Saturday, August 20, 2011

Temporary but Unrepentant Umbilical to Furthur Thought-Insanity, Part XVIII

Carlos-O(1): “ That’s an interesting observation, and maybe we can investigate it further. However, what interests me more is the conflict between your celebration of NOW, of the ecstatic, energetic, the nascent, the erotic, HAPPENING NOW, and any need you have for the reflective, the recollective, historical thought, or study of the past. If the past already contains the now in its fullest, most advanced, form (Plato was a computer programmer), we should be able to get anything we might get from the past more simply, more clearly, more directly, more immediately (and thus more intensely), from being ‘in the now’. We could, if I follow your drift, get Plato by surfing, if we wanted. Certainly I agree that’s a much more pleasant and exciting way to “get Plato” than sitting in a hard chair in front of a standardized desk placed in a narrow row of other standardized desks in a rectilinear box of the sort we call a classroom. Or, come to think of it, much much more pleasant than where we are now, in this dank underground where we carry out our discussions of light. Why do you or would you ever bother AT ALL?”

Orla-O(1): “That’s because whenever I go into a dark, dank place, or on the other hand a well-lighted, standardized, routinized, homogenized, bland, reductive, or police monitored and controlled, authoritarian-structured place, it becomes ecstatic, energetic, erotic, etc.”

Carlos-O(1): “ That’s merely narcissistic.”

Orla-O(1): “ Well, there’s a narcissistic dimension to virtually all human activity. Mine happen to align more with what’s pleasant, humorous, and enjoyable. What’s wrong with that? Why do you suppose you overcome the narcissistic with your emphasis on the unpleasant, the dour, and the compulsory?”

Carlos-O(1) : “ My work is directed towards others, my students, my readers, other participants in academic discourse. I’m helping them, assisting them, expanding their horizons. I'm placing my students on the path to a productive and rewarding future; my comments on the history of philosophy may help my colleagues advance in their own work. In as many ways as possible, what I do is geared to the interests of others…That’s not so narcissistic, really. Of course I have career and other ambitions, and don’t turn down any recognition I receive. I also get pleasure from helping others. It’s greater than the pleasure I get from surfing, truth be known. (I’ve never had the feeling you’d deny me this.) ”


Blogger Christoffer said...

I think it is fair to say that the past contains the now, but not the same now as the one in the future relative to the past. Because otherwise it would mean the same as saying that the past contains the future, which we know is not right.

I think it is a surprising and interesting move to take Orla's metaphor and follow its own logic, as a sort of deconstruction, rather than just to throw it away, which I did.

But the result, learning Plato by surfing, doesnt work. I think you agree on this. So maybe I was right in that the metaphor didnt really work and that revealed a weakness in the argument it was supposed to support.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

Plato was not a modern thinker, but he did think in terms of dualities. Was he a King? I think at the time of Plato Athens was a democracy, and one of the very first ones at that! There was no king. Maybe Orla mean that Plato was a King of Philosophy, and that every thinker after him has thought within the same basic structures, and therefore Plato is modern! Maybe this structure was not something Plato worked out, but an inherent brain structure that makes our cognitions dual, and leads to mythic thinking.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are interesting, and I plan to use them, as with your other comments.

By the way, I was sorry when you took down many of your posts at ED. I had intended to respond to them eventually. I wonder if you realize how difficult it is to make a response. (And this is not an insult.)

Plato as King and Plato's philosopher-kings (the guardians.) I have speculated Orla may have called Plato a King subconsciously associating Plato with important elements of Plato's philosophy.

This is unpleasantly jarring, because Plato lived in a kind of democracy,within Athenian democracy, not a monarchy, and didn't wish to return to a monarchy, or to set up a tyranny, either. Then to call Plato himself a king, and in a way, a tyrannical king. There's a lot going on, though, and that is what I find pleasant.


2:52 PM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

Dont feel bad about no commenting, I did not take down posts because I felt noone was interested or didnt comment.

There is alot going on, with Plato and around Plato at the time.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

If you havent seen Valhalla Rising by danish filmmaker Winding-Refn, you may enjoy it, as a supplement on mythical thinking.

There are some unpleasant scenes containing violence.

1:28 PM  

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