Subject: Launching of the HMS Yenni
Date: full moon's eve March, 17th-18th 2003
A bottle of Bordeax (Appelation Controlee'... of course), camembert,
and sourdough walnut bread (for the regional flair). Gheridelli
dark chocolate, and a long conversation with the Owls. While the
male (I presume) says who-huhu hoo hoo, the female responds with a throaty
huhu hooo hoooo only. We talked for a while, but I got the sense
I was inflicting jealousy.
With rounds of mantra, french wine and cheese, and singing with the
owls benieth the full moon, the vessel is launched. The night
before was a bit of a wash, as she sprung a leak. Two nights of
rain had found their way in, not from above, but (metaphorically appropriately)
from below! I am embarrased to admit that my tent is hardly self-sufficient
in the rain. The design of the rainfly is such that it allows
water to drain around the base. This water, collects on the groundcloth,
which guides it underneith the tent. Then, due to the wicking
properties of plastics, I found my feet getting alarmingly wet around
five in the morning. An alarming fate,
a dismaying fate indeed. But the sacrifice of using a tent that
is about as minimal as they come. Just under four pounds, and
Still, nothing a dryer and fifty cents doesn't fix. So, resurrecting
the tarp that existed on site when I arrived, I have sufficiently provided
for a dry foundation. The third night of rain did not penetrate
my sanctum, where now I sit, benieth full moon and cloudless sky, two
days later. I have been reading Tommy Byrd's newest book's second
chapter; contemplating my own further adventures...
I am nearly resolved to find employment in Japan. I say nearly,
since, by praxis in my life I do not "decide," but rather
follow the winds of destiny to where they lead. As it stands,
I have been called in for not a single interview in the States, but
have had two leads in Africa, and now three in Japan. Given the
choice, I choose the latter. Nova, Geos, and Aeon are the three
largest private English language schools in Japan; I am scheduled
for first interviews with them in March, April, and June. In the
meantime, I guess I will continue to pursue bay area employment as well,
but, to be honest my heart isn't completely in it. The latest
phase of American Imperialism just does not inspire me. I am feeling
the call to expatriate.
So no, I am beginning my study of Japan. The story of my life.
What began as a casual perusal of Mahayana Buddhism after years of studying
Theravada has escalated into this. I stop paying attention to
my path for fifteen minutes, and suddenly a new world is there before
me. To be young and free. Its perplexing to say the least.
The other day I saw a wild turkey on my way down the hill. I
thought of Ben Franklin, and how much better we would be for taking
his suggestion. What a better nation we would we be with THAT
as our national symbol? Less hubris, more humility.
My battery is dying, so I should wrap this up for now. I'm sure
there's more to say, but let this be a start...
Subject: a very strange day
Date: March 23rd
So where were we... oh yes. Nowhere in particular. Well,
now we are in "au coquelet" or some shit. Its a college
coffee shop which stays open late, and has a nice menu. A little
too upscale, but at least they're not playing classical. yet.
I had a very strange day. It started out with a... wait.
this is still somewhat public. It started out with a nice pleasant
sunny morning and afternoon at my "home" I had a little
gift given to me as a thank you for a cigarette. Just a stem to
stem the tide of war-thoughts. Nevertheless, It gave rise to all
those insecurities about life, about place, about essential meaninglessnesses
of existence, which persist even when one is living one's dream.
Even when one is getting laid, or at least laying tracks toward a beautiful
destiny. Indeed in such a mood as I was in this afternoon, an
eye-openning which burns away all superfluous efforts and floods the
soul with the essential emptiness of existence, in this mood I abided
for some time. As familiar as I am with this mood, it still never
fails to cut me to the quick. I stretch, establish concentration,
contemplate the bound hands of experience and yet nothing succeeds to
bring me to peace. Instead I am still, as always, as all of us,
lost, adrift in a sea of experience which no amount of breeding, spawning,
enseminating or disseminating can prepare for. Fore. Four
times forty times one may try to abide, to sate the flow of effleuriant
realities, and yet no amount of budding or blooming will stand before
shiva's eye, the third eye awake. That eye which burns all before
it, which consumes like a greedy, needful and spoiled child all that
one would present to it. Look upon the Hawks and they are suffering.
Look upon the spring crocuses and they are suffering. Look upon
the claimed an forested hills of Berkeley and they are suffering.
And by far, look upon one's own soul, it is certainly suffering, else
one is not paying attention. All the grasping and clinging and
searching for meaning is for naught, for still we suffer. And
suffering still we abide in suffering on a bright and sunny day, having
survived another rainy night, dry and warm benieth tarp, tent, and down.
All is suffering, so why not read Hegel. I have for the moment
put aside Logic in favor of the more elementary Phenomenology
of the Spirit. If anything could be considered more or less
elemental in the man's system. Yet the one lays the foundation
for the other, so if not elementary, at least it is a preface, containing
a lengthy preface preceding an introduction preceding the onset of the
text. A preface which, now that I've survived, has reassured me
of the good faith of the system-to-come. And once I have suffered
through this and the other, then I may move on to Saussure, and finally
(?) Glas which is the end of the beginning of an understanding
of Deconstruction, which is the beginning of the begining of understanding
contemporary architecture. For how can Gherry or Meiers claim
the title of "Deconstructionist" without contradiction by
the very act of building. God. Its all so... vast.
Higher education; a docorate, for example, couldn't possibly begin for
me before I understand this one basic fact. For no matter which
path I dwell it always intersect these issues.
In Hegel, at least, for the first, I meet a man who is profoundly concerned
with his system as it will be applied to the future of the living soul
who comprehends his point. Hegel works like this: (and I
laugh at that colon) (like this: : ":")
thus is this hegel. No I can't follow a colon such as that.
Let me sumarize the philosphy that has shaped the world-to-come, of
whom a VERY SMALL HANDFUL fully comprehend his intent. I don't
know anyone who understands Hegel. I myself, before starting out
reading him am one of the few who even know WHY this is important.
Even the Nazis who claimed his philosophy as the Aryan birthright and
the foundation for National Socialism couldn't claim to really really
really understand what was so important about the method of Hegel, but
rather latched on to the methodology, the distilled "Science"
he professed, the philosophical method-as-science of it instead of the
truly deeply beautiful quest he set before himeself.
The more conventional opinion gets fixated on the antithesis of
truth and falsity, the more it tends to expect that a given philosophical
system to be either accepted or contradicted; and hence only finds
acceptance or rejection. It does not comprehend the diversity
of philosophical systems as the progressive unfolding of truth, but
rather sees simple disagreements. The bud disappears in the bursting-forth
of the blossom, and one might say the former is refuted by the latter...
Their fluid nature makes them moments of an organic unity in which
they not only do not conflict, but in which each is as necessary as
the other; and their mutual necessity alone constitutes the life of
the whole. (2)"
Thus one might surmise that from the very outset of his vocation he
anticipates its demise. The Great Systematizer, he who set about
to create THE Encyclopedia of philosophy, foresees his own death at
the moment of its conception. Such humility from one so bold as
to present a most thorough and far-reaching exegesis of Truth...
Nevertheless, here I am reading Hegel in order to understand Saussure,
in order to understand Heidegger in order to understand Derrida.
In order to put in appropriate context my reading of Kant, many moons
ago, and my reading of Plato following that. Indeed, Hegel is
the hinge upon which contemporary philosophy bends, in that he was elemental
in Freudianism and all that followed. So thus that ":"
of before. Let's sumarize.
Hegel attempts to show that the only True Path for logic to follow
is to define an inner and an outer. As opposed to a purely linear
oposition, he wants to show that Within Being are several factors, as
internal, and that the moment of Consciousness exists within such and
such system of organization of concepts, yet there is a greatest of
all "Being" or "Notion" or "Idea" i think
it is, which is "God" which subsumes all these categories
of understanding. The important part in all of this is the
distinction of Internal vs. External, and the movement within or without,
where opositions are both embedded inside a higher synthesis of ideas.
Where Being contains nothing within it. A "Thing" in
order for it to be a "thing" requires an other, and as such
must contain that "other within its nature. Its not an opposition
of higher to lower, but inner to outer. This finds play in Deleuze
as the idea of the skin; no inside or outside, but movements along
a surface. Derrida confront Hegel in Glas, and I can't begin that
until I have some fundimental understanding of Hegel. Blah, thus,
in order to understand "Deconstruction" and what's fundimentally
"wrong" with Gherry, creator of the Experience Music Project
building, opposite which I worked for a year in Seattle, and which is
much hated by even the arts community in Seattle, may we mention
not the Ghuggenheim Bilbao in Spain, which was the cornerstone of my
trip to Europe, if not its SOUL Catalyst, (I don't know that I've really
made that clear to anyone. I bet most people think I went to Europe
just to "do europe." At least that was my party line...
damn. Have I ever been forthright? So yah, I went to Europe
to see THAT building, the one which exemplified my "philosophy"
of architecture as I proffessed to Jill Kamas, prof of my second architecture
studio, to whom, in retrospect, I owe so many appologies that it hurts
that I can't locate her quite yet...)
But this is going nowhere. Oh wait. Its cutting to the quick.
The distinction of inner/outer. The abhidhamma, an effort to externalize
a teaching only possibly conceived inside of the ultimate of renunciations,
the renunciation of the illusory conception of self. Fuck.
How do we get from Hegel to Derrida and back to Gherry (sp???) via 200BC
Buddhist exegesis???? AAAAAHHHHHHH>>>> And people
wonder at me living under a tree. That's the least of my concerns.
So this day started out strangely. It appears to be ending stranger
still. I came down coming down the mountain and first to storage
unit, second to gym, shower, then to coffee shop, email, job applications
(network admin. Sunday is "find computer job day", look
in the Sunday S.F. Chronicle day), then lunch/dinner (Lunner seeems
to have stuck; though dinner originally was intended as opposed to "supper"
I think, to convey just that)... Then I filed my taxes, then I...
I headed down to the "other" berkeley; San Pablo.
I was invited to Michael's for a music night, a "loud" music
night, to contrast the rigidity of "Guerella"(sp?) night on
thursdays. Well, I knocked, no one answered. I called Nari,
she wasn't in the basement, I called the house itself and michael was
not around, apparently having found a "paying" job (apart
So I fell back on my contingency plan (always necessary when dealing
with hippies) and went to the Acme. One of a very few bars in
the bay area that tolerate smoking inside. There, I read a few
pages of hegel, watched people die in our occupation of Iraq (which
goddammit, people in our "civilized" country support.
Goddamn self-interest-ed bastards every last one of you. Fuck
the troops, fuck the president, fuck Saddam. Occupying another
sovereign nation for whatever reason is imperialism. It didn't
work out for Greece, or Egypt, or Rome, or Portugal, or Spain, or England,
or well, it put us on top now, but where's the exit strategy that all
who've come before us lacked? Where is the learning from the mistakes
of others? Where is the morality? Where is the ethics.
Where... oh never mind. Life is suffering, we are witnessing
the seeds of our own distruction and nobody sees it. Fuck you
all America, you get what you deserve. I tried to warn you.
You children will pay for your electing a man of small mind leader)
(and the sins of the fathers will be... that sounds like something out
of the Old testiment. I guess if our God-fearing president
can't even read his own bible, then fuck, which, no less he cites as
source for his current philosophy of action...)
Arg. Okay, so I'm a little dismayed at the blood that has been
spilt for our freedom. I guess I've spent too much time with hippies
and forget that most of the world is like Buster. Me first, and
if it doesn't directly benefit me, then why would I do it, etc.
Okay, calm down. Where was I, oh yes, at Acme. I had a
girl hitting on me, with her boyfriend sitting RIGHT BESIDE HER.
She actually said, "so you should give me a call sometime"
and "we should hang out" and "...my boyfriend, or whatever..."
I tore her number up into tiny pieces and distributed to separate
trash cans on the way out the door... And I had another,
much older man try thrice to get my phone number. After
I asked a simple "why" he said "its not like I'm trying
to FUCK you..." which tho I was trying to deny reacting as if,
he thereby confirmed... and I had another ex-league pool player;
I the outsider to this bar had become "the kid", trying to
coach me on the use of "a duck" which, as you all undoubtedly
know, is a ball left right on the lip, and is used to set up a run,
or to "own" the pocket, etc. Anyway, so I beat
him, mainly cause he was coaching me, and pissing me off. But
all this was in good fun. I was not moved. I was moved when
I saw our troops firing into a building. And the counter-protests
in support of the war, and the complete missing of the point of the
immorality of killing in the name of national interest...
Somehow all this has something to do with a girl name Carman whom I
spent "some time" with the other day. A barista at my
favorite coffee shop, thus adding that unneeded level of drama to my
otherwise stressful life. LOL. Anyway, life. She just
gets stranger. I have an interview for a job in Japan next monday.
Wish me luck. I'm definitely ready to expatriate. To a country
where everyone will more or less leave me alone to my abstruse studies,
where the girls will ignore me. Where I can privately suffer in
my expatriatism, where I can mourn my loss of innocence. Where
I can be free and lonely. I can't believe it just gets deeper.
I am happy, I am smiling, I am content. I am in really great spirits.
This is the only difference between me now any ten years ago singing
this same refrain: "nobody understands me." The tragedy
is that now I am haunted by the correlary: "Nobody understands."
And by extention: "Nobody understands themself" "...they're
purpose" "....meaning" and most desperate
and dispairing of all there is not a guru in the world who can explain
"it" to me. There is a saying, more a doctrine, an existential
in Hinduism. When the student is ready, the Guru appears.
I have come to realize that not until I am finished beating my head
against this brick wall of philosophy, not until I have bled my last
drop will my guru appear. We all have our own threshold for pain.
Mine begins in the realization that I am completely alone, and there
is nowhere in the world I can go to fix that. No social circle
to accept me. No age-old friends to comfort me. No wizzened
sages to guide me. No unconditionally acceptible path, and certainly
no lover that can comfort my soul. Ultimately and utterly
alone, thus I am free. Boundless freedom begets boundless
dispair. And this dispair is the end of the rope. The metaphorical
"end of the rope" beyond which we are taught to fly.
[don't worry mom, I'm fine.]