Snow, like white feathers,
Sitting in my old warm car,
I hate outside work
Snow, like white feathers,
Sitting in my old warm car,
I hate outside work
When the time comes for honor to vanish and eloquence to fade; for men’s dusty glorious banners to tear away from their posts and blow uselessly around in the tepid air, then will the mortals have won with their unrelentless attacks on humanity’s foundation, and all will return to a morbid state of nature to rejoin the grey origins of the past.
But that time is not now, and the day of it’s reckoning has not yet been written.
It is curious to think that all that life has fought for in this inhospitable, opposed construct of chaotic forces and matter will be denied it’s full fruition from the very entity that exposed it to existence. We have brought randomness into symphonies of complexity. We built ourselves out of mere floating dust particles to achieve singularities so bright with meaning that they defied their own constituents that they were made from.
Wild hope and ambitions took their place to confront their seemingly impenetrable prisons until the walls were crushed with pure will.
Alas, it was this very will, this volition of life that will one day destroy itself. With no more true enemies to confront, fear and hatred, coupled with our will has begun to fight itself. We are warriors with no foes, and so, since we must vanquish and destroy, we will do so to ourselves.
I have bourne witness to these events in my perpetual solitude, my spirit unswayed and unlured by the false fantasies presented in the passing moments of eternity. But now the old gods come to me and entreat me to allow myself to be their vessel, and I have agreed with much carelessness. I drink of their essence, and do their bidding in exchange for nothing but the promise of more ineffable knowledge.
There is one goddess who wishes not to entreat me. Her hair and eyes blaze with the sun’s unbridled light, and her lips speak nothing but wisdom and peace. She takes her place among the mortals, tied to them with the karmic rope of compassion. And in her kindness she has blinded her mortal body to the awareness of her true nature. She is Freya, and she has warmed my stone of a heart so that I can now hear the calls of the innocents and respond with pity and empathy. I am hers, entirely; I willingly bonded my soul with hers aeons ago. To her I owe everything, and it is with her that I place my hope. She is my refuge and my praeturnatural lover.
Humanities and the Hard Sciences
The assumption I’ve always had about the humanities and the hard and natural sciences is that they are two disciplines attempting to outgrow one another – two branches of the tree of knowledge pushing out in opposite directions, both bearing fruit of different varieties. The connections between the two are evident to the learned and unlearned alike, but this obviousness is illusory for both because what is obvious to the former is not congruent to what is obvious to the latter (However I am certain a line of tangency connects the two). My own path deviates in a practical nature from the obvious into the ineffable state of contradictory monist interpretation. The infighting of creativity and psychopathic intellectualism appears the same to me because I overthrow mutual exclusivity with what I will call here ‘awareness.’ Ego will be limited as a consequence, and truth reawakened through the opaque film of errant perception. The ego that remains builds, for me, an attitude of indifference towards the humanities and a special attachment for the hard sciences. One must cut their losses and accept the wrongs in this pluralistic world; one must accept the frailty of the human mind. Nevertheless I will expound the reasons behind my individual closeness and affinity towards the hard sciences.
The humanities will not be studied in any rigorous effort, because I believe that by their very nature they require none. All they require is the knowledge of their basic systematic order, and from this one can reiterate in different types their qualities.
To study Yates or Poe, or abstract expressionism as a discipline is a hindrance – one must use them to inspire oneself to complete what they have started, but there is no absolute quality or truth to them (in and of themselves) that would require a meticulous and thorough examination of them. The hard sciences however, relinquish circular mental effort and retain the dignity, precision, and absoluteness of truth. Their work requires a deep understanding of all the mechanisms involved because without it one cannot proceed further with the endeavors they inspire. One must first learn arithmetic to grasp algebra before then understanding discrete mathematics and calculus and number theory. One must read a few passages here and there from John Milton to create something sublime that may or may not build on Milton’s work directly. The humanities are an ever-changing melting pot of creativity; one can start anywhere and add to it. The hard sciences are a structure of bricks laid on top of one another, and one must know the places of the bricks to add another meaningful layer on top of them.
The blinking of one’s eyes tells much of its owner; in fact in the eternity of my age I have come to regard it as a great sign of the width and breadth of one’s character. But ah! I seemed to have started in on a subject that may appear strange to you, and without properly introducing myself – both flaws I admit to readily, and excuse just as readily on account of my years. Both my own age and the age of men are coming to an end. Our declines spiral downwards at steady and simultaneous rates. My death will signify the demise of men; the time of wisdom and deceit, richness and spirituality, is at its conclusion. Progression of time is a tricky thing, and since I haven’t kept track, being preoccupied with other studies and practice, I can only approximate my life on this planet to near six hundred years – does it surprise you? It should not. Stranger things have occurred in this world than an unusually long life. Perhaps among the experiences of your own existence you can ferret out a past memory that was long forgotten because it did not fit tidily with your sensible worldview where nothing too out of the ordinary happens, but will now be drug up and perceived with new eyes. This is an especial hope of mine: that my words will announce the dawning of remembrance for you before everything comes crashing down and humanity is obliterated.
But so much for formal introductions. I’m afraid my frailty would not endure one. And anyway, formal introductions by their own nature require names, and I’ve forgotten mine through the decades. Though sometimes when I’m out in the forest, going for a walk to soothe my tired mind, I think I hear it whispered among the rocks beneath my feet. It is as if I walk a river of grey stones that gush forth before me and gurgle indecipherable words, dripping and splashing with memories long lost in time. So it is sometimes with me: I have reached an age where most of my memories sprawl deep, hidden safe within the thickness of tree trunks and greenness of grass; percolated from my mind to form new connections with myself and nature. But make no mistake – this was my goal: to embrace the profundity of earth and contemplate its vastness until ultimately I will no longer know where it begins and I end.
As the seasons change, so do I. My skin is cold and fresh and covered with dew in the spring. My beard turns from brown in the fall to snowy white in the winter, when my breath blows frost. The rhythm of the world beats in my heart and the stars shine bright in my eyes. Oh, that I had just a little more time to enjoy this union – to sing forth the comings of night and days, and quake and blow and rain with each step. But such is not to be had. ‘Fate goes ever as it will,’ and I with it. My exalted moon and sun darken even now, and my soul becomes restless in great expectation.
So listen then, with an open ear to my words. I spoke at first of the character of men – the representation of life’s greatest failures! Man is a crucifixion of God and Animal. He will never be one or the other, nor a dialectic of the two. He was destined from the start to be both, a contradiction self-contained in physical form. A torturous existence, one that is escapable exclusively by intellectual and moral sanity and death. Pity yourself, therefore, and weep. But let there be a smile that creeps beneath the tears also, because know that soon it will all be over. It is strange to think of it. Even I cannot see beyond the great Destruction; my foresight stops of a sudden and all turns black. I do not know if it is because time itself folds in and I thus peer into an infinite regress of shadow, or if there will come a day of rebuilding and it is too far away in the future to see. I myself am not a man, though it is possible I was born of them – I do not remember. Some of my features and attributes resemble those of a man. I can speak in their tongue when I wish to. I experience emotion, though not of the same variety. I can shape myself almost like them. But my preference is to the trees and riverbeds; when night appears I become a silhouette, a cloak to roam and lose myself in dark refrain. In the day I am a shimmering refraction in a drop of water, a glint.
Men’s eyes.. watch them closely, listener. Study them and see their eyelid’s movements. Perhaps you will see a discernable pattern that mirrors their character. I have not said enough, but I grow tired of speech and must yield to the forces of nature and absolve this body. I have a brother. At least, we call each other such. His path is much different than mine – you will learn from him. He, also, is unbearably burdened with age. A lover of knowledge, he has attained much of it. I must go now.
My brother’s speech, it appears, has tired you – you have a stern look about you. I hope he hasn’t worried you into a frenzy. I can assure you the destruction of men has not come, nor do I think it ever will. My brother is right about one thing, however: this planet will not be here much longer. And unlike my brother I can tell you the exact date and time at which this will occur. But this I will not tell you – you cannot know. To tell you would be the cruelest thing I could do, for you would count the minutes until the very end.
That he despises mankind and waves off their achievements as trivial is a fact whose cause I can’t ascertain, but only guess. But I do know why he has chosen the path of nature and strayed from the path of logic and reason. He cannot remember his or my own origins; he has forfeited his own memories for that of the world’s. So be it. As for me, I can remember. He and I are not six hundred years old, nor even one thousand. We were born of a Pictish tribe in the 900s B.C. Our fathers were pagans, druids, and witches, and so were we. Although both he and I studied druidism, my pursuit of it was purely intellectual, while he practiced it and soon knew nothing else. By and by he became capable of what most would call extraordinary feats, and all in our clan was amazed. He could converse with animals, shape shift into myriad forms and tell the future accurately through such geomantic acts as looking at the play of shadows caused by leaves blowing in the wind. I remember a strong lust for knowledge was present in me then – the same gnawing desire I still experience today. It was this same desire that eventually forced me to abandon my clan and leave Ireland by boat to England. My studies there continued with fervor in a small cabin overlooking the western coast. I found many secrets there, things unknowable to most men. Among them was the means to cheat death. Not indefinitely you see – no, no – as you can easily discern I am dying – but long enough. Long enough to compile my work: all my knowledge of everything there is to be known. I received word that my brother had one night vanished and was never seen by our clan again. But I realized he was still among us, unnoticed like a faint breeze on your neck. And so we have both lived now into the 21st century A.D., over 2900 years, albeit by different methods.
As part of an attempt to ressurrect this blog for the sake of seeing something once loved verified and reanimated, I thought it appropriate to start with this poem, written around 2009. I can’t give much in this prefatory note; I know very little about the circumstances of its creation. Only that back then I was caught up in passions and violent emotions dipped in the flavor of young love, tempered slightly with aggression. I was in a tumultuous relationship with my then wife, Nicole. It may be therefore an expression of the angst from frustrated adoration.
It’s short in content; it may be entirely possible to read it straight through without having ascertained its meaning. See for yourself.
Winter’s Black Decay
In winter’s black decay
Rise sheltered roses that hide in day.
Their sensitive petals unfurl and spread
Giving off luminosity, bright and red.
And through the darkened skies above
Shine tender sunlit rays of love
That penetrate the thick cold air
And soak with warmth these frail flowers fair.
During mediation, I experienced a fundamental truth about concentration; I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, staring at a small point on the wall in front of me, willing myself to keep concentration on that spot without breaking attention.
At first the attributes of the speck on the wall I was gazing at became very important: about 4-5 of its basic attributes were trying to be kept simultaneously in my consciousness. But I found that way of fixing my attention on the spot start to fade and be replaced effortless and easily into a quite different modality of concentration. The 4-5 aspects of that spot (its color, shape, size, material) began to all merge somehow into a homogeneous mixture so that they were all still being consciously perceived, but no longer as distinct attributes – now as one meta-attribute.
When this change occurred, my mind was then free to examine other elements of my attention. Although the spot was still a focal point of my efforts, the melding of its clear, defined properties into a uniform whole allowed other features of my scrutiny to reveal themselves.
Although the experience itself was subjective and its implications anecdotal, I believe the qualities it exhibited as more objective, inasmuch as they seemed ubiquitous in quiddity. The other components that became apparent after the shift in comprehension of the speck were, among other things, the space that inhabited the distance between my eyes and the the wall, which was now prominent in my view, and exhibiting qualities of a circular cone in dimension, with the wide mouth open on my side and the point aligned directly with the original dot. I also perceived lines of demarcation of the cone of vision, represented by different intensities of light that lined the edge of the cone. Awareness of movement within and on the edge of the cone of vision was also present – myriad small squiggles that few across the lines haphazardly and frantically, small fractal patterns of light appearing and disappearing on different levels of space in the 3-dimensional space. It was really quite beautiful and instilled a feeling of profundity in myself.
Because this secondary quality of concentration materialized organically and meaningfully in spirit, and because I couldn’t not categorize this second reality of experience as a variety of concentration that was just as important in the concentration of a single spot, I decided to momentarily reset my awareness by looking away and allowing normal thoughts to arise, essentially stopping my meditative state in order to reinitialize it for another experimental run.
The second time I focused on a small spot on the wall (a different one entirely this time) I found the same sequence of experiential events occurred in relatively the same amount of time and natural development it had executed last attempt. To me, this helped confirm my hypothesis that this shift in type and level of concentration was not only a normal, modal development, but also put weight to my hypothesis that the attributes of the conversion and of the resultant state of concentration were objective properties that emerged out of a subjective experience. I am sadly unversed in knowledge of prior philosophical work on the mechanisms in play and processes that allow objectivity to exist significantly within personal subjectivity. Objective truths can be proven or falsified – I believe the secondary shift of concentration can be proven to exist within this field of subjective experience produced by meditation through analysis of a population of subjects that purposely engage in focused examination of a single point and report any developments afterward, if anything. That data can be gathered through a simple survey.
It’s important to note that there may be inessential deviations from my experience such as minor differences in content of the concomitant transformation in type of attention, the fundamental nature of both the shift and experience of perception will, I think, be proven empirical.
A bold statement, I know. Many reading this may scoff at my Aristotelian approach toward attaining truth. To them I acknowledge the lack of empirical energy and overreach into the metaphysical with no great persuasion for this technique of acquiring knowledge – only stating that I am resting on the powerful beauty and meaning of this experience.
This is an imaginary essay that a philosopher of the 19th century would write.
The man of low, or what we shall call here not only to preserve the conventions of propriety and formality, but as a well-meaning gesture of understanding for him, normal, intelligence, has much difficulty engaging some of the more rarified mental faculties that are necessary precursors to singular thought and idea. To this man, then, engagement defines itself as the primary function that precipitates deep thinking.
The genius, on the other hand, is forever in the predicament of attempting to disengage various problematic faculties of the mind that deluge him and thus render focused attention unattainable. Once disengagement has occurred, the genius is granted a respite from the blur of thoughts and is able to focus the power of his intellect on save one or two.
And while the man of normal capacity of intellect takes a simple pleasure from overt display of a self-formulated answer to a problem that, more often than not is of a practical nature, the genius is distinguished by finding much joy in the process itself of unraveling and dissecting a conundrum, even if, it is emphasized, the end result is not an answer readily perceived as concrete, reasonable, and exclusive.
These two, then, are the main, but sometimes innocuous differences between the ordinary thinker and the savant. But what of the similarities? What traits of mental and emotional character instance themselves in these two ostensibly different men? This question requires a detailed look into the lives of each.
Certainly, the genius would argue in unequivocal terms that he is an island, would try to isolate himself as much as possible not just from the average man, but from all other evidenced genius. Not only does he despise the mundane and, what he perceives to be, the superficial, it is justifiable to say that he resents the presence of novelty not directly evinced by himself. He seeks the state of “Nietche’s Ubermann” – the elusive transcendental qualities of perfect self-sufficiency and self-mastery.
And indeed, it is a fact that he will usually lead a life of social reclusion, quitting much of the possibility for friendship so as to better align himself with the arts and sciences, and with his work. This foregoing of potential happiness derived from social contact is a solid testimony to his will and constitution, for no one can deny the suffering and confusion that must necessarily accompany a life of solitude. Even the aforementioned joy the genius partakes of by virtue of his intellectual pursuits cannot provide him refuge from the inevitable tides of Loneliness and Depression that rise ever higher as he progresses in his craft.
All his works are tragic labors of love, to the discerning observer. They represent the horrendous agony, the sea of tears, the incalcuble number of hours in which he has spent starving himself emotionally and physically to create the sublime.
That he is consumed utterly by the demands of his vocation should go without saying, yet is not widely understood, I think, how this almost preternatural consuming nature of his work transforms him, bit by bit, into a human of extreme depravity and madness.
He sacrifices all, and in the end, himself, on the altar of his ideals. To see an example of this we must hardly look further than the most obvious and well-known of painters, Van Gogh, who in his unbowed earnestness for the absolute, relinquished his ear fearlessly, cutting it eagerly from his body. There is no forfeiture too great, no task he is unwilling to do in the name of the enlightenment of the mind.
In his final stage, the genius is by most accounts no longer human. His work has so obscured any other interest or habit of mind that it is impossible for him to act in anyway unnatural to it. Misery, happiness, ennui, all no longer hold meaning for him as relative contextual entities, and thus only affect him in the form of an impetus to work longer hours, to eat and sleep less, etc. He will feed off these emotions in the same manner that a sportsman will harness nervous pressure to excel at his game.
Now that we have acquainted ourselves lightly with the life of a genius, such as it is, we will move on swiftly to bring the life of an ordinary man under scrutiny, and so have a better framework of knowledge in our employ to correctly identify the similarities between them.
Unlike the obsessive and self-destructive nature peculiar to the man possessed of much intellectual wealth, the ordinary man embodies a rational and cautious temperament.
He settles comfortably enough among life’s quaint trivialities, and as a consequence of his simplicity, allows himself to be blown freely by fate, passion, and circumstance. His worries are practical, and his ethos unremarkable in style. Yet if he were to struggle determinedly against instances of willful malfeasance, resolving to abide by the universal laws of kindness, how can we say that his time on earth was any less beautiful than the tragic days spent by the genius? For the average man has more space around him to move gracefully and effortlessly, if he so chooses.
The subtle scent of a rose many not invoke awe or sense of mystery; the unseen pattern an ant makes with its movements on the earth beneath his feet may escape attention; he will certainly never know the rapture and intensity of solving a differential equation of Calculus. Yet because he is so empty, his body can more easily be filled like a vessel with the ineffable understanding of God.
The men came to congregate tonight;
wearing faces of brave, rigid skin
that drew taught over their flacid jaw bones,
and furrowed, worried brows that crinkled heavily
and buried the gentle glowing eyes they had deep
To the point where their vision
lacked seeing, and their tongues could not
speak with such strong burden.
Inside their fragile organs cried the
collective song of sorrow;
a song unbearably inaudible through
their tough exterior.
Nothing could be said, nothing could be
And yet, they rushed together in tides
so harmonious and full of intent
that one looking on would be amazed at
their order and unity of work.
The moon hung in the sky above, swinging
a slow rhythm to their movements below.
They swept through plains of darkness and
shadow, their determination creating a palpable
wave of sadness, so that it seemed the very
atmosphere they breathed out was misty with
All through the endless night they tirelessly worked –
hands deftly weaving, building, creating,
No rests were taken, no respite
was given, and no words were spoken.
Mortle and pistle was mixed with the
blood from their bodies, and stuck bricks
together, one on top of each other to form
an endlessly high wall that ran for miles
in every direction, surrounding them and sheltering
them a cove of black regress. Time and
movement fell away and no one
could any longer discern objects from
observers, good from bad, love from
hate, truth from falsehood.
And so the great city was fortified and rose
up from the dust where the men could live
without living, and recline into a pose of