See MY WRITING for explanation of this documemtMEMORY
228 Memory, appetite. Girls and what they represented. Where
is affirmation of self?
Destroy false doctrine in the past of memory. Ialdabaoth. Subjection to alien standards. Denial of the truth of individual will.
Looking back on the past. 'Wasn't that good?' But what did it signify?
300 The might-have beens. Charlus commiserating with the dying
Swann. Looking back with pleasure on the women enjoyed. A different approach
to memory. Unfulfilment, deprivation, Philip Larkin. The deprivation the
might have been, brings subtlety.
Foucault's very good to attack the repression/liberation axis. Here, too, could be a Nietzschean perversity.
314 Important in affirmation is memory. Sexual instinct as opportunity
102 The child as all things, no marked, defined character. In
defining oneself later, one may pick certain memories, certain features
of ones own childhood perhaps one's elders may have wanted to repress,
and define them as the essence of one's character.
In learning a skill, like driving a car, there are bad habits, bad practices, which are mere rubbish and have to be rejected.. The same with certain lines of personality development.
But in defining oneself there is much that remains, that one preserves and is prepared to regard as ones inner dynamic.
One's own personality, roots, one traces to some childhood aberration. Bringing up a child one learns how insignificant that aberration perhaps was. That what one subsequently has learned has equal importance with what one once felt.
How much may one's whole world view be based on a neurosis?
In one's world view, special pleading, presenting that aberration as of central importance.
Clinging to that as to the origins of ones own identity.
Guilt from the past, Acceptance of an identity. Features in memory one will not accept as mere refuse, but as constituting one's core, even if one no longer feels in precisely that way.
316 If immediate satisfaction is all, and memory is not important, why is not the satisfaction achieved in dreams accounted as valuable as that got in real life? How many women have I fucked in my dreams? Temporary pleasures.
368 Descartes and his insistence on the importance of retaining his insights clearly in the memory.
275 A photograph of a dead child. Extreme selectiveness of what
Wittgenstein, trying to steer us into normal ways of thinking.
Of all the photos that have been taken, think of all those that could have been taken. And if the past is in some sense real, think of precisely how much of it survives as reality. There is almost a plenum.
If every combination of letters is used, in addition to what has already been written, then nothing is said.
Likewise with the richness of reality.
In Abney Park cemetery this morning, a wet cool morning.
The cemetery is a wonderful place.
Full of the reminders of mortality. with the richness of nature.
The Victorian cemetery, so characteristic of England. But it is only now it has grown so wild.
Thinking of the past, the consolations that may be taken in what has been. The position of each leaf one hundred and thirty four years ago, Grave of someone who died a hundred years before I was born.
Past as existing other than as in memory. Artificiality of memory. Why there is no consolation in what is not remembered. The reality of its meaning is swamped in a flood of alternative meanings.
That someone lived and died is a fact. That he lived other than as he did is a fiction not a fact.
Both the fiction and the history are possible schemes. Suppose the fictions exists in some other dimension. The reality of one possibility only consists in that I perceived it.
For other conceivable observers, remembered reality may be utterly different.
53 Emotion inspired by J's call. Memories of my youth. Emotion
associated with memories of my youth, for remembered happiness. Much as
I might try to insist on the unique quality of the emotion, perhaps it
sounds very much like sentimentality. Remember how I felt the day I went
back past my school, and into the nearby pub. A seemingly unique quality
of memory, one tires to differentiate it from sentimental indulgence, picking
out what was unique. But perhaps everyone's youth was unique. I youth there
is a superintensity of emotion focussed on one's own experience.
179 Unsatisfactoriness of memory. All the women one wanted to
fuck but didn't. Birgit.
Freud's will to power, mental health. An ideal which sets mental health as a supreme value is potentially depressing. To adhere to it may involve acquiescence in a negative judgement upon oneself, Genesis of guilt.
256 Autobiography. Sartre's 'Words'. The child is many
things. One finds out in memory those things one considers important in
144 Foucault on the Stoics and their diary keeping. To life a
beautiful life. Parsifal and its implications. Beauty of woman, beauty
of man. Beauty of the naked body. Something to be used up. Something preserved
in memory. Importance of memory, persistence of memory.
176 Youth. Youth in memory, time of frustration, dissatisfied
aggression. Yet think what Nietzsche says about
being able to enjoy this. Ever important need to overcome depressing interpretations,
which are other peoples values.
Age, maturity associated with defeat. With socialisation the aggressive stance is not kept up. But there is no necessity in this.
371 Autobiography. The Indian experience. The number of people
out there smuggling and planning to smuggle quantities of dope.
How to make this experience intelligible? For so often one is aware of opposite points of view. The experience of vulgar journalists. With their base interpretations, Richard Neville, back in the news again, Hardly ever took drugs. Importance eof memory.
34 Emotional satisfaction comes largely from memory, of course.
So it is a lot to do with what you hold in the memory. What one finds emotionally
satisfying, of course, relates to what one finds frustrating.
What is satisfying, as distinct from merely arousing, can be said to involve love, i.e. affirmation. Affirmation of form, perception of beauty, all coming to the same thing. Life is justified by moments of love, remembered forms of intense affirmation. Art Nature, sex, or other forms of experienced reality. Points of resolved tension. Compare such moments to flowers. Imagine affirming the flowers, as one affirms such moments.
The forms of experience praised by the masses will not be affirmed as such, not without transformation. The tastes and ideals of the masses are one of the tensions set. Think of their Valentine's day cards, and how they can possibly think that stuff moving or exciting.
147 Wordsworth's Prelude, and the theme of spiritual alchemy.
The importance of memory. Childhood as providing material to be worked
over in poetic vision. By no means the simple nostalgia for childhood one
One has to be far removed from childhood to be charmed by childish toys. The youth may feel that certain aspects of childhood have a macabre or horrible atmosphere clinging to them. Of states of feeling one needs to resist, to overcome.
Something hellish about not being able to escape from some limited state of feeling.
What are truth, depth, sublimity?
Does the fact that Wordsworth uses the traditional concept of the sublime detract at all from his originality? Sublime contrasted with beautiful. Sublime as the Old Testament. Does not the concept get in the way of direct experience? Young's Night Thoughts.
309 Assimilating, reinterpreting, your times of frustration that
were some of the most acute moments.
Satisfaction this provides, as painful memory is given some unexpected artistic finish.
101 After his discussion of aesthetic experience, Schopenhauer
that the presentation of long past experiences in the memory can be rather
similar. Less bound by our own will and purposes, idle surveying of past
experience can enable us to see that experience can enable us to see that
experience in a far purer light than if we were to view it pragmatically,
for example, as we are likely to do at the time it occurs. Thus in the
contemplation of the past, we can gain a temporary release from the remorseless
pestilence of the will, and get a little peace for a change. The is influenced
Proust. Schopenhauer seems to maintain that
our experiences seem better in memory than they were at the time.
1 There is pleasantness in life. One feels it has little value
unless it has a form of permanence, i.e. leaves good traces in the memory.
Psychology of addiction. The pleasure is not in the memory, but in the moment, consequently one wants the power to recreate the moment. Consequently possession is important, one wants to possess the drug.
Ordinary life has a number of pleasures, or kicks, that fail to leave fully satisfactory traces in the memory.
273 Pindar. One's life considered as a whole, is an opportunity
for fun. One is here in it… Of all the things one could enjoy, one has
easiest access to this, if it goes well.
But what restricts the free flow of enjoyment? Time and the immediacy of unsatisfied desire.
The reality of your own life. Why should that be more enjoyable than the reality of anyone else's life? It is just easier to get hold of. To relax into. Pindar sings of particular triumphs, philosophises on them. If I were to moralise on athletic triumph I might to it differently. What would it be to me if I were to win a race?
Why should I even enjoy the fact that I have played this part of winner rather than loser? One imagines it is like the reward f successful effort. Joy of victory is proportional to effort expended.
But such is a fragile and transient pleasure. It is a fallacy to turn it into dreams of salvation.
Pindar's use of myth. Positioning memory, history, with the timelessness of the gods, not to the immediacy of the present.
The immediate pleasure is real, it is not something without significance. In memory it may be preserved and continue to be enjoyed. Nevertheless it is still transient.
What does this mean? One is not to speak of a certainty, or even a hope, of salvation (though he does once give expression to his patron's beliefs.. But the creed is not pessimistic, for an immediate enjoyment is still possible. There is still access to a present delight. The condition of this is a form of humility.
Pindar. Overcoming time. Transience of an immediate pleasure the precondition of a more valuable one, perhaps.
Without a certain indifference to what is not satisfactory, without a certain freeing from the hotness of desire, full enjoyment is not possible.
Athens in those days. Aggressive pioneer, like Britain in the nineteenth century.
Overcoming of time, Enjoy your life but…. The reservation is not so much to show that enjoyment must be short. It is to teach you to enjoy it better. The desire to cling is itself a spoiler.
If I take a pleasure in my own achievements, it is that these are near to hand, as are those of my ancestors and my country.
22 For any memory to be satisfactory, there has to be the feeling
of escape, that the ordinary has been overcome. The ordinary in consciousness,
the consciousness of the ordinary.
Consider a memory and how you can free it form all the accretions of ordinariness that cling to it and dampen it down.
All pleasure is resistance overcome. This consciousness as coming from certain beliefs about happiness. Different beliefs would produce a different consciousness.
Imagine some such belief.
Say that what seems to me the ordinary seems to another itself like resistance overcome.
If some one value is identified with the truth, then it will seem like overcoming resistance, all the field of error would have been overcome.
Belief in god, commitment to a value, adjacent a background of error.
The nature of the good experience, how it is to be defined. This is important, A memory, a classification, a description.
Accretions of the ordinary, like barnacles or limpets. If the experience is good, how it is described….
If you describe it in the wrong way you do not sufficiently discriminate it.
I say this from my own will to power point of view.
What needs to be shown is what makes it pleasurable, in what way it is the overcoming of a resistance.
It is the description that makes all the difference to our understanding.
Does the description sufficiently discriminate what is good from what is not good?
From out point of view being committed to a belief may make this seem unnecessary.
It is not experience that oppresses, but the description of that experience.
When the good is not sufficiently discriminated from the bad.
Some experience is praised as good. If you do not find it so, the badness gets projected into you. I.e. there is hell and judgement.
The goodness of something is declared to be a value whether you like it or not.
If it were sufficiently discriminated it would hardly be possible not to like it.
But the crude discrimination which comes from firm commitment to a value would deliberately confound the good and the bad interpretations, maintaining that the value is ipso facto and intrinsically good.
Value or experience. Crudely described. If you do not find it good the fault is in you, and you are to be subjected to suffering and judgement.The assault on the memory. Primary effect of decadence. The destruction of enjoyment in this way.
The alchemy of happiness. The alchemy of pleasure extraction. The memory.
Lack of discrimination the assault on the memory. Effort to reduce immediate enjoyment.
Will to power is a belief but it does not operate like other beliefs, we suggest.
All ideas we interpret in the light of this.
286 My aims, as affirmationist. One is looking for a certain
kind of peace of mind, a state of memory. This rather like a religious
I want to pursue aims which further my own power and enjoyment.
One wants to will, and to glory in the will. A mood, one may describe as life affirmation. Not being the slave of desire.
This mood, affirmationist condition of memory is the whole object of life.
310 Does the past have a form of existence?
Statements about the past are not thought to be completely mutable. O'Briens' philosophy of history (1984).
What is it that makes statements about the past true or false? It must be the relation they have to the present, to memory and to extrapolated sequences of cause and effect. Is this the reality they have, a constructed reality, based in the present, and the theories and categories to which we adhere?
Change these theories and categories a bit, and we can have possibility instead, something infinitely larger, something one may want to call God.
Even the present is constructed.
What has reality apart from my immediate consciousness?
God, possibility, everything is true. A photograph records an image of a time and place, The image is there, vivid, remembered. But how much reality do we give the past? Everywhere where cameras were not, but theoretically might have been, there too was an image strikingly vivid, we can extrapolate it, its permanence is somehow necessary. So wherever you were naked you may imagine yourself to have been photographed endlessly. Think of this.
If the past does not exist, if it is just construction and extrapolation, could we not extrapolate or construct differently? And could this not be just as true?
In a world where there is an immense number of possible things that could be thought. Why cannot we think what we like? Or at least what we can?
Why not believe in ghosts, spirits, all kinds of gratifying things.
265 At Waterloo station I eat a cheese and ham croissant, which
I enjoy. I reflect upon the pleasure I am experiencing. Its significance
is increased when I compare myself to the past, say 20 years ago, when
such a gastronomic delight was not available in such a place. But if such
a pleasure is to have any significance, it has to be related to the future,
when such pleasures will become ever commoner, commonplace in fact. But
what will not be available in the future, will be my consciousness of the
newness, my ability to compare with the recent past.
So in this respect I am better off than both the past and the future, can compare my present experience with both, and feel pleased.
There are people who do not compare themselves with the future, only with the past.
Whatever it is you experience, you have privileged access to it.
Of course you envy the past, but it is good that you should, it means you can assume the future will envy you, here, now. So long as you value your experience in its individual uniqueness, contemplating it as such. And not purely as measured against the past, because then its value will fade. It will be an experience that may be a joy now, but will cease to be a joy in time, yet as you have conceived it is is the same.
Memory, philosophy, what one needs to know.
So much one has learnt from time to t time that is of the utmost interest, but which in detail one forgets. Certain thinkers one needs to live with in an intimate fashion.
340 "The service of philosophy, of speculative culture, towards
the human spirit, is to rouse, to startle it to a life of constant and
eager observation. Every moment some form grows perfect in hand or face;
some tone on the hills or the sea is choicer than the rest; some mood of
passion or insight or intellectual excitement is irresistibly real and
attractive to us - for that moment only. Not the fruit of experience, but
experience itself is the end. A counted number of pulses only is given
to us of a variegated dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is
to be seen in them by the finest senses? How shall we pass most swiftly
from point to point, and be present always at the focus where the greatest
number of vital forces unite in their purest energy?
To burn always with the hard, gem like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life" (Pater)
See this as leading onto an ideal like Proust's.
Memory is what is important, not so much the moment.
Memory is the immediate power to create a satisfying sensation in the mind.
To live for the moment is nothing if the moment is to vanish immediately.
33 Contemplation essential to art. The barbarian experiences
ecstasy enough. Ecstasy of the moment, rather than of the memory.
Greek art and intimations of Buddhism.
What is satisfying to the memory? A different question from how to procure the satisfaction of desire.
Greek art and Buddhist philosophy are essentially onto the same thing, onto the immediate and present state of mind. Insofar as we are talking about contemplation, what is the difference between affirmation and negation?
The question loses its practical urgency, which shows how the difference between Nietzsche and Schopenhauer or late Nietzsche and early Nietzsche is less significant than might appear.
What is sought is the satisfaction of the mind, one that is repeatable, whether in meditation or in aesthetic experience.
Does it matter if the ultimate significance of the symbols that give satisfaction be thought of as life or death?
A discontent with impermanence.
The supreme work of art that is the Parthenon frieze.
Crowleyan Buddhism - Crowleyan Thelemism.
The dissolution of the opposites of affirmation and negation in the Mahayana concept of the void.
The real difference is between this and the frustrated fury of the will.
Optimism and pessimism not antithetical.
It is a sense of pain, frustration and oppression that seeks liberation in art.. Fifth century Athens, in many ways a most uncomfortable time and place in which to live.
Nietzsche's Hellenism, which seemed to last all his life. The affirmation of life there is essentially an aesthetic affirmation. A form of affirmation immediately present in the memory.
This is remote from 'the religion of healthy mindedness' or the life ideals of ordinary power seekers.
89 The pleasures of childhood, are they largely animal or vegetable?
What place do they have in memory?
What is the value of pleasure that is not present in memory? But whose memory? Your memory or my memory?
Recall a passage from Brave New World about watching children at play, sex play in this case, the older people smiling indulgently, the younger ones turning away in distaste, being too close to their own childhoods.
Does the child value his own childhood? Or will he later recoil in distaste from it, only to discover it in later life, looking at young children?
But are some children happier than others? Do some actually have peak experiences that are remembered in later life as something beautiful and strong? The leaders, perhaps, the victors and champions?
The turbulence of desire. Is childhood valuable in itself, or only as a preparation for later life?
151 My cheerfulness, a function of memory, of a contemplative
enjoyment of the experience I have accumulated.
The direct satisfaction of the will can come to seem to be an irrelevance when compared with the residue that is important for memory. What is really desirable is that which remains, that which is immediately accessible for enjoyment.
175 The copulations and unions of youth. May they sometimes be
less than they appear to themselves at the time?
What triumph? What satisfaction? All unique to the self, depending partly on how well the self is formed.
Self is self, self is experience.
One's attractiveness is one's triumph. T. resents having been considered 'just a prick' by so many of his women. But insofar as he was merely this, how was he even attractive?
309 James and his 'stream of consciousness' i.e. his attempt
to describe the nature of the contents of consciousness.
Rejecting Locke's classification of ideas under different headings as both breaking the continuity of consciousness, and imposing a sameness on things that are unique and different. .
One could almost say that from this point of view the Lockean account lends itself to Platonism.
But James assimilates the contents of consciousness far too closely to things.
Does introspection reveal the things he says it reveals? And if so what is its significance?
Even a mental image should not be thought of as a copy of a material thing as a painting or a photograph is.
If Peirce's philosophy of signs were intended as a rebuttal of this, its point would be very clear.
The linkage with brain physiology is obviously very valuable, but the mental contents are not objects in the sense presented. Simply to attempt to observe them is an unusual act, which will produce experiences of an unusual nature.
Nor is an experience anything like a material object. These things are evanescent. What is the truth about an experience? What was felt at the time, or what it is to memory?
And we cannot bypass memory to find what it was like at the time. And even if we could, there would always be the medium of the present interpreting mind.
Memory. Memory of girl's buttocks on Saturday, The experience is vivid and recent in memory, so for that reason it's exciting power is greater than more distant memories. The image I conjure up in the mind of those female bodies. I have quite a vivid picture. But it is not a photograph, or an eidetic image.
286 Gil suggests that perhaps to remember one's childhood as
a time of anxiety etc is the mark of having had a happy childhood, those
being the times that stood out.
How much of you persists in memory, including your own memory? You are not just what you are at this moment, you are your whole life.
35 Sex as sleaze. Sex as happy, affirming
Hard porn, like hard drugs, mainlined. Pride like that of the junkie. Like a macho pride.
Some pleasures can take off the satisfy the memory, some can't. Those that can sit happily when they are freed form guilt or shame or any kind of unease about the self.
Affirming one's own sexual enjoyment.
Sexual oppressions, assaults on memories. From different quarters. Other people's experience. Denigration, disvaluation.
All the alien valuations from which one wants to escape in one's enjoyment.
Consider Stavrogin's Confession, and the response of the priest. About how people justify their pleasures to themselves. Consider paedophiles and the ideas with which they justify themselves in their own eyes.
So what is the real pleasure? Some tremendous relief of tension. Pleasure in other things, like the beauties of nature, flows from this.
Sex and emotion, release of enjoyments that satisfy the memory rather than simply inflame desire.
Idea of the animal "Be not animal'. The animal taken as living for the immediacy of desire. Like the coke rush, or the alcohol high. The point of not being like that. Pleasure as a satisfying affirmation.
In youth, like the urgency to reproduce. All values dominated by the sexual act.
Simple facts of psychology. All pleasures that do not affirm self. That reinforce a system of values that is hostile or alien in some respect..
138 The trouble, as Ficino pointed out, with the pleasures of
the senses, is not that they are pleasures, but that they do not last.
Perhaps we should modify or clarify him a bit. What in fact does he mean
in saying that they do not last? For a genuine pleasure may well last in
Perhaps what he means is that certain forms of sensual enjoyment can turn in memory into something bitter and unsatisfying. They may lack the emotional power to satisfy in memory. This is especially true of 'mere' entertainment.
The real point then, is to create a type of sensual enjoyment that succeeds on the emotional level as well as on the immediately sensual. This involves art. It might alternatively be said to involve a very high degree of virile self confidence.
See function of Platonism here, The artist tyrant.
On my definition the artist tyrant counts as a Platonist.
go to home page