spiritually. But then he knew it—he knew it, and had done. And was not Ursula’s way of emotional intimacy, emotional and physical, was it not just as dangerous as Hermione’s abstract spiritual intimacy? Fusion, fusion, this horrible fusion of two beings, which every woman and most men insisted on, was it not nauseous and horrible anyhow, whether it was a fusion of the spirit or of the emotional body? Hermione saw herself as the perfect Idea, to which all men must come: And Ursula was the perfect Womb, the bath of birth, to which all men must come! And both were horrible. Why could they not remain individuals, limited by their own limits? Why this dreadful all-comprehensiveness, this hateful tyranny? Why not leave the other being, free, why try to absorb, or melt, or merge? One might abandon oneself utterly to the moments, but not to any other being.
He could not bear to see the rings lying in the pale