06 April 2011

The meaning of the non-material

Regularly given gifts need to be refreshed periodically so they can retain their element of surprise and of the receiver's sense of undeservedness so that the gifts can continue to elicit gratitude. 
That we are built to forget the pleasure of sexual congress makes it easier for the participants to feel grateful for the gift that is the act of carnal love. The repeated back and forth of gift giving makes the value of material gifts disappear and blends instead into the non-material meaning of the parties to the gift giving. Gratitude translates the value of the material into the meaning of the non-material, which is, ultimately, the importance of the parties to a relationship. 
The parties to a covenantal relationship exchange gifts that mean nothing to themselves and everything to the covenantal partner. Pure covenantal exchange is thus the opposite of pure market transaction. In a pure market transaction each party wants to transaction to cost them nothing while all the value accrues to themselves whereas in a pure covenantal exchange each partner dispenses what in fact costs them nothing but all the value accrues to the partner.  

No comments:

Post a Comment