Matthew has some pointed criticisms of me–check the comments of the last two posts, cross-posted at his site. Below is a response in the form of an open letter.
We’ve been down this road before and in the end I think it’s pretty stupid and lifeless. Not this or that point, just the whole atmosphere of it.
Prior to any responses….what is the point? Really? As a human being, what is the point? I just don’t get it.
For whatever it’s worth I have read Paglia. Haven’t read her new book, but others for sure. She’s great. Still I don’t know why the opposition. Why does it have to be Jimi Hendrix over Derrida? Why are we comparing transcendent state processes with structural interpretations? Why one over the other? Why the need for such division? I still think it is reading the post-structuralists only through the lens of French artistry–it certainly does not exist entirely separate from that, but I’m just don’t see the evidence or it being dismissed as that and nothing else.
As far as poor form arguments, it seems to me that could just as well go in reverse to you. You show to me a definite lack of understanding on issues you pontificate about–have you ever read any of the Frankfurts…really? Discipline and Punishment? There’s nothing worth learning in there? Huh?
I”m not writing in an art domain. I’ve pointed out that area is not my expertise, so I stay away from it. You might consider not using such definitively knowledgable language in areas which are outside your provence. I mentioned the video clip on the Parliament of World Religions precisely to remind the reader of the fact of the need for the Beautiful (of which I wasn’t discussing). To remind people that this whole argument is only a very relative truth. Take it or leave it, but don’t bury it for it being taken to be something it’s not meant to be.
I’m using words in a specific philosophical sense. I’ve never declared philosophy to be the be all end all of existence. It just happens to be one of the things i’m interested in.
Pre-critical, in that context, does not mean ignorant or naive acceptance of tradition in toto. It doesn’t even mean lack of brilliance. It means pre-perspectival if you like. And that is not the same as “the medium is the message.” Because the concept of a medium and a message and the two being interchangable, those are all perspectives before the question of whether or not the statement is accurate, and if so to what degree.
I’m only suggesting a way of thinking/speaking that takes into account not just what we think, feel but actually how we arrived at that position. That has a sense of its place and consequently has a sense of humor and not fixed egoic posturing about it. To give us clues as to how others respond to our povs and what that says about our positions.
Leibniz said that all monads (holons) occupy a separate position in the universe and therefore see from a different perspective. He didn’t take that vision all the way. He stopped short by introducing a pre-established harmony of all monads. But if we take away that pre-established harmony, what if, just what if, that were an accurate depiction?
What if “the world” was nothing other than all these monads and their mutually interacting points of view? And what if those positions were always in flux, vertically and horizontally in multiple vectors and semi-monads of collectives/groups arising in and through those points of view. And that if we weren’t standing in/near a certain position, just as if we didn’t stand up on a mountain in order to get the vista, we wouldn’t know certain things? And what if those inner processes, those interpretations were not just interpretations, cultures, these fixed blocks. But rather the interior makeup of the process itself?
What if the same trajectory we see in the material world interiorly feels like consciousness, which is always towards something, agency/directionality?
What if there was not some pre-established truth? Some one system that we just launched onto all others? What if our truths only had meaning in relation to where we stood in the Kosmos?
I think there is actually something quite spiritual about taking other’s worlds into account. Even one’s that I disagree strongly with. To disengage consciously for a moment from our position and re-inhabit another one. I think that mental archaeology is actually quite important. Not the climax of all reality, just important. In fact I think it is actually quite radical. In the traditional meaning of the word–to the root.
Since I’m focused in these posts just on what I think are the roots issues, and since it is experimental and just a sorta mental download, there will be peripheral/secondary issues that can be criticized sure. I don’t go back and review these–I just sit down, no notes, no preconceived thoughts, and just let it go.
You don’t like it, you don’t like it. I could care less.
It’s not “location” as such that is interesting or even that intelligent, but actual taking of multiple perspectives in the mind simultaneously, in the heart.
Of course people have been using language forever and knew of culture. I’m saying that prior to the 20th century, PHILOSOPHICALLY, no one had ever articulated as a rational reconstruction the ways in which it works/influences/shapes our experiences.
I just think that without an admittedly somewhat boring mental formulation, we go about these things haphazardly. Some will happen on to some really genius insights, others not, others extremely creative, others not. But they just bash into one another. Everybody then retreats to solid egohood. Some greater than others, some right about certain things wrong on others. Whaetver.
But where fundamentally is the love-bliss in any of that? I see structures as opening our minds and hopefully our hearts to the realization of all of us together in this. Of dare I say actutally caring about one another and creation itself. In differing degrees, in different ways. Some earlier, some more responsible.
Of actually opening a window, however small, into a vital question: what we are doing here? Not the final answer to be sure.
I know this sounds like a strange argument–it certainly is not a philosophical proof–but the view of evolving worldviews actually makes me love more. Other systems/formulations do not. Concretely. Real human beings in real time, as I see and feel spontaneously a recognition of the very process they are within. To me that counts for something, quite a lot in fact. I can easily say if I had never read and re-read the so-called post-metaphysical writings and spent hours contemplating on what it might possibly mean, I would not be as awake as a human being. I would not care as much as I do for being in this world.
If that’s an illusion, it’s a great one and I’ll live with those evil consequences.
That view, when coupled with others who see/feel similarly leads to a profound release of the egoic contraction and space of trust, a shared recognition of our common-ness. States can have that temporarily, great art gives it to us, but states still have to be part of this relative world. They still have to be incoprorated, incarnated in some fashion or other. And left to themselves they are fairly exclusionary, whcih is okay.
People are still doing great things in this world. Not everything has to pass some integral seal of approval. In fact nothing has to. Some of us might want to.
All this has been is an invitation to try something out and see if you learn something. You don’t want to do that. Fine. I don’t care. The universe doesn’t begin, continue. and end on integral. I think it’s important; I don’t think it’s more important than life.
For all the criticisms of yours, you don’t show me that you’ve taken seriously of the only point I wanted to promote: the actual practice. I’m sure it sounds elitist or whatever, none of which matters to me, but if a person doesn’t try the pratice I don’t see how they are in any position to pass judgment on its core claims.
Are there actual stages of development of consciousness? That can be more or less reconstructed, however imprecisely, by the human mind. And if so, what would be the moral and institutional implications of such a vision? I don’t know what they would be artistically, probably doens’t even matter for the arts for all I know.
Is there a perspective of perspectives? Whatever perspectives eventually will disclosed to be.
Alvin Toffler has said that our institutions–educational (as you know), political, religious are “de-synchronized” from our technology/science.
This argument to try a philosophical practice, is what I find to be the best way to re-synchronize our minds, our attitudes, our actions to these other currents. Not all the other elements of life which humans have been doing for thousands of years and know well enough. Just for the specific issue of how think about our place in our world of such technological-scientific evolution.
I appreciate your piont of view, the attention and time you put into your words. If you want to go ahead and proclaim you know whatever about me, fine. If that makes you feel whatever, go for it.
But I gotta say, I’m done with this. God bless you, much love, think you’re very talented and bright, but you are just never going to convince me with that form of thinking, that style of arguing.
So I’ve got a few more posts in this vein, school starts in a week. Want to get them out of my system, say what I have to say in one long-ish thread. Like I did with the Iran, foreign policy strain, so if nothing else I can be done with it.
Of course you’re free to give your critiques, I’ll read them take them into account, but I don’t see any point in responding. It just seems so contrived and mechanical to me.
I wasn’t locating Paglia. I was speaking more about, given the inevitable inertial movement downward, where such a idea would like “land” among later followers. I always listen to geniuses (and she is) of whatever “level”. I meant how it will be interpreted and carried on and what I said concerning that I stick to.