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?
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
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.
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?
We tend to take more interest in a truth which reinforces our bias.
Swept by pity for history: imagined in a stream of suffering bodies, helpless as mine.
A frigid jewelry of frost lay slick on the pathway. It was lit by distant city light, glowing like a frontier post against infinite night.
Does love open us wider to life, or confine us in petty cares?
Demanding too much can spoil even what is there.
Happiness is transitory. Love on passing moments.
The eternal only touches us in moments.
A perfection of moments.
Can we hope for more?
It is easy to forget being less than half our adult size as children. I remember when fields seemed wide as plains to me, and the world sat farther from our house.
If a hero requires a cause: what would a hero do in utopia?
In the existence I seem destined to lead, many feelings are a drawback.
Does a happy person ask if they are happy?
Daily notes (1)
Participatory evolution: We reach into our genes to begin playing with ourselves.
Loneliness can be exacerbated by human contact. Some relationships would fracture from honesty.
Yet this hunger remains for a love I have never experienced. Inside me contend both need for connection and recognition of its improbability.
Isolation is also a defence. (7/12/1978)
As armour against compassion winners may assume their status is simply a matter of justice.
Religion is not beyond the sphere of human vanity.
One danger of questions: by casting them in a certain form we are led toward compatible answers.
A flow of perceptions and memory. Can we extrapolate “Self” from this: like the projectionist in our cranial cinema? What if we find his room empty except for a turning mechanism?
If I am always becoming, along some stream of present moments, where is a complete self to be found? (14/12/1978)
Of a father who appeared so dominant that only by passivity might his rage, at any rival maleness, be avoided.
Yet a father who demanded this intimidated son be strong, active, masculine.
Creating a personality afraid to be assertive, and ashamed of its fear.
I wrote this thinking of Kafka. But perhaps I was describing myself?
Lostness (7) 1978
Souls wake in sperm-forests
they cry out from my groin
wanting to swim across dreamy membranes
to become flesh and memory.
Significance undermined by time.
Turning away from death: we travel just as fast at it, backwards.
When I am ill objects seem to grow stranger.
Philosophy senses the problematic in all things. Once dogma is lost existence comes into question. Alienation as a price of freedom.
Awareness creates separation: the potential for loneliness.
When means are bad, ends get debased.
“Portion of space bounded by surfaces.” This definition of solid also defines a hole.
Words are snakes
is a lion.
Lostness (6) 1977
Blue sky, but the moon is already up. An unutterable stillness cut into its second. Beauty I live for, yet cannot reach.
Do we ask what play is for? Why ask what art is for.
My life was a performance without an audience.
What karma have I been paying? Perhaps, one day, I shall manage to forgive myself.
Happiness is not my vocation: I leave it to others. Life is a wince through the bones.
I resent meaningless toil, unless unavoidable. Better to confront the problems of freedom. We need a utopia to see if it is bearable.
Creativity as rebellion against death? An art of mind improvising itself?
This time I tried to play the game their way
but the big machine had painted my ass with cement.
Pretending to be normal is a full-time job.
Footprints wind toward the horizon. My own trail, stretching out before me.
Death has no morality. Nothing can be asked of nothing. Or a universe seen as oppressive neutrality.
Toothpick fingertips of a word
Lostness (5) 1977
History could be shown as a struggle against knowledge, not just for it.
Logic’s appeal can relate to the pain of feeling.
Are we the only animal that needs lies to go on?
The cult of despair. A refuge from dreaded banality?
How well I torment myself. I am an expert in something, at least.
Is nothing worth dying for? “I’m going to die for it anyway,” says the nihilist.
Today revolution. Tomorrow repression.
Philosophy seen in a necessary quest after the impossible; or is that art?
Only subjects have objects.
Words lead to others, like a broken waterfall over the page.
Lostness (2) 1973
Am I ever to draw again? My ability seems lost. All that lies between this hand and the paper is effort.
I think I lack talent. Which is tough for a dreamer. I fail to see a way for art or writing.
Living has no appeal.
The window is open. Sounds of night through shifting curtains.
Death wins over life. In the end. Perhaps evil wins over good?
There is no justice in the world. Justice only comes from us.
Suffering continues everywhere.
The foetus hears a cry
in its red lair.