“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

And I have come to see that–at least for me–poetry without ethics, or maybe a life without humility, or maybe a self suffocating in its own husk, trapped within its own accreted hair-and-keratin secretions–this is dead, locked beneath the ice at the bottom of its own hell:

“the shades were wholly covered,
showing through like bits of straw in glass.”

What is this deadness? Because I do believe also that nothing is dead at all–that every single thing is, as DFW said, “on fire with the same force that made the stars.” Yes, so what is this deadness? It is a green plant in a lightless cave. It feels like doom, feels not cold but dry, as though God/love were the deepest, most refreshing drink–was the source of all refreshment, the satisfaction of every hunger–and not just of a glycemic shortage but also of a nutritional deficiency–the provenance of all the proteins and vitamins one could need in their most infinitely bioavailable form. And so faith without works is starved, sterben, dead.

I have started to doubt whether there is such a thing as absurdity, and the idea of nihilism has begun to make me laugh. It is not that I feel comfortable in big old God’s arms suddenly or something, it’s just that whenever and wherever whatever the fuck is going on goes on, there is consciousness, never not giving a fuck. Perhaps I misunderstand, but how does an absurdist or nihilist feel they could recognize meaning if they saw it unless they have seen it before? And if they saw it once before, when could they have stopped seeing it?

Examine your emotions about things. And don’t go into examining your feelings feeling obligated to keep feeling the way you currently do. It’s okay. Whatever it turns out that you truly feel–if it is meaningful to talk about such things–it’s okay. It will be okay. Because the truth of your feelings, whatever they are when you examine them more deeply, whatever angle you can find to pull out a way to view the world as refracted a different way, that’s true too. It’s all true. Whatever you feel, you feel. If it resonates, it probably was sort of with you even before you–and this is what I mean by “discovering what you really feel” or what your “true feelings” are–it’s not that it was exactly as it is when you discover it and put words (or even a pre-linguistic yet real conceptual network-model of something)–that is the moment that we call discovering your “true feelings” or at least “truer” feelings–but anyway, no, not that it’s that you felt whatever that is all along–it’s that that thing has grown out of something you were feeling, and it was embryonic in the thing, or at least existed within the system of the thing that gave rise to it. So your feelings are old and they run along, and you actually don’t stop feeling a single thing, did you know that? it all fits into your consciousness somehow, even if it’s your subconscious, it’s all always there, folded just right–it all folds together into one thing, which is your brain, and you–that is, the monitoring conscious orderly more systematized machine in you as well as all the unsorted soup of other perceptions you are feeling that “you” (that is, that machine) haven’t yet discovered and incorporated into your analytic compulsively-theoretizing model-building Pavlovian systematizing-thinking-about system/model about those facets/scenes of the everything-you-know-about. see, you know about places and you know about people and all of the things you know about are your model of the world, installed Pavlovianly as well as consciously and abstractly–the other things that you do indeed feel and are successfully lying to yourself about. all of the other stuff–and there’s a lot of it–is indeed something that you do feel even if “you” can’t for the life of “you” figure out what’s bothering you. you feel it all, all the time. “you” find all sorts of ways to miss something. “you” continue to miss things you are thinking and feeling that “you” have never discovered. but it’s all always there, however it works, whatever it is,
yes, even living a very normal life where one lives according to a script and is far from fully present for most of one’s life, what a fucking phenomenon each human is. so many things noticed, processed, a ballet of obedience. you are an animal. you are not a computer. don’t be deceived by your computer-like efficiency–some part of you is perceptually doing the doing and feeling the feeling of each and every one of your noticings. you have an emotion about every fucking pixel of your vision, each hertz of pitch of every noise you hear, you have an emotion. it’s all got emotions attached to it. you feel everything. we’re paying a lot of attention to a lot of things, and every jot of that gets reacted to in you, even if “automatically,” you do indeed do the reaction, and perhaps more important you do indeed feel the doing of it, but “you” don’t notice it. and that’s a lot of fucking perceptual experience that we don’t usually acknowledge that we feel–but we do feel it all.

What is laziness?

What is possessiveness?

To some extent, all thought is deceitful–or is deceit. Meditation is.a way of apprenhending–that is, of perceiving and being so totally present to something that one does indeed grok it. Or rather, it is an apprenhension like none other in which no thing is grokked and yet apprehension occurs.

So meditate and give yourself a break from something otherwise totally incessant.

What if anything is it to deceive oneself? Is there or can there be an art or science or practice or gaining-an-understanding-of how to avoid deceiving oneself?

You have the same face as everyone–everything in the universe has the same face. The same pattern is repeated everywhere. It is all God’s face. The whole universe–the universe at every point at every scale in every location–is the pupil/ear/sense-nerve and the formless mind/sensitivity that lies behind it/the infinitely-complexly-formed pattern of complexities it feeds into, that is all of our faces–the shape of the universe as a whole. That is what all faces resemble and that is what all minds resemble and it fractal-like resembles itself on every level. The only everything there could be. Perhaps the only way nothing could fail to have existed is if somehow everything existed instead. What would it mean to say that literally everything existed, even things that seem logically contradictory or logically ridiculous? What if it happened that the only structure that could ever have existed in the first place is what is–and it is–the case, a situation of simultaneously all-forms and no-form? The world seems seeded with such amazing potential–shit, since we are only a very complicated math problem and since Russell successfully proved numbers from groups, we are implicit in the logical laws. So even before spacetime there is the separator–the knower, the mind, the decider, the one and only intellect, the one and only discernment in the universe, and from this, which is consciousness, which is all-form and no-form, the distinctionless/all-distincted mind-spirit-deitude-consciousness distinction-drawer, is the only possible shape because it is the one thing which is also all the possible shapes and the fact of their possibility. All one thing which is also no thing which is also the clear void, the no-thing. The only thing which is completely and utterly true and false.

To some extent all thought is deceit, but if we are god and can make what we imagine come true, what is deceit?

Is it meaningful to speak of god as innocent or pure?

What is complicatedness?

What is it to speak of someone’s complicatedness?

Meaningful to say, “How could there be anything wrong with you–you’re God?”

Reminded now of [xxxx] saying, “Of course, there’s nothing right with you either.” Got to ask her about this.

Human beings are tornados, a whirling of unending change around the empty center, the pupil, the mind.

There are only empty centers in the universe because there are no centers in real life because it’s all only loci, not real shapes, besides the one and only all-shape/shapeless-nothing/bright void there is.

On how I have been helped to change my whole life for the better

I want to convince all the left-leaning middle and upper middle class white (or otherwise privileged) young people in this country to get into feminism, antiracism, secular spirituality/ethics, and activism–because I believe this is the only thing (besides raising a child or a very very sincere devotion to, say, art or science) that will cure them of a profound anxiety/neurosis/malaise I believe most of them feel–and, as bell hooks suggested, go “door to door passing out literature, taking the time (as do religious groups) to explain to people what feminism [and antidiscrimination and anticapitalism] is about.”

What is this malaise? If it’s not obvious, I’m speaking from personal experience. I looked for a long time for something I could unreservedly give my all to, but found that art for art’s sake came to seem empty and unnourishing and isolating to me. I was looking for liberation all along, but could not see through my privilege and so could not identify clearly what had constricted me. Now I see that I had fallen for the trap of consumerism/materialism after all, focusing endlessly on texts (a consumable item) instead of on people/souls. I believe that the mainstream model of success is so exclusively focused on material prosperity and material consumption that it is devoid of psychological nourishment–devoid of community, of a sincerely ethical life, and of spirituality. I believe most of all that it forces people to hide or disfigure the majority of what they are, and to only express what they ARE allowed to express in a way that is dishonest in some way. I believe that, like a poison, ironic self-deprecation and a feeling that one is in some way a fraud has seeped into our souls.

And so the only cure I know is the one that worked for me: to check my privilege, to seek to become a genuinely good and humble person, and to find something to devote my life to that I really CAN give my whole self to. I no longer feel like a fraud, no longer feel secretly superior and therefore secretly inferior. To paraphrase David Graeber, in the game of Babylon/imperialist capitalist white supremacist patriarchy, even the prize the winners receive is bad. I will happily spend the rest of my life trying to return this prize so I can get my soul back. I can’t tell you how infinitely grateful I am for the opportunity to do so.

Similar to this, I’ll include here something I wrote the other day:

When people seek to be cool–seek to be esteemed and find themselves estimable–the only thing that really makes sense to do is to become a genuinely good person. Anything else is hollow. DFW says this in “This Is Water”–how whatever in you you worship will leave you empty, feeling like a fraud. The only way to feel others have an airtight, totally understandable, respectable reason to like you is if you yourself have such a reason–and the only qualities that one can possess that satisfy that requirement are ones that one can admire regardless of where one finds them, whether in another or in oneself. And the only ones like that that I can think of are virtues like compassion, kindness, patience, humility, and so on.