01-12-07

To the Christians

"(..) I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body & mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination    Imagination the real & external world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more. (..)
(..) O ye Religious discountenance every one among you who shall pretend to despise Art & Science! I call upon you in the name of Jesus! What is the Life of Man but Art & Science? is it Meat & Drink? is not the Body more than Raiment? What is Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which Dies? What is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which Lives Eternally? What is the Joy of Heaven but Improvement in the things of the Spirit? (..)
Let every Christian as much as in him lies engage himself openly & publicly before all the world in some Mental pursuit for the Building up of Jerusalem"
William Blake, Jerusalem Plate 77 " To the Christians", The Complete Poems, Penguin Books 1977, pp. 797-798.


Again not the most quotable of quotes, I guess it maybe risks to scare even the few interested away but I´m  not here for the success anyway, so: deal with it (to console you a bit I added below a hopefully more readable piece, down below).

My interest in Christianity is quite limited. I´m not, as Blake was, immersed in Christian symbols. I am, as most probably are you, immersed in more modern neo-liberal symbolisms with its rituals of stress & strife and its sacraments of personal merit. The quote works as well when titled "To the Neo-Liberals". It is pointing to something which is not less radical now than it was then. Blake - bless him - makes no excuses. Imagination, Art, Science makes us us & that is the only thing worth anything, at all. In an age where innovation is more & more instrumentalized to 'help' us achieve stuff merely 'help' us neutralize an adverse effect of previous innovations, this is radical. Much more radical than art for art's sake because it is not the result that matters but the mere act of creation.

Enough dwelling on today, today will soon be past & nothing is more boring - less productive - than history. The only significant aspect of history is that it invariably evolves to the future. The dynamic nature of evolution culminating, for now, in humanity - progressing continuously to more splendid creations - is something that is still not receiving the attention it deserves. More than a century after Darwin people are still mostly mesmerized into pillars of salt in looking back, taking static snapshots for detailed analysis & fighting over the subtler differences these snapshots cause in various beholders.

I should not be ashamed, but I am, to write an unabashed story of how all of us will be delivered into eternal bliss when finally letting go of the static to be fully committed to the dynamic. A thinker like Bergson was relegated to a 2nd tier list of philosophers for attempting to start with hard science but end up in something that was more than classical science. The Einsteinian curse, which condemns creativity to come up with the final clean fit of science to nature or vice versa, is proving to be a strong curse. We do not only want our houses to be clean, we expect our thought to be clean. Nevertheless, analytical as I may be, logic and mathematics are just one result of human evolution and we need to be able to break the spell they have on us. Not by breaking logic and mathematics - that won´t work - but by realizing that what makes us well & truely us is what we can do beyond logic and mathematics.

I was and I am sceptical of anybody sceptical of logic and mathematics. There is a simple reason for this: in most cases those sceptical of mathematics are a raving new agey idiots that convinced themselves that life in the Stone Ages was somehow preferable. In all other cases they are dementing scientists in which the feeling of mystery surrounding mathematics outweighs reason. I´m not sceptical at all of mathematics (or as Blake would have it: Science), as it is our human tool to perform any Mental craftsmanship. I just believe that there is something like Imagination that comes not only before reason but that also should come after reason. Imagination is the dynamic element - & analyzing it in a mathematical way brings me most mental joy - & that´s where our target or purpose lies if target or purpose or adequate words to express that.

I´m not quite there. Probably I won´t ever get there. I wouldn´t be spending time on this if I had it clear enough to tackle it head on. In commonplace - the point is not getting there but going there. That´s why I read Blake, this ' mad hatter' reminds me to be arrogant in trying to create. Because after all what is needed is to publicly & openly engage in some Mental Pursuit for Building of Jerusalem.

Human life requires leaving a mark. Once I hope to be able to explain how we live on forever not via our thoughts our actions but literally as our thoughts - in the form of our thoughs. Not in the form of written down thoughts or in an otherwise metaphorical sense but literally we live on actively as our thoughts.

Your mad hatter.


THE FLY

Little Fly
Thy Summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing;
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

 

18:19 Gepost door Guido Nius in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: blake, dynamics, imagination |  Facebook |