The Philosophers

This is the place to shave off that long white beard and stop being philosophical; a forum for members to just talk like normal human beings.

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Re: The Philosophers

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:20 pm

Thanks man.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby Fixed Cross » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:41 pm

For those who are interested in transhumanism

http://beforethelight.forumotion.com/t7 ... -nietzsche

A kid taken with transhumanism has seen in Nietzsche a source of passion and is now trying to find a way to reconcile the two on a very basic elementary level of philosophy. Another poster has taken it on him to school him a bit. This process has gained my respect.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:58 pm

I have been kicked out of bed again to deliver this package.

It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby iambiguous » Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:13 pm

barbarianhorde wrote:I have been kicked out of bed again to deliver this package.



Please kick Fixed out of bed and ask him to explain the difference between his take on astrology and the take of those folks who claim that the position of the stars and planets and moons is pertinent to events that will happen to us in the future.

Does he go that far?

After all, a crucial distinction between most astrologers today and most astronomers is that the latter [to the best of my knowledge] do not connect the dots between the position of celestial bodies and human interactions. Well, aside from the effect of things like gravity -- tides etc.

In fact, astronomers might even point out that some of the stars that we see in the sky may no longer exist as such at all. The distances are so great that we may well be seeing only the light that was once emitted from them when they still had light to emit.

Astrology in this sense -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology -- is basically just a way in which particular folks can get a grip on all of the variables in their life they either do not understand or do not control. It is a psychologically comforting way in which to let others tell them what to do because [and this seems rather ironic to me] it is going to happen that way anyway.

In other words, I have never really been able to ascertain fully where the astrologer's prediction stops and human autonomy begins.

Perhaps Fixed can cite particular examples from his own life.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:38 pm

I was sent here again, just as I came back and had my soup I was put on the horse. The message this time is that Fixed Cross appreciates the pirates on this ship and says Aye.

I shall be forthright and claim that whatever info you ask for, is in the video Fixed Cross has asked me to bring over.
My back is certain it wont be the last video he commands me to carry over... questions will always, under His Noble Reign, be answered if they are to the point of the point that was being made etc etc etc

Sigh gotta go back and its getting to sundown soon.

The sun may be dead now, it still influences you, 8 minutes.
Some people think the sun does not matter on human life, or the moon.
Astrology is the science of how if the sun shines warmer, that has an effect.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:47 pm

barbarianhorde wrote:I was sent here again, just as I came back and had my soup I was put on the horse. The message this time is that Fixed Cross appreciates the pirates on this ship and says Aye.

I shall be forthright and claim that whatever info you ask for, is in the video Fixed Cross has asked me to bring over.
My back is certain it wont be the last video he commands me to carry over... questions will always, under His Noble Reign, be answered if they are to the point of the point that was being made etc etc etc

Sigh gotta go back and its getting to sundown soon.

The sun may be dead now, it still influences you, 8 minutes.
Some people think the sun does not matter on human life, or the moon.
Astrology is the science of how if the sun shines warmer, that has an effect.


It appears [to me] that the message that Fixed Cross wishes to convey regarding, among other things, astrology and VO is alwys rather elliptical and enigmatic.

There is never quite enough information to pin him down.

At least not pertaining to those things that interest me philosophically. And I do try to avoid being elliptical and enigmatic myself.

Besides, I'm still not entirely convinced that his contributions here are were not [by and large] an exercise in irony.

In other words, he has set VO up as an example of what some "serious philosophers" are able to talk themselves into.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:01 am

Fixed hammers on people understanding the aim of this thread. He had first tried to enlist Sauwelios to keep this updated but then the task fell on me. Now Im supposed to ask you to revisit this video.

Jakob wrote:


I have faith he knows why. It is all a bit over my head, I can relate to your state of confusion (not confusius!) extremely well to be honest.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:05 am

But personally I think these videos by Zoot are better.

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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:13 am

In as far as the Sauwelios video goes I would like to analyze it. From where Im standing, it is as if he is saying that the superman is the creator of morality. But isnt the superman.... beyond good and evil?

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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:14 am

Now here is a video a first one where Fixed Cross took seriously the claims that people were vomiting on account of motion sickness?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHw07uKvnqk
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:27 am

However, here is the truth.


8) 8) 8)
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:31 am

Yes he goes far.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:36 am



Fixed Cross!! wrote:"Siu Nim Tao (小念頭/小念头; xiǎo niàn tóu; Yale Cantonese: síu nihm tàuh; "little idea" or "little imagination") or Siu Lim Tao (小練頭/小练头; xiǎo liàn tóu; Yale Cantonese: síu lihn tàuh; "little practice")." [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wing_Chun ]

"The first, and most important form in Wing Chun, Siu Lim Tao, is the foundation or "seed" of the art from which all succeeding forms and techniques depend. Fundamental rules of balance and body structure are developed here. Using a car analogy: for some branches this would provide the chassis, for others this is the engine. It serves basically as the alphabet for the system. Some branches view the symmetrical stance as the fundamental fighting stance, while others see it as more a training stance used in developing technique." [ ibid.]





I will gain many criticisms from fellow practitioners, for calling myself a Sifu, especially since there are a couple of glitches in the form This is however the internal art, which only select students learn, which I must hide from view.



disclaimer
My right to call myself a sifu has come about by successfully teaching the basic forward-pressure principle up to the degree of combat effectiveness to several men and a woman. I will not openly pay tribute to my sifu, as he is already being unfairly criticized by the community, which consists mainly of Brazilian jiu jitsu and has no inkling about the internal art.



fuckk. Any masseuses want to treat my back???
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:46 am

UUUUIURRRKK



this day man.

it s not just me running my ass off, theres also an election going on and people are not watching the road but their cells.


But so here I am speedily as only the barbarianhorde can run.

Fixed says to say that Nietzsche wrote very early on on self-valuing. even before his first book.



On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense

Frederich Nietzsche



1

In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the highest and most mendacious minute of "world history"—yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.

One might invent such a fable and still not have illustrated sufficiently how wretched, how shadowy and flighty, how aimless and arbitrary, the human intellect appears in nature. There have been eternities when it did not exist; and when it is done for again, nothing will have happened. For this intellect has no further mission that would lead beyond human life. It is human, rather, and only its owner and producer gives it such importance, as if the world pivoted around it. But if we could communicate with the mosquito, then we would learn that he floats through the air with the same self-importance, feeling within itself the flying center of the world. There is nothing in nature so despicable or insignificant that it cannot immediately be blown up like a bag by a slight breath of this power of knowledge; and just as every porter wants an admirer, the proudest human being, the philosopher, thinks that he sees on the eyes of the universe telescopically focused from all sides on his actions and thoughts.

It is strange that this should be the effect of the intellect, for after all it was given only as an aid to the most unfortunate, most delicate, most evanescent beings in order to hold them for a minute in existence, from which otherwise, without this gift, they would have every reason to flee as quickly as Lessing's son. [In a famous letter to Johann Joachim Eschenburg (December 31, 1778), Lessing relates the death of his infant son, who "understood the world so well that he left it at the first opportunity."] That haughtiness which goes with knowledge and feeling, which shrouds the eyes and senses of man in a blinding fog, therefore deceives him about the value of existence by carrying in itself the most flattering evaluation of knowledge itself. Its most universal effect is deception; but even its most particular effects have something of the same character.

The intellect, as a means for the preservation of the individual, unfolds its chief powers in simulation; for this is the means by which the weaker, less robust individuals preserve themselves, since they are denied the chance of waging the struggle for existence with horns or the fangs of beasts of prey. In man this art of simulation reaches its peak: here deception, flattering, lying and cheating, talking behind the back, posing, living in borrowed splendor, being masked, the disguise of convention, acting a role before others and before oneself—in short, the constant fluttering around the single flame of vanity is so much the rule and the law that almost nothing is more incomprehensible than how an honest and pure urge for truth could make its appearance among men. They are deeply immersed in illusions and dream images; their eye glides only over the surface of things and sees "forms"; their feeling nowhere lead into truth, but contents itself with the reception of stimuli, playing, as it were, a game of blindman's buff on the backs of things. Moreover, man permits himself to be lied to at night, his life long, when he dreams, and his moral sense never even tries to prevent this—although men have been said to have overcome snoring by sheer will power.

What, indeed, does man know of himself! Can he even once perceive himself completely, laid out as if in an illuminated glass case? Does not nature keep much the most from him, even about his body, to spellbind and confine him in a proud, deceptive consciousness, far from the coils of the intestines, the quick current of the blood stream, and the involved tremors of the fibers? She threw away the key; and woe to the calamitous curiosity which might peer just once through a crack in the chamber of consciousness and look down, and sense that man rests upon the merciless, the greedy, the insatiable, the murderous, in the indifference of his ignorance—hanging in dreams, as it were, upon the back of a tiger. In view of this, whence in all the world comes the urge for truth?

Insofar as the individual wants to preserve himself against other individuals, in a natural state of affairs he employs the intellect mostly for simulation alone. But because man, out of need and boredom, wants to exist socially, herd-fashion, he requires a peace pact and he endeavors to banish at least the very crudest bellum omni contra omnes [war of all against all] from his world. This peace pact brings with it something that looks like the first step toward the attainment of this enigmatic urge for truth. For now that is fixed which henceforth shall be "truth"; that is, a regularly valid and obligatory designation of things is invented, and this linguistic legislation also furnishes the first laws of truth: for it is here that the contrast between truth and lie first originates. The liar uses the valid designations, the words, to make the unreal appear as real; he says, for example, "I am rich," when the word "poor" would be the correct designation of his situation. He abuses the fixed conventions by arbitrary changes or even by reversals of the names. When he does this in a self-serving way damaging to others, then society will no longer trust him but exclude him. Thereby men do not flee from being deceived as much as from being damaged by deception: what they hate at this stage is basically not the deception but the bad, hostile consequences of certain kinds of deceptions. In a similarly limited way man wants the truth: he desires the agreeable life-preserving consequences of truth, but he is indifferent to pure knowledge, which has no consequences; he is even hostile to possibly damaging and destructive truths. And, moreover, what about these conventions of language? Are they really the products of knowledge, of the sense of truth? Do the designations and the things coincide? Is language the adequate expression of all realities?

Only through forgetfulness can man ever achieve the illusion of possessing a "truth" in the sense just designated. If he does not wish to be satisfied with truth in the form of a tautology—that is, with empty shells—then he will forever buy illusions for truths. What is a word? The image of a nerve stimulus in sounds. But to infer from the nerve stimulus, a cause outside us, that is already the result of a false and unjustified application of the principle of reason. If truth alone had been the deciding factor in the genesis of language, and if the standpoint of certainty had been decisive for designations, then how could we still dare to say "the stone is hard," as if "hard" were something otherwise familiar to us, and not merely a totally subjective stimulation! We separate things according to gender, designating the tree as masculine and the plant as feminine. What arbitrary assignments! How far this oversteps the canons of certainty! We speak of a "snake": this designation touches only upon its ability to twist itself and could therefore also fit a worm. What arbitrary differentiations! What one-sided preferences, first for this, then for that property of a thing! The different languages, set side by side, show that what matters with words is never the truth, never an adequate expression; else there would not be so many languages. The "thing in itself" (for that is what pure truth, without consequences, would be) is quite incomprehensible to the creators of language and not at all worth aiming for. One designates only the relations of things to man, and to express them one calls on the boldest metaphors. A nerve stimulus, first transposed into an image—first metaphor. The image, in turn, imitated by a sound—second metaphor. And each time there is a complete overleaping of one sphere, right into the middle of an entirely new and different one. One can imagine a man who is totally deaf and has never had a sensation of sound and music. Perhaps such a person will gaze with astonishment at Chladni's sound figures; perhaps he will discover their causes in the vibrations of the string and will now swear that he must know what men mean by "sound." It is this way with all of us concerning language; we believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colors, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things—metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities. In the same way that the sound appears as a sand figure, so the mysterious X of the thing in itself first appears as a nerve stimulus, then as an image, and finally as a sound. Thus the genesis of language does not proceed logically in any case, and all the material within and with which the man of truth, the scientist, and the philosopher later work and build, if not derived from never-never land, is a least not derived from the essence of things.

Let us still give special consideration to the formation of concepts. Every word immediately becomes a concept, inasmuch as it is not intended to serve as a reminder of the unique and wholly individualized original experience to which it owes its birth, but must at the same time fit innumerable, more or less similar cases—which means, strictly speaking, never equal—in other words, a lot of unequal cases. Every concept originates through our equating what is unequal. No leaf ever wholly equals another, and the concept "leaf" is formed through an arbitrary abstraction from these individual differences, through forgetting the distinctions; and now it gives rise to the idea that in nature there might be something besides the leaves which would be "leaf"—some kind of original form after which all leaves have been woven, marked, copied, colored, curled, and painted, but by unskilled hands, so that no copy turned out to be a correct, reliable, and faithful image of the original form. We call a person "honest." Why did he act so honestly today? we ask. Our answer usually sounds like this: because of his honesty. Honesty! That is to say again: the leaf is the cause of the leaves. After all, we know nothing of an essence-like quality named "honesty"; we know only numerous individualized, and thus unequal actions, which we equate by omitting the unequal and by then calling them honest actions. In the end, we distill from them a qualitas occulta [hidden quality] with the name of "honesty." We obtain the concept, as we do the form, by overlooking what is individual and actual; whereas nature is acquainted with no forms and no concepts, and likewise with no species, but only with an X which remains inaccessible and undefinable for us. For even our contrast between individual and species is something anthropomorphic and does not originate in the essence of things; although we should not presume to claim that this contrast does not correspond o the essence of things: that would of course be a dogmatic assertion and, as such, would be just as indemonstrable as its opposite.

What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms—in short, a sum of human relations which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.

We still do not know where the urge for truth comes from; for as yet we have heard only of the obligation imposed by society that it should exist: to be truthful means using the customary metaphors—in moral terms: the obligation to lie according to a fixed convention, to lie herd-like in a style obligatory for all. Now man of course forgets that this is the way things stand for him. Thus he lies in the manner indicated, unconsciously and in accordance with habits which are centuries' old; and precisely by means of this unconsciousness and forgetfulness he arrives at his sense of truth. From the sense that one is obliged to designate one thing as red, another as cold, and a third as mute, there arises a moral impulse in regard to truth. The venerability, reliability, and utility of truth is something which a person demonstrates for himself from the contrast with the liar, whom no one trusts and everyone excludes. As a rational being, he now places his behavior under the control of abstractions. He will no longer tolerate being carried away by sudden impressions, by intuitions. First he universalizes all these impressions into less colorful, cooler concepts, so that he can entrust the guidance of his life and conduct to them. Everything which distinguishes man from the animals depends upon this ability to volatilize perceptual metaphors in a schema, and thus to dissolve an image into a concept. For something is possible in the realm of these schemata which could never be achieved with the vivid first impressions: the construction of a pyramidal order according to castes and degrees, the creation of a new world of laws, privileges, subordinations, and clearly marked boundaries—a new world, one which now confronts that other vivid world of first impressions as more solid, more universal, better known, and more human than the immediately perceived world, and thus as the regulative and imperative world. Whereas each perceptual metaphor is individual and without equals and is therefore able to elude all classification, the great edifice of concepts displays the rigid regularity of a Roman columbarium and exhales in logic that strength and coolness which is characteristic of mathematics. Anyone who has felt this cool breath [of logic] will hardly believe that even the concept—which is as bony, foursquare, and transposable as a die—is nevertheless merely the residue of a metaphor, and that the illusion which is involved in the artistic transference of a nerve stimulus into images is, if not the mother, then the grandmother of every single concept. But in this conceptual crap game "truth" means using every die in the designated manner, counting its spots accurately, fashioning the right categories, and never violating the order of caste and class rank. Just as the Romans and Etruscans cut up the heavens with rigid mathematical lines and confined a god within each of the spaces thereby delimited, as within a templum, so every people has a similarly mathematically divided conceptual heaven above themselves and henceforth thinks that truth demands that each conceptual god be sought only within his own sphere. Here one may certainly admire man as a mighty genius of construction, who succeeds in piling an infinitely complicated dome of concepts upon an unstable foundation, and, as it were, on running water. Of course, in order to be supported by such a foundation, his construction must be like one constructed of spiders' webs: delicate enough to be carried along by the waves, strong enough not to be blown apart by every wind. As a genius of construction man raises himself far above the bee in the following way: whereas the bee builds with wax that he gathers from nature, man builds with the far more delicate conceptual material which he first has to manufacture from himself. In this he is greatly to be admired, but not on account of his drive for truth or for pure knowledge of things. When someone hides something behind a bush and looks for it again in the same place and finds it there as well, there is not much to praise in such seeking and finding. Yet this is how matters stand regarding seeking and finding "truth" within the realm of reason. If I make up the definition of a mammal, and then, after inspecting a camel, declare "look, a mammal" I have indeed brought a truth to light in this way, but it is a truth of limited value. That is to say, it is a thoroughly anthropomorphic truth which contains not a single point which would be "true in itself" or really and universally valid apart from man. At bottom, what the investigator of such truths is seeking is only the metamorphosis of the world into man. He strives to understand the world as something analogous to man, and at best he achieves by his struggles the feeling of assimilation. Similar to the way in which astrologers considered the stars to be in man 's service and connected with his happiness and sorrow, such an investigator considers the entire universe in connection with man: the entire universe as the infinitely fractured echo of one original sound-man; the entire universe as the infinitely multiplied copy of one original picture-man. His method is to treat man as the measure of all things, but in doing so he again proceeds from the error of believing that he has these things [which he intends to measure] immediately before him as mere objects. He forgets that the original perceptual metaphors are metaphors and takes them to be the things themselves.

Only by forgetting this primitive world of metaphor can one live with any repose, security, and consistency: only by means of the petrification and coagulation of a mass of images which originally streamed from the primal faculty of human imagination like a fiery liquid, only in the invincible faith that this sun, this window, this table is a truth in itself, in short, only by forgetting that he himself is an artistically creating subject, does man live with any repose, security, and consistency. If but for an instant he could escape from the prison walls of this faith, his "self consciousness" would be immediately destroyed. It is even a difficult thing for him to admit to himself that the insect or the bird perceives an entirely different world from the one that man does, and that the question of which of these perceptions of the world is the more correct one is quite meaningless, for this would have to have been decided previously in accordance with the criterion of the correct perception, which means, in accordance with a criterion which is not available. But in any case it seems to me that the correct perception—which would mean the adequate expression of an object in the subject—is a contradictory impossibility. For between two absolutely different spheres, as between subject and object, there is no causality, no correctness, and no expression; there is, at most, an aesthetic relation: I mean, a suggestive transference, a stammering translation into a completely foreign tongue—for which I there is required, in any case, a freely inventive intermediate sphere and mediating force. "Appearance" is a word that contains many temptations, which is why I avoid it as much as possible. For it is not true that the essence of things "appears" in the empirical world. A painter without hands who wished to express in song the picture before his mind would, by means of this substitution of spheres, still reveal more about the essence of things than does the empirical world. Even the relationship of a nerve stimulus to the generated image is not a necessary one. But when the same image has been generated millions of times and has been handed down for many generations and finally appears on the same occasion every time for all mankind, then it acquires at last the same meaning for men it would have if it were the sole necessary image and if the relationship of the original nerve stimulus to the generated image were a strictly causal one. In the same manner, an eternally repeated dream would certainly be felt and judged to be reality. But the hardening and congealing of a metaphor guarantees absolutely nothing concerning its necessity and exclusive justification.

Every person who is familiar with such considerations has no doubt felt a deep mistrust of all idealism of this sort: just as often as he has quite early convinced himself of the eternal consistency, omnipresence, and fallibility of the laws of nature. He has concluded that so far as we can penetrate here—from the telescopic heights to the microscopic depths—everything is secure, complete, infinite, regular, and without any gaps. Science will be able to dig successfully in this shaft forever, and the things that are discovered will harmonize with and not contradict each other. How little does this resemble a product of the imagination, for if it were such, there should be some place where the illusion and reality can be divined. Against this, the following must be said: if each us had a different kind of sense perception—if we could only perceive things now as a bird, now as a worm, now as a plant, or if one of us saw a stimulus as red, another as blue, while a third even heard the same stimulus as a sound—then no one would speak of such a regularity of nature, rather, nature would be grasped only as a creation which is subjective in the highest degree. After all, what is a law of nature as such for us? We are not acquainted with it in itself, but only with its effects, which means in its relation to other laws of nature—which, in turn, are known to us only as sums of relations. Therefore all these relations always refer again to others and are thoroughly incomprehensible to us in their essence. All that we actually know about these laws of nature is what we ourselves bring to them—time and space, and therefore relationships of succession and number. But everything marvelous about the laws of nature, everything that quite astonishes us therein and seems to demand explanation, everything that might lead us to distrust idealism: all this is completely and solely contained within the mathematical strictness and inviolability of our representations of time and space. But we produce these representations in and from ourselves with the same necessity with which the spider spins. If we are forced to comprehend all things only under these forms, then it ceases to be amazing that in all things we actually comprehend nothing but these forms. For they must all bear within themselves the laws of number, and it is precisely number which is most astonishing in things. All that conformity to law, which impresses us so much in the movement of the stars and in chemical processes, coincides at bottom with those properties which we bring to things. Thus it is we who impress ourselves in this way. In conjunction with this, it of course follows that the artistic process of metaphor formation with which every sensation begins in us already presupposes these forms and thus occurs within them. The only way in which the possibility of subsequently constructing a new conceptual edifice from metaphors themselves can be explained is by the firm persistence of these original forms That is to say, this conceptual edifice is an imitation of temporal, spatial, and numerical relationships in the domain of metaphor.

2

We have seen how it is originally language which works on the construction of concepts, a labor taken over in later ages by science. Just as the bee simultaneously constructs cells and fills them with honey, so science works unceasingly on this great columbarium of concepts, the graveyard of perceptions. It is always building new, higher stories and shoring up, cleaning, and renovating the old cells; above all, it takes pains to fill up this monstrously towering framework and to arrange therein the entire empirical world, which is to say, the anthropomorphic world. Whereas the man of action binds his life to reason and its concepts so that he will not be swept away and lost, the scientific investigator builds his hut right next to the tower of science so that he will be able to work on it and to find shelter for himself beneath those bulwarks which presently exist. And he requires shelter, for there are frightful powers which continuously break in upon him, powers which oppose scientific truth with completely different kinds of "truths" which bear on their shields the most varied sorts of emblems.

The drive toward the formation of metaphors is the fundamental human drive, which one cannot for a single instant dispense with in thought, for one would thereby dispense with man himself. This drive is not truly vanquished and scarcely subdued by the fact that a regular and rigid new world is constructed as its prison from its own ephemeral products, the concepts. It seeks a new realm and another channel for its activity, and it finds this in myth and in art generally. This drive continually confuses the conceptual categories and cells by bringing forward new transferences, metaphors, and metonymies. It continually manifests an ardent desire to refashion the world which presents itself to waking man, so that it will be as colorful, irregular, lacking in results and coherence, charming, and eternally new as the world of dreams. Indeed, it is only by means of the rigid and regular web of concepts that the waking man clearly sees that he is awake; and it is precisely because of this that he sometimes thinks that he must be dreaming when this web of concepts is torn by art. Pascal is right in maintaining that if the same dream came to us every night we would be just as occupied with it as we are with the things that we see every day. "If a workman were sure to dream for twelve straight hours every night that he was king," said Pascal, "I believe that he would be just as happy as a king who dreamt for twelve hours every night that he was a workman." In fact, because of the way that myth takes it for granted that miracles are always happening, the waking life of a mythically inspired people—the ancient Greeks, for instance—more closely resembles a dream than it does the waking world of a scientifically disenchanted thinker. When every tree can suddenly speak as a nymph, when a god in the shape of a bull can drag away maidens, when even the goddess Athena herself is suddenly seen in the company of Peisastratus driving through the market place of Athens with a beautiful team of horses—and this is what the honest Athenian believed—then, as in a dream, anything is possible at each moment, and all of nature swarms around man as if it were nothing but a masquerade of the gods, who were merely amusing themselves by deceiving men in all these shapes.

But man has an invincible inclination to allow himself to be deceived and is, as it were, enchanted with happiness when the rhapsodist tells him epic fables as if they were true, or when the actor in the theater acts more royally than any real king. So long as it is able to deceive without injuring, that master of deception, the intellect, is free; it is released from its former slavery and celebrates its Saturnalia. It is never more luxuriant, richer, prouder, more clever and more daring. With creative pleasure it throws metaphors into confusion and displaces the boundary stones of abstractions, so that, for example, it designates the stream as "the moving path which carries man where he would otherwise walk." The intellect has now thrown the token of bondage from itself. At other times it endeavors, with gloomy officiousness, to show the way and to demonstrate the tools to a poor individual who covets existence; it is like a servant who goes in search of booty and prey for his master. But now it has become the master and it dares to wipe from its face the expression of indigence. In comparison with its previous conduct, everything that it now does bears the mark of dissimulation, just as that previous conduct did of distortion. The free intellect copies human life, but it considers this life to be something good and seems to be quite satisfied with it. That immense framework and planking of concepts to which the needy man clings his whole life long in order to preserve himself is nothing but a scaffolding and toy for the most audacious feats of the liberated intellect. And when it smashes this framework to pieces, throws it into confusion, and puts it back together in an ironic fashion, pairing the most alien things and separating the closest, it is demonstrating that it has no need of these makeshifts of indigence and that it will now be guided by intuitions rather than by concepts. There is no regular path which leads from these intuitions into the land of ghostly schemata, the land of abstractions. There exists no word for these intuitions; when man sees them he grows dumb, or else he speaks only in forbidden metaphors and in unheard-of combinations of concepts. He does this so that by shattering and mocking the old conceptual barriers he may at least correspond creatively to the impression of the powerful present intuition.

There are ages in which the rational man and the intuitive man stand side by side, the one in fear of intuition, the other with scorn for abstraction. The latter is just as irrational as the former is inartistic. They both desire to rule over life: the former, by knowing how to meet his principle needs by means of foresight, prudence, and regularity; the latter, by disregarding these needs and, as an "overjoyed hero," counting as real only that life which has been disguised as illusion and beauty. Whenever, as was perhaps the case in ancient Greece, the intuitive man handles his weapons more authoritatively and victoriously than his opponent, then, under favorable circumstances, a culture can take shape and art's mastery over life can be established. All the manifestations of such a life will be accompanied by this dissimulation, this disavowal of indigence, this glitter of metaphorical intuitions, and, in general, this immediacy of deception: neither the house, nor the gait, nor the clothes, nor the clay jugs give evidence of having been invented because of a pressing need. It seems as if they were all intended to express an exalted happiness, an Olympian cloudlessness, and, as it were, a playing with seriousness. The man who is guided by concepts and abstractions only succeeds by such means in warding off misfortune, without ever gaining any happiness for himself from these abstractions. And while he aims for the greatest possible freedom from pain, the intuitive man, standing in the midst of a culture, already reaps from his intuition a harvest of continually inflowing illumination, cheer, and redemption—in addition to obtaining a defense against misfortune. To be sure, he suffers more intensely, when he suffers; he even suffers more frequently, since he does not understand how to learn from experience and keeps falling over and over again into the same ditch. He is then just as irrational in sorrow as he is in happiness: he cries aloud and will not be consoled. How differently the stoical man who learns from experience and governs himself by concepts is affected by the same misfortunes! This man, who at other times seeks nothing but sincerity, truth, freedom from deception, and protection against ensnaring surprise attacks, now executes a masterpiece of deception: he executes his masterpiece of deception in misfortune, as the other type of man executes his in times of happiness. He wears no quivering and changeable human face, but, as it were, a mask with dignified, symmetrical features. He does not cry; he does not even alter his voice. When a real storm cloud thunders above him, he wraps himself in his cloak, and with slow steps he walks from beneath it.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby Sauwelios » Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:55 am

barbarianhorde wrote:Fixed hammers on people understanding the aim of this thread. He had first tried to enlist Sauwelios to keep this updated but then the task fell on me.


I was still considering it when you started posting here. In the meantime, I had a thought...

iambiguous wrote:
Jakob wrote:Sauwelios has left ILP because of the intensely disgusting stupidity, sexually obsessed ad homs and racist filth he has to wade through to be able to do his noble, clean edifying work, for which Iambiguous of all people was the least unworthy recepient.


I'm sorry to hear that about Sauwelios. My own reaction to the points that he raised [here and on his own thread -- http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 2&start=75 ] seemed to generate a reasonable exchange between two intelligent and articulate minds that happen to think differently about some things.


Apart from a couple of exceptions that prove the rule, I didn't post here after "leaving" until my State of the World Address (a title for which I hereby officially give all credit to the band Biohazard, by the way). And aptly, that OP constitutes my first typical contribution to this thread: for that video on Nietzsche's Highest Man was kind of sprang on me by FC. My unconventionally capitalized posts are surely comparable to the videos of the others in psychological nakedness.--

As for your question about my video, I already pointed to that issue in my comments to this blog post, where I referred the reader to sections 304, 306, 308, and 980 of The Will to Power:

http://nietzschespirit.blogspot.nl/2008/07/ubermensch-and-last-man.html

Interestingly, I mention the concept of a clan in one of those comments.

I think I currently justify FC's trust in me, not just by picking up my English translation of my tutorial in Platonic political philosophy, but also by studying Nietzsche's Dawn with another amateur Nietzsche scholar: that book is especially elaborate on the insight that the "good" are "'the farmers of the spirit' who work the old fields in the old ways" (Lampert, Leo Strauss and Nietzsche, page 74).
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:07 am

the Cross says that indeed this movement that haw now gotten Trump elected is of Overmanly quality. It is relatively extremely manly, as it has been able to compensate for the Last Man, the in vertebrate that wishes the hollow voiced woman with the dead eyes as leader because she is a woman and not a man and so also not white.
The Last Man thinks anything that is not white male is good, simply because the white male is the dominant form. The Cross has been attacked for not being ashamed of his skin color by those white males inclined to hate their whiteness and their maleness because of reasons fathomable only to the Last Man.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:21 pm

Parodites wrote:I've said a lot about politics and economics these last few months, and my Trump support is very evident. I've got to re-read everything I've said and integrate it... Nobody knows the true meaning of what's happened yet, not even Trump. It's important to understand exactly how this happened. That has become one of my primary goals, philosophically. And the great thing is, the entire media and academic and political classes have proven themselves for the last year and a half- incapable of that challenge. As Capable was saying, the enemy is not right or left or rep or democrat. The enemy is bigger than any of those things. Under Bush it manifested as the right, under Obama as the Left: but those are just its masks... Trump's victory has pulled off that mask.

If Clinton would have won, she would have allowed unmitigated immigration from foreign nations, and because these people all vote democrat, we would have found ourselves with effectively a one-party country- we would have only a mock vestige of a democracy: if recognizing this fact is all it takes to be branded a racist, then racist means nothing now. She would have gleefully ushered in a second cold war with the Russians. She would have pushed the globalist agenda forward and further bankrupted the US, diminishing the very meaning of the idea of the nation-state. She would have expanded our imperial trespasses in foreign nations and the middle east.

It is unfortunate that your friend took down the site. But we must be more gracious to those we have defeated, than they would have been to us if they had prevailed. Can you imagine the ridicule, the scorn, etc, if she'd have won? But I have no intention of rubbing this victory in anyone's face- just a little relatively silent gloating, which is certainly forgivable given these historic- truly historic, circumstances. A lot of these Clinton supporters probably weren't interested in politics, economics, philosophy, nationalism vs globalism, or any of this before, and they likely just bought into the bullshit media spin on Trump and thought they were doing a good thing standing in his way. * It's up to us now to demonstrate the reality to them: that they were wrong, and that they can still do the good thing. We all want the same thing, in the end; the emancipation of the human spirit, the prevailing of civilization over barbarism. The only people who don't want that are our political elites: and we have defeated them.


It is important to keep in mind, however, that it was never about Trump. Maybe a little bit about Trump... It was really about what his victory means: it means the old Republican party of bible thumpers and whatnot is gone forever, along with the Democratic neolibs who are basically just their satellite- as I've said there are no such things as conservative or liberal anymore there is just neoconservative and neoliberal corporatists, and the entire senate and house that Trump must now cleanse is filled with a bunch of Moloch-worshiping nihilists that would sell this country out for a check at a moment's notice: the media's reputation is destroyed forever, the unchecked march of globalism is repelled for the time being, the polling firms and all of academia have been proven wrong- and that means they are truly out of sync with the people and what is actually happening underneath all the bullshit and the tv, and it means that our democracy isn't bullshit after all, above all else; if we can put Donald Trump in the fucking white house, then for good or ill the people actually do still have power, even in the 21st century. President George Washington... President Thomas Jefferson... President Adams... President... Donald... J... Trump.

Trump has done at least this one thing, which nobody can take away from him: he's pulled the curtain back and revealed that, surprise, nobody's running this thing after all. There are no masters, there are no "experts," there is no political elite. The captains of the ship had eyes that never saw further than any of our own. There is nobody there in charge of the world save for... us. The people. Generations, years upon years of bullshit pretended elections, candidates we'd never even heard of before fed to us as our "choices."... may have made many of us cynical of politics and its potential in general, may have convinced us that it was all already paid for and sewn up, that there were actually people in charge of history: but now you can rest assured that, for good or ill, we are in charge.

This is a battle and the war will go on, but remember- a serious, a very serious, blow has been struck to the following:

Entire globalist international community
Corrupt corporatist political machine
Media
Academia
Bush Dynasty
Clinton Dynasty
Republican Establishment
Democrat Establishment
Neoliberal left
Neoconservative right


With the media dead, the Internet will take over their role of presenting and defending: truth. With the academics and political "experts" dethroned, a new territory has opened for those who can actually explain what we've just seen take place. With the dynasties cut off, the presidency will be opened up for generations to new blood from all domains, we will get to see many come forward and be elected from outside the limited, stunted, irrelevant political class, after Trump. With the globalists repelled, the potential for new international relations will appear in which more than just the corporate elite get wealthy.


The wheel of history is moving again, where it's going, as I said in the beginning of this post, is beyond everyone's current understanding. There will, as I've said, be great economic crises that were inevitable regardless of Trump's victory or failure. Trump has inherited perhaps the most politically torn, philosophically deformed, most severely divided populace ever to exist in the US. There will be great difficulties in that as well. The globalist corporate leeches still control most of the other nation states- and they are now going to double down against the US, but we have at least one on our side after Brexit.


But we are now in history. Think of that very intently: we are in history again. Many had named our era the end of history, the end of politics. We know now, regardless of whose side you were on, that this is not true.


http://i.imgur.com/ES57Cy7.jpg

Image




* Save for Amy Schumer. Deport that fat cow immediately Donald... I mean, Mr. President.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:25 pm

The Identity of Experience
by Fixed Cross



The science of being as a study in subjectivism, which has taken on fully logical form with value ontology, is approached on a higher level of organization, of more detail, of more possibility for contradiction, in the terms devised by the psychoanalytical schools. I believe all psychoanalysis revolves around the mutual requirement of the terms identity and experience.

As humans, most of our time we spend in avoiding experiences. In our seeking-out of what we aim to experience, we are shifting and sneaking along the invisible walls facing us from every direction but the one we seek to disclose - the walled off area of "the real" is however constantly accessible, these walls can be broken down with the force of intent. The lack of this intent is precisely what makes us effective as prolonged identities, which leads finally in complex beings to what we can begin to call experience.

The identity of experience is experience accepted into the being as its being. The same mechanisms that cause experience, also perform a lot of activity going on that is not 'owned' by the organism. Freud goes into this as a repressed - suggesting that the identity of this experience is already 'the name of the subject', but actively kept away from its consciousness. I would propose that we address this differently - as 'untranslated affect', affect not yet interpreted in terms of the particular self-valuing.

Psychoanalysis is not the art of retrieving experiences to consciousness, but to identify physical affect as experience. This is always done after the fact, also when there is no 'repression', or what I would call simply an insufficient power to identify in terms of self - the delicate dove-like beauty of the self to itself facing very dangerous and compromising affect, "raw" affect, which can not be specified, categorized in 'true terms' as Spinoza has it - pleasure or joy (laetitia), pain or sorrow (tristitia)and desire (cupiditas) or appetite. *

A manipulation is needed to incorporate the experience, to give it an identity, to add this experience to the identity of the being, to value it on terms of the beings valuing. Psychoanalysis is such a manipulation. Another one, much faster and therefore more dangerous and potentially destructive is Occult "pathworking". This is the business of setting up the conditions for translating raw affect into imagined sensory experience, by entering a state of lucid dreaming armed with the intention to disclose whatever formlessness is pressing on the walls of the being into apparitions, beings the being itself is able to face as itself - and proceeding to enter the dungeon of the unidentified with the clear aim of translating all that is into experience. And there are other manipulations.

In general, I would categorize all such manipulations as the Dionysian arts, to which possibility a systematic suspension of judgment is required, and the being comes into contact with its own boundaries - its walled-in-ness becomes its walled-ness, in other words, instead of the cells core, its membrane is the identity of experience. Such experience is not merely mortal but mortality itself.


* wikipedia: Affect (Latin affectus or adfectus) is a concept used in the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza and elaborated by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. For Spinoza, as discussed in Parts Two and Three of his Ethics, affects are states of mind and body related to (but not exactly synonymous with) feelings and emotions, of which he says there are three primary kinds: Subsequent philosophical usage by Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari and their translator Brian Massumi, while derived explicitly from Spinoza, tends to distinguish more sharply than Spinoza does between affect and what are conventionally called emotions. Affects are difficult to grasp and conceptualize because, as Spinoza says, "an affect or passion of the mind [animi pathema] is a confused idea" which is only perceived by the increase or decrease it causes in the body's vital force.


"When an inner process can not be integrated it is often projected outward. The notion of a materialized psychism opens a bottomless void beneath our feet."

Capable speaks here of unidentified affect, belonging to none of the three Spinozaean categories.
It appears logical that that raw affect, inner force which can not be identified in terms of the self-valuing, is projected (as a projectile) towards the Other - that which is explicitly unidentified -- or quasi-identified as the Other - that which has no right to exist.

Rights are an extension of identification.

It is a reality that people(s) are simple not able to bestow rights on those with whom they can not identify. Human rights is an invention of genius, a great artifice, worthy of my respect, although I respect that they can be logically refuted. The principle offers an identification based on a purely aesthetic identification -- the form of the human body, not its interior identity, i.e. the language it speaks/thinks, its ethics, its frame of action, its type.

A great assumption is made -- that all those organisms which can be identified as of the same "species" - a term, not a reality of experience/identification, communication -- are in fact "the same". In reality however, man A is more alike to dog A than man A to man B, and this expresses itself in identification. What is shared in identity is experience. Such has historically been the foundation of culture - a shared frame of experience equals a shared identity predicates lawmaking, which is consensus and trust.

Back at psychoanalysis - retroactively one learns to trust the affect that is 'repressed'... - to speak with the trauma in a common tongue, so that one can effectively agree that it exists. Agreement, this is what is created when a true Word appears. And this appearance is a physical act, a speaking.

Here has been a flaw in philosophy hitherto -- being must be interpreted as given. But what, in such a case, does "given" mean? Certainly not the predicate of something else, which gives. At best, it gives itself. But to what? To what but to itself?
Does this make sense? Not much - what is more sensible is to say that I give it, as itself, to itself, which is what I amount to.

Arrangement of potentiality --
life is largely strategy, being is observingness, intelligence, rising to the occasion, seizing opportunity - it is not an objective fact - it is the bold activity of which only the very few are capable of embodying entirely. These are the agents of evolution - in every species these arise.



Capable wrote:
Does this make sense? Not much - what is more sensible is to say that I give it, as itself, to itself, which is what I amount to.


Identity, in a sense incorporatingness-as-such, a certain agglomeration of force/s-relations attaining in the being of this agglomeration [possible architecture: a/the most sufficiency of the widest necessity of its conditionality?] a 'center of force' or intertial gravity. This characteristic of the quality of the "degree of unification" serves to indicate the potency-vitality of identity, but not the being of it, which rather is the "root" incorporatingness that (emergently) attains and then reciprocally-reflexively begins to re-define and re-shape that from which it arose, begins to work on itself by taking into itself, changing as it changes.

"What I amount to" as "that I give it, as itself, to itself": this formulation of identity (human - but also not only human?) as a phenomenon which is a giving of the very given itself, that by which given is given or known/asserted in its givenness. Are we only an "amounts to something" in the sense that we take, are able to take ourselves, this amounts to, as given, as a givenness-as-such which is also a givingness? Could this be why/how we give the given of the given/s around us, or at least construe otherness essentially ("correctly" or otherwise) under an image of a being-given?

We are philosophical beings, humans, all of us engaged with/in processes of cross-territorial re/interpretation and re/incorporation -- integration and extagration. That by which this takes place (i.e. the "world") might be said to be our being. This "takes place" itself might be said to be our identity. The being of this "takes place" itself might be said to be, perhaps, givenness-as-such. Or at least it is possible that thus far this is the only/best way for us to understand/conceptualize this being.

Arrangement of potentiality --
life is largely strategy, being is observingness, intelligence, rising to the occasion, seizing opportunity - it is not an objective fact - it is the bold activity of which only the very few are capable of embodying entirely. These are the agents of evolution - in every species these arise.


Being then as potentiality and thus that which conditions this potentiality as the being of this being. What is that by which this conditionality, abstracted from its embedded situatedness, is conditioned? We might understand this as givenness, as the very possibility for and of being from within being itself. This becomes feasible in the sense that this being reciprocally participates in its own existence-creating: through the simplest fact of its existence (as a being, as being) is another being or perhaps another "level of this already being" called also into existence, the existence of which hinges upon - and ONLY upon (?) - the simple fact of its "parent" "being's" being existing. What might this reciprocality, reflexivity, relatedness-as-such (abstracted out from its embedded situatednesses) be understood as, other than as a givenness which is also then and therefore a givingness?

Here we come face-to-face with identity [id-entity], with the unifying "principle" (frame, ground) of experiencing (which also then serves as a principle of differentiation from within experience/s). Interesting how this identity itself has its own being, and yet this being is to some extent irrelevant from the perspective of that which is experientially forged through and by the existence of this identity! In this 'to some extent irrelevant' we see the function of givenness, being given. And in the relatedness of this being to (the being/s of) what it experiences - deeper more genuine contact, powerful consciousness, imagination, creation, envisioning, knowing - we can see how this relatedness/experiencing occurs more essentially as under a form of a givenness, of a giving of that which is already itself a being-given to/for/by itself alone (even if only "by us" is this realized/known or "made real"/attaining to a relevancy).

[Further questioning then: to what extent are the differences here, between the implications arising from either being itself as a being-given or those arising from a being-given as only a being of certain beings (us) which structurally attain certain configurations of relatednesses and embedded situatednesses, meaningful, relevant? What are the various utilities to positing either ex ante or ex post facto here? Maybe more importantly, can we yet effect a possible synthesis even here, on this now higher level? (Edit: answer: yes, through the use of value-ontology we seem able to formulate these principles and elements conceptually-logically).]




Edit: additionally, to give credit where it is due, this intriguing "When an inner process can not be integrated it is often projected outward. The notion of a materialized psychism opens a bottomless void beneath our feet" is a line by Carl Jung, from his Flying Saucers, I believe.






Capable wrote: changing as it changes.

This principle is learned by Shamans. Death-rebirth, the consciousness of flux-depth-power, vortexes of identity around which a society gravitates. Shamans are the "black holes" of the galaxies in which men live - meaning "centers too intense to perceive"*. We circle around what we can not stare in the eye. The terrible in strength is what gives life its structure. (This is why America exists as it does, and why the power of the state must remain a terrifying and disruptive factor until all human life has organized itself around the core of the death-rebirth machinery, the magical power of the invisible center/)

"What I amount to" as "that I give it, as itself, to itself":

A Heideggerian giving, as opposed to serving a Platonic "given-ness". Our things flow from us, we are centers of their revolving-existing - existing is revolving, losing meaning is collapsing into the source is disintegrating. A thing becomes junk, attribute to nothingness, when it loses its capacity to revolve by the "gravity" of value to the core.

this formulation of identity (human - but also not only human?) as a phenomenon which is a giving of the very given itself, that by which given is given or known/asserted in its givenness. Are we only an "amounts to something" in the sense that we take, are able to take ourselves,

Interesting, yes I like this - we are given as soon as we are taken - and there is no one to take us but ourself. We can be taken by others but this means disintegration when it is not serving our own taking-our-givenness. Consuming being. This adds a 'hedonistic' aspect to the ethics that may follow from value ontology. That would help to make it accessible as therapy. Modern therapy is in part hedonistic, indulging. We consume our psyche.

this amounts to, as given, as a givenness-as-such which is also a givingness? Could this be why/how we give the given of the given/s around us, or at least construe otherness essentially ("correctly" or otherwise) under an image of a being-given?


And so also a being-there-to-take.
This is how "good karma" can be seen - if one has a tendency to give, to 'create the world' if one "bestows", the world attains a nature of being-to-take. That means that one is a master of ones fate. If one takes what happens to be given one steals it, and it transforms. This is why pure political initiatives get corrupted by followers, why politics only work to constructive aims where there are conspiracies, and never when there is dictatorship of the vote.

We are philosophical beings, humans, all of us engaged with/in processes of cross-territorial re/interpretation and re/incorporation -- integration and extagration. That by which this takes place (i.e. the "world") might be said to be our being. This "takes place" itself might be said to be our identity. The being of this "takes place" itself might be said to be, perhaps, givenness-as-such. Or at least it is possible that thus far this is the only/best way for us to understand/conceptualize this being.

Can we identify this in corporeal terms? A universe of symbolism mapping given-ness, the world as a web of threats originating in subjects - a fabric of histories, with crossings of perspectives as wars and cultures -- this "monster of energy" - yes, the dragon thou shalt is made of a great number of potential "I wills" and at root made possible by "I am".
The transformation of the spirit of Zarathustrian man is a collapsing inward of the self-valuing. Courage is needed to move beyond the skin of the dragon and to embody its will. To become part of the dragons inner world means to dissolve the dragon in ones own world. To become invisible in ones workings, to become "deep" - to command, to become an enigma.

Arrangement of potentiality --
life is largely strategy, being is observingness, intelligence, rising to the occasion, seizing opportunity - it is not an objective fact - it is the bold activity of which only the very few are capable of embodying entirely. These are the agents of evolution - in every species these arise.


Being then as potentiality and thus that which conditions this potentiality as the being of this being. What is that by which this conditionality, abstracted from its embedded situatedness, is conditioned? We might understand this as givenness, as the very possibility for and of being from within being itself.


A not-yet-givenness, a potential, a void even - void as space.
In any form a givenness may arise around a void, like a castle is built around a room.
the "hearth" at the center of this room is that which has been called by the most loving and admiring names, which I will not utter, as they are not my words - - but this hearth is the completion of the given-ness of the room, the crown on the work of which the wall-building was the physical part and the room-conceiving the 'philosophical' part, the thinking-building serving 'dwelling', the being itself.

Men gather around fires. Words can also be fires, around which walls are built to contain the words in spaces where men dwell. Men will no be guided where no fires are made. Good philosophy is a torch. It creates the will-to-dwell, which is the will to think and build. Religion is a damp torch emitting only smoke, and the will to sleep. Myth has been a healthy torch in many cultures but we have moved beyond the possibility of myth - myth points to the past, (our) philosophy points to the future. For the rest they are in a sense the same; they make of man a given-to-take. They make man possible to himself, as man, as Dasein.

This becomes feasible in the sense that this being reciprocally participates in its own existence-creating: through the simplest fact of its existence (as a being, as being) is another being or perhaps another "level of this already being" called also into existence, the existence of which hinges upon - and ONLY upon (?) - the simple fact of its "parent" "being's" being existing. What might this reciprocality, reflexivity, relatedness-as-such (abstracted out from its embedded situatednesses) be understood as, other than as a givenness which is also then and therefore a givingness?


Intention. We can only recognize the 'eternal parent' of this givenness as something real, present in us. On this level we have to abandon the abstract and create 'occult experience' - knowledge beyond language, 'it-ness'. We can approach this asymptotically, and become wiser and more powerful along this line and feel more justification, more certainty than one would ever imagine passible when certainty is understood as logical truth, instead of knowing by being.

"God" is the measure in which this certainty is recorded by 'prophets'. The divinity can always grow, become greater, stand farther from the populace. It is never 'already there'. It is the measure in which consciousness attains to its root, and this measure depends on the quality of the consciousness aside from its inward attaining as well as on the penetratingness of its inner gaze. So sacredness exists in two axes - worldly quality and the drive pertaining/attaining to what Nietzsche called the ascetic ideal. We can not formulate a definition, we can only point to the means to attain a greater depth of knowing/being. For this is the purpose, the telos - to enable, increase, potentiate -

Here we come face-to-face with identity [id-entity], with the unifying "principle" (frame, ground) of experiencing (which also then serves as a principle of differentiation from within experience/s). Interesting how this identity itself has its own being, and yet this being is to some extent irrelevant from the perspective of that which is experientially forged through and by the existence of this identity! In this 'to some extent irrelevant' we see the function of givenness, being given. And in the relatedness of this being to (the being/s of) what it experiences - deeper more genuine contact, powerful consciousness, imagination, creation, envisioning, knowing - we can see how this relatedness/experiencing occurs more essentially as under a form of a givenness, of a giving of that which is already itself a being-given to/for/by itself alone (even if only "by us" is this realized/known or "made real"/attaining to a relevancy).


Whatever we identify as given, is separate from our identifying it. Only when the identifying becomes inseparable from the given-ness do we attain clarity. An overwhelming beauty is the result.

Further questioning then: to what extent are the differences here, between the implications arising from either being itself as a being-given or those arising from a being-given as only a being of certain beings (us) which structurally attain certain configurations of relatednesses and embedded situatednesses, meaningful, relevant? What are the various utilities to positing either ex ante or ex post facto here? Maybe more importantly, can we yet effect a possible synthesis even here, on this now higher level? (Edit: answer: yes, through the use of value-ontology we seem able to formulate these principles and elements conceptually-logically).]


We can use it as a grid. This is the greatest problem here - what we have unearthed so far is still invisible to those who do not think as deeply, and will remain so wherever we do not fill it in with 'flesh' - which means, world-implication. The 'key' to this task I see now is that there is a great fulfillment in coupling concepts to their value-root, to their primordial emerging. It is not a 'dry' subject, but a feast of iconoclasm and archaic mythmaking, and when we see how the archaic myths are populated, by what sort of creatures, we can see the value that philosophizing will have to man when he truly sets to shape his world, when fires are ignited around which new thinking-dwelling emerges. We have built the walls, we need to ignite the fire. In this we do not stand separate, absent, but give 'acte de présence' as Lord - this is the only way in which culture grows: by example.

To give act-of-presence means to stand within given-ness as its signifier. It means to give the world to man anew. This can happen on every scale - for the philosopher it is different from a football-player, but the principle is the same. Philosophy is not simply labor, it is also identity. And to make identity felt one requires character, and let this be the very thing that the traditional conception of truth does not allow. All philosophers, in their proclamations about what is universal, have been poseurs, without knowing it they made statues of themselves, testaments to existence. But what type of existence did they testify to? It was, most of the time, rather hollow. No wonder that most of these philosophers were recluses and fools, that no exemplary philosopher has lived since the idea of Truth is Out There came to rule, by hands of Plato, the last thinker who was also a ruler.





*or: realities too significant to be identified.



Capable wrote:Why is 'raw affect' dangerous? Because it is outside of the established power of identity, because it pushes one toward the walls (which in sum comprise one's "outward" identity, the form of identity [but not its dynamism]). The affect is this dynamism, more precisely: this churning, moving raw affect is a flux giving-power because it is the source of the need for the walls of identity. These walls exist because they must exist, because they must wall off the affect, "translate" it. Science names this as instintuality and reduces it to the genes and to the common sociohistorical knowledge-base in which these genes express. But the affect is a power, the genes and the instinctuality forged only because the affect, the raw pathological psychial-cellular force of the organism('s various organic 'centers' and their mutual cooperation) has self-valued itself with respect to the limits around which this valuing has cohered (its environment/s) which are, in turn, not only multiple other valuings and self-valuings but also the product and effect of one's own self-valuing activities. A massive, unfathomable world-sociality-causality emerges, Nietzsche's devouring "monster of energy" which gives life ("spins off", produces self-valuing 'cores', nexes of subjectivities) even as it devours life (dissolves these subjectivities). Man calls this moster of energy by the name of "nature", an abstraction-reification of all "natural activity", and science classifies this nature as the product of what it calls "inertia" and "entropy".


Suspension of judgment is willingness to be walled-in. Organisms whose self-valuing apparatus' do not more take into account their own walled-in-ness must value in a more linear fashion, and they tend toward more or less stable and repetitive channels of values-expression ("behavior"). More complex organisms are those whose self-valuing apparatus begins to take into account more and more of their own conditionality, limitation, which is to say they enter into subtler relations with self and other. This is naturally "suspension of judgment", a resistance to a tendency toward pre-fabricated (in the language of the existentialsits, inauthentic) 'solutions' (responses) to the 'problems' (situations) with which it is faced. Consistency here breeds organisms for efficiency, and what is lost in power of creativity must be compensated for elsewhere, most commonly in a shorter and simpler generational-reproductive time. Natural selection demands the 'imbalance' be made up for somewhere else, and we get the proliferation of various kinds of organisms: we get a range of organic form with various ratios of 'suspension of judgment' to 'shorter and simpler generational-reproductive time'. Humans, being the known form of life highest on the one end of this scale, naturally balance this out by being the lowest on the other end.


This is a fitting context for the following excerpt from Nietzsche's notebooks, or "The Will To Power".

984 (1884)

Greatness of soul is inseparable from greatness of spirit. For it involves independence; but in the absence of spiritual greatness, independence ought not to be allowed, it causes mischief, even through its desire to do good and practice "justice." Small spirits must obey--hence cannot possess greatness.

II. Dionysus

1003 (Jan.-Fall 1888)

To him who has turned out well, who does my heart good, carved from wood that is hard, gentle, and fragrant--in whom even the nose takes pleasure--this book is dedicated.

He enjoys the taste of what is wholesome for him;

his pleasure in anything ceases when the bounds of the wholesome are crossed;

he divines the remedies for partial injuries; he has illnesses as great stimulants of his life;

he knows how to exploit ill chances;

he grows stronger through the accidents that threaten to destroy him;

he instinctively gathers from all that he sees, hears, experiences, what advances his main concern--he follows a principle of selection--he allows much to fall through;

he reacts with the slowness bred by a long caution and a deliberate pride--he tests a stimulus for its origin and its intentions, he does not submit;

he is always in his own company, whether he deals with books, men, or landscapes;

he honors by choosing, by admitting, by trusting.

1007 (Spring-Fall 1887)

To revalue values--what would that mean? All the spontaneous--new, future, stronger--movements must be there; but they still appear under false names and valuations and have not yet become conscious of themselves.

A courageous becoming-conscious and affirmation of what has been achieved--a liberation from the slovenly routine of old valuations that dishonor us in the best and strongest things we have achieved.


Capable wrote:Philosophy is the highest form of suspension of judgment which man has attained to, save perhaps some occult systems with which I am not familar. But these occult systems, powers of direct intention and calling forth the untranslated affect in the guise of potent symbols and beings, ought lend some of this power to philosophy, and philosophy some of it's power to the occult. We might even suppose that identity reflects the philosophic side, while experience reflects the occult side: philosophy is the business of identifying experiences, the occult is the business of experiencing identities. Psychoanalysis then appears as philosophy trending toward the occult.


Brilliant!
Regarding "philosophy as the highest form of suspension of judgment" - we might say that the philosopher is the one who has turned out best.

"We consume our psyche", yes this is perfectly correct. With this in mind it is possible to conceive of human history in a positive sense of the progression of this both raw and effective consumption. Philosophy looks outward from within, the occult looks inward from without, but the 'average man' whom has neither philosophy nor the occult stands right in the middle, unbeknownst to him, straddling both spheres, which in truth are the eyes of two abysses. The world is shaped by how it is walled-in. Man is shaped by his world, and shapes it. In his agreements and disagreements man renders himself ineffective to the movement beyond the abyssal history of the (human) world, he is merely a negative presence in this hsitory, but may still retains an effectiveness in the natural world. In contrast, the philosopher or occultist neither agrees nor disagrees and is a proper "suspension of judgment", thus effectuates himself with respect to world-history and becomes a positive element to and for it. In terms of effectiveness in the natural world, this remains to be seen and hinges upon the 'gaps' between the human-human, the human-animal and the animal-animal worlds, and how these gaps are to be encountered-translated.


Indeed, to acquire effectiveness in the natural world from a self-created historical perspective/agency is precisely the task with which our type of philosopher is faced. After Plato, philosophers have accepted that their capacity as historical agents came with the price of being vulnerable natural entities, their influence and very sustenance was dependent on political rulers. But with our type, there has appeared a new scale to climb, something that has not existed since Plato made his stabs at politics. The natural human world has perhaps never been less naturally responsive to philosophy as it is now, politics are entirely separated from philosophy, meaning, teleology - so the philosopher must enforce his historical agency in the natural world. We are still at the very beginning of this undertaking. Thus from a disadvantage an impetus to advance is born: the philosopher must become the philosopher-king.

Regardless of whether or not we are capable of accomplishing/becoming this, that is the point to which the political and technological (natural) world has evolved. This is not to say that all philosophers have to ''get out there'' and enforce their will on other people, but they do have to organize in groups of which some fulfill this kind of ''military'' task. In this age of ripe nihilism, where there is no more worldly autority that is not deemed inferior to the mob by the mob, where there is no more ground for teleological reason (such grounds have always been in part superstitious and/or idolatory) this ground must be enforced by the type of human that is aware of the substance of such ground: our type.

It is of the utmost importance that we keep on visibly setting our type of thinking as a standard. Our philosophy must become regal not only in substance but in appearance - it must crown itself.



"Spirit" could, in spite and banishing of the deeply embedded confusion around and by that word, aptly be translated into "self-valuing". By this I mean that it is breath, the necessity, the pulse of life that makes it 'a life' - a continuous self referent and thus radically limited - phenomenon. A spirit - a one who values his breath in reflection of his breath in - and around. And between in and out, there is a reflection, and upon that reflection, a valuing - experience is identified after the breathing in. To breathe out completely is to enable the experience of identity. That choice still must be made there, This choice is probably at the basis of all profound religious airs - *

After the final, exhausted ssssssssh, there is an expanding, a corner of our soul which is then identifiable - and this is where evolution takes place. Only those who find in their breaths limits the limit that is transcendible, grow upon their soil, their blood, to a new 'word' - a new moral code, a newly discovered form of courage.

Granted, we are not Gods, we can only reflect this metaphors perfection in a few breaths every month perhaps, some of us might attain it once or twice a week - but we can imagine how this, if we are more aware of those breaths in fellow men, hissing us by in the dark, faint shadows of suspected purpose - allows us to reflect, if 'fortune Strikes!', incidentally upon them, and cause - what?

Love is a danger to the soul, why to encounter it deliberately? As with all dangers to encounter it in will of it is to conquer a priori all who do not take this course. Napoleons first breath of Corsican air - his identity superimposed on that experience by time, parents, France - and powerful enemies on the warpath...






[[[[ *the Catholic, fully bathing in the identity, versus the protestant, 'up to the next cycle, the next harvest, the next profit!' Capitalism is made out of a lack of Catholicism..]]]]



The value of this observation I draw as follows:
The particular follow-through of the entity after its identification of its world by drawing in experience, determines not the extent to which he will follow through that particular experience. His identity is reflected wholly of his ethics, his working, warring or simply waking - or on the other hand a wanting, worrying, wrecking 'code' - continuity of action, value-projection by anticipation. Here is the technical definition of 'the power of faith' - the gift of being allowed to project an infinity of value, by the declaring of love for an infinite bestowing virtue.

The problem of religiously inclined people is not that God is dead (he always was 'unchanging'), but no longer great enough. He's not greatly dead, his deadness is puny.
We could change that only by creating a new one. And by God I simply mean the absence of self-inflicted restrictions, physiological moral conditioning, in trade for ones "soul" - ones highest and final love.

What a breath of fresh air if we stopped loving 'humanity' and selected a nature more lofty and less neurotic. Perhaps what we have called "soul" throughout the ages is in reality the same thing as "music" or "a great aesthetic idea" - The things for which certain humans live, for which these humans form a medium - perhaps what we call identity is merely our temporary and imperfect relation to something less conditioned by decay - the soul as something that has to find its way into the world through the vessel of flesh and blood.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
~ Владимир Ильич Ульянов Ленин

THE HORNED ONE
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:34 pm

More packages from Fixed Cross hangars in southern Spain where the chimney sweepers work.



Value ontology and the final metamorphosis of the spirit


On ILP, Jakob wrote:

From Nietzsche's notebooks:
Und er wusste seine Tugend nicht zu überwinden.
Der Löwe in ihm zerriss das Kind in ihm: und endlich frass der Löwe sich selber.

Grausam war dieser Held und wild - -
Seht, ich lehre euch die Liebe zum Übermenschen.
- - - lud er auf sich und zerbrach under der Last.

The second part seems a context to the first, which reads:

"And he did not manage to overcome / conquer his virtue.
The lion in him tore up the child in him, and finally the lion devoured himself."

A fascinating observation of one of the ways in which the chain of metamorphoses can be broken.
I've been pondering this since I read it, and haven't fully grasped in a rational manner in which ways the lions virtue needs to be overcome to become a child.

Does anyone have experience with overcoming lion-like virtue, to become a self-propelling wheel of creative innocence? Or maybe there are examples, in literature, or other forms of drama, of someone who either suffers the same fate as this cruel hero?

"Inhuman was this hero, and wild - -
See, I teach you the love for the superman.
- - He took it on him and broke under the load."

Is there a causal link between the hero being cruel/inhuman, and his failure to carry the love for the Superman?
It'as possible I simply dont see the meaning.


Now in the great scheme of things that Zarathustra teaches, it is clear to me now that Nietzsche himself "falls under" the Lion category. After all, the
Lion says "I Will", and Nietzsches ultimate reality consisted of his understanding of the world as will to power. As suggested, I think that Nietzsche, as a Lion, fell pray to his own "grausamkeit", which is implicit in this view of the world as will to power and nothing besides.

How to transcend this cruelty, this ugliness, this denying of the subject in favor of an objective "monster of energy"? Not by denying the reality of the will to power surely. It could only be done by finding something deeper, truer, or at least as deep and true as the will to power, which at the same time supports, proves and affirms the will to power and delivers from the lack it imposes. And I have found this something, this thinking delivering from the limitations that the Lion imposes on himself by holding to his will so religiously, brutally -- this thought is the thought that the fundamental fact of reality, by virtue of which one may will to power, is valuing -- valuing as happiness, pleasure, lack, pain -- recognition -- and for this to exist, there must be a standard to which this value is measured. We can however no longer posit "things" at the root of action/affect -- so what exists as a reference, the thing that is experienced as a self (a willing to power) must be at root a self-referential activity, which is not yet an affect. In Netwonean terms -- the root of existence, as the purest ground of subjectivity, precedes causality. And no, it is not self-caused, nor is it an active prime-mover -- it is only the logical condition on which (the logical notions of) motion and causation may exist.

Rather than "I will (to power)", the Child says "I am". This "I" is not a however a thing, an object -- the Childs utterance "I am" it is not of the same category as "the child exists". It refers to the activity of being, which the child has recognied in himself, as self-valuing. He has no standards anymore besides what his very being commands, no, what his being is -- and so the spirit has arrived at the other end of the road, which began with the Camel, whose motto is "thou shalt", whose conscious standard was not in himself but a commanding other. The camel could only know his self-valuing by recognizing its ( own ) superior (e.g. "Lord", but not "the", but his Lord) thereby having his self-valuing translated to him by an already further evolved spirit of his own type. Then came the Lion, who realized the necessity of breaking with this otherness. But by breaking with it, the Lion is without self, except for the will to break with otherness. This is the will to overcome, the will to power - the will to a self.

How does the Lion become the Child? By recognizing that this willing-to/over is also a willing-from. Not in the sense of away-from, but from-the-ground-of-x. As long as this "x" is understood as a lack, then the self is unseen. As soon as this feeling-of-lack is affirmed as itself a positive, a property of a positive existing, the real being is drawn out of darkness, and the child is born.

Parodites wrote:To realize the will to power, which is the world, nullifies your existence as a human subject. You no longer exist as anything more than an incarnation of the world soul, an instance of will to power. The concept itself of will-to-power is a single line long ontology intended to describe all of existence. "Water is wet" is an ontology, but it only describes one small facet of the world. "Will to power," as an ontology of similar length but much wider scope, essentially means there is a potential that is continuously recycled without ever becoming actual. This potential force is what reality is, and there is no way to "actualize" or "unpack" this energy, as if the world itself were a continually climbing orgasm that cannot be consummated in any release of the built up force. "Will to power" as a philosophical concept literally means an unrealizable force, a potential that is infinite not in extremity, dimension, or intensity, but by virtue of the fact that it cannot be made actual, it cannot be actualized. Thus this ontology implies a world of pure appearance, with no underlying noumenon. There is nowhere for the will to go, so it wills unto power, which is to say, it continues to be precisely that, will, and "eternally proceeds within its own being," to use Spinoza's phrase.


But there are ways to maintain your sense of self, even realizing the concept of the world being the will to power. If you were to realize that you were the dream of some God, you would awaken, that is to say, cease to exist... Unless you had a peculiar art for keeping yourself asleep. Unless you began to dream yourself, by embracing yourself as a contributory poet to the overall divine dream. How would we do this, embrace ourselves as contributory wills to "power," to the monster of energy that is called the world? That is the question that I see value-ontology dealing with. This new contributory self would no longer need to bear or fight, it would no longer be camel or lion, but child. This valuing of the self, of the contributory self, would give birth to both truth and appearance. The truth, that one is a mere instance in the world soul, and the appearance... that one truly exists, that one is a self. As you say "the far more useful idea that value (more precisely the act of valuing) gives rise to both appearance and truth. "


Parodites wrote: "Will to power" as a philosophical concept literally means an unrealizable force, a potential that is infinite not in extremity, dimension, or intensity, but by virtue of the fact that it cannot be made actual, it cannot be actualized.

This is a breakthrough insight to me. Truly effective in justifying the move beyond Nietzsche.

Thus this ontology implies a world of pure appearance, with no underlying noumenon. There is nowhere for the will to go, so it wills unto power, which is to say, it continues to be precisely that, will, and "eternally proceeds within its own being," to use Spinoza's phrase.

This underlying noumenon is of course not something that may be seen to exist from the perspective of (moving beyond) WtP, but rather something into which the perspective collapses once it realizes itself as appearance-to-itself, as appearance creating. True, conscious attainment of selfhood is attained from the awareness of what the will to power is, that is to say, on top of the wtp rather than underneath it, although it is a kind of collapsing-into.

Notions and realizations of selfhood without the WtP have been accomplished of course, but in philosophical terms we've had to first attain realization of the WtP, which means a rejection of selfhood in terms of the thing, the noumenon, an embrace of activity/affect as the true substance. But this recognition evolves, via this new thinking, into a truthful notion of the self, one that does not posit anything besides what inescapably is logically true.

Thus, overcoming first the Camel (carrying thing-ness, objectivity, one ones back, as superior to subjectivity) by becoming the Lion (realizing subjectivity as reality) and then overcoming the attachment to the appearance to subjectivity, letting go of the last "clinging" -- shedding the fear that without actively willing the will to power (!) as the ultimate reality, it is weakened in oneself. The pride of the Lion is his cage. A beings strength is only unrestrained, natural, when he is not concerned with it. The will to power flows forth naturally from the Child as a contingency to its being, whereas the Lion is solely occupied with this will in order to attain his being -- which, as you say, he never does.


But there are ways to maintain your sense of self, even realizing the concept of the world being the will to power. If you were to realize that you were the dream of some God, you would awaken, that is to say, cease to exist... Unless you had a peculiar art for keeping yourself asleep. Unless you began to dream yourself, by embracing yourself as a contributory poet to the overall divine dream. How would we do this, embrace ourselves as contributory wills to "power," to the monster of energy that is called the world? That is the question that I see value-ontology dealing with. This new contributory self would no longer need to bear or fight, it would no longer be camel or lion, but child. This valuing of the self, of the contributory self, would give birth to both truth and appearance. The truth, that one is a mere instance in the world soul, and the appearance... that one truly exists, that one is a self. As you say "the far more useful idea that value (more precisely the act of valuing) gives rise to both appearance and truth. "

Yes. And so the Child is itself a World, from which new appearances are born, from which new wills are born, the ground to new evolving worlds, the power of new camels to bear their future selves as burdens.

Capable wrote:
Fixed Cross wrote:
Parodites wrote: "Will to power" as a philosophical concept literally means an unrealizable force, a potential that is infinite not in extremity, dimension, or intensity, but by virtue of the fact that it cannot be made actual, it cannot be actualized.

This is a breakthrough insight to me. Truly effective in justifying the move beyond Nietzsche.


Strangely coincidental of this, the other day I was thinking that will to power is always a will to power to, or for, or in terms of... that to speak of "the will to power" without regard to any of these is to speak nonsense, to say "God" and no more. Even supposedly "pure" will to power is still "will to power... to... [more] will to power", supposedly escaping the problem of actualization(-al limitation and constraint) but of course failing to do so. What is really interesting then, bearing in mind that to speak of will to power is to speak of an in terms of, for, of -- and that to abstract will to power to the highest power of abstraction is to reduce the meaning of the term, through asymptotic regression to the limit of absurdity -- is that every for is also (and even more so!) a from. In order to actualize one must place oneself at the mercy of certain limits, be an abeyance the result of necessarily constrictive forces which narrow through an imposition of the existence of 'negative' domains, empty space, void/s. From the perspective of that which wills, and of its power/s, these voids do not, cannot exist. Such (relative) ontic and ontological 'gaps' are a price of delimitation.

Conceptually this meshes with what you discuss here, arriving at the same point through a slightly different path: that the will to power is insufficient to break these barrier into "reality", to attend to a becoming-real -- to creating. The metaphysical heart of the will to power is thus revealed. To totally avoid this metaphysical appeal one must speak only of wills to powers, and thus a new unifying principle becomes necessary to bind these together into a new synthesized, useful, comprehensive understanding. Clearly will to power itself is inadequate to act as such a unifying principle. This is where value ontology (as well as, among other things, Heidegger's Da-sein) steps in, filling in the "unavoidable remainder" of gap-void inevitably left over from will to power's becoming actual/being applied. Valu(ing) becomes the 'verb' by which predicate unites with subject, subject with predicate. Whereas the upper limit (as abstracted-reified will to power) approaches meaninglessness and unreality, we have found the beginnings of a "lower limit", of which value ontology now acts as an early tracing.


Parodites wrote:This criticism of the will to power on ontological and psychological grounds demonstrates that the subject, the human subject, requires something beyond itself in order to establish the language necessary to realize a structure it can embody. Alone, the Nietzschean self cannot be actualized- it is not properly a self, rather a "selves." To be actualized the self requires a limit, without it, it cannot be articulated. Kierkegaard says as much in declaring "despair" to be the fundamental nature of the human being, it is not a psychiatric ill that can be cured, it is human nature itself, the basic incompleteness of that nature, and can be relieved only by God, the limit. Systems of religion, philosophy, and metaphysics- systems which have provided limits of this kind, have concealed the real truth which is that it is the subject which is onto-logically primary, not what is limiting it, meaning that the act of value and creation by which the self is realized becomes disfigured, is seen as a moment of subordination, of being encapsulated by the limit. If this was not the case, then the creative act would continue indefinitely, the self would be perpetually "realized," that is, created.

This "onto-logical primacy" of the subject which would allow that creative moment to persist, I have articulated with the concept of the daemonic.



This thread ties a lot of stuff together, you should put it in production.


Pezer wrote:Will to Power and nothing besides is exactly the same concept as Allmighty, Omnipresent Pure Love God.

Not something to be overcome, but an overcoming.

Like chaos. To regard chaos is absurd, but it is an answer to Universality.

In both cases, the overcoming slaps through a taste of truth that leaves no doubt.

This is the way of Will to Power, of Chaos, old forms are not discarded but digested, nay, used, overcome.

But why the focus on such madness? Much more did Nietzsche write about the superman. The question of the child and the superman: is this world ready for a lion, fully? The mistake was to think the metamorphosis required only an individual effort, a child would be bored as fuck in this age and die of loneliness.

"The superman has always happened as a happy mistake (usually a brutal, bloody one), but the project has not yet been undertaken to breed one, a family, a people." Paraphrased, of course, parantheses mine.

Anyway, I think the OP was brilliantly on the right track: feeling of lack seen as a positive.

There's a metamorphosis.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:23 pm

Fixed Cross didnt smile when he gave me this letter.



"It is my belief that the left has degenerated so far and modern/radical islam is just leftism, that it would not be productive now to reason wth them; the best thing is to demonstrate oneself. The best outcome is for the left to go to war with itself. The mass import of medieval people into recently liberated lands acts on a chemical level, it reduces the structural integrity of most entities in that continent. It is like emptying a sewage tank over a bed of sleeping children. Its going to condition for the worse the generation now growing up, and philosophy will eventually have to be re invented there, and rebuilt from the ground up.

Its been a while now that "quality papers", equivalents of the NY Times and Washington Post, have been hiring from these new pools of islamized/socialized education, resulting in a constant stream of grammatical errors. So you'll be reading about the racism of those that try to fight against islamization in the language of a person who has apparently not gone to grade school. For all the depravity of the new york times now, it still has plenty of intellectual savvy, it is a paper run by people that can appreciate a sentence. One the one hand this would seem to make it more dangerous - on the other, the debilitating effect of actual morons running the Intelligentsia-sphere is almost absolute.

So what we have in Europe is a couple of hundred millions of cows grazing on increasingly poisonous ground, and stampeding upon anyone who tries to improve that ground.

By far the best prospects are for a phase of nationalist-conservative parties to be elected into command - Geert Wilders can not lead in in the Netherlands, he is no Trump and he is even more hated, but LePen might pull it off in France. That would cause despair among the establishment and imams (i really do think Saudi Arabia is consciously taking over: they would be 'infidels' if they didnt) even beyond what we see in the US now. Far beyond. It would likely result in a lot of armed conflict. But that would in turn lead to islam being revealed for what it is. And that is the aim. Just like it was the major aim of the Trumpen to reveal the inhumanity of the media, and thus cure the US of its most dreadful disease, an aim for Europe would always have to involve exposing the vileness at the core of the religious beliefs that now claim decency."
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:50 am



Fixed Cross shas me say that Pezer is Dionysos., He stresses the italicized is and the os and not us. He is such a snob. Fuck him. Im Dionyusos souis. Whateverthefuck.
I was wawkened in my REM sleep excuse you.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby MagsJ » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:38 pm

I have found that the one thing most philosophers lack is a sense of humour.. but not all..
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:24 pm

Good morning mr President, as well as all free peoples, real men and women, sexy creatures, lovebirds and future-wolves.

Image

A small status update brought over from the places where dreams and futures are made, Fixed Cross says hello and asks you all to come up with names of potential democratic candidates.

The future is here, we won, by building thought to disclose the future.


All very happy.

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It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:42 pm

Fixed ordered me to archive the Aristophanes play here in honor of a reference made to the play by a poster here in praising him.


Image


The Clouds

By Aristophanes

Written 419 B.C.E

Dramatis Personae

STREPSIADES
PHIDIPPIDES
SERVANT OF STREPSIADES
DISCIPLES OF SOCRATES
SOCRATES
JUST DISCOURSE
UNJUST DISCOURSE
PASIAS, a Money-lender
AMYNIAS, another Money-lender
CHORUS OF CLOUDS


Scene

In the background are two houses, that of Strepsiades and that of Socrates, the Thoughtery. The latter is small and dingy; the in, terior of the former is shown and two beds are seen, each occupied.

STREPSIADES sitting up

Great gods! will these nights never end? will daylight never come? I heard the cock crow long ago and my slaves are snoring still! Ah! Ah! It wasn't like this formerly. Curses on the war! has it not done me ills enough? Now I may not even chastise my own slaves. Again there's this brave lad, who never wakes the whole long night, but, wrapped in his five coverlets, farts away to his heart's content.

He lies down

Come! let me nestle in well and snore too, if it be possible....oh! misery, it's vain to think of sleep with all these expenses, this stable, these debts, which are devouring me, thanks to this fine cavalier, who only knows how to look after his long locks, to show himself off in his chariot and to dream of horses! And I, I am nearly dead, when I see the moon bringing the third decade in her train and my liability falling due....Slave! light the lamp and bring me my tablets.

The slave obeys.

Who are all my creditors? Let me see and reckon up the interest. What is it I owe?....Twelve minae to Pasias....What! twelve minae to Pasias?....Why did I borrow these? Ah! I know! It was to buy that thoroughbred, which cost me so much. How I should have prized the stone that had blinded him!


PHIDIPPIDES in his sleep

That's not fair, Philo! Drive your chariot straight, I say.


STREPSIADES

This is what is destroying me. He raves about horses, even in his sleep.


PHIDIPPIDES still sleeping

How many times round the track is the race for the chariots of war?


STREPSIADES

It's your own father you are driving to death....to ruin. Come! what debt comes next, after that of Pasias?....Three minae to Amynias for a chariot and its two wheels.


PHIDIPPIDES still asleep

Give the horse a good roll in the dust and lead him home.


STREPSIADES

Ah! wretched boy! it's my money that you are making roll. My creditors have distrained on my goods, and here are others again, who demand security for their interest.


PHIDIPPIDES awaking

What is the matter with you, father, that you groan and turn about the whole night through?


STREPSIADES

I have a bum-bailiff in the bedclothes biting me.


PHIDIPPIDES

For pity's sake, let me have a little sleep.

He turns over.


STREPSIADES

Very well, sleep on! but remember that all these debts will fall back on your shoulders. Oh! curses on the go-between who made me marry your mother! I lived so happily in the country, a commonplace, everyday life, but a good and easy one-had not a trouble, not a care, was rich in bees, in sheep and in olives. Then indeed I had to marry the niece of Megacles, the son of Megacles; I belonged to the country, she was from the town; she was a haughty, extravagant woman, a true Coesyra. On the nuptial day, when I lay beside her, I was reeking of the dregs of the wine-cup, of cheese and of wool; she was redolent with essences, saffron, voluptuous kisses, the love of spending, of good cheer and of wanton delights. I will not say she did nothing; no, she worked hard...to ruin me, and pretending all the while merely to be showing her the cloak she had woven for me, I said, "Wife you go too fast about your work, your threads are too closely woven and you use far too much wool."

A slave enters witk a lamp.


SLAVE

There is no more oil in the lamp.


STREPSIADES

Why then did you light such a thirsty lamp? Come here, I am going to beat you.


SLAVE

What for?


STREPSIADES

Because you have put in too thick a wick....Later, when we had this boy, what was to be his name? It was the cause of much quarrelling with my loving wife. She insisted on having some reference to a horse in his name, that he should be called Xanthippus, Charippus or Callippides. I wanted to name him Phidonides after his grandfather. We disputed long, and finally agreed to style him Phidippides....She used to fondle and coax him, saying, "Oh! what a joy it will be to me when you have grown up, to see you, like my father, Megacles, clothed in purple and standing up straight in your chariot driving your steeds toward the town." And I would say to him, "When, like your father, you will go, dressed in a skin, to fetch back your goats from Phelleus." Alas! he never listened to me and his madness for horses has shattered my fortune.

He gets out of bed.

But by dint of thinking the livelong night, I have discovered a road to salvation, both miraculous and divine. If he will but follow it, I shall be out of my trouble! First, however, he must be awakened, but it must be done as gently as possible. How shall I manage it? Phidippides! my little Phidippides!


PHIDIPPIDES awaking again

What is it, father?


STREPSIADES

Kiss me and give me your hand.


PHIDIPPIDES getting up and doing as his father requests

There! What's it all about?


STREPSIADES

Tell me! do you love me?


PHIDIPPIDES

By Posidon, the equestrian Posidon! yes, I swear I do.


STREPSIADES

Oh, do not, I pray you, invoke this god of horses; he is the one who is the cause of all my cares. But if you really love me, and with your whole heart, my boy, believe me.


PHIDIPPIDES

Believe you? about what?


STREPSIADES

Alter your habits forthwith and go and learn what I tell you.


PHIDIPPIDES

Say on, what are your orders?


STREPSIADES

Will you obey me ever so little?


PHIDIPPIDES

By Bacchus, I will obey you.


STREPSIADES

Very well then! Look this way. Do you see that little door and that little house?


PHIDIPPIDES

Yes, father. But what are you driving at?


STREPSIADES

That is the Thoughtery of wise souls. There they prove that we are coals enclosed on all sides under a vast snuffer, which is the sky. If well paid, these men also teach one how to gain law-suits, whether they be just or not.


PHIDIPPIDES

What do they call themselves?


STREPSIADES

I do not know exactly, but they are deep thinkers and most admirable people.


PHIDIPPIDES

Bah! the wretches! I know them; you mean those quacks with pale faces, those barefoot fellows, such as that miserable Socrates and Chaerephon?


STREPSIADES

Silence! say nothing foolish! If you desire your father not to die of hunger, join their company and let your horses go.


PHIDIPPIDES

No, by Bacchus! even though you gave me the pheasants that Leogoras raises.


STREPSIADES

Oh! my beloved son, I beseech you, go and follow their teachings.


PHIDIPPIDES

And what is it I should learn?


STREPSIADES

It seems they have two courses of reasoning, the true and the false, and that, thanks to the false, the worst law-suits can be gained. If then you learn this science, which is false, I shall not have to pay an obolus of all the debts I have contracted on your account.


PHIDIPPIDES

No, I will not do it. I should no longer dare to look at our gallant horsemen, when I had so ruined my tan.


STREPSIADES

Well then, by Demeter! I will no longer support you, neither you, nor your team, nor your saddle-horse. Go and hang yourself, I turn you out of house and home.


PHIDIPPIDES

My uncle Megacles will not leave me without horses; I shall go to him and laugh at your anger.

He departs. STREPSIADES goes over to SOCRATES' house.


STREPSIADES

One rebuff shall not dishearten me. With the help of the gods I will enter the Thoughtery and learn myself.

He hesitates.

But at my age, memory has gone and the mind is slow to grasp things. How can all these fine distinctions, these subtleties be learned?

Making up his mind

Bah! why should I dally thus instead of rapping at the door? Slave, slave!

He knocks and calls.


A DISCIPLE from within

A plague on you! Who are you?


STREPSIADES

Strepsiades, the son of Phido, of the deme of Cicynna.


DISCIPLE coming out of the door

You are nothing but an ignorant and illiterate fellow to let fly at the door with such kicks. You have brought on a miscarriage-of an idea!


STREPSIADES

Pardon me, please; for I live far away from here in the country. But tell me, what was the idea that miscarried?


DISCIPLE

I may not tell it to any but a disciple.


STREPSIADES

Then tell me without fear, for I have come to study among you.


DISCIPLE

Very well then, but reflect, that these are mysteries. Lately, a flea bit Chaerephon on the brow and then from there sprang on to the head of Socrates. Socrates asked Chaerephon, "How many times the length of its legs does a flea jump?"


STREPSIADES

And how ever did he go about measuring it?


DISCIPLE

Oh! it was most ingenious! He melted some wax, seized the flea and dipped its two feet in the wax, which, when cooled, left them shod with true Persian slippers. These he took off and with them measured the distance.


STREPSIADES

Ah! great Zeus! what a brain! what subtlety!


DISCIPLE

I wonder what then would you say, if you knew another of Socrates' contrivances?


STREPSIADES

What is it? Pray tell me.


DISCIPLE

Chaerephon of the deme of Sphettia asked him whether he thought a gnat buzzed through its proboscis or through its anus.


STREPSIADES

And what did he say about the gnat?


DISCIPLE

He said that the gut of the gnat was narrow, and that, in passing through this tiny passage, the air is driven with force towards the breech; then after this slender channel, it encountered the rump, which was distended like a trumpet, and there it resounded sonorously.


STREPSIADES

So the arse of a gnat is a trumpet. Oh! what a splendid arsevation! Thrice happy Socrates! It would not be difficult to succeed in a law-suit, knowing so much about a gnat's guts!


DISCIPLE

Not long ago a lizard caused him the loss of a sublime thought.


STREPSIADES

In what way, please?


DISCIPLE

One night, when he was studying the course of the moon and its revolutions and was gazing open-mouthed at the heavens, a lizard crapped upon him from the top of the roof.


STREPSIADES

A lizard crapping on Socrates! That's rich!


DISCIPLE

Last night we had nothing to eat.


STREPSIADES

Well, what did he contrive, to secure you some supper?


DISCIPLE

He spread over the table a light layer of cinders, bending an iron rod the while; then he took up a pair of compasses and at the same moment unhooked a piece of the victim which was hanging in the palaestra.


STREPSIADES

And we still dare to admire Thales! Open, open this home of knowledge to me quickly! Haste, haste to show me Socrates; I long to become his disciple. But do please open the door.

The door opens, revealing the interior of the Thoughtery, in which the DISCIPLES OF SOCRATES are seen in various postures of meditation and study; they are pale and emaciated creatures.

Ah! by Heracles! what country are those animals from?


DISCIPLE

Why, what are you astonished at? What do you think they resemble?


STREPSIADES

The captives of Pylos. But why do they look so fixedly on the ground?


DISCIPLE

They are seeking for what is below the ground.


STREPSIADES

Ah! they're looking for onions. Do not give yourselves so much trouble; I know where there are some, fine big ones. But what are those fellows doing, bent all double?


DISCIPLE

They are sounding the abysses of Tartarus.


STREPSIADES

And what are their arses looking at in the heavens?


DISCIPLE

They are studying astronomy on their own account. But come in so that the master may not find us here.


STREPSIADES

Not yet; not yet; let them not change their position. I want to tell them my own little matter.


DISCIPLE

But they may not stay too long in the open air and away from school.


STREPSIADES pointing to a celestial globe

In the name of all the gods, what is that? Tell me.


DISCIPLE

That is astronomy.


STREPSIADES pointing to a map

And that?


DISCIPLE

Geometry.


STREPSIADES

What is that used for?


DISCIPLE

To measure the land.


STREPSIADES

But that is apportioned by lot.


DISCIPLE

No, no, I mean the entire earth.


STREPSIADES

Ah! what a funny thing! How generally useful indeed is this invention!


DISCIPLE

There is the whole surface of the earth. Look! Here is Athens.


STREPSIADES

Athens! you are mistaken; I see no courts in session.


DISCIPLE

Nevertheless it is really and truly the Attic territory.


STREPSIADES

And where are my neighbours of Cicynna?


DISCIPLE

They live here. This is Euboea; you see this island, that is so long and narrow.


STREPSIADES

I know. Because we and Pericles have stretched it by dint of squeezing it. And where is Lacedaemon?


DISCIPLE

Lacedaemon? Why, here it is, look.


STREPSIADES

How near it is to us! Think it well over, it must be removed to a greater distance.


DISCIPLE

But, by Zeus, that is not possible.


STREPSIADES

Then, woe to you! and who is this man suspended up in a basket?


DISCIPLE

That's himself.


STREPSIADES

Who's himself?


DISCIPLE

Socrates.


STREPSIADES

Socrates! Oh! I pray you, call him right loudly for me.


DISCIPLE

Call him yourself; I have no time to waste.

He departs. The machine swings in SOCRATES in a basket.


STREPSIADES

Socrates! my little Socrates!


SOCRATES loftily

Mortal, what do you want with me?


STREPSIADES

First, what are you doing up there? Tell me, I beseech you.


SOCRATES POMPOUSLY

I am traversing the air and contemplating the sun.


STREPSIADES

Thus it's not on the solid ground, but from the height of this basket, that you slight the gods, if indeed....


SOCRATES

I have to suspend my brain and mingle the subtle essence of my mind with this air, which is of the like nature, in order clearly to penetrate the things of heaven. I should have discovered nothing, had I remained on the ground to consider from below the things that are above; for the earth by its force attracts the sap of the mind to itself. It's just the same with the watercress.


STREPSIADES

What? Does the mind attract the sap of the watercress? Ah! my dear little Socrates, come down to me! I have come to ask you for lessons.


SOCRATES descending

And for what lessons?


STREPSIADES

I want to learn how to speak. I have borrowed money, and my merciles creditors do not leave me a moment's peace; all my goods are at stake.


SOCRATES

And how was it you did not see that you were getting so much into debt?


STREPSIADES

My ruin has been the madness for horses, a most rapacious evil; but teach me one of your two methods of reasoning, the one whose object is not to repay anything, and, may the gods bear witness, that I am ready to pay any fee you may name.


SOCRATES

By which gods will you swear? To begin with, the gods are not a coin current with us.


STREPSIADES

But what do you swear by then? By the iron money of Byzantium?


SOCRATES

Do you really wish to know the truth of celestial matters?


STREPSIADES

Why, yes, if it's possible.


SOCRATES

....and to converse with the clouds, who are our genii?


STREPSIADES

Without a doubt.


SOCRATES

Then be seated on this sacred couch.


STREPSIADES sitting down

I am seated.


SOCRATES

Now take this chaplet.


STREPSIADES

Why a chaplet? Alas! Socrates, would you sacrifice me, like Athamas?


SOCRATES

No, these are the rites of initiation.


STREPSIADES

And what is it I am to gain?


SOCRATES

You will become a thorough rattle-pate, a hardened old stager, the fine flour of the talkers....But come, keep quiet.


STREPSIADES

By Zeus! That's no lie! Soon I shall be nothing but wheat-flour, if you powder me in that fashion.


SOCRATES

Silence, old man, give heed to the prayers.

In an hierophantic tone

Oh! most mighty king, the boundless air, that keepest the earth suspended in space, thou bright Aether and ye venerable goddesses, the Clouds, who carry in your loins the thunder and the lightning, arise, ye sovereign powers and manifest yourselves in the celestial spheres to the eyes of your sage.


STREPSIADES

Not yet! Wait a bit, till I fold my mantle double, so as not to get wet. And to think that I did not even bring my travelling cap! What a misfortune!


SOCRATES ignoring this

Come, oh! Clouds, whom I adore, come and show yourselves to this man, whether you be resting on the sacred summits of Olympus, crowned with hoar-frost, or tarrying in the gardens of Ocean, your father, forming sacred choruses with the Nymphs; whether you be gathering the waves of the Nile in golden vases or dwelling in the Maeotic marsh or on the snowy rocks of Mimas, hearken to my prayer and accept my offering. May these sacrifices be pleasing to you.

Amidst rumblings of thunder the CHORUS OF CLOUDS appears.


CHORUS singing

Eternal Clouds, let us appear; let us arise from the roaring depths of Ocean, our father; let us fly towards the lofty mountains, spread our damp wings over their forest-laden summits, whence we will dominate the distant valleys, the harvest fed by the sacred earth, the murmur of the divine streams and the resounding waves of the sea, which the unwearying orb lights up with its glittering beams. But let us shake off the rainy fogs, which hide our immortal beauty and sweep the earth from afar with our gaze.


SOCRATES

Oh, venerated goddesses, yes, you are answering my call!

To STREPSIADES.

Did you hear their voices mingling with the awful growling of the thunder?


STREPSIADES

Oh! adorable Clouds, I revere you and I too am going to let off my thunder, so greatly has your own affrighted me.

He farts.

Faith! whether permitted or not, I must, I must crap!


SOCRATES

No scoffing; do not copy those damned comic poets. Come, silence! a numerous host of goddesses approaches with songs.


CHORUS singing

Virgins, who pour forth the rains, let us move toward Attica, the rich country of Pallas, the home of the brave; let us visit the dear land of Cecrops, where the secret rites are celebrated, where the mysterious sanctuary flies open to the initiate.... What victims are offered there to the deities of heaven! What glorious temples! What statues! What holy prayers to the rulers of Olympus! At every season nothing but sacred festivals, garlanded victims, is to be seen. Then Spring brings round again the joyous feasts of Dionysus, the harmonious contests of the choruses and the serious melodies of the flute.


STREPSIADES

By Zeus! Tell me, Socrates, I pray you, who are these women, whose language is so solemn; can they be demi-goddesses?


SOCRATES

Not at all. They are the Clouds of heaven, great goddesses for the lazy; to them we owe all, thoughts, speeches, trickery, roguery, boasting, lies, sagacity.


STREPSIADES

Ah! that was why, as I listened to them, my mind spread out its wings; it burns to babble about trifles, to maintain worthless arguments, to voice its petty reasons, to contradict, to tease some opponent. But are they not going to show themselves? I should like to see them, were it possible.


SOCRATES

Well, look this way in the direction of Parnes; I already see those who are slowly descending.


STREPSIADES

But where, where? Show them to me.


SOCRATES

They are advancing in a throng, following an oblique path across the dales and thickets.


STREPSIADES

Strange! I can see nothing.


SOCRATES

There, close to the entrance.


STREPSIADES

Hardly, if at all, can I distinguish them.


SOCRATES

You must see them clearly now, unless your eyes are filled with gum as thick as pumpkins.


STREPSIADES

Aye, undoubtedly! Oh! the venerable goddesses! Why, they fill up the entire stage.


SOCRATES

And you did not know, you never suspected, that they were goddesses?


STREPSIADES

No, indeed; I thought the Clouds were only fog, dew and vapour.


SOCRATES

But what you certainly do not know is that they are the support of a crowd of quacks, the diviners, who were sent to Thurium, the notorious physicians, the well-combed fops, who load their fingers with rings down to the nails, and the braggarts, who write dithyrambic verses, all these are idlers whom the Clouds provide a living for, because they sing them in their verses.


STREPSIADES

It is then for this that they praise "the rapid flight of the moist clouds, which veil the brightness of day" and "the waving locks of the hundred-headed Typho" and "the impetuous tempests, which float through the heavens, like birds of prey with aerial wings loaded with mists" and "the rains, the dew, which the clouds outpour." As a reward for these fine phrases they bolt well-grown, tasty mullet and delicate thrushes.


SOCRATES

Yes, thanks to these. And is it not right and meet?


STREPSIADES

Tell me then why, if these really are the Clouds, they so very much resemble mortals. This is not their usual form.


SOCRATES

What are they like then?


STREPSIADES

I don't know exactly; well, they are like great packs of wool, but not like women-no, not in the least....And these have noses.


SOCRATES

Answer my questions.


STREPSIADES

Willingly! Go on, I am listening.


SOCRATES

Have you not sometimes seen clouds in the sky like a centaur, a leopard, a wolf or a bull?


STREPSIADES

Why, certainly I have, but what of that?


SOCRATES

They take what metamorphosis they like. If they see a debauchee with long flowing locks and hairy as a beast, like the son of Xenophantes, they take the form of a Centaur in derision of his shameful passion.


STREPSIADES

And when they see Simon, that thiever of public money, what do they do then?


SOCRATES

To picture him to the life, they turn at once into wolves.


STREPSIADES

So that was why yesterday, when they saw Cleonymus, who cast away his buckler because he is the veriest poltroon amongst men, they changed into deer.


SOCRATES

And to-day they have seen Clisthenes; you see....they are women


STREPSIADES

Hail, sovereign goddesses, and if ever you have let your celestial voice be heard by mortal ears, speak to me, oh! speak to me, ye all-powerful queens.


CHORUS-LEADER

Hail! veteran of the ancient times, you who burn to instruct yourself in fine language. And you, great high-priest of subtle nonsense, tell us; your desire. To you and Prodicus alone of all the hollow orationers of to-day have we lent an ear-to Prodicus, because of his knowledge and his great wisdom, and to you, because you walk with head erect, a confident look, barefooted, resigned to everything and proud of our protection.


STREPSIADES

Oh! Earth! What august utterances! how sacred! how wondrous!


SOCRATES

That is because these are the only goddesses; all the rest are pure myth.


STREPSIADES

But by the Earth! is our father, Zeus, the Olympian, not a god?


SOCRATES

Zeus! what Zeus! Are you mad? There is no Zeus.


STREPSIADES

What are you saying now? Who causes the rain to fall? Answer me that!


SOCRATES

Why, these, and I will prove it. Have you ever seen it raining without clouds? Let Zeus then cause rain with a clear sky and without their presence!


STREPSIADES

By Apollo! that is powerfully argued! For my own part, I always thought it was Zeus pissing into a sieve. But tell me, who is it makes the thunder, which I so much dread?


SOCRATES

These, when they roll one over the other.


STREPSIADES

But how can that be? you most daring among men!


SOCRATES

Being full of water, and forced to move along, they are of necessity precipitated in rain, being fully distended with moisture from the regions where they have been floating; hence they bump each other heavily and burst with great noise.


STREPSIADES

But is it not Zeus who forces them to move?


SOCRATES

Not at all; it's the aerial Whirlwind.


STREPSIADES

The Whirlwind! ah! I did not know that. So Zeus, it seems, has no existence, and its the Whirlwind that reigns in his stead? But you have not yet told me what makes the roll of the thunder?


SOCRATES

Have you not understood me then? I tell you, that the Clouds, when full of rain, bump against one another, and that, being inordinately swollen out, they burst with a great noise.


STREPSIADES

How can you make me credit that?


SOCRATES

Take yourself as an example. When you have heartily gorged on stew at the Panathenaea, you get throes of stomach-ache and then suddenly your belly resounds with prolonged rumbling.


STREPSIADES

Yes, yes, by Apollo I suffer, I get colic, then the stew sets to rumbling like thunder and finally bursts forth with a terrific noise. At first, it's but a little gurgling pappax, pappax! then it increases, papapappax! and when I take my crap, why, it's thunder indeed, papapappax! pappax!! papapappax!!! just like the clouds.


SOCRATES

Well then, reflect what a noise is produced by your belly, which is but small. Shall not the air, which is boundless, produce these mighty claps of thunder?


STREPSIADES

And this is why the names are so much alike: crap and clap. But tell me this. Whence comes the lightning, the dazzling flame, which at times consumes the man it strikes, at others hardly singes him. Is it not plain, that Zeus is hurling it at the perjurers?


SOCRATES

Out upon the fool! the driveller! he still savours of the golden age! If Zeus strikes at the perjurers, why has he not blasted Simon, Cleonymus and Theorus? Of a surety, greater perjurers cannot exist. No, he strikes his own temple, and Sunium, the promontory of Athens, and the towering oaks. Now, why should he do that? An oak is no perjurer.


STREPSIADES

I cannot tell, but it seems to me well argued. What is the lightning then?


SOCRATES

When a dry wind ascends to the Clouds and gets shut into them, it blows them out like a bladder; finally, being too confined, it bursts them, escapes with fierce violence and a roar to flash into flame by reason of its own impetuosity.


STREPSIADES

Ah, that's just what happened to me one day. It was at the feast of Zeus! I was cooking a sow's belly for my family and I had forgotten to slit it open. It swelled out and, suddenly bursting, discharged itself right into my eyes and burnt my face.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

Oh, mortal, you who desire to instruct yourself in our great wisdom, the Athenians, the Greeks will envy you your good fortune. Only you must have the memory and ardour for study, you must know how to stand the tests, hold your own, go forward without feeling fatigue, caring but little for food, abstaining from wine, gymnastic exercises and other similar follies, in fact, you must believe as every man of intellect should, that the greatest of all blessings is to live and think more clearly than the vulgar herd, to shine in the contests of words.


STREPSIADES

If it be a question of hardiness for labour, of spending whole nights at work, of living sparingly, of fighting my stomach and only eating chickpease, rest assured, I am as hard as an anvil.


SOCRATES

Henceforward, following our example, you will recognize no other gods but Chaos, the Clouds and the Tongue, these three alone.


STREPSIADES

I would not speak to the others, even if I met them in the street; not a single sacrifice, not a libation, not a grain of incense for them!


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

Tell us boldly then what you want of us; you cannot fail to succeed. If you honour and revere us and if you are resolved to become a clever man.


STREPSIADES

Oh, sovereign goddesses, it is only a very small favour that I ask of you; grant that I may outdistance all the Greeks by a hundred stadia in the art of speaking.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

We grant you this, and henceforward no eloquence shall more often succeed with the people than your own.


STREPSIADES

May the gods shield me from possessing great eloquence! That's not what I want. I want to be able to turn bad law-suits to my own advantage and to slip through the fingers of my creditors.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

It shall be as you wish, for your ambitions are modest. Commit yourself fearlessly to our ministers, the sophists.


STREPSIADES

This I will do, for I trust in you. Moreover there is no drawing back, what with these cursed horses and this marriage, which has eaten up my vitals.

More and more volubly from here to the end of speech

So let them do with me as they will; I yield my body to them. Come blows, come hunger, thirst, heat or cold, little matters it to me; they may flay me, if I only escape my debts, if only I win the reputation of being a bold rascal, a fine speaker, impudent, shameless, a braggart, and adept at stringing lies, an old stager at quibbles, a complete table of laws, a thorough rattle, a fox to slip through any hole; supple as a leathern strap, slippery as an eel, an artful fellow, a blusterer, a villain; a knave with a hundred faces, cunning, intolerable, a gluttonous dog. With such epithets do I seek to be greeted; on these terms they can treat me as they choose, and, if they wish, by Demeter! they can turn me into sausages and serve me up to the philosophers.


CHORUS singing

Here have we a bold and well-disposed pupil indeed. When we have taught you, your glory among the mortals will reach even to the skies.


STREPSIADES singing

Wherein will that profit me?


CHORUS singing

You will pass your whole life among us and will be the most envied of men.


STREPSIADES singing

Shall I really ever see such happiness?


CHORUS singing

Clients will be everlastingly besieging your door in crowds, burning to get at you, to explain their business to you and to consult you about their suits, which, in return for your ability, will bring you in great sums.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

But, Socrates, begin the lessons you want to teach this old man; rouse his mind, try the strength of his intelligence.


SOCRATES

Come, tell me the kind of mind you have; it's important that I know this, that I may order my batteries against you in the right fashion.


STREPSIADES

Eh, what! in the name of the gods, are you purposing to assault me then?


SOCRATES

No. I only wish to ask you some questions. Have you any memory?


STREPSIADES

That depends: if anything is owed me, my memory is excellent, but if I owe, alas! I have none whatever.


SOCRATES

Have you a natural gift for speaking?


STREPSIADES

For speaking, no; for cheating, yes.


SOCRATES

How will you be able to learn then?


STREPSIADES

Very easily, have no fear.


SOCRATES

Thus, when I throw forth some philosophical thought anent things celestial., you will seize it in its very flight?


STREPSIADES

Then I am to snap up wisdom much as a dog snaps up a morsel?


SOCRATES aside

Oh! the ignoramus! the barbarian!

to STREPSIADES

I greatly fear, old man, it will be necessary for me to have recourse to blows. Now, let me hear what you do when you are beaten.


STREPSIADES

I receive the blow, then wait a moment, take my witnesses and finally summon my assailant at law.


SOCRATES

Come, take off your cloak.


STREPSIADES

Have I robbed you of anything?


SOCRATES

No. but the usual thing is to enter the school without your cloak.


STREPSIADES

But I have not come here to look for stolen goods.


SOCRATES

Off with it, fool!


STREPSIADES He obeys.

Tell me, if I prove thoroughly attentive and learn with zeal, which O; your disciples shall I resemble, do you think?


SOCRATES

You will be the image of Chaerephon.


STREPSIADES

Ah! unhappy me! Shall I then be only half alive?


SOCRATES

A truce to this chatter! follow me and no more of it.


STREPSIADES

First give me a honey-cake, for to descend down there sets me all a-tremble; it looks like the cave of Trophonius.


SOCRATES

But get in with you! What reason have you for thus dallying at the door?

They go into the Thoughtery.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

Good luck! you have courage; may you succeed, you, who, though already so advanced in years, wish to instruct your mind with new studies and practise it in wisdom!

The CHORUS turns and faces the Audience.

Spectators! By Bacchus, whose servant I am, I will frankly tell you the truth. May I secure both victory and renown as certainly as I hold you for adept critics and as I regard this comedy as my best. I wished to give you the first view of a work, which had cost me much trouble, but which I withdrew, unjustly beaten by unskilful rivals. It is you, oh, enlightened public, for whom I have prepared my piece, that I reproach with this. Nevertheless I shall never willingly cease to seek the approval of the discerning. I have not forgotten the day, when men, whom one is happy to have for an audience, received my Virtuous Young Man and my Paederast with so much favour in this very place. Then as yet virgin, my Muse had not attained the age for maternity; she had to expose her first-born for another to adopt, and it has since grown up under your generous patronage. Ever since you have as good as sworn me your faithful alliance. Thus, like the Electra of the poets, my comedy has come to seek you to-day, hoping again to encounter such enlightened spectators. As far away as she can discern her Orestes, she will be able to recognize him by his curly head. And note her modest demeanour! She has not sewn on a piece of hanging leather, thick and reddened at the end, to cause laughter among the children; she does not rail at the bald, neither does she dance the cordax; no old man is seen, who, while uttering his lines, batters his questioner with a stick to make his poor jests pass muster. She does not rush upon the scene carrying a torch and screaming, 'Iou! Iou!' No, she relies upon herself and her verses....My value is so well known, that I take no further pride in it. I do not seek to deceive you, by reproducing the same subjects two or three times; I always invent fresh themes to present before you, themes that have no relation to each other and that are all clever. I attacked Cleon to his face and when he was all-powerful; but he has fallen, and now I have no desire to kick him when he is down. My rivals, on the contrary, now that this wretched Hyperbolus has given them the cue, have never ceased setting upon both him and his mother. First Eupolis presented his 'Maricas'; this was simply my 'Knights,' whom this plagiarist had clumsily furbished up again by adding to the piece an old drunken woman, so that she might dance the cordax. It was an old idea, taken from Phrynichus, who caused his old hag to be devoured by a monster of the deep. Then Hermippus fell foul of Hyperbolus and now all the others fall upon him and repeat my comparison of the eels. May those who find amusement in their pieces not be pleased with mine, but as for you, who love and applaud my inventions, why, posterity will praise your good taste.


FIRST SEMI-CHORUS singing

Oh, ruler of Olympus, all-powerful king of the gods, great Zeus, it is thou whom I first invoke; protect this chorus; and thou too, Posidon, whose dread trident upheaves at the will of thy anger both the bowels of the earth and the salty waves of the ocean. I invoke my illustrious father, the divine Aether, the universal sustainer of life, and Phoebus, who, from the summit of his chariot, sets the world aflame with his dazzling rays, Phoebus, a mighty deity amongst the gods and adored amongst mortals.


LEADER OF FIRST SEMI-CHORUS

Most wise spectators, lend us all your attention. Give heed to our just reproaches. There exist no gods to whom this city owes more than it does to us, whom alone you forget. Not a sacrifice, not a libation is there for those who protect you! Have you decreed some mad expedition? Well! we thunder or we fall down in rain. When you chose that enemy of heaven, the Paphlagonian tanner, for a general, we knitted our brow, we caused our wrath to break out; the lightning shot forth, the thunder pealed, the moon deserted her course and the sun at once veiled his beam threatening, no longer to give you light, if Cleon became general. Nevertheless you elected him; it is said, Athens never resolves upon some fatal step but the gods turn these errors into her greatest gain. Do you wish that his election should even now be a success for you? It is a very simple thing to do; condemn this rapacious gull named Cleon for bribery and extortion, fit a wooden collar tight round his neck, and your error will be rectified and the commonweal will at once regain its old prosperity.


SECOND SEMI-CHORUS singing

Aid me also, Phoebus, god of Delos, who reignest on the cragged peaks of Cynthia; and thou, happy virgin, to whom the Lydian damsels offer pompous sacrifice in a temple; of gold; and thou, goddess of our country, Athene, armed with the aegis, the protectress of Athens; and thou, who, surrounded by the bacchants of Delphi; roamest over the rocks of Parnassus shaking the flame of thy resinous torch, thou, Bacchus, the god of revel and joy.


LEADER OF SECOND SEMI-CHORUS

As we were preparing to come here, we were hailed by the Moon and were charged to wish joy and happiness both to the Athenians and to their allies; further, she said that she was enraged and that you treated her very shamefully, her, who does not pay you in words alone, but who renders you all real benefits. Firstly, thanks to her, you save at least a drachma each month for lights, for each, as he is leaving home at night, says, "Slave, buy no torches, for the moonlight is beautiful,"-not to name a thousand other benefits. Nevertheless you do not reckon the days correctly and your calendar is naught but confusion. Consequently the gods load her with threats each time they get home and are disappointed of their meal, because the festival has not been kept in the regular order of time. When you should be sacrificing, you are putting to the torture or administering justice. And often, we others, the gods, are fasting in token of mourning for the death of Memnon or Sarpedon, while you are devoting yourselves to joyous libations. It is for this, that last year, when the lot would have invested Hyperbolus with the duty of Amphictyon, we took his crown from him, to teach him that time must be divided according to the phases of the moon.


SOCRATES coming out

By Respiration, the Breath of Life! By Chaos! By the Air! I have never seen a man so gross, so inept, so stupid, so forgetful. All the little quibbles, which I teach him, he forgets even before he has learnt them. Yet I will not give it up, I will make him come out here into the open air. Where are you, Strepsiades? Come, bring your couch out here.


STREPSIADES from within

But the bugs will not allow me to bring it.


SOCRATES

Have done with such nonsense! place it there and pay attention.


STREPSIADES coming out, with the bed

Well, here I am.


SOCRATES

Good! Which science of all those you have never been taught, do you wish to learn first? The measures, the rhythms or the verses?


STREPSIADES

Why, the measures; the flour dealer cheated me out of two choenixes the other day.


SOCRATES

It's not about that I ask you, but which, according to you, is the best measure, the trimeter or the tetrameter?


STREPSIADES

The one I prefer is the semisextarius.


SOCRATES

You talk nonsense, my good fellow.


STREPSIADES

I will wager your tetrameter is the semisextarius.


SOCRATES

Plague seize the dunce and the fool! Come, perchance you will learn the rhythms quicker.


STREPSIADES

Will the rhythms supply me with food?


SOCRATES

First they will help you to be pleasant in company, then to know what is meant by enhoplian rhythm and what by the dactylic.


STREPSIADES

Of the dactyl? I know that quite well.


SOCRATES

What is it then, other than this finger here?


STREPSIADES

Formerly, when a child, I used this one.


SOCRATES

You are as low-minded as you are stupid.


STREPSIADES

But, wretched man, I do not want to learn all this.


SOCRATES

Then what do you want to know?


STREPSIADES

Not that, not that, but the art of false reasoning.


SOCRATES

But you must first learn other things. Come, what are the male quadrupeds?


STREPSIADES

Oh! I know the males thoroughly. Do you take me for a fool then? The ram, the buck, the bull, the dog, the pigeon.


SOCRATES

Do you see what you are doing; is not the female pigeon called the same as the male?


STREPSIADES

How else? Come now!


SOCRATES

How else? With you then it's pigeon and pigeon!


STREPSIADES

That's right, by Posidon! but what names do you want me to give them?


SOCRATES

Term the female pigeonnette and the male pigeon.


STREPSIADES

Pigeonnette! hah! by the Air! That's splendid! for that lesson bring out your kneading-trough and I will fill him with flour to the brim.


SOCRATES

There you are wrong again; you make trough masculine and it should be feminine.


STREPSIADES

What? if I say, him, do I make the trough masculine?


SOCRATES

Assuredly! would you not say him for Cleonymus?


STREPSIADES

Well?


SOCRATES

Then trough is of the same gender as Cleonymus?


STREPSIADES

My good man! Cleonymus never had a kneading-trough; he used a round mortar for the purpose. But come, tell me what I should say!


SOCRATES

For trough you should say her as you would for Soctrate.


STREPSIADES

Her?


SOCRATES

In this manner you make it truly female.


STREPSIADES

That's it! Her for trough and her for Cleonymus.
SOCRATE,"
Now I must teach you to distinguish the masculine proper names from those that are feminine.


STREPSIADES

Ah! I know the female names well.


SOCRATES

Name some then.


STREPSIADES

Lysilla, Philinna, Clitagora, Demetria.


SOCRATES

And what are masculine names?


STREPSIADES

They are are countless-Philoxenus, Melesias, Amynias.


SOCRATES

But, wretched man, the last two are not masculine.


STREPSIADES

You do not count them as masculine?


SOCRATES

Not at all. If you met Amynias, how would you hail him?


STREPSIADES

How? Why, I should shout, "Hi, there, Amynia!


SOCRATES

Do you see? it's a female name that you give him.


STREPSIADES

And is it not rightly done, since he refuses military service? But what use is there in learning what we all know?


SOCRATES

You know nothing about it. Come, lie down there.


STREPSIADES

What for?


SOCRATES

Ponder awhile over matters that interest you.


STREPSIADES

Oh! I pray you, not there but, if I must lie down and ponder, let me lie on the ground.


SOCRATES

That's out of the question. Come! on the couch!


STREPSIADES as he lies down

What cruel fate! What a torture the bugs will this day put me to!

Socrates turns aside.


CHORUS singing

Ponder and examine closely, gather your thoughts together, let your mind turn to every side of things; if you meet with a difficulty, spring quickly to some other idea; above all, keep your eyes away from all gentle sleep.


STREPSIADES singing

Ow, Wow, Wow, Wow is me!


CHORUS singing

What ails you? why do you cry so?


STREPSIADES

Oh! I am a dead man! Here are these cursed Corinthians advancing upon me from all corners of the couch; they are biting me, they are gnawing at my sides, they are drinking all my blood, they are yanking of my balls, they are digging into my arse, they are killing me!


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

Not so much wailing and clamour, if you please.


STREPSIADES

How can I obey? I have lost my money and my complexion, my blood and my slippers, and to cap my misery, I must keep awake on this couch, when scarce a breath of life is left in me.

A brief interval of silence ensues.


SOCRATES

Well now! what are you doing? are you reflecting?


STREPSIADES

Yes, by Posidon!


SOCRATES

What about?


STREPSIADES

Whether the bugs will entirely devour me.


SOCRATES

May death seize you, accursed man!

He turns aside again.


STREPSIADES

Ah it has already.


SOCRATES

Come, no giving way! Cover up your head; the thing to do is to find an ingenious alternative.


STREPSIADES

An alternative! ah! I only wish one would come to me from within these coverlets!

Another interval of silence ensues.


SOCRATES

Wait! let us see what our fellow is doing! Ho! are you asleep?


STREPSIADES

No, by Apollo!


SOCRATES

Have you got hold of anything?


STREPSIADES

No, nothing whatever.


SOCRATES

Nothing at all?


STREPSIADES

No, nothing except my tool, which I've got in my hand.


SOCRATES

Aren't you going to cover your head immediately and ponder?


STREPSIADES

On what? Come, Socrates, tell me.


SOCRATES

Think first what you want, and then tell me.


STREPSIADES

But I have told you a thousand times what I want. Not to pay any of my creditors.


SOCRATES

Come, wrap yourself up; concentrate your mind, which wanders to lightly; study every detail, scheme and examine thoroughly.


STREPSIADES

Alas! Alas!


SOCRATES

Keep still, and if any notion troubles you, put it quickly aside, then resume it and think over it again.


STREPSIADES

My dear little Socrates!


SOCRATES

What is it, old greybeard?


STREPSIADES

I have a scheme for not paying my debts.


SOCRATES

Let us hear it.


STREPSIADES

Tell me, if I purchased a Thessalian witch, I could make the moon descend during the night and shut it, like a mirror, into a round box and there keep it carefully....


SOCRATES

How would you gain by that?


STREPSIADES

How? why, if the moon did not rise, I would have no interest to pay.


SOCRATES

Why so?


STREPSIADES

Because money is lent by the month.


SOCRATES

Good! but I am going to propose another trick to you. If you were condemned to pay five talents, how would you manage to quash that verdict? Tell me.


STREPSIADES

How? how? I don't know, I must think.


SOCRATES

Do you always shut your thoughts within yourself? Let your ideas fly in the air, like a may-bug, tied by the foot with a thread.


STREPSIADES

I have found a very clever way to annul that conviction; you will admit that much yourself.


SOCRATES

What is it?


STREPSIADES

Have you ever seen a beautiful, transparent stone at the druggists', with which you may kindle fire?


SOCRATES

You mean a crystal lens.


STREPSIADES

That's right. Well, now if I placed myself with this stone in the sun and a long way off from the clerk, while he was writing out the conviction, I could make all the wax, upon which the words were written, melt.


SOCRATES

Well thought out, by the Graces!


STREPSIADES

Ah! I am delighted to have annulled the decree that was to cost me five talents.


SOCRATES

Come, take up this next question quickly.


STREPSIADES

Which?


SOCRATES

If, when summoned to court, you were in danger of losing your case for want of witnesses, how would you make the conviction fall upon your opponent?


STREPSIADES

That's very simple and easy.


SOCRATES

Let me hear.


STREPSIADES

This way. If another case had to be pleaded before mine was called, I should run and hang myself.


SOCRATES

You talk rubbish!


STREPSIADES

Not so, by the gods! if I were dead, no action could lie against me.


SOCRATES

You are merely beating the air. Get out! I will give you no more lessons.


STREPSIADES imploringly

Why not? Oh! Socrates! in the name of the gods!


SOCRATES

But you forget as fast as you learn. Come, what was the thing I taught you first? Tell me.


STREPSIADES

Ah let me see. What was the first thing? What was it then? Ah! that thing in which we knead the bread, oh! my god! what do you call it?


SOCRATES

Plague take the most forgetful and silliest of old addlepates!


STREPSIADES

Alas! what a calamity! what will become of me? I am undone if I do not learn how to ply my tongue. Oh! Clouds! give me good advice.


CHORUS-LEADER

Old man, we counsel you, if you have brought up a son, to send him to learn in your stead.


STREPSIADES

Undoubtedly I have a son, as well endowed as the best, but he is unwilling to learn. What will become of me?


CHORUS-LEADER

And you don't make him obey you?


STREPSIADES

You see, he is big and strong; moreover, through his mother he is a descendant of those fine birds, the race of Coesyra. Nevertheless, I will go and find him, and if he refuses, I will turn him out of the house. Go in, Socrates, and wait for me awhile.

SOCRATES goes into the Thoughtery, STREPSIADES into his own house.


CHORUS singing

Do you understand, Socrates, that thanks to us you will be loaded with benefits? Here is a man, ready to obey you in all things. You see how he is carried away with admiration and enthusiasm. Profit by it to clip him as short as possible; fine chances are all too quickly gone.


STREPSIADES coming out of his house and pushing his son in front of him

No, by the Clouds! you stay here no longer; go and devour the ruins of your uncle Megacles' fortune.


PHIDIPPIDES

Oh! my poor father! what has happened to you? By the Olympian
Zeus! You are no longer in your senses!


STREPSIADES

Look! "the Olympian Zeus." Oh! you fool! to believe in Zeus at your age!


PHIDIPPIDES

What is there in that to make you laugh?


STREPSIADES

You are then a tiny little child, if you credit such antiquated rubbish! But come here, that I may teach you; I will tell you something very necessary to know to be a man; but do not repeat it to anybody.


PHIDIPPIDES

Tell me, what is it?


STREPSIADES

Just now you swore by Zeus.


PHIDIPPIDES

Sure I did.


STREPSIADES

Do you see how good it is to learn? Phidippides, there is no Zeus.


PHIDIPPIDES

What is there then?


STREPSIADES

The Whirlwind has driven out Zeus and is King now.


PHIDIPPIDES

What drivel!


STREPSIADES

You must realize that it is true.


PHIDIPPIDES

And who says so?


STREPSIADES

Socrates, the Melian, and Chaerephon, who knows how to measure the jump of a flea.


PHIDIPPIDES

Have you reached such a pitch of madness that you believe those bilious fellows?


STREPSIADES

Use better language, and do not insult men who are clever and full of wisdom, who, to economize, never shave, shun the gymnasia and never go to the baths, while you, you only await my death to eat up my wealth. But come, come as quickly as you can to learn in my stead.


PHIDIPPIDES

And what good can be learnt of them?


STREPSIADES

What good indeed? Why, all human knowledge. Firstly, you will know yourself grossly ignorant. But await me here awhile.

He goes back into his house.


PHIDIPPIDES

Alas! what is to be done? Father has lost his wits. Must I have him certificated for lunacy, or must I order his coffin?


STREPSIADES returning with a bird in each hand

Come! what kind of bird is this? Tell me.


PHIDIPPIDES

A pigeon.


STREPSIADES

Good! And this female?


PHIDIPPIDES

A pigeon.


STREPSIADES

The same for both? You make me laugh! In the future you must call this one a pigeonnette and the other a pigeon.


PHIDIPPIDES

A pigeonnette! These then are the fine things you have just learnt at the school of these sons of Earth!


STREPSIADES

And many others; but what I learnt I forgot at once, because I am to old.


PHIDIPPIDES

So this is why you have lost your cloak?


STREPSIADES

I have not lost it, I have consecrated it to Philosophy.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
~ Владимир Ильич Ульянов Ленин

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barbarianhorde
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Re: The Philosophers

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:42 pm

PHIDIPPIDES

And what have you done with your sandals, you poor fool?

STREPSIADES

If I have lost them, it is for what was necessary, just as Pericles did. But come, move yourself, let us go in; if necessary, do wrong to obey your father. When you were six years old and still lisped, I was the one who obeyed you. I remember at the feasts of Zeus you had a consuming wish for a little chariot and I bought it for you with the first obolus which I received as a juryman in the courts.


PHIDIPPIDES

You will soon repent of what you ask me to do.


STREPSIADES

Oh! now I am happy! He obeys.

loudly

Come, Socrates, come! Come out quick! Here I am bringing you my son; he refused, but I have persuaded him.


SOCRATES

Why, he is but a child yet. He is not used to these baskets, in which we suspend our minds.


PHIDIPPIDES

To make you better used to them, I would you were hung.


STREPSIADES

A curse upon you! you insult your master!


SOCRATES

"I would you were hung!" What a stupid speech! and so emphatically spoken! How can one ever get out of an accusation with such a tone, summon witnesses or touch or convince? And yet when we think, Hyperbolus learnt all this for one talent!


STREPSIADES

Rest undisturbed and teach him. He has a most intelligent nature. Even when quite little he amused himself at home with making houses, carving boats, constructing little chariots of leather, and understood wonderfully how to make frogs out of pomegranate rinds. Teach him both methods of reasoning, the strong and also the weak, which by false arguments triumphs over the strong; if not the two, at least the false, and that in every possible way.


SOCRATES

The Just and Unjust Discourse themselves shall instruct him. I shall leave you.


STREPSIADES

But forget it not, he must always, always be able to confound the true.

Socrates enters the Thoughtery; a moment later the JUST and the UNJUST DISCOURSE come out; they are quarrelling violently.


JUST DISCOURSE

Come here! Shameless as you may be, will you dare to show your face to the spectators?


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Take me where you will. I seek a throng, so that I may the better annihilate you.


JUST DISCOURSE

Annihilate me! Do you forget who you are?


UNJUST DISCOURSE

I am Reasoning.


JUST DISCOURSE

Yes, the weaker Reasoning."


UNJUST DISCOURSE

But I triumph over you, who claim to be the stronger.


JUST DISCOURSE

By what cunning shifts, pray?


UNJUST DISCOURSE

By the invention of new maxims.


JUST DISCOURSE

.... which are received with favour by these fools.

He points to the audience.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Say rather, by these wise men.


JUST DISCOURSE

I am going to destroy you mercilessly.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

How pray? Let us see you do it.


JUST DISCOURSE

By saying what is true.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

I shall retort and shall very soon have the better of you. First, maintain that justice has no existence.


JUST DISCOURSE

Has no existence?


UNJUST DISCOURSE

No existence! Why, where is it?


JUST DISCOURSE

With the gods.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

How then, if justice exists, was Zeus not put to death for having put his father in chains?


JUST DISCOURSE

Bah! this is enough to turn my stomach! A basin, quick!


UNJUST DISCOURSE

You are an old driveller and stupid withal.


JUST DISCOURSE

And you a degenerate and shameless fellow.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Hah! What sweet expressions!


JUST DISCOURSE

An impious buffoon.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

You crown me with roses and with lilies.


JUST DISCOURSE

A parricide.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Why, you shower gold upon me.


JUST DISCOURSE

Formerly it was a hailstorm of blows.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

I deck myself with your abuse.


JUST DISCOURSE

What impudence!


UNJUST DISCOURSE

What tomfoolery!


JUST DISCOURSE

It is because of you that the youth no longer attends the schools. The Athenians will soon recognize what lessons you teach those who are fools enough to believe you.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

You are overwhelmed with wretchedness.


JUST DISCOURSE

And you, you prosper. Yet you were poor when you said, "I am the Mysian Telephus," and used to stuff your wallet with maxims of Pandeletus to nibble at.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Oh! the beautiful wisdom, of which you are now boasting!


JUST DISCOURSE

Madman! But yet madder the city that keeps you, you, the corrupter of its youth!


UNJUST DISCOURSE

It is not you who will teach this young man; you are as old and out of date at Cronus.


JUST DISCOURSE

Nay, it will certainly be I, if he does not wish to be lost and to practise verbosity only.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

(to PHIDIPPIDES) Come here and leave him to beat the air.


JUST DISCOURSE

You'll regret it, if you touch him.


CHORUS-LEADER

(stepping between them as they are about to come to blows) A truce to your quarrellings and abuse! But you expound what you taught us formerly, and you, your new doctrine. Thus, after hearing each of you argue, he will be able to choose betwixt the two schools.


JUST DISCOURSE

I am quite agreeable.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

And I too.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

Who is to speak first?


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Let it be my opponent, he has my full consent; then I shall follow upon the very ground he shall have chosen and shall shatter him with a hail of new ideas and subtle fancies; if after that he dares to breathe another word, I shall sting him in the face and in the eyes with our maxims, which are as keen as the sting of a wasp, and he will die.


CHORUS

(singing) Here are two rivals confident in their powers of oratory and in the thoughts over which they have pondered so long. Let us see which will come triumphant out of the contest. This wisdom, for which my friends maintain such a persistent fight, is in great danger.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

Come then, you, who crowned men of other days with so many virtues, plead the cause dear to you, make yourself known to us.


JUST DISCOURSE

Very well, I will tell you what was the old education, when I used to teach justice with so much success and when modesty was held in veneration. Firstly, it was required of a child, that it should not utter a word. In the street, when they went to the music-school, all the youths of the same district marched lightly clad and ranged in good order, even when the snow was falling in great flakes. At the master's house they had to stand with their legs apart and they were taught to sing either, "Pallas, the Terrible, who overturneth cities," or "A noise resounded from afar" in the solemn tones of the ancient harmony. If anyone indulged in buffoonery or lent his voice any of the soft inflexions, like those which to-day the disciples of Phrynis take so much pains to form, he was treated as an enemy of the Muses and belaboured with blows. In the wrestling school they would sit with outstretched legs and without display of any indecency to the curious. When they rose, they would smooth over the sand, so as to leave no trace to excite obscene thoughts. Never was a child rubbed with oil below the belt; the rest of their bodies thus retained its fresh bloom and down, like a velvety peach. They were not to be seen approaching a lover and themselves rousing his passion by soft modulation of the voice and lustful gaze. At table, they would not have dared, before those older than themselves, to have taken a radish, an aniseed or a leaf of parsley, and much less eat fish or thrushes or cross their legs.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

What antiquated rubbish! Have we got back to the days of the festivals of Zeus Polieus, to the Buphonia, to the time of the poet Cecides and the golden cicadas?


JUST DISCOURSE

Nevertheless by suchlike teaching I built up the men of Marathon-But you, you teach the children of to-day to bundle themselves quickly into their clothes, and I am enraged when I see them at the Panathenaea forgetting Athene while they dance, and covering their tools with their bucklers. Hence, young man, dare to range yourself beside me, who follow justice and truth; you will then be able to shun the public place, to refrain from the baths, to blush at all that is shameful, to fire up if your virtue is mocked at, to give place to your elders, to honour your parents, in short, to avoid all that is evil. Be modesty itself, and do not run to applaud the dancing girls; if you delight in such scenes, some courtesan will cast you her apple and your reputation will be done for. Do not bandy words with your father, nor treat him as a dotard, nor reproach the old man, who has cherished you, with his age.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

If you listen to him, by Bacchus! you will be the image of the sons of Hippocrates and will be called mother's big ninny.


JUST DISCOURSE

No, but you will pass your days at the gymnasia, glowing with strength and health; you will not go to the public place to cackle and wrangle as is done nowadays; you will not live in fear that you may be dragged before the courts for some trifle exaggerated by quibbling. But you will go down to the Academy to run beneath the sacred olives with some virtuous friend of your own age, your head encircled with the white reed, enjoying your ease and breathing the perfume of the yew and of the fresh sprouts of the poplar, rejoicing in the return of springtide and gladly listening to the gentle rustle of the plane tree and the elm. (With greater warmth from here on) If you devote yourself to practising my precepts, your chest will be stout, your colour glowing, your shoulders broad, your tongue short, your hips muscular, but your tool small. But if you follow the fashions of the day, you will be pallid in hue, have narrow shoulders, a narrow chest, a long tongue, small hips and a big thing; you will know how to spin forth long-winded arguments on law. You will be persuaded also to regard as splendid everything that is shameful and as shameful everything that is honourable; in a word, you will wallow in degeneracy like Antimachus.


CHORUS

(singing) How beautiful, high-souled, brilliant is this wisdom that you practise! What a sweet odour of honesty is emitted by your discourse! Happy were those men of other days who lived when you were honoured! And you, seductive talker, come, find some fresh arguments, for your rival has done wonders.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

You will have to bring out against him all the battery of your wit, it you desire to beat him and not to be laughed out of court.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

At last! I was choking with impatience, I was burning to upset his arguments! If I am called the Weaker Reasoning in the schools, it is just because I was the first to discover the means to confute the laws and the decrees of justice. To invoke solely the weaker arguments and yet triumph is an art worth more than a hundred thousand drachmae. But see how I shall batter down the sort of education of which he is so proud. Firstly, he forbids you to bathe in hot water. What grounds have you for condemning hot baths?


JUST DISCOURSE

Because they are baneful and enervate men.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Enough said! Oh! you poor wrestler! From the very outset I have seized you and hold you round the middle; you cannot escape me. Tell me, of all the sons of Zeus, who had the stoutest heart, who performed the most doughty deeds?


JUST DISCOURSE

None, in my opinion, surpassed Heracles.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Where have you ever seen cold baths called 'Bath of Heracles'? And yet who was braver than he?


JUST DISCOURSE

It is because of such quibbles, that the baths are seen crowded with young folk, who chatter there the livelong day while the gymnasia remain empty.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Next you condemn the habit of frequenting the market-place, while I approve this. If it were wrong Homer would never have made Nestor speak in public as well as all his wise heroes. As for the art of speaking, he tells you, young men should not practise it; I hold the contrary. Furthermore he preaches chastity to them. Both precepts are equally harmful. Have you ever seen chastity of any use to anyone? Answer and try to confute me.


JUST DISCOURSE

To many; for instance, Peleus won a sword thereby.


UNJUST DISCOURSE A

sword! Ah! what a fine present to make him! Poor wretch! Hyperbolus, the lamp-seller, thanks to his villainy, has gained more than....do not know how many talents, but certainly no sword.


JUST DISCOURSE

Peleus owed it to his chastity that he became the husband of Thetis.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

.... who left him in the lurch, for he was not the most ardent; in those nocturnal sports between the sheets, which so please women, he possessed but little merit. Get you gone, you are but an old fool. But you, young man, just consider a little what this temperance means and the delights of which it deprives you-young fellows, women, play, dainty dishes, wine, boisterous laughter. And what is life worth without these? Then, if you happen to commit one of these faults inherent in human weakness, some seduction or adultery, and you are caught in the act, you are lost, if you cannot speak. But follow my teaching and you will be able to satisfy your passions, to dance, to laugh, to blush at nothing. Suppose you are caught in the act of adultery. Then up and tell the husband you are not guilty, and recall to him the example of Zeus, who allowed himself to be conquered by love and by women. Being but a mortal, can you be stronger than a god?


JUST DISCOURSE

Suppose your pupil, following your advice, gets the radish rammed up his arse and then is depilated with a hot coal; how are you going to prove to him that he is not a broad-arse?


UNJUST DISCOURSE

What's the matter with being a broad-arse?


JUST DISCOURSE

Is there anything worse than that?


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Now what will you say, if I beat you even on this point?


JUST DISCOURSE

I should certainly have to be silent then.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Well then, reply! Our advocates, what are they?


JUST DISCOURSE

Sons of broad-arses.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Nothing is more true. And our tragic poets?


JUST DISCOURSE

Sons of broad-arses.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Well said again. And our demagogues?


JUST DISCOURSE

Sons of broad-arses.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

You admit that you have spoken nonsense. And the spectators, what are they for the most part? Look at them.


JUST DISCOURSE

I am looking at them.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Well! What do you see?


JUST DISCOURSE

By the gods, they are nearly all broad-arses. (pointing) See, this one I know to be such and that one and that other with the long hair.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

What have you to say, then?


JUST DISCOURSE

I am beaten. Debauchees! in the name of the gods, receive my cloak; I pass over to your ranks. (He goes back into the Thoughtery.)


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Well then! Are you going to take away your son or do you wish me to teach him how to speak?


STREPSIADES

Teach him, chastise him and do not fail to sharpen his tongue well, on one side for petty law-suits and on the other for important cases.


UNJUST DISCOURSE

Don't worry, I shall return him to you an accomplished sophist.


PHIDIPPIDES

Very pale then and thoroughly hang-dog-looking.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

Take him with you. (The UNJUST DISCOURSE and PHIDIPPIDES

go into the THOUGHTERY. To STREPSIADES, who is just going into his own house.) I think you will regret this. (The CHORUS turns and faces the audience.) judges, we are all about to tell you what you will gain by awarding us the crown as equity requires of you. In spring, when you wish to give your fields the first dressing, we will rain upon you first; the others shall wait. Then we will watch over your corn and over your vinestocks; they will have no excess to fear, neither of heat nor of wet. But if a mortal dares to insult the goddesses of the Clouds, let him think of the ills we shall pour upon him. For him neither wine nor any harvest at all! Our terrible slings will mow down his young olive plants and his vines. If he is making bricks, it will rain, and our round hailstones will break the tiles of his roof. If he himself marries or any of his relations or friends, we shall cause rain to fall the whole night long. Verily, he would prefer to live in Egypt than to have given this iniquitous verdict.


STREPSIADES

(coming out again) Another four, three, two days, then the eve, then the day, the fatal day of payment! I tremble, I quake, I shudder, for it's the day of the old moon and the new. Then all my creditors take the oath, pay their deposits, I swear my downfall and my ruin. As for me, I beseech them to be reasonable, to be just, "My friend, do not demand this sum, wait a little for this other and give me time for this third one." Then they will pretend that at this rate they will never be repaid, will accuse me of bad faith and will threaten me with the law. Well then, let them sue me! I care nothing for that, if only Phidippides has learnt to speak fluently. I am going to find out; I'll knock at the door of the school. (He knocks.) .... Ho! slave, slave!


SOCRATES

(coming out) Welcome! Strepsiades!


STREPSIADES

Welcome! Socrates! But first take this sack; (offers him a sack of flour) it is right to reward the master with some present. And my son, whom you took off lately, has he learnt this famous reasoning? Tell me.


SOCRATES

He has learnt it.


STREPSIADES

Wonderful! Oh! divine Knavery!


SOCRATES

You will win just as many causes as you choose.


STREPSIADES

Even if I have borrowed before witnesses?


SOCRATES

So much the better, even if there are a thousand of them!


STREPSIADES

(bursting into song) Then I am going to shout with all my might. "Woe to the usurers, woe to their capital and their interest and their compound interest! You shall play me no more bad turns. My son is being taught there, his tongue is being sharpened into a double-edged weapon; he is my defender, the saviour of my house, the ruin of my foes! His poor father was crushed down with misfortune and he delivers him." Go and call him to me quickly. Oh! my child! my dear little one! run forward to your father's voice!


SOCRATES

(singing) Lo, the man himself!


STREPSIADES

(singing) Oh, my friend, my dearest friend!


SOCRATES

(singing) Take your son, and get you gone.


STREPSIADES

(as PHIDIPPIDES appears) Oh, my son! oh! oh! what a pleasure to see your pallor! You are ready first to deny and then to contradict; it's as clear as noon. What a child of your country you are! How your lips quiver with the famous, "What have you to say now?" How well you know, I am certain, to put on the look of a victim, when it is you who are making both victims and dupes! And what a truly Attic glance! Come, it's for you to save me, seeing it is you who have ruined me.


PHIDIPPIDES

What is it you fear then?


STREPSIADES

The day of the old and the new.


PHIDIPPIDES

Is there then a day of the old and the new?


STREPSIADES

The day on which they threaten to pay deposit against me.


PHIDIPPIDES

Then so much the worse for those who have deposited! for it's not possible for one day to be two.


STREPSIADES

What?


PHIDIPPIDES

Why, undoubtedly, unless a woman can be both old and young at the same time.


STREPSIADES

But so runs the law.


PHIDIPPIDES

I think the meaning of the law is quite misunderstood.


STREPSIADES

What does it mean?


PHIDIPPIDES

Old Solon loved the people.


STREPSIADES

What has that to do with the old day and the new?


PHIDIPPIDES

He has fixed two days for the summons, the last day of the old moon and the first day of the new; but the deposits must only be paid on the first day of the new moon.


STREPSIADES

And why did he also name the last day of the old?


PHIDIPPIDES

So, my dear sir, that the debtors, being there the day before, might free themselves by mutual agreement, or that else, if not, the creditor might begin his action on the morning of the new moon.


STREPSIADES

Why then do the magistrates have the deposits paid on the last of the month and not the next day?


PHIDIPPIDES

I think they do as the gluttons do, who are the first to pounce upon the dishes. Being eager to carry off these deposits, they have them paid in a day too soon.


STREPSIADES

Splendid! (to the audience) Ah! you poor brutes, who serve for food to us clever folk! You are only down here to swell the number, true blockheads, sheep for shearing, heap of empty pots! Hence I will sing a song of victory for my son and myself. "Oh! happy, Strepsiades! what cleverness is thine! and what a son thou hast here!" Thus my friends and my neighbours will say, jealous at seeing me gain all my suits. But come in, I wish to regale you first. (They both go in. A moment later a creditor arrives, with his witness.)


PASIAS

(to the WITNESS) A man should never lend a single obolus. It would be better to put on a brazen face at the outset than to get entangled in such matters. I want to see my money again and I bring you here to-day to attest the loan. I am going to make a foe of a neighbour; but, as long as I live, I do not wish my country to have to blush for me. Come, I am going to summon Strepsiades....


STREPSIADES

(coming out of his house) Who is this?


PASIAS

....for the old day and the new.


STREPSIADES

(to the WITNESS) I call you to witness, that he has named two days. What do you want of me?


PASIAS

I claim of you the twelve minae, which you borrowed from me to buy the dapple-grey horse.


STREPSIADES A

horse! do you hear him? I, who detest horses, as is well known.


PASIAS

I call Zeus to witness, that you swore by the gods to return them to me.


STREPSIADES

Because at that time, by Zeus! Phidippides did not yet know the irrefutable argument.


PASIAS

Would you deny the debt on that account?


STREPSIADES

If not, what use is his science to me?


PASIAS

Will you dare to swear by the gods that you owe me nothing?


STREPSIADES

By which gods?


PASIAS

By Zeus, Hermes and Posidon!


STREPSIADES

Why, I would give three obols for the pleasure of swearing by them.


PASIAS

Woe upon you, impudent knave!


STREPSIADES

Oh! what a fine wine-skin you would make if flayed!


PASIAS

Heaven! he jeers at me!


STREPSIADES

It would hold six gallons easily.


PASIAS

By great Zeus! by all the gods! you shall not scoff at me with impunity,


STREPSIADES

Ah! how you amuse me with your gods! how ridiculous it seems to a sage to hear Zeus invoked.


PASIAS

Your blasphemies will one day meet their reward. But, come, will you repay me my money, yes or no? Answer me, that I may go.


STREPSIADES

Wait a moment, I am going to give you a distinct answer. (He goes indoors and returns immediately with a kneading-trough.)


PASIAS

(to the WITNESS) What do you think he will do? Do you think he will pay?


STREPSIADES

Where is the man who demands money? Tell me, what is this?


PASIAS

Him? Why, he is your kneading-trough.


STREPSIADES

And you dare to demand money of me, when you are so ignorant? I will not return an obolus to anyone who says him instead of her for a kneading-trough.


PASIAS

You will not repay?


STREPSIADES

Not if I know it. Come, an end to this, pack off as quick as you can.


PASIAS

I go, but, may I die, if it be not to pay my deposit for a summons. (Exit)


STREPSIADES

Very well! It will be so much more loss to add to the twelve minae. But truly it makes me sad, for I do pity a poor simpleton who says him for a kneading-trough (Another creditor arrives.)


AMYNIAS

Woe! ah woe is me!


STREPSIADES

Wait! who is this whining fellow? Can it be one of the gods of Carcinus?


AMYNIAS

Do you want to know who I am? I am a man of misfortune!


STREPSIADES

Get on your way then.


AMYNIAS

(in tragic style) Oh! cruel god! Oh Fate, who hast broken the wheels of my chariot! Oh, Pallas, thou hast undone me!


STREPSIADES

What ill has Tlepolemus done you?


AMYNIAS

Instead of jeering me, friend, make your son return me the money he has had of me; I am already unfortunate enough.


STREPSIADES

What money?


AMYNIAS

The money he borrowed of me.


STREPSIADES

You have indeed had misfortune, it seems to me.


AMYNIAS

Yes, by the gods! I have been thrown from a chariot.


STREPSIADES

Why then drivel as if you had fallen off an ass?


AMYNIAS

Am I drivelling because I demand my money?


STREPSIADES

No, no, you cannot be in your right senses.


AMYNIAS

Why?


STREPSIADES

No doubt your poor wits have had a shake.


AMYNIAS

But by Hermes! I will sue you at law, if you do not pay me.


STREPSIADES

Just tell me; do you think it is always fresh water that Zeus lets fall every time it rains, or is ill always the same water that the sun pumps over the earth?


AMYNIAS

I neither know, nor care.


STREPSIADES

And actually you would claim the right to demand your money, when you know not an iota of these celestial phenomena?


AMYNIAS

If you are short, pay me the interest anyway.


STREPSIADES

What kind of animal is interest?


AMYNIAS

What? Does not the sum borrowed go on growing, growing every month, each day as the time slips by?


STREPSIADES

Well put. But do you believe there is more water in the sea now than there was formerly?


AMYNIAS

No, it's just the same quantity. It cannot increase.


STREPSIADES

Thus, poor fool, the sea, that receives the rivers, never grows, and yet you would have your money grow? Get you gone, away with you, quick! Slave! bring me the ox-goad!


AMYNIAS

I have witnesses to this.


STREPSIADES

Come, what are you waiting for? Will you not budge, old nag!


AMYNIAS

What an insult!


STREPSIADES

Unless you start trotting, I shall catch you and stick this in your arse, you sorry packhorse! (AMYNIAS runs off.) Ah! you start, do you? I was about to drive you pretty fast, I tell you-you and your wheels and your chariot! (He enters his house.)


CHORUS

(singing) Whither does the passion of evil lead! here is a perverse old man, who wants to cheat his creditors; but some mishap, which will speedily punish this rogue for his shameful schemings, cannot fail to overtake him from to-day. For a long time he has been burning to have his son know how to fight against all justice and right and to gain even the most iniquitous causes against his adversaries every one. I think this wish is going to be fulfilled. But mayhap, mayhap, will he soon wish his son were dumb rather!


STREPSIADES

(rushing out With PHIDIPPIDES after him) Oh! oh! neighbours, kinsmen, fellow-citizens, help! help! to the rescue, I am being beaten! Oh! my head! oh! my jaw! Scoundrel! Do you beat your own father?


PHIDIPPIDES

(calmly) Yes, father, I do.


STREPSIADES

See! he admits he is beating me.


PHIDIPPIDES

Of course I do.


STREPSIADES

You villain, you parricide, you gallows-bird!


PHIDIPPIDES

Go on, repeat your epithets, call me a thousand other names, if it please you. The more you curse, the greater my amusement!


STREPSIADES

Oh! you ditch-arsed cynic!


PHIDIPPIDES

How fragrant the perfume breathed forth in your words.


STREPSIADES

Do you beat your own father?


PHIDIPPIDES

Yes, by Zeus! and I am going to show you that I do right in beating you.


STREPSIADES

Oh, wretch! can it be right to beat a father?


PHIDIPPIDES

I will prove it to you, and you shall own yourself vanquished.


STREPSIADES

Own myself vanquished on a point like this?


PHIDIPPIDES

It's the easiest thing in the world. Choose whichever of the two reasonings you like.


STREPSIADES

Of which reasonings?


PHIDIPPIDES

The Stronger and the Weaker.


STREPSIADES

Miserable fellow! Why, I am the one who had you taught how to refute what is right. and now you would persuade me it is right a son should beat his father.


PHIDIPPIDES

I think I shall convince you so thoroughly that, when you have heard me, you will not have a word to say.


STREPSIADES

Well, I am curious to hear what you have to say.


CHORUS

(singing) Consider well, old man, how you can best triumph over him. His brazenness shows me that he thinks himself sure of his case; he has some argument which gives him nerve. Note the confidence in his look!


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

But how did the fight begin? tell the Chorus; you cannot help doing that much.


STREPSIADES

I will tell you what was the start of the quarrel. At the end of the meal, as you know, I bade him take his lyre and sing me the air of Simonides, which tells of the fleece of the ram. He replied bluntly, that it was stupid, while drinking, to play the lyre and sing, like a woman when she is grinding barley.


PHIDIPPIDES

Why, by rights I ought to have beaten and kicked you the very moment you told me to sing.


STREPSIADES

That is just how he spoke to me in the house, furthermore he added, that Simonides was a detestable poet. However, I mastered myself and for a while said nothing. Then I said to him, 'At least, take a myrtle branch and recite a passage from Aeschylus to me.'-'For my own part,' he at once replied, 'I look upon Aeschylus as the first of poets, for his verses roll superbly; they're nothing but incoherence, bombast and turgidity.' Yet still I smothered my wrath and said, 'Then recite one of the famous pieces from the modern poets.' Then he commenced a piece in which Euripides shows, oh! horror! a brother, who violates his own uterine sister. Then I could not longer restrain myself, and attacked him with the most injurious abuse; naturally he retorted; hard words were hurled on both sides, and finally he sprang at me, broke my bones, bore me to earth, strangled and started killing me!


PHIDIPPIDES

I was right. What! not praise Euripides, the greatest of our poets?


STREPSIADES

He the greatest of our poets? Ah! if I but dared to speak! but the blows would rain upon me harder than ever.


PHIDIPPIDES

Undoubtedly and rightly too.


STREPSIADES

Rightly! Oh! what impudence! to me, who brought you up! when you could hardly lisp, I guessed what you wanted. If you said broo, broo, well, I brought you your milk; if you asked for mam mam, I gave you bread; and you had no sooner said, caca, than I took you outside and held you out. And just now, when you were strangling me, I shouted, I bellowed that I was about to crap; and you, you scoundrel, had not the heart to take me outside, so that, though almost choking, I was compelled to do my crapping right there.


CHORUS

(singing) Young men, your hearts must be panting with impatience. What is Phidippides going to say? If, after such conduct, he proves he has done well, I would not give an obolus for the hide of old men.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

Come, you, who know how to brandish and hurl the keen shafts of the new science, find a way to convince us, give your language an appearance of truth.


PHIDIPPIDES

How pleasant it is to know these clever new inventions and to be able to defy the established laws! When I thought only about horses, I was not able to string three words together without a mistake, but now that the master has altered and improved me and that I live in this world of subtle thought, of reasoning and of meditation, I count on being able to prove satisfactorily that I have done well to thrash my father.


STREPSIADES

Mount your horse! By Zeus! I would rather defray the keep of a four-in-hand team than be battered with blows.


PHIDIPPIDES

I revert to what I was saying when you interrupted me. And first, answer me, did you beat me in my childhood?


STREPSIADES

Why, assuredly, for your good and in your own best interest.


PHIDIPPIDES

Tell me, is it not right, that in turn I should beat you for your good, since it is for a man's own best interest to be beaten? What! must your body be free of blows, and not mine? am I not free-born too? the children are to weep and the fathers go free? You will tell me, that according to the law, it is the lot of children to be beaten. But I reply that the old men are children twice over and that it is far more fitting to chastise them than the young, for there is less excuse for their faults.


STREPSIADES

But the law nowhere admits that fathers should be treated thus.


PHIDIPPIDES

Was not the legislator who carried this law a man like you and me? In those days be got men to believe him; then why should not I too have the right to establish for the future a new law, allowing children to beat their fathers in turn? We make you a present of all the blows which were received before his law, and admit that you thrashed us with impunity. But look how the cocks and other animals fight with their fathers; and yet what difference is there betwixt them and ourselves, unless it be that they do not propose decrees?


STREPSIADES

But if you imitate the cocks in all things, why don't you scratch up the dunghill, why don't you sleep on a perch?


PHIDIPPIDES

That has no bearing on the case, good sir; Socrates would find no connection, I assure you.


STREPSIADES

Then do not beat at all, for otherwise you have only yourself to blame afterwards.


PHIDIPPIDES

What for?


STREPSIADES

I have the right to chastise you, and you to chastise your son, if you have one.


PHIDIPPIDES

And if I have not, I shall have cried in vain, and you will die laughing in my face.


STREPSIADES

What say you, all here present? It seems to me that he is right, and I am of opinion that they should be accorded their right. If we think wrongly, it is but just we should be beaten.


PHIDIPPIDES

Again, consider this other point.


STREPSIADES

It will be the death of me.


PHIDIPPIDES

But you will certainly feel no more anger because of the blows I have given you.


STREPSIADES

Come, show me what profit I shall gain from it.


PHIDIPPIDES

I shall beat my mother just as I have you.


STREPSIADES

What do you say? what's that you say? Hah! this is far worse still.


PHIDIPPIDES

And what if I prove to you by our school reasoning, that one ought to beat one's mother?


STREPSIADES

Ah! if you do that, then you will only have to throw yourself, along with Socrates and his reasoning, into the Barathrum. Oh! Clouds! all our troubles emanate from you, from you, to whom I entrusted myself, body and soul.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

No, you alone are the cause, because you have pursued the path of evil.


STREPSIADES

Why did you not say so then, instead of egging on a poor ignorant old man?


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

We always act thus, when we see a man conceive a passion for what is evil; we strike him with some terrible disgrace, so that he may learn to fear the gods.


STREPSIADES

Alas! oh Clouds! that's hard indeed, but it's just! I ought not to have cheated my creditors....But come, my dear son, come with me to take vengeance on this wretched Chaerephon and on Socrates, who have deceived us both.


PHIDIPPIDES

I shall do nothing against our masters.


STREPSIADES

Oh show some reverence for ancestral Zeus!


PHIDIPPIDES

Mark him and his ancestral Zeus! What a fool you are! Does any such being as Zeus exist?


STREPSIADES

Why, assuredly.


PHIDIPPIDES

No, a thousand times no! The ruler of the world is the Whirlwind, that has unseated Zeus.


STREPSIADES

He has not dethroned him. I believed it, because of this whirligig here. Unhappy wretch that I am! I have taken a piece of clay to be a god.


PHIDIPPIDES

Very well! Keep your stupid nonsense for your own consumption. (He goes back into STREPSIADES' house.)


STREPSIADES

Oh! what madness! I had lost my reason when I threw over the gods through Socrates' seductive phrases. (Addressing the statue of Hermes) Oh! good Hermes, do not destroy me in your wrath. Forgive me; their babbling had driven me crazy. Be my counselor. Shall I pursue them at law or shall I....? Order and I obey.-You are right, no law-suit; but up! let us burn down the home of those praters. Here, Xanthias, here! take a ladder, come forth and arm yourself with an axe; now mount upon the Thoughtery, demolish the roof, if you love your master, and may the house fall in upon them. Ho! bring me a blazing torch! There is more than one of them, arch-impostors as they are, on whom I am determined to have vengeance.


A DISCIPLE

(from within) Oh! oh!


STREPSIADES

Come, torch, do your duty! Burst into full flame!


DISCIPLE

What are you up to?


STREPSIADES

What am I up to? Why, I am entering upon a subtle argument with the beams of the house.


SECOND DISCIPLE

(from within) Hullo! hullo who is burning down our house?


STREPSIADES

The man whose cloak you have appropriated.


SECOND DISCIPLE

You are killing us!


STREPSIADES

That is just exactly what I hope, unless my axe plays me false, or I fall and break my neck.


SOCRATES

(appearing at the window) Hi! you fellow on the roof, what are you doing up there?


STREPSIADES

(mocking SOCRATES' manner) I am traversing the air and contemplating the sun.


SOCRATES

Ah! ah! woe is upon me! I am suffocating!


SECOND DISCIPLE

And I, alas, shall be burnt up!


STREPSIADES

Ah! you insulted the gods! You studied the face of the moon! Chase them, strike and beat them down! Forward! they have richly deserved their fate-above all, by reason of their blasphemies.


LEADER OF THE CHORUS

So let the Chorus file off the stage. Its part is played.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
~ Владимир Ильич Ульянов Ленин

THE HORNED ONE
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