Essays

Ende des Kapitalismus aus Astrologischer Sicht

Posted by Wolfgang Somary on März 15, 2012
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Im Jahr 1952 veröffentlichte Felix Somary sein politisches Testament — “Krise und Zukunft der Demokratie”, das im Buchhandel erhältlich ist. Ein paar Jahre später sagte der Vater zu mir: “Der Kommunismus ist eine Episode; Du wirst seinen Untergang erleben. Aber fünf Minute danach kommt auch der Untergang des Kapitalismus”. Als Banquier und renomierter Ökonom der Wiener Schule, hatten seine Vorhersagen Gewicht. Sie ist nun eingetreten, denn die Grössenordnung der Schulden lässt den Konkurs nicht zu, und ohne die unausweichliche Reinigung durch Konkurs ist der Kapitalismus am Ende. Somit folgt die Rettung durch Abstriche in der Demokratie. Als aufmerksamer Leser von Homers’ Illias und Odyssee, interessierte er sich für die Macht des Schicksals. Im Versuch, die Schrift des Schicksals zu ergründen, um somit den Zeitgeist zu verstehen, verfasste ich mittels eines analogischen Symbolismus den folgenden Kommentar.

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The Bubble Blower

Posted by Wolfgang Somary on März 12, 2012
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Characteristic of our bubble-blowing activity is the illusion that all risks can be insured. But who is to insure the insurer? And how great is the sum of all insured risks? Knowing the answer would spoil the game. We also assume there is no limit to the size of a bubble we can blow. But there may be an optimal bubble size for each one of us at any given time of life.

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Reflections on Dialogue

Posted by Wolfgang Somary on Dezember 26, 2011
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A dialogue can be the most pleasant and least expensive way to learn something new and to knit good friendship in the process. But it can also be the quickest and stupidest way to make enemies. It all depends on the willingness to share in knowledge and wisdom or on the urge to impose ones views.

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Art of Poetry

Posted by Wolfgang Somary on November 23, 2011
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This essay is dedicated to those who work at the craft of verbal expression and also for those who read poetry for sheer enjoyment and hope to derive more pleasure from their reading. The author’s concern is craftsmanship, not ideology; and the examples I have selected come from diverse sources of writing, both contemporary and traditional. They exclude experimental or unstructured poetry, for which I prefer to let others speak. In order to give this essay more spice, I have quoted controversial remarks from some great critics, which may pleasantly guide or deliciously confuse the reader.

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Justice Without Gown

Posted by Wolfgang Somary on November 14, 2011
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Minos, the strict Inquisitor, appears
And Lives and Crimes with his Assessor hears,
Round in his Urn, the blended balls he rowls;
Absolves the Just and Dooms the Guilty Souls.

— Virgil’s Aeneas VI, 582/5, transl. Dryden

The word Justice numbs me because this virtue shines when practiced in secret and rusts when preached in public. Politically, it has become a call for redistribution and even of retribution, rather than for acting righteously and wisely. It is also a rhetorical call for social and economic activism, coming at times from a speaker who ignores the nature of his audience or the motives of his listeners. A call for gratutitous sharing of opportunities and of resources is an appeal for charituous beauty, which ought not be confused with justice. The human condition is not equitable but a human may choose to act christophorically. Such terms could find entry in our language  to denote what needs to be said. Continue reading…

Yves Klein Blue

Posted by Wolfgang Somary on November 13, 2011
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Ives Klein Blue (IKB), patented and thumbprinted by the artist, is somewhat different from God’s unpatented delphinium, gentian or sapphire blues, to name but a few. A canvas that’s covered with certified IKBlue once sold at Sotheby’s for $6,800,000 and if I wanted to understand Why, I would have to ask that woman who sat in cross-legged meditation before a similar one of his works as I walked through the halls of Tate Modern, trying rather unsuccessfully to comprehend the spirit of the times. The cross-legged woman interested me more than Klein’s painting, just as two portly Senegalese ladies who rocked with laughter interested me more than the surrealistic painting that was their source of merriment and just as that enamored students-of-art couple that spread study sheets all over the floor of the nudes room, while studying paintings of bodies inferior to theirs, meant more to me than the paintings. Those viewers were all part of the picture and my memory became indented with the viewers’ living reactions to what they saw. Continue reading…

Encountering Lucifer

Posted by Wolfgang Somary on November 12, 2011
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What is the connection between the biblical Book of Daniel and the fall of the dictator of Iraq (formerly Mesopotamia)? Or the connection between Lucifer and Promitheus? Or the link between Astarte (Ishtar) and the whore of Bablyon in the Book of Revelations? And why should we examine this question in the light of the fall of Adam and Eve?

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Shadow of Genius

Posted by Wolfgang Somary on November 10, 2011
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Who can fathom the dark dimension of genius and measure the shadow that precedes its light? Who has entered and emerged from that secret chamber of great alchemists who transform arsenic into gold and not sit in judgement of what they were given to see? And who recalls that Elohim created Adamah-Adom from loan (hence his name) and Prometheus gave him fire that he stole from Zeus? And who knows that Havah, whom we call Eve, means life?

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