Saturday, December 31, 2011

bearing, standing, bearing, and moving on

I’ve been unwittingly very unfair too many times. Thankfullly, I’ve soon recognized my unfairness more often than I’ve been confronted by it. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

AEros of flourishing

Here is the 5th section of “autotelic mind.”

The neologism ‘AEros’ comes from a choice I made for the title of a page I wrote a couple of years ago, “AEros.’

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


You were the most beautiful being I’d ever met. It’s not a matter of prettiness (though you are pretty). It was you, in all your smart silliness and willful, retro aesthetic—and sensitive, protective love of art: You captured me one day, Sept. 2008, when I came by your desk and you flashed a moment of anger that I’d interrupted your reading of a great novel. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

selformativity of Self

Here is the 4th section of “autotelic mind.”

Sunday, December 18, 2011

highly minding

Here is the last section of “philosophy of ‘mind’.”

Sunday, December 11, 2011

concept of mind

Here is section 2 of “philosophy of ‘mind’.”

Saturday, December 10, 2011

a sense of one self musing

Here is section 1 of “philosophy of ‘mind’: a love story,” which becomes part 3 of “autotelic mind,” which (you eagerly recall) is the penultimate part of “elations of solitude,” probably to end early spring.

Friday, November 25, 2011

naturalized phenomenology of the developmental interest

This is section 4, the ending, of “biomindality.” It’s possibly the most portentious (pretentious?) thing I’ve ever written.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

after speaking for trillions of communicating, evolving microbes...

...Lynn Margulis dies.

“Dr. Margulis was also known, somewhat controversially, as a collaborator with and supporter of James E. Lovelock, whose Gaia theory states that Earth itself — its atmosphere, the geology and the organisms that inhabit it — is a self-regulating system, maintaining the conditions that allow its perpetuation. In other words, it is something of a living organism in and of itself.”

Genesis of self-regulativity—> quorum sensing—> symbiogenesis—> autopoiesis—> autogeny —> self formativity constitutes the intelligence of Earth.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

on the road (with unnamed partners)

Elations of solitude go where they are carried.

I thought last week that I’d quickly finish my synoptic about a biogenic mode of thinking about “mind,” but I didn’t feel like returning to the task yesterday, because I so wanted to move on (though I didn’t). After weekly shopping and other chores, I saw a good movie, hung out in Moe’s, prattled at home. (You want to know.) 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Sunday, November 06, 2011

message to the world

After I left “Sarah’s Key” early Saturday evening, I walked to Moe’s Books and spent several hours amusing myself. I left very expensively amused, but what the hell: adding to a truly great library is like adding new kinds of plants to a great garden: Gravity’s appeal leads to more gravity. It’s natural. A congregation of importances composes an appellant cohering. Valuingbooks, in my case—flows into a telic cohering of more and more mindedness (or mindality). It’s human.

Let there be as much gardening of importances as we can really afford (and blogs to that effect not left to sleep).

I’m so easily unbearable: I made a list of the books bought last evening, then a list of the titles noted for archival lists; then a list of my favorite findings from the 3 most-recent issues of The New York Review of Books late night; and listed other interesting findings. I sequenced that, and voilà: I had an unwieldy syllabus I could write a book in light of: One night in a bookstore and sundry reading.

“He wrote well about that night, but died before completion.”

Princeton philosopher/theologian Mark Johnston reads the essence of the great religions as proffering that “persons are protean” (283ff.). Lucky me.

Reporting on the carnival of human variability didn’t begin with the modern European novel; rather, the protean novel emerged from the hybridity of Mediterranean cultures and European outlands before modernity.

The essence of the novelistic motive might be enchantment by the variability of lives. Surely, that’s part of why I fall in love with women I can’t have. Next!

I surely cannot resist enchantment by creative intimacies. Imagine two painters married to each other, having their studios adjacent: the surrealists Yves Tanguy (a longstanding favorite painter) and Kay Sage (who? sorry, dear). Alas, I bought a painting by a friend years ago (stored away) that looks like a Kay Sage work, I could not have known. Philip Guston’s work looks like Son-Of-Kay (but not son-of-Yves—though Philip looks like Yves’ son).

Talk about a feeling for the thing: How about Evocative Objects: things we think with? The Table of Contents makes me giggle.

But I was really inspired by Kit White’s 101 Things to Learn in Art School. I must write about that. It’s a gem. (It has a thick rubber cover, very tactile).

I must hurry along. (The need for hurrying drives me crazy.)

Wisdom: from philosophy to neuroscience is an oddity, cribbing trends of applying evolutionary psychology to moral theory, which is deeply interesting to me, but not as a trade paperback. However, the book is emblematic of naturalism’s appeal (as well as the appeal of quick routes to wisdom); check out the Table of Contents for a taste of what draws me into evolutionary theory (though I’ll be working with others’ original research, not freelance ventures—though what am I?). Seriously, though, evolutionary theory is becoming a central tenet of philosophical ethics: The highly-esteemed philosopher Philip Kitcher has just published The Ethical Project which argues that “we should see our ethical practices as evolving over tens of thousands of years, as members of our species have worked out how to live together and prosper.” Great, as far as normative understanding goes. But what about the creativity that formulates ethical projects in the first place? Doing philosophical ethics is not about doing sociology or anthropology of normativity. I’m working toward a sense of “evolutionary” ethics in a transitive sense of ‘evolving’ (fostering progressive processes), rather than explanatory sense. But I’ll obtain Kitcher’s book soon. It’s one with which I shall have to come to terms, and I look forward to that.

Love notions of EcoMind: changing the way we think, to create the world we want, which is the name of Frances Moore Lappé’s new book (agri-political mother of Michael Pollan, one might say). She provides a good sense of progressive planetary thinking as a practical venture—a good complement to Stewart Brand’s recent Whole Earth Discipline: an ecopragmatist manifesto.

OK, I’m quitting here. The landscape of just one evening is more than I’ll take time to further render—except to say I bought a beautiful book titled The Poet’s Freedom: a notebook on making, by Susan Stewart, Professor of Humanities at Princeton (another woman to fall for).

And I bought a “remaindered” book of drawings done to the artist’s favorite Emily Dickinson poems, The World in a Frame, because a lover of Emily (whom I’ve not met) would know what’s best about her, including…

This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me —
The simple News that Nature told —
With tender Majesty

Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see —
For love of Her— Sweet —countrymen —
Judge tenderly — of Me

Saturday, November 05, 2011

about fictionally surviving the Holocaust

The key of “Sarah’s Key” is not the closet key that Sarah holds (which betrays her), but her character driving her to survive. The story is about Sarah’s key to surviving, in two senses: Firstly, her attachment to her brother that drives her escape from the Nazi camp before she’s shipped off to where her cohorts would be killed. This is a self-determination typical of persons who survived the Nazi camps. Afterward, she lives for many years fruitfully due to her self determination. The essentially human response to bearing witness to incomprehensible horror is to exemplify life—to go on well, partly in honor of those who were denied the chance, but essentially as expression of our ownmost participation in humanity, not as point in a living mass, but exactly the opposite: as singular gift of our nature, singular example of human potential, which might be the Simple Meaning of It All for us: that we are fruitful potentials able to thrive in love with life.

I’ve mentioned the research of psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton on the thriving character of survivors of great suffering, titled The Protean Self. I feel It in irreverent Jewish humor. (A Jewish friend—a psychotherapist—includes me on a private email list fed mainly by a Jewish psychiatrist, friend of hers.)

Secondly, Sarah’s key is her drive to record her story that gives her a continuity of identity across eras of later life that sustains her long enough to leave a legacy of a child of her own in good family. Though her writing is only diaries and letters, an implicit truth is the importance of articulation for the self-begetting life. Abundant research confirms the renewing power of finding one’s ownmost words—firstly, distancing trauma onto the page (or into a scene with another, e.g., the therapeutic alliance), making the trauma an Other that, secondly, documents what one valuably remains: a survivor beyond surviving, able to thrive, even beyond thriving: making a good life and a legacy of lastingness. Writing may mirror an everlastingness of what is no longer which altogether frees in terms of the potentials of life hereon.

Lastly, Sarah’s key is for the viewer/reader: It is a key for the reader/viewer to learn about what can be overcome and to not forget what is best in our humanity instanced by our lives. Sarah’s writing gives her son a way into the truth of her gift of Innocence to him. I’ve done as much as I can to understand the Holocaust. But, at the end of 10 hours of The Shoah in 1985, I felt that the Holocaust means Nothing. To try to give meaning to the Holocaust is an obscenity against the notion of meaning. There is no meaning to the Holocaust. A child deserves to grow into a world where suffering does not exist until one’s old enough to relativize the message. Our nature is not in any way signaled in what we have suffered, rather in what we are becoming. This is why excellent parenting is a horizon of fictionality for the child who gets to be the center of the world, given chances to bruise oneself in one’s own time, heal oneself in one’s own way, and find one’s ownmost place in a world whose reality emerges through one’s ownmost time. Yes, the world includes tragedy of incomprehensible proportion. But it’s ultimately irrelevant to flourishing, no matter how realistic our flourishing must grow to be.

So, this backgrounds why I will now say that “Sarah’s Key,” as novelist’s story, is basically phony by relying on Sarah’s suicide to move the story forward to its closure. That’s the work of a fictionist who doesn’t understand what she’s writing about. Everything in Sarah’s story “argues” against choosing suicide when she has a lovely life outside New York City, a lovely-hearted husband (we learn), and a lovely-hearted son (we learn) who was so on the road to a fruitful life while Sarah was still alive to be his mom, apparently very well. She has every reason to sustain the beautiful life she has. The viewer is given no reason for her suicide. The suicide is contrary to the reality of survivors who are already making good lives. The frictional suicide (a typo I’ll retain) is contrary to the details of the novelist’s own story. The viewer is supposed to project something unendurable in Sarah’s adult life? The novelist’s story has shown the falsity of such a projection. If the novelist’s contemporary journalist-inquirer’s later having a child named Sarah can preciously redeem the death of the adult Sarah, then adult Sarah’s earlier having a son redeemed her well-intentioned, childhood act of hiding her beloved brother in the closet. Sarah’s life (as fabricated by the novelist) redeemed the girl’s horror of discovering her brother in the closet rotting. Besides, hungry, scared kids locked in closets scream and pound to get out (in a building of little apartments in a dense neighborhood). The thin wooden door of the closet had a weak little lock for that key. Little boys don’t keep sibling promises to stay quiet when they are hungry and scared. The novelist has insulted human reality to make the viewer mourn some insurmountable suffering in the adult Sarah which is psychologically naïve and implausible. While the reality of Vichy France should be appreciated (especially by the French) and prospects of overcoming great suffering in a thriving life should be taken to heart, the novelist has exploited history and fictionalized psychology for the sake of a precious ending.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

vigilance for emergents

anticipating primordial potential

This is section 4, the last section, of “feeling for the ‘thing’.”

status update: Flourishing well.

Is having a blog named me vain?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

wise guy

Late summer, 2010, I thought it would be great to become pregnant nine months before one’s wedding anniversary (and I blogged about that elsewhere, still there); or nine months before one's own birthday, or nine months before spring—a poetic assertion of one's own sense of home and gardening.

Some weeks later, I wrote a wonderful posting here (if I may say so), worth recalling (though not wholly about parenting). 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

phenomenality (again)

This is section 1 of “feeling for the ‘thing’,” which is part 1 of “autotelic mind…,” which is part 7 of my “Elations of Solitude” project—which was supposed to be brief (a long preface to dwelling with others’ things as a very long road), but mitosis of creative play is transporting things into a very phenomenal autumn.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

solitude as tiresome theme

Elations of solitude don’t entail perpetual elation about it.

Friday, October 21, 2011


8:50 am

I can’t (I won’t) start a day at the keyboard without fresh-dripped coffee.

I think I’ll skip going online to see news, but I anticipate wanting to link here to some earlier things as I write today (linking as shorthand coverage-by-citation of a theme more salient to me than I’m taking time today to express), so I now connect to the Internet (which is not really yet to “go online”), but why not check mail; why not see the daily word from Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Day”?...

October 21: “sublimate SUB-luh-mayt.” I’ll keep that one for the archive because it’s so longly important to me.

My archive of recent years’ retained M-W emails numbers 1300+ presently, all words that are evocatively unusual to me and that I want to appropriate; or words well known to me that I shouldn’t have forgotten. I imagine going through the archive one day, free associating each with some project theme or plot point in my trekking.

1:55 pm

‘Sublimate’ makes a good example.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

humanity’s Eros

expanded Sunday, 10.16

As the oldest of institutions, marriage seems outdated in modern times, when each individual is encouraged to break with tradition in order to fulfill him- or herself.
So begins the book jacket inner front panel of The Love Lives of the Artists, Daniel Bullen, 2011: “Five Stories of Creative Intimacy”—stories of pioneering artistic couples of the early 20thC, telling of “a brave, new kind of marriage, where spouses would be allowed—even encouraged—to fulfill different aspects of themselves in outside relationships.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jennifer in dark waywardness

“Full moon tonight—,” Jen said as she got into bed, her back to my chest. We become a quasi-fetal dyad. “—behind ethereal haze.”

She was disturbed—creatively so—about how to capsulate her proposal.

Eventually, I said “Suppose now is do or die: You have to say simply what you want to do.”

She sighed.

Silence, except breathing.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

a sense of inworldness

Being easily entranced by mental things, I resist surrendering to it all online, because that feels so self-possessive. But I have to write from where I love to live, so I’m gradually dancing away.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

you, too, can easily be popular.

“You should write something that sells,” they say; or: “You should write something that gets you a big audience.” And in the latter case, I “should” channel the success through a social networking account which shows the online world how popular I seem to be with all those friends I’ve never met.

Look, I love to be loved, but I’m more interested in doing the difficult long-term project that I want to do—which then can be tailored (translated, appropriated, etc.) for love or/and money. Think I’m not a fun guy? You’d be one of very few who do.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

Steve Jobs

[end of his Stanford Commencement Address, 2005,
quoting the end of the The Last Whole Earth Catalog, 1971]


Sunday, October 02, 2011

an exemplary day

I intended today to write the next section of “Elations of solitude,” this time on a sense of inworldness, but the reality of the solitude I love is that I have to go with emergent appeals, which didn’t take me into doing the next section.

Rather, it took me on a wonderful excursion into recent academic work that’s integral to my long-term Project. I’m excited by emerging work of others. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

quite the contrary

Though implicitly, all

I’ve shown, the past

three years, has been (and will be) thanks

to, honoring, and (in this ongoing

sense) for


something (or someone) to cultivate

authentic happiness without one’s own children

An elementary school teacher presumably cherishes children; likewise with a pediatrician or child psychologist. Choosing to not have any children of one’s own can be a valid life choice for persons who nonetheless cherish children. Contrary pressures from family, social presumptions about good lives, and dominance of reproductive economics in the market can be severe. Bravery may be required, especially for women, to stand for one’s ownmost life (an inner-directing basis for outer-directed life) when the ecology trains one to feel otherwise (an outer-directing basis for inner-directed life). 

Thursday, September 29, 2011


This is a revised improvisation from Monday, 9.26, 9 pm or so.

I’m obviously at times alluding to “you” in this blog (and on Webpages), but only one person would know whom that could specifically be. Other readers are supposed to see a general writerly, textualist, literary issue represented. I’ll carry that theme to heights which a typical reader might not anticipate. What fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

circumspective living

Freshly brewed french roast, turmeric almonds, and a little Beemster Classic Extra Aged Gouda (@ US$17/lb.) supplements my solitude.

Should I be concerned about the effectiveness of morning coffee as a mood enhancer? Does that make my emergent sense of exuberant self possession invalid? Many persons would choose fresh pastry or fruit with their coffee, but I get enough exhilaration without sugary things.

To wit: continuing elations, today on being an interplay, mirrorplay, whatever.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

elations of solitude

Suppose I had dissected all I’ve recently put online and organized it into a new set of thematics that would provide positive constraints (or generative, telic structure) for future writing in light of planned reading (a lengthy syllabus) that ensured fidelity to a well-formed sense of recently-past excursions.

Then, I get persistently enchanted with the oddness of my own creative process, which faces me with a sense of incredible extravagance that I think no one could enjoy, and I wonder why.

Yet, that ultimately matters little, as the validity of what I’m doing and where I am is clear to me, though representing that will take awhile.

Today, I’ve made 4 points or stories in a constellation of 10 and will finish the others (already named) soon, which I’ll note here as each becomes available, beginning today with the first 4.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

saucy life

Smart cuisine prevails in the north Berkeley area that’s the geocenter of my life, the so-called “Gourmet Ghetto,” which is arrayed today with white tents and traffic barriers for the “Spice of Life” festival under clear, warm skys (not hot) with cool breezes and happy people everywhere, all ages, all geopoints of origin. The scene would make a Parisian pointillist hungry. I think I’ll write about Sex, expansively and extensively, Eros without bounds, as I’ve been so long fascinated by the games of bodies, the mating mind of aspiring youth, idealizing an aesthos (my coining) of self-enhancing humanity, Deep Time echoing in boulevard strolls there partly to be seen “oblivious” to being seen.

I’ll write of our sexuality so intensely—Eros so elaborately—you’ll be amazed, I suppose (though I’m not interested in amazing you, rather in a full phenomenology of bodied atmospheres). I will capture the heart of Literature, psychalogy [sic], and “existential” philosophy in a height of all that can be said of somatic play.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

believing in you

When I stop to think about it, “believing in” is an odd phrase—or, at least, yet another phrase (or term) worth thought.

That’s why I’m so likely to put ordinary words or phrases in quote marks, readily calling that “Derridean” because I’ve been so influenced by a sensibility I associate with his work—not to claim that my association is itself appropriately or “really” Derridean. And I have special affection (deeply so, actually) for someone who would balk at turning proper last names into adjectives.

Friday, August 12, 2011

preface to a long discussion on happiness
without children

Like the teacher who is a teacher because s/he loved children, but has none of his/her own, I’m fascinated by child development, though I don’t regret never having been a parent with children who are biologically “mine.” (Children aren’t property, of course.)

Saturday, July 09, 2011

note of an iterative glyphicist

As I mentioned to you elsewhere (yes, I’ll write you here, too), the postings of my various blogs (axially, this one) and web pages are improvisational pieces (the web pages relatively unimprovised) in a developing Project which will lead to all being thematically disassembled into pieces figuring into a large-scale work. (I didn’t put the matter quite so succinctly elsewhere). Current little ventures are provisional pieces, trOpical genes in a genealogy.

this is your life

November, 2009, my long-alienated partner of 24 years, Janna (a psychotherapist)—from whom I’d been more or less separated for 15 months—killed herself soon after discovering I’d fallen in love the year before with a woman in my department who reincarnated a love when I was 27. I expect one would react like “You must be joking”: Psychotherapists are the persons who prevent suicides. Janna had a veritable village in San Francisco of persons who loved her, including professional colleagues who were dear friends—and me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I was a teenage tri-psychal

Literature, philosophy, and psychology is the sequence of domains that bridged late high school (philosophy in “English Seminar”) and college years (philosophy and psychology, double major). Then I got “politicized,” as they say (and sociologized, which I regret), which prevailed for graduate school and later.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

can we talk?

What’s a writer to do when reality’s more interesting than imagination, but a right to privacy exists for the inspiring, strange, or culpable beings passing through one’s life—like a psychotherapist stuck with knowledge of a real extraterrestrial?

No, I wouldn’t write about that.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

was it something I said ?

When I see a candid photo of myself (a Department event, not having known I was being pic’ed), I know that the outward twerp hides me, as I’m inwardly not him (though I’m a creature of bad physical breeding).

Look, I’ve got decent aesthetic sensibility: I see that he doesn’t have a cute face (anymore—though his little smile can be cute).

Sunday, June 05, 2011

aura of the hydra-headed wise guy

Near the beginning of chapter 1 of To Follow: the wake of Jacques Derrida (2010), Peggy Kamuf notes “...the dialogic or polylogic form of texts published under Derrida’s name alone,” i.e., bearing a pretense of unifiability (or implicit monology) due to a singularity of the author (presuming a singularity of authorship in being “Derrida”), though there’s “plurivocality in Derrida’s thought,” just as one might expect of a richly imaginative novelist. The singularity of Derrida (the living writer, now long dead) may be trivial relative to the plural interpsychality of the writing (the living written) in light of inestimable influence (a wake of life, manifold Trace) originally

Monday, May 30, 2011

playhouse notes

I’ve spent most free time of the past couple of weeks doing meta-writing or textual programming. A novelist mapping out the story is programming.

A resultant set of textual points or themes can orient a future free play along the path (I’ve intimated so often, one way or another). So, creativity can be as much about travel planning as narrating the trip.

I love metaplay.

Friday, May 13, 2011

a Habermasian sense of cultural evolution

I do want to get away from Habermasian issues, but I’m so good at it, I easily fall into trying to appropriate his thinking into my own Project. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


I looked forward to receiving today’s book order via shipping to my department, but the pleasure of seeing Harold Bloom’s final book was special, even moving, because the book, he says, is his last (of tens). Old Harold has a renown in late 20th C academic literary studies comparable to Samuel Johnson in his era. He’s obsessed with Literature (he says at the beginning of his new book). For years, photos on book jackets show his white hair as disheveled as someone just out of bed, like Einstein or Mark Twain.

His name is engraved on the book jacket cover in larger font than the title of the book, The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life. His “Praeludium” begins
When I began writing this book,….My model was to be Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621)….Traces of Burton’s marvelous madness abide in this book….Burton’s melancholy emanated from his fantastic learning: he wrote to cure his own learnedness….
Bloom’s first chapter is titled “Literary Love.” “When I was very young, freedom beckoned through the poets I first loved: Hart Crane, William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelly, Wallace Stevens, Walt Whitman, William Butler Yeats, John Milton, and above all William Shakespeare….” | May 20 update: Bloom’s book is extensively featured in this week’s New York Times Book Review.

Also received today is neuroscientist David J. Linden’s new The Compass of Pleasure: how our brains make orgasm, exercise, generosity, learning, [and other things] feel so good. I’m interested in the evolutionary roots of motivation, as it relates to enaction, aspiration, individuation, etc.

I received Enaction: toward a new paradigm for cognitive science (MIT Press, 2011). Believe it or not, my enactional orientation to human development is many years old; so, I’m glad to see the notion formally explored.

I received J. Hillis Miller’s On Literature, which expresses a global approach to Literature, especially relative to his close friend Jacques Derrida.

Lastly, I received Jacques Derrida’s Parages (which means something like ‘equals in dignity’), a gathering of key essays of his that were previously only available in separate locations. I have a complete collection of Derrida-in-translation.

So there he was in a balmy oasis with only the intimacy of those books weaving into each other….

Actually, their potential intimacy is a projective part of a net spanning a couple of seasons with others I thought I’d take into myself months ago, like missed appointments I manage to not be blamed for, yet so many ventures I “can’t wait” to inhabit, but do (not admiring my restraint).

Sunday, May 01, 2011


The weekend was so good: gorgeous weather, a new desk chair (the old one fell apart after 20 years), and the writing I’m offering tonight, done Friday through today and posted as having been done over these 3 days.

transpersonal differencing

The title is strange, but it makes sense in light of what else I’ve written this weekend. And this is easy reading, an expression of practicality in the series of pieces, yet also a preface to upcoming work.

a sense of Self / [inter]personal difference

Though this isn’t difficult to read (relatively speaking), it was one of the more difficult pieces I’ve ever done, because it’s so important to me. Doing this was the general plan of recent days, but earlier, unplanned work this weekend seemed importantly preliminary to this. I suppose the plan was implicitly all of what led to this discussion.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

differencing: being variably a part

This is analytically tedious, the first few paragraphs, but it apparently had to be done for the non-tedious discussions which follow, since I started as a felt like starting and went on as I felt like going on: into an analysis of action resonant (to my mind) with the ironical condition of indwelling (previous post).

Friday, April 29, 2011


Being in the world contains the mind appreciating itself as being in the world (containing a conception of its conceiving). Is psychality ironical or what?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

thursdaynote — part 2

part 1: a morning of perspective

It’s important to have balanced attitude toward the theater of world affairs. Is it my fault I get infatuated with Gail? Ms. Collins used to be the NYTimes Editorial Page Editor. One only achieves that royal position if one has a great nose for narrative called “news.”

part 2: an evening of conceptual art

Julie Cloutier leaves pebble portraits around S.F. She finds a pebble, does a drawing of it, then places the drawing exactly where she found the pebble. Also, there is a map of the locations. It’s uncertain whether any of the drawings will be at those locations at a later time.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

rock of ages

for all the jazz of our Time.

showing growth, growing the show

notes on storial sensibility and developmental interest.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

an horizonal beauty

Should you think (in the sense of affectation that means: In case you do so think) that I’m lost to some idiosyncratic way of mind, look at an account of Peggy Kamuf’s mourning of her dear friend Jacques Derrida, which may be about a sense of beauty on each side of mourning, which would be a principle of hope on the other side of lost potential. “Another name for this special kind of receptive vigilance—without which there would be no surprise— is ‘reading.’ Only when one approaches a text as an unknown other can one be surprised by it. To encounter the other, therefore, is to be on the watch for surprising encounters that can only take place when one encounters the other as text.”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

among evolving characters

Anymore, the ultimate condition of philosophy as conceptual design is in a sense poetic.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

once upon a time

This is an entrancement.

Friday, April 15, 2011

about psychological exploration

Psychological reflectivity as conceptual prospecting is not intended to be philosophically pretentious.

abstract flesh

Fresh from a good night’s sleep and having lots of time ahead of me for the day, I feel a little thrill sitting with my pages. I tend to be elated by solitude when I want to write (especially in light of excellent coffee).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

about lifeworldliness

I’m ambivalent about getting into a new, long discussion at “my” Habermas group, but I’ve responded to a subscriber, which has led to me responding to 2 subscribers, and I’ve gotten more formal about it today, which I’ll indicate in a moment.

My history of involvement with the group would be incomprehensible to most others. How far I am away from all that feels impossible to represent, yet I appreciate others’ interest in Habermas immensely and intend to return to all that someday.

So, my social-theoretical identity hasn’t died. He’s just become a distant kindred I’m not currently influenced by. But writing to a Habermasian view (from a Habermasian perspective) is like riding a bicycle.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


an excursion on evocative enframing.


I hope this can be considered a good way to understand phenomenology as primarily existential.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

a cohering

a possibly-overwhelming appeal
of a conceptual nexus—no: comprehensiveness—implicated
in something, anything
of “the” world, one’s world
Affairs!—so many kinds of energies
forming so many kinds of flows
species of idea
possibilities of design
Eros and Psyche possessing
conversations, unwittingly
improvised odysseys
pensive stillness, here: one more
thing to say
then another

Friday, April 01, 2011


I did some revision to the second half of “playing for keeps,” which makes it more complementary to “a validating frame of mind,” which has been honed alot. There’s now much more cogency to the road.

I say more about that elsewhere, to you. (I still can’t only write you privately.) I want to add more there today that’s less academic.

Maybe you have new blogwork to appreciate.

I hope you had an unusually pleasant day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

a validating frame of mind

One should not feel aversion to the notion of phenomenology. It’s not at heart about conceptual analysis, rather—to my mind—it’s educive translation.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

playing for keeps

A short posting last night here became a long posting today which is now elsewhere longer, better, and truer, in a sense.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

swimming notes

I occasionally emphasize my obsession with news because the vague reminder is the most I make time to do online, to remind myself that writing of tragedy could consume me. I’m often embarrassed to seem oblivious.

But the reality is opposite: I strive to keep on track with what I can do, which happens to now be so many details of a writing project (sensitive to happy happenstances) that may seem to have no direction.

But the reality is opposite. I’m no Beckett willfully, anti-nihilistically going on. I’m in love with life, partly in honor of what life might have been for those who never had, or lost, chances. It’s not a self serving ethic. (I dislike even mentioning it.)

I’ve been near death and survived. I know that my wish for others, should I be dying, is that they live as fully as they can. That’s no play to seem sentimental or precious. It’s none of your business that I cry easily when confronted by stories of so much tragedy.

Here’s a photo. Can words do it justice? A woman kneels outdoors, holding onto just fingers reaching out of mud. The caption says “Yoshie Murakami cries out as she holds onto the hands of her dead mother still buried beneath the rubble where her home once stood….”

We would stop to hold her (comfort her grief), if we had the chance. We would stay with her awhile, though her grief would have a life of its own longer than we can stay. One learns to move on. We all can only move on.

Here: Have some hopeful news in an unrelated venue: Private “Satellites Offer New Window Into Documenting, Preventing Genocide.”

Here: Help motivate an aging philosopher to develop a languishing, undeveloped blog: “humanistic union,” expressing desire to do things beyond abstractions of the critical spirit, having no single point on the horizon toward where to swim. Just begin, anywhere, by living well, as some so well do. (Quote yourself, if that feels apt.)

I seem to retire into art. But the reality is exactly that: How so much might tenably cohere in textual co-hearing, step by step—albeit, for my part (at my age), in a way that pleases my sensibility, a long and high view.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

sweet transgression

To traverse a hill, begin at some lowland and go upward.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

uphill, downhill—highland, midland

8:06 pm

OK, the evening’s not over yet. I’ve had a productive weekend, but you’ve heard that one before: It doesn’t bear fruit, such productiveness.

“The fruit spent so much time setting up the pieces of the game that there was no time left to play. Maybe he finished. We left him to his designs.”

Yes, I finished (in a manner of speaking). But now I have to take a walk—in the rain which will cease its weekend reign in the upcoming days we have to go to the office where we may be thankful for little breaks.

So, ummm, if God is Good luck, then right now God is dead.

9:20 pm

—which was a frivolous comment from someone who long ago (and deeply) took to heart the issues of “Being”—which wouldn’t help much in an office, given the character of that. It also awards no control over the rain. But it provides much gratitude for the fact that a little rain is the worst of my complaints.

However, an interesting point about practical inefficacy of admirable thinking might pertain to academic life altogether which lacks the comfortably good sense to stay ensconced in an ivory tower, relative to your average corporate office—an interesting reality, even fascinating for awhile: to fully inhabit all manner of Differences.

It wouldn’t have to be in any way elitist, just as ethnography isn’t as such elitist. How else is one to understand Differences other than by living them?—maybe living them so effectively that there seems to others to be little notable difference altogether, like being accepted as a tribal native, no extraterrestrial at all—except for our academic’s occasional bursts of intolerance for chronically slacker relations s/he has no “discretionary authority” to mentor, save by—let’s call it—a realism of “provocative therapy” (which, in such a setting, would require accepting the disciplinary consequences of appearing to not know what one is doing—thereby playing the character that others need in order for them to feel comfortable with their presumptions).

I surmise—just doing fiction there. But it’s good entertainment. The point of the little simulation above is to wonder about living a Difference fully. It could be amazing—provided one doesn’t get stuck there, due to a recession and a sparse market for academic attitude.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

circus note

From The New York Times today, the end of “A Romp…,” by Dennis Overbye:
Some scientists say we won’t really understand life until we can make it ourselves.

On the last day of the conference, J. Craig Venter, the genome decoding entrepreneur and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute, described his adventures trying to create an organism with a computer for a parent.

Using mail-order snippets of DNA, Dr. Venter and his colleagues stitched together the million-letter genetic code of a bacterium of a goat parasite last year and inserted it into another bacterium’s cell, where it took over, churning out blue-stained copies of itself. Dr. Venter advertised his genome as the wave of future migration to the stars. Send a kit of chemicals and a digitized genome across space.

“We’ll create panspermia if it didn’t already exist,” he said.

The new genome included what Dr. Venter called a watermark. Along with the names of the researchers were three quotations, from the author James Joyce; Robert Oppenheimer, who directed the building of the atomic bomb; and the Caltech physicist Richard Feynman: “What I cannot build, I do not understand.”

When the news came out, last year, Dr. Venter said, the James Joyce estate called up and threatened to sue, claiming that Joyce’s copyright had been violated. To date there has been no lawsuit.

Then Caltech called up and complained that Dr. Venter’s genome was misquoting Feynman. The institute sent a photograph of an old blackboard on which Feynman had written, “What I cannot create, I do not understand.”

And so his genome is now in the process of acquiring its first, non-Darwinian mutation.

Monday, February 21, 2011


A narrative began mid-story—or a story began as ending—better living through rebirth in context; and a circus brought to touch a bi-cycle of lives were altogether removed to leave our narrator in a short pathos of too many titles in his dreams, dismissed through idle play with a keyword, as if cohering axis, troping uncounted possibilities for relationship.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

days go by.3

Ironically, I’m obsessed with the news each day, yet don’t let that distract me from a venture that actually resulted, in part, from decades of obsession with the news—which, by the way, dissolved any dependence on notions that a past has clearly-causal efficacy (contrary to persons still, in effect, living in Cold War thinking), as if conceptions of history can well serve (not) understanding the emergent, evolving present out of evolving Time—though of course planetary life has inestimably definite structures and dynamics, but these are evolving in generative interplays (and mirrorplays) also evolving, just as a tangible organism has definite structure, yet thereby unpredictable plasticity.

So, the news is the news. Track it diligently enough, and you may be confident of what the narrative of our evolving is all—is all—about. But that won’t give you mastery of the future (which the gods were supposed to provide, then science).

Every day emerges from itself, not from the models that estimate its ultimately ruleless game (anyway, more fascinating in unpredictability).

A group of idiots can change the tone of an era, but tone is so much less than tapestry, which can prevail such that the effect of idiots is forgotten through a cumulative, though elusive, intelligence of the tapestry. As if suddenly, perpendicular to all presumption, an era dissolves into emerging netweaves of events, whose inter/mirrorplaying profusions seem unprecedented, if not impossible.

In retrospect, an Event might have been predictable. But it wasn’t predicted, even barely anticipated.

humility of a venture

Originally communal idealization in a pantheon of gods (which became humanistic idealization in God) wasn’t at heart an expression of implicitly given selfidentity (not a mirrorvanity of proffered perfection), but a venture of learning—adventuring self-formative advancement (which became “progress,” which was mapped back into nature as “evolutionary”— which, by the way, ecological natural selection, as such, is not)—progressivity that would (one hoped) enrich sensibility (beyond estate!) into/unto the richest conceivable senses of sensibility—broad, deep, high sense—and educe inhabitation by found heights.

One’s belief in human perfectibility at least promoted development and cultural evolution, even though the horizon always receded.

Perfection isn’t possible, but innocence is generative.

Accordingly, I don’t consider my upcoming narrative excursions as self expression, but as presentation—renderings of venturings, reporting on exploratory inhabitation—partial reports on, so to speak, Ontogenic indwelling far away.

Laugh. I’ll laugh with you.

loving to make an academic issue

“The” current issue for me is literary psychological inquiry.

That isn’t the same as saying: “I’m currently interested in literary psychological inquiry.“ Yes, I’m interested in that (have been “forever”), but these days I’m seeing the interest especially in a large-scale context of philosophical interest that my literary-psychlological interests (call it, for short, LP interests) didn’t imply years ago. I’m now moving into a focus on LP inquiry that’s part of the larger-scale interest (or—choose your favorite cliché of mine—the larger-scale venturing, journeying, seafaring, vining, or pathmaking), which includes my LP interests as issue.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

leaving the stage to rethink a theater

a substantial change of address
(and appendix to “creative fidelity”)

version 1

I’ve gone for awhile. Take what you please. In the meantime, I don’t forget you. I’ll be back to you in spring.

version 2

One can only share something (e.g., stage a play) if there’s something (the play) to share, obviously. Wanting to share something substantial implies having something substantial to share, first wanting to do the substantial work (or to obtain the substantial thing) that one wants to share.

Doing the work is drawn by aspiration integral to the working, not anticipations of a given audience (unless the work is essentially about or to a given audience). Work that seems to others to not be relevant to them might be just their prejudging—the judging of their own presumptions (or projections)—about what the work is to be. Benefit of the doubt toward creative fidelity may be deserved because something really new is unlikely to be what’s expected (and, in complement, creative fidelity can’t expect something really new, just venture as well as one can). Though the work can’t be about undermining expectations, really new work also is not about conforming to given expectations.

Bear with me. Doing the math comes before explaining it. Is there something wrong with putting pieces of it online? What’s obscure in upcoming months can get clearer in light of mediating it down the road with what’s inherently interesting to you (given your contact). Don’t blame the work for not being primarily oriented to you. The work’s own appeal is no devaluation of your interests! Proximal strangeness is no sign of ultimate incompatibility of sensibilities.

It’s simply that a work’s own appeal calls for a way of working that may be not yet comprehensible to others because doing the work is prior to, thus different from, the derivative work of making sense of it, i.e., mediation (at best with someone specifically). The Work and the work of sharing are different kinds of work, like an ordinary difference between creation and presentation. Writing the play is not the same as staging it (which can be done variably, for different readings of anticipated audience). To be creatively “lost” to the writing—and sharing that online—is no sign of disinterest in future staging or disregard for any audience.

“Leaving me during the writing because the staging didn’t come soon enough deserves a salutation of ‘good riddance’”—or else an appeal to your patience or generosity, which this note is.

Don’t lose my address. Don’t forget me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

creative fidelity

Here’s a little treatise on creativity as such, fidelity as such, and wandering toward intimately empathic time.

backstage notes

Finishing “creative fidelity” feels like a milestone, not because it’s especially comprehensive of what I want to do going forward (it’s not) or difficult (not), but because it draws closure on something that began over a year ago, and this is somewhat represented by “c.f.”’s frequent linking back to earlier pages. I feel I’ve won a justified freedom now to write as eccentrically as I please without contradicting (or undermining) my fidelity to living very ordinarily wherever that’s apt—ethically, cogently, and graciously. But that’s as if life isn’t theater; yet life is theater, to my sensibility. Particularly theatrical is the pretense that life isn’t theater.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

to be really realistic...

I’m simply me. It’s not complicated. I can make it complicated. But I don’t seek that.

I have the interests I have. So it goes. I get enthusiastic about things easily, and I’m thankful. It’s not egoistic to be thankfully enthused about things that don’t interest many others, if I don’t blame others for not having my interests (which would otherwise be very silly.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

landscaping notes: 2010

This is about project-ive prospecting as bibliophilia. Initially, I’m entranced by a sense of friendship as appeals of bibliophilic intimacy.

In the long run, I’m pursuing a sense of “our evolving nature” as having long ago become no longer primarily biological. I allude to “a large-scale interest in cultural evolution, including literary modernity (with other modes of mode-rnity)”—such an expansive excursion.

feeling for each other

We prefer solidarity to common sociality, prefer kindredness to solidarity, and prefer intimacy to kindredness, though all need each other. But not every fidelity is equally worthwhile.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

relation ships

Waters of time may be better traversed through gems of coalescent relations we find in our lives.

as if there’s no news

a note on dancing lightly in a thematological map

I know the leading news of the day, the past week, every week (of recent decades). If you’re reading this years from now (Jan. 15, 2011), you might have no idea what the leading news has recently been, probably in part because time dissolves a vibrant Moment into so many wakes. However, I don’t wish to give long-range salience to this week’s leading news. Besides, significance to Time is likely not immanent, though intimated in the Moment, invisibly to most witnesses (and commentators).

There are themes that become trends, and some that last for the lot of us, even some born fully in a Moment. But we likely don’t know which Moments, themes, or trends will endure. This season’s leading events will vine with uncounted others to give a weave to their season (which, you know, I rendered earlier), maybe at the scale of an era to be later defined by those who define eras.

The lasting stories are likely “simpler” than their genetic Moments because time caters to accessibility, not favoring conceptions of miasmas or subtle views, because general importances tend to pertain to the common ground. So generally lasting stories are tangibly “transcendent” of complexity, abstracted by reduction to what most persons would find durably important. A shrewd artist may wrap her/his high story in address that appeals broadly.

Besides, high ground requires wide midlands for support, and midlands require vast lowlands—particularly for things that sell well and durably, becoming “classics” in their stereotypical or archetypal appeal because they’re readily assimilated.

My little metastory here isn’t a lament, merely an embellishment of the obvious. A near-term reader might feel I’m isolated from our 24/7 conversations because I don’t acknowledge the obvious or analyze the present much. Conceptual prospecting is easily dismissed as solitudinous luxury.

But what worthwhile work is done without extended solitude, except the work of common sense? Even the work of society is only advanced by the solitudinous work that finds ways to advance our common senses. Innovation is not a wisdom of the crowd. Maybe I’m going somewhere new, which the market for news (like most art and science) doesn’t afford.

Maybe not. Maybe you couldn’t care less. (Such a soul might best stay away.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

pre-positional soup

He’s in love
with a complex, some Intimacy of Flourishing
in resonance with questions
of domainity as such (thus interdomainity),
legacy and scholarship irt lifeworld
consolidation of learning, reading, and thinking—a world
irt (and/or versus) a life, easily
presuming on itself an implicature
of the world, the World—to a life, at least,
surely (if unclearly) the world of one life,
nebulously open to where it’s going,
how best to further its wayfaring,
as the world does idealize a confidence expressed
by the rhetorical lucidity of the specialist,
like a professional theorist,
let alone a connoisseur of conceptual design,
classically the organotechnologist called a “philosopher,”
now to be a strange hybrid of academia
entwined in our evolutionarity of mind:
no happenstance but enactive
mirrorplay of drawing and evincing,
argument and teaching.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

deconstructive nostalgia

One chapter of Designing Positive Psychology (re: yesterday’s posting) criticizes the field for not enough appreciation of “dark sides of the human psyche” (that’s part of a chapter title).

I know those sides, home to transgression of comfortable boundaries, thrilling for some of us (not frightening). I came to know what the shadows know.

We come back to comfortable light and we smile, like Maureen Dowd confessing on Christmas a Patti Smith behind her eyes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

designing minds

Just now, I had a little inspiration of inquiring mindfulness about academically designing lives.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

one more day

I can’t be fair to this piece with any short statement that occurs to me. Sometimes, I write without clearly knowing why.

Friday, January 07, 2011


Romanticism returns in us like anewing youth that never left belonging to one’s sensibility.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

nothing else

Here, I’m writing to a poem titled nothing else.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

haunted entertaining

Can a truly postmodern mind mate with its time?

Seriously, we quite playfully sought a communicative intimacy that cannot last apart from letters.

Joyous, beautiful life dies with those who live it, save for our tangible designs.

Monday, January 03, 2011


Feeling like a narrative figure has become second nature to me, good for a mind easily seeming to be engulfed by its own pretentions.

However, the woman across the way from me may not be so entertained.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

descent time

Holidays away from a scheduled world cause happy warps in lived time. It’s like 2 weeks ago that the past 11 days began. Posting a story 22 hours ago, anchored by a party 48 hours earlier, seems 4 days ago.

It’s time to forget, as I’m back in HyperNet City tomorow, but not possibly of it all.

Sherry Turkle’s new book, Alone Together, evidently details the pathos of the social networking planet that keeps everything pervasively vacuous for maximal marketing effect. Do I want to read about that? No. But one should. Facebook today was valued by investors at $50 billion. The only reason could be that Facebook is a marketer’s dream. Know what? I’ve been on the web from the beginning, but I’m not on Facebook (not actively; I have one of the earliest accounts, but don’t use it). You can know nothing more about me on the web than I’ve chosen.

The ideology of marketing promotes a technology of the self (which Foucault warned decades ago; and Heidegger before that posed “the question of technology” as heir to the Question of Being).

It’s the new nihilism: the bravado and obsessiveness of social networking. And this week, Heidegger’s student, philosopher Burt Dreyfus, here in Berkeley (with whom I spent a good deal of time disagreeing years ago about Heidegger), is publishing a trade book (i.e., general audience book), All Things Shining, with Sean Kelly, Chair of the Philosophy Dept. at Harvard (here’s a recent column by him from the Times), that’s evidently a response to such nihilism, typified (ch. 2 of their book) by “David Foster Wallace’s nihilism” (which is the chapter title). They want to capture the attention of Millennials, in terms of Great Literature, like Herman Melville and I-don’t-know-who-else; I just bought it yesterday, and it’s not near the top of my list (impossible list), but interesting that two very different books come out at the same time overtly addressing technological nihilism. (Here’s a review of their book.)

Meanwhile, I’m distracted by more interesting things that distract me from what I’m “supposed” to do: I’m not supposed to try to integrate 7 Sunday NY Times articles on forgotten importance of criticism, which I’m dying to do.

Or what about Ashbery’s translation of Baudelaire from the recent NY Review of Books or the review of Tony Judt’s last book of autobiographical candors written as the professor of European intellectual history was withering away from ALS?

What matters?

The scheduled world returns tomorrow because the scheduled world returns tomorrow. My rampant enthusiasms are mine alone.

Your letter, written with such care, dwelling to dwelling, meets little time for equal care in return.

Then there are those agendaed issues of mine, re: surfaces as emergent from depths, things to say about the nature of relationships and friendship, how we are a plural psyche with aspirational audacities no less mindful of pragmatics.

How does creative fidelity meld with empathic time in us?

What may be the virtue of Literary (capped) presence, textual intimacy (again), and imaginative life letting itself be engulfed by a flesh of words in the body of an authorial communion?

What about intrinsic value and generative feeling at heights of what their minds can be brought together to do?

The scheduled world returns, and my pretentiousness here will be dissolved into the common ground.

No loss to anyone but me.

So sad.

new year

I got my agenda together for coming months. It might have happened sooner, had I not gone to a party last night.