Thursday, December 28, 2017

Rousseau

 Digging a little deeper into Temet Nosce, I discovered Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, so I decided to add it to my library.  As far as I can tell, it matches up beautifully with my own discourse on having died at birth, but we shall see how primitive he really gets with it.  The Greeks, as much as they didn't understand science and biology, they understood soul.  18th century Europe only really understood soul as the Greeks defined it, and how philosophy and religion had since bastardized it.

"Because we are free, we may always change our minds, change our habits, and change our social institutions.  We can, in principle, start over again.  Resisting those who would have us renounce 'the most precious' of our gifts, we can refuse to surrender our freedom--'the most noble of man's faculties.'"

That's from the intro by James Miller.

He goes on to describe an interaction between Rousseau and Voltaire, whom had been sent a copy of the discourse by the author, and the latter responded with an apparently famous letter which contained: "I have received, sir, your new book against the human race; for which I thank you.... No one has ever used so much intelligence to try to render us beasts.  When one reads your works, it stirs a desire to walk on all fours."... feeding my love for Voltaire, but also stirring my curiosity for Rousseau's point of view.  Like I said, I wonder how primitive he takes it, and if it is the purer primitive based on human nature, or the terrifying primitive they scare us with to justify society's idiocies and necessitate "civilization" as one of the greatest of all oxymorons.
"Not in depraved things but in those well oriented according to nature, are we to consider what is natural."  ~Aristotle, the heading quote.

"...since all the progress of the human species continually moves away from its primitive state, the more we accumulate new knowledge, the more we deprive ourselves of the means of acquiring the most important knowledge of all.  Thus, in a sense, it is by dint of studying man that we have rendered ourselves incapable of knowing him." ~ in the intro, elaborating on aforementioned inscription on the temple at Delphi.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Temet Nosce

 "The unexamined life is not worth living."

                                             ~ Socrates

 I don't know why I was born with this drive when no one appreciates it.  I have trouble finding people who even understand it.  To be perfectly honest, it took me a really long time to understand it.  I have tried to explain it as many ways as I could manage, over and over again.  Generally I just get a pat on the head, or people take something out of it that didn't really have anything to do with what I was saying.  Clearly, I am still failing at getting people around me to understand what has always been painfully obvious to me.
 Nosce te ipsum.

Decades wasted and I haven't really gotten anywhere.  I have evolved greatly in how I approach people and my work, but I still feel the same.  I still see the world the same way I did when I was a child: I am overwhelmed with wasted potential.  We could all be accomplishing something beautiful every day, but we sit around and forfeit our precious energy on stupid shit, which is, of course, relative to what I put importance on, but Socrates would tell you the same thing, so I guess I'll just keep going until you kill me to shut me up.
I'll just keep going, even though this is all debilitatingly depressing.  I can't help but think that I am just horrible at everything.


"Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is man."

~ Alexander Pope


I feel very beaten down by people and a society that complains that I am beaten down.

I'm just a fucking idiot.
You are beautiful.  Why can't you just be beautiful?  Why do you have to keep trying to be something other than what you are?  If you are already beautiful and you are striving to be something else, you are heading away from beauty.  You may see it as 'better', but it's just different, and different than beautiful is just that.  Things that we do are simply things that we do: they come and go with minimal effort and attention.  Who we are is who we are: nothing changes that.  We can change the things that we do to suit temporal needs, and some of those things are temporally beautiful, but no one will ever be beautiful until they can just be, and be happy with 'me'.

If I can't get you to understand, how am I supposed to get anyone to understand?  How are my children ever going to live in a beautiful world?

Saturday, December 16, 2017

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like...

Mom - Put your legs down, Violet.

Violet - ...But I want to put my legs out.

Me - Violet... everything isn't always about what you want.  There are four of us in this family...

........... everything is about what mom wants.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Expression

"There is nothing to paint anymore.

 We've seen everything from the classical to the absurd.

There is nothing to write anymore.

As many books are shredded as read.

There is nothing to sing anymore.

The once avant-garde is now background music."


   ~ Deng Ming-Dao, Day 338

Everything has been said.

Everything has been done.

"Nothing new under the sun" is a quote attributed to Ecclesiastes, so you know that if the gypsies and thieves included it in the BiblĂ© to assist in mind-fucking the dumbed masses, it was time tested already at that point, thousands of years ago.  So much has been accomplished in the last two thousand years, at a glance, but all is really nothing more than a different spin on the same shit.

How selfish and delusional are we to think that we can do it any better?  In reality, nothing gets any better; it just gets different.  Because we need to create and explore what we currently define as the arts, we settle for different, or better than we used to be, or not as bad as the next person, but it all becomes stale and stagnant. Simply different is underwhelming, and the potential of different is overwhelming, but we also instinctually need it, strangely enough.

One thousand and one people can paint the same scene, and the result will be one thousand and one different paintings.  One thousand and one people can play or sing the same piece one thousand and one different ways.  To expand even further, one person can play or sing the same piece everyday, and the result will be infinitely different pieces, no matter how minute the difference, even if the difference is simply how the piece is heard, to the point where it is impossible to exactly repeat a performance or work.  I can take the same soul to the same location, use the same mood and pose, under the same light, and get an entirely different photograph.  The same book read by different people has a different impact.  The same book read by the same person at different moments in their life has a different impact.  Each of any and all of those variations are completely under subjective interpretation, and none of the thousand and one times infinity results are better or worse than the rest... unless they just totally suck.
I stopped playing music because the infinite possibilities of notes and expression drove me near insane.  I relinquish control with photography, because with control there are too many variables to choose from, and I am not selfish or arrogant enough to live in the delusion that my choices are correct.  Capturing whatever the Universe gives you not only gives you something unique to this moment in time, something that has never been seen before and will never be seen again, but allowing the Universe control is to intertwine yourself into the very fabric of time and space.
Nothing will ever be exactly how you want it, or turn out exactly how you planned, so to truly succeed, you must learn to appreciate what is happening, with or without you.


That is my art.


How I interpret the world is completely unique to me.
You can spend your life trying to copy what has already been done, only to find that it is uncontrollably different, or you can spend each moment appreciating thus.

Everything has been said.

Everything has been done.

... But nothing has been said or done in this moment.