Perspective

During an interview, when asked if he could live with the restrictions of being a professional writer, Thomas Ligotti responded, “I realized a long time ago that I could never be a professional writer for the simple reason that I am not interested in the same things that people who buy the majority of books in this world are interested in. Like Lovecraft, I’m not interested in people and their relationships. That alone counts me out as a professional writer. I also have a bad attitude toward the world. I think that life is a curse and so on.”

When young, Ligotti wanted to be a rock star.

“We have been raised by television to believe that someday we’ll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but we won’t. And we’re just learning this fact,” Tyler said. “So don’t fuck with us.” (Fight Club)

Disillusionment can be a very desirable and empowering state of mind: Ligotti says, “At this time I’ve run out of other people that I want to be. My ideal persona these days is that of an inmate in a minimum security prison. That really seems like the good life to me.”

As long as you have funds available and are able to order books through Barnes and Noble. Books from Amazon.com may not be permitted in certain counties (in NJ, USA) … Arrrrrr …

Keeping things in perspective: The phonies want to portray some kind of image that their life is just “wonderful” –

kids, grandkids, mama, papa
their favorite team won the game!
Hoo-Ha!
They have a son in the army
he’s six foot two.
Gosh, golly, jee
Fuckin’ Woopdie Doo!

Life, by it’s very nature, is not pleasant. There is no cure or solution to the problem of existence. Each creature is its own problem and potentially a problem for other creatures. There is certainly no need to envy anyone or anything. Rich or poor or famous, your truth is all the same: flesh and bones and nerve endings – insatiable appetite, blind will to live.

The Spirit That Flows Through All Things, that One Being that is All … is not pleasant, and, in extreme circumstances, is downright evil. It’s understandable to be inclined to hide under rocks, up trees, in caves … No amount of pills or therapy can eliminate the fundamental anxiety that pulsates in our veins and sinews. It is what it is. Once I grasp the unalterable, irreversible consequences of being born, when I wrap my mind around the reality that every sentient being is born into, I cope more easily. Isn’t this ironic? Or is it a paradox?

Is it possible to exist as a knower as opposed to living as a sufferer?

Can a knowing being detach from and transcend existential experience simply by not taking existence personal? We don’t have to deal with “life” but just with our “years of existence.” Consciousness observing animal being in the world and how it responds to its situation, its predicament … knowing the whole time that this animal being, this bundle of nerves, phlegm, excrement, blood and bones will decay and disintegrate into dust … a transcendental perspective.

I propose that “emotional maturity” implies a presence of mind with empathy and respect for the interiority of every creature, including other human beings who, of course, like every other living animal, can and will be assholes at times, since the nature of life is so very unpleasant, as mentioned above. Other beings have an interior universe – Ever wonder what goes through the mind of other creatures?

How to get through a life not worth living? Let’s see … Take naps regularly, as every jailbird knows.

Keep a journal where you make observations about what “the creature” actually goes through, what it really thinks and feels where there is no posturing, no censuring, where it is free to complain or free to not be interested in the big bad “real world.” If someone should shoot you in the head while you are sitting there not interested, oh well, you won’t miss being alive anyway, unless there is some kind of unconscious consciousness. Who knows?

Most likely, the majority of individuals in the population experience themselves as a minority. Irony or contradiction? The majority is nothing but a collectivity of minorities. The group is an abstraction that doesn’t really exist in the flesh. Following this line of thought, I considered that, most likely, every single individuated being is, in fact, the center of the universe. What kind of mathematics is that? What kind of geometry would place the individual as the center of the universe? Well, it would be a geometry that acknowledges that the entire cosmos is dependent upon the sentient creature in order to be a world at all. The creation depends on the creature for its existence.

Why do I find genuinely grumpy people so hilarious? The comic attitude is a hostile attitude. The all-too-clear paradox in embracing the gloomy philosophy that life is not worth living is that, once I grasp that all are in a similar predicament, that no one is to be envied, the absurdity of existence is easier to endure.

The military utilizes video games to recruit “gamers” as drone pilots. A video game addict can drop out of high school to enter the military as a drone pilot, and, by the age of 19, be training a squad of other gamers. War as entertainment.

To be a deep thinker in such a world is to sit on the sidelines; better still, to ignore the Machine, to have contempt and disdain for the preoccupations of “the masses,” no longer hoping to discover like-minded individuals to engage in conversations with. Eventually, grasping the reality of this human zoo, no longer invading anyone’s personal space … just out of respect for that realm between their ears, knowing that each of us is isolated in a dimension of perplexity, which is incommunicable … maybe the exchange of a quick glance in the eyes … that’s it: mental independence.
Stranger in a strange land in an alien heat.

How does one get through the day? How to face the abyss? Maybe spending some time in a jail cell or in a psychiatric ward or in a welfare motel or just on plain old universal economic house arrest forces the prisoner, inmate, dolester, or poor devil to fall back on the inner life. Hell, even the uberrich and dangerously famous have to face this very same abyss!

When there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no one to know … when enduring existence … when an individual’s own inner voices are our only companions, sometimes these inner voices can surprise us. The inner realm can make us laugh, can help us wonder, can invite us to experience awe and mystery, and can even allow us to contemplate the miserable and nightmarish bravely, without flinching.

Who can instruct anyone else on how to endure existence, on how to live? What’s the point in doing anything at all? This is the point: there doesn’t have to be a point. You stay alive, and still you will die. To be introspective, contemplative, reflective, full of thoughts, is to have access to the interior universe. Actually, the interior is all there is … it “reads” being-in-the world and paints the landscape with the imagination.
Using the imagination, I wonder if I might invoke the Cognitive Unconscious as some kind of mythological oracle and inner guide. That “unconscious” is the same dimension that our ancestors called “The Spirit World”. It’s all in the imagination. Everything, from our dreams to our day-to-day reality – all memories to be “in the past” – all consciousness of the so-called objective external material world … it’s all in the imagination.

There is a tone of voice, an attitude, a style I want to develop … like the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, a voice that defies polite society with truths “I” feel in the marrow of the bones … those feelings I might lack the imagination to think, those thoughts I may lack the confidence to articulate.

Wasn’t George Carlin’s genius in his ability to use his stand-up comedy performance as a medium to critique society and to just blurt out thoughts that might offend the conventional? I want to be able to use the diary format to express forbidden thoughts in the way Vonnegut used the novel as a platform to say whatever the fuck he wanted to say.

Unlike face-to-face human interactions, writing does not require politeness.

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