ECO: more aphorisms


“There is nothing more difficult to define than an aphorism.”


“There are more books in the world than hours in which to read them. We are thus deeply influenced by books we haven’t read, that we haven’t had the time to read.” Continue reading

SPOCK: Wanting vs Having


“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true.”

— Mr. Spock

Star Trek, season 2, episode 1 (“Amok Time,” 1968)

via Star Trek Quotes: Leonard Nimoy’s Best Spock Quotes | Hollywood Reporter


 

States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness


Following on from ‘Ann Veronica Janssens: yellowbluepink’, this changing exhibition will examine perspectives from artists, psychologists, philosophers and neuroscientists to interrogate our understanding of the conscious experience. Exploring phenomena such as somnambulism, synaesthesia, and disorders of memory and consciousness, the exhibition will examine ideas around the nature of consciousness, and in particular what can happen when our typical conscious experience is interrupted, damaged or undermined.


via States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness | Wellcome Collection


MASLOW: Most Perfect Moments


We fear our highest possibility (as well as our lowest ones). We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments […]. We enjoy and even thrill to the godlike possibilities we see in ourselves in such peak moments. And yet we simultaneously shiver with weakness, awe and fear before these very same possibilities.

 

— Abaham Maslow

Neurosis as a Failure of Personal Human Growth, Humanitas 3: p. 163, 1967

Humanity ≠ Outside


“ 

They did not seek power, but avoided it. Not even the power of being a prophet. They were not impressed by might, and they spoke the truth even if this led them to imprisonment, ostracism, or death. They were not men who set themselves apart and waited to see what would happen. They responded to their fellow man because they felt responsible. What happened to others happened to them. Humanity was not outside, but within them.

 

— Erich Fromm

On Disobedience, 1963

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Greed & Peace


Greed & Peace preclude each other.

“ 

It means: that I want everything for myself; that possessing, not sharing, gives me pleasure; that I must become greedy because if my aim is having, I am more the more I have; that I must feel antagonistic toward all others: my customers whom I want to deceive, my competitors whom I want to destroy, my workers whom I want to exploit. I can never be satisfied, because there is no end to my wishes; I must be envious of those who have more and afraid of those who have less. But I have to repress all these feelings in order to represent myself (to others as well as to myself) as the smiling, rational, sincere, kind human being everybody pretends to be.

— Erich Fromm

‘To Have or To Be’ (1975) p. 5

Phallic Personality


“ 

125—

The exhibitionism of the phallic personality (the huge genital, the royal lingam) is fraudulent; an imposture, or imposition on the public; theater. The actor needs the audience to reassure him he is not castrated: yes, you are the mighty penis; the Emperor’s New Clothes. To force the audience to give this reassurance is to castrate, have coitus with, the audience: the phallic personality needs a receptive audience or womb. Separately, both actor and audience are incomplete, castrated; but together they make up a whole.

— Norman O. Brown

Love’s Body, 1966

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Productive Activity


What is Being Mode?

In nonalienated activity, I experience myself as the subject of my activity. Nonalienated activity is a process of giving birth to something, of producing something and remaining related to what I produce. This also implies that my activity is a manifestation of my powers, that I and my activity and the result of my activity are one. I call this nonalienated activity productive activity.*

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Ambition of Ghosts


99—

Action is what takes place in front of the camera, with the lights turned on, to throw the rest of reality into darkness…Those for whom not to be seen is nonexistence are not alive; and the kind of existence they seek, the immortality they seek, is spectral; to be seen is the ambition of ghosts, and to be remembered the ambition of the dead. The public realm is the stage for heroic action, and heroes are specters of the living dead.

 

The passport which grants access to the public realm, which distinguishes master from slave, the essential political virtue, is the courage to die, to commit suicide, to make one’s life a living death. “One must pay dearly for immortality: one has to die several times while still alive” (Nietzsche).

 

— Norman O. Brown

Love’s Body, 1966

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Empty & Poor


What is Being Mode?

“ 

Only to the extent that we decrease the mode of having, that is of nonbeing — i.e., stop finding security and identity by clinging to what we have, by “sitting on it,” by holding onto our ego and our possessions — can the mode of being emerge. “To be” requires giving up one’s egocentricity and selfishness, or in words often used by the mystics, by making oneself “empty” and “poor.”

 

 

—Erich Fromm

“To Have or To Be” (1975) p. 72