If I can think about it that makes it a thing. All things are thinks.
Substance is what remains when everything you can think of has gone.
When I believe that the stone is stone and the cloud cloud, I am in a state of unconsciousness.
We are and we are not. — Heraclitus
Michel de Montaigne
All we ever do is to cross-reference everything – Nous ne faisons que nous entre-gloser.
I saw a man pursuing the horizon; Round and round they sped. I was disturbed at this; I accosted the man. “It is futile,” I said, “You can never —” “You lie,” he cried, And ran on.
Herman Melville in Bartleby, the Scrivener
I would rather not.
There is an age when one teaches what one knows; but there follows another when one teaches what one does not know: we call that, searching.
Then comes, maybe now, the age of another experience: that of unlearning, to let it all work itself out – that unpredictable reshuffling that forgetting imposes onto the sedimentation of knowledges, cultures and the beliefs one has traveled through.
There are no facts, only interpretations.
Even if it is true, it’s false.
W. H. Auden
You hope, yes, your books will excuse you, save you from hell.
To define a thing is to substitute its definition. — Conformism starts with the definition. — One must always have two ideas, one to destroy the other one.— Having a free head: to be present.
You have to touch life at a point where nobody has touched it before. Nobody can teach you that. — Anything you experience based on knowledge is an illusion. — Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals, whereas culture has invented a single mold to which all must conform. It is grotesque. — When you know nothing, you say a lot. When you know something, there is nothing to say… Tell them that there is nothing to understand.
Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself. — Knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement. — When we can’t think for ourselves, we can always quote.
Any experience that we have through our senses, whether of sound or of touch or of light, is a vibration. And a vibration has two aspects: one called ‘on;’ and the other called ‘off.’ Vibrations seem to be propagated in waves, and every wave system has crests and it has troughs. And so life is a system of, ‘Now you see it, now you don’t.’ And these two aspects always go together. For example, sound is not pure sound, it is a rapid alternation of sound and silence. And that’s simply the way things are.
Only you must remember that the crest and the trough of a wave are inseparable. Nobody ever saw crests without troughs or troughs without crests, just as you don’t encounter, in life, people with fronts but no backs; just as you don’t encounter a coin that has a heads but no tails. And although the heads and the tails, the fronts and the backs, the positives and the negatives are different, they’re at the same time one. And one has to get used fundamentally to the notion that different things can be inseparable. That what is explicitly two can at the same time be implicitly one. If you forget that, very funny things happen.
If we, therefore, forget, you see, that black and white are inseparable, and that existence is constituted equivalently by being and non-being, then we get scared, and we have to play a game called, “Oh-oh, Black Might Win.” And once we get into the fear that Black, the negative side, might win, we are compelled to play the game, “But White Must Win.” And from that start all our troubles.
Alan Watts: “Not What Should Be But What Is”
In that silent room I heard two sounds, one high and one low. Afterward I asked the engineer why if the (anechoic) room was so silent I had heard two sounds. He said the high one was your nervous system in operation, the low one was your blood in circulation.
A Sufi story
One late evening Nasrudin was walking home. Upon arrival he seemed upset about something. Just then a young man came along and saw the Mullah’s distress. “Mullah, pray tell me: what is wrong?” “Ah, my friend, I have lost my keys. Would you help me search for them? I know I had them when I left the tea house.” So, he helped Nasrudin with the search for the keys. For quite a while the man searched here and there but no keys were to be found. He looked over to Nasrudin and found him searching only a small area around a street lamp. “Mullah, why are you only searching there?” Nasrudin answered proud of himself: “Why would I search where there is no light?”
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
René Daumal in Mount Analogue
There is found here, rarely on the lower slopes and more frequently as one ascends, a clear and extremely hard stone, spherical and of variable size. It is a true crystal and – an extraordinary instance entirely unknown elsewhere on this planet – a curved crystal. In the French spoken in Port o’Monkeys, this stone is called Peradam. [It may mean . . . ‘harder than diamond’, as is very much the case, or else ‘father of diamond’. . . . or ‘Adam’s stone’, and have had some secret and profound role in determining the nature of man.] The stone is so perfectly transparent and its index of refraction so close to that of air in spite of the crystal’s great density, that the inexperienced eye barely perceives it. But to any person who seeks it with sincerity and out of true need, it reveals itself by a brilliant sparkle like that of a dewdrop.
Spectacle is present society’s principal production. – The spectacle is not a collection of images but a social relation among people, mediated by images. – In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation. – The spectacle is capital accumulated to the point where it becomes image. – The society whose modernisation has reached the stage of integrated spectacle is characterized by the combined effect of five principal factors: incessant technological renewal, integration of state and economy, generalized secrecy, unanswerable lies, and eternal present. – It is the sun that never sets on the empire of modern passivity. It covers the world’s entire surface and bathes indefinitely it in its own glory. – The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep. – Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs.
In parallel to the Lumière classic film, L’Arroseur Arrosé (The Sprinkler Sprinkled?), a permanent implosion seems necessary to this enterprise.
(to be added properly at a later point)
- The praise he gives to what he professes is only praise to himself. — Ibn ‘Arabi
- I prefer when there is silence behind the words. — Aharon Appelfeld
- Even though the images show everything, nevertheless there is nothing to see. — Jean Baudrillard
- The essence of normalcy is the refusal of reality. — Ernst Becker
- Cinema is the art of showing nothing. — Robert Bresson
- Following is as odious to me, as acting as a guide is. — Nietzsche
- Each something is a celebration of the nothing that supports it. — John Cage
- The media asks those who know nothing to represent the ignorance of the public and, in so doing, to legitimize it. — Serge Daney
- A sign is anything that can be used to tell a lie. — Umberto Eco
- To find something that is not part of knowledge but that should be part of it. — Michel Foucault
- If you understand me, it is that I did not express myself well. — Godard
- School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is. — Ivan Illich
- Is There Life Before Death? — Jon Kabat-Zinn
- We cannot reach the unknown as we pursue the known. — Jean Klein
- What there is is all there is (and to demand more is ludicrous). — Le Clézio
- The arrogance of normalcy & what has not yet imploded. — P. Marton
- Une ignorance savante qui se connaît. A knowledgeable ignorance that knows itself. — Pascal
- While unable to heal death, misery and ignorance, human beings decided in order to be happy not to think about any of this. — Pascal
- Who is with me is against me. — Francis Picabia
- To like something, you have to see it or hear it for a long time, you idiots. —Francis Picabia
- The Difficulty is to Try and Teach the Multitude that Something can be True and Untrue at the Same Time. —Schopenhauer
- Make for Yourself a Teacher. —Pirkei Avot/Talmud
- To become full, become hollow. —Lao Tze
- One measures the richness of a human being through what he/she can live without. —Zen Saying
- Anything that can be articulated lacks importance. —Zhou Zuoren