Purple Magazine
— Purple 76 Index issue #29 S/S 2018

Coccia emanuele

It is not a question of knowledge, nor of will to truth, not even of a peculiar feeling or an affect, but rather an insensibility to one’s own form and one’s own identity, and the obduracy to learn to say “I am” in every form of life that has existed and will ever exist on this and other planets. Philosophy is the mere attempt to live under the lids of every eye that saw and will see the world, especially nonhuman.
To learn what it means to be a stone or a storm, an atom or an angel, a mushroom or a chip carrier. And every time as if they were able to say: “I.”

All those forms are not external to us. We are not simply human: we are, in fact, a zoo where bacteria, mushrooms, and viruses live in an instable cooperation. We are not simply human: we share with a boundless number of other species the form of most of our organs. We are not simply human: our genetic code is a trace of all the forms life had to pass through before becoming human. Every time we say “I,” all those forms speak in us. We are a legion, and we will always be more and less than human beings.

Each of those forms says “I am” in us. We are the future and inconceivable destiny or the prehistoric anticipation of a thousand forms of life: we are their way to say “I was” or “I’ll be.” Each part of our body was a blade of grass and a horse, a house and a sword before becoming what it is in us. Atoms of our body will become the water drunk by others, or the page of a book, or fuel. We condense in our body the memories or the anticipation of a billion people of different species and epochs. And conversely, every object in front of us was in an immemorial past a woman or a cloud, a child or a snake, the nerve of a thief or that of a king. We are all of the same matter of the world. We are what remains of everything; we are in the remains of all the things of the world.

Only for that reason, only because every time we say “I am” we let resound all the “I ams” in the world, only because our consciousness coincides virtually with the world itself can we inhabit it. It is only because each of us recapitulates the past and anticipates the future of every single form in the world that we can live historically. We have in us, in each of our cells — and therefore, we are — the history of life on Earth and of the planets. In each of us is the outline of what one day could happen to the globe. History can be read in every object we use and not only in what has been written.

At every single moment, all the destinies of the world are crossing each other and reopening. Philosophy has nothing more to do than to feed these insights.


[Table of contents]

Purple 76 Index issue #29 S/S 2018

Table of contents

Purple Index 76

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