Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Particle in the Universe

I hated my childhood and everything that remains of it. Surrounded by threatening figures as I was -- a harsh father and an intrusive mother -- I turned "artist" early on in order to manage them, through disappearance and transformation. I always held a hard, unforgiving view of my childhood, not at all tinged with nostalgia or pleasure, as though childhood were an obstacle course full of personal traps. I made it through, survived whatever my family could do to me. I feel I can say with assurance that my perceptions of myself and my world are an outgrowth of the traumas of overstimulation, loss, rejection, and neglect, although no one could have predicted precisely what turns that perception and world would have taken. I made myself into a reclusive shadow of a man, part of an invisible world of fantasy and vain hopes, a world different from that of other people.




In my writing I am like a gigantic vacuum, gathering in the methods and words of others and transforming them through my own unique experience. I have assimilated the use of memory associated with Proust into my own sense of time. I have assimilated Kafka's method of viewing the world through the eyes of a man without qualities; Freud's theories of the oedipal conflict, childhood sexuality, and unconscious, among others, are ripe ideas for me.

My angles of perception distance me from writers who remain unrelentingly object-oriented. My writings move toward abstraction as the crux of paradoxes and ambiguities. I, with my fierce internality, am an abstractionist both by temperament and development. I deny objects and depend on a personal reshaping of things into an almost Mondrian-like geometricality.

My philosophy of life is the philosophy of Sartre, of Nietzsche, of Kierkegaard.

Things as they exist in their nakedness have no essences, their existence is not confined by any words of explanation that we give them. The world of existence, of matters of fact have no connection with the world of words, reason, mathematics, and logic. Existence is not rational. There is no reason that things are as they are and not otherwise: There is no rational explanation as to why there is any world at all, rather than nothing.

I respond to the irrationality of existence with a sense of excitement, fear and nausea. As they were for Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Sartre, philosophies are for me not merely intellectual constructions or games, as they have come to be regarded by some types of contemporary philosophy. Philosophies are things we live by; they exercise a powerful effect upon human psychology and are a matter of life or death for the human spirit. And if it is true, contrary to the teaching of traditional philosophy, that nature has no rationality, and no order, is governed by no scientific laws and structured by no philosophic essences, then anything can happen in such a universe. A world in which essences do not fit existence and in which there are no necessary cause-effect relations, is a world without any structure--it falls apart and dissolves, and I myself dissolve along with it.

I am a shadow of a man, invisible and inert. I pass through time and space, unaffected by the affective bonds that tie other people together. I am an invisible particle in a meaningless universe, with no mass and no electric charge.

3 comments:

Evydense said...

Of Einstein, it has been said:

"You are a detached intellectual whose ideas, saved, will destroy the world."

and

"You are Einstein. You lead with your mind exploring the unknown and helping to invent the future of mankind."

Some days, I'm not sure if you're writing to re-confirm, and therefore strengthen, your detachment with existence lest you should lose it someday, or if you're the voice in the wilderness crying out for someone to at least hear, even if not to listen or understand.

I suspect our struggles, though quite different, are much the same. I've pledged to "let go" gently of those binds from the past. I've found it to be true that the first one was most difficult, nearly impossible. But, oh how much easier the trip is becoming as I familiarize myself with it more and more with each step. They're always there and always will be...I've just found a trunk (similar to the iron box you spoke of awhile ago) where I can examine each one then tuck it away in the memory trunk, knowing it's there if I ever need it again, but teaching myself not to have the need. The simple replacement of knowing I'll always have access to it (which gives me comfort in a twisted sort of way) but without having the added burden of always carrying it with me is sufficient to move on. I'm not suggesting this as therapy for you, but rather sharing a thought with a cyber-entity I've had coffee with a couple of times. To be alone, I've discovered, is to be within, not without.

Take care

Rick

peterquixote said...

yo dude, how goes the weather up there, hope things going quite well, well as can be, summer slowly closing out here,
best regards,

Anonymous said...

There may be no rational explanation as to why this is a world, but surely, there are irrational ones. The irrational ones are ok in a world that wants us to be so rational, logical, critical thinking.

Right now, the irrational reason for me might be so I can watch old Journey concerts on VH1 Classic.