duminică, 30 octombrie 2011

Trakl: 'The Soul is a Stranger to Earth'


The strangeness as also claimed by Socrates as regards his existence in the city, or by the Christians regarding their life in this world.

 Both cases bring out the cause of such strangeness. Because Socrates is different from the rest of people of the city, he is a stranger.  Because Christians believe in other world, there are stranger to this one. At a second level, Sophia and Theos are the causes for both. Being the causes of the strangeness, they are also the causes for which Socrates or Christians feel a kinship with them. Sophia is supposed to receive Socrates as one of its own, as God is believed that would receive men as his sons.

Therefore, we have a partial strangeness.

Could we say the same about the soul? If the soul is strange to earth, which is the cause and where could the soul find something or someone that will receive him in a familiar space?

If there is applied the idea of strangeness supported by Christians, we should consider the opposite of the earth as the cause of the strangeness of the soul. Which is the opposite of earth? In a metaphorical sense, the opposite of earth is the heaven. In a literal sense, it should be the air.

The metaphorical sense seems to detour us from the understanding of the strangeness belonging to soul. A soul who has the heaven as his space of familiarity would never feel himself as a stranger to earth; instead the soul could show the earth as being itself a stranger. And it does so, but only if something and someone extraneous to him compels him to bear the weight of the earth on. As illness casts the weight of the pain, vigorous and steady way of feeling the earth. Or when someone who had the power of fastening another on the earth leaves him without the common ground and, therefore, without a ground altogether.

Socratic strangeness is too peculiar to be applied to the strangeness of the soul, too. Moreover, it is a false strangeness, because the quest for sophia involves necessarily the use of language, the means which ever offers to the man the sense of being at home.

As a consequence, the strangeness of the soul to the earth is not to be found in the opposition to the earth, neither in an opposition to other users of language.

It remains that the strangeness should reveal in its dwelling on the earth. And it seems that the soul itself could be understood by closing him to the earth. The soul is not a part of the earth, but its strangeness derives from this negation. Perhaps it was heard about soul exactly for the reason of such negation.

The soul is not somewhere on the earth and thereafter it feels stranger on it, as if being prepared for another place, but it feels stranger at the same time with its dwelling on earth. Such simultaneity requires that any thought about what counts as earth in our biological or spiritual constitution, every stable, firm and endurable feature of our thought and existence, to be also viewed as something that decants from our hands and handling to an unapproachable earth.

It is the lost that jeopardizes our certainty of being our own masters as souls that keeps something different from them under control.

Thus, all the earthy feature, even those kept away from rational scrutiny because of their trivial character, tell something about the ways soul shows its strangeness and, eventually, tell about the very nature of soul. Therefore, even the anatomical view of a man is an unwritten treatise on soul as a stranger to earth.