January 3 montaigne

We are mostly in two minds when we are not in three. Five minutes later our three minds are forgotten and we have three different minds. We cross the room at speak to someone and we shift again, those other minds forgotten. This mutability is what we are.

“Je ne puis asseureur mon object. Il va trouble et chancelant, d’une yvresse naturelle… Je ne peins pas l’estre. Je peins le passage : non un passage d’un aage en autre ou, comme dict le peuple, de sept en sept ans, mais de jour en jours, de minute en minute. Il faut accomoder mon histoire a l’heure. Je pourray tantost changer, non de fortune seulement, mais d’intention. C’est un conterolle de divers et muables accidents et d’imaginations irresolues et quand il y eschet, contraires ; soit que je suis autre moymesme, soit que je saisisse les subjects pour autres circonstances et considerations.

(Montaigne. Du Repentir)

I cannot fix my object. It’s unclear and swaying with its own natural drunkenness… I don’t depict things as they are: nor even the shift from one age to another, or, a generational shift, as they call it nowadays, but from day to day or from minute to minute. I have to fit my history into time. I could at any time change not just through chance but also through intention. It’s a set of varied and changing accidents and unresolved imaginings, as often as not self-contradictory; either I am another, or else other circumstances and considerations shift my view on things.”

(Montaigne. On Repentance.)

Mutability is all. A person is not rubbish. He is legion. But that that does not help us when we want some certainty.


One thought on “January 3 montaigne

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s