|Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:43 am Post subject: Notions I (pertaining to the Genetic Circle)
|Since the kind members of the forum have allowed that I publish some things here, I take the liberty to go on thinking about the genetic circle, the start point of thought in its being-like exposure to thinking its way out of a cardboard box, so to speak. Today, the one thing I want to mention in passing, before the start, is that discussion is almost extinct in our universities. Whereas even in the time of Strauss there was still a kind of collegiate debate and fixing of camps, today everything is only a matter of vapid politeness and empty colloquies. So, the no-holds-barred of the forum is rather to be excused, and, indeed, commended. One must express one’s opinions in contradistinction to the ceremony that reigns in present day intellectual life.
By notions I understand something that is not even a concept, and only a primary musing. A musing which is concerned with essential matters, but not more than a musing.
(One must also not be too afraid of being regarded as mystical, or something like that. For one is guided by a supreme sobriety, which ventures more, under the smallest spot of perfection.)
Notions I (pertaining to the Genetic Circle):
The tone of the world, how to take it? The seriousness with which we take the issues we approach as thinkers is something like a mood. A mood is a way of being attentive. The tone in which problems of a ‘final aim’ in the things, in history, in what one is exposed to as one’s self, as one’s surroundings, is harlequin in its variegation.
The tone in which we tackle a problem is something like the way we reach out to it and first encounter it. We experience this tone only by the way, primarily we are absorbed in its normalcy. Or, better, in its naturalness. The tone is like the personality of the people we know. It is them. Yet tone is not rigid and changeless, rarely one becomes aware that tone is not natural. Tone can become the greatest of all problematic things to which one sets oneself the task of looking to with constant glance. One looks and looks, with the resolution that sees further than what is given in nature, as the way it is. The way it is mocks this look, finding it surprising, it fixes its forces of disdain upon such resolution. The resolution is only a pointing which brings the look to the ‘again and again’ of its thought that something is there to be won from tone.
The mood, although it goes beyond the self, seems to be one’s own mood. It comes and goes. But perhaps the tone is something different than the mood? In a subject matter their is something like a ranking. Already, in the thirties, I believe, the word in english, virtue, had become absurd, ridiculous. A new translation was suggested of the Greek arete, excellence, excelling, the supreme. The tone is more historial than the mere mood. The mood is a basic reaching out to the things from the bodily being, from the being that is bodily, from the hands and the things that take up what is there impromptu and without effort, with consideration as a kind of awareness, but with the felicity of what is known.
Tone is not the censure of those people who uphold the most normal, the most regular standards of the city or place of life. It is not the thing that hovers in the background like a taboo. It is not primarily a matter of the proper and improper, of the law abiding and the law breaking, or of the responsible and the feckless. It is almost no matter of praise and blame. It seems almost visable when pointed out, but it is occluded by the fact that there is nothing quite like what, e.g., virtue must have been in the ages when the higher clergy ruled the world with the sword. The age of the first Crusades for instance. I don’t imply that the matter is a matter of military power, but I want to say precisely, only pointing to that time, how was it with the sound of the word virtue then? Allow the notion that the power was connected to it, not only not stand in abeyance, as a hypothesis that haunts us, be put aside. For it is not first to be thought as a matter of social construction or anything like that. It was misleading to go to that age, speaking of martial power. Yet, such misleading paths can possibly be our guides, provisionally, when we can do no better, and when we keep harrowed glance at the danger, groping to find what is peculiar to the historiality, and to dispense with the conceit of social causality.
It can be seen that the way we are proceeding can only guide us if we feel our way, for we never have sensed this historiality properly yet. Mood which is itself sometimes more testy, and more fed up with the beings about it, has some kind of alternation, or transactions, with this tonality of historiality. These are only our gropings, and all that sustains them is the driving force of what we draw towards in the reaching out, by the thing that ‘nature’ suppresses like clockwork. The hegemony of regularity and the hypnotic power mock whatever is thoughtful. Thoughtfulness is what settles itself like a stone that the hypnotic flow of the routinization rushes over under the concealing name life. Life, nature, time. They all say the same thing. The cycles of the moon, the drifting of high clouds, the cold and the break of light that slowly dawns on one as an invisible space, as day. Between the high backdrop of azure, and the ground with its houses and useful things, trees and streets with their sidewalks, there stands a great invisible opening. But, again and again this can not be adequately taken up other than as life.
Because, already, there is the possibility of grasping what is necessarily grasped, the thinking of what comes open as the space of the invisible, since one must say something, space, we call it, and think space as what is there, it can be genetically taken up in another manner. What is considered is not necessary, except that it must be considered, but not in the manner in which it is considered. What is always coursing by as the possibility of slipping into the rush of the time, as if leaping into it newly prepared by what has been resolutely established in its consideration (but not deliberation, not higher reasoning), can always toss itself into the stream thus not changing it (not only, or as a primary reason for its manner of leaping) but in order to take up what is not yet there as the historicity ground, as the not only this or that animal, but the coming into ultimate transfigurations, as of inorganic matter in its first simple impulsive drive coming to grasp the sensorium and breaking into the art of considered existence, and coming over and above the world thus hatched from instinct and born out in the world of deliberation and decision into the unborn.
In fact, in such becoming lost in the ecstatic self-possibility, which it seems to me can not be treated as self fantasy but, in the light of what is must be taken seriously, one will have intoxicated oneself beyond the thought of the simple historicity. Still, such reflections must always be taken up, provided the discipline of the thinker does not get away from the thinker. One will then not lose oneself in the rushing over of the thoughtfulness as one does in the rushing over of the routinization of the natural. The natural which is perhaps a specific determination of the charging forward of the human cosmos or ordering of the space of the invisible.