In praise of matter

In the end it’s all a question of matter, in the end it’s a game between enlightened brains and primitive brains; in the end everything is relative, a see-saw between these two extremes: enlightened brains and primitive brains. The rest exists, but it’s as though it didn’t exist. Or rather, it exists as a kind of backdrop, a landscape, a stage where infinite experiences are enacted, things appear, events unfold, all taking place in a blinding light so that nobody can see anyway.

Knowledge needs to be conquered. “He who knows the most , lives the most” says William Blake and he is right. That’s all there is. Nothing else. It is a mental game in a closed space, a ball that bounces out of the thickest darkness into the brightest radiance only to plunge straight back into the abyss, there where deep shadows reign.

A flower, bacteria, an atom, a mineral, a being, all so different from each other in form and character, yet in fact there is no difference between them: everything is the fruit of matter. The soul, the mind, the spirit, the imagination, fantasy, poetry, all matter, only matter. You never get beyond matter, beyond the circumference of your own brain. It’s all in the mind as the English say, and they are right here too.

Elementary particles, the big bang, physical evolution, biological evolution, the evolution of the species, it all comes to the same thing: matter; the passage from nothing to the phenomenon, from inanimate to animate, from natural to cultural and from arms to the spiritual, the same thing: matter.

The French philosopher, René Descartes, the English evolutionist, Charles Darwin, the Italian physicist, Carlo Rubbia, the German theologian, Joseph Ratzinger, all are matter. Matter is always the protagonist. It enjoys unlimited power, it can transform itself into endless shapes but in the end it has only one shape: the material one. It is unique, the mother of all mothers.

Music, geometry, mathematics, the thought of homo habilis, matter. There is no difference in the formation of a self-deluding brain and one that accepts existence for what it is, a phenomenon: both are products of matter: they are born from matter and return to matter.

Olympus, the Koran, the Titans, Nirvana, the Bible, Yahweh, the Bhagavadgita, Zeus, the Holy Scripts, Mbombo, God, Tao, The Book of the Dead, Brahma, Osiris, the Gods, Valhalla, Marduk, the Big Chief In The Sky, Odin, the Giants, Kamui, everything, absolutely everything, all pus, rot, and excrement of the brain.

Arrogance? Madness? Gratuitous desecration? Megalomania? Splutters of omnipotence? Maybe! The thought “ think of Vienna”, although expressed in material terms, is , as revealed by the American philosopher Quine, a process that is based on matter, but which in itself is not material, write neurologists Edelman and Tononi in “ A Universe of Conscience.”

Illusions, errors, imaginings, delirium, expectations and dreams are uncountable and to each his own but they are merely the itching of the brain: bigots, fanatics, romantics, dreamers, idealists, diehards: matter. This is the breath and the soul of which the universe and we, its legitimate sons, are composed.

T.S. Eliot writes in Four Quartets: “We shall not cease from exploration, And the end of all our exploration , Will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time.”

We are born matter; we die matter. Once we have understood this, we have understood how things stand, and that is something.


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