I can’t concentrate; my consciousness is everywhere. Nope, I’m not talking about some meditation-induced hyperawareness in which conscious thought diffuses radially from a central nexus of being until the cosmos is entirely present to the internal Eye/I. Nah, none of that psychic arcanistry. In what seems like a mocking perversion of omnipresence, my mind feels like it’s been sundered and partitioned into spaces–a fragmented topos–and each piece of frayed fabric dyed with a shade here, a hue there. I leap and vault from one magic carpet to another–whole new worlds are at once raised and shattered: raised, only to be shattered, like some sick joke played by an ennui-ridden Maker.
Meaning. All my frustration, grief, and anger have precipitated from the compulsion to make meaning ex nihilo. To (en)force presence where there is none–where there is absence, that placid, sempiternal corpse; some things were dead from the start, but I could not recognize death-as-being. Or else, I misrecognized the primordial absence as a hungering for presence–a desire that craved satiation. So I stuffed that ravenous maw ravenously–almost out of spite, because why would God create absence when it was in his power to present? When we create meaning, we foreclose possibilities of meaning; in signification, we silence ambiguity–its dying gasps are met with our first words. We condemn and catastrophize with our semantic architecture; we conjure grand Pandemoniums and sky-breaking Babelian towers; sprawling tombs choked with corpses of royal dead, chambers and courtyards replete with blasphemous riches and amoral harems. All this we raise from the abyssal void of absence–and what for? To sustain the fantasy of that Eden which was never ours to begin with.
To be sure, there never was Paradise.But yes, I have catastrophized all my losses only because I’ve always wanted them to mean something. By signifying them–by fastening signified to signifier–I fixate on the fictional presence superimposed on a natural absence/ab-sense/nonsense. I was never–in my human capacity–obligated to throw that absence a second glance, but to merely accept the chasm as a feature of presence, as how one observes mountains and valleys alternating. But no, I needed and still need, closure. I need to dam(n) that absence, that gaping alterity. I have to make the loss meaningful in the most literal, pedantic sense of the word; it must mean something because of everything that I’ve lost. But by now, I think, I ought to know that commemoration is catastrophe.
That is why I must try not to impose meaning on everything that I own or lose. I am everything that I own, and very soon I will be everything that I lose because surprise–everything must die. If I persist in being wantonly sentimental, I risk foreclosing my entire life–my whole Self–to a single monolithic narrative no less hateful than the metanarratives of the ancients; and only because I need closure and despise ambiguity.
I need to stop taking myself and everything around me so seriously, and I don’t mean being facetious about things one ought to treat with gravity. I mean being ironic, unabashedly. Okay so what if I’ve loved carelessly and lost my heart (whatever that is) at sea? Let me then lose until I learn. Let me desire until I can finally realise that love and loss are dialectical, that we can never fully love without the overhanging shadow of loss.
But above all, let me desire and desire irrationally. Let me disarm myself of Reason, just momentarily–just so I don’t have to explain myself, to explain why I should or should not love someone, to convince myself why I should or should not miss someone. It is mortally exhausting to have to qualify something as psychologically complex as love, in the face of a thousand possibilities and contingencies. Love/desire/limerence is capricious, selfish, possessive–so let it be. It’s funny how I’m only beginning to realise this now. But hey, it’s about time.
If there is one thing I’ve lately learnt–or that experience has demonstrated–it is that there is no such thing as a humanly experienced transcendental Love; it is not accessible to us. Platonic/Transcendental Love does not desire; it cannot. For it to be transcendental, it must be timeless and unchanging–that is the love of gods.
All iterations of (romantic) love are phenomenological in nature–it is felt, in its full consuming force; mercurial, paroxysmal, wanting, fallen, or falling. How ever can we speak of and attest to the metaphysical Love if all we can do is perceive with our fallible senses? It is at best inferred, if not constructed. Constructedness–I must be aware of its constructedness: ideals and expectations that I can never hope to completely satisfy.
A paradigm shift is in progress–some kind of intrapsychic eclipse is ongoing, as I begin to abandon Platonic idealism for a Aristotelean humanism. Have I grown cynical? Perhaps I have; but I’d rather think I’ve been forced to be more critical, more aware that Eden is a fictional space, or a mental state–one that has no place on Earth. But truth be told, I am reluctant. I am reluctant to think and speak outside a system of Forms–of stable transcendental signifieds–because I need its dedication to absolute presence, closure, and therefore, assurance. By squaring every human phenomenon with the divine template, everything is blessed with meaning.
Something tells me I will never be able to completely forsake the Platonic philosophy, which in part convinces me that I can never lose faith in God. But I must concede that I am Human–and from me these ideals are forever removed. My gaze, having long been transfixed on the metaphysical, must be redirected to the earthly–the sensory, the physical, the mechanical, the absence, the artifice.
Or rather I, while keeping my gaze to the heavens, must learn to feel the earth beneath and all around me. Or else, I am simply a mortal fool living by eternal laws, whose high virtues will always remind me that I can never be good enough for anyone–not even myself.
A part of me wishes, that there were an Aristotle incarnate somewhere today to teach me, in all my idealism, to stay grounded because I am only Human. To be carefree without being careless; or to love and lose unapologetically.
Because we don’t have many sunsets left to watch.