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What is Aporia

the Phenomenology Poem



I can think of no better beginning than the question, what is this?

The second question that naturally follows from this is for clarification, what is this?


Secondly speaking, this is what you're making of it. In accordance with the postmodern ethos in vogue with our time, we create meaning by our reception of the signifier and then interpret through our epistemological framework. No matter how mundane, everything from a leaf on the ground to a spouse can be considered a signifier. These signifiers run through our beliefs, our thoughts, our hopes, our fears, they affect our mood which in turn affects how we receive new signifiers, over and over in a circular pattern. Our epistemological framework dictates how we experience the world, and our experience of the world dictates our epistemological framework.


So, this means the world to me.


By world I mean that thing that we constantly experience, consistently experience, continually experience. It includes the earth, the moon, our friends, the taste of food, our bodies, and our thoughts. Our experience with the world gets stored in our brains as memory-impressions, which give ground to and bind our knowledge, which in turn give ground to and bind our beliefs. Our beliefs are like giant knowledge-engines that drive our actions (many would say entirely so), so that even when at rest we are continually engaged in some form of action. Thus, actions are largely dictated by past experiences (what we have known about the world) colliding with current situations (what is currently being revealed to us by the world).


The moment of collision, not as a memory, nor as a fantasy, but the collision of right now is what this is about.

Right now, what is your reason for doing what you're doing? Why do you care about those reasons? What are the reasons that you care about the reasons for the reasons why you care? Though it looks like it might, this line of logic doesn't carry on ad infinitum. Eventually your reasoning will hit a bedrock belief (or a string of coupled beliefs) that require no validation and provide reason and meaning to the rest of your life.


Or your bedrock belief cracks. What you thought was the bottom most fundamental aspect of your nature is not actually the bottom of your Self. You fall, and fall into a dark new world.


What is this world of mind where we are blind to reason and yet meaning flows in an interplay with itself, seemingly disconnected and fluctuating about like an aberration of dissolution? This is the world of Aporia, the inner deconstructed reality.


Phenomenology, an obscure branch of philosophy launched by Edmund Husserl in the early 20th century, is the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view. Phenomenology grew from Husserl to Heidegger, picked up by Sartre, culminated by the Structuralist and deconstructed by Derrida. It differs from Psychology in general in that phenomenology starts and ends with the subjective perspective, whereas psychology aims to arrive at objective conclusions concerning the human mind (psychology and phenomenology can both be contrasted with neuroscience, which aims to arrive at conclusions concerning the human brain).

So, phenomenology is the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view. While in a state of Aporia, phenomenology becomes a tool to help us look at what is going on in the midst of confusion and disorientation.


Imagine that you are naked, lying on a soft blanket in a grassy field. The sun shines directly upon your body. You are warm, maybe even hot. There is nobody else around. You look up, what does the sky look like? Are there clouds? What do you hear?


If you took the time to actually imagine that experience then ask yourself, what was that thought? Like, what was it? What was that phenomena of that particular thought? How does it differ from this particular thought about that thought?


Next, take a second and breath really deeply. Take 3 long breaths.








What did you feel? What did your lungs feel like? Can you hear your heart beating? Can you feel your heart beating? What does it feel like to have blood rush up to your head? Can you make blood rush out to your limbs?


How did the phenomena of thought differ from the phenomena of awareness of breath and body? How do they compare? They are both phenomena running through whatever it is that you are. Isn't it strange that you are some thing that is having the type of experiences that you are having?


So, what is this piece of work? It is titled: Aporia - the Phenomenology Poem.


It is an interplay of different pieces of art, centering around a novel (though in true Derrida fashion, you are encouraged to read and interpret with other aspects of the poem acting as the nucleus), broken down into 3 subjective narratives within one person. The Phenomenology Poem is composed of 10 songs, 6 essays, 49 pictures, 38 poems, and 1 novel; all original works by myself (including two songs with guest) created between the years of 2014-2018.


No aspect is meant to be exhaustively understood within itself, rather, all is meant as an impression for your own mind that will then resonate with your subjective experience, creating a fusion of meaning that transcends any single piece. What you engage with first will affect your perspective as you head into the second, because meaning itself resides not in definition but in relation. Words are symbols, which are mental constructs, which act like rocks in a riverbed that meaning like water then flows around. Meaning changes the scope of the words, and the words change the flow of meaning.


Again, nothing is meant to  be exhaustively understood. As the reader, the onus is on you to engage Aporia phenomenologically. Each aspect of Aporia represents a mental phenomena occurring within the main character. The three narratives shown are mostly done in chronological order.


An example reading of the beginning to "An Ode to the Travel Narrative" - the song "Static" is a deep seeded frustration the main character has of feeling stuck. He sees a pretty red haired girl which he imagines in colors, and this gets his mind thinking about his heroes and who he wants to be, who he doesn't want to be, and how contrarily he feels colorless to this girl. This then leads to the beginning of the novel.


All of the narratives are simultaneously happening through and effecting the main character, yet all to fluctuating degrees that he is more or less aware of.


You are inviting to get inside the mind of the character. Judge his intentions, his feelings, and his awareness. Do you think that he a well-meaning person? Is he resourceful and wise, or foolish and wasteful? Is he being honest with himself? Do you think that he'd be honest with you?


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