Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Power of Place


"It's one thing to listen to Xasthur in your New York apartment, it's another to listen to Xasthur in Slade, Kentucky" -- Heather Masciandaro

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007

Values, Things, Love

"To think against 'values' is not to maintain that everything interpreted 'as a value' -- 'culture,' 'art,' 'science,' 'human dignity,' 'world,' and 'God' -- is valueless. Rather it is important finally to realize that precisely through the characterization of something as 'a value' what is so valued is robbed of its worth. That is to say, by the assessment of something as a value what is valued is admitted only as a object for human estimation. . . . thinking in values is the greatest blasphemy imaginable against being. To think against values therefore does not mean to beat the drum for the valuelessness and nullity of beings. It means rather to bring the clearing of the truth of being before thinking, as against subjectivizing beings into mere objects." (Martin Heidegger, "Letter on Humanism," Pathmarks, 265)

"Mistakes in valuation arise owing to the influence of subjective desires or wants. True values are values which belong to things in their own right. They are intrinsic, and because they are intrinsic, they are absolute and permanent and are not liable to change from time to time or from person to person. False values are derived from desires or wants; they are dependent upon subjective factors, and being dependent upon subjective factors, they are relative and impermanent and are liable to change from time to time and from person to person." (Meher Baba, Discourses, III.139)

"The human is the being that, bumping into things and only in this encounter, opens up to the non-thinglike. And inversely, the human is the one that, being open to the non-thinglike, is, for this very reason, irreparably consigned to things. Non-thingness (spirituality) means losing oneself in things, losing oneself to the point of not being able to conceive of anything but things, and only then, in the experience of the irremediable thingness of the world, bumping into a limit, touching it." (Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community, 102,3)

How, then, to know the values of things without reducing things to values, without blaspheming being? By sitting at the feet of things, in wonder, in love. Love is knowledge of the value of beings, an illuminating keeping open of the boundary between beings and things. So philosophy is not only to love thought but to think love, to understand within love's opening up of the the thing itself.