Winter – 2

December 16, 2006 at 3:05 pm (Winter)

Von Josti

Even though everything is in everything, not everything appears all at once. This is true of revelation as it is with anything else. Certain cities at certain times for certain people become transmission points. Everything comes together. People are seized with certain ideas, certain passions, and a certain resolve to bring these ideas and passions to life. Yet why this happens in such a way is something of a mystery.

History is considerably prejudiced against the invisible. The invisible rarely gets credit for anything. It is always this individual or that individual. In the front lines of history, the daily newspaper, rarely do events get reported without attributing their cause to certain personalities who happen to be in the general location at the time certain things took place. Of course these personalities try to accommodate this myopic view of events by reacting to events with various emotions, discoursing on them at length, claiming or denying responsibility or some other connection to these events, pretending to special knowledge about them, and so forth.

We imagine that individuals create movements when it is clearly movements that are creating individuals. Historians may identify various individuals and their ‘works’, then connect the dots and map out the movements of particular ideas and passions, but unless you a lover of maps, these only offer the most imprecise account of things. For movements are just the flowering of certain lines of imaginative speculation, stars that flare just as they die. Even as they draw attention one way, other lines of speculation flourish without ever being seen.

I have often wondered if the invisible forces that propel events do not cause certain literary and philosophical groups to reincarnate again and again to continue unfinished discussions and unresolved polemics, bringing to bear new arguments and fresh evidence. I have also wondered if certain poets and speculative philosophers have also returned many times as well, gathering at familiar establishments where wine is plentiful and revelations promising, to continue their slow unraveling of eternal mysteries.

If this is so perhaps it is the mystery itself that is the true individual in history, the true force that brings everything to bear in its quest for self-illumination. We are all its agents. And whether our work becomes known or not matters little for the mystery has measures that we can’t even imagine, that do not put much if any weight on human reckoning at all.

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