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Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
Friday, February 15, 2013 Fiery intensity may look like fundamentalism
What’s at Stake in Hermetic Reterritorialization? from An und für sich by Jacob Sherman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Joshua Ramey’s The Hermetic Deleuze: Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal is such a rich, provocative, and deliciously inconclusive book
Philosophy is an intellectual pleasure for most of us who study it, of course, and it would be transparently false to deny that that’s a main reason for doing so. But it’s not the only one. For me, the continuing value of philosophy is that it alone is able to find truth at the highest and widest level – truth about the basic and fundamental questions which we usually take as settled, but about which we may turn out to be wrong. For truth about many of these questions, people typically turn – rightly – either to natural science or to the traditions we call “religious”, sometimes separately but often enough in some combination.
It is in that combination, I submit, that philosophy really becomes necessary. The traditions we label “religious” have a hard time understanding each other; it is often even harder for natural science to reach any sort of understanding with them. When scientists try to speak with those from traditions we call “religious”, they typically end up talking past each other. But philosophy, at least, is something that both have reason to respect; it is the common ground on which truth can be established between them. So too, “interreligious dialogue” too often winds up in the mode ofmere conflict resolution without getting close to truth: it might stop people from killing each other (certainly a worthy goal), but they remain as convinced as ever that the other is entirely wrong. It is philosophy, especially with a dialectical method, is able to find a deeper understanding that comes closer to the truth.
Philosophy, then, is the way that we can find a truth broader and more universal than the ones from narrower traditions. And yes, that list of “narrower traditions” does include natural science, which must necessarily do a miserable job of explaining value, and likewise cannot answer the epistemological questions about how we can trust empirical evidence and establish natural laws in the first place.