Tuesday, September 18, 2012
poet's sigh versus thinker's hysteria
Occasionally, a moment will come on me in which the sense of striving (all forms) seems quite odd. In such moments, I ponder the trillion to the trillionth power texts written about this or that. Especially what goes on in scientific, philosophical, and religious environments.
All that important stuff walks around absorbing its own glow of respectable importance.
As if it is all actually getting somewhere. As if the time and thought invested in it are actually altering the dimensions of being, rather than simply reorienting the synaptic contours of abstract ski-slopes inside writers' and readers' heads.
I get the strange sense that all these producers of the trillion plus texts can't stop themselves. They don't realize they are all quietly and compulsively hysterical. They are trembling out their important words not realizing it is a symptom of metaphysical stress; rather, they think it is a noble and goes-without-saying gesture toward enhanced understanding.
It is all so very odd.
I think I would enjoy important texts more if, at the end of each paragraph, was the sentence: "Oh, my god, I'm going to die!" Yes, in each peer-reviewed scientific article, each philosophical magnum opus, each profound ethical/spiritual effusion.
Our brains are adaptive instruments we use to not die. In the past, our brains were a way to avoid big hungry cats and stuff. In the long duration of figuring out how not to get eaten, our brains managed to get souped-up and quite jazzy. We figured out how to zoo most big cats. So now what do we do with our leisure time and with our massive mental survival apparatuses? Apparently, we write a lot of texts. And the writing of them per se is maybe a subconscious form of denying the end of our time and repressing the space of our graves. As if we are writing ourselves into a prophylactic dream inside World.
Until right this moment, I've had a curmudgeonly attitude toward Zen people. Those folks sitting around breathing and no-selfing. Or strolling around a rock garden to observe the transience of whatever and whatnot. Now, I have a grudging favorable attitude toward them. They are at least not writing out their hysteria in the form of ostensible knowledge.
But I think it's the poets who are most excellently cool. At least those rare poets like Tomas Tranströmer, who chart for us only moods of time and textures of space. There's something non-hysterical about that. Something that has pushed beyond the subconscious frenzy. A way of merely waiting inside stanzas of strange beauty.