Saturday, January 7, 2012

the mind of intelligence versus the heart of love


The mind of intelligence versus the heart of love


            Transcendentalism seems the purist state of mind, and those who achieve it feel it’s worth to be self-evident. They do not know why the masses of men prefer their world of pleasures, work, scuffles, and such. Immersionism would be the opposite ideology to transcendentalism, adapted by those who seek no ideology: to live in the world, to fully participate in it, to enjoy what can be enjoyed in life, and avoid what should be avoided as much as possible. For an elitist, listing to a pop-song on the radio is not only boring, but annoying: the same refrain with the same lyrics and the same instrumentation of a simple chord progression is not only repeated over and over, but sometimes repeated twice in a row. And yet the pretty young things dance and sing and love it to death. Any philosophy that excludes the pretty young things isn’t worthy practicing: Socrates knew this. What are we to make of the class warfare, the only true class warfare, not between the rich and the poor, though that is often a symptom of it, but between the intelligent and the average.

            What is intelligence, anyway? There are differences in brain structures, difference in education, and these change a man’s experience of life. “A man is what he thinks of all day,” said Emerson, but then, Emerson was the kind of man who thought all day.

            Perhaps the difference between higher and lower intelligence is best expressed in terms of space. Intelligence is a need, a compulsion, a brain apparatus, that seeks space, separation, a “pathos of distance,” a need to be alone. This comes back not only to a feeling of fear, which uses distance as a defense against influence and presence, but also a power, for fear, when matured and mastered, becomes power, which feels proud and strong. With this step we are thrown back on our basic dichotomy: love and power. Power is the ability to control and maintain distances, love is the joy of intimate touch. No man could be found who was only power minded or only love hearted, but each of us has a pattern of emphases, not simply of power over love, but power in these regards, and love in those: this style of feeling makes up the attitude of man. From his attitude, he builds his thinking, his beliefs, and his beliefs inform how he speaks and what he does.

            The psychologists identify the social needs of man to be important and to be loved. These again boil down to power and love, and on the infant forms of power and love, fear and desire. The aristocracy will always be the few, for only few people are strong enough to survive alone, or with small company. Most of people feel as Whitman felt: a love of life, an immersion in it a willingness to call the fruit peddler and the prostitute his brother and sister. This feeling of love for mankind, a brotherhood of mankind, this is not a need felt by intelligent people. Just the opposite. A man of strong will and sharp intellect developed those things from a sense of pain in the presence of crowds and throngs. Such a man builds his self worth not on his acceptance by others, but his pride in himself. He feels that if he is accepted by others, and comes to enjoy that, he must therefore behave in accordance with the expectations of others: for if somebody praises you for something, they are implicitly condemning you insofar as you stop doing that something or don’t value yourself in terms of it. Both praise and blame are equally distasteful to the higher man.

            The needs of the intelligent are different then the needs of the loving – though neither of them lacks some of the needs of the other. A strong man seeks respect sooner than affection, and what affection he receives is not promiscuous, but given from somebody who he respects and admires. He is harder to impress. He sees fewer things as beautiful than the loving person, but the beauties he finds are much more exquisite and intense then the loving man.

            Even love is not only love. if I love a thing, I fear its corruption. If I a love a woman, I fear anything that could hurt her. Love has a skin of hate, for love is by nature sensitive and is by that fact vulnerable. If it doesn’t protect itself, it will die, or grow calloused. It is characteristic of the intelligent man that his love is much more intimate and tender, whereas the loving men, because they are more promiscuous in who they love – some are willing to love everybody who will receive them – necessarily structure their love to exist on the surface: their heart lacks any depth. They take you as you are, don’t judge, and are easily satisfied. This is warm, friendly, serving, but it is not a deep, intimate, subtle love. Such a love is only possible among the highest intelligence, just as the greatest power is possible only among the wide masses who work, think, act, and feel as one.

            The intelligence have distance and need distance, intelligence is distance, a sense of alienation is most welcome to a great individual, and this is Thoreau, who spent most of his days walking alone. But to the democrat, to the lover of mankind, to Whitman and those like him, it is among men that they feel happiest.

            Within any group, there is a group spirit, an ambience, that is established when the group starts breathing as one, the tempo of its heart, its movements, its thinking come together. At churches and sporting events, dance halls, and national assemblies, the fears of the loving man are lost in his sense of identity with the crowd. The sneers the intelligent people bring against the lovers make no dent on his heart. He is a sheep, he has a hive mind, he is a follower, he has no identity. If you look at the popular religions these insults are taken as words of praise: we are sheep, we are members of one body, we follow God, we are servants.

            Intelligence seeks cleanliness, the way Nietzsche sought cleanliness. Intelligence is a mode of patience, and its use gives a sense of superiority, not only to others who don’t use it, but to themselves when they don’t’ use it. The very word “intelligence” means “to pick between,” and implies the spreading out of something to pick out parts. The same sense is used in the words “science” which means “to cut apart, and “understand” doesn’t mean to stand under, but in the old sense of the word under, to stand amidst, to stand in between. The very eyes and their vision (from which we get the word “wisdom”) act as beams and dividers, whereas the ears take in everything at once, with no distinctions. The spirit of a people will come from its ears, but the wisdom of the individual will come from his eyes. Indeed, love is a language, not something you see, whereas truth is a light.

            To call the loving men “lower” and the intelligent men “higher” does not imply a value judgment, but a relationship. The masses support the intelligent exceptions, they are lower, and the intelligent men rule over the others, and see farther. The higher make distinctions, and feel themselves distinctive, whereas the lower like to feel they belong, and no man is better than anybody else. It is interesting that Jefferson wrote the phrase “all men are created equal,” when he was clearly an aristocratic elitist in his own eyes.

            Dionysus was the god of wine and revelry: wine was the menstruum that brought all together, and the orgies were a mixing through love: the formless flow unity is expressed in this. Apollo is god of forms, and shoots with arrows any who act out of propriety, as he plagued Thebes when Oedipus accidentally acted out of bounds. In Christian terms, we say that hell is pleasure, the melting of all together in bliss, whereas heaven is the place of intelligence, of the platonic pure forms. Hermes, the god of boundaries, is also known as a genital god, the god who separates boundaries, and because he sets them, he also has the ability to transgress them with impunity. Hermes was thus a god of writing and math, but also of trickery and bandits. He was a psychopomp, one of the few gods who could travel to hell or heaven without being stopped. He was called “the word of god” “the logos” and “the messenger of the gods,” because he set boundaries and made laws, but was not himself constrained by them. As god of symbols, he was also the god of sleep, or hypnotism, for the effect of symbolism is to put certain faculties to sleep.

            To slip back out to quasi-historical figures, the four major religious types are codified in the persons of Odin, Confucius, Buddha, and Jesus. Buddha practiced meditation, and sought absolute nonattachment, Jesus practiced faith, sought attachment through brotherhood and passion, Confucius recommended exact traditions and sacrifices and family propriety, of knowing your place, whereas Odin was a wanderer who invaded every place – he is the penetrator, and his spear passes through anything without resistance – and so he is the seeker, he seeks every form of wisdom in order to ensure his son Baldr will come back to life after Ragnorak. These four types express again the problem of distance and intimacy, different ways to codify it, to allow certain intimacies and prevent others, to preserve certain distances and build barriers.

            If you build defenses over your heart, psychological defenses which also live in your body, then you lose flexibility and are slowed down. If you lack any defenses then you are quickly killed. How to be wise in all this?

How to knit the hood from the Nemean beast

Whose pelt was impenetrable by weapons of man

Unpiercable lion, and so strangled to death

Eros can always suffocate

How to knit such organic impenetrability

But with Gungnir, the spear of penetration,

The third eye of Odin, which could not be resisted?

To sew a hood, knit together with Gleipnir

The thread of breath lover soft and invincible as fate

From my hood the wink of heaven

Seeking the nothing lie of Satan

To master annihilation

I must give birth the the dancing faun.


            What to call this invincible robe, that lets the intimacy of friendship but blocks the arrows of criticism? I call it irony.

            What can’t be pierced can yet be suffocated: love needs distance or it will squeeze your life out.

            The higher men, their families and communities, seek distance, and have fewer children. Intelligence doesn’t need sex to feel loved, doesn’t need to box to feel proud. The lower people are violent and sensual, but the higher do the same things on a higher level. The spiritualize all things. Their boxing is a battle of wits, their love is an eloquent poetry, a union of hearts. They have less children, but the children they have the take greater care of. The lovers as masses must traumatize their children to be part of the group. This is welcome, to be so initiated into the grouplove, but it comes at a cost of personal identity, of intellectual conscience, of nuanced sensitivity. They come to need indiscriminate love, rather than refined intimacy. They fear science, which is by nature violent, but they fear all power, they think love wins every fight, that love can cure anything. It was Thoreau who said charity fed the problem it claimed to oppose, and that “for every hundred people hacking at the branches of evil, there was only one cutting at the roots.”A thousand rough blows are nothing, but the smallest puncture in the right place is certain death.

            The finer arts require periodic injection of crude elements. These groups interrelate, coexist, they evolve together. They hold prejudices against each other, they do injustice. The ultimate comic book villain is no brute or monster, but some evil genius, superior, distant, proud. They can hardly speak each others language. No matter if they all use the same words, they mean different things by them. Language is merely the clothing we put over the limbs of experience. Two people can talk because they share the same world, the same set of regular experiences. For the misfit – an intelligent person is always a misfit until he matures and realizes who he is – there is nobody who can understand him, nobody gets it. He says “I feel this” and those around him say, “oh yeah like the other thing,” and he says, “that’s not what I meant, not at all.” It seems an introverted and intelligent son will be finally unknown by his own father and mother, and that the poetically brilliant daughter is pitied by friends of the family, who pray for her soul, for they just don’t get it.

            Intimacies and distance, these are the basic stuff of the mind. For the intelligent person, he seeks distance, he seeks private experiences, meditation, reading, writing, art, anything where he can be alone with his heart and mind. The others who get nervous alone, scared, maybe even suicidal alone, such a one must seem at best peculiar.



Perfection is Easy

Time is now

Apotheosis welcomes

Eternity Bows



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