matter & desire
by Andreas Weber 2014.. english translations 2017
nature is on the inside – paul cézanne.. t
forward – john elder
politics and tech of course have important roles to play in responding to our present environmental catastrophe. but more fundamental are the values that motivate individuals and societies to adopt more just, generous and compassionate practices.. transcend a narrow understanding of self-interest. as weber illustrates and discusses… such motivation can germinate within the ‘web of mutual transformations and deeply meaningful encounters that are always embodied.
weber describes love as ‘the principle of a fulfilling equilibrium between the individual and the whole’
books original title in german lebendigkeit or aliveness
goal of book: investigate principles of reality we can experience.. but thru a science of the heart..
impetus – is the conviction that we are currently neglecting reality because our efforts to describe/understand the world are directed away from the experience of being alive and being in relationship.. in other words: we consider the practice of love a private matter, rather than an instrument of knowledge..
the drive desire and longing for attachment and autonomy is foundational: essential in order to perceive, to continue, and to unfold
we long to connect with an other – be it word, skin, food, or air – in order to become ourselves..
from this vantage point.. might be able to give back to the world what it has most painfully been lacking – the experience of aliveness..
life is a constant, creative transition from controlled situations to new openings that cannot be controlled.
a successful attachment always has two sides: living w/o fear, and learning to die courageously
prelude – the carrying capacity of air
it could be that the planet is not actually suffering from either an environmental crisis or an economic one. instead, it could be that the earth is currently suffering from a shortage of our love..
this is the fundamental thesis of erotic ecology: to understand love we must understand life. to be able to love , as subjects w feeling bodies we must be able to be alive. to be allowed to be fully alive is to be loved. to allow oneself to be fully enlivened is to love oneself – and at the same time, ti love the creative world, which is principally and profoundly alive.
anyone who dismisses love cannot understand reality..
love is a practice of enlivenment
i understand life because i’m living
joy is the sign of love; and love is the principle of a fulfilling equilibrium between the individual and the whole.
the erotic manifests as that force that causes beings to inexhaustibly seek this equilibrium, to fail at that seeking, to neglect it, to temporarily achieve it. the power of the erotic suffuses the biosphere w life and..
imbues its members w the stamina to look – w new verve every day -..t
for fruition, fulfillment, and joy.
the energy we’re missing.. the kind that naturally ongoingly regenerates
picture will only be complete when the biological description of reality is expanded to become an ‘ecology of love’
but this biology can no longer be the ‘mechanics of the heart’ that the natural sciences still gladly offer up. it must be a practice of lived and fully experienced life.. it must recognize that every being is in a state of ongoing transformation, constantly struggling to unfold itself.
love is not a feeling, but the characteristic of a productive relationship. failing to understand this is our great error in a time when all of us are chasing love as a life goal, but finding only an extraordinary lack of love.. a world in which love exists in fantasies but has no actual potency loses the ability to facil fair negotiations, bestow meaning, or produce anything other than purely monetary wealth..
finding an equilibrium between one’s own interests and those of others is the heart of love..
an ecological view of love.. believes that all essential things have already been given but can only be enjoyed if they are shared by all..t
all of us ness
the birds’ infectious happiness is their trust in the air’s capacity to carry them, the air’s power to be void and thereby to support
huge.. this is what i see as the fine line of interpretive labor i touched on in work deck.. and what i learned/witnessed/practiced about/from unschooling moms.. to be there fully (at beckon call.. listening deeply).. but to be void (doing own thing.. not coercing..directing.. just modeling being/living) .. so that the kid/bird/whatever is supported in their being/becoming eudaimonia..ness
part 1 – i
1 – touch
every life-form is the successor of an unbroken catenation of life reaching back to the earliest forms of self-org
all matter, including myself, can only be understood as the experience of being in relationship
but we do not need quantum physicists to understand this.. that is the exciting thing. all we need is a path to the outdoors.. a walk by a swiftly flowing river.. to inhale deeply, letting the surroundings fill our lungs
the world is not an aggregation of things, but rather a symphony of relationships between many participants that are altered by the interaction..t
2 – desire
when you immerse yourself in the natural world, you wander a little thru the landscape of your soul..t
reason i jump – autistics to lead the way – Naoki
no being is purely individual; nothing comprises only itself. everything is composed of foreign cells, foreign symbionts (either of two unlike organisms live together.. symbiosis), foreign thoughts. .. being alive means participating in permanent community and continually reinventing oneself as part of an immeasurable network of relationships..t
if you hear the quiet rustle of the wind in the grass, you recall , deep w/in your body, that you are not a solid, constant individual..
on top of our 10 bn body cell.. 100bn microbial cells play a role in our metabolism.. patients w a tendency toward obesity have particularly efficient bacteria. from a bit o f cracker they are able to extract all of the nourishment that simply slides unabsorbed thru the digestive tract of slender types..
could a persons happiness depend on his/her bugs? it’s possible – birren
we are literally, physically, a part of the landscape..the moment we take sustenance from it, we enfold it and its inhabitants into our bodies..
every being is so deeply rooted in others that it is never identical w itself in the final analysis – its essence comprises far more what it is not..t
one of our sensory organs.. (ie: meadow part of your body) we would not otherwise understand properly, certainly not now, in this age of competition, of forced individualization, of lone warriors battling..t
every ecosystem – both outside and inside in our body – vividly illustrates that this biological reality is not composed of blind ‘deterministic’ chains of commands, but results from the cooperation of a myriad of intractable actors, each of them following its own bliss, yet only to he extent that it does not damage the greater whole..t
the world of biology is more like a wild playing field w anarchic elements, where the rules of creative togetherness are constantly being renegotiated
4 principles of attachment: 1\ touch (drawn to each other) 2\ freedom (diversity in whole) 3\ gift (nothing owned) 4\ sharing (one – we)
brain is an organ that reflects the world by simultaneously making itself into a part of this world.. mind is an ecological phenom.. the result of a collective dance..
the inmost core of an organism is thereby composed of a striving to maintain its own wholeness, rather than disintegrating into individual fragments of matter. .. we know the life wish from within..
feeling thus becomes the physics of the organic world.. we see the outside of what we experience as value, meaning, and feeling ‘inside’ – in our souls..
if we could just get quiet enough.. for that..holmgren indigenous law
the natural world is consequently more than just a reflection of soul. filled to the brim w life and striving, it is a psyche whose outside gives us access to our inside.
seeing in plants/animals the outside of an inwardly felt aliveness is the only way we experience what it means to be alive… we can only understand by participating..
the erotic of sharing is thus not only a longing for nearness. it is also the shock caused by this nearness – a shock at how it prompts the response of an other, in whose eyes i read: i am at home with you… a pre req for our own identity..t
3 – death
metabolism – greek – throwing over.. in order for a life form to be able to experience something, everything must be overthrown – in its body and in what it ingests… cell must die in order to live
so metabolism means: i subsist on what becomes my body, and i exhale into the air what was my body… i die constantly and transform myself into what the plants inhale.. we all share in the great body of matter and pass thru one another reciprocally… life is touch in a much deeper sense than just touching skin to skin, colliding against foreign masses: it is touch as penetration of one by another. the existence of each one of us… depends solely on the mutual relatedness manifested in this exchange..
and this exchange only becomes possible if each body does not remain materially the same..t
this is precisely why it is wrong to compare a life form with a machine: a machine does not metabolize..t
hans jonas: who we are is defined by our individual desire to become, to grow, to unfold, and to declare ourselves. life is a process in which an identity generates itself.. but this identity resides not in matter, but in the desire with which it births itself in each new moment.. what composes us is a gesture, an act, a wish: the wish to continue existing…
and this wish is precisely the opposite of matter, which is always striving for its final resting place. the desire for existence, which we can only realize thru a substance that is continually seeking to escape this desire, is the deepest contradiction of living.
death is unavoidable, but only death makes the world legible. and this language, written in desiring, breakable bodies, is understood by all beings equally. the death that awaits us all is the only thing that makes this world in to a collective affair. metabolism transforms matter w/in our collective body. and its vulnerability forges us together into a collective spirit
this.. enlivens us: the ancient urge, freshly born in childish grace to be oneself, to express oneself, and to feel the whole pulsing thru one’s veins. the erotic of ecological connectedness can actually be felt. it is what a being senses first and foremost when it opens its eyes to this world of creative desire and imminent demis.e it is the life impulse that makes every heart beat more rapidly.
i hear naoki
the root of humanly caused evil is not man’s animal nature, not territorial aggression, or innate selfishness, but our need to gain self-esteem, .. t deny your mortality, and achieve a heroic self-image..
what makes life into a site of dying, a site where birth no longer takes place, is solely our denial of the fact that death is a necessary part of life..
it includes every little death of parting, of uncertainty, of nakedness, of helplessness and defenselessness… it is every moment in which i am not in control to allow another the chance to speak – every moment i go w/o in order to bestow my share upon another.. death comprises what i require for life, but am not.. just as cells can only survive by casting off their substance and building themselves anew in every moment out of the flesh of other beings.. cultivating death in all of their actions…
do what must be done to make a place for life regardless of what the consequences might be to yourself – muir
acceptance means being able to do two things: be present in the here and now and work for change w all your power.. a living organism does precisely this: it attends to the current moment, completely in the now, but it does so only by continuously getting away from the matter that had composed it a moment before…t
this.. the ethics of a practice of being wild, of being a living thing…t
for rank as well as reich, modern humanity’s widespread refusal to surrender anxious self-defense in favor of aliveness )(both one’s own and others’) is the true cause of evil… the ‘armored’ person is the problem,.. t
the person who is not open to hers, who does not actually want life as such (life that includes death), but places his/her own survival above all else,
unlike freud, rand does not believe that the reason for psychological suffering lies in our repressed sexuality – no, it is in our repressed aliveness..
in our fearful deafness to the voice of reality that demands we accept death in every moment and risk it for the sake of life. not necessarily bodily death, but certainly the death of the brusquely independent and manipulatively controlling ego that conceives of the world not as a locale emerging from the relationship between creative novelty and unimagined identity, but as a war zone in which there can only be one victor and a host of losers..
self-interest, egocentrism, avoidance of genuine closeness, manipulation and control, exploitation of the weak, basking in glow of self-importance, inability to be alone in our clamorous culture.. – all of the characteristic we id as the symptoms of our own and others’ neuroses are caused, in rank’s eyes, by the fact that we seek to protect the i from all forms of transformation and openness to others, no matter the cost..
all of life is a creative process in which a sensitive id can only develop by opening itself constantly to new things and thereby continuously giving up a little part of its self.
for rank- emotional suffering that seeks a scapegoat is not a sickness that must be treated in therapy, but a form of misconduct that a mature person can put aside, having gained insight into what must be done. tis is precisely the form of maturity that our culture so desperately needs now,.. during this orgy of self-aggrandizement.
we do not have an inborn mastery of death. and we thoroughly teach our children to forget the little part of death that they can already master – or better yet, the part they already know.. learning death as an emotional attitude would thus be the task of our culture – as it once was in some cultures..
the surrender of one’s own goals to the cause of aliveness as such..
the complete obsession w deep inner goals and the complete surrender to the purposes of life as a whole.. both combined in paradoxical unity.. can leave fearful death behind and turn it into a tool of productivity.
a crystal ball in which the facets of existence are wordlessly interconnected
yet in our epoch there is hardly an imaginative infrastructure n place for such thought
accepting the terms of life means recognizing that only we can support one another in this misery. that..
this is the only way that love will find its way to us – when we do not look to it for protection from loneliness and death..t
ignoring our own suffering caused others to suffer.. attacking the brokenness of the world at the root leads to violence and oppression.. at same time.. must do everything we can to save life form unavoidable destruction, no matter the price.. how can these paradoxes be resolved? the answer lies in the radiance with which you greet my presence, because it gifts to you a share of aliveness that, echoed in your gaze, welcomes me.. answer lies in your eyes..
part 2 – you
4 – transformation
every separation is a link – simone weil..t
everything changes when we engage w it in emotional contact. no encounter leaves us the same. we cannot be neutral. we are always already swept up. . we are never the same from one second to the next.. we are constantly becoming – and the place in which we live changes along with us
but then i understood that she was still gold herself and that she didn’t need to understand all of that – she needed just to be it
all perception is a form of being touched.. and all touch is metamorphosis..
in the plant we see something that spontaneously promises life. in the luminance of its blooms we encounter a reflection of the sunlight, and appearance of potentiality made thing which is the paradox of creation itself: the paradox that,
in order finally to become itself, nothing may remain as it is..t
meaning is the result of the translation of a material outer world into a meaningful inner world. we experience this inner world as feeling (outer as touch?). feeling is transformation, the transformation of another’s presence into one’s own experience. feeling means becoming another person because of another person. feeling means that one piece of the world ‘folds in’ another, calling forth an order that contains both and neither, because it is something altogether different..
every measurement alters what it measures.. t
people weighed and measured – heather marsh
emotional experiences can cause the conditions of our dna to change.. and this alteration will then be passed on to our descendants, just as traumatized people bring children into the world who themselves show traces of similar shocking experiences and who have a greater tendency toward fear and uncertainty written into their genes.. the outside is translated into the inside and then reinscribed – a magical echo chamber, a cabinet of mirrors in which nothing escapes and new pictures are constantly drawn..
poetry – an expression that conceives the world verbally or artistically, but not thru explanations – is the appropriate instrument for experiencing the erotic ..(and embodied experience of being on the earth)…t
poetry is the logic of the organic world it is the only means by which ‘life recognizes other life’.. albert schweitzer recognized as deepest core of sympathetic relationships w other beings; that we are ‘life that want to live, in the midst of life that wants to live’
poetic experience is always bound up with the body
the syllogism in grass (gregory bateson) enable objectivity, but this objectivity is not rational – it is indebted to our common participation in the living network. at the same time, it is subjective – subjective objectivity in a world in which subjects are the rule. since we are all part of a creative, enlivened world, this subjective objectivity is perhaps entirely appropriate.
it does not underhandedly deny life by seeking to explain it..t
from pablo neruda poem: i want to go back to being what i haven’t been
the logic of poetry ahs yet another distinctive feature: it is not true. it is false. people are not grass. . not just imprecise, quite clearly incorrect.. to be more exact: the poetic argument is precise and false.. indeed..
it is only precise because it is false..
the poetic experience of the world is precise and false for the same reason that every life form is both itself and – at its deepest core where matter simply flows thru it – not itself, but its own death
poetic precision, which alway emerges from contradiction, is the basic magic of life..it unleashes the imaginative power by which something simultaneously is and is also its opposite..
art alone extensively comprehends wildness w/o controlling it. poetry alone realizes our aliveness w/o fixing a defn of it. this is why art is important to life – because it manages the uncontrollable w/in us w/out threatening to turn us into machines, w/o causing us to lose our aliveness.. t
theodor w adorno: art – at least, living art – does not imitate nature; it works like, or rather as, nature. it is an instrument and an embodiment of the wild. it transforms us by lending voice to the drive for transformation out of the ‘creative void’.. poetic creation is not the copy of the world’s creativity, but its central power
language doubles everything it names and thereby intros an incompatibility into the world..
a nervous system only functions because it is contradictory.. this logic of contradiction is poetic logic. nervous systems can only be comprehensively described according to poetic logic, although they can be neither defined nor designed by it..
i forge creative meaning only thru the uncertainty of my self-assertion.. the whole truth remains unutterable..
to be alive is to surrender to he reality of a bodily existence that is never truly at peace and that gives birth to poetry and beauty out of this uncertainty. this requires the courage to no longer hide behind the illusion of immaculateness..
uncertainty is therefore our more significant relational organ, the necessary precondition for our ability to establish bonds w other beings and w other people..t
every relationship is a collision that alters things irrevocably – and precisely this, this transformation of the self, signifies knowledge..
derrida: the accident alone, the touch as deformation, is what establishes a connection with reality..touch experienced thru the other is the simultaneous experience of a self-reassurance and a wound
krishnamurti: observing without judging is the highest form of human intelligence..t
which makes possible all forms of transformative precarity and creation w/o attempting to rein it in or impose rules upon it, allowing it to exist uncontrolled and thus enlivening the painful desires within it..
i am part of a silent fabric that embraces everything and carries it, never explaining anything – and never rescuing it either..
5 – embrace
that moment in which a person experiences his/her existence intensively, w his senses and his emotions, contains the whole spectrum of criteria for being alive in a creative world. experiencing it requires no special experimental arrangements, no special aptitudes, and in truth, no mediation, even.
we already have everything that we need, because we are always part of the ecosystem that we participate in and seek to understand..t
our existence as a feeling body outfits us w all the instrumentation we need to not only live our lives, but also to comprehend them.
the body is the most sensitive instrument imaginable for providing info about life..
that reproduced by dividing their cells
a fetus is an independent being, yet it is completely reliant on the mother for sustenance… mother and child each have their own bodily and soul identities, but at the same time they are engaged in an unavoidable exchange that lies outside of their control..
our phase of life in the mother’s body is the ecological archetype of ra connection-in-separation, and thereby the model for what the child will later try to create outside the mother’s body.. the healthy, normal condition is one of close connection, but not symbiosis… only because the mother is herself alone, and not her fetus, is she able to give the child what it needs..
a connection is possible only because both are distinct from one another.
the trust that a baby can form toward its mother during this period of time becomes the measure o fits trust in the world.
after birth, the mother’s role is to transfer the formerly unconscious trust in the world that the child experienced in the mother’s body. she has to gradually convince the child that she alone is not the world.. she must love the child away from herself.. in the course of childhood, the child should unlearn that another person determines everything, godlike.
we are first alone in the presence of another, the mother, and it is this experience from which we develop the capacity for solitude – shierry weber nicholsen
if the i is irrecoverably shut up in itself because it was not seen by a benevolent gaze, then it will turn everything with which it comes into contact into a mens of alleviating the torment of this isolation.
it is very interesting to see how such disruptions of our natural capacities for relationships can influence an entire world..t
deep enough – a nother way
our current fixation on success, constant competition and fighting and war as the father of all things feeds on this obsession: it is the drive toward total victory that alone promises to overcome the solitude that is so deeply felt
mainstream darwinism considers partner selection and child rearing solely according to one perspective .. it understands everything as an investment . .this driving force is in the way we organize how we live together, but also acts in every one of us.
it has taken the form of a persistent need to overcome an alleged separation.. whether by seeking a partner in order to balance out or own deficits .. or by sacrificing aliveness in favor of an allegedly brighter economic future..t
western concept of love since plato .. thinks of love as a deficit: a longing for something we do not yet own. it is a concept born from the thinking of possession, from the view of the ego as needing to have, rather than as needing to be..t
this thinking desperately clings to the idea that choosing the right partner will result in a wholeness that cannot, however, exist in any creation.. for millennia, this platonic tradition has tried to overcome the experience of separation thru the right actions thru tech, self-optimization, the subjugation of others. but separation is the central market r of creative reality. it cannot be overcome, only transformed,
we should therefore understand love as a practice of relatedness between two poles that cannot be united w another.
the challenge: to decide in favor of aliveness ..t
ready to fight for it at any time.. love is no longer the desirous search for that which i do not have, but rather a clear feeling that i already have something – namely, the aliveness that must be defended.. to become alive.. and thereby to enliven others..
we already have everything we will ever need. we have simply hidden it from ourselves..
if traumatically destroyed in childhood, then no later relationship partner will ever be in a position to repair it. only i can do that for myself
well.. kind of.. ie: roots of healing ness
identity must produce itself.. it must constantly be created and affirmed thru exchange w other identities..
fine line between one’s own material self-sufficiency and an overemphasis on the other and its influence
like the condition of the fetus in the mother’s body, it is a connection-in-separation.. and precisely because it is both.. because the results are always open and uncertain, it is so crucial to develop an etiquette of the bond wherein both sides make an effort always to put aliveness first.. love of life over obsession w particular person..t
in the erotic encounter, the world touches itself and thereby arrives at new knowledge of itself. relationships are its opportunities to have experiences..
our relationship crisis manifests in numerous ways.. disappearance of species/habitats, ordinariness of failed marriages, constant increase in cases of depression/personality disorders..
because love is the site where inner and outer dimensions meet and mutually comprehend one another, there is an ineluctable feedback loop between the way we treat the world and the depths of our love..
reality is contradictory, and all behavior can only be decided or evaluated in concrete situations – forecasting is impossible..
perhaps.. so too is deciding/evaluating..
rules of erotic exchange (from list of 12): the other’s offering is a gift, not a reward for a service.. success is when increase aliveness of all
it is about how alive we are able to be..t
how much can i remain myself in a relationship.. is there even a me there before a you has begun to truly see me
hide and still be out there.. ness..
ernest becker: life.. tragedy.. clash between two basically irreconcilable needs – one for connection and one for autonomy..
believing we can resolve this tension .. with the right partner.. .. becker: ‘we enter symbiotic relationships in order to get the security we need, in order to get relief from our anxieties/aloneness/helplessness; but these relationships also bind/enslave us even further because they support the lie we have fashioned’
albert camus in 50s founded a philosophy based in the sensory feelings of he body.. largely excluded from intellectual circles by his colleague jean-paul sartre .. nowadays, sartre has largely become a part of intellectual history, but camus is only just being rediscovered..
camus’s instrument for connecting w reality was the skin..
the instrument of this experience was not ‘pure mind’ not the intellect, but the body, the wisdom of the skin..
camus’s contemporary.. merleau-ponty observed this as well
ponty was fascinated by the fact that every time i touch someone or something, i am simultaneously touched by it.. if i stroke your skin, i am feeling the surface at which you begin and thru which you impart yourself to me.. the touch of my skin signals to me the touch of your skin.. i exist before i have touched you: i am already a subject with a body. but i am conscious of this body to a much greater extent insofar as i can allow it to be touched by your body and thereby feel myself..both touches are inseparable from one another…. can only occur simultaneously.. by touching you i must open myself up to be touched by you.. i must allow a concrete other to touch my boundary..
reality actually only exists in this moment of touch from which both sides emerge; it exists only in the sensitivity, in the tangibility, and in the attention with which i perceive both myself and this sensibility to other at once. .. a fundamental erotic connection to reality.. the world feels me like a lover..
our gaze exhibits this reciprocity.. we can discover ourselves in the eyes of another person, insofar as we discover the other person there as well.. pupils do not reflect us alone, but us in connection w the other.. the person we are beholding and who looks back at us..
eyes express transformation. they see that i see that they see..
i have to look at someone in order to be seen by him.. the eyes are the messages of the interior.. they reveal a you
because the other is in a position to see some part of me that i cannot recognize myself, it expands my own field of vision.. it means to see w somebody else’s perceptions, in the same way as poets see words..
marina zwetajewa: to love means seeing another person as god intended them and as their parents failed to realize them
esse est percipi – being is being perceived.. as .. george berkely said. when i do not see others whose id’s are dependent on me, this amounts to nothing less than robbing them of their id and their personal autonomy. this is the cause of our childhood traumas..
invited to exist. .ness.. seen/known by someone
we are not lacking our other half, as plato thought – in the worst case, we are lacking the happy faith in the possibility of our capacity to be when nobody gifts that being to us..
in the midst of the everyday of reciprocal touch, they (successful relationships) offer us an exemplary comprehension of the interconnectedness of aliveness.. loving is about life, about what it means to be real..
it means granting to yourself the full extent of your aliveness by allowing others to exist fully in theirs ..t
the erotic experience allows one to be near to a body, an outside, and thereby to enter into the most intimate connection with an inside.. touching bodies allows one to touch a space beyond the body..
the erotic is the perceptible transition point, the moment at which the body is completely soul..
merleau-ponty: i touch you and must thereby be touchable..
our defenselessness is the excitation, this voluntary exposure..
6 – a play of freedom
play does make one thing possible: creating relationships. .. so play comes very close to being a comprehension of one’s own aliveness..it is the model for an existence that is not subjected to functionalism but boldly carries forth the natural history of freedom and expresses individuality..
in our fervor, we overlook the fact that children generally know better than we do what it is to be alive.. aliveness is seldom a goal of child-rearing.. we cannot recognize that they have something to give us precisely due to the fact that they are already perfect as living beings..the child’s gift to us is the knowledge that people already have everything they are look for.. we simply must not allow it to be taken out of our hands..
we continue to believe that we have to teach our children the crucial things instead of accepting that they already know them, whereas we adults on the other hand, have unlearned them..
children only need to be given a few elements of our cultural code in order to do this more fully: written language, mathematical conventions, tech capabilities…
no… what happened to.. already have all they need.. we have to keep at that..
alice miller: the trauma people suffer is the loss of their aliveness in childhood..t
those whose aliveness has been trampled will desperately use others in order to enliven themselves..t
the poisoning of aliveness among human beings in a family and in schools is a quiet tragedy..many assume that it cannot be any other way.. they try to make themselves believe that the trauma is not bad enough to require real examination and they seek distraction
our society has made the continuous violation of aliveness into one of its defining principles..t
we try ever more to control it, even though this is precisely what makes everything worse..t
why not yet ness
feelings are the barometer or aliveness within us
susan forward: no matter how confused, self-doubting or ambivalent we are about what’s happening in our interactions with other people, we can never entirely silence the inner voice that always tells us the truth
alice miller: a child can experience her feelings only when there is somebody there who accepts her fully, understand her and supports her
only when we listen to and know and recognize our needs are we truly connected with our true, living selves. only then can we trust our own perceptions, for they show us what truly is..
people will form a false self as adults if they were made to feel, as children that the healthy experience of their own aliveness and their natural needs threatened them with annihilation
they subconsciously strive for the id that they were allowed to adopt, rather than the one that slumbers w/in them..t
this same courageous dying ( fights, flunked assign, unfinished treehouse, illness) is something that children should learn from their parents. yet because parents often need their children in order to survive emotionally themselves, they refuse them the experience of this good death.. .. supporting someone in these passages thru death requires that the caretakers both let go and be constantly present. instead of protecting.. help by simply being present..
good parents allow children to experience failures, because they don’t judge and don’t control.. they enliven their children because they trust..
other species’ aliveness is part of their natures. we have to freely choose to engage with our own aliveness.
considering the situation of the planet, we should do everything possible to explore how such a culture of life could be provided for..t
children of course, often cause offense. children – wild, naive, unadjusted, thoughtlessly aggressive, boundlessly generous. children, who fall down and stand up over and over again: in a culture that seeks at any cost to repress all forms of failure as omens of mortality, children are dangerous
the reflex to kill a person who attempts to be alive is the same as the mistrust of an animal, of wildness, of our own feelings. it is related to the need to educate and shape a child. a civilization that shuts out death must control life.
the hatred only affects those who deny control and try to live truthfully.
we shudder at knowing the extent to which control thru self-denial is part of daily life in totalitarian systems. those who transgressed against stalinist truths.. into prison.. worst part.. had to compose repentant confessions to he party in which they renounced their aliveness and the ‘five freedoms’.. only after they had betrayed themselves, after they had begun, out of a fear of death , to question the extent to which they might indeed have been guilty of it all, only then would they be shot.
those who try to defy our dominant system of efficiency are nowadays threatened by a less heroic elimination w/o certificates of achievement and patronage, they simply cannot participate. they are destitute, powerless, shut out, perpetual children. and to everyone else they are doubtless ‘to blame’ for their own misery..
alice miller – pedagogy of permission
part 3 – we
7 – the thought of the southern midday
the proper balance cannot be measured.. it can only be recognized
the proper balance cannot be decided in advance. it if were then it would not be an act of moderation, but an assertion of principles… categories of duty .. acting in moderation means being guided by.. enlivenment..
most significant modern european thinker who tried to come up w a thinking of moderation was albert camus…. in (his) mind.. civilizations most difficult dilemma was that political movements were using the promise of future salvation to justify brutish violence against people. he did not take side.. asked deeper question – how do we manage to be ‘neither victim nor hangman’
for camus.. reality is not an imperfect thing we humans must change using tech and utopian ideas. it is rather an imperfect thing whose imperfections turn us into collaborators in an act of joyful creation..
for idea of moderation, camus invoked the ancient goddess nemesis.. who punished all dogmatic exuberance.. .. does not condemn innovation but will take vengeance for exclusivity and all forms of dogmatic single-mindedness..
in camus’s understanding, acting in moderation means recognizing that virtue can never be separated from reality w/o becoming a principle of evil itself.. the desire to avoid all bad things becomes a bad thing itself.. but not avoiding bad things implies allowing bad things to happen…
establishing the proper balance is thereby an enlivening act – an imaginative act, not a bureaucratic one…. (it’s) an act of transformation. and transformation is imagination..
poetry depends on moderation..no work of art w/o form.. no poem w/o rules of language and meter, no music w/o the fixed relationship of tonality, no visual art w/o preexisting relationships of volumes, graphical forms and wavelengths of light.. and at same time.. poetry’s gesture of creative, infectious and inspiring enlivenment, full of life and mystery, renders all measurements obsolete
acting in moderation means not replacing the imperfections of creation with worse copies that are ostensibly (apparently) error-free..t
the errors intrinsic to all created things can only be endured if we respond to them, and create.. as such, the experiences of the embodied present become the strongest argument for the conviction that the world, in all o fits bitter imperfection, is the expression of something that cannot be improved..
camus: the world is both stability and movement..
we will find no way out of this misery for as long as we try to solve it.. our only way out is to understand that this misery cannot be made to disappear; it must be endured and transformed
richard rohr – practicing heaven now.. reality in all of its beautiful complications
we need both: action, and the knowledge that action is never enough..indeed, that there is always something absurd about taking action… toward a practice of participation in which no optimum state can be reached, but in which we can constantly struggle to bring about an optimal equilibrium
8 – sharing
in the natural world, the most complicated, most valuable things are given away w/o a thought. its abundance is not conducive to investment but is an act of trust that is constantly redeemed in a grandeur that seems senseless to frugal capitalists like us.
it is not a question of somehow taking advantage of the time you have and thereby achieving something. on the contrary..
it is necessary to choose what you consider important and to completely devote to it beyond the self, so as to make the length of time that remains insignificant..t
freedom is not a possession but a form of nakedness.. to be able to receive it means to give up all claims of anxious self-preservation, all withholding from creative exchange it means giving in to imperfection and to the suffering that goes with it.. freedom.. only gifted to us if we are constantly willing to give our life..
freedom of living is not money raining from the heavens… it is that which demands all of our courage, being alive..
gifting means acting like an ecosystem in which something is constantly made available at the expense of the individual, thereby elevating the resilience of the whole..
we can only learn to understand how poetry and the food chain are related thru the idea of the gift..
we love children in order to liberate them, not to possess them. to constantly enlarge their freedom
aliveness is something that increases when we share it
abraham maslow: the people who have the most alluring effects are those who subordinate their own interests to the elevation of aliveness..
when we succeed in slowing down our experience enough to pay attention to our individual senses, such that our feelings and their interaction with the whole of the world become perceptible, something astounding happens: with a sigh of tender gratitude, we understand we have always already been the recipients of a gift
interbeing: generously enabling existence in a web that has been created by all..t
everything that offers itself as visible and tactile parts of the world calls for a gift in return..
? i don’t believe gifters.. they way you are describing gifts… expect a return.. that reciprocal ness.. leads us to measuring ness.. suffocating..
on how possibility of god given existence of evil.. in order to become real .. jonas suggested, divinity had no choice but to transform itself in tot he world…. over which it had no control….
i think it’s more a.. gifting us choice..
richard rohr: ‘your life is not about you, but you are about life’
9 – the heavens, now
if i look properly i do se not the outsides of beings, but their aliveness and how it is organized around them. this is seeing with the heart, which the poet antoine de saint exupery spoke about.. the heart moves w/in its own space, wherein it is not important whether something appears as a body or as a thought.. a space beyond all division..
we can recognize the manifestation of this pure aliveness everywhere. to do so , we must adjust our gaze and use what mary catherine bateson.. once called ‘peripheral vision’..
in peripheral vision we exchange greater clarity for max aperture.. we no longer see everything in focus before us, but we begin to see with the whole body.. space and body become transparent.. we see aliveness.. in the end.. these are parts of the world that we can grasp more clearly, becasue they are us
in our core we preceive nothing less than that: pure aliveness, unspoken , beyond words, aliveness fromw/in… animal assited therapy: a high does of pure aliveness, undiluted..
the natural world, the sensory fabric of coulntless bodies touching and interpenetrating one another, is the place where we can track the conversion of matter into imagination that lies at the root of aliveness
knowledge of aliveness cannot be conveyed by facts, but only by being infected with life..
we cannot grasp this aliveness and hold it tight. we can only witness it by passing it on
let go of the things you have to cling to.. – they aren’t aliveness..
camus: ‘the poem is love realizing desire that remains desire’
everything that is alive dwells in the body of this desire. desire alone allows the body to hold itself together w/in the vortex of passing and fading matter.. that which will never be perfected, because it exists but never finds a beginning – it simply seeks and desires..
stuart kauffman calls this timid display the ‘adjacent possible’ .. the biosphere’s enduring capacity fore self organization.
the fact that the adjacent possible is invisible is, of course, only true for the experience of the scientists taking measurements who refuse to appreciate their own perception w peripheral visions,..t
thereby refusing to perceive the part of the world that is enlivened, a living and breathing other..
the poetic is what calls us to be enlivened..a call that creates the irresisitible wish to bestow life on others..
in the poetic space, contradictions are not resolved..as in *real world occurrences, where every body represents a successful negotiation of opposites in every moment.. in the poetic space, the contraditions are simultaneously present..
*real?… rather current.. no?
coexistence forces us to create a new thru unheard-of imagination.. poetic action does not reply to death w control or suppression but w readiness.. with capacity/affirmation of constant brith..
poetry.. greatest means of transformation.. most powerful instrument of love..
postulate – the voice of happiness
water…. allowed me to feel every square inch of my body’s surface, and i had to laugh again, laugh w happiness in the middle of the lake, alone and carried..
i understood that laughter is an organ of happiness. not of ‘humor’ .. we can confidently revise the famous essays by all of the serious philosophers, .. kant.. scheler.. who classify laughter as a reaction to ‘humor.’ .. these people thought primarily about mental refinements. they didn’t think about the fact that it is the body that laughs, that results in the moments of contact when it grasps that other bodies really exist.... they haven’ swum in the ..water
it is the other way around..laughing is not the voice of humor. laughing at a joke is just a variety of happiness..
laughter is joy in the fact that there will always be a way, that is beautiful to be real..laughter arises when a spark of life has been recognized, saved, kindled, and paased on