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Towards an Analysis of The Logomachy of Zos
 
 


XII

"Art alone having the gift of tongues has universal understanding, hence to know its fundaments is the initial path to Wisdom and Knowledge."

Later in the Logomachy this same statement is repeated with only minor variation; "To know the fundaments of Art is to know the path of all wisdom." We should keep in mind that the Logomachy was an unfinished work and we probably witness in it a process of altering and refining the various ways in which a thing can be said. And yet, the Logomachy, like many of Spare's other works, is also supposed to be a channeled work and so it is not Spare who is consciously performing the refinements and editing. Similar repetitions occur in other places in the text as well.
What does it mean that art has the gift of tongues? An important point seems to be that the gift of tongues was an active gift, not necessarily that the Apostles could understand all tongues but rather that they could speak them all. It wasn't the gift of ears, after all. In a sense all language use is art, one is reminded of Nietzsche's observation that language is a mobile army of metaphors. The gift of tongues, art, is universal understanding not in the sense of a passive understanding, but rather in the sense of understanding all in the way that a creator understands the creation more intimately than anyone else ever can or would. Perhaps in the recreation of the world through art we only then come to know it, but not in the sense of discovery. Note how passive most of our concepts of knowledge and understanding are. Understanding can be interpreted literally as a standing-under or placing-oneself-under such that in under-standing we submit to the under-stood. Perhaps art and the concept of constitutive desire provide a counter stroke to this.

Note what hasn't been mentioned here, a question which has been with us in the background from the very beginning. Is Spare playing with the Qabalistic divide of Knowledge (Daath), Understanding (Binah), and Wisdom (Chokmah) or are the words being used loosely and, at points, interchangably? This seems an important point upon which it doesn't yet seem possible to draw an absolute conclusion.

 
 
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