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.
I’m the old
lost at sea
haven’t read a book
in seven years
since led astray
in the salty scales
of the sea,
treasures of antiquity
reciting to myself
Ovid and Schopenhauer
to the fish
like St. Anthony
and the necessity
sometimes standing on
transient and ancient
while the spinal cord
of the horizon
like a living snake –
that I’ll salvage
the nectar of wisdom
it will redeem my sorrows
by sweeting the saline ocean
of my despair;
like an upright
brazen sword in
the surrounded waste
I will let go
a single drop
to drown in this
surrendering the last
epiphany of my breath
I’ll teach humanity
How it happened exactly I will never know. Suddenly everything became worthless, everything human per se, that is. This veneer of generic pleasures and conventional raisons d’être became illusory, life taken at face value, submission to the established order; well, I was done with all that long ago. The magic began when my intuition fumbled upon a veritable prospect of infinity. How many different orders of life are possible, how many universes made of other realities must exist simultaneously, in such way, I began to break the biased assumption that this is the only world there is. What an experiment this life here is, to emerge from a field of interconnected activity, full of evolutionary processes. Humans begin to appear unreal and yet beautiful in their playing out the habits of their biology and history, their customs in this unique, relative mode of being we know as ‘life on earth’. From the way we speak, sleep, drink, dress – a rare collection of revocable attributes, a lonely arrangement in the infinite spectrum of eternity. I caught a glimpse only. Glimpses of just one dream unfolding in a god’s sleep; a god that never dies. That god has had an infinite number of dreams in the past and shall have an infinite number of dreams in the future, no two alike. In this ephemeral presence how can I regard anything as immutable, or ultimately, even as real? The very foundations of this world, with its geometry and physical laws, its life forms and civilizations, its space and time, are nothing more than an evanescent chapter in the phantasmagorically boundless ground of being.
So here I stand as raw nothingness, the happiest nothingness to ever breathe the cold air under a yellow winter sun, amidst the foundationless relativity of this dreamlike existence.
kneel and pray
sit in lotus
on the highways
fill the fields with prostrated bodies
till perception becomes only vibration
we’ll go extinct
but in exchange
we would have the supreme reality, bliss, timelessness –
these no longer words
but palpable facts,
enough calm to abolish the despair
of another millennium
of 20th centuries;
decay in silence
till there is a pure core of beauty
the entire cosmos
as the tingling of an approaching
Let me tell you something. It may be a hard pill to swallow. No, on second thought, maybe my criticism is hollow and attempts to belittle a world too powerful to be challenged. Besides, most people are already aware of what I’m about to say. We all are. But it doesn’t matter. I must get it out; otherwise I’ll wallow in my own disgust and perpetuate a system too cruel in its indifference.
I‘ve been sitting here for seven hours. Patiently chatting with customers over the internet, satisfying their demands, answering their recurrent questions. Yeah, it’s as simple as it sounds. A few minutes here with a Dan from South Africa, a few seconds there with a Marysia from Bulgaria. I’m connected to the world but between me and the rest of the globe there’s a box that displays organized patches of light and allows me to interact with people I will probably never encounter, physically or virtually, again. It’s just that – organization – that bothers me. Here I am at the threshold of a global society and my enthusiasm is imprisoned under a thick layer of discomfort.
It doesn’t make sense to me. How we got here and all that. I was involuntarily born into a world that had organized itself in this way without my consent. Here I am functioning according to it, adding fuel to its monstrous engine by my insignificant but necessary participation in its affairs. I am a mere appendage to this colossal machine, a machine that keeps rolling on and on without any constraints – makes me wonder if we could stop it should we desire to?
That fact is that it is here, an organization a priori to my existence, and I must operate according to its rules; my life with its sufferings and joys must fit the frame of modernity; my dreams are shortened by 40 hours a week which are mandatory for my basic survival. I’m no utopian, I don’t trust in any universal remedy for happiness and prosperity, yet even with my mistrust in progress I’ve perceived the approach of a conviction that promises a better world, a saner reality.
Hadn’t fear regulated most of our expectations, or if habit wouldn’t paralyze our imagination, would we still be living for minimal wages and restricting life to those scarce hours of leisure that work “allows” us? While trapped in those routines of cement and asphalt, how often do we get to experience the beauty of nature which, according to poets and sages, delivers endless moments of delight and communion with the divine?
I don’t know, I don’t care. I will continue to intoxicate myself with the monotony of uneventful hours… who cares what a screw thinks when the machine can operate without it. New screws will be born to furnish The Machine with the elixir of eternal life, namely:
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.)
The following two poems explore the human need to express everything we experience and the impossibility of absolute correspondence between lived experience and our descriptions. I wonder why we cannot contain the purity of experience in ourselves without exchanging it for the artificial-reality of words and symbols. Wouldn’t it be better to leave the flux to itself while we join in its silent (nonverbal) dance in an ahistorical frenzy? For what are our conversations but a miniature-history of the world and our lives? Must mankind be forever trapped in the webs of a descriptive situation? What’s the need to define place, time, mood, thoughts, hopes and expectations?
Is life too great for anyone to bear alone that we must reduce its intensity and infinity to the limited bounds and finiteness of language?
If we cease to communicate (purge) life could we die from an overdose of life itself?
These are the dry leaves of the 21st century Falling upon our feet that coil A path as snakes on a dune of sand
These are the subway noises Under the surface of our routine Where are our shouts of ecstasy?
These are the ripples of passion Unborn embrace of earthly bliss We are one catastrophe away from paradise
These are the memoirs of all power-lines Showering us with light of illusion Approaching twilight for today’s relics
These are the end-products of pleasure Fascination with the wonders of plastic And a what-for question left unanswered
These are the dry days of the 21st century
Fetch me nature’s product in a plastic bag While this blue-eyed kid stares at me As I dance to the melody of pure purposelessness
Talk to me about an Asian photograph While this train takes me to your hometown As I write lines of life’s ineffability
Promise me there is a higher plan While I grow old with laughter As I adjust my twisted underwear
Abandon me for taking the trivial for the profound While the grass is still wet outside As I swear life’s grandeur is best unexpressed