northanger (northanger) wrote,

Grotesque Things & the Hypothetical Jacob Boehmes

wondering (not thinking i gather) about: "Empiricism is the mysticism of the concept, and its mathematism", here, i searched earlier for EMPIRICISM MYSTICISM & got a link to the philosophy professor. another link to Rudolf Steiner's fourth lecture on Human and Cosmic Thought mentions Nietzsche:

In the case of Nietzsche, up to a certain time in his life Venus stood in Aries, but when for his soul this configuration passed over into “Sun in the sign of Taurus”, he could get no further. He could not go with Mars into the sign of Gemini, but went in the oppositional position; thus he went with Mars into the sign of Scorpio. His last phase was characterized by his standing with Mars in Scorpio. But one can sustain this configuration only if one penetrates into the lower position (below the line Idealism — Realism in Diagram 11) where one plunges into a spiritual world-outlook, Occultism or something similar; otherwise these configurations must work back unfavourably upon the person himself. Hence the tragic fate of Nietzsche.

this seemed worth reading from the beginning. Steiner = founder of Anthroposophy (man-wisdom) with Christ & Atlantis themes. in this lecture Steiner discusses thinking & how most of us "think" we're "thinking" but we're not. first we must learn to think. Otherwise all sorts of grotesque things can befall one. in the first lecture Steiner mentions "nominalism": This is just what the philosophers have never done; they have not set their thoughts into movement. Hence they are brought to a halt at a boundary-line, and they take refuge in Nominalism. searching NOMINALISM DELEUZE: (Niklas Olaison) Deleuze distinguishes two different ways of doing philosophy: One is the dominant mode in Western tradition, which Deleuze names "State Philosophy", which emphasises identity and universals and serves to confirm and justify the powers that be. Deleuze’s alternative way of doing philosophy emphasises difference rather than unity and sameness. Deleuze labels this kind of philosophy nomad thought. (btw, i've given up keeping a nick list of synchronsitic occurrences since they sorta happen like clockwork).

reading Steiner's lecture i'm beginning to grasp different modes of thinking that allow different things to, i guess, emerge.

Let us suppose the following. There was once in Görlitz a shoemaker named Jacob Boehme. He had learnt his craft well — how soles are cut, how the shoe is formed over the last, and how the nails are driven into the soles and leather. He knew all this down to the ground. Now supposing that this shoemaker, by name Jacob Boehme, had gone around and said: “I will now see how the world is constructed. I will suppose that there is a great last at the foundation of the world. Over this last the world-leather was once stretched; then the world-nails were added, and by means of them the world-sole was fastened to the world-upper. Then boot-blacking was brought into play, and the whole world-shoe was polished. In this way I can quite clearly explain to myself how in the morning it is bright, for then the shoe-polish of the world is shining, but in the evening it is soiled with all sorts of things; it shines no longer. Hence I imagine that every night someone has the duty of repolishing the world-boot. And thus arises the difference between day and night.” Let us suppose that Jacob Boehme had said this.

Yes, you laugh, for of course Jacob Boehme did not say this; but still he made good shoes for the people of Görlitz, and for that he employed his knowledge of shoe-making. But he also developed his grand thoughts, through which he wanted to build up a conception of the world; and for that he resorted to something else. He said to himself: My shoe-making is not enough for that; I dare not apply to the structure of the world the thoughts I put into making shoes. And in due course he arrived at his sublime thoughts about the world. Thus there was no such Jacob Boehme as the hypothetical figure I first sketched, but there was another one who knew how to set about things. But the hypothetical “Jacob Boehmes”, like the one you laughed over — they exist everywhere to-day.

For example, we find among them physicists and chemists who have learnt the laws governing the combination and separation of substances; there are zoologists who have learnt how one examines and describes animals; there are doctors who have learnt how to treat the physical human body, and what they themselves call the soul. What do they all do? They say: When a person wants to work out for himself a conception of the world, then he takes the laws that are learnt in chemistry, in physics, or in physiology — no others are admissible — and out of these he builds a conception of the world for himself. These people proceed exactly as the hypothetical shoemaker would have done if he had constructed the world-boot, only they do not notice that their world-conceptions come into existence by the very same method that produced the hypothetical world-boot. It does certainly seem rather grotesque if one imagines that the difference between day and night comes about through the soiling of shoe-leather and the repolishing of it in the night. But in terms of true logic it is in principle just the same if an attempt is made to build a world out of the laws of chemistry, physics, biology and physiology. Exactly the same principle! It is an immense presumption on the part of the physicist, the chemist, the physiologist, or the biologist, who do not wish to be anything else than physicist, chemist, physiologist, biologist, and yet want to have an opinion about the whole world. The point is that one should go to the root of things and not shirk the task of illuminating anything that is not so clear by tracing it back to its true place in the scheme of things. If you look at all this with method and logic, you will not need to be astonished that so many present-day conceptions of the world yield nothing but the “world-boot”. And this is something that can point us to the study of Spiritual Science and to the pursuit of practical trains of thought; something that can urge us to examine the question of how we must think in order to see where shortcomings exist in the world.


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