Entries are rooted in the state of mind experienced at the time of writing – they are not representative in any way apart from being standalone expressions of a particular mental vantage.
Our shadow qualities, they go nowhere without integration, they hang right there around the penumbra of experience and reach out in cooperation when it’s opportune. The public personality is the self emptied of those idiosyncratic flavours that brook no boundary, that which is chaotic and frightening to the Jehovian mind, who pours scorn on the organic and projects there only death and dangerous deiform femininity.
The mind can be held in fragmentation but it cannot be fractured, it is a will-to-unity that if separated and forbidden will nonetheless live on in autonomy, bleeding into the world-model.
A Voyage to Arcturus is deeply moving. Something much more than the passions are moved by it however, the book is a truth serum, a sacred codex of anamnesis. It remains the most affecting text I’ve come across. The more time that elapses since having read it, the deeper this conviction sinks. The kinds of truth that are intimated by it are like fathomless monoliths embedded so deep and wide into the substrata of consciousness that one cannot hope to apprehend them, only to sightlessly palpate them, taste them, commune with them, to pick up the vague vibratory echoes that trail out from their subterranean lairs.
From early childhood there is something, of which I have always been dimly aware. The Mental Traveller, I would try to think my way farther and farther out, almost fugitive was the action, until I neared those most rarefied and dizzying outer fringes. And there always, as an object submerged in waters of ink, my thoughtstream would fall into a void. Out of bounds. I remember thinking on each of the times it occurred – what a wholly odd thing, certainly something outside of the usual course of things, I must not forget this. Direct encounter with Kundabuffer.
In writing this I feel I am converging again on those unsayable things.
‘Contingency’, ‘liminality’ are more of my appellations for the emptiness. The insubstantiality, unreality, emptiness of all things. That’s how virtual reality consciousness tastes.
The truth is not stranger than fiction, it is the strangest of conceivable things, the apotheosis of the bizarro and circuslike, the essence-juice of the uncanny: and it stands always laughing at one step’s remove from the outermost boundary of awareness.
To be is to deceive.
There is something so ineffably pregnant at the heart of being. Immanent and transcendent, one cannot form the words, they lump in the throat and falter at the lips, but here it is, here it is.
The most pernicious of the defilements smuggled in by the herd mind – so subtle you couldn’t notice it, a tinny station always playing in the back, just inside earshot – is that ‘given’ veil of mediocrity. That what you see before you is mediocre. Your life – mediocre. Yourself, your world, your inmost powers – mediocre.
A few of its many permutations: the ‘little old me,’ the ‘who am I to X,’ the ‘how likely is it everyone but you…’; the virulent cannibalism of po-mo irony and cynicism, cynicism and irony. No sounds too rude, no thoughts too vivid.
There is operative in this great mediocrity, always a sense of losing track of one’s voice amid the cacophony, of having been swallowed by Other-mind.
Staid standards, sublunary imaginations, desires that regress to the mean… blind dumb and deaf desires, of eyeless longings that vainly grope: able only to say ‘another’, ‘more’, ‘again’.
* * *
How different is the air outside, on whose eddying zephyrs the spirit spirals ever-upward, this holy faculty. At every nerve-end electrified, I take long measure of the distant steppe before me…unbounded are my thoughts in flight, endless is my single sight.
Every action feeds an I.
The Kundabuffer loathes a synchronicity.
Why live in fear of Chaos?
I am the very stuff out of which you are fashioned. I am truer than Order. I am your destiny.
You bastard creatures that cling to dry land as insects to cover of darkness, Order does not hide you from my sight. Order is only a waystation that now serves and now dies, but I am always there, that to which you are each time returning, that from which you borrow your existence.
Often men glimpse death, skance-eyed by a leading periphery of vision, and are sure it is me that they have seen on the window of their eye, but that is a mistake. Still, because they think it me they saw, people relate with death as an unctuous servant to Master, living always in Master’s shadow. In dreadful cognizance of Its power they cleave like sycophants to Its favour in soundless hopes of absolution. In such a way, many lives are an endless death, because their trajectories never err from the Hole’s great orbit. They never turn and stare, and eat death, but instead are constantly being eaten.
If you turn to look and see that peering through the holes is me.
The two deep-set caverns in a human skull…there nested, half-hid in pitchy reaches, my face.
ME wild Bacchus! ME wild PAN!
ME the protean! ME the trickster! ME the wink of creation! ME the soil, ME the sea! ME the Kali-tongued ecstasy!
Wild wild wild wild: I am the mad music that inflames and incites to flight – onto Godhead!
What diabolical worms had wriggled into my head! What meretricious lies, what foul melodies.
“The highest point at which human life and art meet is in the ordinary. To look down on the ordinary is to despise what you can’t have. Show me a man who fears being ordinary, and I’ll show you a man who is not yet a man.”
― Thirst for Love
“Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth.”
― The Decay of the Angel
“Thus in a single phrase I can define the great illusion concerning ‘love’ in this world. It is the effort to join reality with the apparition.”
― The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
“The perfectly ordinary girl and the great philosopher are alike: for both, the smallest triviality can become the vision that wipes out the world.”
― The Decay of the Angel
“He was always thinking of death, and this had so refined him that the physical seemed to fall away, freeing him from the pull of earth and enabling him to walk about some distance above its surface. Indeed he felt that even his distaste and hatred for the affairs of the world no longer stirred him deeply.”
― Runaway Horses
“As he saw it, there was only one choice — to be strong and upright, or to commit suicide.”
― Seven Stories
“Each man’s life represents a road toward himself, an attempt at such a road, the intimation of a path. No man has ever been entirely and completely himself.”
Each human being is born with an inmost map, a genetic animus, a Gordian knot. When we enter the world, by and by the outer map overlays the inner, and the place we find ourselves is the ineluctable labyrinth. To still find the way to oneself, despite the confusion. To unravel the skeins latent in man. To stir from the fugue. This is the purpose of the egoic life.
In the minds of the most conventionally beautiful women, the deepest-lying and sharpest-fanged demons are bred. Undue adoration is the most delicious and insidious poisoned chalice there is.
The Kundabuffer is the ‘OK-making’ device of the mind that I have for so long intuited. It’s what I’m driving at in the fifth paragraph of #8.
[” But the mind filters on, makes OK, shields the tender mortal eyes. Binds them once more to its will, booming but one elemental command: ‘LIVE ON.’ “]
It is a relative of the psychic censor, but this concept has a much stronger Gnostic redolence. That most strange and unsayable sense of recognition in watching Westworld… the android in us getting a bit self-conscious.
* * *
The scene of a car-crash passed at speed; the look in the face of a roadside vagrant, the faces on the city tube; beauty that calls the soul to arms; intimations of animality; clearings steeped in silence far from scents of the formicary.
A glitch of thought that leads by accident to an inaccessible door of the mind; an uncanny sense of vertigo.
‘Doesn’t look like anything to me.’
Grasp time’s fabric, bring it to you, do The Work.
There is only ever The Work to do.
Written under influence. A felicitous expression of an inner self.
I am a creature come from extreme lands. I am a mountaineer in an environment of flatlands.
I want – each moment to be a convergence on the moment, I want each action to be one that drinks Life, thirsty and triumphant, from the well of Death.
For each step I take, to bring me closer to the purer place, where the land is pristine snow and the air is rarefied…
To breach with mortal foot the door of eternity.
Do not fall into the easy trap of believing the world boring and given. We must hold fast the knowledge that we have hardly begun the business of traversing the path of true will – that the world is a living cosmos, and that there is much Work left to be done.
Hold this strand in the intellect until the heart sends up its energy. Discipline yourself in this.
We must not see our awakening as an externality to be conferred on us, but as something that we ourselves must actively work to author in the arena of our lives.
When the Life-energy sets on our lives and abandons us, we must hold on to the memory of her through the valleys of Night, until our greater faith is rewarded with recrudescing Day.
Those of you self-certain, hear this hear this…
People are this way only because they have forgotten how ridiculous they really are. They have forgotten how brittle is their house of fictions, how contrived, how sodden with folly…
If they remembered, they would not be so quick to act, so anxious to speak their nothings. In your inmost privacy, you know this is the truth – that your cock-surety is a rinkydink design adrift on roiling seas of nihil and chaos.
Of the coming ruin, there is no doubt. My wish for you is simply that your raft be smote sooner. Understand me, this is an altruistic wish – it minimises the amount of life you will spend chasing eidolons and baited desires.
May you be wracked on all sides by uncertainties and doubts, till you are reclaimed by the sea, and forced to build a truer raft.
As much as possible, I must see reality more and more from my singular vantage. Superegoic interference patterns must be minimised so that there is room to impose my vision onto the world. The actualisation of my being, true will, is not reachable without this necessary distance.
The creation and maintenance of this distance requires a strong, and more crucially, healthy kind of masculinity. It must be cultivated from the grounds of the self upward, secure enough to be perfect friends with the feminine. The bud is there, but latent still.
It is precisely the lack of this faculty that leaves one mired in that great dark inertia of yin, in that lost condition of Romantic death-worship. It is this lack which sustains the chronic passivity and enervation of the existentialist mentality.
One lacks the ‘Life more abundant’ of the Book of John. Thought is of death, action is of life.
In carehomes, in the silent domiciles of widows, the gaping abyss that was there in life all along but life-long ignored – rears its head, open-mouthed.
The intelligence of the heart. This may well not be as much of a metaphor as first appears. The heart itself, the body, is an intelligence – or an entelechy – unto itself.
It is possible to sink into a more intimate and vital awareness of the body, such that one’s very life-force becomes palpable… the gravity of each heartbeat, laboured and real for the first time.
Communion with the body-entelechy, this is the true aim of yogic practice. Parity with the prime stratum of consciousness that is the animal state.
The body-entelechy is a 1:1 of the intelligence, the entelechy. Therein wisdom, therein the knot of ‘being’ – of being here, being a person – unravels.
Some complaining followed by prose-poem inspired by Kafka’s idea that civilised life is in some ineffable sense akin to a living death.
For me, even the successes feel valueless. The whole edifice of civilised life, galls my sensibility.
Nothing of it strikes me as substantive. All of its attendant desires, accomplishments, milestones – so cheap. The lurid vanity of it, drains the tenderness in my heart.
One goes to cup from its well only to find its glassy waters pass through one’s hands.
* * *
Nothing, nothing, nothing, my passions come to Nothing. Anemic-souled somnambulist, reborn under starless skies, walks the silly streets of an orphaned world, thronged on either side by the alien faces of hostile dwellings, curtained-up and slanting forward, til at road’s end spots a low window – bare and lightless. Coming on its forbidding face, peers in, and sees the living Death that was his life, his and everyone else’s; he sees how the forces beneath the surface of this twilight realm were those that culminated in the grave – dismal alchemies that petrify the spirit, blot out the sun, and cover the stars.
Peace, is a distant clime from which the civilised man is utterly estranged. Peacetime is naught but cold wars of Psyche; a weltering womb, enrapt in wait, till the sound of war drums near – and that sweet extrusion into flesh.
Never doubt! Never lose faith in the untrodden way! Let no-one deter you from it, kith or kin, for they do Moloch’s work for him! Never give in to cultural colonisation of the mind! Never compromise true will! Buck the load! Root out the introjects, chew them up and spit them back out into the overripe streets of Babylon!
Listen not to my words, they lie – they deflect my true meaning. Let me instead bare you my interiority, show you through its corridors, on to the preverbal privacy that dwells always in silence. Maybe then we will recognise each other.
You cannot stare straight into the face of the sun, or death.
– La Rochefoucauld, Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims
Death is as a primeval fire that burns up the contingent elements of a person, leaving essence. So that, whenever one psychically nears these flames, life is experienced anew, in the first freshness of childhood. These are really life-giving flames. By some inverse means, the closer one comes to the verge of the great Maw, the more the garden is set abloom with organism, raging ever more fiercely with thicket and flower.
Listen to the anguishes that come, they have important stories to tell.
Without death, sublimity cannot exist.
What is becoming ‘adult’ but a fire-sale of the soul?
Do not get ahead of where you really are. Choose real growth, not artificial imposition.
Prose-poem inspired by ‘A Voyage to Arcturus’, a continuation of #56.
Around all the corners of this world lie booby-traps.
A dizzyingly vast edifice of snakes and ladders, the serpents here tempt not on to knowledge, but back to the beginning. Their final aim is not seduction, but sedation. Their stings are full of numbing agents. This is because, far more than your death, do they desire your perpetual sleep. For sleep is no escape at all from this world. It is the opposite.
Groundhog day in the garden of Genesis.
Each man has spinning inside the silent cavern of his skull a mesmeric dancer; and each woman, a male gaze.
Surveying my beliefs and attitudes – the antinatalism, the gnosticism, the philosophical pessimism, my keen sense of and preoccupation with the ‘illusions’ and blindnesses of the world. I appear really to be set against life, against being here.
As Metzinger points out, “from a traditional evolutionary perspective, philosophical pessimism is maladaption.” My current strength of feeling about personal antinatalism – the ne plus ultra in maladaptive thinking – emphasises this.
Consciousness is a burden, still more consciousness is insufferable.
No longer share the sentiments of the last line. It’s a certain kind of consciousness that is the burden.
Do not allow the weight of self-consciousness to sit on you like a suffocating blanket.
Break away from automatism; embody the archetype, not the vagaries of the present.
Live widely and artlessly, in a spare mindscape.
All experience is an interior state.
The exterior world is a crucible through which one’s interiority passes.
We are like cells, aware only of their individuality but directed really by the laws of a greater organismic order.
By these and similar mechanisms of blindness, we inure ourselves to monstrosities.
We get so suckered into believing all of our feelings. Assuming our thoughts to be veridical entities, worthy of our belief in them.
A Voyage to Arcturus –
Hator said, “I am here falsely, and therefore I am subject to your false pleasures. But I wrap myself in pain – not because it is good, but because I wish to keep myself as far from you as possible. For pain is not yours, neither does it belong to the other world, but it is the shadow cast by your false pleasures.”
“Don’t spare him pain, dear Shaping, but let him seek his own pain. Breathe into him a noble soul.”
To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities—I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not—that one endures.
Only great pain is, as the teacher of great suspicion, the ultimate liberator of the spirit…I doubt whether such pain improves us – but I do know it deepens us.
Life without pain is meaningless. Pain is the source of all value in the world. It is the test of one’s true worth. And it is as sacred as the gods.
Colin Wilson –
Lindsay believes that humans are stuck on a fly-paper of delusions, and the glue is mixed with sugar – pleasure… it is only through pain… that man glimpses the ‘sublime’ of which he is capable and which is his true element.
* * *
The line preceding quote iii. from A Voyage to Arcturus relates how, in the company of Joiwind, Maskull grows acutely aware of his own impurity. On arriving at Shaping’s Well, Maskull entreaties Joiwind to pray for him.
“What do you wish for?”
“For purity,” answered Maskull, in a troubled voice.
* * *
Branchspell, “the same kind of sun as our own, lighting man’s road,” and Alppain, which “lights God’s road.” The former pins the subject to the sublunary world of pleasure, reactive feeling, and illusion. The latter rouses vehemently the innermost spirit (the daemon, desirous of reunion with godhead), pulling it back toward Muspel; No-thing.
Just as the principal character of an ordinary dawn [Branchspell; Solar] is mystery, the outstanding character of this dawn was wildness.
Branchspell, the all-too-familiar jailkeeper, Alppain the salvific alien.
Do not fear change and destruction; but laughter and joy… to see beauty in its terrible purity you must tear away the pleasure from it.
Maskull detained him. “Say just this, before we depart company – why does pleasure appear so shameful to us?”
“Because in feeling pleasure, we forget our home.”
“And that is – ”
“Muspel,” answered Catice.
This is what is sad when one contemplates human life, that so many live out their lives in quiet lostness… they live, as it were, away from themselves and vanish like shadows. Their immortal souls are blown away, and they are not disquieted by the question of its immortality, because they are already disintegrated before they die.
[see also: concept of self-murder, that the common ego is in some sense the ghost of the self]
Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us.
One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.
Waking up as a bug; waking up as a hairless primate. Descended from Pleroma into the temporary nightmare called life. Absolute understanding demands absolute void, in order that we may mirror the macrocosm. Absolute void is deliverance. Deliverance is death. Death is Home.
- In 1988, when Life asked Julian Jaynes and several other thinkers to comment on the meaning of life, he responded that he had no answer. “Words have meaning, not life or persons or the universe itself,” he said. “Our search for certainty rests in our attempts at understanding the history of all individual selves and all civilisations. Beyond that, there is only awe.”
The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.
– Aldous Huxley,
i. Every face is my face. Every face I have seen has impressed itself indelibly against my soul.
ii. I have stared death in the mouth. There on the barren heath I lie, looking at a lightless sky.
iii. Leg rocking under the plate, leg rocking under the page.
iv. You let in too much externality. Stay within egoic cacoon.
v. Man’s endless malleability is matched only by his endless emptiness.
vi. Reality can be such a coarse thing. Glimpsed through our narrow chinks, and so unsightly, it is amenable to the mind only by fictions, by mythology.
This follows a long break in writing, a period marked by some disillusionment.
The quiet inner voice, perhaps that of the dynamic child, seems to be back after a lengthy hiatus. A hiatus marked generally by creative blackout and a recrudescence of that Inner Deadness – endemic to the culture – I’ve been trying to stave off. Unsure as to the cause of the return. Likely – either the child was being suffocated by the superegoic introjects of worthlessness, or, the recent return of stricture and pressure is producing sparks once again.
The still small voice that conveys from the unconscious welter whole, preformed streams of thought, often novel and redolent with that alterity idiosyncratic to the right-hemisphere.
I desire to awaken so much from easy somnambulism. But that is precisely what confounds, it is so easy. Self-remembering, in Gurdjieff’s phrase, appears nigh-on impossible. The psychic censor – likely part of the LH self-system – has a peremptory sway over the mind. This place seems inimical to the endeavour of awakening. Most everything appears constructed against it. It is then as the Gnostics would have it, a Demiurgic prison, perhaps more of the mind than of the so-called objective world. The world as generated by the Eidolon rather than the Daemon.
Having children still seems a mostly cruel act to me. It requires a certain necessary buffer of functional ignorance to have children. The world is really a very cold place, under the left-hemisphere’s ascendancy. There is such a trapped quality to postmodern, hyper-alienated consciousness. Quiet desperation, ever so quiet.
Best translated as ‘non-forcing’ rather than ‘actionless action’ or ‘non-doing’.
Action that arises, unbidden, out of one’s ontological or phenomenological parity with Nature. Effortless, non-forced, non-rigid doing, like the orbital revolutions of planets or perhaps the tropisms of plants.
“The art of sailing rather than the art of rowing.”
[see also: Csíkszentmihályi’s ‘flow’]
The ego – as well as having evolved from the increase in left-hemispheric imbalance – arises from acculturation. It functions like a mirror, representing in the mind the tendencies of the outside world. Actions and feelings are often not innately born but instead are a collection of such internalised simulacra.
[see also: mirror neuron]
The world defies understanding because we are too close to it. Only after waking is the dream beheld from reality’s vantage.
Fell off, got back on. When the dark clouds roll in, they cannot be denied. But clouds pass; they are contingent too.
From ‘Méditations Poétiques’, 1820.
Limited in his nature, infinite in his desire, man is a fallen god who remembers heaven.
For man, his only actual home, his abiding ground, the place where he is closest to being real – is nonbeing.
A pitchy room, a darkling pool; the deep silence of sleep.
Excerpt from Crete writings.
Without real understanding, we wordlessly absorb the model of reality those around us appear to us to have adopted. And from here, for most, only confusion, only lostness, only quiet desperation.
Philosophy is the negatory dark matter, the amniotic abyss that surrounds the positive and familiar. All concepts owe themselves to its deep ground. Like the impassable Sphinx, it cannot be dispelled without finding oneself wading into its black waters.
Philosophy is really homesickness: the urge to be at home everywhere.
Time is the moving image of eternity.
He who binds himself to a joy,
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.
From Rilke’s ‘Sonnets to Orpheus’.
All that we’ve gained the machine threatens, as long as it dares to exist as Idea, not obedient tool.
[Trying to write some lines about nature, I immediately u-turn.]
Beauty, a mysterious shade, brooks no moorings. Nothing to say. I am empty of content, all that I contain is the world – and the world is empty. Paved streets, road signs, blue skies, fucking stuff. I blotted out and the world rushed in. It’s empty in here. The only mystery is Nature, that is the only thing that doesn’t resemble mere construct. Death’s shadow urges on like a taskmaster. But there is no task. Only Death. So find a task. Tick-tock-tock-tick.
Purge out these darknesses from time to time.
Weird dreams recently…
Few times while falling asleep – once in exhaustion, once during trip – mind wanders into a morbid Eliot poem, the “thousand sordid images of which your soul is constituted.” Taxi Driver. All the grime one absorbs from the world.
Excerpt from Crete writings.
Danukah. Olive trees. Olive leaf. Repeated realisations, eyes widening. Camera, tree, a vague fugitive feeling. The impeccable warrior. An identity deeper than all that is capturable by social relation. Wild, animal before human.
The weaving way, the atemporal tapestry, image of eternity, master-copy from which all reality is a cutting. That which stitches together all moments, sequential and orthogonal. The fourth-dimensional mandala from whose vantage all appears determined.
Hold the gaze, do not look away. Do not look away from life. Encounter the pain, continue looking, and in this raw state, allow the crucible of experience to purify. Instead of stagnation, growth.
The following is a prose-poetry recount of a trip during my trip to Cappadocia, which lasted until night and through to morning. It is quite unamenable to linear comprehension, I would treat it like an imagistic slideshow that is intended to elicit and contrast certain feelings.
I am not an especial fan of it, as I say it is quite unfriendly and inward-looking but again it represents a stage of development.
Cappadocia trip has shifted something. Along the white ashen trails, amid the volcanic geoforms frozen sensuous, in monastic nooks without and the winding crannies within. I left parts of my mind strewn along those alabaster-ash ways.
In oceanic night, when dark waves spirited me rough through my sightless limbo. There, where Abyss rocks me on all sides in my foetal cradle, where inauspicious winds come bearing eddies of ash to occlude all my senses. In tenebrous womb, illuminated only seconds at a time by passing car-lanterns I descend circlewise down my midnight gyre, and there at the bottom beneath its terminating step, I dip my toe into a primordial pool of nothing.
* * *
With each contact, its cool emptiness seeps into me. The emptiness grows and the core of myself recedes. It has diluted the accreted fictions that constitute my ‘personality’. An emulsive layer of it, the cool emptiness, sits in the make-up of my being – a latency – surrounded sparsely by broken-up egoic material, inflamed and desperate to coalesce again. It’s hard to be at home with this intruder from Reality.
* * *
Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy. Redundancy.
* * *
The bearded man who sat open at the one-stop shop between nothing and nowhere. Just the openness, to my twitching fragility. As I sat beside the man like a loyal stray, that was enough. Enough human warmth cupped thirsty from a well to stumble on undaunted into Stygian maw.
* * *
Conversations had alone. Stimulus-response smiled stares. Gazes averted from Life, earnest talk of Progress in office buildings, timorous homeless gathered under secluded bridges; seas of liquid rock aflame beneath the Earth’s mantle; a bus alighted by a man and a woman. A lit cigarette left temporarily unhandled on a ceramic ashtray. A sunbaked roof, a dripping tap, the silent moments alone in bathrooms, shared glances – warm rains starting deep in a canopied forest.
Continuous sleek-grey walls in anodyne airports. Invisible eyes pointed at your skull. A constipated human trapped in the cubicle of a plane landing in New York. A sea-lapped shore. A weatherman elaborating on the Outer Hebrides. A feeding mosquito. A palette-cleanser. A slammed car-door heralding commotion and shouting voices.
* * *
Parroting the words of a parting sentence, looking lost there behind the window of a vehicle in-transit.
“Where am I?” In-transit, presently.
“Who is she?” In-transit, presently.
“Why am I?” In-transit, presently.
Pushing past the conductor, I deftly make my way to the front catching looks as I go. There I ask the driver,
“Where do I get off?” and the driver replies,
“Don’t ask me. Nowhere, I presume.”
“How do you mean?” I entreated.
“I mean, you got on as Nothing, and our last stop is Nowhere,” replied the driver.
“I don’t understand.”
“Well you see, my grandfather always said to call a spade a spade. He would always say that the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name,” the driver replied.
At the end, all is patternicity, formed by notes sounded on the ‘Piano of the Liminal Void’, giving off contrast and variation, punctuating the abyss. Occluded from knowledge is the fact that the sounds of the Piano are coming from inside a tightly-bound plenum, and our collective dream of separation its music. Each hard surface, each soft voice, every sharp pain and muted velleity – music all.
Opening lines of H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Call of Cthulhu’.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
Almost nobody dances sober, unless they happen to be insane.
Excerpt from Thomas Ligotti’s ‘The Medusa’.
The sinister, the terrible never deceive: the state in which they leave us is always one of enlightenment. And only this condition of vicious insight allows us a full grasp of the world, all things considered, just as a frigid melancholy grants us full possession of ourselves. We may hide from horror only in the heart of horror.
Germany, 2015. Today I have reservations about this bold statement, but it is a vestige of my development; as are many entries.
“The world is a woman taken hostage by adolescent masculinity.”
Excerpt from writing on the sin of pride in Christianity.
I have no trouble relating with the primeval belief in demons, or more narrowly, the belief in inherent evil. Who does not witness the glare of a psychopath and feel the presence of this very thing? This is precisely what repels me so very much when I look into their eyes. Some of my experiences on psychedelics have underlined the reality of inherent evil for me, qualified however by a sense that there is a perennial syzygic struggle between good and evil.
Whether this is a reality that can be mapped onto the objective world remains to be seen, but that this exists within the human psyche is beyond doubt. There exists mythic archetypes of so-called ‘pure evil’ in the collective unconscious, expressed conspicuously and ubiquitously throughout world mythology.
Certainly, the idea of an ‘evil eye’ holds a particular sway for me currently, this psychopathic-demonic crux manifest in the most terrible of conceivable glares. When we watch horror movies, it is not so much fear of an external threat that the man or woman experiences, it is the fear of seeing the terrible that exists at the uncanny depths of every human mind.
“Pride breeds the tyrant violent pride, gorging, crammed to bursting with all that is overripe and rich with ruin – clawing up to the heights, headlong, pride crashes down the abyss – sheer doom!”
– Oedipus the King, l. 963-967
“And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses?”
Notes on Poe’s short story.
- Right over left hemispheric function. Dupin highlights the ‘closed system’ nature of mathematical axioms. “Nothing is more hateful to wisdom than excessive cleverness.”
- When republished in The Gift in 1845, the editor called it “one of the aptest illustrations which could well be conceived of that curious play of two minds in one person.”
- Great illustration of the L<R relationship [symbol here denotes a zoom-in/zoom-out relationship, not lesser-than] – the insufficiency of fastidious analysis in the face of synthetic, gestalt perception; which simplifies instead of complexifies.
- “It is safe to wager that every public idea and every accepted convention is sheer foolishness, because it has suited the majority,” – Nicolas Chamfort.
Sanity is forgetting, insanity is remembering.
Normative ego consciousness has the character of a dream, we are in some sense always sleeping. Formed within a womb, we have emerged into another kind of womb, surrounded on all sides by black seas of infinity. Some unreal cosmic waiting room. Perhaps it is only a limited kind of consciousness produced by the brain that I am here describing, or perhaps it is the cosmos too, with its boundless void of hard vacuum.
Truth is a voice shouting for us to wake.
Could it be that this alienated, image-of-an-image, Baudrillardian aspect of modern civilisation is a manifestation of the left-hemispheric imbalance?
There is this strange, onanistic loop at the depths of the psyche. When all is mum, when the ape in man stays quiet, and whatever more-than-ape gawps agog, I hear only this loop. Strange to familiar, foreign to home, start to return. It moves me to recount it, this dynamic, this ancient rhythm.
Perhaps the dual-dynamic of Tao punctuating experience, perhaps ouroboros circling for its tail, perhaps only the hum of a dopamine feedback loop, I know not yet what this is.
The fall from Eden is synonymous with the fall into ego.
There’s an uncanny hintergedanke that often resurfaces into my consciousness. This weird, intuitive awareness of entropy, Thanatos. Its gravity, its pull. How scarce the resources, how laboured life; how lucky, how fragile, how tender it is to have eyes to see through. From yawning nothing, the something shivers. How like Atlas this flesh-sentence, how laden the act.