- Sep 6, 2022
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I'll start off by briefly giving some context in which I am writing. In my life thus far, short as it has been, I've found consistently that as people come and go within my life the people who I understand best, and who I have felt most understood by, are my close family; there's this wonderful English word, 'recapitulation' which has as one of its definitions:
Or put into layman's English, 'the apple doesn't fall far from the tree'. There's other things like 'regression to the mean' in statistics which applies similarly on data sets about populations.the hypothetical occurrence in an individual organism's development of successive stages resembling the series of ancestral types from which it has descended so that the ontogeny of the individual retraces the phylogeny of its group
There's one thinker, Ludwig Wittgenstein, to whom I have not read directly, so God only knows where I learned the outline of his ideas, as that article was only a refresher for me, but the basics of his thoughts have stuck with me for many years and, as a sort of specter, influenced my way of thinking.
In the United States of today, maybe the West or even the world generally, there has been an unravelling. The mood in the air is that people are alienated from one another, from the work they do, that the world has lost its footing - a cause is sought after whether it be gender relations, moral laxity or bigotry, immigration or xenophobia, and whatnot. Penned over a century ago were the words - and do forgive the length of this passage,Ethics, aesthetics, and religion, in other words, were like logic: their "truths" were inexpressible; insight in these areas could be shown but not stated. "There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words," Wittgenstein wrote. "They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical."
written in Nietzsche's 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra'. These are the thoughts which punctuate my thinking. That understanding betwixt men is a miracle accorded unto peoples who are as yet free, who still live upon their lands not as a human gruel, but as unto themselves a one, whole unity - a tapestry of their own history and their own customs. That understanding, as he says, and as I have known it in my slight manner, is not something universal; it belongs to those people as a particular benefice of their existence.Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states. A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears to me, for now will I say to you my word concerning the death of peoples. State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lies it also; and this lie creeps from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people." It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life. Destroyers, are they who lay traps for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them. Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs. This sign I give to you: every people speaks its language of good and evil: this its neighbor understands not. Its language has it devised for itself in laws and customs. But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies; and whatever it has it has stolen. False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it bites, the biting one. False are even its bowels. Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give to you as the sign of the state. Truly, the will to death, indicates this sign! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death! [..] The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all - is called "life."
Today however, there are persons, perhaps, but not really peoples in this way. The ability to relate is not there, the particularities of history are dissolute in people, and that synergy of types that propels 'Englishness' from an 'Englishman' and 'Americanness' from an 'American'... are they still there at all? People are just people, "human, all too human" I am reminded of. In my particular instance, I make something of an effort to cultivate the particularity of my history in my daily living: how I dress, how I write, how I speak, what I listen to, what I eat and when, etc.
If persons wanted to once again become a people, what would be needed? I would say that people must once again become innocent. Cheerfulness! As Nietzsche puts its, we must go 'beyond good and evil' which put abstruse diktats upon human nature. For a man to be manly, for a woman to be womanly, for a Westerner to be Western, for an Indian to be Indian, for one to 'become who they are' without those diktats proclaiming the universality, interchangeability, and equality of man tearing against the instinct to see true expression. Man must be able to be a tyrant with his soul, so that
In this way, I hope the day will come when people may once again become a people and, in a whirlwind frenzy of life and renaissance, the history of the world bellows up again and life can breathe more fully again.imagine a man seized by a vehement passion, for a woman or for a great idea: how different the world has become to him! Looking behind him he seems to himself as though blind, listening around him he hears only a dull, meaningless noise; whatever he does perceive, however, he perceives as he has never perceived before - all is so palpable, close, highly coloured, resounding, as though he apprehended it with all his senses at once. All his valuations are altered and disvalued; there are so many things he is no longer capable of evaluating at all because he can hardly feel them any more: he asks himself why he was for so long the fool of the phrases and opinions of others; he is amazed that his memory revolves unwearyingly in a circle and yet is too weak and weary to take even a single leap out of this circle. It is the condition in which one is the least capable of being just; narrow-minded, ungrateful to the past, blind to dangers, deaf to warnings, one is a little vortex of life in a dead sea of darkness and oblivion: and yet this condition unhistorical, anti-historical through and through is the womb not only of the unjust but of every just deed too; and no painter will paint his picture, no general achieve his victory, no people attain its freedom without having first desired and striven for it in an unhistorical condition such as that described
But anyhow, your thoughts, dear reader?