Huxley calculated that the circle of silence is shrinking by thirteen and a half kilometers yearly. The day is not too far off when silence disappears completely from the world. Happy will be the one who can partake for half an hour in the peace of the Himalayas or the oceans. The circle of intimacy is continuously shrinking.
Plato says that the primeval word for community is law; as for Aristotle he thinks it is Philia. Both could be right. What holds a community together is the law above beings. But what creates a community is friendship that lives in these beings. Philia means friendship, but this friendship is not an idea. Rather it is a being itself, too. Where discord is, presumably Ares, the stormy one is present; where there is love, presumably Aphrodite, the one who dissolves opposites, is present; and where friendship is, presumably Philia, the goddess of friendship is present, too.
It’s needless to commit a sin that you only do because oftentimes you just need to defile yourself – out of pure loyalty toward God.
The Seventh Symphony and the Metaphysics of Music
To say the music of Beethoven is titanic is cliché. But it's true. Not because of its transcendent greatness, but because he robbed the universe. He lured sounds from beneath their cover, tore them from their hiding places, violently yanked them up from where they grew, relentlessly bled them, and raised them from the depths in which they’d sunk. From the rocks and the seas and the earth, from souls, the stars and the underworld, he passionately, wildly, furiously, forcefully rendered them, entranced them, drew them out and dragged them forth. What remained afterwards hardly matters. It is certain his music is titanic, as it is certain that destiny is too. For what he did, only a titan could have done, what he suffered, only a titan could have suffered.
Heloïse and Abélard
Only ephemeral works are worth publishing; immortal ones can stay in manuscripts. When the author dies the maid can collect them in a basket and take them to the kitchen to make the fire. If something has been written immortally, its existence does not depend on human memory. It has triumphed somewhere else, eternally and infinitely. It did not want credit or fame, money or power, it did not wish to teach or please. Why would it want fame, money, power, praise or credit? Every work takes place somewhere, and in every work something takes place. Almost all of them take place here on earth, between man and man. I want to persuade someone, I want to entertain, teach, fight, argue, conquer, amaze. The eternal work does not take place here. But higher. And deeper. And what is in it takes place between man and God. It has taken place. Even if no one knows. And God remembers in his heart when the paper has burnt, just like a porphyry obelisk disintegrates like sand. It has nothing to do with the book any more; it does not need a reader. It does not need a storyteller.
Preface to Crime and Punishment
Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is not a symbolic piece. It is probably nothing more than the story of a student. The student who wishes to study but hasn’t got the means, and who therefore murders an old pawnbroker. He tries to motivate his murder by contrasting his poverty to the moneybags of the old hag, and representing this as unjust. Which does ring somewhat true. That a young man wishing to study should lead a life of destitude, while the avaricious old witch is hoarding her roubles, seems inappropriate. But for Rodion Raskolnikov to strike the woman down and take her roubles for himself is even more inappropriate. The student knows it; everybody knows it.