Sunday, August 28, 2005

puppet vs existentialism

i watched a movie once. two women alone in the middle of no where. one who talked too much, the other none at all. At a point early in the movie the following passage is read from a book:

'all the anxiety that we bare with us. all our thwarted dreams. the incomprehensible cruelty. our fear of extinction. the painful insight into our earthly condition have slowly eroded our hope of an other-worldly salvation. The howl of our faith and doubt against the darkness and scilence is one of the most awful proofs of our abandonment and our terrified unuttered knowledge'

there is no possiblity to disagree with such a pesimistic view. such a view is the acknowledgement of the death of god. no holy hand shall guide us, or to which we can seek refuge in. there is no destiny. only the cruelty of chance. it is the throw of the dice, a throw that can be mystified as destiny. god may exist, but god is in no dice...

so now we are abandoned. alone. the world entraps with no soul to transgress. how we got to this place we do not fully comprehend. but the desire to change is with us. that feeling called hope prevails. within the darkness & scilence i discover that the criteria for all actions is my will to action. my hope. hope is neither faith nor doubt. it underpin's both. faith & doubt is their false maifestations - faith & doubt wrongly search for exterior criteria for legitimation. the final requiem for some higher purpose. hope is only grounded in the nothingness. It is pure alchemy - as lead into gold, nothing into hope. spontaneous production of life without reason.

so i hope. hope into production. i create, i create a world of hope. chance encounters into friendships. casual sex into dance. a brisk touch into love. hope is neither fantasy nor reality. psychoanalysis & materialism need not apply. endless machines replaced consecrated meaning. and thus meaning becomes the grinding of machines. meaning becomes a secular meaning. ever personal, ever shared, like the teeth of a cog. those i have lost i regret. some cog jumped from the machine. those who i have gained i stand in salute. ours is a strange love. note that our communal hope is all we need. it is a worthy condender to nothing, one that may suceed.

Ms emma dont doubt me - i'm the one who left satre's eyes crossed, and dont doubt yourself - you left my eyes crossed. ms liz one of your words is deeper with meaning than 10 of mine. Luke, dont be afriad to cry. Steven thanks for the love, & understanding. Mr justin, fear is not always the enemy. To those others - jorja, aaron, daniel, arq mark and the all the rest - ours is a world of our making, so make it...


puppet said...

the movie the quote comes from is called Presona, its by igmar bergman

rapunzel.emma said...

I like your post and the fact that you have directed things to people. Still quite ambiguous, but nice all the same.

I do really disagree with your assertion that no one can disagree with the quotation you quoted - with it's pessimistic assertions.

If God was never alive to you, then perhaps it does not matter a hoot that he is dead... Perhaps if God was a tyranny to you, his death is sweet relief... Perhaps to be alone is to be free... Perhaps if we are ALL alone, then there is no such thing as alone-ness... We are all together alone.

Anyway, I do not feel alone. Seperate is not the same as alone.

Love you,


puppet said...

mmm... as always i was being a little melodramatic & poetic (not that its a bad thing, people SHOULD be these things more often). I dont know where the quote is from, but i do know the movie is a bit old. the themes are perhaps a little removed from today.

the 'loneliness' from the death of god is the loneliness of life without purpose or meaning. and not merley the absense of a friend. alone can be as communal as a church, and as pointless as it is.

thus, i dont think you disagree with the statement. even when a person who is the centre of attention can feel alone if it is to them meaningless.

yes - alone is diferent to separate. but that is not at stake, at least not yet.

it only becomes at stake when we accept the death of god. the death of external validation & meanings. if these are rejected then what becomes important is the 'us' & the 'me'. These are the ground that constitute all meaning. In this instance 'alone' is inapropriate to describe losses of meaning & direction in our lives.

rapunzel.emma said...

The concept of some external "meaning" is actually quite ridiculous. Only human beings can create meaning and "it's all your head" as they say.

Yes, the point of reference is "us" and "we" and "me", and this is the sign of our place and time (in history). (As opposed to times/places when/where religion has a stronger hold, making the points of reference elsewhere...) Our philosophy is just as historically contingent as... our culture for example. And that's why I don't take it very seriously.

What mattrers about philosophy is what the text "does in the world". Its affects... "What can I do with this idea? What are its ramifications? Its applications?" Existentialism offers very few useful or functional ideas, I find.


puppet said...

im not an existentialist. i dont agree with the nihilism of existentialism. but i do believe that we cannot look for exterior meaning to understand life. though we must admit that recourse to the truth of a lovers words or to some sacred text is always a act of sartre's 'bad faith'

what i am trying to say is that without some ernous belief in faith existentialist propositions must be reconciled. maybe i should elaborate existentialism to me:

'you awake in a white room. alone. no objects. no colour. only you. its distance is 4 by 4 mtrs. why are you there? there is no answer to your question.

the walls are extended. other people are added, objects are provided to pass the time. but the question still remains - why are we here? why do we exist, in concious development? what is our life truly worth?

at the end of the movie 'i shoot any worhol' our fictional solanaz asks why should we continue to produce the human race...'

i cannot answer her fictional question, the reality of her words wheigh too heavily. but i can answer the reason for my current existence & incite a call to my idea of ethical living.

i interpret your words as a call to a ethical living, but without the acknowledgement of the insignificance of life under capitalism...

Ali H said...

where did the kiss go? I liked the kiss.

puppet said...

i need to edit it. like many things at the moment i think im moving on then find myself back at the start.

Sal said...


I'm a friend of Daniel, and an avid fan of Emma's work. I read your blog for the first time and found your work quite magnetic. I wrote a piece touching on God v Existentialism (Exism), and found this piece quite coincidental and inspiring. It reaffirmed my belief that we shouldn't put our faith in a religion or philosophy that claims to know life's truths, but to reserve that faith four ourselves and each other, so we may write our own truths. As for Exism, I think it gives non-believers a religion of their own to cling to. If Christianity is a colourful bedtime story, then Existentialism is a dot-matrix feed of ones and zeros; a binary interpretation of life - No Santa Claus, No Easter Bunny, and No Tooth Fairy.

I watched (endured) 'The Passion of the Christ' last night, and though I don't believe that Jesus is God, he died doing what he believed in. Whether or not God existed, Jesus lived Nietschze's definition of Exism (keep in mind Nihilism is not Nietschze - it was created by Nazi's to remove man's main source of hope, i.e faith) - he died for his beliefs:

Nietzsche's contribution to exism was not to kill God (though he may have wanted to considering his dad died when he was 5 years old), but to spend less time focussing on dying, and more on living. Don't waste time praying for something to happen, make it happen. Instead of re-reading the bible, read books that broaden your mind. Live for yourself and your loved ones, don't die for a stranger you don't know even exists (even Jesus agreed with that).

Puppet, your blog is inspiring and I wish to read more of your work - zine, blog or otherwise. The world needs people like you to make sense of the nonsense and deliver truth in a way that speaks to our hearts, such as you have done in the final paragraph. Keep it real.

Your faith in your friends is proof that you, DANCE, ROCK, to the beat of your drum. Hell, you are the frickin' conductor, the composer, the entire bloody orchestra! Remember Religion and Philosophy are OTHER people's ideas of how to live your life. Hear their words, but use them only to understand those who subscribe to their faiths, so you can respect them, and their beliefs with genuine appreciation.

You're a smart man, and you remind me of a young Jean Cocteau, who believed poetry to be religion without hope. His films (as you probably already know) use mirrors as doors to other worlds. For Cocteau, reality was the mystery.

I'll leave you with three of his quotes.

This is to inspire you to speak out against the masses:

"What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you"

This is to keep you level-headed so you can change the world:

"Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort."

And finally, this is how I see you:

"He has the manner of a giant with the look of a child, a lazy activeness, a mad wisdom, a solitude encompassing the world."

What a writer you are! I must thank Daniel for referring me to your blog, and thank Emma for crossing paths with him.



puppet said...


thanks for the words.

i remember watching Orphée where in one particular scene they discus a modern poet who has writen an amazing book called nude-ism. The book of poetry contains no words, only blank pages.