Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Scraps From the Notebook of an Ex-Philosopher (1994)


Philosophic Musings 1994
"'I have got lost; I am everything that has got lost,' sighs modern man...Rather live in the ice than among modern virtues and other south winds!"
Nietzsche, The Antichrist I.1. (Kauffman trans.)
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Not an issue of syntax at all. Again, on the contrary. Since I've been growing in my Life this is one aspect---and perhaps it is a highly mystical one?---which I have come to be grasped by. I say I've been grasped by it because it is not some "doctrine" I read about and it's not something which I composed in a fit of poetic inspiration. No, it's something which I've come to notice and have been drawn to, and hence I've extrapolated it, the best I could, in the above terms.

Let me do my best to explain. Of course, at this point I ask you to suspend the philosophico-rational scalpel of bivalent (or even fuzzy) logic and flip the switch off; it's a matter of a Spiritual comportment to Life (this is off the topic, but I wanted to say it: the more I write in terms of the deep, True correspondences, the more I come to realize that there is no vocabulary to convey what I (and I'm sure you feel the same way) want to convey. None. Perhaps the language of the Occident is all this way, characterized and shaped by a history disposed to either/or. Patriarchal paradigms which have shaped history have adopted a linear structure of time; the very linearity corresponds to the onward thrust of the Phallus of male dominated history.

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Now let me transcend this masculine/feminine dualistic model, now that we've established the first basis of the dialectic to follow. History can be viewed cyclically.  This points out that there are non-linear "patterns" and cycles in history with which we all are intuitively familiar. Now these cycles are actually spirals, or we can view them as concentric circles, starting from the very large (history of the universe) to the history of the single individual's life. We also include the "history" of which the four seasons are, the phases of the moon, the rotations of planets, even the microscopic cycles of and within biological existence in general.

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Hence that's the "meaning" of what I meant by changing the past; it has to do with comportment to Life. The language was not analytical, phallic and "philosophic": I wanted to express what I've been experiencing. Of course, there is always the risk of logocentric obliteration when attempting to verbalize our (Mystical/Spiritual) Experiences, as both of us are all too aware. So there is no critical, philosophic perspective here for you to "abandon," as you noted; it merely expresses what, I'm certain, you experience from time to time. However I will not presume to speak for "everybody" in this instance, because many people have fallen prey to a linear and phallic history; observe the proliferation of shrink clinics and the popularity of "therapy." And this is perhaps a singularly Western phenomenon too. There is "no going back" in linear history, in terms of the two worlds.

I do know something now, though, and that's that there once was a time when I thought I knew something. It's all Illusion; it takes cycle after cycle to come to the realization of the Illusion. Sometimes these cycles are instantaneous flashes of thought or inspiration.

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And I know what you are referring to above, viz., academics and scholarship in general. I know what you mean and that's the sense of what I mean above. There's plenty of information out there, but we as Mystics do Know the True Mystery. In that Plenum is the totality of everything there is to know. Academics, scholarship ... these have to be transcended and absorbed. Otherwise we wind up the knowledgable ignoramus; the ivory towers are full of such stuffy, deluded types.

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Heck, of course not! I was the one to come out with my sentence upon the history of Western academic philosophy hitherto, viz. that it's all ivory tower bullshit. I excluded Socrates, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard for good reason, however. This is because they were the destroyers of academic arrogance, ignorance and the stuffy, moth eaten airs of their contemporaneous philosophic world. By virtue of their rebellion and refreshing attitude for
what is True to Life, they were true "Philosophers." They sentenced Socrates to death for "corrupting the youth." Nietzsche hardly sold any books while he was still conscious, lived in complete, agonizing solitude. Kierkegaard's funeral was flocked by an angry mob for giving him a Christian burial.

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Now when I say that Western academic philosophy hitherto is all ivory tower bullshit, it is not for lack of study or out of ignorance. I began studying it circa 1982-3, so it's an opinion based on approximately twelve years [(contemporaneous note: this "correspondence" was written in 1994)] of experience with it..

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But no, I'm all too familiar with academia. I'm confident that I can dissect and demolish any half baked---or fully baked---philosophic argument one can throw my way, i.e., if I feel like it. That's just the nature of philosophy --- one can defend or destroy with perfect impunity any crap one wants, whether one believes in it or not. It can even become an exercise in perfect self deception.

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However this is not to say that I am still not reading philosophic, academic works. I'll probably keep doing it and keeping up with the literature. So please don't think that I am trying to discourage you from pursuing academia, because I would love to hear that someday you've gotten the degree in psych you've been after.

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Religion, like with art, should be paradoxical. This paradox, to me, is something annulled by organization---i.e., in terms of social institutionalization. A circle can't be squared.

Perhaps it's a matter of semantics here, but I don't view 'organized religion' and 'religion' as equivalent. By 'organized' I am speaking strictly in terms of sociology, i.e., of religion becoming one business among other businesses in the business world. The very suprarationality of religion per se transcends "businessization" or organization in terms of social institutionalization. As you noted above, yes, the purpose of religion is to illuminate and it has done so for us. But I can (and have) relate(d) some of my experiences with organized religion, and I remember it all as if I were wading in the mud of utter despair and meaninglessness. I only found True Religion in _acts_ which channelled Love and were channelled by Love; I found it in no social structure.

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I respect your views and your disposition toward your profession and your view of higher and lower laws. My complaint to you was addressed from a standpoint of a Mysticism, viz., that of the question "why are we born?" I'm going to leave it at that, because my issue is not based on ethics per se, nor on morality as such. It was not based on biology or philosophy. One cannot "defend" the concept of law to me in ethical language if my complaint is launched from a non-ethical standpoint, especially when I consider ethics to be part and parcel of philosophico-academic bullshit. As the Pirate King of Gilbert & Sullivan said: "Always live to the dictates of your conscience, my boy, and chance the consequences!"