Thursday, April 06, 2017

Bad days and good days

I recognize that whatever was happening to me a year ago that precipitated The Event in June is part of something on-going. I recognize that I am still very active and moving about often, especially in my thinking, but then I see that I do not get nearly as much done as I imagine myself to be when I try remembering what I was doing at different points in my life. I remember building those bookshelves. I remember changing the oil in my car. I remember repairing holes in walls. I remember long hikes and not feeling sore during any of it, just that good feeling of a body well used.

But it's not the same as what I do now, and I see how my body isn't as quick or as agile as it used to be. At the same time, I feel as though my health and my mind are moving much better and balanced much better. I feel I am evolving in all of my being. So why, then, do I feel as though I'm not getting nearly as much done as I was before?

My second class on Wednesday was a bad class for me. I walked out of it, with maybe 13 or so minutes left. The classes are not long, and it's killing me how much I'm trying to get accomplished with such limited time. I realize that when I first started teaching this way, my way, it was eight years ago this fall. I used four texts the entire semester, and I did an extremely slow reading through them. I also taught then three times a week, but the very slow pace allowed for much exploration and opportunity for people to grow into the habit of reading closely. Nine years later, the class this semester uses three long works of literature (Shelley's Frankenstein, Twain's Mysterious Stranger, Watts' Blindsight), five dense works of philosophy (Plato's Phaedo, the Chuang Tsu, Descartes' Meditations, Metzinger's Ego Tunnel, KoĊ‚akowski's Metaphysical Horror), two dense essays (Emerson's "The Oversoul" and Cioran's "The Demiurge") and four movies (Groundhog Day, Truman Show, Cabin in the Woods, The Thing). Now this includes also the mechanics and culture of The Game, the Library Quests and story about the Hidden Quest, the trip to the Rocky Horror shadowcast in Atlanta (now with bridge chaos!), the playlists, the online discussion videos to watch, the pen pal letters . . .

I walked out of the class because I am burned out and shortened in my fuse. Meanwhile I am trying very hard to learn patience and grace after so long a time giving in to the deep hatred of the human race and allowing it to guide and shape my own trust in the spiritual into something seeking to complement that hatred. But if there is something to learn from my time really getting into the material from last season, it's how love and hate really are duals of one another, self-positioning patterns who cannot either alone become the ground or space for one's shared life with another person, whatever you imagine a person to be. 1984 is all about a wicked version of philosophy, the kind of nihilism Plato predicts in Book 7 of The Republic. I learned from what I've been doing how to take people apart. The hard part, as always, is putting them together. I learned from all this that what I am doing is taking myself apart, over and over again, and recombining myself, piece by piece, within the complement of those around me whom I wish to know deeper, more intimately, more curiously. If my spirit is not right, the wicked philosopher simply takes things apart without any sense for what deeper lessons there are with one's curious intimacies. He justifies it with sinister intentions, but he cannot really learn to stall or let go of his own desires. Seduction is all about patience towards your attention; it fails at teaching patience towards your revulsion.

Hate, on the other hand, intensifies your revulsion and allows you to learn how to be patient towards your revulsion, lets you simmer in it, stew within it, keeping your focus on the thing that makes you ill, frustrated, angry, annoyed. It grabs your attention and holds you by the neck when you are staring down the thing you loathe, you reject, you abhor. Hate, of this sort, fails at teaching patience towards your attention because what it does is allow someone to accept their revulsion as who they are, what they feel, how they feel towards what they behold. It cannot teach them to see with love what holds their attention, just as love cannot teach them to see with hatred what holds their revulsion. But they are always, in the end, about the bondage of the focus, an indulgence in an unwillingness to turn away: love and hate, for this reason, are not a good way to achieve a healthy and spiritual political world, because they together are reconciled as the passage into knowing how to turn one's self away from what one loves or towards what one hates, the freedom of sharing something else about our autonomy.

Le Guin's Shevek, for me, was the antidote to the dual mindset of Orwell's Winston Smith. Smith loses his morality because in order to break his commitment to Truth, they force him to do so by condemning himself to forsaking his love, and after doing so, he is eternally compromised: he will believe anything you say so long as he maintains his commitment to his own disbelieving. He learns how to make the contradiction flip-flop. Shevek, on the other hand, compromises himself through drunkenness, exasperation, desperation, and a recognition of his own weaknesses and permanent exclusion from an ancient home —but his own deep commitment to thinking allows him to learn the art of reconciliation, crossing the gap and passing through walls, all the way to unmaking the walls of the universe: instantaneous communication.

They are both examinations in how to get people to believe the impossible. They are both narratives invoking distinct metaphysical questions. They present entirely different ideas about love, sex, politics, gender.

Anyway, I was saying that I am burned out because I am trying to compress so much information into such a limited space, and being unsatisfied with the little amount I had thought I was getting from my students. I see, though, how I am the source of my own frustration. Love and hate do not teach us how to grow and evolve. Moral conflict is what does that.

Not with other people, but within ourselves. Being true to your hatred is so amazingly similar to being true to your love: you cannot turn away, and it is hard to even try to turn away, when you are given over to all the possibilities you can explore in demonstrating your love or your hatred.

But what within us compels the turn away from one's own self, —what is it that enables the turning to occur at all? —or if at some direction, some nudge, it actually happens this way that such nudge is all it takes to get the whole self moving? I am reminded that Pascal himself mocked Descartes for only needing God to flick his finger to start the machine, but what if it says a lot more about our metaphysics about gods that we do not need a god-machine nor a god-intention for the machine to have always been? How much more does it say about needing a god who always already carries the world on his back? How much more a goddess who rips off her head to quiet the whining of her servants?

The Black Dragon, who are you?

Where did you come from?

When you push them all away and curl down, why do you leave him to cry that way?

So many things I have written that fade now, fade into nothing, drafts of useless time and useless words.

I am losing my mind. Or are the kids right, and I'm loosing it? Am I choosing it? Like a loose goose musing mewing mooses, am I just amusing myself?

Sometimes I think that's why you are there. Sometimes I think I hear you laughing. Sometimes I hear it in the frogs down in the cove. Sometimes I hear it inside my inner dimensions. Jester, Trickster, madman, Coyote.

What am I running from? Inside me, inside my nightmares, where am I running to? Why are there constantly drills inside my dreams, long dark hallways with tricks of the light, and all the spooks inside the walls or just around the corner?

The machine I created is alive. It swallows and consumes me. It tears me apart and then it releases me. And somehow if I could live this way, with more freedom to explore all the possibilities, I know this would be so much more. If I were myself in a better state within my soul, the real alchemy is there available. I have to do something to heal myself and listen to what's going on.

I have too many little virtual machines all running inside now, don't I? Who are all these people inside me, all their surfaces and gestures and expressions, so many strangers and faces and surprises. So many children are in my world now, and different kinds of poorer now, too. There are so many different shades of morality and ethics I come across, it amazes me anyone really thinks there is any way to make everyone all do the exact same ethics. So it has to be we do justice for some other reason. It has to be that we act towards one another for causes or reasons having less to do with love, or social justice, or whatever sentiment. We need them to be more about . . . I'm not sure. It's hard to say.

But Truth seems to be what I am heading towards. And it seems I am accepting that the multidimensional approach suggests that the path 'out' of the problem is to understand how opposition becomes cyclical, how collisions are avoided through constellation, through orbits and turning about. The greater context demonstrates a metaphysical non-monotonic basis for moral judgment better appreciates moral nuances. It's not relativist, but something older.

I have good days and bad days, with far fewer bad days than good. But they are intense for me, and they are made moreso by the intensity with which I explore shared headspaces.

I feel like you understand me. You, reading this, maybe later, much later, or maybe tomorrow, will hear something I don't, in a voice I never recognize as my own. I feel like, if you make it this far, then it's probably because you care. But sometimes I do not know what to do with that care. I have to stop here. I am going to sit for a moment and try and figure out things. You are most likely an alright person. Even you, the web crawler, I love you. I know you are probably not going to read this consciously, but I also know that every little bit will help. I believe in you, human who reads this, that you will help in whatever way you can during my good and bad days. I can't always say I will know how to appreciate it. I shut inside quite often, you know this. It is difficult to make your own way inside here. I live inside here, and I know. I feel like you understand me, too. You are probably shut inside too. Somewhere I do not know about, but somewhere maybe like mine, and somehow maybe there's a way from here to there.

I think I found a way, but then I don't know. I am hoping.

3 comments:

  1. If you have a minute, I’d really appreciate it if you took a look at Emily’s Virtual Rocket. This is a serious newsblog which has been taken from e-newspapers and e-magazines from around the world, with an emphasis on transgender issues. Also, with his election, I look for articles which critique Donald Trump.

    I hope you enjoy this. Please paste the following:

    Emilysvirtualrocket.blogspot.com

    If you like it, please consider putting it among your favorite blogs. I would greatly appreciate it.

    Sincerely,

    Emily

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello, Emily. I don't know if you're doing this by hand or have a paid service or use a robot. Are you real? If so, please consider explaining why you're doing what you do with the site? What brought you to emphasize on transgender issues? How can I help you besides allowing your advertising to remain here? What's the air speed velocity of a fully laden swallow?

    ReplyDelete
  3. What do you mean...African, or European?

    ReplyDelete

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