Š.E.M. - I - Unmellowed Thoughts

I - Unmellowed Thoughts

Š.E.M.

2017 - 2023


My heart longed to struck A harpsichord or a lyre But matter-shy Could only resort to struck The ethereal filaments of the mind.


Language shall be treated reverently as a hallowed receptacle of lights, and a maggot shall approach it in a mood of penace, with all gravity and restraint, so that he might not fill it, and so desecrate it, with his sleazy and involved ways. Consequently, any abuse of language shall amount to blasphemy. Yet everywhere one hears and reads blasphemy.


Discreetly pointed, candid darts, darted pseudonymously.


The Norman and the Calabrian seeds… Real historical events, by no objective standard to be judged as more significant than others, except the author mind’s judgement. It is upon it to elevate from the fog of past certain events or facts, and, not without tact for poetry, mould them into illustrative figures, which might together form up a narrative of invigorating clarity. To a mind acquaiesced in the unremitting involvedness of all those studies that have to do with man, their inadmission of final conclusiveness, it is obviously impossible to regard the two seeds as precise causes, except, at most, and this is here suggested, as a kind of poetical conclusiveness, so to say–but a conclusiveness not to be served on its own, which, in the instance of being presented to certain minds, might tempt the vice of gross generalizations, evoking an illusion of simplicity where it is absent; but such poetical conclusiveness would be very welcome as an aid and a supplement to the infinitely multifaceted and kaleidoscopic countenance of the past. In fine, it would not be simply a phantom of imagination, but a phantom formed from assiduous research and inquiry. Only such poetical conclusiveness is vivid enough to materially affect life, clear and intelligible enough to lead mind to sanity, graphic enough to leave an imprint on memory.


With all burden of vague contemplations and legions of words precisely acquainted with, I seek to utter the unuttered, create crystals where there have been thought only fogs.


So significant about the obedience to God is the aspect of displeasing men, of redemption from men that even if, Lord forbid, that strange colloquy begun by Abraham were a self-delusion, it would still, in consideration of its earth-moving effects, be worth a consecration to it.


In a village of old… one meets, relatively speaking, strangers every day–even if they be one’s closest relatives–and there it is easy and tempting to exploit…

In a village of old, one most often met only persons who have known one for years, and the older ones almost always from childhood. One could therefore hide but little about oneself, and each knew who was what, knew as much as aunts and uncles, kindred brothers and sisters do, and one could pretend only so much. But in a larger town or a city, one meets, relatively speaking, strangers every day–even if they be one’s closest relatives–and there it is easy and tempting to exploit the advantages of skin-deep acquaintances, of fair anonymity, and vanity is free to fill this void with all sort of contrived fictions about oneself, and so to partake in the legerdemain dealings of mutual deception.


The fiddling bow is ennobled by background chords of harpsichord. I shall too fiddle mind’s filaments in that spirit.


Either religiously protect those strokes from unclean minds, or address them in a language that only those worthy of its uncorrosive metal might decipher.


The spirit of men reacts, the spirit of God long-suffers. To react is natural, but to long-suffer must be learned, which education is done by enfleshing the pith of the revealed writ.


The one who compares and evaluates…The one who compares and evaluates, who inevitably perceives contrasts between better and worse, will almost certainly always ardently pursue the better, even though were this better to be evaluated in itself, without any contrast to make it the doubtless desideratum, it may be undesirable.


There are precise words for every faint notion or feeling. The noble cause of language, and singly of writing, is to redeem those vague notions and feelings, relieve their burden, by crystallizing them onto clear-cut strokes. Revelation may have well-nigh nill efficacy if its vicars had not at their behest language (and writing) to utter, to write, to testify, all those unuttered injustices that vaguely hover about the group of men. It may be that almost all present unease and evil, whether on personal or communal scale, is effected by any one spot of life befogged with ignorance. Whensoever a vague unease is felt, that may be befogged by ignorance, for one cannot mend or ditch that which one cannot see. But unease not as swine feel it, but as the cultured and religious parts of man do. But to perceive that ill and understand it, to dispell that gnawing and corroding fog with a clear utterance, that clear and direct vision works the most wonderful impulsion to rightaway mend it or ditch it, and it would be insanity to remain in that toxic fog. Such is the different perception or thinking that is more important than knowledge gained. But have not lately the servants got little too involved in the object of their condemnation? Have not some of them gave up fighting the vices and wickednesses of men as, so to say, writ large in the scripture, but have become involved in, have strayed into, the fighting of very specific instances of the general error of men? And to what effect, what ultimate effect, are their piecemeal and specific criticisms? Or do they still, if only as leaven camouflaged in laity, work to the ultimate effect? Do they every day keep in mind a conscious eschatological mission? Faith cannot but believe that what these involved servants serve, if not even as laity but most tacitly, perhaps even unawares in the name of moral duty or conscience, that regardless, what they so serve, cannot but be the same one God who has chosen Abraham and gave the commandments to Moses, the same which spoke through the prophets and something more than spoke in Jesus. Besides natural disposition and religious calling, I think the capacity to utter the unuttered may be best educed with this assiduous practice, by (1) giving the mind an unexampled depth and breadth of knowledge to roam in, which may lead it to the necessary considerations, and (2) precise acquaintance with many distinct words, which may give it the power to redeem the vagueness of each such necessary consideration with most precise words. If not a wish, it is my providential bet that almost all understanding may be mediated by phonetic alphabet alone. Is not this capacity to utter the unuttered, if I may so put it, most inestimable and yet most unwelcome act of public benefaction?


I feel the mind would grow insane if it could not utter simply and universally, which is to say poetically. I may speculate most abstrusely and involvedly, but ultimately, I foresee no fruit of it all except summary poetical utterances.


It is safe to maintain that there is more to know than human mind can contain, and maybe it is well that the general design had set it so, if it would instead lead some minds to pursue judgement and singular perceptions rather than much knowledge.


To have no time to taste one’s affairs aesthetically may be a masculine excess.


When liberty becomes a dogma there is no longer liberty.


There is a disarmed quality to those dreams, faint epiphenomena of a purely physiological process, barely discernible and memorable, breathing their last, giving up. and if I keep gazes restrained from straying at women, I soon foresee a triumph of celibacy, that is, all sexuality reduced to dreamless nocturnal emissions. One may take an oath, but that is not a guarantee of immunity in the constant battle against those goads, perfected for hundreds of thousands of years, with which the race, by hook or a crook, secures its interests. The years in which all round one becomes pregnant, soon resounding in newborns’ cries soothed in young mothers’ laps, the baby-carriages… To pass all those trials unscathed, is to often possess, as far as my short experience tells, the most sweet sense of lightsome purity, and when chastity is empty-stomached, one may often forget his mortal part and feel like an angel.


Imagine to be one of those men who have over many centuries carried the events and the spirit of the scripture. What if there are no mysteries, but quite ordinary men gradually realizing one of those things that are not seen from out of the streaming and flocking track of common awareness, except the thing is only more subtle–gradually realizing, most concretly and to flesh, with widest implications, that there is a different generation, utmost supreme, which the race of men constantly neglects and has been missing. But this cannot be like an intellectual endeavour. The problems of religion reach to the marrow, cannot be transfered exclusively to the mind’s domain, or even rationalized. It may be that the problems dealt with reason pale in their depth and gravity with the intimate marrow of the religious problem, which has had already affected a person before any clear reasoning capacity may have been educed from him. Even if educed to excellence, the powers and scope of that capacity, in relation to the religious problem, has a quality of a children to it. It may be that the one great problem of the aforesaid discovery, or revelation, properly speaking, is the human race, or the problematic standing of its temporal generations vis-à-vis the divine generation ever since the fall. A seventeenth century accusation of anthropomorphism as regards the orthodox description of God’s and the generation’s attributes, therefore does so as if redemption of the human race could be improved by the lights of the mind. But that light is most unmessianic, for while it redeems a few, it ruins the many. One cannot solve the religious problem with mind alone, and perhaps even with mind as such. The mind is too platonic for the concreteness of the religious problem, whose marrow is in the race. O ye enlightened humanists and disciples of Pelagius, these inveterately weak-minded men are impervious to your lights! Rather, step ot humbly on a wayside, for these men are waiting for the light of the messiah. It seems to apply both to the messiah with lights and a mind with lights that ‘it shineth in the darkness, and the darkness recognizeth it not.’ But it seems fatal that such a mind, as it feels distressed loneliness in that darkness, would bethink itself to enlight others also, except some minority fit to receive its lights. If it would, or rather, its weak followers would, act as if those lights were to save and improve the many, their minds will get utmost faint shimmers of it, a kind of perverted light, perhaps almost dark blue and daemonic, with no trace of the original limpid beam. Such endeavour might only redeem the many from one darkness to another. Though it may be objected that the new darkness is not as pitch dark as the old one, it is still a darkness. To address men universally no man can do, lest he is possessed by that presumption, or happens to be one among the vicarious spokesmen of the Messiah. It seems that a reason fully emancipated from the old religion, and so likely shallowly acquainted with revelation, will, being naturally possessed of an abstract concept of ‘man,’ be in aberrant cases liable to second the messiah. As far as the messiah with lights and a mind with lights is concerned, both are failed, indeed tragic enlightenments. But that failure, that is to say, culpability and injustice, error and ignorance, may be impressed universally only with a safe distance of time, when the waters calm posthumously, and that only by some crudely blatant, and so generally perceivable contrast, which can never be so universally impressed nor so deeply imprinted from out of the infinitely subtle and delicate stuff of the mind. Any widespread enlightenment seems to genuinely belong only to the universal redemption, borne and born by the messiah, and this is completely besides the mind. The condition of the mind in the still running history is curious, or so it at least seems to the author: properly, rather than enlight the many, it can be at most a prudent onlooker and a discreet participant of a universal redemptive process that is completely besides its trade. To be equally elevated and reconciled by a faculty of privilege is impossible, but despite the real inequalities wrought by this capacity, and this is his inestimable merit, the messiah can still unite, reconcile, and elevate all of us.


Can a little aesthetic detail change life?


slayed into an honourable form.


Does a class of high-risk speculators materially augment the efficiency of a market?


Much of the moving and commuting about that men do seems to be vanity. My soul seeks to be physically still and stationary, detests all jolting commute and vagary, except by a sauntering foot unhurried. If it would travel, then not physically like dull men do, but travel like nobility does, which is by mind.


A mind used to thinking will find immersion in the common life most intimidating–namely, its lullaby, where it is by some irresistable power made, indeed forced, to enter a kind of entranced state, that is, the natural state.


Life becomes a nuisance, its inveterate blindness revolting. A life that is blindness is a false life, even if that death be vital. Men let loose life and I see much untruth in it. Forgive a priestly maunder, but this culpable biped climbs every summit and conquers every nook, but he will not submissively descend to the heights of the New Biped.


The old parts of the Law have been lately reasserting themselves, irritating the Christendom with modernity.


For him, freedom and liberty always involve a ledger. He has almost a superstitious fear of any authority. Father he will not obey nor serve. He accepts no contract, no covenant, even if God himself had offered it, except there align the interests. His notion of liberty is too carnal for him to sense the spiritual liberty that an oath of obedience to a firmly justified Abba gives. But both put faith in providence, and scoff at a purely human potentate, strictly human capacities governing and ordering a commonwealth. But has that potentate a firmly-founded prerogative, one that makes it clear that he himself is not fully in control but divine providence is, the one will have, perhaps excepting rare aberrations, little scruples to obey him, will tolerate, perhaps even cherish, rigidity and inefficiency, especially if it has good antique and calm piety to it. For the other, all other political orientations are disabled because they have not read one iota of economics, and have not discovered the market providence. He puts his faith in this strictly immanent and impersonal ordering power, which must be left to its own brilliant mechanisms–forces neither human nor divine, but those of a freely adjusting prices. But if the two had educated each about the merits of their respective faiths, transcendent and immanent, the action of divine providence and that of the market, these Christian men may turn even more Jewish. Both respect and cherish freely grown things, pay reverence to a certain freely growing unhuman factor whose sanctity admits no meddling. This has been no party stance but, indeed, a default sentiment of humanity, when the fear of God was still a large part of the human experience, when the basis of any commonwealth was still rustic and agricultural, and before the rational conduct of the mind in its aberrant forms became the premier accepted method. There has grown a reaction. But, perhaps out of the complexity of the times, there did not exist among the reactionaries a unanimity as regards the freely growing element that is to be defended against the meddling hands of the times, though, but here one can only speculate, there may have been some tacit unanimity in guarding against that fickle part of mankind which one day cries Hosannah and other Crucify. One general divide may be discerned between those more apt to revere the authority of the past, and those whose knowledge and experience knew no authority that did not also exercise coercion, and could therefore only base their reaction upon the defense of individual liberty. For the one, the freely growing factor, when candidly examined to the root, grounds itself on the faith in divine providence, in fine, a political extension of the old faith; but that same factor has in the other came to be increasingly associated with those very real mechanisms that are found to operate in and govern the free market. Faith in an impersonal ordering power remains, but it was immanentized. The virtue of the one is that, whether by dogmatic faith or a profound spirit, he was not entirely swept by the trend of immanentization and secularization; the virtue of the other is that he has read an economics textbook. But just those respective virtues are also the blindfolds that may prevent the one from recognizing the truth and significance of that which the other adheres to. The one may not argue ‘a market economy’ as a phenomenon of the modern developments, not an invented thing out there, but a process that implicates the material sustenance and development of any commonwealth–ancient or modern, theocratic or democratic, agrarian or industrial, centralized or free. But the innocence of such an argument must not obscure the fact that, since the eighteenth century, economic considerations have gradually assumed an unexampled significance, even stealing into and materially augmenting politics and religion. The one is thus in his views and theories never quite free from the ridiculous conclusion, so heart-revolting and irreligious, but in line with his purely immanent faith, that ideally all should converge on the market. The other may read an economics textbook, and he will profit by it, but there is something sound in his reluctance to accept a political attitude and, indeed, a life attitude that, curiously, so often concludes with and grounds itself on economics. While it would be hard-headed to refuse to learn about the very real and splendid mechanisms of the market, to have not read an economics textbook might still pass for a religious virtue, but to act and theorize as if all the necessary ordering and governing forces of a commonwealth were purely immanent constitutes almost a sin. The legitimacy of this immanent and pragmatic faith is hard to dispute, if its spread has contributed to those unexampled material improvements as witnessed over the last centuries. Be it granted that the immanent buzz of the market, or the few great bootstrapped entities, do significantly move and shape and benefact a commonwealth all by and due to the market. But the material and immanent visibility which suggests itself to every observer may be stealing attention away from a different sway, not as populous and visible, but for all that unbelievably moving and pervasive upon the unleavened bread of the common life–religious and political factors. That is not to say they do not leaven via the market also, as they have often lately done. Not all have apostatized the old faith and the political life which it irresistably evokes. They will hold on to the old faith, but for all that are not disqualified from assuming the immanent faith also–as a trivial expedient. If the old faith is strong, this will not lead to double-mindedness, as much as, and here some may have apprehensions, a kind of Judaic straying. But the problem, or a blessing, is that to follow the lamb is not to end up on the marketplace.


Those faint irritants, which, never gnawing acutely, are tolerated, but which the more insidiously, slowly and deadly, chronically corrode.


The calm nod which accepts some arrangement far in advance is regretted just before the event.


Nobility founded upon trade and money will have a faux quality to it, lacking the landed stillness segregated from the liquid opportunism of the marketplace. Nobility is ingenuous, and that nobility is ingenuous that bears its spirit. Nobility may have been born as an attribute of religiosity in its naked state, whose spirit is distinct from that of men. But to say that the one spirit is immaculous and the other defiled, the one elect and the other damned to perdition, the one cultured and the other benighted, is pernicious, a hubris of a shallow vision which cannot see the humbling depth of it, which is a distinction betwen a spirit that long-suffers and a spirit that reacts. As yet unbegirt with purple robes and hereditary emblems, such naked religiosity does not attain all that is noble and fine by any formally instituted and materially privileged segregation from the vices of men, but the distance is in long-suffering spirit. To patiently endure and suffer through all the vices, errors, injustices, opinions, sophisms, impieties, idolatries, troubles, uglinesses, filthinesses, malodors, and cacophonies of men, is the efficient pith of what constitutes nobility. The better if purple robes were stripped and hereditary icons clastered, if the privileged chaff was burnt, and commonwealth becomes a ubiquitos furnace that will try and find the true noble metals.


As parents look at their womb-begotten children as the only solid meaning and justification of their life, so I treat my compendia of writ-begotten strokes. I don’t think there is anything culpable about the pride of a creator in his creation, or, if pride is too strong a word, then delight at least: ‘And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.’ So does a finite creator, carnal or spiritual. So too I will delight this November over the seven three hundred pages compendiums.


The epitome of long-suffering, in its quality of limpid innocence, especially in contrast to a raving vice around, is for me a dumb lamb.


He who creates has transcended the created forms. It is an act of piety that denies itself any servile emulation. But in its aloft aloofness oblivious of created forms, one gains a different understanding of them than a worldly-wise erudition meandering in their labyrinth might gain. He who experiences the origin of forms, their coming into being, which is the experience of a poet and a fine artist, will, thus understood, relate differently to their crowds that daily experience meets, that is, in their strictly created form. Only then he will perceive that amid all the legion of created forms, much are the works of immanent creators, or immanent imitators, or still rather, ecclectic assemblers, forming strictly from out of already created materials. Theirs is a profession, lacking the gravity of a religious calling.


If the many could not have been enlightened, except little less benighted, they have been at least housed and fed like kings.


My soul cannot bear men’s misplaced religions and conservatisms, their ill-founded rites and customs. There are many substitutes that impious men strand into, but if this creation is really monotheistic, there must be only one solid and enriching religion, and consequently one conservatism. My soul would rather stay far from all that, somehow find out how to upkeep its humble living without having to pact with entities that, if only faintly and unwittingly, indulge in these misplaced substitutes. It would rather labour more in an unfurnished than labour little in an idolatrous temple. Or that I may conduct all my business in this world by judgement and letters alone! But the days of genuine diplomacy having passed, such wish may only end up with digits and ledgers.


A culpably hackneyed expression is expiated by poesy. The spirit of truth is honoured by a varied expression.


Etymological excavations are not enough if poesy does not breathe new life into its ossified findings.


It hurts craven men to burn and amputate all those accretions that arbitrarily accumulate upon their immortal selves. Stripped of fine attires and prerogatives, long-suffering may be the original and efficient pith of nobility, and in this naked and primordial form, nobility is complete religious sanctity of life. That which is regarded as noble was first religiously protected from men.


Certain factitious vapours, or phenomena as they are called, create a sense of immanence, or evoke the feeling that this world is everything; whereas in the eyes of providence it may be a finite spasm. Soon, life may be again simple and pious: God, the altar, the writ, bread, and shelter.


That Spirit, disinherited from the transcendental treasury of the Father and the Son, left to its own devices, befogging this world by vapours, phenomena involved and meandering, humid with humanity, with paltry prayers to aerate.


Prayers right to left tackle By the unearthly tabernacle Festooned with menorahs.


Compendia of silent pages will make the mind deaf, and if it no longer sings and orates, it will write involved compositions which, when sounded aloud by the tongue, a tuneless and unintelligible travesty will resound. Once having have read the poet, made to repent a youth reared on lifeless words, by silence blaspheming their phonetic origin, which I must perforce expiate by much scribing rehearsal, whereof language regenerates, worthy to be inked with a dust of a metal beaming and uncorrosive.


The church and the synagogue stand as geological elements in the fickle history of mankind. A rock that stands, invulnerable to winds and seasons, defying reasons, clearly of a different element, not a temple embalmed and petrified by a dynasty of stubborns, but living, a haven for every generation of straying souls, where ages and trades and enemies speak the same language, praising the one Lord.


Where is the council of elders, the revising House of Contemplation?


To get to know something ab ovo is freeing. It removes the servile presupposition that things have always been so.


Transcendentally a conservative, immanently a liberal. A tentatively proposed attitude in face of that Spirit which was disinherited from transcendence. The conflicts and the contrived buzz in the realm of immanence have necessarily thrown into confusion the communal transcendence. An age of schisms, misdirected transcendences, and the widespread drowning in immanence, have inestimably altered the life and politics of a commonwealth. A tacit confusion between transcendence and immanence seems to spare none, and upon this foundation, the ideas of liberty, of sovereignty, of obedience, just to name a few, become alike confused, one-sided, exaggerated, or misdirected. It may be suggested that in face of the modern predicament, or this spirit, it is both unsatisfactory to clasp to the old transcendence while ignorantly distanced from all that this spirit wrought immanently, as well as to so adjust to that contrived buzz as to surrender the covenantal anchor and drown in immanence. But I am sorry to treat such a livingly acute problem metaphysically.


The desire for health, piety, and freedom does not grow of its own, except implanted by disease, sinfulness, and captivity.


The maggot crawls up to some pleasant seat of power and privilege, and becomes a wishful stakeholder, not to add that he has little maggots to feed.


Free and invulnerable, holding no stakes down here.


There is a vigorous liberalism founded on a sharp and cultivated capacity of the mind, and then there is the weak liberalism that comes in a boilerplate form for the people. Still, there is the old liberalism of those that follow the lamb whitsoever it goeth.


‘…let (another man’s eye) use ever so many words to tell us that what he asserts is visible.’ I believe there is a common misunderstanding of this emancipating idea–that knowing is seeing. A superficial, indeed a vulgar, understanding of this idea, errs grossly by ascribing this knowing to the sensuous eye–perhaps because it has not yet seen directly with the eye of the mind. There is an eagerness to know sensuously or empirically, and indeed, seeing so very well, but while the eye of the mind is still bedimmed, unseeing of the object of inquiry itself, as rather falling prostrate before the words of some mediating eye of the mind, impiously garlanding its altar with unwholesomely patchworked commentaries. To know something is to see it directly, and it makes no difference whether the eye be sensuous or that of the mind. It is a certain religious restraint which might purge the vision of any mediating vision, and in this make it straight and direct–though one may well have come upon an object through the eyes of another, which is common and inevitable, that the eye should be content to stop there and look from that blind spot, whereof one cannot really see and know anything, is not inevitable. And as the eye sees directly, so it reports about the object of that vision–by ingenuously expressed words limpid with meaning, rather than an unwholesomely patchworked obscurations standing but upon the stilts of borrowed words. To give one example, I often hesitate to express a notion using the words of another which readily come to mind. One may thus believe he is seeing and treating the real object, whereas one is in a shadow, blindly taking on faith the words of another about it. But I have experienced that when the eye is purged of any mediating vision, hackneyed words and hearsay terms come with it; that from the invigorating clarity of seeing the object directly one becomes a poet. But of course, this should not be a concern in those subjects of fair inambiguity in which keeping to a fixed terminology is desirable.


Praising a congregation from out of lone contemplation, while unawares singing hosannahs to solitude.


Vindicating the much derided creedal and ceremonial aspects of religion, more specifically, their grossly explicit binding of the community and patrimony, an inambiguous binding which might effectively stave off political abberations, justifying and actualizing themselves within spiritualist sects and conventicles.


Divorced from God, man is a despondent creature. Every man was once a crying baby, and something of this desperate cry of a newborn seems to remain in man as he becomes aware of death.


Bound by a rock firm as a metal, keeping a religious distance from a man that deals out empty promissory notes.


The animal part buttoned-up, there hover only noble minds.