Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"Sickness unto Death"

I wrote this post in response to Vanderleun's essay at American Digest titled Clear History .

"So to be sick unto death is, not to be able to die--yet not as though there were hope of life; no, the hopelessness in this case is that even the last hope, death, is not available. When death is the greatest danger, one hopes for life; but when one becomes acquainted with an even more dreadful danger, one hopes for death. So when the danger is so great that death has become one's hope, despair is the disconsolateness of not being able to die." Kierkegaard

Vanderleun speaks of a yearning towards a utopia that never comes and the connection of this with a lack of foundation in history. I have a slightly different take (exegesis) on this that also involves history. Consider that the exodus is the mother of the myth of creation. The Jews were brought out of Egypt. The world was brought out of the void. Now, the unadulterated spirit is will and will is power. The urge to go beyond the self (yearning), the daemonic urge, or romanticism, is perversion of this power. Classicism to the extent that it elevates the intellect, or dwells on the distinction that can be made between the power of the mind, rationalism, and mere corporeality, sets up a tendency towards adulteration of the will. The next logical step from classicism is towards romanticism. The daemonic spirit appeared through the movement of Christianity. Romanticism is the daemonic spirit, the erotic in nature. Think of the sensuous genius Don Juan: "My need is too great for anyone to satisfy." His need, having been brought out of the void is based in a state of estrangement from himself which he can never overcome simply by trying through the satisfaction of the senses to turn around and fill the void.

This ubiquitous yearning speaks of the soul's failure to recognize it is essentially complete from its inception. Thus the continuous attempt of the soul to go beyond itself with the concomitant urge to see reality as greater than itself.

The prehuman force existential mass is the most concrete medium while romanticism, the post human force is given perfect expression by the most abstract medium, music, e.g., the music of Mozart.

This leaves us with a "Sickness unto Death".

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