Apocalyptic gratifications

Lostness   (37)


There can be situations so far from beauty they give apocalyptic fantasy an air of gratification.


How to know whether I am moving on the path of light or darkness?


Are divinities merely hidden; or absent from this world?
Studying nature does little to reassure us about any supposed creator’s kindness.
Would as many desire to worship a transcendent cruelty?
Might higher beings care for us much more than we care for insects?
Imagine our planet a now discarded toy from god’s nursery…

Sceptics could take the view that millennia of effort have failed to produce a fully convincing religion; while disasters are as liable to spring from excessive belief as from doubt.
Certain cults poison perceptions of external society: to ensure that leaving the collective becomes unthinkable. In such ways it is possible to be stunted by faith.


Yet will we ever permit deities not to exist?


One part of us may mock what another part yearns for.


Thus I cultivate my emptiness
while, across fuzzy boundaries
of feeling and recollection,
writing makes play
ideas flap around
seeking coherence
I hold up sentences
by their ragged ends
toward philosophy
in its abattoir of words.




(thoughts/questions/opinions/psychology/lostness/mental health/poetry)





Lostness   (36)


How do believers in an afterlife know they are not already dead?

I gaze at time-stained photographs of those long deceased: Victorians remain posed forever, lips still wet with saliva.

Through memory we may even come to haunt ourselves.

Moments when I feel ghostly in a self-haunted existence.

Returning to these images: how many are judged instantly, from a look or stance?
In the same way, something about us gets liked or disliked, and rationalisations follow.

Aesthetics precedes ethics.



Other, unrelated, questions came to mind:

Would saints deserve more praise than divinities whose perfection is unlaboured?

Virtue without power might be mocked, yet can virtue survive power?

Should we close our eyes because others are blind?

Equality is not always justice.




An elementary example of inexperienced youth speaking at cross purposes:

“Let’s not get serious.”
“OK. Shall we just go to bed?”
“I see you as a friend.”
“Good! I want to sleep with you, as a friend.”

Living the material of a joke need not appear funny.

For those managing only platonic relationships, a sexual one can seem to approach the form of an unattainable idea.

I hope to avoid: “He was really nice, but…” as a suitable epitaph.

Perhaps life has said “no” to me, more than I have said “no” to life?







Ethics to abuse

Lostness   (35)


Those who generate strife may be unlucky enough to tire of it.


Disillusioned idealism can end as nihilism.


While “examine your motives” serves for a principle: evolution trades in survival, not truth. Lies that aid existence might also grow to dominance.
(Given biological drives underpin activity, where will androids find artificial motivation?)
Even following our desires need not appear selfish, if we have altruistic desires.
Others tend to judge us on our actions toward them: in rejecting or responding to a request, for example.


What level of determinism is allowable in ethics, before it becomes debased?
How much control do we have over our moral sensibilities?
If I was taught to see a behaviour as bad, am I able to simply alter that perception?


In certain situations I have found, once a person has turned against me, whatever I do is liable to be viewed negatively. Attempting to converse has resulted in self-disclosures getting dismissed as narcissism, questions as prying, and silence as vacuity.

Now, after childhood abuse, raised to dislike what I am: I still carry an internal version of this, via endless looped condemnations. Auto-injustice.
Trapped in a toxic relationship with myself.


If I don’t like me, who else will?


Being homeless in the country of the heart: one can be homeless anywhere.




(Feb-Jul 1983)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/opinions)



Improvising existence

Lostness    (34)


A writer needs stamina. Yet I run out of puff in a few paragraphs.


Texts tend to yearn for totality. Laying their trail, while negation lurks like a silent Minotaur in its passageways.
Through some collapsing linear gravity, I try to orbit this black hole of self, hoping to hang on that horizon continually, in my lostness.


Words form a refuge from the overwhelming.


I picture ancestors walking forest paths in fear: muttering prayers and invocations against external threat. How many were sustained by lies or alcohol?

Cultures can also reinforce conformity via rhetoric of individualism.
Even misfits may get a chance to rattle our chains.

For those weary of doubt, faith appears an option.
Since that route seems closed to me, I struggle, instead, at a creative way.
(Worrying later efforts fail to compensate for the education I never had.)


If existence, as a brief improvisation on energy’s dancing keyboard, is not intelligible: why expect art to be?


Closing tired eyes…
I was suddenly imagining
shocks of flowers across a spring hillside
where particles jostled in light beams
which were falling warm
upon the skin
at last
and nothing to do
but live.



(Aug-Nov 1982)



Muted insurrection

Lostness   (33)


I talk to a reader I do not have.


Feeling an urge to transcend words through writing, a desire periodically chronic in my poetry: as certain types of prayer resemble a demand that God exist.
Expressing a spirit of insurrection against language from within. Or was it closer to some hermaphroditic quest for union?
Thus silence, as darkness to the light of words, is broken by its own negation.
While, if signs function in relation to others, separation will not reveal their true nature.
Once structure is missing, criteria of evaluation may likewise be lost.
In a behavioural frame, one could compare the way we call an act “free” that is self-caused, not uncaused.
Yet, rather than resolve, my thought switches from free will to the idea of eternal recurrence: how this might contain traces of a nihilism it purports to overcome. In toiling on treadmills of eternity, akin to a Sisyphus, repetition can devalue existence as it does time. Though the “once only” of mortality could seem as hard to bear as the “once again” of an absurd forever.


I talk to a reader I do not have.


About whether what matters for our future is not how intelligent we are, but how intelligent we can become?

Wondering if we could have a non-specific capability for love: only accidentally fixed onto certain objects?

Or if humans also need to be polite because we are warlike?

Then, perhaps I should avoid mentioning that my heart feels like an open wound?

And how, after falling asleep hoping to experience significant dreams,
I spent my latest one searching for a towel.



(Feb-July 1982}




Build on air

Lostness   (32)


“Where are those others, who feel as I do?” mutter castaways of the soul.
When loneliness appears like a destiny. To live, and die, among strangers.


My relationship with belief-systems is an inability to fit into any of them.
For thought, faith is a restriction.
Though we cannot build on air. At any starting-point conventions are present. Social animals tend to conformism. Group behaviour and saving face may surmount virtue. Notions of good beyond a categorical imperative, being needed for its use; the formula works inside an ethical frame, rather than generating one.
Zealots could act upon the maxim: “Always obey a divine voice, however terrible its command.” Ancient abuse might be cited in support of the new.
Ideas can coat even immorality with an insulation of sanctity.


The lure of a benign universe drives some to extremity.


Self seems to dissolve under examination, but so does object.


Should I attempt to speak soulfully
of some spirit that is lost
while night cloaks this world
in a profundity
dispelled by dawn?



(Feb-May 1982)









Reality like a failure

Lostness   (31)


There are days that seem spent as a spectator in my own degradation.
When life is essentially incomplete
and even weather assumes the character of fate.

I try to remember existing without a desire to escape.


Reality like a failure of the imagination.


Emptiness is also a facet of freedom. To be undefined.


What to offer a soul’s distress? Should I lapse from an austerity of truth?
Exchange inhumane fact for lying kindness?
Are there consolations in philosophy?

They say: “When the pupil is ready, the master will appear.”
I have waited a lifetime for that master to show up.
Am I still unready?

Perhaps a woman could teach me?
Yet I only seek her: she never finds me.
I worry about atrophy of the capacity for love.

I want to be rent with passion, not wounds of shame, through my withered heart.


If I could speak these words to someone
Would I need to write them down?



(Jan-Feb 1982)

(philosophy/thoughts/questions/feelings/mental health)



Reason’s end

Lostness   (30)


Reasons come to an end in feelings.
I have this preference, rather than another.


By stripping things of their attributes we may find not essence, but emptiness.


An idea that nothing exists apart from experiences: leaves the unanswered question of their source.


Does a search tend to create its object?


We could enjoy thoughts of ourselves as too sophisticated for faith, while seeking a place of truth: yet can anyone live there?
Do we owe truth enough to sacrifice for it?


It is possible to undergo alienation from all roles: feeling like an actor of our own life.
Though acting is also a vocation.


Should I avoid what I cannot excel at?
Suffering for the sake of art grows more dismal the longer I remain unknown.


Am I to find myself through others?


Where the unconscious serves its purpose, consciousness will be a matter of degree.


When we ask about the meaning of life: what answer could satisfy us?


Death is not an opponent that can be fought.
Our struggles end in a silence
without explanation.



(July-Dec 1981)








Pockets of eternity

Lostness    (29)


Time is not within time; neither does it flow. Time is an abstraction of motion.


Do we feel truth must be simple? Things often seem simple once we come to know them, even if they appeared impossibly difficult beforehand. Though it may take a lifetime to comprehend the simplicity of a few, quite limited, subjects.


Existence is not decided on paper: my first thought, hearing an ontological proof.


That language takes its form from reality, does not mean it shows what the world is like.
Following a rule is itself a convention. Ways out of relativity lead toward metaphysics.


Systems which allow no exception are counter-evolutionary.


Convinced I have read a book before, yet remembering nothing about it: this perception taints my interaction with the text in background frustration.
Belief manifests itself in attitude. Whether the belief is true or false.


Institutions may coat control in a rhetoric of assistance.


From birth, people begin speaking to an infant. And it struggles to respond.
Only in extreme cases do we find human development without language.


Saying “I am happy” can mark a transition from feeling happiness to merely talking about it. Breaking the spell by reflection.


Is isolation a penalty of awareness?
I fear dying alone.
Lost as an old bus ticket in the pockets of eternity.



(Jan-May 1981)



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)