2/23/17 Poetry
As part of an effort to understand the Tao Te Ching, I rewrote chapter 15 as poetry.

The mysteries of old can no man know
nor see the face of the masters.
An honest attempt at illumination will show
--with exquisite juxtapos,
the contours of befores and of afters.
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12/10/15 Essay
In revising his Dreamwork, Freud realized not all dreams could be explained by the libido. He then wrote Beyond the Pleasure Principle in which he theorized a second, more primary motive: the death drive, now commonly called thanatos. Considering the roles of the thanatos and eros as instinctual drives provides an excellent tool for understanding human motivations. Applying the theory to fictional characters, if they are well written, can be successful and rewarding. Reading Ender’s Game through this psychoanalytic lens, in the framework of the pleasure principle, we will explore the libido and death drive as experienced by its protagonist, Ender Wiggin. The book can be read as two parts - battle school, where Ender struggles with thanatos, and command school, where he comes to understand eros. For Ender, the final battle is more than an alien conflict, it is the struggle between thanatos and eros. His victory is a result of the influence of both drives, and they can both claim some success in it. Read more...
As the poem opens, a fire is lit. It kindles inquiry and intrigue throughout the stanzas until its luminescent conclusion. The blaze sparks the interest of a local dung beetle colony, personified by their desire to understand the mystery of the flame. Their King has seen this phenomena before, and he wishes desperately to know its secrets. He immediately calls his tribe into action, promising riches to anyone who will help. The bonfire is seen to change and purify those who approach it. The King Beetle believes that knowledge of this “Great Light” (38) will bring him closer to his Father, a burning passion that motivates him to seek understanding at all costs. Read more...