Tuesday, January 18, 2011

about ‘aletheia’

The transliterated old Greek word lethe (with long ‘e’s) meant forgetfulness. Something alethic is “of or relating to truth,” says Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged online.

It’s also a nice name for a muse.

I doubt that many persons feel the usefulness of the notion of a muse. It’s just so easy to conceal the creative relationship in masks of “symptomatic” thought or “faults” of “unrealism.” To the literal minded, there’s little mystery. One has no idea why artists seek odd potentials in everyday life, inferring rich characters from ordinary folks.

Transference happens in psychotherapy because it’s useful for the exploring unconscious—not for the attentive client’s own exploring of his unconscious. By definition, one can’t easily explore one’s unconsciousness. Rather, the unconscious itself is exploring (unwittingly to the client), but only the therapist (or skilled receptacle) can see the difference between oneself and the character one’s being made to be, such that the therapist can discover what the unconscious is exploring and eventually mirror parts of that back to the client.

Alternatively, the artist can try to be both stances in the exploration, letting personification go where it may, but keeping in mind a growing capability of later stepping back to see the difference, thereby welcoming Shadows and so on—or wild inspirations that are never threats to one’s sense of reality, just luscious prospecting.

A keynote here is that common sense conceals the scale of lived time, instilling a normal lethargy of the inquirial mind which audacity might dissolve. The common sense regime of history becomes an intricate culture of insistence that appearance is reality, because so much investment in appearance is profitable. There are epochal syndromes, like entire religious mentalities or ideological estates, vested in common sense regimes. Even the history of ideas that indirectly (but definitely) led to so much 20thC disillusionment (e.g., modernist cynicism in the arts) and horror expresses a legacy of investment in pretensions of common sense.

Epochal legacies of misreading are involved. The senses of Greek philosophy that led to imperial Christiandom involves systematically misread Greek thought. To find the origin of thinking is like doing a psychoanalysis of all history, but having no god to intervene to mirror The Difference. We are ultimately in the condition of the artist, the plight of the artist writ vastly.

Meanwhile, real innocence is manifoldly born every day, seeing the world freshly, but also growing into historical precedents.

It’s unclear how innocence may empower the growth of honestly inquirial lives, because the woods get very dark, duplicitous which is not wholly bad in a world of so much “common sense.”

I know so little poetry, but I know Eliot’s Odyssean adage, by now such a stereotype: “And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.” (from “Little Gidding”)

Aletheia is my unknown sister, my True Love, my daughter, the Unmet Other, the mystery who feels where I may best be going.