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Tag Archives: Chaoplexity

The Proximity of the Knight of Faith

In considering the issues of proximity in an aesthetic  between fixity and turbulent chaos as discussed in my recent Is Spinoza a Cyberneticist, or a Chaocomplexicist? , and come across Fido the Yak’s post on Kierkegaard and the instant, it seems that Kierkegaard’s concept of the Knight of Faith works well within Spinoza’s prescriptions for Joy and Sadness, but also within the Cybernetic/Chaoplexic model of cognitive and thus physical power.

Most people live dejectedly in worldly sorrow and joy; they are the ones who sit along the wall and do not join in the dance. The knights of infinity are dancers and possess elevation. They make the movements upward, and fall down again; and this too is no mean pastime, nor ungraceful to behold. But whenever they fall down they are not able at once to assume the posture, they vacillate an instant, and this vacillation shows that after all they are strangers in the world. This is more or less strikingly evident in proportion to the art they possess, but even the most artistic knights cannot altogether conceal this vacillation. One need not look at them when they are up in the air, but only the instant they touch or have touched the ground–then one recognizes them. But to be able to fall down in such a way that the same second it looks as if one were standing and walking, to transform the leap of life into a walk, absolutely to express the sublime in the pedestrian–that only the knight of faith can do–and this is the one and only prodigy.

– Johannes de Silentio, Fear and Trembling, 1843

It also calls to mind again von Kleist’s fluidity of the Bear (which Kierkegaard may even have had in mind): The Bear with the Rapier: Kleist on Leibniz and Microscopic Infinities