“What now? Now you go insane. Now our species goes extinct in great epidemics of madness …” ~ Thomas Ligotti
“You’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many men [and women] have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them – if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.” ~ Salinger
One text does lead to another, but some thinkers dive deeper than others, and they often come up muddier. In my mental progression, I aim for deeper understanding rather than the accumulation of facts, theories, or systems. Let us get muddy then, shall we? Before leaving Freehold, while going through books that I would be forced to abandon, I was going through a collection of essays by Bertrand Russell, specifically an essay called, The Ancestry of Fascism. Russell mentions Fichte, another philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer scorned.
Fichte said, “The universe is myself.” Fichte says that when he says ‘I’, he means ‘God’. Fichte also proposed that there must be a new kind of education which would “mold the Germans into a corporate body.” The new education, Fichte says, “must consist essentially in this, that it completely destroys freedom of the will.” He adds that WILL “is the very root of man.”
I was then inspired to check out the index of Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation, Volume 2, for any mention of David Hume, as I recall Hume being among the handful of thinkers Schopenhauer acknowledged as “on point.” On page 338: “… instead of thinking and learning to understand nature, they at once break out into a childish cry, “Design! Design!” They then strike up their refrain of their old women’s philosophy, and stop their ears at all arguments such as the great Hume advanced against them.”
Schopenhauer says that David Hume is hated by the English clergy to this day. In a text originally published in 1748, David Hume mentions what he calls “profound philosophy.” In the last two paragraphs of Section One of Hume’s An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, “Of the Different Species of Philosophy,” this honest thinker wrote,
“What though these reasonings concerning human nature seem abstract and of difficult comprehension, this affords no presumption of their falsehood. On the contrary, it seems impossible that what has hitherto escaped so many wise and profound philosophers can be very obvious and easy. And whatever pains these researches may cost us, we may think ourselves sufficiently rewarded, not only in point of profit but of pleasure, if, by that means, we can make any addition to our stock of knowledge in subjects of such unspeakable importance.”
“But as, after all, the abstractedness of these speculations is no recommendation, but rather a disadvantage, to them, and as this difficulty may perhaps be surmounted by care and art and the avoiding of all unnecessary detail, we have, in the following Inquiry, attempted to throw some light upon subjects from which uncertainty has hitherto deterred the wise, and obscurity the ignorant. Happy if we can unite the boundaries of the different species of philosophy by reconciling profound inquiry with clearness, and truth with novelty! And still more happy, if, reasoning in this easy manner, we can undermine the foundations of an abstruse philosophy which seems to have hitherto served only as a shelter to superstition and a cover to absurdity and error!”
abstruse = “hard to understand”; “secret or hidden”
Nihilism comes from the Latin ‘nihil’, or NOTHING, which means, “not anything,” that which does not exist, i.e., NO THING. Friedrich Jacobi used the word, nihilism, to negatively characterize TRANSCENDENTAL IDEALISM.
Arthur Schopenhauer described transcendental idealism as a “distinction between the phenomenon and the thing-in-itself, and a recognition that only the phenomenon is accessible to us because we do not know either ourselves or things as they are in themselves, but merely as they appear.”
“Transcendental is the philosophy that makes us aware of the fact that the first and essential laws of this world that are presented to us are rooted in our brain and are therefore known a priori. It is called transcendental because it goes beyond the whole given phantasmagoria to the origin thereof.”
a posteri —> “from the earlier” – a posteri knowledge is independent of experience
a posteriori —-> “from the later” – a posteriori knowledge is dependent on experience or empirical evidence
Schopenhauer contrasted Kant’s Transcendental Critical Philosophy with Leibniz’s Dogmatic Philosophy in the Appendix of Volume One of The World as Will and Representation, “Criticism of Kantian Philosophy” :
“With Kant the critical philosophy appeared as the opponent of this entire method [of dogmatic philosophy]. It makes its problem just those eternal truths (principle of contradiction, principle of sufficient reason) that serve as the foundation of every dogmatic structure, investigates their origin, and then finds this [origin] to be in man’s head. Here they spring from the forms properly belonging to it, which it carries in itself for the purpose of perceiving and apprehending the objective world. Thus here in the brain is the quarry furnishing the material for that proud, dogmatic structure. Now, because the critical philosophy, in order to reach this result, had to go beyond the eternal truths, on which all the previous dogmatism was based, so as to make these truths themselves the subject of investigation, it becomes transcendental philosophy. From this it follows also that the objective world as we know it does not belong to the true being of things-in-themselves, but is its mere phenomenon, conditioned by those very forms that lie a priori in the human intellect (i.e., the brain); hence the world cannot contain anything but phenomenon.”
Compared to where my head was at in 1991 (age 24), when I first challenged the mind-fuck programming that is the Twelve Step Recovery Movement, when I found Charles Bufe’s AA: Cult or Cure?, now, over 20 years later, I am far advanced in my mental progression and existential liberation. I have destroyed the Thought Police in the spiritual battleground that is MY BRAIN, the only environment I have left to defend.
What is the price we pay for developing fully human powers of perception? Schopenhauer theorized that there is no individual freedom of the will, for while we seem to choose what we do, we do not choose the conditions, events, circumstances, biological/genetic evolution which determines the choices we will make. Those who presume to control the masses take advantage of scientific discoveries about the phenomenology of fear, anxiety, and insecurity to manipulate the masses. While I don’t think that developing one’s powers of perception can do any harm, certain folk wisdom says, “You know too much for your own good,” or, as Chuck Pahalinuick states through one of his fictional characters, “I know too much to ever be comfortable again.”
And if too much thinking or too much knowledge gets one kicked out of bed, if knowing too much (things we were not meant to know) makes us unfit for living, then we move headlong into the Abyss with enthusiasm, joy, and even delight, as willingly as Lucifer exits the Kingdom of Heaven.
My heroes are not dead soldiers. My heroes are Christopher Marlowe and his Doctor Faustus!
Metzinger says, “Evolution is not something to be glorified. One way to look at biological evolution on our planet is as a process that has created an expanding ocean of suffering and confusion where there previously was none.”
It is not just we who are able to articulate our predicament who know things we were not meant to know. Just because so many do not articulate this awareness does not mean they don’t possess the same degree of awareness. I had become rather emotionally intimate with at least a couple of women who were very aware of the nightmare quality of being … frighteningly so! C__ from Matawan once theorized that there were many of us who ought not to have been born as we seem too honest or sensitive or something. S___ once exclaimed that, while she was not able to “break it down verbally,” she also possessed this deep unspeakable knowledge which may drive many insane: to be the victim of one’s own consciousness, of one’s own hyper-sensitivity to what is actually going on in our world … to contemplate the very likely possibility that it is definitely not alright to have been born, and that there doesn’t seem to be any easy way out of this predicament.
So many sell their souls (often dirt cheap) to this current Bizarroland for a paycheck and the status-symbols that pass for “superiority.” The psychiatrists are pushing meds because they are on the payroll of a criminal organization headed by the Food & Drug Administration. Children six years old are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Their mothers must have been brainwashed by advertisers who are paid by pharmaceutical corporations. Those employed to do the advertising [read: brainwashing] are paid handsomely so that they can live a lifestyle of ostentatious consumption. There is no room for ethics in a consumerist society of acquisitiveness [read: collecting cargo and lots of toys and gadgets, i.e., what George Carlin called STUFF].
Antonin Artaud once wrote an essay where he theorizes that Van Gogh was suicided by his contemporaries, his society. Schopenhauer theorized that artificial social hierarchies reverse the natural order of the universe, where what nature has made great, society drags through the mud or keeps in chains, where it places what nature has made mediocre in positions of authority. At the end of the day, what our society calls authority is really just artificial power. It is not Natural Power. A blizzard is Natural Power. A hurricane is Natural Power. A tidal wave, a tsunami, a typhoon, an earthquake … Natural Power.
Because this emotional plague runs rampant in our communities, many sensitive non-conventional individuals choose to isolate rather than put themselves at the mercy of the conventional.
I am really determined to live near my mother as I sense, I witness, she needs someone in her life who actually likes her and supports her emotionally. I will keep looking for an apartment in the Brick area. I want to try to gather all my journals together, possibly even scanning them onto a hard-drive to preserve them. Rental assistance is very valuable to me, at least until I am ready to destroy all my notebooks just so as not to have to store them. The Lakewood area is not “homeless friendly,” so I would end up in the woods in Freehold, but I would have nowhere to store my notebooks. There’s just no room in The Mother’s domicile. I want to work on my “projects,” but without a residence, all my so-called projects collapse and are left “as is.”
How does it end? I wish I could just sleep and forget these troubles … the troubles with being born.
Meanwhile, as global warming starts to lay waste to our planet, as the rain forests and icecaps shrink together, as inland seas disappear, as genocide and famine continue to ravage Africa, as India and China begin to run out of water, does it not ring evermore true that Martin Heiddegger, Nazi or not, had a profound point when he said we should stop trying to exploit and control the world with our technological brilliance? The way out of our dilemma, the Germans tell us, is not technical or scientific, but philosophical. (Peter Watson 2010)
I am feeling sad tonight. Literature does not comfort me or bring me solace because the nature of what I tend to read is disturbing. Writing on the Internet brings me no comfort or solace.
It’s a sign of merit to be ignored: “Panglossian falsehoods convene the crowd, discouraging truths disperse it.”
As Ligotti writes, “They will trust in the deity of the Old Testament, an incontinent dotard who spoiled Himself and the universe with his corruption, a low-budget divinity passing itself off as the original article. They trust in Jesus Christ, a historical cipher stitched together like Frankenstein’s monster out of parts robbed from the graves of messiahs dead and buried – a savior on a stick. They trust in the virgin pimping Allah and his Drum Major Mohammed, a prophet come lately who pioneered a new genus of humbuggery for an emerging market of believers that was not being adequately served by existing religious products. They trust in anything that authenticates their importance as persons, tribes, societies, and particularly as a species that will endure in this world and perhaps in an afterworld that may be uncertain in its reality and unclear in its layout, but which sates their craving for values NOT OF THIS EARTH – that depressing, meaningless place their consciousness must sidestep every day.”
The true philosopher/thinker today must merge literature and philosophy, challenge and better psychoanalysis … become the writer-philosopher-militant.
Alain Badiou wrote:
We may summarize the main points of the programme that inspired postwar French philosophy as follows.
1. To have done with the separation of concept and existence – no longer to oppose the two; to demonstrate that the concept is a living thing, a creation, a process, an event, and, as such, not divorced from existence;
2. To inscribe philosophy within modernity, which also means taking it out of the academy and putting it into circulation in daily life. Sexual modernity, artistic modernity, social modernity: philosophy has to engage with all of this;
3. To abandon the opposition between philosophy of knowledge and philosophy of action, the Kantian division between theoretical and practical reason, and to demonstrate that knowledge itself, even scientific knowledge, is actually a practice;
4. To situate philosophy directly within the political arena, without making the detour via political philosophy; to invent what I would call the ‘philosophical militant’, to make philosophy into a militant practice in its presence, in its way of being: not simply a reflection upon politics, but a real political intervention;
5. To reprise the question of the subject, abandoning the reflexive model, and thus to engage with psychoanalysis – to rival and, if possible, to better it;
6. To create a new style of philosophical exposition, and so to compete with literature; essentially, to reinvent in contemporary terms the 18th-century figure of the philosopher-writer.
To identify it further, its one essential desire – for every identity is the identity of a desire – was to turn philosophy into an active form of writing that would be the medium for the new subject. And by the same token, to banish the meditative or professorial image of the philosopher; to make the philosopher something other than a sage, and so other than a rival to the priest. Rather, the philosopher aspired to become a writer-combatant, an artist of the subject, a lover of invention, a philosophical militant – these are the names for the desire that runs through this period: the desire that philosophy should act in its own name.
If I can just get my fingers to move. Damn fingers have been spazzing out in the mornings lately. They curl up and it takes effort to bend them until they loosen up. Minor details.
There is a hilarious passage from “The Conspiracy” around pp171-3 of the chapter, “The Cult of Grinning Martyrs,” where Ligotti basically, without coming out an saying it directly, which I find kind of “poetic,” that the smiley-faced optimists who tell everyone to stop whining, are evil hate-filled fascists. Mind you, those are my words.
I have to complain about the pain in my leg … It’s difficult to walk.
Ligotti begins the chapter noting that “every shrewd slave knows enough to be as perky as he is submissive in the presence of his master.” Then he goes on to mention a very sharp observation made by the great and honest Arthur Schopenhauer:
“Optimism seems to me to be, not only absurd, but also a really wicked way of thinking, a bitter mockery of the most unspeakable sufferings of mankind.”
Ligotti goes on to say that society expects us not to complain. He is absolutely correct. This is true whether one is an employee in the work-force or an inmate in a prison. Society (the people around you – family, co-workers, fellow-prisoners) call us “whiners” when we complain, even when our complaints are valid. Tell me this isn’t some unspoken conspiracy against us by the herd, a collective refusal to contemplate REALITY!
Some excerpts – I’m not going to type the entire passage, just fragments.
Thomas Ligotti wrote:
Should you conclude that life is objectionable or that nothing matters – do not waste our time with your nonsense. We are on our way to the future, and the philosophically disheartening or the emotionally impaired are not going to hinder our progress. If you cannot say something positive, or at least equivocal, keep it to yourself. Pessimists and depressives need not apply for a position in the enterprise of life. You have two choices: Start thinking the way God and society want you to think or be forsaken by all.
Excuse me, but I will pause here so you can laugh. To me, that was hilarious. I’m a sick man like Dostoyevsky’s “Underground Man.” Obviously, the author is taking on the voice of society yelling at us, which I find amusing. That’s very comforting to me, for he understands us … those of us who find life to be not exactly PLEASANT.
No melancholic head-case is going to badmouth our catastrophe. The universe was created by the Creator, goddamn it.
None of this is going to be overwhelmed by a thought criminal who contends that the world is not doubleplusgood and never will be and who believes that anyone is better off dead than alive.
To lay it on the line, whatever thoughts may enter your chemically imbalanced brain are invalid, inauthentic, or whatever dismissive term we care to hang on you, who are only “one of those people.”
Thomas Ligotti wrote:
And if we do not feel good, we should act as if we do. If you act happy, then you will become happy—everybody in the workaday world knows that. If you do not improve, then someone must assume the blame. And that someone will be you. We are on our way to the future, and no introverted melancholic is going to impede our progress. You have two choices: start thinking the way God and your society want you to think or be forsaken by all. The decision is yours, since you are a free agent who can choose to rejoin the world of fabricated reality—civilization, that is—or stubbornly insist on … what? That we should rethink how the whole world transacts its business? That we should start over from scratch, questioning all the ways and means that delivered us to a lofty prominence over the amusement park of creation? Try to be realistic. We made our world just the way nature and the Lord wanted us to make it. There is no starting over and no going back. No major readjustments are up for a vote. And no nihilistic head case is going to get a bad word in edgewise. The universe was created by the Creator, goddamn it. We live in a country we love and that loves us back. We have families and friends and jobs that make it all worthwhile. We are somebodies, as we spin upon this good earth, not a bunch of nobodies without names or numbers or retirement plans. None of this is going to become unraveled by a thought criminal who contends that the world is not double plus good and never will be and who believes that anyone is better off dead than alive. Our lives may not be unflawed—that would deny us a future to work toward—but if this charade is good enough for us, then it should be good enough for you. So if you cannot get your mind right, try walking away. You will find no place to go and no one who will have you. You will find only the same old trap the world over. It is the trap of tomorrow. Love it or leave it—choose which and choose fast. You will never get us to give up our hopes, demented as they may seem. You will never get us to wake up from our dreams. Your opinions are not certified by institutions of authority or by the middling run of humanity, and therefore whatever thoughts may enter your chemically imbalanced brain are invalid, inauthentic, or whatever dismissive term we care to assign to you who are only “one of those people.” So get the hell out if you can. But we are betting that when you start hurting badly enough, you will come running back. If you are not as strong as Samson — that no-good suicide and slaughterer of Philistines — then you will return to the trap. Do you think we are morons? We have already thought everything that you have thought. The only difference is that we have the proper and dignified sense of futility not to spread that nasty news. Our shibboleth: “Up the Conspiracy and down with Consciousness.”
“Gradually it has become clear to me what every philosophy so far has been: namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir.” ~ Nietzsche
This approaching hurricane is supposedly not only to be the worst storm to hit New Jersey, but the worst storm to ever hit the United States, and it is heading right toward our area (Asbury Park, Long Beach Island, New York City). I have written and spoken a great deal about storms and the Old Gods. Isn’t it uncanny that this storm hits during a full moon and Halloween?
Those who do not evacuate when ordered to face possible detention in jail. Marshal Law? One ought to take note of how instantaneously the State uses natural disasters as a pretext for tyrannical measures.
I’m getting into HP Lovecraft’s “The Case of Charles Dextor Ward,” especially with 70 mile per hour winds howling outside my mother’s domicile … lights flickering like real horror …
” … he suddenly turned from the study of the past to the study of the occult, and refused to qualify for college on the ground that he had individual researches of much greater importance to make.”
The automatic writing I have experienced my entire life, well, since about the age of 12 or so, has helped me to develop this VOICE. This VOICE does not ask permission to speak or write. This VOICE refuses to ask first whether a thought is permitted or whether a feeling is appropriate. From now on I want to once again become a VESSEL FOR ABRAXAS to brew its thoughts in.
And so, automatic writing it is. Do I dare look at how I really feel as opposed to how I think I “ought” to feel? Writing in these notebooks has added an inner dimension to my life, a private realm where there is no authority on what I think or how I feel except for me.
An original: I think love is not just accepting someone or some being with their quirks, qualities, characteristics, trauma, flaws, etc, but actually being genuinely attracted to those quirks, qualities, characteristics, trauma, flaws, etc.
I am drawn to passages in literature having to do with oddness.
(HP Lovecraft – The Case of Charles Dextor Ward)
“He had, he said, important special investigations to make, which would provide him with more avenues toward knowledge and the humanities than any university which the world could boast.”
“Naturally, only one who had always been more or less studious, eccentric, and solitary could have persued this course for many days without attracting notice. Ward, however, was constitutionally a scholar and a hermit; hence his parents were less surprised than regretful at the close confinement and secrecy he adopted.”
“During October, Ward began visiting the libraries again, but no longer for the antiquarian matter of his former days. Witchcraft and magic, occultism and daemonology, were what he sought now.”
The trip into Freehold went smoothly but still took all day. I didn’t get there until nearly 1:30PM, and I didn’t get back into the Lakewood area until after 9PM. I was able to walk down the tracks out into my childhood stomping grounds, what we used to call “Beltaire Farm Lands.” I sat in the woods, sang, drank a half-pint of brandy, and then checked out the dismal, somewhat comical, and real situation of the town I am so drawn to. Generators everywhere, no electricity.
Walking without my cane only five months since my precious right leg was broken was symbolic for me: walking down the tracks with backpack, without a cane, testing my endurance, seeking limits, getting a “feel” for “my reality.” The only store I went in was the 6-12 – for a gallon of water, room temperature.
While waiting for the Lakewood bus, the police dropped off a drunken Black woman. They pulled off quickly after dropping her off, and she proceeded to smash a bottle onto the pavement. As it shattered, she let out a howl. I tried not to gawk, turning my eyes away so as not to become “involved.”
All in all, I know there is one zone where I feel great peace, and that is in the woods of my childhood stomping grounds. I ran into JJ on my walk down South Street, passing off a five dollar bill toward his “mission.” I joked with a Mexican family, giving a chico a hearty laugh by pretending to eat a worm off the ground.
I am in “good spirits” as I witness the prophecies of the Lakota and Sioux revealing the vulnerabilities of modern man when it encounters the Natural Power of The Great Mother and Her Emotional Disorders. She’s unbalanced, unpredictable, unstable, and unmanageable. She won’t submit to mandatory anger management sessions. No riot police can subdue Her Days of Rage.
I find myself wishing there were more woods out here in the Lakewood/Brick area. There seems to be nowhere to hide from eyes and automobiles. It’s irritating, to say the least! I breathe deeply the wintry November air brought in by the cold November rain.
Now a toothache haunts me, and yet still The Thing eats … and somehow sleeps! I want to take a break from the Internet as I want to rediscover what it is like to just scribble in private notebooks my private thoughts without feeling compelled to type or to consider an audience. I want to be able to find validation from within me rather than in the presence of readers or receivers. I speculate as an animal body in the flesh. The flesh itself speculates. No website, publisher, stage, or audience is required. Doesn’t writing for an audience involve posturing and presenting oneself in the best light? Who dares to expose, let alone witness, the base nature of self-interest?
Was it time served in jail that helped nurture these secret arts of enduring myself? In jail, books become even more important to me. An interesting text can give the mind something to reflect upon so that one might remain “inner-directed,” maintaining a subtle sense of humor with a cosmic perspective, and generally keeping one’s head together in the midst of so many diverse personalities, many of which may be hostile to intellectual or scholarly activities. Surprisingly though, I have found most inmates to be open-minded when it comes to developing one’s knowledge while incarcerated. As I have mentioned many times before, the professors of literature and critical theory in the ivory towers of the universities might be humbled and inspired were they to witness a handful of jailbirds passionately discussing Dostoevsky amidst basketballs whizzing over their heads. Some of us really get Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Vonnegut, to name but a few of the scribblers to reach into our hearts through time and space. We are interstellar wanderers in the flesh!
I feel so relaxed since I decided to detach from the Internet. I just don’t give a shit anymore. I have no desire to drink booze tonight, even though I have enough for a pint. The alcohol is out of my system for now. Life is renewable. Just as the cold November rains cleared much of the pollution from the dirty lake, making the water almost drinkable for the wild fowl, my animal body is almost purified of the toxic alcohol I utilize to help me “do my time” through the penal colony that is existence itself. Today is what I call “a coffee day.” I am living as though our entire civilization is a gargantuan open-air prison colony. As every prudent jail bird comes to learn, to his or her utter amazement, there are ways to arm one’s spirit: inner strength; emotional courage; patience with one’s own limitations; the great gift of developing a sense of humor – or, at the very least, a sense of the absurd, the ridiculous, and the ludicrous; prudence, that is, the wise management of one’s limited resources; the power of tenacity and spontaneity – staying in the moment and dealing with one survival issue at a time.
Not much different than a jail bird, I live to eat meals; but, unlike the poor zek, I am able to prepare my own meals, which is a great blessing. I have access to discount tobacco, obscure literature, high quality coffee for relatively little money, the liberty to bundle up and wander aimlessly under the open sky, the Great Mysterious. Now, with the cold weather upon us, I am strongly inclined to hibernate. This animal body that “I am” is, paradoxically, most content when flat broke, as long as I have food, shelter, tobacco, coffee, heat, blankets, and pillows. I like lots of pillows. Oh, let’s not forget ink and notebook … and literature. With these basics, I think this is as good as it gets! Add love and mix.
I really have become a genuine disciple of Arthur Schopenhauer as I do not seek pleasure so much as I try to minimize suffering. I refer to cocaine for an easily understood analogy: the pleasure one derives from that substance is not worth the suffering involved in the crash or the withdrawal; hence, it is a wise being who learns this lesson early on and avoids “taking the hook.” Avoid the hooks, avoid the nets, and swim away from the schools. Old school, new school, no matter … avoid the crowd, the mob, the masses, the herds, the hordes, the stadiums, the churches, the groups, the clicks, the corporations, the political parties; in short, avoid the group-mind.
I try not to entertain delusions about so-called “romantic love” or ambitions to gain humble employment on a geek squad at the local Best Buy or Staples. No thanks. As was with the case of HP Lovecraft’s Charles Dextor Ward, I have individual researches of much greater importance to make. I will risk boring the reader and repeat: “He had,” he said, “important special investigations to make, which would provide him with more avenues toward knowledge and the humanities than any university which the world could boast.”
And yet, if I do end up settling down for a stretch in Ocean County, if I should become bored with my rich inner life, I may eventually seek a humble position performing some redundant tasks if only to add a social dimension to my daily existence – opportunities to interact with others, meet some wayward women, and just to get a feel for how my “current ever-transforming personality” would operate in today’s corporate dominated work-force. It most likely would be a disaster, but I have not excluded the possibility for “research and development” in the field.
One survival issue at a time: First and foremost, I have to find a new residence, as per usual. My options are quite limited. That’s the polite of way of saying, “I am being corralled like some wildlife being herded into the proper section of a zoo.”
How many others find themselves in a similar situation? Could it be as high as nearly half the population of the United States? At least I have the confidence in my own cognizance to refuse to be “on” psychiatric drugs. I don’t use the euphemism, “medication,” but prefer the raw truth. I have been suspicious of the pharmaceutical, psychiatric, and medical professions for years, if not for decades. When I consider the traps many of my brothers and sisters of misery get stuck in: the group homes, the rehabs, the day programs, the mandatory involvement in Twelve Step programs, reporting to probation officers, submitting to urine analysis, it makes me dizzy with nausea; but it also makes me much less anxious about my own personal so-called instability, unpredictability, and unmanageability.
I have a good instinct for avoiding traps – traps of employment, traps of lethal or toxic relationships, traps of certain chemical addictions, traps of owning a motor vehicle, traps of religious belief, traps of career ambitions, et cetera. I am disgusted with the business-as-usual status quo, and I make this clear in my total indifference to societal norms.
Now, while I have an inner compulsion to travel into Freehold to wander around, just reading through my notes under trees or speaking to those who would listen to me, doing this seems to invite criticism from the peanut gallery, those busy-bodies who think that I disturb the traffic more than the traffic disturbs me.
I have experienced the double-edged sword: loss of personal possessions due to chronic homelessness. I empathize with those categorized as “emotionally disturbed,” and I sense there are plenty of people in any given area on this planet who would have an inkling of comprehension when I speak of the “absurdity” of our collective predicament. Is it so shocking that I have become a deadbeat living on the dole? I have become a chain-smoking beer-guzzling Henry Fool who remains at large, an underground philosopher, a Dostoevskian character who gets by, who gets through the day, who is leaving a trail of reflections along with countless others doing the same – we, who have attained a high degree of existential freedom by not caring about prosperity, career, or marriage. I find it difficult to stand contrite before a judge who is himself at the mercy of status quo mentalities.
When I choose a book to read, I am looking to be inspired to think. While I enjoy philosophy, I know where I stand in relation to academic philosophy. If there is an audience for me, it is such a small minority that to strive to publish some kind of “work” or opus would be a total waste of effort done in vain. I sit back in a detached manner as I watch my species seal their own doom. I am leaning toward the absurd, dark satire, and dystopian horror.
What the fuck am I supposed to do? I sure don’t want to live in a boarding house, a group home, or some Easter Seals Program where I would be coerced into a day program and be at the mercy of brainwashed busybodies and AA-indoctrinated snitches.
The conventional have the unconventional at their mercy. With Artaud I say, “We’re not going to kill ourselves just yet, but, until we do, leave us the fuck alone!”
What good would staying in Monmouth County do? Who would give me a chance in Freehold Borough? Screw the dirty politics of Small Town, USA! You can’t fight ignorance with intelligence. It’s a Catch-22. I have lost patience with those who expect me to just go along with their opinion of me. I don’t want to live in Matawan or Freehold or Asbury Park or Ocean Grove, and I certainly don’t want to get corralled into Keansburg. I don’t want to live in Howell or Farmingdale. I’ve seen too much already. I don’t want to live in Red Bank or Long Branch. I don’t even want to live in Lakewood, actually, if you don’t mind. I don’t think I have a choice to want to live; the animal body is wired to breathe, to eat, to warm itself, to dry itself. There is no freedom of the will. And so it goes. So, here I am for now, but not forever, of course.
I seriously doubt I would be content living at Pepe’s on Throckmorton Street: no kitchen? Hell, this is my real life novel: the philosophical anti-hero searching for an apartment, the nomadic tenant. The crux of this anti-novel are my philosophical reflections in the face of this absurd reality. How many others? We are Legion. The Impossibility of Being …
I am not in the mood to be inebriated at the moment. Where to begin? I am the protagonist-in-the-flesh of my living anti-novel.
Even all my writing on the Internet had only proven to me just how few people are willing to validate me as a cultural entity, how few will go through the trouble of acknowledging the fire in my bones. Has this taught me anything? Haven’t I always had the strength and courage to stand alone? If I hadn’t developed this quality early on in life, would I have even had the will to put my DIARY out there in Cyberia?
The most enduring relationship of my life has been the one with my mother. When I see how my hometown has dragged many of the local elders of these streets through the mud, I get a glimpse of what is in store for me: jails and institutions unless I move over to the well water in sheepish conformity, dependency on the corporate state, and submission to the group mind, the Higher Fucking Power. The sheep want you to roll over and play them!
What is hubris? Hubris means extreme arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power. When I think hubris, I think things like NASA or emperor or Heavenly Father. I think of space-cadets fantasizing about colonizing the Milky Way. Hubris, arrogance, overestimation of one’s competence.
I wish I could articulate the mental activity that takes place in my head just prior to waking up. Dream images and feelings fade as consciousness realizes it exists. Have I lost my lust for words? After a sinfully restful two hour nap, the anxiety I was drowning in has lifted. I had typed one of those long diatribes only to have it disappear into the void when I attempted to post it … GENERAL ERROR message. I get that uncanny feeling that there is something behind the scenes fucking with me, even though I am sure it must just be a glitch on the server end of phpbb3now.com.
Would creating a literary work be a therapeutic exercise?
I am actually not too heartbroken at all about leaving Freehold Boro/Barrio. The constant harassment was really getting on my nerves.
There is a systematic war against the poor. Down and Out in Paris and London. Down and Out in Freehold and Asbury Park. What’s next? Swift arrests land someone categorized as “mentally ill and chemically addicted” into some kind of day program or group home where one is subjected to constant supervision and interrogation, or one is flushed into the county jail – the air-conditioned dungeon, which has become one big mental hospital in itself.
Sitting in the sunbeams, I fully understand that I am at the mercy of a system and a society that may have blacklisted me as, not merely a troubled soul, but, as someone who requires behavioral modification, forced psychiatric drugging, and mandatory participation in some kind of “outpatient treatment facility” with draconian rules designed by sheep who are determined to turn all remaining wolves into sheep, like themselves.
Hungry Monsters with ravenous appetites
How can we ignore
What we really are?
There is no Freedom
Of the Will
There is no freedom
From the Will
Will I be able to get the chests filled with my notebooks/diaries out of a certain attic into the future residence in Brick, New Jersey? How? When?
I will only have so much time to do what I feel I must do: go through those notes and type up what I can, leaving out most of it …
I have to have patience with myself, especially with my foolish and naive mistakes, since it is through these mistakes that I have learned. A direct consequence of many bad decisions has been that I have met individuals I would never have met if I had walked the straight and narrow path. I had been so excited to go to Seattle, Washington four years ago; but I had no idea what I was in for, like fictional character Ignatius Reilly traveling to Baton Rouge – broken wrist, and all that! Of course, who knew the trouble waiting for me in Asbury Park upon my return to Dirty Jersey in 2010? When I finally made it back to Freehold in 2011, I did not see that severely broken leg in my crystal ball. Was it all worth it? What of it? It is what it is.
So, who can blame me for being a little apprehensive about moving into an apartment complex in Brick, NJ with over 500 units? I could meet a woman who has some psychotic x-boyfriend trying to run me over in his pick-me-up-truck while I am hoofing it down route 70 on my way to the library.
Strange dreams about my teeth last night
Difficult to describe
I could see up into the ugly caverns
Amazing how one becomes acclimated
To the Nightmare of Tooth Decay
While chilling up against a tree in “my sacred woods” in Freehold, I was approached by about 20 armed hunters. For a second, I thought I was being surrounded by Homeland Insecurity! I explained that I grew up “in/near these woods and fields” and left politely. A long time ago there used to be rumors spread about some crazy teenager (me) worshiping “Satan” out there on the Old Beltaire Farmlands … poetic recitations, chants, praying to the fire, singing spirituals spontaneously, and even some dancing on the dirt …
Twas wise and prudent of me to refrain from building any huts lest the deer hunters come across it and dial 911.
“Call the authorities, Bubba, we got a squatting bow here.”
I will be getting back to writing the way I did before 2003, before this obsession with message boards: gortbusters, whywork, etc. I am breaking free again. The Internet is just the tip of the Big Mother Iceberg. The era of the novel is over. Now, the era of the blog is over (for me). I return to the unexplored, unexposed, the writing off the radar in the manner of protagonists from 1984 (Orwell) and We (Zamyatin): the thought pad addressed to the future.
We are the bricks that the Prison is made of. We are the bricks in The Wall. The chains that bind us are biological in nature. Our dependencies are exploited, and yet nobody is forcing us to remain trapped. Are they? Unpleasant facts. We are the prison.
My diaries seem to be the documentation of the long process of the development of the ability to be alone, and to think independently. As I have nurtured a rich inner life, self-love, and self-respect, I do not require status symbols to compensate for feelings of inadequacy. My source of strength is within me. The Power is within Me.
One must endure one’s own thoughts, one’s own feelings. One has no choice but to endure oneself, to endure life and what it is. This is why Ligotti calls existence a nightmare: because we find ourselves alive. I find myself alive in a situation I did not choose to be thrown in, and we are bombarded by demands that we are thankful for being in this predicament rather than to be nothing at all.
I think back to 1986 when a judge in Freehold Borough, in a courtroom that was an old building that I had been in when I went to kindergarten in 1973, told me he was going to flush me down the toilet. All for what? Was it because I eluded the police? Was I driving after drinking beer in my uninsured motor vehicle in the park on my birthday. I ran from my vehicle and into snow-covered woods. I was easily tracked and captured exhausted in the snow. It was my birthday and I was drinking Heinekins. What a fucking travesty!
The records from 1981 to 1986 were destroyed and/or lost. I had an academic scholarship to Satan Hall, but, as I has chosen Asian Studies as a major, and it was just myself and a young black woman enrolled for that area of study, the entire curriculum was canceled. I chose not to go to college at that time. It was a major turning point …
I did not want to go into the military. I did not even want to pump gas, but I guess I was pumping gas somewhere. In my private imagination, it was a Gas Pumpers’ Rebellion. My buddy, G___, was also a Gas Pumping Rebel before he decided to study History in some Catholic college. What I really wanted to do is to hide in the woods smoking herb or drinking beer … which led to what? Passing out on the ground. Always leading to passing out on the ground.
On the ground.
I would behold the highways, the emptiness, and purposelessness of everything.
I would sing and chant.
Part of me feels a little guilty and self-centered for being so happy about getting a great pair of boots while people are grieving the massacre of their children in Connecticut. I don’t know if it is paranoia or just awareness, but I no longer want to be reporting my thoughts to the Internet. Well, I have some theories that, if true, are frightening. What if there are mind control operations going on where unstable people are being used to massacre people in public places so as to generate fear in the population so the FBI can lobby for gun control? Didn’t Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany also take the guns away from the citizenry? Didn’t Switzerland deter a Nazi invasion precisely because all the everyday people were all armed to the teeth?
My refusal to take psychiatric medications since late 2008 is proof that I have a healthy fear of the reaction those pills have, especially when combined with alcohol. Now, why would the mental health industry coerce clients to take such medications, knowing they are very likely to imbibe alcohol? Why?
“Some people hear their inner voices with great clearness, and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy … or they become legend.”
I am relieved to be moving into the next apartment at the start of 2013. Welcome to Brick.
The trip into Freehold was good for my soul – whatever a soul is. We don’t even know if such a thing as a soul even exists. Hell, we don’t even know if we really exist. We could just be figments of our own imaginations. Phantasmagoria. Seeing that Honduras at the CVS, the way her head went back with her long black hair all funked out, is burned into my memory. Intrusive thoughts par maximus! At one point, the sun was shining bright. At another point, when on the phone with new apartment complex management, it was raining. Just before getting the call from Brick apartment management, a bolt of lightening struck, followed by a loud crash of thunder clouds. A sun-thunderstorm in December?
Again I awaken irritable, but it seems to lift a little when I acknowledge it.
I look forward to getting a recorder so I might catch myself in the act of “singing while inebriated” as well as reading directly from my Notes/Records. I am in good spirits even though I’ve drank hard liquor for the last three days. When I get into the next apartment, I will try to restrain my Dionysian impulses so as not to draw too much attention to myself. I will want to behave enough to be able to renew the lease next year.