Some time ago I set foot upon a strange land. The experience has been mixed, to say the least. No matter how awful your knowns are, the unknown has the potential to be much worse, depending on what you make of it. If you're not paying attention then during the dead of night your indiscriminacy might come strike you in the back of the head. Remaining alert, ready, and careful is the only thing you can do to deal with the strange and the stranger. Not doing so, and recoiling at the nothingness beyond the dark is sure to net you a literal hell of a time. Take my word for it. The first thing you'll notice if (maybe 'when'?) you unwillingly tread beyond the border-crossing is that your body will become increasingly heavy. It's as if the veil itself is weighing on you. With time you'll have neither physical strength nor capacity for reason. The former you can easily cope with, but losing the light of the intellect can be fatal. Furthermore you'll notice that you're slowly but surely losing your balance. Even furniture, usually the most familiar idea, becomes a hindrance of the strange sort at this stage. You can look at objects and people as much as you want, but you're not really seeing them. You'll keep bumping into things, tripping over yourself, and making a complete mess of both yours and others' business. You'll be in the midst of things at this point, and unless you take up your cross here, you're not likely to make it out alive. Your balance will fade to a point where you can't even stand fully upright. The ground feels askew here. You can't really tell if that's your delusion or if reality itself has warped somehow. Here something or other can catch you off-guard, which is followed in turn by a fall. The fall isn't a reaction, though. You straight up trip over nothing. You know neither what tripped you up, nor what you're tripping over. Tripping over nothing is a good way to summarize voyaging to the strange land, anyway. Should you ever go there, keep your eyes open; See there's nothing to be afraid of, because in the strange land there's only nothing to scare you.
I can't get certain phantoms out of my mind: all the baggage from my past and the burden of my future. I'm not what I am. I'm another. I'm currently an other to myself and only myself to you, repeating in a sickeningly circular waltz what always has been, always is, always etc. When I'm myself, I'm another to you: You didn't expect me, and couldn't possibly have. Whose responsibility is it when I'm being myself and everything goes — to put it lightly — 'up the fuck'? Is it yours, for being so naïve as to fall for my life-lie, or is it mine, for not being courageous enough to be honest about myself? These are curious circumstances which require a critical eye to pry apart: a third party, so to speak. It's pretty dishonest for the first or the second party to fancy themselves as the third, though. While the mind prides itself on having an incisive and unflinching gaze the life-lie concerns the annoyingly determinative indexical triad of I, here, now. As much as I want to be, I'm not timeless. Anything I drum up as the 'third party' just becomes an extension of 'me', always the first or second. Inventions of the first-third or the second-third become deferrals of responsibility when spoken. Will I ever be able to make a move? Paraphrasing Derrida in his The Gift of Death, doing whatever is committing violence against the 'other others', those wholly uncared for by my narrow pretend-caring and pretend-thirding, those not even thought about. The other others are a bunch I have to actively contend with. I feel this intuitively, 'responsibility' is majorly fucked. No matter what I do I'm either treading on eggshells or crushing eggs — be they my own or somebody else's. The logic of responsibility is such that the regretful emergence of the genganger is unavoidable unless I become it myself. Is there nothing better? Or are the responsible — sans all pretending — limited to merely acknowledging their original sin, their eternal murder of the wholly other? The wholly other is always-already dead at my hands while conscience persists. It's hard to envision realizing this and not instantly taking your own life, becoming the ghost you were always meant to be.
The watcher watches you watch yourself. Be careful not to watch yourself the wrong way, or you'll be sure to know it, for the watcher also judges. Doing means being watched. Typing means being watched. Writing a blog-post means being watched. Talking about yourself means being watched. Look outside the window to see who's watching — nobody? When you're outside, shadows turn into formless watchmen, just watching. Even as you walk in broad daylight the dark window of the upper floors of the neighbor's house trips you up. Who's there? Every time you dare turn your eyes up toward it you see nobody there, though. Why do you fear being watched, if you don't even know who's watching? People are of the smallest concern because you know who's watching, and you can probably tell why, as well. It's all definite and familiar; Even in your most eccentric moments you feel at home with the gaze of people. What you fear isn't the judgement of stern authority, but the gaze of the watchful eye itself. What's in the gaze? Who's looking? Nobody. No body's looking, yet you're being watched. You feel yourself as watched. You suspect that somebody's watching, and it hasn't yet occurred to you that suspicion is a relation: Every intuition of 'mine' births not only my feeling, but yours, as well. Properly speaking, what is mine is also always yours. You're always caught up in looking for the watcher, not realizing that this is what has the watcher look for you, as well. The mind isn't in the first instance the calculating apparatus you think it is. Every move you make creates ripples the extent of which you're prohibited by metaphysical necessity from understanding. Beyond the confines of language, thought, and sight, in the down-to-earth recesses of the psychic strata, at those levels where the line between matter and qualia — earth and cellar — starts to blur, things aren't. Things are abstractions, accreted experience with the real, turned into terms, and related to others by similarity and dissimilarity. The watcher is not an abstraction, but instead something concretely real, birthed by something you don't quite yet comprehend. That's what really makes it terrifying. Not the fact of the watcher itself, but the possibility of the watcher. The watcher, very much real, hints at the unreasonable fact that there are orders you are subject to that vastly over-shadow your feeble flashlight of comprehension, cognition, and vision. Of course you didn't want to be watched, but nevertheless, by watching for the watcher you've given rise to the watcher. There's a potential out there which responded to your unintentional call: a real potential, one not of your own. And it's always watching you.
Did you forget? Why did you forget? It's 1:34AM. You cover yourself in sheets and roll around in that dark and dusty room for hours, unable to sleep. You get up, look in the mirror. Not the bathroom mirror though, because you wouldn't leave the room at a time like this. What do you see in the mirror? A vague, perhaps blurred image of yourself. But it's not yourself. It doesn't remind you of yourself anymore. Is it because it's blurred? No, you clearly recall that in the mirror your image should be reflected back to you. You have no reason to be scared, yet the blurry and dark no-face staring back at you startles you a bit as you contemplate it. 'It's not your-bloody-fucking-self,' runs through your head as your otherwise incisive mind searches frantically through several documents, articles, opinions, facts, files and memories filed under the categories mirror, self, and body for an explanation. The image is getting eerier. You can't tell why. You've forgotten. Why are things the way they are? Your body is foreign to you. Your self is foreign to yourself. What a miserable condition to be in. 'Why am I not myself?' You keep reiterating the search query, but with every iteration the already vague expression reflected back at you recedes further into blurry nothingness. You 'hit the dab,' because humor usually reminds you of yourself, but the face is still blurred. You panic. What was supposed to be you isn't you, you surmise. What can you do? What can be done to rescue what wants to die off; what wants to return to nothingness? Did you forget? Did you forget that paradisal state where things made sense, you were yourself and your body was your body? No, you clearly know. Loss is relative. You're afraid because you're losing something, and you don't know what's to come. What will you find when you no longer recognize yourself? Why do you no longer recognize yourself? You keep asking questions, ignoring that this is what sets you apart from the answer. You wouldn't recognize yourself because you don't want to recognize yourself. But 'I've forgotten,' you tell yourself. No, you're forgetting, and that's much more painful than just not remembering.