Monday, June 19, 2017

Being and Nothingness

I stand just outside the crowd watching them speaking in nouns about what everybody recognizes and knows, things everybody can agree on. That's what makes them whole, what wakes them up in the morning. That's what the day is and what the night is not. They face each other every morning and talk about agreed things—interspersing the nouns with words of motion and action so that the words make things happen to each other in their brains.

And if a new thing, gathers space, and squeezes itself into birth for them. It may take time, but there will eventually be a new noun which everyone will append to their conversation—in the meantime exchewing some old nouns. And civilization chugs along like an amazing ameboid, alternatively adding and shedding, extending forward and shrinking behind.

They all have exquisite models in their brains, populated by the things the nouns represent and made dynamic by the verbs. In fact they don't need the words, they lose them sometimes and can't reach out to the things that everybody has in their brains, everybody understands. But they can always get some help. These things are real. They always stand and sit around making sounds corresponding to the names of things everybody recognizes, although not everybody has personally experienced. Reality doesn't have to have activated the senses to be real. The senses, in a futuristic or fictional form, or in the form of suspended doubt and trust are welded into the words and into the brain models that form the currency the word are the tokens for.

I watch this. Beware! They are map makers and chart makers. They are formulators of elements. They push each piece, articulated, needed, useful into the asymmetrical matrix of their lives and stamp reality on each piece by bringing it forth to the mass. They view spaces that their eyes stretch open and they know spaces spread out by the movement of time. They make things out of empty spaces and gatherings of elements. All these are rounded and hardened by their tokens and sharing into inflections of the gasseous cloud around them.

There are no colors here. Light burns harder here and less hard there and the particles slam into the stone at different rates. What they think they see is just their joint illusion. The air is vacant except for the wind. With mouths they make these tiny disturbances. They are lucky they can do that. What a bleak skeleton is the Earth, yet they rejoice in delusion. They see themselves in every crook and twist of the molecules. They see their faces where there is no intelligence and no life, in the barrens.

He turned from the ice cold table where the specimen was pinned out legs and arms akimbo and abdomen exposed. The blood stained welts were visible on the flanks and inner thighs. He turned away from the humiliating, uncaring death and stalked out of the lab. There was no getting sympathetic with them, he thought. Research needs distance. We can learn about ourselves only by studying an alien subject, else our viewing and our feelings will change what we observe. He knew that universal principle. And it was also a matter of power. To observe and to cut off sympathy made him feel so good. He could render them helpless and open them, violate them. He couldn't avoid the sense fo triumph.

The feelings were like fluid gasses rolling over the trees, making the colors, drawing them to the colors. The community never believed in colorlessness. The Earth lived in colors, the insects, the birds, the monkeys, we all hated the rocks. Color was the subject of God. Color was what God breathed on us. It was inside us. A translation into the language of our bodies and the bodies of the creatures around us. The people smelled the life of the soil in the air. The world spoke together in the alphabet of maps.


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