Thursday, October 16, 2014

Heraclitus Weeps at Everything

“Among gods, all are shaken by the jeers of Momus.
Among heroes, Hercules gives chase to all the monsters.
Among demons, Pluto, the King of Hell, oppresses all the shades.
While Heraclitus weeps at everything,
Pyrrho knows naught of anything,
And Aristotle glories in knowing all,
Diogenes spurns the things of this world,
And I, Agrippa, am foreign to none of this.
I disdain, I know, I do not know, I pursue,
I laugh, I tyrannize, I protest.
I am philosopher, god, hero, demon
and the whole universe.”

- Epigraph to De Incertitudine et Vanitate Scientiarum (1531) by Agrippa of Nettesheim, quoted in the essay “The Nothingness of Personality” (1922) by Jorge Luis Borges

[Intriguing premise in the essay, teasing me on to that unread copy of Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Idea stacked in a tower of books in the corner.  And weird to read the old Argentinian master while listening to The Doors on the headphones in the bathtub.]

[What does it all mean?  Beats me, but there’s something there, if I could but summon whatever that specific but essential quality I lack to delve deep into it.]

No comments: