What is an enigma? Is it a riddle that just waits there to be solved? Not at all. If it were so, everything would have been much easier (and boring) and probably human beings would have been somewhat uniform. An enigma is that which does not have a solution. It is not a question waiting to be answered. It seems to me to be the pure form of question which does not have and do not need an answer. But it is a very special form as if it is the form itself and in-itself.
It is even almost impossible to call enigma an 'enigma'! It is never there to be signified and it is everywhere so that you cannot point at it. I don't yet know why I keep coming to the same metaphor in almost every subject but I cannot help it to think of enigma as the atmosphere. It is very mind blowing to me to think about the atmosphere. You cannot feel its existence but it is always there. It is everywhere so that you are always already in it without even thinking that you are in it. Enigma seems to me to be a psycho-sociological atmosphere, maybe we can even say that it is 'the will of a time'. 'The' and 'a' are the most important features of this adjunct. The tendency of a time, here time being not 'the' time but a singular time. Not at all an individual time where psychology is in act. It is singular, not particular. It is shared only by way of its singularity. Maybe enigma is the moods of Greek gods, never understood consciously but followed willingly. You can never judge a god by its doings. They will to do so and they do so. And the people who are under the influence of gods - oh, those great people - they cannot be judged also. Like Helen who ran away with Paris... She was not accused to be immoral when she returned back because she betrayed her husband and went together with handsome Paris. No. She was just obeying the goddess, Aphrodite. She was in her mood and it was a good thing to be in a mood. This was the projection of what a life should be and how it should be lived at that time and that location. There was nothing to be understood, but only moods to go along with.
Anyway, if we return to our subject and try to understand 'the will of a time' in terms of 'the' and 'a', and of course in connection with a pure question of how to live and form in-itself, there still remains too much to grasp. It is the enigma itself that contains everything.
Before beginning to write, I was thinking about how is it possible to have a projection about life. For example what is it that makes somebody go like this: I will finish my school, I will find a job that pays well, I will be independent for a while, then I will find a person whose status is in accordance with mine, I will marry and have kids, I will live in the security of my status and my marriage even though I don't even like the person I marry after a while... when I try to complete this projection what is deepdown there in the fundaments is: I will live forever. I even asked a girl who had such a projection for her life "but what about death?" She looked at me as if I was talking in a language that she does not know a word. That was the atmosphere she was breathing in, without any kind of dying. Or maybe it was too banale of me to point out such a fact. Maybe it was the most natural thing. I don't know shit. All I know is that this very concept of projection is an enigma for me. It is this 'how' I find very troubling. But it is again this 'how' most of the people live their lives without being shocked at every moment of what they do.
So there are things, enigmas that nobody talks about or teaches to their kids but everybody knows, and the kids even more so are aware of this projection because they see there are things adults do and does not make sense. And because their memory of taking this air into their lungs is very fresh. Because they remember the pain. That is why they have a very sharp version of this projection. A horrible one. It is like a jungle out there in the kindergarden...
Derrida, Proximity to Presence, and the Joy of Vertigo (with reference to Deleuze) - Arkady Plotnitsky who taught me Derrida in Philadelphia in 1989. When I was in college, I took a class on Derrida taught by the impeccably named, Arkady P...
2 weeks ago