From: Ariosto Raggo <df803@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 12:41:47 -0400 (EDT)
I was thinking the other day of buying some volumes of the arcana
that i found in a second hand book store. All I remember of Kant
and Swedenborg is reading his essay where he tries to show using
pseudo-Cartesian that Swedenborg is insane and that he couldn't
possibly be communicating with the spirit world. I always remember
Borges remark that such lucid turn of mind couldn't possibly insane.
He recommended it as a great work of fantasy.
There is something to be said about philosophy and symbolic language,
metaphors and even allegory. Few people can say much of anything on
this and even miss when it comes to Kant for instance the negative
theological implications so having Kant sit down for a chat with Juan
just seems plain bizarre.
Before I forget, there is a passage where Kant writes with regards to
how the mind through quiet contemplation attunes the feeling of the
sublime through nature: "it is precisely nature's inadequacy to the
ideas--and this presupposes both that the mind is receptive to ideas
and that the imagination strains to treat nature as a schema for them--
that constitutes what both repels our sensibility and yet attracts at
the same time, because it is a dominance [Gewalt] that reason exerts
over sensibility only for the sake of expanding it commensurately with
reason's own domain (the practical one) and letting it look outward
toward the infinite, which for sensibility is an abyss" (p.124)
I think the pain and suffering involves a sacrificial imagination that
in a general economy expends the resources available as a potlatch, a
raising of the stakes that doesn't bank on a cyclical return on
expenditure and so gift or sacrifice becomes the "absolute duty" which
when it becomes a calculating on a return on prayer(fire) which
releases the perfume in the myrrh limits to some gain in the future
usually indicated by posivitive words like a "better life" or
"immortality" or "salvation" or "redemption" or even "ecstasy" or the
"good" and "true" and "just"
There is dreamtime here somewhere when research becomes imaginary eras.
To some extent this is Derrida's criticism of a speculating dialectic but
what I am saying is he is doing it from the inside, or maybe this
really doesn't matter since his private life is his own business and I
am sure a secret impossible to bring under the light of some
phenomenological revelation and manifestation. So this is what I am
pursuing, this closer look at the imagination as a sacrificial operation
without return, without recompense that doesn't bank on the future and
is therefore an *absolute* secret gift and not one that is limited and
There is an economic practice at play in prayer.
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