Adonis Diaries

Was Henry Miller born to be a philosopher?

Posted on: April 9, 2020

Was Henry Miller born to be a philosopher?

Note: Re-edit of “”I was born a philosopher…” (August 28, 2009)

Have you tried to read entirely a philosopher book? Even in a translated version? Unless at gunpoint and in jail?

(On the personal level, in the womb, I had never been told that I kicked; I might have barely stretched my legs and yawned in recognition of warmth and coziness. I was dragged out feet first. Once out, I barely kicked. I barely cried to express my discomfort. The physician left me for dead, and mother did her best to convince them that I actually served myself to her tits. I was 2 hours away of dying due to Typhoid fever in Africa, at the age of 5. Once released from hospital, from the cold chamber, I had to relearn walking )

I was born a philosopher. I was against life by principle; the notion of its futility.

People struggled around me and I refused to do any effort. If it appeared that I was making the effort it was simply to please someone else; deeply in I couldn’t care less.

You renounce the phantom of the spirit, once for all, and then the rest follows to the heart of chaos.

Deep inside me the moon shone; everything was sweet and smooth; way up it was total chaos and discordance.

In everything I did search for the extreme opposite, the contradiction. I differentiated between the real and the imaginary, the irony, and the paradox.

I was my worst enemy. I wanted to do nothing and I could have refused to do anything.

As a child I wanted to die; I wanted to give up; I didn’t see any sense for resuming the fight.

I was convinced that pursuing a life that I didn’t solicit would never bring me any proofs or substance; would not add or remove anything from nothing.

All the people around me looked grotesque or failures, especially those considered to have succeeded who were boring to make me cry.

It was not sympathy that guided me; it was a weakness in me who expected nothing but watching the spectacle of human miseries so that I might bloom.

I aided nobody for the sake of doing him good: I had not the courage to do otherwise.

Behavioral change seemed to me perfectly futile.

On and off a few friends would convert and I would feel a surge of vomit.

I had no need of God and neither did He.

If God did exist then I would calmly advance toward him and spit on his face.

What bothered me highly was that people would think good of me at first sight.

Maybe I had the virtues of loyalty, generosity, and fidelity but they were due to my indifference because I had the luxury of envying nothing and nobody.

I had but pity for people and things. I trained myself not to desire anything violently; I thought that I was independent and would grant wishes with my own volition. I wanted to feel free in thought and in action. I was rotten from the start.

Kids frequently rebel or feign to rebel; I cared less.

As far as I can recall my first impression is of cold, snow, and frost on the windows.

Why people do move to live in cold places: they are idiots and cowards. Anywhere people live in cold regions they work to their bones and preach to their offspring the gospel of hard work; which means the doctrine of inertia.

People of the cold regions have exposed by force the wrong ideas.  Nothing is done without thinking of tomorrow that never comes.

The present moment is but a bridge; they keep complaining and growling on that bridge; not a single intelligent being among the people of the cold region thought of blowing off that lousy bridge.

The people of the cold weather are proud braggers who never had the spirit of adventure. They have tormented spirits, incapable of living the moment.  They ransacked and ruined the world everywhere they set foot.

People think that I am a person of adventure. All adventures that I undertook were never planned and they were forced upon me and I had to endure them. The only real adventure is a march toward the inside of knowing oneself.

In several instances I was in the self discovery adventure but never prosecuted it to the end: I always found myself in the streets and bumping into the people crowding these streets.

I crisscrossed the world and no where else did I experience as much humiliation and degradation as in the USA.

I have not met a single person in the US who was really rich, really happy.  I tried hard to get out of the loop but I was from this land and the evil was in me.

Any event has its own contradiction.

The desire of all my life was parallel to life. Life didn’t awake any interest in me.

What did interest me later on was grasping the feelings and expressing them powerfully; the feelings and thoughts that I fail to express clearly irritate and bore me.

Note 1: This post is an abridged version of the first 10 pages of “Tropic of Capricorn” by Henry Miller.  I translated the pages from the French edition.  You may compare Miller’s style with mine. Sentences in parenthesis are mine.

Note 2:  I am different from Henry Miller. 

Miller was aware of his capacities, limitations, and emotional behavior since he was a kid; I was not that conscious of mines; I started self analysis way after I was 55 of age.

Miller was born in the cold North; I was born in hot Africa.

Miller worked in all kinds of jobs when he was still adolescent; I did all that after I flew to the USA at the age of 25 and for over 20 years and during and after I earned a PhD in Industrial Engineering.

Miller experienced all kinds of humiliations and degradation while he was pretty young; I did experience these humiliations throughout my life and it is an ongoing process.

Miller was tall and athletic; I was not.

Miller was a sex maniac. I consider that males are denied erogenous parts and should Not feel any urge for sexual pleasure. Just a mental decision to please a girlfriend when in need.

Miller managed to be published and became quite wealthy; I am penniless.

What make the whole difference is being consciously aware of yourself when a kid.  Not many enjoy that kind of grace and awareness at such a young age.

I was barely conscious of myself as a kid and barely recall how I survived to live that long.

Actually, I am aware that I have No emotional intelligence, maybe due to lack of faked imagination,  and didn’t care to observe people, until in older age, out of a decision to connect to youth and be funny at my expense.

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