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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Blogging and not blogging

Reaching my 100th post I thought I would attempt something new…

(“Start successfully blogging?” says a voice in my head.
I ignore this, so it adds:
“Getting more than 10 views?”
But I am not engaging with an inner critic, now.)

…namely, putting the first images on this blog.

 

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For anyone reading…

(“Both of you!” Quips the voice)

…who may be unfamiliar with my situation :

I am struggling really hard to keep going, through severe levels of chronic illness (see Losing my Muse ).
Being down on one post per week: I experience difficulty managing even that frequency.
A great deal remains for me to do: in placing my unpublished writing online. It will take at least another year, probably longer.

My computer is so old I cannot find a scanner to work with it, for uploading artwork.
Never had a camera, either. Hence I bought my first smart phone.

Unfortunately, due to neurological symptoms, it is tough learning new things. Short-term memory is affected, and the ability to follow sequences of instructions.

Thus, despite knowing that photography involves terms such as “ISO, f-stop, aperture, shutter speed,” etc: I am unable make them cohere together in my mind. Therefore I have been reduced to a basic point-and-click approach.

Looking for beauty in my environment I decided to take a few flower pictures.
Here are some initial efforts, as a total beginner:

 

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It is often breezy in the West of England, where I live. I had not realised how much flowers are moved around by the wind, until getting close up to them.

Though once an artist, I have no confidence at all with a camera.

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I hope to return next week: with more normally abnormal philosophical ramblings.

 

 

(daily notes/photo/photography/lostness/mental health)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apocalyptic gratifications

Lostness   (37)

 

There can be situations so far from beauty they give apocalyptic fantasy an air of gratification.

 

How to know whether I am moving on the path of light or darkness?

 

Are divinities merely hidden; or absent from this world?
Studying nature does little to reassure us about any supposed creator’s kindness.
Would as many desire to worship a transcendent cruelty?
Might higher beings care for us much more than we care for insects?
Imagine our planet a now discarded toy from god’s nursery…

Sceptics could take the view that millennia of effort have failed to produce a fully convincing religion; while disasters are as liable to spring from excessive belief as from doubt.
Certain cults poison perceptions of external society: to ensure that leaving the collective becomes unthinkable. In such ways it is possible to be stunted by faith.

 

Yet will we ever permit deities not to exist?

 

One part of us may mock what another part yearns for.

 

Thus I cultivate my emptiness
while, across fuzzy boundaries
of feeling and recollection,
writing makes play
ideas flap around
seeking coherence
I hold up sentences
by their ragged ends
toward philosophy
in its abattoir of words.

 

 

(1984)

(thoughts/questions/opinions/psychology/lostness/mental health/poetry)

 

 

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)

 

Muted insurrection

Lostness   (33)

 

I talk to a reader I do not have.

 

Feeling an urge to transcend words through writing, a desire periodically chronic in my poetry: as certain types of prayer resemble a demand that God exist.
Expressing a spirit of insurrection against language from within. Or was it closer to some hermaphroditic quest for union?
Thus silence, as darkness to the light of words, is broken by its own negation.
While, if signs function in relation to others, separation will not reveal their true nature.
Once structure is missing, criteria of evaluation may likewise be lost.
In a behavioural frame, one could compare the way we call an act “free” that is self-caused, not uncaused.
Yet, rather than resolve, my thought switches from free will to the idea of eternal recurrence: how this might contain traces of a nihilism it purports to overcome. In toiling on treadmills of eternity, akin to a Sisyphus, repetition can devalue existence as it does time. Though the “once only” of mortality could seem as hard to bear as the “once again” of an absurd forever.

 

I talk to a reader I do not have.

 

About whether what matters for our future is not how intelligent we are, but how intelligent we can become?

Wondering if we could have a non-specific capability for love: only accidentally fixed onto certain objects?

Or if humans also need to be polite because we are warlike?

Then, perhaps I should avoid mentioning that my heart feels like an open wound?

And how, after falling asleep hoping to experience significant dreams,
I spent my latest one searching for a towel.

 

 

(Feb-July 1982}

(philosophy/psychology/thoughts/questions/ideas/opinions)

 

 

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)

 

 

 

Words like dead leaves

Lostness   (25)

 

Someone says: “Given that the world is divided into mental or physical spheres…”  And the fatal step has already been taken!
Dualism opens a chasm then wonders how to close it.

 

Man is a problem to himself.

 

Would we have motivation without emotion?
Even logic is a product of will.

 


 

Some disconnected thoughts strive after aphorism…

 

Most systems produce attitudes unsuited to freedom.

Opinions that cannot be defended are not worth holding.

Firing-patterns: thought from the viewpoint of an electrode.

Asking a question could indicate the overcoming of a problem.

Certain optimists hope to change what people want by not giving it to them.

Arguments from design appeal to natures not disgusted by biology.

We learn the result of refusal to learn from history, from history.

For believers incapable of life, its postponement until after death seems a useful option.

Many praise virtue, yet dislike those who hold its mirror to their faces.

Love your enemies: so they may hate you even more.

Deception is parasitic upon truth.

 


 

 

Dissatisfaction with my writing
shed in these
words like dead leaves
scattered across whiteness.

 

 

(Jan-Mar 1980)

(philosophy/ideas/aphorisms)

 

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)

(philosophy/ideas/thoughts/opinions)

 

Love and storms

Lostness   (11)

 

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.

 

(28/12/1978)