Creation of Angst.

Landscape with Pollard Willows 1884. Vincent Van Gogh

Ritual of soot

The chimney sweeper paints the walls black in search for skies.
No guilt in life, no fear in death; climbing down the depths.
A tired body; A tired soul; A homeless body; A restless soul.
His heart disclosed what reasons have bestowed.
Head is cursed, out of darkness it emerged.
Trust he gained where faith hath yield,
He wandered where mind has left.
All engulfing It proclaims:
“Nothing shall prevail!”
Feelings Unsought
Lost in thought
Hopeless.
Love.


“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke”

Van Gogh

Welcome to this nice and welcoming lil piece of poetry I put at the start of the blogpost. I ve been reading quite a serious amount of existentialist novels (bangers from the bois Søren Kierkegaard, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche)  recently which made me dwell on the idea of making sense of it all. Existentialism tries to dismantle the meaning of this whole living thing.

In the view of the existentialist, the individual’s starting point is characterized by what has been called “the existential angst” (or, variably, existential attitude, dread, etc.), or a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism

I tried to have downward movement in the poem, representing the basic idea of existentialism. The quest of finding the inner workings and meaning of it all. The opening stanza frames the poem and explains the protagonist and opens up for the juxtapositions within the poem. The chimneysweeper is met with a terrible fate, but keeps venturing ever deeper down the chimney to find his answer. Enjoy the travel through our personal chimney with soot filled lungs.

Some of you might remember the blogpost concerning the topic of creation and creativity. I briefly mentioned the concept of creating anxious thoughts. I played around with my personal perspectives and tried  to elaborate on the appearance of this uninvited guest. For this blogpost I would like to take a small step back and briefly glance through the doorcrack.

I was listening to a podcast about Artificial Intelligence. The hosts were discussing the art of creation through randomnes. How different cumputation units construct a complex self-teaching mechanism. In sort, a computed interpretation of what human intelligence could potentialy produce. There are AI programs that algorithicaly produces potential and sorts it as either favorable or unfavorable outcome. Just to quickly elaborate on the manner (since I rarely get to talk about these things) I would like to bring up a quick example. The AlphaZero, the computer program developed by the Geniuses over at Deepmind, was able impress the chess scene. (Even Kasparov was impressed). The program was fed the rules of the games, as in the legal moves and the constraints of a winning, losing or stalemate position. The beauty herein lies that this AI unit managed to „master chess“ within 4 hours. It would go on beating the very best chess AI programs effortlessly. All self-thought through some randomness, some chaos. This very thought of creation, the relentless computed chaotic potential, did seem to have an interesting tone to it. It felt a bit like a renaissance of Greek myth, chaos that creates.

Well, it was exactly this idea I wanted to dwell a bit upon. I want to give my 2 cents on the topic.

The *what ifs* haunt us and plague our mind. The potential is far enough for us to worry. If there is a potential of an undesired outcome we start to take it into consideration. It seems like that exact consideration renders us immovable. Our reasoning does not concern itself with any probability of any sorts. Tell a person that is afraid to fly that it is the safest means of transportation, watch them not change their mind one bit.  We are fully aware that there wont be any monsters hiding in closets, reasonable enough for our rational part, yet we are scared. As long as we do not check we trap ourselves in potential. Humans don’t care about a 0.01 percent failure rate, they care about the potential to fail. Our decisions are not rationally adapted to percentages. We treat it as a  50/50, either it happens or it doesn’t, logical only for ourselves. It seems to me that there is an inherent reigning factor that presuposses the notion that IF there is any potential we ought to be careful.

What might break fear is reassurance beyond any reasonable doubt, which I think can be found for some instances yet for others it will inevitably fail. The ground it can establish itself on could be found within the basic human capacity of fear. I reckon that you could argue that the human needs an innate sensation of angst to survive. Extrapolations of said anxious thoughts could make the total elimination of the percentile futile. What I mean by this is that, aslong as there is any potential reason to feel a sensation of fear, humans are emotionally overwhelmed the stronger the appeal is.

I had a funny revelation whilst pondering about this post. So I was cooking late night, prolly something easy like eggs, and started throwing in different spices. Once you throw in some pepper, a lil salt, you might just say damn this why not add some garlic. Chilli? Sign me the hell up! It reminded me of the proliferation of angst. Once you start the process of „the what ifs“ there is rarely any going back. You just keep on adding and piling on and eventually you have to eat the mess…


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