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Re: the absurd

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  • Mary Jo Malo
    It s all life, George. Either/or and neither/nor. The diversions are life. The absurd is life. We really don t need philosophy or religion or very many words;
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 1, 2005
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      It's all life, George. Either/or and neither/nor. The diversions are
      life. The absurd is life. We really don't need philosophy or religion
      or very many words; we just like them for whatever reason. As you
      know I enjoy Camus' take on the absurd. He had a disease (TB) for
      which there was no cure but died an accidental car death. For me what
      he expressed in his writing was that life itself was a hope, that
      there could be more life. What's more absurd than that? We have to
      face the fact of death alone and die our death alone. No one can do
      it for us or reason it away. All the company that we keep can't stay
      that death from us. I recently finished Camus' "Exile and the
      Kingdom" and especially enjoyed the story, "The Artist at Work" as a
      wonderful expression of the absurd. I found his character Jonas to be
      a more poignant, gentle discoverer of the absurd, not as cowardly and
      calculating as Clamence (The Fall) or as cold and indifferent as
      Meursault (The Stranger). Mary

      Darkness at the break of noon
      Shadows even the silver spoon
      The handmade blade, the child's balloon
      Eclipses both the sun and moon
      To understand you know too soon
      There is no sense in trying.

      Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
      Suicide remarks are torn
      From the fools gold mouthpiece
      The hollow horn plays wasted words
      Proved to warn
      That he not busy being born
      Is busy dying.

      Temptation's page flies out the door
      You follow, find yourself at war
      Watch waterfalls of pity roar
      You feel to moan but unlike before
      You discover
      That you'd just be
      One more person crying.

      So don't fear if you hear
      A foreign sound to you ear
      It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.

      As some warn victory, some downfall
      Private reasons great or small
      Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
      To make all that should be killed to crawl
      While others say don't hate nothing at all
      Except hatred.

      Disillusioned words like bullets bark
      As human gods aim for their marks
      Made everything from toy guns that sparks
      To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
      It's easy to see without looking too far
      That not much
      Is really sacred.

      While preachers preach of evil fates
      Teachers teach that knowledge waits
      Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
      Goodness hides behind its gates
      But even the President of the United States
      Sometimes must have
      To stand naked.

      An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
      It's only people's games that you got to dodge
      And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.

      Advertising signs that con you
      Into thinking you're the one
      That can do what's never been done
      That can win what's never been won
      Meantime life outside goes on
      All around you.

      You loose yourself, you reappear
      You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
      Alone you stand without nobody near
      When a trembling distant voice, unclear
      Startles your sleeping ears to hear
      That somebody thinks
      They really found you.

      A question in your nerves is lit
      Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
      Insure you not to quit
      To keep it in your mind and not forget
      That it is not he or she or them or it
      That you belong to.

      Although the masters make the rules
      For the wise men and the fools
      I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.

      For them that must obey authority
      That they do not respect in any degree
      Who despite their jobs, their destinies
      Speak jealously of them that are free
      Cultivate their flowers to be
      Nothing more than something
      They invest in.

      While some on principles baptized
      To strict party platforms ties
      Social clubs in drag disguise
      Outsiders they can freely criticize
      Tell nothing except who to idolize
      And then say God Bless him.

      While one who sings with his tongue on fire
      Gargles in the rat race choir
      Bent out of shape from society's pliers
      Cares not to come up any higher
      But rather get you down in the hole
      That he's in.

      But I mean no harm nor put fault
      On anyone that lives in a vault
      But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.

      Old lady judges, watch people in pairs
      Limited in sex, they dare
      To push fake morals, insult and stare
      While money doesn't talk, it swears
      Obscenity, who really cares
      Propaganda, all is phony.

      While them that defend what they cannot see
      With a killer's pride, security
      It blows the minds most bitterly
      For them that think death's honesty
      Won't fall upon them naturally
      Life sometimes
      Must get lonely.

      My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
      False gods, I scuff
      At pettiness which plays so rough
      Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
      Kick my legs to crash it off
      Say okay, I have had enough
      What else can you show me ?

      And if my thought-dreams could been seen
      They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
      But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.

      Bob Dylan
      It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)



      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Emile Cioran from The Heights of Despair:
      >
      > "When all the current reasons---moral, aesthetic, religious,
      social, and so on---no longer guide one's life, how can one sustain
      life without succumbing to nothingness? Only by a connection with the
      absurd, by love of absolute uselessness, loving something which does
      not have substance but which simulates an illusion of life."
      >
      >
      >
      > The irony of course is how a passion for philosophy can take some
      through circuitous close encounters with all manner of received
      wisdom and in the end deposit them instead into an intellectual
      wasteland that engenders a feeling of being profoundly disconnected
      from all the great thoughts of all the great minds.
      >
      > What happens is this: you try to connect the dots between the great
      ideas floating amidst the clouds of abstraction and the gritty world
      you actually live in and it finally begins to dawn on you the aim was
      quite the opposite. The aim was by and large to take you out of the
      cave altogether...out into the blinding light of Truth.
      >
      > The blinding light of....The Word.
      >
      > The absurd shreds that to bits, of course, but if you're lucky it
      will rescue you from the philosophical straitjacket that is
      either/or. Ambiguity is the ticket. It discards either/or and instead
      suggests another way: neither/nor.
      >
      > Among other things, this increases your options by leaps and
      bounds. And that is because the logocentric truth-tellers always feel
      compelled to follow the stright and narrow path of self-
      righteousness. They are slaves to The Word.
      >
      > And when the absurd turns on you in moments of existential despair
      there are always distractions to divert you---love and sex and sports
      and entertainment and careers and family. The list is practically
      endless. The illusion becomes real because you are able to trick
      yourself psychologically by falling into them.
      >
      > Only death is insurmountable. But then you may reach the point
      where you want to die.
      >
      > Or maybe not. Oblivion admittedly is the toughest nut to crack.
      There are few distractions that work when the doc tells you the tumor
      is inoperable. Not even the absurd helps if you love your life and
      its about to end. Then you have to trick yourself like Plato and Kant
      [and so many others] with philosophy or religion.
      >
      > I wonder how they do that.
      >
      > george
      >
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------
      > Yahoo! Sports
      > Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • George Walton
      Living is not about what we know, of course, because there is very little we can know [philosophically] regarding our evalutions and judgments of human
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 1, 2005
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        Living is not about what we know, of course, because there is very little we can know [philosophically] regarding our evalutions and judgments of human behavior. Instead it is about how we interpret what we think we know. And then, in turn, in how others evaluate and judge that.

        The absurd allows you to interpret human behavior in any number of ways. And with no final arbiter to be found we have to live with the consequences of that.

        Sometimes [in particular personalities embedded in particular circumstances] it makes sense to say, "it's all right Ma, it's life and life only". But for other personalities embedded in other sets of circumstances that frame of reference seems quite preposterous.

        The world depicted in Sophie's Choice leaps to mind.

        I can think of only two reactions that make sense---fighting back or clinging all the more to the distractions. Fighting back revolves around the relationship between rage and fear. You are enraged at what the thugs do in this world but you are fearful that if you do fight back they will do the same thing to you. And they have the power----the wealth and the armies and the guns and the bombs. And you have your moral outrage.

        So you distract yourself from having to make the committment. And then you live with it. Because, you tell yourself, it really is ultimately futile no mattter what you do.

        In many profound ways this is an appallingly shitty world. You either come to understand that or you don't.

        I loved Camus as well. And he chose to fight back, of course. Perhaps that was his distraction of choice. But he is gone forever and soon you and I will be gone forever too. Is there any reaction to that which makes any more sense than any other reaction?

        The more you think about it the more you come to understand there has got to be better things to do. And look around you. Again, the list is endless.

        Which, of course, doesn't really explain what the hell I am doing in here pointing it out over and over again. But then I have never understood myself. And I think I cling to existential philosophy because it is the closest thing I have ever come to to understanding why I probably never will.

        That's a comfort of sorts. If you know what I mean.



        g.


        Mary Jo Malo <maryjomalo@...> wrote:
        It's all life, George. Either/or and neither/nor. The diversions are
        life. The absurd is life. We really don't need philosophy or religion
        or very many words; we just like them for whatever reason. As you
        know I enjoy Camus' take on the absurd. He had a disease (TB) for
        which there was no cure but died an accidental car death. For me what
        he expressed in his writing was that life itself was a hope, that
        there could be more life. What's more absurd than that? We have to
        face the fact of death alone and die our death alone. No one can do
        it for us or reason it away. All the company that we keep can't stay
        that death from us. I recently finished Camus' "Exile and the
        Kingdom" and especially enjoyed the story, "The Artist at Work" as a
        wonderful expression of the absurd. I found his character Jonas to be
        a more poignant, gentle discoverer of the absurd, not as cowardly and
        calculating as Clamence (The Fall) or as cold and indifferent as
        Meursault (The Stranger). Mary

        Darkness at the break of noon
        Shadows even the silver spoon
        The handmade blade, the child's balloon
        Eclipses both the sun and moon
        To understand you know too soon
        There is no sense in trying.

        Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
        Suicide remarks are torn
        From the fools gold mouthpiece
        The hollow horn plays wasted words
        Proved to warn
        That he not busy being born
        Is busy dying.

        Temptation's page flies out the door
        You follow, find yourself at war
        Watch waterfalls of pity roar
        You feel to moan but unlike before
        You discover
        That you'd just be
        One more person crying.

        So don't fear if you hear
        A foreign sound to you ear
        It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.

        As some warn victory, some downfall
        Private reasons great or small
        Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
        To make all that should be killed to crawl
        While others say don't hate nothing at all
        Except hatred.

        Disillusioned words like bullets bark
        As human gods aim for their marks
        Made everything from toy guns that sparks
        To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
        It's easy to see without looking too far
        That not much
        Is really sacred.

        While preachers preach of evil fates
        Teachers teach that knowledge waits
        Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
        Goodness hides behind its gates
        But even the President of the United States
        Sometimes must have
        To stand naked.

        An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
        It's only people's games that you got to dodge
        And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.

        Advertising signs that con you
        Into thinking you're the one
        That can do what's never been done
        That can win what's never been won
        Meantime life outside goes on
        All around you.

        You loose yourself, you reappear
        You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
        Alone you stand without nobody near
        When a trembling distant voice, unclear
        Startles your sleeping ears to hear
        That somebody thinks
        They really found you.

        A question in your nerves is lit
        Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
        Insure you not to quit
        To keep it in your mind and not forget
        That it is not he or she or them or it
        That you belong to.

        Although the masters make the rules
        For the wise men and the fools
        I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.

        For them that must obey authority
        That they do not respect in any degree
        Who despite their jobs, their destinies
        Speak jealously of them that are free
        Cultivate their flowers to be
        Nothing more than something
        They invest in.

        While some on principles baptized
        To strict party platforms ties
        Social clubs in drag disguise
        Outsiders they can freely criticize
        Tell nothing except who to idolize
        And then say God Bless him.

        While one who sings with his tongue on fire
        Gargles in the rat race choir
        Bent out of shape from society's pliers
        Cares not to come up any higher
        But rather get you down in the hole
        That he's in.

        But I mean no harm nor put fault
        On anyone that lives in a vault
        But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.

        Old lady judges, watch people in pairs
        Limited in sex, they dare
        To push fake morals, insult and stare
        While money doesn't talk, it swears
        Obscenity, who really cares
        Propaganda, all is phony.

        While them that defend what they cannot see
        With a killer's pride, security
        It blows the minds most bitterly
        For them that think death's honesty
        Won't fall upon them naturally
        Life sometimes
        Must get lonely.

        My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
        False gods, I scuff
        At pettiness which plays so rough
        Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
        Kick my legs to crash it off
        Say okay, I have had enough
        What else can you show me ?

        And if my thought-dreams could been seen
        They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
        But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.

        Bob Dylan
        It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)



        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Emile Cioran from The Heights of Despair:
        >
        > "When all the current reasons---moral, aesthetic, religious,
        social, and so on---no longer guide one's life, how can one sustain
        life without succumbing to nothingness? Only by a connection with the
        absurd, by love of absolute uselessness, loving something which does
        not have substance but which simulates an illusion of life."
        >
        >
        >
        > The irony of course is how a passion for philosophy can take some
        through circuitous close encounters with all manner of received
        wisdom and in the end deposit them instead into an intellectual
        wasteland that engenders a feeling of being profoundly disconnected
        from all the great thoughts of all the great minds.
        >
        > What happens is this: you try to connect the dots between the great
        ideas floating amidst the clouds of abstraction and the gritty world
        you actually live in and it finally begins to dawn on you the aim was
        quite the opposite. The aim was by and large to take you out of the
        cave altogether...out into the blinding light of Truth.
        >
        > The blinding light of....The Word.
        >
        > The absurd shreds that to bits, of course, but if you're lucky it
        will rescue you from the philosophical straitjacket that is
        either/or. Ambiguity is the ticket. It discards either/or and instead
        suggests another way: neither/nor.
        >
        > Among other things, this increases your options by leaps and
        bounds. And that is because the logocentric truth-tellers always feel
        compelled to follow the stright and narrow path of self-
        righteousness. They are slaves to The Word.
        >
        > And when the absurd turns on you in moments of existential despair
        there are always distractions to divert you---love and sex and sports
        and entertainment and careers and family. The list is practically
        endless. The illusion becomes real because you are able to trick
        yourself psychologically by falling into them.
        >
        > Only death is insurmountable. But then you may reach the point
        where you want to die.
        >
        > Or maybe not. Oblivion admittedly is the toughest nut to crack.
        There are few distractions that work when the doc tells you the tumor
        is inoperable. Not even the absurd helps if you love your life and
        its about to end. Then you have to trick yourself like Plato and Kant
        [and so many others] with philosophy or religion.
        >
        > I wonder how they do that.
        >
        > george
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Yahoo! Sports
        > Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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      • Aija Veldre Beldavs
        ... yes, hardwired fear of death/oblivion/the end implies there is an opposite alternative - immortality or transformation out of the present state into
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 1, 2005
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          > Fear of Death for Sure is a Factor in why they do that.
          > Why they Fear Death is Biological( Speculation of course)
          > Bob...

          > Emile Cioran from The Heights of Despair:
          > "When all the current reasons---moral, aesthetic, religious, social, and so
          > on---no longer guide one's life, how can one sustain life without succumbing
          > to nothingness? Only by a connection with the absurd, by love of absolute
          > uselessness, loving something which does not have substance but which
          > simulates an illusion of life."

          > Not even the absurd helps if you love your life and its about to end. Then
          > you have to trick yourself like Plato and Kant [and so many others] with
          > philosophy or religion.
          > george

          yes, hardwired fear of death/oblivion/the end implies there is an opposite
          alternative - immortality or transformation out of the present state into
          another, an ongoing process. the truth of the second is speculation,
          inference, belief.

          what's wrong with working with what life one has, the only one that is
          important right now?

          i happen to get more of a sense of empowerement & satisfaction by doing
          some small thing that makes a big difference to someone else than by
          pushing someone around or beating him up & i'm a physical person, former
          athlete, who enjoys limited conflict, challenge, the excitement of the
          chase as long as they are games & roleplaying & sports, not bloodletting
          for real, making others suffer for real, war, which is a game only to the
          seriously deluded, the very young, or those who have a more
          testosterone-befuddled mind than is good for the survival of humanity.

          people have a choice to play games or not and they know the rules, but
          most people are unwilling participants & victims of war, which mostly is
          deficient on reasonable rules, frequently falls into anything goes, and
          generally makes no sense. most people would like a less destructive way
          of solving problems. if a critical number of nations & peoples would try
          harder to solve the problems of energy and resource division without war,
          it is scientifically possible.

          btw if you've seen it, what do you think of the Japanese movie Battle
          Royale?

          aija
        • Jeffrey Tate
          George, you say I can think of only two reactions that make sense---fighting back or clinging all the more to the distractions. Fighting back revolves around
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 1, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            George, you say "I can think of only two reactions that make
            sense---fighting back or clinging all the more to the distractions.
            Fighting back revolves around the relationship between rage and fear.
            You are enraged at what the thugs do in this world but you are fearful
            that if you do fight back they will do the same thing to you. And they
            have the power----the wealth and the armies and the guns and the bombs.
            And you have your moral outrage."

            I don't quite get it; why is seeing the world in terms of victim or
            victimizer the only option? Sure, there are victims and victimizers in
            this world. There are also friends, lovers, family members who care
            about me, co-workers I enjoy working with, golf and poker buddies I have
            a great time with, a profession I enjoy studying and using to help
            others (and getting paid for same), etc.

            I'm sorry about the victims and victimizers in the world. But that's not
            the focus of my world. Does that mean that I'm using distractions to
            avoid the True Issues of existence? What makes the victim-victimizers
            (or the issue of my own death, or the issue of the ultimate impermanence
            of everything) most genuine?

            Jeff


            -----Original Message-----
            From: existlist@yahoogroups.com [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of George Walton
            Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 9:41 AM
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: the absurd


            Living is not about what we know, of course, because there is very
            little we can know [philosophically] regarding our evalutions and
            judgments of human behavior. Instead it is about how we interpret what
            we think we know. And then, in turn, in how others evaluate and judge
            that.

            The absurd allows you to interpret human behavior in any number of ways.
            And with no final arbiter to be found we have to live with the
            consequences of that.

            Sometimes [in particular personalities embedded in particular
            circumstances] it makes sense to say, "it's all right Ma, it's life and
            life only". But for other personalities embedded in other sets of
            circumstances that frame of reference seems quite preposterous.

            The world depicted in Sophie's Choice leaps to mind.

            I can think of only two reactions that make sense---fighting back or
            clinging all the more to the distractions. Fighting back revolves
            around the relationship between rage and fear. You are enraged at what
            the thugs do in this world but you are fearful that if you do fight back
            they will do the same thing to you. And they have the power----the
            wealth and the armies and the guns and the bombs. And you have your
            moral outrage.

            So you distract yourself from having to make the committment. And then
            you live with it. Because, you tell yourself, it really is ultimately
            futile no mattter what you do.

            In many profound ways this is an appallingly shitty world. You either
            come to understand that or you don't.

            I loved Camus as well. And he chose to fight back, of course. Perhaps
            that was his distraction of choice. But he is gone forever and soon you
            and I will be gone forever too. Is there any reaction to that which
            makes any more sense than any other reaction?

            The more you think about it the more you come to understand there has
            got to be better things to do. And look around you. Again, the list is
            endless.

            Which, of course, doesn't really explain what the hell I am doing in
            here pointing it out over and over again. But then I have never
            understood myself. And I think I cling to existential philosophy because
            it is the closest thing I have ever come to to understanding why I
            probably never will.

            That's a comfort of sorts. If you know what I mean.



            g.


            Mary Jo Malo <maryjomalo@...> wrote:
            It's all life, George. Either/or and neither/nor. The diversions are
            life. The absurd is life. We really don't need philosophy or religion
            or very many words; we just like them for whatever reason. As you
            know I enjoy Camus' take on the absurd. He had a disease (TB) for
            which there was no cure but died an accidental car death. For me what
            he expressed in his writing was that life itself was a hope, that
            there could be more life. What's more absurd than that? We have to
            face the fact of death alone and die our death alone. No one can do
            it for us or reason it away. All the company that we keep can't stay
            that death from us. I recently finished Camus' "Exile and the
            Kingdom" and especially enjoyed the story, "The Artist at Work" as a
            wonderful expression of the absurd. I found his character Jonas to be
            a more poignant, gentle discoverer of the absurd, not as cowardly and
            calculating as Clamence (The Fall) or as cold and indifferent as
            Meursault (The Stranger). Mary

            Darkness at the break of noon
            Shadows even the silver spoon
            The handmade blade, the child's balloon
            Eclipses both the sun and moon
            To understand you know too soon
            There is no sense in trying.

            Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
            Suicide remarks are torn
            >From the fools gold mouthpiece
            The hollow horn plays wasted words
            Proved to warn
            That he not busy being born
            Is busy dying.

            Temptation's page flies out the door
            You follow, find yourself at war
            Watch waterfalls of pity roar
            You feel to moan but unlike before
            You discover
            That you'd just be
            One more person crying.

            So don't fear if you hear
            A foreign sound to you ear
            It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.

            As some warn victory, some downfall
            Private reasons great or small
            Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
            To make all that should be killed to crawl
            While others say don't hate nothing at all
            Except hatred.

            Disillusioned words like bullets bark
            As human gods aim for their marks
            Made everything from toy guns that sparks
            To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
            It's easy to see without looking too far
            That not much
            Is really sacred.

            While preachers preach of evil fates
            Teachers teach that knowledge waits
            Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
            Goodness hides behind its gates
            But even the President of the United States
            Sometimes must have
            To stand naked.

            An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
            It's only people's games that you got to dodge
            And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.

            Advertising signs that con you
            Into thinking you're the one
            That can do what's never been done
            That can win what's never been won
            Meantime life outside goes on
            All around you.

            You loose yourself, you reappear
            You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
            Alone you stand without nobody near
            When a trembling distant voice, unclear
            Startles your sleeping ears to hear
            That somebody thinks
            They really found you.

            A question in your nerves is lit
            Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
            Insure you not to quit
            To keep it in your mind and not forget
            That it is not he or she or them or it
            That you belong to.

            Although the masters make the rules
            For the wise men and the fools
            I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.

            For them that must obey authority
            That they do not respect in any degree
            Who despite their jobs, their destinies
            Speak jealously of them that are free
            Cultivate their flowers to be
            Nothing more than something
            They invest in.

            While some on principles baptized
            To strict party platforms ties
            Social clubs in drag disguise
            Outsiders they can freely criticize
            Tell nothing except who to idolize
            And then say God Bless him.

            While one who sings with his tongue on fire
            Gargles in the rat race choir
            Bent out of shape from society's pliers
            Cares not to come up any higher
            But rather get you down in the hole
            That he's in.

            But I mean no harm nor put fault
            On anyone that lives in a vault
            But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.

            Old lady judges, watch people in pairs
            Limited in sex, they dare
            To push fake morals, insult and stare
            While money doesn't talk, it swears
            Obscenity, who really cares
            Propaganda, all is phony.

            While them that defend what they cannot see
            With a killer's pride, security
            It blows the minds most bitterly
            For them that think death's honesty
            Won't fall upon them naturally
            Life sometimes
            Must get lonely.

            My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
            False gods, I scuff
            At pettiness which plays so rough
            Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
            Kick my legs to crash it off
            Say okay, I have had enough
            What else can you show me ?

            And if my thought-dreams could been seen
            They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
            But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.

            Bob Dylan
            It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)



            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Emile Cioran from The Heights of Despair:
            >
            > "When all the current reasons---moral, aesthetic, religious,
            social, and so on---no longer guide one's life, how can one sustain
            life without succumbing to nothingness? Only by a connection with the
            absurd, by love of absolute uselessness, loving something which does
            not have substance but which simulates an illusion of life."
            >
            >
            >
            > The irony of course is how a passion for philosophy can take some
            through circuitous close encounters with all manner of received
            wisdom and in the end deposit them instead into an intellectual
            wasteland that engenders a feeling of being profoundly disconnected
            from all the great thoughts of all the great minds.
            >
            > What happens is this: you try to connect the dots between the great
            ideas floating amidst the clouds of abstraction and the gritty world
            you actually live in and it finally begins to dawn on you the aim was
            quite the opposite. The aim was by and large to take you out of the
            cave altogether...out into the blinding light of Truth.
            >
            > The blinding light of....The Word.
            >
            > The absurd shreds that to bits, of course, but if you're lucky it
            will rescue you from the philosophical straitjacket that is
            either/or. Ambiguity is the ticket. It discards either/or and instead
            suggests another way: neither/nor.
            >
            > Among other things, this increases your options by leaps and
            bounds. And that is because the logocentric truth-tellers always feel
            compelled to follow the stright and narrow path of self-
            righteousness. They are slaves to The Word.
            >
            > And when the absurd turns on you in moments of existential despair
            there are always distractions to divert you---love and sex and sports
            and entertainment and careers and family. The list is practically
            endless. The illusion becomes real because you are able to trick
            yourself psychologically by falling into them.
            >
            > Only death is insurmountable. But then you may reach the point
            where you want to die.
            >
            > Or maybe not. Oblivion admittedly is the toughest nut to crack.
            There are few distractions that work when the doc tells you the tumor
            is inoperable. Not even the absurd helps if you love your life and
            its about to end. Then you have to trick yourself like Plato and Kant
            [and so many others] with philosophy or religion.
            >
            > I wonder how they do that.
            >
            > george
            >
            >
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            > Yahoo! Sports
            > Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Mary Jo Malo
            The more you think about it the more you come to understand there has got to be better things to do. And look around you. Again, the list is endless. Which,
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 1, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              "The more you think about it the more you come to understand there
              has got to be better things to do. And look around you. Again, the
              list is endless. Which, of course, doesn't really explain what the
              hell I am doing in here pointing it out over and over again. But then
              I have never understood myself. And I think I cling to existential
              philosophy because it is the closest thing I have ever come to to
              understanding why I probably never will. That's a comfort of sorts.
              If you know what I mean." g.

              Dear g.

              Wouldn't say that I know exactly what you mean, but close enough to
              agree. We understand that not everyone is able to say "it's all right
              Ma," and many do have a 'bitch'. Problem is, with whom? Certainly not
              all our other unfortunate compadres. At least that's what Camus
              thought. I've yet to face the telephone call that renders my
              existentialism irrelevant. Until then, I'll savor the honey and maybe
              share a little. Mary

              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
              wrote:
              > Living is not about what we know, of course, because there is very
              little we can know [philosophically] regarding our evalutions and
              judgments of human behavior. Instead it is about how we interpret
              what we think we know. And then, in turn, in how others evaluate and
              judge that.
              >
              > The absurd allows you to interpret human behavior in any number of
              ways. And with no final arbiter to be found we have to live with the
              consequences of that.
              >
              > Sometimes [in particular personalities embedded in particular
              circumstances] it makes sense to say, "it's all right Ma, it's life
              and life only". But for other personalities embedded in other sets of
              circumstances that frame of reference seems quite preposterous.
              >
              > The world depicted in Sophie's Choice leaps to mind.
              >
              > I can think of only two reactions that make sense---fighting back
              or clinging all the more to the distractions. Fighting back revolves
              around the relationship between rage and fear. You are enraged at
              what the thugs do in this world but you are fearful that if you do
              fight back they will do the same thing to you. And they have the
              power----the wealth and the armies and the guns and the bombs. And
              you have your moral outrage.
              >
              > So you distract yourself from having to make the committment. And
              then you live with it. Because, you tell yourself, it really is
              ultimately futile no mattter what you do.
              >
              > In many profound ways this is an appallingly shitty world. You
              either come to understand that or you don't.
              >
              > I loved Camus as well. And he chose to fight back, of course.
              Perhaps that was his distraction of choice. But he is gone forever
              and soon you and I will be gone forever too. Is there any reaction to
              that which makes any more sense than any other reaction?
              >
              > The more you think about it the more you come to understand there
              has got to be better things to do. And look around you. Again, the
              list is endless.
              >
              > Which, of course, doesn't really explain what the hell I am doing
              in here pointing it out over and over again. But then I have never
              understood myself. And I think I cling to existential philosophy
              because it is the closest thing I have ever come to to understanding
              why I probably never will.
              >
              > That's a comfort of sorts. If you know what I mean.
              >
              >
              >
              > g.
              >
              >
              > Mary Jo Malo <maryjomalo@y...> wrote:
              > It's all life, George. Either/or and neither/nor. The diversions
              are
              > life. The absurd is life. We really don't need philosophy or
              religion
              > or very many words; we just like them for whatever reason. As you
              > know I enjoy Camus' take on the absurd. He had a disease (TB) for
              > which there was no cure but died an accidental car death. For me
              what
              > he expressed in his writing was that life itself was a hope, that
              > there could be more life. What's more absurd than that? We have to
              > face the fact of death alone and die our death alone. No one can do
              > it for us or reason it away. All the company that we keep can't
              stay
              > that death from us. I recently finished Camus' "Exile and the
              > Kingdom" and especially enjoyed the story, "The Artist at Work" as
              a
              > wonderful expression of the absurd. I found his character Jonas to
              be
              > a more poignant, gentle discoverer of the absurd, not as cowardly
              and
              > calculating as Clamence (The Fall) or as cold and indifferent as
              > Meursault (The Stranger). Mary
              >
              > Darkness at the break of noon
              > Shadows even the silver spoon
              > The handmade blade, the child's balloon
              > Eclipses both the sun and moon
              > To understand you know too soon
              > There is no sense in trying.
              >
              > Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
              > Suicide remarks are torn
              > From the fools gold mouthpiece
              > The hollow horn plays wasted words
              > Proved to warn
              > That he not busy being born
              > Is busy dying.
              >
              > Temptation's page flies out the door
              > You follow, find yourself at war
              > Watch waterfalls of pity roar
              > You feel to moan but unlike before
              > You discover
              > That you'd just be
              > One more person crying.
              >
              > So don't fear if you hear
              > A foreign sound to you ear
              > It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.
              >
              > As some warn victory, some downfall
              > Private reasons great or small
              > Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
              > To make all that should be killed to crawl
              > While others say don't hate nothing at all
              > Except hatred.
              >
              > Disillusioned words like bullets bark
              > As human gods aim for their marks
              > Made everything from toy guns that sparks
              > To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
              > It's easy to see without looking too far
              > That not much
              > Is really sacred.
              >
              > While preachers preach of evil fates
              > Teachers teach that knowledge waits
              > Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
              > Goodness hides behind its gates
              > But even the President of the United States
              > Sometimes must have
              > To stand naked.
              >
              > An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
              > It's only people's games that you got to dodge
              > And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.
              >
              > Advertising signs that con you
              > Into thinking you're the one
              > That can do what's never been done
              > That can win what's never been won
              > Meantime life outside goes on
              > All around you.
              >
              > You loose yourself, you reappear
              > You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
              > Alone you stand without nobody near
              > When a trembling distant voice, unclear
              > Startles your sleeping ears to hear
              > That somebody thinks
              > They really found you.
              >
              > A question in your nerves is lit
              > Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
              > Insure you not to quit
              > To keep it in your mind and not forget
              > That it is not he or she or them or it
              > That you belong to.
              >
              > Although the masters make the rules
              > For the wise men and the fools
              > I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.
              >
              > For them that must obey authority
              > That they do not respect in any degree
              > Who despite their jobs, their destinies
              > Speak jealously of them that are free
              > Cultivate their flowers to be
              > Nothing more than something
              > They invest in.
              >
              > While some on principles baptized
              > To strict party platforms ties
              > Social clubs in drag disguise
              > Outsiders they can freely criticize
              > Tell nothing except who to idolize
              > And then say God Bless him.
              >
              > While one who sings with his tongue on fire
              > Gargles in the rat race choir
              > Bent out of shape from society's pliers
              > Cares not to come up any higher
              > But rather get you down in the hole
              > That he's in.
              >
              > But I mean no harm nor put fault
              > On anyone that lives in a vault
              > But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.
              >
              > Old lady judges, watch people in pairs
              > Limited in sex, they dare
              > To push fake morals, insult and stare
              > While money doesn't talk, it swears
              > Obscenity, who really cares
              > Propaganda, all is phony.
              >
              > While them that defend what they cannot see
              > With a killer's pride, security
              > It blows the minds most bitterly
              > For them that think death's honesty
              > Won't fall upon them naturally
              > Life sometimes
              > Must get lonely.
              >
              > My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
              > False gods, I scuff
              > At pettiness which plays so rough
              > Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
              > Kick my legs to crash it off
              > Say okay, I have had enough
              > What else can you show me ?
              >
              > And if my thought-dreams could been seen
              > They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
              > But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
              >
              > Bob Dylan
              > It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Emile Cioran from The Heights of Despair:
              > >
              > > "When all the current reasons---moral, aesthetic, religious,
              > social, and so on---no longer guide one's life, how can one sustain
              > life without succumbing to nothingness? Only by a connection with
              the
              > absurd, by love of absolute uselessness, loving something which
              does
              > not have substance but which simulates an illusion of life."
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > The irony of course is how a passion for philosophy can take some
              > through circuitous close encounters with all manner of received
              > wisdom and in the end deposit them instead into an intellectual
              > wasteland that engenders a feeling of being profoundly disconnected
              > from all the great thoughts of all the great minds.
              > >
              > > What happens is this: you try to connect the dots between the
              great
              > ideas floating amidst the clouds of abstraction and the gritty
              world
              > you actually live in and it finally begins to dawn on you the aim
              was
              > quite the opposite. The aim was by and large to take you out of the
              > cave altogether...out into the blinding light of Truth.
              > >
              > > The blinding light of....The Word.
              > >
              > > The absurd shreds that to bits, of course, but if you're lucky it
              > will rescue you from the philosophical straitjacket that is
              > either/or. Ambiguity is the ticket. It discards either/or and
              instead
              > suggests another way: neither/nor.
              > >
              > > Among other things, this increases your options by leaps and
              > bounds. And that is because the logocentric truth-tellers always
              feel
              > compelled to follow the stright and narrow path of self-
              > righteousness. They are slaves to The Word.
              > >
              > > And when the absurd turns on you in moments of existential
              despair
              > there are always distractions to divert you---love and sex and
              sports
              > and entertainment and careers and family. The list is practically
              > endless. The illusion becomes real because you are able to trick
              > yourself psychologically by falling into them.
              > >
              > > Only death is insurmountable. But then you may reach the point
              > where you want to die.
              > >
              > > Or maybe not. Oblivion admittedly is the toughest nut to crack.
              > There are few distractions that work when the doc tells you the
              tumor
              > is inoperable. Not even the absurd helps if you love your life and
              > its about to end. Then you have to trick yourself like Plato and
              Kant
              > [and so many others] with philosophy or religion.
              > >
              > > I wonder how they do that.
              > >
              > > george
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ---------------------------------
              > > Yahoo! Sports
              > > Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining
              nothing!
              >
              > Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
              >
              >
              > Visit your group "existlist" on the web.
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
              Service.
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              >
              >
              >
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