Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Porchlight

He's sitting on the porch with one leg dangling off. Spider webs filled with dust and dead things in the ceiling, between rafters, behind objects and implements of mysterious use. He is small, and five, and quiet, and afraid of the dark. He is rolling a piece of his shorts between his fingers and looking out into the dark. The porchlight only goes out so far, before the blue dark haze settles in turns everything into shades of dark and darker. The porchlight is covered in thick dusty strands of cobweb and dead things, with one long-dead husk of a moth hanging from the light.

The woods are loud. They are throbbing with the pulsing songs of cicada. Their chittering mutates and changes, grows and moves around in the air, a sonic life form calling to him. Out there, in the darkness, saying 'Come, come.'

His mother told him that going out into the woods is dangerous. They read some stories about bears or dragons and talked about bad things that can happen alone in the woods. They did read other adventure stories where boys and girls, alone or in groups, survived just fine but learned hard lessons in the woods. Overall, he understood. He understood that it's okay to go into the darkness so long as you don't go alone or when there's dragons or monsters.

Yet, he was not alone. Out there, in the darkness, he hears them all. What they are saying to each other doesn't matter, but what they are saying to him does. All of them, speaking with so earnest a passion for such brief lives, they do not want to be alone. They want him to sit with them, climb with them, and itch and scratch across those strings and membranes just right, just right, just so.

The porchlight hangs in silence. Alone and giving, but not strong enough for seeing that there's nothing there in the dark. It is weak enough to show there is always something in the dark.

A big brown and red moth dances up from the grass and catches his eye. He watches it as it skantles upwards fast and unpredictably, upwards towards the light, towards the porchlight. He watches it bash against the old and useless webs, bash against the hazy yellow glass, bash against invisible walls in the air. After some more bashing it falls straight down and hits the porch with a small 'tack.'. It is on its feet, its antennae are throbbing in the air, its dark eyes reflecting.

"I am you, moth," he says, cleaning off some dust from these wings.

He then takes off flying, the air thick and rich with so many flavors and dangers and doubts and desires, his mind free to imagine.

The empty porch stays lit. The light spreads thinly into the yard. But the light is not strong enough to find the boy from there.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Yet another preliminary gesture

Bassler is on to something. I am deeply, deeply curious why he is calling this Philosophia perennis.

I do not know for sure how to condense into a single definitional statement what philosophy is, without falling into the ambiguous abyss caused by trying to use language to describe something that comes to us from earlier in our own being than language, than, maybe, even thinking itself. So, I go with something initially like this.

Philosophy is (?the/a¿) disciplined use of one's imagination to resolve dialectical difficulties brought about when attending to one's being.

Philosophy only exists because we are able to expand our mind beyond what is immediately happening and entertain highly detailed but internally arising simulations. Without the very same machinery that forms our consciousness, without the virtualization of a world at all, we cannot have a world-within-ourselves that contains a parafinite number of worlds within that world. These worlds are the endlessness of our resourcefulness to think ourselves out of a jam disturbing us —the jolt bringing us into reality, the wrenching Bassler describes in Diagnosis of Contemporary Philosophy With The Matrix Movies, summon us to attend between various alternatives. To the extent we train ourselves to imagine the resolution, turning towards constellations of ideas rather than categories in order to see the attractions and swerves occurring in the (?virtual/transcendental¿) WORLD of all our worlds, to that extent do we begin understanding why philosophy is distinct from living and wondering but inseparable from them for us.

But who are we?

Who are they?

{here the dialectic begins anew}

{playing on the radio: "How do you know when it's love?/ It's just something you feel together"}

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

What if

What if you have Emily Dickinson as student
but she never writes an essay
What if you have Hannah Arendt as student
but she's sitting, just sitting in back
What if you have Tori Amos as student
but she's always too late for class

How do you judge
the quick and the dead
when you're too busy
being cool

How do you take
the measure of men
when you're too lazy
for cares

How do you teach
your neighbors to laugh
that encouraging kind
of cheer

I think I am trying
trying to find
a way out from tears




Barren walls are naked possibilities
the nudity our spirits constrain

unveiling itself as clothed in skins
what if our goddess awakens?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rational action

When I write to you, do you hear the voice inside your head that I hear in mine?

When I sing to you, do you hear the words inside your head that I hear in mine?

When I speak to you, do you hear the thoughts inside your head that I hear in mine?

The voice you speak inside my mind is your own
to the extent you speak outside my mind,
but to the extent you speak into my mind
the voice inside me becomes your own.

It is so dangerous to have no thought control. How do you wrestle the others from yourself?

You, in there, I'm talking to you

Me, in here, has no idea who answers

in me, in there, there is no idea

here, out here, there's answers but no idea

who speaks them

or who listens

who reads them

or who writes

who asks these questions

or who stays undisturbed




When do our illusions constitute our souls?
When is having a soul simply an illusion?
When do you love another person's soul?
When do you love another person's illusion?
When do you trust you know who you are?
When do you know you are deluding yourself?
When do you move from awareness to delusion?
When do you move from delusion to awareness?

When the yawning world opens itself up and splits across your minds inside, and the cartoon hand descends downward and brings you out from the page and into the truth about the ever-ending chasm you now can see, how do you know it's not really a dream?



And now that I'm jumping into it, how do I know I'm not still there, dreaming that I'm flying endlessly simply by tilting my head just so even as I'm endlessly falling into crushing oblivion? Which is the reality I want to believe in?

Why do I believe in both?

How can I be the end of this all
and be so irresponsible with that call

but


it's just a tiny little hinge I must turn
the historical lesson is that it's all just that
"it's the little things that get you" says the man
from the future, the ideas are always moving into us
from the future

the loop must end with me if I'm to make
the turn to the next larger loops
and consider:
life has a topological surface
a skin with many sides—
tracing out how your life ends
as the narrowing of a cone of choices
into one singular ending
and then
setting it alongside several many others
—surfaces of lives' beginnings—
tracing out from the future
those who want to exist as themselves
acting in the spaces available to them

we are their battleground,
site, plot, soil, hole,
grave, field, acreage
home, temple, vessel,
source and fertility,
forest and necessity,
from us they become
who we are as ideas

but who am I, when I realize how
overwhelming it all is

Friday, June 23, 2017

Anticipatory Gestures

Overall the project of the class is to create an institution. Part of the institution is its material life, and the form of this, for the class, I want to be a manual.

A long time ago, I had thought my dissertation was going to become a work showing how to take two ways of thinking about probabilities and imagined consequences, the Monty Hall problem and Pascal's Wager, and fully integrating their logics under a particular kind of concept: the parafinite. Religion, for me, became a matter of opening doors into universes and worlds I had no idea existed and yet were the TRUTH, but in order to arrive in this particular way of feeling and/or being TRUTH, you had to get there through assent/consent and following consistently and insistently the actual, historical and/or in-the-past-existing of your particular way's way. To say it smoother, you become who you are by following whatever random course got you where you are now, without understanding any of it until it's nearly too late. And, even then, when you made what you think was the right choice, you still have to see out the consequences until the end. That means you will come back and forth on what you think was right until you get it. And then you're past that and already into the new indecisions, the new doubts.

This is what I had seen, in so many places, because it was the story of my own life and the story of so many other people, whom I notice because my cipher chose this. If my cipher had not made that decision, but instead made some other decisions, in some worlds I am already king of Mars and in others I am just an outline of chance possibilities. I cannot control what my cipher chooses, but I have started to understand and notice that we can choose our ciphers.

And each of them really do make changes in what you can see, what you experience, who you become, who chooses you.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Schizosophy 2

It's been a while since I've written something philosophical. Most of it is mystical.

At this point, I am unable to really understand myself apart from the limitations imposed upon my sense of self by the English language, the only language I know how to write and think and speak in. Other languages I get to much lesser degrees. But English has taken me pretty far, just not far enough as I now get is out there. And all the rest of my self that goes past language, it's forever inaccessible to me once my self-understanding becomes too rigid, too constrained, particularly within the one language.

Surfaces

A splash from a fish landing back into its lake
A gouge where a foot planted and twisted to keep a man down
A scratch where graphite sharpened to a point makes memory

A whisp of cloud separated from the host now twisting
A bruise where veins ruptured from pressure and wrenching
A smile beneath falling hair yet above an abyss endless with imagination

A music just so slightly cast about by fans
A scab closing up skin from beneficial but clumsy piercing
A yawning peaceful release from reality and memory giving joy through one's hands

Glances are not stares
Focus is not appreciation
Beholding is not passive

Dancing is permissible
Wrestling is inevitable
Struggling in the tension
Balance in the sway
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