Resists God proud people

The debate about national feelings leads into the problem area of ​​language - there is nothing Christian about Meyer and Co.'s confession. Today the Bundestag is to decide whether Jürgen Trittin is acceptable for Germany because of his skinhead comparison. A little void of virtue for a current occasion

by REINHARD KAHL

“Zeus hates the presumptuous tongue’ high pride, ”said Sophocles’ Radio Antigone to the Greeks. And first the Bible: "Whoever wants to be proud of something should be proud of what the Lord has done" (1 Cor. 1:31). Because God, the one and only, who has already bitten away the polyteistic competition with his original accumulation of glory, doesn’t understand any joke, he is “tearing away the house of the proud”.

The Tower of Babel was the first major GAU of pride and hubris. Since then, the world is proud until it becomes the case. So watch out, you human, “it is better to be humble with the bowed than to share the booty with the proud” (Prov. 15.25). Isaiah says what is in store for you, “when your pride comes to my ears, I will put a ring on your nose and a bit in your mouth”. Au Meyer, there is no escape, no matter what the proud excuse their pride with, whether with the German black bread that contemporary sinners put forward as an object of their aberration, or with the whole of Germany, which is finally becoming A-country again want. Christians should really know: “God opposes the proud; but he turns to the one who has little regard for himself. ”So where do the real Christians sit in the Bundestag? Exactly. At least God is green to them. At the CDU, nobody should just talk their way out of it that this is all old testament that has long since become statute-barred. After the Reformation people sang “oh come on, come on and let the proud arrogance weaken”. Luther German was a single precautionary treatment against this intoxication of the decrepit: “You virgins, listen to me; but take hold of the gestures and think that my fame will not make you prouder anywhere. ”So much from a Christian point of view. And another Kierkegaard as a bonus payment for the kneebissers Meyer and Koch: “Pride is an abysmal cowardice.” But let's try to look at the matter of pride more closely, because it is really interesting. Proud or not proud, that is not the question at all. It is more with pride than with all good earthly materials. They are delicious unless you take too much of them. What can one have against wine, especially against a good one? But always wine? It is the same with pride. You have to look at the mix, ask about the context and of course who is proud of what and why?

If you sit down and feel your pride, the first thing you see is the Alexander Kluge effect: “The closer you get to the word, the farther it retreats.” It refuses to be defined. Like the magic fairy in a fairy tale, as soon as you call her by name, she has already disappeared. That's why you don't get very far with the good old philosophy. Nicolai Hartmann counts pride among virtues. He calls this "real pride". With the pure category, mixed reality can no longer be dangerous to him. “Real pride” also includes “real humility”; they “necessarily belong together, can only exist in synthesis. Pride without humility is always on the brink of arrogance and vanity. ”Except that all the excitement from Sophocles to Luther comes from the fact that the synthesis in life does not succeed as well as the thinker at the desk. Nicolai Hartmann, sit down, next please!

Max Scheler, the phenomenologist, has also prepared for pride and understands it as the “positive feeling of one's own self-worth”. With him, too, it only works as long as he keeps the problems out of the positive zone. They belong, ugh, to arrogance. On the other hand, Scheler believes that pride is tamed arrogance. But there won't be a book out of it yet. If he now brings the problems back so that the story continues, he starts to lurch and constructs a nice roller coaster. Domesticated pride grows into “pride of being that encircles the ego ever closer and closer” until the ego contracts to a point. The pride strives for absolute sovereignty and in the end does not accept any other value than its "own self". Man becomes empty. And so the “pride of being” embodies what the ancient theologians called Superbia, “the diabolical that leads to hell”. This pride cuts all connections to "God, universe and man". He destroys love. In the end, Max Scheler has to give up his attempt to let pride get away, if only it doesn't degenerate into arrogance. The proud, thought through to the end, becomes a “déserteur du monde” for him. But when thought through to the end, it is well known that the smallest problems lead to the greatest catastrophes. Something always comes up in life, but philosophers demand clarity. They want to tell you how to do it and what is right. This is their trap. When trying to put the world in order, the wonderful ambivalence slips away.

Quite different is normal language with its hopeless fixation game that leaves nothing unambiguous. There pride is still made contemptuous, “Stupidity and pride grow on the same wood”, and immediately afterwards it says: “Noble pride does not bend over wood.” When someone loses their pride completely, it becomes as bad as when the pride puffs him up. The memory of the language remembers what it means when people are to have their pride taken away, it has stored the experiences of humiliation, and it knows the parvenus. Therefore "better proud of the earthen pot than humble at the golden table".

Pride, as long as it is not made permanent, is a strong relationship between people and themselves. “The proud can uproot large trees,” the people know. In fairy tales and fables, one can be proud like a lion or proud like an eagle. Horses are also admired as proud. In the language of the miners, “the stamp stands proudly and vertically on the sole”. “I am too proud to beg for an office”, writes Schiller and “he is too proud to hide”, Goethe lets his heroes say. Here, pride means straightening up. This movement is something different from avoiding movement, which has become rigid, and yet it is quite related to it. One has to think of Lessing's great sentence from his Faust fragment. What is the fastest movement in the world is asked. The answer: the transition from good to bad, from right to wrong. It is not possible to define where this transition lies. Where is the transition from the proud elevation to the upright walk to the standing man? What happens to strength when it loses touch with the weakness from which it rose?

When you get to this point, it is time to read Montaigne, the master of ambivalence: “The most unhappy and frail of all creatures is man, and always the proudest.” And right next to Montaigne is the small, hunchbacked man from Göttingen , the great Georg Christoph Lichtenberg: "The smallest NCOs are the proudest." These are the people who have been straightened up and are now carrying them in front of them. It is completely different when pride is always reborn and soon discarded: “How unhappy I would be if I could no longer be proud,” wrote Heinrich von Kleist to Ulrike. Lichtenberg agrees: “Pride, a noble passion, is not blind to its own mistakes, but it is pride is it."

Whether pride or the counter-indication, humility, which is celebrated in the churches and consulted in the philosopher's chambers - it gets tricky as soon as you stop the movement, stop the film and try to clarify the matter on the still image. Then the pride is detached from the context of the many possible sentences, cut off from the verbs, isolated as a noun and condensed into substance. Separated from the context, it purrs together and can no longer be found. The Lichtenbergs know that: “People's pride is a strange thing, it cannot be suppressed at once, and if you have plugged hole A before you know it, you can pull it out to another hole B, and you keep it there , so he stands behind hole C, etc. ”.

It is different with the anointed professionals of teaching and the pride of the sermon, who never cease to claim to have found the hidden core or to have isolated a constant meaning that flows through the term. The books are full of their dead nuts. The clever Heinz von Foerster found a perfectly acceptable means of escaping these deceptions. The co-founder of cybernetics and oath father of "radical constructivism" had only one rule in his seminars at the University of Illinois, but he insisted on this: Any student could say anything, but whoever used big nouns like "the truth", "the spirit" Who used "the substance", "the person" or "the pride" had to pay one dollar. That was a lot of money in the 1960s, and that date made the debates a lot better.