And so, without further ado, I present:
EXCERPTS FROM THE "NOTHING SOMETHING EVERYTHING" NOTEBOOKS
I tried to survive in a vacuum
In lieu of everything, I tried to be nothing
I held my breath & lost consciousness & when I awoke, there was no I
Remove that which forms you & you will be formless
Kill every hornet in the swarm & you are left with air
Like shedding a succession of nesting dolls
…repeating into infinity, or nothingness?
…or are you left with a core?
I hoped to unpeel memory, identity, idiosyncrasy, to get at the core beneath
Only to gasp for breath as each disposed rind uncovered nothing, not even air
We have no core because we are everything at once
The core means nothing without the surrounding layers
The layers create the core
One thing is just as important as everything else
We invent the center
Is our core nothing but a magnet attracting experiences and interests?
A pole as a point in the spectrum, determining perception
(Who wrote these words? What being, what consciousness?)
(To break out of the squishy box. Break through. Break out of oneself.)
(What would be left—a self tied to the body, lashed to the mast of a ship without a captain?)
I’ve been throwing away memories…finally I may throw away my self…
I isolated myself. I closed myself off and I widened the gaps in my self & I fell through
I must place a sign at the edge of consciousness: Go no further.
My memory has many holes
I am forgetting who I was & now I don’t know who I am
Who is in this skin?
I am a snake eating its own head. I am a snake shedding its own self.
(The self eats the self)
Will I even forget my self?
One day I may forget the last drop of me, squeezed out through a narrowing mind
I stripped away everything. Now I am barely anywhere.
Every morning when I wake up, I’ve forgotten a little bit more of who I was
and a little bit more of who I am.
I slowly poisoned my body with solitude
Sweating ideas, each bead escaping a fragment, a concept
The night I convulsed, & writhed, & lost
Lost breath & lost senses, eaten up by the mind
(Divert blood flow from the brain)
(Send electrical circuits sparkling somewhere else, shuttling somewhere else)
(Tossing and turning)
I collapsed & suddenly realized I had been running
My past beat my persona into being & my present beat my persona to a pulp
I erased people/places/things; I went over & over the same material until it screamed
My drive to know/experience everything became a drive to know/experience nothingness
My body isn’t the one with the death wish
My mind has disconnected from my body (& this is not a good thing)
(Communication breakdown between body & head. Head takes control but doesn’t know what it’s doing, needs body, needs to order body where to go, but body doesn’t need the mind, but a mindless body doesn’t know it’s alive)
I blanked out fighting to fill in the blanks.
Leaping across the void, no longer lingering
Parallel facedown on barren darkness
An interloper in the palace of my mind & the intruder is myself
We can’t break out of the mind
What to clear away to get to this—raw, scary—a beating heart or a throbbing brain
The beating of the wings of a bird straining against its cage to fly away
(Words recurring, neurons revolving, writing revealing the mind uncoiling)
What is the choice? To avoid all people? To cast off life? To dissolve into thought?
No choice? We have no choice?
To read minds, to walk through walls, to be invisible.
To be not here. To be not there. To be nowhere.
I blocked your signal
I established distance
Why did I feel more within myself than I felt for others?
Now I am no one
Out of touch will drive you out of mind
I thought, if I am removed from reality, I can objectively question it
Not realizing that a self can think objectively, but there can never be an objective self
A self is, by definition, subjective
You need others to obtain your objectivity
Between their subjectivity & your subjectivity, you have objectivity
One can bring up objective criteria, but everything is processed through the self
I stopped moving. And I forgot.
I vowed to exist as little as possible. Not a vow of silence, but a vow of non-presence.
Self-imposed exile. Not only from others. Exile from the self, imposed by the self.
I wanted to take myself out of the equation, remove my effect on others. Damage control.
We are all time bombs.
Bombs, fragments, prisms, blood jewels, facets, flak, shards, pieces, parts, cogs,
(Bomb defused = suicide)
Bystanders are collateral damage—contain the explosion—
Brain exploding. What identity? Too hot. All in head.
My connections are eating themselves
Unhinged but understandable…
An explosion without direction (moving in every direction at once—burning itself up)
Big Bang; sperm hits the egg; lava birth of the island
Expanding, overtaking. No center. All points/parts moving away from each other
I am chemicals. Sloshing around in my brainpan. Tides.
(An unspooling tape.)
(The guards are down)
My stream of consciousness turning to steam
A throbbing burn. If we could leave our bodies. Neuroses. Mind and body connected/flayed/splayed tightly against/to a nervous system. This all comes from the system, from connections…
How dare you call me cold—this is raw thought, these are twitching nerves
When the conscious mind works against its own will, twists
Facilitating and hindering at the same time
I did not want to be a cliché. I did not want to be predictable.
I did not want to be quantifiable & yet I reduced myself to pieces
I did not want anyone to have to sacrifice their time for me…to experience no frustration over my actions.
I will be absent. I will not change. I will remain a memory to them. Yet I forget.
When we are distracted, we do things we shouldn’t
Never dispose of the necessities
(Call me a sea squirt)
(We all have our essentials)
We may mistake a distraction for an essential or never notice a necessity at all
I wanted to remove all the distractions, but then I started removing the supports
Then the pieces crumbled, sunk away into the deep, went back to spread out
In the end, I leapt from one piece to another to preserve the connection
Now I sit on a patch of ice on the surface of my mind
Stranded on melting islands of ice in the diminishing sea of my mind
I drop my hand in the water trying to draw the ice back together
so that they may approximate for before, while still not being whole
I analyzed myself right out of existence
Wringing my twisting mind dry
Away from everyone, suddenly, I had nothing to do. The bottom dropped out.
Others help us get over ourselves
I know I’m losing it. I want to lose it in the best possible way.
I am a book. I am the story.
Trying to channel an explosion. To turn a scream polysyllabic.
I am silt
Apocalypse Nowhere—my destruction/revelation is not based in geography
(Or rather, it is based in mental geography. I ventured deep into consciousness to try to emerge on the other side)
I could hear myself think I could feel myself split
There is no unified self. I’m looking to collect all the crumbs.
I need a context…
My epiphany, post-catastrophe
Self-conception: I conceived myself?
Away from friends—unsure of their existence—and so afraid of mine
Thought of my future as my past—like there was no choice
Place should be irrelevant
Push on through break on through rubble’s on the floor maybe the wall’s the floor---what’s the gravity of the situation?
What would it feel like to go mad?
To glimpse reality—is reality too banal to behold? The magnificence of homeostasis and cycles and entropy…a closed system—which cannot transcend itself
Disconnect. Disconnection. Disembody. Disembodiment. Discorporate. Discorporation.
My self was my best friend but I got rid of all my friends, including my self
System crashed, mind forgot.
Am I coherent?
I strained for passage to unvisited skies
Spent years stretching back the catapult
And now I’m flying, flailing, falling
Is this what I wanted?
My thinking took over and strove to numb my feeling
I used to be torn between wanting to help others and wanting to be alone
Then I was torn between myself—between sanity and insanity
Turning reptilian, reclusive, remote
My consciousness played cruel jokes on my subconscious
My body gave up—seceded from the tyranny of my mind
Until slumbering deep reeled back & reined me in
I wanted to be a recluse getting my daily dose of society by hiding in the bushes & listening to people as they go by but moving away the second before I see them or they see me—bungee jumping, where the bungee cord is my depression and other people are the ground
I wrote, letting pen carry me, keeping me afloat, as perspective submerged & I observed in third person, pen snakes across the page, carrying me, carrying me, swooping across the page like an aerial attack with kamikaze inkblots, planes flown by demons, mental legs stretch and run, pens swoops down and bears me up, carries me out, scribbling, scribbling, mind a blank as pages are filled. Ink spilled and this happened.
This is how it feels to stretch yourself thin
Poured my self out and left with emptiness
Even the vessel cracked
The basest element of the self will pull you down
I thought, escape the self’s gravity & you will feel clean
Caught in orbit, or free to roam space… pulled by a strong force perhaps collapsing in on oneself…
Ink spilled and this happened
My body is a marionette and only sometimes do I hold the strings.
I’ve got demons. Might as well make my demons dance.
Twitch, limbs! Curl, lips!
I knew it was time to run when I was scared of little children.
One wrong move & you’re 80 years old alone in a sad little house on a dismal street.
I don’t have to explain where I came from
I don’t know what I am, or what I am going. Mad?
Does it even matter who I am? You either agree with me or you don’t.
I didn’t care where I came from—I thought it restricted me
Who cares where we came from? We’re here.
A concise history
(I used to be positive about everything. The best would come for everyone. Now I don’t think anything works the way we want it to…
I used to believe that everything they wanted would happen)
I like another way out. Just in case.
A backdoor out of the prison/palace of the self, an escape clause in the restrictions on consciousness.
In this jumble, who can isolate the beginning?
The beginning is hard to find. Because nothing ends?
From nothing we came & nothing we become
(They say it’s the journey that matters, dismissive of the starting point…)
I needed to leave, to see, objectively, who I was
But I was who I was with, and now they are gone
If you turn your back on your friends, you invite them to turn their backs on you
Rather than committing to others, I committed myself to the mind’s insular institution…
I followed the thread, which led me to a frayed edge
Better to buttress a self than to obliterate it—blobs of jelly can’t help anyone
Create a better person (more compassionate, empathetic)
Deconstruction at the service of reconstruction
Away from my friends, it was easier to believe they never existed
I have slid into solipsism
I retained my capacity for experience—but I have nothing left to experience
Location changed, left me enjambed
across the dark, vast continent of consciousness
imagining meaning in the absence of melody
I can’t tell if I love or hate humanity, or only certain specimens
I can’t tell if I hate the person I was or if I want to be him again
The memories in my mind resist the face in my mirror
I thought I could avoid choice—but this is itself a choice
Dancing on the buzzing light of a life in paradox…when everything speeds up so fast that it evaporates, or maybe freezes…enjoy the treat…
My very being expresses a giant question mark. ? the fuse to a bomb which will explode when I find out there are no answers…so I travel up and down its length to distract myself from the end…
I would be happy with a lobotomy—if I finally got that lobotomy I always wanted…
I am unfinished. I thought I could finish me, but the only finish comes with death
The best thing for me would be to like myself and respect more people
Turns out I’d rather be at peace than in pieces
Concentrated, not distracted
Not scattered, but amassed
How much can I give up, what can I give up, sacrifice…
We are not whole, but then again, nothing is
We can always advance…
There may be no everlasting peace so enjoy what pieces you find
Feeling your pulse and seeking your friends
Maybe I missed something
Maybe I need to trick my self. But where did that thought come from?
I proved (to my self) that the self cannot (should not?) transcend itself
The self dissolving itself…
I have failed in my quest. I thought that destroying my self would make me pure. I forgot that it was my self that made people respond—it was my self that people loved. Now I am in pieces, and the self I construct will be a piecemeal creature. Something in my subconscious is a janitor, forlornly sweeping the detritus of my consciousness back into a whole. Glue together the shards of a bowl. It’s a mockery, an imitation. When I am no longer myself, I cannot even imitate myself as I once could. I have failed.
The world of the finite is the world of boundaries. To exist, you need limits: shape, mass, form. It is only the separation from everything that allows you to exist. Even if the elements among everything are the same, you are a very specific combination.
Though you are separate—and though you cannot communicate with other beings on a one-to-one ratio, to know/feel whowhatwhenwherewhyhow they really know/feel—you have an obligation to help them…to try to know/feel them. Because it is better than the alternative: to disappear into the self. We can embrace others and go beyond our self, or embrace our self and devour our self.
I got tired of people. I didn’t want to interact with them anymore.
This is the reason why my identity is scattered, why I seem like so many different people
It’s because I even bore myself. & so I change myself to excite myself.
(Oscillate. Channel surfing.)
I cleaved myself from my friends
I was trying to perform the least violent act—
—to remove myself naturally. Let body run its course and mind run to…
The reason I strayed away from others was because I didn’t want to surrender my self—because I thought that when I was with others, I was not me…
I thought this whole thing was about surrendering my self.
But now I realize that I have clung ever tighter to my self. I have surrendered to my self.
This whole time that I have been lying here, I have been no one but me. I have wrapped myself in a cocoon of self.
And my self is selfish. I am solipsistic.
I never reached out to grasp anyone because I knew I would hurt them when I recoiled
Not realizing that I never had to recoil
You can be your self and be with other people. You expand your self. You open up, and contain multitudes.
I wanted to be myself, but whatever I do is being myself because it comes from me.
While playing a role is not being ourselves, the choice of that role reveals ourselves
Who you want to be is the negative space that reveals who you are
I sensed the inner argument among the pieces of my brain. I thought (and wondered who was the “I” who thought it thought) that I could easily rip myself apart at the seams. …
When is it better to bend & when is it better to snap?
…after one has torn oneself, one can begin the much-needed repairs…
Peeling back the layers…
I learned to distinguish between what was inside and outside my head, but then I retreated inside, making the point moot.
(A long adolescence)
(Or a slow death, or a drawn-out suicide—if I don’t change)
I am who I always was. Environment set off the traps inside me.
My environment allowed insularity.
You follow along a logical line of development.
I contained myself. Spiraling inwards..
Years of staying inside. Only taking, never giving. All input, no output.
If I remove the filter my input is my output
People can only see your output
What you see now is all of that input, through a thin film…
(No one cares about your input, only your output…)
Break through to the next line on the step-graph
As if I winked out of existence and back in again
I objected to dancing around the issue. I didn’t realize we were dancing around a hole, or a fire, that you can dare to dance around or leap over or come right up to, but if you dance within it, you die.
Looking in one direction blinds you to other directions.
Sometimes, skirting the issue reveals the issue
Like skimming over the surface of the water
Whereas facing the issue directly is like shooting a fire hose at an ice sculpture, where the shape of the sculpture may be revealed, but the water glances off
Looking away, you can see it in the corner of your eye
I have intimacy problems. I have difficulty being with others because I’m afraid of losing me. I acted differently with different people. I thought that meant that I was not enough/ nobody, or too many/everybody. I did not realize that any way I act, by definition, is me. I am the one acting a certain way, and so…
(To play a character versus be somebody)
I think therefore I am: unhappy? confused? aching? doomed?
I think it, therefore it is? It is, but not as I perceive?
The imperfection of perception
The terror of mental territory
Mind-expanding? No, mind-stagnating. Circular. Won’t get the answers from one’s own
mind, but rather outside stimuli (including other people). Circumvent one’s personal
filter/sieve. Be friends with the uncomfortable feeling of being wrong. Embrace it and
learn to accept it.
Can’t run from the center. You move but are always equidistant from the center. You
take the center with you when you run…you scuttle along on the (shape? Inner
surface?) of the globe…
I’m a reflective guy. I’m like a Hall of Mirrors.
(…looking for escape and seeing only more me…)
I’m out there. Anyone want to join me?
I had wondered, do we need something to believe in? Not necessarily. But we need something to serve as solid ground. When I no longer trusted in the essentiality of—
—when I no longer believed in—
—the self, everything dropped away. We need basic principles. Our perception, our filter, our hole-filled yet solid sieve, keeps us from sluicing through and splashing out into the abyssal ocean/oceanic abyss
I long for experiences during which I forget to count down the seconds until it is finished…
The ability to be, to be whoever, free of expectations and other hindrances (what about when expectations are positive? Very highly positive expectations may not help—you can only meet expectations of you that are within immediate reach)
Did I display much promise? I never promised anything. That’s why I must hide.
To avoid disappointing, I must disappear.
I have hated myself. Being thought of as perfect spoiled me.
It got claustrophobic, being in a box: people’s expectations of who I was.
I failed. Raze the ground. Let no future me return to plant seeds.
I was paralyzed because I didn’t know what I was doing. Now I know what I’m doing. I’m decomposing.
Burning the soil of my self
Fertilizing with humility?
Something is hidden. Maybe the next sentence will be a revelation. Maybe this one. Or the next one.
Even if you see me with perfect clarity, there is still distance between us.
You can’t circumvent the process of learning.
In this existence, balance can only be preceded by imbalance
It is a process of transformation
You must go through all the steps
(Technically, you might be able to speed it up, but you wouldn’t be getting my point)
We’re never finished
I plan to get better as I get older
I give this to you, like anything else you’d experience, for you to interpret
For you to pick out the patterns
I wish more people cared
One moment. (Everything in one moment.) (All of this in one moment.) (Now imagine, all of this, in one moment.)
Don’t be alone
Follow and lead
Put down the book
I could be wrong about all of this
Some of this may be incorrect
Exactness is impossible
I don’t know
You don’t know
No one knows what to do
Hope and regret
What more can I say?
There is so much more to say.
The unsaid can still be known or felt.