Man will not rest until he has transformed the last bit of nature into an economic resource for consumption, and thereby killed himself as well as the rest of nature. Perhaps technological capitalism is nothing more than a long process of suicide, deprived of any self-control or spiritual mastery.
Loving each other meant transforming into the best versions of ourselves we could ever be; it meant finding, through each other, the secret source of joy in our own hearts; it meant opening up and flowing, but also being contained and cradled; it meant traveling away and going, but always connected by a hidden thread, and always under a watchful and caring eye. Love is being in becoming, always from the central place in our own hearts.
This compulsion to buy ever new things, not out of any need, not because the newly acquired item is better, but because this allows us to project a better image of ourselves, and gives us a psychological satisfaction (that we fit, that we ‘are‘) — is at the heart of what consumer driven capitalism is all about.
It is not having or possessing in itself that satisfies us, but the image that, through this having, we are able to project to others, is what we ultimately seek. Advertisers did not so much create this need as exploit it, and therefore amplify it. We are, each of us, an “influencer.” But the questions is: at what point does the image we project of ourselves meet with actual life, with the reality of our emotions and intellectual capacities, with the sum of our life and its potential?
To be is not so much to have, but to be able to project the image that fits, the image that insures our identity and social standing and recognition. But it is a mirage we are only attaching ourselves to, an illusion. We are nothing more than a whiff of smoke that the softest breeze will dissipate.
The thing which affects artists more acutely than regular people is how greatly they feel the weight of loneliness. This weight is so tyrannical that they seek out many ways to shed it, mainly through their creative impulse. But it is a process which never succeeds, for, apart from the momentary orgiastic feeling in the moment that art is expressed and in which the artist jumps out of himself, the loneliness returns. Art and artistic expression deepen the feeling of loneliness through time, but it is not a loneliness which severs and isolates the artist from his or her surrounding, on the contrary, it enables a greater and more intense and attentive form of relationship with nature and life. Loneliness is a weight that constructs painfully through many many years, but it strips to the bones and makes the artist shine in the light of their truth. Blessed are the lonely who turn their loneliness into art.
I write because the words open my heart to something greater than I am. I write because, being open, I am transformed through the grace of the other. I write as a form of communion, with the world, with the sacred, with love. I write as a poet; I write as a lover.
Love is a form of communion, that would not be possible without this stepping outside of our social roles, this intimate knowing and being known, this raw offering to the other, bare to the bones, this being seen in one’s soul, which fills us with harmony and light, giving us a deep sense of belonging, and giving us back to the world — as what? — as a divine fragment, as something transformed.
Scientism takes off after communism and traditional religions in that it would like to construct a perfect and ideal world, comprehensible down to its last detail, which light would shine with the new, atheistic religion, albeit still clad in age old morality.
The person who is spiritually inclined will find himself drifting away from every day practical matters and the concerns and aspirations of normal society. Thus, in time, the language he uses will no long be sufficient to form a common understanding. He will drift on, as though in a cloud of solitude, but he will be connected to something else, something more inward and less tangible, and also something that cannot be shown to others who would demand a justification for his way of existence. This basic rift has since eternal times marked the existence of the artist, poet, philosopher, shaman and saint separating them from the practical and society oriented folks. This is still at work today in such kind of people, but not without a feeling of guilt more acute than before. When in previous ages this spiritual bent and way of life may have been justified, or even seen as a privilege, today, and under the guise of psychology and capitalism, it is looked upon with a wary eye, and the person labeled as psychologically and economically unsound.
The moments and experiences that turn into memories and persist within us are always the ones that carry an emotional weight. The rest of the things we go through we do not remember or recall. So our memory and recollection of the world is always subjective, reflecting ourselves and set of emotions and being in that particular moment, the person we were at the time. But, also, the memory which persists within us is not a finished memory or a static image; it changes within us as we change, for the memory itself is always grasped and viewed through the prism of emotions and thought, our growth and maturity, which are ever shifting.
It is not always the experience we go through which creates the memory within us, the opposite can also be true. Some emotions can be so intense that they generate a set of images and feelings that acquire the hue and shape of reality and thus persist within us, becoming more real than reality itself. That is how artists, in particular, grasp the world. But what is true for the artist is also true for the “normal” person. Memory and image making are no passive activity but a creative process that goes down to the very roots of our being and idea of the world. The person is both generator and creator, grasping reality not as a fait-accompli, but always creating it out if the prime material the world and our situation within it provides. In the truest sense, “we are the poets of our lives.”
Part of becoming mature lies in the realization that we do not know ourselves as well as we thought we did, that we are not transparent to ourselves and that we act motivated by certain forces, desires, emotions, and needs we have no control or knowledge of. Part of becoming mature consists in trying to befriend and bring light to this shadow life, while knowing that life will end before this endeavor does.
Truths are always hard, which we don’t want to hear, because they disturb our sense of complacency and comfort, they shatter our self-image and hold on the world. If we are not willing to accept and reconstruct ourselves accordingly we are doomed to unhappiness and a mediocre life. We are doomed to repeat the same errors again and again and to stay caught in the same cycles of addiction and thought. Facing the truth takes courage, confidence, humility, and some hardness towards ourselves. Without that we will perish not having achieved our full potential.
Only the weak person wants to bind others in contracts of blackmail and fear. These contracts come in many forms; one of them is love and kindness.
Faith is not a belief in a fixed state or ideal; it is an open ended question that transforms the believer through the grace of love. Faith attains no finalities nor does it attach itself to any absolute security; it is a state of becoming; its altar is the world; its medium is love.
What is an ideology?—it is a thing propelled by an absolute faith in its own prerogatives; in other words, its blind spot forbids it from seeing itself for what it is, and this is essential for it to go on preaching its faith.
Contemplation has always had to battle against the values of the market, but in no age did these values reign absolute as they do today. They are upheld religiously — and therefore, invisibly — and have sneaked in to transform every institution and discipline, including that of philosophy, from the ground up. In addition to having made the life of man uninteresting and small, they have also made him increasingly stupid. Soon he will have to relearn his most basic skills — seeing, hearing, reading, thinking. They never allow him a moment’s rest as he is constantly pushed to perform and produce. They are the ultimate tyranny, seen by none, upheld by all.
When you remember, which comes first, the image or the feeling? I venture to say that it is the feeling that calls out the image and frames it, giving it its depth, hue and texture — it sears it, as though in fog. Many feelings remain after being uncoupled from their original images, and so they create images of their own. This is well known to all poets and artists.
What I find deeply disconcerting about science is its will to reduce everything it touches into the realm of knowledge — i.e. utilitarian — thus dispelling existence of every shade of mystery. In such an atmosphere that is deeply antagonistic to poetry I find myself suffocating and unable to tolerate life. The good news is that this endeavour of science is futile, in that it is impossible to reduce everything into the realm of knowledge; the unknown remains, and the shade of mystery cannot be dispelled; poetry cannot be vanquished. The bad news is that science may well destroy life and the world before coming to this conclusion and admitting its childish aspirations. The link between poetry, mystery, and ecology is unmistakable. It is what we hope will one day bring science to its senses, making it aware of its own limitations. Hopefully that day won’t be too long in the future.
We all coexist with the idea that the people we love might disappear at any moment, though this idea, in the every day life, only occupies the fringes of our minds. But when someone you love has cancer, the idea becomes central, and it moves to occupy the entire space. Managing your emotions while going through this is one of the hardest things a human being has to do.
The years move on, and the things which seemed so important become trivial; time and loss have a way of distilling life to its essence. The years move on, what remains now are the simple things that were there all along, waiting in the quiet. The years move on, and we start making friends with our own disappearance; how well can we dance the dance before saying goodbye?
Things, in the end, will not be alright, and it is unrealistic to expect them to be so. Life will falter, sickness will creep in, relationships you value will be torn, friends and lovers will one day be strange as ghosts, everything will change, nothing you love will remain the same, and, in the end, sooner or later, you yourself will disappear without ever having felt like you have had enough, or that you have fulfilled all your dreams, or resolved the puzzle of life. If you can truly face this fact, deeply, without closing your heart, you will attain internal peace, and will be able to dance in the rain for a little while. You will give all you can give, and you will know the gratitude of love.
All poets are fools; they love the world more than it deserves to be loved, and when it hurts them they bless it. All poets are fools; they inscribe their holy verse in a woman’s body, and turn her into mist and light. All poets are fools; they are meant to suffer, and enter a place of light. All poets are fools, they bless what hurts them, and love with a passion that rivals the sun. All poets are fools; blessed are the poets.