Macedonio Fernandez shrewdly intimated that among the difficulties of communicable perfection (language or literary wholeness, completeness) were the problems writers have, in that, among other things:
“2) They don’t know how to render the ‘unsayable’ with ‘ineffable’ style” (Museum of Eterna’s Novel, p. 11)
As if imagination must copulate with impossibility; creativity found within the non-existent; wayfinding nothing. Perhaps.
“I” (a good example of the above) often worship the symbol: ? “I’d” like to place it everywhere, upon everything, anything imaginable OR conceivable – even the unknown – as well as any compendium of ‘facts’ or apparently common-sensical / self-evident elements of being-living. As if… to draw attention or recognition (‘to render’) human limitation, finitude, fragility – PART-‘I’-CIPATION – in world (+ whatever falls beyond such an impression). A kind of belief as a participating occurrence that whatever might be indicated by such terms as “truth,” “love,” or “existence,” (or “you” or “I”) are best translated by = ?
This nettling evocation is (perhaps) a personal ‘creed’ in a singular (obviously impregnated) mark: ?
Something I might ‘live’ and ‘die’ for.
Am I trying to communicate? What am ‘I’ doing in relation to language, to shared understandings, to concepts, and so-called knowledge or knowing? Am ‘I’(s) capable of relating to anything (or nothing) beyond these indications? Unmediated ways and forms of experiencing given to ‘me’?
Experience (seeing-peering WITH outside-of) is one set of possible parameters in living-being (limitations, capacities, informed possibilities, finitudes & fragilities – necessitudes of part-‘I’-cipation).
What might we ‘name’ alternate – those in excess of experience; those far diminished via enforced-informed; ‘other’ impossibilities of ex-perience? (Bataille’s ‘Inner Experience’ – inperience?: without outer? might be an exploration) ‘mysticism’? spirituality? mystery? simply Impossibles? Unsayables? Unknowables? ANYthing beyond-limit, we might ‘say.’
Excess. Perpetual. Eternal. Infinite. Incomprehensible. Indeterminate. All ex-perceptions that would demand or require ‘ineffable’ style to be en-gaged. Out beyond (or in-beyond) outsides or othering that might be accounted for, perceived, en-countered, or ex-perienced: impossibles that must most likely (it would seem given our minimal, limited, finite, participatory living-being IN AS PART OF ‘world’ or whatever our most expansive imagining) occur. Perhaps even non-ex-is-tences, nothing and never.
These might be the description of fields or planes where I in-tend and pre-fer to operate or inquire (under the sign of ?) and therefore, lacking or failing in ‘ineffable style’ whereby to render ‘unsayables’ – simply can not.
Thus please forgive my erratic forays into production here – communication, conversation, even imaging-in (imagining) – ‘I’ simply can not. I am mostly unable to ineffably style unsayables.
I beg your forgiveness and again fall silent.
“But could I forget my ignorance for a moment? Forget that I am lost in the corridor of a cave?”
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:
There is an inherent IRREDUCIBILITY to our existing and its conditions
There is an apparent INEXHAUSTIBILITY to its potential recombinations, convergences, deformations and in-formations, and
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:
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…
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/
Increasingly I find myself filled with the desire of simply saying what I think about. To some generative effect.
“We live. We die. We wish the living mattered.”
But “that’s too simple,” you say. “Everyone knows that.”
And you’re right, again, and it’s the best that I can do.
Not that I don’t do other things, in living. I hold jobs and work for pay (at nearly ANYthing) to keep a home, feed and educate my children, and attempt to convince them to try to try.
And then there’s the dynamo of desire. Urges and drives, lusts and obsessions simply to have someone who will allow me to be close to them – to touch them and smell, listen and taste, copulate and serve and talk back and forth. I don’t expect them to love me. I’ve long given up being wanted or desired. Can’t imagine I’ve ever considered myself necessary to someone or something. For connection – to world, to literature and art, to thoughts and conversations, to knowledge and nature.
“No matter,” He says, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better,” He says.
I cannot. Oh I try. I try. I try again. But never imagine proximity of others not involving pity, and my failure seem ever further from their marks. Not better. I’m 45 now! Or 80! No matter.
No matter, indeed.
No matter, at all. Perhaps. I know this, that, some other stuff. No matter. So I crave and wish and hope. Failing further, and worse, never better.
Long hours of days pleasing others (or trying). No matter. Family and employers, students and friends. No matter. Perhaps?
But to say something simply. How that? I feel caught in a tangle of discourses. What language to say in? What field? How to be heard, perhaps evaluated, to “count” or to “matter.” I read something years ago by Nathalie Sarraute comparing the dreams or demands of Dostoevsky and Kafka to be recognized…no, acknowledged (“From Dostoevsky to Kafka” in The Age of Suspicion). To matter. Appear. Have a voice.
The Delphic Oracle that has guided philosophy – “Know thyself” – in Nietzsche (in my “reading”, opinion) realizes itself as “Trust thyself”: mine, articulate your experience: or (from Heidegger, et. al.) “start nearest”: perhaps even better – Notice the Nearest.
But no. Always already “being.” Always already a “that there” EXPERIENCING. Once there, one might re-cognize (A-tension, attention). (A new “there”). And consider possibilities. Partially, or collaboratively, present-ly, select some more-than (…), NEXT THAT-THERE. (see Eugene Gendlin).
That’s something. Could be labeled “awareness”? Don’t know. But something, certainly (? – is this possible?) EXPERIENCE: which perhaps synonyms to some potential degree – HUMAN BEING.
“We” don’t need Dasein. In very many ways any word will do. Nearest, native. “I”, “me”, “Nathan”, “Rachel”, “Mark”, “Luanna”, perhaps beneath (before) that: no substrate: : That-there (I/you-Here) EQUALS. Nearest. Now. Native. (An archaeology of the generalized “we” – it’s ok).
Simply following thoughts, attempting attention, another “more-than” (…) BEING THAT-THERE (WHOM? – within).
Simple thoughts. Drawing (?) near. We (?) are such “beings” as might attempt/assent “to be.” Strange, that-there.
other jottings spilled from the fuel-can:
“Dasein has its being to be, and has it as its own” –Heidegger
[The Unknowable Alive]
for each “kind”? of being (perception) I wonder if it is not “turtles all the way down” and so, perhaps, eventually, we just “be”?
“THE QUESTION OF EXISTENCE NEVER GETS STRAIGHTENED OUT EXCEPT THROUGH EXISTING ITSELF” – Heidegger
Inquiry into existing: “How can we ask about asking?” in any meaningful way? Access (Eugene Gendlin)
There is nothing that we “do” that is not what we “do.” We cannot get around a corner and become something else/other. Therefore we must content ourselves (or, it behooves us to) with being. Ourselves. Being.
Creeping through it. trying (?) merely (fully?) to BE. BE IN WITH AS WHAT – does he address how we have the capacity to imagine otherwise? (than being?) (Heidegger)
-Why do I consistently feel that I need/ought to SPARE others from my own “existing”? that I might make my way somewhere somehow that would not tax them?
What scribbles out the sides, longing for a place to go…
while I’m busy with other things
The sentences broke between them. Not twisting or scrambling, no encrypted script noising up communication; more like letter parts and chunks of words crumbling away before they even bridged the gaps. Sayings that collapsed on themselves as they emerged.
At the point we begin imagining ourselves insane and institutionalized, conjuring car wrecks or dreaming deaths in the family to avoid our obligations…we are well-advised that something has gone wrong…
Greetings all you who take the time to peruse my blog. I thank you. Let me begin this by saying how I have missed creating blog entries that feel creative to me, that require me to a degree that is nourishing and satiating, rather than feel like marginal notes to my studies. Thank goodness for a few projects and Friday Fictioneers that spur me to some dedicated time spent “creating” purposively – differently from intellectual processing toward understanding. And yet…
As I emerge into a brief pause between semesters, I find myself bewildered with experience and an oddly felt “freedom” that spawn confounding questions in me. As I completed my final semester paper this week, my mind and body revved to the thought that fictions, essays and poems that participate in the structure of my desk – beckoning and ready as I researched away – can be grasped and delighted in, engaged at will, enter my cranial conversation…but this is also true of my researching – I have been consistently able to construct academic projects that involve and enable my immersion in those things that inspire and enthrall me – that feed my “what do I want to know?” urges. So where this different nuance of feeling/experience in reading?
This is the question occupying me currently (or field of questions). As I re-entered Robert Musil’s writings these past few days, while skimming and browsing an unbelievable desk laid with exquisite appetizers (Hejinian, Okri, Danto, Deleuze, Shklovsky, Creeley, Fante and so on) I recognized a feeling I can only describe as “insight.” My preferential selections do not differ much between resources for academic work and resources for some other purpose. I am driven to “know” what I am driven to know – it is continuous, related, dynamic. Any sources from any genre or field or discipline that provide a certain “something” accomplish it. What felt like “insight” was the recognition as I ranged over very different styles (Floridi, Serres, Wittgenstein, DFW, Larry Levis and so on) that what I seek consistently (and an effect that Musil invariably realizes for me) is work that I must achieve, that challenges, that invents, wrestles, requires change and adaptation, innovation and labor on my part to be ingested, understood. That forces dialogue between my micro-world of knowledge and understanding and another. Be it in the mode of expression, the language employed, the ideas, questions and concepts examined or points of view – it must be something that invigorates and surprises, invites dialogue and conversation toward meaning and understanding to occur. Writing that requires change to be engaged.
At the same time I recognize that I read differently different writings. I expect poetry, aphorisms, fragments to require percolatory time, as if the texts and spaces sprinkle my mind-lawn and will find their way to the roots in their own time. I expect logical writings, perspectives or positions to argue with me, to have asked questions beyond what I have had the knowledge to ask, therefore pushing whatever I contain toward corrections and new formulations – adaptation and growth. If writing asks that I be passive, within sentences it is set aside.
These are the questions I’m formulating and troubling in this margin –
How are freedom and restraint – affordances and constraint related (particularly in relation to my felt experience of reading selections – and to what purposes (“academic” vs. – ?) (is there a versus? or is my criteria for reading homogenous regardless of “assignments” or artifact?)
Related: compositions – whether related to schoolwork or blog or journal or artistic projects – are they dissimilar in any way other than forms of expression, manifestation and items? Or is all processing and expressing work similarly creative, inventive – processes toward meaning?
Can I begin to dissolve my penchant for categories and tasks, loosen a little my instinct of organizing complexity? Do I want to? Why?
These are my offering for today – reports from the margins, the notations always accruing and collocating in my experience – given air through a shifting of immediate responsibilities…
“To accept questions consists in immersing oneself in the search for the answers that answer them. Furthermore, the questions specify the answers that they admit.”
attached: a phenomenal recollective account of the theory of Autopoiesis – of creatively self-organizing systems like ourselves and our molecules that stuns me. I invite you to read and differently consider your experience of the world:
“the pursuit of knowledge does not mean conquest, but invention, the establishment of new relations, which supplement already existing ones and can transform them, make them branch out into unexpected dimensions, rather than deny them, or discredit them as manifestations of opinion, illusion, ‘culture.'”
attached: a powerful account of “knowing” and how we conceive/relate to the acquisition of knowledge. Again, if these sorts of things interest you and you are not familiar with her work – I highly encourage you to browse this writing:
“To understand how language works, what pitfalls it conceals, what its possibilities are is to understand a central aspect of the complicated business of living the life of a human being”
S. I. Hayakawa
“Thinking is a truceless act. / How it holds the injured yets and thens inside it, so many layers of barter /
and resist. You who are all swerve, / Distance and blindfold when I try to find you – “
“The world of art and culture is a vast commons, one that is salted through with zones of utter commerce yet remains splendidly immune to any overall commodification. The closest resemblance is to the commons of a language: altered by every contributor, expanded by even the most passive user. That a language is a commons doesn’t mean that the community owns it; rather it belongs between people, possessed by no one, not even by society as a whole”
In which case, he writes, for life. As if asked about nothing, in general. There never has to be a reason, what is called illusion or delusion, he can’t remember which. He is at a loss, that much he knows, unsure if “at” is place or time, so often hand in hand.
He could just as well be painting, singing, creating some other cultural artifact, and all offered up in an aether, but he’s not. He writes, for life, in this case, as if in general, about nothing. Which is everything also, for him – writing, at a loss – the nowhere now here is.
The words, like images, serve. Serve to draw out and reflect. Like actions or encounters, self-portraits or redundancies. In other words, those would be. In writing he extends his veins and neural works, outstrips his body into text – an alchemy of sorts – and then relates to them as if an other, at a loss, in what he sees, or reads, as the case may be, words as much an image when inscribed.
Which are now here, which were not, because he’s writing. Which, in fact, he does, at a loss – moments so much like chaos, say “entropy” – for the offering of something indicative, external, outside – as if verifying a place and a time, i.e. organizing a disorder, finding a nowhere.
Similar to nothing, in general, become something, in particular. Like an idea, or an atom, an interpreted emotion, or a god. Each action a creation like an assortment of patterns on chaos. Like nothing in general, or everything in particular.