The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Experiment solitary touching appetite of union in bodies.

  293. It is certain that in all bodies there is an appetite of union, and
evitation of solution of continuity; and of this appetite there be many
degrees; but the most remarkable, and fit to be distinguished, are three.
The first in liquors; the second in hard bodies; and the third in bodies
cleaving or tenacious. In liquors this appetite is weak; we see in liquors
the threading of them in stillicides (as hath been said); the falling of
them in round drops (which is the form of union); and the staying of them
for a little time in bubbles and froth. In the second degree or kind, this
appetite is strong; as in iron, in stone, in wood, &c. In the third, this
appetite is in a medium between the other two: for such bodies do partly
follow the touch of another body, and partly stick and continue to
themselves; and therefore they rope, and draw themselves in threads; as we
see in pitch, glass, birdlime, &c. But note, that all solid bodies are
cleaving, more or less; and that they love better the touch of somewhat
that is tangible, than of air. For water, in small quantity, cleaveth to
any thing that is solid; and so would metal too, if the weight drew it not
off. And therefore gold foliate, or any metal foliate, cleaveth: but those
bodies which are noted to be clammy and cleaving, are such as have a more
indifferent appetite (at once) to follow another body, and to hold to
themselves. And therefore they are commonly bodies ill mixed: and which
take more pleasure in a foreign body, than in preserving their own
consistence; and which have little predominance in drought or moisture.

(from Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum: or A Natural History, 1627)

( think of electrick fluid, magnetism, electrostaticks; think of mud or
other problematic 'objects' in Plato; of abjection; of Kristeva's Powers
of Horror; of Being and Nothingness (last sections); of the analogick; of
substance and its uncanniness; of the discrete and its imaginary. this has
always been with us, think of Visuddhimagga, highest tantra, think of
purification rites, scapegoats, abjections, dis/ease, dis/comfort, think
of anything unthought ... )

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