The most deeply damaging thing one might come out with after reading authors such as Georges Bataille and the Marquis de Sade, is the idea that sexual impulses cannot be controlled, and that we are fated to live in a universe where we either suppress them and become ascetic and puritan morally or where we give them their sway and playful ground thus becoming libertines, and modern. The idea of “control,” which is different from suppression, does not enter the minds of both authors, and why? — because they themselves are the offshoot and a reaction to the morality of suppression, because the ascetic and the liberal are ultimately two sides of the same coin, mirroring each other. Sexuality suppressed kinks the heart, which is why the sexual forms prevalent in the imaginations of both men as seen through their writings is so tainted with darkness; it detaches itself from one’s emotional centers and becomes something cold and almost mechanical. Sexuality cannot be suppressed, but its discharge can be controlled, its form and quality can be given a different shape, and can be branched in one’s heart becoming an expression of one’s emotions and sensuality. Only control can pave the way to a sexuality of ecstasy, of which the former types haven’t got the slightest hint.
My approach to poetry has always been intuitive, and it is this intuition that lead me to truths that clashed directly with what an intellectual or philosophic grasp on the world might propose. Poetry draws from the source, and philosophy, regarding that, was, rightly, cynical. Which lead me to an impasse — I could no longer surrender to poetry and its source, and yet when I attempted to subjugate myself to the lessons and outlook of philosophy it felt like I was suppressing a huge and essential part of my own self, a part without which I couldn’t be myself. This struggle ate away at a good decade of my life, diminishing the best of what I could offer, philosophically and poetically — I was diminished and weakened in both areas. This struggle is so essential to my identity and to my well being. I’m not sure how to proceed, except to say that an either/or approach to the matter is not in the least fruitful, and that the repression of poetry even at the risk of being “dogmatic” to the rational side in me is also no longer possible. Maybe what is required is a leap of faith, one that does not deny reason and philosophy, but that comes from a deeper place in the heart, a place unconcerned with appealing or being granted the approval of philosophy and reason. This while retaining philosophy and reason as essential tools with which to handle the self in its relation to the world.
As a poet you cannot wait for your intellect to allow your surrender into your poetic flow and its intuition — the intellect will never allow it, for it is its very nature to remain skeptic and, hence, to hold you back; a leap must be made, and the intellect, humbled.
The nice guy, so desperate to give, chases all the women away. His giving, in fact, is a weakness and a selfishness — through it he seeks to validate himself. But the validation will not come to him who is weak in his heart. And the less the validation comes the more neurotic the need to give becomes. His giving seeks to manipulate the woman into giving him back the validation he seeks. But no woman will have this because he is not a man who can stand on his own. The nice guy, however, should not revert back to the bad boy type, so craved by the feminine; he must reach into his instinct and come to his strength through his weakness. He ought to become himself, create his boundaries, and become able to stand on his own.
The discipline of the flower is opening up to the light. That is my discipline too, as a poet, a lover, and a man. Man is conscious depth; his discipline is opening and giving his life direction through the sea of light.
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There is a friend to whom you come closer even when you go into a different or even an opposite direction. Such friendship, what is its touchstone: a mutual commitment to the growth of the heart.
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We do not simply stumble upon new books; they stumble upon us and call us out too. It is a meeting, and the space of the meeting (depending on its depth) spills out back and forth throughout our life, reshaping, transforming, metamorphosing, down into the cradle of our birth and up into the darkness of our tomb.
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The poet, today, is an outcast destined to live in the shadow of a socially unjustifiable existence. The intellectual atmosphere of his time renders him mistrustful even towards the sacred fountain of his inspiration. And so he finds himself in the peculiar position where he cannot turn away from poetry nor completely give in and surrender to it — he does not believe in his own existence. He suffers, and his suffering is incommunicable. He suffers in silence. Yet this silence and suffering are preparing something in him too; even now, something is rising out of him. This intuition alone makes his existence bearable, and fills him with the awe of being a poet. He will go unseen like a flower on the wind. But poetry, her, the midwife of the heart, has already taken something out of him and planted in the garden of eternity. He will go unseen, but the poem shall survive.
It’s been over a decade now since Nietzsche got seriously introduced in my life, a period in which I read several of his books, my favorite remaining The Gay Science. Of all his thoughts, the one from which I benefited the most, the one which has affected me mostly and which has remained with me throughout is this one: the idea and hence the will of affirming life, of affirming the being you are now, at this moment, in this infinitely complex web of becoming. What would it take, then, to make such a leap of affirmation? It would require a human being to look into her past, and to behold the most difficult and painful events through which she has lived, and to accept them, embrace them, and even love them because they are part of the intricate makeup that constitutes her current self, because without them she would not be who she is at this moment. Nietzsche would say that she would have to will them again, want to live through them again and again out of an infinite love and affirmation for the person she has become. In fact the web of events that Nietzsche has in mind extends far beyond the person in question, the particular subjectivity, to encompass the world and its history; so the person now looks at the most painful and questionable events in history and existence and out of an infinite love of life wills them again because she wills its present and future, hers and life’s, because in her heart a powerful Yes! is resounding, a powerful emotion that acts like a loop through which everything that has ever lived wants to be again, is in love with itself. And to complete the circle Nietzsche then devised the idea of eternal recurrence. The person now stands at the crux of the moment and asks herself if, living this moment the way she is living it, she is ready to live it again and again for an infinite number of times in the exact same way. To will this moment once is then to will it for an eternal number of times, recurring through the fabric of existence, so, obviously, you would want to will it in the best way possible, or the way that is most in harmony with your strength and heart. Ultimately, you must say Yes! to living your life in the exact same way again and again for an infinite number of times; you affirm existence in your person, and through you existence entire is justified. All of this, however, must be contemplated truly and not just in abstraction, its truth must be felt taking hold of the whole heart. Nothing is more difficult. Yet the difficult is something we love, because we love life.
You become worthy of the object of your desire, be it a lover, a poem, or a way of life, once you are able to let go of the numerous bits and pieces, the distractions, in order to dedicate yourself to it entirely, down to your heart and soul, to the truth of your life. Otherwise you’re just fooling around and passing time, and nothing great will come out of your life because you have not aspired to anything great.