By Dirk C. Fleck
“The only way to overcome irrationality is to grow old,” Orson Welles once said. I have grown old, 77 years to be exact. But when I get involved in a discussion, which happens less and less often, or even in a conversation among acquaintances, I talk unreasonably and confusedly, as my interlocutors never cease to emphasize. That frightens me, because whenever this accusation is made, I think I have been particularly convincing. When asked, I am often told that I don’t stick to the point, always digress, contradict myself, and finally put the actual subject completely into the background. Wow! That cannot remain unanswered.
Confused. Or also muddled, chaotic, bewildered and tangled. By the way, the noun of “wirr” is “Wirrnis”, it is feminine, which reassures me a little. It is related to confusion in thought, which in turn is only proper to the confused who succumbs to its confusion, that is, to the madness par excellence, which was indispensable to all tragedies and myths of world literature. In contrast to my fellow men, I must have taken a few spoonfuls too much from this bowl, otherwise there is no other way to explain the incomprehension that most of my words have come across.
Right now it is Corona time, right? So a few days ago, at a masked ball in the subway, the following not exactly quietly spoken sentences slipped out of my mouth to a friend of mine: “It is inexplicable to me with what arrogance the human species, which in its stripped state is to be settled on the aesthetic level of naked bulls, rises above all other living beings. This can only have something to do with their lack of understanding of the filigree network of nature. And since man does not understand nature, his viruses and parasites understand him better than he understands himself …”.
I have to admit, audacious and provocative. I looked into the laboriously tamed faces of those around me and felt something like pity.
The unconscious always belong to the majority and this knowledge is sufficient for them to give free rein to their arrogance and cynicism with relish, which they, the ranks firmly closed, now do abundantly. Thanks to Corona. If one would tear them out of their terrible “solidarity community” for even one day and put them among sensitive, compassionate people, they would crumble with fear. Yet each and every one of them is much more than what they try to represent in the health dictatorship. Each of us has an idea of ourselves. We define ourselves by qualities such as shyness, generosity, jealousy, ambition, gallantry, superstition, love of animals, tenderness, loyalty, flighty, pedantic, forgetfulness, good faith, responsibility and whatever else we can think of. None of this can be proven in the scientific laboratories. According to the rules of reason (“I only believe what I see”) we do not exist at all. And yet we have an exact idea of our essence, although it eludes any scientific proof. Man possesses nothing, neither his body, which can be taken from him at any time, nor any truth, which is lost to him anyway on the next closer look. We say that our heart bleeds when we are sad. And when we are happy, we say that it overflows with joy. Everything that makes an impression on us, every idea “that comes to us”, does not belong to us, they are ephemeral loans. We are ghosts who define ourselves through our imaginations …
I’m tired of these days, I can’t stand them any more, these eternally same impressions that make up the so-called reality. I can no longer bear the masked figures in the stores of the city that keep their distance, nor the “events” that shape the street scene: A man slams the trunk lid, a dog pees here and there, an airplane, no, two in the sky, “and I say to Erwin, no, I say …”, a bus stops, a child kicks the advertising pillar and others chew listlessly on the piece of time that has been thrown at them. I want to take off my days like a dirty shirt, I want to be the man who sticks his head through the canopy of heaven and stares rapturously into nothingness …
“We pass through it, we accept it, the great death and becoming,” wrote Max Frisch in his novel “Die Schwierigen,” written between 1941 and 1943:
“the shimmering veils of melancholy fall; a cool, clear hardness comes into everything, behind everything. One no longer plays with horror, with the horror of death. A completely different space opens above everything. How does the ecstasy help us? It has no wings, it does not carry in God’s cool spaciousness. It does nothing, whether one raves, whether one stands still like a stubborn donkey and without a word does not want to go on. It does not carry, as little as the cry of despair, as the grin of the mocker. One enters into the service of life and death; meant is a life that is above us, that does not mourn even in autumns, an extra-personal one.“
A friend just called and told me that he would be a little later than agreed. In the house across the street someone extinguishes the candle on the piano and turns on the TV. A child rages around the table. Why do I suddenly feel the need to protect people? And against whom? In view of the fact that we can be swept off this planet together at any second, the enemy images cancel each other out, we are all dust before the wind. Collective death, the end for all, for victims AND tormentors, for the just AND the unjust, for the rich AND the poor – this is the orgasm that history is heading towards. Why do I suddenly make myself the advocate of banality, stupidity, of useless pastimes, of the small everyday life? Very simple: because it still exists, the small everyday life. It is my home, my life. Although the fuse has already been put on him and nothing of him will remain, he is still breathing. All misunderstandings are still hidden in him, he still lies and cheats, hates and sometimes even loves. On days like these it is enough to make peace with him. To cool the wounds I have suffered in my dealings with him so far. On days like this I love all our horror in my little street, where every evening at the Tagesschau the reflection from the TV sets breaks out in the branches of the sick chestnuts.
I sound crazy, don’t I? It’s not bad, I am in good company. The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875 -1961) said, and this is also true for me:
“I am amazed, disappointed, delighted with myself. I am saddened, depressed, enthusiastic. I am all of these things too, and I cannot draw the sum. I am unable to determine a definite value or worthlessness, I have no judgment about myself and my life. In nothing am I quite sure. I have no definite conviction – actually of nothing. I only know that I was born and that I exist, and it is as if I am carried. I exist on the basis of something that I do not know. Despite all the uncertainty, I feel a solidity of what exists and a continuity of my being.“
Do you know how to reduce the excitement of a sociopolitical debate? You look at everything that we humans try to represent, think or do in the light of ephemerality. Then, at a stroke, what we have bashed our heads over becomes insignificant, if not ridiculous. We are no more. Guaranteed. Our traces are erased like footprints on the beach when the tide arrives.
If one imagines all the events that take place on earth as a living “event body”, one would come to the realization that the structure of this body emerges at every moment from the fund of endlessly repeating actions. The knives that are rammed into necks at this moment are always in action, though not quite as often as the national anthems that are sung at this moment or the masks that people of all religious communities are now putting on around the globe. Each event has a very specific volume, a measured potential with which it contributes to the all-embracing life at all times. This all-encompassing life remains unrecognized in its true dimension, which of course does not change its perfection. We humans only gain an extremely limited impression of reality. The fatal thing is that we consider this impression to be reality. But our so-called reality has the depth of a rubber duck.
We live in a time in which the media society weighs the word war in its hands like a kohlrabi at the vegetable market, in which denunciation is made presentable and the muzzle is raised to an accessory. That is why I think it is urgently necessary to tell each other more stories again. After all, there is still a life outside of political intrigue that the alternative media are so keen to analyze, even though it threatens to poison our souls more and more. But there is no need for further information or education about the huge pile of shit that the greed-driven system constantly produces – we have known for centuries the laws by which this system, which despises man and nature, functions.
The energy reserves for those who stay awake in our narcotised civil society are almost empty. Now it is important not to lose our minds in the face of the global activities of a crazy financial and political elite. Forget their stupid game, let’s stay with ourselves, it’s worth it. It is the only thing still worthwhile. Especially when we are there for each other in love. The soulless killers and psychopaths from business and politics have not the slightest idea of this.
I hope that you enjoyed this little, somewhat confused excursion into my world of thoughts. I would like to close this article with a quotation from Emile Cioran (1911 – 1995), the most radical cultural critic of the post-war period:
“The one who knows has separated himself from all fables that create desire and thought, he has disconnected himself from the electric circuit, he no longer consents to deception.”
PS: After language comes silence. I have been trying to reduce myself linguistically for a long time, almost into poetry. Via poetry, or better, compression, into silence. The silence that I have fought for with great effort should be a refreshment for us, not a horror.
Thanks to the author for the right to publish.
Image source: Uhryn Larysa / shutterstock
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