Husserl on Growing in Knowledge

Edmund Husserl 1910s.jpgLearning is not the accumulation of scraps of knowledge. It is a growth, where every act of knowledge develops the learner, thus making him capable of constituting ever more and more complex objectivities—and the object growth in complexity parallels the subjective growth in capacity.

–Husserl as interpreted by Quentin Lauer, cited in Rollo May Love and Will, pg 223

William James on Naming the Reality

If he [the alcoholic] once gets able to pick out that way of conceiving, from all possible ways of conceiving the various opportunities which occur, if through thick and thin he holds to it that this is being a drunkard and is nothing else, he is not likely to remain one long. The effort by which he succeeds in keeping the right name unwaveringly present to his mind proves to be his saving moral act.

—William James, The Principles of Psychology, cited in Rollo May, Love and Will, pg 154

Rollo May on the Denial of the Daimonic

An outstanding example of the self-defeating effects of forgetting the daimonic can be seen in the rise of Hitler. The inability of America and the nations of western Europe to recognize the daimonic made it impossible for us to assess the significance of Hitler and the Nazi movement realistically. How well I recall those years in the early 1930’s when Hitler was coming into power. I had just graduated from college and had gone to teach in Europe.  My fellow liberals and I in America, and in Europe to a lesser extent, believed so strongly in peace and world brotherhood in those days that we could not even see Hitler or the destructively daimonic reality he represented. Human beings just couldn’t’ be that cruel in our civilized twentieth century—the accounts in the papers must be wrong. Our error was that that we let our convictions limit our perceptions. We had no place for the daimonic; we believed that the world must somehow fit our convictions, and the whole daimonic dimension was ruled out of our perception. Not to recognize the daimonic itself turns out to be daimonic; it makes us accomplices on the side of the destructive possession.

The denial of the daimonic is, in effect, a self-castration in love and a self-nullification in will. And the denial leads to the perverted forms of aggression we have seen in our day in which the repressed comes back to haunt us.

–Rollo May, Love and Will, pg 130-131

from Be Recorder

they work their fingersCarmen Giménnez Smithto the soul their bones 
to their marrow 
they toil in blankness 
inside the dead yellow 
rectangle of warehouse 
windows work fingers 
to knots of fires  
the young the ancients
the boneless the broken
the warehouse does too 
to the bone of the good 
bones of the building
every splinter spoken for
she works to the centrifuge 
of time the calendar a thorn 
into the sole dollar of working 
without pause work their mortal 
coils into frayed threads until 
just tatter they worked their bones 
to the soul until there was no 
soul left to send worked until 
they were dead gone
to heaven or back home 
for the dream to have USA 
without USA to export
USA to the parts under 
the leather sole of the boss 
they work in dreams of working 
under less than ideal conditions 
instead of just not ideal 
conditions work for the 
shrinking pension and never 
dental for the illusion 
of the doctor medicating them 
for work-related disease 
until they die leaving no empire
only more dreams that their babies
should work less who instead
work more for less 
so they continue to work 
for them and their kin 
they workballoon payment 
in the form of a heart attack 
if only that’ll be me someday
the hopeless worker said on 
the thirteenth of never 
hollering into the canyon 
of perpetual time 
four bankruptcies later
three-fifths into a life 
that she had planned 
on expecting happiness 
in any form it took 
excluding the knock-off
cubed life she lived in debt
working to the millionth
of the cent her body cost
the machine’s owner
Yolanda Berta Zoila 
Chavela Lucia Esperanza
Naya Carmela Celia Rocio
once worked here
their work disappearing
into dream-emptied pockets
into the landfill of work
the work to make their bodies
into love for our own

 

What an Indian Thought When He Saw the Comet

Flaming wonderer! that dost leave vaunting, proud
Ambition boasting its lightning fringed
Immensity—cleaving wings, gaudy dipp’d
In sunset’s blossoming splendors bright and
Tinsel fire, with puny flight fluttering
Far behind! Thou that art cloth’d in mistery
More startling and more glorious than thine own
Encircling fires—profound as the oceans
Of shoreless space through which now thou flyest!
Art thou some erring world now deep engulph’d
In hellish, Judgement fires, with phrenzied ire
And fury hot, like some dread sky rocket
Of Eternity, flaming, vast, plunging
Thro’ immensity, scatt’ring in thy track
The wrathful fires of thine own damnation
Or wingest thou with direful speed, the ear
Of some flaming god of far off systems
Within these skies unheard of and unknown?
Ye Gods! How proud the thought to mount this orb
Of fire—boom thro’ the breathless oceans vast
Of big immensity—quickly leaving
Far behind all that for long ages gone
Dull, gray headed dames have prated of—
Travel far off mystic eternities—
Then proudly, on this little twisting ball
Returning once more set foot, glowing with
The splendors of a vast intelligence—
Frizzling little, puny humanity
Into icy horrors—bursting the big
Wide-spread eyeball of dismay—to recount
Direful regions travers’d and wonders seen!
Why I’d be as great a man as Fremont
Who cross’d the Rocky Mountains, didn’t freeze
And’s got a gold mine!

–Tso-le-oh-woh

Little is known of Cherokee poet Tso-Le-Oh-Woh. “What an Indian Thought When He Saw the Comet” was published in The Cherokee Advocate on September 28, 1853 shortly after the Klinkerfues comet passed through the skies in that year. The poem can be found in this volume, along with the author’s only other published work, A Red Man’s Thoughts: Suggested by the eagerness of the applicants for Indian Superintendencies and Agencies.