ὅσσα τ' ἐν Δελφοι̂σιν ἀριστεύσατε
ἠδὲ χόρτοις ἐν λέοντος*, δηρίομαι πολέσιν
περὶ πλήθει καλω̂ν, ὡς μὰν σαφὲς
οὐκ ἂν εἰδείην λέγειν ποντια̂ν ψάφων ἀριθμόν*.
ἕπεται* δ' ἐν ἑκάστῳ
μέτρον: νοη̂σαι* δὲ καιρὸς ἄριστος.
- Pindar, Olympian Odes.
tun logismun chategoroutun e apologoumenun
(With convictions both excusing and convicting.)
- Romans 2:15
The psalm is the oldest aesthetic. What is more certain than the end of man, and of what other truth then sin is there a more general and better attested knowledge? Nevertheless there is no man wise enough to believe it except the one who, as in the prayer of Moses, is taught by God to number his own days. Socrates! You bear your name, yet you require no proof of your existence; for you words were found, and they were eaten; 1 Sophists were bought in the wages of wickedness, but they were rebuked by you as though by Balaam's talking ass. 2 You get honor, but know ye not of fame; for you have neither concept nor sympathy thereof. 3 You find faith, but recognize no miracles. Neither are you a human, yet you must be an image of a man which superstition has made a god. Your ears they do not hear, your eyes they do not see. You surely know everything, and learn nothing; therefor your judgment is without understanding. Caution and diligence were the eyes of them came before you, and Delphi were not before the luck of astrologers. 4 But analogy was the soul of your reasoning, and the body of it,- irony. For because language is but the conveyance of knowledge, and you wear the characters of human ignorance and curiosity, therefor have you not rendered your body to any baptism; do you speak before the tongue, having not rendered your tongue unto judgment. 5 You expose in providence the diligent, you expose in indignation artifice, - In Epimetheo hoc non erat, ut providendo adhiberet diligentiam, sed sera con sideratio & ut facti cum poeniteret, inerat. (in Ioachimi Camerarii Libellus gnomologicus) 6 Blind pagans have recognized the invisibility that the human being shares with God. 8 The covering of the body, the countenance of the head, the extremities of the arms are the visible habit and illatabilem locum in which we walk; but are actually nothing but an index of the secret which we hold within us -- vita privatus. ( in Hieroclis Alexandrini Commentarius in Aurea Carmina Pythagoream. P. 183-187) Thus, the importance and salience of the passions, and of the human interests, are visibly extended into all our activity: such as our propensity to appropriate what is universal, or remote, and apply it to ourselves, and to contrariwise extend our personal experience over the whole of the human world, to portray everything as similar to ourselves and to spread our portrait over the whole of nature in veritas moralis. (in Compendium philosophiæ ad usum seminariorum, auctore Sti Sulpitii, page 23.) 7 Socrates! You did just this! - human passions are the predictable driving mechanism of the creature - that is the final item in the inventory of knowledge which had to transform the dynamism of world-history into political action. 8 Might I open the eyes of the reader, that perhaps he might see hosts of polities, and schemes of government ascend to the firmament of pure understanding, and hosts of moralities and philosophies descend to the depths of a mere perceptible sensibility, to be regarded as nothing more than archaism and superstition, - on a ladder which no man dreams, - whereon even the greatest of social Homers nods, and the dance of the Manhanaim or twin hosts of Reason, - the kenosis of God and the perisseia of the Son, - in the secret and vexing chronicle of their courtship and ravishing - and the whole theogony of the Shulamite and muse, in the mythology of light and darkness. As man is subject to analogia veterum, so is Nature given to him that his eyes may be opened, and History that his ears might be opened. The Earth as it were before the seventh day, is still a chaos. To dissect a body or an event down to it's first elements is to want to trap God's invisible being, his divinity, and very sui generis. Thus, as Meister Eckart says; that Man's heart is the labor of created things, not of god, - for God dwelleth not there, - are we not left, in place of Spinoza's amor intellectus dei, the intellectual love of God, a practicum intellectus dei, or practical love of God? Why then should we with deep sighs lament the lost poetry of Solon, or the treatises of Aristotle; or deplore that conflagration of the Library of Alexandria? for if no young sparrow falls to Earth without God, then no xoanon or monument of the ancient world has been lost to us that we should despair; and for ever runneth the season of creation. Unto each soul belongeth it's peirata technes; for each soul, every other soul is a postscenium. Between things of greatest likeness to one another, similitude telleth auro turbidus and the most beautiful of lies. For the declaration 'Ecce Homo!' is the oldest of humanistic prides, and is quite drama. Does this pride not belong rather to the unreflective, the all-too-human critic who is not ashamed to bear the standard of the man of whom Ecce Homo was said?
1. Jeremiah 15:16
2. 2 Peter 2.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
4. Francesco Guicciardini, Maxims, How much luckier astrologers are than other men! By telling one truth among a hundred lies, they acquire the confidence of men, and there falsehoods are believed. Other men, by telling one lie among many true statements, lose the confidence of others, and no one believes them even when they speak the truth.
5. Francis Bacon, de augmentis scientarum, P. 188. If I have all faith so as I could remove mountains (there is power active), if I render my body to the fire (there is power passive), if I speak with the tongues of men and angels (there is knowledge, for language is but the conveyance of knowledge), all were nothing.
6. P. 221. In Epimetheo hoc non erat, ut providendo adhiberet diligentiam, sed sera con sideratio & ut facti cum poeniteret, inerat.
7. Veritas moralis, as opposed to veritas logica. For elucidation of the terminology... " Veritas logica seu cognitionis est conformitas cognitionis cum re cognita. Veritas moralis seu enuntiationis est sermonis conformitas cum cogitationibus quas sermo exprimit. Defrectus veritatis metaphysicae in aliquo ente nihil aliud est quam ejus impossibilitas; defectus veritatis logicae est error; et defectus veritatis moralis, medacium."
8. Walter Benjamin, Origin of German Tragic Drama P. 107-110 and P. 96
9. Johann George Hamman, Relational Metacriticism P. 117