Thursday, 30 December 2010

Regina vs S.K.

Drawing on reasons to justify our actions will always have elements of the neurotic. This is true of us all and not just those who are trapped in Lutheran gloom. Looking at the case of Regina vs S.K. I find myself caught between his rationalizations and the larger truth that what he did was actually for the best. I would put it this way - S.K's soul knew better than S.K. what the right thing to do was. What I mean is that at some point there was a vow, an affirmation, a turning of his face to a vision that gave orientation to his life. It was a projection that defeated time , that was a guide almost like an angelic pure spirit. He had made his soul and it dragged the miserable corpse of reasons after it. Souls need to be tended by daily practice for common day to be light enough.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

5 Xmas Profs.....and a paradox in a pear tree.

A.E. Waite writing on the Tarot:
The Hermit, as he is termed in common parlance, stands next on the list; he is also the Capuchin, and in more philosophical language the Sage. He is said to be in search of that Truth which is located far off in the sequence, and of justice which has preceded him on the way. But this is a card of attainment, as we
shall see later, rather than a card of quest. It is said also that his lantern contains the Light of Occult Science and that his staff is a Magic Wand
These interpretations are comparable in every respect to the divinatory and fortune-telling meanings with which I shall have to deal in their turn. The diabolism of both is that they are true after their own manner, but that they miss all the high things to which the Greater Arcana should be allocated. It is as if a man who knows in his heart that all roads lead to the heights, and that God is at the great height of all, should choose the way of perdition or the way of folly
as the path of his own attainment.


I have for my sins been watching Philosophy TV
on the theme of Xmas. Of the 5 profs only one had any sense of the supernatural aspect and he reserved himself to the notion of the feast as a spur to reflection. No doubt he could have said more but there is the tacit rule that we must stay within the bounds of the naturalistic. A couple of the others chose to reflect on the Xmas lie which might mean Santa or Sanctissimus and I now understand why the common run of philosophers prefer science fiction. It is the only way they can immerse themselves in myth. Roy Sorensen, well it's the way he tells them, sorites as recursion. Ho, ho; ho, hum. Professor Brennan presented theodicy as the legend of Uncle Theo. It's essentially the present you get every year in a new wrapping. If we look at God and what he gets up to without the nuministic empowerment of the scriptures we are left with a cosmic tyrant. He told this story effectively and well and of course within the schema of naturalistic explanation he is entirely correct. It is true after its own fashion but it is also true that there is a larger truth that is self confirming which becomes more established the more we turn our faces to it. I read elsewhere that "We have the intelligence and the scientific and technological knowledge to avoid or escape many natural disasters." This childlike faith that under the tree of science will be found the counter-balance to the evil and mayhem that is facilitated by science is misplaced. In the crib that is to be found. (Without prejudice to Balarama, Balakrishna etc)

it's not you Regina, it's me, me, me.

It's not you Regina it's me, me, me.

Reading the journals of Kierkegaard in relation to the cancellation of his engagement to Regina Olsen one oscillates between viewing him as a neurotic incapable of grasping ordinary happiness and as a sadist that is determined to drive the girl mad. There are also elements of comedic misconstruction.

Shortly before her engagement to Schlegel she discovered me in a Church. I did not avoid her look. She nodded to me twice. I shook my head. That meant "You must give me up". She nodded again and I nodded in as friendly a manner as possible. That meant "You have retained my love".

He has the grace to admit that he did not know at this time of the forthcoming engagement and even after it had taken place when he again met her in the street was still unaware.

Then, after she had become engaged to Schlegel (1843) she met me in the street and greeted me in as friendly and confiding a way as possible. I did not understand her, for I had not heard about the engagement. I only looked enquiringly at her and shook my head. She certainly thought I knew about the engagement and was asking for my approval.

Her nod is construed by Garff Soren Kierkegaard a Biography as being an attempt to seek approval for her marriage plans and she thereby must have been comforted by his apparent affirmation. If he had been fully apprised of the situation would he have blanked her approach or shook his head; 'non placet'.

His fatuous benevolence may be the result of a poorly attended psychodrama but the lasso of the double bind if you will pardon the bondage metaphor has a kink in it. Give me up and don't give me up because I still love you. She had a narrow escape. In later life when the Schlegel's were happily married he hovered about giving them permission. It's all there in Joakim Garff's book with a decipherment of inked out passages in the Journals. J.G.'s ironies take the form of sprightly exclamations. He is good on the letter within a letter to Schlegel at his office in 1849. It bounced.