Psychic residues

Lostness  (40)

 

 

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Might we somehow partake in immortality?

Consider the atoms from which we are made, old as stars, though
apparently lacking that crucial element: consciousness.

I still enjoy my meal while nearing the last mouthful; yet life may feel
marred because it has an end.

 

Disillusion as a price of knowledge?

If an optimist finds a doughnut and a pessimist finds a hole: the optimist is more liable to end-up with indigestion.

Will our extended sensibilities one day reach to technological offspring?
(Perhaps leading to an “Android Liberation Front”?)

Should we perceive a certain narcissism in attempts to control creation, and where reproduction, which once required contact, now also results from masturbation?

 

Other levels of disenchantment:

Things I never found at parties…
interesting conversation; new friends; going home without disappointment.

Even while asleep, traversing many dreams the way I pass through life: as a bemused spectator, I seem barred from any wisdom of experience.

Forgetting, too, has benefits. When we struggle to regain our innocence.

Recently I woke telling imaginary listeners: “Orgasm clears the psychic residues.”

If dreams were meant to be remembered, would nature have made it so difficult?

 

Next morning

Surprised again, by daylight,
I lie leaden with drowsiness
faintly sensing a barrier slid
across an exit
as the cavern
of my unconscious
seals itself behind me

What happened to inspiration?
How little was dredged-up
from all those feverish nights.
Now just questions remain…

Will I ever
be cured
of poetry?

 

 

(1985-6)

 

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

 

 

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Paranoid virtue

Lostness   (39)

 

People who condemn power are rarely referring to their own.

 

If power corrupts: how would deities avoid corruption?

Even urges for truth and justice have led to evil, as well as good.

Idealisation of the oppressed might permit excess.

Identity itself becomes divisive.

 

Extremism grants paranoia the status of a virtue.

Intolerance within belief can make it toxic to its own culture.

 

Desire for authority is sometimes matched by our resentment toward it.

Whether externally based, in law; or internal, via morality.

Where divine images carry influences from parental example: a victim of childhood abuse could find them tainted by negativity.

Inner harshness perpetuates punishment.
Addiction to suffering: rather than relief.
Obedience approaching some quality of sin?

 

Being able to forgive anyone except oneself is also an injustice.

Do we feed faith with alienated self-love, or self-hate?
Projected and personified?

Will others help, when we remain convinced of our worthlessness?

Clean revenge upon one that harmed us arrives through attaining happiness.

Yet this glad emotion is what such past actions made so fragile.

 

And beauty
may still shine
like a reproach
on those who feel
forever excluded
from its light.

 

 

 

(1985-6)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/ideas/aphorisms/poetry)

 

The profundity gap

Lostness   (38)

 

Asymmetries of passion disrupt equanimity.

In couples: regarding proportions of love.

Anxiety around a profundity gap, overshadowing romantic encounters.

Questions arising later: “Did our time together mean as much to her, as to me?”
“Am I feeling too strongly, or too soon?”

Presumably, those with higher expectations from relationships might experience greater dissatisfaction?
Though exclusivity excludes: looking for potential mates does not always cease after one has been found.

Certain people, by their inconsistency, refuse to make appraisal easy on us.

For the truly insensitive most behaviours become possible.

 

What aids perception may also blind.

The lens of a world-view.

Hence ways of living, fashioned from misery, yet still clung to, until something better arrives. In failure: victimhood as a sop to self-esteem.
Or ridicule and laughter, without understanding, defending ignorance.

 

All positions seem questionable.
Including the position that all positions seem questionable.

Who gets through existence with clean hands?
Even walking on grass normally kills something.

Once the soul revolts against injustice, an unhappy life is usually available.

 

So here I am. Alone with books. Having no friends.
Sexless in a barren limbo.
At arousing women I fear ranking second
to a slightly mouldy courgette.
I frown before the bedroom mirror
from behind this predicament of a face
stressed about appearance
and how I will be judged.
If only by myself.

 

 

(1984-5)

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

 

 

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.

 

 

(1984)

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

 

 

Time-stained

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?

 

 

 

(1983-1984)

(philosophy/psychology/sexuality/writing/thoughts/ideas)

 

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)

(philosophy/poetry/writing/life/thoughts/opinions)

 

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}

(philosophy/psychology/thoughts/questions/ideas/opinions)

 

 

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)

(philosophy/religion/thoughts/opinions/poetry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)