ALB - 13

ALB - 13 - Art, Love, and Beauty 13 2/26/08 Harries 1 13....

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Art, Love, and Beauty 13 2/26/08 Harries 1 13. Beauty and Redemption 1 In my last lecture I suggested that according to Schopenhauer art delivers us, if only for a time, from that contradiction between what we are and what we want that is part of our being. Let me read you once more the passage I quoted at the end of the last lecture." When, however, an external cause or inward opposition suddenly raises us out of the endless stream of willing, and snatches knowledge from the thraldom of the will, the attention is now no longer directed to the motives of willing, but comprehends things free from their relation to the will. Thus it considers things without interest, without subjectivity, purely objectively; it is entirely given up to them in so far as they are merely representations, and not motives. Then all at once the peace, always sought but always escaping us on that first path of willing, comes to us of its own accord, and all is well with us. It is the painless state, prized by Epicurus as the highest good and as the state of the gods; for that moment we are delivered from the miserable pressure of the will. We celebrate the Sabbath of the penal servitude of willing. The wheel of Ixion stands still. (196)
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Art, Love, and Beauty 13 2/26/08 Harries 2 Our subjection to the will is here understood as a kind of enslavement. Note such phrases as: thraldom of the will or We celebrate the Sabbath of the penal servitude of willing. To our everyday existence Schopenhauer here opposes another state. Just as the sabbath releases us from the routines of our working days, so art releases us from that state of dissatisfaction that is our lot as long as we are subject to the will. Note how Schopenhauer here in his discussion of aesthetic experience interprets it very much in religious categories: aesthetic experience figures a state of redemption. The difficulty with art, on Schopenhauer's view, is of course that it only figures it. Artists are very much persons who suffer like the rest of us; indeed perhaps even more intensely, because they experience more keenly the contrast between the plenitude of the aesthetic experience and the suffering and pain that are inevitably part of ordinary experience. Consider in this connection the end of the third book. [The artist] is captivated by the consideration of the spectacle of the will's objectification. He sticks to this, and does not get tired of contemplating it, and of repeating it in his descriptions. Meanwhile, he himself pays the cost of producing that play; in other words, he himself is the will objectifying itself and remaining in constant suffering. That pure, true, and profound knowledge of the inner nature of the world now becomes
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Art, Love, and Beauty 13 2/26/08 Harries 3 for him an end in itself; at it he stops. Therefore it does not become for him a quieter of the will, as we shall see in the following book in the case of the saint who has attained resignation; it does not deliver him from
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ALB - 13 - Art, Love, and Beauty 13 2/26/08 Harries 1 13....

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