Friday, May 18, 2018

On the Darkness of the Will

On the Darkness of the Will. Milan: Mimesis. ISBN 978-8869771569. 178pp.  

“For the will desires not to be dark, and this very desire causes the darkness” (Jacob Boehme). Moving through the fundamental question of this paradox, this book offers a constellation of theoretical and critical essays that shed light on the darkness of the will, its obscurity to itself. Through in-depth analysis of medieval and modern sources―Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Eriugena, Dante, Meister Eckhart, Chaucer, Nietzsche, Cioran, Meher Baba―this volume interrogates the nature and meaning of the will, along seven modes: spontaneity, potentiality, sorrow, matter, vision, eros, and sacrifice. These multiple lines of inquiry are finally presented to coalesce around one fundamental point of agreement: the will says yes, yet only a will that knows how to say no to itself, entering the silence of its own darkness, will ever be free.

"At a time when much philosophy still stubbornly clings to the legacy of modern humanism and its attendant species-superiority, Masciandaro's On the Darkness of the Will provides a counterpoint, examining a whole premodern repertoire of thinkers delving into the nebulous, unhuman terrain of 'the Will.' At once sorrowful and joyful, ecstatic and exegetical, these essays offer a welcome respite from the otherwise obligatory narcissism of the current cultural climate." 
Eugene Thacker

'Masciandaro gathers the roses of the mystics, and the non-mystics, and extracts for us their attar. These essays in unknowing are true transmissions of the self-secret.' 
Jordan Kirk 


I. The Whim of Reality: On the Question of Will
II. Of a Leaden Hue: Chaucerian Non-Mysticism
III. Sorrow of Being: In Calignem
IV. The Tears of Matter: On the Crucifixion Darkness
V. Because It’s Not There: A Vision of Climbing and Life
VI. The Inverted Rainbow: On the Color of Love
VII. Inner Life | Inner Death: On the Threshold of the Sacred