Friday, February 14, 2020

Philosophy Dog

I like illusions. Life is terrifying without them. I’m also a fan of cognitive dissonance, denial, rationalization, & self-deception. I’m not big on hope. Hope leads, inevitably, to disappointment. The smear in my heart is the hope left over from the last hope. Epiphanies are where it’s at: the manifestation of the divine. A hummingbird hovering in front of your face on a warm spring day surrounded by azaleas & rhododendrons. A sudden acute realization that everything is simultaneously real & unreal, particle & wave, energy & matter. Radiant knots of language pickled in reveries of sound. Whipped cream hissing out of a pressurized can. And somewhere near the horizon the light of the morning star & steam rising off the surface of a river.
Every injury has a moment in which to stick to a religion & describe itself with a little glue, a little glee, & a block of stone. Being is all about conflagrations at sea. Somebody coughing in a movie theater. Everything seems linked to an idea of itself, just like agriculture, always growing things out of the dirt, as if the very dirt had a reason to enter the sacrament of eating. It’s precisely this dynamic for producing a veneer of meaning that gets bumped into Costa Rica. Are you hungry? Please don’t eat me. These are but furbelows, shiny ideas opened by an elf named Sphygm. The only way out is in, & the only way in is to spin there on the Boulevard of Crime.
Words like it when they can bend the world into baseball. There’s a loud whack & the ball bounces to left field where it is caught by a pterodactyl & carried to the end of this sentence & dropped. I pick it up & hear a giant monotony walking around inside of it. There’s a cure for that as well. But it must be collected from the Renaissance in parcels of air. These drugs will reveal the quantum amphibians in your eyes. Little legs of meaning carry me forward. If you look closely at a Viking ship you will immediately notice the magnitude of grace in the sweep of its lines. This might be used as an example of thought. The brain is a typhoon crashing through the void. It’s all in your mind, people say. But what if the mind is a ball, & language is at bat?
If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world, said Wittgenstein. I speak the language of goats. Death is at the bottom of everything. Cabbage, moss, carpentry, water polo. I open my eyes & see molecular blizzards, long roads among the hum of neurons. There’s nothing to believe in. And so there is darkness. And thunder. And the picture gets murky. Anything out there could be talking your language. It could be pain, an introspection, or a little fire in the stove. Creating anything is talking. Philosophy is being a dog in the desert with a billion stars all around. And the pulleys creak as we draw the sky closer. 

1 comment:

Hello world! said...

Dear John,
I’m a postdoc at the University of Cambridge (UK). I read Free Stream Velocity and absolutely loved it. I’m organizing a symposium about alternative career paths for scientists and I’d like to discuss a few ideas that with you. Feel free to drop me an email at Cheers!