Monday, May 21, 2012

Choose your unconditional carefully

Continuing from the ongoing IPS OOO discussion, Dial commented on p. 62:

"If I understand the notion correctly, (and I may not) it also has much resonance with the concept put forth here by Marcus Boon in which 'enlightenment', 'utopia' and the psychoanalytic 'cure' are all seen as heuristic devices. None of them are actually attainable, yet all serve to provide resources against despair, and for action, with the result that while the projected fantasy is not attained, something real and of value, is. I'ts how my world works... The concept, itself, is Marx via Frederic Jameson, I believe. More generally, though, isn't a concept to come exactly that - a concept to come? At no point is it to be figured as an actual concept, rather it is the very possibility of an actual event - that huge openness before any  specific event occurs."

I replied: Dial, yes it's sort of like 'enlightenment' etc. as an unattainable goal, and useful in that regard. What differentiates it from enlightenment though is that the latter is set in a metaphysical context, replete with gurus and the whole shebang of concomitant traditional practices not conducive to democracy, equal rights, etc. (See Joseph's recent video post.) The psychoanalytic 'cure' eliminates a lot of that, unless of course one practices 'transpersonal' psychology, which smuggles in a lot of the traditional baggage, including metaphysically interpreted states of consciousness. There are significant practical, political implications and outcomes to one's chosen 'unconditional,' as Bryant is constantly harping on.

I have yet to listen to the Boon recording. Note though that Morton, a shentong Buddhist, is trying to reconcile that Buddhism with his OOO. There may be many points of reconciliation but recall some of my earlier comments that some of the metaphysical aspects of shentong seem not so compatible, and how Morton himself must go through some rather disfiguring yogic contortions to try to make it so. For example, see p. 3 of the Batchelor thread and following.

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