Rambling

I was reading Thich Nhat Hanh this morning because Christianity never worked for me, and I can’t grasp the essence of Hinduism.

I was reading his exposition of the four noble truths and the eightfold path. I was reading him because the positive existentialism of Viktor Frankl only gave me momentary catharsis, and nihilism is something I so desperately want to escape from.

So, the four noble truths involve acknowledging your suffering; delving deeper into the cause of your anguish; knowing there’s a way to eliminating your grief and transforming it into joy using the eightfold path.

I seem to go up to stage three and regress each time I try. I guess there’s beauty in being fucking miserable because happiness is an overrated product in this society of greed, hate, and materialism.

I mean, look around you. Everything is transient and purpose is ephemeral. And don’t lecture me about the truth when all we do is breathe, eat, drink, smoke, work, fuck, shit and die. Maybe I sound like an adult Holden Caulfield, but I stopped giving a damn a while ago.

My friends, there are no Edenesque getaways with trees of life, and even if you were to find one, you’d find a cherub with a flaming sword embodying the wrath of Yahweh guarding it.

So here you are, stuck in a surreal actuality that epitomises the clichéd The truth is stranger than fiction, idiom. Here you are, where everyone turns on you, or you turn on everyone else.

I could write pages and pages about the women I’ve slept with, giving them an allure, making them my muses or whatever, using sonnets (both Petrarchan and Shakespearean), but there will never come a time for those recollections.

I’ve measured out my life in coffee spoons, and yeah, I’m a postmodern Prufrock, riddled with angst, sexual tension, and never finding solace in anything.

So, I guess I’m just going to write about cigarettes since I’m the fatalist who’s an insipid Bukowski; selling his rhymes for free; addicted to his misery, and wallowing in his self-pity and depravity.

I’m smoking Marlboro Reds, by the way. Don’t you just love smoking? I mean, the rush, the release and the satisfaction are better than sex.

So, here’s to a life without meaning. Can I get an Amen?

7 responses to “Rambling”

  1. You are such a great writer, and I absolutely found this post interesting. Might you keep it as a journal entry for later in life; it is my hope that you will read it again and think what I’m thinking, “what a little shit I was , all that mental energy and all that physical health ,squandered”. Yes, I am triggered here, because in my work I see cancer in those who are in the midst of lofty life goals, who are hanging on for the birth of grandchildren etc.
    Taunting cancer even as dark humour is too much for me. Is this a lecture, err, not so much. I’m rambling in response to your rambling. I want to come over there, knock on your door … give you a big hug, drag you out for daily excursions into nature. Show you all sorts of Christian God/Hindi gods dancing around us, dazzling in the achingly beautiful symmetry of flowers. I’d like for your heart to race as you try to keep up with me, but you would be cursing because those little Marlboro sticks have clogged the true potential of your alveoli (not to mention deforming your sperm into sluggish, aimless entities).
    I’m asking for a miracle here, wanting for you what I want for every one, that you might grow into your fullest potential.
    I don’t read any of the fancy authors you do, those dead intellectuals/philosophical types don’t align with my life today. Your thoughts are vastly more important because you are part of the vast mortal organism I too am a part of.
    If you are a limb amputated that is a concern to me.
    I think you know that the meaning of life is love, how about we start loving ourselves first and foremost?
    Sometimes addiction numbs the pain, sometimes it’s just a habit of self loathing for the bored.
    You read, you write beautifully, you puff.
    Is that all you are Nitin?
    I’ve experienced a series of three profound losses, starting with the death of my father. It has been very dark at times, and my writing is greatly stifled. I look back at the minor setbacks I used to write about. Silly heartbreaks, or the rush of epic fantasy romance. So trivial until the real, real shit hit the fan. After the detonation of the unexpected mines in life, the miracle is standing up again and knowing that only love is real. All else are the illusions to weather. After the bomb, the air clears, the soot settles, and there at your feet, a flower. Hope.
    I write about flowers a lot. I also wonder why, in a world of billions of birds, I seldom see a bird carcass. People say that dead birds are consumed by other creatures, but still. There should be more bodies. Does a bird foresee his death and perish in hiding? Head for a suitable offshore site?
    This is an example of a mystery I believe can never be solved. Such as the mystery of our meaning, where no logic or religion can satisfactorily soothe our existential conundrums! So we must turn to our intuition, and I choose love. But love and living, and healthy living are a choice.
    The opposite of love is fear, anxiety, darkness,Marlboro, addiction to substances or people etc.
    Some of my ramble might actually come across as a bit crazy. I can assure you I am sober, smoke free and it’s still morning here, so I might well be haha!

    • Actually you’re right. It’s sick to joke about cancer. Sometimes I push my dark humour to the limits. I hope I will read this one day too and think “what an absolute shit I was.”

      My smoking addiction began when I was diagnosed with BPAD and OCD. I was in the midst of becoming a clinical psychologist and the last thing on my mind was writing and bam! In a few months, I’d grown fat, dropped out of a good master’s program, had manic episodes and lost interest in everything. At first I wrote obscure poetry to cope, but with time, as friends distanced themselves and people treated me like a complete pariah, I lost the interest to live.

      Back then, I smoked but I felt something. Sadness, love, anger. As time progressed, I battled with Calvinistic doctrine and that conquered me completely. An existential dread (as cliched as it sounds) set in and I wondered why God would create this universe with so much suffering and predetermine everything, good and evil, and destroy us. I guess there aren’t any answers to that question. But that coupled with being put in an institution for a while because I harmed myself, killed me inside. I just stopped feeling. Of course there are times when I feel sad or happy or feel love, but on most days, I’m dead.

      The writers I read are nihilistic ones like Eugene Thacker and Ligotti and I don’t agree with much of what they say. But there’s mind fog because of antidepressants, etc and I try to gain some simulacrum of intelligence back, because quite honestly, I feel so jaded and dull. No longer sharp like I was.

      Perhaps like you said, it’s deep seated self-loathing. If I could love myself, and believe again it would probably be a miracle. A lot of real shit did hit the fan over the last eight years, and I guess I never rose up. I became a stone.

      I guess in the end, it’s love that conquers everything. Perhaps it will conquer my pessimism too. And living healthy is a slow, difficult process considering that I haven’t done it in years, but I guess I have to.

      Your comment inspired me although it’s a bit of a rant. I lead a solitary existence, troubled with my thoughts and madness, but maybe there’s more to life than what I’ve stated in the post. So, thank you for the comment Diana. I’m going to try to settle into a better rhythm. Whether I will or not, remains to be seen.

      • Thank you for sharing yourself in this reply Nitin, it’s a public space and you speak openly and with vulnerability. But it’s unlikely anyone will read us, unless they are meant to.
        It’s easy for me to offer my theories on addiction, and love as the answer but compared to you I have walked a well paved road of motivation and hope. Some hiccups also in the last 8 years… blindsided by anxiety (it’s left me now), losing myself to a narcissist (I’ve left them) and grief (my dad left the world). Abandonment has left the door wide open for enlightenment and the joy of the sweet now. I too have my finest moments alone, but I work, have healthy moments of connection. Just like this moment when I’m talking directly to you!
        Oh but you are brilliant, I saw it years ago in your thought processes and writing. You touch me, and my heart is heavy reading about your emptiness. Yet you are still there, you must recognize that you are walking a path and there is a reason.

        Oh, and “God” did create this universe, but also most crucially gave us all free will. The suffering is from our own fingertips is it not? The suffering is sonetimes random and indiscriminately bestowed, yet in every situation we have choices of how to react. With light and courage or darkness and self abuse.
        When you feel dead, I check your pulse in your writing and proclaim you fully alive. Let us walk together in increments toward the light.
        I hope I don’t come across like sone born again, bible bashing type….I just have a deep elation, a deep knowing that you and I are thoughts in the mind of “God”.
        And all the religions, all the thousands of years trying to explain the divine. No wonder we experience crises when we try to reconcile the mighty with our micro intellects. The only way is to relax into our intuitive selves and listen to the still voice.
        Random rant ongoing here ha! I hope you slept some!

      • Hopefully no one reads too much into our conversation. I’ve had my share of haters here, but I felt the need to be vulnerable and speak openly. I can relate to crippling anxiety and narcissists. My father was very abusive growing up, but we’ve made our peace. Now I can pick up the phone and talk to him about Fargo or Barry or some other TV show whenever I want to. I guess age changes people.

        I do believe everything happens for a reason but I also believe in predestination. As I’ve explored religion, I’ve come to terms with a God who predetermined everything and even uses evil for His purposes. I could go one step further and say He created evil in a way that renders him inculpable. It’s heavy Calvinist theology, and it was the cause of much sorrow. I have free will, but my acts of free will serve providence and were supposed to happen.

        It’s deep stuff and I won’t bore you with it, but as far as suffering is concerned, I agree that a lot is self-induced, but a lot you’ll find no explanations for. It was simply meant to happen.

        I have had some bizarre, harrowing experiences and they have prompted me to act in weird ways. I can tell myself that it was my mind, but I really don’t know. The things I’ve seen and experienced were very real and yet people aren’t going to accept them as normal occurrences.

        Yeah I’ve decided to cut down on the self-abuse and smoking and walk towards a better future. So yes let us walk together. You don’t come across as a born again type at all. I don’t even know what your beliefs are and honestly it doesn’t matter. The born again are self-righteous and always proselytising! In the end, you don’t force your beliefs on anyone, and I don’t intend to force mine too. I just stated them. Maybe there will come a time when I’ll embrace free will and believe in a more optimistic outlook like you do. In the end, religion or beliefs shouldn’t define any of us, just like political ideology. To be honest, though I talk a lot about faith, I’m not religious. There may be a deep seated fatalism, but I’m open to change as ironic as that sounds!

        Many people come up with all kinds of notions of the divine. Some like Eugene Thacker even talk about it in terms of negation. In the end, when the time is right all will be revealed. So live, laugh, drink wine and enjoy life is my motto henceforth and you’ve helped me see it in a strange way. Yes the still voice is extremely important. I tend to be too impulsive and ignore it often.

        I slept a little. I think I’ll watch something now. I’m waiting for the season finale of The Boys. I work on some other writing that I don’t post here. Maybe it’ll lead somewhere? Who knows? I’ll have to query agents once it’s done.

  2. Thank you for being so very engaging and interesting with your reply. I believe a foray into Calvinist theology might plunge me into a void, and have me reaching for Marlboros as well. So I best avoid it, and resume my occasional ride on a passing unicorn. I’m not saying I don’t have darkness nipping at my heels, just that I’m aware of its presence and damn it, like a fighter preparing for a round in the ring I prefer to show some fancy footwork and pump my fists to the oohs and ahhhs of the crowd or no one. Maybe it’s just me in the arena alone, avoiding those shadows.

    I can’t fathom a God who uses evil for his purposes. Wow. What a waste of energy…. I sense it might in fact be an imposter pretending, we must ask for ID if approached in the future! My God is Love is God is Love. A perfect impenetrable circle that gathers mass, like a snowball. The trick is to open one’s arms and be in the path. Oh to be debris of this sort gathered.

    Your bizarre, harrowing experiences sound quite terrifying. Totally in another league to my own strange moments revealed when I was sleep deprived, anxious – or paranoid from an accidental over indulgence of edibles. Not illegal her but so not for me. My imagination needs no push with such substances ! Nah!

    Anyhow, I had merely wanted to send a quick good day to you. I hope you venture outdoors today, in between your writing bursts or sideways glances to a once favored guitar!

    • Yeah it’s intense theology. Terrifying sometimes. Fancy footwork reminds me of Lomachenko. Great Boxer. I think we all have darkness nipping at our heels. In the end, we’re human and flawed, but there’s beauty in simply being us, with and without the little darkness.

      The thing with God is he is love to his elect and wrath to the reprobate. And if a person is elect there’s no resisting God. I think the poem the hound of heaven by a catholic mystic (I forget his name) captures this. God will gather his elect to himself. If a person is God’s chosen, he loves him and forgives him of all sins. He is also love in the sense that he doesn’t want everybody to perish but he strangely decrees that most do. It’s confusing really. As far as using evil for his purposes, he is the sovereign ruler of the universe and so is in charge of everything. But why this world which is surely not the best of all possible worlds, I don’t know. Why predetermine Satan and Adams fall, I dunno. It’s heavy stuff and will make you reach for those Marlboros!

      Better to believe in whatever keeps you going. If you believe in a God of love without wrath and that helps you, then keep walking that path. At the end of the day, I talk about theology but I dunno what to believe in anymore. Maybe there’s a soul-cleansing purgatory at the end of this or maybe we’re reduced to nothing. Maybe there’s much more to truth than I’ve believed so far. Who knows?

      Oh the experiences were terrifying all right. I’ve seen things like the curtain between this world and another parting. I don’t think people should see such things. I stopped illegal substances because of paranoia. They are all sadly still illegal here! Goodness it was like some descent into hell. Sometimes when I have a cold I take an antihistamine and it dries me up and lowers my mood since it’s a downer. I dunno how grunge musicians were on that shit all the time!

      And a good day (or night) to you too Diana. I should venture out for a walk unless I sleep off. I give my guitar sideways glances often, sad looks lol.

      • Gosh, you always send my mind whirring. Thank you for invigorating my brain cells and sharing yourself with me.

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