Sunday, July 09, 2006

השינא משקרת

Not an eventless day really.

Thinking deeply about Zelda's words, "hatred lies". In brief I could say that there's a lot more to be learnt from this pious poetry than from complicated text books on ethics and ontology, to be learnt about Torah of course. This really reminds me of Aristotle and his foe Heidegger, for they were very keen in insisting that the spirit of poetry was a lot closer to that essentiality of being than most of arts were. I read this fascinating paper by Heidegger called "Building Dwelling Thinking" in which he recalls how previously he said the nature of poetry is closer to the truth than the spirit of philosophy or the plastic arts is, because there's an unconcealment of thought foreign to the dynamics of other disciplines and forms of expression.

Truth here doesn't mean the "truth" in Aristotelian logic, namely opposed to falsehood. It's rather the "true" as something that equals being and revelation (the latter might be already a Heschelian idea). A truth that doesn't admit of those categories all too often found in Western thought. If this truth is to be found outside history (like the "ultimate mind" of Maimonides... a form of Jewish proto-Idealism obviously rooted in Aristotelianism) it could be part or end of a syllogism in which there're parts to the all. God can't be part of the world in the sense that his being "partial" would shatter his infinite atributes. He's indeed the world, but not in an Spinozistic sense.

It troubles me how in the Orthodox world the strive for truth is understood today; entirely as opposed to the "false". The Orthodox read into the text a sort of dogma whose root is totally a-historical, yet the only way to "access" the importance of engaging in this particular form of discourse is by historical questions firstly, and then by Aristotelian statements of truth and false; logic statements. That's why I'm faithful to Lessing.

I feel how I'm always engaged in human discourse not for the sake of the validity of truth or falsehood in the argument but because those arguments are of relevance in the world. I'm consciously biased and shattered by the darkness of the world. That's how in an almost Socratic fashion I enter all arguments with the only purpose not of expressing my view but of taking a side. Not a symbol of tolerance, in general I'm quite racist and elitist because my experience of the world has shaped me into a conservative thinker, who doesn't think in a conservative fashion. I'm aware of being entirely subjective in my understanding and reading of history, because it's the only possible way of reading history. The Protestant historicism of Biblical scholarship finds me in discomfort, for asking these questions about history is already a denial of history and human freedom. A quest for meaning based on history.

The object has no value other than its value in the world for whoever it is intended. In that sense I'm closer to the source of rabbinic thought (mystery or dogma, "kerygma"") than the Aristotelian forms of contemporary Orthodoxy.

That's precisely why the questions he asked me today found me in discomfort too, one doesn't really ask those questions but out of eschatological fear. A question that is more venomous than any possible deceive or treachery one might receive for an answer. That's why almost desirelessly I played the Sabina in hers and Franz' last encounter... and gave myself entirely knowing that this would be perhaps the last time I would let it happen. There was some tragic about it.

But I'm not sufficiently true to myself, in the sense that I'm still Greek and pagan and free. I can't be that true to myself, it would shatter humanity as I know it. There I return to my never-ending monologue on the nature of sin, in which I remain contemptuously Catholic.

It doesn't hurt that he lies, but it bewilders me. The first steep on the slope that leads to amazement, the most Platonic of all feelings.


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