“…And here begins my despair as a writer”
–Jorge Luis Borges, “The Aleph”
I should say, “began.” And not “as a writer,” per se, or even primarily, no, I should more accurately portray the experience “…and so began, and ever continues to begin, my despair as a human.”
For experiences, no matter where or when, in full matter of where and when, are multitude that begin such despair. They are occurrences of a process we call variously “knowing,” “comprehending,” “understanding” – encounters with unlimited and unnecessary contents we might describe as “revelatory,” “visionary,” or “true.” We describe their feeling and fumble with content.
For they seem to circumscribe an everything – as contained and opening out – well-metaphored by the scientifically religious Big Bang, an un-caused cause or some like. Experiences we couch in the babbles of mystery: synchronicity, omniscience, omnivorous, omnipotent and omnipresent. We feel them like an orb or spiral, a series of looping waves without succession.
A.k.a “convergence,” simultaneity and emergence coming together at now and here.
I write “as a human” because I cannot be anything else. And a human, as a living being, is characterized by limitations and potentials. Although kinds of things never exhaust their potentials (as far as we know) – thereby always altering what might constitute affordances and constraints lists – nevertheless, in order to be unique (or anything at all – “what –so-ever”) humans must be limited, those limitations providing the very contexts for exploring potentials and potency.
One such environment or niche is the operation of our living processes in space and through time. I.e. a simultaneous occurrence of everything cannot be processed, cannot be shared, as such. It must needs be dissected and dismembered via many spaces and over time in order to be perceived by such an animal as we – re-membered and imaged-in (imagined) according to our nature (our processes and practices in our environments).
This is why moments we might re(in)fer to as “transcendent” or “wholistic” perhaps “encapsulating” or “converging” – compressing and expanding (synonymously) some happening that seems “total” generate despair for our kind or species.
I am unable to deny what comes to experience, but with labels and descriptions (interpretation) must take care. One often turns to symbols or metaphors: icons that serve to absorb a variegated but comprehensible share of human experiences. Accrued via descriptions and depictions over time, these symbols resonate and traverse times and boundaries in order to gather experiences of a kind. Take for example the term “hunger,” or a drawing of an eye. Mirrors, or a resolving I-IV-V progression. These activities of reference and participation, renewal and recognition, present and re-present for us experiences that seem to extend or equal (again, synonymously) us.
Despair comes in the desired specificity each individual of the species wishes to convey (form of convergence – communicate meaning for our kind can be spotted by our use of the prefix co-). That experience (in itself necessarily co-), in order to have meaning(humanly speaking) must be shared – we find that telling/singing/dancing/painting/acting/writing/ filming/making/working/sculpting/creating/crafting or any combination of them all and the human-specific processes this entails are unable to re-present such “totalizing” experiences, except at certain angles, perspectives, fragments, over time.
Yet, were it otherwise, we would have no need of any of our abilities – for we would know. The relations, practices, potentials and processes depend on this inability (limitation) to be. For us to be, as humans, what and whom, where and when, we are.
Unity would undo this. In fact, we have no evidence that ANY living entity “shares alike” – reciprocates perfect understanding or replication (or reproduction, ex-ist-ing) exactly…down beyond our cells…there is difference, mis-matching, variation. In fact, all the co-operations that provide con-vergence and co-mmunity, me-and-ing (meaning) depend on the disjunctions we strive to come over or through in order to express, be understood, known, “as one.”
So, though never “of the same mind,” perspective, or feeling, even when we experience me-and-ing together (gathered) – – this is also how we are.
Perhaps then, less despair than real-ization?
10 thoughts on “A Real-ization?”
if string theory holds up, and the eleven or so dimensions exist, much more unknown possibilities arise.
I enjoyed this. But is our experience ‘couched in the babbles of mystery’ because of mediation? I’d like to hear more on that.
signals, boundaries, each mode and medium providing potentials and limitations – partials – so our experiencing of now become like suggestive fragments and representations that we stitch together again and again – Blanchot talks of it as the quest for origin – the ever disappearing that we strive to capture but cannot. So we babble and doodle and make noises and convey what we can leaving the whole experience mysterious (I’m thinking).
The idea of stitching fragments together again and again suggests a compelling regenerative function of art, but I wonder if we really do leave the whole experience (of existence?) as mysterious. Are you rejecting intentionality, or saying that we should allow this to remain mysterious? (I hope you don’t mind these questions. I just find your writing interesting.)
I think that activating, representing, crafting a communication of the totality of the now-experience is not possible given our spatio-temporal processing limitations. It is the communication of the experience (as it occurs) that is impossible (outside the bounds of possibility, i.e. mysterious), I am unable to speak regarding the experienc-ing itself (whether we have “whole” experiences or not, given our systemic parts). The stitching of expressed fragments of experiences together again by viewers, readers, etc. constitute fresh experiences, but do not access the originary experience – that forever disappeared in its now-ness. (I am thinking).
I am thinking the desire to express, share, create IS an intention to access, represent experience as we experience it – but that our modes and media (processes and practices) of expression, communication, creating – form NEW experiences, but are unable (by their nature) to convey the entirety of experience as it is experienced. Does this make any sensible experience?
“dealing in things which are continually vanishing” is another way of saying it.
Defining mysterious as the impossible is intriguing, but is the agency understood in the possible both knowing and doing? And while the impossibility of fully or accurately expressing experience to others is the failure of language, I wonder if there ever is an original experience if experience is wholly mediate? (I’m not necessarily posing these as questions, more as wonderings in response to your thoughts. And thanks for this interesting discussion, I’ve enjoyed it.)
I would feel uncomfortable identifying mysterious with impossible, but feel that our sense of the mysterious is related to that which falls outside of sense or our perceptive capacities to represent/process it. Not only a failure of language, per se – a failure of representation, of finite expression, a limitation of human processes – a photograph, a painting, a telling, a song (etc.) all are fragmentary/partial re-cordings of experience (albeit affording fresh full now-experiences). I do lean toward experience being wholly mediate – that environment and organism are inseparable. And I am greatly enjoying the questions and thinking they provoke.