Friday, January 26, 2024

Macrospherology of humans. Globes - volume two of Peter Sloterdijk's Spheres

Oskar SchlemmerI have been reading the second volume of Sloterdijk's magnum opus for a couple of months now. I still haven't found the time for a full review, or, as I have done in the past with some books, to post quotes here. However, the book is so significant that I've decided to write this post now and share a few quotes:

"As a process of growing solidarity complexes, the history of homo sapiens in the time of advanced civilization is above all a battle for the integral and integrating hothouse. It is based on the attempt to provide the wider inside, the reconciling own, the more far-reaching common area with an invulnerable form, or at least a livable one that is superior to the attacks from the outside.

That this attempt is clearly still in progress, and that despite immeasurable setbacks-the struggle for ever larger

parts of humanity to move into ever larger communal shelters or endospheres is still being undertaken, testifies as much to its irresistible motives as to the stubborn resistance to the historical pull into the extended realm of inner security. Struggles to preserve and expand spheres form both the dramatic core of our species' history and its principle of continuity."  

However, if you look around, at the world as it is today... we have more setbacks than progress...

Stay tuned ... I will put here quotes and my thoughts on that great book ...

See this: 

"As the monstrous employer in the work of mourning, death is the first sphere stressor and creator of cultures. The mourning communes survive by accepting the task of taming the fury of disappearance through expanded spatial formation. It is the distancing power of the imagination, which embeds the current living space in surrounding spaces of ghosts and the dead, that spawns cultures as self-harboring spatial figments in the first place."

November 12, 2023 ... 

See Peter Sloterdijk's latest great lecture: Future Cities Conference 2023 | Peter Sloterdijk | The Future of Too Big Cities - YouTube

November 25, 2023

Human is "a natal and mortal creature"...

See what is an essential thought from "Vascular Memories" chapter:

"Hence the human being is the animal that, together with its significant others, produces endospheres in almost every situation because it remains shaped by the memory of a different having-been-inside, and by the anticipation of a final being-enclosed. It is the natal and mortal creature that has an interior because it changes its interior. Relocation tensions are in effect in every place where humans exist; that is why their entire history is the history of walls and their metamorphoses."

November 26th, 2023

See these thoughts on "peripheral seas":
"With the concept of a peripheral sea, ancient cosmography established a semantic reservoir on which modern oceanic ideas could draw for it was only the Europeans of the Modern Age that understood the oceans as real global seas and world media. This lexical history mirrors the historical shift of emphasis that led potamic spaces and river cultures to fall behind Pontic-oceanic power centers."

"What is even more notable about Homer's mention of Oceanus is the reference to conceptions of the world dominated by the Great Mother, for, as an all-encompassing figure, the world boundary river Oceanus has unmistakable amniotic qualities. How else could vascular attributes be assigned to a surrounding body of water? Oceanus may be depicted on a masculine-maritime device, but his energy of form testifies to an older world context defined by the precedence of female motifs; it is characteristic of this context that it is not the solid enclosed by the liquid, but the liquid by the solid. If liquid is to be presented as giving stability, it must be accompanied by a specific container energy - a condition that is only met if the surrounding water possesses amniotic morphological powers. This world boundary thus has elements of that original life-within-life structure which, as I attempted to show above, had to provide the self-harboring of the we-groups in the endo-milieu before all architecture or metallurgy. As long as the outermost wall is imagined as a boundary of water, it absolutely possesses the properties of the living that contains the living."

This sentence: "building vessels-granaries in the city center and silos for deities at the center of the soul space" is an ingenuous observation! See it in context:

"On the threshold of advanced civilization, humans reached a lucid and almost final definition of what is necessary to survive failed harvests and wrong living conditions: grain and memories of integrity. Storing these two commodities inevitably requires building vessels-granaries in the city center and silos for deities at the center of the soul space - and because each of these commodities is somehow connected to the living principle of the group, the walls of these (built and spoken) vessels that contain such indispensable stores must be guarded with sacred attentiveness."

December 3rd, 2023

"The symbolic destruction of ancient Rome through the quenching of the state hearth was only possible, however, because the empire, particularly in its new headquarters, the Second Rome, had found a different integrative principle and an alternative symbol of social synthesis in the religion of Christ. And indeed, for over a millennium, the Christian lux perpetua proved eminently suitable to replace the sacred fire of ancient Rome."

December 16th, 2023 

The importance of the Ark symbolism

"Ark concept from the Latin arca, "box" (compare to arcanus,"closed, secret") - exposes the most spherologically radical spatial idea which humans on the threshold of advanced civilization were able to conceive: that the artificial, sealed inner world can, under certain circumstances, become the only possible environment for its inhabitants. This gave rise to a new kind of project: the notion of a group's self-harboring and self-surrounding in the face of an outside world that has become impossible.

The ark is the autonomous, absolute, context-free house, the building with no neighborhood; it embodies the negation of the environment by the artificial construct in exemplary fashion."

and ...

"One notices that the biblical ark, the paradigmatic ship in the history of human natural disasters, seems to have lacked any means of steering, as if ships whose construction has been decreed by God have no need of a bridge (this would make the ark not so much a ship as an oversized raft.)

Read from this angle, the biblical tale of Noah's Ark reproduces the first de-founding experiment. In its own way it would be unsurpassable, were it not for the fact that numerous extrabiblical, extra-European cultures are equally familiar with the motivic alliance of a flood and successfully floating endospheres.

The realization that the outer floor can be withdrawn, and must be replaced with a floating inner world's own floor, has been expressed in manifold mythological forms across the human race."

and ...

"The manifold subcultures of modern social systems-whether organizations or private contexts-form colorful fleets of arks on every scale that navigate self-referentially in a flood of environmental complexity that will never sink again. But one no longer sends doves to fly from one's own scene so that they can show with a green twig in their beak that things are simple again outside. Postmodernity abandoned the dream of landing after the flood; now the flood is the land. Where only absolute houses are left, each in its own drift, returning to what was once called land has become impossible."

 December 24th, 2023 (Lodz)

What are cities in their most profound sense?

"From that point on, politics, architecture and theology are merged into a shared macro-immunological project. The large-scale body politic appears as the builder of a world interior. As late as the sixteenth century, Martin Luther would formulate his reformatory battle song "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" entirely in the tradition of ancient Near Eastern and ancient European mural phantasms of immunity. In this respect, one can view the Mesopotamian city buildings-alongside the Egyptian temple complexes as the most important laboratories of the rising imperial psychology and theology: more than in any other part of the world, people experimented here over millennia, in ever new arrangements and from ever new centers, with the production of large-scale interiors with their corresponding construction forms, world picture forms, soul forms and immune structures."

December 30th, 2023 (Lodz)

The religion of the cities and fortresses...

"No religious person on the first level can discern the primal fact of all religion as crypto-architecture and crypto-grammar"

January 1st, 2024, Debina 

"The gigantic wall supported the city residents in their attempt to overcome their soul infection through the internally understood large-scale space. The true purpose of the walls was to show their inhabitants, who were forced to adopt large-scale thought, the state of things. By looking down on the population inside them, the monumental edifices informed them that great thoughts and great dangers would henceforth be an immediate reality"
January 14th, 2024, Lodz

"That the Roman arena could advance to a metaphor for the world stemmed from the fact that the central tenet of ancient fatalism attained concretion in its construction: no one escapes the of this world alive. Everyone in it must fulfill their destiny to the end. 

The only concession offered by this place is that, with a little luck and diligence, our failure can be postponed.

The Roman-style theater of cruelty acted as a destiny generator in which the masses observed the last relevant difference between humans the distinction between those who die sooner and those who die later in the form of a sporting divine judgment."

January 28th, 2024, Lodz 

Merdocracy ...

"What phenomenologists, following on from Husserl's late work, tend to describe with the term "lifeworld" should be viewed primarily as an olfactory phenomenon before the deodorizing
revolution of the last two centuries-on a scale that modern subjects lack the criteria to 'grasp.'

The being-with-oneself of the early groups in settlement collectives cannot be described without reference to a constant presence of ominous native vapors. Lifeworld is breathworld-nicely said, but what is the point of breath as long as the shared air of the settled lies under the spell of the sewer?"

"... the systemic location of the modern mass media, in so far as they function as transporters for symbolically coded secondary smells or metaphorical vapors of large groups. Here we find an opportunity to recall the kinship, not only an etymological one, between smells [Gerüche] and rumors [Gerüchte]. The rumor is the spoken smell - it is no coincidence that rumors are imagined as winged creatures that infiltrate social biotopes with demon speed.
Rumor is as infectious and rapid as ill will. With the implementation of a system for the text-assisted spread of smells, the mass press' that has been successful since the nineteenth century makes a contribution to the current social synthesis that is impossible to either to overlook or oversmell."

February 10th, 2024, Dębina 

The Ontological Proof of the Orb

"In the moment of its foundation, philosophy was a purification plant for traumatized intelligence"

February 11th, 2024, Dębina 

"Thus, in his attempt to ward off the opinion crime of atheism, Plato, immunologist-in-chief of the metaphysical age, laid his cards on the table: in the light of all his observations, a true doctrine of divinity, and hence also community, was now-once and for all-only possible philosophically and spherologically."

"In the cultural conditions of antiquity, atheists could be viewed as semantic terrorists aiming to erode social synthesis with arguments. If philosophy meant to become indispensable for the grounding of communal life, it therefore had to begin proving something it had previously seemed unnecessary to prove: the reality of the gods-and even more, the infusion of everything existent with a delayed divine presence."

February 25th, 2024, New York City 

"In Plato, theology fully became morphology. In revealing God as the highest matter of form, it made itself possible in the first place as the art of speaking reasonably about God. With the proof that God possesses and grants the best form that is possible in the realized whole, it entered its rationalist or constructivist period; from that point on, anyone unwilling to speak of the orb would also have to remain silent about God and the gods."

"... Plato's god behaves more generously in extensive terms, as he already places the morphological optimum "outside" himself with his first action. (...) Yahwe's generosity, by contrast, is more an intensive and culminating one: he begins with the crude divisions, saving the best investment till last in the form of Adam, the last-created, and his descendants.
It is obvious, then, that the two thus constitute radically different theologies that could be termed cosmotheism (Greek) and ethnotheism (Jewish), or perhaps morphotheism and nomotheism."

March 2nd, 2024, Tampa 

"Postmodern cosmopolitanism is usually no more than the philosophical superstructure of cheap flights between European and American capitals"

March 16th, 2024, Nashville

"King Alfonso X of Castile, (...):
 'If God had consulted me before embarking on the creation of the planets, I would have suggested a simpler system.' "

" ... the success story of Ptolemaio-Aristotelianism shows that world pictures and cosmographies, particularly those appearing as scientifically consolidated doctrines, are first of all auto-suggestive
systems of convictions that only receive widespread approval if they prove themselves in the imaginative ecosystems of their societies. 
From this perspective, the shell belief of the ancient Europeans established itself as one of the most successful cognitive auto-hypnoses in the history of theory and culture. For an entire age, the ontological icons of circle and orb kept empirical astronomy in a state of pious torpor, with the silencing of research ensured most effectively by faith in the results of supposed earlier research. 
It took a complete revolution in the world picture, and with it a radical reformatting of psycho-cosmic immune relationships and dynamics of faith among Europeans from the sixteenth century on, for the natural sciences and religious concepts of space to break away from the immemorial spherism."

March 17th, 2024, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 

"Thus heliocentrism enjoyed a public support that fluctuated between enthusiastic agreement and indifference, and where it was explicitly rejected, as in some circles of official Roman Catholicism, it was more because of a reluctance to abandon the central earth as the location of humilitas - but most of all because, in a Copernican world, one would no longer have known where to locate hell, without which the psychopolitical regime of counter-reformatory Catholicism (and indeed the entire Christian three-layer world picture comprising inferno, earth and the world above) would have become untenable."

March 23rd, 2024, New York 

"If one understands the Pantheon in terms of its esoteric program, it becomes plausible that the pathos of Greek philosophy in imagining the cosmos as a whole from a domestic angle only attained its practical realization in Roman architecture, which made the house match the cosmos in ways that had exceeded the means of the Greeks. If the Greek genius—as Hegel praisingly remarked—achieved the domestication of the cosmos, the Roman builders of imperial times achieved the cosmification of the house. In the Pantheon, every visitor can meditate, with no prior ontological training, on the basic principle of ancient philosophy: that the wise person’s existence means moving from the local house to the universal one. With the same clarity, the basic logical doctrine of antiquity that knowing and classifying are the same thing shines forth from the coffers lining its dome."
March 31st , 2024, Lodz

"Thus heliocentrism enjoyed a public support that fluctuated between enthusiastic agreement and indifference, and where it was explicitly rejected, as in some circles of official Roman Catholicism, it was more because of a reluctance to abandon the central earth as the location of humilitas - but most of all because, in a Copernican world, one would no longer have known where to locate hell, without which the psychopolitical regime of counter-reformatory Catholicism (and indeed the entire Christian three-layer world picture comprising inferno, earth and the world above) would have become untenable."

"But where are humans going if their terminus is not the distant above but the distant inside? What are the studies they carry out if these do not bring them positive knowledge, but rather take them ever further away from public objects"

 April 14th, 2024, Lodz 

"In the coming age, the dome would come to symbolize the insight that even emptiness must be built around. God may be dead, but the dome-building continues—and with it the dispute about the suitable roof over the heads of contemporary humans. The roofs of postmodernity were no longer cosmological dogmas, but rather working hypotheses for provisional communities. It seems today, built emptiness retraces that horizon within which the natal-mortal beings must look after themselves and their meetings. Even the prima facie megalomaniacal Millennium Dome built by Richard Rogers in Greenwich, south-east London, which served to celebrate England’s entrance into the third millennium, testifies to the intense thrust of these symbol-political spatial demands. An entire country vibrated under the impression of a timely, yet difficult-to-interpret spatial idea."

        On  Geocentrism and Theocentrism (called by Sloterdik "superspherologies"):

"The history of the tilted superspherologies, however, begins in Plato's thought. The difference between the two Old European superspherologies can be found in geometric idealism, which - together with number theory - supplies the foundation of the intelligibility of the existent."

April 21st, 2024, Lodz 

        Plato proclaimed the United States of Light!

"The innovation of idealism was that it made the second world subject to a new kind of logical, reason-controlled, and hence somewhat calculable or feasible constitution. From that point on, the “yonder” was one of those rational essentialities characterized by being clearer than anything one could ever encounter in the sensible terrestrial world." 

"With the parable of the sun, posterity witnesses the intelligible colonies' declaration of independence from the motherland of visibility. Within a single period, Plato proclaimed the United States of Light—a realm that produces itself and was content with itself. With ideas, through ideas, towards ideas, in the medium of ideas: this is how the new citizens of light will live, withdrawn to an indestructible logical asylum, inhabitants of the city on the hill of light, in an elsewhere that is everywhere, yet equally unreachable from everywhere. And naturally these states will export their ideas, and intervene in the troubles of the sensible Old World if need be so as to ensure a new order."

April 28th, 2024, Dębina 

"After his Manichean impregnation with the twin of sweet closeness, Augustine, as we know, converted to the god of the Platonic philosophers—at the time, carrying out the conversio meant devoting oneself to the philosophical life—and it was only after the anonymous grandiosity of the god known as the good or the substance had begun to grow stale for him that Augustine was ready for the synthesis of Manichean intimism and Greek ontology. What resulted was the embrace of extremes.

That is precisely what comes from the system of the vera religio, which rests on the balance between God’s final closeness and His remotest majesty. In our terminology, this corresponds to the possibility that the intimate-augmenting other in the microsphere, the second pole of the mental dual, is equated with the center of the morphologically expanded macrosphere."

May 5th, 2024, Dębina 

 "There is scarcely a mystic who is spared the experience of dry, depressive times. Mysticism not only discloses the poetic paradises of flowing presence to the ego, but also—and perhaps most significantly—the prosaic hells of withdrawal."

May 18th, 2024, Lodz

"They (theologians - MS) failed to understand that one of the origins of the process of modernity lay in theology itself, for it is theologians who were primarily responsible for infinitism. Theological modernism took place as a struggle between an old, regionally understood god who could be invoked
as an accomplice of tribal, ethnic and imperial projections of salvation and a new, ex-centric, unfathomable-infinite and unusable god who did not back up any power or illuminate any earthly metropolis with the light of the otherworldly gloriole—a god who would not forgive anyone for claiming that he existed...."
May 26th, 2024, Lodz

" “God is dead”—there is nothing new about this statement for Christians, if one considers that they have always meditated on it in their Holy Saturday depressions; the following claim, however— “God remains dead”—heralds a new counter-Easter severity of which it is unclear how it could be integrated into the lives of listeners. The man with the lantern is a lunatic because he wants to force a problem on his fellow humans which they do not know how to experience as their own. Fortunately for them, they do not yet see what the lunatic sees, and as long as they do not, they have actually received sufficient help already. The driving force behind the madman’s eccentricity is thus not confusion; it is the unbearable lucidity of one who has lost the ability to participate in the supposedly healthy self-deceptions of the others. His madness comes from an excess of vision; he can no longer lie to himself that he and the world are in a good state. With eyes that are all too good, he sees what makes the new situation special: by bringing down the planetary shells and the firmament, the new cosmologists after Copernicus and Bruno made the earth eccentric and left it at the mercy of a cosmic instability for which none of its inhabitants were prepared."

"In Nietzsche's view, the murder of God itself seems like a form of man-made climate catastrophe. The by now automatic use of human intellectual faculties brought about an atheist Ice Age in which the question of how humans can survive had to be posed in a fundamentally new way. This could only happen because European practices of knowledge had emancipated themselves from the Catholic conditions of traditional human existence since the Renaissance, and were now seeking to establish themselves as an autonomous factor."

June 9th, 2024, Dębina

Infernal Space ...

"Anyone wishing to know about the god of the theologians, then—if only out of historical interest—should not go without a visit to the Christian hell. For hell is the second face of the god of love and worship treasured by the theologians, the necessary reverse of the communio theology—which is why Dante, as obscene as it may have sounded, was entirely right to make his infernal gate say that it was built by the First Love."
"The following words are written above the gate of hell:



This statement exposes the complicity between trust in God and cynicism, and may have inspired later camp operators to analogous portal inscriptions. It reveals what it cost the Catholic faction of humanity to establish their concept of God as the absolute immunizer. To underwrite Roman-style faith policies, the divine insurer had to be made as formidable as possible: anyone who wants to promise heaven must also be able to threaten hell."

June 22nd, 2024, Łódź 

Monday, November 27, 2023

The most beautiful Song since Song of Songs....

Just (After Song of Songs) 

The song written by David Lang 

and beautifully sung by Trio Mediæval

Just your mouth
Just your love
Just your anointing oils
Just your name
Just your chambers
Just your love
And my mother's sons
And my own vineyard
And my soul
Just your flock
Just your companions
Just your kids
Just your cheeks
Just your neck
Just your couch
And my perfume
And my beloved
And my breasts
And my beloved
And my love
Just your eyes
And my beloved
Our couch
Our house
Our rafters
And my love
And my beloved
Just your shadow
Just your fruit
Just your banner over me
Just your left hand
Just your right hand
And my beloved
And my beloved
Our wall
And my beloved
And my love
And my fair one
And my love
And my fair one
And my dove
Just your face
Just your voice
Just your voice
Just your face
Our vineyards
And my beloved
Just your flock
And my beloved
And my bed
And my soul
And my soul
And my soul
And my soul
And my mother's house
Just your sword
Just your mother
Just your wedding
Just your heart
And my love
Just your eyes
Just your veil
Just your hair
Just your teeth
Just your lips
Just your mouth
Just your cheeks
Just your veil
Just your neck
Just your two breasts
And my love
And my bride
And my heart
And my sister
And my bride
And my heart
Just your eyes
Just your necklace
Just your love
And my sister
And my bride
Just your love
Just your oils
Just your lips
And my bride
Just your tongue
Just your garments
And my sister
And my bride
Just your shoots
And my garden
And my beloved
And my garden
And my sister
And my bride
And my myrrh
And my spice
And my honeycomb
And my honey
And my wine
And my milk
And my heart
And my beloved
And my sister
And my love
And my dove
And my perfect one
And my head
And my locks
And my garment
And my feet
And my beloved
And my hand
And my heart
And my beloved
And my hands
And my fingers
And my beloved
And my beloved
And my soul
And my beloved
Just your beloved
Just your beloved
And my beloved
Just your head
Just your locks
Just your eyes
Just your cheeks
Just your lips
Just your arms
Just your body
Just you legs
Just your appearance
Just your speech
And my beloved
And my friend
Just your beloved
And my beloved
Just your garden
Just your flock
And my beloved
And my beloved
Just your flock
And my love
Just your eyes
Just your hair
Just your teeth
Just your cheeks
And my dove
And my perfect one
And my mother
And my fancy
And my prince
Just your feet
Just your rounded thighs
Just your navel
Just your belly
Just your two breasts
Just your neck
Just your eyes
Just your nose
Just your head
Just your flowing locks
Just your breasts
Just your breasts
Just your breath
Just your kisses
And my beloved
Just your desire
And my beloved
And my love
Our doors
And my beloved
And my mother's breast
And my mother
And my pomegranates
Just your left hand
Just your right hand
And my beloved
Just your mother
Just your heart
Just your arm
Our sister
And my breasts
Just your eyes
And my vineyard
And my very own
And my self
Just your voice
And my beloved

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Concluding reading of Sloterdijk "Bubbles" - volume I of Spheres

In my busy life, it took me almost a full year to read the first volume of Peter Sloterdijk's trilogy "Spheres". The volume, titled "Bubbles", delves into all situations and places (in a metaphorical sense) where we are "In" - with others, with our mothers, lovers, friends, with music, angels, and even with God.

Sloterdijk's contemplation of our "In" draws from so many diverse sources, from St. Augustine to Heidegger, from the mystics who wrote about the internal life of the Holy Trinity to those who practiced psychoanalysis - it's breathtaking.

Moreover, Sloterdijk writes in a manner that appeals to both the devoutly religious and to atheists alike.

It's unfortunate that I read it during a period of my life when I was so preoccupied that I couldn’t elaborate more on this great book here.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Statement of the The Polish Center for Holocaust Research

Once again, we observe with great concern a situation in which government representatives and other public officials comment on scientific findings, which are the result of years of research and analysis. This time, it concerns comments on an interview with Professor Barbara Engelking, given on April 19, 2023, to Monika Olejnik in the program "Kropka nad i".

The subject of the interview was the fate of Jewish civilians during the uprising in the ghetto and later, as presented in the exhibition "A Sea of Fire Around Us" at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the concept of which was created by Prof. Engelking. The exhibition shows the tragedy of these fates and the heroism of the silent resistance of Jewish women and men, who recorded their experiences in hiding places and bunkers; their words often being the only trace left of them.

In preserved diaries, accounts, and memories, one can find the entire spectrum of what Jews had to face trying to survive in hiding in occupied Warsaw: fear and hope, a sense of loneliness and the formation of supportive groups, passivity and agency. There are also mentions of reluctance, lack of help, blackmail, betrayal, death at the hands of the Germans, and help, friendship, and rescue provided by other Jews and Poles.

It was about all these aspects of Jewish fate during World War II, analyzed for years by Holocaust researchers, that Prof. Engelking spoke in the interview.

However, in public statements by government representatives, including Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Minister Przemysław Czarnek, Prof. Engelking was attacked for presenting "unauthorized opinions" and "pseudo-historical statements" that are not supported by facts. This is especially concerning the scale of Polish help provided to Jews and the scale of phenomena such as anti-Semitism, blackmail, and denunciation.

The scientific facts presented by Prof. Engelking were described as "obscuring the truth," "lying," "anti-Polish narrative," and "insulting Poles." Professor Engelking was also accused of having made comments with a "racist character" in her previous statements.

Following these comments, Prof. Engelking was also attacked by pro-government media, including public media, where she was labeled as a "Pole-eater," and the interview was described as "inciting against Poles."

We firmly condemn political and ideological attempts to question scientific findings. Claiming that saving Jews was a common attitude among Poles is precisely the obscuring of the truth by government representatives; an opinion, not a fact consistent with historical knowledge, resulting from years of interdisciplinary research projects (including those conducted by the Institute of National Remembrance). This also diminishes the heroism of the Righteous who helped Jews, especially those who lost their lives at the hands of the Germans for doing so.

We also remind you that politicizing history and attempts to falsify it, combined with inspiring a wave of hatred, are precisely the dangers that Marian Turski rightly warned against in his speech delivered during the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The team of the Center for Research on the Extermination of Jews IFiS PAN:

Agnieszka Haska, Marta Janczewska, Jacek Leociak, Dariusz Libionka, Justyna Majewska, Małgorzata Melchior (prof. em.), Karolina Panz, Jakub Petelewicz, Alina Skibińska, Dagmara Swałtek-Niewińska, Andrzej Żbikowski (collaborator)

Translation from the post: 
Burza po słowach prof. Barbary Engelking w TVN24. Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów wydało oświadczenie - Wiadomości (

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Spheres by Peter Sloterdijk - one of the most remarkable books of modern philosophy

I'm reading, slowly, as many books in the recent years, the Opus Vitae of the contemporary German philosopher, Peter Sloterdijk, the three volume Spheres. I will try to report my reading here, but even if I fail, I strongly recommend this great book!

From "Primary Reflections":

"It is the basic neurosis of Western culture to have to dream of a subject that watches, names and owns everything, without letting anything contain, appoint or own it, not even if the discreetest God offered himself as an observer, container and client"


From "Heart Operation; Or, On Eucharistic Excess":

Absolutely amazing, and, I must admit, horrifying reference to: Herzmaere, a novella by the poet Konrad of Wurzburg,

"One of its daring aspects was the parallel between erotic and Christological language games and the superelevation of sexual desire through the metaphysical idea of union. What takes place here between the lovers as the courtly love of the heart from a distance and the consumption of the heart up dose transposes the act of communion into a dimension of hybridized intersubjectivity; the knight's cooked heart forms a precise equivalent to the host over which the transforming words »hoc est corpus meum« are spoken. Instead of the altar, the kitchen becomes a place of transubstantiation. With the gift of his heart the knight, seconded by his poet, creates a heretical variation of the Eucharist."


At the Baltic Coast, November 27th, 2022
Lodz, November 19th, 2022

Monday, October 18, 2021

Ryszard Legutko’s dystopian attempt do discredit democracy

Polish "Liberte" journal has published my review of Ryszard Legutko book: "The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies".
Instead of copying it here, I'm redirecting you to it: Ryszard Legutko's dystopian attempt do discredit democracy - Mirek Sopek - Liberté! ( 


Saturday, October 16, 2021

Whether the mental is derived from the bodily or the bodily from the mental ...

Painting by Charlie and Eddie Proudfoot 

About 75 years ago, in the dark times of the II World War, Roman Ingarden, one of the greatest philosophers of the XX century wrote: 

"It thus appears advisable for the time being – until such time as material investigation will make possible a rational insight into the generic essence of the mental (or of consciousness) on the one hand, and of the body on the other – to refrain from judging whether the mental is derived from the bodily or the bodily from the mental, or whether they are both ultimately derived from some third factor."

Despite all the progress in neuroscience, in cognitive sciences and artificial intelligence, these words have not lost their actuality and power...


About Roman Ingarden:
Roman Ingarden - Wikipedia 
The Roman Ingarden Philosophical Research Center - Philosophical Research Centre (
Roman Ingarden (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Modern philosophy and the scholastics

For many years I was intrigued by the thought of Edith Stein. Of course one reason for the curiosity was her conversion from Judaism to Christianity in the times when Jewish thought flourished (take Martin Buber's thought as only one example), the second was her decision to leave her Jewish family and become Catholic nun in a very strict, contemplative order. 
But it was still the most mysterious to me how she, coming from the school of Edmund Husserl, evolved into a domain of neo-scholastics...
To understand this, I started to read her "Finite and Eternal Being"...

From the outset, I was so deeply intrigued by this book, that I decided not to comment on it, but rather to collect the thoughts and ideas I found interesting. So, this post is a collection of quotes from Edith - quotes I collected while reading it. I found it intellectually more honest than trying to comment on something I still need to understand better than I do now....

To begin, let's see her own, deeply honest admission, made in the introduction to the book:

"This (...) seems especially appropriate in the case of the author of this book: Her philosophical home is the school of Edmund Husserl, and her philosophic mother tongue is the language of the phenomenological thinkers. She therefore uses phenomenology as a starting point to find her way into the majestic temple of scholastic thought."

I'm excited to discover how does she go along that path ...

First discovery is ... of the amazing clarity and objectivity Stein approaches philosophy with a deliberate distancing from faith and religion. The rigor she is applying to that distinction, comes, from St. Thomas Aquinas himself, and from many of thinkers of the "thomistic" tradition, like Jacques Maritain.

When writing about the goals and functions of philosophy she says:

"It is one of the function of philosophy to elucidate the fundamental principles of all the sciences"
However, when she goes into the relation between philosophy and a religious doctrine, she remarks:

« Whatever derives from the synthesis of theological and philosophic truth bears the imprint of this dual source of knowledge, and faith, as we are told, is a "dark light". Faith helps us to understand something, but only in order to point to something that remains for us incomprehensible. Since the ultimate ground of all existence is unfathomable, everything which is seen in this ultimate perspective moves into that "dark light" of faith, and everything intelligible is placed in a setting with an incomprehensible background. That is what Erich Przywara means when he speaks of a reductio ad mysterium.»
The intro, and its chapter "Is there a Christian Philosophy" is an amazing proof of the author intellectual honesty. Now, to the essence ...

In "Act and Potency as Modes of Being"  Stein writes:

«My own being, as I know it and as I know myself in it, is null and void [nichtig]; I am not by myself (not a being a se and per se), and by myself I am nothing; at every moment I find myself face to face with nothingness, and from moment to moment I must be endowed and re-endowed with being. And yet this empty existence that I am is being, and at every moment I am in touch with the fullness of being. »
and later adds:

«Existential anxiety accompanies the unredeemed human being throughout life and in many disguises -- as fear of this or that particular thing or being. In the last analysis, however, this anxiety or dread is the fear of being no more, and it is thus the experience of anxiety which "brings people face to face with nothingness." »

In "Individual and Universal Nature":

«As a matter of fact, that which is the ultimate ground of all intelligibility also makes possible all linguistic understanding and all linguistic communication. We therefore now conclude that all names are actually and ultimately expressions of essences.»

In §10, "Universals":    

«The knowing mind is an individual actuality; the thing known, on the other hand, can as such by its being known never become such an individual actuality. It merely becomes something that is encompassed by the mind, something pertaining to the mind. The mind encompasses it and possesses it as transcendent. The thing known is not "mine" in the same sense as is the knowing. My knowledge is mine exclusively: It cannot simultaneously be the knowledge of another human being. But what I know—and this means not only the object of knowledge but also the known according to the manner in which it is known (e.g., in a specific conceptual formulation) can also be known by others. My knowing it does not withdraw it from any other person's knowledge.»

«Every human being possesses his or her own "conceptual world" which may coincide more or less not only with the real world but also with the world of ideal concepts and with the conceptual worlds of other human beings.

Because the known nature quid is the identical element that we find in a multiplicity of individuations, we are able to attribute to it the meaning of universality. For the same reason it is possible to pay no heed to the conditions of its individuation; this paying no heed  is implicit in the meaning of universality and is called abstraction.

The known nature quid is as such neither universal nor individual. It cannot be duplicated in the realm of essential being - and this it has in common with the individual. But it is communicable and admits of individualizations and this distinguishes it from the individual. It cannot be duplicated in the realm of essential being — and this it has in common with the individual. But it is communicable and admits of individualizations — and this distinguishes it from the individual in the full sense of the term and makes it possible to ascribe universality to it. 

These last observations show clearly that our own answer to the problem of universals goes somewhat beyond the position of moderate realism without, however, going as far as Platonic realism (in the traditional interpretation). We do not ascribe to the essential quid any being in the manner of real things. It would seem that our own point of view is closest to that of Duns Scotus.»


In part IV. Essentia-Substance-Form and Matter

« This form-matter relationship, as described by Aristotle, became decisive for the understanding of the created universe and determined the entire thinking of the Middle Ages.»

« Thus for artists there exist archetypal forms or images (Urbilder] which they must seize and the being of which is independent and a precondition of their workmanship. Here we are dealing with pure forms, and they may make it possible for us to grasp the meaning of a form that is unrelated to a particular matter.»

«Being active or being operative is that highest degree of the being of that which is, to which the faculties or capabilities of existents are ordained.»
« In the mind of the artist the idea flashes, attracts the artist, leaves the artist no rest, urges the artist on to create. And in a similar manner an "attraction" seems to issue from that which stands above the living being as its end and perfection, an attraction which directs and guides the development of the living being. This attractive force may be felt not only in the mature human being, but from the time of the first awakening of reason. And the image of what the individual is to become may be grasped more or less distinctly and the individual's free acts may-in the striving for perfection and self-education-be informed accordingly. »

«However, that which is before and after is grounded in something deeper which determines the entire process of evolution and leads it toward the end. And this something we have called the essential form (Wesensform). In the essential form is alive that purposively directed power to which the actualized essence owes its existence if and whenever it corresponds to the end.»

« Both worlds (pure and essential forms), rather, in accordance with their origin, point to that same primordial reality that also accounts for and makes intelligible their interrelation. Comprised and incorporated in the unity of the divine logos, the pure forms are primordial prototypes of all things in the divine mind, which places them into existence and which has inscribed in them their end-structure [Zielgestalt]. 

In this sense we may then speak of the being of things in God, and St. Thomas calls this being in God a truer being than the one which things have in themselves. The causality of the eternal primordial archetypes is simply the creative, sustaining, and ordering efficacious action [Wirksamkeit] of God, and the actuality of these archetypes is the divine actuality or rather super-actuality.»

«...we should then have to regard the divine essence not merely as the mover of the universe as a whole, but as linked in a specific manner with every created thing and being. This point of view makes it necessary that there be a peculiarly strong and close interrelation between the archetypal and essential forms. Plato's and Aristotle's doctrines of form suffer, it seems to me, from the defect of Plato's laying undue stress on the archetypal form and of Aristotle's placing too much emphasis on the essential form.

And the reason for this deficiency in both instances I see in the fact that to both philosophers the idea of creation and its sequel, the divine sustenance and directive governance of the created universe, remained unknown.»

« Paradoxically enough, the determinateness of matter lies in its determinability.»

« And where we said before that the particularity of matter was basic [grundlegend] in the structure of the whole with respect to everything in which this particularity manifests and actively asserts itself, we must now say that what is ultimately basic is the form which forms matter »

« And finite existents lag behind the highest degree of being which they could potentially attain in still another respect. This second lagging behind is due to the status naturae lapsae (the state of fallen nature), i.e., the general corruption of all things in the fallen state. Thus, even the splendor of “gold has been dimmed." (Lamentations 4:1) There is henceforth a split or crack (Bruch] even in the determinateness of the essences of things. They are still a mirror of divine perfection, but the mirror is broken. There is a discrepancy between what things essentially ought to be and what they actually are. And there is, moreover, a disproportion between what things could essentially come to be and the state to which they can actually attain. »
« Every human work was meant to be not only useful (i.e., to serve human ends) but also beautiful (i.e., to be a mirror of the eternal). » 

« Linguistic metaphors often express an inner relationship that exists between different genera of existents as well as a relationship between finite existents and the divine archetypal reality. »

« We hold that even the lowest material structures are an inseparable unity of matter and form (a form that molds matter, or of formed matter, i.e., a matter that is determined in its particularity). These material structures would be nothing unless they were thus determined in their quid [Was]. Their very being would be annihilated. Their being is truly one, because this oneness is conditioned by form and matter. The primordial “efficacious ontological principle” [beurirkende Seinsgrund] which they owe their being is the divine creative act, and the being of this act differs from the being of every created thing.»
« It is my conviction that here (MS: in an awakening of life) we find ourselves face to face with the greatest of all mysteries and miracles of life. The mere fact that things which are alive cannot come from things which are dead, but only from that which is itself alive, and that life defies all to “produce" it artificially or synthetically—this fact alone is enough to arouse our awe. But what makes us see in life the mysterious revelation of the Lord of all life is the much more significant fact that all those "devices" of animate nature which aim at life do not actually produce it. They merely prepare for it and make it possible for it in each individual instance to spring, as it were, from a hidden primordial source. »

« ... there is in living beings a manifold of material elements held together, permeated, and molded into an organic whole by a superior, living form-a whole which is proportioned in accordance with the structural law of that superior form. The superiority of the form over the matter manifests itself in the preservation and evolution of the identical structural whole in the continuous process of “material change" (Stoffwechsel = metabolism).

The being of the form is life, and life is the forming of matter in the three stages of: transformation of the structural material elements, self-formation, and reproduction.»

« The specific being of living beings is distinct from both body and mind (spirit) by virtue of the fact that living beings must first acquire possession of their essence or nature. That which is alive [das Lebendige] is distinguished from purely material natures because it has a "center" of its own being, i.e., a soul or what we may call a "be-souling principle" (if we want to reserve the term soul for that personal soul which does not make its appearance until we arrive at the individuals and personally formed human totality) »

« The soul comes out of nothingness and yet bears within itself the power for being: "This is why its nature is in a peculiar manner 'unfathomable' (in the sense of being a bottomless abyss) and "creative." According to its own ontological ground, the soul is placed in “nothingness," and yet, out of this same soul, the entire substance draws its being and its selfhood." »

« The particular nature of the soul also suggests a possibility of harmonizing the contraries of matter and mind (spirit) with the previously discussed trichotomy of body, soul, and mind (spirit). The confrontation of matter in the sense of that which fills space) and mind (spirit) reveals an ultimate contrast with regard to content between two different realms of actuality. »


In part V. Existents As Such (The Transcendentals)

«And finally, are only material [dinglich] realities independent, autonomous existents or must independent, autonomous existence also be attributed to ideal objects»

 « ens, res, unum, aliquid, bonum, verum, pulchrum »

« With this latter observation (ms: of form) we believe we have grasped the real distinction between form and content (or fullness). The two belong together. Wherever we get hold of a content, we seize it together with its form. A "content" can neither be nor be intellectually conceived without some form, even if it is a form of the most general kind. The form is, as it were, the contour of the content and thus pertains to the content in the manner in which the encompassing spatial structure pertains to a material thing. The forms can be intellectually abstracted and conceptually grasped, but they have that peculiar emptiness and poverty which characterizes them forms.

Every existent is fullness within some form. To examine and describe the forms of existents is the task of that discipline which Husserl called formal ontology. »

 «... there is still another "emptiness," one that is indicative of a separation from a factual (sachlich] foundation. When I speak of "some or any object," these expressions admit of a factual understanding. What is meant finds its fulfillment in the empty form of the aliquid. The expression "non-existent object," on the other hand, admits of no fulfillment. It corresponds to empty thought.» 

 « We have previously pointed out in a different context that every existent has a meaning [Sinn] or - in scholastic terminology that every existent is intelligible, i.e., something which can "enter into" a knowing intellect and can be "embraced" or "comprehended"[umgefassen] by a knowing intellect. It seems to me that this describes the nature of  transcendental truth. The terms intelligere, "enter into," and "comprehend" express a  mutual being-ordained [Zuordnung) of intellect and existent. »

 « This is why the artist, who penetrates through the purely external and factual to the primordial archetype (Urbild), can present more of the truth than the historian who remains within the limited circumference of external data. The work of the artist who succeeds in depicting the true Urbild and at the same time remaining within the bounds of tradition will be truer even in the sense of historical truth than the work of a historian who does not penetrate beyond the surface of external facts.»

 In part V, §13 "Divine Truth"

« We are here face to face with a matter-of-factness the reasons or causes of which we are unable to penetrate.  And such an ultimate, impenetrable fact is for us the differentiation between necessity and contingency which we find even in the realm of essential being. 

It seems to me that it indeed transcends the possibilities of natural reason to demonstrate that the cause of this differentiation lies in the divine essence. Even the attempt to harmonize the simplicity of the divine being with the manifold of the ideas bears the marks of a reason illumined by faith, a reason which impelled by the words of revealed truth seeks to grasp mysteries which defy and confound all human concepts.»

In part V,  §19, "Beauty as a transcendental determination"

« The beautiful indeed implies a relationship of a peculiar kind. It is distinct from truth (understood as an accord of knowledge and existence), and it is distinct from goodness (understood as an accord of striving and existence), and yet it has something in common with both. 

Like truth, beauty signifies that something is known [ein Erkanntes] in a large sense of knowing, and this something causes satisfaction when seen (visa placent). Thus, in contradistinction to the known truth, the something is not only known, but pleases (visa placent). And this pleasing means for the spirit a resting in the attainment of the end, as it is similarly experienced in the fulfillment of a striving. In this respect, then, goodness and beauty coincide. »

« An existent is perfect when it is wholly what it ought to be, when nothing is wanting to it, and when it has attained to the highest measure of its being. This perfection denotes the congruity of the existent with the divine idea which is its archetype (Urbild], (Wesen-swahrheit, essential truth), and simultaneously with the divine will (We sensgutheit, essential goodness). Whatever is perfect is true, good, and beautiful. »

« We meet this splendor in the world of sense in the radiance of physical light, without which all sensuous beauty would remain hidden from us. We meet it in the radiance of color and in the loveliness of physical forms and bodies.
But this splendor is by no means confined to the world of sense. There is spiritual beauty. There is the beauty of the human soul, whose "ways and actions are duly measured and ordered in accordance with the intellectual clarity of reason." The closer a created being is to the divine Urbild, the more perfect it is. This is why intellectual and spiritual beauty range above sensuous beauty. And because the human soul by divine grace is drawn near to the divine being in an entirely new sense, the splendor which grace pours out over a human soul surpasses all purely natural brightness and harmony.


Part VI. "The Meaning of Being"

« When we conceive of an essence [Wesenheit] or of a meaningful structure [Sinngebilde] as fulfillment of the something, the corresponding being is essential being. This latter we understood as the unmoved (non-temporal) unfolding of that which is contained in the unity of the meaning. In the case of simple essences, this unfolding is a simple being-spread-out [Hingebreitetsein] and thus a being manifest [Offenbarsein] to the understanding gaze of the spirit which comes to rest in the understanding. »

«A special difficulty is presented by the concept of “nothingness" or of the nought [das Nichts), which seems to have an intelligible meaning but which is not an essence. It not only has no full meaning, but not even an empty meaning in the sense of an empty form that could be filled—as in the case of the something. In the nought we have an empty meaning that cannot be filled, and it thereby reveals its “essence-less nature" [Wesenlosigkeit]. This is why non-being pertains to the nought rather than being, and everything that can be predicated of it is in the nature of a negation.»


«Being, as the unfolding of a quid, denotes not only the effluence and confluence of the contents of this quid, but simultaneously the quid's being manifest (or becoming manifest [Offenbarwerden]) or its being intelligible for some knowing mind. (All being as such is true being). 

Furthermore, being, as the unfolding of a quid, means that being occupies its apportioned place within the totality of all existents and thereby contributes to the perfection of this totality. (All being as such is good being.) Finally, it means that being is ordered according to a definite structural law and is thereby in accord with an ordering mind whose knowing is correspondingly or proportionately ordered. (All being as such is beautiful and rational [vernünftig] being).»

« But despite these prerogatives, the being of the I is deficient and by itself null and void (nichtig). It is empty unless it is filled with content, and it receives this content from those realms—the "external" and the "internal" world—which lie "beyond" its own sphere.

Its life comes out of one darkness and moves into another darkness. 

There are lacunae in it which cannot be filled, and it is sustained only from moment to moment. And thus we see that while the being of the I is separated from divine being by an infinite distance, it nevertheless owing to the fact that it is an I, i.e., a person-bears a closer resemblance to divine being than anything else that lies within the reach of our experience. If we remove from this being of the I everything that is non-being, this will make it possible for us to conceive-albeit only analogically-of divine being. »

Part VII. "The Image of Trinity in the created world"

§2 "Person and spirit [Geist]"

« On the other hand, where an existent is ruled by and behaves in accordance with an intelligible lawfulness which it yet cannot understand, we speak of a hidden or latent intellect. And we call a creature rational or endowed with an intellect [vernunftbegabt] when it can understand the lawfulness of its own being and can act accordingly. This requires ratio [Verstand), i.e., the gift of understanding, and liberum arbitrium [Freiheit], i.e., the gift of molding one's actions out of one's own self.

If then to being-person there pertains the gift of rationality or intelligence, the person as such must possess reason and freedom. And we thus arrive at the distinction between ego and person and are justified in saying that not every ego need be a personal ego. On the other hand, every person must be an ego. It must be inwardly aware of its own being, since this is implied in the gift of intelligence. »

§2 "The Human "Being-Person"

«The human soul as spirit rises in its spiritual life beyond itself. But the human spirit is conditioned both from above and from below. It is immersed in a material structure which it be-souls and molds into a bodily form. The human person carries and encloses "its" body and "its" soul, but it is at the same time carried and enclosed by both. The spiritual life [geistiges Leben) of the human person rises from a dark ground. It rises like a flame that illumines, but it is a flame that is nourished by non-luminous matter. And it emits light without being light through and through. The human spirit is visible to itself without, however, being thoroughly transparent. It is capable of illuminating other things without being able to penetrate completely into their being. We have already learned a few things about the darkness of the human spirit...»
« Whatever is bodily [leiblich] or of the body is never merely so. What distinguishes the body [Leib] from a mere physical body (corpus) is the fact that the body is be-souled. Where there is a body, there is also a soul. And conversely, where there is a soul, there is also a body. A physical body without a soul is nothing but a corpus [Körper) and no longer a living body [Leib]. A spiritual nature [Geist-wesen] without a corporeal body is a pure spirit, not a soul. Anyone who refuses to attribute a soul to plants should not speak of a plant body either. Rather, such a person will have to use a different name to distinguish these animate material structures from those which are inanimate or lifeless.»
And this passage is deeply personal (I think I know to what it relates, but I prefer not to say it explicitly):
« For example, it may happen that I believe I have "overcome” some painful experience, and I have long since forgotten it. But suddenly some new experience brings it back to my memory, and the impression which this earlier experience now makes upon me as well as the thoughts which it now evokes make me realize that it has been working within me all the time and that, moreover, without it I would not be what I am today.»

§2 "The image of the Trinity in Non-Personal Animate Beings"

« In plants, formation is no more than a mere forming of matter [Stofgestaltung). Plants have not yet attained to the state of "being their own selves" and thus of forming themselves from within. The animal soul has reached that stage. It continues, like the lower forms, in the spatial forming of matter, but beyond this its life is an internal movement and the forming ofa soul structure [seelische Gestalt]. »

 « With the awakening of an inner life, an entirely new kind of image relationship to the Deity appears: a relationship which is an analogical counterpart of the duality of an inner personal life and a self-transcending forming of an external world. And this inner life bears within itself the seal of the Trinity.»

« A conscious life of the soul in the depth of its interiority is, of course, possible only after the awakening of reason. At the time of  this awakening the soul already bears the stamp of what has previously happened in it and to it. The soul is thus not capable of comprehending itself from the very beginning of its existence and of understanding the precise condition in which it was at the beginning. Its natural life is moreover directed from the outset toward dealing with the world and toward its active insertion in the world. This is why the natural direction of the soul life is a going-out-of-itself rather than a turning-into-itself and an abiding "in and with itself." »

« Mystical infused graces impart to the soul an experience of what faith teaches on the indwelling of God in the soul. Those who seek God guided by faith are by their own free effort setting out on the same road and are headed for the same goal to which the mystic is drawn by the grace of infused contemplation. They withdraw from the senses, from the "images" of memory, and even from the natural activities of intellect and will, into the empty loneliness of their inner life to abide there in the darkness of faith-in a simple, loving lifting up of the eyes to the hidden God, who is present under a veil. Here they will rest in deep peace because they have reached the place of their tranquility—until it may please the Lord to transform faith into vision. This, in very sketchy outline, is the "Ascent of Mount Carmel" as taught by our holy father St. John of the Cross. »

« All the forms of corporeal structures are in a stage of "transition" from personal spirit to space-filling matter. They are ways or means by which the spirit forms itself into space. These forms pertain to the spirit as its products and in their ascending scale from the lower to the higher ones—they bear within themselves more and more of the nature of the spirit. Where there is found an internal individual life—such as in the animal soul-a preliminary stage of spiritual life has been attained. »

« This consciousness is not an individual act, not an experiential unit. Nor is the self-conscious ego an object. This means that at this stage there are as yet no opposites of knowledge and an object known, as there are in external and internal apperception.

We mentioned before that the primordial, undivided ego-life already implies a cognitive transcending of the sphere of the pure ego.  I experience my vital impulses and activities as rising from a more or less profound depth. The dark ground from which all human spiritual life arises—the soul-attains in the ego-life to the bright daylight of consciousness (without, however, becoming transparent). »

« And the human ego is so constituted that its life rises out of the dark depth of the soul. The illuminable darkness of the soul makes it understandable why self-knowledge (in the sense of knowing one's own soul) must be regarded as a gradually increasing possession. If such a gradual acquisition is to be a real task, it must be presupposed that the eventual possession is achieved freely. The primordial kind of consciousness, which is integrally associated with all ego-life, is simply given without being initiated by an act of will. But this primordial consciousness may pass over into cognitive activity which as such is free. And because it is free, the passing over into it must also have been freely attainable from the outset.»

« But it is nevertheless true that only those who live collectedly in the depth of their personalities are able to see even the "little things" in their larger context, and—measured by ultimate criteria—these persons are the only ones capable of evaluating these little things correctly and of ordering and regulating their attitudes and actions correspondingly. Their souls are on the way to the ultimate formation and  perfection of their being. On the other hand, in those who only occasionally enter into the depth of the soul and who habitually abide on the surface the depth remains inarticulate and cannot mold the outer layers with its forming power.
Moreover, it is probably that some human beings never attain to this ultimate depth. Not only do they never attain to the perfection of their being and to the thorough formation of their souls in the sense of a determinateness of the essence (Wesensbestimmtheit], but they do not even gain that “initial" or "preliminary" possession of themselves which is a presupposition for any self-possession in the full sense.»


«When human beings actually withdraw from all these surface activities into the interiority of their souls, they find most assuredly not nothing, but there is nonetheless an unaccustomed emptiness and quiet. Listening to “one's own heartbeat," i.e., to the inward being of the soul, cannot satisfy the vital actual impulses and urges of the ego.

The ego will therefore not tarry long in this region unless it is held fast by something else, unless the interiority of the soul is filled with and moved by something other than the external world.

And this is precisely what the masters of the inner life of every age: They were drawn into the innermost center of their being by some force stronger than the entire external world, and they thus experienced the breaking through of a new, mighty, superior life-a life supernatural and divine.» 

« Mystical infused graces impart to the soul an experience of what faith teaches on the indwelling of God in the soul. Those who seek God guided by faith are by their own free effort setting out on the same road and are headed for the same goal to which the mystic is drawn by the grace of infused contemplation. They withdraw from the senses, from the "images" of memory, and even from the natural activities of intellect and will, into the empty loneliness of their inner life to abide there in the darkness of faith-in a simple, loving lifting up of the eyes to the hidden God, who is present under a veil. Here they will rest in deep peace because they have reached the place of their tranquility - until it may please the Lord to transform faith into vision. This, in very sketchy outline, is the Ascent of Mount Carmel as taught by our holy father St. John of the Cross.»

«Here love, knowledge, and will do not coincide, despite the fact that love contains something of the nature of knowledge and something of the nature of the will. For love cannot be completely “blind," and love is free. As was previously stated (in following Duns Scotus), there is nothing that is freer than love, for love commands not only some individual personal urge or impulse, but the personal self in its totality.

Love as such assumes different modes and forms in the realm of the finite. As the love with which the lower loves the higher it is more in the nature of desire and primarily disposed to receiving.

As the love with which the higher loves the lower, it is more in the nature of a free giving out of personal superabundance. But to be love in the true sense, it must always be a self-giving (Hingabe). Therefore, a desire which looks only for personal gain without a willingness to self-giving does not merit the name of love.»

VIII. The Meaning and Foundation of Individual Being

« On the other hand, whenever the species is divisible and communicable the indivisibility and incommunicability must have their cause in something else. And since that which determines the species is the form, the essential nature of individual being—the inner principle whereby individual things exist (principium individuationis formale) - must be sought on the side of matter. Only in the corporeal world, therefore, can there exist individual things of the same species.»

«The human soul, on the other hand, possesses this kind of independence, “because it carries (substat) the spiritual accidents as well as itself when it is separated from the body, i.e., the soul is in and by itself (subsistit)." And because of the soul's separability from the body, the second kind of independence or self-dependence—the one mentioned under (b) above-may also be attributed to it. The soul is nevertheless only imperfectly self-dependent” because “notwithstanding the fact that it has its being exclusively for itself, it is by its very nature ordained to sharing its being with some other." The soul is “complete as a substance" but "incomplete as a species," because by its nature it is a form that can be communicated to a proportionate matter and when thus communicated, it shares its being with matter..»

«The whole “passes away" so that “out of it" may arise the part-structures. And every new structure that thus comes to be has its form, a form which contains in itself the particularity of the species. It is the meaning of the being of material substances to serve the building up of spatial structures in which the spirit creates for itself a means of expression. The thoroughly formed structures are thus the language of the spirit, and the end and aim of the forming are "expressive, meaningful structures." External influences may either work in the direction of this end or they may act as impediments.»

«We thus attribute to the form the individual being of the thing. The question is whether individual being is something that accrues to the form or something which pertains to the form internally as a constitutive structural part. By saying that the essential form is incommunicable, we have already established this form as an individual "in itself." But the mere being-individual of one thing—as far as the content is concerned-differs not at all from the being individual of another thing. The being individual pertains to the empty form of the thing. If two individual things are to be distinguished as this or that, they must have something distinctive above and beyond their being individual. In the case of material things that are alike, this element of distinction is their share in matter (Stoffanteill) by which they differ spatially from each other. We shall have to ponder the question whether in the case of individual things of a different genus this share in matter is replaced by something else.»
« Pure geometrical structures, therefore, do not have the human intellect as a personal carrier as is the case with thinking and actual thought content (in the sense of a product of thinking). Is their personal carrier then perhaps the Spirit (Geist] of God? This is true in the sense in which it is said that all being proceeds from God and is sustained and maintained by God, and in the sense in which in particular every meaning has its home and abode in the Logos. 
But just as things in their actuality are created and sustained by God and are yet by the act of creation placed outside the divine being and into and upon their own being, so the meaningful structures [Sinngebilde], the archetypes of actual things, are in a way placed outside of the Divine Spirit - yet nonetheless encompassed or enclosed by the Divine Spirit-as self-contained units and as a "creation anteceding creation." The human intellect discovers these meaningful structures and has to adapt its thinking to their norm. The world of things as fashioned in their image and according to their measure. »

« But we have seen, moreover, that the I is not to be conceived as a mere pure ego [ein blosses reines Ich]; that the pure ego is, as it were, only the portal through which the life of the human person passes on its way from the depth of the soul to the lucidity of consciousness. And the innermost center of the soul, its most authentic and most spiritual part, is not colorless and shapeless, but has a particular form of its own. The soul feels it when it is “in its own self," when it is “self-collected." This innermost center of the soul cannot be grasped in such a manner that it could be given a universal name, nor can it be compared with anything else. It cannot be divided into properties, character traits and the like, because it is located greater depth than any of these. »

« If we then feel our own essence or nature as well as the essences or natures of others to be thus constituted, and if we feel this "thus" [So] to be something "unique," then this feeling, as a special mode of primordial experience, bears within itself its own justification.»

« I believe I am justified in assuming, on the basis of innermost self-consciousness and our understanding of the general form of the being-person deriving therefrom, the uniqueness of the innermost center of each human soul and therewith the entire human person, insofar as the person receives its form from this deepest interiority. »

« To become acutely aware of the integral unity of those more limited units of which we are members and to become conscious of our membership in them, it is of special importance that we experience their difference from other similar communities which yet strike us as foreign.

On the other hand, to gain an acute awareness of humanity or humankind as of the totality which encompasses and sustains us, it is of signal importance for us to realize experientially that common bond which links us, notwithstanding all the differences—with peoples and individuals of every age and clime, and to be conscious of the fact that by our contacts with foreign members of the human race our own being is enriched and perfected. »

« If it is true that the entire creation was prefigured and predesigned in the Logos, this is true in a very special sense of the human race. For it is, after all, the meaning of being human to embrace and unite heaven and earth, God and creation. The human body is composed of the material elements of the earth. It is unified and structurally formed by the soul which—as a spiritual-personal substance—is nearer to God than all nonpersonal structures and capable of being united with him. No closer and stronger union of separated natures is possible than that union in one Person as it was consummated by the incarnation of the Word.»


 Mirek @Słupsk & @Lodz (started on September 20th, 2020, finished on November, 28th, 2021) 

Macrospherology of humans. Globes - volume two of Peter Sloterdijk's Spheres

I have been reading the second volume of Sloterdijk's magnum opus for a couple of months now. I still haven't found the time for a f...