Wednesday, June 30, 2010


the war was fought and the war was won and the audience attended and the banner flew above their heads ... it said new intellect announced ... here you thought knowing was either passive or active when it's both ... the new one being the one you denied ... the passive receives the form ... the act forms it ... informs it by bringing it from potential to actual but sporadically and in time ... it's not that the passive intellect can't learn ... it does ... it forms habits it cleans the home it tends the store it teaches people to be good ... but if it works in the present it eats in the past ... the things it chews on have already been done ... and even now right now there's another intellect doing them ... willfully abstracting ... shedding its particulars ... prospecting for universals that sometimes are and sometimes aren't there ... the agent intellect the spy from another culture from another world is writing the script to higher and greater abstraction ... a world above matter ... closer to god

cf aquinas compendium


there is a power that moves things ... the first movement is to knowledge ... the second is to love ... the first is to a representation of the thing known ... the second is to the thing itself ... a person that the knower loves ... you are drawn to the thing you love ... the first mover first puts a sign in front of us ... something we can sense something we can see something we can understand ... something to which we are naturally attracted ... but the attraction is to the intellect not the will ... it satisfies the mind not the soul because it's not the thing itself and it's no good without the thing it represents ... taking this line of thought don't we come to the conclusion that kant was right ... we never come to the thing itself by knowledge but only to its representation but we do come to this ding an sich through the will ... to the thing we love ... pulling us in ... and all the neokantians of the last century are also right ... we can play with the truth as a system shining with coherence but conforming to something we cannot comprehend

cf Aquinas, light of faith, the compendium of theology, 46


the divided self ... its solution ... suppress the id and at the end sacrifice the id ... someone has to die ... let it be the id ... that cowardly thing you did when you were fifteen ... that was the id ... that drunken despicable thing you did when you were twenty-five ... that was the id ... the first great betrayal you were thirty-five ... that was the id ... your scholarly wantonness ... that was twenty-five years later ... that was the id ... each time the sentence was death ... each time it was commuted ... still the ego is grabbing at shadows ... still the judgment is too late ... we're holding the fort down as we were told ... we're keeping the faith ... but they're bombing caen and bringing dead mothers home in a wheelbarrow ... that was the id ... they're interrogating the queen ... the queen will lose her head ... that's the id ... all the stuff you've taken ... all the loot you've stored ... put it to the id's account ... let the id pay the bill ... so says the ego ... let the ego command ... it never did before ... let it do so now


if christianity is true then then this is too ... the body comes to death because it's infected ... the mind comes to death too because it's affected ... the spirit comes to death because it's effective ... the mind on the road to death says it's already affected ... it wanders and it sleeps in stupefaction that the body must die but worst of all it knows itself as a collaborator in the process ... it knew at fifteen at ten at five what it was doing ... that the odds against it being right were too high but it did it anyway because it would ... its will is wrong ... its affection is misdirected it pleads ... by its body infected from the start ... by its own disease and bad luck ... the body knows better and traces both back to the mind ... until the mind exhausted falls asleep ... now if ever the body is to be healed now that the mind's asleep this is the time for the soul's succour ... the mind hears something and begins to stir ... sends out messengers who come back as mysterious characters with cryptic reports ... wake master ... it comes

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


father thomas says first act second act ... we say potential actual ... faculty operation ... noun verb ... subject predicate ... this is me as I am this is me doing ... so I wonder if to fit our vocabulary of dispute we haven't been sent this one too ... matter and mind ... wouldn't father thomas agree ... it's the particular form that gives a possibility its act ... matter could be here or there now or later ... that's why we ask what's the matter ... we're really asking can you pin it down ... give it a particular form so I know it's real ... at the bottom of the form you can read a little tag ... almost all of them say passed ... some say a long time ago ... you'd think they'd still be restless and try to get away or at least they'd fade a little ... you couldn't hold them in their present mode ... now they don't seem to want to budge ... but if you turn round and look forward even so often their reflection will not serve ... nonetheless they've got you in their picture frame grip ... you forget what was it you meant to do


let's start with the guy who likes to get stoned ... isn't he by definition the new age kind of guy ... and let's not dump on and dismiss him out of hand ridicule and gnosticize him when agnostic is the hero and gnostic this insubstantial villain of imprecision and indecision cloudy thought and weak will who nonetheless claims he's the one who knows the truth much better than the agnostic who says I don't even know what it means to know but this does seem to work ... rather let's stop picking on the gnostic ... take him out to lunch and get to know him better ... where does he live ... where does he come from ... how long has he been around ... with the least conversation you will learn he's as old as plato and pythagoras simon magus merlin and nostradamus ... you say stoic he says mystic but together they meet at the end ... you play plutarch he responds plotinus and you're still on level three of the christian era with seventeen more to follow just to catch up and this on only half the globe the other side of which is gnostic through and through ... from the start


2: we were having a metaphysical conversation ... lots of people don't like that I'm not surprised I didn't hear from her again ... + what's a metaphysical conversation ... 2: one that presupposes the supposition that some things are immaterial ... anything for example that defies space and time limitations ... that can be in two distinct places at the same time or two distinct times at the same place ... + without the word distinct that would mean everything ... what does distinct mean ... 2: what we're used to ... cats and dogs that live ten years but not often twenty ... travel from new york to tokyo that takes a day but not no time at all ... we take duration as a sign of stability but it has to be within reason and cannot overstay its welcome ... zombies and vampires both dangerously flirt with the metaphysical ... we may call them crude ... but gurus levitating and saints bilocating we think we see some high class in that ... a touch of the sublime


+ what's your defense ... 2: I thought it was just a skill in wordplay ... I thought the idea was to polish it ... I thought the sentiment expressed was subsequent in importance to the words used ... subsequently I focused on that skill with a mild ambition to stray into the world of ideas ... not getting much into that world I never suspected there was a more profound world after that ... namely that the purpose of the talk and the ideas was a conversation ... the other world was replete with people you can't see who are in a conversation you can't hear ... nonetheless you do get the idea and understand it from the start ... + what idea ... 2: that there is a part of us that does not change and cannot die ... that's the last thing we hope to see ... a first thing that starts a conversation that never ends that you can tap into any time if you know where to look ... + so the conversation you can't hear you do hear ... 2: yes but only by taking part ... by participation

Monday, June 28, 2010


what would happen to everyman if he stumbled into the outer reaches of angelic wit ... wouldn't the least abstraction cause him to fall ... doesn't it when we consider cause a small start towards genuflection ... the power of the mind in the abstract idea ... who must have been the first to discover it ... not as we would say today starstruck but as they said then godstruck ... pythagoras with his numbers moses with his law plato his forms aristotle his causes ... socrates' stationary day when he stood still in the field in contemplation of a new idea ... listening to the god who explained it ... the messenger god at the necessary least on the fringes of angelic wit ... the larger his portfolio the higher his grade all the way up to the archangel who announces the keystone to the true arch of triumph ... the ark of the species ... the arc of mankind his story and his time ... acolytes hurry up and form ... painters bring your pails ... clerks your stylus and tablets of wax ... build cathedrals for his house


why is there a trinity and not less or more ... because there are only three things in reality ... the source the intellect and the will ... but what about matter ... no ... matter is simply the power emanating from the source as modified first by mind and then by will and ultimately by good will of the holy spirit ... and that's the point that involves all this universe we know ... and that's why we're so important in it for the universe is a history in evolution ... power moderated by design ... design appreciated by mind ... mind intoxicated by power made to sit down calm down cool down have a drink at the end of a long hard day ... take a moment before you go to sleep and wonder how in the image of your mind grace was once sent to heal you ... even now as sleep is meant to do ... the same as st sigmund will tell you even in the unconscious mind there's a form to the turmoil ... and from the whirlpool comes a voice ... pay attention ... it does you a world of good


I had my ship to sail occasionally ... I had other captains as company but they all got off ... now I'm on this huge ship decades long sailing I don't know where ... I have the log to say where I've been but it's been a long journey in the fog and still I don't know where we're going ... now I stumble at night to the wardroom and get myself something to eat ... then I get up and walk to the warroom and study the maps on the table as if all my life were looking through a window at some other event ... through a porthole through a screen through a map ... only today on the table there is no map only cards arranged as branches on a tree or wings on a pole or a very slender angel ... up close its trunk is a series of terrain ... the branches are alive with sections of soldiers weapons and machines ... oh for the old days of the bow and the spear ... I told them the sword was too bloody ... very bad taste ... but did they listen ... now see the mess ... there's war in the warroom


I have no defense ... I have an advocate ... I have a defender ... but I have no defense ... I must throw myself on the mercy of the court on the advice of my lawyer ... it's a murder trial ... I killed the best me ... I cut him up and hung him on a tree ... I killed the truth the truth was dead because of me ... the truth was dead to me and this is what a dead truth means ... this is what it does ... it withers the ground beneath your feet and whispers everything will be all right ... it kills your sixth sense and your common sense too ... it gives you false hope and the wrong answer ... it's called death damnation and despair ... pray god means praise god it should scare the hell out of you that it does ... or what's an advocate for ... that she holds you up as you fall by holding on to your heart ... that he raises you from the dead by turning you into the truth ... you think you have a choice and you do but this is your only choice ... the advice of your counsel and the living truth behind you in you for you ... or the unholy trinity that always wants you dead

Sunday, June 27, 2010


what is that peculiar hard tone you hear in the voice of people you know are being bad ... are they quite themselves or indeed quite themselves ... how real are we when we think we're being particularly hard decisive the one not just listening or reading and certainly not the one talking ... we say a word ... go ... do ... but we can say it with the flip of a hand ... we are in command ... but still we're being bad ... then later we repent even all the way down to the bottom ... what were we thinking ... what have we become ... but the onle liable to do it again ... and so of course we do ... until sometimes cursed with a blessing we stop thinking of it ... for the rest or the most part we don't ... we can't ... we are the thinking of it ... till thinking kills the thought of decision and talk and indecision are the rule ... till in the midst of this conversation till we can act again doesn't there come a thought in the form of a question ... who is it does act if I don't think it can be me


all my life I've tottered on just the right expression ... there it goes almost had it ... but I can at least be clear on this thing that makes me always just too late ... this dichotomy it seems my generation was born to and which lies at the genesis of our language and our thinking ... the subject and the object ... for us as for other generations before us the subjective and the objective each one wanting more as it were of the other ... in our case the subjective trying to break from its cocoon covered in this milky slimy viscous waste ... we want to break free and only to make this point ... the objective is personal ... the truth that's true for you and me the place we can all agree ... is personal ... where your interpretation and mine finally say the same thing ... ah I see it now ... that's what you mean ... we never meant to argue to no conclusion to no end ... we see the truth now ... it's a person


I don't know from time to time what lord means ... sometimes it means the lord sometimes the devil ... the saving graces are I usually get enough time to ask a question or two before acting or can follow a safe groove I've already furrowed one side habit the other routine ... but what if I woke up and the field is clear a big bang goes off and I start to run which way to go ... oh why did I start to run I wail I think I left my self behind but I can't stop now and go back and get it ... though each step forward has to feel false it has to be forward ... what the hell was that bang that got me started and made me run and run in the direction I was facing with all the rush of time behind me the wind of it howling in my ear ... the self behind me is gone as if it never was ... the one I think with now is fundamentally confused ... something something there is to which I am going ... lord let it be the truth


lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil ... I'm hearing temptation as evil but temptation I thought was a good thing ... you struggled with it you beat it you went up another step in spiritual development ... and if you lost and fell down a flight of stairs at least your courage in trying would keep you on the landing ... you deserve another shot ... but the bible also says don't tempt god ... don't go asking for trouble ... in fact if it's offered and you're given a choice pass it up ... temptation is at best a waste of good time ... you know when you begin you wouldn't have to be tempted if you weren't already willing ... stop being already willing ... give up this foolish repeated pattern I will not learn I will not learn ... say instead I know I know and pass the temptation by ... use your time hereafter more wisely ... you don't have all the time in the world not even nearly ... besides I've been too polite ... some temptations lead quickly to horror and mutilating death

Saturday, June 26, 2010


if god did not make me or if god is anything less than all good and powerful what guarantee is there for anything stable or anything true ... or that I would know it if I met it ... who then am I to tell anyone what I think ... if there is no god as god should be ... but that there is a devil of that we all can be sure ... just read the history books and see if all tyrants aren't alike ... just think of yourself on any one bad night ... you're in the presence of something unworldly bad ... a hole in your gut a hole in your head you can figure how they could be ... a fire a flood earth slipping from its orbit these are things we can count on one way or the other ... but malignancy ... the actual destructive will ... not the loss and pain it leaves behind but the thing itself so close at hand ... the hate-filled breath on the back of your neck ... if this present thing is not taken away how could anyone live to lie down beside it ... what fence bar or cage could keep it away ... if there is no god as god should be


as distant as the galaxy is from the rest of the universe that's how I feel about the truth ... I can file the reports ... I can read about the theories ... I can see pictures ... but I don't know it ... I can use it and check this at the top and this at the bottom to see if they agree but I don't know what they mean ... because I don't know the truth ... I have no formal introduction that will open my eyes to her ... we haven't met ... she will not countenance me ... thus am I countermanded ... I have a thing here something like a rock to hold the door open and all through the screen door across the small lawn and out into the street I know she passes by in the deepest hour of the night ... but in my chair the other side of the door I still can't see her ... I'm surrounded by light and she's in the dark ... I'm in a room filled with light but the fire in the corner is cold ... the warmth in the room has gone out into the night pulled into her stream which is life


we fear death because we're afraid to be of no use ... to be that is to be no good ... this isn't you use me and I'll use you and together I'll get to the top whatever that is ... this is how can I be of service ... if we're going right and it's a good end we'd be proud to hold the door open till the end of time with nothing but the thought of that eternity to sustain us ... if it were going right and the end was good ... now whether it is or it isn't is more than a lifetime of discussion ... that means starting all over and still not finish ... but win or lose that argument there must still be death ... to choose not to serve is to choose death and we carry within us something that will not serve and must die ... you call it the body ... that may be just its house ... but it's going to the bad ending and you can't save it or save yourself from the sorrow that must mean to you ... how much of him this lost thing is me ... will choose to be no good ... of no use ... refuse to be of any service


you can't get through the day if you never focus ... but to focus means to exclude ...the trick is to find the focus that doesn't do that ... say a range up to one thousand and one number in that range brought everything into focus and didn't leave anything out ... presumably you could go around thereafter doing everything just right ... if there were such a number if there were such a thing ... for me to see you as you really are I'd have to have that big a picture ... to understand you more and more thoroughly we'd have to go out and not in ... what you know what you love can't be taken from you ... see from such a tiny village what a great metropolis you've become ... me too and everyone we know ... who has the time for all that detail ... but that's it ... that's the missing number the prescription for the all-seeing eye ... the amount of minutes in the day when we love what we see ... when we know it for what it is and we love it

Friday, June 25, 2010


anger and fear ... I know the shards of my ego surround them and the shreds of all the pages I've read but I want to speak up now in their favor ... they were both the first thing I said when I was born ... how can you treat me like this ... I was whatever I saw till this cold expanse tunneled itself forward ... I'm an old man now but god help me I feel the same way now as I did then ... I'm on hold till something makes me angry or afraid ... then I've got something to chew on for the rest of the day ... and so it's been since that first alarm broke me from that first sleep ... we are not born to peace but to war ... war with the elements war with the people all around us war against evil and by evil war against the good ... the certainty giving triumph ... the certainty giving despair ... anger and fear ... god love them and give to us their good cheer ... anger and fear ... sword and shield together always speaking the truth ... and somewhere in the middle god willing is the intellect and good judgment ... to know the truth when they hear it


if you drink smoke or inject your vision I wonder if you'd agree it's like opening the windows or shutting them down ... you do it to change the air in the compartment that is just then your mind ... or in shorthand you do it to change your mind ... by changing the blood in the stream ... no matter how you phrase it you've got to admit the matter of it ... the chemicals in the room somehow got into the blood and the blood went to the brain straight more or less from the vine weed or poppy ... from earth to liquid to smoke to air ... it looks first to last it was a material thing ... so how can you support the flights of fancy or take any of them seriously and when you come down and see you're sitting by the open window what's to prevent your being pulled out of the house ... this record this testament is here to defend me ... that I only got high to go straight and each time I came to an end the advocate was there to guide me


if this were the only I I had to work with I'd never want to let it go ... thank god it's not ... or thank the devil that this other arrangement must instead ... there are so many i's and all in lower case who has the time to go back and dot them ... you'd think that capital fellow of twenty-five he'd have been the exception ... but no he's not the one ... what did he know ... what of the one who was forty ... wasn't he stable and set in his place ... flourished the ancients said of it ... the age of maturity ... no all it meant was good health ... we are no shakespeare if only because we have to live longer to understand so much less ... comes when then the time to put the case to rest ... I never found the moment I wanted to last ... each one was different ... not one was the best ... no two were even consistent though I'd mortar a batch and say it made sense ... no age no season no minute no day wasn't looking for tomorrow instead ... time broke us lord put us together

cf willard quine, word and object


if I do what I would not do if I had my way with myself whose way is it ... if I set aside precedent logic and act against its good sense how can that be if I haven't lost my mind ... or better yet I'm just out of it because my mind has lost me ... I just missed the bus ... there it is crossing my T ... and there's the one I love to be sitting in my seat looking at me ... I could run all day in that bus's fumes and never catch up ... there it goes taking that better part with it ... not once but three or four times a week ... until the only part I wanted to know the only part worth talking to is gone away now way up the line ... I am what I said ... as I was what I heard and I saw ... I am what I ate with my eyes ... but of all that which in pride it was only the dross of the ashes remains ... the heart of my hope the pride of my joy is over the bridge and gone away ... late for work ... late for the day ... I miss now even the night ... I miss now lord I miss you

Thursday, June 24, 2010


if free will and divinity together make any sense at all the truth of it must be delightful ... if freedom and necessary truth can play the game together everyone must win ... if the absolute were at my left elbow nothing says I'd have to know that ... it's enough isn't it that he does ... the saint by the window in a moment of crisis hears the children sing pick up and read ... the sinner in his den does just that ... have you ever been in the cockpit of a sopwith camel ... no but I've done the next best thing I've read a good account by someone who had been ... were you with washington at the crossing or lincoln at the theater ... no but the next best thing I was with them in my mind ... were you with the savior in the garden were you beside him on the hill ... no but there's room for me still ... you said from a little tot you wanted to live in the moment of truth and little man and old man you've been somewhere in between the truth and something else ... wait till you see


if we didn't have death we'd never shape up ... well I never would ... and I may not with it ... like lombardi's clock we would have won without it eventually ... but the clock is real and when it strikes somebody dies ... who can look at the clock and say that may be for me ... whoever does say it when he says it has a moment of truth ... for a moment is in truth ... the moment that truth begins to distress that's a new moment the old one is over ... truth doesn't distress but it does numb ... at the least it will calm ... we can spend years reacting to one moment of truth ... the rest of our lives ... eternity ... let's quit to the chase and go there now ... eternal life determined at the moment of mortality ... a dividing line between now and forever deserves in us a most impressive reaction ... all we've got ... at least for the moment ... we give it and we go out ... whether we go in some place else even as we exit depends does it not on which truth in that moment we must be hearing ... pass or fail


the modern answer to problems in ethics is to pick a role and play it consistently ... the classic idea was to pick an idea and conform to it ... but then they revered ideas ... the christian agrees with both the modern and the classic ... be consistent he says in conformity to a real idea ... ideas he adds are reverential because they're referential to the mind of god ... they're the thoughts he's thinking ... and this mind of god and the word issuing from it is jesus christ ... no wonder the two pagans are upset ... the classic and the modern ... the first says in indignation we settled this two thousand years ago ... the modern says we'll settle you this time ... it's only what you'd expect ... they see this so-called synthesis as a simple superstition ... it's a viral menace invading and controlling a culture a thousand years at a time ... and what does it say ... god's a person like you or me ... what a theological absurdity ... people who think like this if you give them power what will they do


what if the place on which christian soldiers march and the place to which is leading is the same place just one of them not knowing that it is ... what if in the backroom at move-on they're already planning highways in space while in the churches back on earth the trumpet call is readying that will bring all the walls and highways down completely for an entirely new world to follow forever ... couldn't move-on just catch up ... what if in some corner of that same back room a possee of mathematicians should gather and plot the universal vectors and victims to one small finite point some tomorrow exponentially but precisely distant and absolutely under no conditions any further or longer than that ... would the churches still have time to come to some sort of agreement on which books to take when all the lights go out

with apologies to move-on christians: I'm just imagining move-on as one being, secular, liberal, and gnostic

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


privation is hell ... hell is privation ... it's not what's there it's what isn't ... all the way up to the top and all the way down ... the one thing that defines what it means when somethin's missing ... the one thing you always need but never is there ... I can sit in the den and draw you pictures of it till we both fade away ... but you get it already ... we all do if we're smart ... question is why wouldn't we be ... you know we are ... so we must be pretending when we act so dumb ... not that the pretense doesn't often catch us off guard ... that's what laughter's for ... I'm talking about the folly of pretense that isn't funny ... that makes us angry we were so stupid as to believe it ... that is to have done it ... for that's what belief is ... it's what you do and the part that's left over is what you didn't ... that's the part I'm talking of ... the part that we didn't but should have ... the part we didn't believe ... the belief we don't have but should


man if you're like me you're scared to hell of hell ... you may not be like me in much that follows but in that at least we're alike ... now here's where we may differ ... you may believe hell is an eternity away but if you fear it as I do that's not really what you think ... you will agree in principle will you not that hell is a lot closer than that ... just read a little history of man on earth you could say and I'm just the one to agree ... I think it's really just the one thing we ever really do fear ... the worst thing ever but wrapped up in an ancient curtain eaten by the moths with lots of consequent holes ... hang it from a chandelier and let the fire within it simmer ... disco hell always hovers at the back of the mind coloring what we see in the front of it ... and from time to time how many times a day would you say tries to bend our head down ... what is it the fear of ... what is it not there


here's the ego sailing through the id the way we do most of our perception ... but the ego knows you can't win the game this way ... the ancient greeks knew it ... you couldn't just propitiate the father ... the father was power itself but unpredictable uncontrollable irresponsible incommunicado ... cthonic and chaotic ... the teenager loves description ... from the father there just was no appeal so one had to be clever ... you could be the first born son the inheritor or the black sheep the waverer but you had to be the son ... the father had the right because he was right ... your father or the farther behind him ... because he made what was right from the start ... so you knew this much ... there was one thing substantial that counted and another that may or may not and that other was you ... a substance not original but made by relation ... a thing not necessary but by relation ... you the father and this relation


this one is quick but when it's done you say there wasn't much to it ... this one is slow but when you're done you say it's too much for you ... over the years you develop your own model somewhere in between ... you've got it down to an art or at least some kind of science with a functional kind of truth to it ... it's true because it works ... it keeps the plane level ... keeps it from crashing ... keeps it from tilting ... till level is routine and routine the heart of reality ... but you know you're headed for a wall where all this does you no good ... from one moment to the next you go from glide to full stop ... previous assumptions are over ... paper is handed in ... and meanwhile where are you ... waiting for your grade ... but on the bench hoping you didn't put too much trust in style ... how could you not when it seemed to work so well ... not just in you much more you acknowledge in others ... came a time though you say you had to sing the lyrics without the words

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


if you saw a bad thing coming at you and you had the time would you like to gaze into the center of it just to see how it worked even if you didn't have the time and the other means to stop it ... are you curious enough for that ... say a kind of star trek beam to take you to the bridge of the klingon battleship ... or the headquarters of the opposing party the october of the next fall election ... a spy card the only one in the deck you play it in the middle of the turn what do you expect you'll learn ... what is it in the enemy camp can provide you a better education ... or do you intend to make your visit much more permanent than you say now ... what is it in the enemy's mind can form yours better ... or is it the push and sweep of it the hell with the world of it let us go forward ... the most satisfied self must still want to put his finger in the stream still want to test it in the wind to see whch way it's blowing ... it has to blow to someone's advantage ... might as well be yours ... collaborate


the man who persistently forgoes anger may stumble instead onto pride ... my contention is that he stumbles upward if this is his road because he's tumbled into the headquarters of the enemy we all must pass ... if he could just keep rolling he'd be all the way out ... if he should be humble humble quiet and patient he can kill pride as he did anger just in time to catch the end of his own story ... bait pride grate pride sprinkle the mind with its savor ... lead me not into temptation ... let it spread through the soul a foul contagion ... but deliver me from evil ... let me go where I'm needed let me do some good if I'd just pay attention when I should ... pay attention and remember ... if pride is the beginning of all moral evil then what is humility ... if moral evil is the source of all evil what do you call that which kills it an antidote or salvation ... soft sorrow lord and sighs and laughter ... the wisdom of the world passes away in silence

thank you st augustine via norman geisler the roots of evil


the worst thing about being proud is the fear of getting your way in the end ... you know that your will is imperfect ... more that it's infected with a contempt for anything it can understand anything it masters ... the fear of becoming what the will wants drives the mind into seclusion and makes the will worse ... often now in a real fever it isn't what it wants it never is it must try harder ... but it can't have what it wants the mind knows because it has a wrong desire ... is fast becoming this wrong thing ... not what it wants but what it desires ... no real want no true lack it hasn't the form to want it ... who says you can't have push without the real pull to match it ... this will is no will at all ... it has no mind to form it ... it is desire though ... the strangest of all god's creation most injuriously susceptible to error most actively open to stumble suffering and pain ... a thing that wants not one real thing wants what it sees is nothing


the romans commit sixteen hours of dramatic violence against the body of christ before he dies ... tone the drama down by spreading it over say sixteen months ... throw in a bunch of drugs to kill the most obvious pain ... then kill the patient using any one of the variety we call natural causes ... and you get the same result down to the blood the cuts and the bruises ... does this diminish the price jesus paid ... compare it to more brutal deaths happening even now and all the time ... does that put him in the bunch with us all ... make him just like us ... the poster boy for death ... attractive full of life indeed life's cause ... young ... peak young ... brilliant compassionate ... what a future ... and all of it suddenly lost ... tragic hero of the archetype of the type ... soldier fireman policeman statesman martyr and an old construction worker fighting for his last breath on a cot for the poor ... it makes him all these ... everyone ... thank god

Monday, June 21, 2010


there is a shredder of souls ... god protect us in this knowledge ... he chews the body into fragments ... he paralyzes the mind ... he takes the seamless spirit and rips it apart ... often when the body receives a severe shock the mind's first response is that wasn't so bad ... even when it is ... when it sees that it is it shuts down ... only jumbled words and images get through the shredder now ... when the mind tries to reply it can't be sure who's speaking ... the old style clock on the wall you can read but you can't be sure if it's after noon or midnight ... the curtains are drawn round your head ... you'd do well then to listen if only you had the ears of your old interest to do it ... there is within you now a soul the lion only mimics ... a spirit graceful as a shark but with its own malevolent eye ... a murderer a liar from the beginning here at the end to kill you with the truth that you're not worth saving ... god knows he might be right ... god send us each the advocate


pornography and christianity are they compatible ... what in common do they offer ... like a capital venture they each offer you a share in the profits ... christianity says eternity ... porn says now ... is this a fair characterization ... couldn't you call in the gods ... aphrodite for ecstasy and artemis for athletic form ... the two values in porn most admired ... the women if direction allows it are experts in arousal ... courtesans of prolonged passion ... each again with directorial discretion looking good enough to be mounted ... on a pedestal that is ... by themselves ... why not freeze a frame of their success and argue here is the eternal moment the form most worthy of preserving alongside the best ... it is a bold plea for humanity bringing it up to the foot if not the top of olympus ... except there is no monster ... should he appear the dryads flee ... and he does appear ... indeed appear to be everlasting ... you'll need more than porn just to survive


if my faith is strong enough what need should I have for hope ... does this sound gnostic to you as it does to me ... but naive innocent young gnostic not gnostic with a capital g and all the baggage that must bring us from the history of the movement ... but naturally gnostic or seeming so ... certainly sincere ... but without an education in the guts took you decades to earn ... the gnostic should die quickly by stroke or guillotine detaching as he lived detached his mind from the rest ... god help the gut-dying gnostic forced into a world of soil and waste ... who but a gnostic could put the two words mercy and killing together or assisted and suicide ... naturally he thinks such an end is hopeless ... why there's nothing in it to be learned ... but hope we answer ... how it's not faith but returns to it for assurance ... not love but a necessary attendant ... not written or confessed ... not cerebral or ethereal ... just hope ... the spirit in the gut


I have a divided mind about my future because I have a divided mind about my nature ... to see if you're like me in this let's take an example on the extreme ... to see if we can get clear lines and bright colors ...serious illness maybe even terminal a process that has good days and bad is a rough example but it will do ... a good day sometimes with a shock we realize is what used to be normal ... or with a greater shock we recognize it still is ... it's this dying they say is so natural that's not normal at all ... it's the life of the mind and the spirit ... they're what make things natural ... pain suffering what makes them so bad is the knowledge we have that they're so wrong ... not a theoretical knowledge argued and rebutted nor as practical wise and determined but a knowledge before them both ... a knowledge before concept or the word to express it ... before breathing ... before a pulse ... a direction ... a tendency ... a disposition ... to life

Sunday, June 20, 2010


determined ... it's one of the best things you can say about a person ... yet if we believe in free will it could rather be an insult to our intelligence ... an insult of the deadliest kind since it tends more than not to kill intelligence by denying the existence of the soul ... oddly enough this view winds up with a reverence for logic ... as if it discovered a new god and one without a troublesome personality ... a kind of machine that made the most interesting puzzling and terrifying works of art ... all we can do is mimic and try to keep up ... there's a lot of plausible beauty in what they say because there's a lot of plausible beauty in what they talk about ... and power ... these are the people who brought us the atomic bomb ... there is a hard sense fine and precise between physics and psychology between math and history but they love to play in the fairground in between ... but what is it being determined ... the subject of the experiment ... and what am I sitting here irresolute


the answer will always be found in one word and if you say it right you have the catholic faith in all its unique grandeur ... all the world says the word but says it with a gnostic fervor ... in whatever language they speak allah brahma christ it's still the simplicity of abc ... only the catholic faith of the last points to it in time ... before time but then in that moment of time ... but a moment in time must pass no matter how long it lingers ... and there came a time in that moment when jesus was dead on the cross ... came even thereafter another time and he was gone again ... a time which now indeed has lingered and still does ... what for two thousand years has stood in his place ... and if you say the church I will be the last protestant to turn to rome and say roman catholic an oxymoronic joke the highest of the genre indeed sublime ... but still aka the spirit 3/3


further universal seems almost better than less ... more in that direction hits a certain point it must go on forever ... to each other in the past it must be simply further ... makes you wonder what use there is for less that's left so far behind if it weren't we the little ones left so far behind ... the philosopher in his study the saint in his cell ... at home to the universal ... range through the universe and further ... we have to buy the milk the soda and the bread ... what if it's true a whole crowd of us will never catch up ... what if the heroes sages and saints come on line only in the middle of the night to talk only to each other ... seems in fact there might be something we could miss ... if all the discipline the satisfaction and fulfillment of the mind should finally pass us by ... and the body deserting ... death approaching ... where can we turn 2/3


death defying as a rule seems self-defeating ... sooner or later he's going to get mad ... there is though the benefit of getting it over with before pain or fear of it brings also humiliation ... not done well ... the shame of it ... but on the whole death evading appears the better strategy ... which is fine as long as he agrees ... but when death goes hunting he has only to touch you once and he's got you on the run for the rest of the course ... is that him I feel in my gut sitting on the bench spot for spot where I am ... the older you get the less they work you for others ... now it's a struggle against death for ourselves ... it's the harry of it makes it seem not worthwhile ... the worry of it beneath our natural dignity ... a reeducation ... a rehabilitation ... you walk into the school under the arch ... the motto reads memento mori and all the faculty of it would have you agree ... 'cept your mind further universal 1/3

Saturday, June 19, 2010


autistic or selfish with solipsism as the traffic cop in between ... couldn't help it or could have done better ... what's that a narrow track on the left and a wide highway on the right ... what I could have done if I had known better ... what I should have done because I did ... even the track has trails occasionally off to the side back to the road on to the highway ... even the fool in between has occasional grace and guidance ... how long did it seem I was unconnected at the center ... said A got B when I wanted A ... thought to the center it should have stayed the same ... thought to the back of me I really must turn ... the pain in your side pushes but naturally you resist it stumble a bit but recover and push back ... so the whole process winds up pulling you back ... invading repelling invading ... push and pull as long as there's life winds up pulling ... thing was there was that center ... you can see it pulsing in the mirror ... opens and pulls


you can say it wasn't me it was the environment round me did it ... truth is that defense doesn't help ... it applies to every one of us ... I put my hands into the stream ... as much as it flowed so too did the hands going in ... the air above and the earth below as well ... all flowing but to different tempos ... all swaying in reaction to the further all around it ... a cosmic storm in another galaxy the last tendrils of its effect stir some distant neurons in my brain and I wake in the morning with a new idea ... here I am congregated again from the past filling out another different form waiting for the call to go again someplace else ... if it were not in me from time to time to close my eyes and dream the rhythms of that flowing field around me and the contratemps within me I'd break apart ... a glass twig against the cornerstone of the building ... even then the shards would dance


why sin ... don't we sin to stay alive ... why smoke when dying of lung cancer ... or drink the morning after when alcohol is killing you ... if I'm going to die let death come on his own time in the meantime I'll live ... I know when I'm dying ... I've done it before ... sometimes you need a sharp eye to catch it but it's me dying almost invisibly ... there's no one else to arrest but it should have been me ... in the corner killing myself ... obsessed and self-indulgent self-murdering ... in public preaching the false gospel taciturn but vocal by example ... silent but a philosopher by implication and a ruinous one ... sin ... sin ...I do it to stay me ... to kill grace in movement and conception ... to save myself till they pay me out ... the wages of sin ... death by death till it kills you ... sin ... sin ... sin ... to the last since in me ... since it's mine to decide I'll do it as I say ... mine to have or to have stolen ... my life ... my will ... my way


the general inside is a quartermaster general ... he marshals the troops but it's to the paradeground each morning he sends them ... you can't tell but for the set of the soldiers' lips if the roads are still for repairing the canals and rivers for clearing or we're coming to the end the walls and the tunnels for retreating ... in such a case and so often peninsulas become cul de sacs and then islands with never enough heat ... tremors then shakes all up the line ... no more cooperation between the warehouse and the factory ... both send regrets to the head office ... regrets and notice of vacating ... what's a tired too tired staff to do now ... the general at the window muses ... ah the time the hair flowed down the shoulder ... the sun and the surf rose together ... we put our hands up and leaned back ... the sky in our face we were bows for the stringing ... and all the water ran ... the voices cross the surface of the sea

Friday, June 18, 2010


this is venus the epicure ... this is mars he's the stoic ... why not just say male and female or more widely but more accurately the sacred feminine and masculine ... as long as you say sacred I'm with you ...otherwise it's just psychobabel ... and I won't fudge with substitutes like cosmic or archetypical ... they all become stereotypical and you die with an empty cupboard that used to hold at least one real idea ... no enough of concepts and constructs ... it's time for ding an sich the old prussian called it ... the real thing ... the coke song sang of it ... and if we wind up with something like parmenides and heraclitus or danton and robespierre sitting at the desk each side of the pearly gates checking your papers I won't complain if they only let me through ... games of strategy and war to test you to train you ... sylphs on silver screens whose stories come to more faithful climaxes than does war ... or what's tragedy and comedy for


facing death with equanimity living life with moderation ... you can't tell by this who it is I'm describing ... the epicure or the stoic ... but if I said serving one god or many you'd know them right apart ... or if I said serving the universal or serving the particular you'd know them just as well ... but if I said solving the riddle between the two what name would come to mind ... if the epicure can explain matter and the stoic tell us form who can tell us why and who ... the world is a beast terrifying and exciting of chaos and contingency we must learn to accommodate ... so says the epicure ... this world is a code we must learn to follow says the stoic ... it will lead us into the presence of the one necessary being ... the universe itself ... but who says the third thing ... this world is both necessary and contingent for though it is contingent it is contingent on one thing only who is necessary


who has the spirit to be kind ... that's not like asking who has the patience to be gentle or the courage to be wise ... the spirit isn't a virtue ... it's a person ... it isn't a mind or a body physical or mental ... it's a presence to them both ... or a corresponding absence ... as if the universe at creation were simply power through and through ... and then in a moment of self-reflection paused ... chaos gaining form ... galaxies stars and planets configured in thought to a decimal precision ... balanced to perfection ... geometry and time ... but no ... despite its beauty ... not alive ... vague gas less vague liquid finally something substantial call it solid ... the idea is taking form ... but still just an idea just a form ... not a breath in it ... the wind over the ocean or down a valley of stars ... but no breathing ... body and mind too static and inert ... neither nor together are they us ... we ... souls by inspiration ... life ... breath ... spirit


to the east only the arms of the cross went on unflagging ... the arms of the crucified christ are already up in victory and triumph ... the falling christ it seems is already rising ... but I mean now to speak of the cross its stable arms a platform for philosophers to stand on ... a left wing a right wing a center in between ... through which the face of the rising christ must soon appear ... the rest of us here not fathoming the deep and otherwise not rising ... meaningful debate from left to right compromising in the middle but how meaningful if it goes on forever or until the universe runs down ... put a cross on calvary every inch of the way if it will not rise with the risen christ the waters of the dead sea will surround it all over the world ... system and philosophy from innovation to tradition must finally bog down and stay down if it will not rise

Thursday, June 17, 2010


why do humans love sex so much ... or rather to narrow it down why does the id love it so much and the ego allow it ... they must both gain something by it ... the ego satisfies and placates the id which it must think adds to universal order ... but what's in it for the id ... you say pleasure ... of course but I think the pedant must ask what does that mean ... the ego I think can express it ... it brings us back into frame ... there does come a time when we're all happy to be in the present ... to live in the center of time justifying both future and past ... the opportunities to be so centered come generally in the course of time not often ... but sex is one of them ... forget old recriminations and new causes for concern self-denial self-condemnation self-defense forget the self at all ... condense it ... bring it to just this particle of time ... precisely precisely just this point there now ... then let it pour out ... it fills the plain ... time and space never meet till they're both so flooded they'd rather just drown


nothing goes right before him ... nothing can go wrong after him ... nonsense must certainly be your first and final response ... take him to be the one ... surely some things must have gone right before him and some things gone and will go wrong after him ... and if you wish to speak globally and abstractly in one respect and not another or travel in one dimension or dementia to the exclusion of all others I should say I am not interested ... I am a man who values the meaning of my time ... and the meaning if I might reply of that which was first said is neither logical nor material ... this right and wrong does have another dimension and what comfort there is in dementia what sustenance in illness at all has this for its substance ... he would not have come if he were not needed ... he will not leave as long as he is ... as long as he is ... that's as long as we need him ... and that's unlike all the force and logic before him ... his presence materially mentally spiritually ... totally right ... never wrong


I should say this plainly as I am neither saint nor sage ... but a simple person with clever tastes and in most things most of the time out of my depth ... the pearl I have found of the greatest price in all my peregrinations is the things you can do with the spirit ... first off just the notion of spirit goes a long way to explain the peculiar imbalance of modern western culture ... the prevalence of atheism the runaway despair of suicide and abortion the peculiar stubborn and confused hammering away at some kind of point by the alcoholic and the drug addict ... in each case shallow or profound there's a most significant deprivation ... something is missing and calling for a response ... the point it says has been given ... it's neither mind nor simply mind over matter ... the struggle of modernity is deeper still than that ... brain in a vat or some kind of evolving and spreading though artificial intelligence robotic but so refined ... something without which all the story so far would be flat dry brittle not living ... spirit


here's a preliminary physical problem ... on the one hand in your palm as it were two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen ... they're atoms you can't even find them with a magnifying glass they're that small ... but keep the two types apart and they might fill a building or a universe with gas ... on the other hand in two palms cupped together just the two of the one kind run into one of the other ... in such orderly procession ... endlessly out the foggy door ... overflow cascading ... they fill all the world with a liquid universe drowning in water ... but how could that happen ... really ... water into ice just slows the water down but gas into liquid doesn't make any sense at all ... what's this trio do on their way down the slide that they can gather together with others of their new kind and start a new order of being ... what do they say ... we'll mimic creation ... from nothing nothing to speak of we'll start something new

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


nothing's as good as sin to drive you into your own head ... let me act this way says mr id ... if I'm caught I'll be set apart ... if I'm caught enough I'll be put aside forever ... I'll rule the only reliable kingdom ... and if they put me out I'll be more secure than forever ... and if they don't catch me it must be so they'll wish they did ... why have a mind and a tongue to tell it if you don't take possession of whatever you meet ... what's a thing there if it isn't really mine ... and if you think you're about to catch me don't you know I've seen this before ... I won't plead ignorance ... I've known enough too long ... I know in the end it doesn't work ... I'm not knocking at the door ... I'm putting another nail in the coffin ... I'd rivet the earth each inch of it before I'd turn to scratch that door ... this thing reason tells me will not work ... I still determine that it should ... one only will rule here the kingdom of sin in my head


on a crazy summer afternoon maybe on a porch behind a screen in front of the rain you can hear the cicadas sing ... or was that yesterday ... or the week before ... only the other day it was the end of winter and the gull on the beach sang the lord's praise ... I know what it said ... I know the sound of it ... I hear it all over ... what though it was a direction wasn't it to the meeting house to tell the lord's praise ... the monks in the library the clerks at the display muted momentous they say it the same way ... written encoded engraved ... deals made explanations apologies long overdue are now given ... ah at last this question has an answer ... this was what I meant meant to say at the start ... I said listen ... don't you hear in the autumn of october ... I tell you in this night the dead leaves themselves sing it ... the wind moves and the withered sap cries out in the gratitude of spring ... the fullness of summer ... god's praise


we think we aging baby boomers of the health of the body ... we tend to think in the same material terms of the health of the mind when surely given the difference between mind and body that's a mistake ... the good of the body is its health ... the health of the mind is taken for granted ... an assumed foundation for the means to the end ... the body always tends to its own care ... the mind is at its clearest working on a problem ... the body relaxes staying still ... the mind needs wants can have no such quiet ... the body's on a run at the end of which it must fall ... the mind even as with age its powers fray is from the first moment of its birth each morning in the thick of the conversation it cannot understand can ever end ... you see the body in its wisdom knows the cycles of birth and decay and though it may delay will finally welcome its end ... but that's a process you will not find in the economy of the mind ... always planning ... looking ... to its next move


take these two distinctions ... beauty real and ideal ... reward now and later ... mix them up ... cross reference each to the other three ... ideal beauty doesn't go well with reward now but it does go nicely with reward later ... real beauty and reward later on the other hand seems cruel and endlessly frustrating but in fact doesn't make sense at all ... real goes with now or the hell with it ... and if beauty failed even stage left or stage right to attend no one could bear to live ... reward now is real beauty ... but it takes wisdom to know where to look patience to find it and grace to let it go ... so any way is what I think is normal ... but from time to time maybe in every two hundred or so there's a brother or sister for whom ideal beauty and reward now seems to work ... it shouldn't work ... the ideal and the real aren't supposed to meet though it's all our hope that they will hereafter ... nonetheless look at these few ... they're not pretending ... you know what they see is real

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


consider the worst charge those who know you can with justice level against you ... devote the rest of your future to a defense against that charge ... an active defense ... play it for all its worth ... go down at the end if down you must but go down like a man ... if the great judge should lay the sentence on you what could you do if it read go away ... you still wouldn't go alone ... you'd split apart if you had to just to have someone to talk to ... in the middle of damnation there's still the mark of creation ... the touch of being ... only now it touches everyone there with pain ... avoid damnation ... it never will work out well ... defend yourself stand up like a man move your feet get in condition get yourself together make a plan ... there on the blank horizon in the middle pick the star to guide you ... did you pick right ... it should have been the sun ... pick the closest perfection the one that's always there whether you're out or in always at home indeed no home at all without him ... the son


to have no principal other than yourself is a terrifying condition ... for by definition you are your own god ... the only trouble with that is if you are not god or a god but the other alternative a creature of time and space and just exactly so much of each that they both end up by running out ... the kind of story you can wrap up and put in a shoe box and leave behind when you move ... just as each of us knows being so we all know that what the shoebox means is true ... it is true that we're here today and gone a somewhat deferred tomorrow ... but if you make such an existence your rule of being all order precedence reliability will be lost and you will lose your mind the moment you take it seriously ... for this procedure is a madness ... what could be more fundamentally wrong in the universal grammar than to have a spurious first person I swallow up all the air in a speech addressed to you the second person precisely so that together we might understand the third


I think the pacre is an arabesque ... I have called the pacre a curlicue ... but not a good pacre ... a really good pacre is an arabesque ... I defend here in true humility not the pacrist but the form itself ... begin at the beginning but jump if you please all the way to the end and count the nights it gave you good thought ... and you'll need a much smaller measure till it brings you down to just a few seconds ... it's a short form ... almost the shortest that I know ... but the easiest of all the forms by way of any set of rules ... and therefore too the easiest to abuse ... and the simplest to argue into a poor result ... some pacres are too pretty ... some are too preachy ... some have some passion others are dull ... but only one bad pacre that doesn't let the thought flow ... innocent of the charge what did you think you were doing ... responsible nonetheless for the engraving ... as you do it you should polish each step for there are many staircases to heaven even just one


what must the world be like for the moral to be ontologically superior to the chemical and visual ... in the order of being what does it mean to be superior ... let's take the scholastic answer and say better being is more being ... it's better to work hard at a job you love than to stay at home depressed and alone ... there's more being as a rule in the active than in the passive ... let the water of analysis flow into their meaning ... judge them at their extremes ... what is the extreme of action and passion but joy and pain ... of moderate joy with reason consider a soul winning at chess ... or mediate pain with desire and call it the pain of not wanting to let go ... one is in the process of losing being the other is gaining it nonetheless ... and if you object to being as too general and vague an expression ah now so humbly I must suggest your thought has led you away from Being if you can believe that ... if thought and meaning and system have led you so far astray from what you must know first

Monday, June 14, 2010


the pacres are picasso paintings ... there's a complete thought in them don't you know but sometimes it seems well broken ... that sharp fragment is the natural line of her nose ... hah his mouth you thought was his ear ... the argument's taken a fish hook turn here ... it gets you stuck ... the image doesn't cohere ... what is the point then or have you no excuse ... illuminati masons pyramids with eyes angels with aprons devils and trowels ... if all the world were speeding across your face just an inch or so past your reach ... if all the molecular jigsaw pieces came tumbling into your lap just as you got up trying to leave ... if you knew there was a time repeatedly when along the edges of the curtain the tassles breathed and glistened in the breeze ... you'd know then a summer day sense for sure ... you'd know it was true ... if you forgot what the beach was for ... if you thought it was sand water and wind ... in short a place ... like a pacre it tells you it was time


let the thought of death canonize you let the fear of judgment make you holy stop being who you are become someone better all these things and more the angel of death whispers in my ear ... epicurean thinking about life stoic studying death christian hoping for life after death she points out next and I make a note ... first conclusion he wonders ... you even the core you especially the core you are never were never alone ... wasn't there always the point this has been done before ... a third they shot ... another third beheaded ... cannoned and sabred the final part ... juring nonjuring compliant and defiant kill them all they said god's already sorted them out ... live shorter live intense sir but who can say better ... when thought dies hope survives ... in the valley of system failure faith abides ... all the world womb opens ... love cries get ready pay attention up now and rise ... who said though shy the young girl's right ... silly spelling to drop the wl from holy


when I believe in the pacre I am the most fulfilled I can expect to be for the rest of my life ... being is a gift ... being this particular way is a burden ... any time I can lighten the burden I can remember the gift and hold it even for ninety seconds ... even for one time only ... to look again and find it gone ... to look again for another ... where's your bottle ... where's the joint ... the passion and the sorrow ... revelation's grace it will not seem to linger ... but no less though you cannot see it does it center ... tell it to the last stop on the line ... the last bead on the wire waving sweetly into space as just then it hits the corner ... I'd do my part ... I'd even do it more often ... but the damn corner rips the spirit from my bone and I forget I had a life ... I put it in the pacre ... how could it be there and I so far from it ... look to your pacre ... pray it once a day ... sing the pacre as you wrote it ... for each of us has a pacre ... to each calling us home


the body or the mind ... history is a record of souls leaning to one or the other ... ordinarily you'd think the body would win that battle of balance ... but that's what history does ... it records in particular the surprising generations ... the closer to the historian it seems the more surprising ... you'd suggest each generation is a surprise and there might come as an answer that this depends on your expectations and the topics controlling your thoughts ... if you're an atheist you find the enlightenment your first big surprise in nearly two millenia ... an idealist might say for me it's the french revolution ... the european steps up and says I admit it I like the crusades ... the capitalist sits down in a plush leather chair lights a cigar says I like the american revolution ... good thing it was we lost ... a little blood purge to clear the arteries for empire ... quick rehearsal before the real treasure hunt ... the body grows fattens thins and dies and all the while the human spirit hungers

Sunday, June 13, 2010


error ... error rules the way ... it's an evil in logic as it is in the soul ... but evil is parasitic upon the good ... upon Being ... it moves as being does but it moves toward lesser being ... it doesn't shine but it's in the light ... intending darkness it aims at nothing ... that's its logical conclusion and by logical implication it goes on there's nothing to stop it to serious radical ultimate nothing ... god please the assumption is wrong ... that there is something to hold it ... nothing itself perhaps is logically parasitic on something anything everything ... perhaps finally it can only pretend to be or rather be solely as pretense ... there Being lets the rebellious child go ... too young too inexperienced so new ... I will not be my parents the teenager says ... we've done it this way a hundred generations but we're the ones who'll say stop ... we do ... and are sent to the corner ... what is that darkness where these two walls were supposed to meet


the epicureans and the stoics ... champions in that order of the body and the mind ... both believed in god ... a god appropriate to their cause ... a god of diffuse pleasure ... of the republic and the state ... of refinement and control ... of service to a form ... the private and the public ... the difference between the salon and the committee ... between the bed and the podium ... and of course all the traffic in between ... what epicure doesn't love a good stoic ... but with a pitiful stare ... what stoic doesn't admire a fine epicure her rhythm and her grace ... and smile at her foolish ways ... what traffic and confusion over generations always the same ... the body and the mind ... so that you might see one to understand the other ... the body idealized ... the idea given substance ... a union between the two past you might almost say against the nature of each ... this shape this form this color and that line no longer corrupt and in time but eternal


ecstasy is when the id meets the superego head on without the mediation of the mind ... sexual ecstasy human female in its profundity and duration laughs away any male contention for the prize ... it's a privilege for a man to be a witness an honor to be in the game at the same time a heavy respnsibility to play a part ... you see where I'm going ... it wouldn't to both men and women be so addictive if the pleasure at the heart of it didn't keep calling us back to what ... what keeps calling us back but the touch and then the hope of the sublime ... call it the reproductive urge to be pushed and pulled into the flow of the species but don't forget to call it more ... in the same way or higher as a concept is to a pain ... ecstasy is to both ... there's not a language by which either man or woman can tell a friend what happened and not too many I think who would try ... in this satisfied reticence a certainty and reverence ... and then on again to the profane

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I have such a fellow inside me I call him mr id ... and I'll tell you how I know him ... we meet each day for a formal talk and it's a bad day when we don't leave laughing ... this isn't like talking to the lady superego ... I don't know but I think I smile more in her presence than laugh ... but mr id and I we go a long way back ... I don't pretend to like him ... I just fear I do too much ... and such a thing I know would be unwise ... the fellow has a poor tolerance for frustration ... I try we all try to give him what he wants your mr id and mine ... he's not a good sport ... but all this in mind we still do get to laughing ... or in the red sunset down by the country store we get to looking at the women ... not all of them mind you ... just the winsome ... between the laughter and the sighs I can't tell which we'd rather be doing .. but if we linger I can put my finger up to the stars to trace a future reference ... mr id I wonder how will he fare up there


if we didn't think or fear too much that everything was a random flow of atoms we wouldn't now be killing babies in the womb ... if we didn't think of evil as just something to be corrected a mother couldn't kill the child in her womb ... if we hadn't grabbed too much the active part we'd understand potential better ... sometimes sometimes we do ... who can talk to a six-year old and look at her face as she's thinking and not love the future ... but that's what potential is ... on the other hand when someone wants to get nasty they threaten to take an atom and rip it apart ... that's potential too ... and one we do respect ... as opposed to the galaxy of atoms advanced already to the highest form of being we can understand ... for that lump of matter we have such a disposable contempt the men say leave it up to the women and the women greater fools agree and then suffer ... all for a potential what ... I'm not such a philosopher but I'll tell you what ... I already did ... look into a first grade face

Friday, June 11, 2010


consider if jesus were god ... I give you the subjunctive to honor your cause as a courtesy to the argument and to you ... if what the church and tradition have said these twenty centuries not just god but personally god as reason is true then whenever I practice reason or resist the impulse to deny it I follow jesus ... not the narrow kind of logic in the box too small to know it but radiant logic from the one true set of assumptions ... logic in the service of reason's intuition ... sensible confidence that things turn out right not by self-contradiction but by wisdom and the layers of knowledge ... by the justified hope that we will always learn more ... by the relief humility provides and the peace of simplicity ... by the conclusion that this world is not my friend ... that my house and my heart are pledged to a better ... that reason shows the way through this maze of minor major and mass crucifixions ... to the universal center ... to a man whose arms open wide to call us home


I start out whistling the marseillese and can't get past the ninth note ... for at the end it runs into jesus christ superstar ... and comes to the conclusion in one word ... sacrifice ... who are you ... what have you sacrificed ... personal identity ... nature ... to be fair whatever it is on the altar isn't going to help much if it isn't divine ... let's take jesus to 1794 and the guillotine ... let's make him swiss and put him in the tuilleries ... or a prussian at jena ... or a russian at borodino ... and you can do this in twenty years and build it round one word ... or three ... for this is the word in the singular ... liberty ... or was it revolution ... we saw that is what we wanted and what we had to do to get it ... then we took the show cross europe and back again ... what was it that we sacrificed but the entire generation ... for what ... to be treated fairly ... as an absolute ... nothing else is equal ... equal to love

Thursday, June 10, 2010


it's comforting to think about physics if you're one who values tradition ... to see the physicists confirming it ... take the traditional western bias concerning matter ... that the mental and the spiritual are of a higher order than the physical ... now see the physicist say we've done the studies and we can't find it ... we thought we had it but we broke it ... we thought we put the three parts together so you couldn't see the break when it fell again ... now each part we try to pick up crumbles like wet sand and we can't get a grain of it to stay ... we think matter is running from analysis ... we had it in an original box clearly labeled atom ... it broke apart into a novel interpretation ... a holy family of proton neutron and their child electron ... but each of them defied our control and has escaped ... into something we think is a force or a field ... something we can't touch but touches us ... something we can't see but surrounds us ... something we feel all inside us ... what is it ... an idea


the point isn't to lie with her ... it's to look at her ... if you took her to bed you'd miss her ... she's not a wife or mistress or girlfriend ... those are people ... they have corners and curves ... she's a trace ... flat up against the screen on the other side of the glass ... and there's no depth at all when she's an object in your mind ... if she moves at all it's only to a point on an electronic compass ... if she tries to leave the screen she goes through a bloodless painless guillotine ... and if you turned off the sound and slowed the motion down you'd see this more clearly ... there ... stop ... freeze the picture ... there she is ... more than anywhere else there ... that's her ... and so it is ... so it is ... you can put her in your wallet put her behind glass put her on the wallpapered screen of your computer ... it doesn't get better than that ... not for the mind permanently soothed by an absolute form ... she's the closest you'll get to that true worship ... just once you'll see the moon make sense and ... the sound returns

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


the pacre is a concession in time to the spirit of the times ... its claim to convenience is meant to satisfy comfort ... its claim to relevance is its wilfull roaming nature ... for that too fits the spirit of the time ... never was a form whose demands were so relatively formless ... begin here end here put a title there ... but you know don't you it always is a prayer ... what undoes or makes a pacre is the quality of the conversation this implies ... god is always there but lord of creation he comes with priorities set ... some things matter more than most ... taken as a rule civility is best ... compassion is tender ... support should be strong ... and air is the breath of wisdom and the saints ... through a screen door in the dawn the light comes to us in a filter and summer follows ... through the words on the page starting up over here and coming down past me to the corner over there not one thing said someone hasn't meant before ... pacres hymn their praise ... the universal mantra


put off one and wait for the other or tackle one and help the other ... the one and the other ... where does the one come from ... who is the other ... I'll take a shot at the one ... he's a body ridden with holes ... when you look into the hole there's nothing there ... and that's a particular worry for one ... for there are some holes that shouldn't be there ... there's something about one you must say that's intimately private ... to be hit in the middle of that privacy by something that isn't there he must find intolerable ... if it were there he might expel it ... but it's not there ... you look there but it's missing ... now one must be practical practical to have survived to have touched and to have moved the things that are ... but this is something that's not ... the bitter point of the stroke is when it pulls away ... when it tears away something that should have remained ... that's the complaint one must have ... this thing that isn't there won't let him alone ... it keeps pulling

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


jesus christ is my lord and savior from before my conception and will save me at the end just in the nick of time ... save me from old nick's time that isn't worth coming to an end but plows on to a vanishing point forever ... pointless to the murder of meaning ... there at a small gate round the corner is the place I make my stand ... selling pacres by the subway entrance ... it's my cover during the day ... at night I review my resources ... a sleeper not sleeping in the service of my lord ... I search through the papers ... I add some papers of my own ... I put two and two together and form a conclusion of my own ... a steward all I own is the property of my lord ... all my conclusions are in his beginning precisely at the end just in the nick of time ... that being said there's still the time between ... I review the inventory at night just for this time between ... to be ready for the testing of the conclusion ... my finger by the bell ... at the moment of calling ready to open the door


they say all sex is 95% survival of the species ... speciesridden speciesdriven just keeping up with the times ... adultery promiscuity passion it's all the same gene throbbing so this thing which isn't even a thing can survive for another generation ... blind they call it not so much striving as thriving whenever it can ... no forethought no foresight just hard groping whenever it can ... and what's in it for us ... damn the generation ... to be blinded by the inner light I'd like it to be worth my while ... they seem sometimes to touch the doorknob of heaven's gate ... the fence must be charged with a higher form of electricity that doesn't kill but says insistently stay awhile ... they frighten me sometimes those eyes that change just then into a sharp hard focus ... in an instant they abandon all that promise ... much better to roll over in grace and comfort curl up and go to sleep ... the higher reality is respect in the face of what you know is a good thing

Monday, June 07, 2010


the pacre must be wholeheartedly performed ... if your heart's not in it your mind won't stomach it and it will leave a bad taste in your mouth or worse just another empty feeling in your soul ... but if you give it a big punch the least you'll have is a little fun ... because each pacre win or lose is built for sound ... trip along the keys the syllables will ring like bells and perhaps even at the end will come crashing together like a ten finger chord to say ... what ... no pacre was ever meant to be too small mean insignificant ... but that doesn't mean it won't be ... it just means it doesn't want to be ... foolish long-winded wrong minded puffed-up spead-out wimpy or weak ... dressed-up dolled-up painted and sweet ... full of the curlicue and dash ... a gesture a flourish a wave of the hand ... presto pronto no longer any problemo ... what was it then that a year later you can call it an excresence ... a ruin ... small spirited ... or a subtle lie ... the soul of it for good or for evil still is overwhelmed


the problem with reading was I had it backwards ... I thought how can I use this book ... the idea is you don't use a book ... you hope the book will use you ... the standard is the book ... the one who measures up to it is you ... in the morning when your head is nodding on the subway into work ... in the evening flat on your back in bed you give up and let the book fall ... it falls ... you fail ... first you must stay awake ... when the cat taps your knee or the boy begins to practice ... the tv blares or the neighbor shouts ... you fail ... the least now is the worst ... you fail to pay attention ... and when your faith fails when you think the price you must pay isn't worth the admission you are outside the house by a window looking in ... and whatever it is in the book you cannot just now read is in the house moving talking and there for a page or two making more sense than you ... chapter and chapter wiser and kinder ... what a time that was when the book let you in

Sunday, June 06, 2010


I can't defend any of it ... whatever there is in it to be defended better not come to me because I can't do it ... I can explain it ... I can say why ... but I can't defend it ... I can describe it in such a way that you can see it had sides ... it wasn't the flat predictable form it seems to be now ... it was a substance and it moved on you and something in you went out to meet it ... and look together they made something new ... or so it seemed at the time ... but that time's gone ... I can't say why but it won't be repeated ... something in it of course from the start was defective ... it wasn't the logic ... step to step the argument was sound ... it was wrong from the start ... there was no place to stand before the first step ... all the time you thought you'd be rising ... all those steps up to the right conclusion you thought you were taking ... all that time you were losing time falling backwards into the past ... the conclusion is over and gone ... lost ... because it was wrong and I can't save it


the argument against porn is the argument against sexploitation in general ... that it takes an abstraction and plays it out of proportion ... a foot fetish to confirm the image of the argument ... as you mainstream north the popularity proportion rises ... calf thigh ass belly and breast ... but the connoisseur knows that it's the face that's the real stamp of approval without which the grade is incomplete ... see here may say both sides of the argument how abstraction plays across the features of the face ... the forms it takes ... and notice how they all take their home in the eye ... how it narrows during the interview ... widens in surprise during the performance ... checks in a flash to see if you're still there ... closes ... what a wonder that a face with the eyes closed can still say so much ... see so much ... from the garden to the wall running over the grass gliding techniquely in slow motion ... rising hand on her hip breast rising arm stretching the fruit in her hand her mouth her faraway eye

Saturday, June 05, 2010


cc or chronic curiosity is the silent killer of our culture ... silent because we don't talk about it ... and a killer because it kills us in our weakest dimension time ... its most prevalent symptom by far is the expression I want to see something new ... and the most depressing consequence by far can be heard in the expression I have seen it ... that's sad enough but take the frantic variety ... the hurry hurry and lose it kind ... the kill taste by surfeit type ... the bring down the upright in as by eating enough to bury it in a heap maneuver ... the fortunes we win only to piss away ... the women we chase only to abandon ... what is this passion for something new to hold it when it can't be held ... to go down to florida and take a hurricane by the throat to go back to ny and hold a bottle by the hand ... I tell you all this is nothing to what I can do ... only give me some decades and all the money I can borrow ... I'll build you a whole house by books or games ... by collection

cf griffiths, intellectual appetite


all in a whirl the three of them sit to a table heart saying first be still ... do you know what you're proposing ego puts on the paper ... look to society and see what you've done ... those are somebody's children out there ... well says the old french politician ... but wait look more closely he isn't old ... the height only of middle age ... well they're not my children and they aren't children either ... I resent the word ... you know it has at least two meanings ... and I more than you repel the idea of children in such scenes as we propose ... ego's first decree is withdrawn before it can fail ... he himself must apologize or be censured ... he apologizes conditionally by way of a clarification ... then with understated flourish presents his second proclamation ... having just secured the first as it is for free ... I wonder says the old french wizard giving it a glance ... honesty his only fault ... I wonder you can see virtue as all your reward ... as if in all the courts of excellence there never was one courtesan

Friday, June 04, 2010


I don't know about you but in my heart of hearts I know I'm stupid ... I know it because I can prove it ... I've lived long enough to amass the evidence ... and I can prove it by telling you what I'm about to do ... I'm going to play the part of an old man who doesn't talk much ... is it because he's wise or because he can't hear ... who knows ... he doesn't talk much ... the first thing you notice when you play such a part something inside you doesn't like it ... now you're not only silent but you're surly too ... it takes practice this part of an old man in the corner ... it's not a role much in demand ... but you know if you try it it does have its subtler sides ... I especially like its aspect of dissolution ... a revolution from the inside as it were but moderated by the assembly supervising my disassembly ... we'll try for an orderly transfer of power ... avoid unnecessary coups and insurrections ... we will bide our time in study ... well at least reading ... what's the tocsin ringing in my ear but calls pay attention if you can love


don't take counsel of your fears ... l'audace toujours l'audace ... stonewall jackson for number one danton for the second ... the general was puritanical calvinistic or like a prophet from the old testament ... the minister if not profligate had a spirit that could bear to be but chose instead to be professional ... and chose it about the time he chose the law ... about the time he saw the king he would unking crowned at reims cathedral ... both men had their strength in steadiness yet were best when on the attack ... who could say that more good came from what danton did ... who can say as much for jackson ... both men held the scourge in their right hand riot and musket volleys ... and both flew on the wings of spirit ... they flew above courage because a higher virtue was pulling them up ... rocking by my window on a bitter winter night I remember how they both died in spring ... both had young wives ... both small children ... one lost his arm the other his head ... fly sons of revolution on the wings of a dove

Thursday, June 03, 2010


the thought that the idea that's the thing we want ... that transcends space and time ... it is a thing we want more of having just a touch of it to catch our interest ... but it's not the thing we want is it ... that's the thing we still want when everything else fails ... in the hours of the night before the night is long and the light must be put out the ideas come round to talk ... like the gods at table they sit down to play ... freedom leads the pack in a minor suit gets trumped by form sees the trick taken by fashion ... that's the night ... tomorrow they'll each play someone else ... they never do any one of them win all the time ... and the galaxies gather their strength to start their return together ... what was it you barely hear but all the time ... the choir singing but always lip to ear ... the sound is thrilling ... this card you play now will win or lose ... the throne ... the guillotine ... the game ... the thrill of the moment ... all nothing ... only you lord


well suppose this is abstract too theoretical not likely to you ... clearly the physical and the mental too the movement in thought to a conclusion these are things that we can trace ... add to this catalog emotion and put it down as well as something that with practice we can control ... I would ask you then in reply to take for me this one concrete example from well-documented space in time and tell me why there's such confusion ... consider danton ... true conditions were not settled but he was the best of the surfers on the wave ... true a master of intrigue he had a motion to rise above it only to be murdered by a political machine in parliament in court in wood and in iron ... but wasn't there something immediately preceding ... a new wife a new life and best not the old living all the killing all the different ways to do it ... the murders of reason of debate and conversation ... what was it made him pause just at the worst moment 2/2

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I know reality is kicking in when the focus is off me ... that's why addiction is so attractive ... we can honestly say to ourselves it gets the focus off me ... this job this drug this porn this bet this dying religion ... I would tell you rather I had it all under control but the good old priest is right ... what is it he calls them tempers and states of mind that god only knows them and we we can't control them ... hard enough I find it to adjust to them to predict them to tell the truth about them when they're gone ... the author I admired but didn't go back to ... the era the event the people the idea ... the books ... the books that made us real ... where are they all now ... pretty much where I left them I suppose ... everywhere and nowhere wherever my memory can touch them ... but with them all my temper my mood my state of mind ... slipped past me when I didn't pay attention ... back to where they came from ... back to where I hope to follow 1/2

john henry cardinal newman, against the liberals, roman catholic books 1978, p184


swift has fun in gulliver doesn't he ... talking about the high and low heeled factions ... he means I think the churches high and low in britain and ireland or perhaps in any religion anywhere ... say the pope and the cardinals or the preachers on the american frontier a century and a half ago ... say in politics the republicans and the democrats for the last two or three thousand years ... it's nice to have a king but there's always been some kind of representative government based on money and birth ... what there's never been is a direct government ... probably impossible when cities and armies came to be formed ... probably unusual before that ... just now very intriguing because of the internet ... vote for the president in the morning before you leave the house to go to work ... vote for war vote for peace vote for the budget ... vote for love or because you hate somebody but vote for the money ... women children ... let everyone vote ... how low is that

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


what's the difference then between level one reality and level three if when we're three we're never better ... you might find the answer passing through two ... suppose they ask you a yes no question ... say this one ... is there anything better than our conversation now ... and each time you say yes they graduate you another level ... no matter how many times they do it even if forever it's always just another level ... in this sense but it's gnawing there never is a better ... and the truth of that is so deep for you you never do go any further ... and you twiddle back and forth in the land of two like a piddly battered ping pong ever more ... but you can't stop wondering isn't there anything more ... simpler or simply something new ... in the clutter of the pendulum of time let me go back to something basic ... against the grinding either-or is there no transcendence ... sometimes I wonder what would one or three be without this land of two down under ... to stand below with ethereal arms asunder ... to hold up the other two


when we're three not one we're never more alive ... pagan nude on the exercise field on the top of the hill ... or in battle though covered in paint ... or in bed covered in sweat ... clever move though part of a solid plan ... of a logical mind of clear intent ... beautiful beyond sense for just that reason ... it's past the five senses into a sixth ... or maybe just common sense ... the things we take for granted in order to live ... or when you say granted let's get on with the argument ... or given this new finding let's start a new one ... a new argument for each new given ... why christmas morning is so important the gifts and the giver behind them ... for the very young and for the too young just the gifts ... not even a santa behind them ... and who on such a morning blames them ... that's what giving and thinking are meant to do ... sometimes joy and selfless concentration but christmas day and christmas night in reflection we settle for just plain being happy ... you see what I mean ... the things we see have been granted for a conclusion