Ressemriment

"It is a fundamental truth of human nature that man is incapable of remaining permanently on the heights, of continuing to admire anything. Human nature needs variety. Even in the most enthusiastic ages people have always liked to joke enviously about their superiors. That is perfectly in order and is entirely justifiable so long as after having laughed at the great they can once more look upon them with admiration; otherwise the game is not worth the candle. In that way ressentiment finds an outlet even in an enthusiastic age. And as long as an age, even though less enthusiastic, has the strength to give ressentiment its proper character and has made up its mind what its expression signifies, ressentiment has its own, though dangerous importance. …. the more reflection gets the upper hand and thus makes people indolent, the more dangerous ressentiment becomes, because it no longer has sufficient character to make it conscious of its significance. Bereft of that character reflection is a cowardly and vacillating, and according to circumstances interprets the same thing in a variety of way. It tries to treat it as a joke, and if that fails, to regard it as an insult, and when that fails, to dismiss it as nothing at all; or else it will treat the thing as a witticism, and if that fails then say that it was meant as a moral satire deserving attention, and if that does not succeed, add that it was not worth bothering about. …. ressentiment becomes the constituent principle of want of character, which from utter wretchedness tries to sneak itself a position, all the time safeguarding itself by conceding that it is less than nothing. The ressentiment which results from want of character can never understand that eminent distinction really is distinction. Neither does it understand itself by recognizing distinction negatively (as in the case of ostracism) but wants to drag it down, wants to belittle it so that it really ceases to be distinguished. And ressentiment not only defends itself against all existing forms of distinction but against that which is still to come. …. The ressentiment which is establishing itself is the process of leveling, and while a passionate age storms ahead setting up new things and tearing down old, raising and demolishing as it goes, a reflective and passionless age does exactly the contrary; it hinders and stifles all action; it levels. Leveling is a silent, mathematical, and abstract occupation which shuns upheavals. In a burst of momentary enthusiasm people might, in their despondency, even long for a misfortune in order to feel the powers of life, but the apathy which follows is no more helped by a disturbance than an engineer leveling a piece of land. At its most violent a rebellion is like a volcanic eruption and drowns every other sound. At its maximum the leveling process is a deathly silence in which one can hear one’s own heart beat, a silence which nothing can pierce, in which everything is engulfed, powerless to resist. One man can be at the head a rebellion, but no one can be at the head of the leveling process alone, for in that case he would be leader and would thus escape being leveled. Each individual within his own little circle can co-operate in the leveling, but it is an abstract power, and the leveling process is the victory of abstraction over the individual. The leveling process in modern times, corresponds, in reflection, to fate in antiquity. … It must be obvious to everyone that the profound significance of the leveling process lies in the fact that it means the predominance of the category ‘generation’ over the category ‘individuality’." - Soren Kiwrkegaard, in The Present Age, Dru 1962 p. 49-52 (via Wikipedia)

artafrica:

Egypt 3500-3400 B.C.E.

artafrica:

Egypt 3500-3400 B.C.E.

(via law4221)

bofransson:

Saltillo Mansion
Edward Hopper - 1943

bofransson:

Saltillo Mansion

Edward Hopper - 1943

(via law4221)

fleurdulys:

Satan Watching the Caresses of Adam and Eve - William Blake

fleurdulys:

Satan Watching the Caresses of Adam and Eve - William Blake

(via law4221)

(via law4221)

thegameofart:

Ad Reinhardt, Blue Painting, 1953 (via Arte)

thegameofart:

Ad Reinhardt, Blue Painting, 1953 (via Arte)

(via matthewmcconaugheysmustache)

"The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed."

— Kierkegaard (via sisyphean-revolt)

1000-sunz:

she dances between  heart and mind, soothing my soul  like autumn breezes.
-1000 sunz

1000-sunz:

she dances between
heart and mind, soothing my soul
like autumn breezes.

-1000 sunz

(via tashtoo)

"You have to be willing to get happy about nothing."

— Andy Warhol (via observando)

(via tashtoo)

beingblog:

Stumbled upon this spectacular image of snowy egrets roosting on the east shore of the Salton Sea today and was reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver:

Egrets
Where the path closed down and over, through the scumbled leaves, fallen branches, through the knotted catbrier, I kept going. Finally I could not save my arms from thorns; soon the mosquitoes smelled me, hot and wounded, and came wheeling and whining. And that’s how I came to the edge of the pond: black and empty except for a spindle of bleached reeds at the far shore which, as I looked, wrinkled suddenly into three egrets – - - a shower of white fire! Even half-asleep they had such faith in the world that had made them – - - tilting through the water, unruffled, sure, by the laws of their faith not logic, they opened their wings softly and stepped over every dark thing.

beingblog:

Stumbled upon this spectacular image of snowy egrets roosting on the east shore of the Salton Sea today and was reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver:

Egrets

Where the path closed
down and over,
through the scumbled leaves,
fallen branches,
through the knotted catbrier,
I kept going. Finally
I could not
save my arms
from thorns; soon
the mosquitoes
smelled me, hot
and wounded, and came
wheeling and whining.
And that’s how I came
to the edge of the pond:
black and empty
except for a spindle
of bleached reeds
at the far shore
which, as I looked,
wrinkled suddenly
into three egrets – - -
a shower
of white fire!
Even half-asleep they had
such faith in the world
that had made them – - -
tilting through the water,
unruffled, sure,
by the laws
of their faith not logic,
they opened their wings
softly and stepped
over every dark thing.

(via tashtoo)