“If you understand, things are the way they are; if you do not understand, things are the way they are.”
— Zen Buddhist proverb
Ecce homo—I, Myself, in the flesh, rambling on:
Hopefully I can leave all this to posterity. Hell, maybe I’ll even die happily.
I don’t know. I just bide my time waiting on the end of everything. I also regularly attempt to out-sleep this apocalypse.
I’m a cognitive dissident—a wayfarer of the imagination. My thoughts stretch, sometimes in mere minutes, from what I plan to put on a sandwich; or how I’m going to deal with a blown head gasket in my ancient Subaru; to whether humanity will be replaced by a global mind; or whether Cioran was right and philosophy is all just a bunch of bullshit banalities and death is the only “true” reality; or if, and finally when, that massive reservoir of methane locked up in the Arctic is going to blow and send the world to hell.
I, like you, like everyone, live the dual life of, one one hand, an individual—eating, sleeping, crapping, crying, with interests and opinions and embarrassing medical conditions—being a microcosm of a seemingly inscrutable Continuum; and, on the other hand, that Continuum itself, present as the man, myself, in the flesh, attempting to reunite, by whatever art, by whatever means, with what we might call the numinous, or “Sacred”.
I guess that that, among other things, makes me an “unconventional” person… But how to describe that? I often feel as if I’m a volunteer iconoclast, that I’m onto something profound, and profoundly disrupting, when, and if, I decide to pursue it; as if I’m some kind of half-baked mystagogue whose “mysteries”, though at first appearing transcendent, end up amounting, in the end, to a rehashing of the same old “wisdom” many of us have already intuited. Thus I find myself couch-locked, near-catatonic, thinking and thinking and, when I’m done thinking (which doesn’t often happen), writing, and billing myself to the world as some sort of amateur philosopher with a serious ADHD problem, a mind which has never stopped, and will probably never stop, drifting—for better or worse.
I say this: that I devote myself to the wind, neither coming nor going. That’s all there is at the end of the day.
I like to think I’m passionate. I’ll admit I’m sometimes even obsessive: I’ve got a heart on fire and, it usually feels, a head screwed on backwards. I plunge headlong into things—concepts or topics or ideas—and get messy. I try to temper my passion with pragmatism, but that doesn’t always work.
I am a quite-possibly fruitless attempt at the everyman, philosophus and Fool (Card 0—variously XXII), a lover of fate—though strung up by my fears—a boiler room hierophant, and “world on wheels”.
I am, at once—I aspire to be—these two: an ever-transforming universalist and perennialist, seeking the interpenetration of the mundane and mystical; and a fiercely skeptical rationalist-evidentialist, testing by the capacities of the reasoning mind, however limited, the validity of all claims. One of my great goals—one of many life goals—is to reconcile, in whatever way I can, spirituality with reason; to find the common ground between philosophy, physics, logic, and metaphysics.
That is probably going to be the work of a lifetime, provided I don’t get hit by a car; fuck my liver; or perish, in the near term, in nuclear-climate-A.I.-Malthusian-nanotech-Yellowstone-solar flare-asteroid-whatever Armageddon.
On top of those perhaps-foolish, perhaps-pointless spiritual goals, I am a creative, or would-be creative—that is to say a writer, at least mainly, or until (if ever) I find some other, better outlet for my artistic and imaginative impulses. And yes, despite my often long-winded, self-reflective prose, through which I’m often effectively talking to myself, I am conscious of the threats of self-deception, pretension, and narcissism; despite running a blog, a.k.a. an echo chamber, and being an independent writer, I try to be mindful of my words to the extent that they are representations of my character and my views. In other words, I don’t want to come off as a conceited prick. I don’t like to smell my own farts. I have to try my hand at humility in the midst of self-promotion.
… What’s this all about, then? Hell if I know! We’re all born into a shining chaos, a wild and weird climb toward an impossible destination, at every turn another infinity, all fraught with calamity, absurdity, beauty, love, wisdom, pain, and bliss. Strange, strange, strange… and yet so much left to discover.
In my little slice of space and time I strive to be the ultimate eclectic—ambitious, though that may seem: I maintain a potential interest in everything, from soap dispensers to Scientology, straw wine to Wittgenstein. I believe in the primacy of contingency, and the virtues of self-appointed punditry, and so there will heretofore be little pattern or order. I jive with the ambiguous, unrelated and tangential. Granted, I have certain predilections.
I will keep moving, as it is.
More to the point:
I am a writer in various senses: a poet, editor (see The Drunken Llama), blogger, essayist, author of short stories, small-time journalist, and would-be novelist. While I maintain an endless variety of interests and enjoy writing at length about many topics, I am currently focusing most of my efforts on writing about religion (including mysticism and esotericism), spirituality, and philosophy; the arts; socio-political topics; and apocalyptic/environmental issues; as well as the areas in which these topics, studies, or disciplines intersect.
I humbly deem myself one lackadaisical author, homebody adventurer, and clownish seeker of spiritual experience, as well as an armchair revolutionary and otherwise a bullshit aficionado. (Poop-chute extraordinaire, Seinfeld devotee, and so on.)
… So, as it stands, I have no good sense of a pen name, and hide behind a series of titles, the most recent of which is “Vincent St. Clare”… Anyway, I have credited, or continue to credit, myself with the following appellations:
- Anāma—Anama, _a-n._ A.nāma “[m.] a’n” ([m.] anāma)
- Yūgen—Yugen, A. Yūgen, [A.] Yūgen, Anama Yugen
- Empty Sky—E. S., 虚空, Koku
- Vincent von Strauss—V.V. Strauss, V.v. Strauss
- Vincent St. Percival—V. St. Percival
- Vincent St. Clare—V. St. Clare
The Grand Tangent:
The Grand Tangent made its cyberspatial debut in 2014. It has since become a repository for my many impulsive writings, as well as a personal website where, as an admitted dilettante, I can catalogue my creative endeavors and miscellaneous doings. While, as the name suggests, this blog has no particular niche, I try to write a good deal on a few choice topics:
- The “inner life”: ideology, metaphysics, mysticism, the occult, paradigm, philosophy, praxis, religion, transcendence, utopia, spirituality, and so on.
- Aesthetics and the arts. Namely: film, literature and writing (whether novels, poetry, short stories, etc.), music, and visual arts.
- Environmental issues: apocalypse, climate change, consumerism, ecology, overpopulation, and so on.
To some degree you could call The Grand Tangent a selfish endeavor. I like to talk about my persuasions, aspirations, interests, flotsam, jetsam, dirty laundry… Though I live to write of the world in all its grandeur and minutia, its splendor and ugliness and peculiarity. I aim to discover and expose our collective illumination—born of everything and nothing at once.
So get hellbent on variety. One thing, all things, weasel their way into each moment. Just know that they’re subtle, and funny, and fickle—the idiosyncrasies of the universe. In any case, words, ironically, admittedly, fall short of reality. Nonetheless, I will do my best to carve out another little niche in the cosmos and the course of human events.
“… again and again the Veil has fallen upon the Holy of Holies… The many change and pass; the one remains.”
—Liber Porta Lucis
All works on this site are the sole property of V. St. Clare (“Empty Sky” and so on), and all requests to copy or modify any of these works must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the relevant contact form located on the CONTACT page of this website. Written permission to copy or modify any of these works may or may not be granted at the discretion of the owner.