For three weeks together I was of every man’s opinion I met.—Pardi! ce Monsieur Yorick a autant d’esprit que nous autres. — l raisonne bien, said another.— C’est un bon enfant, said a third.—And at this price I could have eaten and drank and been merry all the days of my life at Paris; but ’twas a dishonest reckoning;—I grew ashamed of it.—It was the gain of a slave;—every sentiment of honour revolted against it;—the higher I got, the more was I forced upon my beggarly system;—the better the coterie,—the more children of Art;—I languish’d for those of Nature: and one night, after a most vile prostitution of myself to half a dozen different people, I grew sick,—went to bed;—order’d La Fleur to get me horses in the morning to set out for Italy.
Lawrence Sterne, ‘A Sentimental Journey’
Sterne carves out deliciously broken relationships. Misunderstandings. Across the gamut of experience. Inner lives and social lives splutter nonsensically.
For instance, Argen-
tine people play tennis; a ball jumps over the fence. There is
a little Indian girl outside, and the people inside ask her to
throw the ball in. She sadly stares at the people and does
nothing. Then naturally they ask her, "Why don't you
throw the ball over the fence?" "I have no gana" no
pleasure in doing it. "I can't do it, because I have no pleas-
ure in it"; and then you can't do it. That, you see, is a primi-
tive concept. Gana is what we would l call libido, or energy,
or volition. When gana is absent, that is an excellent motive.
For instance, when somebody asks you a favour, and you say,
"I'm sorry, it doesn't please me," or that you don't like it,
that is very impolite. But in South America it is different.
There people understand what it means when you say it
doesn't please you; that is enough. You say, "I have no
gana"; that counts. There is also a social recognition of the
extraordinarily important fact whether somebody is pleased
to do something or not. With us this apparently does not
count at all.
We must shift America from a needs – to a desires – culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. […] Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.
‘the people are the masters we are the servants’ just shows what a hypocrite tony blair is / was plus focus groups seem horrifically effective. having attended a couple of these things frankly i’m amazed.. self interest is easier to govern than co-operation – micro or macrocosm.
The real mystery does not behave mysteriously or secretively; it speaks a secret language, it adumbrates itself by a variety of images which all indicate its true nature. I am not speaking of a secret personally guarded by someone, with a content known to its possessor, but of a mystery, a matter or circumstance which is “secret,” i.e., known only through vague hints but essentially unknown. The real nature of matter was unknown to the alchemist: he knew it only in hints. In seeking to explore it he projected the unconscious into the darkness of matter in order to illuminate it. In order to explain the mystery of matter he projected yet another mystery – his own psychic background -into what was to be explained: Obscurum per obscurius, ignotum per ignotius!
C.G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy (Part 3, Chapter 2.1)