Stoic Wisdom

The Stoics believed that we are: “Neither masters of matter nor of thought, human beings at their most rational do not order the world but submit to its forces and make them their own.”

from Elizabeth’s Grosz’s “The Incorporeal”

Eugene Minkowski

From Eugene Minkowski’s Lived Time. This wonderfully expresses the joy and agony of the need to create, especially the need to create the future.

“To surpass, to surpass what has been done: what desire that incites! The call is so violent that it becomes agonizing. We have the feeling sometimes of losing our foothold entirely, of surpassing the present moment too much, of running the risk of saying things which, have nothing to do with the present, remain misunderstood, although they could explain what future generations will someday recognize as true: yet don’t they become lost in nothingness because our contemporaries do not fall into step with them? As a matter of fact, it is a vain fear, for the personal effort springing from the depths of our being cannot create discontinuity in life, nor can it come to be broken against any discontinuity.”

Karl Jaspers, The Origin and Goal of History

“I should like to maintain awareness of the dependence of our cognition upon current standpoints, methods and facts and, thereby, of the particularity of all cognition; I should like to hold the question open and leave room for possible new starting points in the search for knowledge, which we cannot imagine in advance at all.”

“Wonder at the mystery is itself a fruitful act of understanding. It may even be the very goal of all understanding, since it means penetrating through the greatest possible amount of knowledge to authentic nescience, instead of allowing Being to disappear by absolutizing it away into a self-enclosed object of cognition.”

Upside-Down Philosophy

I’ve always been turned off by philosophical systems, from ancient to contemporary, preferring maverick, poet-philosophers such as Nietzsche and Camus. This quote from Henri Bergson, from the introduction to The Creative Mind, I believe hits the mark.

“Philosophical systems are not cut to the measure of the reality in which we live… [they] could apply equally well to a world in which neither plants nor animals have existence, only men, and in which men would quite possibly do without eating and drinking, where they would neither sleep nor dream nor let their minds wander; where born decrepit, they would end as babes in arms; where energy would return up the slope of its dispersion; and where everything might just as easily go backwards and be upside down.”

Hah!

The fact that this makes me laugh out loud also makes me realize what a giant nerd I am 🙂

Everythingism

All theoretical analysis, scientific or otherwise, is wrong from the beginning. It requires a dividing up of a fundamentally indivisible world, creating static entities deprived of their most essential quality of duration* (that is, real time in which they are constantly changing and evolving)  then grouping these artificial, frozen fragments based on identifying that which is not identical and differentiating  that which is not different**, and finally by positing relationships between these groups, at which point we are so far removed from reality that we enter the realm of the absurd.

That is why all conceptualizing is false. This is not a Nihilism. It is an Everythingism.  Where everything presents itself to you so vitally and insistently, brims over inside of you with such strength and life, that you refuse to see violence done to it.

*see Henri Bergson

**see David Bohm

 

 

 

“Medicine” and The Gulag

“Why go to inordinate lengths to break a man’s spirit if you can mold him so that he has no spirit to begin with?”

From The Illusion of Technique by William Barrett, in reference to Soviet behavioral scientists and their efforts to stop dissent before it starts. But also resonates with eerie familiarity in today’s American pharmaceutical culture…

Original Sin: The Fall of Organism

It is not just a question of looking at the so-called “individual” as an organic unity, but of looking at that organic unity within the larger organic unity of Being. This goes against the entire history of our culture; we are defined by our historical addiction to analysis, looking at phenomenon in artificial isolation, to the detriment of Being and ultimately of ourselves.