COMPOSURE


"Philosophy ought really to be composed like poetry."
(Ludwig Wittgenstein)

We live amid distraction, which tears us away from the present. Our beliefs confound our desires; our feelings confuse our thoughts. If intuition is what we know immediately, institutions hold us immediately in their power. But reality is too often counterintuitive and our institutions are far from ideal. There are days when we don't know a single thing and master not even our own damnable selves. In desperation we turn to the media to represent us. But they offer us only bigotry, and appeal only to our vanity.

And yet it moves. And yet we feel the stillness all around us. Art, said Shakespeare, holds ("as it were") a mirror up to our natures. Before a work of art, the heart beats with love. The mind settles in wisdom. We stand outside ourselves and breathe it in. A mirror of our nature and our culture. A presence before all our political and scientific representations. There, we find our immediacy, the fact beneath the facts, the fact of existence, the act beyond our acts, the act of inspiration—there, we find our composure. It only takes a moment.



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