A Few Final Words (Fiction)

From: joedees@bellsouth.net
Date: Sat Jul 21 2001 - 04:13:55 BST

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    Subject: A Few Final Words  (Fiction)
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    > A Few Final Words
    > by Joe E. Dees
    > Hello, I am a Being-in-the-World (Oh, Hell!), tied to it revocably.
    > The hyphenated monstrosity is a term coined by the German
    > existential philosopher Martin Heidegger (Hi, Heidegger! Heil!) to
    > express the essenceless essence of the human condition. We are all, I
    > suppose, tied to the world in much the same manner as we were tied to
    > our progenitors: umbilically. That's what Heidegger meant by the
    > hyphens, I guess. They're there for a reason (all symbols stand for
    > something, you know). WE'RE not symbols, though; we stand (or fall)
    > for no particular generality. We have reason, but not A reason, you
    > see. And faith - O We Of Little Faith! Faith is by definition
    > unjustified, or we would call it knowledge. Is it even justifiable?
    > But I digress.
    > I apologize. You see, I am suffering from a depression. It's
    > called my navel. Only Adam and Eve, Judaic mythology tells us,
    > lacked this little hole within our centers. Surprise! Navel veterans
    > all! So why am I so alone? Do we all join hands only to find we're
    > just links in a chain of alonenesses? It makes me mad - bilious, if
    > you please. But at what? Question: how can nothing be mad at
    > anything? Perhaps this is why Sartre became a Stoic.
    > Stoicism is okay, I guess, but it's hard to get excited about it,
    > especially since I'm worried about my liver. I only have one, and my
    > bile rises when I contemplate it (I guess I should stick to navel
    > contemplation, but the thought fills me with a sense of forbodhing).
    > I get nauseated - is it a sickness unto death? And are Soren and
    > Fyodor even compatible? Is my bile rising a symptom of a diseased
    > liver condition? When it goes, you go. In that mortal sense, we are
    > direly tied to our livers; first a liver, then a dier - living is
    > fatal, you know. But this is not what I wanted to say. I'll try
    > again.
    > Eliot's Sacred Three (them's the facts when it comes to brass
    > tacks) - the significant events in human existence, are Birth,
    > Copulation and Death, the creation, conjunction and destruction of
    > Beings-in-the-World. Is Freud right? Do our lives hinge upon the
    > anal, the oral, the genital? Are these much-maligned orifices and
    > protuberances the foci around which our consciousnesses blindly
    > gyrate? Or is Heidegger closer? Is it our annihilation rather than
    > our copulation which comprises the fulcrum upon which we leverage the
    > unnoticed attention of our days? There is a third choice, a side
    > alley leading away from these either-or dilemming horns, a choice of
    > which I only recently became aware. I'll dare to share, if you care.
    > It's not my idea; a man named Edgar F. borgatta worked it out
    > in 1954. His thesis is that the source of our dreads, anxieties and
    > assorted insecurities is - deumbilification. When we are cut off, we
    > feel abandoned, vilified (a deumbilifi-vilifi-cation nation?). The
    > primordial Nurturer is gone. We are lost - not through preoccupation
    > with sex or anticipation of death, but from birth. The contingent
    > survivors die a-borning (where do we go from here? where is here?).
    > Our nave - the hub of our spidery twirlings - parts, dropping us into
    > the abyss of life. Freud would fit well into this theory. Men would
    > wish to reconnect themselves with the warmth of the womb in mindless
    > security, and women wiuld wish the same. Ta-da! The handy-dandy
    > genitalia, at your service! Heidegger would fit in, too; it's not the
    > fall that hurts, but that sudden stop at the end - or do we just think
    > it hurts?
    > Two things seem to lessen the pain of beginning, of becoming
    > life from not-life, they are LeBoyer water birth and breast feeding.
    > In LeBoyer, the baby is born into water to ameliorate the shock. Born
    > and Born-Again at the same time, an infant baptism, hmm. And the
    > nip-p-p-les? With gut unwed, we feed the head. Merleau- Ponty stated
    > that all our concepts are grounded in percepts, so maybe since we feel
    > before we think, our guts are fed first - then our brains. In fact,
    > Aristotle's Three Laws of Thought are themselves reduceable to
    > perception. They are: 1) A Or Not-A (either it's there or it ain't),
    > 2) Not Both A And Not-A (it can't be both there and not there in the
    > same spatiotemporal perspective - a good Albertian viewpoint), and 3)
    > If A Then A (if it's there, it's there).
    > He missed one, I think: If Not-A, Then Not-A (if it ain't there, it
    > ain't
    > there). But being there, how would we know?
    > Being-there. Kosinski stole the term; it is the literal translation
    > of Dasein, the Heideggerian term otherwise translated as Being-in-
    > the-World.
    > Kant stated that all concepts without percepts are empty, and
    > all percepts without concepts are blind. If Merleau-Ponty is right
    > and it all starts with percepts, then I guess that we are born blind,
    > and only later on do we perceive our emptiness. Que sera, sera - from
    > fetal to defeatal. What a world.
    > Poor Giordano Bruno. He was burned at the stake by the
    > enforcement arm of the soul-protective Catholic church. The
    > Inquisitors ordered this - because Bruno dared to inquire. He
    > inquired about our universe, and he came to the conclusion that it
    > lacked an absolute center. Relativity theory - four hundred years
    > before Einstein - and they killed him for it. Microcosm-macrocosm: a
    > centerless mind adrift in centerless matter. Being-in-the-World.
    > Thanks, Bruno, you're in good company. Say hi to Socrates for me
    > (another soul slain for attempting to perpetrate self-knowledge).
    > While you're at it, invite jesus over to your table, too; he was most
    > probably as misinterpreted as the rest of you.
    > The name of the Grand Inquisitor was Torquemada. The
    > appelation was most probably derived from the latin torquere, to
    > twist, and torques, collar. Tightening the screws to keep 'em
    > collared, ay, Torquey? A torque is also a piece of twisted wire worn
    > on one's person (but around the neck, not from the navel). However,
    > torquing also causes torsion, a spinning around a center (turning in
    > the widening gyre). Was Bruno burned on the heretic's pyre for
    > disagreeing with you about the existence of such a center, Torquemada?
    > I'm almost sure he didn't mean it personally.
    > Anyway, we all lack a center. It was taken from us when we
    > became us, and we'll never get it back, so long as we all shall live.
    > That's the reason for this sharpened knife in my hand. Primal scream
    > therapists say that one's scream is not authentic until the knotting
    > of the glottis is loosened. Coincidentally (or is it?), this knot is
    > located in the center of the stomach, directly behind the navel. The
    > Indian shot me, mama!
    > The Japanese don't call it hari-kiri; that's an americanization, like
    > chop suey. They call it tsubutu. I like the phonetics of that word:
    > tsu-bu-tu. As if you're talking to yourself to yourself listening in
    > maddening creschEND-O! That damned knot has been there as long as I
    > can remember and I'm fucking tired of it; I'm committed to the idea of
    > autocaesarean section.
    > I'll do it with all the dignity I can muster - no chop suey-side;
    > nope, straight through the ol' chow mein. But I'll allow myself the
    > pleasure of screaming.
    > You'll find me here beside this letter. A last theory of will
    > beside its consummation in final action - and Guess What? I'll
    > finally have a Center- a gleaming, silver center.
    > Well, cheerio! Time to plug the hole!
    > I hope I miss my liver.

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