dream

Out of the Blue and Into the Bullshit

“While All is in THE ALL, it is equally true that THE ALL is in ALL.”

Kybalion/”Three Initiates”

tribar

Tribar. (From Roz.at.)

I write things. Or so I strive. This is just another little happenstance that floats by, something else to tack on to the inexhaustible list of events and qualities that always have and will peel off of the pure and tepid fabric of existence, the baseline entirety. I’m not a determinist, per se, but I am fairly dramatic: I see the dots connecting and the hand being dealt on a level beyond brass tacks.

To be clear, I don’t think this should be taken as a pretentious view: it doesn’t make me ideal or idyllic or more metaphysically inclined than anyone else. In fact, I find it really levels the playing field. When you think the universe is just sitting there, waiting, in a single grain of sand, it’s really fairly humbling, in part because it doesn’t matter anyway. And thus anyone is capable of anything of equal importance. The empty glass can be filled and spilled over with any color you prefer.

What I can tell you, then, is that at some point, somewhere, everything fucking exploded.

I can tell you that I have perceived, and I have imagined, strange, perhaps unfalsifiable tangents, heart strings that tie together a lamp shade and George Bush, a mussel shell on the Outer Banks and a class B star in the Orion Nebula, gumballs and Saving Private Ryan, Hegelian ontology and R. Kelley, tantric Buddhism and puréed onions, briar pipes and two hours of jogging, the laws of thermodynamics and the air twenty centimeters to my left, all times and places and spaces colliding and combining, etc., etc., and so on and so forth, ad infinitum, ad absurdum, yada yada, lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, blah blah blah…

You could say this forms a major component of my point of departure, phenomenologically. Everything is not only contingent upon, but in some sense exists as everything else. (Cf. pratītyasamutpāda, Indra’s net, apophenia, et cetera.) And this is not limited to concrete objects: any universal foundation, I would assume, must also apply to abstractions and conceptualizations, or the world of ideas. (Sure, the thoughts you have sitting on the toilet at four in the morning aren’t real in the same sense as the shower curtain or the frozen pad Thai you had for dinner, earlier in the day—whence the toilet—but both are real in a more inclusive manner. The perceived and the conceived both exist, albeit in their own sorts of ways…) Between the lines there is not only interconnectivity and interdependence, but interpenetration as well. There is always present an element of “beyondness”, the tangibility of infinity and eternity, the sheer fact that nothing ends in and of itself: In a carrot, for instance, you can see the end of the universe. In Wahhabism you can glean its birth and burgeoning. In my conception of psychiatry and my thoughts regarding it yesterday, I, in some sense, experienced hypostatic union with a toasted bagel. The end, the telos (τέλος) is long dead, or never was.

I can make these claims, regardless of whether or not they are true. I can yet still make them, and put them here, whether they are apprehended or understood. It is clear, and I don’t deny, that in accordance with today’s consensus reality these statements have no rhyme or reason to impart. Maybe I come across as a connoisseur of tin-foil hats or a a farcical fuckup who decides, somehow, that disparate suchnesses can be strung together willy-nilly. It all sounds a little fuckin’ crazy, right? No, I don’t deny that.

But, at least as it has struck me, the world, on a very deep level, contains an unremitting, everlasting substratea paradox if ever there was onewhich binds all and all-within-all. This is not only a non-duality (as many Eastern traditions, as well as Western Neoplatonism and Hermeticism emphasize), but a non-differentiation. I won’t venture so far as to say I’m a pantheist or monist (as, in reality, this binding infinity would be infinitely transcendent of all [other] concepts, including itself)I don’t kiss ass for dead Spinoza or Plato or Plotinusbut perhaps there is a similarity in those lines of thought. (Cf. TaoThe Cloud of Unknowing, etc.)

Well, the Buddhists contend this is emptiness (śūnyatā), this [non?-]essence, this basis of possibility, this openness of [not-]being that I speak of, and a comparable opinion exists in Taoist philosophy, too.

…  But I’m digressing, anyway. And though digression is easily one of my favorite activities, and a possibility that exists only within a universe of unending potential and contingency, I will leave the ass-clench topic of nothingness for another long day.

Now take a u-turn: On the underbelly of everything, on the flip-side it’s all uncertainty. You go beyond the beyond and on and on and again, but at the spearpoint of maximalism everything inverts: You’re in the Cocytus of unknowability, a cold and blank epistemic darkness.

The fact of the matter is that nothing I say or have said is necessarily true. (De omnibus dubitandum est!) Nothing I publish here can be known with a one-hundred percent, full-proof, bona fide guarantee-or-your-money-back. There is no empirical salvation that comes to the fore like life-time warranties on new mattresses. I don’t care whether you suck up to science or philosophy, mysticism or religiosity or any other thing.

What we call “knowledge” is at most a close approximation, and at least an illusion. Anything and everything can be denied, and not only on the grounds that the senses are fallible, but that objects and experiences themselves may be equated with those phenomena which are normally not considered their contingents or co-existents. You can say that gravity exists, and for all intents and purposes this is true, practically speaking—we see the evidence for it everywhere we turn… or every time we fall—but on another level, a level in which things can be known beyond the shadow of a doubt, the shadow wins out. It blankets everything. If I can tell you that gravity is really the White House, a smartphone, a big dick or the postal service, why am I wrong? Because it doesn’t stand up to reason? What if all that straightforward, cerebral precision is but a false faculty that merely allots you some navigation amid an ultimate wrack and chaos? What if your reason, your clear-eye rationale… what if it all just amounts to good guesswork, utilitarian at very best? The noumenon extends infinitely beyond perception. Isn’t that what would really make for an ultimatum? Only without the observer can the observed begin to be; and yet without the observer there is nothing, it seems, to see. (Heh.) I guess this comes across as an uncompromising idealism, but I should mention, before you start accusing me of ass-kissing for -isms—and god forbid -ologies—that I don’t go the full length and breadth of any philosophy and come ashore to the so-called “truth”. I juggle with these ideas, and otherwise I get along more or less OK.

Now, on that note, the noumenon itself is also, however, possibility, inasmuch as a purely phenomenal world is. Both objective truth and unknowability stand on a wavering, unsettled spectrum of infinite uncertainty, the idea that, no matter how right you are, there is always some chance—even if infinitesimal—that you’re actually wrong: Let me clarify… there’s the chance that I’m wrong. There’s also the chance that you or I or that guy over there, sipping coffee with a concerned countenance—that we’re all wrong, or that one of us is right, even—imagine that!—or that we’re all right, and so on. (Cf. Anekantavada.) The issue, then, is not who is correct or otherwise, a straight empiricist or outright bullshitter of the highest order, but the chance itself, the moment of “truth” yielding to eternity.

You know, the Greek philosopher Arcesilaus seems to have put it well: “Nothing is certain, not even this.” … I really want to avoid any tendentious inclinations here, but I’ve got a soft that quote in particular. (Cf. Pyrrhonism, philosophical skepticism, etc.) Not to mention spanikopita…

Now there are more seasoned (note: real) philosophers that would counter this contention. But all of their notions rely on previously established truths in order to function. (Cf.  Sartre and Being and Nothingness.) If nothing can be known, perhaps it is only because of and implies the fact that all can and is known, at once, immediately. If we suggest that everything is everything else, then the only thing to do is put on the top hat and cook bacon butt naked. Perhaps. Perhaps these mystics are right on the ball with non-duality, or dichotomy, or polarity. Ouroboros chows down on his own tail; things are recurssive—and yet endlessly discursive—and the world submits itself before the gleaming white throne of a laughable absurdity, before the collision of worlds that ends in a diabolical circus of neutered clowns.

But again I am digressing. I won’t regale you with my pet philosophies any longer. And is it really worth wording direct experience, anyway? That would be the key, to go out and live it and see… The Zen masters have long understood that all knowledge and pondering eventually dissolve in something deeper, something unwordable and beyond intellection. That is, direct experience. But again I am digressing…

So that easy-to-do impermanence, that blasé indifference just won’t do justice to this blog. I do want to maintain a certain amount of professionality here, although the sheer immensity of existence makes it difficult to donn a suit and tie and ironed arghile socks on every little fucking occasion.

Perhaps I should really begin by admitting that I am in no way a philosopher, not any more than I am a plumber or prostitute or meteorologist or gynecologist. I’m working at my petty pace for a measly degree in writing, and I’m hapilly minoring in philosophy, although I don’t have much authority beyond what I’ve read. Then again that’s the pleasure of having a blog, right? It’s mine. I can say whatever I goddamn well please. But I’ll try to be civil when I can; no overstepped boundaries or cutthroat critiques.

The question should be, then, what to talk about. A concerned acquaintance advises me to pick a particular topic to focus on, so I’ll gather a following and network with future Pulitzers or even get published, Christ almighty! published. Can you conceive of it? I must have particularity in order to draw the masses. What to say? Environmentalism is good? I get my coffee at this or that place?  Tips on Brazilian butt lifts?

Realistically, I just don’t see this happening. I’m being real frank with you. Each day I have a new interest to pursue, a new book to peruse or a bauble to swat at. I wish and I wash. I am capricious and undeniably indecisive. I ought to have a new religion and hair color each and every hour.

And so it goes. What can I say? My mind makes the clearance and takes the freeway way down through the deep, dank valley of tangentiality and otherwise bullshit, glowing with all its lights and signs and awash with the sounds of erupting stars dashing through the chasm, over the golden cobblestone. On the basis that everything is interconnected, or maybe just because I’m a flake, I will heretofore dedicate this blog to talking about anything and everything. I’ll explode within the womb of the world; I’ll ride out that tangent to my deathbed.

So wish me luck, and all the best to yourself. That’s a tip of the hat or a nod of the head to a life lived out on every path. In the vast blue openness of the sky, of our universe in all its wild splendor, in all its emptiness and stewing rank, amid the possibility of all and anything, things can get pretty scary real quick. Just keep your pants on.

… Well, here’s to some glimmer of hope and hilarity in the end.

~

“One thing, all things, move among and intermingle, without distinction…”

— Sengcan, Xinxin Ming (信心銘 Faith in Mind)

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