August 28, 2012

"The Adventurous Heart": Solitary Sentinels

One last appetizer has been conceded by the publishers before this new Jünger translation goes on sale Sept 1....

Solitary Sentinels - Berlin 

Swedenborg condemned the “spiritual stinginess” that locked away his dreams and insights.

But what of the spirit’s contempt for minting and issuing itself into general circulation, what of its aristocratic self-sufficiency in Ariosto’s magical castles? The inexpressible is degraded when it expresses and makes itself communicable; it is like gold that must be mixed with copper to make it useful as currency. A dreamer, attempting to catch his dreams in the light of dawn, watches them slip away through the mesh of his thoughts, like a Neapolitan fishermen watching the fleeing silver shoals that occasionally stray up into the surface waters of the bay.

In the collections of the Leipzig Mineralogical Institute, I once observed a foot-high rock crystal won from the inner depths of the Sankt Gotthard during tunneling work – a most solitary and exclusive dream of matter. Among the things that Nigromontanus taught me was the certain existence among us of a select group of men who have long withdrawn from the libraries and from the dust of the public arena, who are at work in the innermost spaces, in the obscurest of Tibets. He spoke of men who sit alone in nocturnal rooms, immobile as the rock through whose hollows that current flashes, which keeps all the mill-wheels and hordes of machines running in the outside world - but here it is liberated from all purpose and captured by hearts, which, as the hot, trembling cradles of all forces and powers, have withdrawn forever from the outer light.