[this piece to be read while listening to Midnight In A Perfect World, DJ Shadow]
The above is a quote from Alfred Borden, played by the brilliant Christian Bale, from “The Prestige,” which I watched for the 33rd-ish time last night and *still* discovered something new. This movie has, more than anything, revealed the extent to which my viewpoint and understanding of human behavior differ from others’.
…Still, I’m sure no one but me and the Nolans know the movie well enough that we can identify when Alfred is Alfred and when Bernard is Alfred (and we are also among the few who know Alfred’s brother’s name).
Are you watching closely?
I have calmed my mind to a satisfactory degree. It was my October project. A project taken up following its self-genesis. …When one is in the swaddling embrace of nirvana — which is nothingness, sports fans, and so you may wanna sit this one out… It is the absence of thought, the negation of the self, the unbeing… It is the mind able to pay no mind — one realizes it only as one leaves. And one learns and accomplishes nothing with this, the perfection of meditation… Perhaps perfection of the self, in moments freed of absolutely everything…
I first came from this place gasping and terrified and with the answer to the question What is death(?). And, of course, in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,/When we haue ſhufflel’d off this mortall coile,/Muſt giue us pause. There’s the respect/That makes Calamity of long life:/For who would beare the Whips and Scornes of time,/The Oppreſſors wrong, the poore mans Contumely,/The pangs of diſpriz’d Loue, the Lawes delay,/The inſolence of Office, and the Spurnes/That patient merit of the vnworthy takes,/When he himſelfe might his Quietus make/With a bare Bodkin? Who would theſe Fardles beare/To grunt and ſweat vnder a weary life,/But that the dread of ſomething after death,/The vndiſcouered Countrey, from whoſe Borne/No Traueller returnes, Puzels the will,/And makes vs rather beare those illes we haue,/Then flye to others that we know not of./Thus Conſcience does make Cowards of vs all,
It’s funny to me (and ironic in the “definition of ironic” way, not the whatever it’s commonly thought to be way) that of all Shakespeare’s players, I abhor Hamlet most of all — oh so much more — but am quite sure he nevertheless has a soliloquy or at least an aside for any given occurrence, topic, etc. Please forgive my indulgence above, and survived the spelling used in the First Folio.
…And so the dreams that come to me after my almost-daily deaths are the stuff that enervates my will, that have made me able to program my self as having anhydrosis before sanity or even the least bit of logic taps my shoulder and says softly into my ear: Um, that’s impossible dumbass… Know that, right?
(I must note that — and this is hilarious to a super-geek-nerd who is me — I believe Hamlet speaks for the vast majority of humans in the above soliloquy. People fear the unknown (I do not experience fear as a visceral, physically affecting thing as most seem to. Most of my life has been spent finding very high things to jump off with various devices and doing various tricks. I freefell 35 feet in shoes. 75 with skis, 30ish out. Off roofs with skates and bio 540s, 15 out. 80 down on a catch-you-cable. I have walked to the edge of 10 meter platforms at pools more than a few times and taken the stairs down each time.)
(OK now I will say you and everyone else believe in some nebulous deity — the god you believe in, if you’re christian, say, is not the god defined by the doctrine and dogma of your faith, 100 percent guaranteed. Especially since most of you are Paulists and Paul was a goddamned heretic and Luther thought himself an apostle and all of this whole sick crew called Protestants think believing in Jesus is enough to blah blah blah. K. This atheist believes in Jesus — actually considers him an archetype and agrees with almost every single thing he is likely to have said and I know I agree because I have read his purported words, which atheists do and always have done in considerably greater numbers, proportionately, than the “faithful,” who have faith in a god so good he’ll give them wings for standing in a building saying shit they didn’t fucking understand nor consider attempting to. And truly, unless you’re a student of literature, you’re better off not misconstruing the Bible. Any Gospel writer would laugh till they pissed at evangelical literalists (who ignore the entirety of Deuteronomy, and Leviticus as well as Jesus’s character and example, best summarized thusly: Don’t be a dick. …See, because evangelicals are fucking dicks. Only a dick could be a dick to people using words from the Bible taken out of context etc etc… Jesus hated rich people. Hated churchgoers. Hated people publicizing their piety (which is disgustingly impious, of course, one oughtn’t need Jesus to spell that out for them). Hated the powerful. Hated the self-righteous. The immodest. Etc. That is: Jesus would totally fucking hate you. Read the gospels ya dipshit.)
(RIGHT! The dreams that come do not give me pause, but have made me the one person who has cured pain. I did so through action that meant torturing myself daily for about two years — I made the pain go using a modified and you have no fucking idea etc method involving self-hypnosis that inculcated a permanent looping thought in my subconscious (the pain is not real) and, having done that, I then made myself act as though this thought were the truth. And so I walked about 10 miles daily until the one I passed out, gasping, hyperthermic, blood red, my phone dying in my hand displaying the number 9 and the number 4 because blah blah I missed…)
(This has been the most idiotic way of writing that Hamlet is a fucking coward — it’s his defining trait — and so are most all persons and this is why you think someone has thought of some god who has some place he will put you when your brain ceases functioning ergo you cease to be because cogito ergo sum is the only truth one can know to be true… –Sorry, I got trapped writing this series of parentheticals but now realize “The time has come … to talk of many things:/Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–/Of cabbages–and kings–/And why the sea is boiling hot–/And whether pigs have wings.” Apologies. I must leave you at The Turn…)
One of those was making myself cease having the ability to feel pain. In doing this I drove myself insane, clinically, as in I was pukishly dissociative for a week, and then likely clinically psychotic (not violent, people — psychosis is a lot of things… The main one is dissociative fugue, which is the feeling one is not oneself. I went through this because without pain I had to adjust to what was ultra-mega-extreme sensory deprivation).
Last year I would have married a girl who often has dissociative fugues. If I told you the why I’d be copping to the premeditation of a thing that hasn’t happened. If I told you any more I’d be a shitheel of a person, nevermind layman psychologist who is better than anyone you’ve seen. I could do a stint in a hospital and get a lisence to shrink but it’d be amazingly unprofitable and boring — I’m able to tell a person where they live, with whom, about their parents, vices, haircuts, transportation, etc with as little as a few sentences written to insult me.
Give me ten minutes and as many questions and your life will be as clear as my memory of anything that occurred more than two weeks ago. (Eidetic memory is not bullshit, but it is imperfect for most — mine turns numbers into blurs and is autobio in that it captures what I care about perfectly, and also faces… My mind is full of thousands of holographic heads… I’ve been trying not to see a person’s face for five or more minutes if I know I won’t see them again…)
But I loved her and when she turned the other way on me as I should have known would happen it was the only time that’s been done to me. And it would surely hurt if I could hurt, and it likely would hurt to the degree I did hurt each second each day each of seven years…
It is as though a golf ball-size hollow exists left of my sternum just below the clavicle. …Truly: I feel this sensation always. …It isn’t fibro pain (and fuck yours if you have it you know nothing I fucking swear)… It is a thing that isn’t there.
It is nothing. It is all in my mind.
I just saw a picture of her as I trimmed my file trees as I swept up my machine after an install of Android on my tablet PC, where it can now boot just as Ubuntu and/or Windows (games. Shut the fuck up).
And I thought of her and I thought of how I suddenly knew how to install and boot Android Lollipop on PC and how I loved her and why and when and what for and why she is whom she is and someone worries me because I worry about a situation in which my logical ethics demand certain moral action and it occurred to me even now with my mind playing one instrument while conducting the orchestra I still had a means to write about nothing…
…Even if I lack the energy (flu shots give me flu, I only got one because it helps someone else) to do it properly — with the style it and everything ought have — I’ve got tricks I play on myself I could share because I develop empathy for people quite slowly and so have none for etc…
…Now you’re looking for the secret. But you won’t find it; because, of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.
alienandroid: they are all your hat.