These are some of Kris' thoughts taken from the journals he kept over the years.
Thoughts stimulated by Nietzsche.
6/26 (probably 1993)
The notion of pessimism is not attractive as a doctrine because of a logical argument that supports it. In other words the "truth" of pessimism is felt like a poet. Only after the feeling would someone try to reason it.
It may follow that pessimism is not a doctrine of the World in-itself but then optimism may not be either. Which to choose, the more rational one, which is that? The closer to reality, to the truth, which is that? How do we judge?
If it follows that many of the problems that cause us to suffer are self-induced, in other words a phenomena we have created; not the world in itself, then just as well many of the pleasure we have are a phenomena we have created. We make roses to look like shit and shit to look like roses to put it eloquently. Its a confidence trick either way. One I would like to avoid. If we rely on feeling, it is doubtful it can be. But then say we reason to an optimistic view of the world, will feeling follow reason? This is also doubtful. How do we reconcile reason and feeling? We cant exclude either.
How is it that some are capable of pleasant phenomena (Im taking their word for it.), and some incapable? Some cursed, some blessed?
I want to be happy in truth or miserable in truth. But either way I want the truth, the phenomena that comes with it is beside the point.
Truth no matter how beautiful or how ugly.
I have always felt I suffered more existentially then hedonistically. In the hedonistic sense it would be from a lack of pleasure. For no great or continual pain has plagued me. Existential suffering I seem to be very sensitive to. Feeling deep the futility of life and the negation of it.
I wonder if it is at all possible to change. To leave pessimism. And if it is at all desirable.
To say yes in spite of N. (Nietzsche) words. They are quite inspiring to me. Take suffering as the fuel for an act of creation. To say yes, is what I want.
One might say if you can create pleasurable phenomena, i.e., the confidence trick, why not do it? At least youll have the pleasure. But it is precisely the fact that I see it as a con trick, those who are tricking themselves dont see it as such. I will choose honesty over deception even if its more painful.
One may now say not all people are tricking themselves. Perhaps this is so. But it does little to help me. As I see too deep and too much (to borrow a Colin Wilson phrase). So, am I saying they are ignorant to the chaos I see? Im not sure. Perhaps they just arent as sensitive to it as I am.
It may be that the world in itself would be of little consequence to us.
I must start with what I feel. Do I reason to justify my feelings? And then say, you should feel this way?
What are the causes of the pessimistic feeling in me?
If it were progress to have a better quality of life for human beings then Id say God help us all. We seem to be swimming up the river.
No free will, no morality, no responsibility. That is what Nietzsche contends. We are then completely mechanical.
7/6-One shouldnt envy the living no matter how wealthy, healthy, or happy they are. Or envy them for lacking in any of these attributes. Who one should envy is the dead.
7/8-Faith in God is for the strong of spirit. Faith in reason is for the strong of Intellect. But both are used for the weak to hide behind.
The canyon that one leaps in faith to God is much wider and deeper than the leap of faith to reason and science. Some will say, as they do with all daring feats, that it is brave and one must be strong to have made the leap over the canyon to God. And there will be those who will take one look at the canyon and say "thats not bravery thats stupidity".
Where would I be without the blind and stupid dogma followers, with their greedy teeth sinking into all things and sucking out even the minutest pleasures, taking them for truths, and yet still settling for this cul-de-sac. They arent willing to bear the pain to something greater, because it may not be there. Im glad you take comfort in your materialistic gratification. Thank you, Thank you.
The idea of love has been built for failure. It has the shadow of a mountain but is really a molehill.
8/2-People take questions like "What is worth doing?" Far too superficial.
All doctrines of free will originate from the awareness of choice. But the making of that choice had its origins long before you were born.
Justice is another word for revenge.
Those who remember history are condemned to be bored when they repeat it.
First year philosophy students are prone to developing a horrible case of bad manners and morals.
"If you want to take rights seriously dont question their origin" some philosophers say. Sounds like the captain of a ship telling his crew that the ship isnt sinking as the water keeps rising around them.
A: "I bequeath unto these rights." B: "I thank you and will do the same for you when I gain the power."
On "Star Trek Next Generation", the fundamental distinction between humans and Data is that we have emotions, he does not, and therefore he is not human. But this is a mistake. We are merely Datas with emotions. They are just as mechanical as when Data gets and order to press a button and then does so. For all it takes is to press a certain button to get a certain emotion.
Why would Kiekegaard long for the ages of Shakespeare and the Old Testament?because thats where life has always been in our suffering, guilt, pain, emotions, passions, and most of all, our pleasures. But, all of the former things mentioned fall under pleasure, I ask, if there is a heaven of eternal bliss, how many of us would turn away at the gates of such a one sided kingdom?
Sometimes it is impossible to escape the lacking of intellectual integrity in practice. But need there be such poor house cleaning in the theoretical? Does it harm any one?
A: "Isnt the appeal to reason grounded in a feeling?" B: "No, we reasoned to reason". A: "Oh, so you decided reason was reasonable before deciding on reason?" B: "Precisely."
We are all in boats, in the streams of life, with no idea how to use the paddles.
A: "We have to stop here, our horses wont make it up the mountain its too steep." B: " I refuse to get off my horse. It brought me this far it will take me up the mountain." A: "Suit yourself." A starts climbing the mountain. Bs horse tries but continually slips down. B doesnt seem to notice.
Parents have children for their own sake, not for the childs sake. The child is a means for the parent. They have a thousand images of the idea family, which society batters them with. Out of the belief in this deception, children are begot. So they are born into a lie, which quickly reveals itself. As the images show a child should grow up to be a successful, productive, useful member of society. This is what parents want for their children but again not for their childs sake, but for their own pride and arrogance. "That child is mine," they will say.
Watch out for love and cleaver woman, theyll trick you into getting married. If you realize your being tricked youre probably marriedThats when love leaves and the clever woman need not be clever.
When judgment day comes and were all at the gates of heaven and God says, "if you love me you may enter, if you dont, off to hell you go." A lot of us are going to have to lie. But weve been trained so it will be easy.
"Philosophy as an interpretation of the body." What stimulates our thoughts is movement, feeling, and sensations from the body, both external and internal. The origins of thought coming from the external impressions. Thats what Philosophy is dealing with. We interpret the bodys feeling as to its significance to the world around us. So when the unfaithful heroine of hero of the movie proclaims "It was just my body not my mind." They are quite wrong. Touching the body is touching the mind. It is the very thing that charges and influences the mind.
To read Nietzsche is like tunneling through a mountain with a spoon.
Throughout our up bring and education, "servitude to the benefit of society" is the fundamental principle taught. The servitude for most people takes the form of industriousness-blind industriousness. This industriousness is pursued at to the total disadvantage of the individual. He becomes a mere utility, a tool, and a part to add to the greater wholes society. The individual becomes a slave to society. But he is "willingly" allows his self to become a slave. Why? Our education and up bring is not enough that actually serves another purpose, that Ill get to in a moment. He willingly does it because blind industriousness is liked to advantages like wealth and honor. These things are prized most highly, desired most highly, in our society. But we have no capacity to enjoy these things. Our upbringing and education hasnt told how to enjoy the money and honor we have. It has only taught that we should be more industrious. So, in fact he willing becomes a slave because he thinks its to his advantage.
Tend to your own garden, or your weeds may very well grow into someone elses garden, not to mention your might destroy some of their fruit.
To control the showing of emotion is a handy and good skill, but to be able to control the actual emotion is far better and indeed for handier.
The categories we put men and women in, women being intuitive, irrational, and emotional and men being rational, unfeeling and analytical, be artificial "Truths". We feel so comfortable in these slots.
It would be silly to say our choices are arbitrary and unconditional just because we arent aware of the conditions.
Language not only reflects our thought, but also creates it.
Limit you imagination or "reality" will disappoint you.
It is advisable to rely on reason and feeling so long as it is from your own experience and not from your parents, teacher, or even God.
Which one would you take: truth without the feeling of having truth, or the feeling of truth without truth. Science and reason would demand that you take the former option. How many people would then abandon science and reason?
Perhaps once a child was born for the sake of life and its continuation. These days a child is born for the continuation of the parents happiness (or by accident). The reason for this is because life isnt valued as highly anymore.
Pro-lifers who think theyre fighting because they value life so highly, better think again. They are fighting for the sake of the "fire and smoke" of the cause. Their high value of life is merely a justification for their moral prejudiced feelings and a justification to have a cause to fight for. If they really had a high value of life they would be keeping quiet and concerned with their own life. They are fighting for a cause not for the effect.
Pro-choicers have great concern for womens rights to their body and so little for the childs rights to their body. So do not be angry with me when I have little sympathy for your rights, because in that respect we are on equal ground: we both care only about our own rights, our own power, at the exclusion of other peoples. For rights and power are relative. They lose their value when other people have them.
It used to make me angry when people in arguments would fall back on the contemporary dogmas of society. But now I am grateful for it. Theyre easier to spot out; therefore I take a walk in the park, barefoot.
Our altruist feeling cause us to look out in the world and feel pity for other peoples suffering. It is a "hurt" that we derive considerable pleasure from. We want to help those who suffer, to end their suffering. We pity the weak and their weakness. So when someone does a horrible crime to others, we pity the victim and want to help him. And, we feel angry with the perpetrator. To help the victim, (as well as giving us a considerable amount of pleasure) we want to punish the perpetrator. So, it is out of altruism that we get out feeling for revenge.
The best way to test and attack your own convictions is to have a dialogue with a little girl or boy.
When you say "the mountains are beautiful", that is mans world, not natures, Nature is indifferent to beauty.
How to be moral: have a sharp set of claws and have the desire to use them.
If we didnt have thunder and lightning, we might not have had the God of the Jews or the Christians.
The weak spirited need "the blessing of work" which is self forgetfulness, daily labor. They arent ready to deal with their own boredom and contempt for themselves. And never will be.
A: " Before I die I want to do some community work, help needy children, the homeless something like that. I havent done anything altruistic yet." B: "Sounds like your altruism is self-interest: redemption of guilt."
Go to one of our malls and within five minutes one gets the feeling that death is appropriate for us all.
Christianity is the perfect example of human beings laziness. They all want to be saved, but why do it yourself when you have Christ to do it for you.
Those who are left alone for too long come to the point where their dreams will far surpass anything reality can provide them. All that they hear about experience and all the pleasure abundant in it, without partaking in the experience will lead them to unhappiness. Eventually their imaginations will have chewed those experiences up so many times when they actually do bite the real thing it will taste bland. This leads to pessimism, meaninglessness, absurd, nausea etc., but is by no means the cause of these things.
My criteria for good reasons: They must be devoid of hypocrisy and of rationalizations. However I have no reasons for these criterions, only feelings. These feeling are: my need for lucidity, reasonableness, and truth. Hypocrisy and rationalizations will only lead to self-deception. Perhaps if I could shake these feelings then I could indulge in self-deception like everyone else has the habit of doing.
Optimism is hoping for the best; pessimism is expecting the worst. One leads to disappointment and the other leads to a continual state of misery. Neither is actually a better attitude than the other. My preference would be to have neither as an attitude, if only these birds would stop "shiting" on me.
It would be a mistake to devalue love as well as overvalue it.
The Immaculate Conception both in Christianity and Buddhism are ideas to add to the extraordinariness of the Christ and Buddha. No one wants their great men to be created from something as human and annalistic as sex. These werent men, they were supermen. Only you and I, who are very human, all to human, are created from that dirty thing called sex. So out of self love we create these doctrines because if we made them men, down to an ordinary conception, then they would look more like you and me but men who had perfected and saved themselves. And that, that road may be there before us but were too lazy to walk it, we want a religion and miracles to drag us down the road to salvation. But no these werent ordinary men like you and me, they were God men, born immaculately, they were especially chosen. We could never possibly be like these extraordinary men. True they were extraordinary men, but men just the same, born not immaculately, but with the union of male and female, like you and me.
Hell would be so redundant.
Love of friends, that is the noble love. Romantic love that is the tragic one.
The spirits desire to do away with the body is the sin of the spirit.
I dont hate human beings, just the things they do and dont do.
Damn Immaculate Conception and Damn the Buddhas and monks for being chaste. What poison they spread. Damn their slanderous lies against the body, their distrust of sexual pleasure. It has made us all repress which makes us neurotic. We have become confused, caged, hairless apes with only our trust in our pain and suffering. Id rather be a satyr then a saint.
Virgins today arent innocents and pure, they are merely repressed and inhibited.
Telling a human being they should be innocent and pure is like telling dirt it should be clean.
In word purity and innocents carry much poison like the fangs on a viper. Stay clear of the men who use them for they are the vipers, and theyll have that forked tongue.
Let us human beings be dirty, cleanliness is for soaps.
To cull repression would be to drop terms like innocence and dirtiness. They dont apply to us. Its like saying something in nature is beautiful or ugly. Nature doesnt care beauty and ugliness or innocence and dirtiness are mans abstract world, the subjective world. Anything can be re-described to fit with those words.
You are what you want to be.
"Today the term freedom that is flung about and defended so rigorously in America is a specious freedom, and a very American freedom. It is defined by people who have no idea what freedom is, it has become dogmatic. No one ever questions the concept because the word is so inspirational to us. We have lost our meaning of the word or perhaps we never had it.
John Fowles writes in The Magus " One of the great fallacies of our time is that the Nazis rose to power because they imposed order on chaos. Precisely the opposite is true They were successful because they imposed chaos on order. They tore up the commandments; they devised the super-ego, what you will. The said, you may persecute the minority, you may kill, you may torture, you may couple and breed without love. They offered humanity all its great temptations. Nothing is true, everything is permitted."
This is what freedom is to most, to do whatever you want. But we must put restrictions on each other for safety; so we sacrifice our freedom willing to such things as the law and to such things as God. The cliché statement If there was no God, he would have to be invented" has become a truism. So Ivan Karamozov say so happily " Every thing is permitted but remorsefully without God or law, we would all fall prey to humanities great temptation."
We thereby admit our own weakness, our own moral childishness. Unable to stand on our own, we have to create elaborate systems of reward and punishment, pleasure and pain, whether in this life or in an after life. What is this cowardice we have? We realize freedom is for the strong and without our God or law, freedom would suffocate us, imprison us. We would be trapped by our freedom. We are not ready to take on the massive responsibility and guilt freedom offers us. We are still yet the lambs quite far from the tigers.
John Fowles character goes on to tell the story of how he was put into a moral dilemma. He had to club to death three prisoners tied to a fence or else the Nazis would kill him, the prisoners and the 80 villagers who stood watching. So he had to choose. One of the prisoners utters softly to him one word: freedom. "He was every freedom, from the very worst to the very best. The freedom to desert on the battlefield of Neuve Chapelle. The freedom to confront a primitive God at Seidevarre. The freedom to disembowel peasant girls and castrate with wire-cutters. He was something that passed beyond morality but sprang out of the very essence of things- that comprehended all, the freedom to do all, and stood against only one thing- the prohibition not to do all." The character sees he is the only person in the square who had the freedom left to choose and the annunciation defense of that freedom was more important than common sense, self-preservation, Yes, then "my own life, then the lives of the eighty hostages." And he then throws down the gun and the Nazis open fire.
The freedom to say No becomes the more profound freedom because it is the more difficult to have. It takes the ability to stand alone without any God or law, but to stand-alone with freedom. To take up the state if everything is permitted and yet still have the prohibition not to do all. That is the freedom we have left out and forsaken."
The people most likely to betray you are your friends.
It has been observed that the more intelligent a species the longer the off spring stay with the parents or Mother (such as in dolphins and chimpanzees). This implies that there is a lot for the off spring to learn about the environment in which they will soon be joining without their parents. But the world of dolphins and chimpanzees doesnt near the great diversity of the human environment thus human species stay the longest with their parents. I wonder if there as ever been a dolphin who didnt want to learn how to fish, who didnt want to learn from its parentswould rather starve and die then carry on the monotony of the dolphins world. That would be a most noble creature far more intelligent than you or I.
(Kris writes in a second notebook in his belonging from Montana, date unknown but probably around 1998)
Philosophy must foremost be not just of pages and lectures but must pulse with blood in the streets.
As soon as philosophy rises from the pages or leaves the classroom upon its first breath of the outside air it dies of asphyxiation.
For Nietzsche systems of philosophy lacked intellectual integrity because the premises of the system the foundations, are never question, their truth is granted, their truth can never be scrutinized by the system because it is outside the system.
Morbid thoughts and suicidal thoughts are a sign of health. The body when it ingests toxin or something disagreeable to it often feels nauseated of vomits. So thing of these dark thoughts as the vomit of the soul.
How many of us suffer from Blooms "anxiety of influence"? The poet that fears his poems are just copies and replicas of past poems in his anxiety of influence. And if we follow Freud in saying that what people do with their friends, spouse, co-workers, the music they listen to etc., are each attempts at defining their individuality, their uniqueness, their self identity. Do they not suffer along with the poet? Do they to fear their lives are mere copies of their parents, brothers, or friends lives. Are they merely their social security number or their drivers license picture?
With Sartres saying "Existence precedes essence." Human nature is denied. As in Rortys view, human beings are a network of desires and beliefs, not beings that have a network of desires and beliefs. But the further implication of Sartres saying are that human beings not only are they what they conceive themselves to be, but they are also only what they will themselves to be after their thrust toward existence. In other words human beings define themselves. But with this quotation Sartre implies a free will, and he indeed expounded the idea. But if we take into account Rortys view that what we are is historical and temporal contingencies. We are our fate, which is decided by chance. This of course implies a deterministic view. But I would take Rorty to no brother with such an argument, as these are the very old hat philosophical problems he wants to dissolve. For Rorty defining ourselves would be to re-describe these contingencies in a way the no one else has done before to create new metaphors.
Todays redemption is when one ceases to feel guilty.
One can feel guilty for anothers action when one sees a commonness in the other and seek redemption for the other in order that they may cease to feel guilty.
Nietzsches caricature- like mustache as compensation for physical weakness.
Revenge, has negative connotations, because its the blood lust of the avenger. On the other hand the word retribution has positive connotations because it is payback of the criminal. People take revenge and the state gets retribution
Nietzsche would see Rouquertin as weak in that he failed to put meaning into his life, failed to gain health over the nausea. Rouquertin would call any self-imposed meaning a snug conceit. And yes, Nietzsche was Arrogant.
Solitude isnt hard, loneliness is.
I need not thank the trees, or rocks, or bushes, or stream for giving me such beauty, I need to thank myself.
We learn sex from vulgarity and sensuality from love.
Modernity of life is like quotes out of context.
Questions are the best way to find answers.
Where there is suspicion un-doubtable there is guilt.
11/28/98- Re-reading the words in this notebook is rather amazing. When I stopped writing, I moved onto a completely different trail. I have a feeling now that there is some connection to my past and now some thread, that for the past few days Ive been following trying to see where it leads. Often times Ill look at the bookshelves looking for some book that isnt there, some book that has the next step. Im sure my sub-conscience is telling me something, what I dont know. Somehow I feel now I must swirl my past with my present, and good ideas and thoughts, good influences. Now, I must learn then from the past. Writing must become a tool again.
Meditation must become my catalyst. I need transformation and intensity and emotionless awareness of the confusion, a lack of clarity.
To walk towards death with grace, that as I walked towards the executioners gun, God blesses me and I thank him for each step.
To shock your thinking, and create a new way to think, take all your views and start to believe in the opposite. Does this create new neural pathway in the brain. Learn new languages?
To see the trees as they really are. The branches minutely spreading and climbing like the capillaries in my finger tip that holds the pen that writes these words.
Have the ability for Out of Body Experiences
To continually expand my awareness both internal and externally.
To learn German
To obtain a college degree
To join the Army, become at least a Ranger
To obtain the awakened mind state
To freely create letting my mind flow like a pulse through its own corridors, uninhibited by constrictive thoughts.
To find out who I am or continually create who I am.
To continued to scribble thoughts down
I love to write; writing philosophy papers in college was something I enjoyed. Tonight work doesnt seem so bad only one rotation and a day. I think when I go back home, Ill look at my journals from long ago. I feel good, relaxed at ease with the world. I have a direction. I understand at least at this point my life, isnt to live fully primitive in the woods. I must live in both worlds. I can do that happily there are good things in society and good things to learn enlightenment will be to straddle both worlds.