Wednesday, April 26, 2006

On the Arts, Politics and Power.

"Man is not the lord of beings. Man is the shepherd of Being. Manloses nothing in this "less"; rather, he gains in that he attains thetruth of Being. He gains the essential poverty of the shepherd, whose dignity consists in being called by Being itself into the preservationof Being's truth." (Letter on Humanism, 1964), Martin Heidegger.

Maybe too then, men are not the lords of their art, their politics or their power, nor are they capable judges of another man's art, politics or power; the only role that they can aptly play is that of Shepherd, guiding a flock of ideas down a particular path, leading their ideas to drink at fresh waters and eat from the spring-time budding grasses of soft cool valley passes leading to mountains and treacherous slopes eloping into the night huddling about the fire's dancing trickling lights where smelling senses the warmth that rides the thick smoke that whirls around...but never, ever, is man thelord of his art, politics or power, and never can he truly choose whether he and all that he leads shall live or die, be forgotten or transcend this beehive of live.

We are called by our arts, politics and power to maintain/create/affect change in the fundamental Being of this world’s essences, but this does not give us vast unlimited rule over it, no, not so, this rathe rgives us a glimpse at its source, the most magnificent of all sources, like blinding light, blindingly true, bindingly addictive but never "our own", never an answer but only the trigger that pulls for another question, another inspection of the source and also of the hopes that rise in our throats when we see it form, to be followed we know by the gut wrenching belly aching stench of the pain left by temporal things.

The poverty of the Shepherd reminds me of Jean Genet's "The Theif's Journal" - which is a towering work of mighty - albeit painful/shaming - truths. The purity of poverty is like a desert island in the sea of capitalist dreams, but who has the balls to reach for that - only great men like Genet, maybe Jesus, maybe that guy who sits by the cash-point not giving a flying fuck? Who can know, and who has the RIGHT to say for sure?



sonia said...

good one Hesq and interest metaphors.

Anonymous said...

Too bad man makes a lousy shepherd, eh? Just take a look at the state that the world is in.

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