Of magic alliance - the Siren stage

Human existence should no longer be understood as the solitary individual confronted with an indeterminable openness nor as the mortal being suspended in nothingness. Being means to be in alliance with others. My existence includes the presence of something floating around me; its purpose is to let me be and support me. I am a floating being with whom geniuses form spaces... The genius does not seek, it has found; the angel does not knock on the door, it is in the room; the daimon does not ask to be announced, it already has the subject's ear!

But how, in this intimate setup, can the one be so sure that the other will hear ? On what ground does this communication rest that allows for such a smooth transfer of feelings? How can it be that for millions of messages I am a rock on which they clash without resonance, while certain voices unlock me and make me tremble as if I were their chosen mouthpiece...? In the Odyssey Homer depicts the primal scene of this kind of aural magic when Odysseus encounters the Sirens. What kind of music is it, what melody or rhythm, that gives the Sirens such power over the ears of mortal men?

Their secret is to render precisely those songs in which the passing sailors' ears yearn to immerse themselves. The Siren's art is to address and arouse the thymos of the listener. Seduction is the awakening of the source of that melody which is absolutely mine to sing. The Sirens’ song does not simply move the subject as if from without; it rather sounds as if the innermost sentiment of the person, which now rises up, was being expressed in perfection and for the first time. ... Thus seduced the sailors were unable to resist the call and perished.

The Sirens, painting by Marie Francois Fermin-Girard (1838-1921)

The Sirens, painting by Marie Francois Fermin-Girard (1838-1921)

This mythic story testifies to the reality of an archaic Siren stage. Hearing one’s very own motif the individual forms a pact with his own future and lives joyously towards its fulfillment, the intonation brings the subject closest to itself. - Abandon the noise of the world and immerse yourself in your own music, your first and last!  From the stricken ear, one is led to one's self. In the early memory a few magical rhythms accumulate and ring ahead of the individual like leitmotifs - as yet unplayed, yet always on the point of finally being performed. This is how I sound - thus I will be once I am myself. I am the frothing up, the sound block, the liberated figure, I am the beautiful and bold passage, I am the leap to the highest note; the world echoes with my sound when I show myself as I have been promised to myself.

Peter Sloterdijk, 'Sphären I', 1998 (trans. C.C., text abbreviated and condensed)

This thought mirrors the basic tenet of astrology: connect with your source, become who you are.

Peter Sloterdijk, *1947, German philosopher

Peter Sloterdijk, *1947, German philosopher