on the wings of the mundane

Salvation of the mundane. An ambiguous friendship with the gnostic demons. Is a salvation nebulous in form a salvation anyway. Salvation light. Not too filling. Not too holy with just a thin layer in the abridged form of contemplation of the divine. Its hard to kick out self interst and self preservation; they never want to leave the party. But then, its hard to blame them since their belief system is anchored in the idea, fixed like bedrock, that every search for salvation abruptly terminates with failure and despair. Even if we sweep out the idea of divine grace, the glory of deliverance, and ultimate redemption, its a complex idea, one made even more complicated, even precarious, when the relationship with reality is suspended….

---At first glance, K.’s struggle against absurdity, despair, hopelessness— against a world that turns a deaf ear to his pleas for assistance and direction—can arouse sympathy. Yet, as one carefully examines K.’s stratagems for salvation, one becomes aware of his tawdry motives, as these affect his basic aim: “‘to get my business with the authorities properly settled.’” His goal in the end has a slippery quality that is as troubling to the reader as it is to Frieda: “‘But the truth remains that you keep many things from me; you come and go, I don’t know where or from where.’” K. is in some ways an accomplished casuist: he has excuses for everything and he covers his tracks cunningly so as to protect himself in making his “way to Klamm.”--- Read More:http://www.nhinet.org/panichas17-1&2.pdf image:http://thecahokian.blogspot.com/2011/06/living-franz-kafkas-castle.html

“The individual can do nothing, and yet he can do everything,” Albert Camus declares; the second part of his statement, however, is inconceivable for Kafka, for whom there are impassable walls that point to the suffocating power of his darksome perspective, or as Kafka writes in the diary entry dated September 30, 1915, “the innocent and the guilty [are] both executed without distinction in the end.” “Give it up!” “This is how it is.” “Guilt is always certain.” “Away-From-Here, that is my destination.” These are the unchanging features of Kafka’s view of things; they are also signs that lead to the end of nowhere….vision of nowhere is, it is ultimately annihilative. Beyond this point of no return, Kafka’s vision negates those principles and values that, when rejected or discredited or leveled, reveal that the consequences of the artist’s absorption in the nihilist imagination are irrevocable and irremediable, when Kafka’s castle becomes a necropolis that consumes both the history and the meaning of human existence. Kafka’s view of the world heralds both modernity in its major phase and evolution and the twentieth century in all of its quandaries and cataclysms as these have been enacted to the most violent extremes. The Castle itself contains astonishing intimations of a postmodernism that dictates ahistorical reasoning, moral nihilism and relativism, and what Professor Claes Ryn identifies as “antihistorical universalism,” unconditionally antagonistic to a historically based common human ground and to any belief in a
universal purpose of human existence. Read More:http://www.nhinet.org/panichas17-1&2.pdfa

Bruegel. Triumph of Death.---all such contemporary things bespeak a certain absence, an absence of presence, an absence of what Martin Buber described as an I-thou relation. The world comes at us rapidly, unrelentingly, but at the same time from afar: there is violence but no contact, impulses and sensations but no encounter with the individual soul. Read More:http://www.philosophicalsociety.com/Archives/Boredom%20In%20The%20Modern%20Age.htm

In light of the holocaust, Kafka’s view is comprehensible, agree or disagree. Within the heaviness and darkness, the victims had no choices, no option of martyrdom. Just irrelevancy and purposelessness. No meaning to their deaths. Nothing to latch onto within this narrative of ambivalence and anxiety where even the intimate if of the briefest glimmer of light, just another deportation point on the stations of the cross. Stations which are merely symbols of vulnerability within a context of atrocity. Its hard to argue that human existence under such horror does not dwell, linger and fester in deprivation and uncertainty, torment, and a pretext to distrust anything of this world. A spiritual netherworld characterized by chronic inertia,a world of nothingness , a pathology that thinkers from Buber to Flaubert to Heine have diagnosed as a point of incubation for the worst of humankind.

Sickert. Enui.---Although valuable, this struggle has to be distinguished from the messianic dimension and from negative utopianism, both of which have a place in history even though their meaning emerges from the attempt to transcend its horizons. Benjamin presents in a figurative manner two "arrows" describing the problem: one secular (positive, utopian), the other religious (messianic, redemptive). "If one arrow points to the goal where the dynamics of the profane is effective, and the other points to the messianic intensity, then, of course, free humanity which is longing for happiness drifts away from that messianic direction." Benjamin's pessimism is not one-dimensional. The positive dimension of his utopianism derives its essential meaning from its contribution to the Jewish messianic dimension of redemption . It opposes the secular utopian project: "Just as a force by following its route is able to promote another one directed for a contrary route, so also is the secular order of the profane able to promote the coming of the messianic kingdom." Read More:http://construct.haifa.ac.il/~ilangz/Utopia4.html

K.’s pursuit of salvation is subject to expediency, compromise, treachery, caprice, whim; to those encompassing conditions and circumstances that defy absolute criteria of truth and fulfillment. There is much truth in the accusations leveled by Frieda when she charges that K. is a selfish seeker after his own special endeavors; as one who promotes his “hidden intention” and will opportunely adapt himself to any situation that earns him greater advantage….K., thus, seeks to exploit his plight in its subjective facets rather than to focus on a path to grace. For some of his readers and interpreters, in fact, K. must finally exemplify the drift of an atheism or of a skepticism that disregards authentic forms of salvation, and that in the end assumes the volatile character of pseudo-stratagems of salvation. Read More:http://www.nhinet.org/panichas17-1&2.pdfa

Witkin. Act of Judith. ---Eternity - the completely other, presented by Benjamin in the metaphor of the reality of "the language of paradise" - splinters into small fragments. Only by means of the fractures of contingency and of the awareness of absence can we find redemption, standing beyond the indefinite anticipation of the last catastrophe, which appears as the critique of given reality and as its negation. Benjamin followed Franz Rosenzweig on this issue. He knew Rosenzweig's Star of Redemption, and even wrote a review of it. The personal route taken by Horkheimer and Adorno, who needed decades of development for their thinking to mature, was already apparent in Benjamin's dialectic between the conception of utopia and the thought of redemption, and within the thought of redemption itself.--- Read More:http://construct.haifa.ac.il/~ilangz/Utopia4.html image:http://paintingperceptions.com/figure-painting/jerome-witkin

The rational, calculating mind ends up getting the upper hand on volition: the latter follows the orders of the former; a person finds it difficult simply to let go and give in to experience. It may be precisely at this point that hyperboredom, or chronic boredom — acedia, affectlessness, anhedonia, ennui — sets in, and a person feels utterly frozen in place. Its the business as usual attitude, an eternal recurrence of the eternal catastrophe, what Benjamin called  the never ending dominance of the mythical, which informs the basis of Franz Kafka like dynamics, the scenario of The Fall, original sin present and dominating each moment of history. A helplessness in the seemingly unequal confrontation and inertia in the face of concluding a destiny as victim in the struggle against cosmic injustice waged directly and personally against the individual.


These goals stand in opposition to the struggle for the language of paradise and for varnishing the goal-driven self, history, politics and, implicitly, the concept of revolution contaminated by the present order. The dimension linking positive utopianism and the thought of redemption is clarified in Benjamin’s negative utopianism (on which we shall elaborate when discussing his philosophy of history) and in the philosophical struggle (as a serious aesthetic game) for the salvation of the soul, which assumes the state of redemption and demands

negative utopian struggle. However, it is already possible to point to the clearly Cabalistic dimension merging into Benjamin’s thought, whose yearning for the eternal, for the completely other, suppresses the temporal, the political, the ever-transient within reality. The appropriate political attitude is defined as “nihilion”….

Joel-Peter Witkin.---The Gnostic pattern of hope is the one Benjamin finds in Kafka: there is room for hope "plenty of hope, an infinite measure of hope - but not for us".--- Read More:http://construct.haifa.ac.il/~ilangz/Utopia4.html image:http://grimm-love.blogspot.com/?zx=d400bd5f08cb92bf

…This utopian pessimism, yearning for redemption, certainly turns out to be a moment of the attempt to evade spiritual death in the life of mere vagueness, to evade the “everything the same” – the salvation of the philosopher’s soul. With both thinkers this knowledge obligates them to an especially political activism. This special pessimism engenders hope and commits them to saving the past from the one-dimensional interpretation of the victorious side, and to a daily struggle for the preservation of the spiritual autonomy of the individual and the preservation of solidarity with the victims. Read More:http://construct.haifa.ac.il/~ilangz/Utopia4.html

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