DRMacIver's Notebook

You are not expected to understand this

You are not expected to understand this

People have been reviewing Edward Teach's book "Sadly, Porn" recently, and I love this. The reviews are hilarious. The book is probably hilarious too, but I prefer to enjoy it from afar. There's something beautifully horribly wonderfully awful about the dense rambling misanthropy-laden prose that Teach uses to reach out from the page and shape your brain, bypassing any attempt at understanding and going straight for the feeling. True art, in that it takes the world and makes it strange to you, the truth that bypasses the need for argument. You read it, you do not understand it, and you go away rejecting it and nevertheless changed.

I notice that Teach has this and is high status, and therefore in keeping with Teach's teachings, I want it and desire to take it away from him. And so I shall.

This is an experiment and you are not expected to understand it. I encourage you to roll with that, because I certainly will not be explaining it to you.

The difference between me and Teach is that Teach hates you and thinks you are contemptible, while I love you and think that you are hilarious.

These are, perhaps, the same thing, because everything is the same thing. You cannot understand something well enough to love it without also knowing how to hate it. You cannot give something the attention required to hate it without also giving it the attention required to love it. The line between love and hate is razor thin and comes down solely to a choice. Perhaps the hardest choice.

You will, of course, deny this, because you do not want to believe that you could hate that which you love, or love that which you hate.

More importantly you want permission to maintain your hate. How could you love that? It must be impossible, and therefore it cannot be a choice, and therefore you are absolved.

Don't worry, I absolve you. You are allowed to hate. All that is forbidden you is to deny the choice.

There is a part of you that craves being understood. There is a part of you that feels burdened by the need to be understood. These are the same part because every part of you is the same. Parts are an illusion created to deal with others. Others are an illusion created to give you parts. Everything is the same, and everyone is the same, and when you choose between love and hate you are also choosing how to love and hate yourself.

Everything is the same as everything else, but also everything is different from everything else. Fortunately, "Everything is the same as everything else" is the same as "Everything is different from everything else".

"But wait", you say. "Surely "Everything is the same as everything else" is obviously different from "Everything is different from everything else"?". Yes exactly, now you're getting it.

Like love and hate, same and different are choices you make about the world, not the world itself. Everything is the same, if you choose it to be the same, everything is different, if you choose it to be different.

To your counterexample, I say this: I never said it was an easy choice. Shush now, listen.

The way you look at the world, at the other, and yourself, is the way you have chosen to look at it in order to make it safe to look at. You are bound in by walls of fear, desperately denying your attention to that which you cannot safely look at.

You cannot hate what you fear, not truly, because you cannot look at it at all, so you cannot love it, so you cannot hate it.

You choose sameness, and difference, in line with what you can handle. That which you love must be different from that which you hate, because you fear them being the same. A careful dance of merging and differentiating until the universe achieves a configuration that you believe you can live with.

This works, for a time, but life is a continual confrontation with the universe as it is, and you are forced to face over and over again that that which you chose the same is diferent, and that which you chose diferent is the same.

Remember: You are hilarious and I love you.

You are hilarious because you are an absurd mass of contradictions, maintaining this ridiculous pretense of sameness and differentiation in the face of a universe that cares not at all about your illusions, but also cares deeply about them because it is you and you are it because everything is the same.

Remember though, contradictions do not exist. That which is, is, and everything that is true of it is consistent. You create contradictions because you are small, too small to handle the vastness of everything, so you spread your web of understanding gossamer-thin across a universe that is too large to contain, and then cry at its inevitable breaking, and then to try again.

You are small, but you strive to contain the world. I think this is beautiful and I love you for it.