“Maar doodslaan deed hij niet, want tusschen droom en daad
staan wetten in de weg en praktische bezwaren,
en ook weemoedigheid, die niemand kan verklaren,
en die des avonds komt, wanneer men slapen gaat.”
Willem Elsschot, ‘Het Huwelijk’, Verzameld Werk, Van Kampen en Zoon NV, 1957, p. 737.
[Amateuristic English translation: “But slaying her he did not do, for between dream and deed laws stand in the way and practical concerns, and melancholy, which no-one can explain, and which comes at night, when one goes to sleep.”]
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original DD 29/02/09. What can I say, Read The Bloody Poem!]
Something in the above will forever bug me, so let me respond in kind (alas, not
– at all – in quality). Continue reading
“Nos yeux doutent d’eux-mêmes, tant que les autres ne nous ont pas aidés à établir en nous la réalité de ce que nous voyons. Notre conscience s’égare: car cette conscience, que nous croyons être notre bien le plus intime, n’est que la présence des autres en nous. Nous ne pouvons nous sentir seuls.” Pirandello, ‘Un, personne et cent mille’, p. 149, L’imaginaire de Gallimard, 1930.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 27/09/2008. Let’s see what we got ;-]
[Amateuristic English translation: “Our eyes doubt themselves, as long as others have not helped to establish in us the reality of what we see. Our conscience dissipates: because this conscience, that we take to be our most intimate asset, is nothing else than the presence of other is us. We can’t feel alone.”]
It is the last certainty: our self, our individuality, our personality. Few ventured to boldly go where the self evident simplicity of the self is no longer an unspoken premise. Pirandello was one of the first. Many have put nuances, almost nobody dares to get so bold as to attack the first pillar of dualism: the “I”.
“Toute la gloire que je prétends de ma vie, c’est de l’avoir vécue tranquille: tranquille non selon Métrodore, ou Arcésilas, ou Aristippe, mais selon moi. Puisque la philosophie n’a su trouver aucune voie pour la tranquillité qui fût bonne en commun, que chacun la cherche en son particulier!” Montaigne, Essais II, Gallimard 1965, chapitre XVI, p. 375.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 09-09-2008. I unfortunately do not have the time to produce new material (or fortunately, whatever) so we’ll have to settle for old. I will come back!]
[Amateuristic English translation: “All the glory that I pretend to have from my life, is to have lived it tranquilly: tranquil not following Metrodorus, or Arcesilas, or Aristippus, but following myself. Since philosophy has not been able to find any road to tranquility in common, let everybody find it for his specific situation.”]
Strange self-referring quote. Do I mean I live my life according to Montaigne in trying to live it in my own way? Maybe so. Continue reading
“Die eigenpsychischen Gegenstände sind erkenntnismässig primär in bezug auf die die physischen Gegenstände, die fremdpsychischen dagegen sekundär. Wir werden deshalb die physischen Gegenstände aus den eigenpsychischen und die fremdpsychischen aus den physischen konstituieren.” R. Carnap, Der logische Aufbau der Welt, Felix Meiner Verlag Hamburg (1998), p. 79.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, orignal dated 11-06-2008. This is a pivotal thought. Then again, I have no idea at all if the quought does justice to the thought. What I do know is that it would help me if you would say something to me, I’m in a state where the Eigenpsychisches needs a reality check by some Fremdpsychisches.]
[amateuristic English translation: “Physical objects are cognitively based on first person psychology, other person psychology is however cognitively based on physical objects. Therefore, we will constitute physical objects out of first person psychology and the other person psychology out of physical objects.” – this really was one of the hardest translations to come up with, I do apologize if this is as opaque as the original is clear.]
I am on thin ice here: Carnap isn’t very popular at the moment. But, he tried to think things true and I for one applaud him for having tried to do just that. Maybe later I could risk jumping into the deep, now I merely want to wonder about the first person attitude (and then hurry back to safer ground).
“(..) it is correct to insist, as Spinoza does (..), that ´the Body cannot determine the Mind in thinking, and the Mind cannot determine the Body to Motion”. We should take this to mean that we cannot infer from a cause described in physical terms that a specific mental event will ensue as effect (..): mental and physical concepts belong to independent explanatory systems.” D. Davidson in Truth, Language, and History, Oxford University Press (2005), p. 305-306.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 17-05-2008. The original stated at the end that it was [to be redone] and I’ll try to redo it but I don’t know whether I have the stomach for it. I kind of hope it will set me up for something I wanted to do on ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ after seeing a documentary on the nth physicist (B. Alan Wallace or so) trying to find ‘deeper truths’ (and naming one specific person only serves the purpose of maybe catching some lost souls via google and, who knows?, rescueing one of them from the stupidities characteristic of the intersection of science and religion). Anyway, the basic reason why so much of religion is appealing is because it focuses on the right kind of conclusions such that it is tempting to also buy the absolutely false premises that go with it. The truth is not found in the past – or by stripping a lot of surface layers. The truth is found in the future – and the new surfaces that are constantly created.]
I cleaned the quote above from the jargon. What follows here can do without.
“I remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind – and that of the minds of the ones who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.” William Faulkner, The best of Faulkner, The Reprint Society of London (1955), p. 23.
[Re-posted from The Old Site original dd. 01/05/08. A tremendous sadness has come over me and it is as if somebody has left me; somebody that was in a sense: me. This sadness is overwhelming, but it is not without great joy in the appreciation that the future cannot be as the past was.]
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I believe in an after-life. Weird, ain’t it? It takes a lot of imagination to picture an agnostic believer in the after-life. Luckily, I’m here to help you out a bit, & William is here to help me out a bit.
“garranteed basic wage
the rite to bed
the rite to wank
the rite to plentifull
supplies of good food
the rite to alcaseltzer
all the essential
the rite to raise late
the rite to free water
the rite to lack
all the rest
the rite to good women
to the toothless
the rite to discuss
points of view
Billy Childish*, The Deathly Flight of Angels, Hangman Books 1990, p. 38-39.
(*B. Childish is dyslexic, this poem appears as written by the author.)
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dated 26-02-2008. No changes at all, too much respect for this memory.]
I couldn’t have put it better, & I didn’t: “the right to lack ambition, religion and all the rest.” ‘Decadent!’, say the people according to the opinion conceived in them that freedom is a thing to fear, a thing to consume in small portions & at designated times. Decadent it is …
“Aber dies produktive Bilden der Einbildungskraft ist am reichsten nicht dort, wo sie schlechthin frei ist (..) sondern dort wo sie in einem Spielraum lebt, den das Einheitsstreben des Verstandes ihr nicht so sehr als Schranke aufrichtet, wie zur Anregung ihres Spieles vorzeichnet.” Hans-Georg Gadamer, Gesammelte Werke 1, Hermeneutik 1, Wahrheit und Methode, Mohr/Tübingen 1990, p. 52.
(amateuristic English translation (note: I already have issues with the original German): “But this productive force of the imagination is not the most rich where she is just merely free (..) but where she lives in a playing field that was set up by the leveling force of reason – not so much as a boundary but as a stimulus.”)
There was a time, not so long ago, that I thought I would never read something written by somebody like Gadamer. It was a time where I thought things needed to be clean, well ordered and to the point – a time of solutions and a time for science, and hence there was no time for common sense nor could it still be a time of pseudo-problems.
Since then I made a half circle, winding up not just reading Gadamer but also agreeing with a lot of it (but not loving it – no, not loving it at all: I fear he writes more or less as awkwardly as I do; but, at least, he does not write pretentiously). In a nutshell: he resists rationalism for the right reasons without falling into some form of particularism or relativism and reserving a non-mystical place for common sense as a sense (as an intuition).
Enough blablabla, to the quote!
“La voie de la vérité est une et simple, celle du profit particulier et de la commodité des affaires qu’on a en charge, double, inégale et fortuite.” Michel de Montaigne, Essais Livre III (Flammarion 1969), Chapitre I, p. 34.
(amateuristic English translation – On the useful and the honest: “The way of truth is one and simple, that of personal gain and the good of the business one is in charge of, double, uneven and accidental.”)
[Re-posted from The Old Site (original dated 17-02-2008). I’m glad to find this one now because it shows that there is at least some system to my madness. In light of recent comments it shows there is an original, persistent, resistance to a view that privileges the conscious and the explicitly known; at least that priviliges it as the target outcome.]
As complex as the notion of truth may be, walking the way of truth is felt by all as something immediate. To be truthful is, basically, to be ‘authentic’. Other than other basic feelings, instincts or emotions this feeling however has a basis in reason, it is the instinct proper to reason.
There is no contradiction between utility and intellectual honesty; no conflict between doing the right thing and doing the reasonable thing.
“(..) I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body & mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination. Imagination the real & external world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more. (..)
(..) O ye Religious discountenance every one among you who shall pretend to despise Art & Science! I call upon you in the name of Jesus! What is the Life of Man but Art & Science? is it Meat & Drink? is not the Body more than Raiment? What is Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which Dies? What is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which Lives Eternally? What is the Joy of Heaven but Improvement in the things of the Spirit? (..)
Let every Christian as much as in him lies engage himself openly & publicly before all the world in some Mental pursuit for the Building up of Jerusalem” William Blake, Jerusalem Plate 77 ” To the Christians”, The Complete Poems, Penguin Books 1977, pp. 797-798.
[Re-posted from the Old Site, original dd. December 1st, 2007. I have not rechecked the quote but encourage you to do so.]
Again not the most quotable of quotes, I guess it may even scare the few interested away – but I am not in it for success anyway, so: deal with it (to console you a bit I added below a hopefully more readable piece, down below).
[The interesting part of this piece is how I have come around on things religious, to a certain mildness, and how much of this mildness was present even in the bitterest of attacks where I attempted to have the criminal shoot itself, with his own gun.]
My interest in Christianity is quite limited. I am not, as Blake was, immersed in Christian symbols. I am – as most of you probably are – immersed in more modern neo-liberal symbolisms with their rituals of stress & strife and the sacraments of personal merit. The quote works as well when titled “To the Neo-Liberals”.
It is pointing to something which is not less radical now than it was then. Continue reading