“ I can’t go on, I’ll go on.
Here we find both the highest and the lowest. ‘Going on’ becomes the mantra for the daily grind. We find ourselves immersed in a multiplicity of situations, worlds. Things go on…people, friends, lovers die. Vanish. One goes on. Because it always does go on.
But we are all familiar with those rips in the fabric, the ‘I can’t’ which precedes the ‘I’ll go on.’ And the usual simple question, simple, but the height of difficulty. Inscribed again and again upon a million funeral reefs, ‘Why?’. ‘For what?’.
No doubt the messianic is always proximate to this suspension. Maybe the messianic is constituted by suspension? That which no longer goes…
But the highest ethical act can also be this ‘I’ll go on’. But a going on which surely must look back, in constancy? If that is at all possible.
Here we could insert Benjamin’s and Klee’s Angelus Novus. Both the written, and the image. Something about which there is still much to say.
More to follow…
“ Now opinions are the cement of sociality. They are what sustain all human animals, without exception, and we cannot function otherwise: the weather; the latest film; children’s diseases; poor salaries; the governments villainy; the performance of the local football team; television;holidays;atrocities far away or close to home;the setbacks suffered by the latest Republican school system; the latest album by some rock band;the delicate state of ones soul; whether there are too many immigrants; neurotic symptoms; institutional success; good little recipes; what you’ve been reading; shops in which you find what you need at a good price; cars; sex; sunshine…What would become of us miserable creatures, if all this did not circulate and recur among the animals of the City? To what depressing silence would we condemn ourselves? Opinion is the primary material of all communication.
“ …intensity which is raised to such a power that it dazzles or annihilates our organic being, strikes terror into it, but arouses a thinking faculty which we feel superior to that which annihilates us, to discover in us a supra-organic spirit which dominates the whole inorganic life of things; then we lose our fear, knowing that our spiritual ‘destination’ is truly invincible.
As I said tempting. But this ‘Immanence’ goes far beyond me thinks.
“ The man in revolt is ultimately inexplicable. There must be an uprooting that interrupts the unfolding of history, and it’s long series of reasons why, for a man ‘really’ to prefer the risk of death over the certainty of having to obey.
“ [L]ove is a violent gesture of […] privileging a One as the neighbor, thus introducing a radical imbalance into the whole. In contrast to love, justice begins when I remember the faceless many left in shadow in this privileging of the One. Justice and love are thus structurally incompatible: justice, not love, has to be blind, it has to disregard the privileged One […] What this means with regard to love is that the universal proposition ‘I love you all’ acquires the level of actual existence only if ‘there is at least one whom I hate’ - the thesis abundantly confirmed by the fact that universal love for humanity always led to the brutal hatred of the (actually existing) exception, of the enemies of humanity. This hatred of the exception is the ‘truth’ of universal love
“ … instead of the conflict which now the moral disposition has to wage with inclinations and in which, after some defeats, moral strength of mind may be gradually won, God and eternity in their awful majesty would stand unceasingly before our eyes. /…/ Thus most actions conforming to the law would be done from fear, few would be done from hope, none from duty. The moral worth of actions, on which alone the worth of the person and even of the world depends in the eyes of supreme wisdom, would not exist at all. The conduct of man, so long as his nature remained as it is now, would be changed into mere mechanism, where, as in a puppet show, everything would gesticulate well but no life would be found in the figures.
“ Ignore that nightmare in the bathroom. Just another ugly refugee from the Love Generation, some doom-struck gimp who couldn’t handle the pressure. My attorney has never been able to accept the notion - often espoused by reformed drug abusers and especially popular among those on probation - that you can get a lot higher without drugs than with them. And neither have I, for that matter.