I’m in another of my despondent moods. One reason for it is that I sent one of the essays I’ve been working on the past month or two to someone who’s been a good friend of mine for over sixty years. It was on my idea of the exploratory instinct–the fact that it is triggered by the boredom-reduction instinct. He didn’t think much of it–because, it would seem, I am a mere layman in neurophysiology and psychology. I didn’t get angry at him but in trying to explain myself very likely convinced him I was a crank (although I didn’t compare myself to Copernicus or Galileo). His last email to me said, “I can’t disprove your construct,” no more. Very depressing because (1) he didn’t reply to the two emails I sent him after that, (2) I was after a discussion of an essay, not an attempt to disprove the theory behind it, (3) he certainly didn’t find my essay at all entertaining, although my intent was to provide entertainment for intelligent laymen like I consider him, (4) he doesn’t seem to come close to understanding me, and I thought he did, which makes me wonder if anyone can, and if no one can, is it because I’m incoherently wrong-headed?
True, I do believe it’s different in the field of poetry. A lot poetry people disagree with me, but they do so intelligently, and I’m pretty sure several understand just about every I write about poetry–at least the parts I understand myself. Basically, I’m just confused and despondent. Which is why I’ve been thinking a lot about how few truly happy moments I’ve had, and how short they’ve been. Life seems 99.999% filler.
I wonder if the fact that I’m reading Bertand Russell’s Wisdom of the West, a history of philosophy has anything to do with it. So much mental energy expended by so many superior minds on such crap! My dead-headed view is that the cause of almost all philosophy is an inability to take existence as it most simply and clearly is: the final face of existence as one’s conscious mind perceives it, and otherwise unknowable, as is the conscious mind. The two exist because they exist.
Interestingly (or so I think), I have no desire at all to commit suicide; I feel like I’m stuck here and there’s nothing I can do about it, and even if there were, I’d only end up in some other meaningless as bad or worse. I have to admit, things could be worse. Pain is worse than feelings of worthlessness. I guess.
Meanwhile, I’m now working on what I hope will be the final draft of The Atlantreality Box, the science fiction novel I wrote in 1998, and half-revised eight years later. It’s not going well–I’m have to repair lots of small lapses of narrative logic. Nothing seems especially clever or deep. I wanted to put an unusually intelligent protagonist in a plausible more or less standard science fiction thriller but my story isn’t that great and my hero (me–he even has my name) isn’t all that bright as far as I can tell. I’m up to Chapter Four after five days. I’d wanted to get through a chapter a day, but have had to rewrite the first chapter twice so far. It’s long: over forty chapters, I think.
There. Aren’t you glad you aren’t me? Alas, as little as I like being me, there’s no one else I’d rather be. How can that be? I’ll have to think about it.