tapestry  of  time                                                                         









thief – displacements :  destruction – construction – deconstruction

Like a thief in the night againt the evil and destruction


Eric LAURENT notes that the philosopher could be seen (like the psychoanalyst) as a thief in an (Heidegger-like) interpretation following PYTHAGORAS: he stoles away the sens from the gathering mass at a market place while he checks out the ideas, because he is neither seller nor buyer, nor unoccupied viewer (voyeur !), cf. http://www.elp-debates.com/elp-slp/txel.htm. In the following paragraph (see the web-adress) he refers to Hannah Arendt who studied with Martin Heidegger the traditions of philosophical thoughts.

   marketplace at the harbor of  SAMOS



Just 350 years ago:

James Naylor exposed like a murderer at London and like a thief at the market of Bristol (in october 1656)


That James Nayler be set on the pillory ... in the New Palace, Westminster, during the space of two hours ... and shall be whipped by the hangman through the streets, from Westminster to the Old Exchange, London and there likewise to be set on the pillory ... in each of the said places wearing a paper containing an inscription of his crimes; and at the Old Exchange his tongue shall be bored through with a hot iron; and that he be there stigmatized in the forehead with the letter B; and that he be afterwards sent to Bristol and conveyed into and through the said city on a horse, bare-ridged, with his face backwards and there also publicly whipped the next market day ...                                                          www.qhpress.org/books/nayler.html




There is a spirit which I feel, that delights to do no evil, nor to avenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself. It sees to the end of all temptations. As it bears no evil in itself, so it conceives none in thought to any other: if it be betrayed, it bears it; for its ground and spring are the mercies and forgiveness of God. Its crown is meekness, its life is everlasting love unfeigned, and takes its kingdom with entreaty, and not with contention, and keeps it by lowliness of mind. In God alone it can rejoice, though none else regard it, or can own its life.
James Naylor  (or Nayler, cf.
http://www.answers.com/topic/james-nayler, german biography of J.N. on http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/n/nayler_j.shtml  ) 1660


James Naylor was the son of a comfortable farmer in Ardsley, a village near Wakefield. He received a good education, and in 1642, when aged about twenty-five (and already a family man), his enthusiasm prompted him to join the Parliamentary Army. His conduct as a soldier was blameless, and his superior, who included Major-General Lambert, subsequently gave him the best of characters. While in the Army he went over to the Independents, and gave religious addresses which, like his subsequent speeches, were full of eloquence, depth, and power. 

In the late autumn of 1652, after having heard George Fox preaching in Yorkshire, James Naylor was called to account at Orton, Westmoreland, for having preached a “blasphemous” sermon. He had said, among other things, that the body of Christ after the resurrection was to be taken as being “not carnal but spiritual”, and refusing to recant, he was kept in prison for nearly six months.

After finishing his term of imprisonment Naylor at once resumed his missionary activity, and early in 1655 came to London, where a fairly strong Quakers’ community already existed. His fervent, stirring speech soon made him their favourite speaker, and even outside the narrower circle of Quakerism he attained to a certain degree of fame. He moved in circles where he met prominent representatives of the Republicans who were then opposing Cromwell; even members of Cromwell’s “Court”, visited the Quaker meetings where Naylor spoke. Eventually a Naylor cult grew up, especially among the female members of the Quaker community.

In the West of England, in the centres of the cloth-industry, the new doctrine had made rapid strides. It was reported, as early as in 1654, that the Quaker meetings in Bristol were always attended by three to four thousand persons.

When Naylor, on his journey to Launceston, passed through Bristol (the 6th of october 1656), demonstrations naturally took place, and it even came to disturbances from which, however, nothing followed. Yet in Exeter Naylor was arrested and cast into prison as a disturber of the peace and agitator. But this only increased his authority among his admirers. Women praised him in their letters as the incomparable champion and “only son” of God, and their husbands improved upon this in their postscripts. The husband of Hannah Stranger wrote: “Thy name shall no longer be James but Jesus”, while Thomas Simmonds called Naylor “Thou Lamb of God”. They visited him in  prison, and the women fell down before him and kissed his feet. A certain Dorcas Ebury loudly proclaimed that she had been lying dead for two days, and Naylor had called her to life again. Towards the end of October he was liberated, and Fox too having meanwhile been set free (he had visited Naylor in prison, but no understanding had been arrived at), the return journey was entered upon. First they made for Bristol, Naylor being on horseback, and his companions either mounted or on foot. Already at Glastonbury and Wells garments had been spread on the road and shawls waved, but when they arrived outside Bristol the procession became an imitation of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. Naylor was quiet, but his companions sang hymns, “Hosannah in the highest”, “Holy, Holy, Holy”, etc. Unfortunately for them, England was not Palestine. The rain poured down in torrents, and Naylor’s companions had to wade knee-deep along the quagmire-like roads. Rain acts as a deterrent to all manifestations, even “Messianic” ones, and this is probably why, when the procession had entered Bristol, its heroes could be arrested without any trouble. Even as it was, large crowds had assembled in spite of the rain. The local authorities appear to have been reluctant to keep Naylor long in Bristol or to bring him to trial there. After a first hearing, he with six others were sent to London on November 10th in order to be finally heard and judged by the House of Commons as an extraordinary malefactor. His case occupied for weeks almost the whole time and attention of the Second Parliament of the Protectorate, which had only just assembled. The matter was first inquired into by a Committee of fifty-five members, who, after meeting four times, reported to Parliament; thereupon, on December 6th, Naylor was tried at the bar of the House, and two days afterwards was found guilty of “abominable blasphemy”, whereupon the House debated for seven days as to whether sentence of death should be paOn December 16th the more lenient view prevailed by 96 against 82 votes. But the punishment still proved severe enough – so severe, in fact, that its execution had to be interrupted. On November 18th Naylor was to be exposed in the pillory for two hours, whipped through the streets of London by the hangman, then pilloried again, his tongue was then to be perforated with a hot iron, and the letter B (Blasphemer) and branded on his forehead. He was then to be taken to Bristol conducted through the town seated backwards on a horse, and whipped back through the town. Finally, he was to be sent to penitentiary, and being prohibited altogether from any use of the pen.

In the person of Naylor, who was discharged from prison in 1659, and died soon after, in 1660, the extreme political section among the Quakers lost its principal representative.

Friends Meeting House at Portishead

 Extracts from Eduard BERNSTEIN (1850 – 1932, geman socialist, editor of the journal Der Sozialdemocrat, later co-editor of Die Sozialisitischen Monatshefte, he  managed the heritage of Friedirch Engels, too. He defended socialism by the help of Kantian philosophy and was  member of the Berliner Reichstag 1902-1906, 1912-1918 and 1920 - 28): Cromwell and Communism  (1895) on   www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bernstein/works/1895/cromwell/16-quakers.htm


(Die Anekdote will, dass Eduard Bernstein seine Parteigenossin Rosa Luxemburg beim Silvesterball 1899 in Berlin zum Tanzen auffordert, diese ihn aber brüsk zurückweist, weil er „Sozialreformen wolle und keine Revolution“, auf Celluloid verewigt in Margarethe von Trotta`s Filmbiographie ROSA LUXEMBURG)

 Die nichtmarxistische Philosophin Hannah Arendt stützte sich in ihrer Untersuchung der Ursprünge und Elemente totaler Herrschaft auf die Imperialismustheorie Rosa Luxemburgs. Sie erklärte den völkischen Nationalismus als Ausformung des kontinentalen Imperialismus, der den Antisemitismus rassistisch und den Rassismus antisemitisch werden ließ und in der Vernichtung der Juden und Slawen endete. Rosa Luxemburg war für Hannah Arendt auch ein positives Beispiel für die Weltzugewandtheit des Politischen: Für Rosa Luxemburg war die Welt von sehr großer Wichtigkeit, und sie interessierte sich überhaupt nicht für sich selbst. ... sie konnte sich mit der Ungerechtigkeit in der Welt nicht abfinden. (Hannah Arendt, Ich will verstehen S. 82) (aus www.wikipedia.org

When evil is allowed to compete with good, evil has an emotional populist appeal that wins out unless good men and women stand as a vanguard against abuse.

 Hannah Arendt (german-american political philosopher, born in Hannover 1906, moved to Königsberg in the youth, where she reads Ed. Bernstein`s Sozialistische Monatshefte, later in Berlin she argued for the revolutionary position of Rosa Luxemburg,, studies in Berlin, Marburg and Heidelberg, 1933, after marriage 1929 to Günther Stern, she fled to Paris and became friend of Walter Benjamin. Divorced in 1939, she married  Heinrich Blücher, a German political refugee in 1940, both fled to USA in 1941. In 1961, she published Between Past and Future, and traveled to Jerusalem to cover the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann for the New Yorker [Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, 1963]. In 1963 she published On Revolution. In 1967, having held positions at Berkeley and Chicago, she took up a position at the New School for Social Research in New York, where she taught Kant`s Philosophy of Judgement, died there 1975, cf. www.iep.utm.edu/a/arendt.htm )


“<Verhaltensatome> waren nur eine Metapher. Sie erforschten die Instinkte von außen.“

Jonathan Weiner in seinem Buch: Zeit, Liebe, Erinnerung, Berlin 2000, S. 120 über den Verhaltensforscher Konrad Lorenz und die Methoden seiner Schüler die, unter Außerachtlassung von Genen und Bewusstsein, quasi die sozialdarwinistische Forschung ihres Lehrers über das Ende des  NS-Biologismus (der Begriff verdeckt  zwar den Schrecken, aber lässt uns die Folgen des Missbrauchs der Biologie im NS-Regime besser erahnen, u.a. auch durch Konrad Lorenz !) ungebrochen weiterführten. J. Weiner sieht seinen Kommentar allerdings nicht in dieser historischen Dimension deutscher Forschung. Es war Bruce Chatwin, der Konrad Lorenz` Verstrickungen in den rassenhygienischen Wahnsinn des NS-Regimes entlarvte. Noch 1963 konnte Lorenz in verharmlosender Weise den aggressiven Tötungstrieb des Menschen im Krieg (einschließlich des damals 20 Jahre zurückliegenden Weltkrieges und der mit ihm vollzogenen Judenvernichtung !) auf „das Tier“ zurückführen.  (vgl.  http://www.gwup.org/skeptiker/archiv/2000/3/agresssion.html )

Gänse – zielsicher – jenseits der Lorenz`schen Instinkttheorie durch die Tusche des Koblenzer Werkkünstlers Hans Ley fliegend

Wir empfehlen als Gegenlektüre zu Lorenz` Buch „Das sogenannte Böse“ die dt. Erstveröffentlichung einer Ethikvorlesung von Hannah Arendt aus dem Jahre 1965 (New York):  Hannah Arendt: Über das Böse. Eine Vorlesung zu Fragen der Ethik, hrsg. von Jerome Kohn, München 2006.

Bruce Chatwin, who was called „a great intellectual thief”, entlarvte den “Predator-Instinct” als Spielball einer ideologischen Triebtheorie: he even looked out for cooperation with an southafrican palaeontologist (Bob Brain) to support his conviction that human beings were "not that bad" and that the predator instinct was not essential to our nature. If the leopard-like cat had preyed on our ancestors, then man in his origins was not necessarily aggressive. He lived his life in fear, dinofelis watching him from the shadows.

Early in the eighties, Chatwin wrote “The Songlines”, where he explained the orgins of society by the nomadic culture of australian Aborigenes: creation myths that “tell of the legendary totemic beings who had wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path...and so singing the world into existence”:

“Life is a bridge. Cross over it but do not build a house on it.”



Or, you´ve to pick up the book of Hannah Arendt`s first husband, Günther Anders (born as Günther Stern)

The Man on the Bridge. A Diary from Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1959 (german text in: Günther Anders, Hiroshima ist überall, 1982)


WATTEAU pour l`humanité

a THIEFs dream




















































































Friend`s Meeting House Bristol











Rosa Luxemburg im Gefängnis 1904








































































































































german reception of Rosa Luxemburg`s ideas