Sunday, 10 February 2008

“If we have only one life to live, we might as well not have lived at all.”


“According to Milan Kundera, “being” is full of “unbearable lightness” because each of us has only one life to live: “Einmal ist Keinmal” (”once is never”, i.e., “what happened once might as well have never happened at all”). Therefore, each life is ultimately insignificant; every decision ultimately does not matter. Since decisions do not matter, they are “light”: they do not tie us down. But at the same time, the insignificance of our decisions - our lives, or being - is unbearable. Hence, “the unbearable lightness of being.” (quote from Wikipedia)

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." ~Ecclesiastes 1:9

"For time is infinite, but the things in time, the concrete bodies are finite.... Now, however long a time may pass, according to the eternal laws governing the combinations of this eternal play of repetition, all configurations that have previously existed on this earth must yet meet, attract, repulse, kiss, and corrupt each other again.... And thus it will happen one day that a man will be born again, just like me, and a woman will be born, just like Mary." ~ Heinrich Heine

"What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you in your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!" ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Eternal recurrence - a finite number of events infinitely recurring again and again in infinite time, like games of chess, that, played one after another forever, eventually will repeat any game ever played.

The world is an eternal process of coming to be and passing away, where origin and end of the process seem to become fleeting vanishing points.When there is no final point, no destination, eventually every combination of matter and energy will be realized and repeated and infinite number of times - an escheresque return, a neverending groundhog day.

If a past event is experienced as a future one, it is recognized as something we already know, as something we have experienced before, and therefore, as a repetition.

Every recognition is a remembering - and repetition and memory are both the same movement, just into different directions; for what is remembered, has been and is repeated backwards, whereas actual repitition remembers in forward direction.

Only what we remember can we identify, and only what we recognize can we name and thus make unique.

"Einmal is keinmal", once is never, if the 'once' comes into its true being through repetition only, if it becomes what it should be only by means of recurrence (and the english language seems to see it that way - in english, you do not "cognize", but you "re-cognize"... the repetition is in the word already).

Once is never, is just a draft, nameless and without reference, like a ray of light without reflection, like a sound with nothing to resonate in, not seen, not heard, not recognized - and therefore, equal to non-existent, to never-been?

Or is "einmal", once, the source, the beginning from where all possible repetitions take their origin?The 'once' that holds all possible events within, all possible becomings that are actual, that are within the now, that are now?

"Une fois pour toutes", Deleuze says, "The paradoxicality of true repetition is that 'once' stands for 'all'".

Einmal ist alles. Once is all.

Once is what we experience, right now. Once is the moment. Each moment arises and perishes, and the perishing of a moment allows the next moment to arise. For the moment, there is no end. The perishing of a moment is not a final state. Moments do not end in time because they allow other moments to arise.

"The moment is immortal in which I produce return. For the sake of this moment I bear return." (Nietzsche's Notebooks)

The eternal return is the vertigo that causes the subject, the event, the now to go around and around for innumerable times in series of infinite vibrations of being: all these vibrations reverberating, until the consonance of this same instant, in which these dissonances are reabsorbed anew, is re-established.

6 comments:

javadoug said...

I guess I only half agree with this, once is never.
Once is all! That's my optimistic view. Once is forever.

poetography - words and vibes said...

maybe there is not much difference between these two after all, doug....

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Tamara said...

That's very intesting!

astralwicks said...

“If we have only one life to live, we might as well not have lived at all.” that's a poetic afterthought. We are born without our consent and die a bit confused. and we move on to no one knows where? maybe it's one grand continuum or maybe what we construe to be one life is indeed millions of life or seconds - every second we live and die every second - otherwise we are just dates on our gravestone.

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