About the Author:
Kaj Bernhard Genell, born in Gothenburg 1944. Lives and works in Gothenburg since then. Adress: Richertsgatan 14, 41260, Gothenburg,
Kaj Genell has hitherto concentrated on studies in philosophy and of literature. Grad. High school Majornas HAL,1963. Studies at Houvedskou school of painting in Gothenburg 1964.University studies at The University of Gothenburg 1963-64,1968-1972. History of Arts, English language and literature, History of Ideas and knowledge, History of Literature (80p), Philosophy ( practical & theoretical ) (40p), Sociology (Karlstad),
Ironi och existens , Bokförlaget Korpen ,Göteborg, 1983.
Splittringar ,Bokförlaget Korpen, Göteborg, 1985.
Pistolen, 2018. BoD.
Tavelstölden, 2018. BoD.
Tegelkrona och skönheten, 2019.BoD.
Kafka och det kafkaeska, 2017.BoD.
Kafka, (Engl.) 2021.BoD.
Fell´s Point, (Engl.) under the pseud. “Bill Clactoe”, 2021.
Website: www.kajgenell.com .-
KBG, Gbg, 13,11 2021.
Kaj Bernh. Genell
Copyright © Kaj B. Genell 2021.
MONOLOGUE ON THE MONOLOGUE.
Kaj Bernh. Genell
Copyright©Kaj B. Genell 2021. .
CONTENT of this book:
Preface. The pure joy of reflection. § 1. The Monologue. § 2. The pure Joy of Reflection. § 3. Monologue and Philosophy. § 4. Monologue versus dialogue. § 5. Philosophy and Self-Knowledge. The Apory. § 6. Some Notes concerning Paradoxes in the Philosophy of Mathematics incl. Self-reference. § 7. Some Light on the Behaviorists. §. 8. Some Light on the Self and the Analytical Philosophers. § 9. Psychological Considerations. § 10. Linguistic Considerations. § 11. Some Light on Psychoanalysis. § 12. Some Light on Myself. § 13 Some Light on the Benefit of Doubt. § 14 The Philosophy of Dialogue. § 15. The Birth of Dialogue Philosophy. § 16. Martin Buber and Michael Bachtin. § 17. .All alone. Monologue Man. § 18. Jacques Lacan. § 19. The Dialogue Theologians. §. 20. The Form of Monologue is extension, ar- ticulation and direction. § 21. The Monologue that is True is much like Writing itself, a risky Business. § 22. Vertigo. § 23. About Comparison itself. § 24. The Monologue of Life. §. 25. On the Timelessness of Monologue. §. 26. The Energy. § 27. The Main Forms of Monologue. § 28. The Point. § 29. Monologue 1. And Monologue 2. § 30. The Catastrophe and Waywarding and Monologue 1 and Monologue 2. § 31. Monologue 3. § 32. Monologue 4. § 33. Monologue 5. § 34. Authors and Authors, a distinction. § 35. S. Kierkegaard second Contribution to the Theory. § 36. The Old Idea of Writing about Nothing at All. § 37. Monologue as Pure Loneliness. § 38. Circles. § 39. The Metaphysical Truth of Monologue. § 40. The Counter Theories. § 41. The Theory of the Supra-Natural and the Double Track. § 42. The Dialogue Theory Itself – as a Counter- Theory. § 43. The Inner Traitor. § 44. Monologue according to Novalis. § 45. Monologue of an Ape. ( Kafka ) § 46. Monologue concerning a price on Eternal Bliss. § 47. Comparisons in General. Again. § 48. Now, what does this mean?
The title is a true bagatelle." ( Gotth. E. Lessing ) PREFACE. I.
A Critique of pure Dialogue and all sorts of philosophies of dialogue. Small Notions about the nature of the Essay:
"All cannot satisfy Man." ( W. Blake )
"Overflow of energy is the key to human life." ( S. Weil )
"Es gingen zwei Parallellen ins Endlose hinaus." ( Chr. Morgenstern )
"Weg von hier, das ist mein Ziel." ( Fr. Kafka )
"Ursprung ist das Ziel." ( Schleiermacher )
"I would like to write a book, a book about nothing at all, a book with not the slightest bonds to the utter world and that only would hold together by the power of its own style." ( G. Flaubert.)
A Critique of the during the 20th Century widely ruling "Philosophy of Dialogue". A Critique largely built upon my anger at some works by Martin Buber, as well as upon an idea about motion from Sören Kierkegaard, displayed in a letter to his perhaps only friend ever, Etatsraadet, Kolderup-Rosenvinge, in the turbulent and, to the two capitalists, scary year of 1848. ---------
I want to bring to the attention of my conservative public concerning the Monologue, in a critique of the overflow, the vortex, of essays & papers on the bliss of dialoguing!! - for what important purpose it might serve. I want to convey "my view on Man". Man is nothing but his monologue. Plus literature concerning this monologue. I want to write a fairy tale,... or a horror story, a real Cornell Woolrich story on monologues, monologues contrasting dialogues, using a ( yes! ) monologue… It has, all through since the time of old Hegel, been the common view that man is nothing, without a relation to somebody else. This is of course both right and entirely wrong - as everybody knows -, but it is such a very easy task to write about the relational thing, the You and I, and "the Other", - while a much harder task to try to investigate the real important and tricky condition: man´s relation to himself, and the development (!) of every one of us concerning ourselves. Yes, one might compare the abundance of apotheoses of the dialogue to the maelstrom of books that are flooding our bookstores, books about changing location, about immigration and emigration, about trying, in vain mostly, to root oneself in a new country. This is of course only fruitless in so far as that one might write endlessly about this subject, without ever coming to any conclusion. The essential thing to write about is of course about staying in the same spot, living in one´s own home, one´s own street the entire life. This is a subject where one is prone to come to a conclusion. And an interesting one. Because what is the problem to the one, that has settled in a new country, certainly is a more astute, and a more concise problem to the one who already is living there. The immigrant always can blame himself for being an immigrant. And most certainly and frequently does. The native citizen of old Gothenburg cannot blame anything at all. He just has to face reality. “Truth is in the street.” Nietzsche once said. This is true. In the street, not on the road. This task here is not about staying at home, but about talking or writing –and this subject is here named Monologism. As if it was a philosophical school or a method. ---- Furthermore ( other than not being a philosophical school ) it deals with this problem – of reaching the Truth by oneself - and is a severe critique of the humbug of all the dialogicans all around us, people who are wasting our time and money in telling us simple things we know, while they are very evasive in respect to the important stuff: "How can I know when it is time to decide for myself?" Because the important things in life, are decisions, and decisions are always made in complete loneliness and when facts seem sufficiently clear, by isolated subjects, by specific souls, in solitude, in the darkest hour. I dare say.
"Di mentira, y sacara el verdad!" ( Old - true - Spanish proverb.)
( (i.e.) "Do lie, - and the truth will emerge!"..... )
"Man is born a hypocrite." ( S. Kierkegaard )
"Brevity is the soul of wit." ( William Shakespeare) –
"Being an author - well, yes, I like it very much: if I should be completely honest, I have to say, that I have been in love with the producing thing - but please note, to produce in the way I like it. And what I have loved has been the opposite to being in the moment ( Da. "Öieblikket" ). The distance in which I, like someone in love, have been dragging myself behind my own thoughts, and, like a musician in love with his instrument, enjoying myself with language, pulling the expressions out of it required by the thought - a blissful pastime: I could not get tired of this occupation for an eternity!" ( S.K. Oieblikket No.1, 1855, a few months before his death. )
One life - one monologue. We might try to write a monologue on the monologue. We do suspect, that all monologues are not of the same kind. We suspect that they differ a great deal. My presupposition is that we all have one. If there are sorts, which sort is that of mine, and which is Kierkegaard's, and what kind of monologue do You have? Without a doubt, there are readers, who quite at this early stage have formed an opinion concerning my matter: "This is pure metaphysics!" Because without any facts from the field of experimental psychology it is philosophy, and philosophy concerning monologues are most likely metaphysics. The best definition of metaphysics, that I know of, is Voltaire´s: "Metaphysics is what everybody knows, and what nobody will ever know anything about." We may say that that could be an accurate refutation from my readers. But, we could also maintain, that although the writing of philosophy, and of metaphysics is a deplorable thing, it can come up with many things under ways that are not at all are entirely metaphysics. One might – for instance – come up with some new QUESTION. I can not dwell on the origin and nature of metaphysics, philosophy and speculation, because we must rapidly proceed to important things! We all know what a monologue is, but that does not of course necessarily mean that the writing on the subject of monologues is pure metaphysics. To the philosophically inexperienced reader this whole argument, this bulk of text of mine, that you are going to read – or at least scroll through - could seem childish and another laughing matter, or a tragicomedy and consequently a waste of everybody´s time. But, all texts on philosophical matter seem a bit childish. It is in the nature of the philosophical task. This … apparent innocence. We all indulge in monologuing but do we do this differently, each one of us? Are there types of monologuing and monologues? "The one, who has taken a habit in writing, writes also when he has nothing to say, just like the old doctor, who checked the pulse on the armchair in which he sat dying." ( A. de Rivarol ) G.H. Mead – the behaviorist - claimed: ”Anyone who uses a symbol has a Mind.” And anyone that uses his symbols and Mind at lengt, for a period of time, is likely to produce a Monologue, since there are not always people around, to whom one might talk. Silently or overtly, we are all carrying on with our monologues. But what happens when he are performing them? What is a monologue?
M y deepest intention here is to develop some thoughts on the possible capability of human beings to think for themselves. We are ( I am ) taking a position that is opposite to the all too common... mumbo jumbo dialogue-philosophy, partly for a steady contrast and partly just for a beginning. And I am taking the position that it is. I certainly do not KNOW if people can think for themselves. I am going to try to reason around this issue! It is a proper beginning - too - with the acknowledgment that I do share S.A. Kierkegaard´s deep pathologically grounded mistrust in authorities. My opinion is, that it ought to be everybody´s opinion that counts, and that there is not a single authority on this earth. The so-called "authorities" have never done mankind any good. ----- They are naturally part of the system of power and illusions ( MYTHS ) that often are necessary. But it is essential to know of the system of illusions. Myths. I also regard this paper as an ongoing discussion with my Self, ( during steady suspicion of both adversaries ) - or myself, ( lat. sololoquia ), - and those readers who are interested in the subject, - there are such people I suppose, are welcome to follow my thoughts as they appear here. This discussion with myself concerning the subject of monologues ends inevitably very soon up in some sort of reduplication. I am looking upon a communicative phenomenon by using the very same phenomenon, and at the same time I am looking upon this doing! ( Hence this title - Monologue on the monologue - that to most people probably only seems artificial and kind of ... snobbish, while it is, in fact, a pretty accurate title, I think. “Talk about the monologue” would actually seem even sillier, as if one was about to do something else, much more important, after having given this talk. This is - like I already told you thrice - a paper on monologues. Now, it is the definition of a monologue, that A. IT IS something, not to be allowed to be interrupted. And: B. That it will last until it is finished. Until the final point.( . ). It is at least the starting point of the definition of a monologue. The most urgent qualification of a "philosophical mind", is that not sunk deep down into idleness or dull expertness, and the most urgent task is to put things in question, it is to interrogate and to interrogate again and again. A means to this is to create doubleness. (Cf. Adorno.) And it is essential not to (o)ogle ( to explicitly glance …) at the so-called authorities; in the fact: that there are none: "Since nobody ever really was any authority, or helped anybody by being it .., " ( S. Kierkegaard, Philosophical fragments, 1841.p. 17.) -; this is confirmed even by many of "the authorities themselves".... Thus were the opinions of, - for example -, Einstein, Kierkegaard, and Wittgenstein too.... all men, who never wanted to be regarded as authorities, that there were none, or should at least never be anyone regarded. ( Only a stupid - or evil or greedy - person wants to be an authority! The sometimes very complicated task of philosophy is to undermine every authority. Why I am talking about authority when I am supposed to talk about monologues is a good question. But I will ensure you, that monologues have a lot to do with the presence and absence of authority. A little simplified can this be put thus: A very dangerous monologue is full of authority, whereas a good monologue is completely void of such a phenomenon. And maybe - this is what I want - it is easy to see, from the outside, so to speak, which is which, in every specific case. However, the main subject here is History, e.g. the history of personal conscience & consciousness. Truth is not a fixed thing. It never stays put. It transforms. It moves forwards. Consciousness transforms too. There is no such thing as a fixed Self-consciousness. And: There are no authorities. If I only could achieve two things with this work, - to make at least one human being unwilling to acknowledge both authorities and a quite mysterious self-consciousness, - and come to know, in a pleasant way of course, ( - what the great French philosopher D. Diderot, the author of Le Neveu de Rameau aimed at - ) why he or she shouldn´t -, I would be more than happy. I really do not - myself - mind it taking quite a while..... NOW: I intend to show you, in this essay, that there are two main forms of discourse on this ( and any other ) planet: 1. Mon 1. in which one talks TO a distant, never reached, point. and:
2. Mon 2. in which one is talking FROM a set, fixed point, in aeternum. and perhaps some subforms of these ........
This book is – regardless of what I just said - of course COMPLETELY ridiculous. But just because it is, it may be of some worth to some People. I also must warn the reader, that, while it seems likely that this book is about monologues, it is not 100% certain, that it is.
Kaj Bernh. Genell, Gothenburg, Nov. 2021.
§ 1. THE MONOLOGUE.
"C onversation is speech which transcends that which is required by business." ( Dr. Samuel Johnson. - the author of Prince Rasselas of Abbessinia, The Lives of the Poets et al. who never took the trouble of graduating .... ) ( conversatio = lat. intimacy ) The monologue is no conversation. Conversation is a kind of dialogue, but of course a game. Dialogue too. Sokrates knew very well that dialogue was absolutely pointless. What matters is to make up one´s mind during a long walk on a tour in the city.
Writing about writing in general and at the same time - in writing - being aware of one's own activity and adding writing to writing in a subsequent process is also writing. Writing in monitoring writing. Writing about the joy and bliss of writing and at the same time experiencing the joy and bliss of it. Inserting some important notions in the middle of picaresque reasoning á la Laurence Sterne. And: "If you want to be understood, don´t explain yourself!" as the French comedy writer said. Take your time! The important thing in life is to love and to understand.. It is the nature of a monologue to be very long. I cannot change nature. This book is earnest. I am not joking. I am not rallying either.
The phenomenology of rallying can be depicted like this: X did not want to rally anymore. He realized that he had just passed the stage of rallying. It happened like this, that a student approached him while he was downtown. This student made X aware, that he was in fact just … rallying. ”Sooo?”, X had replied, in a snorting way. But the student then had said: “Rallying is very tiresome at length. Not just because it tends to repeat itself, but because it is without responsibility. What the person who rallies really is saying actually is, that Truth is not here, nor have I the slightest clue where it is! It is pure nonchalance to rally, and it is a cheap and vulgar way to act to feel free and to be able to act without responsibility. ”Pardon?”, X retorted. ”Yes, thus, a person who rallies is like one who ironizes over everything, thus negating it all with irony and means of irony. He does not take any responsibility. Perhaps the one that is rallying himself believes that he is making CARICATURES of something or some people, and thus by caricaturing does REVEAL something. But I tell you, that rallying is not at all as PRECISE as a caricature is. The rallying person just carries on and on in his rallying, and does never actually pinpoint any problem at all! The rallying “activist” Is letting the rallying entertain and carry away with himself, so that one as a listener and spectator is unable to determine when the caricature ends and the pure farce begins. By this one cannot generally blame the rallying person for anything special. A person, who does not say anything substantial, anything special, cannot possibly substantially be blamed for anything special. What a rallying person can be blamed for is, however, that he rallies.” “When everything sums up”, the obnoxious student concluded, ”not a soul will ever remember a single word of the discourse, presented by the rallying person. His words were all like a Naught, like a wind, like the content of an empty bottle. Pure nonsense. He, of course, always left us and our parties without ever being charged with anything, but in general, he was by everybody looked upon as a fool and an actual devilish bastard.” X never after indulged in rallying.
§ 2. The great pleasure - joy - of "pure" reflection.......
“Did Edgar Allen Poe ever laugh?” ( G. Bachelard, L´eau et les rêves. )
I am, metaphorically speaking, - and I think it is the same with my fellow human beings - always standing in front of - right in front of - what I do not understand! It is even like I am always standing in front of a brick wall that I am ( at last ) aware of, but that I still cannot clearly perceive. I am always ( awake or not ) standing in front of this wall, alone with my reflection. Like every other human being.
Reflexion is, - as I am using the word ( spelled both "reflection" and "reflection" ) -, both passions and thought, and I am also aware that reflecting is always something that goes on in between some other entities. Reflection is a relation occurring in between. Where empty identity ( THINGS THAT ARE WHAT THEY ARE ) has not yet closed itself in, is reflection. Reflection is like an activity of freedom in a room, where no borders have legitimacy, but those of language. ( A situation severe enough! ) Where joy still can spread its wings .... Loaded with pleasure, without pain, ... dancing. Reflection is, - so to speak-, the "happy rhetoric"-: it tries to convince Yourself, that You not yet know what You, by this activity, soon will be able to know..... ( Just as irony is "happy consciousness", according to Vl. Malévitch ). The very fact, that it is a question about rhetoric, an inner rhetoric, is something that you might not feel inclined to regard initially as so important. Reflection has a kinship to rhetoric, - especially if you have become aware of Man as a Being with great difficulty ( and diffuse one ) to be honest to itself, be at ease with himself, to agree with himself - because now it is immediately the question about some kind of dualism, where rhetoric - despite the dullness of the concept - immediately is an apt mediator. S. Kierkegaard ( the more or less secret hero of my book ) once expressed his way of handling this thus: "I associate with myself as with a suspect." In reality, Kierkegaard looked upon himself as a criminal. The forms of rhetoric ( EVERYTHING can be looked upon as such ) can, according to the learned well-known, abundant Italian philosopher Umberto Eco ( in his famous La struttura assente, 1971 .) be divided into two:
"Thus appears a twofold use and a twofold acceptance of the rhetoric: 1. Rhetoric as generative technique, which is heuristic rhetoric, which aims at pursuing by discussion. 2. Rhetoric as storage for dead and redundant forms, which is consoling rhetoric, which aims at the confirmation of the opinions of the recipient by pretending to discuss them, but in reality only dissolves in an effusive display of sentiment."
It is convincing and consoling and it gives knowledge at the same time! Reflection is in fact very much like a Perpetuum mobile. I. e.: An ongoing process of pure pleasure, which without any difficulty roots itself within us human beings ( with all us, we who are disintegrated, us, ....all us unsystematic ...). Reflection is like a landscape without any kind of outer borders. Reflecting is often thinking, without thinking of any other landscapes. And then - it is easy to be suspecting this - it is much too easy for ( any ) philosophy to flourish. In places in between, between what I do and what I do not do, reflection can easiest exist.--- Reflection is continuous, - it is like a hand upholding me in an atmosphere ( Yes. Everything is continuous, as long as it lasts, - that I may freely add by a thinking ( thought-activity), a spirit, which maybe will evolve to a personality. That You can say. ( Or the reverse.). A continuous work concerning the observation, - and at the same time a conscious look inwards -, and not outwards, - inwards into every corner, collecting from there every tiny reaction upon what might have aroused a feeling ... from outside ....; - a linking together, unbound by any kind of interest, and steadily blocking of other lusts and desires, than that of the desire for reflection, but yet capable of using all these lusts and desires. Just like lustful breathing. ( Like the picture of the intellectual pleasure of the old original German romantics )- thus this kind of reflection can rather properly be characterized, - the reflection, which - thus - gets some kind of an aesthetic stamp, like " the disinterested",( a concept much used by, for example, Hegel ) -, very, very much interested aesthetically, when we look upon it "in and for itself",( i. e. according to its own presuppositions ), but it can, and it also - one may think - ought to grow and become something ethical,- and this - and we - will thus create a much wider view, open up the perspective ...... Søren Kierkegaard once wrote: "I am the one, who has taken every step with reflection." - He probably did not mean by this, that he had not reflected upon his real steps, but that he had taken those steps - now as real as those steps were - with reflection.... ( Maybe he could not have taken them without the help from ( or example of ) Hegel... We all do need our incitements. - I will explain what I mean by this below.... ). The fact that You are reflecting, and that You are reflecting upon that You are reflecting in such a way, that You are constantly aware of Your own reactions, by the fact that, - in making every step of reflecting, - just like the sketcher, when he sketches, after one or a couple of pencil strokes is lifting his pencil to take a look at the situation, look for in what direction the last couple of strokes has brought him or her, looks if it is alright,- and he or she learns from this, memorizes from where e came and whereto the last couple of strokes brought him or her...; - just in about the same situation is the reflecting person, - "the reflective thought" as the philosopher generally names him or her. And it did not take me long to make an analogy. Suppose this impossibility of making a visual picture of something as, the way, I see it, was ( is ) parallel to an impossibility of a mental construction of thought in my head ( something a bit like what Locke, Kant, and Hume already long ago had pointed out to the learned and educated...), to picture the world in my head, without to much contrast - suppose my reflection upon the world was distorted, richer of contrast, from the start, in order to make me a better reflector, - what would happen if I used this reflection, the very excellent, all too excellent, too much for a contrast, reflective thought, to reflect upon this to contrasted reflection ( itself )? The same distorting excellency would necessarily be carried on to the new field, to the meta-reflection, without my noticing it... As J. W. von Goethe once put it: "Just because a man knows how to speak a language, he also thinks that he is able to talk about language." I have always thought that the main fault with human thinking is, that people learn much too fast and too easily. And it also always has been clear to me, that some people seem to be created by someone to believe practically anything. Now. Then it will elapse for me - in my project concerning reflective thought - some time. It is for me a new time, a new "Now", and it has become time to choose. Would I be satisfied with this allegedly distorted thought? ( It seemed to me a probable hypothesis, that the analogy was right, regarding what I had learned about the human race. The fact that I am in "good company" with all the rest of humans brings very little consolation. The search for the perfect thought, the perfect language, the perfect scientific outlook still haunts me... But as the great Irish poet Dylan Thomas ( who drank too much ) once said in a "lecture" in the U.S.A.: "I am only human, as the man says, who deep inside him refuses to believe it....". Suddenly I decide, I will reflect upon the world and upon reflection the way humans do. I will not try to reflect upon things the way some sort of allegedly perfect machine would do BUT dwell in an imperfect reflection, dwell amongst all these absurd beliefs, incredible idealistic views on dialogue, all overloaded philosophical projects, all important and non-important Smalltalk of the world, everything that is thought out of greed, and all that which comes out of love, and so on..... and I will like it that way. So, this paper is a distorted reflection upon distorted REAL reflection on monologues. ( One might wonder what all other papers, texts, discourses in this world are. Or one might rather not... Most of them are naturally rubbish and lies .). Now, I guess, You can understand better how I look upon the pleasure of reflection. It is also not an immediate look. It is a mediated.
§ 3. Monologue and philosophy.
"If the arguments had a voice, they would laugh at us." ( Plato )
A. The "reflective thought".
T he first step for the reflective thought is to reflect upon the Now, when Eternity swiftly touches Time, in Kierkegaard´s words. The reflection upon the reflection, - the so-called reduplication - or reduplicative thought -, is the one about whether the original reflection was a new one, whether it brought new knowledge to mind, - because it would tidy the process to be controlling the correctness of thought all the time. It is important to follow up the feeling accompanying the reflection, - to enjoy it, if it is enjoyable -, to look upon the newborn reality, i.e. the new thought, which hopefully has brought the reflective thought, the Philosopher or what he might be calling him - or herself - into a land that this mind never even dream of would lay open to it. The reflective thought is in love with reflection, and especially in its re-duplicative form. ( example: A Monologue on monologues.) It is quite another thing with reflection that only is concerned with immediate experience, with "immediate reality", - what we have described above is the reflective thought concerning itself with symbols and languages already familiar to it. With reflection on things unfamiliar or immediate reality, it is not the same, and not usually the business of this so-called reflective thought, - which most often is, once it started, close to an automatic process. In this paper I am not concerned with ontological or metaphysical issues, that is: I am not interested in what is the nature of things, not where we come from, not where we are, not where we go, and not: where from comes language? Our subject is - first-hand - the "given reflection"... and the reduplication. This, the "given reflection", which we all know of, is always a kind of duplicity, a movement in two opposite directions, - it is making more precise by dividing, by making distinctions, dividing by using the negation. By comparison. Once in a while reflection ends up in a place where it is easy to breathe ( again ), where the most solemn Peace reigns, at the elysian fields of the intellectual reflection, the most unknown paradoxical Paradise... And it is not about negative freedom, a kind of freedom where one is free from..., because there is still much to prove in this new -established freedom, this field is a possibility coming from nowhere, and on which it could be made up another certain "close-to-reality", which can bring joy and laughter to the remotest corners of the human heart... Reflection may never be a "suppose so", but always an intellectual act(-tion), - it has to be such so that it is possible to classify it as a step in an evolution of thought and personality, where every step is taken once and for all, and there are no repent-clause written... A reflection is a reflection, forever, and it is always a part of my life, however futile this reflection may be... It is part of my lifelong monologue. It is hard to discern my history of reflection from the history of my life, the story of my life.
This "close-to-Realitas" is as good a reality as any. "Close to" is what You could name:" close by". This, the very real about reflecting, reflection, is - when we think harder and closer - the very foundation of reflection. The degree (measure) of reality in reflection seems for some people very early be higher than the degree of reality in a common thing, like of a chair, that suddenly falls apart, a planet that dissolves, a human being who dies away...., an Other, whom You generally do not trust, despite what all these dialogue theoreticians say or write. You never quite come to grips with the thoughts of the Other....; thus: it is not only a fact that thought is more real than reality, but it is also certainly safer ( unless You, like the trembling Dr. Johnson, live in constant fear of losing your sanity of mind, ( - he always kept a box with chains under his bed, for others to put on him in case ... ); - You kind of dwell in your thought, even if it probably is true that your feelings may be weaker concerning your own thought than in connection with other people and utter events. In fact, it is not an uncommon experience amongst writers and philosophers..: "Only when I wrote... I really lived." ( Esaias Tegér ) The life of sudden thought. The experience of reality then becomes intense ( ... and the reverse, things appear to be strange... ). Oftly a person thinks: "Reflection is for odd people. For thinkers." Other people are blinded by reflection, their own, but I, myself, I am safe and sound, and slightly thinking, reflecting a little upon them... ( Reflection in many a mind stands as opposed to being a social person.) Or: Often a person thinks: "How lucky he is. He lives in a world of thought. I myself, unfortunately, have to live with reality." We all know, that there are lucky and unlucky people in both categories. There are, indeed unfortunate people, living "real lives", as well as fortunate and unfortunate people in the world of reflection. It is not at all unusual to find confused people among those, who do not properly value the reality of a chair, planet, or another human being. Reflection is a daring thing. A Poet just has to have a strong longing for "the Real". A philosopher does not. Marcel Proust has expressed the essential aspects like this: "I turn inwards towards my soul. It is the one who shall find the truth. But how? A deep uncertainty comes every time the soul feels its shortcomings; as it at the same time is the seeker and the dark land, that shall be sought through, where no extra means are available. Seek? It is not enough a word: create. The soul stands in front of something that yet does not exist and which it alone can realize and penetrate with the light of its own...." ( A la recherche du temps perdu, I, p. 48. ).. "at the same time"...,- Now already a wise man ought to give the whole thing up. But I do not...
Now, if the Monologue can be seen ( like by S:t. Augustine of Hippo, ) as written for the individual himself: Is self-reflection - in close connection with "talking to oneself" - possible at all? It is, to this day, a controversial question. What does it really mean, effectively, to talk to oneself? Something radical? Something important? Is it a " déliberation in time" -, to speak in terms of the witty Chaim Prelaman? Cf. J.-J. Rousseau´s not so well-known dialogue project, Rousseau Juge de Jean-Jaques,( 1772-1776). - We will be returning to J.-J.. later on. Is self-knowledge possible at all? ( We do not think of Psychoanalysis as the way. Why will be explained later on? ). We all though would like to believe it. But, do we believe it? Is not self-knowledge only an illusion? Am I anything else than "the dream my body is dreaming "? ( cit. Mr. J. L. Borges., - an author who has deplorably distinguished himself in criticizing the excellent Kafka for writing too long stories! It is a shame, I think, for any such writer as Mr. Borges to criticize what he doesn´t understand. Please, don´t criticize what you don´t understand! Because he does not. ). Now, is it possible? And would I (!) be the man to answer such a question? Consulting myself.... and a heap of books... Or: to specify a question inside that question, and radicalize it ( and make concrete ): Can an individual make up a decision within a dialogue with himself;- i. e. make a difference in an inner monologue, which has this character of inner speaking? ( Of course, he can. We do that all the time.... ) --- Now. Then we have something, that we know: that people are making decisions in inner monologues... Or it is an illusion, or we have overlooked something? It is not easy to prove anything about decision-making. Kierkegaard gave it all up, referring to the decision as something covered up for us, something that happened in vertigo......( Jean-Paul Sartre wrote somewhere: "When you really are beginning to think of what to should do, you have actually already decided." Les Jeux sont faites. - But, that is a strange thing of him to say. Especially him. Bryan Maggee refers maliciously ( but true enough ) to Sartre as "the journalist" in his magnificent book on Schopenhauer: Confessions of a Philosopher (1997). I understand what he is getting at .). What is L´Étre et le Néant ? What has it do do with? Let us say - preliminary - that we know SOMETHING,...... for a start. We can decide because we think we do. Now, another, - a little bit more itchy question: Can an individual change? Can an individual change in his soul, in his kernel? Can he change direction? ( Of course - I know a man who stopped drinking and gave up work and grew kind, which he never was...).Yes. Then we know that too, approximately, and we can indulge ourselves in the study of the "HOW" and "WHEN" and "WHY", and really try to get to grips with the monologue, regarding our lives as monologues.
§ 4. Monologue versus ( or: and ) dialogue.
"Most people who start reading a book, do that with a conception on how they themselves would have written it, or how someone else, than the actual author, would have written it. /... / Here we can see the first possibility of not being able to read a book /..../ two extremes meet: the most stupid and the most genial, which both have in common, that they are unable to read a book, the first out of emptiness', the latter from the richness of ideas." ( S. Aabye Kierkegaard )
S uppose all the authors on dialogue in the world are part of a giant conspiracy against the common man? It is what this is all about. Suppose Dialogueism is not a Freedom movement at all, but a CONSERVATIVE project? Buber was a conservative, and a mystic, as well as was Hammarskjöld. Not much in this world would be regarded as self-evident to me. But that every human being needs to communicate with others, that - I think - as self-evident. But not to the philosophers of dialogue. They keep making great money in pointing out this "insight" anew and anew, and as if nobody ever has grasped the inner meaning of their message. All I can say is: "We hear you!!" The trouble is - that IT IS NOT THE WHOLE TRUTH! The main truth, in fact, lies elsewhere. It is kinda the way it was with Darwin, It was all true, ....... - but na the whole truth! Only that Darwin actually was a scientist. Buber was not. Buber was a mystic.
§ 5. Philosophy and self-knowledge. The apory. ( i.e. contradiction ).
"We are all living in a huge novel." ( Fr. von Hardenberg, Novalis/ or .... possibly Schelling )
"Das Ich ist nicht zu retten." ( Ernst Mach. ).
D ifficulties inherent in the problem of Self-knowledge. And - My God!- Self-reference. A.) The whole matter about self-knowledge is, in fact, a whole cluster of ( to philosophers huge ) problems. They partly cling together and they all are close to, or accomplish, the central problems of man. And they are problems, which one poses rather often to oneself, but seldom takes the time to,- or sees the advantage in -, extend into terms of discussion. They are problems, which we nearly always ignore, so they are left hanging about... And we are very often inclined to let them pass over into questions concerning the personal character and will-power, right or wrong-,we discard the problem of freedom by acting. Freedom is in its kernel - its punctum salis ( the small red spot in the middle of the egg, that later will become the heart of the living animal, observed and thus named by Aristotle once ... ) - completely unknown to us, - and we are doing the same thing over and over again with this knowledge: we renounce it, annihilate it, and proceeds directly to action. We are not solving the problem of investigating the nature of will and the nature of decision and acting, but we transcend it permanently in action. We do not transform the problem into action. We are neglecting it. Cutting the Gordian knot. But it is still always there ( not just for philosophers I think...). It is underlying many of our daily intercourse and controversies. In our pretext here - and in many others, for many other persons - might it be described as the problem around what You might call "self-determination", the indisputable right to be and to protect a "Self". I am never talking about the right to exist, the right to be healthy, not hungry, the right to be happy or such things, since I am of the opinion that these rights are superficial. The right to be and protect a Self is not superficial, but it is a little diffuse. We are not so very sure of what this "Self" is, but we take it an evident truth, that we have some such Self of a kind, - a special kind, - mine. ( I will not in the forthcoming parts return to any "evident truths", since it is, in my eyes, bad philosophy to use evidence as support to an argument.) There is, which is alluded to above,- and what most people know -, something very problematic in the nature of self-knowledge and self-reflection. Yes, it is almost something immediate paradoxical, self-contradictory, aporic, in this "phenomenon" and in those various concepts and linguistic figures by which we are expressing ourselves in this, rather frequent, area. This has been pointed out by an endless row of writers beginning with Mr., the prince, Heraclitus, "self has much too deep a Logos..." (Logos= "word", or "knowledge") - Plato and Augustine. ( And it is an important field to bring some clarity in, because it is also a field, where now and then ( sure as x in y ) a charismatic quack stands up and easily seduces people with dizzy-talk about "Who else could You be?"..., putting a giant audience in an inner state of fright.. .). It also seems to me that, ever since the time of Socrates, it remains a misunderstanding about what was meant by the famous inscription above the entrance of the Greek Delphi temple, the appalling "Know thyself!" ( "gnosi seavton" ), which - like an ambiguous Oracle´s whisper - seems to be for ever unjustly hanging on to the name of Socrates,- Socrates the Proteus-like, the elusive half-anarchist, who longevity has been seen ( by the ruling Philosophers of History ) as the "Augur", inaugurator, of Western Culture. Socrates is the idol of all philosophers, only that some don´t know it. One might discern the influence by looking at a philosopher in action. A philosopher is always smiling. There are 1000 theories as to why philosophers, in EVERY seminar in every city around the globe, are smiling. But Socrates is behind many of those.
Numerous people have been, one at a time, ( from Socrates & St. Augustine and forwards ) claimed by others to have been "the first modern man", - the man with ( the mysterious ) Self-consciousness. ( A concept on the denotation of which Kierkegaard doubted. ). Socrates is certainly thus one of them. And partly because of a misunderstanding. The famous Greek Delphi inscription does not have so much to do with introspection, as with the ability to know one´s limits as an individual. It is a warning against the ultimate sin of the ancient Greek culture: the "hybris", presumptuousness. The Gods punish those who challenge Fate and think of themselves as equal to the Gods. ( Cf. the ancient drama... ) ---The olden Greeks were not meditative people. But many classicists came by mishap to look upon the Greeks and their culture in an idealizing, romanticist mood. This I cannot naturally elaborate further here. Now, thinking of self-reflection, to formulate oneself about it, is a daring thing, is to put language at risk, to go to the limits of language, and probably even pass these... It is - as well - to expose oneself to a more or less severe up beating by language. Language - or our brain, - or the World - is not quite built - so to say - for questions of this here type. Socrates naturally is always actual, and nowadays his reputation is quite low ( in Sweden, with the hyperboreans ...). He was only tricking other people to get the upper hand. So they say. The philosophers of our time. This is a shallow view, I think. Let us at first try to have a look at self-knowledge regarded as a common form of knowledge in the classical philosophical meaning of the word. We can then easily (!) see this: Let us, for example, look at the proposition: a.) "There is an "I", who has knowledge about Mabel." This proposition is not especially problematic, if You do not take into consideration such facts as the impossibility to know another person thoroughly, that I am changing, my capability of knowledge, that Mabel changes, and that we all can have different opinions, that there probably is no absolute knowledge about Mabel ever to be had, i.e. that knowledge is imperfect and relative. But these are minor problems now because we know what we do mean by uttering this. Let us proceed to the exact analog ( propositional) statement: b.) "There is an "I", who has knowledge about itself." ( ....ordinarily: "I have knowledge about myself." ). It would not be fair, not to point out immediately the problems connected with these propositions, and not to mention that they have been issue to many books and papers. These propositions lie at the heart of much of the philosophy - and psychology - of the former century, and there are few philosophers, that have not given any comment upon them. ( Cf. Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Nietzsche, Sartre .... the anthology "The Mind´s I", S. Cavell´s "The claim of reason.", in Sweden for instance Eva Mark´s "Självbilder och jagkonstitution.", only to name a few of them... She was irritated upon the vagueness of the term "self-conscience".) But we do not presuppose any "learned" philosophical knowledge from our reader, and we will - like the elders of these authors - give it another - maybe a little bit shorter - shot. In the concept of knowing oneself lies an implication: To know yourself, You have to know that You know. ( This is not analogous to the other issue: "to be oneself". You do not necessarily have to know that You are yourself, to be it. This being could be "executed", "performed", -so to say -, spontaneous .) Socrates became famous because of what the Oracle had uttered about him, that he was the only man, who knew, that he did not know. He then, by the philosophers of History came to be inserted I a "holy row" of non-knowers. He was followed and maybe superseded, by the Spaniard Juan de la Cruz,( in his book on the climbing of the Karmel mountain, The book of Karmel. ) by ancient monks of many kinds, the magnificent anonymous book about the cloud of not-knowing, The cloud of not-knowing, the work of the wise ( and generous ) papal delegate N. Cusanus, ( from Cusa )who wrote De Docta ignorantia... The old skeptics ( esp. the followers of the ancient roman Pyrrhon, the Pyrrhonists: "Knowledge is impossible." And Trismegistos. ) never did achieve the same lofty status. The greatest non-knower of all probably was Wittgenstein, who among many a great doubt in his life, doubted the existence of any philosophical problems at all. But, at least, he claimed that doubting doubt would be no doubt at all.
§ 6. Some notes concerning paradoxes in Philosophy of Mathematics and self-reference.
( T he Liar. ) We hear, and utter - in daily life - propositions about propositions ( i.e. propositions about themselves ). An example from the Greek Eubulides: "I am lying!" ( i.e. "not telling the truth."). It is usually called the paradox of Zeno from Elea in southern Italy ( 495-445 B.C.). In antiquity, it was very popular, and went by various names, among them the Epimenides´proposition. The Cretenser E. asserts: "All Cretensians are lying." This antinomy has been handled differently in modern philosophy. After having found numerous paradoxes of the same structure as the Liar paradox ( Richards, Berry´s, and maybe Grelling´s and Nelson´s ), one has reached a conclusion that all logical and semantic paradoxes more or less directly are referring to themselves, or, - more correctly: they are self-referring. One way to handle this was ( and is ) A.) the A. Tarski way: A language free from antinomies may not be allowed to be semantically closed: it may not include means of expressing the formulation of the semantic of the language itself. Tarski is forbidding expressions like ordinary propositions about language. Other people B.) have been trying to use this paradox to question different propositions in different systems. We might call them the paradox-likers, the paradoxicians. The most famous one of these in modern time is unquestionably Kurt Gödel. His paper, "Uber formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Matematica und verwandter Systeme" (1911) ( On formally Undecidable propositions . (transl. 1962.) is known by almost every student of mathematics, and it makes the unexperienced ... (!) to put in question the whole bulk of human thought. The work of Gödel cannot be characterized very shortly with accuracy ( by me ), but: by arithmatizing the syntax Gödel managed to show a.: that within every axiomatically built mathematical theory ( for example the Russell/Whitehead's Principia Matematica ) always exists assertions, which in a certain way is part of the system, but which can not by proven true or false within the theory ( the so-called proposition of incompleteness or proposition of unprovability, and b.: that the freedom from antinomy with every axiomatic system not can be proved, lest You do not use principles of conclusions so complicated that the question whether they themselves are free from antinomies is quite as open. Gödel´s discovery has been verified a couple of times using other systems as an object of investigation,- for example, the Zeno paradox mentioned-, -. We are now aware that the mathematic theorem is in a weaker position than before, something which does not concern the mathematical proposition since this does not express itself about itself. ( A mathematic theorem always contains both the proposition and its proof. Cf. Euclid and his Elementa.) - ( Bertrand Russell were not so very much disturbed by "the discovery", because he saw that it had no practical implications regarding the efficiency of mathematics. Gödel is not mentioned in his vast autobiography, as far as I remember. I don´t think he ever directly commented upon Gödel´s paper,- and R.s production was vast... A. Einstein invited Gödel when in the U.S.A. to conversations and they became friends.) (Those who are interested in the paradox and in Gödel´s more than remarkable essay may find D. Hofstadter´s Pulitzer Prize -awarded book Gödel, Escher, Bach -an eternal Golden Braid (1979) illuminating, but I also recommend the more concise Gödel´s proof, by E. Nagel and J.R. Newman, an excellent introduction to the problem. Cf. as well El. Goldmann. (2006). ( Gödel also managed to prove the existence of God..... much to my own dislike.) Now is the question of whether the proposition: "I know myself." is a paradox in the same way as Zeno´s. It is - I believe - not. But it does contain self-reference, which appears to me to be close to the problem around the "exact" paradoxes. It is not a semantic paradox. We are never put into perplexity the way we are by The Liar. We will return to the problem of self-reference as taken up by philosophers of several schools and from different backgrounds. We can often see that it varies between the Anglo-Saxon, the roman, and the Gothic/Germanic spheres. When Wittgenstein pondered over the possibility of a lion with two tails, the tails representing two different ways of doing mathematics, I am sure he had Gödel in mind.
§ 7. Some light on the behaviorists.
W e might also regard positivism and behaviorism as protests against the possibility of asserting: "I know myself.". Introspection was not part of the ideal of Auguste Comte´s Cour de la philosophie Positive - (1830 -42). Behaviorism arouse out of functionalism, a branch of transatlantic pragmatism, where William James and John Dewey played the central roles in connection with the brilliant Ch. S. Peirce. W. James´ The Principles of Psychology ( 1890 ) was mostly centered around showing that behavior and mental processes were possible to alter. The mental process was still, according to J., a possible object for study, - J.s book The variety of religious experience (1902) was important. Functionalism arouses explicitly with John B. Watson and his Behaviorism ( 1925 ). The perhaps most famous and forthright among the behaviorist, B.F. Skinner expresses himself thus: "Without the help from the verbal collective, all behavior would be unconscious. Consciousness is a social product. It is not enough to be aware that consciousness is not a field for the autonomous Man; consciousness is completely out of reach for the lonely individual... ( from B.F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and dignity, - chapt. What is a human being? ). He continues: "It is neither within reach for any, the exact knowledge of any human being." ( Ib. ) With S. there is very little of the belief in the future. the openness to ideas and belief in human progress, which is so strong with and important to Peirce.
§8. Some light on Self and on the analytical philosophers.
" I can never catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can I observe anything but the perception." ( D. Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature.) "The word " I " does not denote a possessor." ( L. Wittgenstein.) ".I could never know it was myself I had found." (Shomaker. )... But it would be extraordinary to find somebody else...! "It is relatively seldom that we observe ourselves in the ways in which we observe others." (Shomaker p. 80. )
Sidney Shomaker has written ( influenced by Austin and Wittgenstein ) a fine essay in 1970, important to us, entitled: Self-Reference and Self-Awareness: "Philosophers who have reflected on the "use as subject"....". Shomaker thus refers to Wittgenstein and others in the statement of "I" as "non denoting" and thus some kind of "pseudo subject", and furthermore he claims, and it seems rightly so, that the predicate in an assertion about my inner state and myself, I am also using a "pseudopredikate" since I - or "It" ( Cf. Nietzsche, who thought about the more accurate expression "It thinks." and R.D. Laing´s famous expression in his small classic book Knots:" I am the It that thinks It." ... ) knows that something is - for instance, "honest" inside, but "It" cannot really perceive that which is honest, i.e. my conscience, consciousness or my soul.... ( all this in accordance with the epistemology of Hume and Kant, who both denied knowledge of actual things, but only knowledge of perceptions of them.) Hume was in certain despair, and Kant set out to bring order to the problem: What can we acquire knowledge about in this mess of sensations? And 1891 he gave an answer in his Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Maybe this book is the most important book ever written on philosophical matters. He tried to prove that we are able to have synthetic apriori knowledge. ( And thus, that we were not limited to analytical apriori .) The crucial point here is within what "forms" we can put knowledge. ( Are "time" and "space" accurate "forms".). ( The discussion on the "apriori" has been deepened, and skeptical, within the analytical philosophy through Quine and others.). Kant´s criticism had a tremendous impact on future philosophy, including his own upcoming production, where he discussed ethics and religion. One could say that the one who has no opinion on Immanuel Kant has no opinion on philosophy. Private docent Immanuel Kant 1755-69, when he studied Emm. Swedenborg ( .... and exchanged a couple of letters with him .... before crushing him ), but essentially Hume and Leibniz. he became prof. of Mathematics ( where he did not achieve his rume ...) 1770 in Königsberg. The famous Kritik der reinen Vernunft appeared in it´s first edition in 1781 and shortly afterwards he wrote Prolegomena zu einer jeden kunftigen Metaphysik die als Wissenschaft wird auftreten können. Kant's dictum against the extreme empiricists ( by whom Kierkegaard never read a line, - he could not read English - or French - in contrast to Kant.-who was of Scottish decent; - his ancestors spelled the name "Cant"- ... The German educational system was more extensive than the Danish. And Swedish. It still is.....) The romantics are sometimes put as a reaction against the British empiricists, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. ( Cf. B. Russell! ) This is not the whole truth. Kant: "Of course we reach all our knowledge about "reality" through experience, but it is not sprung from this experience."----- He thus took on the almost impossible task: to once and for all investigate the presuppositions and possibilities of human knowledge (mind), in a sort of mediating between two opposites A. pure rationalism ( f.ex. Bacon ) and pure empiricism ( Locke ). His own view is a criticism. ( Behind much of Kant´s work lies - of course - the question about religion and the place of religious belief, since this was important at the time ... We know that Kant was not religious himself. And that he feared to say so.) He divides knowledge into two kinds; the empiric ( a posteriori ), which is founded on the perceptual skills ( Ger. "Sinnlichkeit"), expressed in the synthetic assertation: "My cat is blue." and the a priori knowledge, which can be acquired independently by the perception. "Either it is raining or it is not." The later kind of assertations are by Kant called analytically. Almost others are synthetical. The value of the analytical assertations can be discovered through logical analysis. Now is the question: What is the difference between an a priori knowledge and an analytical assertation? ( Because we have no a priori assertations. But knowledge.).To begin with: Is "2 plus 2 equals 4" a priori knowledge, and is the assertation analytical. Is mathematics a giant analytical tautology? The question posed by Kant in Cr.o.p.R. is whether there are synthetic assertations a priori or not. This question is important to the development of his entire ethics. He answers this question assertively, by a "yes", - but many philosophers nowadays regard the question as not very clearly posed. ( Cf. Wedberg. W. Quine et al. ) Kant also says - in another of his books (edited in the year of ...... ) - ( Kant died in the year of 1804, ten years before the birth of S.K. ), that one can build a religious faith on reason ( only ). Against this rose many a soul, among others S. Kierkegaard, who in many aspects - though - was influenced by Kant´s criticism... ( It is a quite astonishing thing if Otto knew how much Kant himself had been occupied with the realm of the mystical, criticizing Swedenborg and so on ...., writing about the connection of knowledge and religion in several publications. We will return briefly later - maybe - to the content of the book of Otto´s. Interestingly enough – of all people – Freud claimed he would like to add another category to the row presented by Kant. It would not, to Freud , be Das Heilige, but Das Unheimliche ( the terrible, the SCARRY ). I am fascinated by this. And- if Cornell Woolrich – master of Fright had known this – he would have been DELIGHTED. The problem of "Das Ding an sich", on the Lennonian really real, came to be a starting point for much of recent philosophy. As well as atheism, and the notion of .. Self-knowledge. Kant has much on his conscience.
§9. Psychological considerations.
A psychologist, a superb such, Rollo May, who among other things, wrote the excellent books Love and will, The Courage of Creation and The Meaning of Anxiety - containing an interpretation of S. Kierkegaard´s The Concept of Anxiety, actually fails in his (smaller) book, Man in search for himself. In this book, he could be said to try to deal partly with what I am myself dealing with, in my entire essay - or reversely.). He gets caught in circles, and is in the end he seems to be forced to refer back to Heraclitus, the son of a king..., and the deep and cloudy Logos in which the elusive, mysterious Self dwells....... Comment: It is open - certainly - to question whether we shall treat knowledge about oneself in such a manner, that the reflective construction "I "( or "me") - "self" denotes an identity. Maybe it is all a question about identity and difference and of the "no", the negation.. .( Cf. Hegel, Adorno, etc.) because we all know, it is obvious to all of us, that we can be fighting ourselves, or do what we don´t want to do, and: are we, then, splitting an identity, or are we to entities? We could say both, without getting into greater trouble. The construction, the formula xKx, could be questioned, and we might replace it with another, - like Eka (ego and alter), but then we will choose to omit the central kernel dynamic of difference and identity ( Cf. M. Heidegger´s Identity and difference. ). We must halt here, for just a moment, to bring at least some clarity to what is at hand. It is obvious, that sometimes it ( the knowledge of oneself ) is not at all about identity. In some clean grammatical phrases, as, for example ( A .) ." Paete killed himself.", it is not pure identity. In another ." I learned ( myself ) English.", it is equally not identical. But, in our main case here, ( B. ):" I came to learn about myself." we have a difference of quality. It is a possibility to evade the truth about oneself to a degree. It is not a clear-cut thing as killing oneself or learning a language. We also have to recognize that it is not the quasi constructions we are using. Some philosophers, like J. L. Austin, H.-N. Castaneda indicators and quasi indicators, ( C., is not the novel writer ) and P.F. Strawson ( in his book Individuals are trying to get to grips with these formulas. Strawson points out, that there is a certain kind of assertions that has psychological attributes, certain fields within the mental area, of which only the person talking can know something. Strawson names these predicates "P-predicates". Sometimes we feel that the word "myself" or "himself" covers a bit of illusion, - we are often not at ease with the word, since we feel that it is meaningless in a logical sense ( in the same way as the concept "class" - in some way - is meaningless to the member of the class ). It seems that we are dealing with a by necessity incomplete construction. We will soon conclude that, as far as self-knowledge is concerned, we have no immediate such. ( Cf. Edm. Husserl and P. Ricoeur, in Theory of Interpretations,(19..), Chapt.: The Question of the Subject.)
§10. Linguistic considerations.
S ome Linguistic comments on reflexivity: It is a complicating factor that languages are not alike when it comes to talking "reflectively". Some languages are richer than others, or, should we say, more overt complicated in structure. In French"soi" is the reflexive pronoun, while "meme" is a word coming from a Latin root "egomet ipse" meaning "the same". "Le soi" is close to Ger. "Das Selbst" and Eng."The Self", Sw. "Självet", but G.W.F. Hegel could declare that a flower had a "sich" but not a "Selbst", because only a human being, a person, can have such a thing, meaning self-consciousness. The French word "autre" comes from lat. "alter", and "autrui" from "alter" plus "lui" -" another him"....) Self-knowledge does not appear without a foregoing process,- or it is this process-, and we can thus see how the conversation of the Ego with its Alter at the same time is a coming together of Ego and Alter, where Alter changes, something which has its immediate consequences for the Ego ..... We have here a time factor, ( t ), and xt always have K about xt , if we might say so... But we will certainly not be a lot wiser be this insight. The lonely ( after the death of his beautiful and beloved Creol wife ) French thinker Maine de Biran, who left a lot of speculation around our subject behind, once wrote:" The "I" does not objectify itself into a picture; naturally not either by an ontological abstraction. The very existence of it lies in the conception and the perception of effort ("l´apperception de l´effort"....), to which it feels itself as subject or cause." ( Mémoire sur la décomposition de la pensée,1 ,pp. 144-148. ) We intend to return to the "dialectic" of lack and super flue later on... It may be worth reflecting upon weather self-knowledge involves effort or not - maybe not in the meaning of de Biran - but an effort to get rid of the very first impulse. Dealing with oneself is, or ought to be, a critical occupation. If you do not question yourself you will probably not come to know yourself. One of S. Kierkegaard´s many main insights was, that it was utterly essential to deal with oneself "as a suspect". A person, who in no part of himself conflicts with himself could not possibly be up to making any important choices and is a person of rigid stature. We could easily make this distinction: a person, that does not have a conflict with himself appears to others very distinctly as a caricature. He or she will be easily recognized as a person who is exactly the person of whom you could say: he ( or she ) could have become a "......". A human being without an inner conflict is on his ( or her ) way right away from himself ( herself ). The ideal of our time is a person without conflicts inside. It is - according to my view - a false ideal. It is quite clear an ideal that does not promote personality, growth, meaningful action, and self-knowledge. Kierkegaard, - who was torturing himself all his life with thoughts like this - wrote: "As long as he was Untruth, he was steadily going away from the truth. " It seems as if Kierkegaard saw the Self as something Man either got closer to or farther from, like some truth about something. K. saw this "Self" on the one side as something original, given by God, and - on the other side - as something that depended on the choices of every given situation. It was never quite clear to him in what way these two were connected. ( Cf. V. Lindström, Stadiernas teologi.(19..)). In K. s early Either - Or the Self is something that is molded in balance, equipoise, but it is more complex in Philosophical Fragments or the later written Sickness onto Death. ( We will return to this below.) Someone would say that self-knowledge is the capacity of intrapersonal integration, of getting all parts of a person to cooperate. I could not deny this. But how do we reach this "integration". ( Lat.: "integer"= whole. ). By courageous action and courageous reflection. This is maybe part of the truth. But the meaning of the truth is that the whole truth is .... to be grasped. Or a try is to be done.
§ 11. Some light on psychoanalysis.
“Le Plaisir parle-t-il dans tous les cas ce langage clair, simple, univoque que le hédonisme veut bien lui attribuer ? » ( Vladimir Jankélévitch, Le sérieux de l´intention,p.62.)
I n the meaning of psychoanalytic theory one could assert that self-reflection is something relatively simple since it is concentrated upon something already there, already given. ( This might naturally be regarded as a necessary illusion, a mirage, ( Cf. the Swede P.-O. Olofsson's interesting theories in his Urfantasin och ordningen ( 1987) (diss.) ( Original phantasy and Order )and Den avklädda människan (1991),( The stripped off human ), on illusions and "significants of desire" - a strange term - and the mythical character of these.). There is a "self" with us already when we are children or even unborn. To the object theory of psychoanalysis it is a truth that; "To find an object is really to rediscover it." ( S. Freud, Theory of sexuality. p.112.) The picture of Man according to Freud is founded upon the hypothesis about this existing Self,(!) - maybe a fruit of romantic philosophy - the devastating childhood and the recovery and automatic healing by bringing to consciousness what necessarily was (re-)depressed. Freud might be placed within a "tragic tradition", according to J. Lacan ( Freud in the century. (19..) p.343, 1956.). Psychoanalysis is a theory, based on the looking back upon what I have been,( upon the archeology - Fr. Gr. Árche - origin .), or - more correctly - what I haven´t been, or even more accurate: ( and here it turns somehow forwards ) ... I will become what I still have not been. ( The "It" is going to become the "Me", - according to the so-called second topic of F. - influenced by the Groddeck book.). This is founded upon a belief in deliberation, an uproar towards oppression, and it is here underlying a strong ( almost superficial ) belief in the health and strength and energy in every human being if only Man is freed from the tormenting experiences of childhood ( Cf. J.-J. Rousseau in Self-confessions and Émile (1762) ). The theories of P. Janet, C.G.Jung, and - for instance - the Swedish "eclectic" physician, P. Bjerre, and many others are more focused on immediate action, active change, and the future.
( The psychoanalytical theory is seductive indeed and seduced many a member of the movement. They all thought - and still think - it was/is a very beautiful theory. ( That of course needed a few changes... Like Darwin´s theory... ) "All theory is gray." like Goethe truly said, writing - anyway - a giant book on colors.... ( Zur Farbenlehre, 1810.)...)
Implicit in psychoanalysis is:
1.) Every human being has its history.
As we already have seen, and as everybody knows, we can focus upon other properties, we could have another main view upon Man - and this is in fact very important to our whole great Project on the Monologue - like: .......
2. ) Man is how he reacts.
3. ) Man is his choice.
4. ) Man is what God intended him to be.
5. ) Man is his destiny.
6.) Man is his goal, his striving.
7. ) Man is his own picture of himself.
8. ) Man is the way others see him.
9. ) Man is the piece of art he makes of himself.
10. ) Man is a featherless biped ( with poor eyesight)...
11. ) Man is an animal among other animals.
We can become a bit perplexed when taking these options into account. For many of us, we are apt to agree to some ( i. e. several! ) of these definitions ( ..... although we at the same time all agree, that Man can not be defined...). We are seldom presented to a list like this. We are not comfortable with it. Yet it plays a part in our discussion as in many others. We could use self-reflection in accordance with nearly all of them. ( Not 11. Maybe, but even in 7. ) The implicit view is of course important to how philosophy is created. We will return to this table below. Dialogue philosophy ( or “We are me-you.”): Two men are sitting by a table, discussing an important matter. “You decide!” one says. “Oh, no, you do!” says B. “No, you do!” says A. “Well. I think we might just go for it.” B. finally cries out. “Aaaaah, fine!!!!” A. is so happy he cannot haply breathe, “Then we´ll go for it. I am so glad you said that! Thank u, thank u!”
§ 12. Some light on me.
I would like to express a thought that is coming more and more often to my mind when I think of the utterance: "I know myself.". It is a strange feeling with this sentence. It is as if I could not say it without hesitation. One has to give some benefit to doubt, - even if it is essential not to give way to a fundamentalist approach ..., of the type: "Everything is uncertain!")
§ 13. Some light on The benefit of the doubt. C
oncerning the nature of doubt ... anyone who wishes to get his own opinion - from scratch - about the nature of it, or concerning the nature of hesitation, which certainly constitutes the actuality of doubt - since hesitation has to do with "doubt in action", so to speak -, has most certain the opportunity to relate to this now and then or sooner or later. Some people are more inclined than others to investigate it, and not very many can see it as something important at all. ( Outgoing, extrovert people would even think of the whole matter as bullshit.) Now, there might come a time in the life of a person, when he or she maybe be more inclined to investigate it, than what would normally be the case. Namely when a person gets isolated. Isolation is a terrible thing if one has not chosen it by one's own free will. Suppose - just for the sake of experiment - that you will be accidentally put in jail. or the like. ------ Now you are in jail. But soon you are finding yourself in the company in your cell with a fly. And this turns out to be of great importance, both to you and to our subject of investigation. The little fly - a quite ordinary fly with the cleverness of an ordinary fly - at once has shown a great interest in your slice of bread and butter that has been kindly provided to you by the personnel of the institution. The fly is standing there in front of the piece of bread on your small cupboard. You are not immediately struck by the insight, that this means that you are not completely alone, but lifts up your left hand to smash the fly, to simply kill it onto the surface of your small table. In your solitude, in this quietness, you have at the moment got nothing else than this impulse to kill the "intruder" ( who actually probably already was in the cell when you yourself entered into it.) But the fly is naturally aware like flies are. You can perceive this consciousness by looking at one of his ( we are assuming that it is a male fly ) legs, which now and then are lifted as a small gesture indicating awareness of danger and readiness to fly off. To counter this you are raising your eyebrows. You now know that he knows what is going on and he seems to know that you know that you know. It stays turned towards the sandwich. My left hand is slowly approaching. You are all of a sudden struck by a feeling of guilt. Because you intend to kill a living creature. The guilt is connected to your inclination and to your intent to do so. It is not a very strong feeling. After all, the fly is still alive and kickin´. But - you halt the movement of your arm - in India ... and so forth...- you are getting more and more aware that it could be a problem here. But since you are upset by your situation, being put in jail like this ..., you cannot really concentrate upon the problem and you are resolutely dismissing the thought about the value of the life of a fly and you are, instead, increasingly aware of the awareness of the fly: the little one expects you to strike! It is, in a way, a bit like you: you are two equals in reflection on this matter and each of you is aware of the next move of the other. Thus the sense of guilt and pity has suddenly changed into a more competitive feeling. Even if the fly is small and not threatening me, you are almost equal, because the fly can escape and thus deny you the delight to chase it, refuse to be a victim. But the fly does want a bit of sandwich and wagers to play the game. Perhaps the fly is familiar with the usually insufficient speed of human arms and hands. You and the little fly are waiting for each other's actions. The fly is hesitating regarding his sandwich project. It takes energy to keep the awareness at a high risk level - it seems very aware - and it is maybe a good idea to take off and rest for a while on the ceiling. I am hesitating too. I do not know, in the first place, if I am really going to kill it ( and why). You do not know when, exactly when, - if you finally take the decision ... And you are also hesitating in concern to from which direction to strike. You know to your utter delight that the fly does not know that you have two tactics, learned from earlier attempts to kill flies. There are generally two methods - as you might already know - to kill a fly by the hand. ( It is not a very nice subject, but I know that it is familiar to most people and most people do not generally think it is awkward, unless you like I am doing here, are taking it seriously. Seriousness is often regarded with dismay when it comes to killing flies or - for that matter - killing rats or rabbits or chickens or .... ) Either you smash it from up above or you catch it with a sweeping motion of your entire arm and catch it by clutching the hand very fast. This the fly does not know. But it knows, so it seems, that either a direct attack will come - or it won't. ( Aut-aut. Either - or. There is no third option. ) It has certainly not the faintest idea, I think, about the nature of your hesitation. ( We are not mystics... ) Probably it has no idea about the nature of guilt. It is not likely. Nor has it any knowledge about the calculation of probabilities. But you are not yourself certain about the nature of guilt or about whether your sense of guilt matters much and your insight in the calculus of probabilities is certainly minimal. Thus you are two equals. It has about the same intellectual capacity as you have, and there is nothing essentially different about you two. It does not matter that you know that you could kill the fly by using gas. (And you are not so sure about which gas ... ). The fly does not know about your education But you - on the other hand - do not know much about his. You certainly have different education, but ... you seem to have the same taste because you are both interested in eating the sandwich provided by the nice warden. You suppose that this fly knows that it is essentially your (!) sandwich. Flies likely own things, like food. But - like we already mentioned - it does not want to waste all its energy on trying to get a piece of bread right now. You think you own the sandwich, but on the other hand, you are not completely sure about this matter either. After all, flies have a right to eat whatever they like. It seems like nature gave to them this right. And after all: you could, if you wanted to, give to the fly a small piece of the sandwich to eat for itself. But you don't. It would leave all the problems hanging in the air. And it would put an end to an interesting battle. The fly keeps hesitating. Or it is simply waiting. You do not know. You can see him now and then lifting his leg, the same leg every time, and you do not exactly know what is meant by this, or if it has no meaning at all but is just a reflex or some tick. You keep hesitating. The longer you hesitate, the more value is accumulated into the fly, to you. Even the fly seems to think that he has grown important as it seems. He seems bigger and more and more aware. But after some time, the fly seems to have reached the end of the road as far as hesitating ( or waiting ) is concerned. One can easily imagine the fly thinking: "This is no use! I will never get a piece of that!" And you have suddenly yourself reached a point where you are thinking: "What comes from this waiting of mine? Does it get tired, or doesn't it? Since it will never let itself get tired but will estimate its powers quite accurately and leave for the ceiling and leave me left behind like an idiot. I am not sure any longer of which of us it is that has the clearer mind. I guess that in this very doubt lies the fact that the fly has the clearest. And thus I do not any longer think that it is I that am the one who is playing with the fly, but it is the fly that is playing with me in this cell, and he is silently smiling when he surmises that I am pondering over my own hesitation, while it certainly itself has the whole weight of its own capacity of waiting in his hands. It has probably from the very beginning a clear insight regarding the amount of energy to be put into the project, while I myself actually - to my great astonishment -have no idea whatsoever about anything at all here ..." Mad about this situation, and about what you think is the smile of the fly, you are now completely losing control - the control disappearing in the rage - you are hitting your fist right onto the table, and you are seeing the fly flying to the wall and you can also see the sandwich popping off and landing on the floor, upside down - according to the famous law of Murphy. And you are now certain of one thing. You do not master the Art of hesitating. Hesitating created doubt and doubt did create despair. --- But the fly is alright. It all went according to the plan, and he is now content calmly washing his legs with his mouthpieces sitting on the warm sunlit wall, while you yourself in bitterness and anger keep looking at the floor and the bottom of the sandwich. It will take until the evening before you will try to generalize this event into a theory on hesitation. You are aware that this can be a heavy enterprise, but you are not clear of the fact that your inclination towards hesitating too long will endure the time for this task ( to create a complete coherent theory without inconsistency )into such a long period that the theory itself will never be finished but will all of a sudden, be interrupted by your release from prison, and thus no theory about hesitation will ever reach the mailbox of the philosophical periodical journal Mind. Even the manuscript will be left behind by accident and left to recycling. The little fly however has stayed in the cell, at home, and is right now eagerly waiting for his next partner, victim, or object for his care, because: how many lives has he not saved! (The small psychoanalyst!) You do not think that the fly hesitated. That was the very thing that saved his life. You think ( you know) that you hesitated, and you think that this saved your life. You can doubt it, but it is not unlikely that it did. It is not unlikely that "self-consciousness" to is born out of doubt and hesitation. (Remember that self-consciousness" has nothing to do with self-confidence. Self-confidence is - I think - rather common among people who have no self-consciousness at all. ) We are aware of the dangers of doubt. The Mon. 1 is - in most cases - a very long doubt. There is with S.K. a criticism of this kind of life-lasting doubt in his Either-Or. ( As well as in The Concept of Anxiety and a critique of the Cartesian doubt elsewhere.) Confer also M. Horkheimer who, in his Uber den Zweifel, (....), thinks that doubt has become a romantic ideal - certainly among young people - and that religion, which is his main concern in this essay - only can be saved by a jointure of doubt and religion. ( p.130. Sozialpolitische studien , 1972.). (1969!). ( Cf. "Alle Erziehung soll nur darauf hinauslaufen, den Menschen zu einem freien Mann zu bilden, oder vielmehr, da der Mensch so lange frei ist, bis er einem deutschen Professor in die Hände gerät, die angeborene Freiheit zu erhalten, zu entwickeln, ihr Inhalt and fulle zu geben." ( Herwegh, 1840. ) I could write a book exclusively on doubt. I would love to. I have always wanted to. I think I will, some day or night. Giving doubt to the benefit of the doubt. How long is a doubt? How long is a string?
§ 14. The philosophy of dialogue. An overview.
I am dealing with this in a rather lengthy way, because I like to present my ..." opponents", and one of the countertheories of mine, the dialogue, philosophy of dialogue and the common and rather naïve conception, yes, widely spread, that knowledge comes in a discussion, not in a decisive monologue of the individual. It is always like a "mantra" of our time, that one has to talk to get knowledge. It is self-evident ( almost ) that you have to socialize, but the final choice is always a lonely one, made in a monologue of one´s own. Or?
The reading of certain literature is like reading other people’s monologues. We enter into the constructions of others, climb upon the routes of others. The Danish ( Hegelian-Kierkegaardian ) poet Paul la Cour is writing in his Fragments of a diary (1951):" Every work of Spirit is in a higher sense a conversation. Why would you write, unless you did not seek something, which keeps eluding you, and which you wish to catch and get hold of /..../ This conversation, this Dialogue between the force of the Spirit and the force of the Soul,/.../."( p.133 f. ) This simple fact is our problem. And the problem of many. We have already met this inclination towards reducing everything in life to dialogue ( or complicating it ). The dialogicans. They are many, but they have all the same theme. I am thinking of Western writers ( this is a book about Western thinking ) like St. Augustine, Buber, M. Bachtin, Gogarten, Ebner, Theunissen,( Der Andere (1964),and Der Begriff Ernst bei Sören Kierkegaard ,Ch.Peirce and R. Otto, Emil Brunner, Skolimovski , J. Reeder to name a few, some of which I already have referred to. The common view of these is that 1.) we have our basis of thought, security and possibility of evolving our personality in the meeting with other people, or God, the dialogue, and 2.) that we often when we are alone and creating a literary work or ourselves are creating a dialogical work. I have not listed here the greater names of Hegel ( or Diderot ) or Nietzsche ( Especially mark N.s Jenseits von Gut und Böse .) The dialogicans are naturally quite right. But ... they have not uncovered the whole truth, and maybe, in only stressing, and stressing it so very hard, the dialogical aspect, they have tended to, maybe by mistake, put other aspects in the obscure.
§ 15. The birth of the dialogue philosophy.
W e all develop from the beginning, and in later life too, in contact with others. The way to the Other is a Yes-Yes ( I am almost citing Christ.: " Your talking should be Yes - Yes or No-No!" ) one Yes to Me, and one Yes to the Other .... Because I can get a Yes from the Other if I am able to say No to him or her. The psychology and dialectics of the Other we are finding by reading Hegel, Sartre, G.H. Mead, Benveniste, Heidegger, Mounier, Merleau-Ponty, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Husserl, Barthes, Buber, Ricoeur, Barth, Lévinas and many more. The philosophy of the Other is an idea, and it has come forward less accentuated in many forms, but more accentuated in Western philosophy after Imm. Kant. We could even call the bare thought of the Other as a necessary person to ourselves "self-evident". Even if we are not in favor of regarding anything at all "self-evident". No person is an island.
But here we have a branch of western philosophy that has made a big fuzz and almost a whole business about the generalized Other ( with a capital O ), and it has had a certain success and had had readers, who have been thrilled by the idea of this Other and made up a philosophy around this strange abstract creature. Earnestly, it has shown to be a practical and illuminating way of thinking about human relations and human development. The entire dialectical philosophy of the Other in Europe began, as far as I have imagined …, with a journey undertaken by Fichte to Königsberg to visit the lectures of Kant, held in the parlor at the cozy home of Kant, and the outcome of this: a book by Fichte, supported by Kant and read by Schelling and Hegel. The concept of The Other came along with Hegel as a reaction to the extremely subjective idealism of Fichte as it came forth in F.s Wissenschaftslehre. The "I- I", "Ich-Ich"-figure, the construction of reality from the "I". Cf. His popular The Destiny of Mankind.) – one of the most sold philosophical books at the time, owned for example by Franz Kafka. Well; it is true that long ago Meister Eckhart, the medieval mystic from Pays de Bas, the rebel, also used in a very sensible manner the concept of the Other! Immanuel Kant ( who died in 1804 ) - perhaps with Freud and Kafka the most important mind of the entire Modern Era, since the Renaissance - had - when he composed his theory while wandering along the small paths around Königsberg - left some empty space in certain parts in his Critique of pure Reason ( which was then partly revised by some ideas in the runner up: Critique of Practical Reason ). It was: the problem with ( or: of ) Reality. Kant could in his great Critique ( no. 1 ) not prove the existence of reality. This was to some a great challenge (!) and G. Fichte ( the older F., as we sometimes say ) set out to fill the gap. Fichte was later completely overshadowed by Hegel in H´s obscure and rather fantastic Phänomenologie des Geistes ( 1807 ). That much can be said, that when it appeared, nobody dared to comment a word upon it, neither Schelling nor anybody else. We all become ourselves probably by being the Other for the Other, in dialogue. Or, as somebody has put it, I forgot who, by being "the stranger for the Other". We also cannot identify with the Other, if the Other cannot identify with us. We indulge in reciprocity, in Dialogue. The discovery of Myself is only possible through the discovery of myself as the Other for the Other. Via the absolute Other to the Real Other, according to Lévinas. ( Cf. Kemp.). French Existentialism is in main features centered around these formulas, where even proofs of the Existence of the Other are contained - Cf. Emm. Mounier and J.-P. Sartre. We might regard the lectures in France during the 1930ties by the gifted exile Russian Alexandre Kojève ( who came to France via Germany, where he had studied Hegel ) as an important landmark. J.-P. Sartre, together with numerous other philosophers ( J. Lacan too), visited these lectures. Perhaps Kojève and Sartre are most important as initiators and inspirators for later French and Anglo-Saxon The Other-philosophers. The rigorous "existentialism" of Sartre is not an -ism defended by many people today, and S. himself revised his attitude of complete responsibility as it is put forth in the voluminous L´étre et le Néant (1943).
( Cf. a passage from S. Kierkegaard in his extensive Either - Or, in describing the aestethic stage of uman development: "One must guard against friendship. How is a friend defined? He is not what philosophy calls the necessary other, but the superfluous third." ( ! )- ( S.K. is often refraining from acknowledging the Other. He prefers - I am sorry to say - Himself ostentatively ... ) By the word "philosophy" S.K. is here directly referring to Hegel. Like in the mediaeval time "The Philosopher" always meant Aristotle, "philosophy" in the case of S.K. always means the philosophy of the day, i.e. Hegel´s philosophy. Kierkegaard hardly mentions other modern philosophers like Kant or Fichte. /- Some of the philosophers of today regards S.K. a kantian philosopher in his main outlook-./ ( He is referring silently to Fichte, but is careful not to use his name. One could not accuse S.K. for too overt generosity. ) Schelling is the exception - concerning this silencium, Schelling, whom he also had heard lecturing personally in Berlin, where Schelling had his professure, strictly under the supervision of the anxious agents of the Preussian monarch. - But Schelling was reliable. - S.K. is mentioning Descartes, quite scornfully, - and some of the smaller German talents. The main philosophical references of S.K.s are to the ancient Greek philosophers, Plato in particular. It has been pointed out by many, that S. Kierkegaard´s insights in the problems of philosophy were rather superficious, and he seems to look upon philosophy as a whole with the skepticism, which turns out to constitute his own small contribution to the discipline as a some kind questionmark. Being a distant pupil of the ambiguous Socrates, he knew of the importance of keeping the proportions. Socrates too had a very narrow belief in philosophy as a discipline. We will explain the connection and the meaning of all this later on. Kierkegaard was probably fascinated by all the duplicity and paradoxicality with the Socrates-figure. It also served his own method of communication.) The attitude of Socrate has - I think - never truly been understood. And here - concerning the monologue - he is a central being, in that he never actually claimed anything at all, but rather acted. But with a discursive finesse.
§ 16. Martin Buber and Michael Bachtin.
S ome at times rather popular philosophers, like M. Buber, that made himself in the very épimòme of a dialogueism missionary are very persistent in their belief that "life is meeting people", "Leben ist Begegnung.", “you are nothing without the Other”, “truth emerges only in the eyes of the Other”. I do think it is indicating an oversimplified view. Aside from being a dialogican B. endulged in the Zionistic project, in continuance of the Hungarian lawyer Th. Herzl´s work, Herzl, who also started the newpaper Die Welt in Germany. Buber – a keen propagandist - even tried to make Kafka editor of a Zionistic paper in Prague. In vain, though. Kafka once wanted to start a cultural ( non-political ) newspaper, together with the psychoanalyst Otto Gross, but due to the health of Gross, this project never materialized.. The Viennese mystic, Martin Buber, with looks like a real Rabbi, devoted a great deal of his time to this dialogical principle ( about "Wort-Paare" in Die Schriften uber das Dialogische Prinzip ( 1954 ). "Spirit is Man´s answer to it´s You. Spirit is Word. Spirit is not in I, but between I and You." Buber claims that Man cannot be a true partner to himself, somebody who poses genuine questions to himself and gives genuine answers. ( Logos, p. 16.) B. wrote several books declaring that there are double concepts "Ich-Du" and the like, asserting, that it is impossible to utter the word "I" without implying a "You". Life is lived, looking for a distant You. Thus it is rather poetical, also, the whole Buber thing..... It is – in fact - all in the case of Buber - very tiresome reading, I think. It deals with completely ideal meetings between people, and not with reality. One might say that Buber´s writing all are philosophy when philosophy is at it worst. It is noteworthy that M. Buber was D. Hammarskjöld’s favorite philosopher. ( The Swedish publicist M. Svegfors seems in his writings about H. to be blinded by the pure intelligence, that D.H. was a top student - based on records from his high school - of H., and thus overlooks all his weaknesses, i.e. his absolute senseless mysticism. Cf. S.s book Dag Hammarskjöld, 2005. ) Buber in turn claims that Kierkegaard true enough is humanitarian, but still he calls him "an-antropic". ( Ib., p.292. ). It is a rather daring awful thing to say about somebody. But Martin Buber asserts that what he says is nothing new; it is only "put all together and executed" ( "gesamt gesammelt und ausgefuhrt" ). Among Buber´s influences are S. Kierkegaard via Ferdinand Ebners Das Wort und die geistlichen Realitaten ( 1921 ), where Ebner feels indebted to S. Kierkegaard but as to a human being who did not have the capability of finding the "You" in others. ( ! ) The salvation is to Ebner found in his own life, during sickness and close to his own death,: There is only one You, and that is in fact God.". Thus Buber is on a true anti-intellectualistic ground, like of course Ebner is. Buber is also deeply involved in the mystic chassidic tradition, and has translated parts of the Old Testament. Bücher der Kündung. ( Verdeutscht von Martin Buber mit Franz Rosenzweig. (1958)) ( An extraordinary Harry Potter-like metaphysical kaleidoscopic saga is Buber´s book Gog and Magog. It has its motive from Old Testament. B. had a strong imagination. If St. Augustine was the most dangerous seducer of Christianity, Buber might be called the most insidious seducer of the Modern Era hype in Cure Books for Seelen-Angst. W
hy is the utterly famous Mr. M. Bachtin´s (1895-1975) , book about dialogue ( La poetique de Dostojevskij ) so severely authoritarian? There is in the philosophy of dialogue - dialogical philosophy - a kind of mysticism, a superstition, a claim of the "truth", by which each of these philosophers monologically and in an authoritarian way is oversimplifying human intercourse and the human condition in general. By ending up in lofty and beautiful metaphysics they want to eradicate every doubt. ( I do understand the dialogical genius of Dostoyevskij, but it would be foolish of me to admit, that I do believe that Dostoyevskij is the only author with this type of technique. I even think of it as childish to believe it.) (The editors seem very much inclined to idolize persons. Cf. B.s book on Rabelais. And that is per se not a good thing. Having idols ... that is for kids.) M. Bachtin left several manuscripts, who posthumously became famous.
§ 17. All alone.... Monologue Man.
W hen this is stated about the Other in general, and the importance of dialogue, we might return to our original doubt. Is it possible to think all alone? How is it possible for anybody to think for himself? How could a monologue be creative? Could it be that we develop and grew much more outside the dialogue than inside it? Is it scarring to think for oneself? Isn´t it socially (?) permitted to be all alone? Isn´t it a discarded, an overlooked advantage, being alone? We all know, that we often reason with ourselves and that if we knew, that we didn´t, it would be a poor life to live. We know that it is essential to be able to reason with oneself because if we did not, any decision would come as a peculiar surprise. In our monologue we, among other things, may for instance ask ourselves: "Shall I marry ?" ( Cf. S. Kierkegaard´s Either - Or ) and I presume, that the decision in this matter - given the historical circumstances and not affected by incest taboo or something (Cf. Lévi-Struss ) - is entirely mine. A kind of "Haute vulgarization". Even if we all more or less agree, that it is possible to talk to ourselves, we do not much know about who this discussion comes about. What is it "to talk to oneself"? Is it a "talk"? ( According to Peirce it is! )We may at least assume, that it is not half a dialogue! The Sooner we are inclined to say that we are having an inner dialogue. But only metaphorically. "Me as the Other." ( Cf. Paul Ricoeur. PR has written on introspection. ) I do not know, though, who I am talking to in a monologue. The "I" and the "me" or the "Self" are problematic, and in M. Heidegger´s Being and time (1933) these words are even called "empty existentials", these structures of the existence of Being. Maybe this is not much of a knowledge,... but the insight that "I am not I" merely brings, as S. Cavell says, some sense of luck, that I am not defined.... ( S. Cavell, The Claim of Reason . p.388 cont.. ). This agony ,though , must Mr. Cavell be responsible for himself. ("How can there be a key to my identity ?"). It seems as if I am not willing to make a decision about marrying, until I know who I am. When I am reasoning with myself, I am at the same time reasoning about who I am. We could state it like this : Monologue is at the same time about matter, me and itself. We could call this phenomenon: the Co-Monologue, - different subjects coexists , several problems are being solved , several matters dealt with contemporaneously. It seems that Kierkegaards book Either - Or is a contribution to us concerning the different nature of chosing that something may exist for a person ( achoice of reality) on one hand, and choices of ways of living on the other. The first types, the choices of "that" are A.) the choice of Ethics to be, of good and bad to be, and B. the choice of my own person to be as it - fortunately or unfortunately - is. The final choice of "that" something "is" is the choice of that God exists.( The "that".) These choices are made without losing another opportunity. If one choses that good is,- and have chosen freedom - one cannot chose that good and bad are, without chosing the possibility to chose between them, and - as S.K. persuasively remarks: "Possibility is God", and chosen guilt, one has not lost anything either , -and if one choses that one´s own person is, one has not lost any other person, and when one choses that God exists - a choice quia absurdum, - in the way Abraham did on Moria mountain- ,one could not be said to have lost anything. What a person has won, on the other hand, seems obvious: authenicity, or - in Kierkegaard’s word : a Self. ( Cf. J.Sløk, S. Kierkegaard, 1960.) (We will return to this matter later.) Kierkegaard dwells extensively on all the psychological features of these choices and is talking about things, which many years later should be taken up again by Freud, Sartre, and Heidegger. P. Lejeune, Je est un autre. Note that in this book title the verb is not "suis" but "est". This sentence is, in fact – as you might already know – a line from the poet Arthur Rimbaud.
Thus "Je" is not a first-person pronoun here. Cf. Lacan's "fourth instance" below. Once we have stated this, it is easy to see that this complexity is wide open to a lot of fraud. Emm. Lévinas - the family man, the philosopher of the human face, - although it is some abstract face - and the "radical" Other, the eclectic Jew, has in France been working in the same field, influenced by the very same Kojéve. ( Lecons 1933-39 ). EL is talking about the Absolute, and I have never quite understood the meaning of this word. But I suppose it has some …...
§ 18. Jacques Lacan.
S till more famous is French philosopher, psychiatrist, and chauvinist Jacques Lacan. The strange thing – to begin with - with JL is his utter lack of interest in literature. Literature is of course the real marvel and the soul of Mankind. Still, there is not a single line in the bulk of JL writings, that shows that LJ has any interest in seriously reading and consuming, and understanding literary works, AS LITERARY WORKS. As literary works are meant to be read. Instead, Lacan has only an instrumental interest in literature. He USES literature for his own interests but fails to USE IT AS LITERATURE. Lacan uses literature as anthropological, logical, and linguistic examples! This is something that has to make every cultural analyst and every serious philosopher extremely cautious. One might even ask: does Lacan ever read books? Does he understand literature? And if the answers tend to be on the negative side, one must also ask: does he understand human beings at all? I want you to have these facts and questions in mente when you continue reading. -----
NOW to Lacan´s own and his writings in psychoanalysis and philosophy. Lacan´s interest in the concept of the Other was probably raised – as it was with J.-P. Sartre too - by the ground-breaking lectures held by the Russian philosopher Alexandre Kojève on Hegel in Paris. Lacan was a physician, a psychiatrist, interested in the “mirror stage” 1949 of children, the birth of narcissism as well as the imaginary field. Lacan wrote a dissertation on Paranoid psychosis in 1932. He sent this dissertation to Berggasse, to S. Freud in Vienna, and got a polite answer. JL uses a lot of symbols in his work. Regarding the concept of the Other - which is a “top concern” - Lacan has this as the main concept. L´Autre, the Other, is replaced by him in his Ecrits by the letter A. Lacan – a stupendously vain man - to give his theories a formalized outlook, trying to settle a formalized, scientific method in psychoanalysis. He claimed that any scientific discovery must be able to be put into an algorithm! Lacan looks upon Human Existence through an analytical Triad. The Real (1) is impossible. The Symbolic (2) is language, order, symbols, and language seems to exist, to us, and is more possible. The Imaginary (3) is, as an interpreting Instance with the Human Mind, born in the Mirror Stage, which makes the world meaningful, alive, vivid and tasty … it is a kind of Self-illusionistic power. The ordinary Object in the surrounding world is called by Lacan for little a -l´objet petit a – (a). The main object, though, is to Lacan the Father ( sometimes the Ur-Vater, ), the A. The subject ( sujet ), the "I", is not with Lacan unifying, or anything real realistic, or the final goal as it is with Freud. The “I” is, quite like the Real, not possible, following the Nietzschean tradition; it is evasive and a "complete mess of imaginary identifications", yes it is: a "governed paranoia". It is indicated by an S crossed over by a bar. (/) .( Barred S. S ) The main discovery in the thinking of Lacan might be the realization that the Subject is split, and that it is split by Language. The split ( divided ) general Subject = barred S, S. The other “discovery is that the Unconscious, according to JL, is constructed like a language. The I goes through stages, often as they are defined by Freud, anal, Phallic phases, the Mirror Stage, the Da-Erlebnis, the Oidipus phase. These are – as in all psychoanalysis, crucial for JL in understanding the maturing of the I.
To construct his concept of the barred S, ( S ) Lacan is using a complicated reasoning around the differences between the imaginary and the symbolic, the subject and the ego (Je) and he is frequently using the de Saussurean concepts signifier and signified. The Signifier (S) is kind of "the expression", "the sound", the signified (s) is kind of the "meaning", ( often referred to by Lacan as the big lack, the "hole" ) " the content". Lacan pays generally no attention to the difficulties in this theory, since Ferdinand de Saussure has omitted the transferring "idea" ( between sound “word” and “sense” ) in his scheme in the classical lectures referred in the book by the name Cour de linguistique générale, (1916), written by two of his students - collecting and conferring their notes from the lectures, after the death of their beloved and charismatic teacher, F. de Saussure. Lacan is coupling de Saussurean linguistic to his triad. The symbolic has a reassuring function and also is in the symbolic order in quite plain existing mode, rather mystical, has a non-sense, which is, simply, the Unconscious. The row of Singifiers (S+S+S…) is dominant, determining the row of singified, (s+s+s…) that appears to be hanging from the chain of signifiers like small berlockes. We may note here, that Lacan´s view of language is purely concentrated to nouns, and not to syntax, i.e. onto words which are denoting something, which are apt to denote something else. He is not troubled by grammar, by adverbs, adjectives, by a lot of pronouns ( other than personal ). Lacan was not only using linguistics, which he did not master very well, - which Anglo-Saxon critics are prone to point out now and then - but also included lots of philosophy, although he had only a minor formal knowledge of philosophy as well. He simply once hired a student of philosophy to lecture him. He was very interested in literature, and he made famous and intriguing ( although pretty narrow ) analyses of some of E. A. Poe´s work. The production of Lacan is very broad and fluctuating in many ways. It is mainly in the form of preserved lectures, but there is a couple of essays too. Cf. Lacan´s Ecrits. One might get a complete over view in Marini´s Jacques Lacan - the French Context (1992). Lacan is trying to establish an understanding of the symbolic relationship between the subject and the world by letting one know the symbolic relations between the S ( or barred S ) and the A ("le grand Autre" ), which makes the world a better place since it makes more sense than the relation between the S and the a ( "le petit a" ), which is imaginary. "The Other" or A has a lot of meanings by Lacan. A is Anything that has is of desired interest to the Subject. A is that, which is desired. The A could also be subsumed under the Freudian ( really Fechnerian ( Th. Fechner )) concept "The other scene" ( "Der andere Schauplatz" ), thus the place where the Unconscious is working. The imaginary relation between S and petit a is disturbing to the I. "The real is the impossible." The crucial and enigmatic relation is the relation between the Subject, S, and the Object, A in the two different forms of S ( barred S ) - - Cf. with Heidegger: barred E, ( E ) impossible existence ) which indicates the Subject split by Language - and simple S , and many of A, among which the barred A, A, is one, indicating an A with a Lack, a castrated A, the only A that exists. A is that which is there, given. "L´Autre tout-puissant". ( The omnipotent Other. Cf. Sartre´s “facticity” ). In the Psychoanalytic process - L. was a practitioner, ordained more or less by himself - the psychoanalyst is trained to inhibit himself as an I ( as an ego ), to be able to be interpreting the analyzed person ( client ) from the position of the Other, the A. The difficulties in the analytic situation and process makes Lacan to barr the A (A) as well as the S (S). The A is marked by the Lack, the S by its Split. The theory of Lacan is complicated, not coherent nor complete. He tends towards the final lectures of his to be a little bit more interested in replacing the A with parts of the a, despite the Lacks in a, to be able to see the Person as an integer Self. Lacan keeps repeating on his countless seminars, which are all big shows, marking him JL as the eternal one and only Guru: "Never let go of your desire!". Lacan reflects on the conflict between lust and desire, demand and desire, and displays the impossibility of jouissance, ( erotic enjoyment ) unless one transcends into perversion.
Why am I tiring YOU with all this technical stuff about a psychoanalyst? Lacan is of interest to me mostly insofar as His seminars constitute a strange Monologue. The nature of the strangeness of the Lacanian monologue is extremely strange. In many ways. The first is that it is A. a personal philosophical interpretation of the world and the Ego, and of the Psychoanalytical Theory and Practise, that does not allow any other contributions other than those presented by the Master, Jacques Lacan, himself. The B. second strangeness is that it is built upon a very poor view of what Language is. Language is NOT a chain of nouns on a thread! It IS NOT. And third. Lacan´s lectures and essays ( which mostly are rather short ) are also very strange in their C. oddity and their strikingly queer method of omitting obvious spheres of information. Let me use a metaphor. The works of Lacan seem to me like you give a person a Travel Brochure on the Maldives when this person is about to embark on a journey to the planet Mars. Or as if you give somebody a technical book about how to assemble a Harley Davidsson when you are about to conduct brain surgery. It is all very nice, original, and you might – if you are a VERY GIFTED person – perform both a very successful trip to outer space as well as make yourself a fortune and a phenomenal carrier as a master-surgeon. But only if you are some genius, of course. Let me return to my initial remarks in this chapter, about Lacan never having understood a literary text. Because, when anybody asks me what Lacan can be used for, I could answer: “Well, to misuse literary texts.” You might always be able to write a Lacanian analysis of Strindberg or Huellebec, completely ignoring any reasonably essential content of their works. But a Lacanian would of course, in turn, claim that I did not understand a word of Lacan. § 19. The dialogue-theologicans.
( The Other in God - God as the Other, ....and the "agapéan" Ethics.) “I had gotten the impression that you were clever.” ( Swedish doctor on hearing me speak. ) W
e will here mention a few of the theoligicans that could be said to be dialogicans as well: St. Augustine, Rudolf Otto, Emil Brunner, Tillich & Theunissen. The first of the dialogue-theologicans was maybe St. Augustine ( himself ).( I do not mind being liked, but please, do not sanctify me !!!!)( Ever!); ( In his reasoning about the "threeness" of the spirit in his book De Trinitate ( b.14-16.) - written about 416 A.D.. Aurelius Augustin asserts, Cf. the happenings in NIcea, that the Spirit aquires its true relation to itself only in the relation to God.( Thus A. claims that selfknowledge is not "true" if not brought about within this kind of triangle. ( Kierkegaard has a reasoning very much alike Augustines in his (last) book Sickness unto Death in the famous - and beautiful - introduction, where he talks about Mans relation to himself and the relation to oneself as spirit; that it is, and that this "that" is the relation, and that this "that" is "posed by a third"..... ( This third has to be interpreted as God in his context.Cf. SuD.p.1.)( Concerning the problem of the "that",- Ger."das Dass"- confere Th.Adorno, Philosophische Terminologie.) Another man of "this kind" - in modern time - is the already mentioned Rudolf Otto, whose book The Holy ( Das Heilige, (1917,1936 ) in a quite extraordinary way takes as its startingpoint in Imm.Kant´s famous foreword of the first edition of Critique of practical Reason ( Kritik der Urtheilskraft), where so much else of our philosophy has begun , and where Otto is giving the Holy the status of a kantian "cathegory", i.e. he takes to widen the spectre through which we can aquire knowledge about the world and - oddly enough - states that The Holy is a cathegory in everybody´s intellect , through which we can acquire ... knowledge. Some desperate soul. b.) Emil Brunner (b.1889) is another one, a Swiss, a personalist philosopher, who wrote a Dogmatik I-II (1956) and in his Das Gebot und die Ordnungen (1932) is describing three stages of reflexion. Man travels from the bourgeoise to the demonic, where Man wishes to enjey his freedom without any limitations, to the "spiritual objectification" of science and art. All these three stages are what we use to name "aesthethic". In his Wahrheit als Begegnung, Truth as meeting (1938) - more central to us here - he writes: "Instead of the third person, within whom we know and talk about "somebody" or "something", the other person comes forth with the address of the prayer. The prayer - not the so called assertation of faith, the formulated, theoretically organized credo - is the real form of faith. Just like the words of God is not a teaching, but an address - and never anything else than address - so is neither faith a knowing of thesises, yes, it is not knowing at all, but prayer./..../ All knowledge is it-relation and hence a relation of domination; but faith is you-relation and hence togetherness."(p.65). Brunner also asserts that this relation to God is the primary dialogue, preceeding the authentic ( in heideggerian sense ) dialogue with the fellow human: "by this it should be put forward; it is not here this, that we are using a known relation, the you-relation, on the relation between the words of God and the faith. Sooner it is, that it is only in the belief of the words of God we can have a you-relation separated from the object-relation." and thus:" The human being outside faith can only percieve the difference between "you" and "it" in a very relative sense. Togetherness and mastery will by him or her always - since we are sinners - always mingled ."(p.66.) The part of Christian Ethics delivered by these theologians, the agapéian Ethic ( from Gr. "agape" ), the act-agapeism is most probably founded upon the New Testament, (Matth. 25:40). Agape, the love who is not looking for his, is not directed towards the Other, but towards God in the Other.( Cf. J. Fletcher, Situation Ethics, and E. Brunner, The Divine Imperative, p. 117.) On this the whole diakonal idea is founded. ( For more about this, see: P. Tillich,Systematic Theology, 1967, V. Furnich, The love Command in The New Testament, 1972, A.Nygren, Eros and Agape, K.Barth on Paulus, Letter to the Romans, Helm, Quinn, and many more.... ) We do met philosophy of dialogue here and there,( f.ex. H. Skolomowski, b. 1930.), and often, and it is usually hard to find it completely all wrong. But if you are only a little bit of a misanthrope, you can be inclined to say: Oh, yes, in an ideal world, and you seem to know that either we are all in the paradise of dialogue, or we are not. Because the dialogue is painted nearly that way ... and reality looks not exactly like we could kind of chose this paradise or educate one another into it. Thus it is mainly speculation, - pure nice benevolent beautiful speculation. A world of fancy.
§ 20. The form of the monologue is extension, articulation and direction.
I t all has to be written ( or spoken ) in one sole breath. This was the opinion , the artistic faith - of - among others - Franz Kafka. This is often the opinion of the author. It is a demand from within. There are lots of exceptions to the rule. There are many authors, who rearranges time and time again... Flaubert, the wise Pascal, Rousseau and so on .... They could devote a large amount of time to the completion of a book. - But, where we can see the "flow", the rapid extention, we can also study the direction, the "to or fro" of the discourse...---- Neither Kafka nor Kierkegaard ever was very interested in changing their mass of discourse. This discousrse was all too natural to them. ( Kierkegaard in his early years changed a lot, but in the main he just wrote...). Kafka never changed anything at all. ( This is a bit strange, since his idol was Flaubert, who was constantly very paricular in the choice of every expression.) The extention, the "flow" is the life and spirit of the immediacy, The immediate, which is the individual himself, the direct, which is the marque of the subject,,, The immediate is the same, even if it is educated within control. Because we have, for example with Kafka and Kierkegaard, two persons forced to writing by inner forces, - and we can pose an hypothesis concerning their wondering, not about wheather they would write or not, but only what they would write - and establish that this curiosity concerning the outcome became more interesting as they both decided to gouvern and hold back their anxiety to write, and this is the presupposition, the cause of their success, the presupposition for the even extention, the "flow of the discaurse", the style, - and if the flow is not an even one, there will not - at this level of writing - be any flow or extention at all. Often there is a talk about irony in connection with these two authors. Kierkegaard says about irony, that it can be ... the first anxious way of getting nearer to ones own soul in the first tender aquaintance with it. We are here concerned about the nature of reflection and monologue, - if we are prone to look at the flow of reflection as a procedure of exhaustion or as a procedure of will-power (Cf. Kjell Espmark, Själen i spegeln on G. Ekelöf,(1977), and Ingemar Persson wiew on reflection as a procedure , that hopefully slowly dies of its exhaustion... and S. Kierkegaards steady wrestling with his reflection as if it was a compulsory habit - which it probably was -, at the same time as it was the only way for personal survival to him. Kafka is in a similar situation. Reflection is some sort of disease. Problems are not equal to secrets. Solving of problems are not equal to speculation, and secrecys do not crossinseminate each other and automatically brings to life a beautiful child.The solving of a problem - when it comes to what kind of flow is accurate to whom - is a work where we can discern blood, sweat and tears, but also chance.... When talking about these "flows" and extentions it could be proper - interesting - to quote Oswald Spengler, from his marvellous book Untergang des Abendlandes I-II (1918-22) ,p.82.: "every growing being ( werdende) has direction, everything already created has extention", where S. among other things in an extraordinary clever way analyzes the concept of number.( Later undertaken as well by the great B. Russell in a very formidable way.( What is a number? ) These flows and extentions gets a certain character, a change in the vertical zone of style,( the bending of the style ) in comparison to my - in th e theory - assumed Point ( This point, which probably also can be of a different weight, have a different radius with different people.... ) And - if the monologue is the result of a calculus - be it a minor monologue or a monologue of life - , this calculus might be revised, and something might be changed, willingly (!), It can be changed consciously or unconsciously, because it is two conscious authors, Kierkegaard and Kafka, who early in their lives - consciously - never saw any other escape (!) than writing.( And what did they understand about this "writing"? ) To talk to oneself is, in a monologue, to be "enough". If I am freely reflecting on the monologue myself, I could say ( to you ) something like this: "The more I am talking, the greater the possibility to reach to the "point" from where i can return to a "point" from where to start. But - ere I have reached the first of these points I am busy talking to myself. I am talking to myself in different modes before and after the crisis ( the reaching of the second "point", provided the disaster, the catastrophe ... ) Certain people will never reach the critical point. All their lives they are talking towards a point they never reach and never catch even a glimpse of. Maybe even this is the most common condition. Some people might not care about it. The sophists of the antiquity knew, according to Pierre Bourdieu, that it was not enough to teach people the art of speaking, but teaching them to speak incidentally. ------- To be a well formulated orator, o be able to dominate language and public is nothing against the art of speaking quite incidentally! Bourdieu claims that even some real "bad French" would be appropriate now and then ...( Kultur och kritik, p. 139 - 157.) Others may get a point from which to speak early in life. Planted by accident. In my reasoning I am assuming that the normal situation for a human being is that I am beginning , quite unconsciously, to talk towards a distant point. When I am talking, I am always talking to myself, but with a varying intensity and awareness. I can not formulate anything at all without consulting myself. I am lonely and I am always in a sololoquia, - like Aurelius Augustinus was in his book, Confessiones, whose original title was Sololoquia, - ( Talks with myself) - "Mihi ipse factus sum questo magna, ... " -" I became to myself a huge problem, ... ". (Cf. Lacan´s critic of Descartes´cogito.)
It is a rather sad fact, that each human being is a lonely being. Few people would be willing to underline this fact. It is not a popular an comforting view in most cases. If I am lying on my back and have nothing special to do, I might reflect. When Iam free to talk to myself I ought to chose something special, important, defined, concrete or something like that ... It is hard to be reflecting, without an issue of some sort, and I can normally use an issue as a kind of "point" from which to start, and to which I can refer and come back. It is not easy to be earnest without an issue. I will be aware of that I might come to think of several important things during my thinking of this issue, that does not concern this very issue. In a way, I have to begin before I begin. ( Beginnings are tough! ) I have to begin to talk before I am beginning to talk to myself. (?) I am counting with a kind of parallel while I am thinking. Let us say that the normal thing is like this: "Before I know , I had begun talking, and while I am talking , I am - without really knowing how - beginning to talk to myself.( The talk is always in a sense - of me.") I am talking whilst I am talking. It continues by itself. The monologue might be the delight of speech. In a free monologue nothing is known, sure or certain. There is no mental reservation, no arrière-pensée, . I am just in my usual monologue. Because, like I already asserted: I cannot possibly have any serious refutations before I begin: I cannot possibly plan to refute myself. Thus in my monologue I am in a difficult situation, if I do not allow myself to refute myself, to claim an opposite opinion .... I will kind of have to chose which monologue there´s gonna be ... Shall I talk without thinking, or shall I talk and at the same time seek for the weaknesses of my own reasoning ? It is getting more and more complicated, while I am getting - at the same time - more and more familiar with my way of reasoning, and more and more prone to refute this or that. The most common thing is, though, hat my monologue is a long Yes. This uttering of a Yes has a history and it often has an end in the famous peripeti, the catastrophe, the insight, that I was wrong, or that things were not at all as simple as I thought, ... Aristotle talks modally about the peripetia: "The peripetia is the sudden change, in what is happening into its opposite/.../ and this is always by probability and necessity." ( On poetry, p. 39. )" Change, change.
§. 21. The Monologue - that is true - is much , like writing itself, a risky occupation.
A. . We could as easily be tangled up in a monologue as in writing. It might be appropriate here to make a distinction: writing never aims directly at a decision, monologue often does. Writing may be in it´s own right, - monologue is involved in a life-project. We might say, that writing is a matter of aesthetics, monologue - in the end - of ethics. If we do not make a distinction like this, we are apt to end up in a greater trouble than the trouble we have now... We could begin to illustrate the commonness of (Co-)Monologue by thinking of how we often react to changes in the weather. "How strange!", people say,"when it is a cloudy day like this, I do not quite recognize myself ! I feel like a complete stranger to myself today! " Thus, it is like some sort of "self-consciousness" often is born with a change in the weather. Or again and again brought up. And it is a very common and natural thing. This self-consciousness is thus brought about when I do not quite recognize myself. Power of negation.-- B. The weather makes us aware. ( Blame it on the weather ! The story of the human consciousness, due to a change in the weather. “There´s a change in the weather, a change in the sky, please…”) It is a common thing to be unsure of oneself and the identity of the "I". And, typically, the uneasy feeling about this comes up when there only has been a change in the weather. - "How can it be" , any normal person ( and the abnormal to ) wisely asks himself, " that such a futile (!) matter as a cloudy sky could make me doubt myself and my beliefs in who I am ?" And: "What would not other things, more severe, more important, painful, lustful... do to me, that I am not aware of, because they demand my decision about themselves, something which is not the case with the weather. I could not possibly do anything to the weather. Who am I?" And:" But I am never talking like this when I am off balance in action. Do I know what I do? Now when it is a cloudy day, I will sort things out, so that I can feel prepared, have a method when this feeling strikes again, or when it does not...." ;"I might say that this day is strange. It is a thinking day, and I do not know who is thinking. Maybe the clouds above. Or some clouds inside my head"
"We could always blame the weather."
( Cf. Eve Sedgwick. Axiomatology. in Cultural Studies.(....). On the necessity of not always being the "same" person oneself, to be able to identufy with others.....) "I do not know who I am." Nietzsche said to himself, and Wittgenstein once exclaimed :"Forty years old and still an idiot!" After all, the dylan-thomasian "you are only human..." stands put. In this example the individual at hand is making several distinctions. He seems to be aware of that he is in a relative passive situation. He is unsure. He fears himself. He fears for what he does not reflect upon when he is in action. It is a cloudy day, and he or she is not questioning him- or herself about marrying, for example. This question might be regarded as a mental hurricane. This is the insight of the person under the clouds. And it is a worrying insight. Is it possible to take something into consideration , and at the same time have a monologue? Is it possible to take something into consideration without at the same time having a monologue? Is it possible to consider something, - to make a decision - inside a dialogue? Maybe reflection mainly is a "row of negations" ? A process consisting of negating. ( "Das Negative zu tun, ist uns noch auferlegt; das Positive ist uns schon gegeben.", F. Kafka, Betrachtungen uber Sunde, Leid, Hoffnung und den wahren Weg, 1917-19.) Maybe reflection is something like the dialectic of Kant, or the dialectic of Hegel or of Adorno? We do not think so. We think that it is a still more complicated thing. That it is as well to be persistently questioning, to be questioning persuasively. What is - in fact - more persuasive in the long run - than a question, or even more questions ... ? The more persuasive a question, the harder the decision. And we have then reached the ultimate goal of philosophy ( according to S.K. ): to make difficulties. ( The absolute end of the pursuit. ) The question is a fruit of the negation and contrary to any affirmation. We can never reach the kernel of reflection in a general formula. Reflection will always begin anew, go astray on paths unknown. It will never be finally systematized by anybody ( some von Linné of the world of reflection )in any meaningful way. Reflection could be discussed, and shall and should perpetually. Reflection, and "reflective philosophy" , will always be questioned. ( Cf. Merleau-Ponty : Le visible et l´invisible.). Reflection has but one definite limit: it will never decide, by itself.( We are happy about this.) The decision is something else, and something qualitatively separate from it. And decision is the great unknown.( We have a new trend, "cognition research". Since we still are permitted to laugh in this country at certain phenomena - despite our entry in the European Community (EU), we are now laughing. We do not think much of the enterprises of these "scientists" but naturally regards their X-ray projects as a circus and a humbug. They are making a living. That is all. Their own. And producing guesses and platitudes.) One of S.K.s main purposes in life was to point out the necessity of choice and our complete and eternal inability to observe from outside the "nature" of choice. ( His critic of Psychology, Psychiatry, Education and science in general was severe and devastating - sometimes even for himself. He actually - unjustly - hated microscopes and telescopes. He had been much better off , mentally, had he , like his competitor prof. J.L. Heiberg, been a little interested in observing the size and orbits of stars and the like ..... ). Now, philosophy is – according to Kierkegaard – always: to set the individual free.
§ 22. Vertigo.
T here is a certain "vertigo" in my mind when changing from one way of looking upon a figure to another, reverse way, one way of looking upon life or another, one way of pronouncing "eye" and then " I".... and it is not easy to know what happens in the change of an aspect, within the small, the tiny, most tiny moment, when I am changing aspect. It is hidden. But it is there, as a vertigo. Maybe most conscious , mental acts are results of a vertigo. They consists of hidden changes. But the change takes place. When I am talking to myself, and when I am thinking alone, I am in a process, the monologue, the soliloquy, and something will eventually emerge. I am trying to reveal something with Monology, and I expect something to happen in it. That I will take away the disguise. Monology is sometimes the language of a person in distress. In other moments it is the pleasure of expressing a change, the privilege to express such a thing. Or to make another change, just for fun, of pure joy. I have come upon a truth on my way !! As you can see it is not easy to determine what a monologue IS. We could not possibly cover it up. The monologue is not part of classical philosophy. It is more a rhetoric thing. I am using the concept in a broad sense. But the monologue is part of the world and the world is the object of philosophy. And I have asserted, that one can never foresee what will happen in a monologue, and it is even hard to know if one is getting nearer to a point or reaching it or can pass over it. "After a certain point I simply cannot continue. This . is this point." (S. Kierkegaard ) He sometimes plays with words and "the art of communication",….
Does certain points OPPOSE to us? The monologue is not a small rigmarole, list of words, which you can repeat over and over again...... You do have ONE, says :ONE, of the kind. It is your life. The concept of "vertigo" is used by S.Kierkegaard in two main respects.1.) In context together with "the sudden".( It is then bad.) ;2.) In context of the choice.( It is then inevitable.).
§ 23. About comparison in general - in comparison to my own comparison.
B efore I am beginning to illuminate this scene of points and directions,.....which is the main means in my search for the concept of self-knowledge, I have to make an aberration. To be able to illustrate the theory I will have to use authorships. I could not possibly use ONE. It will have to be at least two. But then another problem quickly arises. How do I compare ? What is a comparative study ? The proverb states: Nothing is good or bad without comparison. But no comparison is fair, and no one is complete. Comparison always limps, so that you easily returns to where you came from... By comparison, by analogy, no proposition is really clearly put forth. You could always compare with something else... It is an old truth, that analogy does not prove anything. And here we cannot - maybe - even prove the existence of an analogy. ( You could return in the history of philosophy to the Irish bishop G. Berkeley - after whom universities have been named - who doubted the possibility of comparison generally. ) A walk - a peripatetic - an imaginary walk, where to historical persons, Kafka and Kierkegaard are put side by side, will thus less be a stroll in the analytic countryside, where the stature of the one shadows the other, where the rush steps of the one makes the other left behind . Only by expelling the qualities who where special to each of the two, and concentrating on the common features, the common problems, and looking at the discourses on a common basis, we will try to proceed and to look into the nature of monologues. ( By reading the old Greek Plutarch (46-120 A.D.) - as a matter of fact it was the first book for grown-ups I ever read ( transl. partly by I. Harrie ), just like it was for J.-J.Rousseau ... - , i.e. his comparative studies in the lives of famous Greeks and Romans , we often - if we read P. often - get a bit dizzy, a negative vertigo (sic!), something that seems to have been felt by Plutarch himself, since he cures the oddity of his outset with a kind of cheerfulness, a small apology for not having taken account of matters that made the one or the other life really worth living, - outside the comparison... ! By a constant comparison, you often get rather blind, - in the end you have completely forgotten that you are comparing. Comparison is a walk up side down. You think that life, or writing, or what is at stake, is in turn a comparison to something else, something third..., but what. It is a bit like those people- they are not a few - who have misunderstood life and believe that life is some sort of a contest - . In the comparing one person is in a way corrected to meet the other; subjects that was alien to a person are - in their complete absence in concern to this man or woman - taken into account. At the end of the walk, to persons side by side, we have arrived to a kind of "frictional"( or osmotic ) understanding, a constructed understanding, an understanding a bit askew, and we do find that one life, one whole human life, cannot possibly be understood in comparison with a random other. We could chain two lives together, and nobody gets any happier. ( To those of you who think I take my time, while you yourself are in a hurry, I must advise you: Do as you chose! ... Somebody once said: A good book should be like a good friend. And you normally don´t get a good friend in an hour. "A book is machine to think with." is another saying. Then this essay is not a smaller type of fork. )
§ 24. The monologue of life.
T here is an anecdote – I actually have a multimultitude - much like Alf Henriksson - of stories about famous people - about the American philosopher Ch.S. Peirce, how he had developed an original skill ; he could write down on a piece of paper a question with his left hand and answer it simultaneously with his right hand on this paper. It was, according to the people present a marvelous sight. He must have minimized his doubt and hesitation on those occasions.... ) My FOCUS will all the time remain upon the monological, the monologue of life and it´s evolution by each of these two randomly picked authors, with a continuous glance upon the monologue I am myself in the process of writing ( not comparing myself to these giant writers in any other way ). My intention is not to give an entire picture of the authorship of the two of them. But I will all the same encounter another problem, - the problem of biography. There is no objectivity to be found in biography. Much research by different scientists have readily shown this. ( Cf. Ricoeur. Sartre. E.Wilson, D. A. Stauffer, Bärmark /Nilsson and others...) It is a minor art, according to the famous R.L. Stevenson, if an art at all. Maine de Biran became known for his introspective cleverness in his diaries and psychological essays, as an important "sideshow" to Descartes. He was called by Henri Bergson "le Kant francais" . I do like de Biran much more than Montaigne, who is much less analytical - in a way - than de Biran. Montaigne sketches where de Biran fights. SK often thought that the best roads are those when one is astray. ( Da.: Afveje.) It could generally be said, that modern philosophical reflection sometimes has widely surpassed itself. Philosophy of discourse is a field where people tend to show their manifold wisdom and supreme cleverness in an extraordinary enigmatic way. This book - if I may call it a book - weights lightly in comparison, and I try to be so little obscure and so little paradoxical as I can. I do not "believe in paradox". I am not fond of Heraclitus at all. My theory about the monologue is not exactly by the excessive kind. It is a down-to-earth theory.... not lofty at all. If I am arguing, that the understanding only is to be found in the directions (concerning a certain point ) of the monologue at hand, and for example the authoritative or non-authoritative direction, it will have to be reformulated into a concrete theory about the direction and exemplified, some things I hope to be able to do... And I am sometimes inclined to believe, that my work in part is a Critic of Reflection, from within, seen from the fact that I am concentrating on certain utter features, on special dynamic kinds of "HOW".Variation of the theme of the media is the message, the manner is the thing... "Of course you can ask yourself what "elaborating" is and question the value of the concept; you could even go so far as to admit that this is a myth and assert that the characteristics of the real thought are genuine separation, that it has a certain muteness, which would mean that the ideal for the "essential" book - provided that the essence of a book does exist - would be Pascal´s Pensées, where nothing is being elaborated." ( R. Barthes, Critical essays.) I very much like Pascal, among other things for his reasoning about darkness, about the dark. Pascal says, that he does not blame the Lord for letting him live in complete darkness. It is alright, he says. But he adds: ”Just do not let me live in this Half-darkness, this crepuscule!” That is so true a wish.
§ 25. On the Timelessness of Monologue.
T here is an appalling, spell bounding paradox (sic!) in the overall thought, that the human being, who more than anybody else is looked upon as the one who writes for all of us, the Author, most of all probably most of all writes for himself. ( Despite Dr. Johnson´s remark: "Anyone who writes but for money, is a fool." ) And the person, who silently writes for himself can be discovered as the one who speaks the more true to us when he or she is posthumously discovered. There is a striking paradox too in the thought of the fact that the person, who allegedly writes for others - the Author with a capital A - maybe be the person most inclined to be writing for himself alone, while the person, who is writing purely for himself, as he or she thinks, can by some extraordinary chance have very much to tell to another person of another era. Anyway: things change. What was once much appreciated no longer is? We can look upon the writings of Kafka and Kierkegaard in another light. Now we are interested in whether they had the capacity of thinking for themselves and how far they let their writings influence their decisions. But even if they did not suspect such an investigation, they were public writers. They had and have to stand the course.
§.26. The energy. W
. Blake, the sensitive poet, claimed to be wholly insane.: "Energy is eternal delight." Authors write - I believe - because they have to ( ... and not, as Dr. Johnson presumed, for money - ), and they almost always write by an overflow, super flue - and of fright for dying. Either by too much of life, energy, and spirit or by a great lack of something. Cf. Aristotle and his concept of steresis: a concept of privation indicating "absence". Noncultivation is - for example - a privation with the noncultivated, that through a process of cultivation can become the cultivated person. Compare also the teachings of Plato, Augustine, and Schelling, who all have the idea of evil as privation boni. ( Lack of the Good. ) It is a kind of dialectic, from which some can infer a kind of irony of the lack. But the foundation is in all cases: overflow, super flue. "La superflue d´energie est la clef á la vie humaine." ,as Simone Weil, the Christian ascetic writer - and activist – starving to death - put it. But superflue is as a matter of fact - i.e. dialectically - lack of lack. ( Cf. the troublesome dialectics of the Lack....) Even S.Weil herself did not write by superflue solely. ( She was always envious of her older brother, who was so very much more talented than she was, according to her. He was a famous piano player.) And yet, some authors do that? Were such people like Diderot, Dostoyevskij, Balzac, and Strindberg simply great masses of energy, great powers. Was the key to their greatness: super flue? We cannot rule out the energy factor. ( Both Kierkegaard and Kafka - for instance - were energetic people. We can study their handwriting and see how they keep their steady pace. They had, both of them, like Strindberg, had learned the difficult lesson: to adapt legible and calm handwriting -the early handwritings of S. and S.K. were extraordinary messy - and as for Kafka, he tended to write ceremonially … to be able to fulfill their goal. To manage to write down not only the first thoughts that came to their mind, but to be able to write as long as their mind worked, and as long as they lived.) No energy - no monologues! To create a monologue one has to have some energy. It is impossible to find points or directions or decisions in bulks of texts that are lacking energy. We could not possibly search for Mon.1 in an aphorism or two. ----. Often people have tried to see a certain kinship between monologuing and introspection and a special kind of intimidate good anthologizing, the language of the secret friend. In Western tradition is an outspokenness typical for our culture. Here few things are covertly implied, few games are overtly played with silent admission, no games of Zen... We have very few exceptions to this rule. S. Beckett is maybe the most prominent and beautiful. It can be said, that both Kafka and Kierkegaard are talking about the unspeakable. There are even commentaries from themselves about this. By both of them, there clings an air of mysticism. Wittgenstein regarded Kierkegaard as a mystic, and Kafka regarded himself as such an individual. But it is important to stress the fact - I believe it is a fact - that none of them wanted to put forth some insolvable paradox to their public. Still, much in a way, that was what they did. We sometimes ask ourselves why we read great authors ( and even read about them... ). It is most probably because we think that they are interesting and clever people. They can depict interestingly all sorts of people. They seem, furthermore, interesting and clever in such a way, that they make oneself feel as interesting, clear-sighted, and clever as the author himself, even if one is not... ( which, in itself is a kind of deep dialogism...) There are no interesting people. One being seems interesting to me. Man.
§ 27. The main forms of monologue. T he main features of the – long-awaited - theory. Could monologues have distinctly different forms? They can. Are all monologues different? No, not essentially. What is a monologue, for a start? What is the definition of a monologue? : A monologue is when somebody is permitted ( by a common agreement ) to talk alone without being interrupted in any way until he is finished. Until he has reached the final point. (. ). You can see such a little point within brackets here. ( . ) This. is a point. And we are largely talking about points here. We do completely agree with the definition given here of the monologue. But we are - in this theory because it is some such - adding to this basic definition other features too; we are hereby asserting, that there are two main kinds ( categories ) of monologue: First: AGAIN. Monologue one ( Mon. 1 ) is to talk TO ( towards) a point.
Second: Monologue two ( Mon. 2 ) is to talk from a point ( behind ). All the discourses in the world should, according to the theory, be able to fit in either Mon. 1 or Mon. 2. The idea of the theory comes originally from an interpretation of a passage in a letter written by S. Kierkegaard - ( who else ? ). Though it might be tempting to rush into my own garden of thought, I think it is in the long run a wise thing to do first to ask for a more clear understanding of the monologue and its relation to dialogue. "An ol´ friend is the best mirror." Old English proverb. Naturally, we have to be on guard against the really bad monologue all the time, the self-centered monologue, "Der Wahnsinn des Eigendunkels",( Hegel´s words. ) St. Augustine warned against this inwardness, this "crouching into oneself", and this type of monologue too, when he, at the same time, defended the worth of the monologue in his confessions. It is a constant critique from the so-called "dialogicans" against the sole monologist, and we have to be aware of the problem continuously, admit its presence like for instance Brunner is in his Das Gebot und die Ordnungen , where he ranges the states of reflection, and one of the stages ( the lowest) is "die sinnliche Unendlichkeit", where man is in a kind of demonic state. "Der Mensch will sich seiner Unendlichkeit, seiner Freiheit bewusst werden und sie geniessen. Er will spielen, gleichgultig womit, sich geniessen, gleichgultig in welchem Medium." ( p.9.). And we do agree with B.; the person who exclusively enjoys the monologue does not in fact give a damn about it. We must - in this rather extensive essay - always have this in mente. It is definitely, absolutely, a more important distinction than the parting of Mon.1 and Mon.2... Sören Kierkegaard on walks and walking. Letter to his niece Jette ( 18 years old Henriette Lund ): "Dear Jette, Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thought, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it./.../" (1847) Cf. Fr. Nietzsche´s famous remark: "Thoughts which you get when you are sitting still are nothing worth. Only thoughts you get when you are walking are of any value." Cf. Einstein, lover of walks.
§28. The Point.
I n a letter to his ( maybe ) closest friend, the Copenhagen lawyer ( Konferentsraadet ) Janus Kolderup-Rosenvinge, S.K. wrote, in 1848, this: "If I have systematized walking as you remarked last time, then please permit me to essay a small theory of "motion", to which the category “stopping” in turn belongs. Most people believe that so long as one has a fixed point to which one wants to get, then motion is no vortex.( /whirling around/.) But this is a misunderstanding. It all depends on having a fixed point from which to set out. Stopping is not possible at a point ahead, but at a point behind. That is, stopping is in the motion, consolidating the motion. And this is the difference between a political and a religious movement. Any purely political movement, which accordingly lacks the religious element or is forsaken by God, is a vortex ("maelstrom"), cannot be stopped, and is a prey to the illusion of wanting a fixed point ahead /...../; for the fixed point, the only fixed point, lies behind./.../ Socrates had the fixed point behind. His point of departure lay in himself and the god. That is to say, he knew himself, he possessed himself./.../" ( S. Kierkegaard, Letters and Documents, pp. 253-4. )
( Sadly enough the bright historian Rosenvinge died in 1850, at the age of 58 - while Kierkegaard lived until 1855, and thus lost his sole friend. ) We will find this vortex in a couple of different shapes in S.K.s thinking later in this essay. Vortex and vertigo are points around which much is centered.... in Kierkegaard´s theories as well as here..... Let us call this theory about motion, which Kierkegaard displays to Rosenvinge The Motion Theory. What is: a fixed point behind? What is a fixed point ahead like? When it comes to a human being, reflection and life? We might look at another distinction, another small theory of S. Kierkegaard´s to get the answer. Because it happened that Kierkegaard had a very stable flair for constructing theories about different STAGES and DIRECTIONS regarding the inner life of Man, and a reflective mind. ( The list is long, the three stages on the journey of life, the aesthetic, ethic and religious, the religiousness A. and B., the different kinds of Despair, different ways of not being able to read books, and so on, and so on, …) So he proposed that there was just one thing he would be interested in finding out when acquainted with another human adult person. That was: WHAT HAD MADE HIM SERIOUS? Kierkegaard thought that this was the DISTINCTIVE question, regarding everybody. If he knew the answer to this question, he would feel reassured and comforted, in most cases. Now, we might look upon this BECOMING A SERIOUS PERSON ( which maybe does not happen to every person, like Kierkegaard thought it might, and which I indeed do not think ever happened to Kierkegaard himself ) as THE POINT BEHIND. Or – at least – ONE of the possible points behind. We might think of a point behind – i.e. the ANCOR of Monologue 2 – as some sort of CONVICTION, acquired in some sort of earnestness. BUT, what about those who indulge in MONOLOGUE 1, which are looking for a point ahead of themselves. All logic requires, that they too must have had some sort of decisive moment in their lives when they DECIDED to look for a POINT AHEAD? Thus they are to be looked upon as just as SERIOUS as the ones that only have a point behind them. Or? But, if we are reading, again, the Motion Theory. The great DIFFERENCE between having a point behind and having a point ahead of oneself seems to Kierkegaard to be not the FACT, that one HAS A POINT. But rather THE ABILITY TO REST with regard to it. The goal for Kierkegaard is thus this: TO BE ABLE TO REST IN MOTION. The secret of the human stroll, the existential walk in the park, the walk through LIFE, is the ability to be doing this without remorse or guilt, or anxiety. One has to – notwithstanding the choice of point ( if it is chosen ) – one would rather be able TO REST IN MOTION, when walking ( or when living ). Piece of Mind, that is what Kierkegaard refers to, in his letter to Rosenvinge ( the name meaning: “Rose wing”. “Wing of a rose.” Which in turn is something like a picture of … resting in motion. ) What the conservative Kierkegaard is telling his friend, the historian Rosenvinge, who was an expert on History of Law, BOTH secular or religious is, and a wealthy man, just as SK was, that the RELIGIOUS MIND is at peace, and rest, while the political is at UNREST because the political mind has CHOSEN a POINT AHEAD. Thus, let us now return to the Theory about Earnestness. We might conclude that if Kierkegaard was keen on knowing what had made a singular human being earnest, he would possibly know something of the kind of MOTION this person had. Thus he would not say, that earnestness was the POINT. But earnestness was, probably, the condition sine qua non for a person to have either a point ahead or a point behind. Earnestness was to Kierkegaard the DECENCY. But pure decency did not unfortunately make a person rest in motion. Thus we might conclude, that we might think that not every human is neither kind of religious, nor a political being, or had made any decision at all, but that some lives and monologues have no DIRECTIONS, no MOTION, at all. That there are Monologues, that are of a different kind, Monologue 1 and Monologue 2, TWO DECISIVE KINDS OF MONOLOGUES, which both seem to be DECENT, but only one of them is such, IN WHICH the AGENT can REST. Hence the agent on BOTH Monologues way feel decent, but ONLY ONE will, by this quality of his choice being able to rest in what he executes, And that is the one who has a MONOLOGUE 2, thus, in the case of the Rosenvinge Theory example, put forward by Kierkegaard, the RELIGIOUS person. Both the Monologue 1 and 2 person may be able to perform something meaningful, whether it be in ogling ahead, or backward. It is just the fellow, or fellow, that ogles sideways, that we must be more suspicious about, according to Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard thinks being f. ex. a socialist is decent, or a liberal, but that you cannot REST IN IT. ( Because they are both a … vortex. ) Hence it is, according to Kierkegaard, if we may express things a little polemical, MORE COMFORTABLE to be religious than indulge in politics. If one looks at Kierkegaard´s theory of motion more critically, it does not equal Galilei´s or Newton´s at all, and what it does say is, that Mag. Kierkegaard thinks that being religious is a more pleasant occupation, than indulging in politics, or something like that ……
§ 29. Monologue 1. , and Monologue 2...
I am handling the thoughts in this Kierkegaardian letter to his friend completely in my own special manner. I am using the picture with "the point" and the remark about the religious and Socrates having the point behind it. ( Mon. 2. i.e.) And I do not, the way I see things, the way I classify in this proposal, exactly agree ( not at all, in fact ) with S.K., regarding the political person being a person with a M.1, i.e.: having a distant point ahead. ( ? . ) This can - naturally - be discussed, and I would want it to be discussed. My main view on discourses is that there are two kinds of them. Either the discourse is a Mon.2, i.e. - there is a fixed point behind . ? - or there is a discourse of the type Mon. 1., i.e. - there is a fixed point ahead. ?... Now, as everybody easily can conceive, there is a big qualitative difference between a point behind and a point ahead. The point behind is in a certain way more known and more "at hand" than the distant point ahead, which is of the nature that it often only is presumed, often a goal or a vision or something like that. Main differences of the types of monologues:
A person normally starts with a monologue 1,? . having from the start no conviction in life..... or such thing, Mon.1,? . , is the form for the searching man, but also for the un-authoritative, the non-believer. Mon.2.,? - on the other hand - is the form of discourse, or the general form for the convinced person, ( convinced in some way, positive or negatively ....a determined man or someone who has given it all up .... ) the man or woman who knows, or knows nothing, or the man who is a religious or political believer, the authoritarian person. Mon2. has its anchoring pint firm behind, and on the way of life he is not likely to go astray, to be wayward, or to be curious... ( I am exaggerating here, to make my "point" clear ... ). Mon2. has the uniqueness, nicely pointed out by S. Kierkegaard, that it is "stopping in motion", it is staying rock solid and being in motion at the same time. S.K.- being an apt mathematician himself ( although not at all interested in the exact sciences, like his contemporary and adversary, J. L. Heiberg ) was familiar with Newton. Thus S. Kierkegaard has a paradoxical view regarding this type of motion,- matching his paradoxical view on religion and faith. To believe is no easy matter. And to have a Mon2,. ? is a rather mystical thing.( It namely depends on a decision. Kierkegaard is himself surely referring to the decision of being a Christian, and the faith as such.) Mon. 1., ? . ,- on the other hand - is more the common way, maybe "the romantic way", looking for a distant future, and the monologist of type 1. , ? . , is a person who under ways may be looking around him and taking his time to find out about things of no special concern to him, and he is not caught in any belief in anything special, other than that there probably is something far ahead which comes closer every day,- namely the distant final point of his own monologue. These are the main features of the two kinds of monologue. My theory - if I might call it a theory - is one of movements and directions - from or to a point. To and fro. Figuratively one might see one monologue kind of leaning backward ( ! ) while the other one is leaning forwards. ( I am not talking about graphology here.) I can - easily - think of middle-forms and more complex forms in addition to Mon.1 and Mon.2., which is what comes up rather immediately when I use to bring up this small ( though, as it seems: inspiring ) theory among people. My "point" is - in my critique of pure dialogism - that nothing happens in dialogue as dialogue without a dialogue with the monologue. It is a dialectic ( pardon me this word... ) between dialogue and monologue which often has been overlooked by the fans of the dialogue. We are not developing in the dialogue - "Chaque autrui trouve son etre dans l´autre." ( J.-P. Sartre. ) : Every Other ( "Neighbour" ) finds his being in the Other ... - but in the dialectic between the dialogue and monologue. And neither of the two is - naturally - thinkable without the other. Monologue is not half a dialogue. The main fault the dialogicans do, the misconception they indulge in, is that you cannot talk to yourself and that you cannot create anything by yourself, while the opposite is the plain truth! It is only the individual that has the capability of creating and to make a decision and developing. The sole thinker has been made a suspect person by the theoreticians of dialogism. Loneliness is according to this misconception a complete tragedy, according to these philosophical saviors. And to be alone is to be mad. ( Cf. Gr. idiota = detached. SW. "enskild". ). My basis is, my work is built upon our inner Monology. Each of us has an inner Monology, a territory that through the years evolves slowly into a rare Nation. It could be thought of as our "slow face" - and such faces can also be perceived by reading books, by various thinking people ... The Monologue, which is an empirical fact as such, could be interpreted in various ways. It is - in a strict sense - impossible to say other things than self-evident things about it. I cannot explain it. But I can speculate around it. I can use monologue as an Archimedean point to move other things around with the help of. It is a familiar Lennonian insight among all of us that what happens, happens en passant. When I am talking about something I could suddenly be aware that I am talking about quite something else. Or I could talk about two things simultaneously. And - at the same time - I am aware that I like this constant distress. The same is at hand when I am writing. And I could write my monologue, and I can see that it sometimes appears to be aiming at a distant point, which is a point I will never reach. But I notice that I am still consciously willing to keep on writing. It is a kind of constant delay. It is not an andante futurum. It is an andante present. I am writing now. Maybe I am writing out of fear ( a common thought among professional writers ) for death. I am consoling myself by writing; and as long as I write, I am calm and alive. Writing is a primitive religion. H.Vergote asserts in his Sens et non-sens that religion is man´s strange wish to get together with other people in another world. ( It is not usual for him to be humorous. ) Maybe it is the same thing with writing. But writing, which is one kind of monologue, is many things. I do write to be cleaner, to try to become all clean. As a catharsis. I am writing to be free. To make myself Free, and perhaps to make other people Free as well. When you once have learned to read, it is not hard to write. And beginning to write is to come up to a point when you are beginning to write up to a point. ( a Mon. 1. ) point. At the same time you may have a quite clear idea behind, in the back of your head, and in that case you do have a Mon-point 2. too, or the Mon-point 2. is the important point for you, and you are not at all interested in a distant point ahead, because it is in no way distant ( the motion has stopped ) ...... When you have written what you have to write, you simply reach up to the moment when the point is to be put an end to it all. The final point is of no major importance to the Monologist of type 2., ? it barely exists..... There has now been a rampant rumor for a long time here bouncing about, that this paper is about those points, and other similar or dissimilar points and of directions to and fro. And: It is so. In the process of writing, and maybe especially in the process of writing about writing, thinking about thinking, one is likely to make huge mistakes. Not one, but many. A monologue is often a postponing of the obvious truth. I could write forever about what I know, without ever actually writing it, without actually telling it to myself or somebody else. This is the most horrible mistake, and it is at the same time the main characteristic of a monologue 1. ( It sometimes makes very good literature... ) Monologue is often kind of tautological. It could be repetitive in repeating its aut-aut, it´s either-or, without ever de facto getting started. The pro et contra-method is a monologue. And it is hardly possible to do without it. It cannot be said: I do not want to monologize! We all have to be dealing with monologues. And we are all of us having a monologue that is either mainly a Mon.1. or a Mon.2. b.) Mon 1. is ...two. It is first hand a kind of secret line on the stage of Existence, off the record. Or the other way round. That depends on who you are. Yes, everything tends to be judged differently before or after Thermidor ( the crucial month of the French Revolution ). Freedom has two sides: one might be called the making of freedom, freeing,-that is Freedom A., and the other - which with strict logic follow - is "Freedom of choice", - we call it Freedom B... Thermidor stands commonly in political theory for the eternal making of freedom, the permanent A. ( Cf. Trotsky´s permanent revolution ... ). But Monologue naturally has to be that courageous and strong, and understandable ( the problem of intersubjectivity ), so that both you and I, Me and the Other ( the idealistic Other, hard to find...) can move in and feel comfortable. One can look upon people in general as either people of Mon 1. ? . or people of Mon 2,. ?, as I have already asserted,- and maybe other people, maybe there are some, that never have much of a monologue at all? I do not know. But most of us live in Monologia, - and we do not think that there are many of us, among those who are reading or writing this, that have no thoughts at all. We are concerned with monologues of type 1. and 2, the first waving their tongue in search and despair before the disaster, the other group, 2, the selfassured and hardened people, that have come out on the other side of the great Vertigo and haply remember what it was like to be openminded and ....uncertain like in a Monologue of type 1. ( ? .) Monologues of type 2. tend to be dogmatic, - setting out from a point (Gr. stigme)as they do, i.e.: setting out from a dogma. The long period of Mon 1,? . , the childhood of Man is a time looking for knowledge and love and trying to cope with the problems intellectually and emotionally ( as we all probably know of ), and it is a vast period of time, but it is still contained well enough in a lifetime. S. Freud once asserted, that without a confrontation with the objective, it is impossible to reach the knowledge of oneself. ( This he wrote in 1900 when he recently had lost his beloved father .) admit - to denote the confrontation with or insight in the"real", the reality, realitas. We have all, since antiquity tried to nail the present in terms like these. As for S. Freud: What is Traumdeutung ( The Interpretation of dreams. (1900)) ////... Self-analysis of the concrete matter? A lonely man S. Freud wrote during the writing of his Magnus Opus - his investigation - now and then to his friend, the nasiologist W. Fliess, about the proceeding of the work. ( It is an encounter of two monomaniacs. Cf. P. Gay, Freud, p.74. ) Without the contact with Fliess Freud could not have managed to write the book, he afterwards claimed. I am thus indicating that Traumdeutung well enough is a Mon 1., but that Freud had a dialogue..... with Fliess.
§ 30. The catastrophe, and way-warding, - and Mon. 1 and 2..
B ecause a catastrophe ( utter on inner ) is something that normally forces a shift of perspective. For some people, the catastrophe comes from an outer source. With others it is a consequence of an inner process, a 360-degree search or something ... It is not seldom a birth of an author at some time, or the birth of a really good author ( ... but it might as well be the opposite: the cease of an authorship, the end of it.). And here is the perplexed face visible, in many discourses by a person who has gone through a catastrophe... We might look upon the Mon 1. - before the catastrophe - as unconscious treason, or a misdirection, something which is clearly visible with the English so-called metaphysical poets, in their intricate manner, investigated with so much cunningness by British scientists, where the failure in picturing the unknown - or the other side, the heaven of all heavens - suddenly becomes the most successful invitation to these realms. In a like manner, "all poetry is misrepresentation" ( since The Objective/Real can be defined and/or understood in many a way. It can be described quite differently by different people. We could say that the objective is the concrete, the apparent, the present, the actual, or ... the catastrophe. In this essay we have - right or wrong - chosen the rather drastic word of "catastrophe"(disaster) - not without a certain irony, I have said) - all poetry and prose are wayward stuff of the kind that is common to Mon 1.,? . , where it is common to all the time be looking for new angles and directions ... The monologues of this type are - as I have pointed out - the most common among literature. I would say that approximately 90% of all literature is of a kind that could be categorized as Mon 1... This Monologue is often a prolonged fear for something, - sometimes even fear of the reader, that the reader should be able to perceive the whole truth. We are all a bit afraid of the truth - since we do not know it, and since it can be, that it does not exist... But after the catastrophe, I will have to take the catastrophe for the truth, since it is true that it has happened, - and since I nearly knew it would come, as if I had always waited for it, unconsciously. It is easy to look upon the catastrophe as truth if I think I always have known it or known that I would come to know it, - as if I had made it all by myself. My catastrophe is in a concrete manner all mine. It is very true for me in this sense. It is not often that a catastrophe comes within the monologue itself. It often comes from outside and affects the monologue. We could talk about two kinds of catastrophes: the intramonological (A.) and the extramonological (B.). ( We do like to build small systems ... ) In a monologue, a intramonological Catastrophe can appear, since I am shaping my fate by monologuing if I am monologuing all the time. If I am very persistent in my inner monologue and never ever am giving it up, nearly sure that I am not talking to anybody else at all only to myself, how do you manage to shape your destiny, because it is not easy to put the questions, the right questions and give the right answers year after year in this vast monologue? The monologue is the room for objections. True enough, but it takes a daring person to object to everything he is thinking. There is a monologue of love and a monologue of the devil in us all. But could we cope with this Mon.1. all alone forever and ever without anything extraordinary happening? To live a life in a Mon 1. without any insights at all, is that the most common life of all lives? These are all questions that can make the sanest person a bit askew. There are at least two kinds of waywardness in the monologues of type 1... One of these wayward is the tiny curious waywardness, then walking off the road, walking in the ditch, reaching alongside the road, glancing at the road carefully from a very small distance, and all the time ready to get up on the road again..... Another wayward road turns backward and could be followed alongside the road back again, looking for its Arche, for its genesis, for the putting of its ( the human ) problem, this problem, that has shown to be so difficult in its setting ("It is no Why because it is unending Why." ( S. Kierkegaard Introduction in Christianity. (1848) ) The monologue is loading on me an enormous weight... We do not enter in such a dialectic of gravity without asserting: This Monologue is a vast mumble, or rather a hysterical doubt concerning Everything (sic!), a very heavy doubt, so heavy, and finally it has nothing to offer but ... it´s very extension, pure extension and nothing but extension! The Mon 1., is a true swamp. ( A good author though is a person by whose side you willingly walk through any swamp! ) This, this about the pure extension is naturally - at a closer look - an illusion. The extension has at length more than its length; it has the power to drag you down !! "Time is the father of truth." as the Englishman used to say. The monologuer by our school is walking primarily The Main Road, and then he is walking The Narrow Path - and finally, we can find him strolling on the Small Wayward ( deviate ) Close By ... it is not unusual to find him there when time is ripe ....,( the true wayward makes something like a 90-degree turn ! )since the monologist sometimes is in great doubt on his capacity as a monologuer, as a person existing in some real sense ..... The monologue can be like the Way of Kierkegaard, - so everlastingly eternally desperately long, by some necessity or by some desire towards martyrism or by some phobia... It can also be - in accordance to my suspicious nature I am inclined to believe this - that one simply ( Dan. "simpelthen" ) is moving - if it is logically possible - the point further away, to a still more distant place, ( this point by which they walk would end ) the longer you travel ... as long as you travel... It can alternatively be, that - according to my ever suspicious nature I believe this too - that the person who is living and thinking and talking his Monologue 1, in reality already has reached his distant point, that he already - deep inside him - is safely there, that his conscience, or bulk of conscience, always is situated way ahead by this point, where knowledge is no longer any knowledge at all: every human being is right in front of what he or she does not understand ( as I have pointed out - at the outset ) and this because there is no knowledge by this brick wall. Knowledge must be born. It cannot exist before it is born, - not according to my view of life. What is the Champs solitaire, an Outskirts Caracteristicon, about humans, what is the Aura about the human being, what it is to be human is exactly, that, whatever he or she says or does, he or she is marked by the way he or she does not understand. There are - as we all know ( in different ways) - lots of ways not to be knowing things.( Cf. The cloud of not-knowing, et al. ). Everybody knows that he or she could be standing - if he or she would be absolutely honest ( a terrible thought ) - like a Wittgenstein, ( the modern Master of utter Doubt ... ), hammering on the wall like a stubborn infant, kind of like the Third person, mentioned by Kierkegaard in the Andersen-critique ...- and every Man has a part of him or herself, that is looking forward over his own shoulder, from behind !,( not forward towards somebody behind the Other, the Lacanian Other... ) - but the majority that are walking in their Mon 1. has not got the faintest idea about such eleoquent things: they are walking along and they do not even know that they are walking in a Mon 1. or that they are walking with a point ahead. They are ignorant about my theory, in other words. ( Observe: regarding cathastrophies, I am not of the opinion that all catastrophies are good for every human being. But I have never got rid of the feeeling, that it might serve , instrumentally, a very good purpose. I will return to this problem below.) ( ...... As for Wittgenstein and his doubt, we could easily say that W. was the great non-knower of our time ( a kind of Socrates of the 20th century ), but I have sometimes regarded his doubt a little too big : Can you know THAT little. But - a serious man as he was - he took knowing and not knowing very seripously, and perhaps it is most accurate to call him some kind of mystic. ( Naturaly he made contributions to philosophy too, - and that is a rare thing - with for example his truth tables, that came to be important if not else : for the building of the first computers.) Wittgenstein wrote a lot, and much was not much more than thinking aload, and not interesting for other people, than those who wanted to know whow W. thought. Much of it - what he was writing in his later years - has really, in other words, I think, no public mayor interest...) "Thoughts are more like hints..." (Wittg. ) d.) Thinking, setting out from a point , as well as thinking with one distant point ahead , in mente, can be a long winding covert lie, which all of a sudden becomes overt, comes clear to the thinking person himself or herself. He or she suddenly knows , that it was all a lie. There are persons , who generally does lie, who even are regarded as incapable of lying,( to be some "homo tautologicicus", - there are psychiatrists , which doubts that there can be a person able to tell the truth, if this person cannot lie … ( J. Lacan, in Les Psychoses ) And that is a pretty clever and amusing but stupid remark …) and these could not possibly either be thinking to or fro a point, if this meant, that they were lying? Is it so? It seems incredible. In the important way all people can lie! It is the mark of the human being. The human being is the being who can lie to herself. Thus, a long winding lie, - but the lies of Mon 1. ( - ) and Mon 2. (. ? ) has a different character. M.2 is completely and openly convinced about its truth and is only in need of a conceptual and factual correction, when Mon 1. ( ? . ) anyway in its very heart is so very clear on the point that it is in itself only preliminary, that it is an oscillation between the conscious and the unconscious, that its propositions are only "for a try", that it is readily unmasked, that the whole of tis Mon 1 is being reveled as a big "tongue in cheek" and as cheating - its attitude is always that of playing - and when it comes all around, it could eventually come out that way, that the Monologue 2 ( . ? )is kind of true anyway, though it was false. ( This is what the monologuer of Mon 2. will say, I think. He is a clever guy /chick.).And what if it was all a lie?: I am here and now, I am in the making, isn´t that enough! What could you be asking from a human being? .. and so on. We might suppose - but here it is essential to be extremely cautious - that the Mon. 2 ( . ? ) is more dangerous than Mon 1. Because the persons of Mon 2. do believe, that they are right, have the truth and that what they say is giving a picture of things "as they are"! Mon.1 ( ? . ) persons are looking around, not in a happy go lightly way, but they are certainly not convinced in any matter. We could, regarding Mon 1. , say, that the unmasking of the lie in Mon 1. ( ? . ) is the down break of relativism and a crisis for "the Masters of the control of the Now", the "Moment". Mon.1. is secular, Mon 2,( . ? ) is commonly authoritarian. All fanatics are of type Mon 2.. But all with a Mon 2. are of course not fanatics..... We could never at a distance decide concerning these matters which monologue at a certain moment would be absolutely dangerous. We might not have anything absolute here.....
§ 31. The Monologue 3.
M ost people I have been talking to ( friends of mine and foreigners on benches in parks ... ) have the opinion, that most monologues have one point behind and another ahead and that the direction of the monologue is constantly altering. In some way or another. I do not know why they have this attitude, or "theory", - but we have to take it seriously, and we are here naming it Mon 3.! The two of them ( 1. & 2. ) are both tools for an intellect, which is capable of telling lies. They are both monologues, true monologues, and true peoples monologues in their fragile tries to relate to reality. With no doubt, it is easy to put worth and underline certain things in the monologue that is one´s own, while you at the same time are busy finding a backdoor through which an escape is possible, because it is so though, yes, it is nearly impossible, to be honest towards oneself. And a person can bring much of what is hidden within him up to the surface, to the conscious sphere - as they say - but there is always new material appearing at the bottom of the deep ocean of mind… For those persons, who have the power to reach themselves, reach to the bottom ( who has? ) in complete forgetfulness about oneself ( who does ever? ), the monologue ( Mon.1. ) will not become a monologue, but only a kind of "product", which, in the making, at the same time is being regarded and valued by the astonished producer himself, like he or she sometimes use to look upon his or her own too short thumbs - a parody of a monologue. Because those who have the power of reaching themselves completely are at the same time disinterested, ( an aesthetic category with S. Kierkegaard ) and thus - in a way - not really living. To live is to have an interest, often secretly or in disguise, and an interest to reach out or to defend something., Those people are rare, who belong to the group of disinterestedness, but for the sake of completeness, they are mentioned here as a contrast, being neither the people of Mon.1 or Mon2... Because it would also be like travel to a place where one has been before, trying to look at this place through the eyes of oneself, all the time feeling as if those eyes were not mine at all, but some eyes of another person. But between interestedness and the disinterestedness we all travel through this world, thus passing from being in a monologue to harbor outside it for a while, and we are all either in a monologue or outside it, longing to be in it again, and we are all in between the snares of the lines of the harpoons shot by either Mon.1 or Mon 2, and we will dwell between them all our life. For the disinterested, there are no points, nothing to and fro, and no actual thought can come or go and nothing is to be defended or given up. The utter meaning of thought is finally to be able to tell somebody that you have gotten rid of these thoughts. This is important when we are analyzing the monologues because they are interested in thoughts, and the monologuers are in such despair in sticking to their thoughts when they at the same time all are aware, that they do want to get rid of them, that they are so tired of these favorite things, that they could puke …. This word, "they could puke" is formulated and is the outer formulated sentence. The inner is the underlying in what is said, the implicit, and in the implicit one can find the marrow and the spirit of it all. It is from the inner marrow the possibility comes to change the direction of the utter word. Before the changing of a direction, we can have a parallel monologue, where a spectator is walking along. To Kierkegaard the concept of “interest” is generally looked upon with suspicion. The interested person is not a committed person. Thus “interest” is looked upon by Kierkegaard, in his cathegorizing, as an aesthetic concept, or more accurately, as a concept describing an aesthetic attitude to life. Life is not, according to Kierkegaard, to be interested, but to be committed, and to chose, in deepest passion, Inderlighed, ones path.
§ 32. The Monologue 4.
K ierkegaard says that it is impossible to stop by a point ahead. That is true. Because we have not got there yet! To stop by a point behind is possible, and he thinks of this as a "staying/ Dan. stannande / in motion" ( Op.cit.) We can here perceive some of the ideals of the romantics and their aesthetic ideal. As if we heard a German romantic ( Fr. Schlegel & Consorts. ) talking about the irony. Kierkegaard asserts that every man has to strive for something. He seems himself be an immediate example. A human being must be in constant motion ( Cf. B. Gustavsson, I den natt (1962) , p.290:" "existence was a decision in faith, a constant motion in the trust in the will of God concerning each individual.") The goal of the monologue is of course not the direction, but it can be said that it is not to have the wrong sort of direction. In a certain way, it is a classical message in this, - you must be in some direction to participate in living and understanding and judging and acting, and the direction of - for example - a Mon 1. or a Mon 2. is a necessary condition to more important things. "To exist while understanding, and to exist in what you understand, is to reduplicate." This might be an illustration of the faith of reflection and the need for reflection and the belief in the worth of choice. We should not forget the kind of monologue that continues eternally, the monologue from which nothing comes out, nothing have been ever let in, where it is impossible to perceive some point, be it to or fro, no direction, only a curious swaying of words, a caricature of a monologue. We could name it something,
§ 33. The Monologue 5.
T his kind of Monologue can only appear provided that nothing is uttered or thought earnestly: it is speaking and thinking without purpose or any serious meaning, i.e. a talk for the sake of talking. When an analytical philosopher - for example, John Austin, the Englishman - talks about speech as an act, a "locutionary act", then a sentence is uttered as meaningful. Ex.: "I am forgiving you." There has to be a direction behind it, but it could as well be a Monologue 1. as a Mon. 2. One might also think of peculiar monologues, that set out to ne a wonderful, innocent Monologue, typ 2, but soon the reader might suspect that there is a counter-direction in it, so that after a little while the whole part of the text seem running BOTH TO and FRO.
“Oh, the little cloud!” exclaimed Clara, suddenly joyful again. “Look how pretty it is, all pink against the azure! Don’t you know it? Have you never seen it? Why, it’s a very mysterious little cloud... and perhaps even because it’s not a little cloud at all. It appears every day at the same time, from God knows where. And it’s always alone, and always pink. It glides and glides and glides. Then it gets thinner, unravels, scatters, dissipates and melts into the firmament. And it’s gone! And no one knows where it goes, any more than where it comes from! There are some very learned astronomers here who believe it’s a genie. But I believe it’s a wandering soul... a poor little bewildered soul, like mine. And speaking to herself, she added:” “What if it’s poor Annie’s soul?””
( Octave Mirbeau, Torture Garden, p. 166. ) ----------
§ 34. Authors and ... Authors, - a distinction. S
ince my objects of investigation are texts, written by authors, I would like to elaborate on this theme: the difference between the kinds of authors and the kinds of writings at hand. One could – and I am here referring - make a distinction, as the excellent French philosopher and linguist Roland Barthes does in his lively essay Ecrire: verbe intransitif? ( about 1970, Write, - an intransitive verb? ), between one the one side le scripteur ( like Barthes himself, Buber, Kierkegaard, philosophers in general, Mr. Bachtin etc. ) and on the other l´ecrivain ( the writer, writer of novels and fiction in general, i.e. the "real" author . Not Barthes´words, but mine .....). Le scripteur ( the "penman" ) is often a "homme des lettres", a well-read person, who often writes about other books, but also on life in general or other subjects. ( B. Russell is interesting in that he wrote science and essays on different matters with equally good result and a very nice autobiography too. We would not call him a scripteur, though .... ) L´écrivain, - le monsieur écrivain, is the teller of tales, of stories, and he is, to me, the superior one, - the creator of new universes in the name of Art. ( Le scripteur can be an artist, but he rarely is.) Le scripteur ( Sw. "skribenten" ) will have to try to create a style of his own, to survive as such, and Montaigne, Barthes and Emerson, Lamb and Derrida all survive in the memory of mankind. They may also produce a lot of things: tracts, preachings, fables, essays, dissertations, columns, bloggs, catechizes, or whatever .... but they seldom create fictive persons that come alive before our inner sight, and they are not even trying to do that. The greatest of all scripteurs ever (?) - it is negotiable ..., S. Kierkegaard, once in his youth wrote a small preface concerning the art of reading and writing as he began on his first ( never completed ) novel (!), Johannes Climacus, En Fortelling ( 1843-44 ). It turned out as a small try in 50 pages. S. Kierkegaard then never tried to write a novel again. It can here be noted that the famous Georg Brandes judged the special qualities regarding S.K. thus, very accurately: "Kierkegaard never divided himself as the real poet does, and never collected himself as the real philosopher does." Brandes was all his life very impressed by S. Kierkegaard and did not stop reading him." In a certain sense S. Kierkegaard was to be the only one." ( Brandes ). - Now, - S.K. makes in the introduction of the try, Johannes Climacus, the following astonishing remarks regarding literature, and we can almost feel - perhaps - the personal experience behind the words: “Most people approach the reading of a book with a conception on how they themselves would have written it, how another author would have written it /.../ Here appears the first possibility of not being able to read a book /.../ Two of the most opposite kinds of arts of readers are here meeting each other - the most stupid and the most genial, who both of them have in common, that they are unable to read a book, the first ones by emptiness, the last by the overflow of ideas;/.../" ( A Preface, S.K. Papirer, I, C. 83.) S.K. had a very good memory. But at the same time, the truth was probably, that he was far too urgent in his mind to be able to read a lot. Probably he was a very fast reader. It is astonishing how very little philosophy he actually read ( and never history ) through his entire life,- by what we know. Often he made conclusions on excerpts and notices in magazines. He also often got tired of a work of philosophy already while he read the introduction. As he found the premises faulty, he never completed the reading of the book. He comments on this - a bit resignedly - in the marvelous Concept of Anxiety: "As far as I understand a person, who wants to write a book, is very wise if he is reflecting carefully upon the subject on which he is about to write. It is not either bad if he, if possible, makes himself acquainted with what is previously written on the same subject. If he on his way finds only one excellent and exhaustive author that has coped with one or another of the aspects of the subject, then he had better rejoice like the best man of the bride´s groom when he listens to the voice of his friend. When this is done in solitude and with the joy of love, which always looks for solitude, then nothing else is needed; then he might write his book away like the bird sings his song, and if somebody has any use or amusement from it, the much better; then he might edit the book without any worries or pretentious, as if he ended all, or as if all mankind should be blessed in his book. Every age and people have like every day its pain and its business to look after itself and need not trouble with the past or the coming. /.../ Not everyone, that is hunchbacked is an Atlas. /..../ Regarding my own humble person I willingly admit, that I am as an author a king without a country, but also in fear and much trembling an author without any claims."( S.K. VI.p. 105.)(Cf. the trans.. by R. Thomte, p. 7. )
In other words, - he does not give a damn about what has been written on the subject he is about to elaborate on. One might quote the excellently talented French philosopher and écrivain and scripteur Denis Diderot, from his small novel Le Neveu de Rameau,( 1762 ) - a book of classical dialogicality and a wonderful main character in this true, brisk and fanciful nephew, jealous of his famous uncle, the composer -...... the neveu has himself composed two pieces for clavecin. The nephew: "- Geniuses read very little, practice a lot and create themselves!" ( Le neveu de Rameau, p. 65.) "In a kingdom, there is only one man who walks, it is the sovereign. All the rest takes their poses. (p.125.)
! The narrator of the story describes the nephew:" Nobody is more unlike himself than he is." (p. 10.) And:" The narrator:" Oh, please, spare me your reflections and continue your story!; He: I cannot. There are days when one has to reflect. It is a sickness that has to take its time and course. Where was I? " It is quite Kierkegaardian. And only in 1762. Diderot is frequently dealing with reflections upon communication: "Don´t explain yourself, if you want to be understood!" ( Paradoxe sur le comédien. (1773). "To such a high amount isn´t the man, who is the most preoccupied with thinking, an automate ?" ( Discour sur la poésie dramatique, VII,p. 333. ).... He is a forerunner to Kierkegaard and to Nietzsche in many aspects.
§. 35. S. Kierkegaard's second contribution to the theory.
S. Kierkegaard, who both serves as initiator of the theory this book is about, and, by his writings, as an example for me, has contributed with yet another idea about discourses. ( He was, as you might already know, extremely interested in communication in general, and he wrote much about it, about "meddelelse" excelling in almost endless essays on "indirect communication", which he thought was the most effective. He was truly a "triple- or more dialectician", and it has been written a whole lot of books on this matter. Among those Lars Bejerholm´s dissertation Meddelelsens dialektik is one.
In the very first book S.K. wrote, From the Papers of one still living, .1839, a book appearing right after the death of his revered father there is a extensive part about the famous Danish storyteller who also was a contemporary to S.K., namely H.C. Andersen. Kierkegaard is very harsh towards Andersen. S.K. also had been struck by the fact, that HCA. frequently in his stories, all of a sudden, tells the reader about something, that does not really is of concern to the main story. Andersen now and then goes astray, uses "waywards", "deviations". Kierkegaard asks himself why Andersen does so, and to what effect. Kierkegaard at the same time says, that he does not like these waywards, ( Da.: "Afvejene" ). Andersen, according to SK is kind of "getting lost" in the woods beside the road, i.e. the tale.... S.K. talks generally about these waywards, which he generalizes to "Andersens Tilfaeldigheder", Andersens accidentalities. Kierkegaard discerns - in a very modern way of thinking, being a predecessor in this respect of 20th Century linguists like de Saussure, R. Jacobson and Derrida - three types among Stilistic features, remarkable with H.C. Andersen: A.) Andersen is, in his discourse, ( which nearly always aims at both children and adults ) using oppositions, by using contrasting relation ( he writes, for instance, about childhood by pointing out how childhood appears to the grownup. ) B. ) Andersen associates by likeness, - a village in Italy is likened to a village in Denmark ( even if you still do not get any description of the Italian one...) . And: C. ), the accidentalities. Concerning these Kierkegaard is claiming: "Before I am going to tell you especially about "Only a fiddler", I might ask the reader to be alertly considering yet another heading: " A.s accindentalities", not as if the two preceding waywards , looked upon from an aesthetic angle, may be showing themselves to be accidentalities, but because these are standing in a special relation to the whole of Andersen´s stage, so that they much better are perceived in this connection, and by this also be relieving the appropriate relativity, within which I probably very correctly as accidentalities could describe the whole of that low growing vegetation consisting of distracting notions, so that they for the microscopic views not win, but always lose. I am not here aiming at what you strictly may call episodes; because this point has been subject already for Andersen´s reflection and need not further explanation, and it is also described in the preceding ; I am not aiming at, what you also might assemble under the name of episodes, a showing of one or another singularity, in order to make time pass, as it seems, as this also is as faintly coming closer to any sort of deeper organic connection to the main character, who is also void of all the elasticity of force to, as in a wink of time by the pressing of a hidden button, to stand before us, and the reason has only the inconvenience, that you necessarily will be coming to think of a secret protocol describing the events of a day: - but to the one - by the disproportion of the writer Andersen between his own person and the for a writer of novels necessary amount of knowledge - caused / Da. betingad / insecurity, the caused trembling of the hand, which makes his pen not only rattle, but also tattle / Da: "ikke blot slaaer Klatter, men ogsaa slaaer Sladder" /, that is so characteristic to his style in such amount, that it by this will be hard to copy."
( S.K. I. p.45 f. )
"Before I begin to describe the second disproportion, which I would like to name: the accidental knowledge, I want to point out, that there is a stage of accidentalities, which might be suitable in order to pass over from the preceding, it is: accidental associations of ideas, so that these as well could be perceived from the..........." Philosophy and reflection is a strange kind of cruising, a sailing tour, a never ending journey ( thus not an "odyssey" ) at a dangerous sea, trying to avoid the cliffs of extremes, the Scyllas and the Charybdises of bad logic. Now, could we see by its shape, the shape of the monologue,- wearing some kind of monological monocle - in its extension, and judge it by the way it is set, rendering it a direction: either to or from a point ( . ) - could we look upon a monologue, without understanding it in its entirety and point at it and utter about it: "This is an authoritarian kind of monologue!".. .( Without becoming authoritarian ourselves.... .) or: “This is the work of a true skeptic”?
§ 36. The old idea of Writing about Nothing at all. "I would like to write a book, a book about nothing at all, a book with not the slightest bonds to the utter world and that only would hold together by the power of it´s own style." ( Gustave Flaubert. ) "A book has always to me been a strange way of living." ( Ib. ) F. Kafka: "I am nothing else than literature." "Real reality is always unrealistic." (F. Kafka ) “One ought to stop writing, from shame, because it is too easy.” ( F. Kafka ) A
re the monologues about Nothing at all? Is it even possible to talk or write about "nothing"? Is it something like the old dream of purity, pure art, lárt pour árt of Théofile Gautier, or something like the ideal with the proclaimers of the circular novel, a Raymond Roussell -, Nothing is the epitome of purity. The limited circle is pure, like Kafka said. Cf. Z. Smith, in her essay about Kafka. The thought of writing about nothing ( not "Nothing", the "Naught" ) - and hence everything…? - is now and then present with both Kafka and Kierkegaard. It is originated out of romanticism, even if it perhaps is not romanticism. Here there are also hints about that writing is something else, and it is about the wish not needing to write at all …. There is a usual dilemma of every author in these remarks… there is a despair appearing concerning their own belief, that they are not good enough at anything else but this writing business… There is another despair too, the misology-despair, the mistrust in language, that was to come off age with Modernism… Flaubert - Kafka´s favorite author - is naturally one of the initiators here.... Perhaps Modernism has it root in Flaubert´s marvellous book about St. Antonius. Flaubert travelled to Africa, insearch for inspiration. To the desert. Rimbaud in Egypt, loaded with bricks of gold in his belt, that bent his back. Anyway, - there is a long way for any culture before it is confronted with thoughts like these, for a conscience ( a conscience, which according to The Philosopher, i.e. Aristotle is "to know about knowing"... ), before you begin to think of writing about nothing at all. ( Cf. the thesis of H. Maturana, that language actually does not appear until you start discussing about what language is…)
Telling about nothing? Isn´t this utter despair? G. Printz-Paulson writes in his Solen och spegeln (1957)( The sun and the mirror.) :" It is possible, that it is required a certain pillar of despair to be able to create important poetry.".- Only a human being with free will is able to play music, Dr. Johnson claimed once: "A human being that is like a machine cannot play, because he or she cannot stop playing, or smashing the violin." ( Johnson to Samuel Boswell in B.s Journey of a tour to the Hebrides, p. 233. ). Johnson was not serious. I don´t know if he ever was. Gogol, who always laughed, was more serious than Johnson.
§ 37. Monologue as pure loneliness.
M onologue is a strange form of communication. But most people indulge in it. You and me do. Sometimes it is a talk, a lonely talk in the head of a person. In public it brought about in the agreement, that the others shall be silent. In a dialogue there is reciprocity, ideally, a meeting, and nobody should suffer from the idea that it he who should have the last word. It should be a consensus. The dialogue is planned within certain frames. A diaologue transcends these frames if a person is speaking with an overwhelming joyfulness, is being fantastic and flamboyant, monumental, moves about waving his arms, or ornaments too much, is obscure or baroque. Another part of the frame is transcended if one of the dialogicans is preying on the other, waiting for what this person has to say only to get hold of him, get on top, get the better part of the discussion, ending up as a winner, or the like ... i.e. what is described so well - for instance - in Stephen Potter´s classic Lifemanship and in Berne´s book Games people play. Or the handbook in capitalism, the famous book about how to be successful & to influence people by Dale Carnegie? Of course Kierkegaard wrote about winning, too. “To be winning is of course completely impossible, but one can always show ones superiority.” Thus: we might say that all dialogues are not so ideal that the great dialogicans have wanted them to be. But we could all sometimes enjoy the dialogues. We could experience that a "true" dialogue is a dialogue under a star, common to both persons of the dialogue. A dialogue is a dialogue under the same star. ( The monologue is a monologue under a star. It is not always the same … and it does not matter what star it is… Sameness is not that important here.)
Socrates in the dialogues of Plato is no dialogican, but a maieutic. Plato´s dialogues are masked monologues. In certain questions concerning matters there lies covert answers. Cf. Pierce´s Logic of Inquiry. Socrates knows nearly always what he is going to say before he talks with his friends. This is the case mainly in the late dialogues. And often he just wants to mock them and point out how badly they reason. To the point of insanity. He is never asking anybody anything to get to know something. He has only one "true" dialogue: namely, with his personal daemon, his inner God, who he is having talks with now and then. Cf. Schleiermacher’s works and Kierkegaard´s investigations in this matter, as well as Vl. Jankelévitch´s and Muecke´s .......... In high school my philosophy teacher, Phil. Dr. Rolf Ekman, claimed that Socrates was the wisest man who ever lived.
§ 38. Circles.
O ut of what springs the monologue? From where? Is it my kind of dialogue, if I have none to talk to? Is it the room for objections - to myself? Do I dare to think, when I am all alone in my inner room..? ( This has been doubted. ). According to the normal signs and normal wisdom and f we think of how everything use to be: Am I suspecting that there is no Man on earth that only seeks himself ( and thus no other)? I would say that monologue sometimes tries to fool oneself on this very point. Many monologues shows clearly a circularity, and we could look upon great philosophical monologues, like Baruch Spinozas and G. Hegel´s as huge circles - and I might find, as Adorno does, that Kierkegaard´s Self is kind of another circle, not very unalike the curious Geist ( Spirit )of Hegel´s, although the Self of the Kierkegaardian world is a "personal history", not a history of the "Welt-Geist".. But if you are sitting writing about another world, who is a circle, you might have got rid of the troublesome real world, if you had wished for this ? It is a Necessity to introduce something concrete in a monologue, apart from, say, the Self, lest one will end up in a circle. Using Sartre´s words: "Le circle d´ipseité." ; "Truth is its own birth, the circle who provides its end as its goal and thus has it as its beginning." ( Hegel.) "The end is where we start from. And every phrase and sentence that is right (where every word is at home ... ) Every phrase and sentence is an end an a beginning." ( T.S. Eliot ) What is it, that I have presumed and what should be proved? What have I anticipated, but not taken into account? Where is my beginning, if it is not the end? What is the problem? Which problem do I have, and which do I hope to solve?
§ 39. The ( metaphorical ) Truth of Monologue.
A s you might already be aware: the person who really enjoys his monologue, does not give a damn about it..... The true monologue is like the final Monologue, the utmost M.. Standing in front of the gates of Death. The true M. is like glance for the third part..... because: " I always have to try to persuade myself ( says he, the very monologuer.... ) that things are in such or such a state or maybe not at all ... as if I really was my worst Other!" -The entire bulk of reflection has a spiritual ( ! ) meaning, is the Spirit of Life, a Spirit which is eternal in the sense that you can never separate Life from that Spirit... Now - what kind of words do carry away our fear? We - all the monologuers - has the knowledge all of us, that one day some catastrophe will come into our M.. It will strike like lightning. And it will transform the monologue and our fear will be extinguished. ( I am aware of the prophetic tone of this. It could be said in a more modest way...I know. But this is for the drama....) The M. is full of " now or never ". Language is me. And every time language is at hand I am too and this is the case with everyone... Every Monologue, long or short, is a bit resembling a try o invent one´s own resurrection. The catastrophe is a bit like " The comet is coming! "( T. Jansson ) or ....like the revelation of St. Paul .( On his way to Damascus.). And this catastrophe may come from within or from without. Only the first of these are very interesting for us here. Since - by definition - our whole life is this endless ( so to say ) monologue, an endless flaw, it could be regarded as in some cases, a Narcissus M.., irresponsible.... ("The world is an endless dream in the process of evolving itself..."..(?)).This flood is sprung out of a genesis of Naught,out of Nothingness,(?) bouncing from top to another top of the waves of Time, forward, forward to the nearest coast of the End. Unless there is something stopping it ... like a miracle... ( Well, it might be sprung out of a desire. Most people keep saying the same thing over and over again, their whole life, in an unconscious try to reveal their secret to the fellow humans: ...A messsage such as:" I do not want to be here !" is not uncommon.) Philosophy is not ordinary inquiry, not ordinary experience, not ordinary ( asserted) knowledge, but a very rare and precious kind of reflection, which none the less everyone in this world now and then indulges in….. “Philosophy is the most supreme music.” Socrates ( the first psychoanalyst in the History of Psychology, according to Lacan .... ) says in Phaidon. ----- Philosophy is a growing collection of questions, reflections upon these, and upon things and events. And of knowledge qua ( as) knowledge, on being qua being, on the good qua good and so on …. --- To renounce certain philosophy is an important task to the philosopher: “You have to condemn as guilty of as stupid and heretic curiosity all those people who try to prove a priori God to be very good and very large. Because this is no less than making the God out of God, to deny the God, who you are in search for.” ( Giambattista Vico. (1685-1744 ) from De l´antique sagesse, Of the ancient wisdom, Chapt. III. ) You might very well assert that philosophy as a whole nearly by definition is a Mon. 1. , or a kind of Mon. 1. , in so far as it is in pursuit, pursuing, a point only vaguely fancied, a Point vaguely constructed, and since philosophy - indeed - is very fond of these way-wards, of the goings astray a bit …. - the small path leading of the main road and sometimes back alongside the original road in order to catch up a little later - in short - it's inclinations towards the iterative reflection, the reduplication, the loop…, and the very useful: “ Let us see what we were just trying to say! ” or: “ Did we really say something now ?” after a misological road accident, after finding ourselves more or less stuck in the ditch by the main road …. People in general are very fast learners, - the capacity of learning is with ordinary people quite amazing - … This is actually ( persuasive word! ) one of the main threats to mankind. And it is certainly one of the main ( fortunate) causes of the existence of philosophy. People tend to learn everything and anything , and in learning about this and that, they think that most of what they have learnt is … the truth. It is - I am both ( kind of ) glad and sorry to point out - very seldom the case. Most of what they have learnt is what other people have wanted them to learn. That is why monologism is a necessity! Never the less: it is the enigma, the riddle, which is always beckoning.
Philosophy itself is a Mon 1.
Mon. 1 is - reversibly - nearly by definition philosophy. We suddenly find ourselves in the midst of a reduplication, in reflection close to the feared selfreference. Reflection is r. itself. All r. is always r. upon r.. and so on.. But - it is simply not true that all philosophy is a Mon 1. But it may be so, that a philosopher, and mankind in general have much more to gain by reading and writing the Mon 1.s than the Mon 2.s, because in the Mon 2.s we are setting out from a point, where we already have surrendered to certain conditions: we have established some certainties. This submission and the surrender to the familiar and authoritative is not, as we all know, the favorite subject of philosophy, it is not the task of philosophy, and it is not what makes philosophy worth having. "Ein Professor ist ein Mann anderer Meinung." It is the enigma, the riddle, that is beckoning.... Both Kafka and Kierkegaard leaves opportunity to analyze and display nuances in our theory in the upcoming Chapters. As a result of my reading of Kafka´s and Kierkegaard´s complete works, those texts published in their lifetime and the aftermath too-. I could already easily claim, that it is in these authorships an immense collections of goings astray, waywards and reduplications, and shifts between Mon 1. and Mon. 2. It is with Kierkegaard almost a common thing, a strong inclination to write Mon 1. and with his always present intimitizing tone and, furthermore, this is of special interest, that Kierkegaard was a very conscious writer, from the very beginning of his time as a publicist to be interested in the art of communication (´ Meddelelsens Kunst´ ), and he speculated and reasoned with himself throughout his whole life in what ways one could most effectively display a message, an opinion, the most efficient manner. He had regarding this subject almost more to deliver than any contemporary writer. ( Cf. Lars Bejerholm, Meddelelsens Dialektik. (1962).) We will return to this subject, - we are as a matter of fact forced to do it, since much of the later life of S.K. came out of his lack of understanding media - new media. ( The caricature in a daily tabloide. Corsaren.)
§.40. The counter theories.
Nothing in this world is more important than counter theories.(sic!) A s early as in the rich but rather chaotic Phänomenologie des Geistes ( 1807) ( you are not always quite sure of what a relative pronoun is referring back to in this book by Hegel ... ) - in his vintage years - G.W.F.Hegel puts forth the opinion, the notion, that nobody - in any situation - reflects upon anything without having another person in mind as counterpart! This is - especially at this time in our culture, when the greatest individualism since the renaissance was born in the German idealism - very astonishing. You are thus never able to reflect on your own. You are never alone.(!!!) There is no such thing as a pure and isolated reflection. When I myself have discussed my theory with a few persons, wisely enough, before publishing it, most people have tended to agree with Hegel. When I have mentioned the other dialogicans, the reaction has not become at all that positive. I don´t know why. It must depend on my disability to put forth any other theory on this than Hegel´s. I have, in these discussions, pointed out and trying to stress the "sadness" of H.s theory. You can not even think of yourself as alone,(!?) apart from your former acquaintances and family and teachers and so on...., and you cannot either think of other persons as relieved of the burden of the meetings with other people. You are always in a constant debate with one or the other of these, - or with the Almighty. ( Hegel , most probably being an atheist, does not mention The Almighty. ) This means that what I am writing here and now is directed to somebody I have met ( or read.). I am sitting here alone, but I am still not alone. Even my assertion, that I am not alone, is overheard by some counterpart on earth or in heaven and , as it thus feels, reacted upon with either affirmation or a mocking smile. I am not writing this to figure out something for myself. I am writing it for another. All is thought for someone else, and with a purpose concerning mainly the relation between myself and this other person. We shall look upon the compatibility of this theory with G.W.F. Hegel´s philosophy a little later. After all the Phenomenology of Mind (1807) is a complicated work, that can be read in different ways. ( Or - partly - in no way at all ... ). But his, let us call it "counter-theory", is very interesting and clear-cut. The meaning by this theory is thus, that every thought in every human being always is directed towards some actual living or dead person. No thought whatsoever is undirected - thus, according to the ( very plausible ) theory of Hegel. Some of Hegel comes up now and then, and always the elegant reasoning about the intertwined fates of the Master and his Slave, or the Slave and his Master. It often turns out to be the Slave that is the actual master. I am leaving Denis Diderot ( who preceded H. by some years ) aside for a later appearance . Only citing: "If God suddenly gave every individual a language in every respect analogous to the sensations of this individual, the understanding of each other would immediately cease." Refutation du livre d´Helvetius (1773), and: "In such a high degree even the most active thinker yet is an automate!" Discours sur la poesie dramatique (1758). Now I am only preliminary posing the difficult question about the connection between G.W.F. Hegel and the dialogicans of the 20th century. We might think, that sometimes the part unknown is the abject ( Cf. the writings of M. Klein. And Kristeva.), that I am constantly having a dialog with the abject - which is the part ,which is forced out of oneself, banned, or that, which I was fooled to leave behind by life or circumstances - or that part of oneself, that one has flung away in despair at some stage -,an act which one is constantly regretting in the deep of one´s heart . In this dialogue with the abject many people are living their lives, suffocating. Many a monologue is a process of regretting ( a "backwards anxiety" according to S.K. ) and many a monologue is full of regret, - and in a manifold way.( S.K. is sometimes all possessed by directions in his thinking: thus repetition is backwards rememberance. Thus we can say that he is linear in part of his thinking. But also that he is visualizing intellectual processes quite frequently, and that he is in an almost endless creative state. He just cannot stop.... ).
§ 41. The theory of the supra-natural and the double track.
- (Predestined words. ) ( The parallell.)
M onologue is that which M. comes up with . It is much like the plant, which is nurtured by the roots. But some people fell as if this was meant to be, it was all calculated long ago. Maybe there was eternally a place reserved for these words in this cyberspace, on your retina, in these reflections of human consciousness. The tracks were both projected and lain. ( This could sometimes be a strong human feeling, that is hard to resist. And why resisted....? Because it is a superficial one.) Deja vu as the truth about ourselves. The absence of ambiguity makes us apt to look for one. But if everything is laid down in a ready track, then all is determined, determinated ! (You might think of theories by Wittgenstein, Derrida, the Swedish author and critic M. Hedlund and others....) With Wittgenstein, there is a selten theory about the problems non-existing until we have the answers. About the equation put in question, a non-aprioristic view. And a non-temporal world where choice is impossible... One of our basic thoughts in this paper is that the pure possibility of finishing a monologue, this is the human soul. ( accidence was to S.K. a part of the given. ) Cf. S. Kierkegaard in his twenties: a.) "Every time I want to say something, there is always somebody who at this very moment is saying it. - It is like I was double-thinker, and as if my other "me" always was capable of anticipating me, or as if, while I am standing there talking, everybody thinks that it is somebody else, that really is talking." ( Papirer, I, A.333.), and, six months later : b.) "I am actually astonished, how Kerner in his Dichtungen in such a resurrected way is able to perceive the phenomenon that always has made me so upset since I first noticed it: that someone is saying exactly the same thing as I am. When I would perceive this, it would, in a most confusing manner, almost kasperian "Unsinn"-like, one person begin a sentence, which the other should fulfill, - it would appear a confusion about who was really speaking." ( Papirer ( papers)II.A.115.)
In another passage, he claims that all he has written is kind of filling in a predestined form..... And all this is scribbled down and confessed by one of the greatest voluntarists of modern time. c.) "This entire productivity has in one respect had the constant equal quality, as if I had done nothing else but every day having copied a special part from an already printed book." (S.K.S.V.XVIII.s.124.)
"Everything happens in a blaze of light." ( D. Thomas ) is also true, and less controversial.
§ 42. The dialogue philosophy. Itself. Per se. Ipsissimus. ( As counter-theory.)
Everything – or as Lévinàs would have put it - Totality is a huge dialogue with a giant dynamic, where nobody makes up his mind in any way, but everybody is carefully driven on, forward by the dialogue of the world, increasingly stupid and ignorant. Accent. Pitch. Ring of voice. The intonation of speech. (Sw."tonfall"). Music of speech. For we are on a giant mountain language - and I'm considering a school in personal accent. A world "from whose cloak the intonation falls from its hems and folds" so to say. A world where intonation is the way of communication... As a natural revelation. Like the rain. ( Cf. Ray Bradbury´s beautiful short story: The day it rained forever.) This way, - for it is indeed a METHOD, coincides in my "idjma", - my consensus: Something pushes me aside and looking, with no mystery and abracadabra, ... ... the middle tone. No ancient wisdom. But perhaps a new one. ( No strange dimension revealed. Is everything - so everything is as it is.) Is everything split then so, be it. - Is it completely, so it is completely. What is described? What is described in this problem is in any tone, pitch, accent of voice something, only to let themselves be revealed. Now it seems like hard to keep the accent You (!) Prisoner,-especially in a book - so to say, as difficult as to discourage the small Undulaten to drown herself in the bathtub. But we'll see: that in all cases we sometimes get the tone, with a slight movement of the past, it is natural, and as a naturalness or two so I think I can promise my readers one o. another beautiful tone from OTHER than me because the tone is leaning towards others intonation. (Not so with directions. One is inclined not to others' directions in a mono-logical sense.) Everything becomes easier and easier in all cases. It takes time to cut the chains. Especially if you have as many as we do. ( By "we" I mean no group. Without all.) In the note must be gaps and errors, and it must be vulnerable. What is it you do not hide? Here we can quickly conclude that an accent stops one buzz and is starting (up) one another. Though his voice is fragile, it is nevertheless very precise. It's all my children, the accents, but it is also the children of the moment. It is always satisfying its requirements. It is typical of the accent. We hear the tone of the books: Shakespeare´s, Dickens'. We have heard Job´s, Joseph K.´s, all of our "heroes" and "anti-heroes." The accent, intonation, is talking. The manner of speech is the truth. It reveals the sometimes unclear, that it is actually set to hide. It has long been in the Christian church - and I have noticed - I noticed there - two emphases, two different pronunciation variants of the name "Jesus". A pronunciation with gràve and one with an acute accent. One indicates the Master( teacher, King ) Jesus, the other the victim on Golgata. It is important to emphasize correctly. But it is done, both in the Church and elsewhere - automatically. The accent, the pitch are the most automatic. Thus we do not need to emphasize it. It is already done. The music of speech is the truth. The music of speech reveals, to yourself and to others the most hidden. Are you taking the accent, the intonation - the glance of one´s voice - from a person, you do take her soul away... ... A monologue with the intonation in its very center will be shortsighted. And of small truth value. As Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote :"Truth has no intonation."( in his On Certainty, 1969?) "Look for the simple. And mistrust it!" ( A. N. Whitehead.)
§ 43. The inner traitor.
S ocrate is telling us, in Plato´s dialogue Kratylos ( who is very much on speech and language, and not seldom omitted from the collections of Plato dialogues... ), that it is a terrible thing to be betrayed by oneself, and that one has always the traitor within oneself. Kierkegaard thinks it is a good thing: it might be good - he writes - "to have such a traitor within oneself, which from early years betrays the child constantly and with piety before the world starts to cheat with this business." ( The Concept of Anxiety, p. 78. ) ( Da.: ”Socrates siger i Kratyll, at det er forfærdeligt, at bedrages af sig selv, fordi man altid har Bedrageren hos sig, saaledes kan man sige, er det en Lykke at have en saadan Bedrager hos sig, der fromt bedrager, og bestandig vænner Barnet fra, førend Endeligheden begynder at fuske derpaa.” ) WHO is this traitor? Is it ME? Or an Other? Is it God, or primordial wisdom, or something? Kierkegaard, who always was HINTING, that he HIMSELF had a “darker side”, that he liked to be a detective, or rather a SECRTE AGENT, both inregard to himself, and others, perhaps regarded the Supreme Being ( to whom he felt accuinted, or even related, as some sort of agent, in accordance with the old theory of Deus Deceptor, where one speculates about an Holy Deception…. And more. Is God deceptive, and in his own perfect right, and so on…Or is Kierkegaard referring to the Unconscious, to the Freudian Censor, before the time of this great Seelensucher…. ( Because the strange thing with the Freudian Censor is, indeed, that he has such an ABSURD amount of knowledge and wisdom, paired. ) What Kierkegaard probably hint at, is his OWN CHILDHOOD. Perhaps he – as an intelligent boy – felt like a traitor, when he refused to accept the truth of the adults, and THUS assigned these aberrations, this treason, to an INNER TRAITOR, that WAS NOT HIM? Perhaps so. Anyway, what we DO know is, that Kierkegaard claimed that he had been subjected to two great misfortunes, which had made him into the unhappy man he was, namely: an absurd upbringing ( in Christianity/Hernhutism ), and that he had money, i.e. was a millionaire. The Cratylus passage sounds like this:” “SOCRATES: Excellent Cratylus, I have long been wondering at my own wisdom; I cannot trust myself. And I think that I ought to stop and ask myself What am I saying? for there is nothing worse than self-deception—when the deceiver is always at home and always with you—it is quite terrible, and therefore I ought often to retrace my steps and endeavor to ‘look fore and aft,’ in the words of the aforesaid Homer. And now let me see; where are we?/…/.” Probably Kierkegaard in some sort of despair is crying out: “There has to be some sort of defense for a child, that is subjected to the indoctrination posed upon it by the worldly and priestly power?” Kierkegaard was opposed to child baptizing, to confirmation of children, and of a church that obeyed a minister of a worldly state. The brother of S. Kierkegaard, Peter Kierkegaard, was the author of a magisterial ( comparable to a doctoral thesis today ) dissertation of the function of white lies by St. Augustine (!), a bishop, minister of clerisy in Denmark. ( Concerning Danish Acad. Examina: SK himself had the title “Magister”. The Magister Artium of early 19th Century Denmark more than equaled European doctoral exams of the 20th Century. I will not talk about today´s. A Mag. thesis in Denmark of the late 1830ies should be written in Latin, lest you had explicit consent from the King to display it in another language. S. Kierkegaard had such a permit and hence wrote his dissertation on The Concept of Irony with steady Regard to Socrates, in Danish. Many of his later books, which always appeared in Danish, was written by him in Latin, and then translated by secretaries into Danish. Such was the case with major parts of the famous book Either-Or, - which – was actually written in Latin, a langue which Kierkegaard mastered with excellence, and in his early youth also had been teaching to young students. As a teenager Sören had been advised by his father, Mikael Pedersen-Kierkegaard, to – if he was to become an author – always stick to his paternal language. He did. ( S.K. actually seemed to have waited for his father to die, before he dared to publish any books. The two ( surviving ) brothers Kierkegaard, Sören and Peter, both regarded their father to be the most intelligent man they had ever met, all through their lives.) If Kierkegaard had published his works in German, he would have had an enormous public. As it came to be, S.K.s books in his lifetime (!) only were read by about c:a 200 people, all inhabitants of the small Danish capital. We may also add, that S.K. had excellent knowledge of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and German. But he could neither understand but very little French and almost no English at all. Almost nobody in Copenhagen spoke Spanish or Russian. Kierkegaard could read books in Swedish, and he is known to have read and liked both Bellman as well as Flygare-Carlén. Kierkegaard had a fancy for detective stories, like many of F.C.s, and thus look with awe At the giant talent of Blicher. Perhaps he would have given his right arm to be able to write like Blicher! )
In Cratylus – which mainly is about language - there is also observed that life can be a long and winding road trying to cope with the absurdity of filling out the essence of a proper name ( like Kaj ) with meaning and surviving even though it does not suit you at all. ( Cf. the famous song: A boy named Sue. ). The pathological Monologican. The pathological monologic is the one that is monologuing all his life but never gets anything out of it ever. Or is getting things out of it all the time, infinitely, until he eventually vanishes. And that he can't help it, because he is possessed by some devil, like a sickness, or synapse gone astray, … or some evil traitor or something. Since I don´t think evil ( Evil ) exists, I could not put forward such a possibility in any earnest mood.
§. 44. The monologue, according to the poet Novalis. ( Fr. von Hardenberg.) "A s a matter of fact, it is something foolsome about talking and writing; a really good conversation is only playing with words. You can only get fascinated by the mistake, that actually makes you laugh, that people think they are talking on behalf of things. Accurately the strange fact about language, that it only is concerned with itself, is known to nobody. That is why the languages are such a wonderful and fruitful secret; - that, if someone is speaking only for speak´s sake, he will utter the most lovely, the deepest truths. But, if he wants to talk about something special, language in its whimsy way only will permit him to say the most laughable and awkward things. Hence the deep contempt which many of all the most serious people hold against language." ( from Novalis´ Fragments. )
If the listening is present, - provided the address is earnest and true! Cf. The mystic of the prayer. - Cf. f. ex. R. Voillaume, Living in prayer. (1980.)- But prayer is a kind of dialogue:" The more I am praying, the more I know him." ( him= God ), as the humble man told the ecumenical Arch Bishop Nathan Söderblom once. ( ( Cf. Den levande Guden./ The living God/ (1932) ) The prayer is dialogical. ( We will return to this matter in due course.) Cf. Sjestov´s book on the prayer and Kierkegaard´s Indoevelse i Cristendomen.
§ 45. The Monologue of an ape. ( F. Kafka )
" Oh, all this progress! How delightful it is to feel the rays of knowledge penetrate your brain! I cannot deny that it made me happy. But I also admit that I did not even then overestimate knowledge and even less today. By an effort which has none the like on this earth, I have managed to reach the average cultural level of a European. This is as such without any importance, had it not helped me out of my cage and thus created an opening, otherwise only available to humans. There is an excellent old saying: "My son if you want to manage in this world, bend your neck." I have. I have bent my neck. You see, I had no other possible solution, then still provided that I could not choose freedom."( Kafka, 1911.) This – and the story of the Chinese Wall - is the melancholy mood of Kafka in short.
§ 46. A Monologue concerning a price on eternal bliss.
I n the year 1855 a bitter and pugnacious S. Kierkegaard published the following monologue in the Copenhaguener daily paper Faedrelandet:
…In this matter Studentstrup *is right, that the house of the council is a rather huge building, and for the utterly small sum, that these courageous men want to get rid of it, it is the most brilliant affair ever; this may all his uncles of Thy, all in Salling, all wise men here and there concede in. What evades Studentstrup is, whether these courageous men have the connection to the town hall so that they can dispose of it commercially. Because, if this is not the case, if it only were about 4 mark and 8 shillings, it is too expensive - to the town hall. Even cheapness is nothing one can always be in favor of: since the price is not low, but very high. Exactly equal is it with Christianity. That an eternal bliss is an invaluable good, something much more important than the buying and selling of the house of the council, that this was bought for a trifle, for which the priest is selling it off, maybe looked upon as far more brilliant commerce than Studentstrup´s of the town hall. This I am willing to believe. The only doubt I have about this is, whether the priests are in the relation to the bliss of eternity in such a manner, that they really are able to give it away. Because, if this was the case, even 4 Mark and 8 Shilling would be a huge price. The New Testament is deciding the conditions of bliss. Compared to the price of the New Testament - that is certainly true, I cannot find the expression to denote to which degree it is comparable to the cheapness of the price of the priest, is dirt-cheap. But - as we have already mentioned - is the priest is in such a relation to the bliss of eternity, that he can dispose of it so that you can buy it from him? Because of the priest is not in such a relation to the bliss of eternity, that he can dispose of it, which he is not, since he is not our Lord, and is the Christianity of the priest, the official Christianity not the Christianity of the New Testament, not at all more alike this than the square is alike the circle: what is then all the cheapness of his helping me out? Regarding the acquirement of eternal bliss, I will, by purchasing by him, not get any closer, so that when I am buying with him I am at most be kind of doing something good, by contributing by my small money to the survival of students and their families.
S. Kierkegaard. On the 6th of May."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *) (S.K. alludes to a comedy by the great L. Holberg: "The 11th of June." in which a Mr. Studentstrup is trying to pawn the town hall. It was one of S. Kierkegaard favorite comedies, even more than J.L. Heiberg´s Recencenten og Dyret..) Kierkegaard loathed priests. Mostly perhaps because they were all employed by the Danish State. He was a priest – but not working as such - himself.
§ 47. About comparisons in general. ( Again! )
W e would certainly be interested in displaying self-knowledge in a more concrete manner. Do people succeed? Do they fail? ( Lose?) How do people courageously act and reflect? How do they not? I intend - as you might have guessed already - to elucidate my subject by using actual, well-known, authorships. It is a good and conventional method to have empirical material to support a thesis. I intend to try to characterize life monologues, texts, discourses, by a rather strange - and completely new - method. I will examine discourses from a rather odd angle. When I am looking at the discourse I will ask one main question, - namely this one: To what extent can you, in certain discourses, perceive, that the writer ( performer, or the discourse itself ) more is in search of a point than proceeds from a point. ( . ? ) Thus the central concept of this book (!) is "the point". (.) The second most important concepts are "to" and "from". Each person´s system of reference has "that person himself" as its anchoring point, and as the " I",( in the present, in the Now ) but inside this anchor point there can be a couple of distinctly different things going on, and these are my upcoming objects of investigation. Things can happen that change the direction. We have hesitated to call this a "catastrophe", but it could certainly look like that more than anything else ..... ( We cannot change, lest a catastrophe occurs to us, or what ??? ) Lord, save us from the false prophets. And others too. There are no authorities, and I am one of them.
§ 48. Now, what does this mean? "After having reached a certain point, there is no way of return. This point has to be reached." ( F. Kafka )
"Despair is our only hope." ( Th. Adorno ) I
Am not sure of what this means. But I hope you have a clue. At least some ideas might be useful for some readers. In their monologues. Thank you!
All rights reserved. Copyright © Kaj B. Genell 2021.
---------------- Copyright Kaj Bernh. Genell 2021 © 2021 Kaj B. Genell