…We have dreamed the world

It is hazardous to think that a coordination of words (philosophies are nothing else) can have much resemblance to the universe. It is also hazardous to think that one of these famous coordinations does not resemble it a little more than the others, even in an infinitesimal way.

I have examined those that enjoy a certain prestige.  I would even assert that the only one in which I recognize some vestige of the universe is that formulated by Schopenhauer. According to his doctrine, the world is a fabrication of the will. Art – always – requires visible unrealities. Let me cite but one example: the metaphorical or rhythmical or studiedly casual diction of the characters in a play.

Let us admit what all idealists admit: that the nature of the world is hallucinatory. Let us do what no idealist has done: let us look for the unrealities that confirm that nature. We shall find them, I believe, in the antinomies of Kant and in Zeno’s dialectic.

“The greatest sorcerer [writes Novalis memorably] would be the one who bewitched himself to the point of taking his own phantasmagorias for autonomous apparitions. Would this not be true of us?”

I believe that it is. We (the undivided divinity that operates within us) have dreamed the world. We have dreamed it strong, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and secure in time; but we have allowed tenuous, eternal interstices of injustice in its structure so we may know that it is false.

Jorge Luis Borges
Avatars of the Tortoise
Other Inquisitions, 1937 – 1952


About thalassa

Occasionally doting wife, damn proud momma of two adorable children, veteran of the United States Navy, semi-steampunk bohemian beach addict from middle America, Civil War reenactor and Victorian natural history aficionado, canoeing and kayaking and paddleboarding fanatic, Unitarian Universalist and pantheistic Pagan, devotee of various aquatic deities, and practitioner of bioregional witchery View all posts by thalassa

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