A strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sorrow. The idea of sorrow has always appealed to me but now I am almost ashamed of it’s complete egoism. I have known boredom, regret, and occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today it envelops me like a silken web, enervating and soft, and sets me apart from everybody else.
Françoise Sagan - Bonjour Tristesse (via mag—nolia
Three Shadow People Terrify a Victim During an Episode of Sleep Paralysis
Then he had seen for himself how the poor masses were streaming into the big city, bewitched by the idea of living just there. They left a poor, humdrum everyday life in the countryside for a hopeless slum on the fringes of the metropolis from which they would never escape. They had been better off where they came from, but they set out for the metropolis and dug in there. Why? The fascination. The fascination of being contemporary with the big cars, the TV programs, the fancy restaurants, the lines of cars, the lights of the cinema ads, the lotteries, the luxurious residences behind high walls with armed guards outside the gate. Hunger might gnaw at their vitals, but being contemporary with the TV shows makes you forget it. The dreams quench the thirst. Dreams give satisfaction!
Shyness & Dignity
, Dag Solstad (via geekadee
Yet despair is exactly a consumption of the self, but an impotent self-consumption not capable of doing what it wants. But what it wants is to consume itself, which it cannot do, and this impotence is a new form of self-consumption, but in which despair is once again incapable of doing what it wants, to consume itself. This is a heightening of despair, or the law for the heightening of despair. This is the hot incitement or the cold fire in despair, this incessantly inward gnawing, deeper and deeper in impotent self-consumption. Far from being any comfort to the despairer that the despair doesn’t consume him, on the contrary this comfort is just what torments him; this is the very thing that keeps the sore alive and life in the sore. For what he - not despaired but - despairs over is precisely this: that he cannot consume himself, cannot be rid of himself, cannot become nothing. This is the heightened formula for despair, the rising fever in this sickness of the self.
Ernst Fuchs - The Battle Of The Gods That Have Been Transformed.
The artist’s Wikipaintings page.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder-Triumph of Death,detail.
Quietism, Buddhism, and other religions, everything which denies the flesh—is the great inferiority to God in ourselves, an escapism seeking sanctuary through fear of life and inability to accept ‘this reality’. They were hurt? Or was the odalisque unsatisfactory or too expensive? They expected too much for too little, or were too mean to pay—therefore: “All is illusion”. But the Stoic smilingly awaits the next shower of shit from heaven. Stoics are not Saviours, Saints or Heroes and are often confused and weary, yet they prefer to find their own way and to accept life as they find it. The schizophrenics, the melancholics and psychotics—they at least are secretive and inflict no religions on others. They prove the possibilities and utilities of ‘as if’ when totally accepted.
Angelo Caroselli, Hexenszene
What, then, is patriotism? “Patriotism, sir, is the last resort of scoundrels,” said Dr. Johnson. Leo Tolstoy, the greatest anti-patriot of our times, defines patriotism as the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers; a trade that requires better equipment for the exercise of man-killing than the making of such necessities of life as shoes, clothing, and houses; a trade that guarantees better returns and greater glory than that of the average workingman.
Gustave Hervé, another great anti-patriot, justly calls patriotism a superstition — one far more injurious, brutal, and inhumane than religion. The superstition of religion originated in man’s inability to explain natural phenomena. That is, when primitive man heard thunder or saw the lightning, he could not account for either, and therefore concluded that back of them must be a force greater than himself. Similarly he saw a supernatural force in the rain, and in the various other changes in nature. Patriotism, on the other hand, is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.
Indeed, conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.
Battle between the Christians and the Turks (Detail), Salvator Rosa, ca. late 1600’s
How can you figure out if you are sane? … Once you begin to question your own sanity, you get trapped in an ever-tighter vortex of self-fulfilling prophecies, though the process is by no means inevitable. Everyone knows that the insane interpret the world via their own peculiarly consistent logic; how can you tell if your own logic is “peculiar’ or not, given that you have only your own logic to judge itself? I don’t see any answer. I am reminded of Gödel’s second theorem, which implies that the only versions of formal number theory which assert their own consistency are inconsistent.
The other metaphorical analogue to Gödel’s Theorem which I find provocative suggests that ultimately, we cannot understand our own mind/brains … Just as we cannot see our faces with our own eyes, is it not inconceivable to expect that we cannot mirror our complete mental structures in the symbols which carry them out? All the limitative theorems of mathematics and the theory of computation suggest that once the ability to represent your own structure has reached a certain critical point, that is the kiss of death: it guarantees that you can never represent yourself totally.
Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach