"Such concerns also troubled Albert Einstein and quantum physicist Max Born, Nobel laureates in despair over weapons and war. A newspaper article quoted Einstein saying that if he had his life to live over again, he would have been a plumber. Born wrote to Einstein in November 1954, "I read in the paper recently that you are supposed to have said: 'If I were born a second time, I would become not a physicist, but an artisan.' These words were a great comfort to me, for similar thoughts are going around in my mind as well, in view of the evil which our once so beautiful science has brought upon the world..."

Einstein replied in January 1955, three months before he died, ". . . What I wanted to say was just this: In the present circumstances, the only profession I would choose would be one where earning a living had nothing to do with the search for knowledge."

- The Feminine Face of Science

"When no one sets the rules."

"No one" is just that. He, or it, is not human. "No one" is a thing; a government, a corporation, the Promethean scientist, artist or politician. "No one" is the inhuman Promethean force which devalues nature, the feminine, Eros, Feeling.

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"The fate of all mankind I see
is in the hands of fools"

"The depressive position involves both fear and concern regarding the fate of those whom the child has destroyed in phantasy. The child attempts to resolve his depressive anxiety through reparation: the mother and others are repaired through restorative phantasies, and actions that symbolise love and reparation."

- Essentials of Kleinian Theory

The depressive position (as "depressing" as it sounds!) is the goal in Kleinian Theory. It is at the opposite pole from the paranoid-schizoid position.

"According to Melanie Klein's theory the depressive position is the second developmental stage in early childhood. At this stage the child develops the capacity of seeing his mother as a whole person, the one and the same person who is good as well as bad at the same time."

- Depressive Position

"The depressive position, when the child becomes more concerned with preserving another, rather than preserving himself, is a psychological milestone. It marks the onset of mental and emotional integration. It means that the child is able to face reality, whatever he feels inside himself, and sees outside himself. Moreover, it means that he is able to take responsibility for what he does, good and bad; and is able to acknowledge and contain a wide variety of experiences: love and hate, guilt and despair (Klein, 1937; Hinshelwood, 1991)."

- The Lurianic Kabbalah: An Archetypal Interpretaion
Sanford L. Drob, Ph.D.

"Melanie Klein ...conceived the psychic evolution from illusion to disillusion as the journey from the paranoid-schizoid to the depressive position, a journey that, as we know, none of us ever completes once and for all."

- Discussion of 'Someday...' and 'If only...' Fantasies

"With the onset of the second quarter of life the infant is said to enter the depressive position. This is the position in which the child begins to recognize that what is split into good and bad are actually one and the same thing. Furthermore, there is a tendency to integration. That is, the infant is now able to relate to the object as a whole instead of merely a part and the baby synthesizes the two separate aspects of the object. This synthesis brings the conflict between love and hate to full force. Ambivalence is experienced for the first time. That is, the child must reconcile her or his aggressive tendencies to an object that it recognizes to be both good and bad."

And this is what the narrator of Epitaph is expressing, a simultaneous concern for humanity and a deep acknowledgment of our imperfections.

"From this point of view, the depressive position can be said to be a guilty reaction caused by aggressive tendencies directed against a 'complete' object."

- The Polycentric Self in Objects Relations Theory

The flood of Feeling, which Epitaph represents, also corresponds to the depressive position.

"The Flood, this motif of sinking into the depths, would seem to represent a collective inundation by depressive anxieties because of seemingly irreparable guilt."

- Building a Bridge to Heaven

As noted earlier...

"Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams."

...is just such an admission of adult guilt.

"Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"

- Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol

And here we see one of the major themes that make this album so compelling. Side one presents an image of the human psyche in its endless oscillation between the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions.

"We have seen that Christian doctrine translates the inevitable estrangement and egotism of the paranoid-schizoid position into the terms of sin, fallenness, and separation from God. The Christian feeling of guilt repeats the depressive subject's guilt upon recognizing his own agency in the disruption of his object relation. As he becomes aware of the wholeness and goodness of his object, he realizes his essential fallenness. This in turn leads him to attempt reconciliation with God."

- Christianity: A Kleinian Perspective

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"The fate of all mankind I see
is in the hands of fools"

The "fools" are "educated fools".
Knowledge is a deadly friend when the Thinking function (Logos) is untempered by Feeling (Eros).

March for No Reason

Cloister Cemetery in the Snow by Caspar David Friedrich

Without Eros, life has no purpose. It is a long empty march to nowhere.
A grand parade of lifeless packaging.

"It is a most wholesome thing . . .to join, in imagination, the mournful company of dim souls whose lives were sacrificed to the great machine that still grinds on. On the banks of the river of Time, the sad procession of human generations is marching slowly to the grave . . ."

- The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell

"Lynn White, Jr. faults Christianity as the most anthropocentric religion the world has ever known and thus the root cause of the ecological crisis in the West (White, 1968: 75-105 and cf. Jung, 1972). To borrow the incisive and elegant expression of Loren Eiseley: Christianity "took God out of nature and elevated man above nature" (Eiseley, 1960: 138). The modern ideology of progress itself is nothing more than a secularized extention of the march of God in history which is singularly an "invention" of the modern West."

- Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Nature

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

"Confusion will be my epitaph."

"Because man has traded instincts for a capacity for learning, he is capable of learning more unsound things, as well as sound ones, than any other living creature. And this, indeed, he has done. The result is not wisdom but confusion."

- Dr. Ashley Montagu

"As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back
and laugh.
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying."

"After it had been preceded by earthquakes, hurricanes and famine, the Black Death broke out, spreading terror and desolation through Southern Europe. Men saw in these frightful calamities the judgments of God, but looked in vain for any to show them a way of deliverance and escape. Some believed that the last day was approaching; some, remembering an old prophecy, looked with hope for the return of the Great Emperor Frederick II. to restore justice and peace in the world, to punish the wicked clergy, and help the poor and oppressed flock to their rights."

- Theologica Germanica

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, Out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

- Shakespeare, Macbeth V., v., 17

In the Beginning was the Word ~ Epitaph return to
chapter & page index

In the Beginning was the Word ~ Malkuth

Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
Islands Two Footnotes in the Sand Still Still 2
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