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James

40 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2006 :  19:36:50  


In the end, Philosophy must begin once more in silence. Philosophy like music, also moves or is framed within the silent movement of thoughts that move almost invisibly through every object that it can apprehend clearly in the world. When it perceives all truly, it can see all truly, as the object of thought is no longer different from the subject, that reach a perfect harmony in the movement of the whole thought, that can be apprehened as that movement born in the silence both before and, after the thought is brought to light in time.

Yet, is it not clear that ones best thoughts often need to be engendered in a certain way before they can arrive or reach us, in that suitable state. It was not just Nietzsche, who mentioned the connection and importance between silence and the reception of thought, but voices like Paul Valery and Proust, Albert Einstein and Debussy, and Theodor Adorno, who all came to understand the importance of that silent room, of that secert "hiding" place, where the thoughts and imagination may once more "come to light". Moreover, it was in this connection that Theodor Adorno, who had long advocated the notion of ´´Social Philosophy´´, finally realised, with despair (during the infamous summer riots of 1968) that Philosophy couldn´t nor shouldn´t be taught to large groups of people, as its liable to become totally distorted and corrupted. In the end, like Heideggers calling of the word and man, turning towards the state of poesis or poetic creation, Adorno also came to understand that ´´meaningful´´ Philosophy could only truly come, once more to the light given in the ´´life and celebration of the mind´´, by the Philosopher returning, to his silent room.

Yet, this essential requirement, that of silence now seems most in jeopardry in much of the modern world, of mass communication and " interpersonnel social skills" which at some deep level represent some fear regarding our capacity to be silent, and receptive to the universal creative principle, some would call the divine or others God, or others like Nietzsche, would describe as our own self overcoming. Nietzsche did describe and, would again if he returned, this universal "unhealthness" and "unfitness" often best noted in the middle classes, who need to be nothing more then ´´secure and comfortable´´ in life . Yet, despite the his langauge and tone was he not right in what in he divined. But in our time, which has lost even more of that capacity for greatness, in the Arts, Science and Philosophy, perhaps that music in the silent room now sounds at its best, and will as a result once more bring back, not just the Philosopher, but everyman back to the source of all great thougths, that hide too often, in the plain visible working light of day?

Regards


 

Amedeo

USA
23 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2006 :  19:59:48  

 

A great image, that of the silent room!
I am not too sure, but probably you were thinking of the Forum folder, "New Hellenism" as a Rebirth of Hellenism (philosophy, etc.), wherefore you saw the need, the prerequisite, of "the silent room" in which philosophy and music move and are framed. Anyway, it is in this respect that I will formulate my "reply" (my conversational response).
----- Quote:
"In the end, Philosophy must begin once more in silence. Philosophy like music, also moves or is framed within the silent movement of thoughts that move almost invisibly through every object that it can apprehend clearly in the world. ...
...
.... the importance of that silent room, of that secert "hiding" place, where the thoughts and imagination may once more "come to light". Moreover, it was in this connection that Theodor Adorno, who had long advocated the notion of ´´Social Philosophy´´, finally realised, with despair (during the infamous summer riots of 1968) that Philosophy couldn´t nor shouldn´t be taught to large groups of people, as its liable to become totally distorted and corrupted. ...

Yet, this essential requirement, that of silence now seems most in jeopardry in much of the modern world, of mass communication and " interpersonnel social skills" which at some deep level represent some fear regarding our capacity to be silent, and receptive to the universal creative principle, some would call the divine or others God, or others like Nietzsche, would describe as our own self overcoming. Nietzsche did describe and, would again if he returned, this universal "unhealthness" and "unfitness" often best noted in the middle classes, who need to be nothing more then ´´secure and comfortable´´ in life . Yet, despite the his langauge and tone was he not right in what in he divined. But in our time, which has lost even more of that capacity for greatness, in the Arts, Science and Philosophy, perhaps that music in the silent room now sounds at its best, and will as a result once more bring back, not just the Philosopher, but everyman back to the source of all great thougths, that hide too often, in the plain visible working light of day?"
--------
The reason for quoting is to emphasize points, events, or conditions which make for the ABSENCE of the silent room: rioting, mass communication, the devotion to a secure and comfortable life, and the like. This is where I differ from the famous authors you mention, who, of course, were deeply aware of the problem, the absence of the silent room, to begin with.

The silent room reminds me of Heraclitus' enigmnatic saying to a traveler, something to this effect: You are welcome to come in and stay a while, for the gods are here, too. The contrast I imagined was between the life of the traveler who keeps on moving away more and more, and the traveler who withdraws into his home. The home or the room is a place of "retreat" in the spiritual sense. Thus I generalize and see the living of people as being oriented toward one's home or oneself, or away from onself: centripetal and centrifugal existence.

Here is an example of the opposition that is imperfectly stated by the above antonyms: An artisan who is in the process of making shoes focuses on one task, has a center toward which he thinks and acts. The object of centripeal thinking may be within oneself, but it is the centripetality that counts. So, the shoemakers, the cooks, the music composers, the music listeners, the philosophers or philosophisizers, and philosophy listeners, are all operating toward a center. The sports players, the machine operators (who are not intent upon building something), the body twisters (who are sympathetically carried away by beating sound patterns), the preachers and demagogues (who keep on pelting others with words), and the like, exist away from themselves and from any centers of human operations.

People with a balanced life are people who, at different times, operate both centripetally and centrifugally. But today there are many people, probably the great majority, who live almost exclusively centrifugally -- at home, at work, and in their leisure time. And it would he a horror for them to stop for a moment and devote themselves to a center, whether it be themselves, music [classical music], the thinking made public by a man, or any creative project. I think that, in the matter of orientation of one's existence, HELLENISM is defined by the Delphic injunction, "Know Thyself." Socrates obviously paid heed to it, for he said that the unexamined life is not worth living. But while the Delfic injunction literally calls for introspection, it teaches humans to turn their attention toward a center, it teaches centrifugality. A renewed Hellenism can only mean a renewed orientation: TOWARD centers.

It is a fact that people differ in tendencies or temperaments. Phegmatic and melancholic types are generally introvert. Sanguine and choleric types are generally extrovert. But introversion or, more generally, centripetality can be cultivated. Similarly extroversion or centrifugality can be cultivated. Here in the United States there has been a long history of cultivation or education in centrifugality: The homes, the schools, the political governments at all levels, and the immensely influential public media (the cinema, television, the press), have been fostering, promoting, demanding, and rewarding centrigular existence. The general public, including a large fraction of professionals, has a very poor reading comprehension or, to be sure, inability to read and digest what is being read. They cannot linger on, DWELL UPON, what is being read. (Typical American are the techniques for fast reading, skimming over the words; finishing a test within stringent limits of time; etc. Racing to a finish is the word!) So, if on an internet forum they read an essay, they never what what it is all about; they pick some incidental remarks while they are reading and all they do with it is to axpress their approval or diaspproval, their agreement or diasgreement. (I have been reading thousands of discussions in all kinds of threads, but I can count on my fingertips the numbers of replies which were to the point or offered some appropriate critique. In most cases, there is no attempt to understand, or learn from, what a writer presented. I cannot think of a case where a responder became a collaborating writer on a given subject. In most cases anything significant which is written down is taken as a subject for disputations, but most people are not familiar with the art of disputation!) In dealing with the crisis of American schools, at least the public schools, public officials and education administrators (who are political appointees and do not know beans about education) have decided to hold the teachers responsible for the students's failures. They pubblicly hold that, given the proper teaching, children can equally achieve. This is equality by edict, which shows that the proclaimers are blind to the real reasons why most students cannot achieve and grow to become the population of non-comprehending readers and talkers: They do not look at the lives of the students, which are molded, even in the schools, according to the principle of centrifugality. Their "attention span," as it is professaionally called, is about ten minutes (that is, the length of a television program between commercial advertising breaks). Not only the word "intelligence, " but also and especially the word "DILIGENCE" has disappeared from the vocabulary of education administrators and politicians. If youngsters were taught how to cook or to make shoes, they would be able to apply themselves to read and to understand even a philosopher's treatise.

Let's rebuild and take the young to the temple of Apollo with the inscription: Gnothi Se Auton.

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n/a

1 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2006 :  22:51:26  

 

What to say? I am speachless; let's honour SILENCE at the begin

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