Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October Musings, in Time for the Turn (of leaves, life, etc.)

October. Possibly the best time for les pensées. Death and dying abound, the air is thick with the scent of it. The heart pressed as a sieve. What extractions shall this years press produce? Exciting times. The fruits of alchemy and medicines almost cured. Prepare for the big rest. Well, not the BIG rest.... and so,

"Death is not an Event in life. We do not live to experience death." (Wittgenstein)

Fascinating reading, Badiou and his ruminations on singularity, truth, universalism. He writes of Events which occur and (perhaps) do not occur, and other such trickeries which enable the mind to continually pursue infinite combinations of possibilities. As a friend of mine once said to me, nothing is impossible in a world of possibilities. Jean-Paul Sartre weighs in on this in his wonderful writings--of which continue to sway my feminine mystique.

Lucretius, Epicurus both also weigh in on death. I'm part Epicurean, part everything else (everything in the slightest and broadest, most fragmented perspective). Inclusive and not. Binaries switching at the rate of sound. It's a wonder I remember to turn off my shoes (yes, that's the connection my brain just made, and I'm writing it here, for posterity. There is no hope!).

Epicurus on death. Do not fear it (and so, do not fear (the) Event): "Death is nothing to us. For all good and evil consists in sensation, but death is deprivation of sensation. And therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not because it adds to it an infinite span of time, but because it takes away the craving for immortality. For there is nothing terrible in life for the man who has truly comprehended that there is nothing terrible in not living. [Death] does not then concern either the living or the dead, since for the former it is not, and the latter are no more." And so we fear more losing the grip of consciousness. Is the idea of that "which gives no trouble when it comes, is but an empty pain in anticipation."

Be gone, empty anticipation. Welcome, forwardness.

Too, Epicurus believes that "unhappiness is a kind of "disturbance in the mind," caused by irrational beliefs, desires, and fears." Oh how familiar. I'm convinced once one begins the journey inward, down Freud's unconscious staircase (further narrowing dark chasms, but always with handrail--if you're watchful and guided by "something"...) one must proceed with caution. Although once begun, the journey invariably changes the pilgrim. What's sought? Awareness. Thrills--little and big ones. It's where they live.


The theorists of gestalt sought to connect how the mind perceives Entires out of Incompletes (elements). "To the Gestaltists, things are affected by where they are and by what surrounds that things are better described as "more than the sum of their parts." Patterns from chaos. Patterns from chaos. What else is there?

Don't even get me started on Form.


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