madness: n; 4. The only madness worth suffering is that which is achieved through concise and utterly rational labours.

manifesto: n; 3. I do not wish to raise the applauded monument but rather to divine devastating futilities.

medicine: n; 4. There is no such thing as a medical solution for a moral problem.

melancholy: n; 4. The problem with melancholy is the unmanageability of its elation

memento mori: n; What we do not write for those who do exist we write for one who does not exist.

Michael: n; Thinking about this dictionary, and about everything else I am entangled with, I remember that the archangel
Michael recorded all the missions on which he was sent and which he performed. I suppose the lesson here is that one should
be careful how you name your children.

mind: n; 6. If the mind is an aberration, an affliction that strikes the slumbering, subliterate congregation of the great
unwashed
that huddle under normalcy and adhere to so-called authorities that have never and will never validate themselves—
then I long for the contagion, for the fever, for the debilities and the deformities that will accompany its intractable and
ultimately fatal presence.

miracle: n; 5. When the commonplace is considered extraordinary, when what would be a reasonable expectation of anyone
is held to be an unattainable ideal, it will take great patience and strength to achieve what is truly ordinary and to regard
this achievement as such, since it will be responded to as though it is something unnatural, suspect… an abomination.

misanthropy: n; 3. A fully developed misanthropy is too precious to share.

moon: n; The moon seldom speaks. Its presence or absence is expressive enough for our human capacities. However, when
it does speak it does so in an untroubled and knowing tone. And there is only one message it directs towards every upward
looking face, the only thing that can be said… considering the circumstances— keep going, it will all be over soon.

read: v; 2. When there is no time to read there is no time to think.

reckoning: n; To encounter art is to undergo a reckoning.

regret: n; 2. To state that one has no regrets is to presume that were conditions exactly the same one would act in exactly
the same manner. One is of course leaving unanswered the question of whether one regrets that the conditions in which one
found oneself should have existed at all. Given identical conditions one will always act in exactly the same way— and so,
regret is an impossibility. Regret as a possibility then must involve something more. To wish one had acted differently is the
most radical wish possible— the desire to be someone else. And what, specifically, is such a wish? It is the yearning to
extricate oneself from everything that has been formative or destructive in one’s life, all that can be remembered and all that
remembers, all that has been known and all that knows, all that has accepted or refused one’s presence, all that has been
witnessed, or has witnessed… all this must be sloughed off. As understandable as this desire may be in certain situations it is
impossible, not in thought, but in practice. There can be no true re-birth. Something adheres; there is a residue of ourselves,
a continuity which will always be resistant to our squirming and our purgations. Every supposed re-birth can only be a delusion
of the highest order and can achieve nothing but a furthering of the justifications one may need for one’s feelings of regret. To
regret in this way is to be confused about one’s singular place in the world and the relationships and responsibilities that are
inherent in this singularity, or develop from it. Properly understood regret is the renunciation of every predicate of being in this
world. And sometimes this may be a necessary step. And as long as this step is understood in such a way (and not as a
re-birth) it may represent the only progress one can make in freeing oneself from the suffering and disappointments and
absurdities that accompany life’s embrace. There is of course another step… but this step is always the final step, the step
that says no more steps.

relation: n; To think and to thank are more than just phonologically related.

replacement: n; 2. We are all waiting for the one who will replace us, for that moment of recognition and release when our
burdenis finally lifted from us and willingly shouldered by another. However, for one who has lived the wrong life or for one
who has simply been the overseer of a life unlived everyone can be a suitable replacement— this because there is nothing
to replace. Such a person will wait for the one who will replace them and will be unable to see how they have, in everything
they have done and not done, forever excluded such a culmination. And you will always know such people by the impatient
grimace that casts a shadow across every possibility, by the depraved hesitation that hammers against their eyes as they
search the faces of every passerby for the sign that is never forthcoming— that mark that says I am not capable, I am not
the one who will replace you; they are elsewhere, further on… you will find them and they will know you
.

retrospection: n; The one who sees portents of an imminent apocalypse suffers from excessive retrospection.

salvation: n; 4. When someone offers to save you, to flee from their advances is the only salvation available to you.

sandbox: n; For one who grows up in a rural setting a sandbox represents precisely how horrible things can get— an
enclosure of enforced and impoverished play. When one grows up in an urban setting a sandbox is also a mockery because
when one is sitting inside one is surrounded by precisely how horrible things are.

sanity: n; 2. To be considered sane a necessary condition is to resist and retire from all forms of collaboration with a
dysfunctional society, including every adaptation to its debasements and all the disfigurements of its so-called privileges.

schism: n; Some have suggested that in schizoid people there exists an inner-self that, threatened with dissolution, makes
use of a false-self for the preservation of its integrity. This is a complimentary and optimistic vision of human nature.
Perhaps the truth is that there is no inner-self, and the so-called false-self is the real self. What is referred to as the
inner-self is an organizing structure, a subject, that others assume must be there— an assumption that everyone is willing
to believe in except the schizoid personality, for whom such a phantom is a social convenience that must be endured.



 

 

 

 

from Instrangements

(recent excerpts from A Personal Dictionary) 

Mike Schertzer, 2007