Monday, 11 January 2010

I read Richard Rorty's 'the fire of life'- a praise of mousike milder than that of Socrates in the face of death.
He wished he had spent more time fashioning old chestnuts like Landor's 'I warmed both hands before the fire of Life' and Swinburne's river that at last reaches the sea.
Landor spent a lot of time in India. Swinburne was a well read guy at a time when a lot of Oriental stuf was being published.
The notion of the poet's life as a yagnya- a sacrifice- might have beeen familiar to them. The paractice is that after a sacrifice- things like the Olympics were regarded thus in ancient times- the whole scaffolding and panoply of things involved in the sacrifice must be disassembled and safely disposed off so that nothing carries forward.
It's like the disposal of the host after Mass.
In this sense an Ars Moriendi- an art of Death- would be essential for the poet or philosopher so that nothing carries over, everything is disassembled and safely disposed off.
Vasubandhu- the ancient Buddhist philosopher spoke of the need to disassemble mental constructs and safely dispose of them so that no karmic residue remains to determine one's next state.
Alas, the evil practice of publishing prevents this. Books are the opposite of Being-for-death. Theoria, the visit to the stranger's sacrifice, is enough to prevent that sacrifice cleaning up after itself.
Modern life may be termed the pollution caused by the improper sacrifice which has not yet been repeated so as to expunge its residue.
The Weberian (or Tolstoyan) complaint that life is meaningless because no vantage point or epoche exists for it any longer also refers, perhaps, to the death of sacrifice as its own cremation.

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