from a letter to troy
My take on religion and philosophy is usually this: I ignore it. All if tends to do is confuse me, have my mind run in circles which get absolutely nowhere. That’s the burden of being “flexible” – no matter what I believe, something else will enter my path and I will think, “Oh yeah, good point.” My consciousness shifts at the slightest hint of intellectual thinking that seems to parallel your own, which is often, especially considering how “contradictory” I am. Your thoughts on such topics are doing that for me. I nod at every other word, sometimes forming my own theories or responses, but usually I just drink in everything and leave it to my alien brain to sort out. By “alien brain” I mean that deep part of my consciousness which lies just before subconsciousness. I may be able to understand it better than the unintelligible spewage my subconscious tosses at me by way of dreams, but to attempt to bring it to the surface for interpretation or even legible English is asking entirely too much! To that end, I have proven to be a poor conversationalist of most things spiritual. Now, I could discuss the philosophical aspects of this piece of paper, a coffee mug, or the motive to live in the woods in complete seclusion, but to discuss “nothingness” and “everythingness,” and everything in between? Bah.
But, I will share one thing. Your thoughts on the relationship between Christianity and Buddhism are similar to a recent discovery of mine. I realized that Kant’s theory of transcendental unity was surprisingly similar to Buddha’s “everythingness.” And that they were both trying to reach this place through different means – Kant through intuition and the senses, Buddha through clear mind.
This led me to the thought that many philosophies are trying to get to this same place – a place indescribable by human language and experience, hence many and often seemingly contradictory philosophies. The argument between them seems to be how to get there. There are so many people and theories that are so sure of themselves; is there any possibility for reconciliation? Does anyone want there to be? Should there be? Because, really, what is the truth?
It seems to me that everyone is just looking for something to believe in. There doesn’t appear to be anything left to discover, nothing original to think, in this day of the information superhighway, advanced academia, and life-ruling religion. I don’t agree of course; there will always be more to discover, and will be until everyone is happy (and even then we’ll not be done) – it might be more difficult, more hidden, and much harder to pursue, and that’s why I respect anyone who does, regardless of their ideology.
I thank you immensely for connecting with my poetry and its meaning – some of which I myself was unaware of at a conscious level, as I’m more of a spot-on, stream of consciousness writer. And I thank you for articulating this connection and meaning perfectly. I was just going to say that you’ll probably never know that that meant to me, but as a writer, you probably do. What it’s like to be heard, finally after all those years of screaming in the darkness, crying out, begging to be heard; I think I’m speaking perfectly clearly but no one seems to understand my frantic ramblings. And so sometimes I remain silent, just staring off into the darkness, trying to distract myself, but how can I when there’s nothing but darkness and emptiness? So after a while I invariably begin to shout again. I attempt to refine my speech, so I do not appear so much to be shouting but to be speaking clearly, or maybe even whispering. But the chaotic, desperate undertone is always there. And sometimes I think that the more composed I become, the less people hear me… oh, sure, now they hear the actual words better, words that have been sugared up, their meaning glazed over by pretty sounds and imagery, but what for? What for when they regard them as merely words and not as an attempt to bear my soul to someone in the hopes that they will be able to connect and thus help to shed some perspective and order on the whole thing? An attempt that arises from a need. A need to not only purge all this slush inside me, but to understand it myself.