Lostness   (28)


Feeling unattractive: I strive toward inner beauty.
Yet women have no interest in my soul.


Experience can be private, and incommunicable. But our behaviour also leaks information.
I have been surprised by the question “What is the matter?” when assuming my misery was invisible.
Is it possible to be unhappy without realising it?
“Perhaps I am…” we could find ourselves admitting.
Others claim to detect someone smitten by love, while its victim remains in denial.
Even logic begins with assumptions derived from experience.

Should we grant unjustified doubt a status above unjustified belief?


Can I accept answerlessness?


Does death undermine meaning?
An existence that dragged on endlessly might still be empty.
Meaning as a matter of content rather than duration. Quality over quantity.
Meaningful versus meaningless immortality.

Perhaps atheism is easier for the young? Though spectres of entropy may prompt us to  seek godlike powers before our universe dies.


In certain cases, the quest of life is to be born.


Monotony’s circle
like air in my head
refusing to dance.



(Sep-Dec 1980)



A microscope of cares

Lostness    (27)


We can view life through a microscope of cares, or a telescope of events.


In certain cases, intoxication seems to boost esteem. I have met those who talk about their lives in mythic tones after shedding fetters of sobriety. Yet, by next day, the spell is usually broken.


What liberates may also enslave.


Freedoms infringe each other.


Means pollute ends.


We might be tempted to find “good” in accordance with our will.

A person acting in a way they had previously condemned brushed off my charge of inconsistency with the response, “It is my morality to avoid rigid rules.”

It is easy to debate the rightness of an action, however “Why should I do good?” forms a more radical question.

The ascription of beauty to an artwork does not mean other painters should copy it; but calling action “good” implies that, in such situations, it is worthy of imitation.




Life demands we cope with what we know. For some that feels already too much.
Is there an endurable existence beyond illusion?


I write things down in order to be free of them.
So that I can move on.
And forget.



(June-Dec 1980)





Pointing at nothing

Lostness  (26)


“I am lying.”
About what?
“I am simply lying.”
If nothing is being lied about, no lie is being told.

A word taken out of its usual context may not function in its usual way.
“This sentence is false” as form without content. Standing alone it does no work.
Akin to a finger pointing at nothing.


Philosophers sometimes talk as if a child were a small sceptic, already in full possession of language, posing theoretical questions to itself; for example: “I wonder if this entity changing my nappy has a mind?”
Yet for such perplexity education is normally required.


I am wary of inhumane impulses to faith. Hatred of mortality, sexuality, questioning and doubt.
Might believers be judged by the divine company they keep?
Cruel gods for cruel people?


God as prisoner of immortality? A being that must exist has less freedom than us.


Questions keep breeding from here:

If a necessary being explains existence: what explains the existence of a necessary being?

What causes a first cause?

Would a perfect being make an imperfect world?

Why create at all, if not from lack?


Fuelled by metaphysics: a temptation to hurl oneself at the limits of language.

Was I struggling toward an unreachable status for my signs?


The brain like a fuse.
Lit or unlit.


(Mar-April 1980)




Words like dead leaves

Lostness   (25)


Someone says: “Given that the world is divided into mental or physical spheres…”  And the fatal step has already been taken!
Dualism opens a chasm then wonders how to close it.


Man is a problem to himself.


Would we have motivation without emotion?
Even logic is a product of will.



Some disconnected thoughts strive after aphorism…


Most systems produce attitudes unsuited to freedom.

Opinions that cannot be defended are not worth holding.

Firing-patterns: thought from the viewpoint of an electrode.

Asking a question could indicate the overcoming of a problem.

Certain optimists hope to change what people want by not giving it to them.

Arguments from design appeal to natures not disgusted by biology.

We learn the result of refusal to learn from history, from history.

For believers incapable of life, its postponement until after death seems a useful option.

Many praise virtue, yet dislike those who hold its mirror to their faces.

Love your enemies: so they may hate you even more.

Deception is parasitic upon truth.




Dissatisfaction with my writing
shed in these
words like dead leaves
scattered across whiteness.



(Jan-Mar 1980)



Arcs of opinion

Lostness  (24)


Being alone so much, I tend to forget life is one of the performing arts.

I try to console myself with the idea that any happiness resting upon the existence of others remains vulnerable.
But it doesn’t help my loneliness.

Life feels like a club from which I have been barred.

This starts me musing on the chance nature of love: wherever people are, with someone they happen to meet.
Except for myself.
Wherever I am, whoever I meet, love never occurs.


I suppose a frame of drama around oneself suits the ego. To imagine others perceive us with great arcs of opinion, rather than as bit players on the set of their reality.

Then my mind wanders to what future archaeologists will make of us on the basis of our pottery. And I realise the previous thread has been lost.

I had a feeling like knocking on my own door.
Even though I was already inside.


(Feb 1980)



Thoughts in search of an aphorism


Lostness  (23)


Being understood is a risk certain writers are reluctant to take.


It still matters what we call the unnameable.


Art begins with imitation in order to surpass it.


Reward is one assistant of manipulation.


I enjoy silence since I am not deaf.


The vanity of rebellion seeks an impossible break with history.


Through organisation man transcends himself in order to repress himself.


A moderate approach to problems: tackle some effects while maintaining their cause.


Desire to sanctify our passion tends to overcome any doubt of its merit.


Sensing our potential for cruelty we are wary of more powerful beings.


For happiness no questions are necessary; for sadness no answers are sufficient.


Beauty is also subversive.


History is what has been chosen for us to remember.



(sept-dec 1979)




Shooting my grave

Lostness   (22)


I imagine a multi-gun salute fired into my grave, instead of over it.


Someone in a dream insists “Special relativity is all very well, however the time I am referring to is the same throughout the universe!”



Trust is needed by infants, but an open book can be filled with lies.


Lacking knowledge of either parent a child may be partly an enigma to itself.



My freedom feels greatest in actions of least importance.


Moves of chessmen are determined, not the game.


Art is one of the better ways to waste time.


A culture should leave space for activities which lead to its advance.



What I reject philosophically can still affect me emotionally.


Alienation could lead to identification with the oppressed.


Explanatory power might make a theory more harmful, especially if it is false.



I return to this moment won from death
in defiance of entropy.



(Sept 1979)



The perspective of a soul


Lostness  (21)


Does saying “I have a body” rather than “I am a body” imply the perspective of a soul?


It might be convenient to have gods who do the loving for us, while we carry on exploiting each other.
It seems some believers already take that approach?


Can society afford a conscience if its pleasures are built upon suffering?


A depressive view may be accurate: yet reached without depression.


Atheism can feel emotionally preferable to dogma.
As a child, I found myself trapped in an environment of malicious authority.
My nervous system formed under threat.


For the alienated, interaction with others often has a hint of self-betrayal.


Can I love humanity when I hate myself?


The cosmos tells us we are nothing; the ego tells us we are everything.
Both, in a sense, correct?


In the mirror of life a universe becomes visible to itself.


What use is knowledge if I remain unaffected?
Will is a manifestation of energy, subject to chaos.


No one sees the world whole.



(Aug 1979)







Distractions and mortality

Lostness   (20)


One can spend a lifetime planning and worrying, without actually living.
Which, in certain cases, could be the point.

Or there is an urge for continually gaining information, then finding no time left to use it.

Distractions and mortality.


Death negates security.


The dead take our shared history with them. Part of a reflection in the social mirror is missing.
If I live long enough, that mirror may contain nothing except my haunted stare.


This desire for oneness, in my isolation, makes me vulnerable.


The reward of love is love; but it cannot be demanded.


Are chains of my past purely psychic?
I sit gazing at items in the room.
I may hold one, even print a name upon it, yet these objects do not feel like possessions. The relation is more “being with” than “having.”
Things retain an essential apartness. It is for me to ascribe their significance.
I spread meaning into my world.


Time is a medium of transformation.



(July 1979)



Unbounded events

Lostness   (19)


Sometimes one speaks in order not to say anything.


In my environment sensitivity was a drawback.


Survival may be paid for with the soul.


I am often more suspicious of things people want to believe, than those they don’t.
While the mind can bolster us with feelings of power, it also leads us astray.
Dreams shape a world of which we seem directly aware, without intervening sense organs.


How well a belief works might prevail over questions of its truth.


Our brain has a certain range of interpretation. We divide time into units, but such units are not properties of time. Events remain unbounded: we frame them for comprehension’s sake.


Experience allows knowledge to override appearance.


Unreasonable doubt can be as unhelpful as unreasonable belief.
Would a born sceptic have communication problems? Learning a language requires acceptance before critique becomes possible.
Doubt comes after trust.


Are demands for certainty a legacy of metaphysics?



The irrational precedes the logical.



Spiritual need could spring from the horrors of life.



(June 1979)