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She had all the attributes of a great character. She was capable of madness, like the affair with her land, but she also possessed a great lucidity. She embodied those contradictions that make for great characters, like when she nearly died upon learning that I enrolled in the Communist Party. But she is not the main hero of my body of work, nor the most permanent. No, I am the most permanent. Writing is to write for oneself… We separate ourselves from people by writing.”

-Marguerite Duras
Me & Other Writing

excess

One must also recognize that morality is based on ideas and that all ideas are dangerous—dangerous because ideas can only lead to action and where the action leads no man can say. And dangerous in this respect: that confronted with the impossibility of remaining faithful to one’s beliefs, and the equal impossibility of becoming free of them, one can be driven to the most inhuman excesses.”

-James Baldwin
Stranger in the Village

💧

…and this was the point where this senseless, unworthy, non-meritorious, melancholy, brooding, but all the while sweet-as-honey and vividly convincing prophetic proclamation began to dissolve into a sound of an entirely different order, the words, sentences, voice, speech, morphing into slow gossamer-light increments into a so-called eternal sound of running water… a flurry of words began to whirl again, that the Whole exists in its wholeness, the Parts in their own particularity, and the Whole and the Parts cannot be lumped together, they don’t follow from one another, since the waterfall for example is not composed of individual drops, for single drops would never constitute a waterfall, but drops nonetheless do exist, and how heartrendingly beautiful they can be when they sparkle in the sunlight, indeed how long do they exist? a flash, and they are gone, but they still have time in this almost timeless flash to sparkle…

…perhaps there really is no other day, only this single one, or not even this, which amounts to the same thing now in his quivering brain, and the same holds true in this brain regarding the stories, those too had given his brain a good scare, for in vain there might be ten, a hundred, a thousand million stories day after day in this insane inferno, on that one and only day, or not even then, in vain does this or that happen and keep happening ten, a hundred, a thousand million times in the alleys and major intersections, on this one and only day, or not even then, it’s as if among all those stories only a single one were true, or not even one, so that the succession of days one after another, or the stack of stories mounting up one on top of the other: neither of them holds up, neither exists, one cannot rely on them, cannot rely on anything, here everything operates under the aegis of a raving madness, albeit not at a command from above or below but because each and every element of existence is insane in its own right.”

-László Krasznahorkai
The World Goes On

Question

What if widespread dwindling mental health has less to do with what’s going on inside individuals and more to do with what’s going on outside? And instead of varying levels of sickness, we’re witnessing varying levels of sensitivity/reaction? Is the intention to heal individuals a lost cause (albeit critical) if we do not acknowledge larger issues concerning the way we live/consume/develop as a whole?

Question

Can humans ever be/act without emotion? Is there a neutral non-emotive state? Can people ever act solely out of ‘moral duty’* sans sensations of emotion? Or do we really just discredit actions rooted in more ‘intense’ emotions like passion, but accept actions rooted from more mild/calm/passive/mindful/whatever states as stable or ‘neutral?’ Isn’t every human action tied to emotion—be it intense or mild? Is it possible to measure/observe/categorize a singular motive of an act, or are all motives inherently tied to a mix of thoughts/feelings/sensations?

‘translinguistic glossolalia’

12 hours of Terence 

“If flying saucers were to land on the south lawn of the White House tomorrow, it wouldn’t change the fact that DMT is the weirdest thing in the universe… I will never forget my first DMT trip because I was such a case going into it. I mean, if you had known me when I was 19 years old… I was into Jean-Paul Sartre, Camus, Marxism, Freud… I was a jerk. And I came down from it and I was like: I can’t believe it. I was in shock. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. Jesus. I can’t believe it! And I said I’ve got to go back to square one. In a single experience, I was converted from naive rationalism/realism/reductionism to my present position, whatever it is. Really all I’ve done is worked out the personal implications of the DMT flash and tried to create linguistic models of it… It shows you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the world is made of magic. That’s what the world is made of. Not natural law. Not interlocking cause and effect. Not any of these things that are normally associated… The world is magic. Not a little bit. 100%. Every atom from one end of this cosmos to the other is magic magic magic. Certain concerns just die in the first 30 seconds of the DMT flash and can never be brought back to my mind… Some people are not good candidates for the psychedelic experience because they’ve been damaged by life in some way, and so for them, boundaries shouldn’t be dissolved because their whole challenge is to keep boundaries in place. And I remember one case particularly: a woman, who was a friend of mine, I really liked her, but I thought of her as ‘fragile’—not somebody you wanted to lean on in a crisis—she smoked DMT; thrashed, moaned, rolled her eyes back, gave all the exterior symptoms of really having grabbed on. After about ten minutes, she sat up and said: It didn’t work. Nothing happened. I said: Nothing happened? Well, you wanna try again? No way… never, ever, again. So it did work, but the personality was somehow able to seal itself off from the implication. Because the implications quite literally would have destroyed that person. It was a truth they weren’t ready for. And I suppose it’s wonderful that DMT saves you from that. I felt in danger of dying from astonishment when I did it. And I do every time I do it. I mean I don’t know how they keep the lid on this stuff. I think that this is the secret that wants to be told. I think that we are, in a sense, involved in a little cosmic drama here. Fate has chosen you to hear about this. If you’ve never heard about it before, you’re hearing about it now. Now, you don’t have to do anything with the fact that you’re hearing about it, but you have been told at this point. If you now go forward and live in your mundane-stock-portfolio-BMW existence, it’s because you’re making a choice.”

não é nada

There we lived for a time, a time incapable of passing, in a space one could not even think of measuring. A passing of time outside of Time, a space that knew nothing of the usual habits of real space… O futile companion of my tedium, what hours of happy disquiet seemed to be ours! Hours of ashen wit, days of spatial longing, inner centuries of outer landscapes… And we did not ask ourselves what it was for, because we took pleasure in knowing it wasn’t for anything.”

-Fernando Pessoa
The Book of Disquiet