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."

https://www.amazon.com/Globes-Spheres-Macrospherology-Semiotext-Foreign/dp/1584351608  

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

         Nietzsche....
" “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:

FECENI LA DIVINA POTESTATE,  
LA SOMMA SAPIENZA E’L PRIMO AMORE

DIVINE OMNIPOTENCE CREATED ME,  
AND HIGHEST WISDOM JOINED WITH PRIMAL LOVE

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 


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...