nihil

nihil poetry

I fear the same stone of light that you fear. I am the bone and you are the sky. We are earth hidden within the mines of space. Darkness – like a baby – hangs from our necks. If there were knowledge there’d be no action. Pure restless surrender. I fear the pause, the allotted time. It sinks, truthfully. I know we cherish the denial of our times. Like young nihilists. I dug for truth, through turd and stink. The gold of meaning, the diamond of certainty. Years have not been wasted – we see our excavations. Emptiness. Holes. Awakening. There is nothing. We’ve dug holes, nothing more; philosophical pits. The cradles of our deaths. They are beautiful, waiting, obvious. The discovery of nothing: the day everything changed. What do you seek? What value? What supreme encounter? Now, it’s too late. Death is not speculation but the premise. All postulates inevitably incomplete. I fear that same conclusion. But it is here. Like a spark, like lightning. Like love and ephemeral.

Nothing.

Nihilistic PoEtry

He came to know…

 

Brave, defiant Contristo walked under the sharp but harmless leaves of the gloomy jungle. The ceiling of the forest was completely covered with thick branches of trees and the dense population of their leaves. The tenebrous darkness made the journey the more frightening, the unknown waiting for him at every corner. A beam or two of light would pierce the great darkness with its blaze as the wind opened a tiny slit in the heights. These arrows of translucent light reminded Contristo of the world he left seven years ago. At the age of twelve he was forced to enter this labyrinth, to follow an aimless course, to hunt after an unrevealed destiny. But the world he had left so many years ago was still bright in his memory, those endless hours of play and spontaneous happiness. The intense winds of adolescence had thrust him into this dark adventure. The old world had come apart, his new life was nothing other than wandering through the inextricable dangers of the forest. It was a difficult journey as strange gruesome animals threatened his survival, challenged his sanity.  

Contristo’s world is not an ordinary world. A human could never recognize this world, not even in his dreams. The creatures that constitute this world are beyond the imagination of the wildest fantasies of fiction. The corruption of their forms would be the most painful sight, a holocaust for our eyes. Their voices would enter our ears like molten rock down the auditory canal, their shrieks worst than a thousand cries of despair coming from Dante’s Inferno. The sting of their fangs more deadly than any earthly creature. Poor and lost Contristo had to face numberless dangers on his way, when forced to leave the joy of childhood to meet the dangers of advancing youth.

Towards the end of the seventh year Contristo started to notice a change in his environment. Patches of sky would appear more often and the nightmarish insects were fewer and fewer. Until finally, exactly on the last full moon of his seventh traveling year, he came upon a valley. The jungle was left behind and he could observe at the distance a huge ominous castle, majestically sitting at the center of the valley. Certainly, he thought, this is my unforeseen destination.

Contristo approached the monumental structure and at the foot of the tall gates there stood two gigantic trolls, weapon in hand, guarding the entrance from any intruder. As Contristo came closer to these beastly creatures, he became sick and repelled by the dripping pus of their bodies, the green drool from their mouths and their stink of decaying meat.  “HALT, you shall not pass!” thundered the voice of both guards. Stupefied and trembling, Contristo spoke:

For seven years the winds of youth have blown
In maze and confusion I have not known
What distant goal was set for my life
Woe, my journey’s been nothing but strife.
In your castle some great good I must gain
Open your gates so all won’t be in vain!

The giant monsters gazed thoughtfully at this wretched creature. Then, in obedience to their duty, replied:

The gates of Veritas are out of reach
For those that cannot breach
The ancient riddle we now recite

‘This thing all things devours;
From the farthest suns to the nearest flowers;
The powerful king too must one day know
Defeat and loss against this invincible foe’

Answer correctly or retreat in fright.

Swiftly Contristo retorted:

Experience, mother of knowledge
To you I now pledge
If my answer be in the right
I will forever trust in your light
Guards, the riddle is sublime
My answer is: TIME.

The gates opened for Contristo, who was too well acquainted with the expanse of time. In the echoing solitude, his steps marked the ticking of the seconds as he gazed the high towers inside. At the heart of the castle a lofty dome shone with precious gold and crimson gems. Contristo gathered that under that huge vault his secret fate must lie.

He stepped into the glorious building and surveyed the ornamental complexity of the walls, patterns of exquisite beauty. Then, at last, his long journey reached its summit when he saw under the colossal dome a sight he will never forget. From the ceiling hanged an object he had never seen before, faintly glowing with a sort of musical flow. He approached it, but he was not alone. From the other end of the room he could now see another creature too was approaching the sacred object. He slowed his pace but continued to come nearer until he was face to face with his silent companion. Contristo then spoke to him but the other would only mimic his own speech. Then he moved to one side and the stranger did exactly like him. In an initiative to be kind he extended his arm to salute his companion. His partner was too quick and the tip of their hands would always collide, never allowing him to take the other’s hand. Contristo was paralyzed by a sort of fear and just gazed at the stranger. He looked into his eyes and he could see nothing but an abysmal sadness, a look of despair, a cry for help. He saw a fragile and feeble creature, lost and confused, joyless, utterly joyless…

It was then that he realized he was looking at a reflection of himself. And his thoughts began to weave the path of his future, treading the first steps in the unending journey of self-discovery.

‘Tis this sadness I saw reflected
And merciless was my despair
This brittle body so dejected
Home of the burden I will bear

In these eyes of crystal sorrow
Lies the grand secret of tomorrow
To understand the elusive mystery
The whole of my wretched history

Let today mark the beginning
The essential for all the living
To glimpse and savor the question
How to find one’s true expression

Finding myself always in travel
Among the marvels of existence
As the smoke of time will unravel
What is at an approaching distance.

Awakening…

All around us are men and women with an undeviating will to pleasure. Their objective in life is the satisfaction of meager desires, propelled by an uncreative submission to the ideals of a corrupt and aimless society. It requires little effort to see all around us the living examples of these words. Yet, we are not here to blame them. What makes us suppose we have the correct view to human life, the right solution when dealing with the difficulty of desire and satisfaction?

The first quarter of a century in life is, perhaps more so than those subsequent, an utter experiment. We come into this world in blind ignorance and we are shown the world as viewed by those before us. The great majority of mankind treats life quite naturally and naively. We hardly suspect any flaws in the outlook of our elders and accept without any resistance the narrowly circumscribed rules and laws of human conduct and the petty and mediocre aspirations of the average Homo Sapiens. Driven by an unbearable fear of uncertainty and insecurity, tossed to and fro by the oppressive instinct of self-preservation and procreation – our kin is in many regards cowardly and selfish. So how can we blame ourselves if we simply follow the command of our inner nature? We cannot without persistent effort modify the channel prescribed for us by the aeons of evolution of numberless generations that came to this planet and left, most of which lie in the impenetrable darkness of prehistory.

When we raise our heads over the insipid realm of tradition and conventionality our eyes become aware of much more than what was initially revealed to us. When we come of age and start discovering our own individual truths the entire meaning of being alive is transformed and molded by the lessons of our experiences. Reverence and idolatry to the prevailing systems are abandoned. If this is achieved all our past knowledge is held in doubt and the exciting adventure of existential discovery begins.

Our eyes awaken from a long slumber and diffidently we make our first steps on the path that leads us away from norm and habit. We begin unraveling the wondrous secrets of consciousness. Our body, language, plants, clouds, stars, galaxies, worms, butterflies, religions, oceans, history, electricity, sound, science, food, air, sleep; all become subjects of our interest. They are no longer the common elements of reality; they become mysterious, inexplicable yet familiar things that were always so close to us. We had forgotten to silently observe them, to try to grasp them as they play their role in the majestic theater of life. The conformity that was inherited from our elders is no longer viable in this world of endless surprises and immense dimensions. Our ears open their gates to the wisdom of all the ages, the army of knowledge conquers our passivity, and we engage in the ceaseless hunt for objects of curiosity and awe.

We are no longer:

Oblivious of the fact that the earth wanders in a void like a mote of dust in invisible air.”

 

But far from separating ourselves from the concreteness of human experience, we still share in the gaiety of human relationships, in the familiarity of eating, sleeping, working and loving. These things are in themselves equally amazing as the wonders we find in the natural world.

This vision is not too far from our current lives. It is in fact as plainly human as the animosity and tragedy we find in our news. The terror that strikes our senses every day as we open a newspaper is not something that should discourage us. For any living organism life is an ongoing battle. To be alive means to be menacing, brutal, ruthless, aggressive, for life is the activity of survival. Everything in this universe tends to dissipate and destroy complex structures such as ours. The ability for us to stay alive in such a threatening world is not only proof of the cleverness of organic cells but also of our conscious ability to overcome the hostile forces that obliterate us.

“To be alive is to be in a perpetual state of war.”

With so much aggression in us we should not expect to be a thoroughly kind and benevolent race. Every organism in the animal kingdom has won its place by displacing those that could not endure the challenges imposed by the destructive forces of nature. The necessity of war is a fact of nature. But as humans, we can read this differently and we should pronounce it loud and clear, to the belligerent leaders of this world: “Let there be war only if this means let there be LIFE!”

The meaning of war would radically change if we start seeing it from this point of view. Each day survived is a victory celebrated! It’s an accomplishment we should be celebrating every day, rejoicing in the subtlety of being, the fascinating oddity of breathing and dying.

Finally, if pleasure is all that we seek; it is what gives us pleasure that makes all the difference. If our insatiable craving strives only for the material comforts of modern day life I’m afraid so many people will fade away without ever turning their heads and discovering the radiant fountain of wonder that the universe delivers to whoever becomes its beholder.