“But the way God scatters life Hither and thither to the uttermost Is terrible.”
The Poets vocation is to sing of What it means to re-member, gather And engender, what gives, binds The body that was tore asunder, The body of flesh, of worlds Epochs, durations, and of pain, Are those not the terrible pangs of exile Of dismemberment, of Hades, of the Poets Vocation, which is to be, lost, essentially
But like Orpheus, Holderlin sings
Of that unutterable order Where so little light is present There yet appears the greatest salvation
“In his anger once I saw the Lord Of Heaven visible. Not to be anything myself. Only to learn. They are kind, but what they loathe above all, So long as they rule, is falseness and nothing Human counts then among mankind”.
The Poets vocation is to be Gods witness To make the created world of scattered fragments Knowable in their originality, as on the first day, The Poet is charged with the naming of the world Of flesh and sense, is to be in the nearness Of both the world and of the Lord whose visibility Is the world transfigured in the Poets renaming Of the world with His divine attributes.
In the Poets exile, he calls out to both God And the world, for in his forsakenness The naked body of the world becomes Him, this is his garment, in which He address it through what God says- And God burns that unquenchable Love only for the radiant light Of he who must suffer, often greatly to be true Above all other things, the Poet must be this
In his lonely painful vocation, There is still that terrible abyss Between the creator and creature,
Yet, “Salvation grows there too”
And God perhaps separates And scatters His best servants And friends with the greatest anguish, And does not Holderlin suggest Like Icarus who crashes’s downward That even the Poet, cannot fly To close to the divine orders beauty Whose unfathomable love proves Fatal to the mortal grasp.
Yet in heaven is not the Poets body This world, engendered before the true light, And does not the true Poet, sing of this beautiful fate?
Hello Poets do have a deep responsibility to voice the spiritual abyss and glimpses of light seen in the ages. With Holderlin we see something which places the poet in a non Grecian land referring to the isolation of John at Patmos.
This is like wise stated by the topic of Berdyaev, that the East-West division of the early Chistian Church has led man to a greater disunity than we may be able to ever recoup.
Still, the study of and appreciation of the early Greek world has greater potential than dwelling on the divisions. If we look at Berdyaev we see he had a very Cosmopolitan mind and a breadth which was a new Rennaisance. He called for that type of future striving. Now as we have to look at the future as westerners, we should take our Patmos isolation and seek this new spiritual and life affirming cosmopolitanism where the citizen is a full person as meant by the Greek view .
In this case my feeling is that those who wish to see the universal flowering of the heritage of Greece should look at where this is being freely assembled.
The Golden Rose as we know is seen as the center of the microcosm, which is our heritage from Greece in understanding the spiritual spark within us all. This is not part of orthodoxy or catholicism but is about the individual having reached the Patmos state, bridges the abyss by claiming her heritage. The Golden Fleece, the acts of Herkules, all point to that search and good end. It is our heritage that we must regain. Poets and philosophers all point to this as a way of return and regaining our lost true humanity.
Greece has much light to share in this search. There the glow of Greece is lit with the fire of the ancient polis.
I believe that what was once commonly understand by the terms humanity, the individual, cosmopolitanism, and culture are in the process of been eclipsed by their opposites, namely that of a wholesale, if sophisticated barbarism in the new globalised world (With honesty we can no longer use the word "western" to signify these states of affairs that relate to a purely economic term called the global market)
Yet perhaps we should not be too surprised, for it was Hegel who predicted this end, an end in which history and the individual would finally become- fully recongised as a unique microcosm that related to the evolving polis of ones culture and religion, this was not just Hegel’s idea of a harmonious and divinely oriented individual within the embrace of cosmopolitanism, which signifies not just the divinity, but also the cosmos and its reflected image in the emblem of the great city, which encompasses the unique genius of the people, who create a living entity from the proceeding two qualities. One can still capture the unique spirit of such a city in Barcelona or Venice, but not in Brussels or Chicago, where one can only speak, if at all, about the spirit or lack of spirit about a particular place in terms of its pragmatic utility and functions. A city with a native spirit gives or was conceived to give something in excess of those pure economic, social or political measures, that are valued so highly today.
Hegel’s philosophy was of course secularised in the 20th century with two sets of equally horrible results, in which a false and tragic reconcilation was sought with a Godless amoral absolute. However, Hegel’s intuition has a remarkably long lineage that relates back to some of the most seminal ideas in western culture. As T.W Adorno noted, that we really cannot speak about culture or the individual in an age, which no longer has any type of religion, for all culture including the arts, architecture and philosophy are most and essentially interwoven to the religious source of all life itself.
Like Adorno, I too share a certain fragmentary hope that we now live in an age (particularly in the dominant English speaking countries which largely dictate the new world order) where its almost impossible to escape the atomized language of a society that can no longer encompass nor understand what humanity is, without resigning oneself to the believe that what now becomes truth, is that which one now reads, and sees in the finer light of a humanity, still shining in the fragments of other European Languages, are those books and memories written about the life of a young philosopher, in Europe at the turn of the last century. Perhaps hope now only seems possible in that long backward glance, which may still contain the germ of an idea for some future time.
In essence to paraphrase Holderlin, Hegel & Adorno, it seems that there are some human beings who must loss themselves (in thought, in whats generally regarded as foolishness by the world) in order to find (in that moment of negative confrontation in which an answer may be given) themselves and their souls, near that homeland, whence all came, but is the price of rememberance too much for most who live?.