Empty Days

Thursday, August 05, 2004



Variously ph.

Deathly cold today. Well, it's all relative of course, but when you get something like 10-20 C in summer it does feel cold. I suppose in Alaska this goes for a wonderfully hot summer day.

***

I lost the battle against money-phobia (or rather the vast sense of powerlessness that it implies - "buying power" is really a fitting expression). Which means that I lost the nerve mentally and now I will either buy everything for whatever price and pretend it doesn't matter (blowing it, so to speak) or I will renounce the project completely - it's become a torture instead of an inspiration.

In other words, when your plan of existential liberation passes through the department store - you're screwed.

***

Some more linguistics: the word "equipment" actually implies creating a sense of security. People who go camping in trailers with so much luggage you'd think they're moving house, do so to assuage a deathly fear of open spaces.

City vs countryside: the city is in fact an immense enclosure, a ghetto, meant to protect you from the hasard of the natural world. A city is not just a lot of houses with many streets: it's a mental concept first and foremost. It's what we mean by "civilization" - a stable for the domesticated animal.

***

Another illusory way of combatting money-phobia involves breaking the rules of the world, that is law: stealing instead of buying.

The problem is that, while I do it from time to time out of desperation and resentment, I am still conscious of the fact that while I am beaking rules, I know full well that these rules I am breaking are only an insignificant portion of all the huge structure of rules and laws (economic and civil) that society is bound in - it's like a huge cocoon: you can cut through a few threads, but you can never undo the whole blasted fabric.

That's what the Unabomber was up against - a totally losing battle.

Young people frequently disregard rules and steal and go over the fence in every way. But this is youthful energy - where the sense of personal hope and future is still untouched. The crushing weight of the world and its structures has not yet rubbed in, so to speak. This irrational untested hope does not last very long. You can still jump fences a decade later but you do it out of disperation rathen that hope this time, because you already know that there are just too many of them, an infinity of fences - you can never get away in principle.

***

In fact the people I met who were truly free - in their mind - all happened to be past 70 years old in age. Hardly a coincidence. Those still in the prime of life are submissive mentally to the demands of living their life in the world as it is. When you're effectively over those demands, that's when you can finally *be*.


There were three such extravagant people I've known - they're all dead now.

***

I am basically trying to imitate these old loonies - but I can't honestly do it, because I can't get rid of the demands life imposes on me, both internally and externally. I am not fully conscious of my end - my body is too full of life to allow me this consciousness - and this is asserted by the way others see me. Even if I were sick with a terminal cancer, people would still want me to go on living - because I am "not supposed" to die at a certain age.

Consciousness is not a private space freely administered by the conscious individual - it's a consensus. Try to really change your fundamental ideas of how things are - you'll notice that you can't, simply because 95% of these ideas are not of your making (L.W.).

***

Erich Fromm, being the humanistic psychologist that he is, talks of the "true self" and how it's supposed to be there somewhere, under the multiple layers of consensual ideas. It's a very appealing notion, this whole "true freedom" and "true self" thing. But it might just be a fantasy - an ideal that does not really exist, but that one likes to believe in because it'd be really great if it were true.

A bit like equality between people: it's an ideal, never *quite* a reality. Or God - good luck trying to "find" God... instead you might find religion - just as instead of equality you keep finding an ideology of equality.

That's why I hate pop-psychology so much: it catters ready-made ideals as if they were real, without an inkling of what ideals actually are - and why they are. Fromm at least is making a real effort in trying to understand what he's even talking about.

***

Oh Lord. This reminds me of something I glanced on tv the other night - the famous "case" of the woman-teacher sleeping with her under-age hispanic student. She was made to spend 8 fucking years in jail for that supposed "offense" - while she got pregnant from the guy. What's more the guy is now over 20 years old and still wants to live with her.

Question: why was she sent to jail?

No answer.

Petrarca is a filthy pedophile.

***

I went to the municipal office and made a formal complaint about the philippino carwash - giving a chance for the fucking law system to work. They seemed to believe it was indeed a bad thing and promised to send a letter threatening fines etc.

So now I don't have to worry about it all by myself and walk around with a symbolic gun in my mind.

Fromm says that the sense of powerlessness and individual insignificance is a hallmark of nihilistic philosophy. He keeps talking about it - therefore his own ph is essentially nihilistic. Which is normal for a humanist.

***

My whole life is spent thinking - that's all I do, basically - in my mind, in this blog, while I read, while I walk, even in sleep. That's it. All other visible acts and actions of mine are just an extension of this all-consumming activity - ex potentio. Seen from outside my progression in this world doesn't make any sort of sense - it's a haphazard collection of various meaningless deeds, showing no structure or direction except an increasing alienation from the social order as such.

And it's been like that for most of my adult lifetime - life minus hope equals thinking.

***

Seen a french documentary on tv about the ozone hole over Patagonia. The hole is elliptic and most of it is situated over the South Pole, but part of it rotates over southern Chili at certain times of the year. The increase of UV radiation and skin-cancer has risen spectacularly in that land. The cancers tend to appear about 20 years after a certain critical exposure. Just as the world-wide atmospheric pollution takes 15-20 years to start affecting the ozone layer. Which means that even if the whole of industrial civilization were wiped out of existence today, the ozone hole would keep increasing for years and years to come.

The hole was first discovered in mid 80's - a glaring legacy of all the accumulated pollution since WWII.

Realistically speaking, given the state of the world, it's already too late to do anything significant about this - and much more besides.





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