Tag Archives: being

Four Wheels Rolling

County Line Road

1

The whole world beside me
I have done all this before
Trees pavement sky & the long long drive
Just watched a game
At my sister’s place off County Line Road
It wasn’t the score that mattered
The salsa chips or soda pop no
But being there
For a moment
All my own

2

I’m in the driver’s seat
AWARE
Returning home for toothpaste pajamas & dreams
To rest the arms legs head shoulders fingers toes lungs & mouth
The brain heart ankles feet hair skin & face
But not the Soul
The Soul sleeps but never rests
The Soul is full but never satisfied
The Soul is AWARE of its awareness

3

Still in the driver’s seat
The whole world beside me
Driving up & down
County Line Road
Up & down
County Line Road
AWARE of everything
Absolutely
Of this & that & so much more

4

I know my eyes are here but it’s not their seeing
I am SEEING
I know my hands are here but it’s not their feeling
I am FEELING
I know my life is here but it’s more than me
I am BEING

5

We anticipatory creatures of maybe
Oh how we struggle
All this flesh in the way

6

AWARE of the deer
AWARE of the moon
AWARE of the radio
AWARE of the distance
AWARE of the thin white lines
AWARE of the luscious curls of wind
AWARE of the world living through me

7

Never a beginning or end
Always STRUGGLE & UNREST
Struggle & unrest
Bodies tied to infinite loops
Of struggle & unrest

8

Bodies bodies everywhere
And not a mind to think
Stressing bodies
Asking what we’re doing
How we’re doing
What we do for a living
Please the Doing will be done & yes
The Opportunity will find me yes &
Please the Moment will define me yes
For I am AWARE

9

Life is not a series of objects
To be moved from one side
To another to another
Progress is not living
Production is not living
Profit is not living

10

Oh the ways
The many many clever ways
We choose to struggle

11

Four wheels rolling
Up & down
County Line Road
I dream of a destination
Called home
Four wheels rolling
Up & down
County Line Road
Four wheels rolling
The way four wheels roll
I dream of a world
Beyond the beyond
Called home

c b snoad
draft 10-11-02
edit 1-29-17

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The Trouble With Being Born

From Richard Howard’s 1976 translation of E.M. Cioran’s The Trouble with Being Born:

Tsimtsum. This silly-sounding word designates a major concept of the Cabbala. For the world to exist, God, who was everything and everywhere, consented to shrink, to leave a vacant space not inhabited by Himself: it is in this “hole” that the world occurred.

Thus we occupy the wasteland He conceded to us out of pity or whim. For us to exist, He contracted, He limited His sovereignty. We are the product of His voluntary reduction, of His effacement, of His partial absence. In His madness He has actually amputated Himself for us. If only He had had the good sense and the good taste to remain whole! (119)

My life is the embodiment of man’s estrangement from God. Sin is not merely an act, but a state of being in the world. My worldly possession—the world as my possessor—creates a spiritual wound. My being-in-the-world longs to reunite with God in the neither-here-nor-there, but as long as I am, I will never reach Him. This doesn’t preclude me from trying, hence my obsession with madness.

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Filed under Life, Philosophy

Destined To Be Free

“We do not know what we want, and yet we are responsible for what we are.” –Sartre

“Freedom of choice
Is what you’ve got
Freedom from choice
Is what you want”
—Devo

A brief sketch of Sartre’s basic assumptions regarding human reality, as found in Ashley Woodward’s Nihilism in Postmodernity (Aurora: The Davies Group, 2009):

We are each of us lack. The fact that we desire proves that human reality is lack.

We create existential projects in an attempt to overcome this lack.

We want security and freedom. We want to be free to make choices, but we also want to be a secure foundation for those choices.

“God is a self-consciousness and the necessary foundation of himself.” We, however, did not create our being.

Man is that being whose project is to be God. Man fundamentally is the desire to be God.

But the desire to be God is futile; it cannot be realized.

Thus all of our projects are futile: “It amounts to the same thing whether one gets drunk alone or is a leader of nations.”

A possible path to overcoming nihilism: Sartre’s outline of “existential psychoanalysis.”

Human beings are motivated by the desire to be God when they are in unreflective or impure reflective states of consciousness.

At some point, in an unreflective or impure reflective state, we each make a choice regarding our specific project—but this choice is essentially the desire to be God and is thus futile.

We must create our own values, and freedom is the criterion that guides the creation of values. There is no God. There is no human nature. There is you choosing your life for yourself on your own terms.

Nihilism must be confronted in the personal life of the individual.

To be free, to be authentic, is to act, not simply think. Freedom is freedom only when it is exercised.

***

What interests me here is Sartre’s concept of the specific project. What is my specific project? As a child I wanted to be like my father, a high school English teacher. But I can’t handle the thought of teaching high school, mostly due to my severe depression and anxiety. My father was depressed. Did he teach me to be depressed? Was I bound to inherit my illness and thus not as free as Sartre imagines?

If I set out to be a teacher and then got sick, does this mean that my depression prevailed over the pursuit of my specific project? Can I create a new project? Is my life somehow doubly futile because I feel incapable of fulfilling my original futile project?

Is my project simply thinking about my project, the role of human suffering, the indifference of the universe, the fullness of my Lack? Am I not destined to write, to wonder, to philosophize?

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An Absurd Proposition

I find myself returning to Nietzsche’s thoughts on eternal recurrence. Time is cyclical, not linear, the theory goes. You have lived this life many times before and will live the same life over and over into infinity. But it’s not just your life: every intimate detail of the universe plays back on a loop, the same record with the same grooves.

This sounds both tragic and glorious. Horrific and divine. If you’re seeking comfort, I say live today like it’s the first time you’ve lived, as if this is your original life, such that you will it to happen unchanged forever.

Every day is significant because it returns to you and you to it, but—pop a Prozac—this may be the twentieth or two-millionth time you’ve lived this life and there’s no changing things. Actually there is no “original life,” no counting incarnations, no beginning to begin with.

It’s an impossible thought. An absurd proposition. A blog I’ve written many times before and will come back to again and again.

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Filed under Life, Philosophy

Caller ID

You know the feeling: you’re drifting off to sleep, easing into a dream. The phone rings. You’re awake.

~ ~ ~

Life is your inability to continue the dream.

~ ~ ~

If God had proposed the idea of my life to me before my birth, I’d have thought him insane. But I accepted the offer before it was made. I wasn’t so much conceived as convinced.

~ ~ ~

God once left a cryptic message. Someday I’ll get back to him.

~ ~ ~

As a child I wondered where I came from. How at first the world appeared. The cosmos had a pressing thought. Something of a dark matter.

~ ~ ~

Life is the length of a restless night. A series of tosses and turns.

~ ~ ~

The other day, a dream. UNKNOWN calls. And I say hello.

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A Healthy Argument

I remember returning to my hospital room in the dark one night in full-blown Woe Is Me mode. What had I done wrong? Why this illness? Why was I stuck here?

Desperate for answers, I took God to task. My larger concerns focused on why I existed, why I was suffering, why I was left in the world all alone. What’s the point of believing in a god indifferent to my plight?

Anger overtook my sadness. And I felt relieved. In examining the basis of existence I claimed my suffering as my own. But I also took possession of my greatest joys and everything about my life I valued.

Questioning, searching, demanding proof—these are divine pursuits. Knowing that we’ll never know and still going about the business of being alive—this makes the everyday spectacular.

After years of trying to be smarter than everyone else, of being a good boy and following the rules, of being the perfect student, the perfect employee, I was finally able to sit still and cry. My healing began in sadness, strengthened in anger, and took hold in letting go.

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