Wednesday, April 28, 2004

pinions of buddy don:
flossofy at 29

ye wood thank i woodnt have no truble sittin down to rite a nuther chaptur on my novel on a counta how ifn ye put it into a reglar shaped manuscript, it cums to 850 pages or 261,000 wurds. but thang is, ever time ye sit down to rite sumthin new, tiz hard. ye half to wurk on yerself to git thangs reddy to be writ n then wurk on yerself to git ye to sit down n do the ritin.

i been verr lucky bout sum thangs, witch one of the bes habits i ever gut into wuz takin lots of notes on life n keepin a diary of thangs i wuz a'doin n a'thankin, so i gut lots of material to remind me of that time of life. but ifn ye been readin up to now, ye know thangs jes went thru a big change n i gut a hole new worl to try to create fer my readers. plane fack is, taint easy.

so i do whut lodes of riters lacks to do whenever they caint rite, witch thats to keep doin more research. sum of the basick facks is i wuz 29 in 1981 n figgerd twuz time i had dun sumthin wurthwhile, witch fer me that meant gittin published. twernt as importunt as i figgerd twuz back then. as yer a fixin to see, ifn ye keep readin, my focus at the time wuz on big questchuns n the lil ansers i wuz findin fer em. i know now i wuz lookin at the rong thangs, but tiz part of the tale to show whar i wuz then.

Thursday, February 19, 1981 9:15 AM

Although you might have begun to doubt my resolve in regard to writing my "philosophy" at the beginning of this journal section — I know, I've begun to doubt it myself — you see, at least, that something in me still holds true to promises — at any rate, I have the intention, paper, pen and time before me now.

Like most people, I suppose, I found it much easier to write an account of my beliefs of philosophy before I began studying philosophers nad religions. Now I find myself unable to think of any idea that is either new or satisfactory. Still, I have managed to gather quite a few uncomfrotable pebbles in my boots as I wandered through the verbal pathways of certain philosophers and religious texts and commentaries. You may find these nuggets of interest, though I doubt not that a few of them have changed their shapes — even broekn into pieces — since they began to be painful to me in my further aimless wanderings. Removing and shaking out my seven league boots, I'll show you what's collected there — and hope the while that I shall not long go bootless, at least in this endeavor.

To begin with, from Paul Tillich (I think it was in The Courage to Be) I got the idea that the three major issues of existence (human) are guilt, meaninglessness and death.

Everyone I've ever met has been plagued by one or another form of guilt. In every case, it seems to me, the cause had to do with one's ability to see clearly what should be done, how life should be lived, and the conflict resulting when one realizes that one cannot accomplish either comletely or well that which one agrees needs doing. For instance, religious people usually find themselves unable to live according to the dictates of their creeds. Non-religious people find themselves unable to accomplish whatever it is they deem important: writers don't write the quantity or quality desired to satisfy; musicans practise too little; teachers begin hating students, using old lectures, not rereading class assignments; workers in most jogs "good off"; parents fail their children — the list is endless.

The second major problem — meaninglessness — leaves only depression and despair if no remedy can be found. No one I've yet met can live with the idea that the world, the univers, humankind or individual lives are totally unimportant, "don't matter," or have no meaning.

Finally, death scares us all and faced directly, withouth the softening buffer of religious or philosophical theory, seems terribly, tragically hard.

From Gurdjieff I got two concepts which seem extremely valuable to me: (1) there is no such thing as a unified "I"; (2) remember yourself at all times, if possible. I also find very appealing his ideas about the Earth, Solar System, Galaxies, etc., being alive and part of what I interpret as a panentheistic God. His centers of being, particularly the physical, emotional and intellectual, seem valid to me.

Associated with Gurdjieff's ideas of "human centers," for me at least, are Kierkegaard's three levels of being or planes of existence.And I must admit that I find myself tempted and all too often able to distinguish my fellow humans as creatures living on the physical, intellectual or religious (emotional?) planes. I find his ideas of the leap of faith and the absurdity of God also very apt and useful. I look at it differently, of course, but htat fits with another of the beliefs I've collected.

That belief, if it can be so called, came to me through the German existentialists and hermeneutic philosophers. It is, paraphrase, this: that each person is rooted completely in his own Lebenswelt and must interpret all of reality, including him or herself, through the "filter" of his Lebenswelt. Which means that everyone, by necessiaty, sees a different world and a different truth. It seems to me to follow directly from this that no single "truth" can be held in more than one mind. The ideal of such a "thrught" is no more (or less) substantial than any other Platonic ideal. Thus no two people can share, exactly, religious trutht. God must appear different to every person. What appear to be inconsistencies between one and another religious belief are really only the result of different people expressing different views of God using what are essentially different languages. (See Hans-Georg Gadamer, Martin Heidegger, Nietzsche).

Given the preceding paragraph's premise, Socrates' injunction to "know oneself" becomes centrally important to knowing anything. given Gurdjieff and "remember yourself," Socrates' claim that "the unexamined life is not worth living" could even be strengthened to say that "the unexamined life is not really lived" (certainly not consciously). Awake!

With Nietzsche I agree that each of us is something to be overcome, by our greater selves, by the Übermensch growing in us and, if we are lucky, destroying us. I agree that the Christian God, for the most part, is "dead" or unworthy of belief. This statement needs more qualification than I have time, means or ability to record. Basically, I mean that a vindictive God who judges humans by their beliefs rather than their being, who then sentences the humans He created to eternal torment or ecstasy, who supports or will save only a small percentage of humans at the expence of all others, who condones war, who condones an economy based upon needless poverty and inexcusable surplus wealth — in short, the God it seems to me that many "Christians" worship, is unworthy of belief. In the same paragraph, however, le me say that I find the Gospels worhty of greater believ than Nietzsche or the "Christians." I don't believe the Christ of Matthew 5-7 can or does condone such a God as I believe to be unworthy of belief and yet worshipped blindly by most of the people I have met who call themselves "Christians."

I like a morality based upon th4e goodness of creation (in imitation of God, the creator) and the evil of destruction (though both terms require definition). Basically, that which adds to humand and worldwide culture and comfort is good; that which enslaves, destroys or uses humankind and the world is evil. I refuse to define further; all I really have here is an instinct about good and evil. I've tried to put it into exact terms, but I fail every time.

I like the Hindu notion of reincarnation better thanany other "answer" to or stand on death. Pythagoras convinces me I should not eat meat (though I eat it now).

I seems to me that the historical process demands the unthinkable: the synthesis of Christianity and Communism.

"All is flux." The Logos. Evertying changes all fo the times. – Heraclitus.

All is one and nothing can change. – Parmenides.

All men desire by nature to know. Aristotle.

"Habe nun, Ach!, philosophie
Juristerei und Medizin
Und leider auch Theologie
Durchaus studiert, mit heiße Bemühn . . .
 . . . Und sehe daß wir nichts wissen können.
" – Goethe.

Man is the measure of all things. – Protagoras.

The proper study of man is mankind. (or is it :the proper study of mankind is man"?) – Alexander Pope.

If horses had Gods, their Gods would have tails and eat hay. Xenophon?.

I love great systems of learning and believe all have something valid in them: Astrology, Tarot, Kabala, Magick, Wicca, music, philosophy, mathematics, The New Testament, Genesis, The Awakening of Faith, Shakespeare, Geometry, Astronomy . . . four elements, four humours, computers . . .

And much, much more . . .

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