Amongst the many hundreds of manuscripts left behind by Russian theologian Mikola Mandelstahm
are a number of thin volumes explicating the philosophy
of the Ancient Greek
. The text below is Mandelstahm's attempt to reconcile himself with Heraclitus' thoughts about symbolism
and the relationship between knowledge
, a subject of which he treats often in his considerations of Heraclitus. In one related fragment
Mandelstahm takes up the subject of speech versus writing
. The text below was probably written sometime in the mid-1660's. Note: the odd locution
in the second sentence is partially a function of translation
from Mandelstahm's own idiosyncratic usage of the Russian
, but, to be sure, the weirdness of phrase is certainly there in the native language.
I do not know much of the relationship
between a word and that which the word is, or represents
. From a very young age, I was always being captured by a belief
capturing me in its mouth, which did not speak, but only masticated, and which chewing induced in me a feeling that a word is that which it is, only itself, a self-effacing and self-presencing reality with which we must deal, as we must also deal with a hard knock on the forehead.
Many years later, I read that Heraclitus wrote this, many years before:
The lord whose is the oracle at Delphi neither utters nor hides his meaning, but shows it by a sign (F93).
And so there is, Heraclitus has written, in the writing of the Oracle
neither a presencing nor an absencing of a meaning, but merely a showing of it, or a being of it, a being which is beautiful and sustained all in itself because it is merely itself, and self-concerned, which such concernation must also be a love of the entirety of all things in the circle. At least, this is what Heraclitus must think. For him, the concept of the circle
is supreme or divine, oracular. There is much to be found here, on this line where there is no "utter" and no "silence", no "revealing" and no "hiding". On this line, this singular line of no width, a line that expells a dimension, there is also a "being" a "showing". An "indication". This is something of God, I believe.