Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Psychosis is a basic ontological disturbance of your relationship with reality

kelamuni has left a new comment on your post "Kelamuni unimpressed by Sri Aurobindo": hi tusar,
it's not that i'm unimpressed with aurobindo, or than i am consciously ignoring him. the fact is, i was hoping to deal with aurobindo's more philosophical version of neo-vedanta after having given my account of vivekananda's. for this reason, there have been no detailed descriptions or analyses of aurobindo's thought in my blogs, only cursory references. cheers. Posted by kelamuni to Savitri Era at 12:59 PM, February 16, 2010

Slavoj Žižek on ontology in psychoanalysis.
For Lacan, when he talks about philosophy, apparently clinical categories like psychosis, like neurosis, hysteria, these are not just subjective pathologies, these are disturbances in the basic ontological relationship between the subject and the world. Here Lacan is maybe close to Heidegger who, in his conversations with the Swiss psychiatrist Medard Boss, claims, for example, to understand psychosis. You must know how a human being ontologically stands in the world, how the world is open for you because psychosis is a basic ontological disturbance of your relationship with reality. Reality no longer exists for you as ontologically constituted. So this is what Lacan did. For him basic clinical categories are ontological attitudes of the subject.

(title unknown) from enowning by enowning
In-der-Blog-sein Philosophy in a Time of Error interviews Paul John Ennis (anotherheideggerblog).
I think a major problem is the temptation to fit people into neat categories. We argue endlessly as to whether Hegel is an idealist or Derrida is a realist…It can be interesting but with a thinker like Heidegger it is not a case of discovering whether he a realist or an idealist because he simply not engaged in that kind of debate. He has a very peculiar, singular direction and it is foremost an ontological rather than an epistemological issue.

It has often been noted that Dewey frequently sounds in advance like Merleau-Ponty. Here’s one such moment (nice Latour Litany at the beginning, too):
“In a painting, colors are presented as those of sky, cloud, river, rock, turf, jewel, silk, and so on. Even the eye that is artificially trained to see color as color, apart from things that colors qualify, cannot shut out the resonances and transfers of value due to these objects.” DeweyArt as Experience, p. 126

Fundamentalism and the Integral Yoga – Auroville Today Interview ... February 2010 ... an interview with Debashish Banerji by Alan and Carel. What are the roots of fundamentalism? 
It may be through innocent and unthinking means that the apparatus of fundamentalism gets established. For me, it begins with how identity constructs build up unconsciously. Often people pin their sense of self on a group identity. As a group develops, things may get done at certain times in certain ways and over time these characteristics get fixed in the minds of that group as defining that group’s reality. This reality is reinforced by a theology or ideology – the fundamental yet invisible pillars around which identity is built – as well as parables, metaphors and stories, mythologies, which make the members of the group identify with the ideology at the personal, core level.  Finally certain people start authorizing these characteristics as defining  a movement and rigidly controlling what can or cannot be done or believed. As the characteristics of identity crystallize in a group, people seeking power gravitate inevitably to set themselves up as self-appointed controllers of the boundaries of the group.
The need for a clear self-identity is also fostered by ‘othering’, the feeling that “I am who I am because you are not who I am.” In its most extreme form, the members of the group may see outsiders as evil, as not worthy of a place in this world.
All this may crystallize in what I call fundamentalism…
And then, of course, the whole thing is about God, the Infinite. This is another aspect of fundamentalism; the group identity stretches to colonize the invisible, the universal, it assumes this tremendous transcendental quality and literalises it in a set of tenets which have to be obeyed.

The Spirit and Form of an Ethical Polity: a Meditation on Aurobindo’s Thought by Sugata Bose, Modern Intellectual History, 4, 1 (2007), By debbanerji Posthuman Destinies
It engages in that exercise of elucidation by interpreting a few of the key texts by Aurobindo Ghose on the relationship between ethics and politics in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Both secularist and subalternist ...
The misappropriation of Aurobindo by the Hindu right has been facilitated by the secularists’ abandonment of the domain of religion to the religious bigots. To a secularist historian like Sumit Sarkar the invocation to sanatan dharma by Aurobindo is deeply troubling and makes him implicitly, if not explicitly, the harbinger of communalism in the pejorative sense the term came to acquire some two decades after Aurobindo had retired from active political life.4 To an anti-secularist scholar like Ashis Nandy the “nationalist passions” of Aurobindo located in “a theory of transcendence” are mistakenly deemed to be too narrowly conceived compared to the broader humanism of the more universalist, civilizational discourses ascribed to Tagore and Gandhi.5 The specific failures in fathoming the depths of Aurobindo’s thought are related to more general infirmities that have afflicted the history of political and economic ideas in colonial India…
The Indian intellectual deserves to be put on a par with the European thinker and, as Kris Manjapra argues, ought to be viewed “as engaging and revising through phronesis” the full range of Indian, European and in-between ideational traditions which he or she encountered.9 … In 1905 Bepin Pal wrote of the new patriotism in India, different from the period when Pym, Hampden, Mazzini, Garibaldi, Kossuth and Washington were “the models of young India”. The old patriotism “panted for the realities of Europe and America only under an Indian name”. “We loved the abstraction we called India”, Pal wrote, “but, yes, we hated the thing that it actually was”…
“And so”, Sumit Sarkar writes somewhat derisively, “the revolutionary leader becomes the yogi of Pondicherry”. 31 Aurobindo may have retired from active participation in politics, but his days as a thinker on the problem of ethics and politics were far from over. In that respect the best was perhaps yet to come.

This article elucidates the meaning of Indian nationalism and its connection to religious universalism as a problem of ethics. It engages in that exercise of elucidation by interpreting a few of the key texts by Aurobindo Ghose on the relationship between ethics and politics in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Both secularist and subalternist histories have contributed to misunderstandings of Aurobindo’s political thought and shown an inability to comprehend its ethical moorings. The specific failures in fathoming the depths of Aurobindo’s thought are related to more general infirmities afflicting the history of political and economic ideas in colonial India. In exploring how best to achieve Indian unity, Aurobindo had shown that Indian nationalism was not condemned to pirating from the gallery of models of states crafted by the West. By reconceptualizing the link between religion and politics, this essay suggests a new way forward in Indian intellectual history. 

In order to succeed in business a man does not need a degree from a school of business administration. These schools train the subalterns for routine jobs. They certainly do not train entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur cannot be trained. A man becomes an entrepreneur in seizing an opportunity and filling the gap. No special education is required for such a display of keen judgment, foresight, and energy. The most successful businessmen were often uneducated when measured by the scholastic standards of the teaching profession.

The very fact of getting back in touch with metaphysical questioning is itself a call to a refound confidence in the capacities of thought. This confidence certainly assumes an increased vigilance, bound by the critical heritage of the last decades, toward the dogmatic illusions which speculative philosophy was able to haul through the centuries. But we see today that the abandonment of metaphysical reflection, far from causing the intolerance of thought to decline, did nothing but exacerbate the desire for a blind faith—as though an overreaching skepticism towards reason turned into a fanaticism wishing to be inaccessible to discussion. Resetting ourselves in a metaphysical perspective permits us to confer anew on the concept—rather than on faith alone or the sole opportunism of interest—the duty of helping us to construct our existence, to “vectorise” the concept in its relation to a world both rich and opaque. A metaphysics instructed by the work of its great adversaries—instructed by its reversals (Nietzsche), by its destruction (Heidegger), therapeutic dissolution (Wittgenstein), or deconstruction (Derrida)—sets out both an extraordinary heritage, a treasure of unique thought towards which we are yet able to return—and at the same time imposes on us a totally new and exciting task: that is, how to produce a contemporary metaphysics, able to give a meaning, even a fragile one, to our lives by the sole force of thought, and one which may be likely to “pass across” [passer au travers] those tremendous undertakings of “demolition” which together ran through [traversé] the 20th century.

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