Friday, April 08, 2011

on the elusivity of truth

sir galahad sought a clear, tangible,
and explicit goal, namely,
the holy grail.
the goal i seek, truth, knowledge,
answers to questions that have for so long
shredded the intellect in fire,
and ravaged the thought and comprehension,
on the contrary,
can never truly be known,
nor can one be certain that they have
ascended the everest of riddle,
nor completely exited plato's cave of delusio-strife.
moreover, academia is a poor judge
of intellectual rigor and brilliance.
take, for example, the case of ludwig wittgenstein.
here was a man of whom john maynard keynes said:
God has arrived, i saw him on the 5.15 train,
here was a man who blinded intellectuals
with his tractatus, who thrillamazed,
illuminated and hypno-struck
the philosophers with his insights and mind-surge.
had he died before 1928 his tractatus
would today be laureled
with jasper, crimson and magnificent bloom.
wittgenstein later renounced the work,
and declared it a slurred piece of drivel,
no more valuable than a junk-goat or an rust-ox.
if academia has been guilty of such
horrendous errors in the past,
if they have mistaken mind-mud
for a symphony of jasper before,
then they have surely done it other times.
i am certain that many of the philosophers,
heideggar, hegel, derrida,
no more obtained an illumino-vision of life,
or understood truth's shimmerado,
its streams of perplexica,
its rivers of sparklado and mesmerado
than your average dim-wit or fop,
and yet academia lauds these charlatans
as knights, paladins and crusaders.

or take, for example, the certainty
with which the educated class
once proclaimed in the existence of the ether.
although they believed this substance
to have been measured,
and its material to have permeated all of space,
they were wrong, drowning in the confusio-fen,
blinded by nature's complexica and anti-intuition.
it is clear that one cannot rely on scholarly consensus
for direction, wisdom and knowledge.

i have thus no way of confirming
my grasp of truth's radiant elixir,
no means of knowing if i have decisively
understood the nature of things,
and effectively banished falsehood's
lechers and lemurs from my circle.
i am in a battle therefore with illusions.
if i defeat one illusio-vex
i will never know if hallucination
strangles and paralyzes me,
or if i have actually conquered the bloke.
if i feel myself exiting from one of plato's cave,
i will not know if i have merely
entered another one more raving,
and populated with madness than before.

nevertheless, it must be conceded
that when i enter into a new subject,
when i scan its contents, study its tomes,
acquaint myself with its procedures and jargon
that i do sense a certain star-triumph
when i feel that i have mastered its lore,
and reached a satisfactory plateau.
although this is a mere subjective feeling,
which in no way can be demonstrated,
in spite of that, this feeling does have
a certain objective capacity to intoxicate the mind,
and render it mad with flight-joy.
there is something about diving deep into a new subject,
being confronted with all sorts of bewildering
images, concepts, ideas and terms,
understanding the subjects' most basic
precepts, axioms, principles and inferences,
then feeling that one has understood
the confusing barrage of puzzle,
and reasonably fit its pieces into a plausible scenario.

witness, for example, my affair with finnegans wake.
here is a book that embodies enigma,
here is a book for which mind-gnarls abound,
here is a book that consumes the intellect
in thistled jungles of confusion,
that wracks the breaking brain with the blinding
strife of nebula, the gray film of obscurity.
when i first read the book only a jumble of dust
radiated in my memory when i recalled what i read,
only a muddled array of blindness greeted me
when i attempted to order the madness.
but after much effort, much research,
i was able to uncover many indisputable facts
which banished the obscuro to the night-nothing.
although i cannot make sense of every word,
nor comment intelligently on each paragraph,
nor cohere a complete, all-encompassing theory
that makes all the scattermento uniform,
that arranges all the hodge-podge into a bright
cluster of radiant enlightenment,
i still am deeply satisfied of that which i have discovered,
i still am happy that i've unearthed many ores from
this convoluted mine of what was once thought
to be an impenetrable, illegible, bewildering miasma.

or take, for example, my study of the genome.
before i began, i had no inkling of what composed it,
how it operated, sustained itself, transmitted information,
provided the body with form and structure,
and preserved the being from the dragoned descent
into chaos' abysmal invasions of thunder.
but after much labor, much study,
i was eventually able a wealth of information,
a huge treasure trove of fact to procure.
although there is still much about the genome
that remains hidden not just to me but to everyone
behind nature's cloak of inscrutability,
and the unknown's humungous ocean of ignorance,
nevertheless, that which i have learned,
provides me with an undeniable surge of rainbow,
and an irrefutable splash of turquoise sparklado.

one can never be one hundred percent certain
that one has obtained truth's grail,
or rode on the back of minerva,
nevertheless, there is a clear, decisive,
and undeniable difference from being zero percent certain, totally naked before a subject's precepts,
and then spending a thousand hours on the riddle,
and thus being undeniably closer to the truth than before.

this will be my grail:
to always strive knowledge to obtain,
to ever seek truth's vaults to open,
to continually ascend the everest of learning,
to assiduously cultivate the sugars of wisdom.
i will never fully obtain my objective,
nor ever completely possess my disiderata,
nevertheless it is better to spar eternally with an undefeatable
leviathan, never winning, yet always improving,
than it is to defeat easy and clear opponents.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

:) Nice!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you're still writing. I still think about you every now and then.


9:34 PM  

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