On Solitude

It is in solitary living that he opens himself to the first experience of the world, without the derivative and all-too-human notions of subjectivity or consciousness or science or religion. Solitude does not mean living in a little room in a city and avoiding one’s friends and family. It does not necessarily mean living on a mountaintop either. Solitude is removing oneself physically to a wholly other world, a different world than one knows. Different language, customs, topography, animals, food, the weather, the sun and stars, the love of a foreign woman, the seasons, buildings, trees, and gods and rivers. In such a place a man lives entirely alone. He has little to grab onto, or that grabs onto him. There is no longer the familiar. This is solitude.

As a result of the surrounding novelty, he has the experience of the world in its glory and wonder. He becomes as the child. He makes the discovery of the world as gift.

If he is traveling by bicycle or on foot his solitude is even purer. He lives in concern for his need of food and water and shelter. He asks that no one other than the food sellers be skillful for him. He addresses this new world with his own skills. He lives nearer to the world’s mystery and thereby awakens the gods to care for him.

Indeed, gifts from the gods may be bestowed upon this solitary man. Ideas and visions and new ways of life as mysterious in origin as the world itself.


Epoch of Finance

There are different epochs of men. There was the epoch of technology for Heidegger. It can be generally said to have begun with the Industrial Revolution and extended through the rebuilding of Europe in the decades following the second World War. But with manufacturing sent away to cheap labor countries, the West began a new epoch, the epoch of finance.* Money and debt figures guide life and allow man to manage it. Technology dominates the earth, but finance dominates the future. Finance strips the cash flows from future productivity to be employed and consumed today. With technology man transforms the earth into a resource. With finance, man makes the future certain. Man takes control of time.

With manufacturing sent abroad, Western man now sits to work, no longer using his body or injuring his hands. He no longer knows the machinations that create the products he consumes. He no longer sees the smokestacks of the factories or knows the factory workers who make his things.** He may very well live in luxury condominiums apportioned from abandoned factory buildings in the cities. Most men are no longer employed to do anything related to their needs. Man has moved far past concern for his need and now lives to service the debt born of his leisure consumption. He lives in service to the future, a future he has already determined and harvested.

The West is a sitting and service economy, organized by the wizards of finance, a cabal of bankers and central bankers who guide the flows of money forward and back across time.

* The epoch of finance began in earnest with the ending of Bretton-Woods in 1971 and man was given full control over the money supply. Manufacturing in the USA traces its decline from this date.

** No longer does a man know a blacksmith or a soybean farmer or a miller. Nor does he know who or what built his washing machine or his television or his air conditioner; nor how the chicken he eats was grown and slaughtered; nor what genetic modifications and fertilizers designed the oversized tomatoes in his salad.


The End of Happiness

“Do not fear making babies. Even in a dying world there can be happiness.”

“But won’t it be too hard?”

“It was always too hard. What is too hard changes for the generations.”

“But won’t the end be the hardest?”

“The end? Have you then discovered the beginning that you should inquire about the end?”

“Perhaps you're right.”

“He that would know the end would also know the beginning."


"For very long now men have expected the end. But even if it should end, why should it not end happily?”
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