Psychology of Gravity

Gravity 01     The Psychology of Gravity

                              The moral tendency of humankind, like its physical tendency, is to fall, continually.

                               人類的道德,如同生理一樣,

都傾向於不斷地墮落。

              Jean-Paul Richter,

              La vie de Fixlein

In Air and Dream I discussed a number of images of falling and of the abyss which, according to all evidence, were products of the terrestrial imagination. It was necessary to examine these images in order to understand the dynamic inverse of flight. For one takes flight against gravity, in dream as well as in reality. In a reciprocal manner, it is necessary now to invoke aerial images if we are to appreciate properly the psychological weight of terrestrial images.

在「空氣與夢」一書中,我討論許多墮落跟懸崖的影像,依據各種證據,是地球想像的產物。現在為了要瞭解飛翔的動力倒轉,有需要再審查這些影像。因為人飛翔就是要對抗地心引力,無論是在夢中或現實當中。以互動的方式,現在需要召喚空中影像,假如我們想要適當地欣賞地球影像的心理重量。

There is no way to understand the psychology of gravity—the psychology of that which makes us heavy, tired, slow, unsteady on our feet—without referring to the psychology of weightlessness, the nostalgic for lightness. Interested readers may consult that earlier work, with which I began my study of the active imagination.

要瞭解地心引力的心理學,也就是使我們沉重、疲倦、緩慢、兩腳不穩的心理學,我們不可能不提到無重量的心理學,也就是對於輕盈的懷念。有興趣的讀者不妨參考一下那部早期的作品,當時我開始研究及積極想像。

It would be a mistake, however, to limit ourselves to a mere juxtaposition of images of the above with images of the below. Images which adhere to such a geometry are, in a way, too obvious. They have logical images. One must free oneself of their simple relativity to experience the dynamic dialectic of rising and falling. The psychological realism of this dialectic of ascent and descent is better understood when one reads, with a dreaming soul, this entry in Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks:

可是我們若僅是限於將上面的影像跟下面的影像做對比,將是個錯誤。堅持幾何學的影像在某方面看法太明顯了。他們形成邏輯的影像。為了要經驗到上昇與墮落的動力演變學,我們必須擺脫他們簡單的相對。當我們帶著夢幻的靈魂閱讀達文西的筆記,我們就較能瞭解上昇與下降演變的心理真相:

Lightness is born of heaviness and heaviness of lightness, instantaneously and reciprocally, returning creation for creation, gaining strength proportionally as they gain life, and as much more in life as they gain in motion. They destroy one another also at the same time, fulfilling a mutual vendetta, proof that lightness is created only in conjunction with heaviness, and heaviness only where lightness follows.

   輕盈從沉重產生,沉重亦由輕盈產生,同時而又互相,創造回報創造,生命力越大,力量就越大,運用於人生甚至有勝於運用於動作。輕盈與沉重也同時互相毀滅,實現互相仇殺,證明輕盈只與沉重並生,沉重之所在,輕盈跟隨之。

Certainly, one could give this obscure passage a scientific commentary which would show that the learned Italian, following Aristotle and anticipating Galileo, represented falling bodies to himself as passing through an active atmosphere conceived as a full medium. But this clarification in the realm of ideas brings us no closer to the realm of belief, where the science of bygone days dreams on. In order to gain entry to this world of primary belief, we must place ourselves at the center of a mass of images.

的確,對於這似非而是的引文,我們可以給予科學的評論,證明達文西這位義大利人,前踵亞力斯多德、後期伽立略,將自己身驅的墮落,比擬為經歷過他認為是充分媒介的活動大氣。但是這種觀念領域的澄清,並無補於我們對於以往科學夢幻所在的信仰領域的瞭解。為了要進入原先信仰的這個世界,我們先要置身於大量影像的中心。

It is within this sort of psychic nebula that the sense of core weight and flowering lightness originate. Our feelings of heaviness and lightness emerge out of this “ feud” between two opposing tendencies. When we are dizzy to the point of falling, it seems we are about to rise into the air. Myriad impressions affect our psychological weight, which is truly imaginary.

核心重量跟開花的輕盈,就開始於這種心理的朦朧星雲的範圍內。我們的沉重跟輕盈之感,就是從這兩個相反傾向的「宿怨」中出現。當我蒙暈眩到要墮落的程度,似乎我們即將上昇到空中。我們心理的重量,其實是無中生有,是受到無數的印象影響。

Were it possible to scrutinize our dream lives closely, we would quickly recognize how heightened our sensitivity can be to impressions of weight and balance. Perhaps we might teach ourselves to combat our feelings of heaviness and be cured of them. A pedagogy of gravity would thus double as psychology of psychic gravity. What an aspiration to heights there is in these two lines by Sergei Esenin!

假如我們可能仔細審查我們的夢中生活,我們會很快體認出,我們的感官多麼的被強化到重量跟平衡的印象。也許,我們可以教導自己去格鬥這種沉重之感,而痊癒其病徵。做為一門心理地心引力的心理學,我們因此需要加倍的教導。看看Sergei Esenin所寫的下面這兩行,升高的渴望是多麼強烈!

Enough of heaven without stairs,

Enough of falling snow.

再無法忍受沒有樓梯的天堂

再無法忍受墮落的雪

Verticality is so impressionable a human dimension that it occasionally permits an image to be elongated, stretching it in two directions at once, both upwards and downwards. Dreamers who love verticality will smoke their cigarettes and daydream differently if they meditate upon the double movement in this image borrowed from Ribemont-Dessaignes’ wonderful collection, Ecce Homo:

   直立是人類令人印象深刻的向度,因此有時會允許影像延長,同時朝兩個方向延伸,既朝上、又朝下。喜愛直立的夢幻者,假如沉思從Ribemont-Dessaignes文集「戴荊棘的耶穌!」借用過來的這個影像的雙重動作,將會邊抽煙,邊夢想。

   He flapped his wings, lit a cigarette,

   And smoke rose up into the sky,

   And ash plunged down into the depths of hell

   他拍動翅膀,點燃香煙,

   煙圈上昇到空中,

   灰燼下墮到地獄的深淵

  

P275

Earth and Reveries of Will by Gaston Bachelard

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

https://springhero.wordpress.com

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

   

Gravity02         The Psychology of Gravity

 

   Even the most fleeting images can sometimes make us feel dizzy by re-stimulating a long dormant vertigo, deeply ingrained in our unconscious ( an engram). It is not rare, in effect, for an entire life to be affected by a single episode of vertigo. To engage this question with a specific case in mind, allow me to share a personal experience.

   即使是最瞬間的影像有時會使我們感到頭暈,因為它們重新激起我們蟄伏已久,深深鐫刻在我們無意識的暈眩。事實上,整個一生為一次單一的暈眩軼事弄得暈頭轉向,也是常見的事。為了要用一個明確的個案來討論這個問題,容我分享一下我個人的經驗。

 

   One of the greatest misfortunes in my unconscious life is having climbed to the lantern-turret in the spire of the Strasbourg Cathedral. I was twenty at the time, and familiar only with the modest church spires of the Champagne countryside. Many is  the time I had profited from a door accidentally left ajar to climb into the village clock tower, a world of stairs and ladders I inhabited without fear. I would spend long hours by the bells in the open air, gazing out over the river and the hills. The view from Sainte-Germaine, the hilltop that we in Bar-sur-Aube called a mountain, encompasses a very small circle of the world with the bell tower at the center. What a setting in which to dream the imperial power of the gaze over the world it contemplated!

    我無意識裏,有一次最大的不幸是爬Strasbourg大教堂尖頂的燈樓。當時我二十歲,只熟悉一些Champagne 鄉間的普通教堂的尖頂。好幾次我曾利用門戶大開之際,爬進鄉間的鐘塔,在樓梯及旋轉梯的世界繞來繞去,毫無恐懼。我常常在露天的大鐘旁流連良久,眺望附近小山及河流。從Campagne那裏,我們當地人稱為一座山,其實是座小山頂,組成一個由鐘塔位於中央的小世界。在那裏沉思世界,夢想帝國的權力,眼光何其短也!

 

But in Strasbourg, the ascent is inhumanly abrupt. Following the guide up the stone stairs, visitors are protected at first on their right by a line of delicate columns, but suddenly, very near the summit, this perforated lace-work comes to an end. To the right, there is nothing but empty air, a great void extending over the rooftops. The stairway turns so narrowly that soon visitors are left alone, out of sight of the guide. Life depends on their hold upon the railing.

但是在Strasbourg,光是爬上樓就讓你覺得非人力所及。跟隨響導爬上石頭樓梯,起初右邊尚有一排精緻的欄杆保護遊客,但是突然地,靠近樓頂時,稀疏的欄杆邊飾沒有了。靠右邊,空蕩蕩的一片,虛無飄渺籠罩屋頂。樓梯變得如此窄小,只能容遊客一人獨行,看不見響導。生死之間就在是否把握住欄杆。 

   Going up and coming down: twice, the experience of absolute vertigo lasting but a few minutes; and the mind is marked for life.

   上去及下來:兩次經驗到,絕對暈眩維持只幾分鐘,心靈震撼像是永遠。

 

  Never again was I to enjoy mountains and towers! The engram of an immense fall is within me. When this memory comes back to me, when this image comes to life again at night and even in my waking dreams, an indescribable malaise, fills my deepest being. I suffered in writing these lines, and in recopying them I suffer again, as from a fresh and all too real adventure. Most recently, while reading Depping’s Merveilles de la force et de l’adresse, a book which seemed unlikely to contain my story, the old memory prevented me from reading further. Here is the offending passage:

   那種爬山跟高塔,此後我從未再覺得是享受!我內心被鐫刻著巨大的墮落。每次我回想起來,影像在夜晚刻栩栩如生,即使在我清醒的夢中,無以言喻的不安刻骨銘心。寫作這幾行時,我依舊痛苦,重新抄錄時,再次感受痛苦,好像重新身歷其境。最近閱讀杜賓的作品,其書雖然不可能跟我的經驗相關,但是古老的回憶去使我無法再繼續讀下去。底下就是令人忿憤的段落:

 

  Most foreigners stop at the platform, but the fanatics, those with good lungs, can nimbly work their way up into the four turrets which lead to the base of the octagonal pyramid, so bold and light in design, which constitutes the spire. And those who are not overly stout and who do not fear dizziness, may climb further still, beyond the towers, up eight winding stairways which creak at every one of their eight turns, to the lantern-turret itself. Goethe accomplished this ascent more than once for the precise purpose of ridding himself of a constitutional tendency to vertigo, and he carved his name in the stone wall of the tower…

  大部份人都停在平臺,但是狂熱者,肺活量好的人,可以敏捷地攀登到四個塔樓,直通到八角樓金字塔的末端,組成整個尖頂,設計得驚險輕巧。那些身體較健壯,不怕暈眩的人,還可以再往上爬,越過塔樓,上到八個迴轉的樓梯,每一次轉彎,都嘎嘎作響,直到燈樓所在。哥德曾完成這個攀登好幾次,就是為了要驅除身體的暈眩傾向,他雕刻自己的名字在塔樓的石壁上。

 

   I hardly understand the architecture Depping describes: nothing of it resonates with what I so clearly remember myself. All I can feel is the suffering in my heart. In good Malebranchean style, I would claim without hesitation that what interrupted my reading was a wounded imagination. Psychoanalysis would perhaps seek some moral explanation for this sensitivity. But to my mind nothing can explain why so many different sensations of dizziness should be linked to that one memory, so precise, so clearly defined, and so unique in my life experience.

   對於杜賓所描述的建築,我幾乎無法瞭解,因為跟我自己所清楚記得的,絲毫不引起共鳴。我所能感受的是內心的痛楚。我毫不猶豫地宣稱,阻止我閱讀下去的是一種受傷的想像。對於我這種敏感,精神分析可能尋找某種的道德的解釋。但是在我內心,永遠無法解釋,為什麼那麼多不同的暈眩感覺,都跟那一個記憶息息相關。在我一生的經驗中,那是如此明確、如此清楚劃分、如此獨特。

 

   As soon as my feet touched ground again my high spirits returned entirely. I sipped Rhine and Moselle wines with, it seems to me, all the appreciation that a Champenois can feel for them. But this enjoyment was not enough to prevent my mind from being troubled. My dreams continue to be plagued by that imaginary fall. When nightmares of anxiety come on, I know for certain they will end with a fall onto the rooftops of Strasbourg. And If I die in my sleep it will be from the imaginary fall, my heart constricted, crushed. Illness is very often no more than a secondary cause of death. There are images more noxious and cruel, images that are fatal.

  當我的腳再一次踩到地上,我高昂的精神完全恢復過來。啜飲萊茵及莫歇爾的葡萄酒,我心中覺得的感恩,是一般沒見過世面的人都能感受得到。但是這個享受仍然是餘悸猶存。我的夢繼續受到這個幻奇的墮落所凌虐。當憂慮的夢魘來臨,我確實知道,夢魘結局是墮落到Strasbourg大教堂的尖頂。假如我在睡夢中死亡,那將是因為那幻奇的墮落使我的心收縮壓碎。疾病只不過是死亡的次要原因。有些影像更加致命和殘酷,傷害更大。

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