vineri, 7 octombrie 2011

Peace and Space


The anger is tempered by spatial distance, as we firstly know from Achilles’ retreat from the battle. On the contrary, the anger reaches its peak easier when there is no space between the persons involved.

The spatial distance is not a psychological cure for the anger, but it reveals better what belongs to the person isolated from the one who caused her anger. After such recognition of what belongs to one’s own life, the enemies disappear. Not the same occurs with the persons we have affective relation. The distance gives them a better shape. A better shape means that one can discriminate them among other persons from his life. For instance, the other world conceived by Dante in a spatial fashion succeeded in providing to Beatrice a stronger shape than any other possible to be reached in their common life lacked by spatial distance.

Therefore, we may say that the affective life becomes a matter of knowledge whenever it is doubled by spatial distance.

We may interpret this fact as a subjective fear of the spatial distance, but also as a confirmation of the fact that men cannot be spiritually detached from their spatial surroundings.

The fear of spatial distance has as its object the embodied thought of the possibility to have less value in the large field of real things. We can philosophically despise the importance of an extensional world for our existence, but it cannot be excluded. The large world of the so called real things, as far as they are parts of our existence, compounds us as a continuous conscience of our insignificance. Such world comes close to our extensional movement and menace to destroy all the certainty about an ongoing and ever directed movement to certain points. When such a fear appears, it can be dissipated by imaging the persons closed to us as stable points in that large space. Thus, they claim a place never able to resist by its stability to the amount of large space of the world often comprehended by an unstable surveying of it.

We mentioned that spatial distance equally confirm that men are not spiritual beings separate from the space they occupy. The experience of the life among others in spatial closeness seems to neglect that men are really composed of spatial existence. The use of „here” and „there” generally occurs when we do not have direct relations to the persons we refer to in such a manner. „Your friend is there” involves that we missed something from what composes the common life with him. We ignored his place of dwelling or his movement from a point to another, and somebody else supplies our lack of knowledge. Therefore the spatial determination of a person seems to be acquired from outside, not from our own relationship to her. Moreover, all the persons who do not share with us a close relationship are often called by invoking their place. But such use of spatial determinations does not imply we dismiss the spatial existence of a person. Instead, it proves that we do not know the proper space to be attributed to them. A friend cannot live here or there, but he should be conceived as living in a definite space, as his home, his country, his town, and so on. We come to such designation of definite places only when we find ourselves far away from others. And the place substitutes the vagueness of the direct interaction with others.

Nonetheless, the spatial representation of a person we are related to makes us to conceive ourselves in a spatial manner. We know us in our spatial extension, too. It is a narrow extension, which brings us again in front of our lack of importance. And even the friendship or the love opened to us by spatial distance may seem too large to be carried on, if we do not commit to the idea that humans can overpass their humanity through philia.

The place for such idea is already prepared by a possible former disappearance of anger. For anger, as a feeling we share with animals (the Greek thymos was deemed to be a faculty belonging both to animal and human souls), is an adequate way to keep us in the closeness to ‘terrestrial’ matters. The anger helped us to keep ourselves in the tension that creates the illusion of a place that could never be diminished by comparing it with the outer large space. When there is not any feeling of anger, its effect is imprinted by other related feelings or acts of behavior, as envy, arrogance, resentment, enmity, etc.


Thus, the refugee of some biblical writers from the enmity of the men to a peaceful God who would create the large spatial world becomes easier to be understood. Any peaceful state induced by the spatial distance is close to become an eternal peace, assuming all our ignorance and looseness of what could mean a state so strange to our common experience.