joi, 29 septembrie 2011

The Man and his Image


If we want to know the man through an image, we have to add to his figure the surrounding background.

In the case of a painted portrait, the personage stays in the front of the image. But only the landscape surrounding him can measure his movement or his lack of change in the moment he brings himself to the state of being caught in the picture.

We cannot establish a definite surrounding background for any individual person, or maybe there is not such a stable background for no one. All we can do is to circumscribe those kinds of realities that make possible to view if someone moves or stays in the same place.

A common measure of someone’s movement is his spatial distance from definite points represented by durable things: certain places, houses, pieces of furniture, different objects, etc. One’s change can be counted starting from the things closed to him. If he resists longer time than his clothes, then he proves that his bodily existence endures less change than what covers it. However, what covers it subsists longer than one’s body, so that we have in our nearby some persistent things that make us to fell as in front of eternity. It is no more difficult to explain eternity than to give an account of the fact that the things moved by us have a longer existence, one that we cannot know. Accordingly, the naked body in a bare landscape, or viewed without noticing what surrounds it, seems lacked by any motion or change. If there is viewed by a lover, we have a reason for agree with the saying „love is stronger than death”.

The continuous assail of things that require to measure our movement and change makes us to search for an escape. The common practice is to talk about the things surrounding us, as if we could separate ourselves from them. They are deemed to be essentially subdued to us, or able to be taken into possession. So conceived, the things cease to be the criteria according to which we count our change, and cease to be a menace for our everyday overlooking of the continuous change.

Nonetheless, the inappropriate state of being isolated from any background composed by things causes a return to the practice of counting. The things are substituted by other persons, and again some of them follow the fate of the things that come to be subdued. The persons that share with someone the same position or can surround him are those able to make him to forget his impossibility to cope with his permanent change. The tension resulted from the confrontation with things that appraise our change and are frequently taken into possession is still present in the relations with others, but allows to be carried on because such tension takes the value of a game. It is the game of keeping together persons who also attempt the same thing with us. Every game supposes an unexpected development of the things involved, and so does an individual in the small communities of human beings.

The best player can diminish the pure chance of the game. But in the case of human relations, this equates with someone’s retreat in the midst of his own things and works, with the end of being measured by them. Their pressure becomes smaller as long we do not deny that we are separated from them or greater than them. Therefore, we should recognize the absence of any definite split between us and them, so that they will seem to be parts of our world, not of an external one.