Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Desire Unleashed

Power seeks justice as knowledge seeks truth. (Yes, their "arcs" may be "long", as the President might say.) Likewise, the highest emotion is love; it is the emotion towards which all other emotions tend or from which they flee. It is, if you will, the "master emotion". Love is the (ideal) tyrant of our emotional lives. Our intensity is beholden to our love. I don't think that's controversial.

It occurs to me that, in a similar way, desire seeks freedom. The basic desire, we might say ... pause to note the fearsome axis of symmetry that this esablishes with the highest emotion ... the basic desire is the desire to be free. The anarchist's watchword "Desire Unleashed!" is therefore, as it arguably should be, a pleonasm. To be unleashed is exactly what desire wants.

I think this goes a long way toward clarifying the interrelations of emotion and desire and, therefore, the working machinery of a good many poems. We can, for example, note that desire and emotion (freedom and love) can very easily enter into oppositional relations.

Now, if pangrammaticism is right, there must be a corresponding "philosophical" apparatus.

Love is to our emotions as ________ is to our concepts.
Freedom is to desire as ________ is to belief.
Our clarity is beholden to our ________.

Any suggestions?


David Need said...

Many of your assertions are unestablished. For instance your assertion in relation to desire and freedom is just a wing. Maybe freedom is your core value/notion of a good/ultimate object, but its hardly the only one. Under all flourish is fetish.

You are like the boat that floats by the staircase in the scene in Dr. Sax where the castle is collapsing.

Thomas said...

Okay. Thanks, David. I like the flourish/fetish thing. I'll think about it.

Presskorn said...

I wonder if you haven’t indicated one of the answers already:

Love is to our emotions as clarity is to our concepts.
(“Love is the ideal tyrant of our emotional lives” / Clarity is the ideal composition of our conceptual notation.)

Thomas said...

Clarity has already been taken.

Intensity is to emotion what clarity is to concepts.

Also, tyranny is to desire (and our emotions) what genius is to belief (and our beliefs).

Keep in mind: love is an emotion. Clarity is not a concept. It is a quality of thought, fostered by conceptual notation (just as intensity is a quality of feeling fostered by emotional notation).

Thomas said...

I meant: "(and our concepts)"

Presskorn said...

I knew you wouldn't like it, but I wanted to see why ;-)...

It is tough riddle though, if the answer is supposed to be a concept... If I understand you, it has to be a super- or meta-concept and yet it must not apply to concepts in the way that the concept of clarity applies to concepts themselves ("This concept is clear one").

"Truth", I guess, will not do for the same reasons; 'truth', as it were, is something that applies to concepts. Or perhaps it will, since the (super) concept of truth does not really apply to concepts but rather to propositions...

Presskorn said...

And "truth", as far as I remember, has been "taken".

Presskorn said...

Erratum: ...has NOT been "taken".

Thomas said...

Truth is knowledge as justice is to power. Taken.

I thought wisdom might be right, but I'm not sure.

(The symmetry is quite nice. Philosophy is the love of wisdom as poetry is wisdom of love. ?)

Presskorn said...

Oh yeah, I forgot; truth is totally taken... "Wisdom" (as least in its connotations of phronesis) sounds too practical to me, i.e. pangrammatically belonging more to the realm of ethics, justice & power than to concepts, truth & knowlegde... But yeah, nice symmetry.