8.10.2003

[110] These remarks are simply arresting. Where I was struggling to work through 80 to 100, now I find I cannot turn off the thoughts provoked by Wittgenstein. Everything I write seems inadequate. I look over the last entries and I feel this rising shame that I cannot meet the challenge.
Why do we produce and succumb to grammatical illusions like the uniqueness of language and thought? Wittgenstein contends that these illusions are not mistakes, but superstitions -- stories we tell in order to make sense of occurrences that cannot be confronted directly. We want to say, "Of course thinking is special!" I have a conversation going on in my head. It is private; it is between me and myself; and keeps me from falling into a deep chasm of solitude. This is a divinity within. It creates and it comforts. I regard it as a halo, a source of illumination and warmth, as a sign of unvarnished truth as apprehensible. Moreover, it remains something private. All attempts to commit this pure thinking to the page fails. The brightness is gone as soon as it is made visible. Words appear inadequate to the task of conveying thinking.
Wittgenstein wants us to get rid of all of this, beginning with the inner/outer duality that houses the illusory uniqueness of thinking. But before I begin this, I feel like I must see an alternative. I can intuit that Wittgenstein is correct, but now the creative impulse must fill the vacuum created by devastating critique. To me, at this juncture, I feel I must call upon the uniqueness of thought -- its utopian dimension -- and in doing so I fall back into the duality I was seeking to escape.

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