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

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Unstillable

scribbling

“Pangs of faint light and stirrings still.  Unformable graspings of the mind.  Unstillable”

– Samuel Beckett –

Let’s loiter about here a little, as if language were lakelike, locatable, alive enough to lollygag loose within.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps it is nearly always just-becoming.  Perhaps nearly all, nearly always, is thus: just-becoming – liminal lineaments languishing-then-livened, languishing-then-livened, “again” we might say, designating (de-term-ining) a balance to enlivened.  How so?  Why so?  By what author(ity)?

Unstillable.

“In the madhouse of skull and nowhere else” (– Samuel Beckett).  Is that so?

“Skin has no choice but to converse with the world…thin, ignorant borderland of skin…myself all trespass, misunderstanding, translating, translating…” (-Laurie Sheck).  Is that so?

If words were invented with sense.  To “make sense” between one and an ‘other.’ 

What if words ARE THAT?  Connective contours between.

I am inebriated, my willingness loosened to expression, though it might ruin me (like language) and I stare (Dostoevsky – ‘Myshkin’) “intently” into Mikhail Bakhtin’s face, his specific eye-gaze, and say:

“Is it the case that words are ‘meant,’ are ‘formed,’ are breathed, are…constructed, are…utilized, to be tissue woven between ‘me’…and ‘you’?”

Do we… speak, say, expire back and forth… to become?  To string and weave lines, flows, strands, threads, that might forge or invent co-respondence, texture, significations combining you and myself into WE?

But Bakhtin is dead, and cannot answer.  Mikhail Bakhtin does not have the capacity to co-respond.

…like Beckett, Blanchot, Plato, Montaigne, Pessoa, Pascal, Wallace or Euclid, Bulgakov, Heraclitus, or Celan (as with any and all dead!) he emits traces (tracings) with which I can consider, decipher, and interrogate in and within my ‘selves’ but not between

What might this ‘mean’ – between anyone?  Nothing.

It can not, has no opportunity to, delineate or circumscribe, draft, figure or shape any relation.

Sign emitted, call evoked, death, and then text as silent partner.  Prognostic retrograde delineation.

Bankrupt, impassible, impossible, communique.

The decoding of words as communication, connection?  An imaginary.  A handling of terms.  Inventing, devising, originary.  With whom?  Where?  How?   Hint and vestige, remnant and sketch, scheme and fabrication, inkling and outline.

Unstillable. Unformable graspings of the mind.  Is that so?

If we’re limning the liminal now, let’s loosen the letters and slacken the sieves.  Lasso and lounge, scatter and scrape, together (to gather) – a scintillate sense – sporadic sparks, succulent scenarios – exist for enlivening language, whatever limited lust lies therein – if language is locatable and not merely modal mechanics?  A modicum of music then, some scrap of sonority, some lingual litmus ‘making sense.’  Whatever.  Possibility, potential, particible particulars…

“THE TEST IS COMPANY”

“If there may not be no more questions let there at least be no more answers”

– Samuel Beckett, Company

“We must not die: kindred spirits will be found”

– Viktor Shklovsky –

 

The Moment Suspended (a “free-write”)

This constitutes a “free-write” – as I understand the phrase it is an allowance one gives oneself to just make language, unedited, unplanned, in a “spirit” of ex-pression…i.e. a “press(ur)ing- out.” [see suspend

Spillage, in other words.

And…”in other words,” always, from the first word.

At its release – like an arm movement; a choice of caress, breath, or handhold; a motivation to swerve, or bend, sit, or rise; nigh-automated intention to breathe… a beating of heart, or functioning of organ; lighting a match; attention.

Release a word.  Some oddly shaped sound, emitted complexly from the nerves, the brain, the belly.  Bellowed air up the windpipe, wending the throat, curling the cavity of mouth, (you can almost feel air in the eyes – perhaps you can!), a scent is involved, a tongue roving weirdly, a tapping of teeth and positioning of jaw…

Or… the combination of organs and neurons, plasma and plastics, rutting a body in accord with a world, activating…firing and sliding, acting re-acting, trans-mitting… and a tension in shouldered muscle begins to stir, roiling down “arm,” triggering the delicate tendons and tissue of “hand,” fingering pencil…and con-script-ed together, they “write…”

And from the first word it is other.

EX-press-ion.

Pressed into and out of the body.  Im-pression, re-sponse, and in-tension.  (You see the looping?).  Out of, into, and back out without measure.

Mathematically speaking, the first term, generates an uncomputable, undecidable, indeterminate and infinite universe of possibilities.  Simultaneously foreclosing the same.

Which is why the Moment’s of import.  And why statistically, it is inane.

“Spillage” set into motion.  “, in other words.”  For this organism, now.

Out of infinite potential, a violent reduction to that: “Spillage, in other words.”

In other words, from the first word, an infinity ruled out.  By my finitude.

In other words, from the first word, an infinity opened up.  By language, and you, all the times, and the spaces.

Pressed in, it moves out.  Pressed out, moving in.  Always moving.

A “moment” cannot exist.

We switch on.  (We do not.)

***

Then what are we “meaning” by “free”?

A “free-write” I inscribed, but it’s not – bound by me, my experience, education, now here.  By my body-environment mesh.  By this medium, this sign-system (language), this trial.

And why do then?  Why mingle, behave, interact, or respond?  Why continue?

continue (v.) Look up continue at Dictionary.commid-14c., contynuen, from Old French continuer (13c.), from Latin continuare “join together, connect, make or be continuous,” from continuus “uninterrupted,” from continere (intransitive) “to be uninterrupted,” literally “to hang together” (see contain). Related: Continued; continuing.

(“Online Etymology Dictionary,” 2016)

How could I “make continuous” what is never discrete?  And why are our actions and terms bent on negation / separation (discretion)?

What do we wish to “clarify” by pulling-apart, setting-forth, ripping of context, of living?

We humans have so many re-‘s.  As if we do it again, and ourselves (WHAT is THAT?) we might own it or know it, or even come cause.  How absurd.

We’re participant.  To speak is to join.  To move is WITH-IN.  To think and to act are to fuse with surround.  As much caused as its causing, ground and ideal, this is living.  To be fluidly unidentifiable, continuously as such.

What IS (chasing ‘essence’) is futile.  What IS (what’s ‘existing’) is all.

How might I write in this way?  Write to join?  Say to be?  The mouth and the ass as the same?  I breathe and I shit; I grab and release; take in and give out…unrestrained.  Without end or cessation (as far as we know at our miniature range)…

…goes on…

and

…goes on…

WITH and withOUT “us”

Perhaps.

Here we are.

Discontinue Discontinuity

Happy Holidays

“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

 

 

Writing Presence

6zlZBil - Imgur_mobius

“The experimental dimension is precisely where thinking at its limit takes place, where the singularity of a given thought is being shaped…”

– Michel de Beistegui –

“the present is as long as a walk when I am walking”

– Chryssipe, quoted in Francois Jullien –

Or, “the present is as long as the sentence I’m composing…” the tune, the breath, the weather… the lunge, the gaze, the listen… the sex, starlight, heartbeat… presence determined, according to scale.

“…as long as the thought I am thinking…” that leads to the next, and the borrowed, the other, imagined.  The languages lent, or made new, bastardized, reconstructed, remingled…

Therefore [have I now ‘left’ present/-ce?] the present writing is present just as long as it presents itself?  Does this explain run-ons and magical realism?  The refusal to pause or to finish?  Avoidance of punctuation, cessation, or periods…in order to be writing?  (as long as it is writing…living written?).

I am drawn in writing presence.  And I aspire.  To be writing as often present-ly as possible (in all the senses of the terms you might conceive).  Working, present-ly, with presences that present themselves in the activity of writing – ages, layers, eons of language becoming toward these significations I am physically inscribing NOW with evolving, accumulative, adapting and erasured meanings over times and places, persons and presents/-ces.  This continuous bodily activity and operation marking whatever presently transpires on lines – between my organism, this instrument and matter of lined pages – creating a Mobius-like twisting endless loop of circuitry, a breathless action (almost afraid of interruption, disconnection, or cessation) as if it would disqualify present/-ce with unauthorized and arbitrary finite personal breakage.

Yet I know (or believe) the present/-ing will continue all the same whether I am writing or not – ever assailing with near-infinite (perhaps infinite) encountering and engagements…be-ing… regardless of my regard, participation, choice of action, and awareness.  Unconcerned by my present/-ce as I a grain of soil or blade of grass, singular molecules or mosquitos, the hairs dropped from our heads.  Matters of scale of what matters.  [To/for us.  ME.  At our scale, at whatever scale, DEPENDING].

Interruption occurs.  Into, inter-, enter: an eruption.  Anything that commands response.  A call from another, a locusts’ buzz, tonal or temperature flux.  Changing track and attention.  I plea for intervention versus interruption, that the breathless present/ce might go on, unintruded but intervened.  Eventuation, eventually, new contents entering  veins of the stream I am searching, spreading, scribing…at the limit of…

Intrusion.  Inter-eruption.  Or inter-vention, intra-venously… WILL OUR PRESENT PRESENCE all bound up with, knotted, wound and intersecting, inserted and inserting reciprocally or complicitly…go on, remain, continue?  Will it be dissipation or dissension, distension, desiccation or decay?  Can we have, swerve, welcome an irruption intravenously?  I hesitate, I turn.  A response.

Staccato desiccation.  I’ve been bombarded.  Like tragedy, untranceable.  Persistence and flow stuttering, gives way.  The stream of thought polluted, a turbulence assigned.  Coming undone, branch drying up, kindling, that is to say…

Yet if to say, that is – perhaps we’re crossing, coming-over, over-coming interruption as irruption.  Response-able, disabling, but hearing more, lines converging with complexity, a chaos, a banking flow…or spilling over and dispersing?…who could know.  What means – BECOME?

“the present is a write, as long as I am writing” – this presence fractured into fragments, presents, now, perhaps beyond deciphering.  The mode of ciphers, potent codes – standing for??  Standing for???  Which represents THIS…what you read.  Read in, read from, read into and out of.  We do not step into the same stream twice, it has been said, or three times, or even once, even, again.  We don’t know “same,” yet use it like a God, destructive hoping (“identity,” “non-contradiction,” even Truth(s) or Fact(s)) – that SOMEthing might not change.

NOT in this world, and we know no other.  Conjuring zeroes, ideals and myths, utopias (literally “no-places”) and lines of imaginings.  Hoping for control?  Security?  Continuance? – of what, of which…presence.  Scales to track the motions with, fallibly.  Attempts to stay the flow, stay with the flow, re-cognize, re-member, re-main.  What continues to fall apart and reassemble, ever ‘new’ but only partly, in its occurring, range of scales ever irrupting, erupting, interrupting as comings-to-be in all their goings, it’s going…a fragile now.

But I digress along the stream, exposing fragments, perhaps connected to a mouth, a trunk or mother.  Dispersive river, interminably con-fusing elements transgressing finitude.  Number, line and term.  Concept, law, or theory.  None of it works, and some of it seems to.  All may belong, depending on scale.

A matter of present/ce perhaps, and of movement.  Some matter of species, perception and dream.  Susurrate surround, full of disruption, riding waves, but not for long.

“the present is as long…as a singularity of thought is being shaped…”

– Chrysippe + de Beistegui –

(much later and rescaled)

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/

In a word…

Emporia profile

Someone (some voice in my head) recently asked me this question:  “If you had only one word to describe human existence, from your experience, knowledge, and present perspective: what would that word be?”

I heard livingbeingsurvival…I thought – “What I think (I think, at least presently) is that you will never know, or be able to imagine, how you will survive.”  The jobs you will have, the people you will grow close to or far from, the ‘successes’ or ‘failures’ your path will exhibit, struggles or ecstasies you will sustain, what you will achieve or create or ignore or forget…you cannot predict, cannot forecast, how it will actually play out.  Loves, griefs, happinesses, sorrows, places, events, connections, schisms, likes/dislikes, preferences/abhorrences, and so on…

Looking back…one day…attempting to recount, account for, surmise or shape what happened!? in your life/lifetime/process – it will be surprising.  Unpredictable, unaccountable, unREcountable – a lot of “who would have imagined that!?”  Or that that would lead to that with her or him or them, and then that – who could have known?

SURPRISE!

Sure there are tendencies, “natural draws” as it were.  I’ve continually been uncomfortable with authority, laws, sunlight, loud noises and hot weather.  I’ve been consistently upset by imbalances of power, by crowds, by presuppositions and arbitrary assertions.  I’ve always been a touch distressed by the power of emotions and the weakness of will/intentions.  There are characteristics that appear contiguous – I’ve long been drawn to classical music / melodic / spare & melancholic sounds; I’ve always been invigorated by the rain; I’ve noticed a penchant for solitary spaces and human-less environments; a taste for progressive/reflective/informed/ intelligent culture (recognizing each of those as highly contested terms, i.e. – a fascination with communication – language, words, expressions, conventional meanings and gestures; a distaste for popularity & fame / ‘pop culture’/ mass effects; a distrust of temporary desire; an emaciated self-esteem and expansive self-concern; a craving for passion / romance / intensity of human encounter; and so on.  I’ve always moved toward cool colors, particularly in the fields of grey, stormy blue, dusty browns and pine-needle green; always distrusted people who shout, yell or preach – drama, makeup, surface effects.  Hell when we search for things consistent from birth to death, our lists could run quite long…and yet…

How’d we get here?  What if we look at the events, the people, the places, the feelings, interactions and all the ways we recall them (at specific instances, in particular situations)?

What if we look at what we do?  Whether we drink or smoke or not, get angry more or less, the ways we engage strangers / friends / family?  What we read, listen to, pay attention, are distracted by (same thing), are pulled to observe, think about, and why?  How much we touch?  When no one needs us?  When we’re alone?  Or falling to sleep?  Or have slipped out of the stream, have “free time,” traveling, assumed to be otherwise engaged?

If Mormons came to your door and asked “Do you believe in God?”  And you, after shuffling your feet, considering your day, pondering whether you wanted to spend part of it talking with religious strangers, checking in with your dependents (in this case, 4 children that are your human charge & devotion), zipping the past through your education, upbringing, familial ties & traditions, behaviors, relationships, responsibilities, concerns, and so forth, responded “No, no, I do not find myself believing in God.”  And then these polite young men said – “Well then, what do you believe in, if you don’t mind us asking?”

SURPRISE!

More shuffling, pondering, internal argument and gentleness, patience, consideration, critical inquiry…(i.e. politeness)…and “hmmmm!  I haven’t been asked that directly in quite some time!”  (Is it that no one wants to hear?  Know?  That I divert it?  Don’t know? Is “care” involved?).  I said something in the order of Meaning.  Something to the tune of – “Well, pardon me, but I guess I must believe/think (in Wittgenstein these are inseparable), that from our atoms & cells to our bodies, relationships, labor, behaviors, emotions, environment, world, ‘cosmos’ – trying to know as much as I can about each aspect of my being a human being – I think/believe that perhaps we each try to assemble, account for, respond, act, engage, construct experiences that give a shape to, a confluence, a medium, rationale, tone that feels satisfactory to our breathing, being, seeing, feeling, happening…making meaning, I guess.  Including, but oddly outstripping, simply surviving.  Much that seems unnecessary (tastes, preferences, selections, refusals).  Religions, philosophies, teams, employment, families, nations, entertainments, cultures and interests – all these might provide some larger structuring for our shaping, and all, no doubt, influence how we piece it together, make a kind of sense, provide potential “fits” for our choices, responses, activities and emotions…but we each also fashion all this living, this experiencing, this acting and being in apparently very idiosyncratic ways…”

“I guess I believe that this is the sort of thing we do.  I guess I think/believe that…at this moment.”

???

I think when these considerate young men return, and to the voice in my head that constantly interviews me…next time I might just respond:

SURPRISE!

I believe that life is surprising.  Unbelievable, astonishing, revelatory, frightening, sometimes shocking and amazing, astounding, uncanny and a pain/joy/ache/pleasure/exhaustion/stimulus to be wondered at.

My answer today, in one word…

Life is – surprise.

happy profile

“Whereof one cannot speak…” More Writings Unearthed

this repeated event of searching for blank pages only to find potential fertility in those already filled…

entries uncovered from March 2015

silencio

“WHEREOF ONE CANNOT SPEAK, THEREOF ONE MUST BE SILENT”

-Ludwig Wittgenstein-

HO SCIENCES, LOGICS, TECHNO-LOGICS AND MATHEMATICIANS!

PROGRAMMERS, DOCTORS, PHILOSOPHERS & ANALYSTS!

You have your discourses and discoveries, practices and spheres of operability!

You designate your domains through terms and definitions –

What is allowed and disallowed.

Vowed and disavowed.

Then silence.

EXPERIENCE

Whoever’s drawing lines of this and that, of here or there, of yes and no.

Whomever feeds the fuel of contradiction, against the singing speaking styles.

Whoever revels in dichotomy, clarity and divisions –

DIVERGE and then stay silent.

In complexity you must not speak,

on recursion and convergences be still,

traversing intersects and margins,

knotting nexuses and networks,

these zones your symbols will not call,

fringes disciplined discourses unable to name, locate, determine (undermine?)

WE UNDERLINE

AND HIGHLIGHT

HERE

REVEAL in complex approach – our work of ambiguity – perplexing and puzzling, unfathomable and obscure – in-determinate we sing, in language hard to cipher, discourse discomposing and dispossessed, polyphonious and multi-vocal, holding harmonies in dissonance

sing-speaking over/under/with

**********************************

Whereof can I speak?

I speak of pie.  Fruit pies.  My mother’s.  Yet I cannot speak, for I have never figured out how they can be the way they are.

I sing to love.  Great love.  Experiences and events so totalizing in kind that one fears one will not survive them.  And then does.  Yet I cannot speak to it because I am unable to account for it, explain it, or…

WRITING MEANS CLIMBING THE STEPS OF OUR LACK

-Edmond Jabes-

as if the aim of writing were to use what is already written as launching pad for reading the writing to come