ISSO – International Summer School in Ontology (some comments)

I respect Terrence Blake. He has a capacity for thinking upon things that I do not. I am limited in my thinking.

Here is a small query essay that I posted as a comment on his post. I respect what I would call ‘the common humanity’ effort, that is based in and seeks to help the most people as possible. I respect that route.

But I am more about those who cannot be helped, or rather, those who are outside the purview of the proposed effort that addresses everyone.

Here is my comment that addresses this issue as it seems non-philosophy can be concerned.
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I wonder if you are familiar with the theoretical-theological basis of Alcoholics Anonymous.


Without getting into the issue of the specific problem of alcoholism and any proposals of solution, I will offer you a synopsis of the foundation of AA as it appears to relate to your issue. I hope you might be able to see the correlation I see.


AA began upon the General Christian notion of saving grace and the idea that one must get admit the issues of oneself in order to gain this grace. AA can be said to be a direct descendent of the Oxford Group, that arose in the late 19th century; it proposed to deal with the overwhelming and unsolvable problems of individual people.


There are 2 recognized founders of AA: Bill Wison and Doctor Bob Smith. The Book of AA, and thus its solution, says that alcoholism may be relieved by the grace of a higher power (God).


The relevance to your essay is with the experiences of each of these men and how AA came to endure as the program we know today.


Bill Wilson, who wrote the book 20 years after its founding, who was encouraged by the other members to do so, had a sudden spiritual experience that relieved him of his alcoholism.


Dr. Bob, as he is called, did not have such a sudden experience but instead had to struggle with the desire to drink, as he admits, for 2 and a half years, during which time, as he reports, he worked what will become the ‘program’ of AA, the 12 Steps that he and Bill had taken and adapted from the Oxford Group’s 6steps, but at the time, they just had ideas and the Bible. I will list these just as a curiosity (the 12 steps are well known):


1) complete deflation
2) get honest with self
3) get honest with another
4) make amends
5) help others without expectation of return
6) pray


The significance of these steps and AA in general to your idea that non-Phil may be a process rather than a state is similar to the foundation of AA.


The message of AA as Bill Wilson would have it, as noticed in their book, is that the alcoholic condition can be removed. It is clear that Bill did get the idea of ‘coming clean to God’ from a friend of his who was an Oxford Group member, but there is no real indication that his alcoholic condition had been removed because of any Steps. Bill reports that he was in the hospital and had an experience that removed his desire to drink, a condition that had never existed before, i.e. he would always end up drinking.


Bill met Bob on his first business trip after he got sober. He was bored one evening and alone, and was worried that he would drink and so decided to use the Oxford Group’s idea of helping someone in order to not drink. He found Bob by calling church directories and asking if anyone knew an alcoholic he could talk to.


They met. They talked at length. Doc Bob though Bill had some good ideas but that’s all. It was not until he drank again that he real considered the Bill might have something. Then the two of them stuck together and went to hospitals to find alcoholics that needed help and read the Bible.


The point I am trying to make is that AA is founded upon 2 apparently different types of experience. Bill who’s condition (state) had been fundamentally altered, and that no method or process was responsible. Doc Bob had no sudden relief of his alcoholism; he had to trudge daily in a struggle not to drink, but that in doing their thing, he emerged over time having the urge to drink removed.


It is the Doc Bob experience that the overwhelming preponderance of alcoholics in the program know and adhere to as the ‘program’ of AA, and it is really the Doc Bob idea, experience and application that is responsible for the appeal and continuance and endurance of AA.


Hence, there is a simmering but ongoing issue within AA. On one hand, there is the ‘God of your own understanding’ idea, where basically ‘all is good’ so song as you want to stay sober and are trying to. This amounts to the entirety of the ‘self help’ reduction common to the whole meeting-recovery-psychology process.


On the other hand, there is the “fundamentalist” ideal that sees the point of the steps as a spiritual awakening of the type that suddenly removes the condition of alcoholism. And that the Steps just need be applied correctly and rigorously.


Of course, I hope you can see how each of these approaches lend themselves to a general confusion that inevitably leads back to the ‘it’s all good’ premise.


The point I intend to enlighten is that the state is not the method, but it is the method that always wants to include, explain or otherwise reduces the state to its, the method’s, domain. This is such that case that even those who might have an inkling of the state, still attempt to methodologically reduce the state to a proper methodological situation.

AGENT SWARM

International Summer School in Ontology coming soon: 24-29 August 2015, Grado, Italy: “Six days course with six leading philosophers addressing the contemporary debate on ontology”.

There is a very interesting line up: Giorgio Agamben, Francesco Berto, Ray Brassier, François Laruelle, Paul Livingston, Davide Tarizzo. Some pdf summaries of lectures are already available on the academia.edu page.

The titles of Laruelle’s lectures are:

1) Introduction to Non-standard philosophy

2) Marx with Planck. For a quantum Marxism

Some people might be puzzled at the very idea of François Laruelle participating in a Summer School on “ontology”. After all, he is known for a position that sharply limits the utility of traditional philosophical vocabulary, and that seeks to propose more satisfactory vocabularies. I argue that this concern is more semantic than substantial, an instance of a new logophobia,. This context-blind attachment to words would impede cross-continental understanding if allowed to flourish unchallenged.

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“Nick Cave: pass the sick bag”

GODS & ALCOVES

Sick BagWhen you’ve personally witnessed Nick Cave nodding out on heroin and slowly lowering his head into a candle flame – his mass of dyed black hair igniting as you rush over with a tea towel to extinguish the blaze – you are likely to do a minor double-take when, years later, you hear that he’s been made an honorary doctor of letters by the University of Brighton, the English seaside town he calls home.

Such is the unlikely trajectory of a musician who, for more than three decades, has staggered along the fissure that separates low life from highbrow art. Like very few other “rock stars” – not a breed he has ever closely identified himself with – Cave has survived the thanatos of his self-destructive impulses to become a canonised artist of the transgressive. He’s made several acclaimed albums, written novels and screenplays, and been showered with awards. He’s…

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Note to the supposed spiritually righteous. 

The ideal of compassion lay at the heart of genuine spiritual ideas and their supporting ideals. 

I have found recently that some people who flout spiritual notions do not always realize the meaning of the sayings and texts they talk about.

Out of such ideal, i will not mention the specific blogger who hides behind pretty pictures and noble sounding text.

Here is my note to him that comes after a day of discussion whence he could no longer sustain his facade;  he has deleted it from his comments where i posted it three times thinking something was wrong with my phone/internet functioning: 

You know, its kind of a shame that the beauty of the ideals and spiritual meanings expressed here in your essays actually appear to  be used for covering what is apparently a great personal insecurity.   The texts you so adimantly yield as weapons of truth, actually arose from a compassion for humanity. It seems strange that i would arouse such antagonism in you.  It seems contrary to the spirit of the texts you are so sure about.  In this way it is Unfortunate your blog thus can appears as a sham, since you are obviously only interested in your self righteous assertions, inconsiderate of any possibility that you may be incorrect.  Quite contrary to the spirit of the spiritual texts as well as philosophy.  I hope you find peace one day.  

That paragraph is also a hyper-link to perhaps some more uplifting expressions of spirit.  

Namaste. 

The Impossible.  Part 1. 

The impossible can be discovered along many significant vectors of reality as limit. The particular discussion that contains or otherwise accounts for the various vectorial meanings is ironic; it is the event that begins the count, that can be said to to be a basis upon which a linking of meaningful terms is made that presents the truth. That by which irony is informed, due to its unknowable prior linkage, is impossible. What is possible is made upon the meaningful linking of the event which places it among other events in an eternal conventional relativity of True Objects. In reading this essay, one might understand that while it addresses a particular discourse, it explains many. When discovering conventional limit and the situation concerning reality, one thereby begins to understand what true agency can be in revealing reality’s counter-partial not real situations. * The search for truth through a negotiation of objects, or limits, establishes reality; if we are seeking a truth that is not negotiated then we must no longer attempt to discern what is more real. The assertion that there is some article of knowledge that is more real than another is of conventional faith, which, as we may have seen, does not find the truth, but only the True Object, the object of faith. For the conversation to mean anything beyond merely repeating what was before, it must be about effects. * I cannot deny that to believe that there was a man, who actually was the son of the most high and true god sent to earth, who actually existed as a human 2000 years ago, for whom the Gospels are a history of, is an act of faith. In fact, it is difficult to believe this, so to believe it must be a truly significant feat of faith. For me, it is absolutely incredible, and perhaps, I admit, this is exactly where I do not have faith, except that it is an article of a type of faith. Yet I can, in good faith, believe that it is possible to have faith in such an idea. Because I can have such a faith, I can also see that the faith in the article presents a dubious situation. My faith in the Idea of the idea is not troublesome, but the process of understanding the Idea can be. It is the one of this latter faith that has made a choice of a difficult path, as I said, to believe in something that by a certain standard is incredible; hence requiring the choice to have faith in it. The redundancy that is denied through the standard brings the nobility of requiring faith; it brings the incredible to its stature of needing faith, and a resultant choice. But by this same criterion, the incredible, I submit that there is an even more difficult article to choose to have faith in, since in order to have faith in this alternate article, the standard, one would have to choose to believe that he has no choice, for the standard is what grants the situation of choice, in that one has no choice in that he has choice, or must be choosing. The faith in the article that presents a situation of having no choice likewise then requires that the idea of faith be relinquished, since the act of faith itself is based in choosing to believe something incredible. Here then, we can come upon a duality that presents the incredible as something one must have faith in as opposed to that which one need not have faith in for it to be true, such as, everyday reality. In this way the object of faith is understood as exceptional to everyday reality, but the incredible is still possible. It may be just barely possible, but it is possible enough that faith is required to believe it; that is, it is still believable: The standard is given, does not require faith for it to be true, and the incredible requires faith. The significance here is that it, the situation, is not impossible, for it is the impossible that is truly difficult. Yet once what is really difficult to have faith in is realized for what it truely is, which is the standard, then what was once incredible no longer requires faith for it to be true – but also the reverse. This is to say, the standard that is true allows for the incredible that may be true through faith, but what is incredible through the terms of faith, the meaning of what can be incredible, is brought by the terms of the standard; hence, what is true regarding the incredible is nothing more than an extension of the standard, and thereby what is of the standard is likewise or consistently come upon by faith. This is the transitive set. The real difference allowed through the standard for the incredible is exactly of faith, but this, so far as the standard becomes true through faith, is a step into the impossible, the absurd, insanity. The common standard of reality is granted through faith; this is impossible. * To believe that humanity exists along some sort of continuous thread, that the past and future can be a part of this thread, and that human beings are set upon this thread with a certain fundamental condition that at once is of a same type, inherently and innately discrepant, ‘sinful’ to use a term, such that a figure was or is set upon or within this thread so as to draw all sinners unto itself as relief for the condition – which is to say, this first condition is but an ‘eternal’ condition, against which a second condition then also shows itself: that human beings are involved with a movement of progress that gains its quality upon the first condition, where the resistance to the first condition defines the situation of the second – this is a development upon the point of contention as I see it: the significant difference between what calls for faith, and what is truly impossible. Jesus can be viewed in the forgoing two ways against each of two conditions, and this gives a quadripartite; the eternal condition of duality and its reconciliation or removal, each applied to (A) and (B) below, disseminates as follows: A) Jesus the actual Son of God, actually manifest as an individual human being 2000 years ago. This figure is clamed to be able to absolve human beings who exist at all times subsequent to his moment, of their inherent sin. Jesus thus has eternal power despite the passage of time. The individual existing at any time always has the potential to access the eternal Jesus through choice. They become saved regardless of the actual historical condition of progress as it has moved away from Jesus; time reveals humanity dealing with Christ in history as it progresses to rebuke him until its greatest despair, when Jesus will return to save that humanity. The basic idea is that of a confused or aggravated individual extrapolated in history who comes to believe in Jesus and is thereby relieved of his aggravation. This aggravation can be called ‘sin’. B) The human being exists within no actual temporal sphere. The functioning of consciousness behaves so as to allow meaning of reality. Reality is thus not separate to what meaning is had of it. 2000 years ago is a situation of consciousness, a particular formation or construction of meaning by which other things have real relations; no 2000 years ago exists beyond the scheme of meaning that would understand it, and in the understanding of this condition as a mere condition, 2000 years ago is actually ‘happening’ now, in consciousness, as meaning. Jesus is the human being who has ‘awakened’ to his existence. Jesus thus is the figure representative that indicates in words the situation of the human being who likewise has come unto his existence of the eternal moment, as those who have likewise such knowledge ‘hear’ the words of eternity, that is, of describing the same atemporal condition. Once such words are heard, it is because no other meaning could have come forth from existence, and this is to say that one has no choice in the meaning which he has gained from the words. Yet, typically the individual of reality sees it through a lens of historical time that exists in actuality, one thing arising from another, contingent upon actual conditions of things moving in essential time. Ironically, in such a state, the individual is ‘aggravated’, is in ‘sin’ due to the mistaken ideas of reality, the limit that is the reasoned and knowable aspects of reality, so while it seeks really its own existence, it perpetually and continually puts it off in seeking into temporal things, thus creating the world, but also by mistaken default, creating the condition of being divided unto itself, this condition that is capable of arguing an actual Jesus individual God-human being that bridges the unassailable gap, the condition of (A) above. This dialectic brings us to a situation where one might say that these two versions are equal in effect, where both (A) and (B) can be understood to account for a lack, in (A) by Jesus, in (B) by the potential of knowledge, but I must say that where (B) appears as a more comprehensive account of what is represented, it also seems to bring a reasonable defaulting – in the extreme case – to (A), due to its similar limit. (B), though it may seem more appealing, does thus not seem to solve anything since it develops a polemic with (A), which, in the last, is merely repeating (A) in different terms. At last, then, (A) seems to me not to work; again, it is insoluble, for this reason: The effect (A) appears to reify and maintain the problem, since the individual is still left to his capacity or ability to believe, which then apparency compounds the problem because the believer still vacillates in moments of question, willingness, and perhaps sinfulness, basically over their own inadiquacy. And it seems even one so devout in his faith is only so through selective denial, who then gets angry at what offends his faith, and who cannot help but turn a blind eye to logic that would show him where his belief may be lacking. * What ‘Jesus’ (as I develop both possibilities, A and B above) accomplished might be described in this way: Below, items (1), (2), (3) present the possibility that what is impossible lays in an absolute polemical relation to what is possible, the principle of exclusion, or being a part; item (4) is thus impossible with reference to the first three, the principle of inclusion, or belonging: (1) The dual understanding of (A); (2) the dual understanding of (B); (3) the dual understanding of (A) against (B); (4) the understanding that includes these three possibilities. Which is to say: If, either, either A or B, or, either 1 or 2, then 4. In short, we have moved from the ‘either/or’ possibility into, what I call, the ‘if/then’. To explain; (A) is that of admitted faith that claims the actual Jesus as God Christ; (B) is that not admitted of faith that claims Jesus as part of the negotiation of reality; the true method of knowledge will bring understanding of truth. (1) is the duality inherent in the consequence of not having faith, i.e., going to hell, say; (2) is the duality inherent in the consequence of having faith, i.e., that we do live in a progressive temporal causality. (3) is the either/or condition that argues the veracity of either (A) or (B), which is really, (4) the inclusion of (A) in (B), which is the standard of non-philosophy as method. The problem lay in the situation of (3), which defines the polemic of faith and establishes the true within reality, the preliminary (4); reality, while admitting faith, does not require faith. Faith thus belongs to reality, but reality does not belong to faith. The event is reality and faith is included in what may constitute the event, or the count that was initiated as the event. But what we have in the method of non-philosophy is a restating, a repetition, of either/or. The methodological event of non-philosophy poses its limit in the Real even while Laruelle attempts to disperse the Real from its object; yet to distinguish what becomes the non-philosophical philosophical object, we should not propose a ‘one-in-one’ because then the ‘unilateral duality’ becomes an identifier of limit, of a knowable true object, another philosophical object – either that object or this object. This feature of non-philosophy evidences bad faith; thereby we can have his Gnostic base, as well as method. To assert or otherwise argue a Real overdetermines in the last instance the meaning of convention, which is, in the first, a progressing knowledge or order of true objects, which is, in the last, merely another assertion of faith, merely another repetition of ‘either A or B, and 4′, the eternal linking that is the critique by the differend, whereby no progress is made beyond (A,B). It is no wonder that Laruelle expounds upon a ‘Future Christ’. Yet, where non-philosophy presents and does not represent, there and only there is ‘if (A,B) then 4’, there is the impossible; here is aphilosophy. The object has become the occasion of the condition by which I can exist in reality. The argument for truth that seeks what is more real resides in the confines of which Jesus is part and only possibly significant. Here, the state of reality I call ‘convention’. The impossible move is to see that what is of choice (A,B), by virtue of the impossible, requires or is otherwise constituted by a faith that cannot but be situated in the way it is by the standard for it to present the object of faith, and in this, involves no choice. Yet if I have somehow chosen the impossible, then that by which I may not have chosen requires faith. Jesus, in this way, can be said to have achieved the impossible, but where this is possible, Jesus is not necessary. The irony cannot be overestimated. * But wait, there’s more! Always more – but nevermore.