Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Part 39: (Narcissus, Talismans, Cognition, and Resistance): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from which Flora Sapio responds after some conversation picking up from No. 38. 

Contents: HERE
(BHP) Larry Catá Backer and Flora Sapio Imperatrix Maris, the "fight" of some individuals is against a model that induces domestication since their birth. This model is exercised by the family, by the social group, school and never stops. A few days ago, in the place where I was walking, I saw a mother in playground asking insistently for her little boy, make a joker grimace. The child did not want to, but she insisted anyway. I myself, have acted this way with my daughters and my granddaughter. I often asked them to repeat, for my friends, something they did, and I found cute. This, my friends, is a simple illustration of what we do, also, among other reasons, we have not always aware, "for love." And this is the way, which in love, or for "need" , the man is being conditioned throughout his life. Until the uprising of some individuals against this conditioning can be a dogma. I understand that Flora spoke, I agree and respect. And actually I really think it's good that she was able to escape the pattern of the social group where she grew up and lived, if she did not like this pattern. Particularly, I like people, at least somewhat, nonstandard. And Larry, you really got it right the meaning of my posting, that picture is really an irony that illustrates some aspects than we have spoken.

(FS) The truth is that as I grew up I was never really forced to fit a mold, at least not by my immediate circle...that's a very long story.

(BHP) Dear Flora Sapio Imperatrix Maris, about this story and others we'll chat while we drink tea. But regarding this his last comment I think, that the parameters of behavior, not always are taught. I believe that we are like a patchwork quilt. We absorb without even realizing what is around us, and little by little we building what we understand as our "individuality". Some people do not fit exactly to what's around you, and seek changes. And / or, in his own way fight for them.

What about be outside the existing standards. Larry Catá Backer, you know what drew my attention to your mind? As I told you , the first thing that caught my attention about you, was the respect you showed with the audience, when you presented your content on their everyday language and in the language of the audience (a type of nonstandard attitude ), the second thing that made you call my attention was a ring that you use. At that seminar, when all were drinking coffee I looked at people and I thought: Well, many people. With whom, I would like to speak? At this time I looked and saw your ring. I considered your ring, beautiful and unusual. And I thought: This person seems to have an interesting personality. It was a shame what the time to drink coffee was little. Because we do not talk. But I know there will be other opportunities, my friend out of the ordinary. rsrssrsrsr My husband already likes you and the Flora, because of our discussions. And when I told for him as it was my first contact with you , he also admired your respect unusual, by your audience. As to the ring, as a criterion to say whether you were a good person, he laughed. rsrsrsrs

Ulisses Schwarz Viana onde anda você?

(USV) Minha querida Betita, saudades de vcs, estou em meio a um turbilhão profissional, mal consigo respirar aqui. Estou preparando resposta para o Blog do Larry Catá Backer. Desculpem meu sumiço.

(BHP) Está super desculpado!srsrsrsr Querido Ulisses Schwarz Viana, isto não é uma cobrança!!! rsrsrs Quando você puder vai ser muito legal ler as suas contribuições, mas, é claro, fique vontade. Abraços!!!!

(USV) Não me sinto cobrado, sinto saudades mesmo... esse convívio "virtual" só me enriquece!

(BHP) A mim também Ulisses Schwarz Viana! É muito bom.

(FS) Rispondo stasera oppure domani. . . .

(FS) Intellectual decontamination...or the tearing down of those intellectual superstructures that do not allow us to imagine the essence of the individual detached. Imagination is the word. And what is imagination, if not the ability to form mental and sensory images of objects that are not present to the senses, of places, colors, smells, sounds and characters that may not even exist in reality? And, is imagination a friend of reason, or is it a foe?

I don't know, because no one ever taught me what the respective roles of reason and imagination are or should be. I only know that some philosophy suffocates within this problem because no one can imagine the “individual detached”. But, the inability to imagine the individual detached is a product of such philosophy, so we are still trapped within a vicious circle. Mercury won't save us from that vicious circle, and neither will Loge, Coyote, Eleggua, or Odysseus, because they don't exist. And we know that they do not exist, because we do not believe in tales. And we do not believe in tales because we believe in reason, or at least in the incompatibility of reason and all that does not belong to the realm of reason. Or so some of us have been taught. [We don't believe in some kinds of tales but, we believe in other kinds of tales. We do not believe in the prophetic cats of Russian fables, but we believe in foundation myths]

In talking about the incompatibility of reason and non-reason I am not talking about talismans and old grimoires but about something entirely different. A certain philosophy has explored the many forms domination can take, therefore we know we are surrounded by a network of symbolic domination, that our thoughts, our cognition are controlled and channeled by symbols, regardless of what these symbols may be (money, academic prestige, cars, language, ideologies etc.). We know that domination is exerted upon our bodies and upon our minds. As I have tried to explain, if we accept that we are only our body and our intellect, then there is no escape from the slightly paranoid construct of the governmental machine, and we will forever be condemned to Tantalus' Supplice of imagining a differentiated self, or an individual detached, or any other form of life we will never be able to reach.

Yet, such philosophy has accepted this construct and because of what it has neglected to say, it has left the ground to currents and approaches that shrewdly prey upon the most vulnerable part of the individual. The concept of vulnerability, as it has been constructed by some female philosophers (since we have been referencing men only, I thought I'd reference a female philosopher this time), is of little use in understanding how domination works. Vulnerability is not “of the body” so to speak, but it belongs to the province of spontaneous mental states that go hand in hand with physiological changes. I am not using the words “feelings” and “emotions”, “motivations” and ''moods” because using any of these words induces those who hear them to put up a strong resistance, and to deny that “spontaneous states accompanied by physiological reactions” are of any value. Vulnerability is emotional – we are not constrained in our bodies, neither are we constrained in our intellect. We are constrained in our souls.

It is through our feelings, emotions, desires and moods that we can be manipulated and controlled, as Machiavelli and Guiguzi (鬼谷子) knew very well, not to mention political commentators, teachers, and spin doctors.

The response I gave on Facebook is the only true response. No one can teach you what you are, or what you should do. They can only try to shape you, but they will keep failing unless you will want them to shape you, because you have become prey of the emotions (pleasant or unpleasant) they have aroused in you and then manipulated to create a bond of dependence. Children can and are often disciplined through shame, and accepting this mechanism means beginning the descent into the abyss of the political community of co-dependents. Rejecting manipulation and co-dependency is neither an act of 1960s-style rebellion nor a manifestation of herd instinct but, to use a very fashionable word, and act of “resistance”. “Resistance” requires knowledge of each one of the spontaneous mental states that arise in us, of the ways in which they can be manipulated, and of the strategy and tactics to distance ourselves from attempts at manipulation and blackmail.

(LCB) Aaaah, "fides et ratio" is it possible to "believe" in neither and both, not in andf of themselves but as the sign through which interpretation and the interretant community is disciplined--and can communicate? I reference but do not rehash Fides et Ratio: Religion and Law in Legal Orders Suffused by Faith (a written version of a talk given at the 10th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Law Culture and the Humanities, held at Georgetown University Law Center, March 23, 2007 for a panel entitled Law and Ontology, July 30, 2007).

And that brings us to a delightful side conversation we recently enjoyed, from which meaning may be extracted for our little community which started with the posting of one of the very smart comic strips of existential comics:

Permanent link to the original HERE.

(FS) this makes me think about fairy tales (founding myths) and how they work.

(USV) Flora Sapio Imperatrix Maris, exactly that, the way we construct myth as a "reality game" or as "foundations for 'reality'" in a post-metaphysic way. Fascinating!

(BHP) Caros Flora Sapio Imperatrix Maris, Ulisses Schwarz Viana e Paul Van Fleet. Para Joseph Campbell, o mito envolve as pessoas na busca por entender o desconhecido.
Para este autor,os mitos podem ser considerados pistas para as potencialidades espirituais da vida humana.

Ele acredita que a nossa mitologia é baseada no dualismo, certo ou errado, morto ou vivo, ser ou não ser; e as religiões tendem a enfatizar este dualismo, por que elas enfocam, principalmente, a luta entre o bem e mal. Quanto aos contos de fadas, há muito tempo os mitos e os contos de fadas estão presentes no imaginário do homem e desempenham um papel singular nas sociedades. Estas histórias sobrevivem ao tempo, porque, contém símbolos universais que provém do inconsciente coletivo. PS. Eu ia colocar o link que eu usei como referência mas vem acompanhado de uns aplicativos chatos. Então desisti. Dear Flora Sapio Imperatrix Maris, Ulisses Viana Schwarz and Paul Van Fleet. To Joseph Campbell, the myth involves people in the quest for understanding the unknown.

Myths, for this author, can be considered clues to the spiritual potentialities of human life.

He believes that our mythology is based on dualism, right or wrong, dead or alive, be or not be; and religions tends to emphasize this dualism, tending to focus on the struggle between good and evil. How to the fairy tales, the myths are present in the human imagination and play a unique role in society. These stories survive over the years because it contains universal symbols that comes from the collective unconscious. PS. I'd put the link I used as a reference but comes with a boring applications. Then I gave up.

(USV)Betita, curiosamente os contos de fada e os mitos da atualidade são produzidos por Hollywood et alii, nem sempre com as bases sólidas da tradição, cheios de distorções, ideologias disfarçadas e outras coisas...

(BHP) Ulisses Schwarz Viana, eu entendo o que você está falando. Porém, no meu entendimento, os mitos são propagados, não somente, " mas também", pela indústria cinematográfica, "entre outras mídias". Mas eles são construídos pelo homem. Os meios áudio visuais para transmissão de qualquer tipo de informação são muito bons para a humanidade para serem "acusados" desta maneira. rsrsrs É o homem Ulisses, é sempre o homem. A industria cinematográfica produz, da mesma maneira que uma confeiteira pega uma receita e faz um naked cake, que agora é "moda" aqui no Brasil. Ela faz este tipo de bolo por que alguém disse para ela que este tipo de bolo é bom e vende. Bom, obviamente esta é uma longa conversa. rsrsrsrs

Com relação a tradição, eu acredito, com base apenas na minha percepção, que um conto de fadas não precisa ser, necessariamente, baseado em tradições, embora seja sempre uma consequência e/ou reflexo da história de vida do seu criador.
I understand what you're talking about. However, in my view, myths are propagated, not only, "but also" for the film industry, "Among other medium." But They are man-made. The audio visual means for transmitting any kind of information are very good for mankind to be "accused" in this way. lol is the man Ulysses, is always the man. The film industry produces, just as the baker grabs the recipe and makes a naked cake, Which is now "fashionable" in Brazil. It is this type of cake by someone Told her que this type of cake is good and sells. Well, obviously this is a long conversation. rsrsrsrs

With respect to tradition, I believe, just based on my perception que a fairy tale need not Necessarily be based on traditions, although it is always a consequence and / or reflection of the life story of its creator.

(USV) Sim, refiro-me ao compromisso com a qualidade, com a seriedade que se manifesta como "tradição" de boa literatura, de bom cinema, talvez a Hollywood de hj não seja um bom exemplo de compromisso com certos padrões de qualidade, senão o gosto da massa que "consome" produtos "ready to go". Esse é para mim o problema, talvez eu esteja sendo 'elitista', desculpe.
Yes, I mean the commitment to quality, with the seriousness it manifests as "tradition" of good literature, good movies, maybe Hollywood hj is not a good example of commitment to certain standards of quality, but taste the mass that "consume" products "ready to go". This is for me the problem, maybe I'm being 'elitist', sorry.

(BHP) Não podemos esquecer que o entendimento do que significa qualidade e seriedade é relativo. Para cada grupo/ tribo e/ou segmento da raça humana ele é um.
We can not forget that the understanding of what it means quality and reliability is relative. For each group / tribe and / or segment of the human race he is.

(USV) Verdade, por isso me questionei se não estaria sendo 'elitista'.
(BHP) Não Ulisses, você estava falando o que você sente, que é o mesmo que muitos sentem, inclusive eu. O meu comentário objetiva oferecer um contra ponto, só isso. Se nós não pudermos falar o que sentimos entre" pares", com quem poderemos?!? Você não me parece ser elitista. E se fosse, também não seria um problema. Pensando neste termo é fácil ver, que todo mundo de alguma forma é elitista. Talvez elites diferentes. Mas todos tem suas preferências, sempre elegemos algo ou alguém que sentimos alguma empatia para gostar e defender.

NoUlysses, you were talking about what you feel, which is the same as many feel, including me. My objective review provide a counter point, that's all. If we can not speak what we feel between "pairs" with whom we can?!? You do not seem to be elitist. And if it was, it would not be a problem. Thinking this term is easy to see that everyone is somehow elitist. Perhaps different elites. But everyone has their preferences, always elect someone or something we feel some empathy to appreciate and defend.

 (LCB)  And this perhaps drives home a point, one that we each have been seeking to make in our own way--communicating across our own selves to others, requiring us each to express the individual but within a framework that requires the use of the words and their meaning accorded them by the interpretive community that is itself an impediment to the project undertaken.  Referencing the cartoon, the object of the discussion above, we must not merely unmask the lion which is not a lion, but the man who is no man. The lion speaks to the man because it is not a lion, but the man speak to the man whi is a lion only because he is not a man but a communicant within a group within which such unfrocking of the lion (which is no lion) is possible. 

E isso talvez leva para casa um ponto, que cada um de nós tem procurado fazer a nossa própria maneira - comunicar através de nós mesmos para os outros, obrigando-nos cada para expressar o indivíduo, mas dentro de um quadro que requer o uso das palavras e seu significado atribuído a eles pela comunidade interpretativa que é em si um obstáculo ao projecto realizado. Fazendo referência ao desenho animado, o objeto da discussão acima, não devemos apenas desmascarar o leão, que não é um leão, mas o homem que não é um homem. O leão fala ao homem, porque não é um leão, mas o homem falar com o homem whi só é um leão, porque ele não é um homem, mas um comungante dentro de um grupo dentro do qual essa unfrocking do leão (o que não é o leão) é possível.

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