It is okay to be confused (It may even be better than knowing).まごまごとしどろもどろな事がいいです。(知識を比べて多分もっと良いか)

Brilliant words flowing … From those never knowing, how many lives they touch….

(2001) Connie Marcum Wong

全然知るの人から多い人生達を接触(せっしょく)がして素敵な単語は流麗(りゅうれい)です。

(二千一年)コニ.マルクム.ヲング

I would like to thank Tsunoda Japanese School and its students for helping me release and promote my ebook. The video we made to advertise the book demonstrates the uniqueness of the poetry me and my teacher strove to share with the world; and again I am extremely grateful to all the Taiwanese Japanese language students that came forward to help me with the release of this book.  Living and working in Asia for some years now I have come to be accustomed to situations where I do not know what is going on… This is not a problem  if an individual harbors honest intentions to learn then every moment remains a gift in itself. The dominant East Asian languages contain fantastic poetic structures but I have to admit other than Matsu O’ Basho and Dogen my understanding of the poetic of works is very little. However, I have in my studies delved deeper into the many interesting and smaller component parts of the language. Take for example the Japanese word  Zappai  meaning playful literature is a descriptive term that could apply to all the writing I attempt. The second example is the famous example of a kind of unique literature to Japan. The work Again in the Hōjōki’  by Kamo no Chōmei is an example of Zuihitsu (Texts that respond to the authors’ surroundings). I’ve yet to read this bit of Japanese literature I look forward to doing so because a work such as this contains an example of how deeply contradictory language is. For me when confronted with the Hōjōki (a ten foot square hut) I’m reminded of a certain confusion regarding language: it appears to us as being limitless infinite in potential but for humans the beings who are known for their dependency on language it is certainly finite and limited. 

Everyone and everything is in a ten foot square hut … 

Nobody and nothing is in a ten foot square hut …’ 

私のエ本を出す事が手伝うのでつのだ日本語学と学生達を有難いです。ビデオは私と森田先生の詩を世界でシェアしたいですので、台湾人の日本語学生ために私は本当にまた「ありがとうございます」と言うなければなりません。アジアでみつの年に住んだに私は知らないの経験を慣(な)れました。もし、すべての経験から個人は真面目な意思と習う事が出来るので問題じゃないです。東亜諸国の言葉は素敵で私的な形があるけど、松尾 芭蕉(まつお ばしょう)と永平道元無し私の知識を狭いです。しかし、私の学ぶ事で言葉の面白くて小さい部分に探りました。例えば日本語の単語で、私の書くので、雑俳(さっぱい)の意味はプレーフルな文学が記述的な用語です。二回目の例えは有名な文学が日本でユニークな物です。「’方丈記’」鴨 長明さんの本は随筆です。私はこの本を読めましたけどこの本が言葉の深い矛盾(むじゅん)を有ります。私の意見は方丈記で言葉のある種の当枠を連想(れんそう)します。言葉は無限と秒秒(びょうびょう)をみたいですけど、人間のために言葉が有限と限り(かぎ)ある。

「誰もがすべてが10フィート四方の小屋にあります…

10フィート四方の小屋には誰も何もありません…」

Language is certainly a contender for one of the strangest things known to humankind. The possibility of a language-less world is impossible; for nature has had its communication long before homosapiens started making complex patterns in sound. The genesis of language can be considered to arise or start from a need to make sense of pictures, of images, and the meaning they enable. Writing on this blog I have already posted about the inspiration of Derrida and Wittgenstein on how language constructs many competing perspectives. The most interesting of these is inherited from an important moment in the history of thinking. The moment which I speak of is the realisation and perhaps the rediscovery of a long held understanding: that if we seek to contemplate existence, what it means to be, we inevitably arrive at the notion that our mental or subjective experience of our own existence distorts and indeed governs the way we are. This is also a Buddhist notion that behind the appearance of things there resides a deeper truth to being. This can be rephrased as suggesting that having a perspective is not at all helpful in understanding the truer Truth. The European articulation of this is to be located in a line from Germany to France a life long conversation between the ideas of Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida. This version of our linguistic interest runs as follows: Humans in as far as they exist can only talk of this being. The being of beings, not of Being itself. Now, the scientists amongst you hawk and state this as rubbish and you are entitled to such an opinion; but do not stop reading just yet.

言葉は確かに人間の知識でどれか変な物です。世界が言葉無しは無理:ホモセピエンスの言う事が始まる時前に自然はコミュニケーション(疎通、そつう)がありました。絵とイメージの意味がわかるなければ必要ですからこれは言葉の原因(げんいん)です。このブログで言葉どうやってぶつけ合うの遠近法(えんきんほう)を作るのでデリださんとウィトゲンシュタインさんの文書は感奮しました。一番面白い遠近法はエウロパの考えるの歴史で大切な時から血を引きました。この瞬時(しゅんじ)は昔の理解仕方をまた見つけたに、もし存在の意味を知れば私達の精神的(せいしんてき)な経験と考え方も私達のいる方は治(おさ)めります。これも仏教のイデアですので見た目後ろに存在の真実が

ドエルです。言い換(か)えるのでもっと正しい真実は理解でければ遠近法が便利じゃないです。エウロパ的な判読(はんどく)はドイツからフランスまでの線でデリダさんとマルティン・ハイデッガーさんのイデア達間に見つける事が出来ます。この語学的な関心(かんしん)は述(の)べるので、「人間はこの存在が言えるだけ、有情無情の存在を言えるですけど実在が全然言いません。」と話します。今、皆で科学者(かがくしゃ)はだめと言うので、その意見もいいですけどこの文書を読んでください。

Science and its method always seeks to arrive at objectivity: a position of knowledge considered to be real. It frequently does produce useful information within a given context so the benefits of having this thing called science and the use of language it enables (highly rational, explainable, and believable) are there to experience yet it is also extremely relativistic. What am I trying to say here? Well let me simplify: a perspective that I am keen on nurturing is the one that questions the outcomes or result of language usage or behaviour that produces more knowledge. What happens if it is possible to know everything? What happens to that which is authentically new and relative if we believe it is already known or even knowable. Our perspective becomes impoverished we loose the initial premise knowledge itself is generated from the original position or proposition of not knowing. The fact that objective knowledge so often looses its way and becomes yet another commodity on a market I find unhelpful to living organisms. This process generates bad belief in a possessive type of knowing. In my ebook I’ve made a small attempt to point towards something else: An Uu (Understated-understanding) such an alliterated concept I would encourage to be defined as the potential to resist the pitfalls of objective knowledge and the havoc it wreaks on limiting the life experiences of so many members of the species…

科学と方法はいつも客観(きゃっかん)をくれたい「実な知識」です。科学はコンテクストでよくに便利な報知(ほうち)を作るから、それが可能にする言語の使用(非常に合理的で、説明可能で、信じられる)は体験することができますが、それはまた非常に相対論的です。ここで何を言おうとしていますか? 簡単に説明します。私が育成に熱心に取り組んでいる視点は、言語の使用や行動の結果や結果に疑問を投げかけ、より多くの知識を生み出します。すべてを知ることができるとどうなりますか? それがすでに知られているか、または知っているとさえ信じるならば、本当の新しい相対的なものに何が起こるか。 私たちの視点は貧弱になり、最初の前提知識自体が失われます。知識自体は、元の位置または知らないという命題から生成されます。客観的な知識がしばしばその道を失い、市場でさらにもう1つの商品になるという事実は、私は生物にとって役に立たないと感じています。 このプロセスは、所有のタイプの知識に対する悪い信念を生み出します。 私の電子ブックでは、他のことを指すように小さな試みをしました。Uu(Understated-Understanding)のようなうわべだけの概念は、客観的な知識の落とし穴とそれが制限にもたらす大混乱に抵抗する可能性として定義されることをお勧めします 種の非常に多くのメンバーの人生経験…

This Uu concept I hope can encourage lesser explored perspectives such as how cultures of writing can erase knowledge in a useful way. Or, how things such as the internet or the archival habit of humans (a desire for history and useful fiction and myth) point towards the possibility of collective appreciation of what already is… rather than the propensity to overvalue knowledge and attributing our own meaning over already deeply meaningful things. The fact that you had a past, you are in a present, and will be in a future makes me aware that creative use of language and the act of poetic expression can assist us in finding new moments for appreciation. 

このUuのコンセプトは、執筆の文化がどのようにして有用な方法で知識を消去できるかなど、あまり探求されていない視点を奨励できることを願っています。 または、インターネットや人間のアーカイブの習慣(歴史と有用なフィクションと神話への欲求)などが、すでにあるものを集合的に評価する可能性をどのように指し示しているのか…知識を過大評価して自分の意味を すでに意味のあること。 あなたが過去を持っていて、あなたが現在にいて、将来にいるという事実は、言語の創造的な使用と詩的な表現の行為が感謝の新しい瞬間を見つけるのを助けることができることを私に認識させます。

All I wish is for people who encounter this collection to leave after rethinking the value of having a confusion or being confused. Certainty can occasionally be overrated in some circumstances. 

私が望むのは、このコレクションに遭遇した人々が、混乱や混乱の価値を再考した後に去ることです。 状況によっては、確実性が過大評価されることがあります。

Please buy my ebook here <…>, or there <…>, or over there <..>.

このイービーを買えるのでここに<…>、そこに<…>, あそこに<..>.

Thank you,  Paul Harrison, Taoyuan, Taiwan 

どうもありがとうございます!ポール.ハリソン、桃園,台灣。

Inorganic Animations

Inorganic Animations:

A Review of Spyros Papapetros’ ‘On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life’(University of Chicago Press: Chicago & London, 2012).

 

_____

 

Paul Harrison (2019).

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To what extent do humans have agency in the worlds they inhabit? What can we consider as animation? How far does life extend? These three questions are but an initial triangle shaped sample of the many questions nestled within the pages of Papapetros’ book. A book that encompasses a vast range of important aesthetic and historical interventions and explorations. Drawing on the work of some influential European art historians such as Aby Warburg, Wilhelm Worringer, Otto lehman, and Ernst Haeckel this book is one of a handful of critical studies of the fluid movements that have been considered as possible explanations for the movement that resides in matter we long considered to be dead. Such is that ingrained assumption inherited from ancient cultures that things that are visibly in motion are alive and that which is opposite isn’t. How then does this text undermine and usurp this assumption?

By taking these mostly conservative German sources and drawing a line from Warburg’s dissertation ‘Sandro Botticellis “Geburt der Venus” und ‘Frühling,’(1893) with its aims of exploring the animated status of the fabrics and clothing decorating the bodies of art on to Worringer’s Abstraction and Empathy (1919) putting forth how this historian saw an inorganic framework of the swirling motifs of the animal ornamentation of the Nordic and Celtic forms. Lehman, who was a crystallographer, coined the term ‘flüssige or fliessende Kristalle’ (liquid or flowing crystals) measuring the changes in expansion under heat and cold temperature. Finally, Haeckel also adds to this liquid crystalline section of the book, but he demands we consider the homophagy involved in the creation and merging of crystals: clearly pointing to, ‘how immobility can become pregnant with a new form of life’. This nod to cannibalism makes me think of how languages swallow other languages; and how some languages manage to resist such a process. German is encountered on every other page of the book because of its unique place in aesthetic thinking.

It is certainly true that next to this gratitude we should have for the book’s capacity to teach and remind the reader of the beauty of the German language; there is another unarguably special quality this book contains. Everyone understands that books are better when they have pictures in them and in this case you shall not be left disappointed. One example of such a visual delight comes from a cartoon in a political magazine called Simplicissimus (1919) the image is of an aggressive German expression of cubes attacking man; the German reads, ‘Die Kurve, die Grundform des Kapitalismus, ist überwunden. Die neue Beist bricht an. Dröhnend marschiert der kubus durch das Universum’ (“The curve, the primary form of capitalism, is overcome. The new day dawns. Threateningly, the cubes march through the universe.”). Other examples of visual events that are striking include a slide of a book, James Furgusson’s Tree and Serpent Worship (1868); on Asian culture and belief that supports a reverence for snakes and their mechanical cold blooded motion.

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Next to this Ouroboros reminder we find a delightful reference to a French love of liquor found in the very first advertisements for the tire manufacture Michelin. One poster is titled with the Latin Nunc est Bibendum (“Now let us drink!”) we learn these posters carry a force from the painter Fernand Léger that moved from the ancient pneuma (soul/spirit) and towards a French pneumatique invested in the production of rubber tires; objects that remain just like the beings who invented them something capable of inhaling and exhaling air. Prior to this automotive turn there is the matter of how artists and philosophers such as Picasso and Emile Durkheim wrestled with that powerful form of nature the forest. But, as we soon find out this place of wonder is also a place of horror and so reflects the book’s line of inquiry as it shivers down its spine. Penultimately culminating in perhaps the most iconic transformation or animation in the history of Western art; the flight of Daphne from Apollo. The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan thought of Daphne as an example of an architectural limit, a plane of identification that is beyond our reach, and so completes this texts invitation to reflect on the inorganic and its maddeningly marvellous movements.    

Such illustrations allow a route into the aim of this book. By highlighting the human’s struggle against reality Papapetros also simultaneously highlights how the struggle itself lends form to an inhuman energy: an animation. One that is in need of special attention and although this book is nearly eight years old it has lost non of its power to enrich the minds of its readers.

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Paul Harrison is a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University and KU Lueven University studying Art and Philosophy respectively. His work has always centred around understanding animation but is increasingly becoming interested in language. In the future there are plans to combine these things.

 

Avataṃsaka – sūtra.

Sangha:

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Seeking of the Path

 

Once there was a boy named Sudhana who also wished for Englightenment and earnestly sought the way. From a fisherman he learned the lore of the sea. From a doctor he learned compassion toward sick people in their suffering. From a wealthy man he learned that saving pennies was the secret of his fortune and thought how necessary it was to converse every trifling gained on the path to Enlightenment.

From a meditating monk he learned that the pure and peaceful mind had a miraculous power to purify and tranquillize other minds. Once he met a women of exceptional personality and was impressed by her benevolent spirit, and from her he learned a lesson that charity was the fruit of wisdom. Once he met an aged wanderer who told him that to reach a certain place he had to scale a mountain of swords and pass through a valley of fire. Thus Sudhana learned from his experiences that there was true teaching to be gained from everything he saw or heard.

Sutra001

He learned patience from a poor, crippled woman; he learned a lesson of simple happiness from watching children playing in the street; and from some gentle and humble people, who never thought of wanting anything that anybody else wanted, he learned the secret of living at peace with all the world.

 

He learned a lesson of harmony from watching the blending of the elements of incense, and a lesson of thanksgiving from the arrangement of flowers. One day, passing through a forest, he took a rest under a noble tree and noticed a tiny seedling growing nearby out of a fallen and decaying tree and it taught him a lesson of the uncertainty of life.

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Sunlight by day and the twinkling stars by night constantly refreshed his spirit. Thus Sudhana profited by the experiences of his long journey.

Indeed, those who seek for Enlightenment must think of their minds as castles and decorate them. They must open wide the gates of their minds for Buddha, and respectfully and humbly invite Him to enter the in-most chamber, there to offer Him the fragrant incense of faith and the flowers of gratitude and gladness.

 

Avataṃsaka – sūtra.

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I am sorry blog, I have been away for too long, but here is a post about some translations from Japanese into English. I am sharing it for other Japanese learners and for anyone with an interest in Buddhism and Kanji.

First up we have some letters I am sending to old students who I miss a great deal. I hope to see them all soon they where such nice people and I was lucky, I will always be lucky to have met them. The above Japanese translates as,’ Maki, Please give this to everyone. On the other side of this letter there is interesting English poetry. I am looking forward to the next time I am in Japan. Let us stay in touch. Paul’

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The second is a map that my friend Yutaka wrote me… it describes a place of nature, a place near Tokyo which has a lot tress; a kind of forest. Yutaka is a fellow philosopher and I want to talk about co-authoring some texts with him in the future.

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Thirdly, there is this bookmark, I took it from a flyer for an exhibition on Ink Painting and I love Sumie and Ukiyoe (Ink painting and Wood Block painting) I could spend all day every day looking at these Japanese art forms. 水墨の風, このブークマークは東京駅近くに出光美術館で展覧会からですね。

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I saved the best to last, this year I will sit my first JLPT exam and then each year after I will sit another. My enthusiasm for this Asian language comes from a teacher I had a Yoko amongst other Yokos. Yoko is a translator of Taiwanese Buddhist texts for one of the biggest Buddhist temples in the world. This translation below is from a recently published book Learning the Spirit/Mind of Zen. Like all authentic Buddhist literature its beauty, power, and truth are constants.

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The Translation into English Reads:

“Mutually helping each other.

A place where this happens becomes heaven.

Respecting the neighborhood together.

A place where this happens becomes a pure land.

Heaven is ones home.

The Pure Land is ones spirit”

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Remove the weeds of the mind. And allow the seeds of merit to grow.

[…]

Thank you for reading.  I will post a much larger and more extensive Japanese translation soon.

 

 

 

Papers From My Peer’s

Philosophy @Leuven in Belgium; & a Necro-psychoanalyst

The following is a quick and too speedy review of the writings of some of the wonderful individuals I studied with in Leuven. Each person’s paper’s topic will be briefly explored; its ideas summarized and elaborated on so as to share and place this interestingly informed information into the streams of human energy traversing the internet. I hope they travel far…and feed the minds of others…

[I have linked to the original essays where possible otherwise if you wish to speak to the authors then the link goes to their Facebook profile’s]

 

#Ross Williams, (‘A Certain Kind of Sadness’)

A comparison of the thought of Arthur Schopenhaur and Eckhart Tolle. Starting by showing how a scholar called Warburton suggests this poodle lovers pessimism as not absolute only partial. According to Schopenhaur happiness in an unstable world is inconceivable when William’s quotes Schopenhaur’s Buddhist dependency this makes me smile.

 

‘“It must be pleasure to me to see my doctrine in such close agreement with a religion that most of men on earth hold as their own, for this numbers far more followers than any other”

(Schopenhauer 1844, 169).

Schopenhaur is interesting because his fondness for Buddhism is a fondness for the oldest kind of Buddhism; the belief system that arose from within the womb of the Indian Brahman. Then, Tolle is referenced referring to how, ‘the dream of a symbolic world allows our consciousness to interpret or interact with the world’(Tolle, 1997, 128). This sounds like Tolle is an exponent, a supporter of the idea that our reality is holographic; After this the paper describes dangerous desire, wish fulfillment being a delusion, and then similarities between the two thinkers. The evidence that Schopenhaur’s pessimism is not absolute is taken from the writer Fernandez who describes it as conditional. Which is where the paper leaves us: as a part of a whole. Choosing to forgo the ‘will to life’ in favour of liberation through our very material suffering.

Arthur-Schopenhauer

 

#Marlieke Bender (‘The Object “is” the Other’)

This writing explores the performance ‘Rhythm 0’ by Marina Abromovich and what it has to tell us about freedom, human nature and abstraction, violence, and their relations to Emmanuel Levinas and Jean P. Satre. I had heard of Abromovich before from a brilliant documentary film made for her retrospective at MOMA, in NYC, and I had understood that this was a very famous performance but I had no idea what it precisely entailed. Reason no.1 to have enjoyed reading this.

The artist was invited by a gallery in Naples Italy to perform “Rhythm 0”. The gallery was Studio Morra in which visitors to the performance where invited to do whatever they want to the naked being of Abromovich; perhaps encouraged by the 72 suggestive objects on the table. One of these objects was a handgun with a bullet. We all like to think that we are calm collected cultured animals, but given a smidgen, a filament of freedom, and we get a little weird.  The last few hours of the performance regressed into violent chaos with one visitor encouraging the artist to use the bullet. Of course (we are not all monsters) a fight with the guilty individual broke out. But, when the performance was over we are told that the moment the artist resumed active agency again and walked towards her audience everyone fled the gallery.

Bender’s interpretation is an interesting one she traces and mines some of the potential philosophical implications of the performance. Referring to Satre’s idea that we are always both subject and object; involving a wholesome process of becoming an object. Exemplified in Satre’s reflections on a waiter in a cafe. Including the pressure of not being someone, but of being an object for others? What is made apparent is the power of a gaze of perception itself. Especially of that of the creator; is this evidence of the artist possessing a gaze apart from others?

Next up is Levinas who suggests that a moment of contact between two beings, between one and the other, is not necessarily a connection between human beings but culminates in an “other”. Marlieke’s choice of thinkers and citations is telling and reveals the greatness of Levinas, ‘speech becomes serious only when we pay attention to the other and take account of him and the strange world he inhabits. It is only by responding to him that I can become aware of the arbitrary views and attitudes where my uncriticised freedom always leads me, and become responsible.’(Levinas…?). Leaving is considering the very nature of responsibility. Who is responsible when those in charge frequently relinquish responsibility?

Abromovich, judging by her words in Marlieke’s essay, does so; saying that her purpose in performing is to create a stage for people’s fears. Maybe her admission is that if we all perform more actively, more intently, with more vitality we may free oneself from our fears? Eventually, our lack of personal completion results in a kind of “involuntary debt”; we are indebted to an otherness that is wholly other to us as active subjects and objects. I enjoy attempting to use art to explore philosophy and visa versa philosophy to explore art; and you can clearly see the possibility of philosophy arising and being authored by art.

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#Mathew Devine (‘Suffering the Eternal Remorse and Melancholia Through the work of Vladimir Jankélévitch’)

 

A masters thesis, reading of Bergson’s Padawan the French philosopher Vladimir Jankélévitch’s work distinguishing remorse from regret and melancholia and mourning in his phenomenology of psychopathology after Freud. Devine characterises these interestingly as experiences. In many ways Devine’s writing is a commentary on the impossibility of nothingness and how this impossibility is embroiled in processes of regret, remorse, despair, melancholia, and mourning. Questions that lurk at the beginning the Devine’s exploration: when does remorse tell us about the eternal within us? Is remorse really timeless? Devine begins by describing Jankélévitch’s own stance, ‘Consciousness is the moment by which the self splits into two. The “I” (le soi) becoming an object of an “I” (le moi )’, a kind of gap, and a drop of Kantianism, ‘perfect happiness would only be possible if one knew nothing of one’s happiness’. We should all make an effort to contemplate these things.

Moving on Freud’s thinking is referenced when he describes the phenomena of ‘mourning’ and this is used by Devine to situate the reader before he articulates remorse and melancholia. Freud saw how work itself can come to replace the searing pain of loss and mourning. Writing in On Transience describes how the loved and lost object is allowed to rest when work is seen as being successful. Furthermore, the individual suffering from melancholia may suffer more because of its a-temporality. Freud’s characterisation of melancholia as a disturbance of self-esteem is absent in mourning. Devine draws our attention to the harshness of Freud’s ego split and how one part goes after the other, ‘we can not easily judge the degree of correspondence between the two versions of the self.

This is also why remorse can be said to be a feeling and guilt as a state. If I have read the paper correctly than this statement may also be so: for Jankélévitch repentance creates a distance between the wrong doer and the wrong. This in turn creates this necessity to suffer the eternal that we can locate within ourselves, that part of each and every one of us that is indeed eternal. Turning remorse into a virtue is dependent on how true the remorse may be thought of? There are many virtues in this study but one I find particularly interesting is a struggle to locate and anchor suffering as a phenomenon; what is the relation between impersonal or personal suffering. Devine resolves this with the help of a different French philosopher called Levinas and his stripping away the (human) world. Does his ilya (anonymous being) lead to an exposure to infinite eternal existence? Jankélévitch’s answer to this is the same as Achille’s speaking to Odysseus, ‘what good is eternity if it is not for living?’ a very good answer indeed, and it is here that Devine concludes successfully arguing that choosing an existence in finitude over an inexistence in eternity.

Vladimir Jankélévitch_ 

 

#Jens Van Steerteghem

Next up we have the Flemish physics fiend. Studying with Jens and his (“Jensing” a kind of Lensing; a way of seeing”) is awesome and very rewarding always on hand to discuss any and all topics. He is originally trained in Biology and is currently engaged in the critical creation of the European Union’s scientific policy making. His essay I found very rich “Escaping Technology a Dissidents Perspective” is an essay written on the infamous American Unabomber; and his manifesto “Industrial Society and its Future” (1996). Van Steerteghem begins with a good question; as every essay should do: Why did the serial bomber want to escape technology and is such an escape even possible?

Unabomber believed in a power process only satisfied by living as primitive man. Under technological society this process was disturbed according to this terrorist manifesto writer. Steerteghem rightfully questions this and initially makes a connection to thinking of Heidegger. But, a writer called Bijker is also cited and it is here the criticism begins in earnest,  ‘the socio-technological ensemble, where technical success consists in tying together different preexisting artifacts with different preexisting social elements in productive ways.’ (Steerteghem, Ku Leuven, 2018). I think this is a good statement to begin resisting Unabomber in the face of his accelerated technological telos.

To counter act the glum view of the Unabomber’s thesis Steerteghem points us towards network theory and the mathematical structures of advanced connectivity; saying that manipulation of the hubs can lead to control over technology. Then Bruno Latour’s ‘Actor Network Theory’ is discussed. Taking a holistic view of ANT and this culminates in clusters of ‘”Black Boxes” that represent the successful integration and acceptance of new technology and/or a scientific theory. The conclusion of this paper takes Unabomber’s own notion of a ‘power process’ and using it to show how it supports the opposite of anti-technological reality. Technology is in itself a power process and therefore can not be separated from other such processes hastily deemed as natural.

But, this Flemish author has forgot his Marxist potentiality and in the concluding remarks succumbs to a notion of society (“the clusterscape”) that is still an imprisoning one, and overlooks the global revolution’s potentially technological heart.

unabomber

 

# Albin Van Latum

Albin is a Dutchman and a dynamic thinker. I enjoyed the conversations we all had; with Jens, Anne, Peyton, Marlieke, Marren, Ross, Alirazor, Amin, and others.

Albin wrote his paper on a very interesting subject the antagonism between myth and science. Beginning with the ancient propensity of creation myths having order being a process of moving away from a prior chaos. Latum will argue that rather than the modern understanding of myths as “a miss-representation of truth.”, myth under Latum’s pen will be shown to be the fundamental bridge between humans and an otherwise chaotic reality and how Science’s modernism is itself a myth. After remembering how chaos is first born in Hesiod’s Theogony; we are then introduced to a beautiful ancient myth about chaos originating from ancient China. In the Zhuangzi Chaos (Hundun)  ) is seen as ‘the creative spontaneity that ceases to exist once one meddles with it by attempting to impose order’. So, in this Chinese myth we see Van Latum’s initial thesis clearly: myths help humans order Chaos into meaning. But, not via means of control rather appreciation.

In the discussion on the relation or development from mythos to logos an interesting point is made, ‘whereas both Plato and Aristotle concerned of different levels of mimesis of reality this plurality went through a process of reductio ad unum (an argument that rests on the absurdity of the opposing argument) the result of which is modern realism.’ It is with the reductio that one feels a kinship with this Dutch brother’s writing and thinking; I feel that many people would agree that this modern realism has a major problem in that it occasionally appears as mythless; leaving us a task to really nurture an cultivate the opposite. Such a line of thinking was also followed and developed by Mark Fisher in his Capitalist Realism (2009). Latum also paints a more useful picture of the philosopher of science Karl Popper; in that his ‘falsification theory’ is seen on preserving a mythical science. Instead of the Popper who unsuccessfully attempted to refute the work of Marx and Freud.

This paper really finds its rhythm when numinous Nietzsche is referenced as Latum starts discussing contemporary Chaos … some much needed Socrates bashing ensues… Overall, the claims of science to rule over the entirety of nature are shown to be unhelpful myths. These claims came into being as the Christian paradigm, or scientific dominance over western thinking began to loose its huge influence. That is why we are still learning from Nietzsche, ‘Truths are illusions about which it has been forgotten that they are illusions, warn-out metaphors without sensory impact’, and we readers are forced to admire this papers conclusions, ‘Chosmos is chaos, of interpretation on the back of a selective process’. Eventually we are left with one certainty if we embrace the myth making capacity of chaos we can see our openness to the pure potential of artistic creation.

sevensages

 

# Juste Keturakyte (The Critique of Buddhism and Christianity in Friedrich Nietzsche’s Philosophy)

In an ambitious dance with Nietzsche Keturakyte explores a supposed superiority of Buddhism over its Western counterpart Christianity. Nietzsche’s opinion is well expressed and articulated; as is his appreciation of Buddhism. Reading this text we encounter Buddhist Dukkha (suffering). Then its cause the craving after transient things Trishna; and also a path to the elimination of this suffering ashtanya manga. Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics is characterised as being one of revenge. That Christian Moralities explained as the one life is littered and scarred by revenge. That the mere essence of metaphysics is the denial of and revenge over becoming and time as the expression of decadent and declining life. So, Nietzsche’s admiration for Buddhism is written to be centred around its capacity to be truthful to the meaninglessness of human existence however he does not like its self denying aspects seeing them as too passive.

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I find that Keturakyte’s elegant exploration of the Buddhist influence on Nietzsche to be accurate and refreshingly honest, and very well positioned for  future development. Especially the idea of ‘Euro-Buddhism’ but to offer but a small critical note. I think Nietzsche’s criticism of this passive nihilism of Buddhism is not thoroughly separated from Schopenhaur’s Indian reading and so does not do Chan Buddhism full justice. Keturakyte’s points about the a-temporality of Nietzsche’s ‘Eternal Return’ as transcending both Buddhism and Christianity is not quite attainable. For the reason that in Chan Buddhism especially its passivity is to explicitly do away with distinctions that seek to differentiate. Resulting in an appreciation of how things are: endlessly coming to be and passing away, manifesting and re-manifesting, and all is just inter-being including eternity and its return.

Nietzsche and Buddhism

 

 

# Sam Bunn & Grussgott, an artificial intelligence from the future (Imagining an Institute for eUtopia)

Sam along with this A.I have constructed an impassioned defence of how artistic practice can and ought to be used to build the “good place” in contrast to the non-place we so usually are confronted with. Bunn’s Master’s thesis is very interesting and eclectic, yet ordered in its creative energy. I like the format of the study, and the interplay between A.I and human really creates with the material and topic matter very coherently. Beginning by pairing off Sacral art and Fine art Bunn or Grussgott and showing how exactleeeeeeeeeeeeeee this sacral can be seen as a “twisted tear drop”; half a way. There are seven chapters in Sam’s study and I will list them before drawing out some of the highlights that caught my attention when I first read. The contents include; ART or art?, Stories make Sense making Sense, Grasping Utopia, Eutopia as a Tool, Re-imaging Infastructure, eUtopia Explored and Attempted, and the conclusion.

I am not sure about Art confirming the American Dream this feels like it gives to this particular dream too much. But, the conversation discussing the persistence of filmic ideology (ideology is persistent as film? Or, ideology is a film?) moving through this notion that American cannot separate the idea of liberty from liberalism. From this constitution to Adam Smith’s marketised version; here the A.I reminds the human that America is not just full of capitalists, ‘Remember Jameson (influential Critical Theorist) is American.’

Reading through the next section on storytelling and sense, I am reminded of Walter Benjamin’s texts and how this study is a little bit like a new project from the Arcades? Discussing the potentially vegetative state of humans if they fail to grasp Bertold Brecht’s reality shaping hammer. But, Bunn or Grisbott pick up this hammer with a sub-hypothesis, ‘what if this main residue of watching a film is: lasting images?’ This branch is interesting its difficult to interpret but it could be that film’s deep realism is like a hammering of images; like the way a blacksmith would gradually craft a refined metal. It is also interesting that this involves an element of forgetting and remembering: forgetting to remember is absolutely what I do…

Then an utopia lists many influential authors and Ernst bloch keeps the concept of utopia firmly in the everyday rather than just a literary form. I love Darko Suvins/Surins’s idea of a ‘novum’ and I skip Thomas More’s well cited definition of utopia; a non-place. Then we continue to move through the good places of some films and their lasting images.

On page 59 Gussbotts and its human friend find agreement and I think I have stumbled upon the essence of this text and its true purpose; what it really engenders and supports. The A.I asks, ‘you are talking about popularizing socialist politics in mass consumable story form, aren’t you? The answer is yes; we now need to find our second yes to affirm as indeed the true aim of this paper, the formal desire of this intellectually creative event. I like how part of this discourse throughout this study is its cautious character; it permeates an awareness of the pitfalls of over-stating content and one’s thinking.

This and the idea of “socialist politics in a mass consumable story” is really evident in one of the many artistic projects Bunn completed as part of his time in Linz. The project Reise in die Zuhunft a journeying into the future with today’s children, and art’s radical potentialities are immediately enacted as social reality is seen as uniformly and universally creative in the artistic sense. Such play is then carried on into a ride of sorts; the brilliantly named ‘Far-see-er’; a series of interconnected rooms exhibited together as a ride designed to be ridden, of course, at the Architektur Forum in Linz. Overall, one, everyone should journey through and re-experience this journey that Sam Bunn and the A.I took because this study is refreshingly in its diversity, honesty, and creativity. The Agent Author’s humility is constantly present in this study; a good example is the response to the dilemma that the discussion on eUtopia might be unresolvable and we may be forced to accept the Utopia the negative option.

‘perhaps one should just learn to live with the dust that is stuck to the word utopia and not to confuse people with this ‘eu’. Generally they just think that I make some kind of obscure comment about the European Union.’

I wish this creator and fellow lover of art all the best for his future eUtopian film making.

artificial-intelligence-feature

# Julie Reshe (Beautiful Monsters: On Destructive Plasticity)          

Julie Reshe is the necropsychoanalyst par excellence and one half of the directorship of a new educational model for the future. Operating within a Post-Lacanian landscape Reshe is constantly expanding on the richness of Freud’s brilliant Venetian verisimilitude. I am not entirely convinced the notion that humans are “living dead” can overcome the negative imagery of the Zombie; yet one thing is more certain Freud’s Thanos remains important as ever for today’s epoch. Below are some thoughts on Reshe’s essay on ‘Destructive Plasticity’.

The essay is written as a critical response to the great French philosopher Catherine Malabou; who years ago introduced me to the idea of epigenetics (how feelings encode meaning and trauma can be distributed across generations biologically via way of the genome). Homing in on the scientific neurobiological conception of synaptic plasticity Reshe wants us to reflect on the negative side; the formalism of synaptic connective via way of destruction; and in attempting to hastily attribute a “cure” to such a destructive plasticity, Reshe reminds us of Foucault’s insight: that, the concepts of illness and health are socially constructed.

Running, both with and against Malabou, Reshe reformulates the notion that the child, can be a little monster, and therefore after encompassing a kind of destructive plasticity or a Lyotardian ‘primordial susceptibility’ – the child that remains throughout life. Yet, this writing really on one level is very comforting considering the biographical and important personal references to real lived experiences. This is then complemented by the text’s desire to critically think through psychoanalysis. Freud’s idea and its Greek influence is referenced that, ‘Psychic traumatization is understood by the analogy of physical traumatization.’ A difference imposed by the foreign body entombed with the local body.

After rightfully questioning the ease at which a disorder may legitimate the presence of an illness. I find Reshe’s conclusion compelling and ripe for much more development. If we are all beautiful monsters then we are all still susceptible, still receptive to these powers that are both organic and inorganic; power that we still marginally understand. Yet if we join Reshe in refelecting on our beautiful little monstrosities then we may increase such a thing.

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The Brothers Grimm (One day I’ll start learning German).

 

Grimm Brothers

I recently started preparing to start to study German next to my second language Japanese as these are the two languages that I wish to speak. After first learning from the great Esther Leslie’s Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and The Avant-Garde (2002) that the early Walt Disney Animators where told to create animations from the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm ( Kinder- und Hausmärchen / Children and Household Tales ) because they had been freed from copyright and so were a perfect resource from which to create the early animations, such as the ‘Skeleton Dance‘ (1920’s ish). On second read pg24. just mentions ambiguously that out of copyright fairytales were used to develop characters … yet I feel the Brother’s Grimm must have fed the early birth of this dominant animation studio; yet another example of German magic working its way into the roots of important visual culture. 

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Walt Disney, ‘Skeleton Dance

So, I will just share two of my favorite Grimm tales in both German and English. I chose these two ‘The Frog King’, and ‘Tom Thumb’ because they are two of the lesser known tales compared to Snow White. The frog reminds me of a short story by Haruki Murakami in which the protagonist is also a frog. I need to find this again because unlike the Grimm’s version it is not directly about a moral, but instead is more about the limitations of knowledge. The second story ‘Tom Thumb’ is weird (Imagine giving birth to a thumb sized child, and then what conspires is somewhat expected if your thumb sized… your bound to get swallowed by a wolf. This then I associated (perhaps there is no connection here) with Georges Bataille, the French thinker, he wrote about the importance of the ‘big toe’ but again need to read more… I hope these two stories make others want to read the Grimm Brothers. I know I do, but only after I have improved my Japanese. Next to this bi-lingual resource… I am also going to purchase from the excellent Para para books, they have Franz Kafka ‘Die Verwandlung’ and Jospeh Conrad ‘The Heart Of Darkness’ or ‘Herz der Finsternis’… Looking forward.

1)

The Frog King
by the Grimm Brothers

In olden times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face.

Close by the king’s castle lay a great dark forest, and under an old lime-tree in the forest was a well, and when the day was very warm, the king’s child went out into the forest and sat down by the side of the cool fountain, and when she was bored she took a golden ball, and threw it up on high and caught it, and this ball was her favorite plaything.

Now it so happened that on one occasion the princess’s golden ball did not fall into the little hand which she was holding up for it, but on to the ground beyond, and rolled straight into the water. The king’s daughter followed it with her eyes, but it vanished, and the well was deep, so deep that the bottom could not be seen. At this she began to cry, and cried louder and louder, and could not be comforted.

And as she thus lamented someone said to her, “What ails you, king’s daughter? You weep so that even a stone would show pity.”

She looked round to the side from whence the voice came, and saw a frog stretching forth its big, ugly head from the water.

“Ah, oldwater-splasher, is it you,” she said, “I am weeping for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well.”

“Be quiet, and do not weep,” answered the frog, “I can help you, but what will you give me if I bring your plaything up again?”

“Whatever you will have, dear frog,” said she, “My clothes, my pearls and jewels, and even the golden crown which I am wearing.”

The frog answered, “I do not care for your clothes, your pearls and jewels, nor for your golden crown, but if you will love me and let me be your companion and play-fellow, and sit by you at your little table, and eat off your little golden plate, and drink out of your little cup, and sleep in your little bed – if you will promise me this I will go down below, and bring you your golden ball up again.”

“Oh yes,” said she, “I promise you all you wish, if you will but bring me my ball back again.” But she thought, “How the silly frog does talk. All he does is to sit in the water with the other frogs, and croak. He can be no companion to any human being.”

But the frog when he had received this promise, put his head into the water and sank down; and in a short while came swimming up again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass.

The king’s daughter was delighted to see her pretty plaything once more, and picked it up, and ran away with it. “Wait, wait,” said the frog. “Take me with you. I can’t run as you can.” But what did it avail him to scream his croak, croak, after her, as loudly as he could. She did not listen to it, but ran home and soon forgot the poor frog, who was forced to go back into his well again.

The next day when she had seated herself at table with the king and all the courtiers, and was eating from her little golden plate, something came creeping splish splash, splish splash, up the marble staircase, and when it had got to the top, it knocked at the door and cried, “Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me.”

She ran to see who was outside, but when she opened the door, there sat the frog in front of it. Then she slammed the door to, in great haste, sat down to dinner again, and was quite frightened.

The king saw plainly that her heart was beating violently, and said, “My child, what are you so afraid of? Is there perchance a giant outside who wants to carry you away?”

“Ah, no,” replied she. “It is no giant but a disgusting frog. Yesterday as I was in the forest sitting by the well, playing, my golden ball fell into the water. And because I cried so, the frog brought it out again for me, and because he so insisted, I promised him he should be my companion, but I never thought he would be able to come out of his water. And now he is outside there, and wants to come in to me.”

In the meantime it knocked a second time, and cried, “Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me, do you not know what you said to me yesterday by the cool waters of the well. Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me.”

Then said the king, “That which you have promised must you perform. Go and let him in.”

She went and opened the door, and the frog hopped in and followed her, step by step, to her chair. There he sat and cried, “Lift me up beside you.”

She delayed, until at last the king commanded her to do it. Once the frog was on the chair he wanted to be on the table, and when he was on the table he said, “Now, push your little golden plate nearer to me that we may eat together.”

She did this, but it was easy to see that she did not do it willingly. The frog enjoyed what he ate, but almost every mouthful she took choked her.

At length he said, “I have eaten and am satisfied, now I am tired, carry me into your little room and make your little silken bed ready, and we will both lie down and go to sleep.”

The king’s daughter began to cry, for she was afraid of the cold frog which she did not like to touch, and which was now to sleep in her pretty, clean little bed.

But the king grew angry and said, “He who helped you when you were in trouble ought not afterwards to be despised by you.”

So she took hold of the frog with two fingers, carried him upstairs, and put him in a corner, but when she was in bed he crept to her and said, “I am tired, I want to sleep as well as you, lift me up or I will tell your father.”

At this she was terribly angry, and took him up and threw him with all her might against the wall. “Now, will you be quiet, odious frog,” said she.

But when he fell down he was no frog but a king’s son with kind and beautiful eyes. He by her father’s will was now her dear companion and husband. Then he told her how he had been bewitched by a wicked witch, and how no one could have delivered him from the well but herself, and that to-morrow they would go together into his kingdom.

Then they went to sleep, and next morning when the sun awoke them, a carriage came driving up with eight white horses, which had white ostrich feathers on their heads, and were harnessed with golden chains, and behind stood the young king’s servant Faithful Henry.

Faithful Henry had been so unhappy when his master was changed into a frog, that he had caused three iron bands to be laid round his heart, lest it should burst with grief and sadness. The carriage was to conduct the young king into his kingdom. Faithful Henry helped them both in, and placed himself behind again, and was full of joy because of this deliverance.

And when they had driven a part of the way the king’s son heard a cracking behind him as if something had broken. So he turned round and cried, “Henry, the carriage is breaking.” “No, master, it is not the carriage. It is a band from my heart, which was put there in my great pain when you were a frog and imprisoned in the well.”

Again and once again while they were on their way something cracked, and each time the king’s son thought the carriage was breaking, but it was only the bands which were springing from the heart of Faithful Henry because his master was set free and was happy.

Froschkönig
der Brüder Grimm

In den alten Zeiten, wo das Wünschen noch geholfen hat, lebte ein König, dessen Töchter waren alle schön, aber die jüngste war so schön, daß sich die Sonne selber, die doch so vieles gesehen hat, darüber verwunderte so oft sie ihr ins Gesicht schien.

Nahe bei dem Schlosse des Königs lag ein großer dunkler Wald, und in dem Walde unter einer alten Linde war ein Brunnen: wenn nun der Tag recht heiß war, so ging das Königskind hinaus in den Wald, und setzte sich an den Rand des kühlen Brunnens, und wenn sie Langeweile hatte, so nahm sie eine goldene Kugel, warf sie in die Höhe und fing sie wieder; und das war ihr liebstes Spielwerk.

Nun trug es sich einmal zu, daß die goldene Kugel der Königstochter nicht in das Händchen fiel, das sie ausgestreckt hatte, sondern neben vorbei auf die Erde schlug, und geradezu ins Wasser hinein rollte. Die Königstochter folgte ihr mit den Augen nach, aber die Kugel verschwand, und der Brunnen war tief, und gar kein Grund zu sehen. Da fing sie an zu weinen, und weinte immer lauter, und konnte sich gar nicht trösten.

Und wie sie so klagte, rief ihr jemand zu “was hast du vor, Königstochter, du schreist ja daß sich ein Stein erbarmen möchte”. Sie sah sich um, woher die Stimme käme, da erblickte sie einen Frosch, der seinen dicken häßlichen Kopf aus dem Wasser streckte.

“Ach, du bists, alter Wasserpatscher”, sagte sie, “ich weine über meine goldne Kugel, die mir in den Brunnen hinab gefallen ist.”

“Gib dich zufrieden”, antwortete der Frosch, “ich kann wohl Rat schaffen, aber was gibst du mir, wenn ich dein Spielwerk wieder heraufhole?”

“Was du willst, lieber Frosch”, sagte sie, “meine Kleider, meine Perlen und Edelsteine, dazu die goldne Krone, die ich trage.”

Der Frosch antwortete “deine Kleider, deine Perlen und Edelsteine, deine goldne Krone, die mag ich nicht: aber wenn du mich lieb haben willst, und ich soll dein Geselle und Spielkamerad sein, an deinem Tischlein neben dir sitzen, von deinem goldnen Tellerlein essen, aus deinem Becherlein trinken, in deinem Bettlein schlafen: wenn du mir das versprichst, so will ich dir die goldne Kugel wieder aus dem Grunde hervor holen”.

“Ach ja”, sagte sie, “ich verspreche dir alles,, wenn du mir nur die Kugel wieder bringst.” Sie dachte aber “was der einfältige Frosch schwätzt, der sitzt im Wasser bei seines Gleichen, und quakt, und kann keines Menschen Geselle sein”.

Der Frosch, als er die Zusage erhalten hatte, tauchte seinen Kopf unter, sank hinab, und über ein Weilchen kam er wieder herauf gerudert, hatte die Kugel im Maul, und warf sie ins Gras.

Die Königstochter war voll Freude, als sie ihr schönes Spielwerk wieder erblickte, hob es auf, und sprang damit fort. “Warte, warte”, rief der Frosch, “nimm mich mit, ich kann nicht so laufen wie du.” Aber was half ihm daß er ihr sein quak quak so laut nachschrie als er konnte! sie hörte nicht darauf, eilte nach Haus, und hatte bald den armen Frosch vergessen, der wieder in den tiefen Brunnen hinab steigen mußte.

Am andern Tage, als sie mit dem König und allen Hofleuten an der Tafel saß, und von ihrem goldnen Tellerlein aß, da kam, plitsch platsch, plitsch platsch, etwas die Marmortreppe herauf gekrochen, und als es oben angelangt war, klopfte es an der Tür, und rief “Königstochter, jüngste, mach mir auf”.

Sie lief und wollte sehen wer draußen wäre, als sie aber aufmachte, so saß der Frosch davor. Da warf sie die Tür hastig zu, setzte sich wieder an den Tisch, und war ihr ganz angst.

Der König sah daß ihr das Herz gewaltig klopfte, und sprach “ei, was fürchtest du dich, steht etwa ein Riese vor der Tür, und will dich holen?”

“Ach nein”, antwortete das Kind, “es ist kein Riese, sondern ein garstiger Frosch, der hat mir gestern im Wald meine goldene Kugel aus dem Wasser geholt, dafür versprach ich ihm er sollte mein Geselle werden, ich dachte aber nimmermehr daß er aus seinem Wasser heraus könnte: nun ist er draußen, und will zu mir herein.”

Indem klopfte es zum zweitenmal und rief, “Königstochter, jüngste, mach mir auf, weißt du nicht was gestern du zu mir gesagt bei dem kühlen Brunnenwasser? Königstochter, jüngste, mach mir auf.”

Da sagte der König “hast du’s versprochen, mußt du’s auch halten; geh und mach ihm auf”.

Sie ging und öffnete die Türe, da hüpfte der Frosch herein, ihr immer auf dem Fuße nach, bis zu ihrem Stuhl. Da saß er und rief “heb mich herauf zu dir”.

Sie wollte nicht bis es der König befahl. Als der Frosch auf den Stuhl gekommen war, sprach er “nun schieb mir dein goldenes Tellerlein näher, damit wir zusammen essen”.

Das tat sie auch, aber man sah wohl daß sies nicht gerne tat. Der Frosch ließ sichs gut schmecken, aber ihr blieb fast jedes Bißlein im Halse.

Endlich sprach er “nun hab ich mich satt gegessen, und bin müde, trag mich hinauf in dein Kämmerlein, und mach dein seiden Bettlein zurecht, da wollen wir uns schlafen legen”.

Da fing die Königstochter an zu weinen, und fürchtete sich vor dem kalten Frosch, den sie nicht anzurühren getraute, und der nun in ihrem schönen reinen Bettlein schlafen sollte.

Der König aber blickte sie zornig an, und sprach “was du versprochen hast, sollst du auch halten, und der Frosch ist dein Geselle”.

Es half nichts, sie mochte wollen oder nicht, sie mußte den Frosch mitnehmen. Da packte sie ihn, ganz bitterböse, mit zwei Fingern, und trug ihn hinauf, und als sie im Bett lag, statt ihn hinein zu heben, warf sie ihn aus allen Kräften an die Wand und sprach “nun wirst du Ruhe haben, du garstiger Frosch”.

Was aber herunter fiel war nicht ein toter Frosch, sondern ein lebendiger junger Königssohn mit schönen und freundlichen Augen. Der war nun von Recht und mit ihres Vaters Willen ihr lieber Geselle und Gemahl. Da schliefen sie vergnügt zusammen ein, und am andern Morgen, als die Sonne sie aufweckte, kam ein Wagen herangefahren mit acht weißen Pferden bespannt, die waren mit Federn geschmückt, und gingen in goldenen Ketten, und hinten stand der Diener des jungen Königs, das war der treue Heinrich.

Der treue Heinrich hatte sich so betrübt, als sein Herr war in einen Frosch verwandelt worden, daß er drei eiserne Bande hatte müssen um sein Herz legen lassen, damit es ihm nicht vor Weh und Traurigkeit zerspränge. Der Wagen aber sollte den jungen König in sein Reich abholen; der treue Heinrich hob beide hinein, und stellte sich wieder hinten auf, voller Freude über die Erlösung.

Und als sie ein Stück Wegs gefahren waren, hörte der Königssohn hinter sich daß es krachte, als wäre etwas zerbrochen. Da drehte er sich um, und rief “Heinrich, der Wagen bricht.”

“Nein, Herr, der Wagen nicht, es ist ein Band von meinem Herzen,
das da lag in großen Schmerzen,
als ihr in dem Brunnen saßt,
als ihr eine Fretsche (Frosch) was’t (wart).”

Noch einmal und noch einmal krachte es auf dem Weg, und der Königssohn meinte immer der Wagen bräche, und es waren doch nur die Bande, die vom Herzen des treuen Heinrich absprangen, weil sein Herr wieder erlöst und glücklich war.

2)

Tom Thumb

der Brüder Grimm


There was once a poor peasant who sat in the evening by the hearth and poked the fire, and his wife sat and spun. Then said he, “How sad it is that we have no children. With us all is so quiet, and in other houses it is noisy and lively.”

“Yes, replied the wife, and sighed, “even if we had only one, and it were quite small, and only as big as a thumb, I should be quite satisfied, and we would still love it with all our hearts.”

Now it so happened that the woman fell ill, and after seven months gave birth to a child, that was perfect in all its limbs, but no longer than a thumb. Then said they, “It is as we wished it to be, and it shall be our dear child.” And because of its size, they called it Tom Thumb. Though they did not let it want for food, the child did not grow taller, but remained as it had been at the first. Nevertheless it looked sensibly out of its eyes, and soon showed itself to be a wise and nimble creature, for everything it did turned out well.

One day the peasant was getting ready to go into the forest to cut wood, when he said as if to himself, “How I wish that there was someone who would bring the cart to me.”

“Oh father,” cried Tom Thumb, “I will soon bring the cart, rely on that. It shall be in the forest at the appointed time.”

The man smiled and said, “How can that be done? You are far too small to lead the horse by the reins.”

“That’s of no consequence, father, if my mother will only harness it, I shall sit in the horse’s ear and call out to him how he is to go.”

“Well,” answered the man, “for once we will try it.”

When the time came, the mother harnessed the horse, and placed Tom Thumb in its ear, and then the little creature cried, “Gee up, gee up.” Then it went quite properly as if with its master, and the cart went the right way into the forest. It so happened that just as he was turning a corner, and the little one was crying, “gee up,” two strange men came towards him.

“My word,” said one of them, “what is this? There is a cart coming, and a driver is calling to the horse and still he is not to be seen.”

“That can’t be right,” said the other, “we will follow the cart and see where it stops.”

The cart, however, drove right into the forest, and exactly to the place where the wood had been cut. When Tom Thumb saw his father, he cried to him, “Do you see, Father, here I am with the cart, now take me up.” The father got hold of the horse with his left hand and with the right took his little son out of the ear. Tom Thumb sat down quite merrily on a straw, but when the two strange men saw him, they did not know what to say for astonishment.

Then one of them took the other aside and said, “Listen, the little fellow would make our fortune if we exhibited him in a large town, for money. We will buy him.” They went to the peasant and said, “Sell us the little man. He shall be well treated with us.”

“No,” replied the father, “he is the apple of my eye, and all the money in the world cannot buy him from me.”

Tom Thumb, however, when he heard of the bargain, had crept up the folds of his father’s coat, placed himself on his shoulder, and whispered in his ear, “Father do give me away, I will soon come back again.”

Then the father parted with him to the two men for a handsome sum of money. “Where will you sit?” they said to him.

“Oh just set me on the rim of your hat, and then I can walk backwards and forwards and look at the country, and still not fall down.” They did as he wished, and when Tom Thumb had taken leave of his father, they went away with him. They walked until it was dusk, and then the little fellow said, “Do take me down, it is necessary.”

“Just stay up there,” said the man on whose hat he sat, “it makes no difference to me. The birds sometimes let things fall on me.”

“No,” said Tom Thumb, “I know what’s manners, take me quickly up.” The man took his hat off, and put the little fellow on the ground by the wayside, and he leapt and crept about a little between the sods, and then he suddenly slipped into a mousehole which he had sought out. “Good evening, gentlemen, just go home without me,” he cried to them, and mocked them. They ran thither and stuck their sticks into the mousehole, but it was all in vain. Tom Thumb crept still farther in, and as it soon became quite dark, they were forced to go home with their vexation and their empty purses.

When Tom Thumb saw that they were gone, he crept back out of the subterranean passage. “It is so dangerous to walk on the ground in the dark,” said he, “how easily a neck or a leg is broken.” Fortunately he stumbled against an empty snail-shell. “Thank God,” said he, “in that I can pass the night in safety.” And got into it.

Not long afterwards, when he was just going to sleep, he heard two men go by, and one of them was saying, “How shall we set about getting hold of the rich pastor’s silver and gold?”

“I could tell you that,” cried Tom Thumb, interrupting them.

“What was that?” said one of the thieves in fright, “I heard someone speaking.”

They stood still listening, and Tom Thumb spoke again, and said, “Take me with you, and I’ll help you.”

“But where are you?”

“Just look on the ground, and observe from whence my voice comes,” he replied.

There the thieves at length found him, and lifted him up. “You little imp, how will you help us?” they said.

“Listen,” said he, “I will creep into the pastor’s room through the iron bars, and will reach out to you whatever you want to have.”

“Come then,” they said, “and we will see what you can do.”

When they got to the pastor’s house, Tom Thumb crept into the room, but instantly cried out with all his might, “Do you want to have everything that is here?”

The thieves were alarmed, and said, “But do speak softly, so as not to waken any one.”

Tom Thumb however, behaved as if he had not understood this, and cried again, “What do you want? Do you want to have everything that is here?”

The cook, who slept in the next room, heard this and sat up in bed, and listened. The thieves, however, had in their fright run some distance away, but at last they took courage, and thought, “The little rascal wants to mock us.” They came back and whispered to him, “Come be serious, and reach something out to us.”

Then Tom Thumb again cried as loudly as he could, “I really will give you everything, just put your hands in.”

The maid who was listening, heard this quite distinctly, and jumped out of bed and rushed to the door. The thieves took flight, and ran as if the wild huntsman were behind them, but as the maid could not see anything, she went to strike a light. When she came to the place with it, Tom Thumb, unperceived, betook himself to the granary, and the maid after she had examined every corner and found nothing, lay down in her bed again, and believed that, after all, she had only been dreaming with open eyes and ears.

Tom Thumb had climbed up among the hay and found a beautiful place to sleep in. There he intended to rest until day, and then go home again to his parents. But there were other things in store for him. Truly, there is much worry and affliction in this world. When the day dawned, the maid arose from her bed to feed the cows. Her first walk was into the barn, where she laid hold of an armful of hay, and precisely that very one in which poor Tom Thumb was lying asleep. He, however, was sleeping so soundly that he was aware of nothing, and did not awake until he was in the mouth of the cow, who had picked him up with the hay.

“Ah, heavens,” cried he, “how have I got into the fulling mill.” But he soon discovered where he was. Then he had to take care not to let himself go between the teeth and be dismembered, but he was subsequently forced to slip down into the stomach with the hay. “In this little room the windows are forgotten,” said he, “and no sun shines in, neither will a candle be brought.”

His quarters were especially unpleasing to him, and the worst was that more and more hay was always coming in by the door, and the space grew less and less. When at length in his anguish, he cried as loud as he could, “Bring me no more fodder, bring me no more fodder!”

The maid was just milking the cow, and when she heard some one speaking, and saw no one, and perceived that it was the same voice that she had heard in the night, she was so terrified that she slipped off her stool, and spilt the milk.

She ran in great haste to her master, and said, “Oh heavens, pastor, the cow has been speaking.”

“You are mad,” replied the pastor, but he went himself to the byre to see what was there. Hardly, however had he set his foot inside when Tom Thumb again cried, “Bring me no more fodder, bring me no more fodder!”

Then the pastor himself was alarmed, and thought that an evil spirit had gone into the cow, and ordered her to be killed. She was killed, but the stomach, in which Tom Thumb was, was thrown on the dunghill. Tom Thumb had great difficulty in working his way out. However, he succeeded so far as to get some room, but just as he was going to thrust his head out, a new misfortune occurred. A hungry wolf ran thither, and swallowed the whole stomach at one gulp.

Tom Thumb did not lose courage. “Perhaps,” thought he, “the wolf will listen to what I have got to say.” And he called to him from out of his belly, “Dear wolf, I know of a magnificent feast for you.”

“Where is it to be had?” said the wolf.

“In such and such a house. You must creep into it through the kitchen-sink, and will find cakes, and bacon, and sausages, and as much of them as you can eat.” And he described to him exactly his father’s house.

The wolf did not require to be told this twice, squeezed himself in at night through the sink, and ate to his heart’s content in the larder. When he had eaten his fill, he wanted to go out again, but he had become so big that he could not go out by the same way. Tom Thumb had reckoned on this, and now began to make a violent noise in the wolf’s body, and raged and screamed as loudly as he could.

“Will you be quiet?” said the wolf, “you will waken up the people.”

“What do I care?” replied the little fellow, “you have eaten your fill, and I will make merry likewise.” And began once more to scream with all his strength.

At last his father and mother were aroused by it, and ran to the room and looked in through the opening in the door. When they saw that a wolf was inside, they ran away, and the husband fetched his axe, and the wife the scythe.

“Stay behind,” said the man, when they entered the room. “When I have given the blow, if he is not killed by it, you must cut him down and hew his body to pieces.”

Then Tom Thumb heard his parents, voices and cried, “Dear father, I am here, I am in the wolf’s body.”

Said the father, full of joy, “Thank God, our dear child has found us again.” And bade the woman take away her scythe, that Tom Thumb might not be hurt with it. After that he raised his arm, and struck the wolf such a blow on his head that he fell down dead, and then they got knives and scissors and cut his body open and drew the little fellow forth.

“Ah,” said the father, “what sorrow we have gone through for your sake.”

“Yes father, I have gone about the world a great deal. Thank heaven, I breathe fresh air again.”

“Where have you been, then?”

“Ah, father, I have been in a mouse’s hole, in a cow’s belly, and then in a wolf’s paunch. Now I will stay with you.

“And we will not sell you again, no not for all the riches in the world,” said his parents, and they embraced and kissed their dear Tom Thumb. They gave him to eat and to drink, and had some new clothes made for him, for his own had been spoiled on his journey.

Daumesdick

der Brüder Grimm


Es war ein armer Bauersmann, der saß abends beim Herd und schürte das Feuer, und die Frau saß und spann. Da sprach er “wie ists so traurig, daß wir keine Kinder haben! es ist so still bei uns, und in den andern Häusern ists so laut und lustig.”

“Ja,” antwortete die Frau und seufzte, “wenns nur ein einziges wäre, und wenns auch ganz klein wäre, nur Daumens groß, so wollte ich schon zufrieden sein; wir hättens doch von Herzen lieb.”

Nun geschah es, daß die Frau kränklich ward und nach sieben Monaten ein Kind gebar, das zwar an allen Gliedern vollkommen, aber nicht länger als ein Daumen war. Da sprachen sie “es ist, wie wir es gewünscht haben, und es soll unser liebes Kind sein,” und nannten es nach seiner Gestalt Daumesdick. Sie ließens nicht an Nahrung fehlen, aber das Kind ward nicht größer, sondern blieb, wie es in der ersten Stunde gewesen war; doch schaute es verständig aus den Augen und zeigte sich bald als ein kluges und behendes Ding, dem alles glückte, was es anfing.

Der Bauer machte sich eines Tages fertig, in den Wald zu gehen und Holz zu fällen, da sprach er so vor sich hin “nun wollt ich, daß einer da wäre, der mir den Wagen nachbrächte.”

“O Vater,” rief Daumesdick, “den Wagen will ich schon bringen, verlaßt Euch drauf, er soll zur bestimmten Zeit im Walde sein.”

Da lachte der Mann und sprach “wie sollte das zugehen, du bist viel zu klein, um das Pferd mit dem Zügel zu leiten.”

“Das tut nichts, Vater, wenn nur die Mutter anspannen will, ich setze mich dem Pferd ins Ohr und rufe ihm zu, wie es gehen soll.”

“Nun,” antwortete der Vater, “einmal wollen wirs versuchen.”

Als die Stunde kam, spannte die Mutter an und setzte Daumesdick ins Ohr des Pferdes, und dann rief der Kleine, wie das Pferd gehen sollte, “jüh und joh! hott und har!” Da ging es ganz ordentlich als wie bei einem Meister, und der Wagen fuhr den rechten Weg nach dem Walde. Es trug sich zu, als er eben um eine Ecke bog und der Kleine “har, har!” rief, daß zwei fremde Männer daherkamen.

“Mein,” sprach der eine, “was ist das? da fährt ein Wagen, und ein Fuhrmann ruft dem Pferde zu, und ist doch nicht zu sehen.”

“Das geht nicht mit rechten Dingen zu,” sagte der andere, “wir wollen dem Karren folgen und sehen, wo er anhält.”

Der Wagen aber fuhr vollends in den Wald hinein und richtig zu dem Platze, wo das Holz gehauen ward. Als Daumesdick seinen Vater erblickte, rief er ihm zu “siehst du, Vater, da bin ich mit dem Wagen, nun hol mich runter.” Der Vater faßte das Pferd mit der Linken und holte mit der Rechten sein Söhnlein aus dem Ohr, das sich ganz lustig auf einen Strohhalm niedersetzte. Als die beiden fremden Männer den Daumesdick erblickten, wußten sie nicht, was sie vor Verwunderung sagen sollten.

Da nahm der eine den andern beiseit und sprach “hör, der kleine Kerl könnte unser Glück machen, wenn wir ihn in einer großen Stadt für Geld sehen ließen, wir wollen ihn kaufen.” Sie gingen zu dein Bauer und sprachen “verkauft uns den kleinen Mann” er solls gut bei uns haben.”

“Nein,” antwortete der Vater, “es ist mein Herzblatt, und ist mir für alles Gold in der Welt nicht feil!”

Daumesdick aber, als er von dem Handel gehört, war an den Rockfalten seines Vaters hinaufgekrochen, stellte sich ihm auf die Schulter und wisperte ihm ins Ohr “Vater, gib mich nur hin, ich will schon wieder zurückkommen.”

Da gab ihn der Vater für ein schönes Stück Geld den beiden Männern hin. “Wo willst du sitzen?, sprachen sie zu ihm.

“Ach, setzt mich nur auf den Rand von eurem Hut, da kann ich auf und ab spazieren und die Gegend betrachten, und falle doch nicht herunter.” Sie taten ihm den Willen, und als Daumesdick Abschied von seinem Vater genommen hatte, machten sie sich mit ihm fort. So gingen sie, bis es dämmrig ward, da sprach der Kleine “hebt mich einmal herunter, es ist nötig.”

“Bleib nur droben” sprach der Mann, auf dessen Kopf er saß, “ich will mir nichts draus machen, die Vögel lassen mir auch manchmal was drauf fallen.”

“Nein,” sprach Daumesdick, “ich weiß auch, was sich schickt, hebt mich nur geschwind herab.”

Der Mann nahm den Hut ab und setzte den Kleinen auf einen Acker am Weg, da sprang und kroch er ein wenig zwischen den Schollen hin und her, dann schlüpfte er pIötzlich in ein Mausloch, das er sich ausgesucht hatte. “Guten Abend, ihr Herren, geht nur ohne mich heim,” rief er ihnen zu, und lachte sie aus. Sie liefen herbei und stachen mit Stöcken in das Mausloch, aber das war vergebliche Mühe, Daumesdick kroch immer weiter zurück, und da es bald ganz dunkel ward, so mußten sie mit Ärger und mit leerem Beutel wieder heim wandern.

Als Daumesdick merkte, daß sie fort waren, kroch er aus dem unterirdischen Gang wieder hervor. “Es ist auf dem Acker in der Finsternis so gefährlich gehen,” sprach er, “wie leicht bricht einer Hals und Bein.” Zum Glück stieß er an ein leeres Schneckenhaus. “Gottlob,” sagte er, “da kann ich die Nacht sicher zubringen,” und setzte sich hinein.

Nicht lang, als er eben einschlafen wollte, so hörte er zwei Männer vorübergehen, davon sprach der eine “wie wirs nur anfangen, um dem reichen Pfarrer sein Geld und sein Silber zu holen?,

“Das könnt ich dir sagen,” rief Daumesdick dazwischen.

“Was war das?” sprach der eine Dieb erschrocken, “ich hörte jemand sprechen.”

Sie blieben stehen und horchten, da sprach Daumesdick wieder “nehmt mich mit, so will ich euch helfen.”

“Wo bist du denn?”

“Sucht nur auf der Erde und merkt, wo die Stimme herkommt,” antwortete er.

Da fanden ihn endlich die Diebe und hoben ihn in die Höhe. “Du kleiner Wicht, was willst du uns helfen!” sprachen sie.

“Seht,” antwortete er, “ich krieche zwischen den Eisenstäben in die Kammer des Pfarrers und reiche euch heraus, was ihr haben wollt.”

“Wohlan,” sagten sie, “wir wollen sehen, was du kannst.”

Als sie bei dem Pfarrhaus kamen, kroch Daumesdick in die Kammer, schrie aber gleich aus Leibeskräften “wollt ihr alles haben, was hier ist?”

Die Diebe erschraken und sagten “so sprich doch leise, damit niemand aufwacht.”

Aber Daumesdick tat, als hätte er sie nicht verstanden, und schrie von neuem “Was wollt ihr? Wollt ihr alles haben, was hier ist?”

Das hörte die Köchin, die in der Stube daran schlief, richtete sich im Bete auf und horchte. Die Diebe aber waren vor Schrecken ein Stück Wegs zurückgelaufen, endlich faßten sie wieder Mut und dachten “der kleine Kerl will uns necken.” Sie kamen zurück und flüsterten ihm zu “nun mach Ernst und reich uns etwas heraus.”

Da schrie Daumesdick noch einmal, so laut er konnte “ich will euch ja alles geben, reicht nur die Hände herein.”

Das hörte die horchende Magd ganz deutlich, sprang aus dem Bett und stolperte zur Tür herein. Die Diebe liefen fort und rannten, als wäre der wilde Jäger hinter ihnen; die Magd aber, als sie nichts bemerken konnte, ging ein Licht anzünden. Wie sie damit herbeikam, machte sich Daumesdick, ohne daß er gesehen wurde, hinaus in die Scheune: die Magd aber, nachdem sie alle Winkel durchgesucht und nichts gefunden hatte, legte sich endlich wieder zu Bett und glaubte, sie hätte mit offenen Augen und Ohren doch nur geträumt.

Daumesdick war in den Heuhälmchen herumgeklettert und hatte einen schönen Platz zum Schlafen gefunden: da wollte er sich ausruhen, bis es Tag wäre, und dann zu seinen Eltern wieder heimgehen. Aber er mußte andere Dinge erfahren! ja, es gibt viel Trübsal und Not auf der Welt! Die Magd stieg, als der Tag graute, schon aus dem Bett, um das Vieh zu füttern. Ihr erster Gang war in die Scheune, wo sie einen Arm voll Heu packte, und gerade dasjenige, worin der arme Daumesdick. lag und schlief. Er schlief aber so fest, daß er nichts gewahr ward, und nicht eher aufwachte, als bis er in dem Maul der Kuh war, die ihn mit dem Heu aufgerafft hatte.

“Ach Gott,” rief er, “wie bin ich in die Walkmühle geraten!” merkte aber bald, wo er war. Da hieß es aufpassen, daß er nicht zwischen die Zähne kam und zermalmt ward, und hernach mußte er doch mit in den Magen hinabrutschen. “In dem Stübchen sind die Fenster vergessen,” sprach er, “und scheint keine Sonne hinein: ein Licht wird auch nicht gebracht.”

Überhaupt gefiel ihm das Quartier schlecht, und was das Schlimmste war, es kam immer mehr neues Heu zur Türe hinein, und der Platz ward immer enger. Da rief er endlich in der Angst, so laut er konnte, “Bringt mir kein frisch Futter mehr, bringt mir kein frisch Futter mehr.”

Die Magd melkte gerade die Kuh, und als sie sprechen hörte, ohne jemand zu sehen, und es dieselbe Stimme war, die sie auch in der Nacht gehört hatte, erschrak sie so, daß sie von ihrem Stühlchen herabglitschte und die Milch verschüttete.

Sie lief in der größten Hast zu ihrem Herrn und rief “Ach Gott, Herr Pfarrer, die Kuh hat geredet.”

“Du bist verrückt,” antwortete der Pfarrer, ging aber doch selbst in den Stall und wollte nachsehen, was es da gäbe. Kaum aber hatte er den Fuß hineingesetzt, so rief Daumesdick aufs neue “Bringt mir kein frisch Futter mehr, bringt mir kein frisch Futter mehr.”

Da erschrak der Pfarrer selbst, meinte, es wäre ein böser Geist in die Kuh gefahren, und hieß sie töten. Sie ward geschlachtet, der Magen aber, worin Daumesdick steckte, auf den Mist geworfen. Daumesdick hatte große Mühe, sich hindurchzuarbeiten, und hatte große Mühe damit, doch brachte ers so weit, daß er Platz bekam, aber als er eben sein Haupt herausstrecken wollte, kam ein neues Unglück. Ein hungriger Wolf lief heran und verschlang den ganzen Magen mit einem Schluck. 2

Daumnesdick verlor den Mut nicht, “vielleicht,” dachte er, “läßt der Wolf mit sich reden,” und rief ihm aus dem Wanste zu “lieber Wolf” ich weiß dir einen herrlichen Fraß.”

“Wo ist der zu holen?” sprach der Wolf.

“In dem und dem Haus, da mußt du durch die Gosse hineinkriechen, und wirst Kuchen, Speck und Wurst finden, so viel du essen willst,” und beschrieb ihm genau seines Vaters Haus.

Der Wolf ließ sich das nicht zweimal sagen, drängte sich in der Nacht zur Gosse hinein und fraß in der Vorratskammer nach Herzenslust. Als er sich gesättigt hatte” wollte er wieder fort, aber er war so dick geworden” daß er denselben Weg nicht wieder hinaus konnte. Darauf hatte Daumesdick gerechnet und fing nun an” in dem Leib des Wolfes einen gewaltigen Lärmen zu machen, tobte und schrie, was er konnte.

“Willst du stille sein,” sprach der Wolf, “du weckst die Leute auf.”

“Ei was,” antwortete der Kleine, “du hast dich satt gefressen, ich will mich auch lustig machen,” und fing von neuem an, aus allen Kräften zu schreien.

Davon erwachte endlich sein Vater und seine Mutter, liefen an die Kammer und schauten durch die Spalte hinein. Wie sie sahen, daß ein Wolf darin hauste, liefen sie davon, und der Mann holte eine Axt, und die Frau die Sense.

“Bleib dahinten,” sprach der Mann, als sie in die Kammer traten, “wenn ich ihm einen Schlag gegeben habe, und er davon noch nicht tot ist, so mußt du auf ihn einhauen, und ihm den Leib zerschneiden.”

Da hörte Daumesdick die Stimme seines Vaters und rief “lieber Vater, ich bin hier, ich stecke im Leibe des Wolfs.”

Sprach der Vater voll Freuden “Gottlob, unser liebes Kind hat sich wiedergefunden,” und hieß die Frau die Sense wegtun, damit Daumesdick nicht beschädigt würde. Danach holte er aus, und schlug dem Wolf einen Schlag auf den Kopf, daß er tot niederstürzte, dann suchten sie Messer und Schere, schnitten ihm den Leib auf und zogen den Kleinen wieder hervor.

“Ach,” sprach der Vater, “was haben wir für Sorge um dich ausgestanden!,

“Ja, Vater, ich bin viel in der Welt herumgekommen; gottlob, daß ich wieder frische Luft schöpfe!”

“Wo bist du denn all gewesen?”

“Ach, Vater, ich war in einem Mauseloch, in einer Kuh Bauch und in eines Wolfes Wanst: nun bleib ich bei euch.”

“Und wir verkaufen dich um alle Reichtümer der Welt nicht wieder,” sprachen die Eltern, herzten und küßten ihren lieben Daumesdick. Sie gaben ihm zu essen und trinken, und ließen ihm neue Kleider machen, denn die seinigen waren ihm auf der Reise verdorben.

Revolution From the khōra: Power From the Outside

Khora
_

(Paul Harrison)

Throughout history there is a reoccurring pattern when it comes to revolution. If you observe the specific contexts of the revolutions that have taken place in many countries: Britain, France, Haiti, Russia, and China. Did they all happen because of an external influence? And, to what extent is this a component part of the revolution? Of the very idea of revolution? This is the line of questioning this essay will explore. Discussing the idea that successful revolution is dependent on a power that comes from outside the location of its eventual happening. This idea will be shown to be present or situated in these exemplary instances of undeniable revolutions: 1) The French revolution, 2) the Russian revolution, 3) The Chinese cultural revolution.

Next to these historical examples one is aware of one’s reasons behind writing with this perspective or with this postulation on the causal movements of revolution. The main reason for adopting such a stance is the importance of a famous fact in what many people believe to be the first work of political philosophy. Although there are other contenders for the title of first political treatise Plato’s Republic is often cited as the first. It consists of a conversation that encompasses what the ideal state might look like and the importance of justice to such an ideal, yet the fact that is more important for this discussion is the location, the specific place that this dialogue conspired. It happened outside of the city a place called the χώρα [Khōra] a notion that was important to Plato because he considered it to be a location where the forms used to reside.[ Plato. Timaeus (48e4)] Jacques Derrida helps us remember it in more recent thought of its importance. It certainly is political but what does it explicitly have to do with revolution?

In Derrida’s short essay named after this Greek location he starts by describing the myth which emanates from Plato’s orientation; Derrida describes the Khōra, ‘it oscillates between the two types of oscillation: the double exclusive (neither/nor) and the participation (both this and that).’[ Jacques Derrida, ‘Khōra’ in On the Name, Edited by Dutoit, T. Stanford University Press, Stanford California. 91 ] Such an oscillation or frequency fits the force one observes as the causal logic of revolution. The force transforms into a common noun “revolution” which is the culmination of a fluctuation in a form of logic.

The change found between exclusivity and participation is why one interprets the Khōra as a causal force because it implies a feeling of uncertain action like that of invasion, or an influx in immigration, and a conflict. This uncertainty is present in the ambiguity of the noun ‘revolution’ and what exactly it means. Furthermore, this doubt as to what is done in the name of revolution is resolved or completed in its success. An alternative to this expression is that within the site of potential revolution there is then a need of a referent but such a thing Derrida helps show is deeply abstract and one argues that this particular abstraction is a necessity.

‘Deprived of a real referent, that which in fact resembles a proper name finds itself also called an X which has as its property (as its physis and as its dynamis, Plato’s text will say) that it has nothing as its own and that it remains unformed, formless(amorphon). This very singular impropriety, which precisely is nothing, is just what Khōra must, if you like, keep; it is just what must be kept for it, what we must keep
for it.’[ Ibid. 97]

Yet, reading Derrida could suggest an opposite direction that we have to maintain the outside as formless and this would contradict my argument. This quote could be read from the perspective of a citizenry seen as keeping revolution indeterminate and external, but one would maintain that if this lack remains it is suggestive of an alternative cause: that the lack was not transformed into a name, an event (revolution).
So, let us test this idea and look to history beginning in France and some sources that hint at this movement away from the resemblance of a name, an X, to an actual name and suggest an accurate interpretation of this process named revolution. Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville discussed the 1789 revolution that changed the entire reality of Europe.[ Alexis De Tocqueville. The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution, edited by Jon Elster, translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. ] Tocqueville’s discussions of the changes that transformed the ancien regime (the old order) including: how the French revolution was a political revolution but with the distinctly religious character, territorial disputes giving way to principles, and the destruction of feudal and aristocratic institutions.

Again, the way Tocqueville writes supports the opposite notion of revolution the one that says it was a unique phenomena that originated in one country and then spread elsewhere. However, one does not agree with this because it does not reflect deeply enough on the religious aspect of this revolution. Religion for the French revolution was the Khōra; a power that was on the outside, in what sense can one claim this? The evidence for this perspective is that the then king Louis XIV who under the influence of Cardinal Mazarin embodied absolute rule. This means that kings where to believed to have a devine right implying that they were backed by the authority of God a power that was to also be responsible for the revolutionary thoughts of Karl Marx.[ Karl Marx, ‘Theses on Feuerbach’ [1845] in: Early Writings, London: Penguin 1975. ] Yet, the royalty of France of this time also contributes even more to our discussion. The way king Louis XIV exercised his absolutism demonstrates power’s necessary movement from the outside to the inside. This is explicitly made obvious by the fact that this king prioritised military expansion at the expense of higher taxes on citizens – unanimously cited as the cause of the revolution.

Reading this we see power exercised expansively into space outside the country in military acts and expansion. This inevitably results in the country’s citizens adopting a line of thinking an equation that Sieyes articulated, ‘subtract the privileged order and the nation would not be something less, but something more.’[ Abbé Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, ‘Qu’est-ce que le tiers-état? / What is the Third Estate?’ in Essay on Privileges, (January 1789). 96] Of course this power often manifests in incredibly violent ways and the French revolution is infamous for the ‘reign of terror’ and the mass executions by guillotine. Here we should take a moment to consider the difficulties we face when viewing the power that fuels revolutions because it seems to contain key signs or symptoms: abuse of military might and paranoia towards the outside coupled with the ambiguity of deciphering the difference between criminals and those who place faith in laws. Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobin’s behaved in such a way that enacted both symptoms but although their revolution was a success this did not save them from their fate. They fell victim to the very violence they wielded against their enemies; perceived both internally and externally power resulted in a short lived governance.

‘Wisdom, as much as power, presided over the creation of the universe…
If the revolutionary government is not seconded by the energy, enlightenment,
patriotism, and benevolence of all the people’s representatives, how can it have
the strength to respond proportionately to the efforts of Europe who are
attacking it, and to all the enemies of liberty pressing in on it from all sides?’[ Maximilien Robespierre. “On the Principles of Revolutionary Government.” In Robespierre, Virtue and Terror, edited and by Jean Ducange, translated by John Howe, introduction by Slavoj Zizek. London: Verso, 2007.]

In the case of Russia Vladimir Lenin offers more evidence for one’s scepticism toward the idea that the power bringing about radical change is generated internally by alluding to sham socialists and their petit-bourgeois utopia.[ Vladimir Lenin. State and Revolution, introduction by Todd Chretien. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2014. 61.] How the ideology of the state being above classes betrays the working class. So, in Lenin’s discussion of the Russian revolution we can observe that he deemed the French revolutions of 1848 and 1871 to be a betrayal, the proletariat sell their birthright for a mess of porridge, and how the destruction of the state is a prerequisite for the formation of Marx’s the ‘workers dictatorship’ a main step towards human emancipation.[ Ibid, 63. ] We also learn of the struggles of the two quintessential rebel rouser’s so influential for Lenin and the Russian revolution; Marx and Engels came out and back into hiding, adding their firebrand journalism to revolutions in Germany and Europe (1848), yet these revolutions all failed because the fight for power came from within the same country and were all easily defeated. Lenin’s thoughts on Marx clarify the Khōra.

Marx never expected the communist revolution to take place in Russia. The manifesto he wrote with Friedrich Engels foresaw revolution taking place in more economically developed countries. The noun ‘Communist’ was the abstract necessity that Derrida described as a name and simultaneously an X because to be a communist one has to desire communities sharing the commons (both this and that, and neither nor. Remembering Derrida’s distinction). In the Russian revolution Lenin attempted to use Marx’s dictatorship of the proletariat in other words ‘a vanguard party’ to do away with the rule of the Tsar and bring about socialism.[ Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels. “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” In The Marx-Engels Reader, edited by Robert C. Tucker, 469-500. London: Norton & Company, 1978. 479-500.] The 1917 October Revolution in Saint Petersburg was led by Lenin and the Bolsheviks and here we have movements associated with conflict (WW1, and exile in Lenin’s case) a desire for change that when forced to travel via way of exclusion seeks an inclusive tradition.

Mao Tse-Tsung wrote extensively about how he perceived a revolutionary tradition dating back to the people of the han dynasty. Mao claims, ‘the Chinese never submit to tyrannical rule but invariably use revolutionary means to overthrow or change it.’[ Mao Tse-Tsung, ‘The Chinese Revolution and The Chinese Communist Party’ in Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tsung, Volume I,[https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/mswv2_23.html] ] Whilst writing about his nation Mao is rightly brimming with pride and the sentences carry this feeling unabashedly and this may hide the simultaneous exaggeration that also resides within any writing of a political leader. In this case the aim of Mao was to clearly describe how it was the Chinese people’s great struggle that was the sole creator of what was to become the Peoples Republic of China and of course this is true to some extent but there is more than a little evidence that Mao and his revolutionaries had help from a power outside China.

Japan and its invading armies constitute this external force. The second ‘Sino-Japanese war’ (1937-1945) resulted in Japan committing some of the worst war crimes on record – an estimated two to three hundred thousand people where massacred and raped as Japanese forces captured the then Chinese capital of Nanjing. Here we have a dark example of this external power influencing a revolution because there is evidence that strongly suggests chairman Mao the leader of the Communist party of China saw this event as the reason for his successful revolution. Journalist Richard McGregor cites this confession. This quote demonstrates that Mao the instigator and figurehead of the cultural revolution consciously referenced the force that allowed him and his comrades to move from guerilla warfare and toward defeating the nationalists and to attain control over the country.

‘[A] meeting with a Japanese Socialist party leader, Mao perversely thanked Japan for invading China, because the turmoil created by the Imperial Army had enabled the CCP to come to power. “We would still be in the mountains and not be able to watch Peking Opera in Beijing,” he said. “It was exactly because the Imperial Japanese Army took up more than half of China that there was no way out for the Chinese people. So we woke up and started armed struggle, established many anti-Japanese bases, and created conditions for the War of Liberation. The Japanese monopolistic capitalists and warlords did a ‘good thing’ to us. If a ‘thank you’ is needed, I would actually like to thank the Japanese warlords.”[ Richard McGregor, The Long Read: Could Trump’s Blundering Lead to War Between China and Japan? The Guardian Online, Thu 17 Aug 2017 06.00 BST, [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/17/could-trumps-blundering-lead-to-war-between-china-and-japan] ]

Adding to this example we can acknowledge that the use of ‘comfort women’ by the Japanese highlights the importance of feminist narratives in the future of revolution. The oppression of women and the fight for gender equality is one of the more important revolutionary battles happening today; perhaps the power that will make this gender revolution a success is a change in the role of the female as a mother, giving birth may change due to external influence of technology.[ Shulamith Firestone. The Dialectic of Sex: The case for feminist revolution, Bantam Books, USA, 1970] Such changes will first manifest in the societal and cultural entities of the biggest countries.

China is currently the worlds biggest economy and global power this is because like America it is expanding its military but after its revolution the state that emerged became more self aware of its own character and culture.[ China is well known for the control of its population and its inward looking nature but also due to its philosophy Confucianism it places a much greater emphasis on the importance of the family as a structure. ] So, rather than expanding imperially via military strength China exercised control over its population building control within its own lands. This is why McGregor uses the metaphor of Thucydides Trap because he sees that the rising power of China as too much of a threat to America for there not to be war between these two great nations.[ Ibid, McGregor. ] However, the outbreak of the Peloponnesian war when Sparta attacked Athens is another example because this metaphor is politically applicable to many instances of conflict throughout history and its symptom is an arms/weapons race. Such a race, does it not demonstrate power coming from the outside? Yes, it is one example but staying with China the country offers more evidence it has in the last decade hosted some of the biggest workers unions in the world (unsurprising because one fifth of humanity is Chinese). Comprising of millions of members and are often farmers or rural workers – they are so big and well organised that the government is forced to communicate.

This takes us back to that truly revolutionary conversation that took place outside the city. A site to situate the power from the outside that generates the impetus for a change that even an ancient aristocrat like Plato saw as necessarily tied to the use of justice. But, in terms of revolution the use of justice is a power that first manifests in a place between legality and criminality, a place, a topos that we understand as the χώρα [Khōra]?

‘When you want a deposit to be kept safely.
You mean when money is not wanted, but allowed to lie?
Precisely. That is to say, justice is useful when money is useless?
That is the inference. And when you want to keep a pruning-hook safe, then justice is useful to the individual and to the state; but when you want to use it, then the art of the vine-dresser?’[ Plato, The Republic, Book II. ]

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Bibliography

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De Tocqueville, Alexis. (2011), The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution, edited by Jon Elster, translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Derrida, J. (1993), ‘Khōra’ in ‘On the Name, Edited by Dutoit, T. Stanford University Press, Stanford California.
Shulamith Firestone. (1970), The Dialectic of Sex: The case for feminist revolution, Bantam Books, USA.
Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. (1978), “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” In: The Marx-Engels Reader, edited by Robert C. Tucker, 469-500. London: Norton & Company.
McGregor, R. The Long Read: Could Trump’s Blundering Lead to War Between China and Japan? The Guardian Online, Thu 17 Aug 2017 06.00 BST, [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/17/could-trumps-blundering-lead-to-war-between-china-and-japan]
Plato. The Republic
_____ Timaeus,
Robespierre, Maximilien. (2007), “On the Principles of Revolutionary Government.” In Robespierre, Virtue and Terror, edited and by Jean Ducange, translated by John Howe, introduction by Slavoj Zizek. London: Verso.
Sieyès, Emmanuel Joseph. (2003), “What is the Third Estate?” In: Political Writings, edited and translated by Michael Sonenscher, 92-162. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

Hyperstition & ENIAtype: Two Useful Concepts I Gained From Nick Land.

Blog Post 001

2 Great Concepts Gained From Thinker Nick Land

 

哲学者, ニク・ランドから二つの良い概念

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I have almost completed a critique of this powerful philosophers contribution to contemporary thinking. My disagreements with this British philosopher surround the philosophy he helped father Accelerationism. This has made one re-think Land’s ideas revealing the value of two concepts that are worthy of continued usage as they are both very useful. An ‘ENIAtype’ (which is an interdisciplinary architectural practice – Land showed me this in an article called Ideation), and a ‘Hyperstition’.

私はこの強い哲学者の当世流な考える事ので評論終わる。アクセラレーション義を異なりました。だから、またランドさんの哲学を考えて、二つの便利なアイデアが続けて使う。エニアタイプとハィペースでションです

ENIAtype:

 

エニアタイプ

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An ENIAtype is a process of learning that is under construction. Land discussed it because of an article he wrote on the work of Dr. Shaun Murray who created this as a multidisciplinary architectural practice that focuses on understanding the complexities of the built environment. Looking at ENIAtype’s website you are confronted with many design ecologies that portray the contemporary necessity of re-thinking architecture on an ecological scale… as humanity alters ecology in an increasingly aggressive and invasive way. The projects Dr. Murray has worked on are examples of human inquisitiveness and a refined creativity resulting in projects that you wish to know more about; take Beijing Enia (2003), and Information Polyp (1998) for example. The former is a project which aims to protect Beijing’s precarious water issues, the latter is a delightful object a weird Duchampian stoppage for the digital age. Why is this concept so important? It brings to the foreground the need to understand the outcomes of the internet as a human process of learning. Is the internet making us more equal via “knowledge production”, if so how is this the case? Only from the perspective of the first person so therefore solipsistic, and potentially monolingual in a language of empire, of English. An ENIAtype should be a concept that can equip thinking today with a need for equality because it explicitly allows for continuation and a positive motion instead of/or, rather than traditional modes of knowledge acquisition which have been feeding the inequality of capitalism. So, when we think about changes in the concept of education itself this is a word we may use to establish new perspective.

エニアタイプは習うの方法を続く事と建設する。ランドさんはこのトッピクをドクターシャン・ムリーの記事のでエニアタイプが建築学的な分かる方の周囲です。ウェブサイトに見っているで君はたくさん大切なデザインの生態学を見える。このムリーさんの面白いプロジェクスは人間の探聞と上品な独創性の一例だから、北京エニア (2003年)、インフォメーションポルプ (1998年)。前者は北京のお水の風前の灯と後者がデジタル時代ので変なデュシャンの終わる物です。なぜコンセプトは大切ですか。インテネトは人間の習う方は分かる事を前景に来る。インテネトは皆さんためにもっと対等を成れるの?だからどうですか。第一人称けど独我論と多分単一言語だ。エニアタイプは人間の考える方ために伝統的な知識を作るよりおっぴらな習うの続く事の方がいいです。だから、皆さんの教育を変わる事を考える時でこの単語が新しい遠近法を始められる。

Hyperstitions

 

ハイパースティション

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A hyperstition is a noun definitely co-authored by Land and the equally brilliant Amy Ireland. The word represents or tags the exact moment an idea is accepted by a culture. The word may become extremely useful, and at least in my eyes it carries a powerful demand to think in different ways: anthropologically, politically, genealogically. For example, a political example would be whatever ‘neo-liberalism’ actually represents (a discriptive term used to discuss the transfer of power from government to business) – is this term, or was this term an hyperstition? I hope not. For it to be one the notion would contain within itself the characteristics of its acceptance in our mass-market reality. Lets hope that this is not a valid example and just a waste of word space. One reason this concept fascinates me is it seems to carry a strong relation with time. It has an inflection for present contemporary usage. My understanding is the hyperstition is an event, a moment where a new idea enters and is not rejected by a culture. As a concept it is interesting because if we have a tag for acceptance then surely we should have a word for rejection also? Also, what is the underlying structure this word covers – using this word we immediately are called to consider the relation between ideas and cultures.

ハイパースティションはこの名詞がニク・ランドとアイミー・イランド一緒に作りました。この単語はアイデアを文化に入る時を描く。ハイパースティションは超便利成るので、私の意見で強い要求にいろいろな考える方、人類学と政治的と系譜です。例えば、政治的な事例はネオリバーラリスム (記述的な用語は力を政府よりビジネスに入る) これはハイパースティションありますか。私は欲しいじゃないです。もし、有ったらこのコンセプト中に大衆向けの現実で了解済みです。是非、これは無効な例えと単語のスペースを無駄にする。一個の理由はこのコンセプトを時間の関係もある事を引き付ける。今ために偏愛します。私の理解はハイパースティションを一つの事件のでアイデアが文化に入る。もし、ハイパースティションは受諾のタグをすれば拒否のタグをしなければなりませんか。も、何を傍線がハイパースティションはしますか。このコンセプトを使って、直ちに文化とアイデアの関係をもっと考えろ…                              

Make Light Work

 

 light

̸

 

The proverb, ‘Many hands make light work’ happens to also be a truism. Work, laborious, tedious, unrewarding work can be made lighter if shared by more people. Today, the ticking of a technological Einsteinian clock made entirely from photonic components is forming a new dawn. Rising from the automated robotic horizon which seeks to revolutionise our working environments. Pushing so many of us into initially uncertain futures – can we retrain, regain new employment? What exactly am I going to do when the school, supermarket, and factory no longer needs me? Einstein himself needed unrewarding monotonous work. Working in a patent office enabled this scientist to unlock light’s materiality. The discovery of relativity is a good example of how the human always assumes their work to be theirs and theirs only. Which is greedy, selfish, and depressively untrue. This darkness, the darkness that extinguishes the flame of that which should be familiar. Einstein is a good example of the need to make light work. Remember, that the word genius which Albert symbolises; does not always have to be so individualistic, it can refer to a spirit or character. So, when we look at Einstein’s story, of course his own abilities shine bright, yet there was another spectrum of light at work in this physicist’s successful voyage into understanding.

He worked in a patent office dealing with many technical problems related to electrical-mechanical synchronisation. These requests for intellectual property, that were submitted by other people helped Einstein. The stream of documents fed into his thought experiments. Yes, he was the one that wrote the papers, that created the equations, but in tandem to this one should acknowledge the effect of the behaviour of others on the usually solitary system of work.  Therefore, the discovery of the physicality of light led to the harnessing of the secrets of energy. The aim of this writing is then to see the aforementioned discovery as being a metaphor. Thus transforming and transferring the common alienation one experiences at work into a deeply embedded potential for work to radiate with a  light of social solidarity. How is it even possible, that their exist people that steadfastly refuse to see work in this light? Why should an individual’s struggles: the struggles to pay rent, feed your children, garner recognition, and achieve happiness not be viewed as belonging to you, me, and Einstein? Let us then see this social sun’s rays burning brightly in some examples. Both, in real life circumstances and fictional formulations one will describe how work can always be  brighter. Let us return to Einstein’s achievements.

One of the facts about him that is hardly touched on is his socialism, his is one of the most eloquent ways of asking why socialism? Explaining the process of capital domination as a predatory phrase in human development, science’s inability to produce ends only the means, and the prolonged existential crisis humanity has been facing. (1) This is somewhat of a repentance for Einstein because he was one of the signatory of a letter to President Roosevelt persuading him of the dangers of allowing the Germans to accumulate an atomic bomb. Resulting in the creation of the Manhattan Project in the 1940’s, and the subsequent crippling of WW2 Japan. Einstein’s support of Socialism is not just a personal confession of his own part in capital reality, but it reminds everyone today how little we have progressed from Thorstein Veblen’s ‘predatory phase’ of human development. Therefore, against the huge contemporary tsunami of monetary evils one sides with Einstein’s optimism, ‘human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate.’(2) Einstein’s socialism would then be one with a deep understanding that humanity constitutes a society at once produced and consumed by the individual. Yet, here resides what is at stake: in the right talons stands Capitalism with its constant internal abuse of workers with a dead weight of devalued labour, and on the left paw rests Socialism in which workers have rights to share, access, and distribute the value of work.

 

‘This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.’ (3)

 

This lightness of work is only possible if today the living population rejects the crude oily market education of Neo-Liberalism, favouring the Renaissance ideal of Umanitas, and finding it in the contemporary German notion of Menschenkenntnis. This intuitive grasp of humankind is not some make believe leftist fantasy. No! Socialism is simply the system which fully supports the fact that you and I are animals living with the name ‘human’, and that now is a period in time simultaneously translated and shared with many millions of others.

The time we call now is like no other time before it. Right now as you the reader read this our species consistent techno-scientific advancement is on the verge of a real paradigm shift. In 1962 when Thomas Samuel Kuhn was articulating just how revolutionary science is, it is likely that he would see today as the epitome of what a shift in the paradigm looks like. (4) The birth of advanced robotic and mechanics shows this to be true. But, as Einstein shows individual brilliance often comes from a brilliant individual, yet this brilliance of the individual is as Marx and Engels understood most clearly either common or social. Since science is social, the community finds itself always in new laboratories.  What remains is that these current scientists, mathematicians, and any worker for that matter makes improvements in human understanding through surpassing what came before. This is done by intuition, collaboration, and sharing what one has been lucky to experience or observe in the work of others. There exist many examples that support the sharing of work, and a subsequent liquidisation of labour value. Firstly, let us look at one which is connected to our initial subject of the science of physics, a source of marvel, and wonder.

Today, this year the international community of researchers are bringing the sun’s internal workings down to earth. They have succeeded in mastering Nuclear Fusion, and this promises clean energy. Fusing atoms together will light up our future cities with much less danger involved. However, in light of these achievements it’s very important to discuss the shadow in which this new technology has had to pass through. In 2011, Japan faced another nuclear disaster. The Fukishima Daiichi nuclear disaster showcased how nuclear decay and harnessing destruction as a form of energy production was never going to be a good idea. However, it should be said that it was a step away from the pollution of coal powered energy and a leap towards clean energy. Those that say human progress is not possible should focus deeply on this progression from skies so black the workers merely glimpsed a blue dimmed daylight to a radical potential to forever power our mass communicating societies. Nuclear history, Japan as an example of what self sacrifice means and the power of nature… society is the only thing that has allowed humans to continue growing when faced with the realities of  our darkest ideology, Capitalism – a system of inauthentic existence.

The pursuit of understanding in physics needs sharing within the wider community.  As we await the completion of the standard model of particle physics one demands that we take this time to dwell and ponder the uniqueness of the light we are about to generate. Some individuals lament the fact that the lights of the urban masses of humanity are polluting the natural beauty of the night sky. This is sadly true, but the engine which powers the fictional spaceship Voyager is one powered by fusion so within one hundred years humans will be star trekking, and the stars we used to see every night will be accessible once more. To reach this point and not have social coherency, not have togetherness, even after our greatest act of creation would be a travesty of such incomprehensibility it is hard to type. In the same way when one hears an esteemed scientist claim that Philosophy is dead and useless, it becomes necessary to stress that this is not helpful if ‘making light work’ is indeed our aim, our desire, our target. Philosophy in all its formulations and mutations has in its calling the subversive necessity to challenge jaded beliefs of its time, and there exists nothing more exhausted then the mantra that progress is only seen in science and technology.

Progression is not a prized possession of the latter it is instead inevitably social. Its this way this brief expression of light and labour can end by asserting, ‘though there is darkness it can not stop the rays of light emitted from the sum of social reality.’ Perfectly understood by the ancient Italian Parmenides.

 

‘Fr. 14 … Shining by night with alien borrowed light [darkly bright], wandering around the earth.’(5)            

 

 

(1) Albert Einstein, Why Socialism? Monthly Review, Volume 9 Issue 01 (May 2009).

(2) ibid.

(3) ibid.

(4) Thomas Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions, International Encyclopaedia of Unified  Science, University of  Chicago, (1962, 1970)     

(5) A.H. Coxon, The Fragments of Parmenides. A Critical Text with Introduction, Translation, the Ancient “Testimonia” and  a Commentary (Assen – Maastricht, Van Gorcum, 1986), pp. 44 – 92.

Creative Metaphysics (2.0-2.1)

(2.0) The lens of life would be a beautiful object if it were available at whim! But the acquisition of such a helpful thing is something worth striving for. Here Nietzsche’s ghost supports the very beneficial contemporary movement towards collaboration which is odd, you say, because he was indeed the most solitary of thinkers. Nietzsche’s hammer hits home with the relations it nails: Life > art > science. Such a path offers a nice perspective, but why is it so often ruined by the banality of the everyday (I mean that socially constructed reality in which material inequality is the major party pooper)? This banality takes the noble unique power of the individual and via industry makes it in to such a timid, characterless, spineless, and domesticated being that one often needs to meditate just to get over the headache this common process generates. You understand what I am talking about the abstraction of capital progress where a scientist is detached from his science, and an artist is separated from her art.

 

(2.1) A different separation was via Nietzsche echoed throughout philosophy where the French post-structuralists – the incorruptibles as the awesome Hélène Cixous named them – went to work in showing what was an established notion of the subject, the self, to be at least polymorphous if not a poly-amorous concept. So here is a hint at our first enactment of a creative metaphysics… one always finds oneself descending to where one presumed one’s self not to be! As a first principle then revel in one’s artificiality for nature encourages conditions of becoming, have no fear be queer my dear, or never wait for bait always test fate and never hate there is always another date. Such encouragement of building, re-designing, re-programming the self does stem from an observation of such processes happening throughout the current younger youths than I. One feels inspired by the speed at which younger generations will flow, no… stampede within their own flash cultures moving at such speeds that hole art movements, cultural shifts, and innovations may conspire within but a brief moment. In many ways the young generations have already grown into and mastered this new transient world, and I hope they look back at the all too rigid power structures of the past with a pride befitting of a world full of billions of choices. Nasty Nietzsche was against a situation full of a plethora of cultural preferences because he saw it as diluting meaning but one will discuss the dangers of self building in relation to creativity in a paragraph or so later… first, let us understand the reference and relation between “Dream Images”, and the “Ecstatic Reality”, that according to Nietzsche seeks to replace the individual with a mystical sense of unity.