The culture-heroes of our liberal bourgeois civilization are anti-liberal and anti-bourgeois; they are writers who are repetitive, obsessive, and impolite, who impress by force not simply by their tone of personal authority and by their intellectual ardor, but by the sense of acute personal and intellectual extremity. The bigots, the hysterics, the destroyers of the self these are the writers who bear witness to the fearful polite time in which we live. It is mostly a matter of tone: it is hardly possible to give credence to ideas uttered in the impersonal tones of sanity. There are certain eras which are too complex, too deafened by contradictory historical and intellectual experiences, to hear the voice of sanity. Sanity becomes compromise, evasion, a lie. Ours is an age which consciously pursues health, and yet only believes in the reality of sickness. The truths we respect are those born of affliction. We measure truth in terms of the cost to the writer in suffering rather than by the standard of an objective truth to which a writer's words correspond. Each of our truths must have a martyr.
Some more idle, arbitrary chatter:
back in the soulful days, when being cynical wasn't seen as a sign of intelligence, a rite of passage to an understanding of the world, a mark of maturity. That kind of whingeing fanaticism tires you, grates on your nerves. the hysterical frame of mind that sees evil, barbarians, everywhere. there's something northern about it, perhaps. slightly unhinged. wants to shatter everything-religion, the state, society, the very notion of truth- with a hammer, is in love with sickness and suffering, even as one harps on about health. Man (and not just man) is sick (and God isn't feeling too well either!). Killing someone is viewed as 'incivility'! What the fuck? All that is needed is one that see another person as a human being. Evidently not!
You don't think understanding is a revelation of an idea, but a meeting of it half way. What Hannah saw: those who think there is only the world, animal life, come to detest the world, want to escape from it, and from life itself. And yet Hannah, the Allama, aren't idols. No need to get so upset or defensive about them. He who follows Iqbal doesn't need to follow Iqbal.
Chatter. Yes, that's it! That's it precisely! Had this very same discussion with the dougal in the morning, over delicious German bread and honey with Lukas and Anjum. Hierarchy, the men in pointed hats, the 'knowers' and the experts. Kenneth Clark was perhaps right after all: they're often thick as swans. Knowing isn't everything. Why does this often go hand-in-hand with a contempt for ordinary things, for mere 'opinion'? The opposite of muddled thinking isn't the absence of thinking, but a different approach, a different notion of clarity, one that includes caritas. That's work, hard work for some..not a matter of wondering whether another person is human or not but, rather: how can you be more human. Right-seeing is also about seeing oneself clearly. Not a definitive image, but an approach, an exercise, an exploration.
anton, love your images and words to bits, and am in awe of your intelligence, but do let me finish a post first, dear one!