The Self as Infinite Reservoir, Archetypal Abyss, and Eternally Self-Undermining Text
An effusion of thoughts from my journal in 2003, inspired by Thomas Ligotti
Welcome to The Living Dark. I’m Matt Cardin, and this is my blog/newsletter on waking up at the intersection of creativity, writing, religion, horror, nonduality, apocalypse, dystopia, consciousness, and culture. You can subscribe by clicking this button:
Over the next few weeks here at LITD, it’s likely that I will share several entries and excerpts from my personal journal between 2002 and 2022. That’s because I’m presently transcribing my notebooks, both handwritten and electronic, from that period as I create a second volume of my selected journal entries to complete the project that began with the publication of the first volume last fall.
As you know, the title and theme of this Substack, which I explain and explore in detail in the first three posts from September 2022, is living into the dark. Over the past year as I have dived repeatedly into three decades of my past journal entries, I have had the strange experience of living into the dark backwards—retroactively, as it were. I have discovered that although I wrote hundred of thousands of words in my notebooks, I possess very little conscious memory of having written any of them. The few entries that I do remember writing, like one from December 6, 1994, in which I first began to grapple with my sleep paralysis attacks (you’ll find it in volume 1), stand out for that very fact: because they’re a rarity.
Revisiting 30 years of my journal entries and rediscovering what I wrote in them is like living living into the dark in reverse. It’s like meeting a person whom I almost can’t remember having been. Or maybe a person I once knew in a dream.
Today as I was pounding away at this project on my computer, I came across the following entry. Though I have no memory of writing it, I can avow that the theme it addresses still seems compelling to this later, older version of Matt Cardin. And I decided to share it here on the chance that it might seem compelling to you, too.
Note how it ends with a vague but passionately expressed idea for a potential short horror story. My journal is filled with scores of these things, the large majority of which I never turned into fully finished stories, and all of which I almost certainly never will.
Also note how the entry starts with a kind of inspired philosophical-psychological effusion of dream gibberish for several paragraphs and then coalesces into something more conventionally expressed. I don’t know what was up with me that morning.
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