Thursday, May 23, 2019

Use your eyes, Man.
Your fate is no longer
in your hands;
it is in your tools.

The equipment IS
the predicament.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Composure is not a balance
but a tension
between intuitions and institutions,
the media of our immediacy,
our disposition to experience
the presence of reason and passion
amid distraction.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The concept is the presence
of past perception in the thought.

Emotion is the presence
of past action in the feeling.

Thought is what remains
unseen beyond perception.

Feeling is what remains
undone in action.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Belief is what your experience has.
Desire is what your experience wants.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

A box is a machine made of wood,
a thing to put other things in.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

When we oppose the passions
with our reasons
or our concepts
with our emotions

we must remember that each
has it own rightness
and none is righteous
on its own.

It is tempting to surrender
our wills to
our beliefs, our intellect
to our desire,

but our composure depends
neither on the purity
of our deference, nor the piety
of our references.

It is easy to choose one
over the other;
the difficulty
is keeping it together.

Friday, May 03, 2019

From Being and Time, H. 136:

"...the falsification of the phenomena [of mood], which banishes them to the sanctuary of the irrational..."

"Dasein factically can, should, and must master its mood with knowledge and will"

"we never master a mood by being free of a mood, but always through a counter mood."

"...attunement discloses Dasein in its thrownness and, initially and for the most part, in the mode of an evasive turning away."

To this, we should add:

Deference is to power what reference is to knowledge.

Mood is to deference what ________ is to reference.

Note: mood = courage = mind?

Perhaps mood is to deference what mood is to reference. The tension out of which both emerge?

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

(I often get this one wrong.)

What is to knowledge
as courage to power?

Courage is of the heart,
to encourage is to hearten,
______ is of the mind,
to ________ is to mind,
to make or become mindful,
perhaps, to remind.

Courage allows us to do
things despite our fears.
What allows us to see
things despite remorse?

Courage shapes our future
_______ shapes our past.
Or does _______ make a world
as courage makes our history?

Note: mood = courage = mind?
suggsting link to

Also, courage must be to daring what
________ is to caring.

See: "Daring"

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The child imagines the tree
as a field of action,
explores its emptiness,
occupies its branches,

while the adult suffers the tree
as an object of perception,
its negative spaces,
and the shade at its feet.

The child's body
reaches right up to reality;
the facts impinge
upon its surface,

while the adult's body
longs for a proper ideal,
and the act recedes
to mere appearances.

Monday, April 22, 2019

The philosopher seeks
the purpose of existence
as the poet seeks
the source of inspiration.

The canon is a history
of their failures.
Would it undo the world
should they succeed?

Emotions make no sense.
Concepts provide no motive.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The arts bring precision
to our suffering.

Philosophy clarifies
our thinking.
Poetry intensifies
our feeling.

These crafts are joined
in imagination.

The difference between knowledge and power
can be neither known nor mastered.

It must be suffered.

Nor can the unity of knowledge and power
be known or mastered,

but it can be imagined.

It is the task

of the scientist
to make us see better,
of the politician
to make us do better,
of the philosopher
to make us think better,
of the poet
to make us feel better.
No one says these are easy. But when the politician tries to get us to see something, or the scientist, to do something, or when the poet would have us think, or the philosopher would have us feel, they are, whatever higher goal they may be trying to accomplish, not staying on task. They are invoking an authority beyond their mandate, beyond their method, beyond the limits of their style.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The remark is the unit of philosophical expression.

A strophe is a unit of
poetic composition.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Philosophers are to existence
what poets are to inspiration.

Scientists are to curiosity
what politicians are to ambition.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Doing social science
without the humanities
is like imagining a society
without people.

Without things
you can imagine matter all you like
but without biology
your politics are immaterial.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Nothing matters.
Nobody cares.

Everyone's social.
Everything dares.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Our skepticism is not particularly aroused when we learn that scientists have satisfied their own curiosity in the pursuit of knowledge. Why are we suspicious of politicians who satisfy their personal ambition in the pursuit of power? Should we not expect those who seek power to be ambitious, just as we expect those who seek knowledge to be curious?

Sunday, April 07, 2019

A Portrait of Two Women

I was right about us.
She was wrong about him.

We were wrong about him.
She was right about me.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Philosophy is to poetry
as the unspoken belief
to the illicit desire.

Thursday, April 04, 2019



(No. Not
the other
way round.)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Both my happiness and my unhappiness I owe to the love of pleasure; of sex, travel, reading, conversation (hearing oneself talk), food, drink, cigars and lying in warm water.

Reality is what remains when these pleasures, together with hope for the future, regret for the past, vanity of the present, and all that composes the aroma of the self are pumped out of the air-bubble in which I shelter. (Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave

"It is the actions of men, not their sentiments, that make history," said Norman Mailer.

Borges said our opinions are the most trivial things about us.

Nabokov said that "desire and decision [are] the two things that create a live world." Subtract the vital ("live") component, and you are left with pure perception. Not trivial--pure.

"The poet must build us his world," said Pound.

"The subject shrinks to an extentionless point," said Wittgenstein, "and there remains the reality coordinated with it."

It is the perceptions of men, not their opinions, that make a world.

Friday, March 29, 2019

I get the insight.
I just can't take
the outrage.

Understanding is to knowledge as obedience is to power. Knowledge is to insight as power, to obedience. "Get" = understand. "Take" = obey.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Secrets are one thing.
They are as you keep them.

But some things can be known
simply by comparing notes.

To obstruct this discourse
is folly. We learn nothing.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Properly speaking,
we understand (or misunderstand) reasons
but we obey (or disobey) passions.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

I am not a mind-body dualist. I am, perhaps, a mind-heart dualist, but in a sense that does not involve mind-brain identity. I think it is as silly to think of the physical brain as the "seat of thinking" as it is to think of the physical heart as, say, "the seat of feeling".

The meaning of "mind" predates the discovery of lobes and cortices. The meaning of "heart" predates the discovery of chambers and ventricles. One must grant our feelings a "location" beneath the skin, however, just as our thinking does appear to go on "in the head". That is, I'm happy to maintain a distinction between visceral and cerebral experience. But these are just surfaces and appearances, not substances.

I believe that I have a soul, that I am "animated". But I do not think there is some place within the body that my soul can be said to inhabit. Rather, I believe that my body is my real location and that my soul is my ideal temperament. I live in a place and have a rhythm. My body, we might say, is where I'm at; my soul is what time it is.

Friday, March 22, 2019

He pursued a line of thinking
that only a fictional character
could plausibly follow, while
building a structure of feeling
no living person could inhabit.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Why do we feel
for the world?
Why do we think
about history?

Why let our emotional
lives be overwhelmed?
Why let our conceptual
framework collapse?

Isn't it enough to feel
for friends and kin?
Isn't it enough to think
about the house?

The world distracts us.
History concerns us.
But our hearts and minds
are here. In our bodies.