« August 2006 | Main | October 2006 »

September 26, 2006

the weapon of criticism

The weapon of criticism obviously cannot replace the criticism of weapons. Material force must be overthrown by force. But theory also becomes a material force once it has gripped the masses. Theory is capable of gripping the masses when it demonstrates ad hominem, and it demonstrates ad hominem when it becomes radical. To be radical is to grasp things by the root. But for man the root is himself...The criticism of religion ends with the doctrine that man is the highest being for man, hence with the categorical imperative to overthrow all conditions in which man is a degraded, enslaved, neglected, contemptible being-conditions that cannot better be described than by the exclamation of a Frenchman on the occasion of a proposed dog tax: Poor dogs! They want to treat you like human beings!


Posted by amin at 10:32 PM

September 17, 2006

socrates on death

To be afraid of death is only another form of thinking that one is wise when one is not...No one knows with regard to death whether it is really the greatest blessing that can happen to a man, but people dread it as though they were certain that it is the greatest evil, and this ignorance, which thinks that it knows what it does not, must surely be ignorance most culpable...and if I were to claim to be wiser than my neighbor in any respect, it would be in this...that not possessing any real knowledge of what comes after death, I am also conscious that I do not possess it.


Posted by amin at 4:20 PM

September 16, 2006

making comparison with others

We judge ourselves happy or unhappy only by making comparison with others. Out of this self-love springs the desire to acquire value in the opinion of others. This is originally a desire merely for equality, to allow no one superiority above oneself, bound up with a constant care lest others strive to attain such superiority, but from this arises gradually the unjustifiable craving to win such superiority for oneself over others. Upon this twin stem of jealousy and rivalry may be grafted the very great vices of secret and open animosity against all whom we look upon as not belonging to us.

Immanuel Kant - Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone

Posted by amin at 12:26 AM

September 10, 2006

let me dare the boldness of joy

You let me sing, you lifted me up, you gave my soul a beam to travel on. You folded your distance back into my heart. You drew the tears back to my eyes. You hid me in the mountain of your word. You gave the injury a tongue to heal itself. You covered my head with my teacher's care, you bound my arm with my grandfather's strength. O beloved speaking, O comfort whispering in the terror, unspeakable explanation of the smoke and cruelty, undo the self-conspiracy, let me dare the boldness of joy.

Leonard Cohen - Book of Mercy

Posted by amin at 8:27 PM

September 9, 2006

stay in the center

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.

Tao Te Ching

Posted by amin at 8:39 PM

September 6, 2006

baudelaire on women

The being who, for most men, is the source of the most lively, and even, be it said, to the shame of philosophical delights, the most lasting joys; the being towards or for whom all their efforts tend for whom and by whom fortunes are made and lost; for whom, but especially by whom, artists and poets compose their most delicate jewels; from whom flow the most enervating pleasures and the most enriching sufferings / woman, in a word, is not, for the artist in general... only the female of the human species. She is rather a divinity, a star.

Charles Baudelaire

Posted by amin at 5:47 PM