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Arquivo para a ‘Museology’ Categoria

Love in Saint Augustine

20 Oct

This was Hannah Arendt’s doctoral thesis with direct influences from Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, initially his supervisor, who later passed the guidance to Karl Jaspers due to his personal involvement with Arendt, so some understanding of phenomenology and existential ontology is needed.

We ended last week with a reflection on politics and religion precisely from the compilation of Posthumous Works by Arendt herself, and what we want to point out is the possibility of a civilization based on the principles of Love, in the sense of charity (theological virtue) and as Augustine saw it.

Far from being an apology for this elevated form of Love, it sees contradictions and will develop the question of love for God, love for one’s neighbor and oneself, and uses phenomenology to deepen this theme, but it is a hasty conclusion to say that phenomenology opposes or even favors these feelings, which in themselves are rather contradictory, for example, love for one’s neighbor and oneself has different nuances for the vast majority of people.

His conclusion is that it is not possible to form a human society based only on charitable love (always remembering that it is a theological virtue and not simple generosity) and the central point is to analyze Augustine only from a philosophical point of view, since Arendt he had no interest in the theological aspects.

Arendt for dividing his dissertation into three parts is due to a desire to do justice to Augustinian thoughts and theories that run in parallel. Thus, each part “will serve to show three conceptual contexts in which the problem of love plays a decisive role” (this quote is taken from an English translation that Hannah Arendt herself works with and differs from Portuguese).

The first part Arendt will analyze “What do I love, when I love my God?” (Confessions X, 7, 11 apud Arendt p. 25), in the second part she discusses the relationship between the creature and the creator, she titled the chapter “Creature and Creator: the remembered past”, and in the third part she discusses social charity.

In the first part, the author discovers that God is the quintessence of his inner self, God is the essence of his existence, and when he finds God in himself, man finds what he lacked: his eternal essence. Here, love for God can relate to self-love, for man can love himself in the right way by loving his own essence.

In the end, the second part will discuss the relationship with others, how to love them as God’s creation: “[…] man loves the world as God’s creation; in the world the creature loves the world as God loves. This is the realization of a self-denial in which everyone, including yourself, simultaneously regains its God-given importance. This achievement is love of neighbor. ”

In the third part of the dissertation, entitled “Social Life”, which Arendt dedicates to what she calls “social caritas”, the relevance of the neighbor, and the love for neighbor gain new justification, will discuss the adamic principle of sin and will say that this is the principle that will link us to Christ, who comes to redeem us from this sin.

Here the contradiction with Augustine appears: “It is because all men share this past that they must love each other:“ the reason why one must love one’s neighbor is because their neighbor is fundamentally their equal and both share the same sinful past ”, so it is not the foundation of Love, but of sin that makes us equal to others nearby. ”

By choice, man must deny the world and found a new society in Christ. “This defense is the foundation of the new city, the city of God. […] This new social life, which is based on Christ, is defined by mutual love (diligire invicem) ”, there is a work by Augustine dedicated to this:“ city of God ”, and the thesis that is only so philosophical it focuses only on the mundane (or human, as you wish) relationship, it does not see man as having a divine origin and made for Love.

For Arendt what makes us brothers and I can love them in caritas, in true love, and this is expressed in Augustine, according to Arendt, reconciles the isolation generated by the commandment to love God with the commandment that says to love your neighbor, ending the dissertation.

According to Kurt Blumenfeld, a friend of Arendt who had great importance in his involvement with Judaism and politics, the answer to the question was Zionism and a return to Palestine, but emigration there was never part of Arendt’s plans. vita socialis your answer about Love, did not understand caritas.

Arendt, Hannah. (1929) On the concept of love in the thought of Saint Augustine: Attempt at a philosophical interpretation(PDF) (Doctoral thesis, Department of Philosophy, University of Heidelberg) (in German). Berlin: Springer. 

 

The party and the guests

09 Oct

Babette’s party is an allegory to a divine party, and the mysterious cook who humbly works for a long time in a house until she can announce and hold the party, although suspicious guests accept and feel their lives renewed.

What we live in pandemic times is the absence of the party, but the real party to which we have all been invited is that of fraternity for all and a greater balance in the distribution of incomes, in the treatment of different cultures and respect for human dignity. far from being a party.

Who were the guests, primarily those who claim to have these principles and who are not always practiced, that is, they participate more in the parties of wealth, power and their benefits than promote the party that everyone could participate.

The pandemic should be an awareness, deprived of the party, we should think about those who have always been deprived, and not try to promote even in the pandemic our private party where friends participate.

The biblical parable (Mt, 22,1-14) of the wedding feast in which a king calls the guests and they make excuses for not attending, is a good explanation for what happens to those who were invited and who were not and the excluded who are called to the party and they go, we would say one last awareness.

The guests, we would say in biblical terms the elect, were not, so the king sends his servants to go to the squares, at the crossroads of the paths and call as many as they find for the party, but at the party he still notices someone who is not wearing the right clothes (picture is engraved of Jan Luyken).

The biblical allegory is to say that among those who are not invited there are also those who are not worthy to participate in the divine feast

 

Babette’s feast

08 Oct

Babette´s feast is one of Karen Blixen’s most celebrated tales (1885–1962), tells the story of two puritanical ladies, daughters of a Protestant pastor, who live a very oppressive life until her father dies, the tale became famous after being filmed by the Danish director, being the first Blixen film to be filmed by the Danish Film Institute , and the first to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The script was adapted by Just Betzer, Bo Christensen and Benni Korzen, in it Filippa (Bodil Kjer) and Martine (Birgitte Federspiel) are daughters of the strict Lutheran shepherd, who after his death, appears in the village Babette (Stéphane Audran), a Parisian who offers to be the cook and cleaning lady of the family.

Many years after working in the house, she receives the news that she won a big lottery prize and offers to prepare a French gala dinner in celebration of the pastor’s 100th birthday, the parishioners initially fearful, accept babette’s banquet.

The symbolism of the film is strong, the shades of blue slightly contrasted, are on the border between heaven and earth is almost imperceptible, amid the gray landscape of Denmark, a first image foreshadows a different communion in a place between earthly and heavenly things.

Another aspect of symbology is the fish, very influential in early Christianity, but it is the table that was able to re-connect those people with a true self, and awaken them again a sense for the life they had lost some time ago.

The dance of the participants around the people (photo), also a religious symbology, is a high point of this resumption of meaning of the lives of those people.

What Babette’s art, the food made with love and art, was to create on the table a “kind of loving involvement”, but “in a loving involvement of that noble and romantic category in which the person no longer distinguishes between appetite or satiety, bodily and spiritual!”, as the author of the original play herself describes, Blixen thus expresses the deepest of his expression in this tale.

 

 

Eça de Queirós and the eating table

06 Oct

Being in Portugal in 2018, and the Uab (Universidade Aberta) being very close to Confeitaria Cister, where Eça de Queiroz attended, there is even a drawing of the song he liked to stay and write there (photo), I remember the Portuguese table remembering this corner of Lisbon, and Eça’s writings on the dining table.

One of the most common texts on the subject is an article known as “Archaeological cuisine”, published in 1893, in Gazeta de Notícias, Lisbon, Portugal. In it Eça stated: “the table has always been one of the strongest, if not the strongest foundation of human societies” and also “the character of a race can be deduced simply from its method of roasting the meat” (III, p. 1226)

Eça anticipated the reflections of historians such as Jean François-Revel (1996) and Massimo Montanari (2004), for whom the values ​​of the food system are the result of the representation of cultural processes and relationships develop according to economic, nutritional and symbolic criteria.

The author not only proposed observations of cuisine in classical societies, but also considered that gastronomy has an arché, a basic element of the representations of Portuguese society, which was noticed by several of its readers and critics, the food awoke, for example, Machado de Assis’s attention as early as 1878.

The Brazilian fashion, Machado de Assis saw there in Eça an unnecessary abundance, the argument about this type of excess is opposed to the gastronomic coherence that is constituted throughout the work, the food is related to the excess of this literary school, if Eça had not continued to be careful with this theme, care should increase both in quantity and in quality in the following works and versions, reinforcing for example that the author of “Os Maias” may have found in the kitchen the fundamental elements of his project of represent Portugal through its most characteristic features.

What is certain is that the table expands to cultural and social values, as well as literary schools,  the times of development of societies and cultures reflect them.

ASSIS, Machado. Eça de Queirós: O Primo Basílio. In: Obra Completa. V. III. Rio de Janeiro: Aguillar, 1997.

 

Plato’s banquet

06 Oct

At banquets, tables and food sharing celebrate many things, including dialogue on essential topics.

Occurring around 380 BC it is a dialogue, and there are some who prefer the translation of Greek as Symposium (in ancient Greek sympotein means “to drink together”), and the central theme is Love, between eros and agape, and the central character as in most of his dialogues are Socrates.

Also in the dialogue Aristophanes and Ágaton (or Agatão), in his house there had been a previous banquet in celebration of the literary prize he had won, in this banquet Socrates and other participants spoke about “love”, Apolodoro and Glaucon, Aristodemo and Agaton himself.

Glaucon considers Apolodoro as crazy because he despises the material, Ágaton means “good” in Greek, good things and love lead to the practice of good and beautiful, and if we knew the practice of love the good it does, men would make an army of lovers, reminiscent of the army of banos, whose front was Pelopidas and Epaminondas in 371 BC

Phaedrus’ speech is that the love worshiped by men reveals them to be more virtuous and happier during life and after death, but it is in cosmogony that the speeches will oppose, while Phaedrus sees the origin of Eros as a very ancient god, without mention of parents, he was born next to Geia (land) after Chaos.

Pausanias the second to speak, contrary to Phaedrus, there are several Eros, he was the son of Aphrodite, and two Aphrodites, a daughter of Uranus and another of Zeus, that of Zeus generates vulgar eros and that of Uranus a heavenly Eros.

Eriximaco approves the distinction of Pausânias on the duplicity of Love and, universalist, extends it to every cosmos: “great and admirable, and it extends to everything, both in the order of human and divine things”, being a doctor says that the love and concord provide harmony, combining opposites (the healthy and the morbid) that extend throughout the universe: “one must keep one love and the other…”.

Aristophanes will insist on the power that love has over historical nature, using the myth of the androgens, legitimizing homo-affection and the unbridled search for what we now call “soul mates”, which is a search for perfectionism and in a way narcissism . Socrates praises the fact that Agaton began to show nature and what are the works of Love, but then follows his classic Question method: “Is Love such that it is Love of something or nothing?”, Ágaton confirms that Love is Love of something. Which “something” is Love from and continues with the question: “Does Love, what it is love, does it want it or not?” and the banquet follows the fashion of the Greek classics.

The banquet, the table at which everyone sits is the important part of this dialogue, seems so classic and so present, but we would add a question and Francisco de Assis, remembered these days, he said with conviction: “Love is not loved”, so before to be an instrument as stated by Agaton is itself something to be used as an instrument, at a time of so much pain in humanity, or else the Socratic way of asking: “Is Love loved?”

Plato, (2003). The Symposium, trans. by Christopher Gill. London: Penguin.

 

 

 

Ame Agaru and pandemic

19 Aug

The film by an assistant to Akira Kurosawa, Tadashi Koizumi, has this name “After the rain” (Ame Agaru, 1999) was a script by Kurosawa that Tadashi inherited, the first point that can be highlighted in this film is the relationship between man / nature that limits human action and they are stuck in the middle of a path waiting for the rain to pass, like many others also have a samurai.

But he will have to perform a task that is not very worthy of a samurai, to get money for people who stay there can eat, this is my analogy with the pandemic, from the time when everyone is trapped in the house, an analogy I make with social isolation.

The protagonist of the film is a character of the type “jidai-geki” (the films that are inspired by the history of Japan), it could also be a film about the “autumn of a samurai”, there is another script film made by Kurosawa’s heirs called “Rhapsody in August” (1991), in this the director was Kiyoko Mura.

This worldview of not conceiving man apart from nature, in times when ecology was still a marginal topic, now with the rediscovery of nature we have an interesting analogy to be made, nature limited us behind a virus, and yesterday we saw temperature spikes low in the south of the American continent, temperatures have been 20ºC below zero in Rio Grande (Tierra del Fuego), according to data from the National Meteorological Service (SMN) of Argentina.

In the USA where it is summer, the high temperature record was in the “death valley”, 54.4ºC a record very close to the highest temperature ever recorded in the region, which was 56.9ºC in 1913, according to the National Meteorological Service ( American NWS), nature shows its signs of reaction to the pandemic ecological action of centuries.

Returning the rain in the middle of a forest where poor people pass, at a certain moment the samurai finds himself in the condition of helping those people due to the long period they are isolated, and when he leaves he is faced with a murderer that the samurai will prevent a a duel that could end in death, and for this reason the feudal lord who owns those lands decides to employ him as a swordsman, there remains a qualm that is to accept money, which is dishonorable for the samurai.

The Samurai decides to do it for a noble purpose, which is to have food for those people who are retired there, almost all of them poor because they were making that way through the forest, when they were prevented from proceeding by the rain.

If the message at that time was little appreciated, today with the economic situation that we will have after the pandemic, the message is noble and social.

Below a link to see the film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=1mR0KV-c9EY

 

 

The Lady of God and Greek tragedy

14 Aug

The Greek tragedy Oedipus Rei was analyzed by the poet Hölderlin, where he uses the term aorgic for the search that Oedipus does to know that it is, since it was donated to a pastor by father Laius to raise him, to avoid the tragedy predicted by the oracle Delphi, and to complete the tragedy Oedipus ends up marrying his own mother.

The term aorgic here is used to understand the corruption of human nature, and it can have a new meaning with each new human tragedy, it is Hölderlin’s sense when saying that “where there is fear there is salvation”, we must fear not only the pandemic that has already it is a disaster, but what can come from inhuman and agonizing after this tragedy.

There is no lack of apocalyptics, however the interesting thing would be to think beyond the tragedy and invert the role of Jocasta for a mother who defends and wants her children safe and sound, and so in a human reinvention we would look not at Eve of human creation, but at Mary who gave birth to the divine son.

It is not only religious prejudice that deviates from this deep sense of human fertility and motherhood, it is the relevance of the role of women in the background, Hölderlin’s analysis involves the paradoxes that commonly constitute the tragic, such as the human and the divine, and the poetic task of modernity as a possible task for any and all poetry, so its cultural plan cannot eliminate the tragic, but must also include the divine.

It is this misogyny of the human to the divine that denies any and all roles of women, Mary should be only a religious theme, but also the divine linked to the tragic, Pietá although remembered and revisited by so many authors, hides the role of the desolate mother before the a faint son, also Salvador Dali in his painting Christus Hypercubus places a female figure at the foot of the four-dimensional Christus, inspired by his wife.

Christians are ignored by the biblical passage of the evangelist Luke (Lk 1,43): “How can I deserve that the mother of my Lord comes to visit me”, and the Lord in this case is not only the divine-human son who will be born of Mary , but also the Lord God of Mary and Isabella, who says this “full of the Holy Spirit” (Lk 1,41), so the relationship is Trinitarian and aorgic, after all the Christmas event is wrapped up in the mystery of the laws of the universe that over it acted.

In the midst of the pandemic it would be extraordinary if the same mother of Pietá was with humanity in her lap (Matris in gremio) and could, in a tragic and divine inspiration, help the humanity that faints and sees an increasingly darker future ahead, the mysteries of Medjugorje and Garabandal (mysterious appearances) may not only be children’s fantasies (today all adults), but the divine revelation about the human tragic, if only it is true, where there is fear, there is salvation.

 

 

 

 

Between tragedy and idealism

11 Aug

The big theme during the pandemic, which attracts crowds is happiness, not by chance, since happiness was in everything that is now closed: the mall, the cinema, the houses of orgies and drinking, the simple ecstasy of being in a frenzied crowd for some frivolous reason, after all it is the frivolity that everyone wants to come back, there will be nothing great to penetrate the tragedy of a pandemic, it is necessary to find the culprits and punish them for banishing frivolous life and putting us all in constant tension, in fear and far from simple enjoyment.

Nietzsche wrote about The Birth of Tragedy, and blamed Empedocles for his death, but it was Hölderling who will write about Empedocles’ Death, it was he before Nietzsche who rediscussed the tragedy, and the tragic of the tragedy, in a dialogue with German idealism and that’s when he coined his most famous phrase: “where there is fear there is salvation”, almost in the same vein as Cassius Clay who became Mohammed Ali: “it is the lack of faith that makes people fear challenges”.

The pandemic is none other than the fact of understanding the limits of the human, the persistence of tragedy in our lives and destinies, and the fatality of death, those who never thought of it are those who fear it most now, it is never so close of all, but tragedy is evil, or the false sale of easy happiness, it is in it that the charlatans of philosophy, faith and even science without “label” rely.

The Death of Empedocles, an unfinished play, where Hölderlin worked from 1797 to 1799, in his poetic texts from this period, where he thought about the essence of the tragic is marked by a great antagonism, but above all the unification of antagonism with contradiction, where he makes it clear that the theme should be “the true modern tragedy”, perhaps not during the two tragic wars we face, but now in an endless pandemic.

In his analysis, Empedocles hates civilization, is a mortal enemy of limited human existence, cannot bear to live under time, suffers for not being a god, for not being in close union with the whole, and for a need that stems from his being deeper, I decide to die by throwing myself into the volcano.

He is less of a liar than the real ones of simple formulas for happiness, but tragic that he wants to be a god himself and that he would be more “noble” than to admit a God, killed not by tragedy, but by German idealism, after all from Fichte to Schelling, the great expression that transgresses the limit imposed by Kant on human knowledge, when considering all intuition, that which is sensitive to objects, becomes intellectual intuition and artistic intuition, being able to give an immediate knowledge to the absolute, of possibility revelations that are directed to the whole.

So in the essay “Foundation for Empedocles” says that tragedy is the expression of the “deepest intimate unity” that is exposed by real oppositions, the idea owes not only much to Schelling’s analysis, which defines the Greek tragedy as a reconciling presentation of contradictions of reason, but anticipates the Hegelian view of the tragic poem as a presentation of the “tragedy that the absolute eternally stages with itself”, but the absolute here is vague, ideal. In the “foundation for Empedocles”, Hölderling explains how the harmonious opposition between art and nature takes place, presenting the process by which nature becomes more organic and man, more agorgic, more universal.

The concept of aorgic here is fundamental, and the reading here is by Françoise Dastur “Hölderling, tragedy and modernity” where he defines it as “it is nature without organicity in its infinite uniqueness”.

The organic is the art, which supposes, on the contrary, organization and, therefore, opposition from the parties”.

In the aorgic relationship that can be found the pandemic, the culprit is ultimately the virus, the control of the virus is questionable until you have the vaccine, we were in favor of social isolation and at certain times of #LockDown, however it is in nature devoid of organicity, a virus that until then was foreign to the man who altered it and became hominating, putting the civilizing process in check, and nature seems to fight back what humanity proposed.

Hölderling, Friedrich. (2008) The dead of Empedocles A Mourning-Play.  NY:  State University of New York.

 

 

The dark night of humanity

04 Aug

Watching political debates or even relevant issues of public life, a brief look at culture and religion, any angle that looks at the moment aggravated by the pandemic, it is relevant to point out the confused features of this civilizing moment.

It is a fact that we have already been through another pandemic, in frightening numbers the so-called “Spanish flu” in the middle of the 1st. world war, it was a great and humanitarian disaster that challenged humanity, and even then came the second war, the concentration camps and the Hiroshima bomb, but the contours of this moment seem even more serious, there is a crisis of thought.

What can be observed are phrases made with a doubtful impact, appeals to impossible optimism in the face of the pandemic scenario or the hope “after all this is over”, however as the vaccine does not reach reality it imposes it, even on the wise on duty a little sobriety, but still without the solidarity and humanity that would be desirable.

The crisis of thought already pointed out by Edgar Morin, Nicolescu Barsarab and many others, in addition to the scientific and technical debate, is the difficulty of composing elements that should go beyond the limits of specialties to solve problems beyond the disease, the social and the religious, to tackle the problem together would require an overall view and not an impoverished disciplinary view of specialists.

When less is seen by pure and simple analysis, the darker this night becomes, the foundations lost, even if the civilizing foundations can be overcome: the Greek culture, the Judeo-Christian religiosity that so many scholars had, also the Islamic with Avicenna, Averroes, Al-Khwarismi and more recently Abdus Salam, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.

Science is still strongly linked to the positivism and logicism of two centuries ago, while Karl Popper, Tomas Kuhn or Bachelard are still little known and confined in circles of “experts of the scientific method” which indicates a shallow reading of these questioners of conventional science.

The last century gave us Gustave Klimpt, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, the bold architecture of Antoni Gaudi, by Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer, but the straight façades, the abuse of glass and crystals that appear for the first time in the Crystal Palace (photo), English architectural structure of the 19th century that invoked a recreation center for “education of the people”, cited by Sloterdijk and his disciple Byung Chul Han as representative of current architecture, as centers of consumption and “an architectural form was proclaimed as the key to capitalism . condition of the world ”(SLOTERDIJK, 2005, P. 279).

The Creator’s greatness and daily novelty are a stark contrast to repetitive, outdated religions that say nothing to the world today, about the pandemic oscillating between simple adherence to current discourse to models of solidarity and defense of life that are too fragile for tragedy pandemic.

SLOTERIJK, P. Crystal Palace,  Chapter 33 of in Globalen Inneren Raum des Kapitals: Für eine philosophische Theorie der Globalisierung (In the Global Inner Space of Capital: For a Philosophical Theory of Globalization). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2005, pg. 265-276.

 

The historical origin of hiding pandemic data

03 Aug

The idea of ​​hiding data about the pandemic had already occurred in the Spanish flu, which received this name only for political reasons since Spain remained neutral during the First World War, the original name was trench flu because it affected many soldiers and weakened some armies.

The idea of ​​hiding the disease was even supported by prestigious institutions, such as the Royal Academy of Medicine in London, until the end and 1918 few believed in the flu.

The name of Spanish influenza is also old, Brazilian newspapers (there was an article from the magazine A Careta, n. 537) used the name but as now the beginning of the fight against the disease was troubled, and the coercive measures defended by the sanitary Oswaldo Cruz were seen as a sanitary tyranny in the country and political groups opposed to the Wenceslau Braz (see the Brazilian daily) government saw the flu as a government pretext for intervention in the lives of the population.

Political use has also been made, but at this serious moment in history, it is desirable that true humanitarian spirits disarm themselves to defend the lives of the population, the action of doctors, aid groups and efforts for the vaccine.

The insistence on polarizing in such a tragic moment reveals only the decadence of the most expensive values ​​of compassion and solidarity, even by groups that should be more committed to joining efforts, and curiously we find even those on the other side of both solidarity and those seeking divert attention from the real enemy: the pandemic that affects everyone.

In the country, lost the opportunity to do a #lockDown when the disease was still located in some regions, now it has spread throughout the country and only the measures already known should continue to be adopted, I see medical teams and support services reaching depletion , the cases of infection of this true heroes continue to grow.

What is new is a worldwide tension in truly worrying limits, the departure from abandoning the basic foundations of society and attitudes that vary between conformism and the simple abandonment of any measure of protection and social isolation, such as the march of thousands of people in Germany.

The levels of the pandemic in Brazil remain stable, neither is it true that the pandemic is under control, nor is it true that there is a genocide in the country, simply the measures that could be taken were not, and time passed and the disease spread.

We are left with the hope of the vaccine, that of Oxford, one of the most reliable due to scientific criteria, the transparency of the working scientists (a detailed article was published in The Lancet magazine) and the rigor of the vaccine’s release stages, without being hit.

The post-pandemic is frightening because there are no attitudes of sobriety and balance even in conscious sectors of society, the impression of a humanism that is more political than true.