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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
At my school any pretext sufficed for bullying. Yet perhaps this was more a sign of animal health than my own isolation from the pack.
Tasteful eclecticism as a method of avoiding totalities.
If the unknown is more exciting than the known, one could find searches for new information tinged by anticipation of inevitable disenchantment.
But do we really know any part of the universe?
In that case we could face disenchantment at the impossibility of knowledge.
Novels can spoil us for real people.
So much time spent sleeping: what we might give for some of it at life’s end. Though, if we try to live without sleep, that end will probably come a lot sooner.
Intellect may be sabotaged from within. (31/12/1978)
My going to parties: as evidence for the incorrigibility of optimism. (1/1/1979)
Sunlight on evening grass. Little pats of warmth touched him, like faint invitations to desire. Being alone felt somehow wrong.
He stood waiting, as life slipped past. Wounded awareness. A sliver of the infinite. Wanting to give love, while there was still time.
Yet he knew, watching the sun lower behind trees, that this would be another night of going home to silence. And a last stare, in the bathroom mirror, at his characterless face: which sealed him off from those girls he longed to know, trapping the bird of soul in clumsy flesh.
Inexperience made him shy. Shyness kept him inexperienced.
Happiness often seemed a product of action.
Passing a block of flats where he spent childhood years, there came an impulse to look inside.
On its first floor stood a small boy. He climbed past the infant, quickly reaching the top landing. Outside that door to his old flat, a strange feeling he still lived here moved through him. And a memory of how those large windows in the stairway would sound when hit by gusts of wind on stormy nights.
Love can be a faith. Its main drawback being the other.
Do not fall in love with a mask hoping to find something behind it.
He heard splintered impacts as myriad raindrops scattered across concrete. A storm had crept over the area swiftly. Suddenly roofs were lashed by a sweeping curtain of water, which rose above pavements in fine spray. An angry rushing noise reached its furious peak, then fell, via flickering hiss, to staccato mutters. Soon only dripping gutters and pipework were audible.
Dark cloud now clustered along a distant hillside, amid bristling trees.
He turned away from the window.
An open notebook lay on his bed. “One has to choose to live,” read the last line.
Once we dislike a person their virtues become even harder to bear.