ELEVENTH

As an amateur psychoanalyst in my spare time, I often get confronted with one problem which seems to override all others: the question of people’s lack of ability to understand what their emotional and intellectual range consists of, how far it stretches, and to what extent it can be expanded without the ensuing feeling of guilt conditioned by culture, usually manifested in the exclamation: ‘my god, I’ve just transgressed orders!’ (tradition, rules, morality, or some other such idiotic constraints which have nothing to do with what one can experience if one allows oneself to see past ideologies that cannot legitimate their existence). What I do that is successful is put people on a path that enables them to understand that the only thing that can escape guilt and regret is art.

Today, for instance, I told someone that when I came to Denmark and was eager to continue my education, my choice of study was very much the result of my inability to speak the language. I ended up picking neither law, nor theology, nor math. Initially, with law, it was Kafka who did it. With theology it was the ancient text that did it. With math, it was infinity that did it. Now, discarding law and math was not so difficult, as both subjects were more the figment of my fantasy about concreteness, in the case of law, and mysteriousness, in the case of math. Discarding theology was more difficult as I even thought of going all the way – that is, I actually imagined myself as a Lutheran priest. In spite of its paradoxical nature, I also ended up discarding theology not for its unreality – for, let’s face it, institutionalized doctrines have as much legitimating ground as any Sci-Fi novel when it comes down to it – but for its reality: I said to myself, you’re going to pass the Greek, the Latin, and Hebrew exams, but you’re never going to pass the Danish exams. So much for my triumvirate! Off it all went. So, I have regrets. That is, until I pick a work of literature that makes up for it at least threefold. Thus my advice to all those who have regrets is this: read something intelligent and thoughtful or look at or create yourself images that are intelligent and thoughtful. That’s all.

Here’s what I read today, which then I immediately associated with the epic of Gilgamesh, particularly the eleventh tablet in which we are told the story about how Gilgamesh fucked up twice in his attempt to prove that he was worthy of the gift of immortality. And boy, did he regret that!

But first, and last, for today, a text from the Zohar (Lech Lecha 77a). Its mathematical order and appeal to interpret it kept me busy the whole day. Here’s a self-evident statement: when you’re busy thinking about texts or visual art, not only do you not have any time to get bored, but it is quite impossible to have regrets. The only regret you can have is that you cannot shut up. As Jab├Ęs once pointed out: “our decision to write, to talk, springs from a lack.” And boy, how I want to be complete right now, even though completeness is the biggest fiction there is. But then, so it goes. We have as yet to earn our right to immortality and all that continuity and completeness that goes into it.

1. One climbs to one side.
2. One climbs down on that side.
3. One enters between these two.
4. Two crown themselves with a third.
5. Three enter into one.
6. One comes forth in many colors.
7. Six come down on one side and six on the other.
8. Six enter into twelve.
9. Twelve agitate themselves to form twenty-two.
10. Six are contained in ten.
11. Ten are fixed in one.



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