More altars called for — or Altars beyond words

The Altar to pity is said, in a footnote of my copy of Pausanius, probably to be the basis for the Ara Pacis, I said.

We should have Altars to Pity here, in this country, my friend said, as well as to concepts like Air, Dirt, Forethought, Rumor. No more statues of people. Enough of that. Enough of people who did this or that. Altars to Dirt, altars to Life, altars to Stars, alters to repeated spelling errors, to microbes, climate, obscure legal statues. Markers of what we don’t see that yet exists. (Perhaps Zeus is quite like The Atom, The Microbe.) Perhaps poems are all we can hope for, by way of altars, to honor these things.

(Altars also to various tax schemes or latin terms, he added. I think an altar to 401ks would be good, and on the side there would be, etched in the marble, an explanation of what it was exactly, do you know? and of other financial and governmental terms and of technical existences that are still more recondite than 401ks.)

The Body Casts The Vote

As a voter intellectually I may be decided — but there is to consider — that it must be my body that will ultimately physically cast the vote, and my body may not be decided or may be decided in favor of doing something totally erratic, in favor of something quite opposed to what I have intellectually decided.

I can’t intellectually will my vote to be cast– transfer my thought into the ballot box — and the body has a will of its own. And the will of the body, my friend added further, or what I might call One of its great wills, is that of total arbitrariness (which should be one of our altars too: Arbitrariness) — that of having decided deliberately to do one thing instead of another, but, in the event, “Doing Whatever”– either doing the opposite of what one has decided or doing what one has decided for reasons that are un-involved with, and not relevant to, and perhaps the opposite of, one’s initial decision.

Altar to Doing Whatever

Maybe the Will to Doing Whatever is not the body’s will but again attributable to oneself: it is a hatred or distrust of what one thinks, a disbelief in one’s ability to think. The thing you think is good turns out to be bad, and vice versa, and this happens again and again, this has happened so often, sowing distrust in your reasoning capacities and sowing “the will to whatever.”

There should be a god named Whatever and another called Thinks. And we should have, somewhere, for these gods, altars, said my friend. (Or even if they are only words and not gods, we should have altars made for them, altars beyond the words.)

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