Mastery of nature = power over power. Using the same logic to work against the logic. Dialectic: in trying to overcome something, you end up becoming it. In trying to move towards something, you end up further away. This is because the means and end are completely at variance, indeed as opposites. So enlightenment is egoless state, but in trying to move there, you are using the ego to get there, and you can’t use the ego to get to an egoless state.
“The trouble is with the conditions that condemn mankind to impotence and apathy and would yet be changeable by human action; it is not primarily with people and with the way conditions appear to people. Considering the possibility of total disaster, reification is an epiphenomenon” (ND 190)
“The mistake of postulating an absolute historical time: There are different times even though they may be parallel. In this sense, one of the times of the so-called Middle Ages can coincide with one of the times of the Modern Ages. And that time is what has been perceived and inhabited by painters and writers who refuse to seek support in what surrounds them, to be ‘modern’ in the sense that their contemporaries understand them, which does not mean that they choose to be anachronistic; they are simply on the margin of the superficial time of their period, and from that other time where everything conforms to the condition of the figure, where everything has value as a sign and not as a theme of description, they attempt a work which may seem alien or antagonistic to the time and history surrounding them, and which nonetheless includes it, explains it, and in the last analysis orients it towards a transcendence within whose limits man is waiting” (§3).
What is this other time, the time of that corresponds to the condition of the figure, the sign, and not the absolute historical time? A sign is something standing for something else, a figure for something else. A sign is an indication of something, of a direction, of something more (“give me a sign”). A sign is something you can’t immediately tell what it is of, “what does this SIGNify?” A sign is something you take responsibility for, something you mark from yourself, something you confirm, a representation of you, SIGNature. What is the relation, difference, between a sign and a representation? A representation bears more similarity to what it is about then a sign? Forget that. Interesting about signs is one sign can cover many different objects, so signs are like spider webs. They bring the object that they capture (signs don’t exactly capture the objects, but maybe they do so more than allegories, which have a much hazier and tenuous relation to their objects) into a web with other significations, so the object comes to be illuminated within a constellation, and an ambiguous one. It is central to signs that they are ambiguous, that they demand that we hear, and hear again. Now, why the sign and the figure? Figure is both a shape and a number, a part of a larger constellation. Also to figure is to think something “I figure. . . go figure . . . ” To figure something out. What is the difference between figuring something out and solving a problem? Figuring something out: to make a figure out of something that is indeterminate, hazy, ambiguous, hence to create, nearly to draw. Figuring something out as drawing it, i.e. as drawing something out, to draw something as to bring something out (oh fuck, the materiality of language; to feel language in the way one feels clay, plaster, air, chalk).
When one goes beyond superficial time (standing social norms, obvious resonances, [mediately] immediate meaning, on the surface, where everything appears to be only what it appears to be), one enters the realm of the figure. The realm of the figure is the realm of the possible, of the many. It is the realm of elaboration, perhaps even the realm of the forever arriving, of eternal transience. I almost want to say copy without original, but the thought concerns more speculum, the “how can you be so sure,”
“Having an experience involves both a transformation of the individual and the emergence of a new object domain for consciousness… There can be no meaningful historical life without experience; and only lives articulated through experience can be fully and self-consciously historical” (115).
“If you want peace, deserve it”
“Perception, imagination, expectation, anticipation, illusion — all are based on memory”
What does it mean tot know myself? By knowing myself what exactly do I come to know?”
All that you are not.
And not what I am?
What you are, you already are. By knowing what you are not, you are free of it and remain in your own natural state. It all happens quite spontaneously and effortlessly.
And what do I discover?
You discover that there is nothing to discover. You are what you are and that is all.
But ultimately what am I?
The ultimate denial of what you are not.
I do not understand!
“Discover all you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space, being and not-being, this or that–nothing concrete or abstract you can point out to is you. A mere verbal statement will not do–you may repeat a formula endlessly without any result whatsoever. You must watch yourself continuously—particularly your mind—moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the self from the not-self”
“Would people know that nothing can happen unless the entire universe makes it happen, they would achieve much more with less expenditure of energy”
“A thing is as it is, because the universe is as it is”
“The knower rises and sets with the known”
“What is supremely important is to be free from contradictions: the goal and the way must not be on different levels; life and light must not quarrel; behavior must not betray belief. Call it honesty, integrity, wholeness; you must not go back, undo, uproot, abandon the conquered ground. Tenacity of purpose and honesty in pursuit will bring you to your goal”