June 2009

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Some aspect of my being seems to force me to identify my self with all the less fortunate, the downtrodden, the down and outers. It’s not pity. I feel no more sorry for them than I do for myself. I experience ten minutes of dripping pity once in a while, but I cannot sustain the feelings of weakness which pity arouses in me. I have no right to feel sorry for, to pity…

To feel pity is to have bought a particular vision of their being victims of a world’s madness; to be mourned…while still alive.

To feel pity is to have abandoned compassion, to have steeled my self against the possibility of being the object of pity, by thinking my self into some more exalted position – but still on an axis where pity reigns. Yet I see my self as all those others: maimed, hurt, dying; spurned for what they are or who they are not. I end up feeling bad that I am not one of them, whoever that might be.

Compassion? Perhaps. Maybe a pity gone wrong, I can tell my self that I am no longer alive. Or a sense of humanity, a sense of identity with all that is life, whatever tomorrow will bring. The future will… (Nietzsche’s: Antichrist)

late shadow talking loud, photo by zen

Sitting here: writing, listening to the music of the organ, thinking, believing that I think life’s important thoughts. Teaching: a telling from the erstwhile possessor of knowing what there is of knowledge, to some set of eager students whose self-pleasing is to please or placate me. Reading: all of history’s greatest thinkers who have survived in writing, studying style, criticizing from this today all of the ideas of the all of time. Observing: seeing what others have seen and seeing through what I have been taught to see. All of these: I tell my self how wonderful is knowing, and knowing that I know.

My arrogance untested, my sense of power sails to heights beyond.  Nothing can stop me now! It is as if I have condensed all of life’s experiences into reading what I please and what pleases me…observing my self observing.

Too easy. Self-serving.  Aggrandizing. Suspicious.

That which I do not read is that which I cannot understand: that which I do read is that which I already know.

Wary: of becoming my own self’s teacher, now full circle, life a mere celebration of power’s exaltation.

It came swiftly and with a harshness I have grown to expect. “Don’t you believe in change, in making things better?,” I was asked with a rhetorical twist of lemon so sour it curled upon itself with three dots trailing, dripping some mix of blood and venom.

“Why do you take us to the edges of the issues, purifying them beyond belief and being, beyond any possible doing?,” I was asked. “Do you espouse the way the world is?,” two of them joined in the accusation which a joining of minds heightened to a pitch which humans can barely hear but twitches at the skin’s ends vibrating with a sharpness which cuts.

I replied that I tried to make them think beyond experience, deeper than they had imagined; that if they didn’t want to study with a teacher, why not go their own way and not attack the idea of teaching and of the teacher. Why did they think that when I tried to overdraw a situation, to describe it that they will look at it critically to see if I saw what is there, that they can begin to see beyond their current beliefs, that I do not think that what is, is what should be.

“Qualify what you see and what you say, that we know what you really believe,” I was told.  I replied that my being there, my instancing myself, was the best I could do to exemplify who I am, what I say and do.

To provoke their questions, in or out of passion or anger, was to promote their seeking, their being students of their own worlds. Against teachers, against teaching, they wanted me to tell them just what I thought.  I, reflecting upon how Nietzsche was misunderstood in spite of qualifying, stood my ground as a teacher who would try to get them to think, to study, to inquire…

Some yearning to be beyond the whatever is; an abandonment of my being, of body, of life, to be outside to be the ideal of my own imagination; to take my seeing, hearing, feeling, that which I am and do, and wish them to be my imagination’s creation, that I can go beyond being…and still be. Wishing to be…my own God; that that God be me?

Instead, why not push my being, extend the senses of each sense, rather than abandoning  being to some imagination about it?  A musician’s discipline – each and every day – to begin the study again as if it were new, fresh. Start slowly. Try for an extended evenness beyond the suddenness of everyday life. Faster: see faster, hear faster, just beyond yesterday’s doing, just beyond what (I think) I can do. Softer:  less pressure, less tension, less… Hear: now, first, in my hearing imagination, the clearest, loveliest, fullest, most musical of all sounds; to be matched in the doing. Each sound beyond, above yesterday’s, yet within the senses of my senses.

More, because I am now more, my senses extended and extending the limits of being. What were fanciful wishes are extended and recreated in today’s doing. No longer abandoning doing to something extra-sensory, some wistful wishes that the world were something other; but becoming the self that creates more, in its own being.

From Plato to Toilet Training: I attempt to bridge the gap, says J.

From the removal of the mind from the body…which we are, we have misplaced the senses of our being;

Lost: the directions of life as the bowels only, merely excrete, and the  mind is thought to be the true basis of what and who we are.

Those who seek the light also seek the cleanliest of air so they neither see nor smell what problems and possibilities lurk within the actualities of the bowels’ being and moving our lives each day.

But – I tell my self – neither one without the other: no air, no light, the bowels of life’s chemistry extract the nutrition from what we understand as food and sustenance, leaving what’s left to be deposited, matured, half-rotted and stinking wherever we squat; formed into senses of wholeness that leave us at our pleasure and disposal. What stink, what stench that we ban it from our thinking of our being? So far from the mind’s eye where we now tell us we see and hear and think thoughts, cleansed, smelling good so we may yet taste them and not become ill from our own excretions. The body: what we are, all we are…the mind is some story about the body? (Nietzsche)

What knowledge packed into self-training that I move breath and muscles so they move themselves, extracting nutrition and energy and life’s blood?

What dialogue, what symposium, what theory of being and doing; what view from bowels’ bowels?