mystical mad ecstatic
March 14, 2015, 3:30 pm
Filed under: departure lounge, the sweet life, unseen world | Tags: , , ,

What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?

What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

– Ode on a Grecian Urn

Keats asked all the right questions, while we – some of anyway, most of us?-  focus on the deathless symmetry of the vase. Keats saw wild ecstasy, Nietzsche the same – release by ecstasy from ourselves to mystical life.

Far more so than most of his fellow deities, Dionysus was an accessible and democratic god, whose thiasos, or sacred band, stood open to the humble as well as the mighty.22 As Nietzsche envisioned his rites: “Now the slave emerges as a freeman; all the rigid, hostile walls which either necessity or despotism has erected between men are shattered.”23 It was Nietzsche, of all the European classical scholars, who emphasized the Dionysian roots of ancient Greek drama, who saw the mad, ecstatic inspiration behind the Greeks’ stately art — who, metaphorically speaking, dared consider not just the deathless symmetry of the vase but the wild dancing figures painted on its surface. What the god demanded, according to Nietzsche, was nothing less than the human soul, released by ecstatic ritual from the “horror of individual existence” into the “mystical Oneness” of rhythmic unity in the dance.

Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets, p34

three hour work day
May 3, 2008, 1:48 am
Filed under: the sweet life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

(wilde | kierkegaard | sloths | sloth)

The line between sloth and doing nothing is very fine.  Sloth is loaded up as a sin whereas doing nothing can mean communing with people who matter, even God himself.

“Theories and polemics about sloth have figured widely in Western thought in the work of artists, philosophers, and cultural critics as diverse as Aquinas, Nietzsche, and Malevich, as well as Marx, Kierkegaard, and Wilde. In Dante’s Purgatorio, for example, sloth is described as being the “failure to love God with all one’s heart, all one’s mind, and all one’s soul.” A more secular viewpoint on sloth is provided by Paul LaFargue, Karl Marx’s son-in-law, who authored the influential The Right to be Lazy (1883) and tirelessly campaigned for a three-hour workday. Likewise, in his manifesto in praise of laziness (1993), Zagreb-based artist Mladen Stilinovic suggests that Western artists are too preoccupied with promotion and production, and are thus less artists than producers.”

~from the Slought Foundation website

“Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good.”

– Soren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855), Either/Or, Vol. 1

“To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.”

– Oscar Wilde, (1854-1900), The Critic as Artist

but down below there are desires
April 24, 2008, 10:20 am
Filed under: unseen world | Tags: , , , , , , ,

This is the egg head version of Dilbert. I feel like I have lived this in every place I have worked in America, both large and small. Deleuze and Guattari describe a two tiered world, a revealed so-called rational one of technique and control, and the other underground, libidinous, oppressed. And there is a link – repressors want to be repressed, the neuroses of the hidden world percolate up.

QUESTION: When you describe capitalism, you say: “There isn’t the slightest operation, the slightest industrial or financial mechanism that does not reveal the dementia of the capitalist machine and the pathological character of its rationality (not at all a false rationality, but a true rationality of *this* pathology, of *this madness*, for the machine does work, be sure of it). There is no danger of this machine going mad, it has been mad from the beginning and that’s where its rationality comes from. Does this mean that after this “abnormal” society, or outside of it, there can be a “normal” society?

GILLES DELEUZE: We do not use the terms “normal” or “abnormal”. All societies are rational and irrational at the same time. They are perforce rational in their mechanisms, their cogs and wheels, their connecting systems, and even by the place they assign to the irrational. Yet all this presupposes codes or axioms which are not the products of chance, but which are not intrinsically rational either. It’s like theology: everything about it is rational if you accept sin, immaculate conception, incarnation. Reason is always a region cut out of the irrational — not sheltered from the irrational at all, but a region traversed by the irrational and defined only by a certain type of relation between irrational factors. Underneath all reason lies delirium, drift. Everything is rational in capitalism, except capital or capitalism itself. The stock market is certainly rational; one can understand it, study it, the capitalists know how to use it, and yet it is completely delirious, it’s mad. It is in this sense that we say: the rational is always the rationality of an irrational. Something that hasn’t been adequately discussed about Marx’s *Capital* is the extent to which he is fascinated by capitalists mechanisms, precisely because the system is demented, yet works very well at the same time. So what is rational in a society? It is — the interests being defined in the framework of this society — the way people pursue those interests, their realisation. But down below, there are desires, investments of desire that cannot be confused with the investments of interest, and on which interests depend in their determination and distribution: an enormous flux, all kinds of libidinal-unconscious flows that make up the delirium of this society. The true story is the history of desire. A capitalist, or today’s technocrat, does not desire in the same way as a slave merchant or official of the ancient Chinese empire would. That people in a society desire repression, both for others and *for themselves*, that there are always people who want to bug others and who have the opportunity to do so, the “right” to do so, it is this that reveals the problem of a deep link between libidinal desire and the social domain. A “disinterested” love for the oppressive machine: Nietzsche said some beautiful things about this permanent triumph of slaves, on how the embittered, the depressed and the weak, impose their mode of life upon us all.

~conversation about their book Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari