THE EXPERIMENT

Indirect communication

The fundamental damage of our time is […] that it has become demoralised by intellectuality and lost its character. So what I have to be careful of, is that my quest does not, for the sake of God in heaven, become – serious! – a scientific discussion, so a small group of professors and lecturers and the like would find it appealing for them to take part in it. No, either indirect communication – or serious to the point of, if so be it, life and death. But for all the world not: scientific discussion.
(The Journal NB29:7)

Tidens Grund-Skade er […] at den er demoraliseret ved Intellectualitet og blevet charakteerløs. Det jeg derfor har at passe paa, er, at min Sag, da for Gud i Himlens Skyld, ikke bliver – alvorligt! – en videnskabelig Discussion, saa en Slump Professorer og Privatdocenter o: s: v: kunde have Lyst at deeltage i den. Nei, enten indirecte Meddelelse – eller for Alvor, om det saa var, til paa Liv og Død. Men for Alt ikke: videnskabelig Discussion. (Journalen NB29:7)

The distinction between art and science have been forgotten. Everything has become science […] what has to be communicated as art is being communicated as science, and herein lies the the confusion of the modern time […]
All communication of knowledge is direct communication.
All communication of ability is indirect communication.
(Papir 365:5 + 367)

[…] man har glemt Distinctionen mell. Kunst og Videnskab. Alt er blevet Videnskab […] det der skal meddeles som Kunst meddeles som Videnskab, og her er Forvirringen i den nyere Tid […]

Al Videns Meddelelse er directe Meddelelse.
Al Kunnens Meddelelse er indirecte Meddelelse.
(Papir 365:5 + 367)

The experimental form

[…] lecturing was not what was needed, since the misfortune of our age, as I perceive it, precisely is that it had acquired too much knowledge and forgotten what it is to exist and what one’s innermost being is. The form therefore had to be indirect.
[…] By taking place in the form of the experiment, the communication creates resistance towards itself and the experiment establishes a swallowing abyss between reader and author, places a divorce of the intimacy between them, making the straightforward understanding impossible. The experiment is the conscious, teasing withdrawal of the communication, which is always crucial for an existing one who writes for existing ones, so that it does not change into a reiterator writing for reiterators. If a man were to stand on one leg, or in a grotesque dancing posture wave his hat, and in that pose propound something true, his few listeners would divide into two groups, and these would indeed be few, since most would give him up right away. The one group would say, ‘How can what he says be true when he gesticulates like that?’ The other group would say, ‘Well, whether he clicks his heels in the air or stands on his head, even if he turned somersaults, what he says is true; I will accommodate it and let him be on his way. Likewise with the experiment. If the writer is serious in what he says he essentially keeps this seriousness to himself. If the recipient apprehends it as serious, he does so essentially by himself, and this precisely is being serious.
[…] This form completely won my approval and I believed in this also to have found a form that made the pseudonymous authors always focus on what it is to exist, and hereby uphold an indirect polemic against speculation. When someone knows everything but knows it abstractedly, the experimental form is a good instigator of exploration.
[…] I want to be quite honest: my conception of communication through books differs greatly from what I see presented otherwise on the topic, and from what people tacitly accept. Indirect communication makes communicating an art in a sense other than that ordinarily assumed in imagining the communicator as having to present the communication to a knower for him to judge it, or to a non-knower so as to give him something to know. But the sequel is something people do not care about, and it is just this that makes communication dialectically so difficult, that the receiver is one who exists and this being what is essential. Stopping a man on the street and standing still to talk to him is not as difficult as saying something in passing to a passer-by, without oneself standing still or causing the other to pause, without wanting to get him to go in the same direction, but precisely urging him to go his own way instead. And this is how it is between one who exists and another who exists when the communication concerns truth as innermost existence. Concerning this, my dissenting view on communicating, it has sometimes occurred to me to wonder whether it might not be possible directly to communicate all this about indirect communication.
(Concluding Unscientific Postscript)

[…] doceres skulde der ikke, da vor Tids Ulykke, efter min Opfattelse, netop var, at den havde faaet for meget at vide, havde glemt hvad det er at existere og hvad Inderlighed er. Formen maatte altsaa være indirecte.
[…] derved, at Meddelelsen skeer i Experimentets Form, danner den sig selv en Modstand, og Experimentet befæster et svælgende Dyb mellem Læser og Forfatter, sætter Inderlighedens Skilsmisse mellem dem, saa den ligefremme Forstaaelse er gjort umulig. Experimentet er Meddelelsens bevidste, drillende Tilbagekaldelse, hvilket altid er af Vigtighed for en Existerende der skriver for Existerende, at ikke Forholdet forandres til en Ramsende der skriver for Ramsende. Dersom en Mand vilde staae paa eet Been, eller i en snurrig dandsende Stilling svinge med Hatten, og i denne Attitude foredrage noget Sandt, saa vilde hans faae Tilhørere dele sig i to Classer; og mange fik han ikke, da de fleste strax vilde opgive ham. Den ene Classe vilde sige: hvor skulde det kunne være det Sande han siger, naar han gesticulerer saaledes; den anden vilde sige: ja hvad enten han nu slaaer Entrechats eller han gaaer paa Hovedet, om han saa slog Kulbøtter, det han siger er sandt, det vil jeg tilegne mig og lade ham fare. Saaledes ogsaa med Experimentet. Er det Udsagte den Skrivendes Alvor, saa beholder han Alvoren væsentlig for sig selv; opfatter den Modtagende det som Alvor, gjør han det væsentligen ved sig selv, og dette er netop Alvoren.
[…] Denne Form vandt ganske mit Bifald, og jeg troede deri tillige at opdage, at de pseudonyme Forfattere bestandigt holdt Sigte paa det at existere, og saaledes vedligeholdt en indirecte Polemik mod Speculationen. Naar et Menneske veed Alt, men veed det udenad, saa er Experimentets Form et godt Explorations-Middel.
[…] jeg vil være ganske oprigtig: min Forestilling om Meddelelse gjennem Bøger er høist forskjellig fra hvad jeg ellers seer fremsat desangaaende, og fra hvad man stiltiende anseer for givet. Den indirecte Meddelelse gjør det at meddele i en anden Forstand til en Kunst, end man ellers antager ved at tænke sig det saaledes, at Meddeleren har at fremsætte Meddelelsen for en Vidende, at denne kan bedømme den, eller for en Ikke-Vidende, at denne kan faae Noget at vide. Men det Næste bryder man sig ikke om, det der netop gjør Meddelelsen saa dialektisk vanskelig: at Modtageren er en Existerende, og at dette er det Væsentlige. At standse en Mand paa Gaden og staae stille for at tale med ham, er ikke saa vanskeligt som i Forbigaaende at skulle sige en Forbigaaende Noget uden selv at staae stille eller sinke den Anden, uden at ville bevæge ham til at gaae samme Vei, men netop tilskynde ham til at gaae sin egen Vei: og saaledes er Forholdet mellem en Existerende og en Existerende, naar Meddelelsen angaaer Sandheden, som Existents-Inderlighed. Angaaende denne min dissentierende Opfattelse af det at meddele er det stundom faldet mig ind, om dog ikke Dette betræffende den indirecte Meddelelse lod sig directe meddele.
(Afsluttende uvidenskabelig Efterskrift)

Futzing around with [the inexpressible] in jest and in sincerity until it is expressed

I feel fortunate to be bound to my mother tongue, bound as perhaps only few are, bound as Adam was to Eve because there was no other woman, bound because it has been impossible for me to learn any other language and therefor impossible for me to be tempted into proud and snobbish condescension with respect to my native tongue. Furthermore I am happy by being bound to a mother tongue that is so fertile in its inner originality, when it expands the soul, and whose sweet sounds resound so voluptuously in the ear. A mother tongue that does not rasp, panting for breath, when it encounters a difficult thought – and perhaps the reason some believe that it cannot express the thought is that it makes the difficulty easy by articulating it. A mother tongue that does not gasp and sound strained when confronted with the inexpressible, but is futzing around with it in jest and in sincerity until it is expressed.
(Stages on Life’s Way)

Jeg føler mig lykkelig ved at være bunden til mit Modersmaal, bunden som maaskee kun Faa er det, bunden som Adam var til Eva, fordi der ingen anden Qvinde var, bunden fordi det har været mig en Umulighed at lære noget andet Sprog og derved en Umulighed at fristes til at lade stolt og fornemt om det medfødte, men ogsaa glad ved at være bunden til et Modersmaal, der er riigt i indre Oprindelighed, naar det udvider Sjelen, og lyder vellystigt i Øret med sin søde Klang; et Modersmaal, der ikke stønner forfangent i den vanskelige Tanke, og derfor er det maaskee Nogen troer, at det ikke kan udtrykke den, fordi det gjør Vanskeligheden let ved at udtale den; et Modersmaal, der ikke puster og lyder anstrænget, naar det staaer for det Uudsigelige, men sysler dermed i Spøg og i Alvor indtil det er udsagt.
(Stadier paa Lives Vei)

Deceiving into truth

[…] one should not let one self be decieved by this word “deceive”. One can deceive a human being from truth and one can – to recall old Socrates – decieve a human being into truth. Yes, there is only one way really to bring a delusional human being into truth, by decieving him.
(The Point of View of my Work as an Author)

[…] man lade sig ikke bedrage af det Ord »Bedrag«. Man kan bedrage et Menneske for det Sande, og man kan, for at erindre om gamle *Socrates, bedrage et Menneske ind i det Sande. Ja, egentligen kan man kun ene paa denne Maade bringe et Menneske, der er i en Indbildning, ind i det Sande, ved at bedrage ham.
(Synspunktet for min Forfatter-Virksomhed)