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28 December 2007 @ 05:08 am
all is vanity (the little things that matter)  
despite all the outward signs, outspoken proclamations, and ways we consciously mold ourselves, for us and for others, what good is any of this if it doesn't affect the attention we give to the trivial things?

"all is vanity," I once read, and was saddened by the thought.  but one day, it dawned on me, this could be actually good. 

how the most serious and important things have a trivial surface, are taken trivially, daily.  how the moment of trivia becomes the occasion to spark inspiration necessary for a plunge and a dare into the heart of things.  how every profound spirit has a face that conceals, on the surface of the body, an unspoken glory--cues to an insoluble riddle, emblazened on the skin--mute and forever invisibly.  and how the smallest gesture of the face, and faintest intonation of the voice, shelter, adorn, and carry--for the care-ful reception by perceptive, aesthetic, kindred sense--every marvel of the whole--animated--in one fleeting grace.

all is indeed vanity, in this regard; and every vanity, a herald and symbol of the deep. 

and the reason why, it seems, we pay attention to the little things, must be because only the little things are small enough gestures to allow the invisible grandeur of the depths to suddenly flash in an instant and become known, or at least glimpsed... the grandeur that is not a thing, but which the small gesture, in its very disappearance, through its affinity with nothingness, gives way to.... the splendour of a fullness, conveyed only by the emptiness of all gestures, in the absence of all signs, realizable only through re-cognition....re-collection...

 re-membrance of a gesture in another, given as a veritable fiction, a creative gesture as a picture in our mind; perhaps communication (unlike information) happens only in such a manner, through the little things--where force tends not to overpower, but is magnanimously regathering, drawing being homewards and simultaneously toward otherness.
TarePanda: Hedgehogaerodrome1 on December 28th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
Delueze and Xenophanes... I'd like to know more about your background...
Shadow Playpolyvocity on January 1st, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
I was a philosophy major, also seduced for a time by the PoMo thinkers, but I've reappropriated them afterwards in my recent phase of skepticism. Plato's Academy, many still don't realize, was dominated by skeptical Platonists, only two or three generations after his passing, and it is very possible to entertain the notion of a skeptical Socrates, and a skeptical Plato as well.

The connection between skepticism and art, to me, are absolutely incredible.

Why does art have such a profound (secondary) effect (its primary effect being the work of art in itself)? It suspends disbelief. But what is disbelief? A kind of belief in something else. What is suspension of belief? Isn't it what the ancient skeptics called "epoche", a notion the phenomenologist Edmund Husserl also took up, to inquire into the heart of things?

Hence there is a profound connection between aesthetic creation and skeptic philosophy, and this is where my current studies reside. I guess you can say I take it as my life work at the moment to explore such a connection even further.

What about yourself?
TarePandaaerodrome1 on January 1st, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
Trained as an historian, taught it for a while, then re-tooled in the Law...

Husserl... I hadn't thought of him in forever. Worth perhaps re-reading.
Shadow Playpolyvocity on January 1st, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Your grasp of time (if such a thing is possible?) and its passing, definitely shows. I'm always in admiration of persons with a great historical sense.

Re: Husserl.... Same here! I hope to read him again soon. I just got laid off my winter job, so I might get into some of Gide's Journals very soon... Haven't read his novels yet, but I've perhaps a fetish for the personal and intimate thoughts of thinkers, writers, artists, and the like.