“Behold, I am the prophet of the lightning!”

West_-_Benjamin_Franklin_Drawing_Electricity_from_the_Sky_(ca_1816)
Benjamin West – Franklin drawing electricity from the sky (1816)

“I love all those who are like heavy drops falling singly from the dark cloud that hangs over mankind: they prophesy the coming of the lightning and as prophets they perish. Behold, I am the prophet of the lightning and a heavy drop from the cloud!”

– Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

***

conductor enraptured

beckoning forth the glorious maelstrom

to o’erthrow the ages

 

 

“there once existed such an art”…

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William Blake – Laocoon engraving (1817)

It is not without profound sorrow that one admits to oneself that in their highest flights the artists of all ages have raised to heavenly transfiguration precisely those conceptions which we now recognise as false: they are the glorifiers of the religious and philosophical errors of mankind, and they could not have been so without believing in the absolute truth of these errors… A moving tale will one day be told how there once existed such an art, such an artist’s faith”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, Human all too Human

A chilling and poetic passage from/through H. P. Lovecraft’s Mountains of Madness…

“Our sensations of tense expectancy as we prepared to round the crest and peer out over an untrodden world can hardly be described on paper; even though we had no cause to think the regions beyond the range essentially different from those already seen and traversed. The touch of evil mystery in these barrier mountains, and in the beckoning sea of opalescent sky glimpsed betwixt their summits, was a highly subtle and attenuated matter not to be explained in literal words. Rather was it an affair of vague psychological symbolism and aesthetic association – a thing mixed up with exotic poetry and paintings, and with archaic myths lurking in shunned and forbidden volumes. Even the wind’s burden held a peculiar strain of conscious malignity; and for a second it seemed that the composite sound included a bizarre musical whistling or piping over a wide range as the blast swept in and out of the omnipresent and resonant cave-mouths. There was a cloudy note of reminiscent repulsion in this sound, as complex and unplaceable as any of the other dark impressions…” – H. P. Lovecraft, At the mountains of madness

Nicholas Roerich’s ‘Pink Mountains’ (1933)

Continue reading “A chilling and poetic passage from/through H. P. Lovecraft’s Mountains of Madness…”

J. G. Ballard on surrealism, New Worlds 1966

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image by Kyle T. Webster

“The images of surrealism are the iconography of inner space. Popularly regarded as a lurid manifestation of fantastic art concerned with states of dream and hallucination, surrealism is in fact the first movement, in the words of Odilon Redon, to place “the logic of the visible at ‘the service of the invisible.” This calculated submission of the impulses and fantasies of our inner lives to the rigours of time and space, to the formal inquisition of the sciences, psychoanalysis pre-eminent among them, produces a heightened or alternate reality beyond and above those familiar to either our sight or our senses. What uniquely characterises this fusion of the outer world of reality and the inner world of the psyche (which I have termed “inner space”) is its redemptive and therapeutic power. To move through these landscapes is a journey of return to one’s innermost being”

– J. G. Ballard, ‘The Coming of the Unconscious’, New Worlds 1966 (full article here)

the Lacanian definition of love

love is a phenomenon which takes place on the Imaginary level, and which provokes a veritable seduction of the Symbolic, a sort of annihilation, of peturbation of the function of the ego-ideal. Love reopens the door – as Freud put it, not mincing his words – to perfection. The ichideal, the ego-ideal, is the other as speaking, the other in so far as he has a Symbolic relation to me, which, within the terms of our dynamic manipulation, is both similar to and different from the imaginary libido. Symbolic exchange is what links human beings to each other, that is, it is speech and it makes it possible to identify the subject… the ichideal, considered as speaking, can come to be placed in the world of objects on the level of… narcissistic captation… this attachment is fundamentally fatal. That’s what love is. It’s one’s own ego that one loves in love, one’s own ego made real on the imaginary level’

– Jacques Lacan, Seminar 1: Freud’s Papers on Technique

R.D. Laing on God

‘There is no doubt, it seems to me, that there have been profound changes in the experience of man in the last thousand years… There is everything to suggest that man experienced God. Faith was never a matter of believing he existed, but of trusting in the Presence that was experienced and known to exist as a self-validating datum. It seems likely that far more people of our time neither experience the Presence of God, nor the Presence of his absence, but the absence of his Presence’ – R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience

Continue reading “R.D. Laing on God”