Oggy's Statement

“Damn everything but the circus! ...damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, damn everything that won't get into the circle, that won't enjoy. That won't throw it's heart into the tension, surprise, fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence...”
― E.E. Cummings

Why is Oggy living in a van? I don't get asked this question too much because most people simply want me to leave. The last person who seriously wanted to hear my comments about living in a van...was living in a school bus. Even the police, in my frequent encounters with them, don't ever ask me what I'm doing in a van with a wood stove. Here's what I would tell them: I joined the circus that E.E. Cummings wrote about.

It's been a haphazard evolution but I'm beginning to understand myself. Basically, I'm pondering the universe and all its mysteries and I don't believe in doing things half assed so if I want to actually reach some conclusion then I have to do nothing but ponder the universe. The lack of progress leaves me disillusioned with the false white teeth world and the fakebook status pictures with smiling couples in front of a huge screen with Eddie van Halen playing guitar like life is merely a self reflective mirror designed by Apple. Is it?

I've been disdainfully compared to Thoreau so let's hear from him: "To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life , not only theoretically, by practically."

I did manage to create a cabin on the never ending shores of creation and roll along its contours.

The best way to explain it is take those 30 seconds every day that you hear about something or read something or realize something that makes you think existentially about the meaning of life....take those 30 seconds and extend them for 24 hours. That's my life. And while that does illuminate the dark corners of mysterious insanity, it also makes it almost impossible to work. I used to say that I was distracted at work...but now I understand that work is the distraction from my true calling, which is unfortunately unmarketable and loathed by conventional society. I admire the works of Plato and Hermann Hesse. I take their writing seriously along with Thoreau and Steinbeck. I enjoy writing but if I want to write something meaningful like East of Eden or Glass Bead Game then I have to first engage the meaning I seek, to paint myself into a philosophical corner and then find my way out. Some writers are famous because they can pretend to have something to say or spin old wisdom in a new way. Good for them. I want to be like William T. Vollmann and have something original to say and the only way to do that is to take chances and get dirty. But this has led me from a period of youthful reflection to the depths of despair and existential depression to total and complete nihilism and now to a state of utter confusion and perplexity. I am puzzled by how haphazardly life presents itself. What is the point? Hydrofracturing for oil, tar sands, wind turbines, currency trading, garbage patch doll cards, old mopeds, broken feet...from the smallest red clover mite crawling across the cobwebs of my van to the largest quasar announcing the presence of other dimensions...I see only questions that are answered with pitiful attempts like media manipulation, "science", the bible, speculation, sorcery and fiction. I am skeptical of every conclusion. We build skyscrapers, design bridges, the economy is so convoluted that I defy anyone to explain it to me, not to mention the inherent inequity woven into the fabric of capitalism. My underoos are taboo and my tattoos are underfunded. The world might make sense to you and a $4 cup of coffee doesn't make you blink but the slightest misspelling in a menu at Jack in the Box will send me into a fit because the consequences and sources, the crimes and the punishments are manifest. What is money? What is real estate? Where did the Kickapoo Indian go? What are the implications of a man selling pretzels on the street or a baby being abused by his father? Oggy asks the hard questions. And recall, dear reader, that Socrates would stand on a street and argue the nature of Justice as if it made a difference. His opponents would get angry and emotional. They eventually killed him and he pondered the nature of life up until the moment he drank the poison.That kind of commitment impresses me.

"What I am in search of is not so much the gratification of a curiosity or a passion for worldly life, but something far less conditional. I do not wish to go out into the world with an insurance policy in my pocket Guaranteeing my return in the event of a disappointment, like some cautious traveler who would be content with a brief glimpse of the world. On the contrary, I desire that there should be hazards, difficulties and dangers to face; I am hungry for reality, for tasks and deeds, and also for privation and suffering."  From The Glass Bead Game Hermann Hesse
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Hesse and Nature figure largely in Oggy's life

Maybe currency trading is your thing and your opinion is that I'm an asshole. You are a realist and investigating the basis/cause/effect/nature/meaning of currency trading is not required to trade currency. Good for you. There are people who say, "Pass me the hammer." and they use the hammer. I ask, "What is a hammer? What is the nature of a hammer? Let me account for this hammer by tracing it back to its source."
And that process has led me to a place where I can ponder these questions within the self enclosed shell of a 1969 Econoline van. Look at it like this: Can you call a friend if you don't know their phone number? No. And I can not live a conventional life until I know the nature of and can account for a conventional life. Is this self defeating? Maybe, but I could ask if calling your friend is really necessary. Some people study quasars and life on Mars. Some open up chest cavities and study the veins. With the world destined for extinction in a year or in a trillion years, can't you ask why anyone does anything? I certainly do. Perhaps I am the philosophical equivalent of a big wave surfer. Today's global problems will not be solved by surfers, but by philosophical risk-takers, and that's my egotistical evaluation of my quest.

We ask the questions that occur to us. I wonder if a veil is not put over our eyes that only persistent skepticism can remove. You do not wonder this and so you recognize no veil. But does your position negate the existence of the veil? You'll never know and maybe that's best. Maybe I'm searching for the glasses that are on my head. If so, then I'll find them and have a good laugh. ha ha ha. Or maybe the nature of the veil will be revealed and I will write it down and find contentment in my expression. Amusing myself is a large motivational factor.

Why not, "Get a job"? Well, I've lived in Los Angeles and know that humans have run amok, expedience is the only law, no forethought, no responsibility, only immediate gratification...etc. I'm redundant...everything I do is almost obsolete...philosophically, it's all totally pointless and a myth...we have kids and then excuse our actions as "Needed to feed my family...." That's a manufactured excuse in a cycle of expedience. We're already cosmic dust in my mind, everything is on the brink of annihilation...I act only to learn and once I've learned then I move on...because why bother repeating myself? Someone else will build the oil processing facility or guitar effects pedal or fiber optic safety harness. There's no shortage of people, if you haven't noticed so I'm going to follow my own path. Furthermore; it's my enlightened opinion that everyone should share in the burden of industrial electricity, commercial food production, Asphalting, carpentry, mechanics, space travel, music. I've been called a Renaissance Man and I won't argue with that label. Ignorance is a chosen career to go with your selected occupation and I won't have it...preferring to spread my interests wide and shallow. Because pride in your work is a motive manufactured on the premise of creationism...which is like warming your hands over a wooden kitchen table...yes, the wood could give heat if someone burned it and if you imagine the wood burning then your hands might feel a little more warm...which isn't much different than a small fire actually keeping your hands warm...but equally redundant and constructed to assuage our fears of the vast universe...which is understandable but a socially acceptable "program" that I've deleted from my hard drive and started clean...and subsequently lost my way.

What does it mean to be alive today? That's a question worth answering.

I can't summarize my worldview but the posts here are clues in the haphazard design of my interior universe, ruled by one mantra: introspection at all costs. Which leads one to ask why I publish my quest. And it's partly an egotistical reminder that I have some importance (relevance, a friend once said) in the world that is registered by page views and hate mail but it's also because after several hard drive crashes and an uncertain environment in my van that can reach 130 degrees or as low as -18, I can not reliably store any digital writing. It has to be uploaded to the vast data storage buildings in California where my digital neighbors are more famous than me. And also, when I write, the format of a blog post field is very welcoming to me. Microsoft Word intimidates me with the huge white space that I have to fill with words. This text field is smaller and there is the right amount of visual distractions to take my attention away from that centipede that is crawling across my dashboard or the arthritis that cracks the joints of my fingers. Also, when I'm motivated to find the internet then I must have something important to say...So I go to libraries and wifi parkinglots and type like a madman as the battery runs out on my van and then post it. I post it @nonymously (Oggy Bleacher isn't my real name) or I could save everything as drafts but in my brain it's very important to believe that an audience will expect certain twists and phrasings that I don't attempt when writing strictly for myself. In fact, these blog posts are originals. If Blogger is deleted these posts will be gone forever since they aren't saved on my computer. You are reading them as they came out of my fingers, unedited first drafts. There are journals and there are essays and sometimes the material overlaps but, for me, knowing that the words are public and expected to communicate something to a stranger puts me in a frame of mind that slightly alters my approach so the natural flow of cerebral nonsense erupts effortlessly but also with a fringe of generic expectations. (Alright, I'm vain. That's why I publish it here. I admit it. Are you happy now?) All my writing problems stem from either "trying too hard" or "writer's hand". I am striving for something original, a new genre of essays and stories, a marriage of Gonzo and Gide, that encapsulate my philosophic quest but if I try too hard then the words bind up like too much pizza in the colon. There are other problems but I don't want to bore you.
I'll leave you with these comments:

"Anyone who goes openly on a journey into the interior, who withdraws from the ceaseless agitation of everyday life and pursues the kind of training -- satipathhana, yoga, Jesus Prayer, or something similar -- without which genuine self-knowledge cannot be obtained, is accused of selfishness and of turning his back on his social duties. Meanwhile, world crises multiply and everybody deplores the shortage, or even total lack, of "wise" men or women, unselfish leaders, trustworthy counselors, etc."
-- E.F. Schumacher

Comments were shut off when humanity proved incapable of offering anything of value so if you really want to tell me something then your thoughts can be directed to.... an email address that is embedded in this page but secretly...  .com
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.