In des Ursprung des Kunstwerk Martin Heidegger discusses the “strife” and the dynamics of Earth and World and how the sheltering veiledness of the former resists the opening illumination of the latter—earth is the unconscious, the shadow and blindspot, the Other of: World.
Heidegger claimed that today the earth is submitted to requisition and planned ordering–what he calls: Gestell (enframing) of the real, or technology—, and that, having thus lost sight of its auto-poiesis(it’s unconditioned self-arising), we are no longer capable of listening, attuning, and singing back to what he calls in his course on Heraclitus: the “song of the earth.” Modern science and technology recoils from earth by abstracting from it: World recoils from earth.
Heidegger uses the term Spiegel-Spiel(mirror-play) to define the relation between “the fourfold’s components. A lateral axis of inverse proportion.
The body is earth that many are unconscious of and unfortunately stops listening to as it easily falls outside the boundary that separates self from other, ego from not-ego, voluntary from involuntary. The breath is an involuntary function, it should rise and fall by its own volition, attempts to control it often results in suppression—holding back the breathing is a clear sign of holding back expression and emotion. As when you urgently need to sleep–and make the greatest effort–this often has the contrary effect. Not everything should be controlled, and the living is this self-arising river flowing through–Earth is the self-arising veiledness that can not be controlled by World.
For Heidegger thinking was always in motion: kinetic. It was the thinking of the farmer sowing the ground, the builder projecting himself into the finished house. The interaction of the moving phusis (φύσις) and the thinking mind was the interface he meditated upon. He saw language as a tool of disclosure– unveiling hidden truths–and advocated a more careful use of words. The word arche(ἀρχή)–so important for Aristotle which he defined as rule or governing principle–was for the earlier pre-socratics defined as: opening. Phusis was this self-opening self-arising unconditioned force, with roots in soil that predated us.
Hölderlin reminds us: “this you have all forgotten, that the first-fruits are not for mortals, that they belong to the gods,”. There are forces that are best left to themselves, best respected like the Gods of antiquity were respected. Forces that are more powerful than the ego’s abstract facilities, and that will cause a flood if kept at bay for too long. We are bigger than ourselves, and our belonging to the landscape, to the forces of nature, to the breath, to the three layers of brain we have been given by evolution, is a wonder.
Das Geviert is a work I finished in 2020, on the top is written the two sibling gods: Artemis, Apollo. Artemis is the goddess of concealment, virginity, the dark forest and matter. Apollo is the god of reason, illumination and form. An ellipsoid of sap eclipses the growing landscape–“Hardangervidda” in Norway is turned from horizontal to vertical, the landscape format is transmogrified into the portrait format–, yet ambulation reveals an illumination within the depth of the sap. The sap reflects the blue sky outside as expanding energy, as well as reflecting the world and the looker–a reflexivity of deep time. The ellipsoid is a zero degree sign, as if growing from the belly of the landscape itself–the landscape speaks.
The landscape within us constellates itself among 30 trillion cells and a myriad of systems. A metabolism that dates back to the hydrothermal vents in the primal oceans–water trickles down through the earths fault lines and resurges heated up by the earth’s core with renewed protons–burns proton gradients on the thresholds of these cells, we are forever the new, if we can surrender to it. That which shines forth in auto-poietic terms, rather than being framed and controlled by the modern Gestell. The question of the gods is essential for recovering the earth’s song. Heidegger quotes Rilke: “Earth, isn’t it this your will: invisibly/to rise within us?”