A text from a friend

‘Well, I don’t have that temperament either. Nevertheless I can see what’s needed, and the thinking we have to get away from. I think poetry, literature and thought can show a kind of “world birth” in the midst of this apocalypse. They can reveal our connectedness – and that’s also a kind of ‘community’, isn’t it? I see our time as the age of the apocalypse, not in a Christian sense, but apocalypse understood as revelation: everything is being revealed in these times, stripped naked so the ugly sides are really allowed to shine. I see this as an absolute necessity – The Great Undressing – for us to progress at all in our development as humanity. That’s why I’m not depressed about the “current situation”. Actually, it’s a positive thing, since all births are hard, I suppose not least ‘world births’. This age of the apocalypse is the time when things are revealed anew. The earth trembles, we tremble, especially the sensitive, seismographically oriented thinking person, but unfortunately not most people. They behave as usual, as if nothing’s happened. As if they’ve come to terms with their comforts and technological devices, as if things can’t be different, as if they live in the last times. But unlike the early Christians, for whom time itself was about to end, and who felt doubt and worry and sadness about their time – but also hope for something other, some new coming – the neo-liberalist approach is to put plasters on everything: it’s all patchwork, not an actual world birth or world event or transformation, just more of the same. Artists and thinkers nowadays work under the sign of Crisis. The awareness of crisis calls for new images, other narratives, other forms; other signposts and torchbearers in the dark. The overhanging prospect of collapse is a crisis that exposes the hegemony and limitations of the whole matrix of Western, Christian, capitalist-industrial civilization. We’re facing a spiritual crisis that requires a different description of reality. And in an apocalyptic time, it’s art that can help give birth to new worlds.’

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