Sunday, August 9, 2015

Reason as Unreal Motive

                                               
Today when reason is discussed it is almost always assumed that the speaker is referring to either logical inference or scientific deduction (or logical deduction or scientific inference).  This is, of course, often limited by what we are bound to believe.  In many cases, to prove is no more to convince than to convince is to prove.  If you don’t believe this, try to change someone’s mind about something he holds dear.  But I am sure the reader is wiser than that.  Surely that’s so.  If there is no truth, there is no proof.  I can only use reason if I can argue for or against something.  As W. B. Yeats said, “We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.”
In this sense reason is a way of determining what is real or unreal, but what is true or false may not suffer us.  And it must be pointed out that the unreal can be true while the real can be false.  Dreams are unreal in an aesthetic sense but real in an emotional sense, but they are always palpable.  Often in my dreams I find a tiny dime that is dated 10,000 years in the future.  That is unreal, but it is a true portrayal of my inner state of striving.  My poetry is the little dime.  I’m always trying to see what it is worth.  The quest to see what it is worth is greater than the quest to spend it and there is no plan on selling it.
Today the common appreciation of poetry and mythology suffers.  It always has.  We lag behind ourselves in what we know by limiting ourselves to what we can know.  Are the statements that make up a poem true or false?  I write my story / so deep in myself / no one can hear it / in my voice.  Writing a good poem means writing not what I want to write, but what I cannot expect.  There seems to be a lack of appreciation for what is unreal and what the unreal means in real terms.  This goes so far in our way of thinking that the lessons unreality exacts from us are no longer understood, so that our minds can no longer evaluate our lives in unreal, carnal terms.  Only the trite-carnal sells.  Disgust has become commodity, repugnance cliché.  The unreal constitutes a voice that is always drowning within us.  But it cannot die.  All one can do is separate his daylight hours from his dreaming hours, marking himself as the target of his own dreaming protests. 
Reality and unreality are meaningful in the same sense and by the same standard.  They appeal to the same person in the same mind, which is memory.  I seek refuge in the past because it is where I always am.  I know I can find myself there.  This is where reality and unreality come from.  Always, the past is present as the context of every fixed desire which sits in judgment of our actions.

Often I feel that a dream is the subconscious mind's way of saying, "This is what it's like for me!"  Sometimes the subconscious is so delighted the conscious mind marvels, after waking, at how it is able to achieve such superb heights, how it unravels the world in a way in which cogency is shape, color and feeling.  Likewise, the gasping for air reveals itself as a piece of history which we feel should disable our waking lives, if only we were more in touch with whatever is upsetting us. 
But reason is more than deduction and inference.  If I want to eat something then I have a reason for eating it.  In this case reason is motive.  Having a reason to carry on is, after all, much more important than having a correct perception of reality.  My reason for living is who I am.  This cannot be divorced from my sense of real and unreal.  What I need from reality I acquire from unreality in the form of an aspiration that must be unattainable to be valuable.
The unattainable aspiration is the proverbial carrot dangled in front of the ass I’m riding that draws him along the path either to the precipice of a mountain or to the marketplace.  The ass cannot be allowed to reach the carrot, but must maintain the delusion that it can reach it.  This requires some skill on behalf of the rider.  But ultimately I am both the rider and the ass.  Tempting myself is easy for me even if I know I am doing it.  This is all ambition is.  It requires a sleight of hand and an ease of self-deception.  The reason for continuing this way is now the primary reason for existence.  How on earth can this be reason?
If I am true to what moves me I can be carried on for my entire life.  My reason for living can manifest its own searching mind that I am both conscious and unconscious of.  I have the obligation to know but not the right to believe, or something along those lines.  Other people I pass seem to gather what I am about but not what I am after.  There is a goal ahead, but that goal is ill-informed by the goal of attaining the carrot.  I balance the ultimate goal with the carrot goal.  I do the math.  Reason is nowhere to be found.
All the while something in me is crying out at less than a whisper.  I hear this voice in friends and enemies, in kindness and rudeness.  I must continue.  I must unlearn the habits that slow me. I must remember my manners among the locals.  I must decipher the reasons for manners, otherwise I have no hope of ever learning them.   

One hopes his beliefs are true.  He certainly lives as if they are.  By hoping he makes a place for himself among the ruined party favors of the world, where each person enacts a fantasy to own his own place and find his place preoccupied with whatever he needs.  A life which is not visible or audible cannot be examined.  It cannot even be exhumed.  It must be resurrected.  A voice which is not heard cannot be followed. 

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