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)





Beware of the question

Lostness  (18)


One issue after abuse: can I allow myself to be loved?


How long could people stay together before beginning to lie?
Might a relationship shorten if they insist on the truth?


Would I remain creative without some tinderbox of pain or unease?


Do verbal descriptions of feeling tend to have imperfections resembling those of linguistic translation? Does the analogy mislead?
Language was not designed for analysis. Studying a mechanism steps beyond using it.


Beware the plausibility of a question, just because it may be asked.


“Fabricated Concerns Ltd.” The name of a company in a dream I had.


Even poets hold “workshops” these days. Is art genuflecting to labour?
I prefer “art for art’s sake” to “work for work’s sake.”


Magical thinking shows a mind’s effort to protect itself from powerlessness.


Do atheists pray to their own subconscious?
Do believers?


A God outside the causal nexus cannot be deduced from inside it?


In some sense the supernatural undermines the mortal. Heroism exists without immortality.


Each moment is an end.









Melancholy in Utopia

Lostness   (17)


One day even computers may become depressed.


For me the appeal of Utopia is that if I am going to suffer melancholy I should prefer it to be in comfort.


Is there time in a void?  Time exists in relation to matter.


People are a perennial disappointment. Some are distinguished by a fathomless lack of depth. The vacant head might pass for enigmatic.


Would precognition imply a future ready to be seen: a finished universe? Slices through static eternity.


How many times do we feel something is going to happen that does not?  The correct hunches get remembered.


A sense of immortality coming from our dreams, where we seem to defy nature.  Back to an age when laws of physics had less meaning for us.


Metaphysical falsifiability.
I can easily envisage circumstances which could cause me to renounce my disbelief in the supernatural. Can believers say the same about their own openness to correction? A belief able to cite conditions for its falsifiabilty has more claim to reason.


Whatever indeterminacy affects this table at a quantum level, it retains painfully determinate abilities to impress itself upon my shins.


Space has no taste
but swallows everything.








Turning to philosophy

Lostness  (16)


How could anything infinite occur within time? What do we imagine when talking about infinity? Very large amounts are not even close.

Nonsense may feel better than silence: when urged on by our will.


Feeling and touch. From a womb-embrace into baby clothes. A baby cries to be held. In stress we may hold ourselves.
I feel my muscles and organs as forms of internal touch. Vibrating eardrums touched by sound.
Feelings coming before language.


One effect of philosophy could be that the world does not change but is viewed differently. But my world as experience is changed by perception. Data goes through channels of interpretation, it does not traverse a neutral ocean. Hence experiential relativity: what is seen relies upon who, what, where, when, and how, we are. Seeing depends on the “I”.


I imagine our ancestors struggling for morale in the midst of suffering and mystery. Why not make-up some explanations for it all?
Unfounded beliefs may require protection against inconvenient questions. Stories can turn to dogmas. Clashing narratives lead to fights for hegemony.


Interactions produce outcomes not predictable from separate examination of the elements involved.


Once man can cease battling for survival, he faces the obstacle of himself.






Kinds of silence

Lostness   (15)


A lost object still exists, or there would be nothing for which to search.


Finding blades of dried grass, some crumbs, even a tiny bloodstain, as I turn pages in a library book. Reading about imaginary characters, while passing evidence of real lives:
those who touched these pages before me.


Belongings of the dead remain, like mute triggers for our guilt, over loving words we found no time to speak.


How many kinds of silence are there between us? Perhaps it is a sign of closeness, this ease in each other’s silence.
Do I really know someone if I am deaf to their silences?


Memories or geology: darkness and metamorphosis, seething in unseen masses.


Bad enough that we must die: to spend life tormenting one another is a sort of obscenity.


Death approaches. People fall away. Bringing realisation of primal aloneness.


Can I love for a moment?
What else is there but the moment?


Should I write about women when I have never gone beyond their eyes?






Thoughts and illusions

Lostness   (14)


When thoughts are a part of the universe, we are part of the universe thinking.


Logic is of little use without true premises. If we cannot live with truth are we fit to survive?


Do even gods escape determinism?  How can a being choose to exist, unless it already exists?


It may be easy to love an abstraction. People are more difficult.


Some belief-systems take prior morality and claim it for their own. Virtue-thieving?


Faith sees wishes dressed as truths.


I try to have no illusions except the illusion of having no illusions.


Beyond the window
in cold moonlight
stars seem to mingle
among restless branches
of a tree.