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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

Discipline

18 05 12 - 15:00


Swedenborg, for example, could be easily dismissed as a crank. Many people today would be dubious of the story, which Swedenborg promoted, that he had flabbergasted the queen of Sweden by relaying a message from her deceased brother. They would be even more skeptical of Swedenborg’s claims that he could visit souls in heaven. There, he said, he could see angels performing domestic chores, or ask about their sex lives.

But Swedenborg also had a rigorous scientific mind. He predicted the advent of airplanes and cars, he discovered the central canal of the spinal cord, and he recognized the existence of neurons. His keen curiosity about the relationship between mind and body fueled his interest in dreams — he went through a period of vivid, ecstatic dreams — and his interpretations presaged the work of Freud and Jung.

Many people considered Swedenborg’s claims to have traveled to heaven and hell blasphemous. But he was writing during a tremendously exciting time for science — he was a bit younger than Isaac Newton — as well as pseudoscience, like alchemy. Actual physical exploration of the spirit realm thus seemed, to some, a realizable ambition, given the pace of human progress. - "Spiritual Seeker’s Quest, From Blondie to Swedenborg," by Mark Oppenheimer, The New York Times


Contrast:


I understood how it was that music came into the life of a musician; like a friend. Always present and always available, but never pushy, in a sense. But always there and available. As a working musician, as a professional musician, the way in which I worked changed because of that insight. Instead of rushing around looking for other bright ideas – Robert is going to create some music – it would be truer to say that the music creates the musician than the musician creates the music. The quality of music is always present. So I work on craft. For example I continue to develop my attention to be relaxed, to be in a place where music can more freely play the human instrument. There is a creative impulse, and if I were insensitive, I wouldn't be aware of it. So, I have to develop my sensitivity. If I were tight and tense, I wouldn't be able to respond to that impulse, so I train to respond very quickly to an impulse. And this becomes simply the way in which one lives one's life. Can one live in a relaxed fashion with sensitivity and attention present? And, if one can, one is on the way to being a successful carpenter or musician or book seller or whatever. It doesn't matter what. It comes back to the quality at which we function as a human being. A musician has hands, a head, and a heart. How do they function? How do they work together? The discipline of being a musician and the discipline of being a human being are exactly the same. There's really no contradiction. - Interview with Robert Fripp in Guitar Player (1981)

two comments

Brett Cuntens
I agree. Civilisations need a goal and values otherwise they fail. The Roman Empire had a goal and values though I can't remember what they were. So did the Mongol Empire probably. Those were the best days in our history surely. The Nazis had a goal probably but I only don't like the Nazis because they didn't succeed. What we need is a strong leader with values. But not just any values, like freedom and prosperity, but values like: whatever opinion I happen to hold at any time, no blacks, hating disabled people, killing people who don't fit with my opinions and so on. I am so fucking clever. Brett Cuntens - 19-05-’12 04:31
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