Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Thought 14: Novalis and the Common Spirit

Novalis (116-87 BDS)

Truth is that which makes meaning possible (see Lathoron, a Philosophical Dialogue).

That that is so rich that all thinkers think the same, holding on to that that. Thinkers are a community of like minds. 

Hence Novalis' statement:
"Flight from the common spirit is death."
That is, flight from the that which makes us think, the that which makes meaning possible, will be the end of us thinkers, creators, poets. This is what distinguishes thinkers from the mass of people, whereby the many-too-many as Nietzsche called them are atomised and need to cling on to superficial 'blinking' in order to fit in whereas thinkers hold on to their historical community as though to an umbilical cord.

See, in that regard, Heraclitus in The Art and Thought of Heraclitus (trans: Kahn)
[διὸ δεῖ ἕπεσθαι τῷ κοινῷ · ξυνὸς γὰρ ὁ κοινός.] τοῦ λόγου δʹὲόντος ξυνοῦ ζώουσιν οἱ πολλοὶ ὡς ἰδίαν ἔχοντες φρόνησιν. 
"Although the account is shared, most men live as though their thinking were a private possession." 
The account of thinkers is a shared one. Because thinkers are the thinkers, i.e. people's thinking is determined by what has come to the word, been pondered over and decided in the labours of the great thinkers, "the account is shared" despite appearances to the contrary.