Sunday, April 22, 2012

the magic of the real

Die Schere #27
When a "vision" takes place, the afflicted is assailed by that vague sensation which is felt by a man, who, upon returning from an excursion, is unable to give any account thereof. At the time, the vision could have passed as a dream - its realization makes one suspect that more was in play.

The scissors, appearing before only as image, can cut - this is uncanny.Perhaps memory conserves only a secondary particular, as does a note in the margin of a page whose text is smudged. Has more taken place? A similar mood can follow a heavy inebriation: the drinker does not know what drove him to it. In any case, a tie has been made - he has found his way back to his person and his norms. Drinking from the Well of Mimir is taboo.

Die Schere #29
The pre-visionary thus attended twice his own funeral, once while standing at the window, then in reality. The  relation has interlocked, the scissors of Atropos, at first seen in its potential, then took effect in actu - the scissors cut. But the visionary is hurt no more.
Second sight does not open a panoramic view, as if a curtain were ripped apart.

Instead, it is like squinting through a keyhole. The perspective is quite limited, it is mostly trifles, like a toppled inkwell, that meet the eye. However, such accidental details are perceived with great exactness. This might be explained by assuming a slight disturbance, caused perhaps by a tiny screw in the intricate mechanism of perception becoming loose - luckily merely for a moment.

E. Juenger, The Sheers (Die Schere)

What is the spirit world and what is its relation to this life?  Does the natural reflect up from within its own depths the spiritual and magical?  We are presented with options concerning the one nature and its sheered existence (Juenger).

Schelling (in his text, Clara, or On Nature's Connection to the Spirit World) offers insight into our options:

1. The spirit world enters this life
2. The two worlds are kept completely separate
3. There is interaction between this life and the next
4. we may learn about the next life from carefully looking at this one

Another question must follow.  In what way might the human be a point between these two worlds, a Schere or scissor cutting them apart?  We are not directly connected to the spiritual world, but do progress toward the spiritual through our death.  The bands of a paper cut into a moebius strip are hemmed by our perception.  

Steroscopically, the senses may zero in and unveil the magical quality of the world - the spiritual entering in through and interacting with this life.  Dreams are the direct testament to such a revelation presented before the inner senses, although others have developed the optics which, under certain conditions, perceive the truth of the revelation directly.  Whether or how this may be communicated is another story.

Novelist Ernst Juenger (1885-1998), friend of Martin Heidegger (and equally loathed because of his politics) is the phenomenologist of dreams, a "psychonaut."  Opening a new view of the everyday allowed him to perceive the spiritual alive in it.  Among the realities found in this new, deeper layer of reality, is the reality of liberation: freedom from the body.  Juenger's politicization of this inner pillar of freedom was called "the Anarch"; a figure whose religious orientation was psychical and Eastern, a figure whose metaphysics was libertarian and ecological.  Thus a unique prototype, the Anarch has the ability to "shape-shift" according to circumstance: the ultimate figure of freedom.  At the end of his life Juenger appears to have aligned beliefs about this prototype to an order whose aesthetic and spiritual ranking he seemed to confide in the most, the Catholic church (although Juenger never just "gave up" his freedom to the Church, if anything this was a respectful nod to the order, an acknowledgment of its spiritual aesthetics).

Juenger also found a spiritual freedom in the forest, evidenced in his novel Eumeswil, where he then develops a figure whom he titles, "the Forest Fleer."  Juenger's celebrated essay Der Waldgang ("The Forest Fleer") develops the theme of inner emigration, a transition from Anarch to Forest Fleer - the retreat to a spiritual zone found within the forest which is also a retreat into the self.  There, in the forest, there in dreams, we communicate with the dead.  We see the power of our inner freedom and the magic of the real.  The transition is from Anarch to Forest Fleer: the prototype drops its mask and reveals to the world the power of its inner freedom.  There in the forest the last stand is made.

I copy below a not-so-bad  translation of an article written about Juenger referencing several of the themes outline above.

credit: from 13.04.2012

Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) is polarized like no other intellectual of the 20th Century. They called him a propagandist of the war and described his poems as "Mr. Reiter's prose." Nevertheless, the German poet-philosopher for some represents an appeal like that of the '68-movement.

He was "a kind of disciple to life, surrounded by the aura of intellectual obscenity," such as former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer once remarked. A report on drug-induced "paradise" and "human salamanders" is found in the work of Ernst Jünger.

Juenger re-read

To sweep the widespread stereotypes about Juenger aside, the philosopher Gerd B. Achenbach in early April held a multi-day seminar held in the Swabian monastery Heiligkreuztal. The intention of Achenbach was to undertake some investigations into the multi-faceted, subtle work of controversial the artist-philosopher, Ernst Juenger.

You should show that Juenger may well be regarded for a philosopher, if  - as Achenbach - implies, you are not confused with footnote philology and academic term papers. In an interview with, Achenbach referred to Juenger's "strategy", namely looking to the phenomena and activities of daily life that are hardly noticed as a starting point for theoretical point of view excursions. They lead Juenger into "the pathless darkness of mystery."

A new view of the everyday

Documents of these expeditions into the mystery find themselves in the Juenger's book, "The Adventurous Heart. Figures and Capricchios". His aim was to wrest the surface of things and uncover a deeper meaning of reality with new or hidden dimensions. His goal was also to undermine the reality of the very means of art.

Much like the surrealist writers Juenger drew a new perspective on the everyday, which opened up surprising perspectives, "A falling to the ground of reality's tissue may be the start of an Archimedean point from which the poet [Juenger] sets in motion a whole world and opens up a world," wrote the writer Guillaume Apollinaire.

Stereoscopic sensuality

The means to transform reality is, from the stereoscopic view, to be discovered next to the usual perception of everyday objects in their magical quality, "as if an observant was controlled from the mysterious itself".

Stereoscopically one perceives words as Juenger did, to win from the same object simultaneously two sensory qualities, and indeed - this is what is important - by a single sensory organ. As an example he cites the cinnamon scent of clove, "of which not only the smell is aromatic, but also has the taste of a spicy quality."

Discover the magic of the real

The stereoscopic view stages a simultaneous layering of realities, impressions, memories and dreams, it leads to an enhanced perception of the object world, which thus takes on a magical quality.

Here, too, are echoes of Surrealist writers such as André Breton, where the stereoscopic gaze is the place of the "automatic writing" - translated, the letter automatically takes place. Artistic expeditions would expand the range of factuality and reality into the realm of the numinous, the mysterious, the wonderful advance that defies logical and rational access.

    "Often it seems to us that the sense of depth can be created only from the surface, the rainbow-colored skin in the world, where the sight moves us urgently. Then again, this colorful pattern is created solely from letters and symbols by which the depths talk to us through their secrets. " (Ernst Jünger)

The shortcomings of the administered world

The stereoscopic view is trying to evoke a sphere which was displaced in the Enlightenment by the "disenchantment of the world". Such refers to the paranoid delusion of the Enlightenment era, which tries to explain all phenomena and define all rationally - "The geometry of reason obscures a diabolical mosaic, sometimes shockingly alive world".

The will of the realm of the numinous, the wonderful world, was disenchanted into a flattened world - spoken by those who celebrate on the weekends in the supermarket's buying frenzy, - a substitute for the loss of the Saints. Jünger's critique of the one-dimensional life-world that resembles the life of lemurs, meets with the analysis of Theodor W. Adorno.

The parade intellectuals of the "Frankfurt School" deplored "the damaged life" of the individual who will be sacrificed by the late capitalist industrial society on the altar of profit maximization. For Adorno, this form of society "is completely wrong," the "hell of human existence" was a total loss of the individual, demoted to "Lurch".

The Doors of Perception

Many were convinced that the use of drugs also opens up access to the area of ​​the numinous - beyond the usual bleak one-dimensional world. With the use of hashish, opium, mescaline, cocaine or LSD, Juenger designed singular experiments where created a sense of that archaic phenomena of ecstasy, which were usually hidden in the process of Western civilization .

High on drugs, there was the unexpected, "wholly other", which was already described enthusiastically by the English author Thomas de Quincey as divine. He spoke of a God-like state that occurs after the ingestion of opium. This condition is also experienced after taking LSD, which Juenger shared with Albert Hofmann, who took the substance which he had created (Hofmann, a chemist).

In the book "Approaches and drug intoxication," Juenger said LSD was a possible access to the "divine which moves everything." Back in 1949 he had presented in his novel "Heliopolis" the spiritual adventurer Antonio Peri, in addition to his everyday life wrought by the hallucinogenic drug "artificial paradises". This "artificial paradises" now promised "good news, eleusinisches light." You can, however, find out that these experiences- "turn out to be mirages, a pretend the true oases, but without a closer reality".

Regarding the use of hallucinogenic drugs, Juenger wrote, "Once is enough, you will have gained an idea of ​​the dimensions within which they move as a blind man once plumbed the depths, the yawns among the planks of their boat."

Waldgänger and Anarch

When thinking - and living Juenger propagated the "forest transition" or "retreat into the forest" - he who defies the world and manages the consumer frenzy. The "Forest Fleer" is an outsider of civilization, one who situates their self at the edges, and is very skeptical of the normativity of common sense, who always knows that people are not "good."

The radical aversion to socially binding norms affects not only the late-capitalist society, but is directed against any religious or ideological coercion corsets. The "Forest Fleer" is simultaneously a "Psychonaut", which always seeks out extreme conditions in order to expand consciousness. He is also "Anarch", not an anarchist, who still has the illusion of being able to change the world rather than one's self.

The "Anarch" refers to Max Stirner's "unique one" who has made his cause on nothing. He defies not only every act but also any public articulation of his only developed inner secret thought:

    "When "Anarch" I am determined to get involved with anything, but not taking anything too seriously - but not in a nihilistic way - as a man's land is between tides, eyes, and ears." (Eumeswil)