Saturday, July 31, 2010

The road less travelled

The more I ponder over it, the more the answer to the question "Why do so few attain substance?" becomes clearer; bear with me for a second.

1) To begin, one must let go of "I am" to get to "This is". That's the first stage, and obviously it eliminates all those who haven't sharpened their pencil; that is to say about 80%.

2) Then, face to face with "This is", one must abstract "is". Here, you have another 15% who get sidetracked.

3) There are only 5% left who, in front of the abstraction of "is" must now set forward the interrogation: "What is being as being"? Amongst those who have surmounted the first two obstacles, more than half drop off - only 2% remain in the race.

4) Then, in front of this interrogation, one must let go of the abstraction of step 2, in other words the universal being, the being of reason, go beyond logic, that is beyond the "thinking the being", further than the artistic or poetic or mathematical approach, and practically all of the contemporary elite, turn here indefinitely in circles, Heiddegger, Levinas, Husserl, Jacques Maritain... they are subjugated by being in their thought, and they never come back to the concrete and reality. That's where the big divide plays out amongst people who think, with the following choice: either intelligence dominates being, or being dominates intelligence. In Antiquity, single-handedly and foremost, Aristotle accepts to revert to experience and to be dominated by being.

There are only 000,1% left: 1 in 100.000.

5) These few come back to reality with "I am", the "I" being the most perfect modality of the "This(is)" that each of us experiment. There, finally, they discover soul, then substance. Yet there are still a good few who don't get past soul, to substance, like Saint Augustine.

We have 0000,1% left, 1 in 1.000.000.

This is curious, for the contemporary figures which I admire the most, notably artists, all fall at stage 4.

What I don't understand is why metaphysics should absolutely be art? The big obstacle is in effect that of stage 4, which equates metaphysics and logic (or art, it's essentially the same). When one adopts an artistic viewpoint, one does not do metaphysics, and vice versa, when one does metaphysics, one does not do art. I admit I do not understand how we have managed to make a rivalry out of these two touches... as if we absolutely wanted not to differentiate two vital activities, like to sleep and to eat for example. I don't quite understand the thing about absolutely wanting to mix the two, possibly to the point where they become mortal enemies; this is quite curious really.

The majority don't get past stage 1, they stop at "I am", most often in a very infantile way, for if the Cartesian spirit has found its way into the bloodstream of Westerners, not everyone is Descartes either, who was a cretin but certainly no idiot! :)

Credit image: Frost by Chapin