Sunday, August 30, 2009

My friend Scott writes...

...over on his blog, Καθολικός διάκονος :

What happens when language prevails over reality

Oscar Giannino's response to the challenge that his approach to life was too philosophical, helped me arrive at a judgment regarding my recent re-reading of some of Samuel Beckett's works, particularly when he said that "the prevalence of language over reality, condemns culture to being merely a descriptive shelf on which the prevalence of Non-being drowns, rather than the instrument for continuous transformation based on the person who wants Being."

With these words Giannino described well my repulsive attraction to Beckett. It is my thanatos urge to wallow in contingency with no reference to transcendence. At least it consists of dismissing my desire, as in the case of Godot, seeing my longing as pointless and absurd, a distraction from really living. I think this is where Camus stands out, he takes transcendence seriously and does not dismiss it as fantasy, he wrestles with meaning... [read the rest here]

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."