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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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)

 

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

(philosophy/ideas/opinions/questions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)

(philosophy/thoughts/aphorisms/ideas/opinions)

 

 

 

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)

(philosophy/psychology/opinions/ideas)

 

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)

 

(Philosophy/questions/opinions/thoughts)

 

 

 

 

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)
(Philosophy)