In Media Res

'Charon,' by user h-k-d (Hartwig HKD) on Flickr

[Image: “Charon,” by user h-k-d (Hartwig HKD) on Flickr. (Used under a Creative Commons license.)]

From whiskey river:

Limbo

Each of them can’t decide if there is a God
or if there is a self.

Do I have an I? one says
to another who seems distracted, looking out what might have been a window.

What is the difference between a self and a soul?
Is it true that one god is in relationship to each of us?
Or is the each of us an illusion, and we are the god we are looking for?
That’s what the distracted one is thinking and what
she wants to know,

and she wishes that other person would stop bothering her,
and she wishes she had more time to think about these things,
although she has all the time in the world.

(Marie Howe [source])

…and:

Les géographies solennelles des limites humaines…
(Paul Eluard, Les Yeux fertiles, p. 42)

(“The solemn geographies of human limits”)

Car nous sommes où nous ne sommes pas.
(Pierre-Jean Jouve, Lyrique, p. 59)

(“For we are where we are not.”)

But how many daydreams we should have to analyze under the simple heading of Doors! For the door is an entire cosmos of the Half-open. In fact, it is one of its primal images, the very origin of a daydream that accumulates desires and temptations: the temptation to open up the ultimate depths of being, and the desire to conquer all reticent beings. The door schematizes two strong possibilities, which sharply classify two types of daydream. At times, it is closed, bolted, padlocked. At others, it is open, that is to say, wide open…

And what of all the doors of mere curiosity, that have tempted being for nothing, for emptiness, for an unknown that is not even imagined?

Is there one of us who hasn’t in his memories a Bluebeard chamber that should not have been opened, even halfway? Or — which is the same thing for a philosophy that believes in the primacy of the imagination — that should not even have been imagined open, or capable of opening half-way?

How concrete everything becomes in the world of the spirit when an object, a mere door, can give images of hesitation, temptation, desire, security, welcome and respect. If one were to give an account of all the doors one has closed and opened, of all the doors one would like to re-open, one would have to tell the story of one’s entire life.

But is he who opens a door and he who closes it the same being?

(Gaston Bachelard [source])

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The Mutable (and Not Mutually Exclusive) Real

[Video: “Chameleon,” by Johannes Stötter. For more information, see the note at the bottom of this post.]

From whiskey river:

I would argue that if consciousness exists, it can’t be obliterated; thus we borrow from consciousness in order to become (to get an identity), and we return what we borrow as egos to the greater conscious field when we die, so that’s what happens to “us.” The real question then is the fate not of our consciousness but of our personal identity.

You know, science’s definition of us is that a light goes on, a light goes off, and it wasn’t even a light, but that’s like not existing at all. And we do exist — in the sense that we are not just interdependent with everything else in the universe; we are everything else in the universe, and ourselves too. That’s why we exist at all, why we have a personal identity. Likewise we are not just everything else in the universe; we are one probabilistic form even of ourselves. At each moment, all of our other selves, making different choices and experiencing themselves differently exist elsewhere as well as in deep latency in us, and in states just as physical as ours. They bail us out of this mess, but we bail them out of their messes. We support one another eternally. The light we share never goes on, never goes off, and that’s the Soul.

(Richard Grossinger [source])

and:

This Might Be Real

How long in a cold room will the tea stay hot?
What about reality interests you?
How long can you live?
Were you there when I said this might be real?
How much do you love?
Sixty percent?
Things that are gone?
Do you love what’s real?
Is real a partial form?
Is it a nascent form?
What is it before it’s real?
Is it a switch that moves and then is ever still?
Is it a spectrum of cross-fades?
Is what’s next real?
When it comes will everything turn real?
If I drink enough tea to hallucinate, is that real?
If I know I’m waiting for someone but I don’t know who, is he real?
Is he real when he comes?
Is he real when he’s gone?
Is consequence what’s real?
Is consequence all that’s real?
What brings consequence?
Is it what’s real?
Is it what turned everything to disbelief, the last form love takes?

(Sarah Manguso [source])

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