the mystical

9:35 AM Posted by James Owens



6.44 Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is.

6.44 Nicht wie die Welt ist, ist das Mystische, sondern dass sie ist.

6.45 The contemplation of the world sub specie aeterni is its contemplation as a limited whole.

The feeling that the world is a limited whole is the mystical feeling.




6.5 For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed.

The riddle does not exist.

If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered.



6.51 Scepticism is not irrefutable, but palpably senseless, if it would doubt where a question cannot be asked.







For doubt can only exist where there is a question; a question only where there is an answer, and this only where something can be said.










6.421 (Ethics and æsthetics are one.)


Ludwig Wittgenstein
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

21 comments:

chrome3d said...

The line of snow by the beach was mystical enough for me.

Sorlil said...

Love the pictures, existentialism in a mug of coffee :) And what a beautiful child!

Martin H. said...

I studied aesthetics for the final year of my degree. It was a journey that definitely broadened my mind and gave me space to see the world differently, or as it really is.

colleen said...

Such a beautiful adorable child.

veredit said...

Light and lines especially in the first image connect to into a magical whole.

S. Etole said...

I visited and left all words behind ...

James Owens said...

Chrome: Beaches, even when they are covered in ice, always make me philosophical. Why is there something, rather than nothing? (Maybe I should stay away from the beach. Could that be the answer?….)


Sorlil: She is a beautiful child. About two or two-and-a-half, I think. I have no idea what her name is. I was having some lunch after shooting the beach pictures, looking over what I had done. This little girl saw that I had a camera -- and she knew what that was! She ran over to my table and demanded that I take her picture. Her mother was a little embarrassed and wanted her to stop “bothering” me, but of course I was instantly in love with her, and I’d have happily taken pictures of her all day long....


Martin: Aesthetics is a fascinating, endless study (not that I really know much about it, technically and philosophically). A sense of aesthetics is one of the most basic of the things that make us human (those of us who are human, that is). Other good candidates would be the feeling of regret, and the fear of/desire for death -- neither of which, I think, is quite distinct from aesthetics…..


Colleen: Adorable, I agree :-) No idea who she is. She has probably already forgotten our thirty-second encounter, and she will have a life, maybe a long one, with a trajectory that will likely never again intersect with my trajectory -- never knowing that she has left this trace, that she has lived, briefly, in the eyes of people she will never know, in far-flung corners of the globe ... It is, somehow, beyond my comprehension, that these things are....


Isabella: :-) Do you think so? I tend to throw things together impulsively ... when I first published this post, I was so happy with how it looked ... but then, later, when I came back, I was worried that the movement from the second image to the others was too much of a leap ... from the cold and distant, to the warm and intimate ... and from hard, straight lines to circles ... But if you say it works together, then I am relieved … and this is the point, isn’t it?, the astonishment that these things exist in the same world....


Susan: Some Pure Land monk writes: “The ultimate goal of Zen is to learn to live as if you had never heard of Zen.” I’ve always loved this quote, and I think I want something similar in the arts (not that my photography is good enough yet to be called “art” -- but this is a goal, no doubt unrealizable like all the best goals…) ... words that burn the words away, form that erases the possibility of form ... speechlessness that is music…

Renee said...

Love that monochrome image. All the contrast is wonderful :) It's lonely yet inviting at the same time...

James Owens said...

Renee: Thank you. I debated with myself for a while between this pic and another version with color -- and maybe I made the right decision! “lonely yet inviting” -- the world, yes, life, yes…

LadyFi said...

Your words and that first picture - just gorgeous. The world is indeed mystical.

Anne said...

I am not sure that our world is just a limited whole, because of the time (and for me the God's presence who is here in other people's heart) which renews it constantly. But I can mistake myself... I like the link between ethics and aesthetics.
Anne

Andrea said...

The point 6.5 is one of the deepest things I ever red.
Thank you for posting it.

James Owens said...

LadyFi: Thank you very much. I can’t take credit for the words (as much as I would like to :-) -- they are Ludwig Wittgenstein’s -- a thinker whom I struggle with -- but I think they are gorgeous, too. This first picture is of a place where I keep returning, to take photographs, or just to walk along the beach or sit on a bench and stare into the waves (i.e., into myself). We all have places like that, don’t you think?, where we come a little closer to being ourselves....

James Owens said...

Anne: I like what he says about ethics and aesthetics, too. I’m not sure that it is always true -- like most sweeping statements -- but I think I wish it were always true. I wrestle with Wittgenstein, and my understanding of his meaning changes all the time. Right now, I’m not sure that W would disagree with you about God, only about the possibility of talking about God -- I think he is not saying that God does not exist, only that the experience of God is outside the limits of the world that can be expressed…. I’m sure many people would disagree with that reading of his work … and, as I say, it keeps changing for me.…

James Owens said...

Andrea: It does make one think :-)

Wittgenstein announces elsewhere in the Tractatus that his little book has finally solved all the great questions of philosophy, by revealing them to have no real meaning. It’s interesting, but the philosophers who have written since then might tend to disagree….

Lady Jo said...

Hello James,

Et comment fais tu pour trouver de tels endroits solitaires ??? j'adore l'image avec la tour et le soleil couchant....elles sont toutes très belles !
Bizatoi !

James Owens said...

Lady Jo: La solitude est facile à trouver. Lorsque j’arrive, les autres s’en vont…. Bises!

Krista said...

I love that first shot! The lamp posts drew me in and I stared at the picture for a few minutes.

The last one is also stunning. Great colour, such a sweet face!

James Owens said...

Krista: Thanks for coming by. That first picture is in a place that invites comtemplation, and a visit there is always good for a decent shot or two. The last one -- just a friendly little girl who obviously loves having her picture taken.

Claire said...

james seeing this little girl's face has me in tears. i miss africa so very much tonight.

you have me thinking very deeply tonight.

the lines in your first photo lead the eye right into the midst of the photo and make the thoughts you pose so very clear.

James Owens said...

Claire: Thanks for your comment on the first photo. I wasn't sure about the black and white, but now I'm glad I chose that version. I admit, I like it more each time I see it.... The little girl, yes ... I'm glad to evoke these memories of home for you....