P. Sloterdijk – Thinker on Stage

The searcher must burn out when he senses that nothing will save him from himself. He is extinguished in the dilemma of having to choose between the unbearable and the impossible. Only in the fire of disillusionment can the last remaining illusions be burned away. With the departure of what is being sought, the search itself becomes the goal and the path flows with a tragic bend into the pain from which it was initially able to turn away.

hermit-1895

N. Roerich – Hermit

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P. Sloterdijk – The Art of Philosophy

We seldom realize how much what we call high culture owes to the mournful, productive type of person with the potent combination of melancholia and energetic initiative. In today’s terminology, we would tend to locate such character images in the region of schizoid structures. They are typical of people who, in psychoanalytic terms, are “born incomplete.” Nothing is more normal for them than being remote from any kind of normality. Their realism is manifested in their tendency to move in the shadow worlds of reverie. By indulging the inclination to encapsulate themselves in webs of moods and conjecture, they sometimes come up with world-shattering revelations.

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P. Sloterdijk – You Must Change Your Life

A first enlightenment came about when the spiritual teachers showed that humans are not so much possessed by demons as controlled by automatisms. They are not assailed by evil spirits, but by routines and inertias that force them to the ground and deform them. What impair their reason are not chance errors and occasional errors of perception – it is the eternal recurrence of the cliches that render true thought and free perception impossible.

Next to Gautama Buddha, Plato was the first epidemiologist of the spirit: he recognized everyday opinion, the doxa, the pestilence that does not kill, but does occasionally poison entire communities. Empty phrases that have sunk down into the body produce ‘characters ‘. They mould humans into living caricatures of averageness and turn them into incarnated platitudes.