An Entrance into Reverie
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
Which cross’d and tangled through a space too dense
For even Three’s wants fully to be met.6a reference mostly to 3 in Pythagorean mysticism and to the three body problem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-body_problem
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”