Sunday, 12 January 2014

Parrhesia's drunken helot

Edit- I am adding notes to this because of a comment.

Stage, Parrhesia's drunken helot, upon Heaven a heist
Fex Urbis, Lex Orbis, by the blood of Christ!
Piss on their Symposia should Paideia sing
The Sufi Saqi is not Plato's King

1) Parrhesia is to speak openly, to say everything without troubling too much about being polite or polishing one's rhetoric. Plato's last book, 'the Laws', features an Athenian stranger- who might even be Socrates resurrected- who is invited to speak 'with parrheisa' by his interlocutors both of whom claim a special relationship of friendship with Athens.
The Spartan is a 'proxenos' of Athens- i.e. his family had provided lodgings for Athenian plenipotentiaries and had acted as a sort of Honorary Consul for it. The Cretan was descended from a Priest and Oracle who had prophesied favorably concerning Athens' fate in the Persian wars. Thus both were entitled to plain speaking from the Athenian, since their affections were already engaged on his side.
The Athenian makes a somewhat strange argument- viz. that drinking may be a good thing even though all evidence is to the contrary. Indeed, the Spartans would deliberately get a helot (i.e. a member of the slave caste) drunk so as to exhibit him to their young adolescents as a dire warning against the evils of intemperance. The Athenian, however. argues that provided the Symposium (drinking session) is ruled by a judicious 'King'- who determines how much water to mix in the wine and who acts as Master of Ceremonies- then, Smyposia become an extension, or indeed a consummation, of 'paideia' (Education)- in particular, training in Music fructifies into a schooling in Philosophy such that human beings become fitted to themselves dialectically arrive at Laws which are a mimesis of those by which Heaven is ruled.

Bearing this in mind, the phrase 'Parrhesia's drunken helot' means that type of 'saying everything' (Foucault would call it 'speaking Truth to Power) which a member of the oppressed or otherwise despised caste, might be guilty of and which those with Power might, not just tolerate, but actively elicit, so as to serve the instrumental purpose of providing an awful example and warning to their own young people of what happens to members of the despised caste, condignly deprived of paideia, by reason of congenital defect, who nevertheless gain access to, or are forced to partake of,  the peculiar elixir of the Symposium which, like the Soma of the Arya, is the Sun and Moon in the mouths of the Entitled, but which immediately becomes Rahu & Ketu- the decapitated demons of the Solar and Lunar eclipse- upon the tongues of those heavily burdened, whose Lebenswelt, it is the Enlightened Economics of the Elite, to render consubstantial with Hell.

2) Heist- Wikipedia says 'heist is a robbery from an institution such as a bank or a museum, or any robbery in which there is a large haul of loot.'
The first line asks the 'drunken helot' who is in the grip of Parrhesia to stage a heist upon Heaven. Prometheus, it is said, stole fire from Heaven. It was a calculated move. Prometheus means 'fore-thought'. But how can the drunken helot have 'fore-thought'? Surely, he is impulsive- Epimethean- he has what Hoppe calls 'low time preference'- he does not think, he does not plan, he accepts Pandora as a gift from the Gods.

But, Pandora's great gift was doubt- Pyrrhonism- including a cussed skepticism regarding the 'beautiful and good'  'Paideia' of the elite.

When a poet uses a word as the end rhyme of his opening line, then we naturally expect to see other words with the same rhyme later on. In this case, we may expect to see 'Geist'- Spirit- which has a special meaning in the Hegel's dialectical system. Essentially, what we have here is the notion that at any given moment in Time, only some people- those with an Entitlement to the correct Hegelian Paideia, by reason of belonging to, or possessing an unreasoning proclivity for, some privileged topos and ethne- can participate in the Universal Geist which is a sort of asymptotic limit of what can be rightly thought and felt at that moment in Absolute Time.

3) Fex Urbis Lex Orbis- 
Wikipedia says Fex urbis lex orbis is a Latin saying, meaning "Dregs [classical Latin faex] of the city, law of the world", that is, the lowest class of citizens determines how the world works.
First written by St. Jerome,[citation needed] the phrase is often erroneously attributed to Victor Hugo, who quotes it ironically at the beginning of Volume V of Les Misérables while advising one to be careful in labeling social groups:[1]
the beggars were the making of Holland; the populace saved Rome more than once; and the rabble followed Jesus Christ.
There is no thinker who has not at times contemplated the magnificences of the lower classes.
It was of this rabble that St. Jerome was thinking, no doubt, and of all these poor people and of all these vagabonds and of all these miserable people whence sprang the apostles and the martyrs, when he uttered this mysterious saying: "Fex urbis, lex orbis," — the dregs of the city, the law of the earth.
4) Blood of Christ. 
Wine is turned into the blood of Christ during the Christian ceremony of  Mass. Similarly, the communion wafer (a type of unleavened bread) is turned into his flesh by the miracle of Transubstantiation. Both are consumed by the devout. This ceremony binds the Christians together and fosters fellow feeling and the desire to work together for the uplift of all.
The early Christians had to hide in the catacombs but were hunted down and flung to the lions. Yet this 'rabble' prevailed over the might of Cesar. 
I may mention, Christ was asked by the Jews to speak with 'parrhesia' and reveal if he was the Messiah. Had Christ not spoken openly (the same point could be made of the Sufi, Mansur al Hallaj) he would have been safe and honored.
One could say that the Blood of Christ, which buys redemption, was only caused to flow by the parrhesia of this 'son of a carpenter'.

5) Symposium- originally this meant a convivial drinking party rather than an academic seminar. Plato's 'Symposium' was read by the Ikhwan e Safa- i.e. the intellectuals of the Abbasid dynasty who were also patronized by the Barmicides family.
 In connection with Aristophanes' fable of the sexes, a hadith of the Prophet was mentioned and this became one of the foundations of the Sufi doctrine re. Ri'jat & Tanasukh- i.e. something similar to metempsychosis.
The Sufi Symposium, unlike Plato's, did not feature wine or a 'King' who regulated it's distribution. It did not become an extension or consummation of worldly 'Paideia'. On the contrary, it included the dervish- the poor man, the beggar, the crazy fellow- and it was presided over by the Saqi (Wine pourer) of the Unseen. The Sufi khanqah is the opposite of the Credentialist Academy. Sufi wisdom is apophatic not sophistical.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What does this poem mean?