CK: Glad you're okay with having a relatively suitable playmate. That makes me feel better. It also makes me feel better knowing that my students are not involved in a mass murderous criminal atrocity of a foreign policy botch. All they do is go to the restroom in the middle of class.
You're right about all that. What you're describing though is a second hand relationship. I didn't put on the uniform. We'd have to see what I would do if Obama's SS came to my door and push came to shove. I like to think that strong convictions can translate into courageous refusal to go along with the herd when the herd is actively engaged in the killing. There's responsibility in any case, I agree, but if enough people refuse to go along with the active part of the engagement, then it ends Gandhi-style.
Well, now I do have to apologize and my apology will probably make you as sad as your statement about me possibly being "repulsed" by you made me. You are so not repulsive. I'm sorry for swooping. It's true that I swooped in and created a digression that made for a loss to the potential for the discussion. I thought my timing was okay because no one was going to play with you the way deserve. You deserve better playmates. I know how that feels. No one plays with me in the yoga world because they can't. Even the professors -- Chapple and White --can't really be good playmates and as soon as they realize that, they go play elsewhere. They don't understand me when I'm really cooking on the things I really love and get really into. You understand me yoga-wise better than them and it isn't even your thing. I appreciate that. I would like to be a better playmate in respect to Strauss and Schmitt. I tried. I read ON TYRANNY for you. I didn't like it much. But I'm going to try here again in relation to the idea of . I'm going to re-read what you've written in the last comment and see what happens. Wait here.
Okay, first, I only kind of understand that you had made a rhetorical self-inoculation against "it." I understood that the support of Robin was you being on the side of light to some degree. That's what inspired my positivity. I knew the way I expressed it wouldn't mean much to you because it would come from my New-Age sensing, rather than a real intellectual understanding. I sensed that. But at the risk of seeming silly, and sycofantic, I went there anyway and then maybe I swooped in the way my mother swoops in when she doesn't really understand something but senses only somewhat correctly that there is room for her to coerce old divisions to her side. I also know how that feels. Sorry. Back to what you wanted to discuss. Philosophers can't avoid entanglements. You know that. You're going to get entangled in something. You don't want to get caught in the repeating the same error. Oh, wait, there I go making it personal again. But it is personal. The only way this feels relevant to me is to point out how Strauss seeing what Schmitt did is the same as me seeing what you did. The only problem is that I suck at discussions about Strauss and Schmitt so there's no reason for you to listen to me being coercive. You should anyway, though. There's no real reason you should, but it's all I got for now. You might be interested in what Chogrum Trungpa Rinpoche says about entanglements. He says the issue is that we correctly recognize our gloriousness and our wretchedness, but fail to accept that both things are happening at once and will continue happening at once. So I hear you about pacifist politics. There is always an entanglement. We can avoid ending up as Nazis however if we always error on the side of pacifist politics. Right?
CK: I think you're just upset that Michele B dropped out of the race. I'm sorry for your loss.
The Ultimate side is not my side. We all relate to both sides. It's a bit easy to claim what you're claiming regarding "violence" don't you think? It justifies your defensiveness so nicely. Out of respect for you, I will not immediately retreat. The easy thing would be to apologize like a good little New-Ager. I think you can handle it. I think you can handle this easier than the positivity I shower you with. You directed this away from the positivity. It was your choice to focus on the one negative point I made. You focused on it and then cried foul. That's a bit childish don't you think? Wouldn't it be sadder for me to make no effort at all at working things out the way you like to work things out, which is through discourse. We could meditate instead. That would help more in respect to setting up favorable conditions for a "correct view." But that's not an option so I'm working with what you're willing to do and like to do. You like this. I know you like it, so you'll have to do better than the easy dialectical reversal. It doesn't apply.
It is the New-Age issue, true. If you read Pearce, it becomes easier to understand. You frame the contradiction incorrectly, however. The truth is not mine. The truth is that Paradox exists. Ultimate Paradox is what explains the paradox that the Relative View (Truth) is as relevant as the Ultimate View (Truth). You cling to Relative Truth out of fear and that fear inspires your beliefs so far. That will change. Once you realize the Ultimate Truth (not claiming anything for myself in that reqard) then you will see how your belief in Relative Truth has created a bias that only seems okay in connection with believes held by other men who have not realized Ultimate Truth either. The Relative Truth contains the biological determinism. The Ultimate truth transcends that, but does not end its relevance. Form is Formlessness and Formlessness is Form. So you can't frame an understanding of that the two interrelate as a contradiction in terms or nihilism. That is, as the Buddhists would say, incorrect view. The last time we got into this, I did send your ideas to a Lama. His response was quite negative. I never mentioned it because I thought it was defensive. I think your ideas succeeded in making him defensive. As I stated, I think you have great promise as a philosopher because the later philosophizing you do will come out on the Relative Truth side. You've just allowed the Relative to take over and manifest in the way the Relative manifests. It will meet its match some day.
It's the nature of nature being perceived through the nature of male philosophers whose ideas are happening on a certain level of consciousness. Raise the consciousness and things are perceived differently. I realize it's a little odd for me to be promoting a materialistic understanding of how we can perceive things less mechanically, but all the ideas here take place on a certain level of consciousness in connection with a certain kind of biology. The view is prejudiced. It is influenced by the nature of certain human beings who are not well positioned to perceive Reality well. That's why the first thing we have to do to unleash the great philosopher in you is to change the vessel and then raise your consciousness. Again, I know it's a little odd to think that what's happening on a lower level in connection with the material can be shifted to a higher level and connected to better matter and still retain its material gifts (your talent as a writer and your brain matter's philosophical get-it-ness) but that's what I believe. Again, stranger things could happen. When Saul became Paul things would have gone better for Paul if he had been more talented as a philosopher to begin with. When he spontaneously realized, his consciousness elevated but he was still a bit of dummy. He was a dummy realized being. I think if you spontaneously realized it would be really cool. You'd be the anti-Paul. You really would get-it. We just have to help you be not partial to violence ahead of that, and since it might be several lifetimes before you spontaneously realize there's no rush. You can keep on killing Christians for now.
I do have a book filled with feminist responses to Wilber's philosophizing. As a "neo-Hegelian," Wilber wrote some things similar to what CK has written here about violence, so a group of feminists took the time to compile a whole book of peaceful feminist rebuttals. Wilber debated back, but I think he might have been better served to admit that his testosterone had mixed with Hegels to some degree. It's a very powerful chemical.
Naturally, there are several other perspectives worth considering. We'd have to include ideas from feminist philosophers to even begin to be fair. But this is a boy's blog, so scratch that. The father of New-Age philosophy, Joseph Chilton Pearce, proposed that humans relate to violence only because violence begets violence on a biological level. It's a "reptilian brain" issue. When we even watch violence on TV we connect our neurology to the most primitive world view. With peace, we begin to link up with what Pearce calls "the biology of transcendence." It's not just frontal lobe stuff. The biology of transcendence includes "glial cells." Pearce did his best to get the science world headed in the right direction in respect to there being "glia in the heart." What that means is that our hearts have intelligence even on an actual biological level. If anyone wants a further explanation, I'll provide it. Suffice it to say that the intelligence in our hearts is part of our spiritual inheritance. More importantly, if we stopped watching TV and started loving peace we might be able to link up with a kind of human nature that would fulfill our biological potential and render the philosophical ideas partial to violence obsolete. Right now, 15 years after Pearce began spreading the news, the science world has finally started revealing how wrong they were about glia--how it is far from being just "neural glue," and how much it does that science can't explain.
I understand. I knew the misspelling was my concern not yours and I understand you still not being on board with the idea that CK is most visual philosopher in history. That's okay. I'm sure CK agrees with you.
This quote from a description of Robin's work is very helpful to me in respect to understanding where CK was living and where folks like Miggs still live. I had a real "ah-hah moment" reading this...
"Robin argues that the right is fundamentally inspired by a hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market, others oppose it. Some criticize the state, others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality.
Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society--one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention has been critical to their success."
As you all know, what troubles me about CK's beliefs is that they seem to me to favor violence and war. I think CK sees his beliefs as "highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances," and maybe they are, but partiality to violence I think may be the one thing that stands in the way of his reinventing philosophy with much success. I think he's done defending power and privilege but I shouldn't write that because anything I write may send him trotting over to the other side. And who could blame him? It's sad being a great philosopher whose only real fan writes things like "you're visuals."
I guess I really did write "you're visuals." That's problematic just in respect to the misspelling. Typical of me, though, but that's as far as I'm willing to go with the self-deprecation, and it's true in my opinion that most philosophers are not nearly as very visual as CK. I'm sure that there are exceptions, but think of CK's use of that Pepsi can for God Is Dead. How many philosophers could come up with that visual? Not many. And just because CK isn't famous now doesn't mean he will be unknown in the future. He's young. He had to do his Scorpio thing and Phoenix dive into the ashes. He could rise up and write one of the most important philosophical books in history. Wouldn't surprise me a bit and then it will be known that MacLeod is the most visual philosopher in history, Seems hyperbolic, I grant you, but it could happen. Stranger things have happened.
Don't know Robin from Batman, but I do think that actually living in the conservative world was an interesting mad-scientist thing to do on your part. It makes you different I imagine than all the other Marxists. I don't know all the other Marxists but I'd bet you're unique. And, yes, I realize that referring to you as a Marxist is problematic.
That's what's cool about all the blog brothers here.
I love this line..."because the lips of a would-be public intellectual in America today close on the word “Marx” as around a cyanide capsule: if ever, only to spit it out." Great imagery. That's my favorite thing about your writing. You're visuals are so unusually vivid for a writer with your intellectual capacity. Plus, I think I'm intuiting something from this piece. Robin fails in the way you don't. You were willing not to just see both sides, but to live in both sides for long enough to forget that you were just living in a side. You actually lived as a conservative. No one with your intelligence could live there (or just on the other side for that matter) for ever, but you did it. So you're not afraid in the way you explain that Robin is afraid. My guess is that he has to be afraid because he doesn't and hasn't lived on either side really, and as a squatter has to be fearful of eviction. You can't be evicted because you can live on either side if you had to. Of course, there was and is a price to pay for living where no one should live.