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Jean-Paul Sartre’s Third Eye
essay [ ]
(The Three-Dimensional in “The Flies”)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
by [VeronicaValeanu ]

2009-06-19  |     | 



No less than the tragic of the ancient Greece which had consistently shrunk the peratologic (peras, cf. Gr. limit) diameter in what concerns the affiliation of the sacredness to the civic sense since Aeschylus to Sophocles and Euripides, (the holy trinity of the ancient Greek classicism – those playwrights had dwelt upon the same play though situated on different backgrounds of an awakening to a sacred-bound limit to be respected – as a decisive factor in the divinity’s reparatory relationship with the mundane); in the same extent, the tragic has become in Sartre’s play a matrix whereupon to outcross the divine background, the one that had long been casting a condescending eye from upstairs towards the performance to whom it had wrongly predestined full exclusivity.
Sartre’s existentialist codex was claiming its right to consume its own consciousness of the existence and he did that by transplanting the divine element over the pattern of the Helenian tragic. The transplant of The Holy Ghost – the three eidos (cf.Gr. appearance) of Jupiter as a devil/ as a god/ as a mortal cannibalize the alive background where they had been parasitically operating on only to consume its available energies, given the fact that in the end all the upholding matrices will end up exhausted.

The space trilogy

A) the heavenly topos
B) the earthly topos
C) the consciousness topos


The space itself in the play (a cumulative one for the interference of all available laws) is three-dimensional. The most profound background belongs to the consciousness. Were we to superpose this territory on a dimension pertaining to the Trinity, we could place the last topos (cf. Gr. place) in the same location where the salient spiritual mutations of mankind take place – The Holy Ghost. It is not accidentally that Jupiter as a divine representative has access to it; moreover, he affords to apply to himself the elicited customization. That supra-consciousness ultimately guides him into even claiming the right to psycho-analysis. We may find intriguing how he accepts to self-inflict it. The next two quotations are meant to emphasize it.
(Orestes, having returned in his birth town where everyone considered him dead, under a false name, discusses with Jupiter who is under a human camouflage.)
[Jupiter: Imagine him returning one day (-Orestes-) before the very gates of this town. (…) If I met him then, I’d tell him: “Young man…” I’d call him a young man because he is about your age, if he’s alive. By the way (…), may I ask what your name is? (…) Terrific. Are you looking for claiming your own rights? (…) farewell, young man, the order that governs a town and the order that governs a soul are both frail: you’re about to provoke a catastrophe. (Glancing at him) a terrible misfortune will come upon you.]
- so that later on, after Orestes’ announced decision of not falling into the temptation of repenting his actions:
[Jupiter (to Orestes): (…) all these have long been in coming. There had to be a man to announce my dawn.]
Jupiter acts on multiple levels: as a spectator taking strolls in the play at his disposal and simultaneously assisting to it, as a psycho-analyst, as God, as Satan, as well as The Holy Ghost (the atmosphere – he himself produces the tragic events) and eventually he strikes the theatre itself at the heart of it. Let’s put it this way: pretending to be nothing but a victim in the eyes of Aegisthus – his showpiece – he proceeds to outlining for the spectators as well as for his own puppet-characters a horizon of expectations about how a simple human being should envision the sacredness further on. Obviously, this is a critical moment resulting in the internal tragedies’ peak, the play’s state of grace itself, where the tragic purges only to reformulate itself in the purpose of consuming his preordained trajectory:
[Aegisthus: What are you waiting for, almighty god, why don’t you strike him?
Jupiter (slowly) Strike him? (Pause. Tired and stooping) Aegisthus, there is another secret the gods admit to having…
Aegisthus: What more is there to tell?
Jupiter: Since liberty has burst into a human being’s soul, there’s nothing more the gods can do against it. This is only a human’s matter, and only the humans can set him free or strangle him.
Aegisthus: (looking at him) Strangle him? … Well. I will certainly obey. But say no more and take your leave for I cannot bear any longer.
]
Having to answer but in the worst oddity among all the positions to be taken, Aegisthus is forced to create a new type of catharsis aimed vertically at a vacant place because the god had just abdicated from his pedestal. Jupiter had quite well assumed the consequences of a kamikaze – the self-taming undertaken by the sacredness – allowing the immortals to break off from it, a sign that he is feigning a glorious death regarding his own limitations he could no longer abdicate from. By victimizing himself – magnificently self-sabotaging even the last frontier of formerly being a mover and shaker of the world, he thus anticipates Orestes’ Christ-like sacrifice. This might be a proof of Jupiter’s desperate need for his share of sublime – even if for the human beings his behaviour could be qualified as a junk climax for us to tear off from and whom we can recondition for other predestinations.
Nevertheless the question rises: what is more important? The preservation of the sacredness or the preservation of the sacredness’ consciousness? No wonder the weakest of the links, the human condition itself with its doomed karma will be the one to deliver the answer.
Orestes’ nostology (nostos cf. Gr. return) enthrones a new order: the corruption of the divine consciousness’s corruption. It is designed to create an antidote to be able to work more efficiently from minus infinite to plus infinite. Orestes, a round character, who cannot become stronger than he already is (equalling thus Jupiter on a coercive orbit) - becomes the starting time assigned with redeeming the divine consciousness from being saturated of itself. Orestes’ drive of abandoning the citadel along with his sweeping away of the decadence debris generates accessibility to the mystery of endurance; a crucial moment worthy to attest the proportions of the Holy Ghost. Orestes leaves behind the vertical-father (Jupiter) and the horizontal-son (the people from the citadel) in the same place, equalizing two counter-forces and setting up the three-dimensional.

The woman trilogy

The feminine current is a three-phased one:
A) Electra, the angelic young woman
B) Clytemnestra, the demonic woman
C) The Erinyes – Flies


Surprisingly, the queen-mother (who had been persecuting her daughter after the loss of Agamemnon, the father) is avenged and amended from a human perspective by her daughter’s remorse, and the angelic daughter is pictured in full decay for having failed in the terminus point leading to taking full responsibility of complicity to a crime. It’s on account of this failure that she undergoes physical degradation the very moment she misses her revanchist destiny.
Yet there is another posture of Electra, alluding even to biblical magnitudes: following the matricide, banned by the king Aegisthus, (her step-father) she elopes with Orestes and addresses him as a lover, not as a sister (a perspective worthy a latter-day Mary Magdalene)
[Electra: Take me in your arms, my lover, hold me tight. (…) Do you love me? (…) Give me your hand. (She takes his hand and kisses it). (…) I love you. I have to think that I do.]
The duo Erinyes-Flies gives an account of the sinner’s capacity to evince consciousness after all (the matricide’s revengeful goddesses appear only to the incriminated ones, whereas for the rest they appear only as flies. The Erinyes (three in the Greek mythology) are in charge with stigmatising and setting off the entire hell upon the sinners. They are an infra-consciousness that acts in a cannibalic manner upon the prior absence of a de facto consciousness – a passive element is turned therefore into becoming self-destructive by growing suddenly aware of its implications.
[The Erinye: I will sink into you like a man does with his woman, for you are my wife and you will feel the weighing of my love on you. You are beautiful, Electra, more beautiful than me, but you will see how my kisses will make you grow old; in less than six months I shall turn you into an old woman, and I shall stay young. (…) Electra, you need us, you are our child.]

The freedom trilogy

There are three types of freedom that trigger colossal misfortunes:
a) the lack of freedom
b) the freedom as self-sufficiency
c) the sentence to freedom


The people of the citadel are doomed but by abandoning the free will, they sentence themselves to consume a new variety of Adam’s apple: the remorse. That’s why the people are regarded as insignificant as force and hence we could label them as flies in that derogatory meaning with whom they had previously identified with. As for the citadel, the freedom means fear of itself.
In what concerns the freedom as self-sufficiency - (here it becomes an enormous elastic which, if too much stretched out, it suffocates and you cannot but let go of it, even knowing that it will snap you over the already dilated senses) – Jupiter almighty himself is bored of excessive access to the privacies and evolutions of all encompassing actions, so that the ends up in inoculating his self-made misfortune: he will create his own limit, to see how to react against it, by confronting with it as well as with his expected failure. The sacredness self-consuming its own function, the barbarian sacredness.
The condemnation to freedom is though the category with the highest degree of assuming, a self-flagellation. Orestes, whose father had been murdered, whose liberty of staying beside his family had been taken, had earned a precarious temporary freedom: to gather knowledge under the mentorship of the Pedagogue (here as pseudo-father). Instead, he chooses to murder the murderer of his father (in a Hamlet-like disposition) and also to perpetrate the matricide not only for his own relief, but for the sake of the citadel. Orestes will also resort to the supreme sacrifice of taking all the others’ remorse upon himself, because he had understood that if you trespass the limit, you will be punished, if you don’t admit you have trespassed it, you will be degraded, and unless you trespass it, you cannot proudly call yourself a human being. This last acceptance stages a new type of sacredness, as upgraded human species.

The third is always the inferno (validating L’enfer c’est les autres)

All the characters are orbiting in the play around their condition no less than around the inferno, in a more or less assumed manner.
Among all, the king Aegisthus evolves spectacularly. Acknowledging at any moment his baseness, he even accepts to have his clone-like image assimilated to Jupiter’s, his own mentor in wrongdoing. His profoundly human character strikes by the fact that he could no longer bear his own inferno which he had enthroned over the citadel. Once he finds out about Orestes’ plot of murdering him, el saves what had remained from his last brink of honour and refuses to oppose his own death. The idea of undergoing the inferno delivers for Aegisthus an opportunity to grow wiser, to become illuminated.
But the most outstanding victory over the inferno is Orestes’. Not until realizing that only by superposing on his deed the doomed condition of having always belonged to the Atrides’ family could he avenge the death of his father, Agamemnon, through other two murders – he has no doubt any longer that the inferno he had just created for himself, if assumed, will remove the inferno that had been haunting the citadel (the people had been living only in self-suspension, a humanoid one, in the only purpose of commemorating their dead and justifying for those ones their sins in a trance of perpetual remorse-indulging in). Orestes becomes a Jesus-like emblem by agreeing to take all their sins upon him, to transfer the inferno over his own condition which turns out to be crushing as well as redeeming.
[Orestes: Here you are, my beloved subjects! (…) Yet, oh, my people, I do love you, it’s for you that I killed. Nothing but for you. I have come to claim my kingdom and you rejected me for I wasn’t one of you. Now I am one of you , oh, my people, there is a blood bond between us and I am entitled to be your king. All your mistakes, all your remorse, Aegisthus’ murder – they are mine now, I’m taking them upon me. Do not fear your dead any longer, they are my dead now. (…) but do not fear, inhabitants of Argos: I shall not sit, the blood dripping around, on the throne of the one I murdered. A god offered it to me and I declined. I want to be a king without a kingdom and without people. Farewell, my people, try to live. Everything is new here, you have to start fresh. Life starts fresh for me, too. (…) (He sets off, the Erinyes dash upon him up loud)]
In fact, Orestes’ ananke (cf. Gr. necessity) of breaking the vicious chain formerly tying heaven and earth operates from a terrestrial background in an absolutely providential manner.

Conclusion

What more is there to respect then in the divine background? Where should we, simple mortals, lay a limit so that we shouldn’t gravitate in vain? It is also Jupiter that delivers the final answer, with all the gravity he agreed to: in its necessity.
If God himself had come to test Sartre on where he expects the existentialism to lead to, and if he had asked a single question with two fabricated clues: If you keep your eyes open but you are in the dark and around you there are no windows, what will you do? – Sartre would have certainly answered – I would open a new eye.
[Aegisthus: God almighty, what else am I than the fear the others feel for me?
Jupiter: And who do you think I am then? (pointing out at the statue) I also have an icon, I have been dancing for years in front of the people. A slow and gloomy dance. They must look at me: as long as they keep their eyes on me, they forget to look around them. If I were to forget about my duty for a single moment, if I were to let them turn their eye away from me…
Aegisthus: What would happen?
Jupiter: This matter is only for me to look into


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