a cathartic whinge about self-righteous and indignant author-poets

I need your help considering what to do about this twit-poet i’m working with.

Because I love poetry, I really do. But sometimes working with poets really toots my whistle. Here is how I want to respond to one especially indignant author I’m working with (i’m in bold):

p156 again epigraph looks crappy plus we should put the bit I brackets not all in italics. Also, in this poem ‘A physiological law’ – all the formatting is awry – just see original) too many too enumerate here – it’s all indenting Way to get a typesetter offside, poet. You sound like a self-important twit. If you had wanted perfect formatting reflected back to you in the proofs, you might have considered the way you set up your Word file, which made setting this book unnecessarily laborious for me. I would normally keep that to myself, but calling the epigraphs ‘crappy’ is just a cheap shot. Express your aesthetic opinion and leave it at that, okay. Mind your language or I’ll withhold the notes about all the errors I’ve found.

Too right it’s all bloody indenting! Content-free indenting, as far as i can discern.

Here is how I should respond – because it’s not worth picking battles with twats:

p156 again epigraph looks crappy plus we should put the bit I brackets not all in italics. Also, in this poem ‘A physiological law’ – all the formatting is awry – just see original) too many too enumerate here – it’s all indenting Please be more considerate when giving instructions.  Not all of these errors I’m fixing are mine.

But even as i wrote and emphasised the word ‘should’ i thought, What a sellout! The respectable thing to do would be to not retaliate – but i don’t even value respectability, as i expressed in this post about shitting in someone’s garden. But why should i let this jerk push me around. Well, i guess, to feel pushed around i would have to be exerting force in the opposite direction. I could choose to not care. Would it be equally self-important to give any more energy to this – to make any further efforts toward demonstrating that he is wrong in talking to me this way. I think so, yes. The right course of action is to choose not to care. It’s only because i’m sleep-deprived that i would care anyway.

But still, what do you think?


An Experiment with Pronouns and Perspective



Consciousness is a witness, an observer of the mind. But we confuse consciousness with mind – we think we are the mind: i am has come to mean i am the mind. We say, ‘I think, therefore i am.’ It’s Descartes’ fault – not mine!

A new pronoun is needed, so that we can begin to move away from conflating ‘i’ with consciousness: i is not consciousness; i is the mind; consciousness is consciousness. From now on, consciousness is represented by the symbol ‘!’.

In our current usage, ‘i’ is too much loaded with mind-identification, and we tend to think consciousness is of the mind – the two are conflated and it’s confusing. Sometimes we talk about something like ‘collective consciousness’ if we want to refer to that consciousness that transcends the individual human mind, but this term is also too much loaded with ideas about groups made up of yet-separate individuals when really, the term ‘consciousness’ should be enough to imply collective consciousness.

So i’m experimenting with alternative pronouns for making a distinction between the mind-made ‘i’ and consciousness – for now, a symbol, because i don’t want to coin some new word, words being too much loaded with ideas from our linguistic intellect.

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Starting to Breathe, Part I

a rambling five-part exploration of how spiritual healing must complement lifestyle changes that will facilitate spiritual healing – the Introduction is here

Fits and Starts

There is a new comb. It can be used without reference to the ‘i’. There was a festival, and there is an OSHO commune on Lesvos, Greece. Here, there and now, there is an alternative way of living. It is the way of light, of love, of uncontrollable and inexplicable laughter: laughter that bubbles up from the well-spring of a healthy spirit.

I have been experimenting with writing without reference to the ‘i’, to the ego, but it is proving difficult – it feels detached from reality, disembodied. Maybe it’s too much for now, because the thing is i’m still attached to my sense of ‘i’, to a sense that things happen to me, or that i do things.

It’s complicated. I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle again, A New Earth. He has a lot to say about how we invest a sense of self in objects, things, people, whatever – things that ultimately exist outside ourselves, and are not us. And i have obviously been reading and listening to Osho, who has a lot to say about witnessing, about that part of our consciousness that can observe our ego, thereby separating us from what Eckhart would call the mind-made self – a way to start moving toward liberation.

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Bir Dil Bir Insan

“Bir dil bir insan” is a Turkish proverb meaning “one language, one human” and implying that when you learn a second language you become two humans.

Extrapolating from this affirms my belief that if we share one language we begin to live as One, as a single expression of unified humanity. When we begin to live as a single expression of unified humanity we begin to move toward Understanding, where differences are no longer problems but expressions of diversity, opportunities to live a vibrant life in harmony with one another.

When i posted this, auto-correct got one by me and changed “insane” to “insane” … which wouldn’t be the first time insanity was aligned with the concept of humanity.


What Does it Mean to Say Hello?

I am teaching myself Türkçe from an old American Foreign Service Institute resource i found online and i love what they have to say about language:

Language is a system of representation of ‘ideas’ and ‘concepts’ in formal symbols. These symbols are realised in communication as acts of speech which are communicative insofar as they can be understood by the hearer as representative of the symbolic language system which he has mastered.

What i am learning is a system of sounds represented by symbols, both of which “point at” an intended meaning.

I often find myself in a room surrounded by a barrage of sounds that mean nothing to me, but which obviously mean a great number of things to the people making them and hearing them.

To some of those people, the sounds i make are equally unintelligible. They are sounds represented by symbols, both of which “point at” an intended meaning,

but these sounds and their associated symbols have no inherent meaning.

Humans, words and meanings exist on a three-tiered hierarchy: between humans and concepts there are words; humans use words that refer to, or point at, certain concepts.

But when you start to realise that the concept or meaning is the only thing that remains constant because suddenly you are immersed in a group of people using a whole different system of sounds and symbols,

it is humbling to think your entire understanding of the world could mean absolutely nothing to someone who doesn’t share the same language as you.

It is humbling to think your interpretation of concepts into the sounds and symbols that constitute, say, the English language, could be entirely different from someone whose interpretation has been made in another language.

Who is right?, the person who says “Hello” or the person who says “Merhaba”.

Does it matter?, or is intention the only thing that matters?

Is intention the same as meaning?

If i intend to greet someone and i say “Hello” and they intend to greet me and they say “Merhaba” but neither of us understands the meaning of the other’s greeting, does that mean that we have not said hello?

How can we expect to ask ‘friend or foe?’ and be able to make the important distinction when someone answers in a foreign language?


The Thing About John Updike

The thing about John Updike is, I found yet another inspiring post on Brain Pickings recently, about John Updike and some ideas of his about writing and death, and how various things we do (addictions, writing) are merely ways of avoiding accepting the reality of nothingness, of our imminent demise and the likelihood our death will be our extermination.

Happy stuff.

It was inspiring because I really like to think of a guy who’s dedicated himself to writing and contemplation,

and contemplation is a key qualifier to writing here, because lots of people write, but there is a way of writing purposefully and meaningfully that I think adds an extra dimension of importance to writing,

and that is to use writing as a tool for contemplation.

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