by Steve Haines
My original intention was to write an article on Victor Frankl’s extraordinary book, Man’s Search for Meaning. A friend suggested that instead of writing a commentary on the works of others that I speak of my own truth and meaning. So, here it is. This poetic sense of being is at the heart of how I live and perceive.
I am not pining for the long-vanished smoke of Alexandria. My own mind is drifting smoke—an offering upon the wind. Ten thousand tomes, unlearned in fire, now not even scent upon the breeze. Unburdened, I wander weightless outside the halls of instruction.
There is so much that can’t be said: A man walking through windswept grain, a woman taking off her clothes, the language of a camp fire—we experience these things but don’t “know” much about them. So akin to music; the scales of mind! Our clumsy rationality stumbles across the floor and asks the Muse to dance—and soon they’re swooning in the full force of happenstance. I’m not capable of translating this enjoyment—but I am moving like kelp beneath
Poetry is our sense of life, more vivid than religion, science, or philosophical overlays. We start walking here, where the trail ends. Our definitions, presumptions, and sensations fall like diaphanous attire. It is all delicious play—like the surface of the Sun!
Let’s face it, you and I are far past the point of no return—deep into “No Man’s Land.” Let us not beg for descriptions, or sell our heartbeats. Her beautiful eyes are everywhere, her flesh: the Woman Who is the World. We are no longer riddled or entangled, just impossibly round. We are love.
I can see Mt. Blanca in the distance—and the silhouettes that move across the Valley. Some say Blanca is the eastern limit of the Navajo Universe. But folks say all kinds of things. The breeze is unfettered and free of absolutes. Every creature is living its own motion while the black river of Time glitters with meanings and ungraspable grace.
There’s no need to tame astonishment or to make light of revelation. The buoyancy of Being is not something that we can ever eclipse. No need to add frost to snow. Poetry sings at the edge of meanings.
I’m not proposing a fixed position. I find exaltation in discriminative intelligence. It is just that motion and flexibility are often lost in philosophy because it tends to rigidify. Poetic expressions, on the other hand, suffer from an inherent ambiguity. Still, poetic renderings are alive with associations and a multiplicity of meanings that one receives like music. I enjoy philosophy that is vibrant and alive. I enjoy “the eternal conversation,” but when abstraction asserts absolutes and non-absolutes it necessarily encounters other truths and the hair-splitting then degenerates into argumentation and atomization.
Given this predicament, my predilection is toward the openness and freedom afforded by poetic speech. The limitations of language are just that. When one is resonate with the Unspeakable, words flow like water—and they are expressions of an inherent and primordial joy. Philosophy either succumbs to convolutions or blossoms into a kind of a-philosophical poetry. The cryptic truth doesn’t give a damn about establishing or dissolving a canon. Every bird sings its
Perhaps it is a matter of differing temperaments. I simply enjoy the ice skater as she passes. To me there is only art and artifice, never an absolute. Emptiness can’t be reified. Ditto for everything else.
The trace (of meaning) is immediately erased. Even designations like emptiness or “non-thinking” vanish as soon as they appear. Ideas are like electrons that are only there when we look at them. This is our situation. The signifier/signified is seamless, so that even all “pointing out” is suspect if it doesn’t erase itself in its
On that note, I will use this article to gracefully bow out of my own column. I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to Kizzen, The Crestone Eagle, and readers and authors alike for their participation and dialogue. I’m going to be quiet now.
Turning the Jewel – "Caravan"
by Steve Haines