Sleep and Culture

“Il n’est pas d’ideal auquel nous puissions nous sacrifier, car de tout nous connaissons les mensonges, nous qui ne savons point ce qu’est la verite” A. Malraux in ‘La tentation de l’Occident’.

[Guest post by marlombrando.]

(amateuristic English translation by GN: “There is no ideal for which we could sacrifice ourselves, because we know the lies in everything, we who hardly know what is the truth.”)

I feel in myself a tendency to become dazed, overcome by sleep …. not having deep inside myself the urgency of the sense of my life. Indeed, this is the worst effect culture and society have on myself. And too often I feel I also contribute to this towards the others.

I therefore need a conversion of myself.

But before being available to convert, I need to know something so true, so fascinating, so attractive to make this conversion (which is a sacrifice) desirable.

Malraux comes straight to the point here ….. we do not know the truth, we do not know anything which is worth this sacrificing of ourselves.

I have to wake myself up and take the initiative on my own shoulders. An initiative to make my life a relation with anOther: “I consist in you, creating me now”.

Whatever is the mood I am in, whatever is the hard time or good time I’m going through now, whatever is the perception of myself that I have now …. nothing can stop the fact that there is anOther looking at my self now.

So, the essence of conversion flashes-up: let this enter and determine my days.

So the initiative I have to take is clear: keep myself well aware of the above, every day.

5 responses to “Sleep and Culture

  1. You know, mb, the word ‘conversion’ shocks me but it’s true that sometimes you want to give something and only then you realize there is nobody that is interested in receiving it, maybe not even in taking it.

    There is some elegance to the notion of converting one’s self instead of that of converting others. In other words: to get on with it – whatever ‘it’ may be. Carpe diem and all that shit.

    Let me ask the cruel question: is it working for you?

  2. Not a cruel question!
    I think the “problem” lies (again) in myself before than in others. This is crucial. And I can think at education if conversion shocks too much. Good to think at education of daughters and sons (but also friends and colleagues fall into the playground).
    To (try to) have them looking at what I would like them to look at (also applies to “follow”, “enjoy”, “adhere”…) there is no other chance but looking (following, enjoying, adhering) myself at that point. Words, explanations, arguments, educational theories won’t work (by themselves).

    That’s why it is elegant, but even more it is the “conditio sine qua non” (necessary condition) to educate (or convert) myself first.
    Is it working for me?
    It is not something you reach once and get for a lifetime. It is a daily work….
    I have to do that every time of every day….in every situation (btw…this is the strongest definition of work I have).
    Mostly I fail.
    But sometimes not, and it works fine; not for the results I may see around on people and things (this is not linked to results as a first instance), but on myself.

  3. mb, taking this in a very abstract way you have just explained how basic the simple act of ostension (pointing to something) is for humans (and for communication) and a lot of what I try to say here on this site is about how this pointing/sorting/making sense of is not only basic but requires an interaction between more than 2 people (in which interaction it really is essentially blurred how the ‘I’ gets separated from the ‘you’ and the ‘she’)

  4. The human world is unconscious and it does not want to be awakened. Which is to say that we are all sleep-walkers in an unconscious Civilization.
    Does the dreamer ever try to awaken anyone in his or her dreams?
    It does not occur to the dreamer to do so.
    Those who appear in dreams are not there to be awakened.
    They are asleep.
    They come from sleep.
    That is where they come from.
    That is what the normal consensus world is.
    It is a manifestation of a collective sleep.
    It is unconscious
    Consciousness must be uncovered at the root, because what is otherwise the case is unconscious.
    Unconsciousness (or normal state) is the sleep of Being – manufacturing dreams, diversions, illusions, and hope too.
    Unconsciousness is deluding itself in all of its intentions and activities, even the seemingly most positive and hopeful.

    How do we wake up? Especially as every action from within the dream always reinforces the dream, despite and contrary to even the very best intentions.

  5. Sue, one wakes up by questioning the normal consensus world.

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