The internet is an amazing and unreal reality. Someone I had met long ago, and forgotten, contacted me, and we have been discussing many things. Chief among my new old friend’s worries are existential matters of life, death, and the fairness of our situation, and like me, Brian is an atheist. He noticed my changed disposition, and called me of all things, an optimist! As a youth, I was the very most pessimistic sort, and my favorite color, and only mood, was black. Now, I am utterly changed, and the entire world has shifted its affective valence alongside my inner redistribution of energies, which have now painted the entire of the world anew, and all of experience both inner and outer, is––interesting! I seem to be able to find a foothold in any topic, and revel in puzzling through subjects which before, I could not have found even a second to care about. To be guilty and preoccupied is to be dull and unhappy!
Indeed, the world is given its value, its quality, not as a function of object identification, but of the affect with which our perceptions are infused. To follow the Neuropsychoanalytic thread as it is spun these days, I would rightly state that affect is the subject of all experience. The “higher type” in so much as such a thing can be identified, is in my view, created through the redistribution of mental economy compared to the normal case––a freeing of repressed energies, of affect, which acts as fuel, to “libidonize,” sexualize in a nonpathogenic way, all of inner experiential presentation and the thinking process in general. This transformation from a repressed guilty mindset, to an unrepressed mindset, can be created through psychology, and provides a clear snapshot of the proposition: The definition we give to all of “external” life experience, and to our inner world of concepts, such as Death, which we know nothing of outside of the conceptual definition we provide, is malleable. The neocortical store, the physiological substrate of the past, mediates the affect which is summed from our past experiences (along with hardwired phylogenetic inheritance), so as to define––everything!
As methods such as psychoanalysis and my own re-polarization theory actually reconsolidate (change the long term valence of) the summed affect mediated by the neocortical store, the symbolic structure which is condensed into every perception and thought is also altered, and all of reality itself is recreated in that very instant! In a way, I had to admit to my friend, there is a god of sorts, a creator of all things, the symbolizer of reality and hence, its creator, is a sort of little god, and this god is but one person: you! I then referred him to my paper detailing the neuroscience of symbolic construction and the role of the memory trace as a non-hippocampally mediated substrate to encode by means of condensation (Norman, 2013), pointed out the relation of this process to our qualitatively undefined universe, and waited. The message was not accepted. How can I explain this to him? The existential dilemma, is subject to reinterpretation, the lack of meaning can be redefined as freedom, and the pleasure centers engaged to recreate the meaning and value assigned to all of our lives! We create everything, and may change the entire of the world and our feeling toward it, our lives and our death, are ours to create! Intellectually, I believe I have been understood, but emotionally, viscerally, the message was rejected. Perhaps I can reach down past the surface of intellect, and become wise as it was once believed, for once, poets were thought wise. Perhaps I can use feeling, to change thought, and demonstrate the fact from within. The most simple way to demonstrate the fact, may be to feel it.
Here is the world, as created by my old personality, the vision of a civilized man, a modern vision, one steeped in guilt and shame. Behold the world created by this thin little god:
Today I woke, a fitful sleep, sprung to mind and torn, my dream snatched short, shunned beneath, a thorn of black forgotten; frail and thin, stretched and wan, a broken wind of chill, is born again, but spreads its ice, slipped cold through tender skin; the wind cuts hard, the wood, I knew, as frigid winter snapped, the ice is cracked, cold and sharp, the crushed earth bare beneath; the wood is green, white and sharp, her breast shocked red with pain, and soon I know, her voice and find, I can not bear her name: “Look, my son, look and know, the world is yours and now, you find all things, a hollow scab, of heat and cold cut down, and back beneath the ugly dawn, your dreams spanned gulf of fear, for deep within your turning breast, the wish for ending’s near. So sweet the ugly sight becomes, you drowned my earth in dread, beckon look beneath your wish, the host his table spread, the finest cloth and meats were laid, for once a worthy man, did find hope in rapture stirred, of dawn’s embrace again; but feeble, sick and ugly, the dawn unhinges sin, and spills its ugly breath aloft, to stain the sky and wood, the earth is spoiled, the air twice foul and fear finds shame within. This world once fed of milk and light, in darkness finds relief, for now the wood is as your soul, disgraced and shunned beneath.” The trees do sway, their sickly beards, nodding looking shaking, a spitting sky with frozen tears, spent and drawn below, my withered soul, a shivered leaf, in cruel abandon blown; lost and cold, I wish again, for evening’s cloak once drawn, for light reveals, the thing again, and dreams seem now to call, but soon the chill of day finds night, again her breath but stiff, and slow my heart, my dreams of blood, in night I may forget.
Now, I will take you along the same pathway, through the same wood, and you may see, that it is we who create this thing:
The Gratitude Song
Oh how early I did climb
To find crushed winter branches
And crumpled silence,
… in still air
Double dry and snapped bright in Dawn’s chill.
Early did I find feet to flee the shadows
Even before they had begun their lazy stretch
My breath did gulp at the night
And drink its purple black into my sneaking early steps
Crushed under Night’s last sip
Of lonely moonlight.
As the shadows stretched downward
I did ascend to meet you,
To find you here in this place
This shimmering ice shawl of climbing pearls
Jeweled in flecked sunlight, caught purple and white
Rose sparks of Sun’s blood and treasures
Caught unaware and silent
A thousand winking vanishing eyes of prismed frost
Sparkle to carpet the horizon
Cast with pointed liquid jewels
Silent and vanishing
Catching the spark and gone into the whole
Reaching each crystal drop into the light
Splintering it alive
A shard of Dawn in iced gemlight.
Oh my friend
How I knew I must find you here!
Here where our teeth have found their mirrored tears
Spilt starlight once bound fast to black
Now outpouring as the joy it has ruined
Spent pain but happiness spilt
Now awash to warm all fragile iced places
And bring my heart of gladness to the cut chill
Of frigid Dawn
To return Life unto herself,
Warm for cold,
So do I love her!
You too know our secret
How dearly we have bled into the black Earth
Only now to know what might be nourished in our fisted pain
Now unbound and spent to gladness
Poured into the jeweled horizon
Spilt opal, and ruby treasure is our pain
Once unbound from black
Again, silver streams flowing to fill our meadows
A rippled glaze of clear light spattered in silver sun
As jewels outpoured to nourish the blossoming Earth
So is the rain of our pain unbound
Its shuddering trapped places
Freely pouring upward in silver streams of rain
Spilt into Heaven
The clouds nourished and full
Now unbound in glad overflowing.
Oh what happiness I return unto you, Oh Life!
Under no shadow are you cast
But bliss and Death alone are thee!
Into your sky I pour my treasure
Into the ice arch of Dawn
I climb to find you.
As noon did burn
So did I laugh to pull myself
Up closer to the burning coal
So did I laugh at the Sun with you
For we must laugh at our weary step
And step above it!
So did I climb through noon burnt white
With sheets of staggered heat
In laughter did I let them lavish me!
Spend their weary heat upon my glad spirit
So chill and filled with mocking iced air
Snapped blue and splintered
Chipped light and shining air
Cracked silver blue, from the prismed glass lid of the world.
So did I climb to find you!
So grateful am I to know of this place
For surely I must find you here.
We must celebrate!
So did I climb higher and faster to find you
Over my pain and past the hungry shadows
Into the purest silver air
Clear and iced with blue ether.
At last I see you, my friend!
Ah!… For I have found you!
Here, where I knew I must
In the purest Ice air
With silver wells of iced light, and prismed frost
Cut blue wells and sparked water, warmed by firelight
A melted jewel, an impossible brightness
Poured into form.
Here at last I have found you
Here where we belong––
Over all valleys, pressed crisp and bright
Against the arched blue lid of Heaven…
Oh how long I have climbed, and waited, for this moment
Waited, for this time, to find this place.
Oh how I have longed to see these things
With another, another worthy… one who knows.
Oh Life, in gratitude do I come to you
As the Day does bleed her warm bright happiness
Into the light starved Sky
Hungrily licking up her slender gift of promise
So have I drunk you in, Oh Life
So gracious and severe
As blood and milk in my saucer
So did I lick you into my soul
So did you purr and glow, scratch and turn within me
Oh Life, how I drank of you!
As a fool drinks, did I consume you
Staggering and stammering as a fool
I gorged upon every outstretched shadow
And knew your sour, and did sicken to know it
So spit you out and cursed you.
But how red and stuttering, silly and ruined
A comic and a spot of sublime madness to spit you out––
For every well is not for every spirit!
Oh how you teased me, Oh life
So gracious and glad am I to know you now
In streams of silver and upturned shadows of spilt light
Splinters of Sun and chill catch my chest and tickle me
And I drink you in
Know the spent Sun upon my lost gratitude, as you,
a gratitude spilled out unknowing of any eye
Or who has been spilt into light, you or I,
So as Life do I repay you
To give the Song up into the air and shine its notes
Hidden in forgotten splendor
Dripping with Sun and Song
A prism’s misted brush outstretched
An arch of color swept across Heaven,
From nowhere …
… to nowhere.
This work is the sole property of the author, Rich Norman © 2011, 2013.