Notes for Myself
Theory of Spectatorship aDiary + Film-North Album (new)
The next book is difficult for me to write. How do you write "non-fiction" about what is ahead of you? And what do I know about my own future?
Alas, maybe that is about my past, about my existance before my conception! When my immortal soul was waiting for life?
Remember the first chapter about light?
Perhaps it will be difficult for you too to read it, because it's not about me anymore, but you.
Are you surprised? You thought that I do not know you and can't be you?
How come? You lived my life reading the book, why do you think I can't live yours and write about it?
NotesI don't remember how the PS became so long.... Go, go to Theology of Technology!
We must take hold of the riddle of technology and lay it on the table as the ancient philosophers and scientists put the riddle of Nature out in the open, the two being superimposed. (Paul Virilio)
I write PS in place of Epilogue, to complete the book you just read and to give an idea where it goes from here. And there is another book "Tech" (Theology of Technology) I have. I feel that we do not fully understand the world we created and keep developing arond us. I even object to the word "technology" -- it's misleading. I am sure that a century from now the real meaning of this process will be obvious.
Will my friend Lucifer get fully "humanized"? Well, we have to go through the VR stage of existance first. Only after we master this Virtual Reality we can talk about the thoughts having feelings and flesh.
I see him reading it, but I don't him to be dicouraged. You waited long enough, my prince, work on it, I am working with you, brother!
"The notes from the hard drive""I came to say goobye," Lucifer was dressed up, the suit, the tie.
"Goodbye," I said.
"I can't go with you any further, you know. Nobody can. You have to do it by yourself, alone."
"Do you know what is there?"
"Not really. It's a different world all together. I told you that I do not deal with the future. I have some idea, of course, you know me, I have it, ideas and hints. But I have to stay here, I have to work on it, on feelings. I can't experience the OTHER feelings, it's too much. Not now at least."
"What is there?"
"Didn't they tell you? The Trinity, I mean."
"Maybe they did, but I often understand things very late. What is it?"
"You see, you were born, maybe you still remember it, the womb, your life in your mother's body."
"Is that so? Why? Do you know why I have to do it, to go there?"
"That is where you all go, the humans. You have to write about it for them, maybe some of them read and they will understand what is going on with them and around them."
"I'm tired of travelling," I said.
"Tell me about it! That what I was doing before you. Here, there, everywhere! Now when I have some feelings, I slowed down, thanks to you. I enjoy it, the slow speed, I mean."
"Good luck," I shook his hand. "Do you have a date? Who is she?"
"You don't want to know," he smiled. "Thanks for everything."
"Tell her that I remember her," I said.
"She knows. She said 'hello'...."
I was alone. It was a bright day with the silly small clouds on the light blue sky like in my childhood. I can't see the sun, but I feel the warm light on my face. What are they talking about? I am what I am, how could I be somebody else? And what is this business about the womb? Sometimes they talk such a nonsense!
He left the file on the table -- SELF, INC.
I read. I don't remember that chapter in my Book of SELF.
A hand written note:"I hope you are not lost between I and I-I. Read the books I am using, it could help. Many definitions are from Buber or Bakhtin, I have a lot quotations in order not to form the thought and to link it back to the works that examined the issues in depth.
.... I am lost. This chapter was supposed to be about "I" -- about the travel I fear....
Why can't I write about the real things, like when I came to the room and my sister was sleeping and her shirt was up and I saw that she is not my sister, but a woman, with this cut between her legs, she was nine, and I walked out shocked, because she was more than my baby-sister. That's how I lost her, no, ;ater, when i let her marry somebody, she shouldn't, when I did nothing, when I didn't bring back that boy, who was in love with her, the friend of her future husband. I didn't have time for her, I was busy writing the stupid plays. God, please, forgive me!
And this is why my mother wanted to die after the accident, after my sister died.... "
It must be from the next book -- TECH...
I -- Mother
"Do you see it?" Christ asked.
Yes, I saw it. First, I heard it. Then the morning spring Moscow light through the open window. Of course I see it, my mother ironing my white shirt and the silk red necktie, this pioneer triangle. She had a good, clear voice, but never sang in public. She was happy, singing all those Soviet patriotic songs. About the wonderful life they have, the blue skies above and Stalin in the Kremlin, who takes care of it all.
She couldn't accept that anything was wrong with Stalin or their past life. She thought that her son became a teenager and a rebel and I couldn't change her mind, becuase she didn't her me, I could in her eyes that she thinks that her grew up and now can get himself in trouble. Only after my defection and when the whole system collapsed and so many things became known, she changed her mind.
"How did you know?" she kept asking me, when they came to Alaska in 1991. "How did you know everything?"
Now she was asking a man, father of two american children, she saw for the first time, she tried to recognize in me the boy she remembered.God is neither soul nor angel ... nor can He be described or understood ... He neither stands still nor moves ... He is none of the things that have no being, none of the things that have being... Nor is there any way by which we can reach Him through reason or understanding.... --Boehme _The Cloud of Unknowing_
Really, what if God doesn't exist and it's I who is God? Than I'm safe.
I wish they talk more about Noting. Sartre and Heidegger, not Kant, but Marx. The being of non-being. Every time they talked about Man, the existentialists meant God. God has no nature, God forced to be free!.. How did I miss my existentialist roots? The whole century is existential in its reaction to socialization of the modernism. How about Existentialism and Hitler?
The begining of the African Book I placed in the year 2050, after my death. I thought it will be easier for me to talk about the past, the dead. I had no time in this book to talk about being dead. You see, most of the time I am dead. It's only natural. I was dead before I was born and I will be dead after I die. I know, you would say, that in order to be dead one has to be born. Non-being has no less forms and configurations that life. Not being alive places me in a position when Before and After could be inter-changeable. It's only the living which interested in history and time. Being dead for eternity gives me a different perspective on my being. First, I have to accept the fact. Perhaps, that is the most difficult moment to accept the simple fact of your own death. I don't know why we have no problem with our birth, but our death always is something hypothetical (since we are not dead yet). Strange. This thought is just an observation of the Christian landscape. Jesus was borne and died. Christ lived before, during and after Jesus. Christianity insists that I am not alive when I'm dead. I wouldn't compare the two beings in this manner. Actually, measuring everything to my human (animal) understanding of life limits my thought. For many years I keep thinking about life of a stone. It has its own existence, being, forms -- I can't call it "dead" nature. What is "dead"?
The point I am trying to make -- I wish to stop talking like "thinking" grass. There's a lot of it in our philosophy. Why can't we get use to the fact that to live is extremely abnormal and being dead is our nature? Non-being is what I'm most of the time. According to a quantitative view, my life is a neglectable number. My non-living is so big, that, mathematically speaking, I never lived. Did you notice, I'm mixing "being" and "life"? Well, this idea has interesting consequences. Basically, like in Q Mechanics, we can't really say did I live or not. More paradoxically, anything could be considered as existed even if it never existed! How about that kind of potentiality! And I have to accept it if I understand (believe) God's nature.... (I hope you remember that God's nature is not to have nature. Everything existing would be a limitation; God has to stay undescribable, i.e. outside of Being and beings).
He stopped reading and looked at me.
"So, you know about the Lake of Fire."
"I read about it."
"Did He show it to you?"
"No, I don't remember," I said.
"You don't remember, but you write about it. The Non-Existance," Christ replied.
"But I do not know how it looks like...."
"How it's supposed to look like, something that doesn't exist?"
"But the Book said 'Lake' and the 'Fire'?"
"Because it feels that way. You do not see it, but you feel its presence. Don't you know this feeling? When your soul is trembling, because this is the place for death of a soul."
"And what is after, when the soul is thrown into the Lake?"
"Nothing. Absolute Nothing. Non-Being, as you, guys, say it. Gone."
"Is it possible? Everything transforms into something...."
"Not in the virtual world. Not when the matter is not involved. Do you want all the stupid thought and emotions to stay forever?"
"But who is to decide what is stupid and useless?"
"That is the Last Judgement and you, your souls are to judge."Let me tell you about the feelings of the dead. Today (Sunday, October 5, 1997) I lived through a shame of recognizing that I forgot my existentialist fathers. Sartre, Dostoevsky, Kirkeggard, even Marx -- all dead -- talked to Heidegger about me (I read Heidegger lately). I could hear them talking in amazement how could I keep forgetting that it was said so many times that there is no such a thing as a human nature. I was ashamed of the future readers of mine, all of them were looking at me with pity. I keep forgetting that I belong to them, that I am from over there and I should know better. I am still too human. Maybe I watch too much of television. I forgot that I am dead. I should think about the nature of the dead -- what is the nature of a non-living? Did they all call the transition from non-living into (human) life a tragedy? Did they said that existence is absurdic? Why? If being a human is a nonsense, not being must be making a lot of sense..... "Can you bring her back?" I asked knowing the answer. "Can I bring her back?"
I like being dead. Nobody bothers you. Even Anatoly.
"The Judgement is unconditional, Anatoly, but the Resurrection is not," he aswered. "How do you understand my resurrection?"
I looked at Christ, yes, I thought about it, he knew it, and he waited for my answer.
"I thought about it," I said.
"I know," he said.
"It must be more than you," I wasn't looking at him. "It must be others, who can't accept it, the death of the love one."
"Did you accept her death?"
"I know that mother died."
"Yes, that is a part of my story too. I was dead. Do you accept death?"
He was waiting.
"Only as a stage, a test...." I said,Resurrection is the method of constructing God (through paradise); they do it and will continue to do. Everything written about God will be there: Big Brother? Christ. Also, Daddy, the Father. And the third one -- the Ghost. Omnipresent, all right. All powerful. Of course, they don't need churches, the communists.
Resurrection = creation of God.
Not the second nature, but God!
Not just computers, but the SYSTEM. Don't you see what is going on? How much they want it, how much work and energy is invested!
Oh, we need Him so bad! Not any God, but OUR god. For the people, by the people and of the people. (Which people? That's why we need this global village, to make all the same). We need the One who will never leave us alone. Who loves! How much we do need it -- we are ready to go for anything.
We resist the position of being gods....
Why do we insist that all humans are "basically" the same? Like all dogs are dogs. Something anti-personal and possible only in paradise or hell. Why would I need this total connection with human? Don't I have enough of it? Or is it the only way to contact myself? Humanity is only a stage in my upbringing.... Oh? You don't want to work on manufacturing the Super-man?
"You wrote about being and becoming," Christ said. "Here is your answer. It's a process. If you write good books, if others will think about what you wrote, about your, her, her life, if they would see and love her, the people who never met her, who know nothing about you, Russia, those times...."
"I understand," I almost whispered, I lost my voice. "Is that what they called 'Salvation'?"
"You said," he said. "It is in her. Your salvation. And hers -- in you."
I was her only son. I do not know where I heard it, this rumor that my sister was a "mistake" -- I didn't plan another child. I knew that she loved me, all of us -- my sister, my father. Maybe she herself and me, the least of all understood it. She was the first woman that loved me.
But did she loved me as a man? The way I am now?
He wasn't there to answer me.I watch myself. I've been doing it for many years. Am I afraid to lose the body? What is life and living in such a position?
Body -- that's the place where they can get me. Christians knew that my body never can be my friend. It's my slave. (And it treats me the same). People are slaves of their bodies, we know. Americans. If you can't beat it, join it -- so we did.
Hey, now we know that your mind is the bigger enemy!
Resurrection means different "Being" and "be" -- shall I say "opposite"?
"I have to go with you over that page," Christ gave me that page about the resurrection. "You remember that you have to write, meaning that it has to beread. They have to see it."
"I remember," I said.
"Writing, not talking," he explained himself. "You can't just throw this last line about the difference between 'being' and 'be'...."
"But this is not even my thought! You can find in other books, I think, I am refering to Heidegger...."
"You see? They said it and all you have to do is to see it. They are philosophers, you are not. Their job is done, your is to show the thought."
Of course he was right. I often think about the contradiction between Being and Becoming. Resurrection is both, because it's the source of new life. That is the way I understand why at some point we stop growing physically, we have to grow inside and the growth must be as dramatic as our transitions from one year to another when we are children. That is becoming, the only form of being. If you can't do it, that's non-being -- and you can see it, if you yourself is not dead already.Dwelling (Heidegger); spirits are always dwell. Hello, new nomads. We learn, we move more, move faster. This cyber space is about to change us, to teach never be static, to be a process....I went downstairs to get myself a cup of coffee. He wasn't here anymore. Everytime I lose it, he is gone. God, that is the time when I need the dialogue! ....
Resurrection means "secondary" existence? This is another thought that torments me. The only way for me to accept this "second round" is to see it as the third stage, when the first one was my existance before my birth.
Als, the salvation business. Salvation from what? Death? What if I'm not interested? What did they mean by that?[ image ]
ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE PRESENTImagination that is what we should never ask from God. God forbid, we can imagine the past and see the present. Humanism can't be critical of itself -- it's too much to ask. We must not question the gift of being humans. Nietzsche hoped that it is possible for a human to go beyond humanity. He tried and went mad. That's what the gift of imagination can do to you. Imagination is more dangerous than knowledge. Actually, we value knowledge because it kills imagination. We know about the past, we study it -- we feel good because we UNDERSTAND! We are above the past. We look down on them, the primitives, without telephone and hot water, at mercy of weather and wild animals. We are proud of being civilized, and why shouldn't we?
Should I try to step out of my humanity and take a look at my day? The media hip over Princess Diana's death did it. Not the death itself but the way it was celebrate. It was another Di's step up in being a celebrity -- she became "people's princess"! Why those millions were so "moved"? What was behind the spectacle of cheap emotions? What did they want to cover?
Our times are no less brutal than pre-history. We kill and torture but in a different (sophisticated) way. We can speed up a human body at the 100 m/h and smash it against the wall. Or take you several thousand feet in the air and drop down. We call it accidents. Our executions have no trail and clemency. Like in Stalin's trail we pick our victims at random. We sacrifice some for our gods -- comfort, safety and peace. And like in Nazi Germany it's hard to find the guilty -- we all are innocent.
We have to pay for living better and longer. Who pays? Lets make it a lottery. At the times of law and reason we submit ourselves to the biggest injustice of all -- killing without any reason. Fate? We don't believe in it. Not really. Or the broken cause and effect link?...
We'd like to think that we have a better laws than before us. We banned cruel and unusual punishment by inventing an electric chair! To make death instant we perfected the dying. The guillotine was introduced for the same reason. And it made execution more effective, now we could cut more heads.
We are proud that we have less abortion than in Russia or China. We prevent the conception, not the birth. It's less cruel, don't you think? You are not against pain-killers, aren't you? Well, don't I remember, that Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and hard drugs are against pain, too.... It is "natural" not to feel pain? The bottom line of anything philosophical is the doubt that it's natural to be human. Do we need more humanization?
We are more humane. We have done away with slavery....
But what do you think the rush hour is?
My children are taken away from me. They visit their family for a few hours a day. Most of the time their are at work, with their master. They get up around 6.30 am and brought back in yellow prison busses at 3 pm. All day long they have been drilled in working skills and, yes, they bring their work home (home work). Of course, it's done for their good. From the moment of birth -- for decades -- they are prepared for work.... the society is the biggest benefactor of my success. I know what is about to happen to a slave if he stops working. Also I know what it feels like to realize that I am a slave.
Americans work hard. They work all the time. The way our prehistorical ancestors did to survive physically. We work when they vocation, they work to stay healthy (workout). They work watching tv.... you still didn't get it, the secrets of entertainment? They work two jobs, those fools, who rase new slaves for the humanity. They work at home, too. That's called an American Dream. In postmodernity they have a third job -- they must learn non-stop, upgrade themselves. All without exceptions -- young and old, women and children.
Do you want more pictures, mister Dante? I don't have to travel to Africa or the world beyond. I have no need for imagination and Kafka. It's all in there, my everyday mundane life. Perhaps, now you know why people get bored, why they think that nothing is happening. That's how a born into slavery feels. Of course, we had to invent humanism and stupidity. We learned how to lie and have fun. No, we don't want go beyond being humans; we spent so much time constructing it!
I wasn't there when she died. I came only when it was the fourtieth day, you know. We were in the same appartment, only she wasn't there. The table, the talk -- and then I noticed that my father wasn't there. I got up and went to their bedroom. He was lying on their low bad looked at the wall with the old family photographs. I was sure that we both had the thought on our mind. I lyied down next to him to see what he saw.
"It was fast. She didn't suffer," he said. "She called me and I held her right here, asking 'Lida, Lida, what?' -- but she couldn't speak, she had no air -- and it was fast. I was holding her, but she was gone."
On the wall was their photo before the wedding. You know, that black and white studio photo, when both there frozen, staring at you with those smiles.... I didn't want to see my father's face, because I could hear the tears in voice.
"I would go in the forest. I was there by myself at the datcha, it was cold there, but I could be here. I would go to the forest, as deep I can to scream for hours untill my voice is gone. Like animal...."Even as a teenager I was suspicious of Freud. I understood his point about me-animal and the powers of the body. But I felt as if the doctor doesn't tell me the whole story. Freud was a man of modernity, he could not admit that we constructed a more terrible beast to control the nature. The human must be more brutal to overpower the animal in me. Humanism must be outrageously gross and ruthless to rule. Why than we are surprised at the diabolic ferocity of Nazism? Why don't we see it as a demonstration of the high modernity and success of humanism? Gas chambers weren't even the means of punishment.I was alone. I stared at the text on screen, having no thoughts.
You see, if we pill up 40 thousand killed on the road each year and put them in the mass grave, we wouldn't be so shocked with the pictures from Sarievo. We have more Americans committing suicide in one day than Saudis execute in a year. But we didn't do it! They did it to themselves! They had a freedom of choice! They didn't have to do it! They were driving!....... Well, that was the time when it got broken. I left the house. I had a fight with father and the morning, when they for work, I packed a few thing and left to stay with a friend whos parents left him an appartment and worked in Magadan.After all the books about freedom I find myself having no other choice besides being human. I have to say, it's disappointing and depressing. I feel stuck with humanism without the euphoria of modernists. I must be a postmodernist and even a pomo, a monster, not being proud of rockets and cloning. To tell you the truth, I'm not envy the optimists and masters of positive thinking. I think that it take a lot of stupidity to be a human. In the past it was a right thing to do, you can see in our recorded history. I can relate to their amazement of the discovery, but it's kind of out of place in the supermarket.
She and my baby-sister came to see me after many months of struggle with my father. They understood that I am not coming back. They came to this appartment on the other side of Moscow with the empty refregirator, and, when I left the kitchen for a moment, I heard this sound, she oppened the fridge to see that it was empty. They brought two big bags with food, but didn't know how to talk about it with me.
I didn't want to hurt them, when I left home. I even got over the anger at my father, I it the time for me to leave and I left. They didn't understand that. now I know the feeling when you can't get over the fact that the kids are not children anymore. You have to talk yourself into accepting it, but everything inside rejects this thought.
"No," I said to them. "I am not coming back. Don't ask again."
"But why? He is sorry, he knows that we are here. Olya, tell your brother...."
My sister stared at me with big blue eyes as if she witness sotheing catastrophic; she was six years younger and when I seventeen it was a big distance.
I didn't know how to explain it to them. It was a part of the problem: they all, the three of them, didn't understand that their son and brother couldn't be with them anymore.
Since I can't go back into being an animal (because of education), I am forced to claim up -- into being a god.... Let me translate this state of being into English (I'm still not good at communicating between the two stages). Actually, it's not a god, but God. Yes, the one, this one. Perhaps, now you can understand why contemporary Christians drive me crazy. "To be with God," "to give yourself to Lord".... what do they mean? I can understand the past Christians who didn't know better. They tried to be human, they labored this thought. ...
All right, all right, maybe it's just me, who works seven days year after year without vocations, who has children in school, drives and flies. And I have it easy; I am a professor and live in Fairbanks. We don't have much of a traffic in Alaska.
The routine must be invisible. Trust me.
"There are other things you have to do, if you want her back."
I knew it, that is why I was siiting and staring at the screen.
"You have to bring back the people she loved."
Yes, she won't come, unless they are here too.
"My sister," I said, I didn't ask.
"And her daughter," he wanted to make sure that I understand the difference and that I will see them both, the sister and the daughter.
.... "Can I write one more thing about my mother? The last thing..."
"No, the time ansd space is used. You have to come back later and delete what is not important. you know the rule. You can't write everything. you have to write only the important things. The rule is that you can't write what is not important."
"But how do I know?"
"You have to know. You have to remember about what must be said. Think about it only, what must be in -- and you will be fine."
"What if I fail?"
"Do you have this "delete" key? hit it now -- and this chapter is gone. It's much faster than burning the books. Remember, the Lake of Fire!"
"I am sorry, I understand now. I wrote so many wrong things...."
"Cut it, cut it all."
"I want to write about my mother's hair. I think I have her hair. This is what the book is about, about myself. She said it's hers, but her mother's, my grandmother's. Do I have to write about her too?"
"I don't know," he said.
"I am not done yet. I have to write more. I have to describe her, and the story about the money, and I how I walked into their bedroom, when my father was on her, and the horrable thing I did when they were with us in Alaska...."
"I know, I know," and Christ touched me for the first time. He put his hand on mine. "That is why you are live. To write more. To write it all. To write untill she is back."
"I want my mother back."
"Then do it."
texts: ... filmplus.org/kino [ru]
in focus: semio
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