It’s not about clones, but it is about a woman trying to live with her husband after extensive memory loss.

    1. It is so sad when someone we love suffers from memory loss. We do not realize how much our memories are a part of who we are until we see them disappear in the ones we love.

  12. Beautifully written as always. With gentle thoughts flowing across a keyboard

    1. Thank you kindly Barb. πŸ™‚

  13. but what if your clone was better than you
    at all kinds of things including the bedroom
    building, fixing, singing and playing the blues
    wouldn’t you want her to have the better you
    don’t you want her to have the very best
    those abs, that soft rippled hairy chest
    you know your flabby and need rest
    but he goes all night nevertheless
    so what now, how ’bout start with a holiday
    take off and let him have his way
    find some strange maybe go back someday
    for now she’s happy, go find your own shade of grey
    (teeheehee)

    1. Now that is one heck of a response! Great impromptu poem! If I had a clone that was better than me at everything, I would definitely go on vacation and let my clone hold the fort down for awhile. πŸ™‚

  14. Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this β€œsomething” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours. Memory. The census doesn’t count it. Nothing counts without it.
    -– Robert Fulghum
    From his book: β€œAll I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergartenβ€œ

    [I hope you don’t mind my taking the initiative and adding this here as a comment (per your implied request) suggested. πŸ™‚ — KMAB]

    1. I love that you took the initiative and placed this quote here for me. That was very thoughtful and much appreciated. πŸ™‚

      1. πŸ™‚

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