Tuesday, 22 November 2011

the veiled image at Saïs

the veiled image at Saïs

turn at the statue of Champollion, says the guide

Lacan / ecrits/ 160

late 14c., "revelation, disclosure," from Church L. apocalypsis "revelation," from Gk. apokalyptein "uncover, disclose, reveal," from apo- "from" (see apo-) + kalyptein "to cover, conceal"


Sheet of paper has gone missing must look for it at home. It contained:
1. The discussion of the concept of “system” and the doctrine of the extinguishing of intention in the truth, explained in terms of the veiled image of Sais.
2. Discussion of the concept of “essence” as the mark of truth.’

WB 1913-1926 /272

M. Champollion paid a visit, in his way, to the ruins of Sais, ... That part of the enclosure might well have contained great temple of Neith, the chief goddess of Sais, and we drove away, by our musket-shots, some owls, ...

The Asiatic journal and monthly register for British and foreign India, China and Australasia Vol 27

Novalis Die Lehrlinge zu Sais 1799

I. The Pupil. — Men travel in manifold paths: whoso traces and compares these, will find strange Figures come to light; Figures which seem as if they belonged to that great Cipher-writing which one meets with everywhere, on wings of birds, shells of eggs, in clouds, in the snow, in crystals, in forms of rocks, in freezing waters, in the interior and exterior of mountains, of plants, animals, men, in the lights of the sky, in plates of glass and pitch when touched and struck on, in the filings round the magnet, and the singular conjunctures of Chance. In such Figures one anticipates the key to that wondrous Writing, the grammar of it; but this Anticipation will not fix itself into shape, and appears as if, after all, it would not become such a key for us. An Alcahest seems poured out over the senses of men. Only for a moment will their wishes, their thoughts thicken into form. Thus do their Anticipations arise; but after short whiles, all is again swimming vaguely before them, even as it did.

TO ENVISION ✴ 39 Flusser / technical image
And so it looks as though our historical development in the West has reached a final stage that does not look significantly different from a Buddhist worldview: a veil of Maya surrounds the yawning nothingness of nirvana. From this standpoint, the powerful stream of Western history is about to empty into the ocean of the timeless Orient.
There is considerable evidence that such a suicidal view of Western society is justified. And yet this view largely overlooks what is significant in the current cultural revolution. That is, the visionary power that we are beginning to use and that we owe to technical images makes us capable of calculating and computing the whirring nothingness around us. Therefore our illusions are not things we should abandon to fall into nirvana but rather are quite the opposite, our answer to the yawing nothingness that threatens us. The veil of technical images that surrounds us, as similar as it may appear to an Oriental veil, challenges us to an engagement neatly opposed to the Oriental. Our veil is not to be torn but rather woven more and more closely. The following chapters are dedicated to looking at this increasingly dense mesh.

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