In formless times I greatest feel the Need To fit some Self to artificial Form.
A cast for freely floating seed allows For better fruit than barren fields might bear.
But weary after Images of Growth, Resolv’d to Pattern vaster than my Pow’r
I look to yonder City and behold, A wretched cry, in wretched Waves repeats.
The lower sayeth (marvel she hath voice) That Woe is daily piled on and on;
A stern rebuke, and voiced in fiercer tone Than by his might the High is apt to hear.
Yet knowing we are We, and far from Good, We grasp and grasp at better worlds of Mist.
Pretending at Utopia, we tilt At Windmills form’d by ancient idol gods.
Forget Oneself as Human
Forget oneself as Human by one’s Speech; Machine can speak in too alike a Voice.
Forget oneself as Human by one’s Works; What works will Chaos not in Time erase?
Forget oneself as Human by one’s Place; But look Above, Below and see the Same.
Forget oneself as Human by one’s Name; A rose by any other name still With’rs.1This line is in perfect iambic pentameter and you can’t change my mind.
title note2I’ve read neither Kant nor Derrida but I have read Nick Land on Kant and the SEP page on Derrida. I’ve also watched part of several Derrida lectures on Youtube… Actually I did read “Monolingualism of the Other”
The Parts of Man combine to form the whole Though nowhere may we find a Rigid break.
The Alchemist therefore delights to Break To see what gods from Broken goods are born.3Yes this is a 傷物語 reference, aside from being a reference to radical constructivism a la Von Glasersfeld, Piaget, et al., and to evolutionary biology/psychology.
From Dust, and too from Learning comes the Man4both in biological and evolutionary time Which nought may Solve but magic Alkahest.5a reference to the allure and strength of humanist essentialism, even mind-body dualism
But magic’s realm is Spirit and is Mind Where Dissolution is no mighty Feat.
A golem’s crafted not from Flesh and Blood But stone enchanted by a sim’lar Soul.
And marvel there’s no Special part of Man That great Enchantments could not likely match.
I saw a trillion Eyes in every way, A trillion Mouths to voice their Wills and Plans
The Good some Measured seemed so far away From all their pain and Animal delight.
And many strove to care an empty care Which maybe hid the terrible Sublime.
The trillion Eyes and Mouths were God as One, Still good as Two; but Three I hid my face.7As Two, they might be yin and yang, or emptiness and form, or even good and evil. I do not know what they are as three; if I did I doubt I can speak of them.
Words can but Point a little bit beyond The furthest yonder Limit of one’s Gaze.
And as the lower fickly turns her head, He Points at various Separate trifling Things.
So if some impetus from God to build Too sorely Overwhelms one’s fragile heart,
Start close, near what is Perfect, and expand That what is built might not collapse Again.
Utopia is not a Leap away, But several Steps, though some may seem as leaps.
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. 5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. 6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. 8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.8Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, KJV
The law of Heaven is Dao The law of Earth is Heaven The law of Man is Earth The law of Dao is Nature9自然 translates colloquially to “nature”, but could be literally translated as “self-apparent”
A dear diary moment Now in the honesty that alcohol induces, feeling like I have to write. A story I tell myself in the absence of tears, to fill and justify that absence. “Constantly without to see the essence”, and what a disappointment. Inert white phlegm in place of the golden elixir—never yellowed nor reddened; just past melancholy, and feeling too much of nothing at all.
I hate myself in the presence of my college dormmates, but that me is too established for change. And now I’ll be leaving. In the first days, having assumed too much, my narrative of “enlightenment” and “understanding” and whatnot—LARPing as the cringiest witch-doctor, whom many believed for too long a while. Dragging, dragging, dragging them somewhere they don’t want to go.
Now in my sadness, opening to them in the most harmful way, seppuku opening my putrid intestines. “I think it’s sad because we have no ephemeral connection. I’ve always felt so spiritually distant. We’ve only been friends and stuff because we’re physically close, living together and all. So that’s why it’s especially sad, with nothing tying us together anymore once we are far apart. So you all are really permanently gone.”
And then, asked, in a final gesture? So what are you interested in? And my response, “Well, that’s the thing. It’s nothing specific, nothing topical. Not what but just the way I’m interested in things. I actually hate talking.”
“I enjoy wandering. I like doing stuff with people. I like happy people.” In a final gesture, explaining “It’s just, for example, wandering aimlessly along the highways in Shanghai, sleeping on the ground. Going blind to some conference with ‘radical counterintellectuals’, these are the kinds of things that are meaningful to me, that make my life fulfilling, while you guys are just trying to get through college and get a job or whatever. I feel like I’m dragging y’all somewhere you don’t want to be. It hurts.”
And then the same conversation shift as ever, back to the mundane, to the specifics of video games and anime. And they know now how I never mean anything I say, for it all feeling so base and pointless to me. For disdain and derision and all other pretentious things. Awkwardly, once upon a time joking, how I hate myself when I’m around them. Farming that for internet clout, blogging now.
Woe for narrative consistency. The feeling that nothing happened, making for the especially painful close. Talking and saying nothing. Feigned interests with excessive theory, just because I like people, the shell of people, disregarding whatever is inside. So I drank hoping to cry for them, feeling terribly sad indeed.
And now I feel better, but I didn’t cry. Woe for narrative consistency, for I don’t really feel “better” in a perfect way. I’m just detached from them. I don’t miss them as much as I want to, and I tell myself I’m just lying to myself, and convince myself by the tension in my chest. Though no tears come still though I’m as drunk as I’ll be.
And I told them this though I wanted to tell them how much I liked and loved them. And I hate this self all the more. A me now solidified in memories, a narrative I cannot right toward the perfection. Lead real not alchemical, cannot be transmuted to gold.
Nothing left, a hole in my past. No ephemeral connection. I wrote love letters to one just to feel something, memed myself into real love by that self-narrative reinforcement that lingers even now, and I really am sad, I say. But the tears don’t come, and these words try to fill the void I meant to fill by tears.
A melancholy moment before I go off to sleep and the day cycles again as always, and I leave again the past that never was, and still makes no perfect sense however I plea and plea.