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Friday, 30 September 2005

Present Predicament

Who really understands the present?


It seems to me that the present is always largely misunderstood:

'Sages' can only make wise pronouncements about the past, or else only prescient prophecies of the future ...



But ask them about today ...

Thursday, 29 September 2005

Place in the World


'Rejoice in your present life; all else is beyond you'.
[Montaigne, after Epicurus]

We can never begin from the beginning - we're always too late.

The Golden Age is always behind us ... or ahead of us.

Any interpretation of Life has its Ideal, 'set aside' - displaced into an Afterlife, or into a Prehistory ... or into a Parallel Universe.

Every Ideology is a rationalisation of such a Betrayal.

Who is ever strong enough to live in constant Uncertainty?

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

SpArtan


Q. You say that the military State produces the best art?
Then why is not Sparta noted for its art?

A. The Spartans themselves were art;- they lived art, they embodied art, they personified art - so much so, that there was no distinction bewteen art and life in Sparta.

Monday, 26 September 2005

Tradition


Tradition is an Ariadne's Thread through, and out of, the confusing labyrinth of Modernity's flux.

But once out of that maze, do we really *want* Tradition?

Is not Tradition only a ticket, rather than a destination?

The Runes are an example of such a 'ticket' - they are 'connectors' - something held across the centuries, across millennia, which retain the meaning and symbolic value vested in them long ago.

The Runes are our Ariadne's thread.

Thursday, 22 September 2005

True Freedom


Never let yourself go.

Always:

hold yourself back;

hold yourself in;

hold yourself ...

... aloof.

'Freedom' does not consist in 'letting yourself go', because *that* is surrender.

'Freedom' is found only in war, - the constant war of never letting yourself go.

As a general rule,

simplify
constantly.

Learn to have only a few things, but make those few things the best possible; make sure you know them like the 'back of your hand'.

Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Pride and Shame


Q. I can't be proud of anything that I wasn't personally responsible for.

A. So speaks individualism.
'Responsibility' is a huge chain which stretches from your ancestral past, through the knot of the mere present, on towards the future.
You are actually 'solely' responsible for nothing.
So if you must be proud, then be proud of the achievements of your ancestors.


Q. If you are proud of those good things that you and yours have done, then why can't you be ashamed of the bad things you've done?

A. What did I say of 'good' or 'bad'? - I do not presume to judge them morally. I am proud of all their 'doings' ... I am ashamed of *nothing*.

Friday, 9 September 2005

Opinions



Q. What are your grounds for believing such and such?

A. My experiences are my 'grounds', of course - what else?

Q. By your 'experiences', do you really mean your 'prejudices'?

A. Naturally.



Each opinion is an island of certainty in a sea of puzzlement.

Do we then 'deserve' such opinions?

Rarely do we 'deserve' them, but we certainly need them.

We need them so that we can survive on our islands.

Tuesday, 6 September 2005

Chastity


"Only chastity is linked to personal progress".
[Camus, notebooks]

1.
I think here of 'chastity' in the widest sense;

'chastity', from the Latin 'castus', i.e., pure.

Sexuality is only 'impure' if one regards sex as 'dirty'.

2.
The word 'castus' is ultimately from the Indo-European root 'kes-', meaning 'to cut'. The original sense was to be 'cut-off, or free from faults'.

What then are our faults?

Friday, 2 September 2005

Sphinxed



Why don't you question ...



... everything?



Because the majority of questions are superfluous in a world where most things don't have answers.



Take this interpreter of dreams - he offers an interpretation of a dream which itself is an interpretation ... of an interpretation ad infinitum.



The symbols can mean whatever you want them to mean.



The Sphinx never failed, because she changed the answers to every question - questions she had invented herself in the first place.