Underground Paralysis

I might be mistaken, but I believe there is much to fear in the course of our lives. It is a fear that wine, parties and television might distract from our attention but they will never annihilate it. Most philosophies of despair tend to denounce the ABSURD as an inexorable quality of our advancing lives. It is, in fact, this irrepressible motion forward though cycles of interminable triviality that the despairing existentialist complains about, and makes a living by declaring the banality of earthly life.  It is fascinating to think that in recent times the attitude of wailing has been adopted by many clever writers, and we, as audience, enjoy reading about our impotence and frailty.
Anyway, the fear I mentioned does not arise from the intellectual awareness that the things we do in life have no permanent meaning or from the existenliast´s lack of trust in the frenetic impetus of time. It is a feeling only describable in metaphor, it is only visualized in representations of the deepest horror:
 
You are not moving
not advancing
but the color changes
grey to black
the purest black
the deepest deep
each tick of the heart
marks a step further
into a maze of incomprehensibility
like an universe empty
no stars or galaxies
only a demonic silence
a cognitive paralysis
an underground turbulence
 
You reach out for help
piercing the dark horror
trying to hold on to something
your hand blindly advances
at the end of your fingers
 a river of pain…
having crossed your multi-layered mind
and light-years of voidness:
 
two options,
if you scream you drown
asphyxiated by the thick weariness,
or
you marry silence
isolated indefinitely
in the cruel awareness
of your inexplicable
existence.

The day the universe was reborn

    
Why keep writing in linear and logical fashion?
Writing is the outgrowth of thinking.
It should reflect the features of the human mind, with its desultory and fluctuating discourse.

When the scope of the possible has been exhausted you may turn left where a gigantic mountain separates the desert from the snow. Haven’t you felt all along that lurking behind every monotonous experience an explosive energy awaits to come forth? It is as if a powerful surge of lightning remains dormant in a recondite quarter of our consciousness; behind every yawn of boredom a rapacious thunder of delight seeks an entrance into our deaf lives.
    
Follow the rain into the heart of the storm. Then you will be ready for the revival of the new, the rediscovery of surprise.  As long as there is room for the unknown, as long as red-headed ants surprise you with wonder and interrupt the tyrannical flow of thoughts — there is hope.
    
I had begun walking in search of meaning and not far down the road I stumbled across an insurmountable obstacle: mortality. All labors are in vain if they seek permanence. This did not stop me, if I should live in a world where impermanence governs every particle of matter then my actions had to resign any sort of structure, my words had to abandon order. I had to accept the chaos of uncertainty and resume the search. No longer looking for a perennial philosophy but merely for temporary wisdom. For the most profound questions I never looked in books; I was lucky to experience them in other more fundamental objects: in direct contact with the phantasmagorical landscapes of nature or the silent dark of outer space.
Sinking in rocky jaws
Patagonian mountains
Lakes as seas
near heaven’s azure
the universe reborn
million lights at night
transform every thing
     Living in constant disbelief I could but interpret life as total dream, the whole of existence appeared equally inconstant as the contents of any bizarre dream. Yet I am sure that defining the cosmos by the anthropocentric analogy of dream doesn’t come close to what is really happening — reality is much wilder and exuberant than our speculations. Here and there I found evidence to believe that the hardest task is change: inner transformation. We are never the Archimedean unmovable point around which all things change and evolve — we are similarly watery being flowing from one state to another. Allowing things to change within you, permitting things to grow and decay inside was surely difficult. Getting used to this internal impermanence requires great courage. The reward is priceless: the art of transformation had become the real art of living.
     At night things settle down. The pure transparency of water is swallowed by the black of night and slowly above a blurry streak of light convinces us of the utter strangeness of our condition. The Milky Way, our home galaxy, becomes the symbol of our astonishment.  In those prolonged moments of silence things are perceived differently, we are free to just be as rocks are silently existing at the bottom of a blue lake.
Is it so necessary to formulate our wonder and our wishes?
Immobile (time)
Serene (space)
a rock for ages
deep below
in abysmal Zen
Sometimes I refuse to endure the recurrent agony of dreaming my death. In times like those:
Deserts become too desolate
Mountains intimidating monsters
Cities caging of beasts
Oceans too restless
Home insipid
My grave a terrifying
       inferno
I can only live and die
within my despair
My daemon: despair. My savior: wonder. My meditation: inking a few random words. My sleep: sweet forgetfulness as the rock that rests unperturbed.
I have to ask, is The Search a consequence of despair, or despair a consequence of The Search?

If…

If stories had some sort of reality I would narrate my dissolution amongst the heavenly bodies; if fantasies were not merely fictions I would vanish careless in the wind; if words were not all vain and empty I would tell everyone that life is a bubble of dream and we are nothing but footprints on sand.
If changing the world meant anything I would form a new republic; if truth existed I would refute the philosophers; if god existed I would be fearless to leave this world…
 
On my 26th birthday. January 7th 2008

Joy of Participation

From the dark cloud
   that was my death before my birth
From the impervious past
   that is my womb
From nothingness void
   that sprung my being
      into this magnificent universe of light
 
As I awake
   from the caverns of dreams
My eyes visit
   a strange changing realm
Vision has kindled
   the torch of nature´s stage
 
Amongst crowds, streets and trees
   silent contemplation reveals
the daily world (of chats, smiles and meals)
   as mysterious as death and the galaxies;
on this planet
   repetition has blunt the miraculous
 
Frightening as it is
   this irrepressible human world
never to forget
   it belongs to a greater whole
Small is our size
   but great our joy of participation
       in this universe incomprehensible

Lucian Freud

Impressions upon a visit to Lucian Freud´s exhibition in Lousiana, Denmark.
 
Solitude is heavy, our subjective isolation is inescapable. The eyes gaze nowhere, time trickles away, endlessly. The only task left for these subjects is to endure the blankness of temporality. For time flows so slowly it appears to be still. There is no resistance, a species of quiet resignation, the carnality of their human condition is effortlessly lived. Their globular faces weigh them down as if they were made of lead. The overworked faces manifest the elimination of all activity; which has turned life into a simple and plain permanence.
 
There is no despair, just a timeless patience. An imposed fortitude in the regions of choiceless existence in which they sojourn.

The impossibility of faith

This is a statement made by one of so many human creatures that roam this earth; and it is the belief of the author of such statement that opinions are ultimately relative to their background, therefore limiting “the impossibility of faith” to a narrow discourse that is and will be shared only by those that have a similar mental constitution, in short, those that share the rare tendency to doubt, question, and challenge all forms of knowledge and experience.

 

So, without complicating the matter too much, what is, in brief, the impossibility of faith all about?

 

To convey opinions through the awkwardness of words, one must first of all be able to express the circumstances from which the opinion arose. This provides the reader, first of all, access to the frame of mind needed to understand the opinion. So, before you judge too quickly the impertinence of my opinion (the impossibility of having religious faith), I will present to you my humble case.

 

I adore religion; it has fascinated me both in my youthful years of religious piety as well as in my later years of recklessness and agnosticism. I’ve lived both sides of such opposite worlds, I’ve had to cross through the tenebrous chasm that separates the comfort of a religious established life from the frightful unknown that constitutes the emptiness of near-atheism. I haven’t become an atheist, I cannot confidently claim that there is no god or that there is no supernatural reality. I simply withhold my judgment and allow a blank white space to fill the answer. I have fallen prey of the impetuous force of the scientific method, which as sound as it may be in this day and age, I admit, I still hold some caution against it. I’ve written before about the limitations of science and won’t dwell on it here. But to finish the point, it has impressed deeply on my mind and I cannot dismiss it easily however skeptical I am about its capacity to resolve the mysteries of human life.

 

Even after I started to doubt every religion or religious claim, I continued to have a respect for religion, a secret infatuation for the solemnity and profundity that religion usually conveys. After a suicidal and conflictive adolescence, I finally came into friendly terms with religion again, but this time from the perspective of a spectator and not so much as a member. For the last seven years I’ve had the great delight of studying and investigating the religions of the world, uncovering so much wisdom that is to be found in the poetry, symbolism and narrative of religious thought and feeling.

 

So, what makes me today say that it is impossible to have faith? Faith is complicated to analyze. From a reductionist point of view, I can affirm like many others that religion is nothing more than a social phenomenon to keep the members of a community or society passively functioning without rebelling against the system. (the opium of the people, as Marx once coined it). Other rational views establish faith as the response to fear, the necessity that arises from the fear of the unknown, the fear of disease and death, fear from the impotence man has in a world full of dangerous forces that can easily upset his petty order. Another view is that religion is a genetically wired aspect of the human psyche, that we are bound to create religious system because of the evolution of our brain. Other views establish religion as the longing to return to a previously lived experience of totality (such as when we were fetuses or infants, when the differentiation between ego and the external world had not yet been firmly delineated). These are all views I’ve learned from others, they have not actually been developed by me. Nonetheless, they all point to sensible possibilities… religion as universal as it is may have an identifiable cause in one or all these theories.

 

What I’ve concluded is that you don’t need to invalidate or refute religion to be able not to believe in it. Religion is simply a matter of insufficiency for many of us. Fortunately or unfortunately, we don’t have the innate passion to submit to the religiosity of the blind believer; we are unable to digest the nectar of spirituality without some trace of justification. That’s why for some of us religion is not received with disgust, simply mistrust. We need not dismiss it by some rational argument; we are simply waiting for some kind of revelation that will allow us to embrace it wholly. The revelation or justification can come in the garment of rationality or in the euphoria of irrationality, yet without it, we are unable to have faith.

 

The impossibility of faith is not an a priori dismissal of religion as false. It is the incapacity to believe in the precepts of transcendence without the arrival of some signal, a manifestation physical or psychological that can make us say: I see everything clearly now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A prospect of madness

 

Would you call me mad if I can confess of a certainty in the prospect of the future, even when I fully acknowledge that the vicissitudes of Time can easily outsmart the most rigorous mathematical prediction; yes I was sure that in ten years’ time I would be looking back to this very same day – today – as the fantasy of a naïve child’s imagination that mistook the nature of reality for that of a game: haven’t I erred in my conviction that life is best lived through the transformation of its contents into those poetic representations that plunge me into an ecstatic state of mind, in other words, in trying to grasp life by its tail by scrutinizing every tottering thread of Time had I not missed the meaning of reality by inspecting it too minutely, too unsparingly as to leave out of the range of my investigations the global experience of existence?

I saw in that Delphic vision a day when all these conglomerates of experience that surround me today would be no more than the debris of a vanished Past, a trivial irony that would have no more power to excite my cynical laughter. That day will come when I rent a paltry hotel room in Belgrade, killing my time with a lousy inexpensive hooker and when night comes I will stare despairingly at the ceiling wondering if abandoning my youthful delusions was a wise choice, since by then I would have purged myself of any prospect in the road of human creativity and would be living in the pulsation of every naked minute, suffering like every other human being in the claws of the beast of existence. And every so often I would glimpse outside my window to see a crumbling civilization and I shall utter words such as these:

 

Withered petals gliding down
Breaking from their cone
Into scattered puddles in the street
Let each petal leave my rose
Each desire run away
All sorrow, regret and concern
Vanish below –
What is it to me that we must die
Why should I carry the burden
Of Fate’s indifference to us?