September 18, 2012

Always Monday, Eternal recurrence, and privacy of consciousness

[Lectures on consciousness and interpretation - MohantyJitendranath MohantyTara Chatterjee - 2009 - 168 pages - Jitendranath Mohanty, Tara Chatterjee ... To reach the grand metaphysics I aim at, I will ask the question: what makes it possible that human consciousness can, through science and philosophy, venture to articulate the structure of reality? What justifies the possibility of success here — if human mind and reality were completely separated? Possibly, an inner unity of some sort.
Discussion on the Lecture of J.N. Mohanty Coordinator: Thank you. Life, mind, and consciousness: papers read at a seminar held at ... - Ramakrishna Mission. Institute of Culture - 2004 - 519 pages]

[Lectures on consciousness and interpretation - MohantyJitendranath MohantyTara Chatterjee - 2009 - 168 pages - Jitendranath Mohanty, Tara Chatterjee. … in recent times, one should take it with a good deal of philosophical skepticism and challenge the notion of privacy that they ascribe to the classical theory of consciousness. One should challenge their notion of subjectivity.]

[Difference Engines or Bhaskar's Objects « Larval Subjects 18 Nov 2009 – Bhaskar’s realist claims are a lot more robust than a sort of nod to the Kantian in-itself. Bhaskar’s question, it will be recalled, is “what must the world be like for our science to be possible?” Where the transcendental idealist asks “what must our cognition to be like for such and such a type of judgment to be possible?”, Bhaskar instead inverts the question and makes it one about the world itself. He argues that minimally intransitive objects (objects independent of mind or society) must be causal mechanisms (what I’d call “difference engines”), that are structured and differentiated, and that act regardless of whether or not humans know about them or exist.]

[Harman on Some Crucial Points About Theory Building from Larval Subjects Graham has a fantastic post: If I say that mathematism and scientism give us no good explanation of why perfect knowledge of a tree would not itself be a tree, it is insufficent to say “but of course they know that knowledge and trees are different.” The point isn’t what they know qua humans, but what their theories lead to as logical consequences.]

[Heidegger and Sri Aurobindo by Rod Hemsell Thinking now means analyzing and reducing things to practical statements and theories, by which we lose contact with the reality about which we are speaking. Both the reality and the understanding get reduced to a framework that is useful but it is not the force and quality and nature of things themselves which can be known 'gnostically', by identity.
Because, eventually, it may be possible to compare Heidegger and Sri Aurobindo, (this is one of our goals), it is important to realize that both of them have presented their metaphysical philosophy from three points of view. One is the classical, ancient, scriptural point of view. Both have based their thinking on ancient language and concepts. Both have developed rational, philosophical reasons to justify and communicate their philosophy. And both have relied on experience. Therefore we can say conventionally that they have presented arguments from scripture, from reason, and from experience. And for both everything finally depends on experience.
This short and concise text, Basic Concepts, is a good example of these three approaches. Heidegger dwells on a few passages from Anaximander and attempts to bring out the meaning of these ancient expressions that are no longer thought; they are hardly thinkable. In Sri Aurobindo's case he has brought back Vedic Sanskrit texts that are hardly readable any more. And yet he found there the source of his philosophy. There is a combination of linguistic genius and philosophical intentionality that has enabled both of them to bring out the meanings from ancient languages that would otherwise probably not be accessible to us. Sri Aurobindo happens to have also been a Greek scholar at Cambridge and situates much of his thought in the context of classical Greek as well as Sanskrit writings. For example, he wrote a series of essays on Heraclitus which is very much along the lines of Heidegger's thinking.
What we might realize on this path is something about the ancient mentality before calculative thought came into the picture. That's why Heidegger is interested in it. He sees in that way of thinking a way to address our loss of a closer identity with the world, because we are only interested in manipulating it. Both thinkers are trying to bring back into perspective a way of seeing that is not so accessible to our thinking or experience today. We benefit from going with them into this process of revealing, through classical language, a way of thinking other than the one we are accustomed to.
Here Heidegger refers to scriptural statements from Anaximander, then he develops a tight and concise philosophical argument concerning the difference between being and beings, as he has done in many texts, but this one is exceptionally tight and almost Upanishadic. Then, finally, he guides our thinking, if we are willing, along a pathway towards a seeing of being, and not just a thinking about being, but a seeing of being as the Same. In the writings on Heraclitus by Sri Aurobindo and in Heidegger's writings on the pre-socratics, both have referred to the writings of Nietzsche who is well known for his philosophy of the eternal recurrence of the same. Now what is this 'the same'? This is the secret that Heidegger is moving towards, the seeing of being, the idein. The seeing of the idea or reality of something in Greek is idein. This concept of the Same is what Heidegger concludes these reflections with. And I have noted that in The Ever-Present Origin, in Gebser's chapter on the philosophy of time,
the first thing he refers to is the incipient saying of being in the fragment of Anaximander. And almost everything he says about origin and time comes from this short commentary of Heidegger, which Gebser acknowledges openly as a fundamental understanding of time brought forward by Heidegger. December 24, 2011]

[5h Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty "it was always March there and always Monday." (p.355) ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel García Márquez: … by jeff k. hill~oglesby, illinois
A fine example of the blending of history and myth (and the precise and sincere narrative tone in the novel) is the aftermath of the banana workers' strike… But this line inscribes a circle. Úrsula, the central female character, is repeatedly struck by the conviction that time is going in a circle and events are repeating. Pilar Ternera observes that "the history of the family was a machine with unavoidable repetitions, a turning wheel that would have gone on spilling into eternity were it not for the progressive and irremediable wearing of the axle." (p.402) In the case of the room of the gypsy Melquíades, "it was always March there and always Monday." (p.355) 
And the very first sentence of the novel is constructed such that past, present, and future all exist at once, with time flowing out in every direction. Indeed, the novel is multilayered, telling many stories of many characters often all at once, as if they coexisted all at once. I have found the best way to read and understand the book is to digest it in individual episodes that follow characters and thoughts with no regard at all for time. Some of my favorite episodes in the novel are the trickle of blood (p.135), the shower of flowers (p.144), and the discovery of a monster or fallen angel or the Wandering Jew (p.349-50). Embedded within the episodes are also synopses of several of the author's short stories. Many people recognise in the novel a central Oedipal plot line veined with a theme of solitude.]

[SavitriEraParty: Plasticity, politics, and unity of purpose - Amod Lele, Levi Bryant @onticologist, Ian Angus, & Sri Aurobindo Studies:]

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