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Monday 11 May 2020

Melancholy Mondays: Archives of Pain

We are all the children of murderers, rapists and war criminals. To think any different is to ignore the guilt of the past.

We are also the children of altruists, iconoclasts and serene kind-hearted peace-lovers. To believe any different is to lose the hope for the future.

Any fool can regret yesterday, as the Manic Street Preacher correctly says.

The potential for pain is infinite.

The capacity of the sufferer is finite.

Thus, there will always be pain in the world.

An individual's ability to suffer is limited.

While there is being there is pain.

Only in death is there freedom from pain.

Death is the endless 'experience' of nothing.

Existence is the constant suffering of pain by degree.

Pain is infinite.

The sufferer is finite.

Alleviation can therefore only be partial or temporary.

The can be no final escape unless one believes in rebirth or existence post-death.

Pain is being within the world. It is an excess of contact.

Managing pain is control of the circumstances of the world.

Something that can never be total. Although it is the dream of every dictator.

Pain is the outcome of existence. It is the proof of the passage of time.

© Jenny Saville

Friday 1 May 2020

Quotes Worth Saving (30): Slavoj Žižek, "all we have is our activity"

Slavoj Žižek
Trouble in Paradise

And connected to earlier thoughts and usage of a quote from the same book.

Perhaps the Left should learn fully to assume the basic 'alienation' of the historical process: we cannot control the consequences of our acts - not because we are just puppets in the hands of some secret Master of Fate which pulls the strings, but for precisely the opposite reason: there is no big Other, no agent of total accountability that can take into account the consequences of our own acts. This acceptance of 'alienation' in no way entails a cynical distance; it implies a fully engaged position aware of the risks involved - there is no higher historical Necessity whose instruments we are and which guarantees the final outcome of our interventions. From this standpoint, our despair at the present deadlock appears in a new light: we have to renounce the very eschatological scheme which underlies our despair. There will never be a Left that magically transforms confused revolts and protests into one consistent Projection of Salvation; all we have is our activity, open to all the risks of contingent history.