Archive for the 'Quotes' Category

Re: enraging desert

So, the question of evil, like the question of ugliness, refers primarily to the anesthetized heart, the heart that has no reaction to what it faces, thereby turning the variegated sensuous face of the world into monotony, sameness, oneness. The desert of modernity.

Surprisingly, this desert is not heartless, because the desert is where the lion lives. There is a long-standing association of desert and lion in the same image, so that if we wish to find the responsive heart again we must go where it seems to be least present.

According to Physiologus (the traditional lore of animal psychology), the lion’s cubs are still-born. They must be awakened into life by a roar. That is why the lion has such a roar: to awaken the young lions asleep, as they sleep in our hearts. Evidently, the thought of the heart is not simply given, a native spontaneous reaction, always ready and always there. Rather, the heart must be provoked, called forth, which is precisely Marsilio Ficino’s [52] etymology of beauty; kallos, he says, comes from kaleo, provoke. “The beautiful fathers the good” (Plato, Hipp. Maj. 297b). Beauty must be raged, or out-raged into life, for the lion’s cubs are still-born, like our lazy political compliance, our meat-eating stupor before the TV set, the paralysis for which the lion’s own metal, gold [53], was the paracelsian pharmakon. What is passive, immobile, asleep in the heart creates a desert which can only be cured by its own parenting principle that shows its awakening care by roaring. “The lion roars at the enraging desert,” wrote Wallace Stevens. “Heart, instinct, principle,” again Pascal.

       James Hillman, The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World lion roars at the enraging desert,
Reddens the sand with his red-colored noise,
Defies red emptiness to evolve his match,
Master by foot and jaws and by the mane,
Most supple challenger….

       Wallace Stevens, Notes to a Supreme Fiction