Monday, February 21, 2011

"Cheerfulness" an essay

Greetings students of life! I was once called optimistic, but due to having a child with autism, job struggles, struggles with bipolar, the possibility of divorce, have felt my cheerfulness dampered, like a bundle of wet logs thrown on a fire that almost extinguish it, but once the water is boiled away, will only feed the fuel to a higher blaze.. Like everything I have been sending, this is a first draft. I spend months and years revising these – feedback is helpful! And like most my essays, each one is centered on one idea, yet picks up my perennial concerns again and again.


Take care, Caretakers!


Daniel Christopher June




EÌ€tude d'une petite fille.jpg

            Optimism must be militant. So much of the world, and so much of the intellectual world, sits upon its clever skepticisms and rancid wit, like the know-it-all first grader who is past the hoax of Santa and loves to despoil his classmates of the same game, not in the name of truth, but in the joy of witnessing first hand innocence disillusioned, that it is all we can do to take the edge off of youthful arrogance, and yet help each young man foster his optimism like a vital well that may at any time be poisoned. Cheerfulness wins the day; enthusiasm is god of this world; the child's innocence matures into elderly wisdom: each man will at last be a god, if he holds only to his innermost and never sneers at the beautiful things in this world. The hopes of man's souls are real, and find answer in the universe – needs predicts fulfillment – but let as avoid education and tuition. I prefer ignorance to wisdom, so long as it is my ignorance and your wisdom. I would rather be a fool who owns himself than a professor begging his university for a sabbatical. Whitman was a militant optimist, and knew that at times one must insist on beauty – and the civil war silenced that muse. Emerson was a natural optimist, and found muse on his sullen days as well as his dawns. They are the spirit and soul of this country: I conspire with them; they share my designs without knowing it.

            The heart is a world of emotions, and each must express itself when it is ripe, but always to serve the same few goals that the outer will has set before it, so that yes I am angry, and hateful, and jealous, and all those other beautiful emotions, which only gain a bad name from bad use, but I must make them serve me, my will, and never dawdle and let the emotions indulge in themselves for their own sake, such as when the angry person scans the newspaper each morning solely to fuel his anger and keep a few bitter scraps in his teeth till he gets to work. Every day I become more myself. Each decade I am more Daniel. Perhaps on my deathbed I will suffocate from Danielness, and take that fragrance upwards with me, and begin my life as a higher consciousness. Yet the world gives itself to me, I internalize all, and I have knit my soul to so many great men and women already, and have even found a few living friends to adore and cleave soul to soul, and hope heavens for – such is my joy in them.

            And so I balance my reading out with hate. I read the authors I love, and never cease of them – they visit my heart as welcome guests, I have a throne therein for each of them – yet I also greet enemies, and by no means pray for them, but prey on them, for they are strong, and like a fine cannibal, I would eat their strength and make it my own. A few authors have I hated deeply, and also read widely: Ayn Rand, C.S. Lewis, Derrida, Zizek, and William Gass. I distrust them, I slash great X's all over their words with an angry crayon, and yet I continue to read them and understand them because they each contain a bit of mystery into what I struggle with in this world, and with myself. Perhaps each of them lives in me as a bad shade which I keep around to distil, purify, abrogate, and finally dissolve in a purified vengeance. Intellectual purity requires reading what you dislike. As Nietzsche read Saint Paul with gloves on, and chased the bad air down with the lively esprit of Petronius, for contrast, for fresh breath; or again, set down the cowardly Plato and picked up Thucydides to clear his mind again; so I in turn pick up Nietzsche, after reading one of my abominable five, visit my favorite, or Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau, Ambrose Bierce, Machiavelli, William James even – though not as quickly – and breath the fresh air of a fresh spirit, and an again cheered, and being cheered, and returned to my native divinity, and can shine my sunlike ease on the world again.

            The sensitive man does well to be optimistic – he needs it. The man of dull-senses seeks more pleasures, perhaps is richer and better fed, but is pessimistic, as the often ill Nietzsche was an optimist, and the bon-vivant Schopenhauer coined the term "pessimist" for himself. I am reminded of the lusty and popular Tolstoy, whose soul-killing "confessions" reveal the miseries of a spoiled brat; or again the over-sexed Augustine, who condemns his own birth as being "between shit and piss"; and then revel in the quite, patient, gently sarcastic difference of an unknown and never in his life popular Thoreau, who lived for himself, by himself, and whose prose, period, cadence, and breath make me glad I have eyes and can read. As writers are the best thinkers, and think for the world, these few men represent, more than any ideas or philosophies of life, certain basic attitudes of life, and attitude is of the soul and in the blood, and all the ideas built from these attitudes are nevertheless important and good, but possible only in the secondary sense that they grow from a soil balanced to sustain them.

            Anything can be said cheerfully. And the man of good cheer, who thinks quickly, leaps to do what he loves to do, and is above all grateful to life and the universe for his existence and fate – this man is worth all the rest. It takes strength of will to build a set of habits that let us enjoy the world; optimism too is a habit, requiring practice and the creating and adopting of a set of ideas that will let the heart hold that stance. Cheerfulness is a discipline. What comes naturally for children requires practice for adults. The first thirty years are to gain a second nature, the next thirty are to regain the first. The meaning of suffering is to teach us happiness, just as life is the meaning of meaning, and nothing matters at all except to the life that needs it. Wisdom is knowing how to be cheerful in all circumstances.  It is easy to break a child who is under your control. It is impossible to break a philosopher who has mastered happiness. Philosophy is preparation for divinity.

            To be cheerful, you must not be idealistic and expect the world to be better, to suspect that this world is a ruined thing, your life a ruined thing, and the only hope a better world in the hereafter. Such utopianism, such piety, is merely a symptom of depression. Instead, bless your world eight times a day, and each waking hour invent a new praise for your place. Perfect your enemies before you attack them; kiss the brow of your problems before you dash it open. Call on your lovers to send you some heart bleed; their soul will feed yours. And if your enemy stares you down, then let his face be an intensity mirror over your faults. Wisdom rejoices in rebuke. Meditate during your cleaning rituals: the threading vacuum lays trails of clean, and inwardly you poeticize every moment, dancing in tropes, and humming to the music of the spheres. Because I am here, this world is worthy, because they see me, these people are blessed.

            Dear stranger, when you look at me, you smile involuntarily, and your eyes widen so slightly and suddenly, I wouldn't even know it, but feel somehow desired. Thank you. I do not know you, and will never see you again, but your appreciation for my presence blesses me, and reminds me of my inner cheer. Man is cheered by man. Seeing you all, I am happy and forget miseries. Miseries can only go so deep. The centermost is made of joy. Wide empty gaps are necessary for beauty – nothing is more beautiful than an apartment barely furnished; so I love you all, my dear friends, because you are so infrequent, so nearly impossible, that when I see the eternal glint of a hidden friend finally reach my path, neither of us is ashamed to kiss each other full on the lips. See the angel of inspiration step her dance from off my brow and begin again on yours. Power and form, power and form; with the smallest touch of grace, the world is adorned.

            Every time you set down a spoon or a book, set it geometrically artful. Give that third dimension to your writings and words of quotation, illustration, and allusion. Let everything you do be beautiful. Live a novel, speak in poems. Poems are universal, novels particular; blend each against the other. Constantly restructure your life – structuration is a basic virtue of us artists of life! – for we know that in every combination of parts, a best arrangement exists for the moment, and parts increase and decrease continually. Heraclitus valued the random array as the highest beauty, but we value it as the highest desire: for we wish to arrange it. We are the maximizer of every system.

            So we do not use our wits to curse the world. It was correct of the Jews to murder the child who cursed his parents. William Gass, who focuses on the ugly in all things, is like a bitter alcoholic: in Nietzsche he delights to catalog physical maladies, in Emerson he sees "bitter wisdom." He can scarcely praise anything without also turning it to filth – the leprous Midas! – and like Zizek, delights in feces as his prime metaphor for life.

            Well sure, we aren't here to be happy. We are here to grow. Rocks are happy. Water is happy. All nonlife is happy. To exist is to be happy! But to live is not only be happy, but also suffer – for the needs of life are not be happy homeostatic, but to suffer and grow. Granted, life has ugliness: why must I revel in it? If my parents mis-raised me, yet I will bless them in all things because they managed to produce me, and whatever created me is right and justified. Characters are strategies, personalities are games. This attitude I have, and you yours, are like the shells of snails which we live by and cannot live without. We exuded them in defense and now we must live with them. Behind every habit is an idea, behind every idea is an experience, and in every experience is a need. We create ourselves we create our world. We create in two directions: externally and internally. Whatever bit of clay I make with my hands, the inner reflection is my hands on my soul, making again me.

            Whether we believe in this religion or that is of no eternal consequences, and this is even more true if we are each eternal. The universe could not be so heinous as to care about the accidents of our birth, the chance religion of our parents, of which only 1 in 10 will escape. What matters most is how each of us adapts such happenstance conventions and create our selves and lives from them. Religion is neutral. Only what comes out of a man's heart can nourish him.

            And so in all our experiences, the external is internalized and the internal replicates itself in the world. The mess in my apartment is projection of my soul, and the economy of my desires imitate the democracy I live in. A few decades ago, the mind was a lot like a computer; a century earlier it was like a series of pipes; now it is an internet.

            Our sensations of the world are basically the same, and we can know this, because we do not experience merely red, but an arrangement of colors in relationship, so that the color blind are readily identified, since their private experience reveals they do not experience the same relationship between red and purple that others do; and we all react to colors psychologically (a red car or red light gives a sense of foreboding, for that is the color of fire and blood). And yet the colorblind can conceptualize what it is like to see colors, just as a blind man can understand that some people can be aware of objects and people without touch or sound. And so experience is basically the same, perceptually; and yet my eyes tend towards these things that reinforce my cheerfulness, when I am cheery, and towards those things that reinforce my depression when I am depressed. We all live in different worlds, since we seek metaphors and analogies for our moods in the world around us. How is experience structured? Should we be gleeful like the praisers of providence who thank God their tongue was set on the upper end of their digestive tracks, or hold a pragmatic view on gratitude, and be thankful to the universe simply because gratitude feels good? We will be more than grateful, we will be graceful, for grace is beauty in movement.

            "Actions speak louder than words" the proverb teaches us; speak deeds and you'll finally be heard. And so actions are the strongest ideas; having done something makes doing it thinkable; having experienced something makes it believable. True humility is to enjoy serving a worthy one, or the worthy part of yourself, with gratitude to add to her beauty. For again, the actions must be streamlined – only what you always do can you do naturally. Where does your energy go? If you have such and such amount of mental energy, and mental energy alone can create the habits of physical energy – by mental energy I mean emotion itself, which is called motivation when it is preparing to act – where is it going all day, every day? If life consists in what you think about all day, and we can do almost any action, no matter how mundane and trivial, with grace, by the manner of our mind and speech as we do it, then the Tao speaks wisdom when it advices a humble home and a simple job. The energy we expend each day enlarges that habit; emotions grow like muscles; we pour our problems into the same perennial questions, and pour our excess emotions into the mold of the same few outlets that we've worked out.

            The greater Man of mankind, of which we are all a cell, slowly works out his habits of action, just as Buddhism streamlined the Hindu meditative process, making it simple and marketable – not that the Buddha experienced any enlightenment significantly different than the Brahmins and ascetics, but he simplified it – and thus mankind as a single person things through each of us and through the centuries of progress we cells see with telescopes, so each of us streamlines his own organism, and makes his ideas marketable, and before his passing on to the next level, can give in a few hearty words, the summary of ideas he has processed all  his life, smooth and beautiful like river rocks, softened by centuries.

            The success of each religion is in its propaganda – the very word propaganda is a Catholic coinage – and as Mormonism proves, marketing is the determining factor in religious success. It is as if each religion were an expanding mind, or organism, that lives in a layer of the minds of its followers. God lives through us, and we must beware his designs. We must believe in a metaphysics, and not worry too much over proofs.

            Metaphysics is the lie that puts our truths in a row. Fictions are necessary for life and for truth. We hold countless truths, but must structure them like fictions, simplified and aesthetic. Metaphysics is a sort of aesthetic we need over truth. Lacking it, truth would not fulfill us. Our own emotions could not be communicated through language to a friend. We must represent them and therefore falsify them, and in this process our emotions themselves retroactively change. We felt something odd and happy, but when we simply called it happiness, the oddness was lost. When you give account of your sadness, your feelings change to align to the account, and react to that account. By telling stories, our experience is digested and becomes artificial, useful, more truthful and less real. Reality cannot be spoken, but only truth. Actual, factual, and real are unimportant unless processed into concepts, artificial and tested against reality , to see if they are trustworthy, and therefore true. Cycled memories become mental furniture, a couch or chair to lie upon during the work of the day, and these are built up into concepts and habits, the mental work stations we are busy at all day through.

            Religion as a system or structure centers primarily on the religious experience, though many religious people never have it, the so-called "oceanic" feeling that Freud reported never experiencing – atheist that he was! – but would be better described as the desire for and sensation of being contained in something larger and more important than yourself, especially something "supernatural" which pragmatically means, "unassailable by doubt or enemy. The philosophical experience too might feel similar: metaphysically, it is always the same, even when it claims otherwise, and can be summed up like this: All is One and I am of it. The difference between religion and philosophy is one of will: the religious man gives up his will, because it hurts him, and so he submits: Islam purifies this aspect of the religious feeling, yet no religion is without it. Philosophy on the other hand seeks if anything to increase will power in order to conquer the self, and nothing external is imagined to help in this, for it is the will of the self, and the self above all, who is sovereign in philosophy, for the philosopher is his own god.

            We each are born with a temperament, and build our attitude from it, out habits of emotion. And so depending on that temperament and our acquired attitude, we will be either more philosophical or more religious. Each man must find peace with in himself, and in the All form of mankind, we are all needed, and the sneaky manipulative evil people help as much if not more than the philanthropic, just the wolf and the fox keeps the grouse fit and fine.

            Cheerfulness is in doing what we love, and loving what we do. Our achievements become symbols of our will, physical representations of them. A modest job is preferable to an exhausting one, one not only modest, but free for creative interpretation. Sweeping the floor, washing cars, waiting on tables, is preferable to the thoughtful person, than a job that exhausts him, demands he worry and care, and lose his cheerfulness; that is, unless he is high achievement minded, and can find no cheerfulness in modest. Each man must work from his temperament, his inborn attitude, and find a way to be cheerful in that. Desiring the impossible is a sure way to disappointment: idealism is a disease.

            And so let us be cheerful, and in being cheerful be modest and humble in our possessions and ambitions in this world. Do not bleed your passion, but keep its purpose pure and direct. Attempt to much and you will get too little. Stick to the few things you love, never do what you hate, and your cheerfulness will shine from your innermost, and you will be fine.









Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"energizing yourself" an essay

A long essay, yes, and inspired and beauty, among my better. For those of you who talk to me regularly, you will recognize your own ideas that you gave me. The idea is about how to energize yourself to do all the things you must do in life – but especially how to find inspiration for the great things each of us are called to achieve.


Daniel Christopher June


Energizing yourself




Ama my diaphanous muse,

be warm as wax and melt for me!


                Life is prickers and poison ivy; when we follow our own path, we must walk through briars and wrath. Our whim, our wont, is the commanding voice of our outer will, who sometimes kisses us like the sun, and sometime flits away like a will-o-the-wisps. Life is suffering. Yes, but life is also beatitude. When we are ready, we will declare with irreconcilable certainty: I choose to be happy. The emotions must cycle and cycle to allow an idea to emerge; the sorrow must turn like the blood of Uranus in the oceans, again as foam over the sea, till the shell of Love reveals Aphrodite. And so I choose to be happy, to embrace fate and befriend circumstance, and cease to pout and beg the world to accommodate me. In all my grief, I can say with pride: I can still write.

                What I can do is al l that concerns me; what I can control is my universe of strength. My will is shepherd of my thoughts. Every stray lamb is gentled back again. The outer I, or the freedom of will, the conduit of fate, is a habit of thinking that gives voice to our importance, our calling, our purpose. This will to is like an arrow on the brow, guiding the eyes of our mind to that one place we should be. It is pure habit, and put into place be the principles of habit: constant practice and every mode of reinforcement. Perhaps a solid life trauma or religious experience is necessary to lay this habit deep into our mind.

                Religions give us divine eyes to see our experience, philosophy gives us the eyes of reason: they are all artificial habits that may have no external correlate, nor need they meet one. The most popular religions include the streamlined moral systems of Christianity and Buddhism.

                Christianity and Buddhism are similar in that they both simplify and epitomize the complexity of their parent religion. Hinduism and Judaism are far richer, subtler, and more complex than their popular offspring, and therefore, they market worse. One central idea to Christianity and Buddhism is the moral imperative to commit suicide: and both recommend this as the highest good of life. Buddhism says there is no self, Christianity says the self is sinful and must be sacrificed to God. Is the self so wretched, after all? Are not all stories, stories about selves? And stories are interesting for that same reason. Stories are about people, their minds, their emotions, their “egos,” their desires – and that’s why we can’t get enough of them. We care about those sorts of things. The recommendation that we not care about those things, things that are built into our psychology to care about, could only come from an ascetic urge for spiritual distinction. Ditto the idea that we should “annul the ego.” There could be no natural desire to annul the ego and what it stands for, unless one wished to promote and advertise some spiritual triumph. Such a triumph, or any desire for one, would be impossible without the motivation of the very same ego in question, thus leaving the project paradoxical if not downright hypocritical. With Christianity, the fantasy of suicide comes from a sense of personal unworthiness – and such an emotional prejudice comes from the widespread malady of depression, and especially a depression that resents those who are happy and not at all depressed, who are later called “the proud.” With Buddhism, the fantasy of suicide comes from a sense of the unworthiness of life in general – and such an emotional prejudice comes from the widespread malady of anxiety, and especially an anxiety that resents those who are cheerful and not at all anxious, who are later called “the ignorant.”

                The body is the lens of the mind. The ego is the interface between body and mind, and no system ought to annul it, indeed cannot, short of literal suicide, and so metaphysical ideals are not literal, should not be actually sought, but only sought the way the moth chases the moon, as a distant guidepost that, if ever approached directly, would kill the moth.

                The body’s energy, its motivation, is inspired by and exists for human needs: memories are the hollow walls which each fill with a unique flavor of motivation, a differentiated energy, that can be swallowed only by the appropriate tongue, to expend into the proper deed. Ideas act both as centers of emotional energy, and that emotional energy, or desire, surrounds that idea and pushes it into our out of immediate focus, such as when you desire to drink, and the image of a cup of water is pushed into your immediate focus and out again. In this case, desires are charges around objects, and move them into and out of focus. The ideas themselves are made of more tightly wrapped energy that can in turn be released with that idea is analyzed. Certain ideas work as conduits of energy transferring it from one object to another. This network of energy makes information interesting, by making energy move from the needed object to the analogous object.

                Ideas as conduits structure energy. Certain concepts and especially metaphysical concepts exist primarily to manage moods, and need not refer to any outer reality. God, Heaven, Nirvana, Karma, have meaning only as to how they make us feel. Lacking that, they have no purpose, use, or scientific value. Knowing human needs, we could have predicted that we would invent them, though we prefer to say we “discovered them” or that they were “revealed” to us. Looking at a primitive man, we would be able to see what ideal objects he would make over the millennia. What is the “supernatural,” pragmatically? Supernatural objects posit truth claims beyond criticism. Every system makes assumptions out of bounds of doubt. Those who tell stories of a higher intelligence wish the authority of a higher intelligence, one that has the right to recommend and even demand our interest and obedience. The entire value of the supernatural is to orient the natural, to lay a framework which doubt and science are forbidden to touch. This is called “sacred.”

                Dreams, daydreams, and even the imagination which accompanies a set narrative, are so influenced by desire as to flow and shift without set anchors. A few anchors, preferably sensual and immediate, must keep the dream in place. The best symbols are physical: they can be hoisted against doubt. And so our stories of Greece and Egypt must hold onto a few pieces of stone and pottery, which act as the living body of ancient Greece, and the full history is merely the spirit surrounded those broken bones and shards.

                All supernatural realities, included the stories and myths we hear of the gods or the afterlife or fables with morals, stand for metaphysical concepts, and they form the pipes and lines of an integrated economy: they exist to channel motivation. The adherents to any religion may collectively share contrary and dissimilar goals, and yet their methods for processing their motivation will be similar, since they have each internalized a similar ordering principle, or an engine for putting energy in order, and into and out of conscious awareness.

                How is the philosopher different? For the philosopher, the true ideas are the perennial questions. These questions are the active ingredients of all philosophy, and are the greatest gifts she has bestowed upon us. The various methods for answering them are her second boon; the structures of her systems the third, and the defined terms that result, a distant fourth. “God” and “Heaven” would, for the philosopher, be in the fourth category. For him, the ability to formulate a method is the greatest glory. He will cheerfully warn that “the simple answers are almost always wrong. It requires centuries to reduce a complex correct answer to simplicity,” and he is correct. Our collective minds must cycle over the same ideas for generations until a few hearty proverbs can epitomize them, a few pithy stories, to inspire the rest. Beauty must be reduced to truth, and truth must reincarnate as beauty again.

                Art as an “end in itself” is a terrifying idea, and leads to terrifying results, experiments in exploring the limits of the medium of the genre – abortions and demons as cautionary tales against excessive innovation. The child is stupefied, and the angels cringe. And yet the gross excess of each generation is quickly lost into the blissful ignorance of history, and we focus instead on epitomes of beauty.

                Yes, religions and philosophies make circuits and channels for our passions, but beauty is the seducer and beauty the inspirer: truth must use beauty to win his goal. Lacking this, suicide is preferable.

                How do we find motivation? How do we get the energy we need to create a beautiful life, and live it beautifully? Discipline digs the wells; inspiration fills them. We must do the things we hate to do until we love to do them. Or lacking that, we will have still hollowed out a cavern for some sort of energy to fill.

                Motivation is a problem. What I want I must not really want, since I do not work to gain it. And what I do achieve in this world, even if I lament it, is in fact the true to my heart, because that is what I was willing and able to achieve. All problems are intellectual problems, and the first step in solving them is to set each stray emotion in its correct circuit. In this way, the tapestry becomes whole, and we can see the problem for what it is. Thinking requires constant input of unique materials. The mind too must eat and sleep. We must try new things and slowly learn to love what is lovely.

                I am slow to love and slower to cease to love. I could only give me full heart to a few good things. Some people wish to master God. They call this “obeying God” not realizing that god is an idea fully owned within their own mind; and imagine their relationship is with an external being. But lacking that, the outcome is the same; the idea has been made to mean everything, a panacea and all-goal for them, so that all questions are answered by the same term. And since ideas are objects, and since handling objects is a skill, they can, after years, master God and become artists of God – with results varying as much as they do among religious folk.

                For others the idea to master is “love” – and here the idea of love is different from the feeling of love, since the feeling is a mere experience, whereas the idea of love can be a complex framework that orders the other passions and the mind to do a wide assortment of functions. God, love, and whatever else, are mere idols, symbolic images to dissolve various experiences into a single menstruum. For what is better to own, a hundred tools that can perform one function, or one tool that can perform a hundred functions? For a guitarist, the instrument serves as a vehicle for expressing his emotions, for making his emotions objects for others to share, for making a living perhaps, for entertaining others. The instrument is a basic entity, not very much at all. It is a mere medium, but for the man who loves that medium, it comes to stand for all things, as an interface between self and world. Each person’s calling is epitomized in a similar bit of matter, or, in the case for the more abstract, in an instrumental concept.

                Motivation, therefore, will be structured to bring energy into a few basic ideas. All the conduits, pipelines, and pressure valves will be to empower our instruments of choice. This frugality of means is the best chance of mastery, and with mastery comes grace and pride. When one can mingle love and power into passion, then he will atone the heart and mind, and set them working to the same goals.

                The circuits of emotions require simple balances. Anxieties seize up energy and depress the system, and this in order to avoid a wrongful discharge of emotion. Such emergency tactics can be avoided if we know how to use metaphors as conduits to express intense emotions with a better outlet. Some sort of pressure gauge will allow a steady stream of motivation, rather than an abrupt and overwhelming discharge.

                The difficulty with procrastination, for instance, comes from the habit of lacking the motivation to accomplish a duty until an impending due date inspires enough panic to motivate a full-scale discharge of action. What if we accomplished our duty the first day it was assigned, got it done with the same burst of energy, and then spend the subsequent week until deadline relaxing? This is more difficult, because they burst of work at the end of the deadline has been fed a long stream of anxiety all along, which like an embolism was waiting to burst.

                All energy in our system is from the reserves. Even appetites for foods that are not needed for nutrition can build up. I recall getting sick of soda pop, and swearing off it for a year. Eventually, my sweet tooth led me to fruit juices, and I began mixing fruit juices for fun. Another year later, and I drank a soda and it hit me like a kiss to the lips, and I was in love with it – and drank them with more enjoyment then before. The experience can only be aesthetic, since any other need is lacking – sugar water is sugar water, juice or pop. And this sort of experience cycled through iced teas and finally coffee, for years now. I call these appetites that slowly build and then burst to be stays of energy, and I have a similar experience with certain foods, both specifically such as in hamburgers, which I am now sick of, and genres of food, such as Italian, which I now like; and certain authors are to my taste, and sometimes a new book just hits the spot and I am in heaven reading it, but other times a try a half dozen different new books and none of them please; and also with friends: when a certain person interests me and excites me, the energy is palpable, and that person wants to be around me as much as possible, because I am sort of in love with him or her, and she feels great, she feeds off that energy. But when suddenly my interest is back on writing poems or essays, the time spent with my friend becomes less important to her, but really to me, so that she makes excuses to do other things, when in fact I no longer dance with electricity when I see her. It is impossible to fake love where she is lacking, nor hide love where she is full. Every man or woman is seen for what they are, sooner or later; we can deceive others on some matters, but not all; there is too much truth in every breath we speak.

                The heart is a garden where every flower has her season, and every fruit its time. We can cultivate the garden and yet the moods and motivations can only come when they are ready.

                Differentiated energy becomes the passion of the moment. I have a hundred appetites and glut each when it is ripe; like a tree with myriad fruits, which I devour when the green is gone.

                Therefore, metaphors are the saviors of mankind. A metaphor is a conduit for a certain type of energy, a certain passion. It becomes clearer every day that the things we want the most in the universe do not exist: when we suffer, where is divine comfort? when we are wronged, where is divine justice? When we are lonely, where is our perfect mate? When we are successful, who will share in our success? Ideals are lies, and they exist only to tantalized. Grab the fruit but it eludes you. We require instead metaphorical substitutions. If God will not kiss my brow, I can imagine he will in the next life. This alone fulfills me, even if there is no afterlife. The metaphorical displacement of what I want into a hope or story itself fulfills.

                In this way, we need all sorts of metaphysical stories, stories about the universe as a whole, history as a whole, mankind as a whole, to set us into place. We need them, and yet they are not scientific, nor historical. We need lies with which to live.

                Not that we deceive ourselves. What we need must in some sense exist. Trusting our needs is the greatest of wisdom, the one nearest to the heart, truest to the individual. Nevertheless, the philosophical and religious needs can only be fulfilled through appealing fictions, and these must stand as most important to us, without any historical or scientific justification. This is the way the nonexistent supernatural motivates, inspires, and pleases the very existent natural: the supernatural is merely a point of view about the natural.

                And so we require certain metaphysical concepts to motivate us. The ideas of the outermost and the innermost are the limits of reality in my system. The Outermost is the All, the Innermost is the Self.

                The outer I, or the freedom of the will, acts as a conduit of fate, though a mere habit of thinking. It gives us our importance, our calling, our purpose.

                Human beings can also act as conduits of our emotions, to love the parts of us we cannot love. Your embrace runs circuits up my spine. We come to feel through the hearts of others, feel proud because father is proud of us, feel guilty because our son is failing. Because I need you so much, I hate you. I need you yet I find no satisfaction in what you give me. You pull away and leave. The more I need a friend, the better I am to stay alone. And so, men seek women whom they can control, and who control them in ways they cannot control themselves. It is as if our hands were always stitching the hearts of others, working over their systems, typing programs into their mind. Solitude is difficult, intimacy impossible, and so we exist in the middle, sometimes more alone, sometimes more intimate, but never does my soul converge with yours. That is a possibility for the afterlife.

                Your heart beats for mine, and mine for yours. Everybody runs at a metabolic rate, which can be corrected by exercise. The mind must dig wells which will only slowly fill and erupt. We live at a tempo and our juices and reserves fructify at a tempo. Resonance and tempo bring familiars into intimacy. Every city, every family, every business, moves at a tempo by which each member is measured and evaluated. The tempo of a man or woman in a society is their rate of thinking, influenced by their rate of speaking, hearing, and working.

                Each city works has a tempo, or series of tempos, such as the rate of traffic, business hours, legal proceedings, and the general pace of customer service, entertainment, etc. Each of us internalize the whole and evaluate ourselves in terms of this. Language moves thought like paddles through water, and so as we talk and listen, our mind stirs. Tempo of speech, tempo of movement requires an internal clock a habitual rate to set the mind’s processing. “The scholar, when he comes, will be known by an energy that will animate all who see him.”

                In this, and many other ways, society is like a network of pipes. We filter and pass ideas and emotions and even materials through each other. Money is moral. Money moves at a rate, and silently causes empires to grow and collapse. Ideas hold currency as well, and can be inflated or counterfeited just as money was. In money, ideas are symbolized.

                Ideas are put over materials. Symbols each evoke a series of realities, and have the power of evoking all these together. Every system, every set of stories, can be handled with a few bare symbols. Talk of the cross is enough to swing Christianity around by a chain. Talk of the Wheel does the trick for Hinduism. The symbol evokes a series of realities and reduces their complexity to a gesture. Symbols keep the idea reproducing in the minds of others, and limit what language can come out of that symbol.

                A group of persons or institutes are also representative, and stand for a series of ideas, symbolize those ideas, emanate them as a magnet with charge. The physical symbols is the body for the ideas it stands for.

                And so metaphysical ideas, being the widest, and most general, structure so much more of the living reality. Since metaphysical ideas represent more, they are more important, do more, are the great fruits of a million minds. Each man’s map of the universe orients him, points our eyes upon the right realities. Art functions only to arrest the senses and to seduce the mind to accept a value. Beyond this, it is mere entertainment and distraction.

                We only see the beauty that is sympathetic to our inner beauty. Sympathy does not need kindness or well-wishing – indeed the cruelest of hates could be from a sympathetic man – but sympathy means identifying with the experience of another. When a man or woman sees a certain child, or a certain poem, and tears come to his eye, his creative inner has been touched, like to like, and he feels the realities within that he has forgotten. Sympathy draws us together. That I am such and such on the inner, and resonate to all that is similar, means I am never alone in the universe, but that I have a well of energy deep within myself that will feed upon the contact and celebration of all things and all people of a like nature. Happiness motivates. And happiness requires the honest and magic statement: I deserve to be happy and in fact I am happy. Then our outermost will, the great God who is our own mind, will resonate and find his heaven in the system of our concepts. God is the edge of the private will, and we call her Universe.

                There are many celebrated ways to “recharge your soul,” and they range from praying, to meditating, to talking with friends, to reading one’s favorite author. Essentially, these activities reduce to recharging oneself by resonating to what he is sympathetic to. All fine art does this for a man: the art must not only be beautiful, but it must present his beauty, his own self image (“my face before I was conceived”). Just as a guitar string will spontaneously vibrate when the key of E is played, or when a poorly constructed bridge seizes and sways to the right frequency of breeze, so do each of us resonate to a few symbols, a few objects, ultimately, to a few hidden names. When a country can resonate as one, it will conquer, when a church can resonate as one, it means revival, when a scientist rife with a great idea sings it, the world is electrified.

                To put the same idea in the mythic register, before this lifetime we were born in the womb of the mother as sparks, breaking apart from single cluster. I am from this cluster, my neighbor from that. When I can hear the resonance of my innermost, I can also hear it in others. There are those throughout history and throughout the world now who are mine and after my own. Those are my readers and my favorites: for them I exist and write. Though my words dampen and depress this one and that one, my own accept it as their own, since it feeds their soul, and for them there is no envy, for who envies what is properly his own? I never envied Emerson, or Whitman, or Nietzsche, not even in the way I would envy my brother or friend; for I felt a right to all their ideas, and would not blush to have plagiarized them. For in the world of spiritual power, there is no copyright. One mind works through us, and we are diamond bursts from the same ore.

                Nevertheless, I find in most my friends, only a strand of me, and in me only a strand of them. I take from Paul what Paul can give me, and give him the same in turn, and we do not grow divine through our barter, but we are still warmed, as I am warmed by the love of my cat. Yet I long always to find my own, and draw near as I dare, lest the overfull lust of resonance forces us to close the eyelid of our heart, and blind us from too much light. We did not come into the world atop each other, but diffused and scattered.

                Let us decorate our lives with only those symbols that resonate. When you deck your apartment, consider it a sort of wind tunnel, in which the alignment of all things comes to resonate and charge you. The mere set of your shoes, let alone the set of your voice, sets my world in order, till all I own and influence lights up with me, and if my full influence could be mapped, it would like a satellite view of a city at night, where the collective streetlights outline the cities.


I’m slow to love, and slower to cease …

The wraith of our romance will linger

I wish for you close, and cornered you flee

Your echoing words are my singers.


I face the world and say:

In this life I do the reaching

And you do the pulling away

What can I hold to?


                The circumstance of our birth, lineage, location, nature of conception, heritage of parents, all resonate deep in my soul, and even distant adoption cannot shake it out. Like a halo around the innermost, our conception sings out, like a rip in space, the same rip we must slip through upon death. The best stories are like daily life: the first chapters set it up, the last few unwind it. And we are choosing and freely creating ourselves from the first. Necessity finds final form in freedom.

                Let us therefore drink from our roots. Insist on your family, your city, your nation. Take in the national literature as your mother’s milk. Know your fated place in history and the entire wisdom of mankind is your nourishment.

                Great books and great ideas take centuries to digest. To give accurate summaries, nicknames, and glosses takes painstaking insight into essentials, and many generations of redaction and refinement so that, finally, we all have a sense of what the great books and great art is about, and those who study it carefully especially know what a rich literature of commentary as grown over the surface of a book like a garden.

                Blood is the red thread. We each have a style for building friendships. I have a stereotyped way of solving problems, as do you. When I can reduce the terms of each situation into the language I am used to, then I can twist the problem into the shape I can best deal with. This is why some friendships take longer than others to initiate. Some strange treasures take months of careful patience to seduce into friendship. I can hardly stand you now, by and by I will mourn your absence.

                Blood is soul, and all that is soul is analogous to blood; just as spirit is breath, and all that is spirit is analogous to breath. Meditating is counting your breath. A better meditating is counting the breath of great books, the period the author uses, the punctuations marks. This alone let’s you know the breath and heft of his mind’s lungs. Read his soul too, the nouns and verbs of his speech, which is blood of blood.

                I read reflexively, life is a sort of reading and writing to me, and literally, I feel naked without my blank book and pencil in my pocket, and a book for reading in my hand. I carry them as the wanderer carries his walking stick and wallet. I read widely, every feasting my mind. And there are a few books that are blood brothers to me, and I have dipped my blood into them, and theirs into mine:


Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, and Gay Science

Emerson’s Essays, and Conduct of Life

Whitman’s Leaves of Grass

Thoreau’s Walden

Melville’s Moby Dick


                I call them blood of my blood, for their nouns and verbs are nutrients of my soul, just as Whitman and Emerson are the gods that live in my lungs.

                Solitude does not mean isolation: one can be alone in the city, and crowded alone in his room. It is good to fast from your work – in my case to put down good books. Every rule must make an exception, every taboo must make an indulgence.

                In daily life, my cell phone is a sort of tether for balance – I send out dozens of text messages which are empty, yet breathing is also empty, yet necessary. Genius must balance itself with a lot of stupidity, and brilliance must dance with his shadow.

                Ayn Rand and Slovej Zizek and William Gass I have read all they wrote: and yet I despise each of them as ugly people. They knew certain magical tricks I would wrest from them, yet their souls did not resonate to mine, and I sat at their feet only to step on their necks. It is for my own that I sing, those who were soul of my soul at our conception, dear to the universe in her grace, in that time’s place that coincides with each of our earthly conceptions. I take from the world and give to you.

                Soul resonates to soul, and when all the parts find a common denominator and resonates that louder, and become a unit, the central atom of that being emerges from wherever he always was, and is born from eternity into time. Whether this account is metaphysical nonsense or true science is no matter to us, for it is a poetry to set us in our place – and for this reason metaphysics is necessary and therefore true.

                We are one blood, wherever and whenever we are born on this planet, and to whomever we are born. And each individual soul finds its analogies in nature, and finds a common substance with some peculiar form. William Bentley resonated to the snowflake, and studied them with a passionate fit to melt them all. Darwin was a catalog of beetle’s physiognomies. Caesar was a nation who led a nation. Every man is layered and thick: perhaps his essence is a name hidden in some distant star, and here he walks on earth, and his analogy walks again on every inhabited planet, and perhaps under different guises and species.

                Even still, the traumas and intimacies of our youth set an energy deep in the soul, in a central layer, and all intimacy changes the hum of our self. In a classroom, one seat will call to me, and in any arrangement of events, in any society, I will roll to my place like a marble down a hill, till the gravitational center fit for me and no other I will find.

                I handle all problems as if they were the same problem. My private language and yours does not need to figure out solutions every day, so much as reduce each situation to a primitive language, a simple set of terms, of our own idiolect, perhaps unspeakable and mute, and after we have done that, we can solve the problem readily – just as any problem in a formal logic class is easy once you can reduce the terms to standard notation.

                And this is why we study theory, and why theory energizes and empowers us. Theory is the wide heaven whose whole eternity presses down into the one finger of practice and allows its success. And so we can do all the petty duties of life, because our full soul is wide as the universe, and puts the full pressure on the subtle moment. The weight of the universe finds final twitch in my typing tips.

                And so we conspire with our intimates. We breath the same breath, and soon start to talk alike. How soon husband has his wife in his heart and lungs, feels her judgment and praise in all he does, even if the external she is ignorant, can’t even leave the trash a mess without her nag at the back of his ear. And finally her voice becomes his own voice, and the spiritual singularity begins. In the next life, their blood will be knit to blood, an achievement reserved for their children in this life.

                All great thinkers are in conspiracy with others. The Allist overlords of the world are none other than the great minds who have always had designs for the human race, and aimed to set the tower of literature up to the eternal heavens. The men and women from my spark know me already, knew me in centuries ago, and will know me forever more. Let this book die, it will make no difference. I have already whispered it to the universe, and she gossips in each their ears.

                Read. And as you read, think. Step back and watch yourself read and think: you are knitting a dual thread. Let the words hypnotize you. Every book breaths. You are hypnotized by tones of voice, cadence and rhythm. Let a book do this, and yet keep your critical eye in the background, invisible and never impressed and never unimpressed. Pick up ten books one after the other, reading only a paragraph, and you escape all spells. Read any book for ten pages, and the magic is upon you. Read the first book you hold, the same paragraph ten times, and you are breathing deeply the air. The scholar will energize you. But remember that you are the magician’s apprentice: what you learn in this life you can take to eternity. Keep your eyes open. By hypnotized and watch how it is done.

                Breath is musical. Tension increases satisfaction. Eat ten dry cookies, and the milk when you finally allow it to your lips is orgasmic. Sex is so much fuller with an hour of foreplay, or better still, months of romantic trifles and teases. The dissonance of music is superb, especially to increase the relief and triumph of a full flung cadence. The guitarist Steve Vai loves complex and disorienting virtuosity, but only impresses me when he can draw a simplistic anthem of a riff for conclusion. And so the high-minded confusion of sophisticated complexity must reduce to the mantra, simple, basic, and bright.

                Anxieties freeze energy from exploding, save the system from crisis, and depress the system. Yet they pool frustration into muscles, tics, distortions of body and mind, waiting till finally the angel of grace can snip the wire and let the full load of aching pent pain explode into pure love joy. The same method, which is shaped like a joke with a punch line, is the wisdom and foolishness of gnawing the teeth ragged on a koan for forty years, until one opens ones eyes, which weren’t’ even closed in the first place, and is enlightened. Nirvana is a punch line long panted for: cease all desire, and desire to cease all desire.

                Language is magic. It is the handle to hold every experience. Language is a blanket over us, a matrix of syntax, as if computer code flowed in lime green letters around us, each man his own code, his own idiolect, pulsing logic and grammar from the polestars behind his eyes. Every sentence is a bent glass tube, and the mind a thick purple smoke that passes through them. Thus the language of books shapes the mind, pulls it out like glass, grows opaque with our emotions. It is rightly said that we can only give from what we have, and work from what we are. Yet the world plants little seeds in our brain, until self and world are intermingled, and I am world soul, and the great single mind of Adam that is the whole of mankind, gods and demigods included, is in my mind as well, and I look on my neighbor as a fellow cell in the great Leviathan of the human body. “Perusha” we are called, and the infinitely thick layers of each of our cells are scatted throughout the cosmos. I have always been, yet common sense says I am only thirty, and the moment of my conception is in the memories of my parents. I am most energized when I am in touch with all that is of me, heart of my heart, breath of my breath. Soul and spirit must meet and mingle, like Allfather Odin when he fell in love with Loki, and shared blood with the beautiful giant, as brother; so is our own doom and world’s end based in the blood we’ve mingled with our own – never love a woman unfit to mother your children! Never commit a deed unfit to flower your biography! Find your place within the Motherverse, and you will be energized to do all you can.










Sunday, February 13, 2011

to wed solitude

I’m slow to love, and slower to cease …

The wraith of our romance will linger

I wish for you close, and cornered you flee

Your echoing words are my singers.


Well! Philosophers wed themselves to solitude: lacking that they have no peace. It is time to take seriously the prospect of giving my life to Allism, the philosophy I have already spent a decade writing, and ceasing to struggle in snow fingers of love. It takes a strong man to embrace solitude, but no wise man embraces isolation. It is better not to seek friends where there can be no friendship: how your love will be thrown in your face. Better to slowly warm up to a friendship, and quickly let go when it fades. Better to knit your soles to your shadow, and nod silent approval at the cheerful reflection.


Take care, Caretakers!











Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"divorce" an essay

This essay on divorce was difficult, not emotionally, as you would expect, but intellectually, as I feel I do not understand the topic, and the ideas are ill-formed and will require a decade to fully formulate. All problems are intellectual problems, yet until the emotions are put into their proper circuits, we cannot begin to see what the problem actually is. This is how I feel, and so the essay is a true essay, an attempt, and a failure at that.

Daniel Christopher June




Parting Song


Love at last has sunk my ship

My lips impress on letters dead

I stamp them home to fill my stead

We would not budge on principle

Our love crossed pride invincible

I think I let my weakness slip.


I’m lonely for you

I haven’t a friend

I won’t be consoled

There isn’t an end

I’m eager for you

I’d sacrifice all

Except for dread pride

Invinciply tall

Protector of love

Avenger of gifts

Tender as life

There’s teeth in his lips.


Goodbye goodbye

Hypocrite’s parting

Each time I end you

My heart is restarting.



            Since love implies intimacy, and since intimacy requires control to allow joy rather than destruction, and since control implies possession, since nobody can control what he does not possess – indeed since having control of something is the only true way to possess it – then the deepest of loves implies ownership, and we can rightly say that a “disinterested love” is a contradiction in terms. Love is a weakness, a need we cannot by our own power fulfill, yet the loving relationship implies the sort of mutual submission that unifies two into an interface, a single organism like two trees knit together that must balance and pull from the shared base between them. Love, romance, marriage, and family, are about ownership, ownership and roles. Being a husband or wife means playing a part, means accepting the conventions one has learned his whole life, and creatively working within them to allow his individuality to grow through them. Every man is more than a man when he joins a group: as a manager at the store, he aligns his angers, joys, fears, and hopes to the company’s angers, joys, fears, and hopes, and the outer layers of his heart take on the shape of the business, so that he is finally representative, and becomes more than a man, but also a group-leader. Marriage too is an institution of roles; the men and women who join it develop further layers of being to express the same inner self.

            A relationship requires honesty, and yet love itself is a sort of deception. Falling in love is the first deception, and deceptions characterize love at every turn. Mature love is often a “love at first sight.” Yet how can this be, since strange things are never loved before they become familiar? The new beloved only seems beautiful because the man has been meeting pieces of her his whole life. He takes decades getting to know his mother and father, and what he hates in them he will nevertheless seek in a mate, despite himself, so that he can say with justification to his wife “You are just like your mother,” and imply even more that she reminds him of his own mother. More to the point, the man has spent his whole life getting to know himself, both the real self he is, and the ideal self he wishes to be. Glances of these find face in his new mate. In sum, the new person is taken as if she were a freshly sprung goddess, but the truth is the man has known her his whole life in the analogies and mirros of each of her fragments. If she gives him enough material to work with, he will fashion divine the remainder. And to aid this process, the fresh lovers try to resemble each other. They raise their antennae and hone in on what the other wants to hear. If the woman loves music, but the man has no such interest, he will at least say that he likes this or that song. Whatever they have in common receives special emphasis; what they do not have in common will be ignored. This mutual deception characterizes the dazzling romance: love grows with this deceptions protection, but must finally burst through it, so that the individuals can achieve true intimacy. Disillusionment is the beginning of the actual romance. Perhaps ten years of love before a couple finally falls in love.

            If the personality could be viewed as a spiral drawing, in which the initial shape of the self becomes more exaggerated and contorted at the higher layers, then it could be said that utter intimacy is a miracle meant for few people, and at rare times. The outer layers suffice us. We play along with our roles, making clever variations – I’m this kind of policeman, but still a policeman; I’m that kind of sister, but still a sister. While the proudest people will flaunt their vices and hide their virtues, it is best always to temper pride with humility, which is the love of serving, and let both our vices and virtues educate others. Learn from my strengths as well as my weaknesses. Yes, it is wisdom to keep the inner layers forever hidden from most people, but if I do not shine my inner sun for at least the trusted friend or the intimate lover, then I will be truly abstinent, the worst of conditions, and never feel love’s touch upon my soul.

            The trouble with intimacy is that wisdom allows it only upon proof of commitment. And the trouble with commitment is that it requires trusting somebody who might hurt you. It is the inner self that allows the possiblity of divorce. My internalization of her, my inner wife, the she that I have made into a full inner environment, which I plug into her external reality as often as I can, must come into contact with two things: my innermost self, on proper occasions, and her innermost self, on proper occasions. If we do not grow together, then we grow apart. Despite all the emotional drama, fights, clutter of talk, and the plain noise of both marital disputes and also marital bliss, underneath that, every marriage problem is philosophical. The rest is so much indirection. The real disjunctions in life are between ideas. The outer stuff, the betrayals, lies, accusations, and mistrust, are external layers beyond the basic self. The more cowardly the man and woman, the less obvious the real problem is. Masks and excuses cover the idea. The boldest of men and women quickly pierce the core problem, and so are more likely to resolve it, with grace, poise, and kindness.

            It can be said that intelligence is in itself neither good nor bad. History’s cruellest people were intelligent, and knew how to psychically destroy others. And yet, an intelligent man bent on improving his beloved can do as much good as the evil man can do bad – no, but even more good, for the badness finally tells on itself and is escaped, whereas goodness is often fortified and further requested.

            But even more important than the implicit philosophical dispute behind every divorce is the psychological impossibility of union when each person comes to stand for those incompatible ideas. The initial roles the man and woman were able and willing to fill could not remain constant: the inner ideas of our being changed, both in regard to our partner, and also in regard to our emerging self. Each self slowly unfolds from pure power, and converts into form as it touches the world. Nevertheless, some powers remain in zygote for years, and only slowly grow out into final worldy layers. Because of what I do in the world, the choices I make, the virtues I cultivate, and the vices I permit, my power grows and diminishes, till I am a different shape, and can no longer fit into the niche I first occupied. If I mindfully match my shape to hers, we will grow together. Then marriage is a dance, and when she retreats I advance. But when one partner deeply redefines his self-image, it shines in all his actions, and he is a better person. In such a case, his spouse may make herself worse, and this from an unconscious sense of unworthiness, and in such a case, she will sabatoge the love in order to flee.

            An idea, when drawn out into implications, and charged with desires, becomes a habit. The growth of the soul is in producing ideas and turning them into habits: this creativity is the purpose of both this life and the next. Ultimately, a marriage must stand for an idea, and the idea of the marriage must hold integrity against life’s trifles and tragedies. Shared goals unite a marriage, as shared goals and shared enemies unite all groups. A couple must also revere marriage as sacred – something essentially foreign to the Christian and Buddhist mindset in the scriptures, but pragmatically at a forefront in their day-to-day lives. Marriage is more sacred than religion and God, possibly more longlasting than either, and with more powerful consequences than both combined. The being created from a marriage, the group soul, which buds and complicates with children, is the primordial group-mind, the unit which produces more human beings, and reproduces the original members of the family as better or worse individuals both in and out of their roles. The worth of a pure Mary, a pure Jason, a pure Daniel, is his worth to himself; the marriage need not concern itself with this, it is not the goal of the marriage, but the goal of the individual who uses the marriage (and everything else) to advance it. Thus marriage is not selfish to the individual, it is selfish to the marriage, seeks to strengthen the marriage and do what is right for the marriage, even at the cost of the individual and the larger society. This is the nature of each layer of being: it wishes to first serve and allow itself, and then to use that self to fit in and beautify the rest. Marriage fights for marriage, nation fights for nation, religion fights for religion: each being must protect and advance itself, first of all, and those beloved of that self, secondly.

            The emergence of a new idea, the philosophical moment of self re-definition, does not seem nor feel like an intellectual moment at all, no, but feels hot and tempered like a virus feels like a fever. The fights, follies, and mutual attacks and betrayals are much fanfare by which the characters of each may well be levelled and forever wounded – it requires much tact to protect your heart from the very person whom you have already given it to! – but such is the necessity and fatal insistance of the personal growth, which wasn’t our own choice to begin with, the emergence of an idea into a full blown habit-sequence: an attitude, a belief, a personality, a character. And like the invisible virus, we wouldn’t even know that such an idea existed were it not for certain microscopic self-evaluations during the strife of couples.

            Whatever can be said for or against a spouse, it is all secondary. The intrusion of a new idea, an aspect of the self the person would not sacrifice, is the real cause of disagreement. The betrayals, lies, and rank vices that accompany it serve to protect it – though they seldom leave once they are evoked. The soul must grow. And though almost all divorces could be avoided in patient and wise spouses who knew how to grow together, how few of us are wise!

            The marriage, the household, the relationship as a whole represents a thick tissue of habits, mutual expectations, consistencies, and regularities that freeze the individual mind, and give it the opium of comfort and security. Habit keeps even the painful unions solid. And this is good. Nobody would resist such a love unless the partner were daily preparing to perjure herself more and more, till audibly she has confessed herself into two people: the apparent and the secret. At this point, the disjunction is real and final – though it may be years until it is apparent.

            While marriages will continue to be common and expected, and divorces nearly as common and expected, to do either well, to stay married well, or to divorce well, would require exceptional human beings. Being exceptional, they would need no advice on the matter, and therefore, there is no need to speak of it. For the rest of us, who at times do not know how to overcome our insecurities and weaknesses, marriage is a platform for exhibiting and intensifying those same insecurities and weaknesses, for pledging our protection over our spouse’s weaknesses, kissing the gimpy heart, accepting the person in their poverty and often enough using it to at times torture them. Cruelty is a mode of power, and marriage is as much a contract of power as it is of love. The partnership is not only about love, for love balances herself against power, and the fears that make it necessary. As even the business relationship, which empahsizes power, is also about love; so the marriage which emphasizes love is about dominion, rights, control, advantage, and leverage. In fact, such a dual twist isn’t lacking even in the innocent prattle of five-year-olds. Power and love are the fabric of social interaction, and so we must not let pretty ideals deceive us: marriage wouldn’t be half as interesting if it were merely a union of love. Since love is about intimacy, tenderness, openness, and touch, we must know what to expect from another, what to predict: and to be able to predict a person is to in part own them, for ownership is in control, and what can be predicted can be planned around, anticipated, and controlled.

            The highest control of others requires forming a theory about their tendencies, about having an implicit philosophy of their being. Philosophy is the art of defining. It is concerned with the forms of ideas, the forms of processes and systems, of structure in its most abstract. This is why philosophy is not only the trunk from which every branch of science grows – and science would be possible without it – but also the world tree which springs to the heavens of human experience, the inner world of the assumptions. And heaven is a prepatory world which the hellish desires must intermingle to make the habits of desires that motivate all human action. Marriage comes into contact not in the heavenly realms of pure philosophy, just as warfare between countries does not come into contact between political theorists – and yet it is the innocuous philosophical ideas that leaden each bullet. Ideas move the world, ideas set the tone, and desire, the heart, the mind, come afterwords to justify and allow them. Almost all the philosophy of the world is performed unconsciously in the heaven of the mind. Only perverts philosophize externally.


            When any two forces reach a deadlock, they require the determining third to deliver them. The impasse implicit in any duality, the seeming incompatiblity between them, requires the mediating third to triangulate a balance between them. In a marriage, the marriage counselor, the mutual friends, and the children can each of these serve this function, an element that is partly made up of both of them, partly different than either. And this is what we expect of a third: it is in part an aspect of both of us, in part different than both of us. Yes the heaven of concepts breaks down into neat dualities, yet we can complicate those dualities, not to deconstruct bianaries, but to reinforce them.

            The larger system can help us. We can plug into work, church, circles of friends, or world-literature to anchor and sway us. The larger world exists for our benefit, and our greatest glory is to become great enough to add to the larger world. The pride of all great men is intensified by their humility to serve what they adore. Humility and pride intensify each other: their opposites of recalcitrance and guilt should be shaken off and avoided.

            Yet though many can advise you on a difficult matter, only one can advise your will: the soul uncertain, wrestling with itself for its own truth. Only this delicious uncertainty and profound self-doubt can earn a man true trust in the greatest being he can ever know: his own will. Therefore, we out to doubt ourselves and not seek the advice of others. Though that wonderful muse speaks music to us, and we cry out “I need the nectar of your words!” we must give her silence and let her be silent in turn.

Silence is the wisest word.

To hold your strength,

You must hold your peace.

Settle disputes with a grace of hush.

            What is all this talk, talk, talk, talk? We simply must talk to think as a couple. The brain of the family is the language between the members. A family more than anything else is a group of stories about characters who can’t leave each other. You are stuck in a family. The entire savoir of the family unit is to make divorce as difficult and ignoble as possible – and that is the true kindness and mercy to society, and the sacrifice of the individual. The family knows itself as the family, and its stories build around us the immovable units.

            We tell stories to structure experience into a preferred form. Memories are no good. They are too exact, too literal. We need to falsify our memories to make them useful. This falsification is not by malicious intent, but by poetic license, the poetic license built into the neuronal system. We tell ourselves stories continually to process the form of our history, and so raw experience tilts in the rock tumbler till our life is a set of gems we can spread before anybody who cares to know us.

            William James had a knack for textbook simplifications. He learned this from writing his textbook on psychology, a painful experience for him, but essential for granting him the power to reduce complex problems to a short list of essentials. In this way, the philosopher is the instructer of man and marriage, because he can reduce the complex to a few simple ideas. He tells stories about our stories, and fishes from them the essential features by which to build an ideal man, an archetypcal self, a basic myth-memory to organize us. What is our family about? What is it we are here for? Are we like so many couples who discuss the family and our family endlessly for the mere sake of family? Or are family values again to promote a higher value – does our family serve a philosophy? Few families will. And of those who do, most will serve prefabricated religions. Better to define the family according to a personal philosophy and an individual value. Each family develops its own rituals – and as rituals are the enactment of fantasy, the family shares its own fantasized purpose. We each become expressions of the family idea. Why would such a unit ever disintegrate?

            Sometimes a small particle of impossibility grows out of the souls of partners, and they build between them a contradiction. Their love becomes impossible. As the essense of their love disintegrates, they will praise love more, praise each other more, for praise is the mask of opposition. If their love were true, they would not need to praise love.  Sometimes it takes great courage to leave somebody you love. Ignore praise and blame – they deceive. Do the courageous thing and estrange your lover, if this is the kindest love. Just as a great book or work of art only becomes so when it is assumed out of its context, survives its century, and speaks to the catholicity of mankind, so too does a romance become immortal when it survives its immediate cause, escapes the mortality of having a history, a reason for being, and becomes always and ever. Extract your romance from its environment, and like the great book, it becomes part of the Bible, the Great Books of the World. The scholar is friends to the best men in history. The lover is kin to the great lovers in history: their poems are his poems, and their experience are his. Metaphors are the savoirs of man, and the greatest gifts of all the world religions combined are only a few sturdy tropes. In the same way, the idea of a relationship, the shape of its tropes, are few and simple, but translatable to any circumstance. The more particular and ideosyncratic the couple, the more qualifiers on their love, the less flexible it will be, till it grows cramped in its own armor, and sinks.

            It is unjust to love a man who doesn’t love himself, or respect a man who doesn’t respect himself. You must take his own self-evaluation as valid, and not overstep it. Let a man judge himself, for he is most intimate with himself. You can only insult a man who is insultable, and offend a man who is offensible. When your heart is hurt, hide it up and let it heal. Now is the time to work on your power; let love hide away. Anything else would be a humiliation. Do not seek friends when you are lonely, but when you are friendly.

            Win your own admiration, and then you are admirable. Love as you think best, and you will be worthy of the same love. Speak to truth, but the full truth. Adolescents mistake rudeness for honesty, but truth is not full when it merely rips away the fineries of politeness. The full truth is gentle and beautiful, and possible only for the most powerful man who could psychologically destroy his friends and enemies. True tenderness is only possible for thick arms. It has been said that the one who loves less in a relationship controls more: care more and you can do less. And so love appears the opposite of freedom. But if true love is willing to lose what it loves – that is, if true love is willing to be equal to true hate – then that love is more than love, but, mingled with power, has become passion. And passion itself, the child of love and power, must again mingle with her opposite, the absense of love and power, cold dismissal. Only when passion is willing to cease all passion is it in contol of itself, and then passion self-overcomes, and thus allowed itself to take or leave what she loves the most. Only when you do not need something can you fully own it. Jung said that patients don’t get cured, they simply move on. Sometimes the greatest and deepest loves must be willing to move on, and let go. Perhaps the deepest passion in the world sets aside the beloved unworthy: she would be happier in the arms of a lover her equal, less passionate, less intense, less intimate, less tender. For love must match love, mind must match mind, true lovers are twin born from the dawn of time, and come to the earth maybe to find each other in this body, maybe not. Such utter intimacy, to find your other and take her into the centermost of your soul, is the work of many lives. Let us not trouble ourselves if our marriage fails this goal.

            The mind is either wide or narrow, the actions are either impulsive or inhibited. The mind narrow thinks of less but knows it better; the actions inhibited at least give the mind its power. If the action is impulsive, the action is strong, but the man isn’t. This is how passion must join with its opposite, so that in all things, the muscles of the passions are balanced and peacefully working against each other. If one passion dominated a man, twelve lesser ones must grow up to put it in check. Monopolies are odious, and a love without the skin of hate would be death. Intelligence has a greater capacity for boredom; passion has a greater capacity for impatience. The democracy of the soul is a set of passions where all men are created equal, and some are more equal than others. Aristocracy is the rule of all progress: some passions must rule the others. And in the same way, the family dynamic is one in which one spouse has certain powers over the other, and the other spouse has also her certain powers over him.

            How quickly we resurrect the structures we learned from our parents’ marriage, and the structures of our childhood friendships, imposed on the beloved flunky. Certain basic structures become reflexive templates, to fill in the ambiguity. Just as any group of men slowly fade into the template of the lecture hall when they assemble within a building, and just as their children must be threatened and cajoled to sit and be quiet while the speaker has the floor, so too do the archetypes of marriage impress on the minds of youth at every turn within our society, so that staunch individualists that they are, they exude the template of marriage upon  their spouses. What I expect from you needs not be said: we both know what we are supposed to expect from each other. The entire world is umpire to our faults and follies.

            Each process and each organization is like a complex machine, or a great single celled life form, in which modules are added and grow spontaneously to balance it during its travels, system against system. I am my individual self, but I am my group self, and the roles I play in the marriage must balance against the roles I place elsewhere. Browbeat me here and I will balance with a bit of browbeating of my own at work.

            Or again like a great spinning top, the figure of marrriage sits upon the fewest points and must balance itself with habits that will let that one union hold in place.

            Each marriage requires a metaphysics: why marry? What does it do for reality? Imagining a larger structure within which to fit our experience is the needed metaphysics to make sense of any world. The metaphorical whole gives a spin on all these concrete realities. The dishes in my sink are help in place by dreams and dragons. Metaphysics is art – false yet necesssary. The greater purpose of our lives cannot be proved or disproves: but we must posit it in order to live.

            We must hope for our marriage, that it will all work out. Optimism requires a silent knowledge of life’s miseries. Nobody could be optimistic unless he had a propensity to depression.



            When one is told he is being divorced, served the papers, and rejected despite his love, it might affect his mood. For me it feels like boulders beneath my ribs: emotions too strong to express. My only recourse is too sleep and let them dissolve into my blood.

            With such a wound, how does one react? I am deeply gestating: my creativity is curled like a kitten in the tender of my heart, while the walls thicken and calcify.

            With any grief or trouble, there comes the moment of insight when a man sees through to the reason, deeper than mere circumstances. At this point there need be no pleads or accusations agianst providence of fate, because something subtler and finer has revealed itself – necessity. Then his heartstorms are finished and he finds himself grateful even for his sufferings, grateful to himself and the universe as a whole (the two beings essential to philosophy). The moment of clarity lasts as long as it needs to. After that, he can return to living life.

            Whatever we may wish to present to the world, whatever we may fancy a truth of our soul, nevertheless the inner truth shines through. Fate emerges from the innermost.

            A failed marriage seeks to hang itself upon a mutual gratitude. When I can kiss you goodbye with thanks, I will have finally left you.

            Christianity praises the widow for giving away her last cent. I would prefer each man and woman to give from his or her abudnance, to respect this woman for what she had in abundance – not the useless cent, but her cooking, or sewing, or advice, or whatever creative, natural and beautiful thing she had to give. I don’t want a god to give me his corpse on a cross,  but to give me his attention and loving patience as I write a poem or sing a song. Let him take from me, if he is so generous. In the same way, the marriage is truly failed, indeed never should have been, when the abundance of a husband’s or wife’s soul is not to the taste of the spouse. If I am to write, and you can’t stand to read, what are we doing here? If I sing songs, but you are deaf, let us part ways. Genius is strange and rich. If you don’t have a strange taste for my strange fruit, then let us not harass each other. Unity is conversation in presense. Let me speak my soul’s language. If we are soul knit to soul, it will be your language too. Perhaps it may take ten years for you to internalize the structure of my soul. Perhaps a true love takes ten years to master. Perhaps you must be patient with me for a very long time, and learn to love me. But I must give what I love to give, and not what I hate to give. Don’t ask me money, don’t ask bravado. Ask for what my soul loves to give. I am a writer, and so I will write stories for our children. I am a singer, and so I will sing you songs. Let us eat the fruit of each other’s lips. This alone is love of growth, soul to soul, so you eat my soul and I eat yours. Then there can still be a marriage. But as it is, you cringe at my passion. Do not think I will hate you for it. You must be my friend.

            A person can only give from what he has. If my mother was cold, and never gave me affection, still I can be gratetful for what she did give me, because she gave me from what she had, not from what she lacked. I can be grateful to world scriptures for what they gave me, and yet not call them sufficient literature, being all to aware at what they lacked. Being naturally grateful, I will praise them for how they made me better, and seek elsewhere what they lacked. Those writers, those people, those friends, who stayed with me through all my moods, through all my problems, those are dear to me; they transcend their immediate contexts: I internalize them; they become the populace of my heart. And so I am grateful for you, though I never could figure out why you loved me, and now cannot figure out why you stopped.