Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Buddha dharma, the Deleuzian virtual, and object a

In this IPS post Balder linked to an article on the above by networkologies blog. And where have we heard many of these points before? In the OOO thread so linked.

He claims that perceiving nonduality requires not rationality but intuition. This of course sets up exactly the kind of false dichotomy he just denounced. It's true that 'false' reason cannot so perceive it, but 'real' reason can, the latter being exactly the sort of nondual imaginative rationality L & J describe. A rationality (or vision logic) that exemplifies the sort of openness to the real he describes. He acknowledges that language (and therefore rational thought) can get at this via poetry and koan (paradox).

Like several of our posts, he discusses the virtual much like differance. Object a though he is using the strict Lacanian interpretation based on desire and sees it more as an obstruction, whereas I applied de/re to the term (using Zizek and Bryant, both Lacan experts) to be more akin to the virtual. He also makes the typical mistake of limiting Derrida to language whereas he was very much into ontology per se, but does give him create for finding the virtual in language.

I appreciate his description of the virtual as "folded against itself" by intertwining with actual things, which reminds me of this thread. Although his descriptive language again borders on the kind of duality he criticizes in purely abstract (false) reason. E.g., "beyond space-time" when per Bryant the virtual is "the time of the object," not some completely homogenous soup. And the language seems to indicate the virtual is some sort of causal realm that can exist without the actual, that while it needs the latter to create novelty it must "fall" into it. Also this notion of "identification" with the virtual, whereas the most salient point about the virtual according to OOO is that it is not part of identity, a characteristic of the actual.

In that regard I appreciate the section on not focusing on the real as such but on the desires of the object a. By so doing through meditation we can detach from them while acknowledging we need them to relate to the world, just not via obsession. One manifestation of this is social action, to "liberate the means of production," one of my favs these days. And a point I made earlier in the thread, this is not a liberation of desire per se but to "desiring better."

This leads to a "democracy of matter" reminiscent of Bryant's "democracy of objects." I appreciate the dynamic systems language here on the requisite enclosure of things needed in order to allow for complexification and emergent levels. Which of course requires a balance with a system's openness to its environment. Which reminds me of the balance of image and logic indicative of real reason noted earlier.

I also appreciate the caution about reifying this desire for emergence and evolution, for it turns into a craving of the kind we see in much of the evolutionary spirituality crowd. It's a fixation on being the best and the brightest, with a disconnect from the lowest and the most needy. It's much like mixing with the capitalist notion of "we get what we deserve" as evidenced by what we already have.

The language again though gets metaphysical when he describes it as a generic evolutionary “pull,” much like the Lingam's morphogenetic gradient. It a way it sounds like the strange attractor of dynamic systems, but as Bryant and DeLanda make clear there isn't one metaphysical attraction toward which we are all evolving. Strange attractors are particular the particular objects, and are themselves immanently constructed based on the autonomy of objects. Emergence and evolution yes. Some predetermined pull, not so much.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.