Mayakovsky, a poet of Bolshevism, wrote in 1914:

If the stars shine —
well then — somebody needs it?
Then — somebody wants them out there?

This is what I call “projections of instrumentality.” Human mind seeks order, sense, meaning. We are in a continuous state of apophenia – in a state of meaning-making, in a never-ending process of connecting the dots. Except for when we don’t – when we let go of this meaning-making, illusion-making search for reassurance.

I find it ironic that Mayakaovsky had the Sanskrit word for “illusion” (Maya) built right into his name. The Maya of Meaning is a kind of Kantian apriori, along with time and space.

Ramakrishna explains:

Ornaments cannot be made of pure gold. Some alloy must be mixed with it. A man totally devoid of Maya [Illusion] will not survive more than twenty-one days. So long as the man has body, he must have some [Illusion], however small, to carry on the bodily functions.

Mayakovsky committed a suicide at 33 years of age. Must’ve run out of Maya, must’ve run out of the illusion, must’ve run out of meaning.

What’s on your mind?

I hope something.


Here’s the entire poem “Listen!” by Mayakovsky (in translation by K. Rusanov)(note a slightly different translation of the first stanza).

If they kindle the stars —
well then — somebody needs it?
Then — somebody wants them out there?
Then — somebody calls these tiny gobs
And sweating blood
in the blizzards of midday dust,
rushes up to god,
is afraid of being late,
kisses his sinewy hand,
begs —
that there be a star, without fail! —
swears —
he won’t survive this starless torment!
And then walks about uneasy,
but calm on the surface.
Says to somebody:
“Now you’re ok, right?
Not afraid?
If they kindle the stars —
then — somebody needs it?
Then — it is essential
that at least one star lights up
over the roofs
every night?!