I don’t know who he is but I know where he is … the Other side. The Spirit world, man! You see, it’s always the same. There’s no stoppin’ what can’t be stopped. No killin’ what can’t be killed. I feel him all around! You can’t see the eyes of the demon ’till he comes a’ calli-n’. This is dread, man, truly dread. [King Willie]
Perhaps it’s a bit obvious to say that justice starts and ends in the mirror, but before a person can understand others they must understand themselves. “¡Ay!” as Hamlet once put it, “there’s the rub.”
Science and religion are what most folks turn to for explanations; by adopting other people’s ideas of how the universe works perhaps it will bring some peace to a soul full of uncertainty? Most often it doesn’t since man-made languages do not have the capacity to express metaphysical concepts in any way that could be deemed satisfactory, but I can certainly recognize that feeling of doubt when facing Mysteries beyond my own ability to explain. It’s all about cosmic Horrors, after all.
“Life,” Groucho Marx once said, “is a whim of several billion cells just being you for a while.”
It’s the spaces between those cells that I find curious. “A breath of air,” Jean-Paul Sartre said. All the formless and unmanifested energy that we so blithely call the soul. A rainbow in a land that only dreams in black and white. Theseus’ “airy nothing.” The forms of things unknown. Chaos manifested. The formless form that defies definition.
Most people think of justice in lawyer terms of fairness, cause + effect and accountability; in other words, concrete ideas that arise from needing to live together and function as a society. The more theoretical one gets, the harder it is to apply these concepts to anyone else, let alone yourself. Without some random hierarchical system to wrap our heads around the chaos of not knowing torments us and we are a species infatuated with hierarchy.
In Buddhist philosophy the voidless Void constitutes supreme actuality, “Sunyata is not a negation of existence but rather the cosmic undifferentiation out of which all souls, discrimination and dualities arise.” Perhaps that is the burden of being homosapiens driven by insatiable curiosity coupled with the futility of trying to define the undefinable? If you can define it then it isn’t undefinable. Can the same be said about knowing oneself? Is there some sort of due process that the soul must pass through? Unsurprisingly, I do not have the words for that.
“Fucking voodoo magic [*], man! You know what? I’ll tell you what I believe: shit happens.”
[*] There is voodoo and there is magic and put together there is redundancy. The fact that they’re spoken in the same breath in Predator 2 (1990) was due to the producers worrying that the audience wouldn’t know what Rastafarians were and for reasons not even the Tao can explain decided to keep King Willie and company Jamaican instead of, say, Haitian, where being a follower of Baron Samedi would make far more sense.
Notes on Notes:
It’s been pointed out to me that my hand-writing is barely readable so here are what the notes say:
Hiding, secrets and not being able to be yourself is one of the worst things ever for a person. It gives you low self-esteem. You never get to reach that peak in your life. You should always be able to be yourself and be proud of yourself. [Grace Jones]
Everyone loves justice in the affairs of another but never in ourselves.
Augustine’s theory of the transmission of original sin by way of the sexual urge which is the typical form of ‘concupiscence’, the lusting of flesh against spirit, has had a most disastrous influence upon much of traditional Christian ethics. [J. Burnaby]
Humanity, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, we are the worst of all. [Aristotle]
I have a fifteen year old daughter who thinks that I always had this self confidence that I have now at the age of sixty. I always tell her that what she is going through, the low self-esteem as a teenager, that is a right of passage. [Iman]
So long as there stands yet in the way any wrong so cankerous as reprisal for our own destinies, so long must the women skald of the future cry unwelcome truth in the market-place. [Elizabeth Robbins]
Altarwise by owl-light in the half-way house/ the gentleman lay graveward with his furies;/ abandoned in the hangnail cracked by Adam,/ and, from his fork, a dog among the fairies,/ the atlas-eater with a jaw for news,/ bit out the mandrake with to-morrow’s scream./ Then, penny-eyed, that gentleman of wounds,/ old cock from nowheres and the heaven’s egg,/ with bones unbuttoned to the half-way winds,/ hatched from the windy salvage on one leg,/ scraped at my cradle in a walking word/ that night of time under the Christward shelter:/ I am the long world’s gentleman, he said,/ and share my bed with Capricorn and Cancer. [Dylan Thomas]