367 The ever-blooming Trouble w/ Being Born + ambitions to have none

Dear Internet,

Bloomsday 2014 ... tho for us it's been like Bloomsyear. It was around this time last year that we embarked on 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' ... actually putting pen to paper ... or keyboard strokes in softcopy bytes.

Is it Bloom's day, or Blooms day? Since it's Finnegans Wake we'd assume the latter ... a perennial blooming of the collective unconscious, all for 1 + 1 for all. A book of books made of budding lotus flowers.

Celtic mandala calendar

Morning, 08:14 ... around the time (on this day 110 years ago) Bloom was rising to make Molly breakfast. A late riser is he. Bloom doesn't actually come in until the 4th episode. The 1st 3 chapters are about Dedalus ... or Daedalus—the Greek craftsman, the young artist. Who also wakes up around this same time.

the labyrinth Daedulus crafted to confine the minotaur

The 4th episode corresponds to Calypso, which in the last post we said was where we were at ... on her island. We're still there, held captive. Spent the week tweeking the 1st 3 chapters of Telemachy before we proseed. Before we build our boat to leave the isle ... with Calypso's help even. IRL still on the isle of Manhattan, a URL of [here]. For a few days there thought we might head off to Italy (roundabout where much of The Odyssey takes place) for the summer ... before remembering the reasons why we weren't summering in Sussex in the 1st place ...

E.M. Cioran's horoscope

Been reading The Trouble with Being Born by E.M. Cioran ... which is worth it alone for the title ... tho perhaps even better if translated more literally from the french De l'inconvénient d'être né ... life as a mere inconvenience. Cioran is the quintessential misanthrope ... so absurdly pessimist that he circles round to perhaps be considered hopeful ... so negative he doubles around to being positive ((-1)2 = +1) ... so nihilistic that he annihilates any attachment of self to feelings. His depression is not heartfelt, but purely in thought, leaving his body pure, uncorrupted.

«However disabused one may be, it is impossible to live without any hope at all. We always keep one, unwittingly, and this unconscious hope makes up for all the explicit others we have rejected, exhausted.»

It is by embracing this hopelessness that we don't let this hopelessness embrace us.

Cioran also says that at least sadness is a feeling ... depression is not feeling anything at all. He really was a miserable old fuck, wonderfully so. Guess his mother told him that she wished he was never born + he took it to heart. His only hope was death or suicide, but even that alluded him (he died of natural causes) ...

«The more laden he is with years, the more readily he speaks of his death as a distant, quite unlikely event. Life is now such a habit that he has become unfit for death.»

... life as a bad habit. It is only the act of writing which keeps him alive.

«A book is a postponed suicide.»

... which could perhaps be applied to both the writing + reading of it.

We haven't read The Heights of Despair, but that also seems worth it for the title alone. Just occurred to us that quintessential etymology-wise must have something to do w/ the 5 senses. We named [this] 5cense because sensory input is about all we can trust. To 'think' something is not objective or remotely productive ... already leads us adrift from the source, from the essence or entelechy. «There is no false sensation»—as Cioran says ... which makes us think of the saying that there are no accidents, making false sensations = accidents. People got to own up to their mistakes. There is no repenting, or blaming it on false data. Likewise people (athletes especially) should stop thanking god + give more credit to themselves.

«Paradise was the place where everything was known but where nothing was explained. The universe before sin—before commentary ...»

With this in mind, perhaps we shouldn't be providing our own commentary here ... «embroidering» as Cioran calls it...

«Why embroider upon what excludes commentary? A text explained is no longer a text. We live with an idea, we don't dissect it; we struggle with it, we don't describe the stages of conflict. The history of philosophy is the negation of philosophy.»

Better u just read Cioran from the source. We are merely rehashing for own devices. Repurposing, reconfiguring. There is not much method to Cioran's madness ... he just doles out a running list of aphorisms divided into 12 chapters. That'd be funny if there were some 30 aphorisms to a chapter ... like fucked up Daily Affirmations, 1 for each day of the year.

Like sarcasm, pessimism is a protective measure, not just to mask bullshit, but to secure your solitude.

«The sole means of protecting your solitude is to offend everyone, beginning with those you love.»

Not sure if our brother-½ ever read Cioran, but he would've dug him. Our brother-½ was also a jaded cynic, but not really of the misanthropic variety. And he could never embrace hopelessness ... perhaps to his demise.

«We get a better hold of ourselves and of being when we have reacted against such negating, dissolving books—against their noxious power. Fortifying books, actually, since they provoke the very energy which denies them. The more poison they contain, the more salutary their effect, provided we read them against the grain, as we should read any book, starting with the catechism.»

Of course Cioran is full of shit + hardly makes any sense ½ the time ... but that's the beauty of it. Calling his bullshit is the expected response.

«Sometimes I wish I were a cannibal—less for the pleasure of eating someone than for for the pleasure of vomiting him.»

If we could choose our method of death, we'd want to be eaten ... preferably by a 'wild' animal ... tho being eaten by other humans could be cool. We're not so interested in vomiting tho, no matter what it is we eat. But we like the idea of it. Books are better than movies cuz everything is in theory ... violence + rape are just words, ideas. These are not things we need to see re-enacted en vivo.

«No variety of originality is still possible unless we torture, unless we pulverize language. It proceeds differently if we abide by the expression of the ideas as such.»

As we read the long list of aphorisms that is The Trouble With Being Born, we couldn't help but to think of Emil Cioran, the person, pacing around his house ... in the middle of the night in an insomniacal stupor, returning to his notebook or typewriter to jot down a sudden realized thought. Like w/ David Markson, the narrative is formed by the sequencing of aphorisms + the imagined subtext of the conditions under which the book is being written ... the silence in between the lines. Were Markson or Cioran to interject their personal tribulations + dramas it would ruin it (the problem we had w/ the Olsen book discussed in the last post). In absentia, we project 'life' for them ... specially now that they are dead.

«To have any notion of success, we must imagine, if we can, a fusion between resignation and ecstasy, between a cold stoic and a disheveled mystic.»

While they were alive, both Markson + Cioran were notorious hermits ... an ambition of ours as well.

«No one approaches the condition of a sage if he has not had the good luck to be forgotten in his lifetime.»

We long to be forgotten or unknown ... especially in this day + age. Some people spend so much energy getting themselves heard that by the time they are handed the microphone they have nothing memorable to say. And not a good nothing, like the good nothings Cioran had to say, but unredemptive bullshit nothings.

Other people stumble into the irreversible fortune of fame + live out their lives living up to the expectation of how the public expects them to live out their lives. Either way, it is nothing we envy or aspire to. We are content being relatively unknown. Were it not for our publishing arm of Cal Mari, we'd be happy to disappear completely, but the cephalopodic ⅛th of us feels compelled to at least attempt to raise 1 hand (of 8) obnoxiously like the nerdy Horshack ...

Now it's past noon + we're watching the World Cup ... Germany vs. Portugal. Tho Germany is ahead + Pepe was red-carded so not much of a game. The frustrating thing about virtually all sports (except running) is the arbitrariness of referees. Sports have all become about how to cheat, buck the system.

Wish there was a searchable Markson index or database where u could for example find out what he had to say about Cioran or Ron Palillo. Googling Markson + Cioran proves fruitless ... googling "David Markson index" reflexively leads back to 5cense haha ... but maybe cuz google knows we author 5cense + is skewing it as such. Something else Cioran says:

«I have followed only one idea all the way—the idea that everything man achieves turns against him.»

Not sure there is any idea we'd say we've followed 'all the way' ... until we are on our deathbed. But if we had to pick 1 idea that currently threads thru our lifework it'd probly be the Copenhagen interpretation of QM ... which is just another way of reiterating the 1 idea Cioran follows. More generally—mathematically—u could characterize it as the inevitable hypocrisy of reflexivity, or the corruption of observation.

How does this notion play out in 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY'? Not sure yet. In This chapter of The Odyssey where we currently reside, Calypso challenges the hypocrisy of the male gods in telling her goddesses can't have affairs w/ mortals. + Daedalus is the father of Icarus, famous for ignoring his father's warning about flying too close to the sun because it would melt his wings ... this paradox of failed ambition is just another variation of the theme of which we speak.

«It is a great force, and a great fortune, to be able to live without any ambition whatever. I aspire to it, but the very fact of so aspiring still participates in ambition.»

Just like every New Years our sole resolution is to have no resolutions. If we must have 1 ambition, it may as well be the ambition to not have ambitions. In relation to 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY', this paradox of aspiration could be applied to drugs, in particular heroin. Or aspirations towards bliss or nirvana (which Cioran speaks of quite a bit (seemingly preferring the Buddhist notion of) ... as well as the antithesis—death). This notion of 'you don't know what it's like unless you've tried it' ... do we really need to experience something 1st hand if we are to criticize or speak intelligently about it? And it's also rooted in contradiction ... + self-conscious shame (which we into recently).

«It is a withering process to follow a doctrine, a belief, a system—for a writer especially; unless he lives, as often happens, in contradiction with the ideas to which he appeals. This contradiction, or this treason, stimulates him and keeps him in a state of insecurity, embarrassment, shame—conditions favorable to production.»

The secret to happiness is to be content being discontent ... which means being discontent w/ feelings of happiness ... or at least skeptical.

Also read Daughter by Janice Lee. Per Cioran, seems pointless to provide running commentary (not to mention that we're running out of space), suffice to say that in addition to being about a daughter, it's about the body of a dead octopus in the desert so Cal Mari could particularly relate. Lee ruminates intelligently on a variety of things such as ways to hunt octopus, tho she neglects to mention the method of using live human bait that we heard about once in the South Pacific (whereby 1 person (the bait) ties a rope around his waist + dives down to where the octopus is + when the octopus latches onto him his partner pulls him up ... ok, maybe a high seas story we read a long time ago in Arthur Grimble's A Pattern of Islands ... but there's a certain metaphorical truth to it).

+ now Mexico + Brazil are dead-locked 0-0 ... tho it seems Mexico is the better team (in fact wouldn't be surprised to see them go far, if not all the way). That's the beauty of soccer ... even a 0-0 standoff could be considered a 'win' ...

When we received news of our brother-½'s death we were in a hotel room in Mexico watching a 0-0 soccer game.

as the World Cup turns...

Cool as the brazuca is, have they never considered a world globe design?

Decided (for the nth time) we're gonna take up meditation + the method that makes most sense is counting ... w/ each breath ... + w/ each passing # meditate on that # ... in order to keep thoughts + words out of our mind. And we'll keep a running tally (to satisfy ambition) ... so far we've gotten as far as 0 ...

 > 368 > the past is just another story we tell ourselves


[  (ɔ)om.Posted 2014  derek white  |  calamari press   ]