Spinning Wheels: Diary, 6/15/21

Carl Jung (1875-1961)

{6/15/21}  Weight 214.6 at 6:15 am.

At the end of a somewhat troubled night—forgot to take my melatonin until 12:30—I had a dream about a copy of the “manuscript edition” of the works of Thoreau that was available to me or had become mine, and I was futzing around with the diary sheet that was included.  At one point I was trying to read the sheet, at another I was speculating about practicalities, rather than dreaming—about how it might have been packaged and to whom it should be sent and so on.  Seems like at the end I was riding in a taxi, holding the sheet.  Silly.  I did own a copy of a later edition for several years; I’ll never own another.  There was also something about someone buying donuts, and I think I ate one.

“The muddle-headed look at the complexities of things and write obscurely; the simple-minded cultivate clear and distinct ideas but miss the complex depths of sheer matters of fact.”

This useful quote (see Bleak Philosophy for more and source), which has become a part of my vocabulary and has even penetrated Pablo’s, is in fact an overstatement.  Anyone is capable of approaching problems from either end of the spectrum.  The “simple-minded,” that is, sometimes look deep and see clearly that they are simplifying, perhaps simplifying in order to have anything at all to say.  In other words, sometimes we use models, and sometimes we contemplate mysteries; and our awareness of the mysteries teaches us caution in the use of models.  Something like that.  And the “muddle-headed” still have to cross the street and open cans, places where obscurity can’t be helpful.

The problem perhaps is that I lean toward the simple-minded “kind of mind,” but don’t like to be thought of as simple-minded, or, as “missing the complex depths.”

All of which is in the same ballpark as the Cioran quote yesterday.

Today amounted to very little, since I had to hasten to my “counselor” at Stockdale Ave. by 10:00 am, and afterwards I went to the bank and then Food Maxx.  I got home after 1:00 and ate too many Cheetos, then fell asleep in my chair, then went to bed for a nap.  After 3:00 I started watching TV, and ate dinner.  With a little news and a little Internet, it’s now 6:15.

So my day was derailed early and never recovered.  I read some of the new Cynicism book on the bus and was not excited about it.  No fiction writing done, no ideas thought of…oh, I did watch a couple of episodes of The Simpsons and had a good laugh over Krusty in a ball pit.

Last night I read “The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man” in The Portable [Carl] Jung and was moderately impressed.  I wrote on the title page of the essay, “Worthwhile and profoundly interesting, but starts slowly and much is obscure, or at least vague.”  I wanted to write a thorough response, which could be useful either in a HC meeting or posted on my blog, or both, but today I’m not feeling it.  Maybe tomorrow.  A bit of research reveals that this essay is chapter X of Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Jung’s popular book, text available here.

The working title for the “Hemlock Club novel” I’m going to abbreviate to HCN, which, interestingly, is the chemical formula for cyanide.  (Actually, it’s hydrogen cyanide, which is the poisonous part of Zyklon B—the link goes to Wikipedia.  It’s pronounced Tsuklon Bey, approximately.)  I don’t expect that this will result in more written pages, alas.  What the actual title will become is unpredictable, but I guarantee it won’t include “Hemlock Club.”

Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon is entertaining but is not very faithful to the novel.  At two hours and twenty minutes I thought it might exceed my patience, but it was—or Witherspoon was—fascinating enough.  I had trouble telling the characters apart, alas, though it doesn’t seem to have mattered much.  A “ballet” near the end is pretty unbelievable in story terms, but quite nice otherwise.  A song before the ballet was exquisite and sad.  So, some charms await the persistent.

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