I was just re-constructing with Arié the fire from Be ready to lose everything , what had preceded it and what followed… It’s almost six months since then and only the other day i gathered the courage to climb up the Gorica Hill and see with my own eyes what is left of it. I am not sure what i expected, but what i’ve seen had taken me by surprise and left me with a profound admiration for the powers of the nature.
You’d know that i am a city girl, i am not so much into wandering clouds, drifting waves & all that jazz – and, before you ask, i am not impressed by Sergei Yesenin the least (except for his being married to grand Isadora Duncan and the fact that they met at the house in which Bulgakov lived while writing Master and Margarita, but that’s a topic unto itself.)
With Vuk – my friends’ kid whom i consider my own – we studied Beckett earlier this evening, and to get to absurdism, we needed to go through scholasticism, Tomas Aquinas and to tackle Spinoza and his glorification of the nature as well. Might sound complicated, but if the Holy Torah can be thought while standing on one leg, as the saying goes, then both Aquinas and Spinoza are piece of cake, no?
It is so actually – all mystification, mental onania and ego trips aside, Aquinas wasn’t even a philosopher per se, he was a dogmatic persuading the reader into presumably pre-existing truths, that ain’t philosophy, but brain washing.
And Spinoza… dunno, the history of philosophy is full of my fellow Jews desperately looking for God in all the places where He can’t be found, in my opinion all of them would have being better of studying the Torah, but anyway – you can imagine that i find little worth in Spinoza’s musings too.
Absurdists do impress me though, i love Beckett and was supposed to write the PhD thesis on Daniil Kharms – the thing is that the program was offered in Voronezh only and in our parts you don’t want to live anywhere else but in the capital, that’s how i ended up with doctoral theses in methodics at Pushkin Uni in Moscow … but that’s another story too.
Anyhow, in “Waiting for Godot” , Estragon says:”We should turn resolutely towards nature”, but then they decide together with Vladimir that it has been done before and isn’t really worth it – there, Spinoza written off in three lines.
That’s the genius of Beckett and minimalism, G-d forbid that Aquinas is reincarnated – it would have taken him all the volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica to come to that which S.B. said in ten words or so.
Of course, i have my own absurdist discourse – and it is definitely not connected to lurking behind it existentialism; it’s that writing style of Beckett and Kharms too, to me is equal to meditating on Zen Koans… it’s absurd, it waits around the corner for your analytic thinking – jumps at it and takes it over by surprise; after the absurdists had seized your logyc and pre-thought concepts, and went on run with them – you are left… in the zone, some label it Dao, some – Nirvana, whichever suits you.
There are all the answers – in case you are looking for them, but if you have arrived here, it means you are not looking anymore… absurd, i know – but only if starting from the dualistic thinking in the first place.
Anyhow, if observing the nature in a way, unadulterated by Spinoza’s idolization and without any other expectations from which all human disappointment stems – even a disgruntled city dweller like me has to admit it’s downright marvelous.
You see, what left me in awe during the other day’s hike was the fact that the hill above the city has totally recovered meanwhile – in the place of almost each burned down tree, there are two or three babies growing up… And all i could think of was the I Ching’s Hexagram 49, Revolution… I think pretty much everything has been said on it, here are two excellent articles – this one i discovered by chance and was impressed by author’s writing style, creativity and – at the same time – her academic approach (just check out how meticulously are listed the sources – such an academic thing to do ; ) the other is by my favorite contemporary I Ching Scholar, Hilary Barret, whose interpretations to me personally are just the perfect blend of Confucianism and Taoism.
Other sources definitely worth checking out, yet unavailable online are Cleary’s “Taoist I Ching” which explains the 49th hexagram in terms of refining Yin energy – as an essential step in the process of producing the (inner) alchemical elixir* and, of course, “The Complete I Ching” by the Taoist Master Alfred Huang as the latter gives the best insight into related Chinese ideograms/ characters.
(*According to Huang, the lake in the image is metal related to the West and fire is the fire associated with the South; refining metal by fire produces brightness, the metal melts and returns to the root. In preceding it hexagram 48, joy is produced from the midst of danger – this one is about taking true Yang in water, so to get out of danger. Thus, to crystallize the elixir and, by doing so, attain joy – one needs to restore yin in fire and take true yang in water – it’s that “simple.” )
As a side note – Huang translates the 49th hexagram as “Abolishing the old” connecting it to Ge ‘s original meaning of alternation and change, which later on extended to mean Revolution as well (both being an integral part of the same process.)
A certain dear to me gentleman with whom i correspond wrote me recently: “you were very quick, hard but in next second soft and beautiful…” not downright quetching, but given that it’s brought up, obviously such attitude is neither expected, nor an everyday occurrence, albeit it is the only natural attitude.
See, weather changes, people change – you are not the same person you were only seven years ago, everything in your body has changed meanwhile, except for the genetic memory… Yours (and mine) being narrowed down to predictability is the society’s ways to keep control, yet it’s the most unnatural thing of all.
One might ask how does that go in hand with so dear to my heart fortune-telling? You see, i don’t believe in fortune-telling, what i do, using various tools, is quite precise diagnostics and based on it prognosis… and those are always made with force majeure in mind.
“morati” is the word for must in my language
no shoulds, no woulds, no coulds
morash means you obey
no questions asked
it’s not the way you speak in English
“móra” means – nightmare
of a kind
which leaves you in sweat
shivering between the sheets
staring at the ceiling
of this surreal peninsula
where every fifty years
the wise shut up,
the fool commences talking
and the scum gets reach
or something like that
“mora” is also – many seas,
albeit we have one only
and ask not for more
(who needs more than one sea?)
“gora “ is mountain,
“gore” is worse
and it also means burns…
And the city in which I live is PodGORica,
The city under the hill
Baby-mountain so to say
And the main of its six rivers
Which, as it should, has to
Runs through the city
Which burns upwards,
Toward the murky Balkan sky
ETA for typos