Tuesday, October 1, 2013


In principio erat verbum

That first word; can we imagine it being spoken as something more than infantile balbation, something more like a concept than a name? Names are spoken, but we invented them. We have names because we have want and that want came before the name. Without it there were no names nor those to name them.  In any sort of beginning there was a word and we made that word because we want, and what we want is more. In the beginning there was desire and want became word.  I want, therefore I am aware. I am aware, therefore I am.  In the beginning there was the word and the word was more.

Do we imagine some Lord uttering a command to the emptiness, or do we wonder why something so primordial and infinite embedded in a finite chaos of dirt and water and wind and nothingness would have words?  Was there a beginning without a prior want?  In whom dwelt the want that became God? Would words arise without anyone to listen?  But in any kind of beginning -- of man, of  God -- any dawn of any ego, that decision to change what had always been and what is now -- the want that made that decision became the word and the word was more. Let there be more than there is.

A lord of dust and gas and particles and heat; it means little to be lord of nothing. A God who never did anything and never wanted to: a Lord without volition is no more than dead matter and empty space. A lord, to be a lord needs more and so want itself  makes the Lord and so he makes the world, orders it, speaks the word to himself and creates his creation so that what he says can be a word.  From more, existence proceeds. God said more and there was more.

A lord: meaning us; us being separate from the nothing, separate from oblivion and the chaos and the word that separates is more.  The word that defines consciousness is more; we wake, we perceive we want and in that beginning the word becomes flesh, the flesh becomes word: let there be more.

Do we ever progress far beyond the primordial word?  We strive we desire we achieve, we preserve, we pile thing upon thing, experience upon experience -- we live and we want more. We want more life and we want more of desire itself because desire is life and life must want  more or it dies.

We struggle against entropy and we want more and in the face of ravenous oblivion, in the end, we want more and we invent agencies from which to beg for more as possibility fades. We want new realities where we can have more and there always is more to have -- and we imagine them, we fight to imagine them and we fight to preserve the imagining; the imagining of more and more forever when forever, nonetheless, is only nothing more.

In the beginning we say .  . .  but that was too long ago to matter. In our beginning was desire and if more comes after us, there will be no words at all.

Desiderium erat in princĂ­pio. In finis est solum nihil


  1. Adam Naming
    By Henry Braun

    My body is tired for the birds that have flown from me;
    Their fathomless wings are riding from my brow
    In echoes. I have finished naming now:
    They are not lost that fall by an unmapped sea.

    Twilight is home for wrens in the great oak trees
    And for the hawk that in grey caves has lain,
    The peacock, host of the rainbow after rain,
    And river swan, pearl of earth's necklaces.

    Nests are arrayed and shingled in the air
    Beneath the wandering aegis of a word
    Chosen by me. When mating calls are heard
    My poem moves in the desiring pair.

    Envied by huntsmen I numbered the animals
    Gathered from nature in my baptistery;
    The unicorn pranced, eyes arched in mystery,
    And zebras passed musing on parallels.

    I have uplifted tents within my mind
    For timeless griflins with vague wings outspread
    And serpents of the field. Even the dead
    Are sung and not to quietness resigned.

    They have all gone like music from my keeping
    Towards the named world. Left in this silent garden,
    Tired of my duties as its lonely warden,
    I seek forgetfulness at last in sleeping

    1. The best thing about the zone is the comments. No place else like it.

  2. Captain,

    I recall a short animated film called More that won critical acclaim decades ago at the Zagreb Animation Festival, long before Yugoslavia succumbed to the Post-Tito Apocalypse.

    Synopsis: A chorus of human voices droning “more, more, more” repeatedly as more people, more things, and more trash piled up precariously atop an ever more beleaguered planet Earth. No longer available, the only other short film that comes to mind is this by Saul Bass.

  3. I'm trying to question what life would be without the urge behind the word 'more'. It lies behind consciousness itself and without that motivation there would be no life at all. It denies any deity that has not the need to grow, to change, to acquire. Can we consider a god that needs something to be omnipotent, unlimited, even complete? Without motivation, we only have gas and plasma, waves and particles with no one to notice.

    What word can we associate with the idea of a motivated creation but "more?" What can we associate with self sustaining reproduction of molecular structures than "more?"

    1. Captain,

      Perhaps this may be apropos for a comment to this post – these lines from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five – a very rough paraphrase recalled from memory:

      Our time-traveler upon waking and finding himself upon sand: “Lord, what makes me different from the dust of the Earth?

      Omniscient Voice: “Only your dust gets a chance to sit up and look around.

      There is much to be said about consciousness of self and awareness of our surroundings. Behavioral scientists may hypothesize that consciousness is an evolutionary adaptation that enhances survival; but this says nothing about the word ‘more.’ Perhaps we should look inside our internal chemistry and physiology, especially the endorphins and other neurotransmitters that drive pleasure, addictions, and the desire to want ‘more;’ but this says nothing about poetry or philosophical insight. So I leave you with these thoughts – at least for today.

    2. Poetry has meaning only to humans. We do lots of things that please us only because they please us and have no other meaning.

      What differentiates DNA from powdered sugar is that it produces more. All of life just restates that idea.


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