Michel Foucault: “Speech Begins After Death”

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..does the pleasure of writing exist?  I don’t know.  One thing I feel certain of is that there’s a tremendous obligation to write.  This obligation to write, I don’t really know where it comes from.  As long as we haven’t started writing, it seems to be the most gratuitous, the most improbable thing, almost the most impossible, and one to which, in any case, we’ll never feel bound.  Then, at some point – is it the first page, the thousandth, the middle of the first book, or later?  I have no idea – we realize that we’re absolutely obligated to write.  This obligation is revealed to you, indicated in various ways.  For example, by the fact that we experience so much anxiety, so much tension if we haven’t finished that little page of writing, as we do each day.  By writing that page, you give yourself, you give to your existence, a form of absolution.  That absolution is essential for the day’s happiness.  It’s not the writing that’s happy, it’s the joy of existing that’s attached to writing, which is slightly different.  This is very paradoxical, very enigmatic, because how is it that the gesture – so vain, so fictive, so narcissistic, so self-involved – of sitting down at a table in the morning and covering a certain number of blank pages can have this effect of benediction for the remainder of the day?  How is the reality of things – our concerns, hunger, desire, love, sexuality, work – transfigured because we did that in the morning, or because we were able to do it during the day?  That’s very enigmatic.  For me, in any case, it’s one of the ways the obligation to write is manifested.

This obligation is also indicated by something else.  Ultimately, we always write not only to write the last book we will write, but, in some truly frenzied way – and this frenzy is present even in the most minimal gesture of writing – to write the last book in the world.  In truth, what we write at the moment of writing, the final sentence of the work we’re completing, is also the final sentence of the world, in that, afterward, there’s nothing more to say.  There’s a paroxysmal intent to exhaust language in the most insignificant sentence.  No doubt this is associated with the disequilibrium that exists between speech and language.  Language is what we use to construct an absolutely infinite number of sentences and utterances.  Speech, on the contrary, no matter how long or how diffuse, how supple, how atmospheric, how protoplasmic, how tethered to its future, is always finite, always limited.  We can never reach the end of language through speech, no matter how long we imagine it to be.  This inexhaustibility of language, which always holds speech in suspense in terms of a future that will never be completed, is another way of experiencing the obligation to write.  We write to reach the end of language, to reach the end of any possible language, to finally encompass the empty infinity of language through the plenitude of speech.

Another reason why writing is different from speaking is that we write to hide our face, to bury ourselves in our own writing.  We write so that the life around us, alongside us, outside, far from the sheet of paper, this life that’s not very funny but tiresome and filled with worry, exposed to others, is absorbed in that small rectangle of paper before our eyes and which we control.  Writing is a way of trying to evacuate, through the mysterious channels of pen and ink, the substance, not just of existence, but of the body, in those minuscule marks we make on paper.  To be nothing more, in terms of life, than this dead and jabbering scribbling that we’ve put on the white sheet of paper is what we dream about when we write.  But we never succeed in absorbing all that teeming life in the motionless swarm of letters.  Life always goes on outside the sheet of paper, continues to proliferate, keeps going, and is never pinned down to that small rectangle; the heavy volume of the body never succeeds in spreading itself across the surface of paper, we can never pass into that two-dimensional universe, that pure line of speech; we never succeed in becoming thin enough or adroit enough to be nothing more than the linearity of a text, and yet that’s what we hope to achieve.  So we keep trying, we continue to restrain ourselves, to take control of ourselves, to slip into the funnel of pen and ink, an infinite task, but the task to which we’ve dedicated ourselves.  We would feel justified if we no longer existed except in that minuscule shudder, that infinitesimal scratching that grows still and becomes, between the tip of the pen and the white surface of the paper, the point, the fragile site, the immediately vanished moment when a stationary mark appears once and for all, definitively established, legible only for others and which has lost any possibility of being aware of itself.  This type of suppression, of self-mortification in the transition to signs is, I believe, what also gives writing its character of obligation.  It’s an obligation without pleasure, you see, but, after all, when escaping an obligation leads to anxiety, when breaking the law leaves you so apprehensive and in such great disarray, isn’t obeying the law the greatest form of pleasure?  To obey an obligation whose origin is unknown, and the source of whose authority over us is equally unknown, to obey that – certainly narcissistic – law that weighs down on you, that hangs over you wherever you are, that, I think, is the pleasure of writing…

…I’m not an author.  First of all, I have no imagination.  I’m completely uninventive.  I’ve never even been able to conceive of something like the subject of a novel…I place myself resolutely on the side of the writers [in distinction – Roland Barthes – from authors] those for whom writing is transitive.  By that I mean those for whom writing is intended to designate, to show, to manifest outside itself something that, without it, would have remained if not hidden at least invisible.  For me, that’s where, in spite of everything, the enchantment of writing lies…I’m simply trying to make apparent what is very immediately present and at the same time invisible…I’d like to reveal something that’s too close for us to see, something right here, alongside us, but which we look through to something else…to define the proximity around us that orients the general field of our gaze and our knowledge…

So, for me, the role of writing is essentially one of distancing and of measuring distance.  To write is to position oneself in that distance that separates us from death and from what is dead…I’m in the distance between the speech of others and my own…In exercising my language, I’m measuring the difference with what we are not, and that’s why I said to you earlier that writing means losing one’s own face, one’s own existence.  I don’t write to give my existence the solidity of a monument.  I’m trying to absorb my own existence into the distance that separates it from death and, probably, by that same gesture, guides it toward death…

I’dd add that, in one sense, my head is empty when I begin to write, even though my mind is always directed toward a specific object.  Obviously, that means that, for me, writing is an exhausting activity, very difficult, filled with anxiety.  I’m always afraid of messing up; naturally, I mess up, I fail all the time.  This means that what encourages me to write isn’t so much the discovery or certainty of a certain relationship, of a certain truth, but rather the feeling I have of a certain kind of writing, a certain mode of operation of my writing, a certain style that will bring that distance into focus…

Foucault saisi par la révolution - Vacarme | Michel Foucault | Scoop.it

notes

Why not call it magic, this unsettling alloy of grief and anger we experience when shunted by anxiety, disappointment, depression, or loss?

We cannot deny that we crave!  That we are struck through – bolted with fervent desire (all that which we experience as, well, unsettlingly – disturbingly – vital, ALIVE, active, possessive, in us) – when we are crushed, smushed, squelched, or helpless, hopeless, dismayed – how else could we be?

Without the vital, fierce passions – the damage is to no effect/affect.  Depression must press against something.  Must be pressing something down.

“Am I at the right house?” the internet-technology-installer asked from my gate.

“How can I know?” I responded, “it would depend on the future.”

He checked the numbers and moved away.

Now how will we ever know?

Isn’t this what every human encounter re/presents?

So de-pression presses something down in us.  Anxiety stirs.  Sorrow re-cognizes meanings.  No negative without its positive charge.  To be noticeable.  And what is it that is noticeable?  (able-to-be-noticed)?  ONLY DIFFERENCE.  Only time and space and whatever it is those veil, uncover, hide, or displace.

O-ppressed, DE-pressed, what are these SU-ppressing?  Accentuating?  Calling to attention, to activity, awareness, task?

Grief, loss, de-tachment and longing: what do these expose in order to occur? 

Is anything ever lost?

She passes by with a friendly, perhaps even loving and happy wave.  What reality is evoked in the pain of the passed-by, passed-over, un-preferred?  What does it render actually present?

Is it possible that in the “missing” nothing is lost?  Some present is heightened?  Something even added to the present?

In losing a struggle don’t we gain what the effort was for?  Clearly?

Does surrender underscore the sub-ject, the value, the relational ob-ject-ive given over?  Adding acknowledging import?

Difference demonstrates value.  Matter(s).  Sign-if-i-can-ce.  Without difference nothing would know.  Indistinguishable = pure repetition.  (Doesn’t matter).

Passed-over, passed-by, passed-on.  De-pressed, su-ppressed, o-ppressed.  Lost, lossed, re-moved, de-tached, re-apportioned.  ALL LOSS ACCENTUATES HAVE.  ALL DIS-POSSESSION EXPOSES POSSESS.

Difference de-scribes=in-scribes OURSELVES.  What we are constructed from, contain, proffer, offer, obsess, possess, ARE.  What we ARE (have and do).

Our com-position, con-stitution, con-struction are most clearly expressed in difference, ex-posure, de-struction, de-pression, o-ppression, loss.

In de-composition, we know and learn what composes us.

The question beggars: what have we to lose?  What can we lose that in losing its learning is not gained?  What have we to lose?  And how do we know without losing?

 

“All I know is the text” – Samuel Beckett

“A voice comes to one in the dark.  Imagine.

…Deviser of the voice and of its hearer and of himself.  Deviser of himself for company.  Leave it at that.  He speaks of himself as of another.  He says speaking of himself, He speaks of himself as of another.  Himself he devises too for company.  Leave it at that.  Confusion too is company up to a point.  Better hope deferred than none.  Up to a point.  Till the heart starts to sicken.  Company too up to a point.  Better a sick heart than none.  Till it starts to break.  So speaking of himself he concludes for the time being, For the time being leave it at that” – Samuel Beckett, Company

“The words spoke by themselves.  The silence entered them, an excellent refuge, since I was the only one who noticed it.” – Maurice Blanchot, The Madness of the Day

So, speaking of himself, I only noticed it.

The small furry animal, almost humming in its purr, he had chance, so he thought, to please, to comfort, with a pet, a scratch, an acknowledgment, tender, while it butted and marked itself against him.  The illusion.  A kind of company in itself (or to).

The ungrammaticality of occurrences.  Of happening.  What happens to be.  Or is not.  When speaking to himself.  Without voice.  I was the only one, as far as I am able to tell – if in fact this is telling – who noticed it.  It seems words speak of themselves.  From elsewise and through whom.  He says, speaking of himself (or to).  Without voice.

Devising.  Illusion.  I devise, he says, speaking to himself, of himself, without voice.  Seeking – is he? – Am I? – Seeking…company?

A small child (another illusion, devised) passes by, walking a young dog and waving a nod of sorts – I don’t remember which, he says, but I returned a gesture and obtained a moment of calm in the chilly Autumn breeze.  There was a sun full of color due to the leaves in their change, and fall, and flutter (due to the nothing-shaped wind).  But what seemed a moment of warmth, of calm, devised by a child with a dog and a friendly (fearful) gesture, he thought (speaking of himself without voice), I was the only one who noticed it.

I take to reading then – others speaking of themselves without voice (or beyond it) – in order to devise… company? he wonders of himself, to himself.  For when reading, it surely seems the words are speaking only of themselves, no matter who pens them.  Such the character of the texts he chooses (I thought of myself, to myself, or an other I devised as myself, like puppets).  And in part read and read for the experience or feeling that I alone notice it.  That I might in fact provide the company I devise, yet hardly able to tell since I have not penned the words but merely notice – borrow, listen? (there are no voices) – the words seem to speak of themselves.  Without voice.  (He said of himself, devising).  Something like company.  Perhaps.

Even in the color-filled sunlight of Autumn days, I at times experience myself as being quite deeply in dark, he says speaking of himself, myself, devising voices, soundless, out of words that seem to be speaking only of themselves and their variegated histories and usages, and billions of potential speakers and hearers and interpreters – creators and devisers – filled with ambiguity and application.  Here with me on shavings of dead trees, providing stark living contrast to Winter’s day-night.  I get confused, he says speaking of himself.  Confusion too is company devised, up to a point, I suppose.  Obviously “fusion-with” implies an other, perhaps enough, I said, speaking to myself, without voice, here on dead leaves in black scars.  In mutilation.  Transgression.  Inscription.  Perhaps the words will speak of themselves and some other “I” will claim to be the only one that notices.

A strange delusion of company indeed.  He says speaking of himself, devising a voice, its hearer, and an himself as participant and therefore a company to keep.

Reading: “only a detour is adequate” (Agamben), and “in pursuing meaning we are pursuing our limits” (Allen), and was perhaps meaning a synonym or metaphor, simile or metonymy for company he thought, speaking to himself, without voice.  But with an illness, diagnosed by doctors – those scientific political powers responsible for providing facts or devising happenings, pronouncing occurrences – so in any case he is not alone, being-with his illness, I thought, speaking to myself in an absence of sound.  The words spoke by themselves.

Other things as well: the furry animal, its humming purr, its actions; the trees, the leaves, the wind, the light.  The child, the dog, the gestures.  The books, the authors, the words themselves.  Divisors of voices, of hearers, of selves.  Sick hearts, confusion, and company.  Am I the only one who notices? he says speaking of himself, speaking of himself as another.

So speaking of himself he concludes for the time being, For the time being leave it at that.” – Samuel Beckett

 

 

The “Tense of Incoherence” ( Paul Valery)

“I am suspicious of all words, for even the slightest reflection shows the absurdity of trusting them.”

– Paul Valery, Monsieur Teste

“You know, dear you, that my mind is of the obscurest sort…I am composed of an unfortunate mind which is never quite sure that it has understood what it has understood without realizing it.”

– Valery –

FOR NO REASON

Delight.  Hope.  Survival.  

Homer .  Beckett.  Kafka.  Hegel.  

Language.  

Wittgenstein.  Heidegger.  Merleau-Ponty.  

Fosse.  Derrida.  Foucault.  Sterne.  

Imagination.  Philosophy.  Fiction.

WHAT CAN BE THOUGHT? (Philosophy) “on the verge”

WHAT CAN BE WRITTEN? (Literature) “on the verge”

Maybe I’ll just read.  Perhaps suicide (stop).  Perhaps create.  Perhaps avoid.  Perhaps participate with others (friends, family, children, pets, nature).  Perhaps think and drink.

WHO CARES?  NO ONE.  NO SOME.  DO I?

Selected “foods for thought”:

The Event – Martin Heidegger.  Monsieur Teste – Paul Valery.  Replacement – Tor Ulven.  Inexhaustibility and Human Being – Stephen D. Ross.  The Meridian – Paul Celan.  Verge of Philosophy – John Sallis.  and so on.  Potentials.

Directions for staying alive (as human being).  Follow something: desire.  hope.  beauty.  sex.  belief.  pleasure.  pain.  Try something.

Read history and imagine imagining a world that sensible.

Read science and imagine imagining a world that ordered.  

Read literature and imagine imagining a world.  

Read philosophy and imagine imagining that many questions.  

Read religion and imagine imagining that many answers.

Stop.  Say your own.  (thoughts, imaginations, feelings, perceptions) to someone or to nothing (write them).

And so on.

For no reason.

But perhaps staying alive / living a little longer.

WHAT DO YOU WONDER?  DESIRE?  WISH?  PROPOSE?

And so on.

WHO CARES?             DO YOU?

And so on…

…for no reason.

Thus the life of “the writer,” “artist,” “human,” “scientist”… WHATEVER – WHOMEVER HUMAN (so-self-called) BEING.

In other words… when we encounter “literature” we (perhaps, perhaps probably) are engaging a fellow human being in the NOW – amidst an odd tactic of applying (through a strange and meddlesome nigh-universal ambiguous medium) the operation of EVERYTHING he/she knows or has experienced to the point-of-NOW.  And we (weird, individualized organisms) either find correlation and correspondence with (some or much or little) of their ‘whole’ knowledge & experience (and thus, perhaps, probably, are moved by or like them) or… find very little correspondence or similarity with our ‘own’ knowledge and experience and therefore consider them banal, useless, uninteresting, untrue, or off-putting.

WHO CARES?  DO YOU?

I do.  It keeps me alive, surviving.  I drink, I read, I think.  Attempt to forget obligations, relations, and responsibilities (I can’t).  That I’m a FATHER, that i exist in a socio-economic scenario that requires the bulk of my life be passed in “bullshit jobs” that somehow appease ‘Powers-That-Be’ and allow me a place on earth and a terrible fight to try and defend or spend ANY portion of existence doing-what-i-want, or what ‘fulfills’ or causes me happiness / gladness / joy in being alive…

When I’m able to “snare,” “steal,” “TIME” – I read and write, make love, or drink alcohol – because these things make me feel GOOD or WELL as the sort of being I am.

Why is it I feel compelled to sneak, steal, or justify what gives me joy in being? (whether plant, ant, mammal, or any other cellular construction)?

I wouldn’t ‘rather’ be famous, or a president, powerful, or a businessman, artist, or ‘professional,’ or anything.  I REALLY just want to be a human-in-society valuable-to-the-rest because I happen to be one who loves language, literature, pretending, fiction, inventing, thinking, imagining what might be – this-wise, that-wise, which-wise, whom-wise, where-wise, when-wise…

WHY IS THIS NOT VALUABLE?  ACCEPTABLE?  SUPPORTABLE?  along with each alternate things-one-might-want-to-be as valuable-to-the-cumulative…

Humans seem to be multiplicitous, variable, and plentiful.  Many wish/desire/like to be strong, rich, beautiful, productive, etc.  Why can not there also be room for those who desire neither usefulness, beauty, riches, or power… but CANS at the verges… of language, thought, imaginings?  And are these really so different from those pushing edges of other characteristics?

Suddenly this entry feels like a wallowing or a requesting of pity.

That is not the feeling.

“I am composed of an unfortunate mind which is never quite sure that it has understood what it has understood without realizing it.”

  • Paul Valery

Alias Thinks Back…On…

“To bring a work to ‘a conclusion,’ as Picasso said, is like putting an end to a bull – to kill it.”

-Francois Jullien-

diaries

from the diaries…

Woke this morning with a particular feeling.  I’ve never been one to believe people could name their emotions or feelings.  The best we can say are parts.

Words like a parts catalog: indicating pieces and components, but never the working, not the operative whole.  Machines are full of mystery.  What’s hidden.

They say you cannot know.  As you age.  Cannot know if it’s the end, exactly.  Perhaps they’re right – I’ve surely been surprised in middle age, believing everything was lost, doomed, downhill and erosive, some slow and steady depleting – and then WOW!  Who could have known or imagined!  This luck, this place, this woman or experience!  Perhaps.  Perhaps.  But maybe we do.  Maybe we really know, once twilight settles.  I’ve never trusted “them” – the “experts,” the “scholars” and “scientists,” “politicians” or “leaders” or “doctors,” the “speakers for” and “authorities”…i.e. privileged observers (an illusion or delusion or both – no one ever gets to be ‘outside’ existence, any more than any other).

What with Laramie gone, and a birthday round the corner, and language just a parts catalog – my experience.

I woke with a particular feeling.  That things were near their ends.  That I am nearing ends.  Work, love, breathing, will.  That the stories I’m involved with are dwindling in pages, thin and wearing out.  These ‘particular feelings,’ “somehow we just know,” kinds of things: lay down, close your eyes, cross your hands over your chest and hope things are in order.  Or not.  Depends on inclination and values, I suppose.  What one cares about, or for.  Perhaps.  “They” say you cannot know.

I’ve been surprised.  Even wildly.  Much I’ve never been able to believe and yet it seems: my children – engendered by me and of such promise; this beautiful woman that loves me; that I’m still alive.  One never knows (is what they say).  So who knows what?  And how do “they” know that?

I think I do, what with Laramie gone, and my faulty parts catalog, and this particular way that I feel.  I’ve worked too long and too much.  Tried too failingly.  Never quite trusted or believed.  Never found my worth.  Maybe now I know.  Maybe now I’m certain of something.

The end is coming – for me – always concerned and consternated by beginnings – how to start, where to set out – and now, here (nowhere) the path, it dwindles away.  What have I done?  What did I mean to?  What did I wish?  Why didn’t I?

I wanted to write a scholarly work about something that truly obsessed me.  Something I’d spent my life searching.  Something that likely doesn’t even exist, but no matter – because Scrabble, because poems, because science.  Unscramble (by scrambling) the letters – you’ll see: it can almost be said, almost anything – existent or not – almost.  Parts constructing strange wholes and plugged in, eventual malfunctions, repairs – and yet “no matter, try again, fail again, fail better” (Sam Beckett – I’ve read and I’ve taught far too long).

And one solid work of fiction and some poems.  That’s all.  That’s what I wanted to do.

So I studied, and traveled and loved.  Raised children, made music, pushed learning and literature publicly, worked and worked, and drank and drank.  Took in stragglers and strays, made it work where I could, doubted and doubted, desired.  Everything but what I wanted – that’s how you perpetuate desire.

I woke today with a particular feeling, though “they” say you cannot know.  Cannot know for certain, that things are yet to surprise you, yet to get better.  I will not argue.  Perhaps.  But what with Laramie gone, and all that’s undone, maybe I know, maybe we do.  Maybe we’re aware when our endings are coming.  Who could know?  Who could tell us?

My ends are coming.

I can’t go on.

I’ll go on.

(still more from Beckett)

Related: Alias Harlequin

Signifying Writing, Figure 1

Opicinus De Canistris World Map
Figure 1

Opicinus De Canistris World Map

*

The map began as a scribble, a doodle.  Begins as a failure to write, to “compose.”

In lieu of a word there’s a wiggle of pen wandering aimless in search.  Cartography-graphology-psychology – a loitering for logos.

Begins this way – in hope of words, a sort of squiggle.  A body desiring a mind.  To show up, to take over, provoke or convince – to appear, make a meaning, disclose – to figure toward sign.  Some unconcealing.

The signal’s not there, so it moves: the hand, the instrument, the breath and the heart – are they tools?  And for what?  A cartographer’s dream.  Of no training, no knowledge, even reason is lacking.

A pen making marks on a page, mapping none.  Tracing nonsense.  It begins in this way, and it leads, so he hopes (it hopes, is hope, is desire).

The scrawl travels over the page – given borders and boundaries, arbitrary and set – 6”x9” and lined with a soft viscous grey.  He (it) slows down.  Just a hand and an arm and a shoulder – in motion – holding a technical device filled with fluid – black, yes, like bile, but less tacky, diluted – it flows, threading lines – it’s con-fusion – yet taking, biting, inscribed.  Something happens.  Drawings are locked to a medium stock.  Incomprehensibles stained on a page.

It crawls on.

*

This mapping begins in a loss.  He is lost.  It is lost.  Doesn’t “know.”  Just beginning, because – with desire.  It is driven, compelled, WRITER WANTS (for to write) with “nothing to write, and no means to write it” yet constrained to keep writing, to expunge merely SOMEthing, some THING.  Which is NO thing, no THING, but to mark.  It goes on.

Makes a map, a map-ping, tangled series of lines meaning nothing, no THING, but creating TO-WARD.  Ward off absence, off void, ward off death, this is to – .

It (he) is tired.  Is forlorn.  Is an absence and loss, a re-mission, re-cursion, re-morse.  And not even that clear.

Scribbles on.  NOT a map.  NOT directions.  For NO where to go – NOW here, now HERE, no-where.  Which begins all the longing, for “he’s” heard it said, found it written – in signs, in-scribed, sign-i-fied: but NOT HERE.  Not in him or this body.  NOT THIS.  No sense.  Non-sense.  “It’s” not “working.”

Trail dwindles along cross the page.  It’s a map.  Just of being.  NOW here.  Now.  HERE.  Looks like this – some electrocardiomusculoskeletalpsycognilinguadigital-gram.  From this angle, this tool, these techniques.  As a Ouija.  No meaning.  Saussurating.  Arbitrary.  Mediate.  Only markings.

It falters.

And so it begins – as a failure to write – as a scribble – an assay – a tribute to write – that cannot, that will not, that does not…quite occur.

 

Impossible objects – Possible beginnings

Question-Mark-HD-Wallpaper15

“We enter into thought, and especially our own, only by questioning”

-Maurice Blanchot-

This then, an impossible object with possible beginnings.  What says, what writes, what IS – all filled up with what is NOT.

Capture, mediation, confluence.  The impossible attempts, the radical effort: I attempt to SAY, to INSCRIBE, that which is incapable of being said, inscribed, touched or revealed: experience, THIS-NOW-HERE, YouMe.

This is what, then, I will create / not-be-able-to-create.

click here for more…

Everything Trying

Peter-Trevelyan-10_incompleteness

Kurt Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems

Everything Trying: Practical Philosophy

I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend about a kind of “credo,” or some sort of explicatory description regarding foundational experiencing that informs my perspective on being / world / living.  I.e., what have I experienced in 45 years of surviving as a human organism – as a bookseller, musician, philosopher, father, academic librarian, various conventional-cultural-relationally-roled son / spouse / sibling / friend / coworker / writer; student of multiple disciplines – that comes so close to a similarity or repetition, a near-consistency, that it evinces as near as I can imagine to a belief or pattern, a compiling evidence or seeming-steadiness, structuring a framework for my perception and navigation of being a living thing.

As a bookseller, librarian, and philosopher (“professionally” for nearly two decades) – I find I operate with a kind of conviction (yet to be foiled) – that ANYthing ANYone can concoct or intuit as a query, theory, illusion or idea, dream / hope / fantasy or wondering, can be uncovered pre-existing SOMEwhere in the recorded history of homo sapiens.  I interpret this as indicating boundaries and borders of our specific kind of organism – albeit changing, adapting, extending and diminishing over and throughout time – limits or inherent finitude to our capacities, contextual whelmings, procedural experiencings of being human kind.

Conceptual development, creative expression, technological or theoretical “advance” or novel efforts or elucidations, all seem to come about as recombinations, complex reformulations, convergences or collaborative emergences and collusions of ever-present conundrums.  The sphere of human being bubbles at mysteries and limits, “realities” intrinsic to our kind of existing.  We seem to design and develop varieties of “tools” with which to supposedly plumb and plunder the ever-expanding cosmos of unknowing, but also seem to be simply drilling differing holes into an amorphous void – conjuring observations and explanations, combining fanciful analyses and results – constrained and directed by our “tools” of inquiry (whether conceptual hypotheses, technological apparatus, socio-political experiments, mythico-religious imaginings, practical experiences, and so on).

We are limited beings, with (to our aspect) unlimited potential.  Over millennia, this would not seem to be the ‘case” of the world.  We are limited at every angle and turn – another being alongside many other sorts of beings and organisms, each restrained by our compositions and abilities, our frailties and affordances.

(Apparently) potentially endlessly individuated differings and nuances of activity-in-the-world / also (apparently) insuperably restricted frontiers to our possible activities-with-the-world.  Like any other species (given our “ways-of-inquiry” or “points-of-view/sensing”) we arise or arrive via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes and will likely desist and depart via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes.

Given the limitations of our kind of being – with ALL things composing our surround and withins – it would appear:

  1. There is an inherent IRREDUCIBILITY to our existing and its conditions
  2. There is an apparent INEXHAUSTIBILITY to its potential recombinations, convergences, deformations and in-formations, and
  3. These things are essentially UNSAYABLE / INEFFABLE – non-computable, sayable, expressible, conceivable – to the kinds of being we happen to occur as.

Principles we only (it seems to me) slightly comprehend – incompleteness, complexity, irreducibility, relativity, and so forth – whatever these ideas’ standing might be in relation to anything we might posit as “reality” – (only ever from our miniscule, or relatively very limited sphere-of-experiencing) – combine to intimate that:

  1. We are “of the stuff” that any/every-thing else is, and therefore (in the conjectural “scheme-of-things”) are likely to appear and vanish in similar fashion…with any consistency / repetition (or “universal”) occurring as something we might term CHANGE, and…
  2. We are faced with options on a scale of AFFIRMATION / MEANING / SIGNIFICATION or PASSIVISM / NIHILISM / SURVIVALISM / ENDURANCE in regard to our occurrence and election/selection of guiding behaviors, traditions, emotions, sensations, intentions and interpretations of existing.

Innately, as it were, we elect/select these recursions and available gamut-of-human-existing ideas, processes, habits and practices (beliefs, behaviors, relations, stances) – all funded and founded on arbitrary groundings in individuated recombinations and experiencings suited to an effort at survival, that might be characterized (scalarly) on a wave-patterned range of “living” – each variable individuating occurrence (“self”) may characterize from “more-thriving” to “more-surviving” – or roughly resembling individuated differentiations of what we might interpret as experiencings of “pleasure” or “pain” and ever-changing self-selecting imaginings of ends or goals (telos).

For some of us, the very play and experimentation of extending and investigating limits and grounds, via the widest variety of human endeavor and activities we can surmise or imagine (currently) is a sort of curious “thriving” in itself.  I would call this something along the general web of “philosophizing” – but finds its application and practice in ANY human capability.  Whether adventurers, scientists, artists, inventors, warriors, parents, killers, children or politicians – ANY human might be experimenting and investigating, attempting to extend and elucidate (for their particularized occurring) their limits and grounds… what distinguishes what we might think of as philosophy or conceptual-knowledge involves a notable self-illusion-conviction of “reflection” or “recursive inquiry” (something variously nominated “awareness,” “thought,” “wisdom,” “faith,” or “fantasy”).

With the caveat (doubling as a confession of faith) – that the “whole ball of wax” as we are able to conjecture it – is ALWAYS BECOMING – with never a moment of stasis or rest.  There is never a moment to pin down or set grounds or fundamentals on – multi-relational interactive complexities never cease BECOMING other.  So even this “credo” is in flux…and will alter without notice.  Exactly as the living…

Compulsion, I suppose…

par example: https://creativisticphilosophy.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/formalizability-in-the-english-language/

Ouroboros, or Autophagia

Ouroboros

I often feel that I’m dying.  Killing myself with disease. Killing myself via the activities of my “mind.”  Killing myself with alcohol.  Killing myself by over-extension, -exertion, lack of self-regard.    Worry.  Anxiety.  Perfectionism.  Wishes.  Desires.  Dying from the absence of sex (and yet orgasm is also a breathless ‘little death’).  Dying from lack of joy.  Dying of disuse, depletion, or disregard.  Dying of my own engulfing life.

Which only emphasizes the insistent FACT.  One thing we know, perhaps the ONLY certainty we’ve understood in the thousands or millions or billions of years we’ve been species-al (spec-ial) and aware of such information…is that we are dying.  Constantly.  Continuously.  Unstoppably.  Irrefutably and inescapably.  Inevitably.

Whether we do it to ourselves – amplify or expedite its course – or are at the mercies and whims of some enormous cosmic complex entanglement; whether our cells turn against “us,” or we turn our “selves” against our cells; excruciating or peaceful, ecstatic or terrifying – WE DIE.  ARE DYING.  WILL DIE.

For some, this undeniable evidence and unstoppable knowledge instigates a kind of “dead-already” worldview or perspective…a nihilism for some.  A not-ness.  A foregoing of LIVING, a preemptive attack, or some strange passion of alignment with the TRUTH – some subversion of the FACT (at the same time true, and as certain) – that a DYING thing MUST be LIVING.

An “it doesn’t matter.”  Usually tacked on with an “ultimately.”  Meaninglessness.  Pointlessness.  Purposelessness.  Something some supposed “scientist” (devoted to “objective” observable “truths”) like a psychologist, biologist or physicist; doctor or therapist or mathematician – might call “depression,” “skepticism,” “cynicism,” – when in FACT it is adherence to one of the ONLY FACTs we’ve described or descried that has held TRUE while all of our tools, technologies, expansions of knowledges and theories, inventions, medicines and so on carry on their wars against it.  A veritable CERTAINTY (indeed, perhaps the only occurrence in which a human being accords with reality).

DYING.  From there – who knows?  “At one’s own hand/operations” or “at the mercy of” environments, situations, circumstances, world… who knows?  No one.  Uncertainty.  The process of being-alive to being-dead is fraught with everything else we are able to imagine.  And almost entirely UNCERTAIN.

It happens.  Living.  Then Dead.  Each one.  Every one.  “Me,” “You,” “I’s,” “They’s,” “We’s,” “Those” and “These.”  Whatever begins…ends (in some form).  Whatever emerges, converges and devolves.  Whatever occurs…deceases.  Ceases “to Be.”

And so what do we do…what do “I” do…with this LIVING?  In full awareness of the synonymity – LIVING/DYING – why is the awareness of dying and depletion of a potency that oft outstrips its necessary , indeed indubitable counterfactual?  LIVING.  LIVING.  LIVING…

Who now, what now, where and for why?

reading dead profile

Not-Belonging, Chapters

I feel somewhat apologetic, but here is one more selection from my archives.  Another that when I re-read I am unable to see how I might do better, or how I ever got it done at all, yet all my work un-published or rejected, so I know it is not “good enough” per whatever the current cultural milieu would prefer.  “No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.”  Perhaps.  In any case, it circles around for me like the tail-eating snake I am, in hopes it might engender something new, no, in hopes it might be put to rest.  For any who read it, I would be hard pressed to metaphor my astonishment, humility, gratitude and begging-of-patience, including a sheer and sharp ache of deep appreciation for your life’s time and likely unwarranted, gracious, attention.

does-not-belong-worksheet-worksheet

Chapters That Don’t Belong

(please click image or title for text)

many thanks