Thursday, July 06, 2006

Letter to a German acquaintance

Dear one,

Do no think my ideas on emotional pain are particularly wrecked or too much unwise (while they're yet not wise), I'm simply trying to arrive at an understand of the human condition from within itself a lot more honest to nature than contemporary philosophy does. I might as well certainly tell you philosophy has nothing to say about human beings for the most part, it only talks about irrelevant stuff like beings and worlds and philosophers, one quoting the other and so forth.

Then you would ask what I'm trying to do in this lonely profession and I do have an answer for you. It is a lonely profession only in the same that humanity is a very lonely thing and it doesn't necessarily have to do with philosophical discourse. The only reason for which I engaged in this dialogue regarding my views on emotions and human relations isn't because I hold this views to the so totally true, but only because they have a relevance in the world and I'm therefore biased and not worthy of attention by anyone in the academia.

My experiences with pain and guilt are not ordinary experiences, for they're rooted not only in the experiences themselves but in their eidetic value, not their idelogical or sociological value. Things I couldn't be less bothered about. I'm being by no means a maverick, since my assessment of such experiential eidos is also rooted in my contempt for the German philosophical tradition, the only tradition with which I feel there's any point to argue about. That's not because I'm an assimilated Jew or anything such, and in this regard I believe to have cleaned myself of the dangerous "cura posteriore" Hannah Arendt wrote to Mary McCarthy about. It is only because of a notion of pleasure. It's truely a "grey zone" for banal statements, but intellectually because I come from the background of the Classical Studies I could only enter the world of contemporary thinkers through Hoelderlin, Goethe and Schiller.

Had I been trained in the study of history or politics beforehand it's almost certain my thinking space would have shifted somewhere else, but that wasn't the case. In my opinion only the Germans understood the Greeks and valued them for what they truely were (all the way to Hitler), and that's the very reason for which one should drop altogether this silly polis-envy, put away the Classical books (at least all of the philosophers) and draw more from the Hebrew Bible. Not because I'm claiming the Bible is more Western than the Plato or Socrates but because it's a humanist text in the most authentic sense. This is the only reason for which it can become truely anti-humanistic. Not anti-human as was the political and social experiment of the Polis. Once unfruitful in France, it had already by proxy failed everywhere else, yet we are still too keen in founding all our forms of mutual coexistance in democracy rather than in discourse.

This discovery hasn't been the product of religious zeal, but rather of a journeying of 8 long years not unlike Abraham's in the most symbolic sense. I will agree that the plastic world is the most beautiful possible form of representation but it lacks enough depth as to rise itself beyond itself.

When I speak about my feelings and my lust I'm not being sincere in the sense that I haven't embraced so fully the humanity of the Bible myself and remain at the core of things partially a pagan worshipper. This is because my life is one of particularly extreme duality, in which my thinking is simply a struggle in between Hellas and Jerusalem. Do not forget that even though of Jewish birth I had embodied what it meant to be human in a Greek and German sense long before I took a glimpse of Judaism. I was a Greek before I became a Jew. In that sense I'm a truely Western man.

My fascination for the animality of love and intercourse in the pagan sense is only tamed by the guilt product of my humanity. For at the core I want to remain so absolutely human yet it's far from me. Unconsciously I want to be often reminded of the futility inherent to the enterprise, as not to be too confident in a world of security that has been for long shattered by hands of your and mine people.

I'm not a saddist or a masochist or anything like that, but I must confess that the idea of violence is in my opinion one of the most attractive. Simply because it's so contrary to the humanity embodied in Jewish Law and the contradiction often reminds me of my low place in the world, even once my talents have aided my way to enter the world at large. And you being a member of the German nation (regardless of your faith) my engagement (even if theoretical) in the enterprise of sin under your command seems to me as being far from intellectual. As a thinking person I happen to rejoice all the more in the banality of the whole thing, because it is the only reminder I have of the equal inequality per necessitas present in our human condition.

I'm not deliberately breaking the law, not at all. I'm simply entering a dangerous section of the experiential contentiousness... and as you accurately pointed out my only obstacle in between is not that of fear, but the burden of guilt which I so thoroughly enjoy. I've lost my fear a long time ago, but the price has been too dear at my early age, for I'm no longer able to experience the horizontality of youth in its authentic way... being rather outsider to my very own experience in a sense and in a sense not.

My acquaitance with the Midrash has shown me that there's not anything shameful or forbidden about a Platonic relationship between men, yet I'm afraid to say that when it comes to intimacy I'm only afraid of the guilt, not of the fear. Because the guilt reminds me every second that I'm no longer Greek, and that it's no longer an option. I have to strive for ethics that are beyond naturalistic approaches and social sciences. I wish my attractions were different not only in regard to gender but of nation. Yet I can't put myself to really enjoy the company of the natives, not because lack of enlightenment or education... it's simply a matter of political sensibilities and in that sense I'm so totally homeless. Reason for which you'll never really be able to penetrate the darkest corners of my spirit except by reading in between the lines of what I wrote. Just the same way in which I myself read the Bible.

I'm fond of the tragic because even when kitsch-full (something I dread) is honestly human, just like theatre or war. That's why I no longer enjoy myself in the comfort of perfect lovers and ideal relationships. Those do not express the poetic sense of madness present in the creation. Yet I do enjoy the company of the common people not because I can feel any superiority, but only because it can lead me into natural sin by means of innocent thoughtlessness and it is a lot less pained a road than with the artists, most of whom are humanists in the Greek sense. Therefore unprepared for my whole array of revolutionary ethics and freedom denial.

Weren't I to deny freedom this would be a lot easier, because I wouldn't wound up in Calvinist predestination or the atrophy of entropy. My guilt hurts specially because of my awareness, but it doesn't mean in any way that you shouldn't proceed with business as usual. You should read the Bible a little better to understand my mentality, but as far as this is far from feasible please do join me in this Feast of Fools. There's nothing sadder than comedy, and as far as I'm concerned earthliness is a big Eastern joke. I'm drawn to the independence of the foreigner in every place, it's become a helpless feeling. I want to escape being an animal in my private life, reason for which I feel compelled to the observance of Jewish Law. I don't want to make myself free, only unanimal.

If I would make myself free I would rise so high in the sly of experiences and emotions that I would lose my horizontality more than it's already forlorn... the vertigo would drown me in the mighty waters and my selfness would be lost. If I were a free man I would have no necessity to justify my craving for this unbalanced relationshis. I praise my lack of freedom in every step I take, it reminds me of a truth outside history and time. But it isn't so simply, I'm too rooted in Plato and Heidegger to achieve the lack of freedom I yearn for. I'm in a sense free, and that's why all this is possible.

A.

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