Republican Neoliberalism is Touching Us All.

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I'm working. I really am, but having lots of fun.

Some material I am reading about Adorno, Heidegger, and Walter Benjamin--who is very much a real mystic, is new to me also and being older...well let's see.

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Antifascist
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Never heard of Walter Benjamin. Sounds like an interesting guy. Sadly another early demise of a promising life due to the horrors of Nazism.

Older does not necessarily mean less evolved.

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.ren
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Antifascist posted:

"Please remember, though, that I’m not talking about “thinking,” and every time you instinctively translate “consciousness” into “thinking,” step back and correct yourself.The Prophet's Way (Thom Hartmann), Loc. 5891-93."

poly replies: It's in suspension of thought that one experiences the following::

"Spiritual experience is conceived by Adorno in Negative Dialectics as the systematic attempt to escape the presupposted static concepts of a constituting Subject and 'recover' original experience through a movement of thought named "self-awareness."

In the east, koans are used to do that. The answer can't be arrived at by logic. When logic reaches and recognizes its own limitations, the answer is seen..Thought ceases when thought gets it can'.t obtain the answer through the processes of thought.

However, it's an awareness of "self" that is outside of thought. Thought can then be used to describe it, and is only a symbol of the experience..

"Please remember, though, that I’m not talking about “thinking,” and every time you instinctively translate “consciousness” into “thinking,” step back and correct yourself.The Prophet's Way (Thom Hartmann), Loc. 5891-93."

Adorno is in error..It isn't done with a movement of thought. It's done outside of thought. though the movement of thought can certainly lead to that point...where thought ceases for a microsecond and one realizes that one exists without it. One just is. Period...The "Self" has thoughts...and isn't its thoughts. That is transformational.

I'd liken it to Maslow's "peak experience". Sudden...abrupt. The experience can be described...and isn't the experience though the experience itself is transformational.. If the subjective experience could be transmitted through thought processes and language, the entire planet would quickly be "enlightened"...".transformed". Can't be done.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp:

Adorno is in error..It isn't done with a movement of thought. It's done outside of thought. though the movement of thought can certainly lead to that point...where thought ceases for a microsecond and one realizes that one exists without it. One just is. Period...The "Self" has thoughts...and isn't its thoughts. That is transformational.

It really depends on what Adorno is referring to when he uses the phrase "a movement of thought."

Your analysis concluding "Adorno is in error" would have to restrict itself to a linear, "left brained" (as it's sometimes clumsily called) version of thought to reach that conclusion. It's worth asking whether or not Adorno is speaking of some other form of thinking; and it's worth noting that there are other forms of thought recoginzed now, and being struggled with in these philosohical efforts we've attempted to refer to on this thread. What's come out in existentialism and other Western thought (including your own) that's encountered Eastern thought is this awareness of something outside the linear logical process you speak of. It may be worth the trouble to struggle throug Adorno's "Recovery of Experience" to see how he struggles to make some effort to clarify those differences with the very tool -- language -- that he decries right off as the impediment to doing so... as, he calls it, the "disenchanting" agent of experience. And if one is not with him on that, I suspect one is going to read the words in a disenchanted state of mind...

Alan Watts, my own first encounter with a Western philosopher who studied Eastern philosophies, seemed well enough aware of the peak experience to reference it, and to the use of koans you've mentioned yourself. But he did not convert to Buddhism as if converting would suddenly bring enlightenment. Alan Watts remained "merely" a Western philosopher. But with his awareness of, and ability to bring Eastern forms of philosophy to Westerners, was he stuck in Western linear logic? Somehow I doubt it.

Therefore, to use the term "a movement of thought" could also involve a holistic "seeing" version of thought (I might use the word 'mind' or' intelligence' rather than 'thought' in an effort to get to the sense of wholeness I imagine) on Adorno's part, which is not static either. Clumsy as language might be, I've given him credit for referencing that possibility when he talks of the problem of disenchantment through logical, rational language and the recovery of experience. I'm trying to imagine what else he could be referring to.... In fact the "movement of thought" he references may be an even more dynamic movement in the way that it can completely transform awareness, from an awareness running in circles, like it's inside a gerbil cage on a logical wheel, to something completely outside the caged version of logical awareness. References to "right brained" thinking I believe involve attempts to point to it by a number of people who have become aware of the problem. We used to have a core of those kinds of "thinkers" on this board... Usha, Mad, Chris DeGetman and so on. They all kind of understood that using words was inherently limited.

Quote polycarp:

I'd liken it to Maslow's "peak experience". Sudden...abrupt. The experience can be described...and isn't the experience though the experience itself is transformational.. If the subjective experience could be transmitted through thought processes and language, the entire planet would quickly be "enlightened"...".transformed". Can't be done.

From my reading of that paragraph, I would be inclined to imagine you would agree that it would be difficult to know for sure, without the direct interaction that allows enough back and forth to achieve genuine expriential communication with another human being, what Adorno was referring to by "a movement of thought." He may have been pointing to precisely what you brought up. But how could anyone know for sure from reading his words? The word "movement" would not necessarily be an exact replica of what may be taking place in his imagination, or mine, or yours. That is pretty much the flaw of language based communication we have been trying to struggle with here on this long, convoluted thread. The very idea of certainty through this mode of expression we are restricted to employing, is always to be held in question. So if someone begins with questioning that, as we have shown that Adorno has (along with others, like Wittgenstein who turned logical positivism into irrational negativism, even nihilism), it may be worth giving him credit for understanding the problem when he struggles to express it in language.

It's only by doing so that we have any hope of moving out of these circular arguments that require anyone to prove what cannot be said (and perhaps a reason why Wittgenstein said it should not be spoken). And when one inevitably can't express what they see, telling that person she or he's mistaken is a way of bringing out a kind of koan, or conundrum.

Krishnamurti also used a notion of movement of though in his talks. The movement he refers to is action in the present. Where as action based on knowledge is movement based on the past. His movement therefore was in contrast to the mind that is in the past, the logical linear mind. Thus he always invited his listeners to engage in the movement of discussion with him, affectionately -- I think he used that word often -- when he embarked on an effort to show something or another with words. Over and over he would say he is not the authority, that they are embarking together on a journey to discover. Over and over his audience would revere him and make him the authority. You could see that in the questions of the Questioners. He was always trying to point out the differences between actually seeing the tree, rather than seeing the tree through their concept of a tree. Yet, the conundrum inevitably involved using words to do so. Each of us faces a koan all the time when we attempt to communicate with others in that regard. A Zen master merely introduces the form of the koan. The student has to learn to use that form on his or her own as a daily part of life, otherwise they remain eternally dependent on a master.

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.ren
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Quote Antifascist:

Spiritual experience is conceived by Adorno in Negative Dialectics as the systematic attempt to escape the presupposted static concepts of a constituting Subject and 'recover' original experience through a movement of thought named "self-awareness."

Here is an overview of the topics we covered in order:

My logs shows that (Post 58) is where we began to discuss Adorno’s Negative Dialectics, and from Adorno when on to (post 63) Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and an analysis of Logical Positivism. Our arguments came to definite conclusions ( this is what LeMoyne was referring to in Limit to Logic) and then we spent a number of weeks discussing Chomsky and Linguistics (Post 310).

While finishing Chomsky that were sideswiped by Thom Hartman’s book “The Prophet’s Way” that really threw this thread in a different direction starting at (Post 383).

Then we discovered to our surprise that Adorno, whom we started out with, had entitled the introduction to his book Negative Dialectics, as “A Theory of Spiritual experience” before it was changed.(Post 445). We discussed Ideological Paradigms at post (#718) that covered many epistemological questions, and then we started with St.John, Heraclitus, and Heidegger's interpretation of the concept of Logos at post (#1030).

Was this a response to my post #1098?

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 9:20 am

I have been gone awhile and I must say I am impressed and awed this thread is still going. <hat tip>

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Fan.Cl
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I'd liken an experience of "being" to an experience of. having one's first experience of "hot".

The very first burn on a stove ...accidental or purposefully...is an experience outside of thought. Ow!Then a story is immediately made about it .....with thought.. .

If the experience could be communicated...kids wouldn't touch a hot stove.. They have no idea what a burn is until they experience it....regardless of all the communications about it. Same with "being"

A peak experience is similar. Though thought processes may lead up to it...it occurs outside of the thought process...and a story is immediately made up about it..

""Understanding" is the booby prize. It can't capture the experience. Watts had understanding..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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ANTISTROPH. I

And man, pondering and plotting,
snares the light-gliding birds
and hunts the beasts of the wilderness
and the native creatures of the sea.Sophocles (c.496 B.C.–406 B.C.). Antigone.


Although it is not possible, we must try to name the G-ds. Adorno is searching for some alternative non-objectifying, or non-reifying language.

Heidegger introduces some key Greek concepts in his narrative of how Dasein became estranged from Being. The Heraclitian concept of Logos evolved early into the direction of the Western concept of logic and “ratio.”

For Heraclitus, the Logos is also the concept of primordial conflict πόλεμος (polemos) , in the sense of conflict (stem in the word, “polemics”) in creating a countervailing force in Being. Heidegger interprets Heraclitian cosmology,

Polemos named here is a conflict that prevailed prior to everything divine and human, not a war in the human sense. This conflict, as Heraclitus thought it, first caused the realm of being to separate into opposites; it first gave rise to position and order and rank. In such separation cleavages, intervals, distances, and joints opened. In the conflict a world comes into being. (Conflict does not split, much less destroy unity. It constitutes unity, it is a binding-together, logos. Polemos and logos are the same). ."(An Introduction to Metaphysics, by M. Heidegger, Doubleday/Anchor 1961, p.51.).

Heraclitus said of change in the cosmos,

ποταμοῖσι τοῖσιν αὐτοῖσιν ἐμϐαίνουσιν, ἕτερα καὶ ἕτερα ὕδατα ἐπιρρεῖ.
"Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers ."

The ancient Greeks called the appearance of an entity, or what we called an essent, εἶδος that which is seen, form, shape, figure. idea. ( click on “Show lexicon entry in Middle Liddell” or any lexicon for full definitions) And this is where Heidegger directs our attention to how the Greeks applied ideas, or notions to the changing currents in a every dynamic river of the cosmos. This freezing phenomena into static notions necessarily distorts being.

The cosmos appears to Dasein as φύσις (physis, or Nature) as “the emerging and arising the spontaneous unfolding that lingers.” Physis is understood as it’s opposites θεωρία, “theory” νόμος “nomos, or law” and ἔθος “ethos, or ethics.” Nature in conflict is a reduction of logos but still displays the underlying polemical nature of logos as struggle. “Heraclitus says in Fragment 8: ‘Opposites move back and forth, the one to the other; from out of themselves they gather themselves.

Human beings can apprehend being, by νοέω (noein thinking by the subject of the object") and by τέχνη (techne) an art, i. e. a system or method of making or doing, any producing (no special meaning in use of this subordinate meaning of techne as producing) which “is conceived as a secondary form of knowledge whose scope is limited to nonhuman ways of being, becomes the dominant model of conceiving human Being and human knowing. (Heidegger’s Antigones, by Clare Pearson Geiman.”) The violence is by thought dividing the whole of being into entities for human purposes. In this larger sense techne is humanity working out Being in history. Techne “co-creates” and “Discloses” nature as Humans being dominate and structure it into a habitable world. One can see Hegelian influences in Heidegger’s thought and techne is used like a Hegelian categories ( Being, Self Consciousness, Contradiction) which are also based on Heraclitian concepts. Heidegger then telescopes the category to more and less abstract level and often oscillates between polar opposite concepts.

Heidegger is engaged in a concerted attack on what he sees as Western metaphysics consistent reliance on models that grasp thinking and being by analogy with making, and specifically, with craftsmanship. This model results, on one hand, in the very real development of all forms of thought aimed at calculation with and manipulating existent beings, and so in the rise of logic and mathematics as well as mathematically based natural science and technology, on the other. But it is unjustifiably carried over to the human being, whose action can then only be made sense of in terms of producing, whose knowing is only validated so long as it is a calculating with representations, and whose embodied existence becomes, with the rest of material nature, an object for manipulation. When handicraft as one limited and derivative form of human action is taken to be paradigmatic of all acting and knowing, then that form of knowing that is proper to the knowledge of human beings and human action and that, as something like conscience, orients human action to its proper essence and measure, is lost.(Heidegger’s Antigones, by Clare Pearson Geiman.)

This changed relationship with Nature also changes our perceptions of the world of beings, “Vision has degenerated into mere optics."(An Introduction to Metaphysics, by M. Heidegger, Doubleday/Anchor 1961, p.52.). This subtle shift from awareness of Being to only beings has profound epistemological consequences. There is universal objectification of all Life. And yet this distortion is a necessary condition (a polarity) to having any meaning at all. Objectivity, or existence, require distortion in shifting symbolic form to enable disclosure of physis (not made by Human) as techne.

...techne carries with it essentially the possibility of becoming lost in the very success of this activity, such that in making beings accessible and familiar and serviceable, this ordering of the world comes to seem ultimate, and it and beings within it become too familiar and unquestionable. As a result, the human being loses access to the Being that this world discloses and loses access to the very forces that pervade and envelop and sustain him, mistaking these forces for his own possession or creation....and the human being is lost in the inessential, without orientation. (ibid, p. 170.)

Heidegger has an extensive modern alienation theory.

Excellent posts Ren and Polycarp2. In regard to Adorno and his proposal of how to deal with this philosophical dilemma—the horns of the dilemma being irrationalism on one side, or nihilistic solipsism on the other.

“Adorno saw that the only way out of this oscillation between irrationalism, and a reduction to what is already known, lay in a rigorous, immanent critique of our concepts...an immanent critique that would delimit, from the inside as it were, the structure of experience as it is circumscribed by our conceptual language..."critique of reason through reason itself, not its banishment or abolition"” Adorno: The Recovery of Experience (Roger Foster), page 28 | Loc. 469.

Adorno rejects the “Kantian Block,” that we can only know phenomena as appearance to the subject, but not the thing-in-itself, or noumena.

It is expressed in cognitive structures as a constellation is expressed in the arrangement of stars, as a form that illuminates the elements by arranging them in the service of the revelation of a deeper truth....[ideas] relate to the things as constellations relate to the stars." Adorno: The Recovery of Experience (Roger Foster), Page 68 | Loc. 1078-79.
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Antifascist
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Heidegger ,makes sense to me. . Another book or two to read.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Quote Antifascist:

Although it is not possible, we must try to name the G-ds. Adorno is searching for some alternative non-objectifying, or non-reifying language.

If that's true (and I would suggest only Adorno could know for sure what Adorno is searching for) then whether we are going with him, searching together, or whether are simply searching, and following his words as if we are going with him, the resulting search for any of us doing so can be be an act of discovery. However, that act of discovery is ephemeral, alive -- enchanted as I think Adorno is using that term -- and can also be killed -- disenchanted -- if we go about our movement towards experiencing using preconcluded thought to deny that experience, then it's likely that if Adorno does happen upon some non-objectifying, or non-reifying language, that preconclusion will negate anything new that might be revealed. A preconclusion is like a thought/experiencing stop sign.

And I would suggest this is the problem of spirituality itself. A theory of spirituality is not the experience of whatever it is we are trying to express by that term. To embark on constructing a theory of that sort involves a kind of mutual movement of experience between those doing so. However, the caution comes up here for anyone with experience in this effort: the problem in doing so is that the result may be a powerful experience. So then in comes the pleasure-seeking mind trying to codify and retain that experience with thought, with language, and then we have all this nonsense that becomes organized religion with all it's "you can do this, you can't do that" with your mind confusion.

Another person attempting to move through this problem with language might turn on a small light with another way of saying it:

From Krishnamurti's The Awakening of Intentelligence

From the Chapter: Intelligence and the Immeasurable, pp. 371-372

There must be a vast space and silence, because when there is that space and silence, beauty comes, there is love. Not the beauty put together by man, architecture, tapestries, porcelain, paintings, or poems, but that sense of beauty, of vast space and silence. And yet thought must act, must function. There is no living there, and then coming down. So that is our problem -- I am making it a problem so that we can investigate together, so that both you and I discover something in this which is totally new. Because each time one investigates without knowing, one discovers something. But if you investigate with knowing, then you will never discover anything. So that is what we are doing. Can thought become silent? Can that thought, which must function in the field of knowledge totally, completely, objectively and sanely, can that thought end itself? That is, can thought which is the past, all that conditioning come totally to an end? -- so that there is silence, there is space, there is a sense of extraordinary dimension.

I am asking myself and you are asking it with me: how is thought to end and not in the very ending of it get perverted, go off into some imaginative state and become rather lop-sided, neurotic and vague? How is that thought, which must function with great energy and vitality, to be at the same time completely motionless? Have you understood my question? This has been the problem of every serious religious man -- not the man who belongs to some sect based organized belief and propaganda and therefore not religious at all. Can the two operate together, can they move together? They can only move together if thought does not separate itself as the observer and the observed.

You see, life is a movement in relationship, constantly moving and changing. That movement can sustain itself, move freely, when there is no division between the thinker and the thought. That is, when thought does not divide itself as the "me" and the "not me", as the observer, the experiencer, and the observed, the experienced; because in that there is division and therefore conflict. When thought sees the truth of that, then it is not seeking experience, then it is moving in experiencing. Are you doing this now?

Which brings back this puzzling statement:

Quote Antifascist:

Spiritual experience is conceived by Adorno in Negative Dialectics as the systematic attempt to escape the presupposed static concepts of a constituting Subject and 'recover' original experience through a movement of thought named "self-awareness."

Well... you can easily see the awkwardness of Anti trying to translate Adorno with more of these inexact translations of experience we use, called words. We have named thought as something, but in attaching past meaning to a preconceived named concept -- thought -- we may miss the movement of experiencing. But only the individual can be aware of that.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

I've taken the liberty of reversing a sequence presented by Krishnamurti:

" That is, can thought which is the past, all that conditioning come totally to an end? -- so that there is silence, there is space, there is a sense of extraordinary dimension."

"There is no living there"

"Be-ing" is aware of thought as being uniquely its own...and simply holds the content of thought in a different context.

"That is, can thought which is the past, all that conditioning come totally to an end?"

Only for a split second.allowing for a direct experience of Be-ing. The past conditioning does not come to an end. It's just held within a different context...allowing one to be here now rather than being here in the past..It takes constant observance to do that. A master lives in the present totally. A novice goes back and forth...being attached to some elements of thought from the past that gets in the way of experiencing the present..

Thoughts from the past can't be "erased". They are held forever. They don't, however, have to be seen as holy writ forever which is what most do with them.......

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease" .

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

In line with Wittgenstein's 7th proposition in his Tracticus Logico-Philosophicus:

Quote Wittgenstein:

Whereof one cannot speak, one must pass over in silence.

Here is yet another Krishnamurti attempt at using language to show his listeners the nature of the problem:

From Krishnamurti's The Awakening of Intelligence

A passage from the chapter: Is Intelligence Awake?, pp 405-409

Krishnamurti: I am asking myself: what is the relationship between the new quality of the brain, which functions in quietness, and the old? The old is thought – right? The old is the collection of memories and any response according to these memories is thought. That thought must function, otherwise you can't do anything.

Questioner: Aren't you making a division?

Krishnamurti: No, it is not a division. It is like a house, it is a whole, but there are divisions in it.

We have discovered two things. That the old brain –we'll call it that for the moment – is the conditioned brain which has accumulated knowledge through centuries upon centuries. We are not dividing it as the old and the new, we just want to convey the meaning that there is this whole structure of the brain, one part of which is the old – which doesn't mean it is separate from the new – it is different. Now I am saying to myself: I see that if the old brain is in operation nothing new can be discovered. The new can be discovered only when the old is quiet. And the old can only be quiet when it sees the truth that the new cannot be discovered by the old. Now we have this fact: the old must naturally be quiet to discover something new.

Questioner (1): Is the discovery made by the new or the old?

Questioner (2): By neither of them.

Krishnamurti: Answer it, Sirs! My brain says, “I really don't know, I am going to find out.” You have asked a question which is: does the old brain recognize the new, or does the new use the old?

The old brain is quiet because it has understood completely that it can never discover anything new. We won't even use that word “discover.” No new movement can take place if the old is constantly in operation. The old sees the fact of that and is quiet. And a new movement, a new happening takes place. Is that happening recognized by the old, or does it open the door for the new to utilize it?

Look Sirs, this is really quite important, even though you don't follow it, because I want to find a totally new way of living. I realize the old way of living is terrible, ugly, brutal. I must find a new dimension which is unrelated to the old. Any movement on the part of the old to discover a different dimension is not possible. Realizing this, it becomes quiet. Now what takes place in that quietness? Let's proceed along that way. What takes place when the old brain has understood that it cannot find a new dimension?

Questioner: The unknown?

Krishnamurti: No, don't invent. Unless you experience this, don't guess.

Questioner: There is space.

Krishnamurti: Now wait a minute. When the old brain is quiet the gentleman says, there is space. Let's examine it. What do you mean by space?

Questioner: Emptiness.

Krishnamurti: Please don't invent, don't guess, observe. Is your old brain quiet?

Questioner (1): No.

Questioner (2): If the old brain is quiet, can you ask that question?

Krishnamurti: I am asking you. It may be the wrong question, but we must find out.

Questioner: The part of the brain which is not used starts operating.

Krishnamurti: Just listen to what he is saying. When the old brain is quiet, perhaps a new part of the brain which has not been used comes into operation. That is, we are only functioning with a very small part of our brain and when that small part of the brain is quiet, the rest of the brain may be active. Or, it has been active all the time but we don't know it because that one part which has accumulated knowledge, tradition, time, is always super-active, and therefore we don't know the other part at all; it may have its own activity. Are you following this?

This is really a very interesting question. Please give your minds to this a little bit: don't say, “I don't understand” and just drop it. Apply yourselves! You see, having used the old brain so much we have never considered any other part of the brain, and what that part is, which may have a quality of a different dimension. I say that quality of a different dimension can be discovered when the old brain is really quiet. That's my point. You follow? When the old brain is completely quiet, not made quiet, but has naturally understood that it must be quiet and therefore is quiet, then we can find out what takes place.

Now, I am going to investigate – not you – because your old brain is not quiet. Would you agree to that? It has not understood the necessity of being completely quiet under any stimulus, except of course physical stimuli – that is, if you put a pin in my leg it will respond. But as notody is pricking my leg with a pin the old brain can be quiet.

I want to find out what is the quality of the new brain – that quality which the old brain cannot recognize? Because the old brain cannot recognize anything which it has not experienced, which is not the outcome of memory. Therefore what the old brain recognizes is still the old. Is that clear? So I am asking: what is the new? The old brain does not know anything about it, therefore it can only say: I really don't know. Let's proceed from there – do some of you follow this? The old brain says, “I can't touch this and I really don't know.” Because I cannot touch it, because I cannot recognize it, I am not going to be deceived by it. I know absolutely nothing about the new dimension s of this new brain. When the old brain is quiet and incapable of recognition, it can only say, “I really don't know.” Can the old brain remain in that state of not knowing? It has said, “All my life I have functioned with knowledge and recognition.” In functioning that way it has said, “I know” in terms of what I do not know, of that which I will learn, but always within the pattern of knowing. Now it says, “I really don't know”, because something new is taking place. The new cannot be recognized, therefore I have no relationship to it yet. I am going to find out.

Now what is the nature of not knowing? Is there fear when there is a state of not knowing? – which is death. You follow, Sirs? When the old brain actually says, “I don't know”, it has relinquished all knowing. It has relinquished altogether the intention of knowing, of wanting to know. So there is a field in which the old brain cannot function, because it does not know. Now what is that field? Can it ever be described? It can be described only when the old brain recognizes and verbalizes it to communicate. So there is a field in which the old brain cannot possibly enter; this is not an invention this is not a theory, this is a fact when the old brain says, “I really don't know anything about this.” Which means there is no intention to learn about the new. You see the difference, Sirs?

So now I want to find out non-verbally, because the moment I use a word I am back in the old. Therefore is there an understanding something new non-verbally? – in the sense of not inventing a new word, or intending to describe it so as to capture it and hold it. So I am just enquiring, the mind is looking at something which it does not know at all. Is that possible? It has always looked in terms of learning about it, resisting it, avoiding it, escaping from it, or overcoming it. Now it is doing nothing of the kind. Do you understand? If this is not possible you cannot understand the other.

What is the something which the old brain cannot understand and therefore cannot possibly know or acquire knowledge about? Is there such a thing? Or is it just an invention of the old brain wanting something new to happen? If it is the old brain wanting something new to happen, it is still part of the old brain. Now I have examined it completely, so that the old brain ha understood its structure and nature and therefore is absolutely still, not wanting to know. That is where the difficulty lies.

Is there something real, not imagined, not invented, which is not a theory? Something which the old brain cannot possibly understand? Is there anything like that? For the speaker there is – but that has no value, he may be deluding himself. It has value only in the sense that it is for you to discover it. So you have to find out what is the relationship of the new – if you see the new – to the old, which must operate in life objectively, sanely, non personally, therefore efficiently. Does the old capture the new so that there is a different life? Or does the new operate in a way that the old cannot possibly recognize, and that operation is the new way of living?

Go slowly, take time, look! This old brain, with its consciousness, has lived for thousands of years; the consciousness of this old brain is its content. Its content may have been acquired superficially or in depth and that is the old brain with all the knowledge, with all the experience of centuries of human endeavor, of evolution. When it is functioning within that field of consciousness it can never discover anything new. That is an absolute fact, not a theory. We know nothing about freedom, about what love is, what death is; we know nothing except jealousy, envy, fear, which are all part of the old content. Then this old brain, realizing its utter limitation, becomes quiet, because it has found it has no freedom. And because it has found no freedom a new part of the brain is in operation. I don't know if you see that?

Look! I have been going South, thinking I was going North, and suddenly I discover that. At that moment of discovery there is a total reversion – not of the old, it is a complete reversal. The movement is neither to the North nor South, it is in a totally different direction. That is, at that moment of discovery there is a totally different movement, which is freedom.

(any mistakes (typos, misspellings, etc.) in transcription from the original text are my responsibility, and I apologize... ren)

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

I've been absorbed in the first part of the moving and selling a house process, so it has been a while since I checked in here, and good work continues.

The inexpressible leads to the doing, and the reflection on doing includes the serendipity experience as well as the projections of thought as expectations and blinders. Learning to be in the moment and open to serendipity requires practice. But it all comes down to the Charlie Parker Theory of Creative Expression: "You learn your instrument, you learn your music, then you forget it all and blow!"

Awareness is not "Thought," but it is intelligence and receptivity to possibility. In the moment of improvisation, no "thinking" is allowed, but intelligence and awareness abounds. Stuff happens that one never thinks of or intends as the muse is channeled. It is in the doing, in the encounter, in the relationship that all this reflection has its meaning and "understanding." We need to appreciate the role of thought so we can use it but not be imprisoned by the epistemology.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Ren wrote:

Krishnamaurti: "I see that if the old brain is in operation nothing new can be discovered. The new can be discovered only when the old is quiet. And the old can only be quiet when it sees the truth that the new cannot be discovered by the old. Now we have this fact: the old must naturally be quiet to discover something new"

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poly relies: Precisely! It's in that suspension of thought (quietness) ...when the "old" realizes it must naturally be quiet to discover something new....that a new "consciousness "takes place. An awareness of an existence that was always there and never recognized takes place..

Krishnamurti refers to it as a new part of the brain...one without an accumulation of history....data and interpretation based on history and built upon data and interpretation ad nauseum... I refer to Krishnamuarti's "new brain" as "Be-ing". A Buddhist description.

It's free to examaine or utilize the data without any pre-conceptions about it. and recognizes instinctively that the data and interpretations of it held by the old brain are subject to gross error when applied in the present....

The "new brain" is continually correcting the old...the corrections in themselves becoming history.which need revision as new experiences continually take place outside of the "historical brain". The old brain doesn't recognize "new"...it only recognizes similarities of the past. and interprets accordingly..

In Buddhist terminology, Krishnamurti's "old brain" would equal non-being. His "new brain" would equal "Being". Experiencing the "suchness" of things without historical interpretation..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

...

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Krishnamurti:

So now I want to find out non-verbally, because the moment I use a word I am back in the old. Therefore is there an understanding something new non-verbally? – in the sense of not inventing a new word, or intending to describe it so as to capture it and hold it. So I am just enquiring, the mind is looking at something which it does not know at all. Is that possible? It has always looked in terms of learning about it, resisting it, avoiding it, escaping from it, or overcoming it. Now it is doing nothing of the kind. Do you understand? If this is not possible you cannot understand the other.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Sure, . Krishnamurti's " new brain" can't be understood or arrived at verbally. It's experiential...and the "old brain" always turns experience into words.

Once the old grasps that is prone to gross error, observational experience of the new brain enable corrections. .The old brain loves "logic" and loathes self-error. It thrives on being "right". It begins making one correction after another..

The new brain sees the "suchness" of things without words. It's experiential. The old brain translates the experience into words. . Once an experience occurs...it's history. No longer so. except as stored historical data....stored as words..

Translation of experience into words is nearly instantaneous. A microsecond.

I really don't care for Krishnamuri's use of the term "brain" as a metaphor, and it can work..He's appealing to the western mind, western logic with it..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"...

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Krishnamurti: I am asking myself: what is the relationship between the new quality of the brain, which functions in quietness, and the old? The old is thought – right? The old is the collection of memories and any response according to these memories is thought. That thought must function, otherwise you can't do anything.

Krishnamurti: We have discovered two things. That the old brain –we'll call it that for the moment – is the conditioned brain which has accumulated knowledge through centuries upon centuries. We are not dividing it as the old and the new, we just want to convey the meaning that there is this whole structure of the brain, one part of which is the old – which doesn't mean it is separate from the new – it is different. Now I am saying to myself: I see that if the old brain is in operation nothing new can be discovered.

Krishnamurti: I want to find out what is the quality of the new brain – that quality which the old brain cannot recognize? Because the old brain cannot recognize anything which it has not experienced, which is not the outcome of memory. Therefore what the old brain recognizes is still the old. Is that clear? So I am asking: what is the new? The old brain does not know anything about it, therefore it can only say: I really don't know. Let's proceed from there – do some of you follow this? The old brain says, “I can't touch this and I really don't know.” Because I cannot touch it, because I cannot recognize it, I am not going to be deceived by it. I know absolutely nothing about the new dimension s of this new brain. When the old brain is quiet and incapable of recognition, it can only say, “I really don't know.” Can the old brain remain in that state of not knowing? It has said, “All my life I have functioned with knowledge and recognition.” In functioning that way it has said, “I know” in terms of what I do not know, of that which I will learn, but always within the pattern of knowing. Now it says, “I really don't know”, because something new is taking place. The new cannot be recognized, therefore I have no relationship to it yet. I am going to find out.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Another difference between the old brain/new brain modes is the focus or the context. The old brain mode can be described as based on fear or greed and perhaps represented by questions like "What's in it for me?". The new brain can be described as based on love and acceptance and perhaps represented not by questions but actually listening and learning. Once anything new enters the context of the individual brain, it becomes 'old brain'. I see the new brain as the sometimes tenuous interface between the brain and the outside world. The old brain mode is always busy with monkey mind (la-la-la I'm not listening) simply to preserve itself as known and knowable to itself. I think this theory explains why conservatives (with their emphasis on fear, self and being right/correct) demonstrate an enhanced backlash effect to protect what they know to be true from influence from the outside world. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

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Quote LeMoyne:

Once anything new enters the context of the individual brain, it becomes 'old brain'. I see the new brain as the sometimes tenuous interface between the brain and the outside world.

Interesting. And in seeing that, can you follow how the mind does that? The process? For I think that's what Krishnamurti is working on.

What compelled me when I discovered the book I quoted from (seems to me it was about 1974) was that it was composed of transcribed talks, so what's there is Krishnamurti's live words to a group, and as always in his other works, groups which he consistently attempts to regard as equals, and all of whom he's inviting to explore something with him as affectionately and non argumentatively as possible.

I couldn't ignore the structure of that, especially its character of openness and non violence; and so I recognized that its character is so very different from our traditional Western mode of authorship in our non fiction philosophy books -- which consist of passages we formally call "arguments", also noting that authorship is a word that bears kinship to authority, and all that goes with authority -- as to be something itself new in its nature for me.

In looking at that structural difference back then, the difference between an authority speaking knowledge to those who bother to listen and someone who refuses to be an authority, as Krishnamurti did when he turned away from that open position early in his life, what became apparent was a difference in context. And so the very notion of context came into my mind and became something to begin to work with. And with that consciousness, I find him always trying his best to find ways to bring that context into his talks as he does here in response to a questioner who wondered if he was doing what he constantly points out "thought" does: divide, create divisions, and from that all comes the monkey business of thinking, judging, categorizing and compartmentalizing:

Krishnamurti: That the old brain –we'll call it that for the moment – is the conditioned brain which has accumulated knowledge through centuries upon centuries. We are not dividing it as the old and the new, we just want to convey the meaning that there is this whole structure of the brain, one part of which is the old – which doesn't mean it is separate from the new – it is different. Now I am saying to myself: I see that if the old brain is in operation nothing new can be discovered.

Another key point, once I saw that structure, was I was able to see that what he could do in a group discussion was to bring about a sense of conundrum -- a very difficult and consciousness-demanding thing to bring about in a group discussion -- which I likened to the concept of koans, where the koan itself is a little puzzle presented in such a way that it stops the monkey mind dead in its tracks for a brief moment.

He does not, for instance, despise the old brain as so many might think upon approaching this form of philosophy. We've labeled it Eastern philosophy, and then we say things like "phenomenological existentialism is like Eastern philosophy." He's pointing out that what this temporarily identified as "old brain" for the purpose of this conversation does is important and necessary just to get by in life, to live:

Krishnamurti: The old is the collection of memories and any response according to these memories is thought. That thought must function, otherwise you can't do anything.

And what he's trying to bring about with this elaborate koan he's creating live with this particular group is a self awareness of something like this:

Krishnamurti: So you have to find out what is the relationship of the new – if you see the new – to the old, which must operate in life objectively, sanely, non personally, therefore efficiently. Does the old capture the new so that there is a different life? Or does the new operate in a way that the old cannot possibly recognize, and that operation is the new way of living?

Now, a problem we've been struggling with -- wrestling with as if it were a giant boa constricter -- since about page two of this thread, is very much that same koan. And the problem we've raised is the koan comes about as our attempt violates the 7th proposition that Wittgenstein came to in his Tracticus Logico-Philosophicus:

Quote Wittgenstein:

Whereof one cannot speak, one must pass over in silence.

Which means, we have to be in agreement that we are violating and doing the unspeakable! And so what we have to be conscious of, sort of all together agree about being aware of, while we use words (speak, so to speak) is this conundrum where we are trying to speak of what must be passed over in silence. Thus I pulled that line from your post, because I believe it shows a kind of consciousness pointing in that direction.

The difficulty, the challenge I find, is to speak without becoming dogmatic. Dogmatism invokes a context of authority. And perhaps Anti violated that principle when he wrote:

Quote Antifascist:

Spiritual experience is conceived by Adorno in Negative Dialectics as the systematic attempt to escape the presupposed static concepts of a constituting Subject and 'recover' original experience through a movement of thought named "self-awareness."

Which polycarp jumped on because Antifascist used the term "thought." I haven't read Negative Dialectics so I don't know what term Adorno used. But from what I gather in what I am reading, he is very much conscious of this problem of thought, which is what that mumbo jumbo about "static concepts of a constituting Subject" refers to, and thought is what Krishnamurti links to what he temporarily termed in the discussion I quoted: the "old brain."

And then what happens?

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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Hello Ren, DRC, Polycarp, and LeMoyne!

Good comments Ren.

The difficulty, the challenge I find, is to speak without becoming dogmatic. Dogmatism invokes a context of authority.

I am trying to interpret Adorno and relying heavily on Roger Foster. But this summary statement is also an introduction to a new language; “spiritual experience” for example has many other meanings. Adorno provides a vocabulary for talking about these epistemological issues otherwise no meaningful context can be established to make Adorno’s project comprehensible.

We finally have empirical scientific proof (July 5, 2011, hour 2 of show, middle) of the Robotic Pigeons from the Planet Xenu! These Robotic Pigeons can memorize human faces! This means that they have been reading Wittgenstein’s picture theory and incorporated it into their little pigeon robot circuits! Science always comes through! Who can deny its power?

There is so much we skipped in Heidegger’s philosophy. The Dasein Analytic is a massive part of Heidegger’s early work but is too dense to discuss without more background contextual work. I want to wrap up with the later Heidegger and his turn to Hermeneutics (Greek word ἑρμηνεύω (hermeneuō, 'translate' or 'interpret') and poetic dwelling. Heidegger also ends in a self reflective writing that attempts to articulate the question of Being. By the way, interpreting “The Prophet’s Way” is a hermeneutical project...and an overwhelming one at that. Fortunately, we have a rich group of philosophical thinkers of a kindred spirit that struggled with the same philosophical questions and dilemmas we find in The Prophet’s Way.

There are other meanings of “nonsense” in Wittgenstein’s use of the term. The early Wittgensteinian scholars failed to make some important distinctions of how Wittgenstein used the words, “senseless” and “nonsensical.” (Wittgenstein’s Conception of Philosophy, by K.T. Fann, 1969, p. 25.). Wittgenstein claims we can only make sense by saying those things that are within the limits of language. Those things said about the limits of language are “senseless” (sinnlos). Those things said about that which is beyond the limits of language are “nonsense” (unsinning). Many of the English translations do not differentiate between “sinnlos” and “unsinning” so that both are translated as “senseless” (sinnlos). Such translations could be one reason Wittgenstein is thought of as anti-metaphysical. Philosophy says those things that are beyond the limits of language and is nonsense, “Most propositions and questions, are not false, but nonsense (unsinning)”(Tractatus, 4.003). Later, Wittgenstein wrote about his own philosophy,

My propositions serve as elucidations in the following: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them—as steps—to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.) (Tractatus, 6.54).

This is a puzzling statement and is often misunderstood. Rudolf Carnap, Bertrand Russell, and George Pitcher object to Wittgenstein’s statement and ask why he wrote anything if he thought it nonsense. Wittgenstein can be understood as making a distinction between “opaque nonsense” and “elucidatory nonsense.”

Philosophy is elucidatory, remember this is the early Wittgenstein, in that its tasks are to clarify, or eliminate the traditional philosophical problems that have grown out of a misunderstanding of the logic of language. Philosophy’s task is negative in that it defines a limit. George Pitcher describes Wittgenstein’s conception as the world of meaningful discourse as like a city set in the middle of a jungle: the jungle is defined in terms of that which is not the city. The city is well structured, exact and orderly, everything within the city is visible. Tautologies, contradictions, descriptive propositions—all these occupy the world of meaning, although, the first two say nothing. The jungle, on the other hand, is all that cannot be said, the mystical, the metaphysical, religion, ethics, and art have their place outside the city. But again, this is not the end of the matter. Wittgenstein writes—one could say he reveals his attraction for the mystical, “What can be shown cannot be said,” (Tractatus, 4.1212), and “There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.” (Tractatus 6.522.). What manifests itself? Ethical propositions, theological discourse, and surprising logic are all placed in the same transcendental realm. “Logic is transcendental.” (Tractatus, 6.13).

Professor F.S.C. Northrop from the University of Cambridge believes Wittgenstein understood all knowledge to be mystical.

in an age when laymen, scientists, and even most theologians had dismissed mysticism as something, at best, having no meaning for them and, at worst, merely esoteric, purple prose nonsense, it was his genius to have rediscovered that there is no knowledge of any kind that ins not, in its elements, mystical. Furthermore, since the compound items of knowledge, defined in terms of its elements, are meaningless, except as its elements are meaningful, this entails that all knowledge is mystical.(Man, Nature, and God, by F.S.C. Northrop, 1962, p. 239.).

Adorno rejects the Kantian block and believes we have the ability through reflection to “breakout” from the reified epistemological structures that reinforce the divide between the thinking subject from the perceived object.

Ren, Thank you for directing us to Krishnamurti’s words. Let me draw a parallel with the dialectic of intelligence between the old (materialistic mechanical scientific reductionism) and new mind (Spiritual experience). In fact, we --I must acknowledge the brilliant philosopher, Roger Foster, and his study of Adorno’s Negative Dialectic-- can explore the old mind and show exactly how it is deficient, or incoherent and put it into a state of quietude. Adorno’s critique of Husserl’s logical absolutism (the absolute separation, or tearing, or diremption, between logical validity and subjective thought processes, that logical principles are completely independent of anything existing in reality) demonstrates this very process of leaving one kind of understanding and moving to another more encompassing understanding--when epistemology critiques itself. Both Adorno and Wittgenstein come to the same conclusion by viewing logic as a process and a social process at that. Logic is reified thought. This understanding isn’t “beyond” to use the spatial metaphor, but is contained within the old mind’s composition. Wittgenstein once wrote,

The human being in the red glass cover is humanity in a particular culture, for example the Western culture that began with population movements and in the eighteenth century reached a summit-I believe its last. The light is the ideal and the distorted light the ideal of culture. The latter will be taken as the ideal so long as humanity has not arrived at the limit of this culture. But sooner or later it will arrive at this limit because each culture is only a limited part of space.-With the beginning of the nineteenth century ... humanity came up against the limit of western culture. (2004, page 44-45). ( Adorno: The Recovery of Experience ,Roger Foster, Page 40, Loc. 647.)

It is when we run into a limit, or edge, that we re-discover the world.

It is precisely these moments, experiences of the failure of concepts, I suggest, that Adorno is attempting to describe with the term "spiritual experience." It is not intended to denote the availability of a perspective on things that would be beyond concepts...Adorno's writing is intended to function as a form of critical self-reflection that transforms our understanding of our concepts.(Ibid, page 33-34, Loc. 542.).

By critical examination of our fundamental assumptions a process starts in which the old mind reveals its internal conflicts and delimiting experiential pre-categorizing activity. The purpose of Adorno’s negative dialectic, “...is to recover within conceptual language the spiritual experience that is rescinded by the constricted operation of conceptual cognition as a form of language. (Ibid, Page 59, Loc. 935-37).”

Negative dialectics is a critique of these constricting concepts.

...for Adorno (as for the early Wittgenstein) philosophical language is a process in which (to use Adorno's terms) "what happens in it" is more important than specific theses. This means that philosophical insight is reached in what is revealed about our concepts in the very act of using them. (Ibid, page 77, Loc. 1228-30)

We find our way because the Logos (Reason) is within us.

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Antifascist
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Very nice effort to bring these complicated thought's to the discussion, Anti. And when all is said and done with them, the effort is about bringing the Logos to life in our every day interactions, which as humans involves our sharing through language. It's almost like Twentieth Century philosophers, at least a major group, came to a point where they realized these complicated contrivances that their philosophical brethren created had become something so constricted as to become virtually useless:

Quote Antifascist:

The purpose of Adorno’s negative dialectic, “...is to recover within conceptual language the spiritual experience that is rescinded by the constricted operation of conceptual cognition as a form of language.

But the recovery process is almost as painfully contrived and inaccessible as the difficult thematic constructions of philosophers that I once tried to access, such as Hegel or Kant.

I witnessed Krishnamurti saying in ordinary language to groups -- and I say this after having read a number his transcriptions and finally realizing he was saying pretty much the same thing while often making up new ways of saying it, like "old brain, new brain" which he would always define -- being done live, therefore unedited, with the same spirit as these complicated philosophical efforts that involve inventing a very unique set of words with their own definitions, such that reading them without the philosopher's made up dictionary at hand by the uninitiated has become nearly impossible. I came to realize that when I stumbled upon the Awakening of Intelligence while at the same time taking philosophy courses as an undergrad, and I have to say it was both an Aha! moment and a relief, because one can feel pretty stupid trying to read something incomprehensible without a dictionary.

Krishnamurti's use of the term "Intelligence" could, I believe, be translated as Adorno's use of "spirit." What I transcribed from that book and brought to the board is just one example of many where he creates in situ -- that is, as a process while he is talking -- a language of representation in an effort to help reach and access that spiritual experience that conceptual cognition has (as Adorno puts it) disenchanted. I hear DRC pointing to a relationship between this sort of action and jazz, and I tend to agree. And what I believe he's trying to do (and for some may achieve) is bring the spirit together with the language live, in action. Which is where we may have lost it when we went to writing. But as ever with language, all any of us can really do is point to it, show it. The conundrum, the koan tells us that language itself cannot carry spirituality from one mind to another. In a way, I see this effort as Camus' Myth of Sisiphus.

Quote Camus:

The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

If one believes Homer, Sisyphus was the wisest and most prudent of mortals. According to another tradition, however, he was disposed to practice the profession of highwayman. I see no contradiction in this. Opinions differ as to the reasons why he became the futile laborer of the underworld. To begin with, he is accused of a certain levity in regard to the gods. He stole their secrets. Aegina, the daughter of Aesopus, was carried off by Jupiter. The father was shocked by that disappearance and complained to Sisyphus. He, who knew of the abduction, offered to tell about it on condition that Aesopus would give water to the citadel of Corinth. To the celestial thunderbolts he preferred the benediction of water. He was punished for this in the underworld. Homer tells us also that Sisyphus had put Death in chains. Pluto could not endure the sight of his deserted, silent empire. He dispatched the god of war, who liberated Death from the hands of the conqueror.

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If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious.

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.ren
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“There is much that is strange, but nothing that surpasses man in strangeness.”

Sophocles (c.496 B.C.–406 B.C.). Antigone.

The word used here to describe humankind is δεινότατον (adj, sg, neut, nom, superl.) meaning “the strangest” from its root adjective, δεινός (adj, sg, masc, nom.) (as in dinosaur) strange, fearful, terrible, dread, dire to describe the relation between being and thinking. Technical thinking directed at dominating physis is an attack on Being.

After WWII ended, Heidegger shifted his lexicon from the phenomenological analysis of Dasein (Human openness) in his work, Being and Time (German: Sein und Zeit, 1927) to “being itself.” Heidegger announced in 1953 that Being and Time would not be completed, but the same themes continued to be discussed in his work using a different vocabulary and style. This change from the extremely systematic and structured writing of Being and Time to the less systematic and more diverse literary writing began about 1931 to 1940 and is called, “the turn” (die Kehre) in Heidegger’s thought. Some say that Heidegger’s style became more obscure, but one could interpret his later writing as illuminations of the abstract phenomenological method and ideas in Being and Time, and a demonstration of a new way of thinking not dominated by an ideological obsession for control. And most importantly, Heidegger was aware of the circularity of ideological systems and is able to express his philosophy using different lexicons, but continue to use the same ontological divisions he defined in the past, “All proof is always only a subsequent undertaking on the basis of presuppositions. Anything can be proved, depending on what presuppositions are made.”( Poetry, Language, Thought, Martin Heidegger, translated by Albert Hofstadter ,1971, p. 222. Harper and Row). A new lexis gives Heidegger a language cleaner of past meanings and now redefines, sometimes just by emphasis, pre-Socratic Greek concepts. There are also the peculiar technical terms constructed out of the German language and look odd in English like “to-be-in-being” or Sein; and “that-which-is-in-being” or das Seiende (entities)..

I think another reason for this shift in Heidegger’s style and vocabulary is also partly from the rise of fascism in Germany which took complete political control in 1933 after which Heidegger was under closer scrutiny of the Nazis at The University of Freiburg. Heidegger was writing in a dangerous historical period and place --in a pit of vipers. Heidegger eventually became under attack by “Ernst Krieck, semi-official Nazi philosopher. For some time he [Heidegger] was under the surveillance of the Gestapo. His final humiliation came in 1944, when he was declared the most “expendable” member of the faculty and sent to the Rhine to dig trenches. Following Germany’s defeat in the Second World War, Heidegger was accused of Nazi sympathies. He was forbidden to teach and in 1946 was dismissed from his chair of philosophy. The ban was lifted in 1949.(Martin Heidegger).”

Gesamtausgabe, the English translations of the complete edition of Heidegger’s written works, still isn’t finished and is estimated to be one hundred volumes. However, we can touch on some key philosophical themes, especially those developed after 1930. I will refer to the short and concise essay “Heidegger’s Philosophy of Mind” by Thomas Sheehan as a thematic guide since it keeps the same language of phenomenology we are familiar and enable us to leap over a vast amount of Heidegger’s writing, but keep the most important ontological distinctions in his later thinking.

Metaphysics and Openness [Ereignis]

Heidegger undertook what he called a phenomenological deconstruction of traditional ontology in order to show that, ever since classical Greek thought, the meaning of being has been interpreted in terms of time, but only one moment of time. He found evidence of this in the fact that Metaphysics and openness [Ereignis] Heidegger undertook what he called a phenomenological deconstruction of traditional ontology in order to show that, ever since classical Greek thought, the meaning of being has been interpreted in terms of time, but only one moment of time. He found evidence of this in the fact that Plato and Aristotle named being with the words ousia and parousia, "presentness." Thus entities were understood as presently disclosed, but the kinetic [p. 310] pres-ab-sential disclosing of entities was overlooked. Correlative with this interpretation was the understanding of human being's logos as a rendering present of entities. The one-dimensional "temporality" of human being was correlative with the one-dimensional temporality of being. In fact there is no temporality here but rather an attempt to read presentness in terms of, and to reduce it back to, the eternal. Time and movement were seen as indices of the weakness, the relative non-being, of the world. In his reinterpretation of metaphysics, Heidegger sought to use the kinetic-disclosive meaning of being as a clue to unpacking traditional ontology so as to show the kinetic source of its categories. He meant neither to "destroy" metaphysics nor to ground it, but rather to find the ground from out of which metaphysics arose. That ground turns out to be no "ground" at all but rather the movement of appropriation, which Heidegger, citing Heraclitus, calls a "game" (cf. Frag. 52: paizon). And human being's highest calling is to "play along "with that game, i.e., to realize and accept its own kinetic involvement with appropriation.

I want to note the meaning of paizon, παῖσον (part, sing, pres, act, neut, nom), or παίζω, which means, to play like a child, to sport, to dance, to play an instrument. [verb 1st, sing, pres, subj, act.].

Openness [Ereignis] is interpreted as an “appropriating event” and describes a entity’s disclosive structure, or its being. It is the “...opening up of space needed for all meaning...” that correlates to Dasein (Human openness). So one important change in Heidegger’s later thought is a shift from Husserl’s concept of intentionality of consciousness to the transcendence of Being. Heidegger tried in “Introduction to Metaphysics” to direct our attention away, or pass entities to consider the more important underlying force that gives, or displays the being of entities to human experience. This is Heidegger’s version of introduction to Logic not unlike Hegel’s Logic which is a study of The Absolute, but unlike Wittgenstein’s Tractatus which is at the sentential propositional level of language analysis.

And speaking of logic, what about propositional bivalence of “true” and “false?” Doesn’t Heidegger’s interpretation of Being also stand under the court of reason as being either true or false just as all other discourse? In other words, “Can Logos be true or false?” Ontological interpretations can be compared using formal logic; however, Heidegger is examining systematically the ontological presuppositions of logical concepts (just as Wittgenstein examined logical relationships of atomic propositions) like “being,” “truth,” and “sense” itself. Heidegger is not engaged in “apophantic” talk which can be either true or false, but as Aristotle reasoned, is more like prayers, commands, wishes, and definitions which are not apophantic and cannot be judged true or false like synthetic factual propositions. We concluded that paradigms have this same definitional characteristic. Heidegger is going to the level of the “tendency of disclosure” that isn’t apophantic because it is a “pre-having” before a second level of intentional participation by the subject that runs of risk of “mis-representation.” However, all bivalent interpretation is based on a primary presentational disclosure of all phenomena.

Interpreting Aristotle, Heidegger understands, “Being is neither a thing nor its presence, but rather an interplay of presence and absence.” This definition of Being is derived from Aristotle’s concept of movement of entities (dynamis) in time as a dialectical tension between presence and absence. For Aristotle Kinesis means “presence-by-absence” and is the basis of the ontological “disclosure of presence.” Openness [Ereignis] originates from Dynamis and Kinesis in which an entity discloses itself. Heidegger is telling us traditional,

...metaphysics failed to see whatever it is that gives or “dispenses” (make possible) the being of entities, that being is intrinsically kinetic i.e., an ontological movement of disclosure that is bound up with the ontological movement of human being itself...the essence of human being as prese-ab-sential movement (called “transcendence”) that makes it possible for entities to appear in their being, or equally, for the being of entities to show up in human experience. “Heidegger’s Philosophy of Mind” by Thomas Sheehan.

Heidegger changed his phenomenological analysis of being from an analysis of consciousness and meaning to a philosophy of “appropriation.” His method in no longer phenomenological eidetic reductionism, but “Hermeneutical induction” which is a “re-seeing” of phenomena. Heidegger makes the distinction between calculative thinking and meditative thinking which is able to “re-see” and reinterpret the world and its possibilities.

...and now I am going to go get a milkshake.

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Antifascist
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Antifascist:

The word used here (strange -.ren) to describe humankind is δεινότατον (adj, sg, neut, nom, superl.) meaning “the strangest” from its root adjective, δεινός (adj, sg, masc, nom.) (as in dinosaur) strange, fearful, terrible, dread, dire to describe the relation between being and thinking. Technical thinking directed at dominating physis is an attack on Being.

Interesting... "Technical thinking directed at dominating"... That seems to be the operative phrase there, and I'm going to take off on that for a bit.

To survive human beings employ technical thinking. It's become a necessary part of our nature. I suppose that can be questioned, but let's not just now. Let's just stay with this issue of thinking directed at dominating as a kind of root paradigm, because I think it plays out in the other things you bring into your post, especially the discussion on the elaboration on the distinction between what you've summarized as calculative thinking and meditative thinking.

While Heidegger's elaboration is obviously extensive, must have occupied much of his time to put into words, and, as a result, it's very technical for us to approach in this setting, all that you wrote reminds me again of Krishnamurti's approach to this topic -- not necessarily in style, but more or less in kind, I would say. By that I mean that if I translate all the philosopher's words and what I sense is meant, it comes out pretty much the same to me as the following approach by Krishnamurti. Again I draw from The Awakening of Intelligence, this from a transcribed group discussion: "The Meditative Mind". While I find much more covered in this discussion related to the points in your post, Anti, I'll share for the purpose of this one response, some key points he brings up to begin his group discussion about meditation... In this case we might even be inclined to see this as a kind of "negative dialectic" approach, in that Krishnamurti begins by disposing of what is often thought (irony) of as meditation so that he can begin to approach the meditative mind in discussion, which is what I see as correlative to this Heideggar distinction you've brought up. Maybe I'll add more in another post later, because this is, I think, at the core of this discussion on the recovery of experience and I find it to be very fascinating stuff, even if talking about it directly is potentially impossible:

Krishnamurti: Meditation is quite a complex problem, we have to go into it slowly and approach it from different angles, bearing in mind all the time that a psychological revolution is absolutely necessary for a different kind of world, a different kind of society, to come into being. I do not know strongly you feel about this. Probably most of us, being bourgeois, comfortable with our little incomes, our family and so on, would rather remain as we are and not be disturbed. But events, technology, and all those things that are happening in the world, are producing great changes outwardly. Yet inwardly most of us remain more or less as we have for centuries. That revolution can only take place at the very centre of our being and requires a great abundance of energy; meditation is the release of that total energy and we are going to talk that over.

We have a got a great many ideas about what meditation is and what it should be; we import it from the East, or interpret it according to our own particular religious inclinations, as contemplation, acceptance, prayer, keeping the mind still or open -- we have all kinds of fanciful ideas about it. And especially lately people have come from India propagating meditations of various forms. (Note: this discussion was taking place in 1971 --.ren)

First of all, how is one to have this quality of energy which is without friction? We know mechanical energy, which is friction mechanically, and the friction in us which produces energy through conflict, through resistance, through control and all the rest of it. So there is a kind of energy caused by mechanical friction. Is there another kind of energy which has no friction whatsoever and is therefore completely free and immeasurable? I think meditation is the discovery of that. Unless one has a great abundance of energy, not only physically but much more so psychologically, our action will never be complete, it will always produce friction, conflict and struggle. Seeing the various forms of meditations, of Zen, of Yoga brought over from India, and the various contemplative groups of monks and so on, in all that, there is the idea of control, acceptance of a system, practising a repetition of words, which is called mantra, and various forms of breathing, hatha yoga and so on. I suppose you know all this.

So first of all let us dispose of them altogether by investigating. Not accepting what they say, but investigating the truth of falseness of it. There is this repetition of words, of sentences, mantras, a set of phrases given by a guru, being initiated, paying money to lean a peculiar phrase to be repeated by you secretly. Probably some of you have done that and you know a great deal about it. That is called mantra yoga, and is brought over from India. I don't know why you pay a single penny to repeat certain words from somebody who says, "If you do this you will achieve enlightenment, you will have a quiet mind." When you repeat a series of words constantly, whether it is Ave Maria or various Sanscrit words, obviously your mind becomes rather dull and you have a peculiar sense of unity, of quietness, and you think that will help bring about clarity. You can see the absurdity of it, because why should you accept what anybody says about these matters -- including myself? Why should you accept any authority about the inward movement of life? We reject authority outwardly; if you are at all intellectually aware and observant politically you reject these things. But apparently we accept the authority of somebody who says, "I know, I have achieved, I have realised." The man who says he knows, he does not know. Th moment you say you know, you don't know. What is it you know? Some experience which you have had, some kind of vision, some kind of enlightenment? I dislike to use that word "enlightenment". Once you have experienced that, you think you have attained some extraordinary state; but that is past, you can only know something which is over and therefore dead. When these people come over and say they have realised, "Do this" or "Do that" for so muchmoney, this is obviously absurd. So we can dispose of that.

We can dispose of this whole idea of practising a system, a method. When you practise a method in order to achieve enlightenment, or bliss, or to have a quiet mind, or to achieve a state of tranquility, whatever it is, it obviously makes the mind mechanical, you repeat over and over again. This not only implies suppression of your own movement and understanding, but also conformity and the endless conflict involved in practising a particular system. The mind likes to conform to a system because then it gets crystallized and it is easy to live that way. So can we dispose, now, of all systems of meditation? But you won't, because our whole structure of habit is based on that demand to find a method, so that we can just follow and live a monotonous, dull life of routine; not to be disturbed, that is what we want, ans so we accept authority.

One has to find for oneself, not through anybody. We have had the authority of the priest for centuries upon centuries, the authority of teachers, saviours and masters. If you really want to find out what meditation is, you have to set aside all authority completely and totall; not the authority of law, of the policeman -- law, legislation, you may understand later, when your own mind is orderly and clear. Now what is meditation? Is it control of though? And if it is, who is the controller of thought? It is thought itself, isn't it? Our whole culture, both in the East and the West, is based on control of thought and concentration, in which only one thought can be pursued to the end. Why should one control at all? Control implies imitation, conformity, it implies the acceptance of a pattern as the authority, according to which you are trying to live. That pattern is set by the society, by the culture, by somebody who you think has knowledge, enlightenment and so on. According to that pattern one tries to live,suppressing all one's own feelings and ideas, trying to conform. In that there is conflict, and conflict is essentially a wastage of energy.

So concentration, which so many advocate in meditation, is totally wrong. Are you accepting all this, or are you just listening out of boredom? Because we must go into this question, whether thought can function where necessary, without any form of control. Can thought function when necessary as knowledge, in action, and be completely still at other times? That is the real issue. The mind which is cluttered up with so many activities of thought and is therefore uncertain, is trying to find clarity in that confusion, forcing itself to control, to conform to an idea; it therefore brings about more and more confusion within itself. I want to find out whether the mind can be quiet and only function when necessary.

(The Awakening of Intelligence, "The Meditative Mind" pp 472-474)

(Once again I apologize in any errors in my transcription from the original text. --.ren)

How about that for "an interplay of presence and absence"?

And, how's that for an anti fascist approach to meditation? And let's hope that Heideggar really wasn't a Nazi sympathizer! If what he was saying and teaching was along those same lines, he would have been anything but.

I would correlate the following with what you ascribed to Adorno earlier when you wrote: (Antifascist wrote) "A movement of thought named "self awareness."" Except I would perhaps just leave it at movement, leave the descriptor "thought" out of it, because that word obviously brings up some technical confusions, as poly pointed out. Anyway the following is also calling attention to movement and implying what I would imagine to be self awareness (I'll avoid describing the what that supposedly moves):

Krishnamurti: "This not only implies suppression of your own movement and understanding, but also conformity and the endless conflict involved in practising a particular system."

And another one that I find relates to a large section of this long discussion:

Krishnamurti: "Control implies imitation, conformity, it implies the acceptance of a pattern as the authority, according to which you are trying to live."

"...the acceptance of a pattern"... a "paradigm" for instance?

And finally:

Krishnamurti: "Can thought function when necessary as knowledge, in action, and be completely still at other times? That is the real issue."

I see ties back to what I started with:

Quote Antifascist:

The word used here (strange -.ren) to describe humankind is δεινότατον (adj, sg, neut, nom, superl.) meaning “the strangest” from its root adjective, δεινός (adj, sg, masc, nom.) (as in dinosaur) strange, fearful, terrible, dread, dire to describe the relation between being and thinking. Technical thinking directed at dominating physis is an attack on Being.

How's that for "a sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought"? (Third Grade English)

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Charges of Nazi sympathy are not supported by evidence in his thinking. How anyone under the gun acts or what is said in such a context as protective cover ought to be taken into account. I wish Bonhoeffer had been able to keep from being killed.

I would not lose his witness, however. But Heidegger's work is a gift we also receive, and his thinking in that context is more relevant to us than is the thinking of the martyrs who play into our own sense of self-righteous differentiation from the Nazis. But here we have our Empire of Evil and our SS special forces and our toxic National Myth of Roman "peace through war" theology. We are more akin to Heidegger than to the underground. This idea of our immersion in NeoLiberalism as the Reality Context of all Narrative and policy thinking sounds like the German University under the Reich.

It is more his example than the adoption of his thinking per se. We also must work out our own salvation in "fear and trembling" as we deal with the principalities and powers of our world. Nobody has the nostrum available in consumable form. The idea of a "nostrum" may be in the way. Being beyond thought but intensely aware is about the recovery of what the Age of Reason discounted in the human "brain/body" system. That is our context. It is also about not leaving thinking out of the larger picture just because we have rediscovered and integrated mysticism into our epistemology and praxis.

Keeping mysticism from being trivialized into much of the New Age "inner peace" narcotic is also essential. Escaping from what is ugly and oppressive is attractive. Having an inner beauty and sense of sacred being is essential, but it must be connected to the world rather than cut off from it. Where the mystic becomes a subjective authority and "guru" over others, what has been rejected by modernism needs to be approved. Much of the Religious Right is about the charismatic appeal of mystic authorities claiming special powers and knowledge.

Religion is a dangerous thing which needs to be handled with care. The mistake is to think that one can avoid the phenomenon of religion by avoiding the institutions or the practices of established religions. Not knowing about religion leaves one vulnerable to religion in secular guise.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thanks DRC for your views of Heidegger and his literally being under the gun of fascists while he was a professor. Not all persons are as informed. But even setting aside his being hostage of the fascists, there is nothing in his philosophical thought that reflects Nazi fascist ideology and so he was sent to dig trenches. Heidegger was a philosopher addressing timeless questions in the tradition of a particular school of new philosophical thought and methodology--phenomenology. The Nazis claimed to be the paradigm of Western Christianity—Muscular Christianity. I got pictures. But then there is that other argument that Captain Doolittle presented to Bomb # 20:

Dark Star....bomb debate.... (4 minutes, 10 seconds):

DOOLITTLE
So you have no absolute proof that Sergeant Pinback ordered you to detonate.

BOMB #20
I recall distinctly the detonation order. My memory is good on matters like these.

DOOLITTLE
Yes, of course you remember it, but what you are remembering is merely a series of electrical impulses which you now realize have no necessary connection with outside reality.

BOMB #20
True, but since this is so, I have no proof that you are really telling me all this.

DOOLITTLE
That's all beside the point. The concepts are valid, wherever they originate.

BOMB #20
Hmmm...

I agree with Paul Tillich:

But real demonry—if this word is to have any special content-occurs only in connection with a positive, sustaining, creative-destructive power...This is true also of the last great demonry of the present, nationalism....National things receive sacral untouchability and ritual dignity. But just there demonization begins. With the creative-supporting forces, destructive ones combine: the lie with which the self-righteousness of one nation distorts the true picture of its own and foreign reality; the violation, which makes other nations an object whose own essence and independent might is despised and downtrodden; the murder, which in the name of the god pledged to the nation is consecrated to holy war. Beyond this, it is the peculiarity of the national demonry of our time that it has subjected itself to capitalism. The nations entered the World War as capitalistic groups of power; and the chief bearers of the will for war were at the same time the bearers of the capitalistic domination in their own nation; not from any personal demonry, but themselves supported by the demonic figure of capitalism which they represent. Thus the social demonry of the present is revealed in its duality, in its immense supporting and destructive strength. Shattered for a moment, it is at present on the point of re-establishing itself, in order better to sustain and—better to destroy.

The Interpretation of History,I: The Demonic, by Paul Tillich.

The theologian Paul Tillich must not of detected fascist ideology in Heidegger either:

“...existentialism is the good luck of Christian Theology.” Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology Vol. I. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951, 1957 & 1963, page 27.

Heidegger identified the real problem between religion and scientism in our age:

“Wherever technical reason dominates, religion is superstition and is either foolishly supported by reason, or rightly removed by it.” Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology Vol. I. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951, 1957 & 1963, page 75.

I like the parallels you have directed our attention to with Krishnamurti’s discourse and Heidegger. The connections are not accidental. Heidegger was a student, and even translator, of Eastern Philosophical texts during the time he was writing during the 1940s.

Heidegger and Paul Tillich are attempting to establish a “Negative Theology.”

The distance between mysticism and science (not scientism) isn’t that far if we use the demarcations of reason we have defined. Here is another expression--or lexis, or logoi—different than what we have been using to understand what existentialism is saying about perception and reality, but the same content.. I thought it was pretty good:

Perception - The reality beyond matter

Also, I will eventually get to Walter Benjamin and just by coincidence came across this radio interview about him. Against the Grain (July 13, 2011):The early writings of Walter Benjamin, the brilliant German philosopher-critic known for his insights into technology, art, and modern existence, are the focus of a new volume edited by MIT scholar Howard Eiland.

Okay, I am working on calculative and meditative thinking, but Heidegger’s later thought is spread over a large number of interviews, articles, essays, and lectures from the 1940s to 1970s.

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Antifascist
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(Sorry Anti, I put this out of order because I just had to edit an edit I'd screwed up earlier. Sometimes I'm sure I do something correctly and then I find it wrong later, which has me a little suspicious about this software. This is one of those cases. You could do an edit of yours without changing anything and it will put your post after this one again.)

Quote DRC:

It is more his example than the adoption of his thinking per se. We also must work out our own salvation in "fear and trembling" as we deal with the principalities and powers of our world. Nobody has the nostrum available in consumable form. The idea of a "nostrum" may be in the way. Being beyond thought but intensely aware is about the recovery of what the Age of Reason discounted in the human "brain/body" system. That is our context. It is also about not leaving thinking out of the larger picture just because we have rediscovered and integrated mysticism into our epistemology and praxis.

Indeed, this all could bear some in-depth discussion. Heideggar, Adorno, Wittgenstein, et al, have only presented a kind of koan-like problem they themselves struggled with. It is, I feel, the same koan for all of us. And thus a really basic problem, but one that can be disorienting if measured in too many ways. In that lies the danger of presenting the conflict and disorder which tears the world apart. And I believe what you've expressed echoes others represented here. In particular I quoted some lines from Krishnamurti:

Krishnamurti: "Can thought function when necessary as knowledge, in action, and be completely still at other times? That is the real issue."

Quote DRC:

Keeping mysticism from being trivialized into much of the New Age "inner peace" narcotic is also essential. Escaping from what is ugly and oppressive is attractive. Having an inner beauty and sense of sacred being is essential, but it must be connected to the world rather than cut off from it. Where the mystic becomes a subjective authority and "guru" over others, what has been rejected by modernism needs to be approved. Much of the Religious Right is about the charismatic appeal of mystic authorities claiming special powers and knowledge.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this; not sure whether you are introducing something new or making comments about things that have been said, and if in that case, I don't know by whom. I think you've raised something complex and pertinent, so I want to say a few words, even if they don't address your point exactly as you intended it.

There was a group that followed Thom to his board in its early days of formation. They came from theirs and his interaction with Salem and all that he wrote about it in The Prophet's Way, one of the texts we are including in our critique of reason and the sort of misplaced authoritarianism we find in the text-oriented fundamentalism of the Religious Right (or any organized religion). While all of them have found other venues for their thoughts, to say that there was a trace of "inner peace narcotic" in their ideas might be valid. But you yourself received something less than "peace narcotics" from one of their less peaceful warriors, Chris DeGetman, a deeply spiritual person in his own right, so I doubt that it would be easy to say that they are under delusions caused by an ideological "inner peace" narcotic. Not to say that they are not under some other form of thought-induced narcotic, but that would not be for me to speak about.

While it may be essential to keep inner peace from being trivialized, I don't know how you propose that to take place, other than by an individual self actually working it out. If anyone is serious about these issues, taking drugs of any kind, including the ideological variety, will not happen because one sees the obvious effects of doing that. A serious individual will see the truth of that for oneself. One does not have to bludgeon oneself into anything, with mental thoughts or drugs. Inner peace is not about doing that, as Krishnamurti so eloquently points out in my above transcription. It's something which I personally have affirmed for myself in action (but don't take my words for it), so I feel he speaks a phenomenological truth here, but one that we each have to come to for ourselves, or we would repeat the problem he presents by making him the authority and attempting to copy what we think he means by his words:

Unless one has a great abundance of energy, not only physically but much more so psychologically, our action will never be complete, it will always produce friction, conflict and struggle. Seeing the various forms of meditations, of Zen, of Yoga brought over from India, and the various contemplative groups of monks and so on, in all that, there is the idea of control, acceptance of a system, practising a repetition of words, which is called mantra, and various forms of breathing, hatha yoga and so on. I suppose you know all this.

So first of all let us dispose of them altogether by investigating. Not accepting what they say, but investigating the truth of falseness of it.

I think the inner peace narcotic would be pretty much what he talks about there, the "mantra meditation" he refers to sounds like the Transcendental Meditation a bunch of hippie types I got to know were into when I got into college again after my experience in the Vietnam War. Yes they paid for their mantra, and they did their best to get others into it thinking it would bring that form of inner peace which one bludgeons into existence by numbing the mind with repetition. That's as much a narcotic as taking any chemical inducements to the mind in the form of drugs or alcohol. So the real issue is to be alive and with as much mental and physical energy as one is capable of maintaining.

Peace does not come from narcotics. The religions you say are dangerous to play with are also like narcotics. And what is challenging is to recognize how we anesthetize ourselves with our minds. Peace comes from being alive, having that great space of awareness and allowing at the same time for the action of the thinking, logical mind to work where it needs to, and to stay quiet when there is no need. Having an orderly sense of self, a lively, aware mind, even in the midst of chaos and a mélange of fear embedding oneself, is perhaps the only real peace.

Quote DRC:

The mistake is to think that one can avoid the phenomenon of religion by avoiding the institutions or the practices of established religions. Not knowing about religion leaves one vulnerable to religion in secular guise.

I just want to take that a little further and clarify that not "knowing about" the relationship between our thinking minds and the religious institutions that are formed out of them, the subsequent tendency towards an idolatary adherence of the thinking aspect of mind to these forms, these patterns, these paradigms as we've pointed out several times on this thread, does indeed leave one "vulnerable" to all of this, some of which you've called religion in disguise. What it all is, I would say, is of a common form that involves using the mind to suppress the true spiritual potential of each and every one of us; and with that, we are all vulnerable to the tricks of a mass society, including it's many versions of propaganda, much of which has this and many other societies tearing at themselves at their most essential roots -- and that is their human roots, without which there is no need for ideologies such as the religion of free trade economics or any thing else.

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.ren
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What is G-d? Unknown, yet
Full of his qualities is the
Face of the sky. For the lightnings
Are the wrath of a g-d. The more something
Is invisible, the more it yields to what’s alien.

Friedrich Hölderlin

Calculative and Meditative Thinking.

We have already discussed calculative thinking extensively so what is meditative thinking? Meditative thinking is a Heideggerian concept that does not stand alone, but needs a constellation of other ontological categorical distinctions that are presented as polarities in an interplay of disclosure and concealment-- between the primordial tendency of being to disclose itself to Dasein and the receptive capacity of Dasein to make entities, or things present. Being is “auto-disclosive” through the self-disclosive structure of Dasein in various modes of appropriation of phenomena. Sheehan writes, “As an excess that has access to entities, human being is called the ‘there’ that is, ‘openness,’ the open area of intelligibility.”

Meditative thinking is in the same sphere as Phronesis, or φρόν-ησις , practical wisdom, prudence in government and affairs, a “sensing and reflecting which comes from the ‘heart.’” It is another kind of knowledge, “...is ‘of another essence’ not the creating of orders and statutes and whose form of knowledge is ‘madness’ or ‘delusion.’” (Heidegger’s Antigones, by Clare Pearson Geiman.).

These other ontological categories include Releasement (Gelassenheit), toward beings which is characteristic of Dasein engaged in meditative thinking. Calculative thinking is based on willing and re-presenting; however, abstaining from willing enables releasement which give access to Being. Releasement is “openness” to Being. Meditative thinking is a non-willing. In meditative thinking actualization is somehow achieved without willing. A footnote from the knowledgeable Dr. Sheehan reports Heidegger translated the Tao Te Ching with a Chinese scholar during the 1940s. Heidegger’s doctrine of releasement as non-willing is rejected by most as Quietism.

In-dwelling is "the basic character of dwelling is to spare, to preserve… dwelling itself is always a staying with things. Dwelling, as preserving, keeps the fourfold in that with which mortals stay: in things" (Poetry, Language, Thought by Heidegger, 1971, Harper and Row, pp.150-151).

In some later writing Heidegger avoided using the term, “Being” because it suggests another privileged entity behind entities. I have already committed this same error by using the terms “beings” and Big “Being” implying some meta-object. Instead of using “Being,” Heidegger moved to less solid concepts like, “Region,” or “that-which-regions.” He shifts to a pure spatial metaphor.

“Now thinking which constructs a world of objects understands these objects; but meditative thinking begins with an awareness of the field within which this objects are, an awareness of the horizon rather than of the objects of ordinary understanding.”(Discourse On Thinking, by Martin Heidegger, Harper and Row, 1966, page 24.).

A region is the openness within the circumscribed horizon of consciousness (of objects). Think of it as Wittgenstein’s red glass cover, except the cover is dynamic. The limit is actually the Kantian like boundary of a “field of awareness [which] has no fixed limits, but only a horizon.” This comportment of Dasein toward being reveals the relativity of all cultural logoi and we break-out to create a new boundary, or edge—a new mythic boundary. Meditative thinking emerges from Dasein’s creative effort to go beyond conceptual reification of experience that results in an overly restricting and simplified field of objectivity. But isn’t creative effort a willing? Heidegger writes in “Conversation On A Country Path About Thinking,” in an imaginary Platonic dialog between a scientist, a scholar and a teacher:

Scholar: Waiting, however, lets goof that: or rather I should say that waiting lets re-presenting entirely alone. It really has no object.

Scientist: Yet if we wait we always wait for something.

Scholar: Certainly, but as soon as we re-present to ourselves and fix upon that for which we wait, we really wait no longer.

Teacher: In waiting we leave open what we are waiting for.

Scholar: Why?

Teacher: Because waiting releases itself into openness....”(Discourse On Thinking, by Martin Heidegger, Harper and Row, 1966, page 68.)

Poetic dwelling understands the metaphoric μεταφορ-ά (metaphora, meaning transference) character of all knowledge. Poetic dwelling is liberation from logoi and open to possibility—that which does not exist. It is an attitude of essential questioning, of self-openness, receptivity, wonder, continuous spiritual alertness, reverential expectation, caring, thankfulness, attunement, an inner most “resonance,” and “harmony.”

Poetry awakens an attitude of reverential expectation and so is a kind of prophesy: it announces a destiny (GA 52, 101) and mediates between human beings and “gods” (GA 52, 69). It is crucial to understand, however, that these “gods” are not and cannot be existing divinities....Poetic thinking as remembrance aims to reclaim divinity in absence by reawakening the sense in which all human Being and acting is shaped by and bound to something essentially ungraspable and beyond it and to orient human life on the “un” in opening up what is un-familiar and unusual at the core of all everyday familiarity.(Heidegger’s Antigones, by Clare Pearson Geiman.).
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Antifascist
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

My next post is a little different from by previous ones so I need to provide a philosophical justification. After a few days of searching, the quote needed is found here:

Meanwhile, there rages round the earth an unbridled yet clever talking, writing, and broadcasting of spoken words. Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man. When this relation of dominance gets inverted, man hits upon strange maneuvers. Language becomes the means of expression. As expression, language can decay into a mere medium for the printed word. That even in such employment of language we retain a concern for care in speaking is all to the good. But this alone will never help us to escape from the inversion of the true relation of dominance between language and man. For, strictly, it is language that speaks. Man first speaks when, and only when, he responds to language by listening to its appeal. Among all the appeals that we human beings, on our part, may help to be voiced, language is the highest and everywhere the first. Language beckons us, at first and then again at the end toward a thing's nature. But that is not to say, however, that in any word-meaning picked up at will language supplies us, straight away and definitively, with the transparent nature of the matter as if it were an object ready for use. But the responding in which man authentically listens to the appeal of language is that which I speaks in the element of poetry. The more poetic a poet is the freer (that is, the more open and ready for the unforeseen) his saying-the greater is the purity with which he submits what he says to an ever more painstaking listening, and the further what he says is from the mere propositional statement that is dealt with solely in regard to its correctness or incorrectness. (Poetry, Language, Thought, by Martin Heidegger, translated by Albert Hofstadter ,1971, Harper and Row, page. 215).

So I think the place for this next post should be in "The Prophet's Way" forum (Post #7).

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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Due to my general absence from this board these days, I haven't been doing much exploring of other topics, so I appreciate your linking us to your one-man discussion there on Prophet's Way! Great little narrative there in Post #7.

I wish I had more time to work with these ideas right now, but I don't. In reference to your previous post I'll bring in some more from Krishnamurti. What I'm bringing is not a counterpoint but more in the order of an expansion or maybe just a nod. It's from the final discussion transcribed in The Awakening of Intelligence, a discussion between Krishnamurti and the physicist David Bohm (as in your quote of a discussion between a teacher, a scholar and a scientist, except these two are sort of all those things combined). Besides making major contributions to the field of theoretical physics, David Bohm contributed to philosophy, neurophsychology, and he was part of the infamous Manhatten Project that brought us the atomic bomb, though because of his politics he was not given the security clearance that would have put him at Los Alamos with Oppenheimer, though Oppenheimer wanted him there it appears. Thanks to McCarthyism, Bohm left the states to live somewhere less... well, you give it a word if you want.

In neuropsychology, Bohm worked in collaboration with Karl Pribram to develop the holonomic model of processing brain states, a model drastically different from conventionally accepted ideas, and one that would probably play off our discussion here, as it led Bohm to developing ideas like "thought as a system" and such.

Polycarp may remember Howard, one of our long gone board participants, who attempted to introduce the Bohm Dialogue into discussions here at Thom's. It was something that he himself had actually engaged in workshops and it clearly had a huge affect on him which he generously wished to share with others. If you read about it you'll find it to be an experiential exercise involving presence in a group of twenty to forty participants. I admire Howard's dogged efforts to try to translate that phenomenological experience to discussions with right wing propagandists on this site. He was a patient participant, going carefully and methodically over the problem in his efforts to introduce this way of coming to "see" non dogmatically.

Without further ado, here is a snippet of that discussion between Bohm and Krishnamurti:

Professor Bohm: About intelligence, I always like to look up the origin of a word as well as its meaning. It is very interesting; it comes from inter and legere which means "To read between". So it seems to me that you could say that thought is like the information in a book and that intelligence has to read it, the meaning of it. I think this gives a rather good notion of intelligence.

Krishnamurti: To read between the lines.

Bohm: Yes, to see what it means. There is also another relevant meaning given in the dictionary which is: mental alertness.

Krishnamurti: Yes, mental alertness.

Bohm: Well, this is very different from what people have in mind when they measure intelligence. Now, considering many of the things you have said, you would say intelligence is not thought. You say thought takes place in the old brain, it is a physical process, electrochemical; ith has been amply proved by science that all thought is essentially a physical, chemical process. Then we could say perhaps that intelligence is not of the same order, it is not of the order of time at all.

Krishnamurti: Intelligence.

Bohm: Yes, intelligence reads "between the lines" of thought, sees the meaning of it. There is one more point before we start on this question: if you say thought is physical, then the mind or intelligence or whatever you want to call it, seems different, it is of a different order. Would you say there is a real difference between the physical and intelligence?

Krishnamurti: Yes. Are we saying that thought is matter? Let us put it differently.

Bohm: Matter? I would rather call it a material process.

Krishnamurti: All right; thought is a material process, and what is the relationship between that and intelligence? Is intelligence the product of thought?

Bohm: I think we can take for granted that it is not.

Krishnamurti: Why do we take it for granted?

Bohm: Simply because thought is mechanical.

Krishnamurti: Thought is mechanical, that is right.

Bohm: Intelligence is not.

Krishnamurti: So thought is measurable; intelligence is not. And how does it happen that this intelligence comes into existence? If thought has no relationship with intelligence, then is the cessation of thought the awakening of intelligence? Or is that intelligence, being independent of thought, not of time, therefore exists always?

Bohm: That raises many difficult questions.

Krishnamurti: I know.

Bohm: I would like to put this in a framework of thinking that one could connect with any scientific views that may exist.

Krishnamurti: Yes

Bohm: Either to show that it fits or doesn't fit. So you say intelligence may be there always.

Krishnamurti: I am asking -- is it there always?

Bohm: It may or may not be. Or is it possible that something interferes with intelligence?

Krishnamurti: You see the Hindus have the theory that intelligence, or Brahman, exists always and is covered over by illusion, by matter, by stupidity, by all kinds of mischievous things created by thought. I don't know if you would go as far as that.

Bohm: Well, yes; we don't actually see the eternal existence of intelligence.

Krishnamurti: They say peel all this off, that thing is there. So their assumption is that it existed always.

Bohm: There is a difficulty in that, in the word "always".

Krishnamurti: Yes.

Bohm: Because "always" implies time.

Krishnamurti: That is right.

Bohm: And that is just the trouble. Time is thought -- I would like to put it that thought is of the order of time -- or perhaps it is the other way around -- that time is of the order of thought. In other words thought has invented time, and in fact thought is time. The way I see it is, that thought may sweep over the whole of time in one moment; but then thought is always changing without noticing that it is changing physically -- for physical reasons that is.

Krishnamurti: Yes.

Bohm: But not rational reasons.

Krishnamurti: No.

Bohm: The reasons do not have to do with something total, but they have to do with some physical movement in the brain; therefore...

Krishnamurti: ....they depend on environment and all kinds of things.

Bohm: So as thought changes with time its meaning is no longer consistent, it becomes contradictory, it changes in an arbitrary way.

Krishnamurti: Yes, I'll follow that.

Bohm: Then you begin to think, everything is changing, everything changes, and one realises "I am time". When time is extended it becomes vast, the past before I was, further and further back and also forward in the future, so you begin to say time is the essence of all, time conquers everything. First the child may think, "I am eternal"; then he begins to understand that he is in time. The general view that we get to is, that time is the essence of existence. This I think is not only the common sense view but also the scientific view. It is very hard to give up such a view because it is an intense conditioning. It is stronger even than the conditioning of the observer and the observed.

Krishnamurti: Yes, quite. Are we saying that thought is of time, thought is measurable, thought can change, modify, expand? And intelligence is of a different order altogether?

Yes, different order, different quality. And I get an interesting impression of this thought with regard to time. If we think of the past and the future, we think of the past as becoming the future; but you can see that that can't be, that it is just thought. Yet one gets the impression that past and future are present together and there is movement in another way; that the whole process is moving.

Krishnamurti: The whole pattern is moving.

Bohm: But it can't picture how it moves. In some sense it is moving in a perpendicular direction to the direction between past and future. That whole movement -- then I begin to think that movement is in another time.

Krishnamurti: Quite, quite.

Bohm: But that gets you back into a paradox.

Krishnamurti: Yes, that is it. Is intelligence out of time and therefore not related to thought, which is a movement of time?

Bohm: But thought must be related to it.

Krishnamurti: Is it? I am asking. I think it is unrelated.

Bohm: Unrelated? But there seems to be some relation in the sense that you distinguish between intelligent thought and unintelligent thought.

Krishnamurti: Yes, but that requires intelligence: to recognize unintelligent thought.

Bohm: But when intelligence reads thought, what is the relationship?

Krishnamurti: Let us go slowly....

Well, of course it goes on, fascinatingly... to me at least.

I'd like to share their concluding remarks:

Krishnamurti: I think this is what really takes place. When you were talking to me -- I was noticing it -- I was not listening to your words so much. I was listening to you. I was open to you, not to your words, as you explained and so on. I said to myself, all right, leave all that, I am listening to you, not to the words which you use, but to the meaning, to the inward quality of your feeling that you want to communicate to me.

Bohm: I understand.

Krishnamurti: That changes me, not all this verbalisation. So can you talk to me about my idiocies, my illusions, my peculiar tendencies, without the conscious mind interfering and saying, "Please don't touch all this, leave me alone!" They have tried subliminal propaganda in advertising, so that whilst you don't really pay attention, your unconscious does, so you buy that particular soap! We are not doing that, that would be deadly. What I am saying is: don't listen to me with your conscious ears but listen to me with the ears that hear much deeper. That is how I listened to you this morning, because I am terribly interested in the source, as you are. You follow Sir? I am really interested in that one thing. All this is the explicable, easily understood -- but to come to that thing together, feel it together! You follow? I think that is the way to break a conditioning, a habit, an image which has been cultivated. You talk about it at a level where the conscious mind is not totally interested. It sounds silly, but you understand what I mean?

Say for instance I have a conditioning; you can point it out a dozen times, argue, show the fallacy of it, the stupidity -- but I still go on. I resist, I say what it should be, what shall i do in this world otherwise, and all the rest of it. But you see the truth, that as long as the mind is conditioned there must be conflict. So you penetrate or push aside my resistance and get to that, get the unconscious t listen to you, because the unconscious is much more subtle, much quicker. It may be frightened, but it sees the danger of fear much quicker than the conscious mind does. As when I was walking in California high in the mountains: I was looking at birds and trees and watching, and I heard a rattler and I jumped. It was the unconscious that made the body jump; I saw the rattler when I jumped, it was two or three feet away, it could have struck me very easily. If the conscious brain had been operating it would have taken several seconds.

Bohm: To reach the unconscious you have to have an action which doesn't directly appeal to the conscious.

Krishnamurti: Yes. That is affection, that is love. When you talk to my waking consciousness, it is hard, clever, subtle, brittle. And you penetrate that, penetrate it with your look, with your affection, with all the feeling you have. That operates, not anything else.

Brockwood Park, 7 October 1972.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Thank you Ren for that discussion between Krishnamurti and Bohm which clearly relates our own thinking and deceptively covers many theories about consciousness found in philosophy all the way back to Plato, Hegel, and Husserl. Consciousness is a thematic historical "thread" that can be traced through Western philosophical schools and philosophers like Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hegel, Husserl, the Existentialist, and the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. The resources on consciousness are massive. The same is true for that other theme of "technology's domination over human life." I have one book by Krishnamurti that I have not read entitled, "Think on These Things." (1964).

I have to plan a day or so ahead and decide on what direction to take now.

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Antifascist
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We are obviously not the first to head off into this potentially unchartable realm. Which is why I've simply been adding what I find from discussions that are often categorized as something other than the acceptable category of Western rationality -- that paradigm that often gets used to stifle rather than explore. We may need a fog boat soon.

Here's a provocative thought from Jacques Ellul:

Quote JacquesEllul:

It will doubtless be pointed out, by way of refutation, that production techniques were developed during the ascendancy of liberalism, which furnished a favorable climate for their development and understood perfectly how to use them. But this is no counterargument. The simple fact is that liberalism permitted the development of its executioner, exactly as in a healthy tissue a constituent cell may proliferate and give rise to a fatal cancer. The healthy body represented the necessary condition for the cancer. But there was no contradiction between the two. The same relation holds between technique and economic liberalism.

(The Technological Society, Jacques Ellul, pp. 200-201)

I haven't read that Krishnamurti book you mentioned, Anti, but I imagine one of the "things" he will suggest "thinking on" is the human ability to dwell on its sense of fear. It's a common Krishnamurti theme. As he often discusses it, the dwelling on fear is like that constituent cell that becomes a cancer. One result might be some nutcase who dwelled himself into hysteria, and the acts, trying to maintain and control something that he feels will protect him (often he extends it to his sense of "group" to give it some righteousness), thereby resulting in actions like Oklahoma City bombing or this recent tragic Norway action, just to name a small few of many such actions. It may all trace back to fear. To simply label such actions "right wing extremist" is not sufficient to understand the depths of the problem, nor is it a way of dealing with it.

The fact (and these kinds of truths may be in the order of actual facts) of the matter is the human mind is capable of creating all sorts of diseased antidotes to our attempts to protect our individual liberties and ensure equatability for all, which was of course the underlying impulse to the rise of liberalism over the past few centuries. This is kind of the conundrum of the human condition, the play off between intelligence, as discussed by Bohm and Krishnamurti above, and the clever thinking part of our minds.

And, just to tie it back to this long discussion, I would further suggest that this impulse to counter fear has developed something we are calling neoliberalism, which is a production-oriented response to human fear and the desire to be safe by providing all the things people feel they need to feel safe.

Of course, it must be noticed that the problem with "thinking on" anything is that it may not be directed by intelligence. And then the whole carnival starts up. Anders Behring Breivik, who thought on something, says in court: I am not guilty. I was only protecting everyone from cultural Marxism and an incursion of Muslims threatening to take over Europe. And then everyone sits back in their merry-go-round seat and thinks on the truth of falsness of his claim in the usual spectacle it becomes, thanks to the technique of mass media, engendering more fear, more techniques for control of the freedoms set loose by the rise of liberalism.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

(Yes! please fix this crappy board so we can edit and not throw our comments out of sequence! Meanwhile, I suspect you'll be editing yours, Anti, so I'll take the liberty to edit mine. Number one edit for you, it's Sam Harris, not Jim Harris.)

Now, I find this interesting and something which bears on our discussion. We've referenced Chris Hedges a number of times, but not Sam Harris. The two of them appear to have a kind of grudge match going over the issue of the inexplicable we are trying to reference when paired with rationality and logic.

Chris came out with a piece this week: Fundamentalism Kills

He begins with.

Quote Chris Hedges:

The gravest threat we face from terrorism, as the killings in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik underscore, comes not from the Islamic world but the radical Christian right and the secular fundamentalists who propagate the bigoted, hateful caricatures of observant Muslims and those defined as our internal enemies. The caricature and fear are spread as diligently by the Christian right as they are by atheists such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. Our religious and secular fundamentalists all peddle the same racist filth and intolerance that infected Breivik. This filth has poisoned and degraded our civil discourse. The looming economic and environmental collapse will provide sparks and tinder to transform this coarse language of fundamentalist hatred into, I fear, the murderous rampages experienced by Norway. I worry more about the Anders Breiviks than the Mohammed Attas.

Truthdig gave Sam Harris an opportunity to respond, and he did:

Sam Harris Responds to Chris Hedges’ ‘Fundamentalism Kills’ Column

Well, I'm sorry to say, the response was entirely of a personal nature. But, in order to find out what his response to the notion of "fundamentalism kills" might be, I rooted through some of his references to find out what they actually have talked about in the past, and one of the more revealing discussions was a debate they had a few years back: Religion, Politics and the End of the World. It's in nine parts, ten or so minute to a part, about Ninety minutes total. It starts with that first link, from there I was able to view them all.

Fascinating. It's too bad about the personal enmity that gets into it. Sam comes across as an eloquent exponent of rationality, and yet I am left wondering if he can grasp the nuances of the points Chris struggles to bring about regarding his struggle with the term "faith." It seems to me that the infection of elevating reason above all other human characteric qualities has imbued and colored his point of view. And I'm suspecting that he took Wittgenstein's 7th proposition in the same vein as the Logical Positivists (which was not quite what Wittgenstein meant, ironically):

Quote Ludwig Wittgenstein:Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

And it's kind of interesting that the ego will attempt to own the rational, thus we get the very basis for what amounts to a smart, sometimes eloquent response that is also deeply scarred by ego driven caustic personal affrontive remarks, apparently coming from Harris' rational interpretation of what to that ego of his is a an intentional personal affront to it by one Chris Hedges. I leave that intentionality to Chris, for I know I cannot know. But whatever, I think we have another fine example of miscommunication gone awry. Or, as Krishnamurti might say, neglecting to bring "intelligence" to bear in interpreting the words they exchange. Certainly we do not see love and affection in abundance in their attitudes towards each other.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

...sorry for the editing.

Well, I'm sorry to say, the response [Sam Harris] was entirely of a personal nature.

And I thought this was going to be a long and difficult post. Yeah, Sam Harris is a fake. He had no content whatsoever. I read a quick summary of Harris ’work (until I started to puke) and know the key arguments of this school of thought. We covered some of them for the last year here at Thom Hartmann’s discussion board,

In The End of Faith, Harris suggests that all beliefs, except those emanating from religious dogma, are based on evidence and experience.

Sam Harris doesn’t have a clue. Sam Harris is a decoy to pick up fascists that can’t stomach even pretending to be religious fundamentalists and who would blame them? But totalitarian science isn’t any better than totalitarian religion—it is just a different suit of clothes.

But before I get to the crutch of the matter, let me say something about fascism in general. The way fascism works is it “connects” and it “mimics.”

Fascism connects by getting involved in every aspect of our lives. Fascism is involved in every social transaction—every financial transaction (date, time, location, ID code) is recorded to exact detail. Every moment of work is monitored by fascism. Every thought is influenced, even if rejected as false, by fascist propaganda. Your name, your reputation gets connected to fascism--after all you work for such company, you attend such and such university so your identity becomes attached to that institution. We saw what happens in the case of Heidegger teaching at the university. Fascism lives in the crack of your ass.

Parasite: Para (beside) Sitos (food)

παράσι_τ-ος , ,

A. one who eats at the table of another, and repays him with flattery and buffoonery, parasite, Epich.36, Arar.16, etc.; name of plays by Antiph., Alex., and Diph.; περὶ Παρασίτου, title of work by Luc.: c. gen., “κενῆς π. τραπέζης” AP11.346 (Autom.) : metaph., ἰχθὺς ἦν π. (v. ὄψον) Luc.Lex.6.
II.
of priests who had their meals at the public expense, Clitodem.11, Polem.Hist.78.2. one who dines with a superior officer, Arist.Fr.551.

Fascism mimics your logical and ethical reasoning because it is the easiest way to influence one’s behavior. Oh, you can’t have that because we have to be frugal, or there is an exceptional emergency, or it is your duty to sacrifice your life for some illusory purpose. The Reality Principle requires that you be a slave. And then, like a parasite, fascism, as Michael Hudson once said, convinces the host that the parasite is essential for the host’s physical and moral survival.

We see the Fundamentalism of Neo-Christian fascist movement paralleled in America with the Fundamentalism of Logical Positivism, or what we called “Scientism.” Chris Hedges is calling it “secular fundamentalism.” I am interpreting it that way, because he speaks of the more abstract dogmatism of all "fundamentalism" whatever the source.

It’s logical positivism cloaked, or all dressed up in the “veener” of science because as Chris says, “All fundamentalists, religious and secular, are ignoramuses... They do not need to bother with the hard and laborious work of religious, linguistic, historical and cultural understanding.... real debate, real dialogue, real intellectual thought.”

And isn’t that what we have seen on this board? The same dumb arguments about empiricism that have long been discussed by Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Descartes, and resolved by Kant?

I mean Harris’ epistemology is that you just walk up and open your big blue eyes and knowledge!!! Like the sun warming a stone. It is the same literalism of religious Biblicism. "Critique" on the other hand comes from the proud tradition of rational theological disputes similar to the critiques of science in ages past.

The idea of critique is a product of the Enlightenment. The term is older still. It was first used by the Humanists and Reformers to describe the art of informed judgment appropriate to the study of ancient texts, whether the Classics or the Bible. For a time this critical activity was a weapon in the hands of the warring religious parties. But it was a double-edged weapon....the art of critique itself began to claim a status independent of both Church and Scripture. (Critical Sociology, Paul Connerton, Penguin ,1976, page 15.).

Harris represents the same old lack of philosophical reflection. But as Chris said, “They cannot afford complexity” because it will undermine their air of scientific authority.

Divinity of Doubt: The God Question by Vincent Bugliosi is about this meaningless debate of a theistic entity and what is god’s zip code? Turns out according to the secular atheists that a theistic being never registered a residence so we can pretty well conclude god doesn’t exist. It was a pretty absurd thesis debated by both empiricists—I mean would G-d have to pay property taxes? Chris wrote...

They don masks. One wears the mask of religion. One wears the mask of science. One wears the mask of journalism. One wears the mask of the terrorism expert. They jab back and forth in predictable sound bites. It is a sterile and useless debate between bizarre subsets of American culture.

It is this bad faith that makes the utopian mythic visions dangerous fantasies. Utopia: οὐ ("not") and τόπος ("place") means “no place.” Philosophical investigation can explore this concept and “paradise” further. Paradise; parádeisos (παράδεισος) means “around the wall,” but this philosophical method is foreign to solipsistic fundamentalism of the type we have described. The concepts of Eros and Thanatos are incomprehensible and unnecessary--no epistemological ground to stand on--in the eyes of this nihilistic literalistic mutant fundamentalism.

Self criticism and self reflection are the markers of genuine philosophical discourse. And Chris Hedges practices what he preaches. Hedges’ most radical statement is the following:

Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce’s “Ulysses” acidly condemned all schemes to purify the world and serve human progress through violence. He said that “history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” Dedalus in the same passage responded to the schoolmaster Deasy’s claim that “the ways of the Creator are not our ways,” and that “all history moves towards one great goal, the manifestation of God.” A soccer goal is jubilantly scored by boys in the yard outside the school window as Deasy expounds on divine will. God, Dedalus tells Deasy as the players yell in glee over the goal, is no more than the screams from the schoolyard —“a shout in the street.” Joyce, like Samuel Beckett, excoriated the Western belief in historical teleology—the notion that history has a purpose or is moving toward a goal. The absurdity of this belief, they wrote, always feeds fanatics and undermines the possibility of human community. These writers warned us about all those—religious and secular—who call for salvation through history.

Hedges wrote, “Our faith in the inevitability of human progress constitutes an inability to grasp the tragic nature of history... They are fired by utopian visions of inevitable human progress.”

This belief in the automatic progressive teleological movement of history is called, “Modernism.”

The teleology of history is an ideological concept shared by Christians, Marxists, and Modern Scientism. The founding father of this modern Western cultural concept of the teleological movement of history for these three ideologies is Hegel. We have to re-examine the social implications of such an ideological concept just as with Logical Absolutism. This issue of telos appeared in our discussion of Heidegger and it caused me some pause. I wrote,

This logocentricity (forming around culture symbols of meaning) creates an ontological (ontos) structuring to the world of entities, or essents, “a fundamental characteristic of the essent is to τέλος which means not aim, or purpose, but end...End is ending in the sense of fulfillment. Limit and end are that wherewith the essent begins to be. (An Introduction to Metaphysics, by M. Heidegger, Doubleday/Anchor (1961) p. 50.).

The later Wittgenstein--and the founding father of logical positivism--rejects the ideological concept of the teleological movement of history and logical absolutism (that logical principles are completely independent of anything existing in reality). Wittgenstein...

...was trying to demonstrate not that logic and mathematics do not rest on a realistic basis, but only that that basis cannot provide any independent support for them...the sources of the necessities of logic and mathematics lie within those areas of discourse in actual linguistic practices, and when those necessities seem to point to some independent backing out side the practices, the pointing is deceptive and the idea that the backing is independent is an illusion. (Ludwig Wittgenstein by David Pears, (Penguin),(1970), pp. 145.).

Adorno is constantly reminding us to “return to the objective." Suffering is the corporeal imprint of society and the object upon human consciousness: "The need to let suffering speak is a condition of all truth. For suffering is objectivity that weighs upon the subject … " (ND 17-18).

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Antifascist
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I saw the video of Hedges debating, "Chris Hedges vs. Sam Harris - Religion, Politics and the End of the World" around Dec 14, 2010.

I am sure that Chris Hedges is very frustrated waiting for all of us idiots to catch up with him.

Sam Harris just doesn't get it. Harris has a five year old's concept of religion and is really following the Breivik anti-Muslim propaganda. Harris has a laughable concept of science—science and religion are used just as synonyms for the rational and irrational. I loved Hedges' comment on the “non-rational”-- to just pull the curtain back a little to show Tillich and the larger issue that Harris is clueless (my bold highlight):

We can distinguish between an ontological and a technical concept of reason. ...reason is the structure of the mind which enables the mind to grasp and to transform reality. It is effective in the cognitive, aesthetic, practical, and technical functions of the human mind. Even emotional life is not irrational in itself. Eros drives the mind toward the true (Plato). Love for the perfect form moves all things (Aristotle). In the “apathy” of the soul the logos manifests its presence (Stoics). The longing for its origin elevates soul and mind toward the ineffable source of all meaning (Plotinus). The appetitus of everything finite drives it toward the good-itself (Aquinas)....Classical reason is Logos, whether it is understood in a more intuitive or in a more critical way. Its cognitive nature is one element in addition to others; it is cognitive and aesthetic, theoretical, and practical, detached and passionate, subjective and objective. The denial of reason in the classical sense is antihuman because it is antidivine. (Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology Vol. I. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951, 1957 & 1963, page 72.).

Chris is playing with Harris. Harris has no idea of any of the historical philosophical debates in epistemology, language, logic, or theology. He can only restate ad infinitum hate speech against Muslims. Because Harris has no clue to any of the logico-epistemological problems in science, he can’t figure out Chris Hedges. It’s a total blind spot for Harris so he can only stubble into old saw rehearsed arguments against religion in general and a sect of Muslims in particular as representative of most of the world’s Muslim population. He fails to see the danger of nihilism in the use of technical reason because science is only good and rational in his view.

But this ontological concept of reason always is accompanied and sometimes replaced by the technical concept of reason. Reason is reduced to the capacity for “reasoning.” Only the cognitive side of the classical concept of reason remains, and within the cognitive realm only those cognitive acts which deal with the discovery of the means for ends. While reason in the sense of Logos determines the ends and only in the second place the means, reason in the technical sense determines the means while accepting the ends from “somewhere.” There is no danger in this situation as long as technical reason is the companion of ontological reason and “reasoning” is used to fulfill the demands of reason....there always was the threat that “reasoning” might be separated itself from reason. Since the middle of the nineteenth century this threat has become a dominating reality. The consequence is that the ends are provided by non-rational forces either by positive traditions or by arbitrary decisions serving the will to power. Critical reason has ceased to exercise its controlling function over norms and ends....In the some forms of logical positivism the philosopher even refuses to “understand” anything that transcends technical reason, thus making his philosophy completely irrelevant for questions of existential concern. (Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology Vol. I. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951, 1957 & 1963, page 73.).

Harris only views science as technical reason and this explains why he has no insight whatsoever--just credentials and a platform to spew suspicion and intolerance. What is the foundation of the ethical behaviors that Harris--the scientist-- is encouraging us to follow? Is it in science? If not science then what? Religion? What epistemological ground is Sam Harris standing on when he encourages us to be rational and ethical? How did Harris resolve this question, this dilemma?

Notice that Chris Hedges mentioned the repressive state of Egypt six months before the on going revolutions in the Middle East. Sam Harris shows no knowledge or foresight in any subject matter—it is just frat rat tit tat debate style on his side.

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Antifascist
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thank you for those insightful comments, Anti, and I especially appreciated the connections you found in Tillich.

I have some additional thoughts on this but little time at the moment to work them out. I had not seen that debate, and I see there are others between Hedges and these atheist rationalists. But I don't feel inclined to watch them. I think your summary comments put the issue in perspective. It's a perspective for me where I don't really see any discussion taking place, as you say, it's a frat boy trying to prove himself on one side, and I would say its a more or less wiser person merely speaking his mind on the other. I don't see Chris so much playing with Harris as more just talking his talk and making his points. Truth is, I think Chris simply moves past Harris because he sees that Harris is not recognizing the essence of the issue, thus they cannot begin to discuss it.

Now, where some comment might be worth the trouble is where I can see that the so-called debate gets at the point of this long thread and what we are trying to say about how the current frame of social and economic organization globally is effecting us all (we called it "neoliberalism" here, and that works for me) in ways that are very possibly reducing our humanity to the rational, anti-spiritual ground that Sam Harris represents, which I think could be profoundly dangerous in the current global circumstances because it's a one-sided non dialectic juggernaut pretending to be two sided, just as the political parties in the U.S. are pretending to be two sided. Norway's recent tragic events being just one small example of where this juggernaut may be taking humanity, I'll recall what the sociologist interviewed on Democracy Now! pointed out yesterday, it's reminiscent of the tragic movement into fascism witnessed in Germany in the last century:

JOHAN GALTUNG: His ideology, OK, we have to go into it. And it doesn’t help anything, as I said, to call him a "terrorist." We have to try to understand him. So I identify three features very quickly. Point one, a civil war in Europe between deep Christianity, which is his essentially as Catholic, and Islam. And a civil war has been going on and is going on. Point two, Islam is penetrating on a road greased by multiculturalism, tolerance, and key proponents of this tolerance are the builders of that road, which he finds in what he calls "cultural Marxism" and social democracy. And point three, debate is impossible. You cannot end the Norwegian democracy and have a debate about this, because people are deaf and dumb. The Islamists, as he calls and would refer to all Muslims, will not listen; they are just pursuing their cause. In other words, the only possible response, horrible as it is, is violence—terrible, but necessary. There you have three features.

And that makes me immediately ask the question, what does it remind me of? And I have one simple answer and one horrifying answer. I will take the simple answer first: it reminds me of Nazism. There’s a civil war in Europe between Jews and Aryans—also a very basic tenet of Hitlerism, Nazism. And the Jews are of two kind: the Bolshevik Jews in Moscow and the plutocratic money Jews in London. Point two, there is something greasing the way for them, and that is miscegenation, racial mixing, marriages between Jews and Aryans—the worst crime imaginable. And point three, these people have their minds set; there is no dialogue possible. The only thing one can do is to expel them. You might even reward them for expelling them. And if not, the alternative is to execute them. Now, that last point was picked up by Breivik. I don’t think he had it from Nazism, but his idea was that each Muslim family in Norway should be paid 25,000 euro to leave, back to their own country. And if they rejected that, the alternative was execution—exactly the same as the Nazis did under the famous Transfer Agreement during the 1930s, when 60,000 Zionist German Jews were given not only the permission, but encouraged to leave for Palestine. Well, I can call this ideology neo-fascism, and it’s an updating, where instead of being anti-Semitic, it’s anti-Islam, and instead of miscegenation being the fantasma, it’s multiculturalism. So Breivik talks cultures where the Nazis talked race. But otherwise, the similarity is almost point to point.

One example of that point is the general attitude represented in those who do take the trouble to get into this issue and who felt inclined to make comments on the YouTube site after each of the segments. I think that attitude says a lot about the current milieu that might be receptive of this order of discussion. It says a lot, perhaps, about why the second stage of fascism, as you introduced it on another thread, is rearing its head at this moment and why we may have few intellectual resources to keep it from taking a deadly course. As Hedges himself has pointed out, the once moderating force of liberalism has been killed off (or perhaps more accurately put, consumed as neoliberalism, as Sam Harris himself may exemplify, since he would probably not identify himself as a conservative).

Now, admittedly, I thought the moderator's performance was an embarrassment to the discussion as a whole, and detracted, even subtracted the spirit from what Hedges said, though Robert Sheer himself was clearly on Hedges' side, which gave the illusion of a gang up, when it really was nothing of the kind. I was thinking while I watched, please stop helping Chris, he can take care of himself. What he clumsily managed to do was create a tat for Harris' tit which unfortunately distracted from Hedges non personal, very articulate points about this problem of bringing a negative dialectic into the discussion, a view that tends to go missing when the rationalists get on their logical, empirical kick, which they somehow associate with ethics. Unfortunately that ethics is the ethics of technique (or techne) which we have discussed, and could discuss even more, and one that involves the dismissal of the larger whole of our humanity, which, in their dismissal, they have nailed the lid on the coffin and buried as religion. You will notice, however, that most of those making comments see both Hedges and Sheer as the clueless ones in this black and white binary opposition framework that the rationalists invoke.

And this brings me to one small point I'd like to make in this post, maybe I can take up the rest of my thoughts when I have more time. I'll summarize by saying that what I see Harris representing is the neoliberalist paradigm of thought, which we have also associated with the hyper-rationalists called logical positivists. Liberal thought originally was a more expansive endeavor, it included the economic thinking of Adam Smith, Ricardo and such, of course, but did not end there. Neoliberalism can be seen as the impact of the technological and social technique success of the industrial revolution on society, such that society itself has formed to become an utterly rational outcome of what Ellul and others have identified as homo economicus. As an aside I would venture to suggest that Harris is a species of homo economicus, as are most of the modern day libertarians we encounter. Homo economicus as a species is a less than whole human being, one that has focused on the rational and the logical and placed it on a plateau of worship above all else that we are. In doing so, what takes place is the elevation of technique above our individual human capacities to direct ourselves, and this elevation of technique is the state of the world we live in now, where people make their lives fit the nature and structure of the institutions that are involved with production and consumption.

Thus homo economicus is reduced to the simplicity of production and consumption, and all the mechanistic components involved with that. Or, as Deleuze and Guattarri metaphorically put it in Capitalism and Schizophrenia, reduced to "the body without organs". All other human dimensions are excluded. The morality of work and consumption becomes the predominant mode of human life for homo economicus. This makes that species inherently authoritarian, where the authority is invariably the god of rationality.

The secondary part of that is the body without organs (the rational mind, essentially) has built into it now a sense of incompleteness, and with incompleteness goes a natural desire to be complete; Now that the rest of the intelligence of our human beingness has been castrated from the logical, linear mind, that completion tends to come in the form of the now handy authority of rational technique and its disconnected factisms. Thus we see the appeal of Ayn Rand's Objectivism. And we've been through the problem of that already, so I won't repeat all the problems that invokes.

As an example of this, there was a point in the discussion where Harris brought up the mass society technique of poll taking that became so popular in the last century. Now a poll is nothing if not an absence of the individual's expression of a negative dialectic. Poll takers are given questions and a choice of answers. The negative dialectic doesn't have any factoring potential in this scheme, which is the predominant scheme of considering the body politic in mass society designed to accommodate the hyper rationality of homo economicus. Harris brought his rational, factoid point up using the "facts of statistics" directly to counter and debunk Hedges when he talked about his experience in the Middle East and what he could read between the lines from that experience about the people, the actual human beings he met and got to know. (Remember Bohm and Krishnamurti on intelligence? "it (intelligence) comes from inter and legere which means "To read between". So it seems to me that you could say that thought is like the information in a book and that intelligence has to read it, the meaning of it. I think this gives a rather good notion of intelligence.") If you haven't seen this pattern taking place all around you whenever you are expressing your own holistic human experience, you may be missing something. For I think it is the essence of neoliberal sociological propaganda which has reduced the whole of liberalism to the technique of economics.

Now, rebellion in this sense amounts to the simple act of reclaiming one's humanity in the face of this hyper authoritarian rational assault on your individuality.

I'm out of time.

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That's a far superior critique of Mr. Sam Harris than what I presented. Poor fellow.

Thanks Ren. Oh, look what I found on Over the Edge - July 29, 2011 at 12:00am. It's so cool. At 58 minutes the song "Are You Human?" The third hour, can you believe it, is really fun.

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Thanks for that connection to my old friends at KPFA. Finally tracked down the song in hour three, it's Eliza Gilkyson's The Great Correction. These lines I could actually make out from the horrible quality I got streaming it through my sound system, and loved:

Everyone tied to the turning wheel
Everyone hiding from the things they feel
Well the truth’s so hard it just don’t seem real
The shadow across this land

People ’round here don’t know what it means
To suffer at the hands of our American dreams
They turn their backs on the grisly scenes
Traced to the privileged sons

I downloaded it from that linked site and it was much better. I can stop blaming my speakers.

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.ren
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"Are you Human? or a dud? Are you Human? Or did you make it up?" (video....nice breasts).

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On further investigation I discovered it's a Goldfrapp, goes back aways. Don't know if Goldfrapp did your version.

Anyway, smart lyrics.

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Silver is down! It's a damn good thing I can't feel a damn thing anymore.

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How did we stray so far from the topic?

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hodenkat
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Like millions of other Americans, I do feel like I'm losing ground economically.
I'm old enough to remember how things were 40 years ago. I remember that up until about 1980 a man could raise a family on one blue-collar income. My brother, sister, and I didn't have the kind of life where we wanted for nothing, but we had everything we needed. My father married late in life. He was 47 when I was born and worked as maintenance welder for Union Carbide for 35 years. My siblings and I aren't able to do the same so I guess Republican Neoliberalism could be the culprit. Personally I blame the policies Reagan put into motion. There have been other players along the way who have tainted the economy with job poison, but I think Reagan bares the most blame.

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hodenkat
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Quote Antifascist:

Silver is down! It's a damn good thing I can't feel a damn thing anymore.

"Neoliberalism is touching us all."

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Okay, I took a break from writing but not from researching. I knew there were more philosophical insights than picture theory and epistemological “edges” in The Prophet’s Way; however, it wasn’t clear if such a existential work could be related in a substantial way to the high flying concepts and terms found in Adorno, Heidegger, and Benjamin. It can. That Walter Benjamin can be used to interpreted The Prophet’s Way is the newest surprise. I wanted to finish this thread “NeoLiberalism is Touching Us All” on the one year anniversary – content and theme wise this is—on August 30, 2011, but the discussion has shifted to The Prophet’s Way which has its own forum. Shifting to The Prophet’s Way forum does not mean we are leaving political critique behind, but sharpening our insight of how experience can be distorted and spiritual experience recovered. It takes a little time to bake a cake. My research is mostly done, but I need to re-read some material. Also, a summary of this thread “NeoLiberalism Touching Us All” needs to be written sometime later in the future.

I found on Americablog about reading:

Like Professor Greenfield, my research group and I are most concerned with how the acquisition of new capacities changes human development. In the case of reading, we know that the "expert reading brain" as we know it includes a beautifully complex circuit that integrates simpler decoding skills with what I call "deep reading" processes such as critical analysis, analogical thought, inference and insight.

The integration of the simpler and the deeper reading processes is not automatic and requires years of learning by the novice reader, as well as extra milliseconds for any expert to read a more sophisticated text. The reality is that today's expert reading circuit was formed under very different conditions and with different mediums than those of our childrens'.

The questions that our society must ask revolve around whether the time-consuming demands of the deep-reading processes will be lost in a culture whose principal mediums advantage speed, multitasking, and processing the next and the next piece of information. Will an immersion in digitally-dominated forms of reading change the capacity of the young readers to form and to develop their deep reading processes? No one at this moment possesses the evidence to answer these questions, but our children's development and our species' intellectual evolution require that we confront them.

In the meantime, I found an excellent video only last night in preparation of reviewing The Prophet’s Way. If you have a Netflix account, please view the instant online movie “The Quantum Activist” by Amit Goswami, Ph.D. whose textbook is used in many American Universities to teach Quantum Physics.

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The musician in me makes "time" the critical factor in the "deep thinking" skills issue. My rhythm guru says "unobserved silence is the enemy of music." Being able to do so much number and factoid crunching, so much hermeneutical and literary analysis, at once and in a flash compared to the past can turn us into Kenny G if we let it dominate. It is what it is, but in ain't music.

What ren correctly defends as that "inner peace" is the ability to let "command and control" go from "thought." Solitude and meditation are not ends in themselves. I was objecting to hiding out as if that were where peace is found. In the encounter, in the world, in the love and joy of being, that is where the peace that passes understanding is found. Sometimes in the midst of conflict and never oblivious to pain and suffering.

All the reasons I love Chris Hedges and share your analysis of Harris are well reasoned by you all. Harris is an example of why the academy is part of the death of liberalism. Hedges is our evangelist/prophet. He pisses people off for all the right reasons as a good prophet must. He is so much more than a sceptic.

How the Truth sets us "free" and how much fun that appears to be is not a story ready to appear on the Empire Cable system. When Power speaks to Truth, freedom becomes a consumer product we are supposed to experience in branded forms. All the "smart" choices serve power. Going against power is always considered a bad career/life choice. Allowing for a few saintly oddballs here and there.

Hedges argues toward love in his indictment of the culture of death. We tend to avoid talking about love in political theory or epistemology. Even justice gets treated as idealism. When a thread such as this gets us to love as essential to knowing and declares that the notes are not the music anymore than the script is the play rejecting logical positivism, you have to smile. At least it lets me feel part of a very eloquent and wise set of posts. Anti gets the Founder's award, but ren has said more in his words and between the lines than we deserve. Together, they give us riffs of deep delight.

Making it real without reducing it to caricature and pushing the envelope without leaving planet earth is what intellectual integrity is all about. Thanks.

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DRC
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Quote DRC:

How the Truth sets us "free" and how much fun that appears to be is not a story ready to appear on the Empire Cable system. When Power speaks to Truth, freedom becomes a consumer product we are supposed to experience in branded forms. All the "smart" choices serve power. Going against power is always considered a bad career/life choice. Allowing for a few saintly oddballs here and there.

And it is fun!

One of the things I decided long ago was that I was going to enjoy my life. Then of course comes the challenge of doing so. What you can do is take the following:

Quote DRC:

Hedges argues toward love in his indictment of the culture of death. We tend to avoid talking about love in political theory or epistemology. Even justice gets treated as idealism.

and do it for the fun of it. And one may actually discover the feeling that is something like generoustity and love in the process.

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Hello DRC, Ren, and everyone.

Thanks for your comments. Thank you DRC for your compliments and contributions. I posted over at The Prophet's Way forum, post #19, The Prophet's Way: A Shining Star in a Constellation of Shining Phenomena. But I won't abandon this thread and will update it. I should have a summary and overview of some kind.

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Quote .ren:
Quote DRC:

How the Truth sets us "free" and how much fun that appears to be is not a story ready to appear on the Empire Cable system. When Power speaks to Truth, freedom becomes a consumer product we are supposed to experience in branded forms. All the "smart" choices serve power. Going against power is always considered a bad career/life choice. Allowing for a few saintly oddballs here and there.

And it is fun!

One of the things I decided long ago was that I was going to enjoy my life. Then of course comes the challenge of doing so. What you can do is take the following:

Quote DRC:

Hedges argues toward love in his indictment of the culture of death. We tend to avoid talking about love in political theory or epistemology. Even justice gets treated as idealism.

and do it for the fun of it. And one may actually discover the feeling that is something like generoustity and love in the process.

Ditto. And one of the challenges was to discover just what it was that I enjoyed. Much of what I was taught I should enjoy...I didn't....and I put up a good front attempting to enjoy the "shoulds" for myself as well as for others. I was one of those living a life as Thoreau puts it, "Of quiet desperation".

Meditation and temporary withdrawl is one way to get in touch with that...and it can lead one into a deeper experience of the world and fellow human beings rather than to greater isolation from them. .

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Quote Antifascist:

Hello DRC, Ren, and everyone.

Thanks for your comments. Thank you DRC for your compliments and contributions. I posted over at The Prophet's Way forum, post #19, The Prophet's Way: A Shining Star in a Constellation of Shining Phenomena. But I won't abandon this thread and will update it. I should have a summary and overview of some kind.

Yes, it would be good to see your summary. We have covered a lot of ground, and passed quickly over some of it. There is much on this thread to break off and develop into separate flows of thought.

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.ren
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Quote polycarp in reply to my post #1198:

Ditto. And one of the challenges was to discover just what it was that I enjoyed. Much of what I was taught I should enjoy...I didn't....and I put up a good front attempting to enjoy the "shoulds" for myself as well as for others. I was one of those living a life as Thoreau puts it, "Of quiet desperation".

Meditation and temporary withdrawl is one way to get in touch with that...and it can lead one into a deeper experience of the world and fellow human beings rather than to greater isolation from them. .

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Yes, I find that to be true, getting in touch with oneself is not an isolating act. Personal experience and a deep opening to the self is perhaps the doorway to the universe for us humans. Ironically, the logical positivests (who've been our counter point to the negative dialectic throughout this thread) with their so-called rational and logical truths, tend to subtract from the fullness of self by elevating reason and logic, thus creating the totally rational human being minus the very real and human rest, would likely have the exact opposite effect. Thus we get Adorno's attempt to recover experience. Another long thread woven through this long discussion. The whole issue of enjoyment and for me, a fullness of sense of freedom, hinges on that difference. There is inevitably much pain in denial of self. And some take it to the extent of acting out sado-masochism. I see that war and violence are just extensions of that. Those are some things I've discovered in my own search to achieve enjoyment of life.

I try to keep in mind that each of us has a unique experience of the world, and so with that in mind each of us has the challenge of making sense of those experiences. The word "existential" and "phenomenology" used a number of times on this thread is meant to apply to that individual uniqueness. I'm just saying this for the trolls who make cracks like: "who gives a crap about existential experience."

What I hear you suggesting poly how an individual might create a path to create a fund of personal experiences as a basis for grounding oneself as one makes one's way through this murky life, out of which we create a vision of the world, usually based in a narrative.

It's in that fundamental grounding experience where I have found my sources of enjoyment. Certainly not in the stories about what I should appreciate told to me by others.

In Roger Foster's Adorno: The Recovery of Experience, we are shown one philosopher's struggle to reach self understanding. It's not necessarily supposed to be a program or a paradigm for everyone to follow, because philosophical discourse is not about doing that, that's the sort of thing authoritarians want to do, but rather it is something to contemplate for ourselves, in our meditations, in our experiences of the world. Adorno studied the works of Walter Benjamin who Anti quoted on the Angel of History in this post. Here is something Foster quotes that Benjamin wrote about what you are talking about, I believe, poly:

The task of philosophy is to restore the symbolic character of the word to its primacy through presentation, in which the idea reaches self-understanding, which is the opposite of all externally directed communication.... [I]n philosophical contemplation the idea is set loose out of the interior of reality as the word, which once again claims its naming rights. (pp. 216-17)

Roger Foster. Adorno: The Recovery of Experience (p. 70). Kindle Edition.

Foster prefaced the quote with the following, and I leave it for contemplation as merely what I think of as an illustration in philosophy-speak of what you are saying, poly:

The idea, Benjamin argues, does not stand to the phenomena in the same way that the concept of genus comprehends different species within it. Rather ideas "relate to the things as constellations relate to the stars." This means that the only way of getting access to the idea is through the interpretation of phenomena. But not in the form of a general concept arrived at through abstraction. Benjamin wants to claim that the idea appears in the arrangement of the phenomena, although it does not serve their conceptual cognition. Benjamin makes this clear in the following passage:

Roger Foster. Adorno: The Recovery of Experience (p. 70). Kindle Edition.

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