Philosophy as Meditation:

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

Philosophy as Meditation:

Postby d63 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:50 pm

The other day, on an episode of To the Best of Our Knowledge, Short Stories, one of the guests pointed out that reading short stories was a kind of meditation: a repeated act you engage in until something starts to happen –in a backdoor kind of way. And I would argue that we do as much with poetry. But even more important, for our purposes, isn’t this what we do with philosophy? This especially seems to be the case with continental approaches in that I find myself reading through page upon page of text and quite often find myself doing it with no immediate payback. Still, it has affected my process (perhaps through osmosis) in ways I’m not sure would have happened without it. On top of that, there are many times when I will be reading it while my mind is on other things. And I’m not sure this is totally unproductive concerning what I’m reading. In a sense, it correlates to the mind wandering while trying to empty it in that the only way out is through. Sometimes, you have to indulge the brain chatter in order to get beyond it. Regardless, after a while of doing it, you eventually get to a deeper level based on developing mental filters that tend to better capture what it is you are reading: that which previously seemed incomprehensible.

As I have said: I’m drawn to French concepts while being equally drawn to the Anglo-American style of exposition. This is because French concepts (via a lean to the literary side of the spectrum between science and literature) can bring you to perspectives that, whether true or not, flatters the understanding in their subtlety, while the Anglo-American approach offers immediate gratification in its clarity of exposition. It’s more an art than a science.

And because of this, there is a give and take on both sides. On one hand, the elusiveness of French philosophy can produce forever because of the literary nature of it (much like a poem or art work) while never producing anything more than a perspective. Meanwhile, the Anglo-American approach (like Searle or Dennett) can produce understandings that are nearly scientific in nature while being too easily exhausted.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

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