Jünger & Heidegger
I express my gratitude to my local public library, archive dot org, and google books for granting me access to dusty digital tomes, minus the dust, made available to me at the hot pressing down of my digits on my smart phone. One of my latest prize finds is Correspondence 1949-1975; also available in paperback and hardback at your online seller of choice.
This is a compilation of letters exchanged betwixt and between Ernst Jünger and Martin Heidegger, during the stated years. Timothy Sean Quinn is to thank for this translation. If you don’t know these two 20th Century giants amongst German men of letters, do your own research. In the mean time, tersely: Jünger is an archetypal warrior-monk, a soldier who fought in WWI and WWII and later wrote scores of short stories, novels, and nonfiction essays, and Heidegger is a professor of philosophy. Both men are right of center. Heidegger was a member of the Nazi party, but was later deemed a fellow-traveler by the Allied Powers. Jünger resisted them from the right.
The following quotes reflect their ideas on starting a journal of dissident thinkers, in the midst of a not-so-friendly political environment. I see my individual projects (written, audio, and video) in the same vein. As well as, though to a lesser degree, my collaborative projects with the Ephesus School Network (public-facing and behind-the-scenes), and the Dcn. Meharee Zemelak Werqu led Patristic Brotherhood. A short summary of my projects’ motifs is available in the P.S. The Ephesus School Network is all about the daily spreading of the seed of scripture to as much fertile land as is humanly possible, by the grace of God. The Patristic Brotherhood meets monthly to hear presentations on Ethiopian Studies, especially Ge’ez, and have lively discussions thereafter that lead to the strengthening of all.
There is a posthumous note of Nietzsche’s with which you are certainly acquainted, from the time of the Gay Science: “Venice is formed by a hundred profound solitudes together—that is her magic. An image of the man of the future.” It seems to me that a law for future poets and thinkers hides here, for whose preparatory practice we are perhaps appointed.
A couple of laws are plain to me, in Nietzsche and Heidegger. If you see more, please do tell, in the comments. One is that in building a beautiful society, variety is the spice of life. This is not to be conflated with the shibboleths of decentralization dogmatists. There is a time and a place for everything under the sun. Most of society should be diverse rather than homogenous. Nevertheless, some things we must share in common.
A second law is that great men are great alone, but they are greater when they occasionally communicate and collaborate. There is a certain amount of isolation you need in order to have a genius, or tap into the muse. Jesus personally demonstrates this several times over in the four gospels. This is the way. But astounding achievements have been achieved through idea intercourse. See scripture. See J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. See the traditional schools of the Ge’ez Rite. See the UFC. See the Manhattan Project.
I am a poet and a thinker. So, in addition to my own projects, I’ll continue coauthoring as long as I’m still black and breathing.
Your judgment of the situation comes across as quite correct. The idea of constituting an organ for the last independent thinkers and creators was somewhat attractive. But it would perhaps have led to a stronger investment than was the intention of the participants. In the course of the last year it became entirely clear to me that silence is the strongest weapon, providing that something hides itself behind it that is worth being hushed up.
Jünger felt too much heat on him. So, they canceled the public-facing journal. He chose silence. But, not the silence of the Desert Fathers. Instead, he read and wrote vigorously on his own, and corresponded privately with seven thinkers of his day, that we know of. Do likewise.
It struck me that you have spoken of “my” new theology—in any event, it is an ambition to which I do not aspire. What unsettles me much more is the absence of any profound theological analysis, which I hope philosophers will put right; this is a task that neither the philosopher nor the poet could evade, not to mention entirely independent of other forces. Further, concerning myself, I do not claim to be a Christian. Even less, an anti-Christian… The churches have absorbed many of the shocks we have experienced. Even today, in a town like Ravensburg, were the two confessions there to disappear, cannibalism would break out over night. It sits beneath a thin veneer.
Here, Herr Jünger pushes back against what he perceives as too strong an opposition to Christianity on the part of Heidegger. Heidegger was raised Catholic, and married a Protestant. These are the two confessions of Ravensburg Jünger speaks of. Whilst Jünger finds it hard to commit to a confession, he sees the value of the Christian ones in being what distinguishes civilization from barbarism. This no doubt stems from his first-hand and second-hand experiences with Nazism and Communism
In Ethiopia, within the past two years, I have heard accounts of poison-tipped bow-and-arrow tribesmen murdering in cold-blood then cannibalizing the fellow denizens of their locality of a different ethnicity. The security forces of Gwender and Gwejam, during the time of the Ethiopian Empire, would not have tolerated such behavior. It’s been awhile since I have read the Fitha Negest (Justice of Kings), which preceded the two Anglo-American imposed 20th Century constitutions of Ethiopia, but I am sure it too would not tolerate this behavior.
Ethiopia has been sitting beneath a thin veneer for fifty years…
There is some uncanny link betwixt and between my natural predilection toward not staying focused on one book for a long time, and the way we were schooled in reading disparate texts in grade school. I am constantly captivated by religion, politics, language, and the martial sciences; or afroasiatic orthodox christianity, monarchic and republican realpolitik, ge’ez and amharic and hebrew and spanish and the american language, and jujitsu (judo) and muay thai (lethwei).
In any event, when I will myself, I am more than capable of getting through books in their entirety, nonfiction trend tougher than fiction, and enjoying the fruits thereof, so that I may share them with all of you. As a digital debtera, I have been producing most of my writing for free, but as my forefathers in the faith plead by the name of our Lady the Holy Virgin Mary for daily sustenance, I do too (with new platforms)! Right now, I make enough hither and thither, to buy groceries and as Nipsey Hu$$le and Gary Vee and Dame Dash taught me to stay reinvesting in my micro-business.
But, if you can spare some change for me to have a cortado ($4.17) a month, please do. If not, please share this article and others that grab your attention with your friends, strangers, and enemies, so that more eyes may see for themselves what I am up to, and decide if I am worthy or not of their patronage in some shape, way, or form…