November 2010

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Much of life’s “settling-down” is concerned with the sense that we know much about what is merely familiar.

The sun’s each day rising, the fall to sleep to dream, the ordinariness of my right hand’s writing – all deeply mysterious and puzzling – have disappeared into some illusions of familiarity.

What is usual or regular turned into a sense of pseudo-knowledge, telling me to tell myself I know something that I really do not know, or even understand very well.

About many things I think and trust – I know a fair amount. About some others – I puzzle. But many remain in some place of my knowing which have passed from puzzle to what I do and see every day, and occur… merely, with no notice.

How clear is my knowing; how do I remember to wonder about what has receded from any problematic, having entered those parts of mentality no longer in view of viewing?

How do I exercise, peruse what knowing I am and have, to reflect upon what knowledge is secure, and what is not so knowing, having passed into the illusions of familiarity?

I sometimes feel caught in the oddest wars.

My attempt to say who I am to others is confused with the same attempt to say who I am to myself.

Sometimes these are the same attempts: what arises in my life arises equally in my life with others: who I am and who they think I am.

But… take yesterday, for instance. Another person and I have to share a podium together in a few weeks. The subject of discussion is most interesting to me; and I have done a great deal of thinking about its problematic nature.

This subject is not so alive in my current being as it was once for an extended period. Yet the subject of discussion is mine in a certain sense, and it is me; from a time when I was somewhat more youthful; a time when I was both assaulted and assaulting, looking for truth or more complexity.

Now, bemused, I try to tell my companion who I am, and who I am not; or, who I was and was not.

The certainty: I am not anyone who he imagined I am.

Yesterday… trying to tell him what I thought and why: friendly, engaging, wondering, paranoid, hostile, amused, friendly – a progression I watched in him as I unfolded my tale.

And I? I remained a slightly anxious constant, retelling myself who I am, that I think… for the millionth time, to me. But this is the first time, that I am, to him.

I think I tell the story better now; so others might actually hear and understand it. But I am removed and distanced from earlier tellings and thinkings.

Here I am, still searching for new truths, telling an old story.

Life wants to reduce itself to two dimensions; or less. A picture imploding upon vision’s fickleness, wiping out each previous picture, vivid in its penetration into our mental processes. See it once, see it ten times, it is yours. It is you. Colors ensconce words which are highlighted or diminished around the ideas as images sear eyeballs like newly risen suns.

Events are reduced to the outlines of words which we call objects, state the real to be non-images. And here we are…loving images; they guide thinking, direct seeing to seeing each next image. Imagine! Vision tells us we want to remain in each present moment pushing pictures into some sense of memory which only vision can access.

The control, a theory of images once confined to the interpersonally, to the socially experienced – parents, teachers, searchers after wisdom – now moved to the self: the editor of moving pictures constructed into a thing, an event whose experienced time is constructed and viewed outside its own time. Images recorded to tell a story. A story: images constructed to form another kind of image, a story…a story seems to have more thickness, more duration, than momentary image. Memory…images. Being…images. The real…images?

Slipping into the solipsism in which every I is some string of images of my own creation, so I no longer search for those which inform, stuck in the delight with those that entertain, my mind is some supermarket of images reflecting only upon themselves in the mirror which is me.

My oft-times friend is deeply in debt. Oh, not in terms of money, or goods, or anything that simple. He is in debt to a series of others who got him out of some trouble, perceived, and got him to where he should’ve gotten anyway, if he had had the…patience, the steadiness of a steady-state mentality, if he weren’t always chasing the ghosts of lost and blown opportunities; if he weren’t so brilliantly arrogant and didn’t depend on others to steer his own world.

Alas, my friend is in debt: to others who structure his own path’s successes; to the yearning to be as great as greatness itself, without having to do the things he must do, and pay-off the debts to his own… history? And who can afford to work with someone who is, in each moment, having to shift his resources to pay the bill that seems due in just that moment?

Oh, my friend is in debt to his own eccentricity, to the teachers who taught him, who argued with him, but provided him no guidance for how to live the life they lived. In debt, he is, to all the centuries of great thoughts; in debt to concepts, and unable so far, to grasp the life, the living which will lift him out of his debts to all the others, and to live each day his own life.