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Midday Respite

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Posted in Fear Inlandish

Fear Inlandish: Piece XI

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”

 


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But despair is expressed precisely by the fact that a person is unaware of being characterized as spirit.

Even that which, humanly speaking, is the most beautiful and lovable thing of all, a feminine youthfulness which is sheer peace and harmony and joy — even that is despair. For this indeed is happiness, but happiness is not a characteristic of spirit, and in the remote depths, in the most inward parts, in the hidden recesses of happiness, there dwells also the anxious dread which is despair;

it would be only too glad to be allowed to remain therein, for the dearest and most attractive dwelling-place of despair is in the very heart of immediate happiness.

All immediacy, in spite of its illusory peace and tranquility, is dread, and hence, quite consistently, it is dread of nothing; one cannot make immediacy so anxious by the most horrifying description of the most dreadful something, as by a crafty, apparently casual half word about an unknown peril which is thrown out with the surely calculated aim of reflection;

yea, one can put immediacy most in dread by slyly imputing to it knowledge of the matter referred to. For immediacy doubtless does not know; but never does reflection catch its prey so surely as when it makes its snare out of nothing, and never is reflection so thoroughly itself as when it is . . . nothing.

There is need of an eminent reflection, or rather of a great faith, to support a reflection based upon nothing, i.e. an infinite reflection.

So even the most beautiful and lovable thing of all, a feminine youthfulness which is sheer peace and harmony and joy, is nevertheless despair, is happiness. Hardly will one have the good hap to get through life on the strength of this immediacy. And if this happiness has the hap to get through, it would be of little help for it is despair. Despair, just because it is wholly dialectical, is in fact the sickness of which it holds that it is the greatest misfortune not to have had it — the true good hap to get it, although it is the most dangerous sickness of all, if one does not wish to be healed of it. In other cases one can only speak of the good fortune of being healed of a sickness, sickness itself being misfortune.

Therefore it is as far as possible from being true that the vulgar view is right in assuming that despair is a rarity; on the contrary, it is quite universal.

It is as far as possible from being true that the vulgar view is right in assuming that everyone who does not think or feel that he is in despair is not so at all, and that only he is in despair who says that he is. On the contrary, one who without affectation says that he is in despair is after all a little bit nearer, a dialectical step nearer to being cured than all those who are not regarded and do not regard themselves as being in despair.

But precisely this is the common situation (as the physician of souls will doubtless concede), that the majority of men live without being thoroughly conscious that they are spiritual beings — and to this is referable all the security, contentment with life, etc., etc., which precisely is despair.

Those, on the other hand, who say that they are in despair are generally such as have a nature so much more profound that they must become conscious of themselves as spirit, or such as by the hard vicissitudes of life and its dreadful decisions have been helped to become conscious of themselves as spirit — either one or the other, for rare is the man who truly is free from despair. 

Ah, so much is said about human want and misery — I seek to understand it, I have also had some acquaintance with it at close range; so much is said about wasted lives — but only that man’s life is wasted who lived on, so deceived by the joys of life or by its sorrows that he never became eternally and decisively conscious of himself as spirit, as self, or (what is the same thing) never became aware and in the deepest sense received an impression of the fact that there is a God, and that he, he himself, his self, exists before this God, which gain of infinity is never attained except through despair.

And, oh, this misery, that so many live on and are defrauded of this most blessed of all thoughts; this misery, that people employ themselves about everything else, or, as for the masses of men, that people employ them about everything else, utilize them to generate the power for the theater of life, but never remind them of their blessedness; that they heap them in a mass and defraud them, instead of splitting them apart so that they might gain the highest thing, the only thing worth living for, and enough to live in for an eternity — it seems to me that I could weep for an eternity over the fact that such misery exists!

And, oh, to my thinking this is one expression the more of the dreadfulness of this most dreadful sickness and misery, namely, its hiddenness — not only that he who suffers from it may wish to hide it and may be able to do so, to the effect that it can so dwell in a man that no one, no one whatever discovers it; no, rather that it can be so hidden in a man that he himself does not know it!

And, oh, when the hour-glass has run out, the hourglass of time, when the noise of worldliness is silenced, and the restless or the ineffectual busyness comes to an end, when everything is still about thee as it is in eternity — whether thou wast man or woman, rich or poor, dependent or independent, fortunate or unfortunate, whether thou didst bear the splendor of the crown in a lofty station, or didst bear only the labor and heat of the day in an inconspicuous lot; whether thy name shall be remembered as long as the world stands (and so was remembered as long as the world stood), or without a name thou didst cohere as nameless with the countless multitude; whether the glory which surrounded thee surpassed all human description, or the judgment passed upon thee was the most severe and dishonoring human judgement can pass —

eternity asks of thee and of every individual among these million millions only one question, whether thou hast lived in despair or not, whether thou wast in despair in such a way that thou didst not know thou wast in despair, or in such a way that thou didst hiddenly carry this sickness in thine inward parts as thy gnawing secret, carry it under thy heart as the fruit of a sinful love, or in such a way that thou, a horror to others, didst rave in despair. And if so, if thou hast lived in despair (whether for the rest thou didst win or lose), then for thee all is lost, eternity knows thee not, it never knew thee, or (even more dreadful) it knows thee as thou art known, it puts thee under arrest by thyself in despair.

 

 

…More to come in piece XII

Posted in A Nighttime Companion of Solitude, Music, Music History

A Nighttime Companion of Solitude

Fairest isle, all isles excelling,
Seat of pleasure and of love
Venus here will choose her dwelling,
And forsake her Cyprian grove.
Cupid from his fav'rite nation
Care and envy will remove;
Jealousy, that poisons passion,
And despair, that dies for love.

Gentle murmurs, sweet complaining,
Sighs that blow the fire of love
Soft repulses, kind disdaining,
Shall be all the pains you prove.
Ev'ry swain shall pay his duty,
Grateful ev'ry nymph shall prove;
And as these excel in beauty,
Those shall be renown'd for love.

 

Posted in Language, Music, Music History

Let No Man Steal Your Thyme

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Come all you fair and tender maids
That flourish in your prime.
Beware, beware keep your garden fair.
Let no man steal your thyme;
Let no man steal your thyme.

For when your thyme is past and gone,
He’ll care no more for you,
And every place where your thyme was waste
Will all spread o’re with rue,
Will all spread o’re with rue.
For woman is a branchy tree,
And man’s a clinging vine,
And from your branches carelessly
He’ll take what he can find,
He’ll take what he can find.

The gardener’s son was standing by;
Three flowers he gave to me
The pink, the blue, and the violet, too,
And the red, red rosy tree,
The red, red, rosy tree.

But I forsook the red rose bush
and gained the willow tree,
So all the world might plainly see
How my love slighted me,
How my love slighted me.

Come all you fair and tender maids
That flourish in your prime.
Beware, beware keep your garden fair.
Let no man steal your thyme;
Let no man steal your thyme.

Posted in Music, Unquantified fragments of numbers

The Boundary of the Boundless

 

according to necessity, for they pay the penalty and retribution to each other for their injustice in accordance with the ordering of time

 

(A) INDEFINITE (APEIRON)

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I.

“Of those who declared that the first principle is one, moving and indefinite, Anaximander… said that the indefinite was the first principle and element of things that are, and he was the first to call the first principle indefinite [apeiron]. He says that the first principle is neither water nor any other of the things called elements, but some other nature which is indefinite, out of which come to be all the heavens and the worlds in them. The things that are perish into the things out of which they come to be.”

Simplicius

II.

“This does not have a first principle, but seems to be the first principle of the rest, and to contain all things and steer all things, as all declare who do not fashion other causes aside from the infinite… and this is divine. For it is deathless and indestructible, as Anaximander says and most of the natural philosophers.”

Aristotle

III.

“He declares that what arose from the eternal and is productive of hot and cold was separated off at the coming to be of the cosmos, and a kind of sphere of flame from this grew around the dark mist about the earth like bark about a tree. When it was broken off and enclosed in certain circles, the sun, moon and stars came to be.”

Pseudo-Plutarch

 

(B) COSMOLOGY

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I.

“The earth’s shape is curved, round, like a stone column. We walk on one of the surfaces and the other one is set opposite. The stars come to be as a circle of fire separated off from the fire in the cosmos and enclosed by dark mist. There are vents, certain tube-like passages at which the stars appear. For this reason, eclipses occur when the vents are blocked. The moon appears sometimes waxing sometimes waning as the passages are blocked. The circle of the sun is twenty-seven times <that of the earth> and that of the moon <18 times>, and the sun is highest, and the circles of the fixed stars are lowest.”

— Hippolytus,

 

II.

“Anaximander says there is a circle 28 times the earth, like a chariot wheel, with its rim hollow and full of fire. It lets the fire appear through an orifice at one point, as through the nozzle of a bellows; and this is the sun.”

Aetius

 

III.

“Some, like Anaximander… declare that the earth is at rest on account of its similarity. For it is no more fitting for what is established at the center and equally related to the extremes to move up rather than down or sideways. And it is impossible for it to make a move simultaneously in opposite directions. Therefore, it is at rest of necessity.

Aristotle

 

IV.

“The earth is in mid-air [aloft] not controlled by anything, but staying put because of its distance from all things.”

Hippolytus

 

(C) ORIGIN OF LIVING ORGANISMS & HUMAN BEINGS

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I.

“Anaximander says that the first animals were produced in moisture, enclosed in thorny barks. When their age increased they came out into the drier part, their bark broke off, and they lived a different mode of life for a short time.”

Aetius

 

II.

“He also declares that in the beginning humans were born from other kinds of animals, since other animals quickly manage on their own, and humans alone require lengthy nursing. For this reason, in the beginning they would not have been preserved if they had been like this.”

— Pseudo-Plutarch

 

III.

 

“Anaximander… believed that there arose from heated water and earth either fish or animals very like fish. In these humans grew and were kept inside as embryos up to puberty. Then finally they burst and men and women came forth already able to nourish themselves.”

Censorinus

 

Source:

http://home.wlu.edu/~mahonj/Ancient_Philosophers/Anaximander.htm

Posted in Music, Music History, Yours Truly

Fragments

 

Fragments in pursuit,

‘Tis the will to unite

Fragments found in the treading lot…

Filament… ’tis a glow to a form

Journey upon journey,

Thread to weaving thread

What fragments pursue us now,

this our tenderest blight.

 

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