an old stream of consciousness that I was too introverted to publish years ago.
Meditation, cycling, vegetarianism, tea-totalism, all virtues I have practiced for years at a time, whoring, smoking, amphetamines, alcohol, burgers and kebabs, all vices similarly perfected. Virtue and vice like directions, like landscapes navigable, sometimes one way, sometimes another. At times, for very practical reasons, you can be too much one way or the other, sometimes you need to cut loose, unwind, be naughty, get messy, sometimes you need to tighten up, get serious, get spiritual minded. You are a little soul, dragging around a corpse, and one day you have to put it down, you have no choice, ascetic or orgy-goer, narcissist or lover of others, the material world is ephemeral, in a very practical way, ephemeral to you, you will die, and then you will not see your loved ones, your eyes will rot in their sockets, you will not feel the sun on your skin, you will be dust. Some people say; “I don’t care, I’ll be dead” but they are wrong, even if it only takes a minute, death takes a long time, you will have time, time to think, to regret, to beg, to desperately try to hang on, to reach out and not fall away. You die while your still alive, while your still in love with living, talking about how you won’t care afterwards is talking besides the point. The material world is ephemeral for every one of us in a way that is so total, so undeniable, so obvious, that most of us, most of the time, can’t see it, don’t believe it, minimise it, deny it. Naturalism, the thesis that the material world explains all, is all, that there can be no recourse to anything outside of its walls, nails its confidence to a house of cards that every single person knows must fall down. So be it. We can see ourselves, see our own flaws and failings, recognise our own pathologies, but we cannot anticipate, cannot guess how these fault lines will be opened up, how our imperfection will be exploited by the reaper, by death, but I have seen it, I have seen the fractures of mind that shaped the five year old boy lie dormant for years before rearing up to assist in the devouring of the 70 year old man, seen people who have lost their minds before their bodies or their bodies before their minds, its like Tetris, we can manage the shapes, but they keep coming, and their historicism, their determinedness is inescapable, eventually you get too many of the wrong shapes, you are not in control, or maybe better, the amount of control you have is insufficient for the task, and you are broken up, along whatever fault lines conspire, and this process, it is determined by the whole path you have walked before, so you should not think that this or that decision is inconsequential, they are all laying down the lines, arranging the bricks… I do not want to suggest that we make our own fate, because obviously this transcends the individual, one is born with a particular genetic disposition, another is not, one is caught in an earthquake, another is not, one is born into war or starvation, another is not, and so on and so on… Sometimes we need to cut loose, we stay buttoned down for too long, pressure mounts, supports are kicked away, we need to rediscover our own freedom, our own wild-ness, our capacity to be alive, to take risks, to venture out into the wider world, to take chances, to get fucked up, and it can help, it can heal… but sometimes we need to make slow miles in the direction of otherworldliness, in the direction of asceticism, we need to slow down the bricks falling in on us, the ravenous cracks opening up to swallow us whole, when we are racing after the touch, the feeling, the satisfaction, when we are lusting or desperate, when we cannot stop needing, when we recognise that there is something sucking us towards the abyss, then we need to stop, we need to chain our mind to the post, and watch, compassionately but with discipline, until it ceases to yank at the chain.