Those reading my promise may laugh at my dreams, but I will dream of our collective laughter.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
We are questers whose goals are uncertain, refusing to extend beyond that by which we limit ourselves. Without knowing the ultimate goal, we find ourselves tormented by our refusal to avenge our desires. Like a sly, subtle presence in our own lives, we ignore the superb conversations between our heart’s desire and our mind’s unyielding dominion over that which we allow ourselves to experience. Rather than remain a spectator in our own minds, we must delve deeper to achieve perspectivism, which is in direct contrast to viewing the external world. Internal perspective requires introspection and receptivity of what we find. Instead, we spend time being rivals, an ironic unfriending of ourselves at best.
Unlike Hamlet who chose self’s freedom, I believe we can exist in harmony, loyal to those for whom we toil, while enjoying that which in ourselves we need. If I ask myself that which in myself I enjoy the most, the answer is laughter. Perhaps it is this deep enjoyment that I feel harmony exists between my desires and those which some consider limiting, namely, our bond to others for there is very little comedy in solidarity pursuits.
Comedy thrives in the collective appreciation of our own humanity. We laugh at the limitations we cannot escape; from the accidental slip on a banana peel to the more subtle ironies we recognize in our own complexities, to the profound magnitude of the unknown. Not out of cruelty do we laugh, not from emotion, but from a Birdseye vantage point.
Laughter releases us from the bondage of helplessness. We cannot, as of yet, without the advent of some biotechnological mechanism, extend our consciousness beyond that of the biological mechanism. Therefore, we must face our mortality. Death is hilarious, only because we cannot escape it. In a world of changing, evolving forms, we laugh the hardest at that which we cannot change by our own enterprise.
I solemnly and with a heavy heart, have no choice but to accept my own death. Irrespective of the dreams I have or do not have, seek or do not seek, death hovers anxiously in the background. Any dream, any aspect of it, is temporary at best. So, I shall choose to live the dreams and experiences I feel will allow me to laugh, to find enjoyment, and to more easily accept my fate. I will ponder the more subtle meanings of laughter, the philosophy therein, and do the only thing I can to ward off the inevitable - laugh.
Those reading my promise may laugh at my dreams, but I will dream of our collective laughter.
The search for wisdom; this awakened ambition, when unveiled, is refined by its deep edifying pattern of sharpened artful dialectic. A persevering devotion where satiety lies prostrate divesting itself of popular melodies, versifying ideas until the resplendence of its imagery bows under its conceptions. A garland of understanding, hindered only by this deranged obsession which insists on demonstrating soundness of mind, rouses in us a pure frenzy amid the greatest abodes of thought. Still, we search.
The subjections behind human perceptions invite us to a battleground where arbitrary forces, long since remembered for their just certainties, disable any legitimate sense of spirit that would otherwise claim dominion. We succumb to the beliefs we tell ourselves. The schism we have in our minds transcends that of a mere split between Greek cognition and Hebraic spirituality. It is a distortion in not understanding our own selves. Perhaps, rooted in the fear of trying not to do so. How can we unite all that seem within divided? Even our immortality seems divided from us. It is not held within but carried on through our descendants. Simply put, is our wavering vision of our selves inevitable?
We share an uncanny mode of irony that turns on the incongruities of self, juxtaposed against harsh, bitter material reality. Great strife invites us to apprehend beauty, but it is a considerable aesthetic contextualization when the subject matter is our own existence. Yet, it provides a fascinating contrast that over time is heightened and approved by our affection for unifying this divide.
For whom are we unifying this divide? For ourselves? Is it necessary to find unity to seek a chosen dream? That dream can not unite the entirety of us. Therefore, it is but an element of ourselves. Living our perceived dream means being fully satisfied with living only one aspect of ourselves.
Perhaps, rather, the strive toward unity lies in the sense of a divine audience constantly in attendance, a sublimity greater than our own judging our choices. If only we were brave enough to choose between our own Oedipal hero, the cunning Podarces, who kept himself from being killed by Hercules by giving him a golden veil embroidered by his sister, Hesione, or the myriad of other Olympian deities we celebrate within ourselves. Like Mars we go toward Minerva, only to discover Anna in her place. Like a dream reinventing itself the moment you enter its presence.
With piercing intensity and moral force, we look to transcend the immense searchings of our hearts with great, preconceived thoughts on what we will find. In a bitter irony, we find what we seek.
Pierre Hadot said that philosophy’s tonality is tragic; that the philosopher is a bizarre being tortured and torn by a desire to attain wisdom which escapes him but which he loves. A field of study defined by what it lacks, where you have not found but rather continue to seek. What are the preparatory activities on the path to wisdom? Shakespeare, Dante, Cervantes, Nietzsche, Proust? Why must wisdom be bound by reason? Why not in wonderment? Curiosity? The spirit of inquiry...
Any knowledge we seek seems more a reflection of emptiness craving fulfillment. How would we define the ultimate fulfillment of love? A distraction to combat long lonely hours between drama and bliss? An over-importance of self seeking respect and warm approval as a pleasurable experience of personhood? The energetic exchange between two complimentary energie strands?
What is this obsession we describe ironically, comically, spiritually? Are we nothing other than mythmaker’s legislating our own existence. Painted on a canvas of immortality, is it not a paradox for us to create boundlessness from constraint? Why quarrel with ourselves and others? Any preference hardly seems relevant or worth the effort. We are eternally present in the moment, we see our self from within our self. It’s all we know. It’s all I know.
Still, the pursuit of wisdom has been the delight of my life. Reading awakened verses awoke the embodiment of perfection within my own mind. Truth, beauty, friendship, patriotism, devotion, all unveiled to their depths as if they were more than mere mortal creations. My mind exploded with a sympathetic admiration for moral vesture. But is morality a disguise necessary to temper temptation? I hope not.
There’s a certain harmony in language, a resonance that’s essential to its convention. As if every word had its own spirit. The truth and splendor of its imagery, a dramatic measurement when brought together with the melody of language invents a new pattern of rhythm with the utmost softness found within its pauses.
I am rethinking my study of philosophy. Its study is death. I want to study life. The experience of Being. Delight. Comedy. Laughter. Admiration. Loyalty. Love.
I feel like an audience of one watching humanity, questioning its greatest roles and characters, fools and victims, heros and villains. Poetic arguments that lie beyond time. So that, they’re against time. Whereas, I am bound by it. Why seek that which cannot be sought? What relevance can we find?
Life can be like a pervasive irony, a private joke demeaning us. A great stage of fools, we are.
Is it foolish to imagine immortality? Do we not live on forever in our own minds? Where exactly is infinity? Within ourselves? How can we conceive of something that is outside us? Are Homer’s Zeus and Yahweh’s God nothing more than storytelling conveniences? A third-person perspective from a first-person viewpoint? Like the gods of wind and rain, we construct immortal beings from a mortal frame of reference. Given our mortality, why is our imagination not bound by it?
What if? What if there is something beyond that moment of deathly havoc? My question begs mortality to conceive of immortality in a place where death competes for our consciousness; delivering us to a prophetic war of divided sensibility. And for what? A profound sense of accomplishment for the ego? The ability to decipher the undecipherable? An endless quest, struggling to overcome that which cannot be reached.
The difference, you ask? Perhaps in the choice not to seek. Wrestling ourselves away from the strife of humankind, victory can be sought in imagination, with ordinary reality a symbol of peace. Where purpose is rhetorical and acceptance, while hardly a glorifier, still fills you from within.
No distortions. Just quiet, unique instances that don’t struggle to overcome the nameless ones.
I have dedicated the better part of my life to the search for a transcendent level of knowledge. Commenting and agonizing, theorizing and exacting, it is not a path for everyone. Anyone who aligns themselves with this labor is never the same. It is dehumanizing in its extreme deliberations, yet, entirely freeing in reflection. Combined with free expression and acceptance, a dwelling place away from scrutiny, detail, and concern, offers total, unmitigated amusement and enjoyment. A diversion from malady and disorder, complaint and affliction, delights are savored, adored, and relished. Earthly concerns pale beside it. The questions of humanity remain, but the experience of humanity rises out of the discord and uncertainty and is fully tasted. Despite the lack of answers, it is complete, repose, and filled with sweet nectar.
The cost of entrance you ask? Something so simple and yet alluding. The impiety of discontent costs us admittance. Our right of entry resides in our willingness to accept the world as it is. Your mind will not recruit a single adherent but will lower and begrudge your leave from the pangs and throes of uncertainty. Once we recognize their dominion over our actions, we no longer join in that dubious battle. We simply walk away. In that simple act, we find our canvas is ours in the making.
An initial feeling of comfort envelops followed by igniting prospects of alternative choices. Decisions matter not. Creativity reigns. Expression appears forth from the hand that now listens to the heart. Inaugurating in a new state of being. Rather than looking outward, we express from within. It’s like a cosmic explosion of luminous offering. Existing without imposing. Supreme compositions of cognitive music, prose poetry, genius renderings cheerfully ignite, accept, and invite the lovers of imaginative temperament to voluntary take part. All that needs to be said can be expressed. Softly, intelligible translators of truth who non-reliant upon words, vex and capture our sense of fascination dispelling arguments of doubt and heresy. Translating what cannot be said between the invisible and physical world, we paint. We sculpt. We blend together that which cannot be governed, cannot be ascribed. The whole world constitutes the apex of a realm peculiar in its impartiality. The tension between Being and Becoming combine and perish. We become the Master of our own view, more attracted to enjoyment and pleasure in the consummation of Being.
Distance opens up between ideas, forms soften, lines yield and sway. Absolute materialist reality, composed of false stories warring and plotting against one another, dissolve. Expression personifies. There is no need to win approval from self or other. No vanity is taken up against nature. The path lies in daily composition, gods take leave, all is restored.
This extraordinary fusion lies right in front of me. Shall I enter?
Superb prose extinguishes the wick of annihilation. Pithy observations culminate and the spark of wisdom returns. My mind calls upon the aphoristic survival mechanisms that bring doubt and anguish to its knees. Unique, dramatic dialogues challenge the ironies of uncertainty. Engaged in a mental fight, the Greeks resume their role of teacher, and Socrates, that sublime genius, leads this army of enigmatic forces back into battle. His genial dismissal marches me back to safety. Teaching goodness, deliberately inventing constructs that comically project magnificence at irony’s gate. Triumphing in a determined stance away from and back toward tradition that makes way for personal discernment. Reproached only if not held true by one’s own mind.
Despite the commotion, a free, exuberant rhapsody is faintly heard in the background. Its aesthetic splendor is alive with power and beauty, truth and love. It zealously continues and recovers the thrill of living. Shakespearean quests, Homeric epics, tales of heroic proportion lead and recover me from ill health. I fall in love with love. Crying out against the exploiters of tragedy, aesthetic niceties reconcile discord, commentary fades, the poet and artist emerge. Charming, uniting, exploring, dwelling in both comedy and tragedy, never shaken by partial truths; all the while, willing to return to that stone cottage filled with a study of goodness. Paint splattered hither and thither. Athenian entertainment, aesthetic magnificence, startling freedom. Life is here and it belongs to the gods. Few mortals taste this curtailment of intellect. It is quiet.
Between images and reality, dualism and distinction, idealism and ordinary reality, a childlike celebration contributes and is more equitable than the adult intellect. Previously duped by astonishingly wise and powerful myths of judgment, the softness of silk dresses new possibilities. A crown of imagination reigns. Purifying divinity, fluffy kittens, luminous exchanges eclipse what was once sharp and penetrating. Agony leaves.
Laughter and music, bread, cheese and wine brought together under the auspices of free expression. The pursuit of wisdom is not explored here, it resides here. It is whole and radiant, a soft glimpse of possibility in an otherworldliness excellence. Complete in its form, faithful to its bliss, a prize that glorifies for any soul capable of knowing it.
It simply is.
Once I descend from my high wire act, I find myself comforted by my ability to soar. Pledging to remain present in my elevated mode, a miscellany of thoughts begin to swirl, sophisticated, authoritative, philosophical, theological, scientific, confrontations for the mind for which there is no appropriate language. These thoughts culminate into a superbly disordered jumble of bewilderment. Powerful commentators return. Internal critics render interpretations based on biased perspectives. My mind harangues itself and the complex ambivalence returns. This is the critic who extinguishes nonsense, is unsympathetic in the extreme, and has no faults for no risks are undertaken. It’s motivation is the most faithful, not in the pious sense, but rather out of desire for purity. No pretenses can be made. The practice of inventing imaginary situations or posturing is pure deception and will not be tolerated. There is absolutely no facade here. It is also a quiet place. Mute from pain. Hushed and inaudible. Suppressed, noiseless, soundless, discreet, confidential.
Propitiously, the moment fades. Doubts and confusion return; but in doubting resides hope. This doubt carries brutal, highly accessible wisdom. Sublimely negative, unanswerable, and yet, the possibility of it being such replaces the powers of reason that would negate its justification. A true possibility exists. Supported by the laws of quantum physics, Leviathan-like in possibility, irrespective of the lack of covenant, an exuberance for theodicean, divine goodness and providence comforts with a kind of mad eloquence that pragmatically strengthens. The cycle returns.
My questions are incommensurate with my understanding. Literature comforts as much as it troubles my mind. There is no peace in the face of mortality. From Biblical pagan origins, Egyptian mythology, and Greek Hellenistic stoicism, a definite, idiosyncratic personality emerges. It lends a finer edge to the subtle truths interpolated within the texts that are compared. A deep appreciation for the full range of consciousness enhanced by rhyme and meter grows and another day passes.
I commune with my own heart in my desire to know wisdom, I find myself subjected to madness and folly, grief increases, knowledge increases sorrow. Vanity soothes. Desires and ambitions console and vex themselves in labor and achievement. A higher pitch illuminates this comforter as a leader among leaders. There is power in oppressing doubt, in casting it aside. But time and chance happens to us all. Within moments, universality competes with the mightiest labor to maintain neutrality. I tremble.
When strength trembles, understanding is our only counsel.
The search continues...
The screams of discord, dissent, and disagreement shout so loudly that I retreat to a more pleasing, harmonious blend of soft arrangements. Arrangements that congenially welcome easy, attuned rapport with oneself. Euphonic exchanges ease delivery and manner of enunciation, words flow, sentiments soar. Dulcet accordance envelops. Hostilities disband. Sufferings quieten. There is a pause. And in that pause, the gates between us unfasten. A singular cobblestone pathway appears, and when you stand in the middle of it, somehow, all your thought pathways stem from the same origin, namely, the “I”.
Like the Arc de Triomphe, each thought, scientific, spiritual, physical, anecdotal, all have equality and unity in the fact they originate from the same source. Disparaging concepts cooperate by nature. Their trajectory identical, irrespective of their direction. Polyphonically exploding simultaneously with a continuous flow that is self-perpetuated, continually reproducing itself over and over again.
This experience expands. Truth is everywhere and yet, nowhere specifically held. I am indebted to record the sentiments and thoughts as they appear. Only here do I not forsake myself. I may wish to withheld attribution, but that too is an example of an attribute of preference. The covenant is the allowance for attribution. The mere act illuminates the arbitrary imperative. In that peremptory obedience, that insistence of immediate attention, we recognize the fullness of choice. It is in that choice that a seemingly logical notion whispers, yielding an ear toward its appeal.
We are that which we seek. Irrespective of what we choose, our choice matters in how we choose it. Behind the construct is a taste of splendid commentary. Voluminous, interchangeable concentrations of palimpsests whereby only our inclinations serve as the visible traces of an earlier form.
This release from the error of sensible conclusions allows for expanded authenticity despite its form or present actuality. Certitude of principle withdraws and is filled with an abounding exploration of distinct possibilities. Relinquishing our grasp on the boundary of judgment, we release ourselves from our chosen course and delve into pure potentiality. A humble quietude casts us center stage and we stand before an audience bare with only our inherent attributes to convey, demonstrate, and evince what we dare not reveal to ourselves; that from nothing comes something.
The feeling of having to accept rather than enjoy abounds and is ever present in the most trifle of actions, deeds, and thoughts of humankind. We’re the electricity that illuminates the cave and in doing so, we are the choosers of that which we see and seek. The flummery that society dictates is a mere bagatelle for the self. Diminutive in nature, these tokens of reality aimed toward encompassing a whole cannot serve such immensity as existence. Any attempt to do so reduces a mammoth to a mere molecular state, describing nothing more than component particles that cease to be without the connections that yield their present product.
Each energie strand simultaneously exists in a land of Brobdingnagian proportions looking back at itself from a colossal state of being; where the ruling monarchy, based on its own reason, turns against itself. Not recognizing our Lilliput ancestry, we reject that from wince we came. As in Gulliver’s Travels, we appear before ourselves in the most unlikely geographical location.
We are ignited by a desire to return. Yet, the trajectory from where we now travel is from a different point. Irrespective of traveling toward an origin, it is still a direction. The only way to travel to the origin would be to recognize its innate position within as a starting point. Each direction is representative of it. That’s the paradox. And not one easily followed or integrated, even for the most earnest of seekers.
Every speck of energie commands a pathway traveled by local nobility. Each notion we accept become our troops whose forces liberally populate and accentuate the journey. Despite the civil litigations encountered, internal and external, we make decrees from our seaside palace set in an ocean of existence. In perceiving our ego as a local nobility of sorts, we are blown away by own flair for sumptuous resplendence. Traveling along a thousand miles of richly colorful and artistic dexterity, our abilities sway to and from, whether we take to the trapeze or not. Performing a wide range of reason, we balance, drop, and hang suspended in our beliefs. With grace and style, the bars of belief support us in the momentum of our executed thoughts. Throwing ourselves to the highest peaks, catching our balance at the far end of a swing, and then repeating maneuvers Jules Léotard would deem inspiring, we dare to dream, destined to land fully suspended until momentum carries us again.
I want to land in a place where I can see without judging. Where my voice refuses to define. Where my vision is not clouded by astute rhetoric and sharp-witted narrow mindedness. Where I can become a percipient viewer of life unfolding in its phenomenal splendor.
Freely swinging from the trapeze of clemency; I soar, closing link after link, traveling along a chain where nature promises to be itself.
The silence is broken by the continual quest for solace and clarity from the traumas of living. While I’d love nothing more than to offer some insight into wisdom, I cannot make such a presumption. The most I can do is explore the characteristics of self-awareness in a way that makes the experience of being human perhaps more bearable; dare I say, gentle.
I rarely, if ever, suffer from societal pressures. My mind resides elsewhere. The aims of this period interest me not, with the exception of exploring the quantum world, which I believe may withstand the scrutiny of the most sedulous critic. There’s something inherently beautiful in physics. Nature and reality merge, truth hovers, and wisdom bows. Canonical law seems inane and fails to enlighten or comfort in the midst of accurate and authoritative encounters with the physical pinnings of the universe. Despite its transparent modesty and perspicuous explanations, it is not without rival. It reveals form, fit and function, even purpose, but it fails to enlighten and provide a concrete glimpse as why. Irrespective of the path, each invoke a hidden lore that when encounters explanation, can result in nothing less than preference and judgment - bound by a finite mind, limited by sensory interpretation, fed by a myriad of wisdom writings from those who came before us in their search and ultimate acceptance of notions they felt would withstand scrutiny, and alas, supplemented by our own experiences or encounters with an external world. While many of these notions provide me with cognitive strength and a deeper appreciation for aesthetics, I find myself at a loss as to how I may govern my thoughts and actions accordingly to any principle beyond the arbitrarily accepted subjective preferences. I attempt, therefore, to persuade myself to remain en guarde; to be mindful of my thoughts, their resulting internal sentiments, and to accept what comforts these experiences bring to mind and body. While I, by predisposition, am not inclined toward the more wistful or anguished moral precepts inherent in doctrinal teachings, I do indeed keep many of them easily allied. In exploring these concepts, I must separate myself from a more comforting laconic expression in order to, however attenuated, gather perchance the wisest notions in order to make some sense of them.
In Psalm 22, King David begins by lamenting, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” it is our collective outcry. We, as a species, seem to possess an innate need for authority and structure in order to accept our existence.
My first exposure to wisdom writings were those of the Bible. The structure in this gathering of self-awareness explorations is such that we repeatedly make comparison of our daily lives to the imagined reality of an ultimate creator. Perfection destroys.
This experience propels me back to the notion, “I am, I exist.” Different from Descartes, “I think, therefore I am.” Perhaps nothing more than rhetoric, still, I cannot make the presumption that I think. If we are nothing other than energetic mirrors resonating from interactions with varying degrees or frequencies of other energetic resonances, the subjective experience of that may not have the capacity to define any higher truth than the sentiments derived from each encounter. Forever dwelling in Plato’s allegorical cave of cast shadows, seeing and hearing nothing other than echoes of diffused encounters.
Are we prisoners in our own reality mistaking shadowy appearances for truth? Could any manmade construct, religious or scientific, stoop to claim in any reductive way that their prepositions encompass the whole of reality, the potential myriad of component truths? Connotations have shifted with the passing of history coupled with scientific and technological advances. The invidious distinctions between the various schools of thought, with all their followers, yield, too, in the face of ultimate humility - namely, we cannot know.
We remain forever in an incomprehensible paradox.
I have gnawing inkling that the notions I accept as truth may not meet a proper definition of sound reasoning. Certain knowledge demands trust. Trust in science, trust in nature, trust in the certainties of life; in fact, many of life’s pleasure’s come from accepting each of our judgments in their unique fullness, while life’s disappointments arise from questioning them.
We write our own histories in our minds; good and bad, but when we analyze those stories, I can’t help but feel like an anonymous translator of my own mind. Some thoughts cause me to feel like the hopeless dramatist, while others, implore the presence of the hugely successful rival of the picaroon that disappoints me so. I vacillate between puppet and puppeteer, and like anyone enjoying a theatrical performance for a second or third time, I revel in reliving my favorite episodes, which are so easily triggered by my senses and perceptions - in a familiar melody, a smell of jasmine, or a lingering scent of pine. It is my internal dialogue that acts as narrator extraordinaire monologuing my every thought and action. Skilled internal critics who claim the distinction of familiarity with the first act provide their soliloquy, which can either ward off or inflame melancholia extremus.
My critics are well-versed in those stunning, sensational heroes and heroins of the past. I have my curious mind to fault for their erudition and insistence in holding my thoughts and actions above the ordinary. A constant bombardment of wisdom’s outpouring from a Hellenistic age streams along my mind’s eye like a ticker tape transmitting stock price information over an ancient telegraph line. One such strip reads: In the brave exploits of his life and in his death we feel that he is always mounted on his high horse - Montaigne on Socrates.
My modern critic responds with a jive indicating that such sentiments are obsolete in present time, living on only in the archaic transmissions of my ancestors. My nostalgic critic bursts in with facts supporting the efficacy of this early device, emphasizing its resemblance to a piano keyboard whose black and white keys brilliantly conveyed letters, numbers, and fractions in a symphony of form and meaning.
I step in to moderate, “Now, now. It wasn’t until 1986 that a ticker type device was even able to operate in true real time. Celebrate these maxims and insights as achievements and evidence of the history of human thought. Embrace them as they evolved and make way for the novelties we contribute today. The thoughts and guidance from both the commonest and best-known people throughout history continue to ignite and inspire, proliferating themselves in the modern ideals and notions we presently accept as true. Disregarding their origins results in disregarding our own, it is a grave account when we allow a break of energy to abort a natural progeny of ideas before they have yet to exist.
And for a moment, all is quiet.
After making this exploration of intention available to my conscious mind, I shall make myself accountable to the suppositions, and then, to the best of my ability and without impediment, accept them, grotesque as they may be to my heart, as if they were a scientific fact.
I, then, promise to follow each revealed verity produced by my own testimony.