“Dominants of Cioranian thinking” (Vasile Chira)

Blogul lui VASILE CHIRA, Februarie 15, 2012

I. Dominants grounded in the structure of transcendence

1. Sanctity and mystical ecstasy

Cioran’s obsession about sanctity goes back to the inner biography of the thinker, rather than to the factual one. Having an indisputable weakness for the voluptuousness of ecstasy, he also maintains a queer duplicity towards his ultimate aspiration. The co-habitation of a mystic and a sceptic, this is eventually the equation of Cioran’s inner genetics. Apostate with the vocation of holiness, denier who weeps when facing the seduction of   Transcendence, anarchic character and irrefutable disputer, Cioran remains sensitive to the nostalgia for holiness, to the convulsions and tensions that were denied to him, but about which he had   always had an intimate intuition. Fervently impassioned by sanctity, especially women saints, Cioran does not resist the temptation, the morbid indiscretion of exploring the immodest mixture of holiness and eroticism.

The eroticism of the feminine mystic does not only refer to affective propensity, or to a nuptial metaphor, but reaches almost an organic identification between the woman saint and the “betrothed”. This does, as such, express the spiritual insufficiency of women, their inability of approaching the Absolute in a manner that overcomes the sensual. Beyond the physiological dimension, the issue of mystical ecstasy remains basically a metaphysical one. The contradiction between the emptiness of the heart and the ecstatic plenitude becomes the antithesis and unity between nothingness and being.

Cioran does not offer any definition of ecstasy beside the one of holiness in the area of a metaphysical pathology. What his aphorisms though offer would represent rather a phenomenology of holiness, than a scholastic definition of it. The God that constantly shrinks away from our adoration becomes our bone of contention, and the relentless thirst of/for Eternity becomes the active force of its detraction.

2. Music

Cioran’s preoccupation with music is not of a cultural or an esthetical order, neither is it in any way ‘existential’. This preoccupation occurs mainly due to the recollections of a lost Transcendence that almost all the saints refer to, regardless of the reading of this anamnesis in the sense of a pre-existence in a world of the spirit; or, on the contrary, as the recollections of a species which maintains the feeling of paradise in every individual that comes into being. Music is thus a sort of profane mystic allowing the access to Transcendence to those incapable of bringing to completion the burdens of asceticism.

If Cioran’s attitude toward holiness has been ambiguous, vacillating between eulogy and debunking; when it comes to music, his negating propensity suffers a strange paralysis. The one blasphemous of God, the cosmos, man, life and the woman, alike; cannot be blasphemous of music. Music becomes the limit of Cioranian nihilism. His stance to music is essentially his stance to theEdenthat music fundamentally actualises. Among the musical experiences ranking in their power to convey the greatness of the Absolute, are those connected to Bach and Mozart. The counterpart to the music of the above mentioned composers is the music of Beethoven, which stands for the tragic and titanic condition of man banished from paradise. The final hypostatisation of music occurs with Wagner and the cross-fertilisation of metaphysics and eros.

Due to their infinitism, and in spite of their different traits, Bach and Wagner are kindred spirits, Bach focussing on a theological infinite, whereas Wagner focuses on an erotic one. Faithfully expressing any existential register, from the edenic to the tragic one, music remains for Cioran the ultimate consolation, the point where the nihilist capitulates in front of the sonorous blackmail of Divinity… [+]