Archive for November, 2013

My version of western philosophy

Plato said: We know we feel, but what if we could go further like the gods?

Aristotle said: Well, we can’t but it’s an interesting game.

Descartes said: I know I feel, so I know I am. If we go further, we can also know the world is.

Kant said: Rene, I like what you said, but I’m not sure we can go further.

Kierkegaard said: Oh, Manny, how right you were, we can’t go further, though trying be noble effort.

Bergson said: Dude, the reason we want to go further is quite simple: we’re confused about space and time.

Nietzsche and Sartre said: Actually, it’s even simpler than that, it’s because we’re all alone.

Wittgenstein said: Amen to that!

I said: I knew there was a reason most of my best friends were women.

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I too was taken in by the vocabulary of a priori propositions for a time. As if “A=A” must be true in all possible words. Then, Basho’s short poem washed over me like a wave:

Even in Kyoto–
hearing the cuckoo’s cry–
I long for Kyoto.

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Every moment of suffering is also a moment of waking up. To the reality of compassion and love.

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The recent photograph of the Pope embracing the man with cutaneous neurofibromatosis has got me thinking about attractiveness and aversion. My uncle had cutaneous neurofibromatosis and died isolated and alone. Did he die unhappy? I don’t know because I never knew him very well. I don’t think anyone did. It has me thinking again about my own unattractiveness: the emotional vulnerability and mental illness, the carroty hair, pale complexion and the scrawny body all more attractive to predators than lovers. I wonder though if my desire for creativity had been satisfied by someone loving me, would I be an artist? Certainly not the one I am today. And I like being an artist. Like the Pope I’ve learned to appreciate my own unattractiveness and have come to see it as a blessing. Never again will I try to compensate others for it.

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r u living an overcoded life?

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Creativity amazes me. What gives a piece the presence we call “art?” What distinguishes the casual snap from the considered image? Playful rhyme from memorable verse? Innocent dance from living choreography? What is it about how the author threw themselves into the piece, heart and everything, that makes it breathe and live…some undeniable there, there…?

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