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Category: Diary of an Adamant Lover

I want to quit

I want to quit

I’d give up, but that seems futile.

I’m getting older without a cause. That’s the problem.

If Elizabeth Warren would’ve run for president, all would be well. I could relax while she unified the nation around sensibleness. But that didn’t happen.

But I don’t really understand what is going on. Why are the Republicans so crazy? Why won’t they stop running for office if they hate government so much? Why won’t they admit that we need to build roads and that people on welfare is not what is breaking the budget and that of those the small percent that are gaming the system really are not what is breaking the budget? Why do they keep pretending that cutting taxes is a magical potion? Why have they trapped us all here in this hog pen while they whistle and rodeo us in the mud–pretending that we’re raging bulls and not puny brown-nosed piglets? I am so lonely here! And the weirdest part is that we all know that we need some mixture of free market, regulations, and safety net. We all know that the magical formulas that toss away any one of those is magical thinking. So how can it be that we let the Republicans act like two of those three economic pillars are evil treacheries and the other is God’s mighty hand in creation? And so we are scattered to the wind. Oh Israel! Oh Israel!

When we be a people? When will we share this land and this purpose? Don’t we have a purpose? Don’t we agree at least that the government should avoid making decisions just to appease people and organizations with money to burn? Why are people voting for Trump? What is going on? Will someone please get me out of this dank cellar?! Who locked the door? Who’s flooding the upstairs bathroom? Don’t they know I’m trapped down here? Don’t they care?

I can’t stop the evil. I can’t even figure out what is behind it, where it is, what it is. I feel helpless and stupid. What do I do? Who do I turn to?

AMW and BW, all upset with no place to go

A New, Improved Manhattan Project: Pt 3: Some Tips for the geniuses

A New, Improved Manhattan Project: Pt 3: Some Tips for the geniuses

[Anti-Weapon / New Manhattan Project]

The wisdom meme must immediately compel all consciousnesses into full awareness of the Truth and bind them permanently to that wider perspective. Or, since permanence is not achievable in this flibertygibbetting realm, continuously reintroduce our consciousnesses to the Truth (create a pattern of continual expansion out into the Truth, contraction back into human thinking/feeling, expansion … ) .

We’ll leave the heavy lifting to our team of towering intellectual, emotional, and spiritual figures. However, the Proposal Committee (PC — an unintended acropun) feels both empowered and obligated to sketch out the obvious outlines of this, the most critical endeavor in human history (as it will decide whether human history ends soonish and horrifyingly or sprawls out into another million years of good, clean, wholesome fun in reasonably great and reasonably humble wisdom).

Basically, we want to make sure that everyone who hears the message is immediately and irrevocably enlightened — experiences and maintains a direct connection with the Truth so that their feelings, notions, and ideas cannot help but adequately interpret and follow the Truth. Also, we want to make sure that we find a way to write the message in a form (holy grail!) or forms (beggars can’t be choosers) that everyone on the planet can understand.

What is enlightenment? Completely knowing, understanding, and following the Truth. It is letting the Truth overtake your being, so that — devoid of the corruptions that flow from putting some mythic self ahead of the only aspect of your experience that actually knows what is going on and what matters (aka: the Truth shining through all things, including your own conscious moment) — you become a perfect conduit for the Truth and It flows through and completely captains your experiences, guiding you towards the best possible ways of feeling, thinking, speaking, and acting.

Is enlightenment possible? Probably not, at least in this earthenware realm, as that final irrevocable perfection above described. However, enlightenment is possible as ever-increasing progress towards that goal.

[At this point, we sprawled out for a couple paragraphs working our “enlightenment in a calculus-sense” theory. The editor felt it best to send that song and dance across the deep blue sea: Outtakes!. (I don’t know why.) Ditto for the long AA speech that had me on my knees for a God of my understanding: Outtakes!. (Who knows why?! Editors have too much power. [Editor’s Note: No we don’t. We need more power and way more glory!])]

Provocation: There’s no proof adequate progress towards enlightenment is impossible, and many examples both within one’s conscious moment and demonstrated by others give us reason to believe that wisdom is real and possible. We all have some inborn sense that what is most real is an infinite all-pervading flawless loving kindness, and that we can, by following our inborn push for clear, honest, joyful exploration, creation, and sharing, grow this inborn knowledge. We cannot prove this sense of things false. And the testimony of many gentle and effective souls suggests that sense of things is onto something.

Cautionary: In order to head-off our human tendency to call every fool notion that whims its way into our minds a “great insight”, and listening not to me but to what is common to all, it is best we agree that wisdom is the opposite of dishonest, greedy, hateful, ignorant, confused, desperate, or incompetent: wisdom is generous, kind, knowing, clear-sighted, joyfully capable. While wisdom is to some degree an inner and thus invisible process, we can to an appreciable degree perceive the fruits of wisdom and folly: wisdom is kind, helpful, competent; it has space for gentleness, generosity, for other people, for clear honest conversation and action; folly is closed-off, shut-down, scared, desperate, greedy, angry, mean, confused and confusing.

Anyway: I think by now it’s clear to us all that we need to be ever-more overtaken by and constantly reimagined within the kind of wisdom that realizes “we are all in this together and should treat ourselves and others kindly” is a more fundamental Truth than all this loose talk we keep talking. And we need it fast.

Generally, seekers are counseled to keep working on whole-being-wisdom (organizing their ideas and feelings around the inner Light), using the standard means: meditating, praying, working alone and with others to better and better grasp and live/unpack the inner Light that Knows we are all in this together: to better and better keep the sense within that knows how life matters ahead of ideas and feelings about how life does or doesn’t matter. (Otherwise the longing to feel and think that one is living meaningfully often seduces one away from the source of meaning: that inner Light prior to all feelings and ideas; the Light Knows/Is what ideas and feelings can only have inklings of.)

We all are some degree mystical seekers. We are all trying to primarily follow not our ideas and feelings, which we know we don’t ever quite fathom or even care about, but to chase to the end that sense within that knows that some ways of thinking and acting are truly better than others. So the counsel “keep up the wisdom practice!” applies to all of us.

However, consequent the gargantuan of our weapons and fragility of our individual and collective existences, we can no longer afford to bumble along with our weak-kneed, half-ass, “I’m doing the best I can!; so busy!” spiritual efforts. Wisdom is needed now: the knowledge and understanding of the True Good must be shored up in each individual conscious experience ASAP! Otherwise, we’re going to break everything to pieces and so won’t be able to work effectively on any human project, including wisdom.

The wisdom meme must make our conscious experiences directly experience the True Good shining within and through, while still allowing our ideas and feelings to be present and to irrevocably learn the correct rhythm/sense-of-things/vision. Maybe a thunderclap jolt that silences all our ideas and feelings, setting us straight into awareness of what is leftover in our experience when ideas and feelings hush up — which we’re here assuming is the Truth — and then a gradual, controlled slide back into thinking with ideas and feelings. But once won’t be enough — not if we’re going to make the wisdom meme fool-proof. So let’s build a meme that constantly submerges each human conscious moment nakedly into the Truth, followed by a gradual, studious fade into more mundane thought, over and over again every day. It would be analogous to Plato’s philosopher kings and queens as they studied the Form of the Good and then translated their discoveries into practical thoughts. Only it would be the opposite of esoteric or elitist: the wisdom meme must be not only available for all, but blessedly unavoidable for all.

That is what the wisdom meme is to achieve.

Get to it team!


But a wisdom meme is not possible! Not really. And so much trouble has been created by memes that pose as wisdom memes! So this joke is ill-advised? Oh, just let us make the occasional joke !

The Discouraged Signers (yes!, the same gawking gaggle who’d signed the first two sections of this capsized treaty with so much élan and optimism)

PS (they mumbled sleepily into the flat wooden desk that supports their forearms, which in turn support their foreheads):

What about finding some way to induce the enlightened state? And so we speak again of a sort of Pure Love inducing pill, machine, soundtrack, or etc.

What is the right balance between waiting to be wise before acting versus doing the best with what you can in order to help here and now and as part of the work of becoming wiser? What is the right balance between being fun and free and creative and living and doing and exploring and frolicking versus the discipline of spiritual practice?

Ah Bartleby, ah humanity!


You know what would be a step in the right direction?
A media campaign that taught critical thinking skills and stressed the importance of clarity, honesty, decency and kindness in thought and action. We could give people tools to push back on the constant flux of memes. We could make it a fun game we can all play all the time: always striving for more clarity, honesty, decency and kindness. It’s not a panacea, but it might help us as individuals, interwoven overlapping groups, and as a whole get more traction in our thoughts and actions.

If you like our essaying, First Essays has a lot of essays.
And of that lot, A Readable Reader has a selection of the most readable ones.

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[Anti-Weapon / New Manhattan Project]

[NYC Journal – Politics Page]

[Something Deeperism Institute]

[NYC Journal]

From Before:
Stop! I posted this Sunday April 10 and it is now a bit later on the same day and I am realizing it isn’t even close to readable. I’ll work on it tonight. Update at 6:46pm: Getting better. I’ll work on it tomorrow. Update: 3:22 on Monday: Maybe it is mostly readable now. I will work on it tonight or tomorrow.

From A New, Improved Manhattan Project: Part 2: The Proposal:

But how? How to come up with a phrase or sentence or two that cuts the reader or listener in half, slicing straight through all the blah blah blah and forcing their conscious mind to fully experience the Truth within–that deepest widest sense-of-things that lines the back of a person’s thought, gradually building up on the back of their thought like slowly developing film gathering more and more light. While most people do get wiser as they get older, we don’t tend to ever get nearly wise enough, and our youths are often full of dangerous folly. So we need something that works exceedingly fast. However, it must also be perfectly safe–a problem with quick revelations is that they may be partial but the violence of speedy insights tempts one to believe them complete, which can help unwise impulses do what they love to do: co-opt bits of goodness and wisdom, mix them up in a confusion cocktail, and use them to justify and aggrandize wrong-headedness. The wisdom meme must immediately compel consciousness’s into full awareness of the Truth in a way that binds them permanently to that wider perspective.


We’ll leave the heavy lifting to the hand-picked team of towering intellectual, emotional, and spiritual figures. However, the Proposal Committee (PC–an unintended acropun) feels both empowered and obligated to sketch out the obvious outlines of this, the most critical endeavor in human history (because it may decide whether human history ends soonish and horrifyingly or sprawls out into another million years of good, clean, wholesome fun in grand wisdom).

Basically, we want to make sure that everyone who hears the message is immediately and irrevocably enlightened–experiences and maintains a direct connection with the Truth so that their feelings, notions, and ideas cannot help but adequately interpret and follow the Truth. Also, we want to make sure that we find a way to write the message in a form (holy grail!) or forms (beggars can’t be choosers) that everyone on the planet can understand.

Beyond the obvious suggestion that the New Manhattan Project (NMP) hire linguistically and culturally sensitive translators, the Proposal Committee currently can’t think what to say about making a fool-proof wisdom-meme. But we can present a little philosophical background to give the geniuses an idea of what we’re looking for:

Something Deeperism is the philosophical attitude that there is a Truth deeper than ideas and feelings, so ideas and feelings cannot relate with scientific/literal-precision, -clarity, and -certainty to the Truth; but since the Truth is within each person’s conscious experience along with ideas and feelings the Truth can, under the right circumstances, explain Itself to her/his ideas and feelings well enough to allow her/his thought-as-a-whole to correctly believe that s/he is living in and through the Truth.

Something Deeperism avoids the extremes of systematic skepticism/sciencism (sciencism = believing that reality is nothing more than our current scientific hypothesis about the material world–a belief underpinned by skepticism) and of fundamentalist religions. Radical skepticism/sciencism is a self-refuting philosophy because there’s no point doubting anything unless some thought-paths should actually be preferred over others, and that implies that something actually matters and we can and should consciously work to think and act in accordance with that something. Fundamentalist religion is defined here as religious attitudes that put faith in dogmas/practices over faith in the sense of True Joy and Love that makes it clear that life is meaningful and that it matters what we do. That definition demonstrates both the difficulty of pinpointing exactly how fundamentalist someone is being (since we cannot see our own thoughts and feelings perfectly, and others even less well) and the self-refuting nature of fundamentalism (since it is counterproductive to follow ideas about why life is meaningful if those ideas are cutting you off from your deeper sense about how and why life is meaningful). Taken together, the black-box nature of individual spiritual lives and the self-defeat of fundamentalist thought add up to this conclusion: People of all faiths must constantly work to make sure their faith is not undermining itself; ie: that we are not putting more emphasis on ideas and feelings than on that deeper sense that informs us that clarity and honesty and decency in thought and feeling matter because what we think and do matters and because pushing for ever more clarity, honesty, and decency as well as that ineffable element within our sense of “life actually matters” will help us move towards better ways of thinking and acting (all this information is part of an inner sense of things that we cannot perfectly catch with words, but that words can still point towards; we claim here two things about this sense: experientially, we sense it as more true and fundamental than any doubts we might have about it; and logically if we don’t assume it, all our thoughts are self-defeating because our thought has no possible way to choose one thought over another unless it accepts this sense-of-things).

Of course, both systematic skepticism/sciencism and Something Deeperism are faiths (aka: irreducibles–general epistemological/metaphysical stances that cannot be justified in thought that is only intellectual and/or emotional). They are therefore liable to the same pitfalls of typical religions. While systematic sciencism seems a lost cause and Something Deeperism a possibility, Something Deeperists still face this problem, the problem of all faiths: people are more inclined to consider themselves wise than they are inclined to constantly push for inner honesty.

Generally, the Something Deeperist is counseled to just keep working on whole-being-wisdom (using the standard means: meditating, praying, working alone and with others to better and better grasp and live/unpack the insight that it actually matters what we say and do) and to keep asking him-/her-self if they are keeping their sense that life matters ahead of their attempt to live meaningfully. But some degree Something Deeperists (we all, when it comes right down to it, are trying to follow not our ideas and feelings, which we know we don’t ever quite fathom or even care about, but to chase to the end that sense within that knows that some ways of thinking and acting are better than others), so that counsel applies to all of us. But because of the grandeur of our weapons and the fragility of our individual and collective existences, I am not confident that we can afford to bumble along any longer. Wisdom is needed now–Something Deeperism in each individual conscious experience must be shored up ASAP!

The wisdom meme will have to get us to directly experience that aspect of thought that has direct contact with the Truth while still allowing our ideas and feelings to be present and to irrevocably learn the correct rhythm/sense-of-things/vision. Maybe a thunderclap jolt that silences all our ideas and feelings and sets us therefore straight into awareness of what is leftover in our experience when ideas and feelings hush up–which we’re assuming is the Truth–and then a gradual, controlled slide back to thinking with ideas and feelings. But once might not be enough–not if we’re going to make the wisdom meme fool-proof. So let’s have the meme make it so that one can’t help experiencing the Truth followed by a gradual, studious fade into more mundane thought over and over again every day. It would be analogous to Plato’s philosopher kings and queens as they studied the Form of the Good and then translated their discoveries into practical thoughts.

That is what the wisdom meme is to achieve, so get to it team!

[Note about a point bothering me from above: While an individual’s spiritual life is inner and thus a black-box, that doesn’t mean that other individuals can’t have insight into the spiritual attainment of others. We are all fundamentally the same (try to doubt that and see how much sense your thought makes to you–it was created by learning from others; I submit that the philosophical zombie puzzle is self-defeating because if other people are not basically like you are, your reality is so unlike anything you can fathom or care about that from a practical point of view the puzzle is just meaningless jabber jaw to you). And we learn to speak and think by interacting with others. We learn concepts like “ouch” and “pain” and “hooray” and “delight” through empathy with others–through assuming that they are like we are and feeling along with them while they use language. Therefore, just as we can to some degree understand what others are talking about when they talk about their feelings and we can, by becoming more self-aware and empathic get better at telling how well others are understanding and describing their own feelings; we should be able, through the same process plus spiritual growth, be able to get better and better at telling how well others are understanding and describing their own spiritual experiences. The point is just that we can’t say for sure. Also, since spiritual attainment is not objectively verifiable and misattributing spiritual attainment in oneself and others is a cause of terrible corruptions, it is best to do as we try to do with our US constitution and keep religion and government separate. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t vote their conscious or that their religious experiences shouldn’t influence their conscious. It just means that in government, we should remember that we should keep our eye on what the politicians are actually doing and proposing to do because those are things that we as a group can effectively monitor and discuss. We the people have a limited amount of time, energy, and focus; let’s keep our eye on the ball: acting as a last check against political corruption and idiocy. There is a parallel between effective Something Deeperism in an individual and effective group organization: in both cases the enemy is pretending to know more or less than you actually know: we know that analytical thought and science and math can help us to make better decisions in everything except the question of what truly matters, but we also know that what truly matters is respecting ourselves and others and this kindness within us that knows how to accomplish that.]

Or, you know what:

Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance

“Results Psilocybin [effective chemical in magic mushrooms] produced a range of acute perceptual
changes, subjective experiences, and labile moods including anxiety. Psilocybin also increased measures of mystical experience. At 2 months, the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed to the experience sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior consistent with changes rated by community observers.”

So maybe we could just pay for everyone to do mushrooms in a controlled setting. Or perhaps instead of debating whether or not torturing terrorists is legitimate, we should turn our legal and moral attention to the question of whether or not we can force inmates to do mushrooms. OK, not mushrooms but this extract of their hallucinogenic compounds.

But no, that’s no kind of a plan! Oh dear oh dear, where are we going to get a good-enough wisdom meme?!?!


But a wisdom meme is not possible! Not really. And so much trouble has been created by memes that pose as wisdom memes! So this joke is ill-advised? Oh, just let us make the occasional joke !



What is this?
A three essay series called “A New, Improved Manhattan Project”
Part 1: Preliminary Worries
Pt. 2: The Proposal
Pt. 3: Some Tips for the Geniuses

Whatever happened to selling evolving ebooks on the world-wide web?
Well, nothing’s being posted, but the somewhat-begun books are still available:
Love at a Reasonable Price are listed and linked-to here:
Intro to Love at a Reasonable Price
Intro to Diary of an Adamant Lover for sale here:
Buy the Books

We also are still selling cat totes and epistemologically controversial baby onsies:
Buy Cat Totes!
&/or Objectively Cute Baby Onepieces! (advertised here: An ad for an “Objectively Cute” baby wrap

But what are we really up to?
I dunno, Bartleby and Andy are writing something once in a while and then sometimes going back and editing things. I think they’ll go back to the ebooks before too long. We’ll see.

No one’s reading anything we write

No one’s reading anything we write

Bartley Willard and Andy Watson, who’ve quit the land and all its promises, who ride on rigid racing ocean waves in vigorous northern seas, who lounge on sloppy gushy ocean waves on lazy southern seas, who have no friends and no enemies and no postal addresses,

are not working on either “Love at a Reasonable Price” or “Diary of an Adamant Seducer”. Instead, they just write whatever and toss it into a messenger bottle, which makes its way to the Wandering Albatross Press Building, which sits in marble and in honor on Wall Street in Manhattan, a shining symbol on a proverbial hill. But who is there to receive the messages? Not Kent, who waits patiently–a little too patiently?–in the mossy, scraggle-tree-lined Hall of the Mountain King. Not Andrew Cleary nor Tom Watson, who flibbertygibbet the time away hitting golf balls into the sun (yes, it takes an amazing drive!, but demonstrations of prowess don’t turn idle self-indulgences into worthy activities). But someone–some low level flunky, too half-ass and snot-nosed to bother describing; someone collects the bottles as they bounce against the battery with a clattering that startles gulls and tourists alike.

Andy Watson and Bartleby Willard have abandoned their post. Kent Watson is spending a worrisome amount of time pining after them in the scraggly pine clearing where the Mountain King lords it over mountain beasts both plausible and mythic. And Tom Watson and Andrew Cleary, the two eternal presences who’ve run Wandering Albatross Press since before timespace began, have always just goofed around the way gods–being too blessed and immortal to ever feel the calling of an ache or the crunch of a deadline–always do.

So where, dear reader, does that leave you?

And yet what readership does this blog have? Isn’t it true that no one is reading it? So perhaps, by not existing, the “” readership has brought this betrayal upon themselves. Perhaps.

But perhaps not.

For one must never underestimate the depravity of all involved. To my mind, they’re just the sort of feckless crew to abandon their posts–in, of course, their various ways.

There’s no one to talk to.
Except me.
In this circle.
Where I greet myself.

Hello, how are you?
I am fine, thank you. And how are you?
I too am fine; I too thank you.
What’s next?
We could daydream about being rich within a world that stays essentially like the world is now.
OK, that sounds like a pleasant daydream that we could sink into like a bed of soft moss beneath an old oak tree on a warm summer day in the good old USA.
I’d travel.
Oh, me too.
And write in the mornings.
Good idea. I’d do that too.
But after a year of taking airplane trips and road trips and wandering around world cities, then maybe I’d take a class or two a semester. I think maybe I would.
Yeah, there’s a thought.
Oh thought upon thought.
Sure–pile ’em up! like lumberjack flapjacks or snow in Valdez in the month of May.


The murder

The murder

The murder
The sin
The hate
The rape
The crime

That undid your philosophy
and showed everybody
where you really were.

It had been
a nice idea.


Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

Keep in mind
that I’ll die.

I used to suppose,
and who can blame me?,
that the gods would make something of an exception
in my case.

Not so much that I’d never die;
I want to die eventually–
so I can go to the next level.

But I thought,
all things considered:
the extreme violence in my soul,
the laughter all through my thought,
the slowness of the my head-turn;
I thought the gods
and blessed influences
such as they are,
which isn’t to say
that I can enumerate them.

Would go ahead
and let me turn to magic energy,
and change from form to form,
skipping from body to body,
from joke to joke,
but all the while
keeping these memories,
even the childhood in the snow
and the scraggle dry air sunlight overlook between vans with a cousin and some wooden guns
by my side.

Hard to say,
the future being what it is;
but it also seems likely enough
I’ll just inhabit this body
and it will collapse,
and I’ll go down with
the sinking

Oh dear!
Oh no!

we do all rise again.
But I didn’t want to forget anything.
And the way it usually goes
is that you forget everything
except the memory of the soul–
before idea,
before feeling,
before perception.
The memory of the soul.

It’s not that big a deal;
after all,
I don’t remember that much of my life anyway.
So I may as well let these
you know
and emotional
sure, whatever,
start fresh.

I guess.


The Loneliest Boys in the room

The Loneliest Boys in the room

That’s their thing.
That’s their distinction.
Having swallowed the razor.
And forgotten the story.
Having sank to the bottom
and looked up through
layers of waters.

I suppose it is true,
what they say,
that after this life
you live again
in a new body
in a new way
with a new mind
but still holding
the essential
this time around
which slowly builds up on the back of your soul like light
building up on the back of a slow exposure camera
that you make out of a shoe box with a pinhole.

Surging forward,
but ah yes
my friends
Surging forward,
like energy pushes up into a wave,
filling the wave,
being that moment.
Again and again.
From before through now to after.

These lives,
these deaths,
over and over,
easy as that,
easy as waking up,
falling asleep,
waking up;
forgetting everything
but the most essential thing,
which you don’t forget,
which keeps on growing,
on the backlights,
getting brighter,
overtaking you.

You say no way,
can’t be,
so many souls
is too many,
and even each cockroach
has a little flash of
awareness within
its panic stream.

But it can be done;
it is done;
there’s no problem here;
it keeps surging forward;
and the Light overtakes the darkness.


Memo from the Otherside

Memo from the Otherside

What is it like to be dead?
Your body turned to wood then mush then bones then dust?
What is it like to be just a soul up in the great heaven?
It’s fine.
I was worried I wouldn’t have any thoughts or feelings because I’d be without my brain and my body. I’d thought that the brain/body did reasoning and feelings. So that left me with pure awareness. I thought maybe I’d have that, and I’d just be like a goldfish: always watching but not remembering anything, just watching but not holding any experiences. Or actually, worse than a goldfish–at least they get to see the watery wonderworld. Without senses and without ideas and feelings, I thought I’d be just watching emptiness. Doubtless–I figured–it would be great enlightenment because without all the distractions of ideas, feelings, and perceptions, I’d be constantly aware of what really is: that everything/nothing at the back of one’s conscious experience that–like water to an ocean-going goldfish–holds all experience and yet you can’t quite stand back and notice. I was worried–can you believe it!?–that it would be boring to sit all day in the bliss of pure awareness of the True Good that exists prior to all specifics, that creates them and shines through them and rescues them from themselves.
But it isn’t like that at all anyway.
I have no physical form, but there are other ways to think and feel, and my naked soul hooks easily into them. I am smarter, more deep-feelinged; gentler; calmer; more at ease as I drift through the years always still and yet casting my mind anywhere I please so long as it pleases God, who turns out to be rather lenient with us dead people.
Born again?
Into another body on the old world or a new one?
Well, yes–I’ve been putting off those offers for some time. I just can’t see the point.
Granted, it would allow me to work on faith better. Here it is obvious. Here I clearly perceive that honest joyful creative kindless is the only way to go. Once in possession of a body/brain that truism becomes less obvious, so you’re forced to either realize it deep within better and better each day, or slouch around town with a yucky taste in your mouth. Here it is I suppose a little too easy, a little too pleasant, a little too obvious. I guess I really should go to earth again. Hmmm, well–
I could just wait for the endtimes, when all souls melt back into God, which is a happy ending anyway. Of course, one endtimes just hiccups up into another reality, and in the deepest sense, there’s no time anyway and all happens at once. I’m pretty sure no matter what I do, all will be well with my soul and all other souls. Because God’s all set no matter what and just creates and sustains realities as a joyful little bonus. Not that God can choose to do otherwise; God must follow God’s way, which includes infinite creation and caring. But it also includes the knowledge that that’s just for fun, for delight, for the sparkle on the water mirrored in the gull’s eye.
Still, I should make the most out of my existence. I should push myself to become as wise and good as possible. That’s my calling, as a soul afloat in God, which of course I am with or without a body/brain.
Ah well, let it pass, let it pass; I’ll stop in on some old friends and talk about the good old days, maybe even remembering wine so well that we seem to have a couple glasses around an old oak table in a well-lit tavern a thousand years ago.


On the couch

On the couch

My biggest problem?
It’s gotta be that I already have a girlfriend.
When a man–especially a relatively youngish-looking man with a tidy haircut and clothes that hang well–is single, he always has a brighter future to look forward to. Every time he sees an attractive young woman, he can feel like she just may be the girl for him, that he just may be about to land. A man–at least as far as I can tell–always feels like an old space ship that’s journeyed for a million years and is falling apart at the seams but that is desperately keeping it together to rattle just a little bit further so that it can finally reach its destination: a rich, lush, green, watery, fecund world where he can start fresh. The wager will have paid off! He gave up everything to hold the ship together and push it forward to the end; now he’s old and exhausted and he’s long been bored and depressed and disappointed and lonely and ashamed and confused; but it is all OK, because now he’s touching down and soon he’ll be the infinite expansion of joyful thriving that he always knew he should be, could be–if he could just settle himself into the right woman.
All well and good, all plausible enough: a likely enough story and a workable enough path to salvation–as long as you’re single. But the existence of a significant other seriously vexes the storyline. You see a pretty woman, and the hope-hope motor kicks in, but then you remember you’ve already got a girlfriend.
Do I love my girlfriend?
That’s beside the point.
The point is that I cannot be just about to find my girlfriend, and from this point of view my girlfriend–charming though she may be–has ruined my happiness. Though it would be reductionist and cruel to say she is nothing more than a reminder that I’m not about to enter into infinite pleasure and joy, nonetheless she is such a reminder, and that reminder is enough to shut my life down.


Game Over?

Game Over?

Looking down at his thick gold, diamond-studded watch with tired eyes, he understands the silver hands and thinks patiently downward.
A man with no real chance–not really.
Thin, pale, 50, balding, unmarried, childless, partnerless, he keeps in touch with a few old friends and relatives, but his mouth is dry and head shrouded in a hazy thud. He smokes the same cigarettes that he set great hopes upon in his early twenties. Watch him shuffle aimless over to the tall windowframe and, entering into the chill near the pane, gaze–his green-tatooed arms crossed over the white V-neck T-shirt–down at the street.
He is tired. His life has been like one long day that gradually wears an energetic family man working man pub regular family man loverboy completely out. I can’t really hope for his future. The green-tinted visor of his hat obscures his eyes as it points down towards Columbus Circle fully occupied in the noonday summer sun.
They say that the trick of the wise is to really believe that other people experience reality from the inside-out just like you do. Perhaps he is trying to wrap his mind and heart around that insight, but mostly he just wishes vaguely for a cigarette and the health to enjoy it. Not that he’s sick–just tired, very tired, like a piece of chalk worn down to a tiny nub on the sidewalk so that the fingers holding it start to get a little sore with the drawing, which–for reasons unknown (it isn’t as if they are drawing anything memorable)–will not stop drawing.
He tries to rally: He thinks of a nice cool glass of fresh brewed iced tea with a full quarter lemon and the ice cubes clinking while the sun lights the whole cylinder to a nice bright redwood. In vain! In vain. The trick that he always figured he’d be catching hold of pretty soon, and which he’d use to vault himself over the grand canyon never showed. For thirty years now, he’s felt a slight confusion: where is the grandeur that he’s just about to grasp, the victory he’s felt prickling on his skin since as far as he can recall–all the way back to when he tramped through the dry leaves, beneath the dry, shaggy-barked pines, looking for fallen branches to stack together for a fort, a great fort, an awesome fort, a fort that surely would–. What was the fort supposed to do?


I want to go / man in rut / A pathetic freewrite

I want to go / man in rut / A pathetic freewrite

I want to go now.
I don’t know where.
Somewhere relaxing.
If you had money, not needing to work and yet enjoying a gourmet life–
That would be nice.
Then you’d wake up, stretch, and take a long walk or perhaps grab a plane and float over to Paris, where you could wake up, stretch, and stroll around town practicing your French, whiling in cafes, bars, restaurants, parks.
Unless it was winter in New York–then it’d be more practical to float to Buenos Aires, or perhaps Sydney, or maybe just take a road trip down through the Old South, spending a week or two in New Orleans before making your way to Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Prescott, Phoenix, Tuscon, LA, San Diego, Mexico City–gradually building up your tan as you progressed.

But I’m lonely, so who will be my wife?
You can travel with me and have sex with me and hang out with me.
But what will we talk about? And how will we keep the sex both loving and exciting?
Clearly we’ll need a lot of women’s magazines, and a few men’s magazines, and maybe a couple on pop psychology.
And yet that comment is even painful as a joke; even just trying to be cool and toss of an ironic grin makes me feel the cockroaches eating me from the inside out, their little brown grasshopper heads whirring maniacally from side to side.
Who will be my wife and keep me company while I skate through on my daydreamed riches?
Who can I find that will complete me as a human being?
Not in a tawdry, run-in-my-yellow-stockings kind of way; but wholesome:
I want a love that isn’t cheating, that is actually both fulfilling and decent– to feel good and not feel terrible about it.

Or do I just grab a couple pairs of old jeans, white Ts, hiking sneakers, cowboy boots, snap-button western shirts, a sweater and a jacket and hop into some reliable, fuel-efficient sedan? It is the information age now, so even if there’s no one to talk to, there’s still always a lot to focus on.

Who remembers the RV Age?
I watched it up close when I was a child.
Grandpa retires at 62, buys a small RV and him and grandma tour the US, visiting kids and grandkids on the way. A retirement that lasts forever. Unless you get hit by a stray stroke or something.

Never mind.
It doesn’t matter.

Which raises another interesting question. Pardon me if you don’t think it is interesting. I’d write “which raises another interesting question, at least from my point of view” to avoid controversy. I hate controversy and I’d be willing to accept even more awkward formulations in order to keep people from snarling towards me, swatting their big soft paws at my little unprotected head. But I honestly don’t think anyone cares what I say or do, so I just stuck to the shorter formulation. And yet I then explained myself in a long convoluted and not completely spleenless passage where I managed to communicate all that I claimed to not bother communicating and then some.

Never mind–it doesn’t matter.
Which raises another interesting question:
When do you hang it up?

At some point you realize that your dream isn’t tenable. Maybe it isn’t what you want so much as what you wish you both had and wanted to have. Maybe you just realize you’re not going to attain it, or that you’d rather just skip it and attain something else. At some point the best thing to do is to give up, to quit. Your parents told you it is always best to stick it out; as a general guideline that has some merit, but it is not an eternal truth. So when do you hang in the towel?

What about everybody else?
Do they even exist for you?
All you can see is the sunlight glinting on a desert road where you never were in a time before you, beckoning you on, calling you into the glint and the dry heat that smells like stillness.
What about the existence of others? It has a place in your philosophy, why not your heart?

but as an abstraction:
All the self-involvement and self-indulgence,
but without the riding chaps, the stetson, the infallible six-shooter, whistful woman in every port–

Sour hurt in the stomach, squishing you down, squishing you in; imploding like suddenly deep in the ocean, squished into a long string with some other long strings dangling off it. If I could just explode outward instead of inward! Then I’d get past this glitch.
For sure.