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)



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)