Tag Archives: Zorn

Jerusalem – in my name

“Jesus replied Fear not Albion unless I die thou canst not live
But if I die I shall arise again & thou with me
This is Friendship & Brotherhood without it Man Is Not.”
W. Blake, Jerusalem Plate 95, in ‘The Complete Poems’, pp. 841-842, Penguin Books, 1977.

There is in philosophy of language the concept of ‘The Principle of Charity’: you cannot understand – and you cannot, therefore, be understood – if you do not apply a reasonable dose of charity in trying to understand what the other says. The Principle assumes more than mere benevolence, Continue reading

Que philosopher, c’est apprendre à mourir

“Il faut estre tousjours boté et prest à partir, en tant qu’en nous est, et sur tout se garder qu’on n’aye lors affaire qu’à soy:

Quid brevi fortes jaculamur aevo
Multa?

M. de Montaigne, Essais, Livre I, Chapitre XX, Flammarion 1969, p. 134 [quoting from Horace, Odes, II, XVI, 17.]

[I am not so sure about the below translation but it fits exactly with the idea of negligence/responsibility I am carrying around, lately.]

(amateuristic English translation:  We always have to be prepared & ready to leave, insofar as we have it in us, and above all ensure that at that moment we only need to heed ourselves:

Why, in a life so short, form projects with such
Multitude?”)

This is the opposite of the 90’s: a decade where striving to become irreplaceable jumped from nowhere to the top of the list of ‘things everybody should try to do if they don’t want to be seen as major losers’. The great men are now measured by what havoc they leave behind when they die (and it is not a coincidence that once in a while a woman is considered to be one of ‘the great men’). Everybody else is considered a ‘loser’; with some luck people will find the ‘silent passing’ as something that is ‘fitting’, maybe even ‘endearing’ but invariably the death girl’s opinions are received with: ‘Whatever, major loser!.”

Such is the legacy of a fin de siècle in which the sky was the limit. But how to step over this addictive point of view (it’ll be a.o. about our dearest little daughters’ and sons’ education)?

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