Withdrawn empathy

 

 

Konica1024

 

 

 

Lostness   (73)

 

 

 

How to be irreplaceable?

Do what only you can do.

 

 

Indicating I should give up chess for art
yet lack the will.

Perhaps time wasted is more self-sabotage?

While routine keeps chaos at bay.

(Constraint dressed as liberty?)

 

Remembering
during childhood
new items would interest
and excite
but later excess novelties
began to irritate.

 

 

Here my mind switched topic
as it struck me
since becoming sick
I often received unsought advice
containing barely concealed dismissal

finding people reassured
by their withdrawn
empathy

sparked after
my exile from the fit.

 

Possibly reflecting
in a small way
resistance to compassion
outside our chosen groups?

Pointing at a tendency for
ethical selection

constructing varied alibis
over creeping inhumanity:

 

On one extreme
an aristocratic
exceptionalism
(where assumed rank
excused base action).

 

And in politics
some devalue all opponents

until better systems appear worse
because improvements might delay
imagined revolution
(plus revenge).

 

Or unalterable texts
can block reform
focusing
cultural incompatibility

letting intolerance spread
through openness.

 

 

Those who laud
global ideas
may deny tribal forces
moving others.

 

Like any credo wanting to prevail
imposing supposed virtue
stirs reaction

as authorities suppress
expression around
ill feeling.

 

 

Though hate
lives on

 

in silent passions
of the heart.

 

 

 

 

(2001)

 

 


 

 

(I try to blog each Sunday. Comments welcome.)

 

 


 

 

(aphorism/depression/drawing/illness/life/lostness/mental health/opinions/poem/poetry/thoughts)

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Idol of the book

 

Konica12506

Lostness   (72)

 

 

 

Saying “No” to so much
yet missing a “Yes” in its place

 

yearning for transcendent events
as life stays drearily normal

 

a spectre haunting modernity
is nihilism

unexorcised
by abundance.

 

 

We lack replacement consolations

while old beliefs survive
on more than truth.

 

Tired from logic
religion can traverse
ghettoes of the inexplicable

where hearing: “God told me to do this”
people don’t ask
how one knew that was him

or beings get defined as existing
in teaching set
against critique.

 

Now
assuming
superior entities
would feel
any need to create

should flaws be excused
such designers

depicted greying with age

when images of a playful child
may fit the role instead?

 

Idolatries
of the book
can occur

certain infallible words
preserving ossified hate
still able to damage

there
though killing transgresses most doctrines
a few might be sought it fulfils.

 

 

Our reaching an end
justifying

leaves only bias
plus faith.

 

 

Meanwhile

sidelined

I persist:

agnostic in intellect
atheist at heart
but usually seeking
escape

from reason’s empty hallway
past humid bathrooms
of metaphysics.

 

Dreaming toward closure

lured around libraries

stacked titles
gleaming
before me

already suggesting
anew

untrodden paths
for
wandering

among
these printed
forests.

 

 

 

 

(2001)

 

 


 

 

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(I try to post each Sunday.)

 

 


 

 

(beauty/books/drawing/life/lostness/mental health/opinions/poem/poetry/thoughts)

 

 

 

Conceptual symptoms

 

Konica12548

 

Lostness   (68)

 

 

I seem to be reinfected by philosophy

 

and hope this relapse proves temporary

though thoughts
(some off-topic)
soon erupt like symptoms
through my head…

 

 

1

That single acts hold meaning
lacked in a totality

As each sentence, not whole language, makes its sense

So life could have many meanings
bound to separate events
rather than reflected overall.

Hence micromeanings
without a macromeaning.

 

2

If character results from experience plus memory
living fully in the present
might depersonalise.

 

3

Are death-instincts glimpsed via powers of shame
akin to programmed cell-death (apoptosis)
scaled up on social levels?

Feedback from others keeping us alive
while prolonged isolation fuels rumination,
even entropy.

 

4

Potential instability in those whose hatred of authority
masks desire
for its love.

 

5

People quoting “God is dead” as atheism:
neglecting metaphysical
bereavement.

 

6

Religion also stuck at the denial stage of grief.
For millennia.

 

7

Pride in our originality
aided with ignorance of history.

 

8

Ends corrupted by means.
An ethical sentiment.

 

9

Consciousness distributed
letting organisms tap into it
at a neural interface.

 

10

Screens replace ancestral campfires
gaining an attention primed across evolution
to motion
indicating agency…

 

 

 

Here occurred my own distraction.

 

Once hail began
tapping
upon the windowpane

beneath deep grey skies
of an England
where summer
may not quite
arrive

 

yet somehow
autumn

always does.

 

 

 

 

(2000)


(Artwork on the blog is mine: I hope you like it!)

(art/atheism/blogging/drawing/ideas/lostness/mental health/opinions/poetry/thoughts)

 

Some slight romance

 

Konica12527

 

Lostness   (65)

 

Belonging: arisen by separation
from what does not belong.

 

Inclusion that excludes.

 

Identity involves division.

 

Though minds may meditate over
problems of personhood
immune systems must decide immediately
between self
and other…

as, at tribal levels, xenophobia
might protect a culture
against outside influence.

Nerves aroused in fear
attend to threats;
hostility defending
survival
under stress.

 

For anger
the world is full
of opportunity.

 

Talk being often democratic
feeling tends to bias
seeking affirmation
until a story sets
or grows mythic
exaggeration aiding recall
hence, perhaps, our ancestors
built memories around past glory
then those exemplars
gained rank
among heroes
turning, later, into gods
with legends read
toward heaven
and marked across stone.

 

 

Amid conflict
some attempt neutrality
though sitting on the fence
extensively
can make it harder to stand up
for anything.

Like learning ways to doubt
while lacking any method
of belief.

 

 

Even romance has downsides
reflected in my slight experience
on dates
where her needs seemed met
yet mine remained postponed
when she took a certain pride
at how much had been withheld.

 

Thinking back
the great reward of sex
for me
was assisting female pleasure
sharing which
to my surprise
(after such intense aloneness)
could still be done.

 

And thus I
went on clinging
to an idea
of love…

despite its long
continued
non-occurrence

here.

 

 

 

 

 

(1999-2000)

 

(All artwork on the blog is mine. I hope you like it.)

 

(art/beauty/blogging/drawing/life/loneliness/lostness/love/mental health/opinions/poetry/thoughts/writing)

 

 

 

 

Illumination’s alchemy

 

konica12504.jpg

Lostness   (54)

 

I fret upon the rubble of stories my ancestors fought over.

 

Should I turn from masochistic truth
toward lies to live by?

 

Once reality seems unbearable, faith may appear essential.

 

Yet, what if current religions fail to inspire?
Despite unwanted needs for community and authority
festering beneath victorious individualism.

Where a sacred vocabulary reveals hierarchy…
does holiness subvert equality?

 

 


 

 

Which path to follow?

 

Some decisions expose reason’s insufficiency.

 

Doubts are so fertile.

Not merely when facts can be cited on opposing sides,
or that assertions occur within time,
and memory is fallible…
but, since being taught to speak by others,
can one even be sure about the meaning of words
used to describe inner experience?

Moving away from philosophy
a personal question arises:
do I lack metaphysical capacities?
Am I simply deficient in certain feelings,
required for belief…

Like those associated with beauty:
as yearning lights up the beloved
in an aura of attraction
while strangers fall outside
illumination’s alchemy.

 

 


 

 

I consider my empty life…

 

If everything desired becomes unattainable, why continue to strive?

 

 


 

 

Now
amid enduring isolation
and illness
any rare examples
of female conversation
involving myself
tend to resemble an interview
concerning a job
for which
I am unqualified.

 

Though
occasionally
I meet women
who are indecisive
about their passion

they always know

it isn’t
me.

 

 

 

 

(1990-92)

 

(aphorisms/blogging/depression/ideas/mental health/opinions/poetry/thoughts/writing )

 

 

 

Jangled inertia

 

Konica12554

 

 

Lostness   (53)

 

In an indifferent universe, not loving oneself invites adversity.

 

I am also wary of conditional self-esteem:
which only accepts a “special” existence,
being intolerant toward the ordinary.

 

Could self-hatred make us incapable of a happy relationship…
even with ourselves?

 

Inner severity undermines attempts at kindness.

 

Abuse lives on through psychic forces.
Internal voices.
Always ready to attack.

 

I remember the child, looking to its mother for protection,
not realising she was a source of his father’s power.

 

Against injustice, hatred may feel like strength.

 

Prejudice as a default condition.
Ethics to rationalise aesthetics.

 

I was trapped behind this face.
Rejected for lacking beauty.

 

Could these perceptions be fought?

 

Many things might jangle the inertia of beliefs
but resistance needs overcoming for them to change.

 

I recall meeting people whose desire for control led to a doctrine
of personal invulnerability.
Claiming nothing happened without their assent.

As if illness and death were for wimps.

Unfortunately, they all had at least one
unpleasant surprise due
in old age.

 

 

Sensing my mind wander
after philosophy
then
a question loomed…

 

Am I still romantic enough
to imagine that some verbal answer
for the problems of life
will banish
despair?

 

 

 

 

(1990)

(psychology/mental health/depression/thoughts/ideas/opinions/aphorisms/poetry/writing/blogging)

 

 

 

 

Merciless neutrality

 

 

Konica12552

 

 

Lostness  (51)

 

 

Biological prisons can obscure their bars with love.

 

Marriage may reduce some potential chaos unleashed via active sexuality.

One hopes future generations will learn from our mistakes.

However, if children copy parents, adults need to embody
any change they wish to see.

 


 

 

Demanding coherence might encourage comforting illusions.

 

In a scientific age it appears more respectable to blame unspecified genes
for misfortunes, once perceived as arising from curses.

Even guilt has been preferred over the acceptance of helplessness;
or an uncaring universe, with its merciless neutrality.

 

 


 

 

Beliefs perpetuate themselves by becoming psychologically indispensable.

 

Despite many advantages, modernity leaves unsatisfied desires toward transcendence, which tempt reversion.

Spiritual frustration extends into art.

At a recent exhibition came the remark: “But anyone could do this!”
Meaning: “Where are those profound and beautiful works we yearn after: to move us?
Things requiring special abilities, beyond our capacity…”

 

 


 

 

In my own case, continual restlessness led me away from whatever I became tolerably good at.

Having wandered and dreamed through existence, I wake, unknown by the world, into a void of personal insignificance.

 

 


 

 

Now illness is closing
the doorway to life
in my face

mortality haunts me

across vague
nostalgia
for improbable faith

and ancestral perception

cyclic being
or  continuum

reincarnation…

Imagining
how different
it would feel
viewing death
as little more than
an inconvenient
change of trains
on eternity’s
timetable.

 

 

 

(1989-90)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/ideas/aphorisms/art/beauty/poetry)

 

 

 

 

A demon of weakness

 

Konica12553

 

 

Lostness   (49)

 

 

Perhaps pain only tends to ennoble those already possessing nobility?

I experience my own suffering as rather disgusting.

Then notice, automatically judging myself harshly.

It seems so easy, believing bad things said about me.
Yet very difficult to accept any praise.

I  was taught such severity, before I could form a defence.

We cannot atone for the offence of existing
to someone who finds our existence offensive.

 


 

How to gain self-esteem without currently having it?
Breaking circles of negation…

Should I begin by directing inward, sorts of kindness I might like to receive from others?

 


 

 

When loss is unperceived, grief may be misunderstood.

 

 


 

 

In forced rest
sensing slow atrophy

drifting farther
from a once fit person
returning through dreams

where he moves
effortlessly
along streets unseen for years
while I struggle
to accept
never walking them again

lying alone
with fear
that some demon
of weakness
drags me toward
strange realms
better unvisited
which become harder to leave
the longer one stays

as a door closes
upon me
here
lacking strength
to hold it open
this exit
from my past
wished left
ajar

now
losing
what I had not realised
was even loved

my own
old life.

 

 

(1989)

 

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/illness/loneliness/thoughts/ideas/opinions/poetry/writing)

 

 

 

 

Postponed living

 

 

Konica12510

 

 

Lostness   (46)

 

What could save me from this abyss of the self?

 

Books have assisted in postponing existence.
Now unfit for life, I make do by reading about it.
My attempts to “start really living” led nowhere.
Or, rather, back to isolation;
and these words.

Too restless to take pleasure by mere being,
while with human company I often feel stressed,
there is a reassurance in the presence of books.

 

How should I learn to love myself?

 

Must I deny the verdicts of parents, or society?
Perhaps such problems stem from childhood,
accepting harsh judgement by others, upon my life.
Taught to internalise a condemnation,
which may then perpetuate injustice.
Thus, uttering any personal assertion that is positive,
I struggle against an internal barrier
of shame.

Yet implausible dreams still arise: of beauty, and a woman’s passion.
Visions neither nature nor nurture gave me the equipment to realise.

 

Can the head cure a sickness in the heart?

 

It is common to associate happiness with normality,
though times I passed as normal failed to dispel my discomfort.
Sometimes adding a sense of diminished authenticity.

Might reason overcome emotion?
How to change my automatic responses?

If thinking did not get me into this mess,
why expect it to get me out?

 

I hoped, perhaps, to mellow.
but despair
seems ageless.

 

 

(Jun-July 1989)

 

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/writing/opinions/ideas)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deviant loneliness

 

 

IMG_20171203_232209101

 

 

Lostness   (43)

 

I have lived a life of feelings.
Yet what remains
once they are gone?

 

I suppose the life of action might leave more behind…
As things stand, I am left a mind filled by memory and emotion.
But no-one to share it with.

I cannot find the exit from barrenness.
Or a way to untie those knots which bind me in insignificance.
Purpose remains hidden. Motivation fades.

 

Being “in touch” with feelings, shades into being oppressed by them.

 

I think about how sexuality has blighted my existence.
Through one-sided fascinations with women.
Where, unable to bridge that aching inequality between the desired and the undesired,
I have craved the company even of some who despised me.
Or wanting love so much as to fear resentment from indifference.
Again, perception perhaps distorted by self-hate: those attractions for women utterly different, which would probably never work.

 

If only I were content in this obscurity.

 

Instead, there are wishes to reach out, from deviant loneliness, toward a mirage of recognition that might well prove unsatisfying, while doubting my abilities for such an undertaking.

Should I aspire to form a tiny locus of generative suffering?

 

 


 

 

Drifting off to sleep a quote came into my head:

“the unexamined life is not worth living.”

Very well, I thought,
But what if the examined life
is not worth living, either?

 

 

 

(1988-9)

 

(philosophy/psychology/thoughts/opinions/mental health)