I have taken to lying entirely flat on hard, wooden floors in the firm belief that it is the closest experience to complete weightlessness that one can hope to achieve. Some will argue to lie afloat in favourable seas as a more successful simulation, but I contend that such persons really haven’t thought the mechanics of this experiment through at all. The primary concern of these people, no doubt, would be an effort to simply eschew what they are likely to believe a purely whimsical, weightless observation – a novelty anecdote. I can assure you, it is not. Take a moment to practically employ my hypothesis and you will be quite taken by it; alleviated from the burden of any unnecessary muscular contraction, the body takes pleasure in a rare moment of complete physical relief.
I have not yet had a chance to share this observation. As I count the etches carved each morning on the underside of my desk (I must apologise to my grandfather – the late Thomas Sr. – to whom this surface was a venerated alter, the landscape on which his greatest works were built and the shadow of whose monument is eternally cast over my own) I know it has been six months since I received any company and above three more that I have left these rooms.
To become a recluse is a fascinating experiment and I have no immediate intention to cease indulging in its solitary endeavour. In time, once these endless papers are coherently compiled, I am confident that my colleagues (I use the word for mere convenience and mean none of its intimate connotations) will be quite taken by the significance of my primary observations. Whilst they continue to investigate the habits of ‘communal man’ to its furthest geographical and cultural reaches (I recently heard by this week’s post that Doctor John Penfold has even taken to ‘experience’ with more than one aboriginal as part of his lauded ethnography of the new colony) they continue to overlook the significance of one’s experience of, well, ‘one’s self‘.
I aver that the desire to seek communion with others who share the human condition is a defence mechanism against the same fictitious guise of social homogeneity in which we invest – put quite crudely, the desire for meaningful, personal relationships is equally the vulgar promise of relief from an imposed macro-community in which we are all supposed to get along quite fine. Should you renounce or merely struggle with such norms of social integration, then there is certainly something wrong with you. As a result, within this macro-social game we observe the social play of others, their tactics, strategic executions, successes and downfalls. From these we hope to learn and adapt, and yet more often we steal and regurgitate. And all to reaffirm that the condition is mutual – that we are all struggling together on the brink of social madness.
I, on the other hand, have decided to descend – descend without rope nor net into the abyss, to entertain those thoughts and imaginings deemed most irrational as result of their naturalised opposition, those that we believe to be of the darkest nature from which we recoil and suppress manifestation. The result, I contend, is truth; Individual Truth, for social truth is a romantic impossibility.
To explore and come to know yourself in all your psychological idiosyncrasies, irrationalities and desires (those considered indecent, even horrific if brought to action in the social sphere) is a cognitive marvel prevented to us by the necessary burden of methodological social interaction and pretentious etiquette. That such norms are demanded by the very social sphere we construct as communities is a perverse irony only too common to the functioning of ‘civil’ interaction and living.
It has been written that we are ‘social being’ by nature – I say we are conscious singularities forced into cohesion. I have read that we find solidarity in our collective history – I say history is imposed to the ends of its own autocratic self-sustaining benefit.
But I will write no further. I expect this diary will function as a significant commentary to my completed works once they find publication and (largely ill-sought) fame within the this budding field of social studies. I am compelled to write more, but I fear that if I should I will make crude the more intricate aspects of my observations, the complexities to which I have devoted entire chapters. They unravel perhaps some of the more disturbing experiences I have endured and their reasoning cannot be justified in these loaves of paper leaves which litter the floors of these four rooms – my temple of voluntary solitude. Often I lie entirely flat on their hard wood – simply to shed the weight of it all – if only for a few moments of complete weightlessness and physical relief.
~ January 3rd, 184-