say Sufjan Stevens, Flannery O'Connor, Sophie Tucker and Micah: "The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men." (Micah 7:2)
Spinoza's one Substance/non-anthropomorphic divinity 'sees' all the possible manifestations of the universe, all infinite variations, down to the most minute differentiations. God allows only one of these variations to unfold, and, according to Spinoza, this is the best possible variation, the best possible coming-into-being of the universe. For whom and according to what master plan, though? If this is indeed the best way for my life to unfold according to some abstract concept of divinity or 'essence' and a deterministic model of order...well then, I suppose thankfulness is in order, even if happiness for me personally is sacrificed for the sake of some more general 'order.' I'm not an altruist but the idea of my life and its events fitting into some 'larger,' essential and intrinsic order appeals to moi.
I don't enjoy Stoicism but I think it can be useful. It's useful when applied to suffering. And when Epictetus says, "Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well," my gut response is a 'fuck dude' groan of exasperation but then, sure, I get it. Stoicism requires you form no attachments to avoid all excess and pain. Recognize that everything is temporary and perishable. Extreme self-discipline to the point of repression. This kind of restraint is not only difficult for me but also seems like a ridiculous approach to life. But its starting to look like a good option. I'm so tired, tired, sad, sad.
I am not a practical or matter-of-fact person, which is why I am drawn to some mystical notion of (shall I say) fate, maybe because of my Christian upbringing, maybe because I am a softy-idealist not far beneath the surface, maybe because I want certainty and direction and a reason not to throw my fucking hands in the air and say 'fuck it' as is so fashionable with my generation. Fuck, I think that I gave up God and replaced it with philosophy, which is essentially the same thing. And now I'm reeling at philosophy, angry at having discovered its tendency to continously point back to God, with subtlety and patience and occasional urgency. All philosophy speaks of a certain kind of 'faith.' I have a deterministic streak. Which is why, when I looked at you that day and I felt something very strong, I knew you were important to me, and I still feel that way. And no, I don't want to give this up. Shit sticks with me, people stick with me. This is my curse and blessing. I feel lonely most of the time because I miss everybody, always. I miss that boy I punched on the school yard in kindergarten and later kissed. I miss the person who taught me how to smoke. I miss God sometimes.
I spent this evening curled up on the floor infront of the fireplace. It is getting cold here. Talking to my brother about his eventful sex life, laughing at and with my Mother, watching home renovation shows, reading Robert Duncan. Family is all I have and all I want to be surrounded with right now.