Monday, October 18, 2010

Loving Love and Reading About Violence

I am experiencing some tension right now between the themes of my reading and writing. The two themes that are troubling me the most are 1. my focus on zen, acceptance, and love, and 2. my focus on violence, anger, and war.

I’m a very loving person. I want to be a loving person. I like love a lot. I hope I am as loving as I hope I am. But violence occupies so much of my thought and reading, it is a strange predicament.

But generally I am struggling a little bit to feel the coherency of my reading. The most interesting part is that I can feel a coherence. To me my reading is following some kind of logic. I’m moving from book to book and from topic to topic. I think that I am reading in those directions because there are relationships. But it feels so hard for me to peg down or explain what the connections are. I don’t know how to explain what it is that I’m after on the whole. Mainly I guess because lately I am undergoing a lot of changes in my thinking. Lots of new ideas are coming to me.

But interestingly they don’t feel like brand new ideas. They don’t feel like huge turns or shifts. Sometimes there are big shifts. But for the most part I feel like it is growing in complexity and interconnectivity. I feel like there is a unified theme emerging in my mind. Perhaps this is where i feel the tension coming from.

I think the tension is coming from that I am starting to see Zen and love and war and struggle as compatible in some weird way. But this would make sense. I find nihilism to be a very positive thing that is full of a lot of love. I think nihilism somehow feels really good.

I want to be a really positive and loving person. Yet I find myself so preoccupied with questions about violence and struggle. Maybe that is a good thing. I think it is definitely good to identify love and compassion as the major things to come back to. But I also think that it is important to think about war and violence, seeing as how it happens so often.

So in reality I feel like my two major interests, love and war, are very compatible.

But I think this also has to do with the essay that I’m working on. Unfortunately I have not yet settled on a title for this essay. And I’m still in the working stages of it. It seems as if it may have the potential to become quite a large piece of writing. It seems like it could be bringing together quite a lot of my interests. Just as I always try to do, I’m trying to bring together more things than I have before. I don’t like this title I just came up with. Before I had called it ‘Art and Intellectual Insurrection’, I’ve called it ‘The Artist and the Will to Empathy’. Right now I just came up with ‘Art, Zen, and Intellectual Insurrection: Finding Personal and Social Change Through an Expressive Existence’. Whatever. I am getting at some things in this essay. I want to talk about art as a way to live a better life and potentially as a way to life a politically and socially meaningful life. I want artists to somehow change culture for the better. And I want Zen to be a thing. But all of this is so out of wack. Neuroplasticity, Zen, history, war and violence, Collingwood, Foucualt, Zizek, Searle, all these things and people are coming together for me in this essay. I can only feel it bubbling though. My writing is still at such an early stage. But I’m gonna do it soon. Because I think this will help me reconcile a lot of the interests that are feeling disjointed at this point.

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