Play with the Environment

Following the collapse of the mediaeval ideal came modernity, linking The Renaissance with the Enlightenment. Today, we get a fourth, qualitatively new model of existence for people shaped by consumerism and abundant use of audiovisual media. The civilization formed after Gutenberg’s invention of printing press, is being replaced by the civilization of image, dependent on the information revolution, with the Internet as a special symbol.

In such a model, man plays a peculiar game with the environment. He does not reject religion, science or philosophy outright. He tries to perceive them in a new way, primarily seeing them as some forms of language games. Thus, oftentimes, the question of God is no longer burdened with the concepts once formulated by atheist ideologues. The classic meaning of this questions becomes semantically blurred, when it is said that both theism and atheism constitute a form of our subjective game with the environment.

Josef Zycinski – Postmodernists’ God

Water

I’m a slightly under the influence of Taoism, which says that we need to act like water. Do not make any effort, take life calmly. Everything that man does, so just ends. With the ultimate paralysis. This is the humanity, the tragedy of history. Everything man undertakes ends up as the opposite of what he planned. There is an ironic sense in any history.

There will be a moment that a man will become the exact opposite of everything what he wanted to be. He will see it all too clearly. Emptiness similar to boredom – is not the European experience. This is something Oriental. The emptiness as something positive. Teaching us how to recover from everything.

Emil Cioran – Interviews

Madness of Authorities

In contrast to others he set his face against all discussion of such high matters as the nature of the Universe; how the “cosmos” came into being; or by what forces the celestial phenomena arise. To trouble one’s brain about such matters was, he argued, to play the fool.

He was astonished they did not see how far these problems lay beyond mortal ken; since even those who pride themselves most on their discussion of these points differ from each other, as madmen do.

He set his face against attempts to excogitate the machinery by which the divine power formed its several operations. Not only were these matters beyond man’s faculties to discover, as he believed, but the attempt to search out what the gods had not chosen to reveal could hardly be well pleasing in their sight. Indeed, the man who tortured his brains about such subjects stood a fair chance of losing his wits entirely.

Xenophon – Memorabilia

Otro loco mas

Turning off the electric light he continued the conversation with himself. It is the light of course but it is necessary that the place be clean and pleasant. You do not want music. Certainly you do not want music. Nor can you stand before a bar with dignity although that is all that is provided for these hours.

What did he fear? It was not fear or dread. It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too. It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order. Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada. Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee.

Now, without thinking further, he would go home to his room. He would lie in the bed and finally, with daylight, he would go to sleep. After all, he said to himself, it is probably only insomnia. Many must have it.

Ernest Hemingway – A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

The Lighthouse Keeper

Those who knew him said that he had no luck, and with that they explained everything. He himself became somewhat of a monomaniac. He believed that some mighty and vengeful hand was pursuing him everywhere, on all lands and waters. He did not like, however, to speak of this; only at times, when some one asked him whose hand that could be, he pointed mysteriously to the Polar Star, and said, “It comes from that place.”

Light-house keepers are generally men not young, gloomy, and confined to themselves. If by chance one of them leaves his light- house and goes among men, he walks in the midst of them like a person roused from deep slumber. On the tower there is a lack of minute impressions which in ordinary life teach men to adapt themselves to everything. All that a light-house keeper comes in contact with is gigantic, and devoid of definitely outlined forms. The sky is one whole, the water another; and between those two infinities the soul of man is in loneliness. That is a life in which thought is continual meditation, and out of that meditation nothing rouses the keeper, not even his work. Day is like day as two beads in a rosary, unless changes of weather form the only variety.

Henryk Sienkiewicz – The Lighthouse Keeper Of AspinWall

Joy

He was a very serious, very earnest and very conscientious dope. It was impossible to go to a movie with him without getting involved afterwards in a discussion on empathy, Aristotle, universals, messages and the obligations of the cinema as an art form in a materialistic society. He was a militant idealist who crusaded against racial bigotry by growing faint in its presence. He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it.

Joseph Heller – Catch 22