Friday, 23 October 2009

Being Empty or Being Alone

Ask nothing from life, save only life alone.
This is the bare minimum, surely.
It may be the ground on which other desires can flower.
But being itself must come first.

What is this being itself? Being-alone?
Being erased of content?
Is it less than a vanishing point in the distance?
Can we hold it, let alone grasp it?
Or is the notion of grasping, even holding, precisely what pure existence is not?
If the mind rubs out its own baggage,
Won’t desire conspicuously remain in an otherwise desert Zenscape?
That desire to expunge the self, Zen-like.
Or that Cartesian desire to keep to the Cogito alone.
The desire to cut out the meat of the empirical self.
Only a mind already throttled by Reason and Education
Would want to rid itself of Reason and Education.
Rid itself of its graduate’s robes.
Those who don’t think much will find the extinguishing-of-the-self idea esoteric.
It is only the Intellect itself – the proud Intellect – which would put on a hair shirt
Or whip itself into the submission of nothingness.
But when the endpoint of possible no-return in reached
How does the mystical or Cartesian self-annihilator
Stop himself from following the markers back to ego and contingency?
Won’t the treasures and temptations of that universe of thought
Forever call him back?
If thought is truly dead, or if all presuppositions are thrown out,
How does the mystic or philosopher know he is in this otherworld
Outside the world of logic, sex and dog shit?
Wouldn’t he need the equal of an experimental water chamber
In which he can float, with eyes, ears and all the rest
Blocked from all things sensory?
A mystic in a water chamber, like Plato himself,
May say no to sensory distractions and temptations.
But wouldn’t the flood of memory drown him instead?

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