The following extract is from the book, Mountain Love by Patrick Phillips.
‘Capitalism began with the desire to feel eternal in pleasure – in the here and now of every moment, which is impossible, for there can only be moments of feeling eternal in life. Hence today’s global economic tyranny in the CEOs’ quest for endless profit to feel eternal in pleasure. This critical situation we now find ourselves in began with the invention of the mechanical clock. Religion invented the mechanical clock with the desire to measure eternity – human salvation with precision. An act of prayer or an economic exchange for the purpose of salvation (rather than survival) has exposed modern time today as measuring nothing more than human pleasure in sensation, rather than any real or sustainable feeling. In consequence, nowadays a culture of endless transient pleasures is present within our society. Because what is pleasure? Pleasure is unity, unity in sensation. Yet no one is closer to feeling or being in unity today (whether you are the consumer, producer, capitalist or profiteer) because we have not yet established a calculated economic exchange ethic to know the full difference.
The mechanical clock3 was stolen from the monk and used by the merchant to measure his own ontology in sensation – or in what has today become financial capitalism in sensation – rather than any true feeling of eternity, or unity of being. In the end, the merchant reality, which we are still living in today, was a crisis of adulthood. Hence, once again, the global economic tyranny of today’s multinational in ‘the CEOs’ quest for endless profit-making as the only way to be in the world.4’ But he or she never does become or feel eternal. They are void of redemption and salvation – that is the tragedy of our economic system.’
3 The introduction of public mechanical clocks can first be observed in European cities during the late 13th century.
4 From the authors article ‘Being and Becoming Modern Giants – What It Is To Be Human and In Harmony with Nature’, Scottish Left Review, Glasgow, no. 127, January/February 2022. https://www.scottishleftreview.scot/being-human-and-in-harmony-with- nature/ © Patrick Phillips, 2022.
Ontology: metaphysical study of the nature of being. Throughout this book, the author also uses ontology to refer to the unique and infinite essence of our being. In classical metaphysics this would be an Aristotelian perspective: what is the “nature” of nature, what is the essence of a thing? In this text, for example, the author’s relationship with the mountain becomes both an exemplification and a testament to the essence of the mountain (a presence) through his experience and equally, how that has contributed to his quality of being. Both, therefore, become essential in the interaction.
In this book, Mountain Love, eternal revolutionary, writer and artist Patrick Phillips presents to you something of his relationship with his local mountain (Meall nan Tarmachan and today, Ben Ledi) as an intimate conversation between them. However, his thoughts and love letters are addressed not only to his beloved mountain but also to the reader. For example, they include a meditation on Michael Jackson and his childhood (and making the connection between the height of a mountain and the human stage). Also, he goes further with a meditation on the comparison between the solid formation of a mountain with the global mental health crisis we face today through endless government austerity. And unsurprisingly, he offers a much-needed deeper meditation on the exploitative quest of today’s global economy. It is a book in many ways about mountain ontology: the essence of a mountain and the mystery of how the invisible relationships between us and nature form without our notice. In no supreme or fictitious order, here is a subtle collection of thoughts, musings, notes, brief letters, poems, prayers and perhaps a survival book, about how to survive the tyranny of today’s profiteering ontological elite.
Featured Image Credit: Patrick Phillips
Eternal revolutionary, writer and artist Patrick Phillips was born in Truro in 1984. He lives and works in a mountain village in Scotland. He has written articles for The Stage, Elsewhere Journal, CommonSpace, Scottish Left Review, Freedom Press, Scottish Farmer and The National. In summer 2021, he published his first book of essays, Eternal Mountain: Essays from Afar. This is his third non-fiction book. He is now working on his latest project, The Modern Giant: How to Be A Giant In An Age of Neo Ontology. It will be published in 2023.
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