Re: Poetry's Defense
Posted: October 4th, 2018, 12:21 am
If I understand you correctly, your main point is that conscience
Is impossible without relation with Others. And, since the essential Other – God, Transcendental Being, or Law are practically unknown and unachievable, there must be a particular necessary connection of conscience with guilt. So, Guilt must, in fact, be the a priori that corresponds to transcendence, for each person or for everyone, guilty or innocent.
Did I say that? I hope not, though there is in this something right. Anyway, the essential other, sort of a Buberian Thou? Oh, I did talk about Kierkegaard. I don't necessarily buy all he says, but he does have his finger on something important. It's Cartesian, though not the cogito, but the unknown: out practical lives are bound to time, and time is not some mysterious presence in the world, it is identifiable in the structure of events we endure, whereby the past anticipates the future: we are in constant projection or anticipation of what will come, doxastic prisoners of the past, you might say, because all knowledge claims are inherently of this structure. Thought itself is of this structure. K holds that this is inherently sinful, though calling it this obscures the point. He says the only reality, actuality, he calls it, is the present that is altogether bypassed in our busyness with daily affairs, what Husserl will call almost 100 years later, the naive natural attitude. We need to stop this, what, this devotion and total engagement these affairs in time and discover(?) the soul and god in the eternal present.
The reason I find this important is it aligned with Eastern mysticism, which is essentially about liberation (moksa): what is it one does when one meditates? One stops time. I practice kriya yoga and I can tell you there is something very important about bringing consciousness into the present moment and out of the temporal stream of everydayness. There is, to use Kierkegaard's term, a qualitative distinction to what occurs, unlike the usual quantitative (as I would say Kant had it: he thought all there was to human knowledge was sensate intuitions and their concepts. Nothing qualitatively different could occur) repetition. So yes, I take this god talk seriously but only in the manner that world's allows me to, and in the world there is this fascinating time/presence analysis and practical transcendence into the a kind of eternal present.
Now, guilt, having said the above: Kierkegaard posits a very simple idea (though he is never simple to read): Christian sin is estrangement from god, and this estrangement reduces to none other than the Buddhist's first of the four noble truths: suffering is attachment to this world. Guilt, all of it, is the realization that there is in all we do something existentially wrong with the world. It rises up in the everyday affairs we have as an intimation of a qualitative failing of our relationship with the world. There is a lot to say on this, but I don't have time now. Suffice it to say, K would have made a great Buddhist had he not been so influenced by Christian metaphysics.
This is regarding others. The point made here is not that others are always there, but that language itself is inherently social. This is because ww acquired it as a social event, or in social events. How does one learn what an autonobile is? First, it was a problem solving event in the infantile mind when people were talking, using language, about cars, driving, errands and so forth; 'car' the sound people made, was passed about in social events and meant nothing at all until the connection was made between that thing with doors on wheels and the sound and eventually spelling of 'car'. One assimilates the connection while observing language models through conversation. This happened with all language, this essential pragmatic event, and this basic dynamic is what the meaning of terms is bound to. Apart from this, there are no cars of trucks or buses, or anything for that matter.Nevertheless, may we conceive
different ontological conditions of consciousness?
Who are the others, when we drive? Don’t we actually activate subjectivity and a multiplicity of partial consciousness connected to the car‘s technological mechanisms? Is there “individuated subject” that is in control of the driving? If one knows how to drive, one acts without thinking about it, without engaging reflexive consciousness. She is guided by the car’s machinic assemblage. Her actions and subjective components (memory, attention, perception, etc.) are “automatized,” they are a part of the machinic, hydraulic, electronic, etc. apparatuses, constituting non-human parts of the assemblage.