Saturday, June 25, 2005


Wagner held that Wotan in his Ring of the Nibelung represented humanity. This head god from Norse mythology, who in the story gives up an eye for the sake of knowledge that will help him dominate the objective world, is a tragic figure, as is modern man, who has sacrificed inner knowledge for the sake of worldly power. But it is more than that: to reflect upon the meaning of this primal act in Schopenhauer, who influenced Wagner tremendously, it is the wresting of consciousness itself from nature that is the "original sin," if you will.

If there is one thing I am sure of, it is that there is a fundamental shift taking place, and we can see Wagner as a prophet of that, as in Gotterdammerung there is a complete dissolution of Valhalla, the abode of the gods. The structures that held the whole concept of humanity in place, in this long past age from which we are emerging, are consumed in fire.

You could say that as Wednesday is Wotan's day, which ended in the twilight years of the nineteenth century, the twentieth century was Thor's day, Thursday. Thor is the god of the hammer. We saw a good bit of hammering last century and it's still going on, of course. Even as we watch in fascinated horror at the last throes of political demigods enacting their mundane power plays on the stage of the world, the day is turning from Thor's day to the love goddess Freya's. Thank god(s) it's Friday.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

All is not one

To say All Is One is to immediately posit the opposite, All Is Not One. Because if you are positing All you are positing difference. With difference, the Allness encompasses lack of oneness. It might encompass oneness but that does not negate the multiplicity. You might have oneness contained in the All, but additionally you would have Twoness, Threeness, and so on. In fact, even without the concept of "all," the concept of One is enought to imply the concept of Two. There is no one without a second, especially in the field of time, which is why we call the units of time "seconds."

What about outside the field of time? Cannot there be an Allness that is just God, that knows no separation in its essence? Certainly. But if you are talking about all of the All, you have to include the relative world and its infinite variety. Whatever the world might reduce to in terms of a primordial metaphysical soup does not obviate the distinguishing characteristics of its objective phenomenal differentiation.

Really, it is far more interesting to conceptualize the All as all-encompassing, so that it can include our human experience. It seems illogical of the universe to organize these rich, colorful, variegated lives for us if they did not contribute something to the overall canvas.