If we think that these human beings have been totally objective, totally dominated by facts, totally true—yes, totally true!—could they then have invented things? Where was the flute before it was invented? And the garden? And dances? And paintings? Absent. Nonexistent. No knowledge could possibly have pulled these things from nature. It was necessary that the imagination become pregnant in order that culture could be born.
quote, john sallis, force of the imagination, 117.
...vision is binocular, that hearing is biaural, that one touches with two hands—this already disturbs the simplicity and stability that the frontal aspect could otherwise seem to possess, especially at a level prior to the workings of horizonality. Already with the binocular image, for instance, there will have been a minute difference of perspective and a corresponding protohorizonal operation.
In this regard the opening of the image onto the thing itself is always already under way...
quote, gaston bachelard, “surrationalism”, in surrealism, ed. julien levy, 188.
There should be no hesitation: one should choose the side where one thinks the most, where one experiments the most artificially, where ideas are the least viscous, where reason loves to be in danger. If, in any experiment, one does not risk one's reason, that experiment is not worthwhile attempting.
The spirit hollows and haunts, moans and mobilizes, in people's and cultures baptized and not. A Hindu Gandhi as well as an Egyptian Anthony, and apparition of Kali as well as a vision of Guadalupe, an event like breaking bread as well as breaking tyranny, haiku as much as romantic poesy, all these persons and events may become the place of being inspired, being inspirited, a holy inhabitation.
Anselm classically defined theology as fides quarens intellectum—“faith seeking understanding.” Not faith that already understands and so no longer needs to seek. That would by definition no longer be theology. Theology is not itself the faith but its quest. If we stop seeking, we are no longer on the way. Faith seeking understanding has then turned into “belief that understands.” It then closes the very root of quarens, from which come both question and quest.
the quest for a New World in literature would be mere escapism if we did not feel that the text was reaching out beyond itself to something of 'ultimate concern' to us. It would be mere fantasy if we did not sense that it was pointing to a mysterious reality which can only be hinted at.
I would like to thank Aaron Cheak for this wonderful translation from Henry Corbin. The selections get to the heart of Corbin's understanding of alchemy. It resonates with the process of concrescence in Alfred North Whitehead. It breaks from any materialism and from any spiritualism. It seeks what Roland Faber writes as the intermezzo, the in-between. It is wholistic, in each different, with resonances when we relate with one another.
A wonderful quote on defining/experiencing/participating in alchemy:
> Not only does it contain a mine of information, it is eminently representative of a conception of alchemy that is neither a simple dramaturgy of the unconscious or psychological allegory, nor a simple manipulation of materials practiced in the manner of a mere chemist or pharmacist. It is an operation at once material and spiritual, the juncture between the two aspects remaining the hidden secret underneath the symbols of the “Philosophers” (as the alchemists designate themselves). And because the ars hieratica integrates the two operations, its locus is in fact a mesocosm (intermonde), of which the ritual form and the cadre of a temple are the best means of imposing the integral representation.
violence does not participate in any order of reasons...it denatures, wrecks, massacres that which it assaults...it is not the stupidity that comes from a lack of intelligence, but much worse: it is the stupidity of le con. It is the calculated absence of thought willed by rigid intelligence.
In the moments of peaceful protest due to the murder of George Floyd, among the many more African Americans that have died due to police violence, I reflect on the above quote as poignant and reveals to us the problem. When persons of authority exert violence on the innocent, when they try to exert their power, they no longer “participate in any order of reasons,” not thinking but having a rigid intelligence. Rigid. This exists in all systems of authority that fail to realize their role to serve people, and not themselves.