civilization

civilization

ALLRIGHT, YES

you heard the extra elle

let’s get down to the facts.

There’s this thing, civilization.
Outcome of humanity. Yes,

Humanity. If it could speak collectively,

it would say, ‘yes, it was moi, I made

civilization out of my disposal to progress

in my creative adaptation’ but let’s re-examine

that posture (not to mention that cosmolomania,

if moi, the poet, can coin a neologism).

That anthropogenic posture that humanity,

or little clusters of near-humans, created

civilization is far-fetched indeed and in deed.

The modern individual does not take into account

what s/he means by the word ‘individual’,

which is fundamental to the concept of humanity,

especially when it comes to the ‘feats’

humanity has achieved. The individual of today

will have you believe that s/he has been,

to some degree, in control of their personality

(the exact age is imprecise, perhaps inaccessible,

but they will say something between the ages of 7

and 10), that this awareness of theirs has been

the same entity carried through time, up to the present

moment, of which they are the agglomeration

of any events, reactions, decisions and postures

taken in that period of time. Wonderful, I say.
But there is this assumption of control, you see.
Humans today assume they are to some degree

in control of their personalities. Whereas, through

introspection and plain observation, we can become

aware that we’re in no way conscious of many processes

that enable (that allow) our personality to subsist.
For example. The learning process or method. We

learn things, yes. We memorize things, yes. But these

so-call feats are generated effortlessly by our

own cognitive substratum. Let’s not get too complex.

I said up there, let’s get down to the facts.
The facts are, as far as one can be honest, there are

abilities or capabilities that enable us to do the things we do,

and we don’t know how we do them. Things such

as memory, imagination, learning, poetizing;

that are not in our direct conscious control. In fact, they

operate without our consent. In a way, we are the

outcome of these underground mechanisms that

dictate our perceptions, actions and philosophies.
So, we have this thing. Civilization.
Expressing itself and we’re its own audience and stage.
Just playing around, for a while it seems.

And it’s not really our doing. It arose from the interaction

of so many intertwined factors that it’s not computable. Oh

I can already hear the technologist of infinite progress

shrieking in dismay. But that’s my story folks. As they say

in these lands. Skål!

aphorisms and instructions

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior, Artificial Light 1909Painting: Hammershøi, Interior, Artificial Light 1909

The realization that nothing matters, that all is in vain, is inconsequential insofar as it changes nothing. We remain living the same lives as before, if not for the exception of a newly-acquired taste for sadism that enjoys seeing everything annihilate itself.

The spider in my room continues to spin its web with precision, a meticulous mandala that is not a form of ephemeral art, but simply a skill in survival, which is in itself a form of ephemeral art.

I’ve noticed that humanity has an innate insensitivity to oblivion. It builds and labors as if there will always be human beings around to witness their own struggles and achievements. Their seriousness is a form of naïveté. No one epitomizes this naïveté better than the writer.

We can never be sure an animal acts in seriousness. It can be ferocious, alert, aggressive, intent, perseverant and devotional, but its ability to shift from intense concentration to laziness suggests that it does not really care for the outcome of its actions.

It feels me with horror and rage to hear people claim that life is profound and inexhaustible while they spend half their lives in front of a computer pretending to live life to its full potential.

If the world is unreal and the self is an illusion gulping down a flask of whiskey at noon on a Tuesday wouldn’t do any harm. On the other hand, if the world is real and the self exists, gulping down a flask of whiskey at noon on a Tuesday wouldn’t do any harm.

Nihilistic Poetry Blog

Zarathustra in the 21st century

 

What need is there for Nietzsche’s euphoria in language, for his excess in possibility and contradiction, for his telling of unnecessary things?  What do we actually need but a secure income and a full stomach in this modern world, perhaps a fancy car and the latest gadget, but beyond that, is it not completely irrelevant to look for more? So, in the context of the 21stcentury, where life is just life, when you are rich or poor, possessor or possessed, what urgency is there to plummet into the depths of the unknown? There seems to be lacking an insistence to forge other realities, to strain the last fiber of consciousness in order to erupt a newer self, a deeper “I”.  Isn’t Zarathustra saying that we are not only living (a passive image of passing time) but that in fact while we live we are creating…  



The question remains latently hidden inside our hearts, while we stroll in a “comfort-zone” age… what is yet to be born?

 

 

Ars Poetica Homepage

A definition of consciousness

 

This vengeance of feeble consciousness

engulfed in the wild roar of mortality’s ocean

battling hopelessly with madmen’s zest

diseased with the poison of its own vitality

secretly conjuring fantasies for eternity

dripping down the spine of Illusion herself

drowning in pleasure and soaring in pain

nurtured by the stings of challenge

greatest when forgetful of itself

crippled by the burden of its weight –

the threshold of all realities

           and because, weak and coward,

   possesses doom in its very heart

abandoning the mellow horizon of non-existence

          captive of its deadly fear. 
 
 
 

 

I fear,
therefore, I am.
  

Return to Beyond Language

An Attack on Science

 

Science is based on an unscientific judgment of value. Science and its followers claim that knowledge and truth about the world are only possible through the scrutiny of the scientific method. Therefore, all other sources of knowledge are doubtful, if not, downright mistaken. It eradicated subjectivity from its grand representation of the universe and claims to speak as matter-of-fact and objective as possible.  However, the scientific enterprise has still to prove why we should deal with the cosmos as a problem to be solved; it has yet to answer why knowing is much more important than any other human activity. The great technological benefits we enjoy today are not at all essential; we clearly see the animal world enduring without vehicles or television, or notions such as gravity and entropy, such ‘animals’ even have very complex societies or innate flying abilities. Therefore science cannot claim to be the ultimate route to a better and wiser life, it is a historical phenomenon existing only for the past few centuries and not necessary to life on this planet. In this sense science is morally unscientific; it cannot provide evidence for why a scientific attitude is more preferable than, for example, an aesthetic or nihilistic one. This is simply because science has not been able to predict human emotions or chart our future decisions, it has nothing to say about what we should do; it merely states what is not what should be. 

Scientific-minded people believe themselves to be the most rational minds today. They have associated rationality with one method of inquiry (i.e. scientific method) and have abolished all other sources of data and knowledge. This seems to me more like a limitation than an advantage, precisely because science cannot deal with the whole spectrum of our experience. It works simply on the observable external phenomena and has yet to contribute to an understanding of human consciousness. It pretended for many centuries to get rid of this uncomfortable fact but the shadow of consciousness has crept into modern physics and it is now clear that even basic physical concepts such as mass, distance, velocity, time, are dependent on an observer. In a broader sense, rationality should encompass more than just science and its mother logic, considering that science is narrowly limited by its inability to connect with our whole experience of life. In other words, we are aware of things that the analytic mind cannot formulate. The rational discourse of science is incomplete; it cannot be the entire picture since it lacks insight into our inner life which is as real and undeniable as the external world. For this reason we can learn about life equally as much from a scientific treatise as from a novel, a poem, a kiss or a beautiful landscape. 

(This is not an attempt to invalidate science but simply a reminder that the powerful mystery of life cannot be grasped from one perspective. Those that are dedicated to the exploration of existence must remember: there are no official paradigms; we alone bestow authority to whatever we choose to believe. We cannot limit the cosmos to certain aspects of itself, it is beyond our attempts to reduce it to one knowable thing.)

Machines

 

 

And to know and see and reassert that we ARE machines, we are machines made out of flesh, proteins, water, enzymes and coded molecules; that we understand the word “machine” but cannot grasp the consequences of this mysterious arrangement:

             Living, breathing, suffering machines…

The Problem of Free Will

 Are we as free as we think we are?

 

 

The problem of Free Will is inextricably linked with a scientific belief. This belief is in itself perhaps older than formal science but nonetheless it acquired great force with the birth and development of the scientific enterprise. It can be stated thus:

 Everything in the present is the direct result of the configuration of the past.

Nothing is without a cause. Thus, whatever we encounter in a present state can be explained or understood by its former state and the natural laws involved. If this belief is to be adopted thoroughly, if nothing can escape causality, then anything we experience has a direct cause in the past.

When we bring this kind of reasoning to the debate of Free Will, we can conclude in the following manner:

Psychic phenomena all have a cause regulated and governed by natural biological laws that at present we cannot name them all. Whatever we experience in the present is inextricably linked to a past state of affairs.

We understand Free Will as the ability to make an act or decision independently of any necessity compelling us to choose one thing over another. Stated this way it seems that the act of choosing has escaped the law of causality. But if this is to be rejected by our common scientific understanding of the world, we arrive at a different conclusion. Any decision-making process is only possible when the individual is in a particular situation where (s)he reacts to the evidence or stimuli presented for making a decision or act. This stimulus is the psychic content, patent or latent, that takes part of the decision-making moment. To pick an apple over a banana is the result of the apparition in the individual’s consciousness of past experience with these fruits, past reactions to these that make one fruit preferable over the other. A decision cannot be achieved without the pre-existent conditions for making a decision; that is to say: desire in the individual for eating (something that is quite involuntary), the past experience with the objects and objectives of the decision or act. Bound to memory, expectation, desire, and many other, the decision-making process is dependent on psychic phenomena that arises in the mind without a conscious or voluntary action. When an act of “Free Will” has taken place we remember the act, and the possibility of choosing otherwise, but we forget the requirements for us to arrive at the chosen action. The action was conditioned by involuntary psychic phenomena, something which we do not control and therefore acted out of a necessity towards this stimuli that was presented to us: Desire, Aversion, Memory, Imagination, Etc.

In such a way the problem of Free Will can be reconciled with the idea of causality. And with this knowledge now in mind the upcoming decisions will be influenced by this new awareness. We may doubt at the moment of decision-making in order to prove our putative freedom, but we are still only reactions to involuntary psychic phenomena that permit the processes we call free and voluntary.

 

However, to understand the laws of the human psyche at the present seems unlikely because of the complexity involved; the apparent arbitrariness or spontaneity of the stimuli that allow our decisions to take place is sufficient to permit our current morality – based on the supposition that we are free agents making responsible decisions – to remain established.

 

::::::::::::: APPENDIX ::::::::::::::::

 

The main idea behind this short inquiry is to reconcile two basic assumptions we have about the world.

1. Everything is the effect of a cause. Therefore all effects can potentially be explained or understood by their causes. (A general accepted supposition in our contemporary scientific culture)

2. We are free agents, making decisions independently of any external necessity obligating us to make a certain choice.

These two assumptions we all have in the back of our minds are in stark contradiction. How can we be free if everything in the world is determined by natural laws and follow an unchangeable course? We then would be part of the immutable course of things and all our actions are predetermined since the beginning of time.
If we follow the suggestions of logic, we will conclude that we are nothing but puppets manipulated by the general course of nature’s laws. However, we don’t feel this to be the case. We feel we ARE free and independent.

The above paragraphs attempt to show that we may be deceived by our belief in Free Will. Simply stated, our decisions are not made by an omnipotent-omniscient ego that at each moment can decide what it wills. Our decisions are based and chained to mental phenomena that arise involuntarily into our consciousness (that is to say it appears quite without our consent, as a cloud would appear suddenly in an open sky). This involuntary phenomena (desire, aversion, fear, tribulation, excitement, anxiety, and countless others) determine the choices we make. Our choices have natural causes that do not depend on us. With this explanation we can find causes for our decision-making lives and discover that we are not as commonly believed: free creators of our destinies.

However, if we can find reason to doubt the first assumption: everything has a cause by which we can know the effect, then Free Will may be conceived without logical contradiction. And it is wise to reassess our dogmatic belief in science and the principles of casuality, which may be in the end altogether mistaken.