French translation here
The following essay is my Editor’s Introduction to Collin Cleary’s new anthology What is a Rune? and Other Essays, forthcoming from Counter-Currents.
Part 6 of 7 (other parts here)
6. All and Nothing
In my account of ekstasis, I have drawn principally on two philosophers: Heidegger and Schopenhauer. And Hegel has been peeping out at certain points in my discussion (he will have a much bigger role to play very soon). But the truth is that the ideas I have been expounding in this essay have deep roots in the Western tradition, and are much older even than Hegel.
Part 5 of 7 (other parts here)
5. Can Biology Explain Ekstasis?
I have already mentioned that scientists speculate that cave art (and religion, language, etc.) comes about as a result of some kind of genetic mutation, perhaps a “sudden, serendipitous, genetically-based brain reorganization.” (more…)
Part 3 of 7 (other parts here)
3. Art Begins in Wonder
My thesis, quite simply, is that art, religion, and language are all made possible by a mental or cognitive act which I have called elsewhere ekstasis. To better understand what this consists in, I will ask the reader to consider a simple (or, perhaps, not so simple) question. (more…)
Part 2 of 7
2. Theories of Stone Age Cave Art
One of the first attempts to explain the origin of Upper Paleolithic cave art was formulated by the French paleontologist Édouard Lartet (1801–1871), (more…)
Part 1 of 7
1. The Problem
Men first began to paint about 40,000 years ago, during a period of our pre-history referred to as the “Upper Paleolithic” (which lasted from about 50,000 to 10,000 years ago). This was the period in which fully anatomically and behaviorally “modern” Homo sapiens appeared. (more…)