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But I'm a fascist for the Left!" Woody Allen's answer to girlfriend's question in "Manhattan" One of the most disturbing facts that came out in the [Adolf] Eichmann trial was that a psychiatrist examined him and pronounced him perfectly sane. I do not doubt it at all, and that is precisely why I find it disturbing. . . The sanity of Eichmann is disturbing. We equate sanity with a sense of justice, with humaneness, with prudence, with the capacity to love and understand other people. We rely on the sane people of the world to preserve it from barbarism, madness, destruction. And now it begins to dawn on us that it is precisely the sane ones who are the most dangerous. It is the sane ones, the well-adapted ones, who can without qualms and without nausea aim the missiles and press the buttons that will initiate the great festival of destruction that they, the sane ones, have prepared. What makes us so sure, after all, that the danger comes from a psychotic getting into a position to fire the first shot in a nuclear war? Psychotics will be suspect. The sane ones will keep them far from the button. No one suspects the sane, and the sane ones will have perfectly good reasons, logical, welladjusted reasons, for firing the shot. They will be obeying sane orders that have come sanely down the chain of command. And because of their sanity they will have no qualms at all. When the missiles take off, then, it will be no mistake. Thomas Merton. "A Devout Meditation in Memory of Adolf Eichmann" in Raids on the Unspeakable. New York: New Directions Publishing Co., 1964 The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together. Hannah Arendt By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell - and hell heaven... The great masses of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one. Adolf Hitler
son desesperaciones aparentes y consuelos secretos. negar el universo astronómico. a law superior to any of man's pleasant and flattering rhetorical reasonings. desgraciadamente. El tiempo es la sustancia de que estoy hecho. it leaves me radically unstable. but amoral it is not. negar el yo. for . myth-consciousness is the bond that unites men both with one another and with the unplumbed Mystery from which mankind is sprung and without reference to which the radical significance of things goes to pot. es un tigre que me destroza. El tiempo es un río que me arrebata." Kenneth Smith And yet. so that they will seize at any myth or pseudo-myth that is offered. Art is either the lancet of a higher truth. . pero yo soy el río. Our current motivating ideas are not myths but ideologies. it is in crusade against lying and trivializing conventional morality and must transcend that snakepit of corruption. no right to command anyone's attention. pero yo soy el fuego.. the nescience buried in the heart of science. soy Borges. the stuff his character and even his life are ultimately woven from. Now a world bereft of radical significance is not long tolerated. or else it has no authority.. yo. Art is far from amoral. Philip Wheelwright Source: essay on "Poetry.. which is after all of the very essence of man.The poet of today . Delusion must be lanced like a boil bloated to purple distension: art is not the play of pretty illusions-entertainment is that whoring pastime-but rather righteous and wise disillusion. judicious severing of a malignancy. that is. man's deific powers of denial and delusion. Nuestro destino no es espantoso por irreal: es espantoso porque es irreversible y de hierro. This loss of myth-consciousness I believe to be the most devastating loss that humanity can suffer. Art must keen its scalpel for one sure incision. El mundo desgraciadamente es real. Art traffics with the divine.is profoundly inhibited by the dearth of shared consciousness of myth. the hidden or occult. es un fuego que me consume. lacking transcendental significance. it must razor the bladder of an inflationary corpus of hypertrophic beliefs so deftly that the violence is only felt after the fact.. and yet … Negar la sucesión temporal. Myth and Reality" in "The Burning Fountain: A Study in the Language of Symbolism" 1968 Art or culture or philosophy must ply its genius today against this most prodigious opponent in all of history-human self-obliviousness. pero yo soy el tigre. A wise society knows to have contempt for egomaniacal poseurs playing onanistically with art supplies. in no way is it free to be neutral and objective. the mythic. certainly. and a foolish society imagines that "art is whatever artists may do.
. lacking transcendental significance. Time is the substance I am made of. but I am the fire. unfortunately.. is real.. and yet . The plots that entangle our souls and draw forth our characters are the great myths. our misalliances. but I am the tiger.Myth is the truth of fact. myth-consciousness is the bond that unites men both with one another and with the unplumbed Mystery from which mankind is sprung and without reference to which the radical significance of things goes to pot. Jorge Luis Borges The poet of today . James Hillman As a child I became a confirmed believer in the ancient gods simply because as between the reality of fact and the reality of myth. Our current motivating ideas are not myths but ideologies. am Borges. . Translators use “plot” to render the ancient Greek word mythos in English. Now a world bereft of radical significance is not long tolerated. but I am the river. Time is a river which sweeps me along. and our human characters can locate themselves against the background of the characters of myth. denying the self. I chose myth. so that they will seize at any myth or pseudo-myth that is offered. are apparent desperations and secret consolations.. Myth and Reality" in "The Burning Fountain: A Study in the Language of Symbolism" 1968 It helps to regard soul as an active intelligence. Our destiny is not frightful by being unreal. it is a fire which consumes me. and our tragedies. The world. . Myths show the imaginative structures inside our messes.is profoundly inhibited by the dearth of shared consciousness of myth. it leaves me radically unstable. not fact the truth of myth.. I. it is a tiger which destroys me. forming and plotting each person’s fate. it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. That is why we need a sense of myth and knowledge of different myths to gain insight into our epic struggles." Kathleen Raine . This loss of myth-consciousness I believe to be the most devastating loss that humanity can suffer.. Denying temporal succession. Philip Wheelwright Source: essay on "Poetry. unfortunately. denying the astronomical universe. for .If your Spanish is a little rusty or nonexistent the following is a fairly decent translation of the above quotation: And yet.
ethical inquiry." he said. you are in good accord with your group. Le Guin (1929 . happens to coincide with that of the society.that myth is more potent than history. You look at the Blonde Hero--really look--and he turns into a gerbil. John C. you've got an adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.I believe imagination is stronger than knowledge . "You must change your life. your dream.that hope always triumphs over experience . If your private myth. a fable not a logic. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts . . The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth. Maxwell It is a myth. and he looks back at you. Ursula K. John F. Joseph Campbell (1904 . You look at it and it vanishes. and symbol rather than a reason by which men are moved. persuasive and unrealistic. When the true myth rises into consciousness.) True myths may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation. The real mystery is not destroyed by reason.1987) The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie deliberate. Robert Fulghum (1937 . If it isn't. And I believe that love is stronger than death. that is always its message.1963) The depth of your mythology is the extent of your effectiveness. But you look at Apollo. and Apollo spoke to him.) The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul. The fake one is. and artistic renewal. and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth. contrived and dishonest but the myth persistent. The poet Rilke looked at a statue of Apollo about fifty years ago.that laughter is the only cure for grief. You must change your life. Mythology is the womb of man's initiation to life and death. not a mandate. religious joy. Kennedy (1917 .
as in being able to remake ourselves. Gandhi (1869 .that is the myth of the atomic age .1948) . our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world .1954) As human beings.Irwin Edman (1896 .
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