Above and beyond the intuition, "essences" concern their conditions into existence. The pursuit of essences involves the consideration of paradoxical instincts in the notion of ideality of all, the cosmic symphony.
The world of our time unlike in the painting has moved toward its center. Our time's naturalistic tendencies are countered by the noise a recovering world, the idealized image of beauty, the "desired," and those reborn Romans who recline in the warm basking temperatures of heaven, sleek in their natural nakedness.
Modern society attends the tranquil pastoral scene with wit and with intelligible twittering that substitutes for intelligible thought. Like the unpromising thickness of the Romans' robes, human thought, human language, and the accomplishment of regaining or reconstituting the world is exalted into what Levinas calls an
The New Generation
The new generations currently populating the earth hear their own music and in response and participation, opposing Plato's view of the depreciative artist echoing braying asses and crowing cocks (noises of an inferior and contrary nature, sound effects of earth's crackles, moans and groans), share the assonance and dissonance of earth as an entity with its own justified and justifying music.
A capable human voice is but a mirror of earth's sound. Attuned to the creatures of earth, the sounds of the planet are echoed in ancient instruments and modern ones, too.
Distant cries of the sea-nymphs announce that the sea is changing. Revelers hear them and their companions create a religion of wine and worthy earthly sustenance to adore the unfolding. Untamed beasts are left to run wild. Trees adorned to press, the cries of nature's elite, a dance in unison for the Dionysus of the mountain top toward which the adventurous brazenly trek.
In response the hills are thrilled and join in bacchic worship. The devolvement is the newest voice of nature exalted into Earth Day, simultaneously elevating the language of Pentheus, who ostentatiously identifies his superiority as evident of his lineage: he is Pentheus, son of Agaue and Echion.
Par excellence among the newer tribes of pantomimic imitators is the high-toned, those jovial singers ode'ing to the spheres. The poetry of their verbal exuberance representing the onomatopoeic sound effects vital in their engendering of the world. The only satisfactory human existence is now imbued with that which has been undermined and overcome.
This condition establishes a necessary renewal or retrieval from one generation to the next. In the imagination of the ultimate horizon of being, beyond the last thought, the image of Rome's decadence reappears in the bird's song. Knowledge and happiness are placed as heroic icons with the human as center of the universe, among the gods. The abstracting power of the intellect makes this possible.
The bird's song has no human equivalent. It is in and of itself complete. The appearance of the winged creature on the horizon represents the transcendence of thought. Identifying with its essence humanity understands the essentiality of being human. This makes one happy or unhappy.
To know is not the reason.
The bird's feathers swoop down and then extend upward toward the fire-fangled cosmos. The effect is heard among the multitude of diverse voices expressing a mimesis of that which is considered an essentiality of becoming a fully realized human.
The Notion of Truth
The notion of truth makes us happy. Delight and sense sing of springtime while poems end in the imposing thickness of winter's austere hand. Both sing puissantly. Echoes of past songs are ransom for Willow's rebirth.
The ultimate meaningfulness negotiates regions of the earth and of the human psyche, from which the philosopher rises ambulatorily, joining in the song that is not primordially a logic of language but of the extravagance of the mind's intelligible twittering.
Together with the poet the philosopher participates in the transforming, transmogrifying celebrant appropriate to exalted worlds. Pentheus's image of himself takes center stage, and declares twice:
The Comic and the Imp
Befittingly becomes comic, even grotesque. Opposed to the heroic stands comedy, natures balancing act. King Pentheus produces pictures of aged men dancing, paradoxically, the youthful dance of age. There is something foolish in the avowal that one should tire in old age, and remain repose all day and night long, striking the earth with nothing but a cane or walking stick.
Forgetting joy in age is the first assurance that one is old. Feeling young enough to dance is joy in costume, comedy in errors, arrivals in departure. The ridiculous trappings and their linking arms shame the modesty of grey hairs so sense-bereft. The only senility is shame.
Delivering a lecture in metaphoric pentameter, the Comic reveals Dionysus's truth and power. Teiresias warns Pentheus not to deem himself wise, nor laugh in scorn ... but instead to wreathe his head in leaves, grasses, flowers and branches to dance with Ivy.
Comedy is indignant, scoffing at its appearance, clad in dappled and worn-torn cloth. Greybeard cannot dance but at the same time he knows he must. Attuned to the forces of earth unleashed he seeks tribute to youthful celebrants found only in nature's imps. His reawakening is because he "must".
The grotesqueness of this image is repeated in the beast with four legs, under the cloak. It is Rome's only animal shape. Referred to as fish and monster, sometimes as both or amphibious: half a fish and half a monster. But this monstrous image is compounded by union with the Imp.
In a frenzied fright he lies with her wondering whether he is a man or a fish, and, as the storm approaches, decides to creep under his gaberdine, an action making for strange bedfellows.
Pleas for mercy are sung to the Imp in a most delicate and monstrous manner, to heal the monster she pours wine into its mouth and into her own. The comic antics of these types reiterate the comic figure that Pentheus and Teiresias make together, and the depreciation, like that of old men, brings them close to the mouth of earth.
Society declares the Comic not the victor but the fool, reassuring him that the noises and sweet airs of the Imp's voice are attuned to the intelligible twittering of birds, and when he protests, it is said that the two are one in the same in their absurdness.
But it matters not in this moment ... because the Comic also brings release. His voice grows ever mellifluous in appealing to his new Imp's senses. Mimetic in his stuttered song about his new freedom. He has a new master and he bows before her only.