01 January 2016

Lazy musings & Blake quotations

I will not write today, because the festival of The Year’s Renewal weighs upon me too heavily.

Do I care what humans think about me? Yes. Do all of them love me? No. Do I find it easy to sway people’s opinions? No.

I wish I could say that my desire is boundless, but, when I try to articulate what would satisfy me, it is not too difficult. I would like to parley with surrealists and enjoy consequence-free delight. I do not need wing implants to feel that mortal life is worth the effort.

Do all animals use the same definition for harmony? I’m not sure. And when did I become such an advocate for the imagination? It sounds to me like a childish concept sometimes, but I still consider that nothing is higher than fancy.

I used to read philosophy books. Eventually I formed an opinion: philosophers write for the purpose of conveying their ideas. I favor poetry nowadays. And then there are hybrids (Schopenhauer, Plato, Hume, Kierkegaard, etc.) who are as good with words as they are with ideas, and whose original compositions are well worth reading. Plus there are poets whose writings I dislike: not even a summary of their words has value for me.

But I wonder: What if I’m wrong about everything? (It wouldn’t be the first time.) If that’s so, I hope that I can change. To correct my opinions, I try to keep my mind open. Here are some words from William Blake:

The Last Judgment is an Overwhelming of Bad Art & Science. Mental Things are alone Real; what is Call’d Corporeal Nobody Knows of its Dwelling Place: it is in Fallacy & its Existence an Imposture. Where is the Existence Out of Mind or Thought? Where is it but in the Mind of a Fool.

This is from his commentary on Blake’s own (now lost) painting, “A Vision of the Last Judgment”: I sought it out after a section was cited in an essay by Harold Bloom on Shelley’s “Prometheus Unbound.” (By the way, it intrigues me that I often find Blake being used to illuminate Shelley, but I rarely find Shelley being used to illuminate Blake.) I love the part that was quoted in the essay:

Error is Created. Truth is Eternal. Error, or Creation, will be Burned up, & then, & not till then, Truth or Eternity will appear. I assert for myself that I do not behold the outward Creation & that to me it is Hindrance & not Action; it is as the dirt upon my feet, No part of me.

William Blake identified with Christianity. Although I call myself an antichristian, if that group were to allow Blake among their number, I would proudly label myself a Blakean Christian:

Thinking as I do that the Creator of this World is a very Cruel Being, & being a Worshipper of Christ, I cannot help saying: the Son O how unlike the Father! First God Almighty comes with a Thump on the Head… Then Jesus Christ comes with a balm to heal it.

I’ve never before worried about losing my mind, because SCIENCE has proven that insanity is a sacred state; but I do worry about losing my memory, which is an aspect of mind, because my earthly father began losing his memory at about the age that I am now (39). But it heartens me to know that my hero Friedrich Nietzsche lived his life under the shadow of a similar awareness. And so have others.

Here’s one last excerpt from near the beginning of the same writing by Blake that I’ve been quoting:

This world of Imagination is the World of Eternity, it is the Divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of the Vegetated body. This World of Imagination is Infinite & Eternal whereas the world of Generation or Vegetation is Finite & for a small moment Temporal. There Exist in that Eternal World the Permanent Realities of Every Thing which we see reflected in this Vegetable Glass of Nature.

P.S.

I reported in yesternoon’s post that my sweetheart chaperoned me to our favorite park, but there was so much snow on the ground that we just gave up: we quit: we turned tail and retreated in exhaustion—it was like trudging through knee-deep rice in leaden moonboots. Well, I am happy to announce that today we walked successfully around that very park. Overnight, a snow-tamping device had been used to tamp the snow in a path that meandered about the woods; so we were able to walk on top of the snow instead of sink down into it.

At a certain point, a cross-country skier passed us (my sweetheart and me); and she addressed us (my sweetheart and me), but she (the skier) spoke in a very soft voice that was difficult to hear—I will end this entry by transcribing each way that we (my sweetheart and I) interpreted the skier’s quiet comment:

  • My sweetheart thinks she said: “Get some skis—they’re easier on your joints.”
  • But I thought she said: “Get some skis—your shoes are making potholes all over the path.”

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