Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Sunday, June 06, 2010
I am again fascinated with Rosenzweig, or actually I am fascinated by him for the first time really not only because of being both more and less ignorant about philosophy in general but because now I see him in a context much larger than that of the so-called Jewish Thinking, whatever that means. I feel inebriated no less than intoxicated by what philosophy might present us now, and I certainly know now that philosophy is not literature and also that metaphysics is not exactly what we might call philosophy today; at least not the kind of philosophy for which we all have been trained in our days. The fascination overlaps with frustration and fear; frustration at not living up to the demands of the discipline as a way of life and fear at the danger inherent to such an unmediated encounter with philosophy. There´re the universities and the classes, the professors and the academic papers – their office is rather priestly, not only they decipher the age-old encrypted glyphs of philosophy for us but they also produce the environment noise necessary to distract us from the concerns of the philosopher itself, making out of them an academic preparation or exercise for whenever we shall be faced and contrasted with the so-called higher truths that might never arrive. In my situation, sitting in this miser home without changing my clothes for days and without any other pretense than the deliberate possession of my own life, the study of metaphysics might be something much more dangerous than I had expected. I just hope I get the Jerusalem fellowship, then I wouldn´t feel so lonely in this crazy risky project of philosophy and then there would also the environment noise that would protect me from the merciless unmediated reality of thinking through. I remember when I read Rosenzweig back then in 2006, I think that I understood nothing so far, and I read the whole book even before I had actually met Eveline, I think while I was still at the yeshiva, lying on bed and avoiding by all means the bullshit non sense of the Talmudic digressions that only now I happen to appreciate but not too much understand. Perhaps the fact that I was so young and inexperienced with intellectual material protected me then from the great destructive and constructive potential of Rosenzweig´s work and now it becomes perfectly clear why someone like Sandra could have got so emotionally hurt by a prolonged reading of the Star; I am at the same risk if not higher now, but I can´t stop, I must go through all this, to do it alone and see where it goes from here.
Aristotle never called the “Metaphysics” by that name, for him it was either the principles of first philosophy or theology. The Christian danger becomes really so early, so much earlier than I had thought. This is going to hurt, to hurt to the core of the bone until it is strip of all the flesh and then the blazing and scorching is likely to continue for a while more. The coining of the word theology however hearkens back to Plato:
Hannah Arendt (What is Authority?) “No doubt Plato relied on popular beliefs, perhaps on Orphic and Pythagorean traditions, for his descriptions of an afterlife, just as the Church, almost a thousand years later, could choose freely which of the then prevalent beliefs and speculations she wanted to lay down as dogma and which to declare heretical. The distinction between Plato and his predecessors, whoever they may have been, was that he was the first to become aware of the enormous, strictly political potentiality inherent in such beliefs, just as the distinction between Augustine´s elaborate teachings about hell, purgatory, and paradise and the speculations of Origen or Clement of Alexandria was that he (and perhaps Tertullian before him) understood to what an extent these doctrines could be used as threats in this world, quite apart from their speculative value about a future life Nothing, indeed, is more suggestive in this context than that it was Plato who coined the word “theology”, for the passage in which the new world is used occurs again in a strictly political discussion, namely in The Republic, when the dialogue deals with the founding of cities. This new theological god is neither a living God nor the god of the philosophers nor a pagan divinity; he is a political device, “the measurement of measurements”, that is, the standard according to which cities may be founded and rules of behavior laid down for the multitude. Theology, moreover, teaches how to enforce these standards absolutely, even in cases when human justice seems at a loss, that is, in the case of crimes which escape punishment as well as in the case of those for which even the death sentence would not be adequate. For “the main thing” about the hereafter is, as Plato says explicitly, that “for every wrong men had done to anyone they suffered tenfold”. To be sure, Plato had no inkling of theology as we understand it, as the interpretation of God´s word whose sacrosanct text is the Bible; theology to him was part and parcel of “political sciences,” and specifically that part which taught the very few how to rule the many.
Plan for an appropriation of Rosenzweig in order to demonstrate the ambiguous nature of the so-called Jewish method of the Star (however theologically resilient and politically dangerous): The same structure of the Star – Element, Course and Configuration – the Elements are the empty conceptual notions of analytical philosophy to posit the problems of God, World and Man in the terms of classical metaphysics, not with the same terminology, but with the same independence of the mind from the world that most recent metaphysicians have begun to abhor; the Course is the historical excursus of the problem of Islam in Western thought all the day down to Hegel´s philosophy of history and therefore Rosenzweig´s and lastly The Configuration is the hardcore philosophical examination of Rosenzweig´s thought in relation to two very different interpretative positions, those of Benjamin (historical materialism) and Schmitt (political existentialism). What I don´t know is whether the final result is positive or negative as a matter of opinion, but my intuition tells me it´s going to be highly ambiguous.
From the Koran: Allah is in control of all events and can do anything that logically possible (Logic is a restriction Allah has placed upon himself to make the universe coherent)
In the Koran man and women were created, but they are not created in the likeness of God. Allah is not a Father.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Putnam on Rosenzweig: Could Rosenzweig really have supposed that the average German Jew of his time was in danger of becoming a convert to Hegelian metaphysics? But the answer is not really so hard to find. What philosophy represents here is not a technical subject at all, but a temptation to which all who think of themselves as religious may be subject at one time or another: the temptation to substitute words, especially words which have no religious content because they have no internal relation to a genuine religious life, for that kind of life.
Note: What Rosenzweig calls “the name” is perhaps that very notion which Benjamin posited as “giving names to things”; both of which might have influenced Arendt´s worldliness
Wittgenstein on Religion: It strikes me that a religious belief could only be something like a passionate commitment to a system of reference. Hence, although it´s belief, it´s really a way of living, or a way of assessing life. It´s passionately seizing hold of this interpretation. Instruction in a religious faith, therefore, would have to take the form of a portrayal, a description, of that system of reference, while at the same time being an appeal to conscience. And this combination would have to result in the pupil himself, of his own accord, passionately taking hold of the system of reference. It would be as though someone were first to let me see the hopelessness of my situation and then show me the means of rescue until, of my own accord, or not at any rate led to it by my instructor, I ran to it and grasped it.
Rosenzweig: We have wrestled with the fear to live, with the desire to step outside the current; now we may discover that reason´s illness was merely an attempt to elude death. Man, chilled in the full current of life, sees, like that famous Indian prince, death waiting for him. So he steps outside of life. If living means dying, he prefers not to live… It would be necessary (for the person who has succeeded in saying “nothing Jewish is alien to me”) to free himself from those stupid claims that would impose Juda-ism on him as a canon of definite, circumscribed “Jewish duties” (vulgar orthodoxy), or “Jewish tasks” (vulgar Zionism), or –God forbid- “Jewish ideas” (vulgar liberalism).
Putnam on Hegel/Rosenzweig: In “The Star of Redemption”, however, there is another aspect, one which disappears in the present book and, indeed, in almost all of Rosenzweig´s later writings. This aspect is far more Hegelian than Rosenzweig acknowledges; it seems to me to be the remnant of his former Hegelianism. It is the idea that two and only two religions –Judaism and Christianity- have genuine significance. Indeed, one may say that he grants these two religions metaphysical significance. The most unfortunate aspects of “The Star of Redemption” are, in fact, its polemical remarks about religions other than these two –its scorn for Islam, for Hinduism, and so on. What Rosenzweig does in the Star is retain the Hegelian idea of a “world historic” religion, arguing that Christianity is the world historic religion par excellence, the one fated to bring pagan mankind to theism, and invent a new and contrasting metaphysical dignity for Judaism –the dignity of being the only ahistoric religion, not ahistoric in the sense of never changing, but ahistoric in the sense that, in some metaphysical way, the changes are not real changes. In effect, it is as if there were an essence of Judaism which did not change, much as Rosenzweig would object to that formulation. In effect, the world-historic religion, Christianity, is a witness to the truth of the ahistoric Judaism.
Putnam on Rosenzweig: The dissolution of the world of experience in the process of consciousness (Idealism in general), the deduction of everything from thought and the ego (Fichte), the treatment of the thinking subject as something abstract (Kant), the disappearance of the unhappy consciousness in the dialectic of Reason (Hegel), are not viewed by Rosenzweig as merely philosophical errors but as a sickness of the whole man.
“Jewish” in Rosenzweig´s estimation: Insistence on the concrete situation; the importance of the spoken word and the dialogue; the experience of time and its rhythm and, in connection with it, the ability to wait; finally the profound significance of the name, human and divine.
Friday, June 04, 2010
I´ve been too exhausted for the last couple of days, sleeping for long hours and unable to rise from the thick slumber that I am overcome by, but then the results couldn´t be called exactly bad, because I am allowing myself that kind of weakness, that kind of “I am feeling myself and I might not be quite alright”, and sometimes when I awake from such periods of slumber I feel not exactly happy, but quite more prepared to face the world than when I simply let the days slip me by without getting enough sleep and accumulating despair with deprivation of sleep so that both could masterfully blend into that exhausting sleepless depression that I know very well and from which I suffered only a few weeks ago. For some strange reason, the month has started quite alright and I´m in no right to complain, or at least I´m in no mood to complain. I can´t help about being suspicious regarding the job offer but I have to go through with it and see where it leads, at the very least it will be a couple of hours out there in the world every day, which is always better than the confinement inside the bitterness and total lack of confidence in the world that there bitches seem to have. I´ve always thought that I´m a very negative person and that somehow it´s my selling line, however I discover how far from the truth that is, and perhaps it has to do with the fact that I don´t have to cook and clean and half-starve everyday but still… I´ve been through things much worse than just the fickleness of misery: Picking food from the neighbor´s disposals, walking around markets at night fishing for potatoes to boil and stealing grapes from the supermarket. But this is what there´s, them and I, and I certainly have some reasons to rejoice even if only on the surface, even if what underlies the whole event is something immensely sad and unbearable, some reality to which I´m always turning a blind eye, even if this is so, well, you can´t wholly abandon the idea of beauty in the world without forsaking the possibility of truth. Yesterday it was bizarre to go into the city, to ride on the buses and have all that patience to wait for the traffic to clear up, in a different day I would´ve found it just too painful to bear and while I´m not quite starving I feel that my lack of “self-funding” can only serve to exaggerate my own sense of stagnation and alienation, particularly when the reality of the material world is presented to you in a fashion as weak and miser as in this poor stupid country. You might well succeed or you might well not, so I don´t think it makes too much of a difference in either case, as long as you try. It seems to me like a lot of time to wait for another four weeks to hear back from Jerusalem and Nottingham and even though I´m sort of optimistic, I´m also prepared for the worst; I would like to think it is completely unlikely that they say no to my over worded proposals but I know that kind of people; it is not the great intellectuals who peruse the stuff and make the decisions but most likely some dull illiterate bureaucrat that might even have a Ph.D. degree and call himself professor, not for that reason he would be made into a thinker the same way the frog is made into the prince. For some reason I thought about Gabi Motzkin because he wears always those stupid ghetto-Jew neckties that one as a member of the Judenrat, would wear in order to go and negotiate a few Jews with the Nazis; that´s as inspiring as the neckties get. However this is wrong impression because Gabi is one of those bureaucrats and self-proclaim whatever’s, but he´s a very great man of letters even though I can´t get myself to like him that much, especially after the scandalous correspondence with Mara. I don´t get why a place like the academia has to pry so much into the lives of the others, as if it would diminish or maximize the potential of their intellectual work, it is that kind of little town gossip in the no man´s land where there´s no other entertainment. I remember this from Efraim as well, who would comment the pettiest details about the lives of his colleagues and at the same time was freaking out each time he would even imagine for the slightest fraction of a second that his colleagues would find out about his homosexuality. My case would be a little different if you may! Only because what I´m hiding is not just a gossipy story about something but a dark past I don´t know so much about and a lot, a lot of misdeeds committed against a lot of people. But they shall never know, it´s too humongous to be dealt with from the academia of course, at best they blush with the slightest hint to someone´s promiscuity so I don´t even get to imagine what they would make out of my life. I guess the prying nature of academics perhaps has to do with the fact of realizing that what one´s doing is really not so important: Too many professors and too few thinkers. Then it makes perfect sense in a wicked manner: Why then would someone like Efraim not actually be an intellectual in the most radical and other-worldly sense and why would someone like Sandra not actually be a full-fledged professor full of speeches and pedagogic maneuvers? The explanations for this are completely self-evident: Efraim calls himself a “sober historian of intellectual ideas” which is such a misnomer because can there be anything sober about history or about ideas? There´s nothing more tragic, inebriated and disrupted than history and ideas; you could be sober about fabric for clothes and dishware even, sober about shoes and about casual sex, sober about the traffic and about building a house, but God, sober about history? A sober historian? I believe that historians are suffering so much more from diremption than philosophers do, because philosophy at least is always looking at the same blank spot in the wide cosmos – eternity or the lack thereof, it is a struggle but a constant one; history however doesn´t have any blank spots, just buckets of blood and glory being spilled at each other time after time, the blood blends with the glory and the glory sucks from the blood as if it were a toddler. That´s as sober as history can get. On the other hand it is pointless to speak about Sandra because there´s so little I could add to her great sense of scholarship and life, to her amazing thoughts that burst out in the world as boiling water coming out of a geyser on a morning in the summer. I think she´s the model upon which the idea of the philosophical radical must be shaped, and not the all too fashionable talk of academics, so radical in themselves as to choose between a morning Marxism and an evening debauchery of prostitutes, cafés and champagne in which they of course can spot no antinomy whatsoever, they´re after all only “paid employees” in the bureaucracy of higher education. “I only did what I had to do” – that sounds like a typical statement from a professor of political science – regardless of the kind of political regime he happens to live in, it can resound anywhere from Weimar to Damascus. It is as if antinomies are only spotted from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday through Friday. If that´s what they call philosophy nowadays, well, I guess I am so much not a philosopher. The profession should instead be called “part-time technical writer of academic papers” and then what would be the odds to find this kind of contradictions in the inner dynamics of one´s life? None at all really, everyone would be clear about the facts in advance. Not that prostitutes, cafés and champagne is a bad thing, but why then to preach so much intellectual sobriety as if there were such a thing as being intellectually sober? Isn´t this kind of Aristotelian sobriety the most resolute renunciation to the gifts of worldliness? It´s not a philosophical attitude but merely the theological (but so completely prosaic, un-poetic and epistemologically formatted) resignation to a consolation that such philosophy can´t offer to anyone without having previously sacrificed experience and truth
I am wondering now if you could write a philosophy of history without excluding yourself to the vantage point of the spectator of a puppet show. I think perhaps this kind of philosophy of history is called monotheism but comes at the incredibly high price of sacrificing personhood for the sake of an otherness to total as to be completely distinguishable from God´s and the world´s.
Saint Paul: ο νυν καιρος (the univocal source for the Benjaminean «Jetztzeit”)
Agamben on Gossip: This does not mean that gossip cannot be interesting; on the contrary, to the extent that it entertains a nontrivial relation to truth that eludes the problem of verification and falsification and claims to be closer to truth than factual adequation, gossip is certainly a form of art. The peculiarity of its epistemological status lies in the fact that in itself it accounts for the possibility of an error that does not entirely undermine the definition of truth. Intelligent gossip therefore interests us independently of its veritable character. That said, to treat gossip as though it were information is truly an unforgivable lack of refinement.
Pauline use of the Greek word for slave: In tracing out the semantic history of the term doulos, the New Testament lexicons habitually contrast the predominantly juridical meaning that the term acquired in the classical world –which technically refers to the slave inasmuch as he is subjected to the power of the dominus-depotes (if the Greeks wanted to stress the generic relation of a slave´s belonging to the oikos of his owner they would use the term oiketes) –to the markedly religious connotation that the corresponding Hebrew word ebed (like the Arabic abd) acquires in the Semitic world. The opposition does not aid our understanding of how doulos is used technically in the Pauline text, for, in Paul, doulos refers to a profane juridical condition and at the same time refers to the transformation that this condition undergoes in its relation to the messianic event.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
A lot of achievements: Finished my application to Nottingham and the application for the Rosenzweig Fellowship and was offered a job. In four weeks life will begin to clear up. What should I do then? Rest! Not really, I need to make some money to begin life again, to take pleasure in the present, more than anything it is time to begin reading Kant.
Zizek: God is nothing but his own revelation to us
I have no reason to feel contented at all, yet I do… As if I stood at the threshold of something like an ontology of peace, I feel contented at the fact that I don´t understand philosophy at all, as it were, thinking that my only duty is not to understand it. The current sleeplessness doesn´t quite stem from pain but from an anxious waiting to see whether I will be able to see Jerusalem again, that could count more than anything else. I can´t explain this, because it is not the contentment of appeasement or the mediocrity of complacency; I am alone living in this horrible house and surrounded by this horrible people, I have no money or any travelling plans at the grip of my hand as of today, I only have one denim and three unwashed pullovers, I spent all day reading books and trying to live somehow even when the thick afternoon sleep distracts me from all the important tasks of philosophy, I find no sexual gratification whatsoever let alone love, yet I do feel contented with the present, with life, it is all so very odd. Something tells me that my three master plans will work out nicely: First Jerusalem, then Iceland and at last Nottingham, and I don´t know why, I just feel it, and that´s the bad part because usually when I feel something it tends to fall apart just from within. Too much hope held up in the nothingness of a void and then followed by the silent disappointment of my despair looking for better plans. This time though, I need to settle for something. I am thinking of Mara, every day, I think I should write her, but then with her I could never know what can come up… Anyway she´s so different from what I am, from what Katherina and me are, but well she´s a mother, a Jew, a philosopher, she must understand something and I owe up to her so much.
I remember Eveline talking about Gillian Rose. Eveline is such a wonderful character, such a diva, an actress with all the powers that be. She told me that had she met Gillian Rose, she would have persuaded her to move away from her subjacent temptation toward Christianity, as if it were, that we spoke about a vendor at the market who wore the wrong clothes. That´s how Eveline is
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Jacques-Alain Miller: “There is a modern form of the story which transforms this structure by omitting the surprise finale without closing the structure of the story, which leaves a trace of a narrative, and the tension of the two stories is never resolved. This is what one considers as being properly modern: the subtraction of the final anchoring point which allows the two stories to continue in an unresolved tension.
Aesthetic choices: In case I am struck with a fatal illness, I will refuse treatment. It is a way to deal with the cynicism of time.
Note on Zizek: Whoever posits Hegelian dialectics in equations, algebraically, has missed the whole point of the Phenomenology.
From Hegel´s Philosophy of History: “If we consider Christ only in reference to his talents, his character and his morality, as a teacher, etc., we are putting him on the same place as Socrates and others, even if we place him higher from the moral point of view… If Christ is only taken as an exceptionally fine individual, even as one without sin, then we are ignoring the representation of the speculative idea, its absolute truth”
Note on Ratzinger: If Christianity´s view of God is that he is intrinsically lined to reason (the Greek concept of Logos) and Islam´s view of that God is absolutely transcendent: God´s will is not bound up with any of established categories, not even that of rationality – then are we not in an age of Islamic theology then?
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Nietzsche: To breed an animal which is able to make promises – is that not precisely the paradoxical task which nature has set herself with regard to humankind? Is it not the real problem of mankind?
Zizek: This distinction between essence and its hypostases is crucial for the Orthodox notion of the human person, because it takes place also in the created/fallen universe. Person is not the same as individual: as an “individual”, I am defined by my particular nature, by my natural properties, my physical and psychic qualities. I am here as part of substantial reality, and what I am I am at the expense of others, demanding my share of reality. But this is not what makes me a unique person, the unfathomable abyss of “myself”. No matter how much I look into my own properties, even the most spiritual ones, I will never find a feature that makes me a person:
Lossky (“In the Image and Likeness of God”): “person” signifies the irreducibility of man to his nature – “irreducibility” and not “something irreducible” or “something which makes man irreducible to his nature” precisely because it cannot be a question here of “something” distinct from “another nature” but of someone who is distinct from his own nature”.
The key question here is: how does the distinction between essence and its manifestation (energy, economy) relate to the distinction between essence (qua substantial nature) and person, between ousia and hypostasis (in Hegelese, to the distinction between substance and subject)?
Theology via negativa: approaching God through negating all predicates accessible to us, and thus asserting his absolute transcendence.
Zizek: Jewish joke loved by Derrida: There is an old Jewish joke, loved by Derrida, about a group of Jews in a synagogue, publicly admitting their nullity in the eyes of God. First, a rabbi stands up and says: “O God, I know I am worthless, I am nothing!” After he has finished, a rich businessman stands up and says, beating himself on the chest: “O God, I am also worthless, obsessed with material wealth, I am nothing!” After this spectacle, a poor ordinary Jew also stands up and also proclaims: “O God, I am nothing. . . .” The rich businessman kicks the rabbi and whispers in his ear with scorn: “What insolence! Who is that guy who dares to claim that he is nothing too!”
Zizek: Peter Sloterdijk was right to notice how every atheism bears the mark of the religion out of which it grew through its negation: there is a specifically Jewish Enlightenment atheism practiced by great Jewish figures from Spinoza to Freud; there is the protestant atheism of authentic responsibility and assuming one´s fate through anxious awareness that there is no eternal guarantee of success (from Frederick the Great to Heidegger in Sein und Zeit); there is a Catholic atheism á la Maurras, there is a Muslim atheism (Muslims have a wonderful word for atheists: it means “those who believe in nothing”), and so on. Insofar as religions remain religions, there is no ecumenical peace between then – such a peace can develop only through their atheist doubles. Christianity, however, is an exception here: it enacts the reflexive reversal of atheist doubt into God himself.
Hegel (Faith & Knowledge): After its battle with religion the best reason could manage was to take a look at itself and come to self-awareness. Reason, having in this way become mere intellect, acknowledges its own nothing by placing that which is better than it in a faith outside and above itself, as a Beyond to be believed in. This is what has happened in the philosophies of Kant, Jacobi and Fichte. Philosophy has made itself the handmaiden of a faith once more.
Zizek: It is the very excessive-possessive nature of male desire, which makes it destructive of its object – (male) love is murder, as Otto Weininger knew long ago.
Another month begins, more like another year or another life. Maybe at last I will be able to walk through the streets of Bogotá again and not feel like I am going to get killed or running away from the mistakes I made myself. Mathilde should be now in France and everything that my life was at the time is now forgotten; it is only a little bit sorry a situation that it includes all my books and my clothes. I can get new ones whenever the opportunity arise, what I can´t get new is the year that passed during which I did nothing but suffering, and the lovelessness it had. I have begun a moment where there´s a lot more concretion: I´ve set my mind upon theology even though I know it´s so extra limiting but people have to earn their bread, theology is not an enemy or an “other” or a somebody; it is the conceptual opposition of ontological belief. I am still exhausted but I feel so much less exhausted than I used to be all through the previous two or three years. I shouldn´t be sorry too much about time, perhaps it is now that happiness could start, even if it is a happiness that cleaves toward the grave. Josh clarified to me something very important: The whole point of our Talmudic theology was to keep Jews from intermarriage, the Merryl Streep theology. That´s why they couldn´t handle Rosenzweig and Levinas, thus I could begin to think objectively that they are as misled and contemptible as the Christians of the same generation, by no means all Jews, only those who stayed behind the panes of oblivion and indifference. There´s so much you couldn´t learn in the yeshiva, so said Josh, and he is right: You couldn´t learn about religion, history, the holy languages, the Bible. I would insist upon the point that we did learn a methodology but without content whatsoever or a clue of what we´re supposed to do with it. I keep thinking about Judaism all the time and I would like to line out a system that doesn´t contain the word Jew, the same way that the Bible or Rosenzweig wouldn´t. I´m so glad not to know what I want to do in life, there´s so much I can yet try. Life will be somewhat paralyzed for the whole month until I know whether I will be able to land in Jerusalem once again or if I should just proceed with life as if nothing happened, but I´m hopeful for Jerusalem, I think I can make it happen, I am ready. This time will be so much more radical than anything else before because I might not have to starve, so I will have enough time to live this beautiful life and to love many men and to see many nights in the East, to be a parvenu and also a homeless little man. I wonder if Jerusalem remembers me, there are just too many people who have failed to meet to her demands so that she might not recall them very well.
The Neo-Kantian avoidance of ontological questions is necessarily ambiguous: Idealistic and Materialistic.
Zizek on Hegel: “In this sense, the post-Hegelian turn to concrete reality, irreducible to notional mediation, should rather be read a desperate posthumous revenge of metaphysics, as an attempt to reinstall metaphysics, albeit in the inverted form of concrete reality”.
Why not Germany or Austria? Am I being weak or just plain realistic? Am I able to tell the Christians that I am a Catholic in order to get a scholarship? Of course I am, I want to go to Trumau not only because of the school as such, I want to stroll in the wineries with beautiful gentlemen and to have the president of the Jewish community ask me out for dinner. It seems that still at this age I keep dreaming that everything is still possible. Yes, I can lie about my religion but I am not as delusional as to believe what I say. If anything I envision a secular world, even if it´s not the kind of world in which I might want to live in, not at all. Maybe I am still too young to obtain from life what I´m demanding, especially on the personal level, but I hope that by the time it arrives I will be still virile enough to take pleasure in it, but if Konstantin could, there´s no reason why I couldn´t. I have to write to the ITI tomorrow anyway, I wouldn´t be missing much if I get or don´t get an answer from them, you just have to make sure that you tried everything. But then since it is already June it would be a relief to know I could as well get to Jerusalem on January, that if I didn´t have to wait a full month to hear whether I will get the fellowship or not and in case I don´t, well, then it´s going to be a hell of a long year. I´ve set my mind on Nottingham, but I will try all the other schools because at this point I should know that anything that shall arise, has been heaven-sent, especially as a imprecation for those of us who don´t believe in heaven or hell when we sleep with our beloved ones and make love to them, whilst still praise to the non-god god whenever we want to get academic fellowships to go to Jerusalem. My view of things is definitely Jewish, but my theology is still Christian and not even Enlightenment Christian, just plain pietistic. But this is not something that worries me now; the only important thing is to actually do one´s work, to have a work to show for oneself, even a work you´re not happy about it. The deadline for the fellowship has closed and I turned in everything, now a month of torture until the final decision and it is important to wait because it is my first fellowship application. This weekend a soirée with Sandra and Milena, next weekend hopefully off to the countryside for a whole week I hope. I will have to bring a lot of tuna and alcohol perhaps. I want to see again what the nature actually is. Perhaps it will be a great place to read Hegel and Schelling. Not Kant, Kant I must read from tomorrow. In the city, over coffee and horns and cigarettes, from the first moment on I knew I´d hate Kant.