February the third of this year I arrived at an entertaining conclusion,
the solution to which was a daily entry in this place I have called
"An English in Kentucky".
The idea of
'being', or existence, that thing that I am, is ever present. I can
take no vacation from it. When elements combine to create what
the existentialists call angst, and have been teased because of it.
When Heidegger is maneuvering around the 'authentic', in that awkward
way. When Nietzsche revels in Zoroaster, and soon enters the
asylum. When Hegel supposed the perfect idea emerging from the
dialectic in his phenomenology of 'spirit'. When this thing that is
'being' meets anxiety there is in the analysis of great thinkers a
follow-on of change. Something moves. Otherwise the river is
dammed and we are damned, and death does become 'blessed release', and
earth is easily temporal in that feeble conclusion so many have
increasingly surrendered to.
On February the
third of this year, I concluded that within 'being' the material world is
purely a mental construct. And as I drew this conclusion,
empiricists nailed closed my coffin with that sadness assigned to
disciples who have strayed. But I argue the issue for 'being'
(existence) surrounds the question "what is true in a purely mental
construct?". And when a mind comes away from this question with
no answer, it becomes necessary to invent "true", otherwise
there is no getting out of bed in the morning in the event the floorboards
have vanished, no matter the promises of an empiricist who may be sharing
There are of course "true"
things that I can't help but believe. As an example, while sterilizing
Mason Jars better not to lift them out of the pan with the fingers. A
carelessly tossed axe can be damaging. Nakedness and muttering in
public places causes alarm. Potting soil form a hardware store is
evil. Never suggest the "American Dream" has always
been a fiction. And so on into the complexities of precious
However there are many things
which we believe are "true" simply because without these
"true things" relationships between us so central to the social
would no longer operate and society, or clan, or group would cease.
Quite quickly we would stop talking to each other. Quite quickly we
would lose language. And we would return to a condition which most
likely would become untenable, because bears, lions, tigers and cockroaches
are individually more enduring than we are. But as a clan, or a group,
or a society, as long as we cooperate between ourselves, we dominate.
Which is a good enough incentive to lie with aplomb and regularity.
So I wondered the ancient question,
what 'truths' in 'now' does my 'being' require. And thus far I have
enjoyed the exercise. I think I have been diligent. I have tried
to be scrupulous. Often I am side-tracked. And by February the
third two thousand and ten, when this process ends, I may not have learned
anything. Which in itself is a lesson from 'now'. And which
today suggests that the question "why bother?" is a very good one.
Naturally the entire problem vanishes
when language hands down empirical definitions of 'true'. And when it
does, this always makes me smug because I am only after the experience of
'true'. Not the definition. In another way, I want to know
what true feels like. And I bet it doesn't exist, even if I think that
But an oath is an oath and 'creative is'
and Dostoyevsky's saintly Idiot I am not.