from above

poetry_of_future

They found a bulge
between Amaliegade
and Esplanaden
and it was in the news

and the hearts
shook with dread

a long sack of skin.like flesh
growing from a thin string
into an enormous
bulk

a man stood drinking the ship
in a circle of dizziness

the lights of police
and the endless of an image

no one could understand the revolution
and beauty of the bulge

it was hauled off the street
like a rainbow
as a miracle of the flame
as heresy from our pedestrian slopes

factories puffing shades
roaring with flags and chords
of iron ringing
in the suburbs

it is pronounced that this age
will collide with the pillar
stumps of science

and melancholy is a growth
like tumor
in the heads of those
that gaze             with wonder
from above.

 

 

Contemporary Poetry

Awe and confusion swirled together

Pain by Hands of Crimson (deviantart)

 

 

We fling ourselves out into the depths of this tumultuous motion (there is always an implicit decision to stay alive) – we are agonizing in the effusion of forms, attitudes and energies of this world, we succumb to the simultaneity of all events, approaching a boiling point which will end in a devastating orgasm. This life that with relentless power can lift you to regions of unshakable astonishment will drop you with equal force into the pits of boredom and suicidal retreat. It becomes an experience so intense that all those wonderful insights attained by your constant awareness to the profundity of existing forms can be, and will be, torn apart by the abysmal fissure that comes in between reality and our conceptions. Our epoch has demystified the themes of history, art, philosophy, science – any study that pierces Being and divests it from the shallowness of routine – themes we are engaged in by our simple breathing and acting  in a world that is constantly being measured, recorded, discussed and because of these, it is being doubted more than ever.
 
 

 

Out of the circumstance of standing on the axis of what is to come and while repeating beyond illusion the experience, over and over again, of existing as part and parcel of this monstrous universe – out of all these circumstances there arises a sentiment which remains for the most part unspoken yet when united to the urgency of our desires it wishes to break through as a divine voice, a repercussion that will echo through the immensity of space and time, an outpouring of this vital disbelief that defines our existence; in short, an eternal statement understood and recognized by everyone:
 
 

 

 

Can all this be real?
 
 

 

 

Exactly because the world’s diversity can only be matched by its incomprehensibility the human being, passenger in life, is unable to remain in the state of absolute veneration (the all-too-common fear of the unknown) and must distract himself with whatever nuisance is thrown in his way. Fortunately, there is excitement in monotony; there is pleasure in painful depressions.

 

We are obeying something vastly superior, something that always exceeds our two modern poisons: reason and technology. We aspired to imitate nature with those silly contrivances. We, subjects to our bodies, to history and the course of the planet, we return to bed every night insulted simply because we cannot deceive ourselves much longer: the world we have come out of has created itself and us without the tool of reason; and in that inexplicable unreasonableness it has fashioned machines infinitely superior to our latest technologies – we see it all around us, the biological world, a miraculous product abandoned by the silent God of Purposelessness.

 

After we finish with this continuous enigma, we open our eyes to challenge again the naked world, to tease it with our actions and desires….
“oh what a world” we say,
 

 

and reenter the game once again.

 

 

 

Go back 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.)

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.

 

 

 

Do not approach me

I’m surrounded by an atmosphere
not of air but of stone
the vastness of the Existent, breaking
falling upon me like an avalanche of lead
I am compressed, the center of the earth
knows nothing of this tremendous pressure
Exhausted under this weight
words fail, expressions useless
Science’s theorems futile!
The Milky Way hangs on my back
There is no abyss sufficiently deep —
I am the lowest vortex
All objects crush me in their fall
Here’s the dungeon of gravity
            Do no approach me…

Who am I?

If an apple would expand to the size of the earth
One atom would be the size of the original apple

If my brain would expand to the size of the earth
What portion of land would hold my consciousness?

If an atom would expand to the size of my room
The nucleus of the atom would be the size of a speck of dust

If my neurons would expand to the size of the earth
Would I find myself at the level of continents, rivers or trees?

If the veil is lifted and the cosmos exposed
Will weight disappear,
     and matter and I,
                    become undistinguishable?

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.