Saturday, April 14, 2012
In interpreting, we do not, so to speak, throw a ‘signification’ over some naked thing which is present-at-hand, we do not stick a value on it; but when something within-the-world is encountered as such, the thing in question already has an involvement which is disclosed in our understanding of the world, and this involvement is one which gets laid by the interpretation. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time.  Translated by Leslie Paul Thiele and presented by Thiele in Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Politics (via doubtlr)

(Source: criticalforest)

Thursday, April 12, 2012
In my eyes, the mystical cannot be found in such ego-dissolution experiences, which make you feel at one with everything. The truly mystical is that, when the drug effects wear off, you always return to your point of departure in everyday consciousness, to the baseline, so to say. It’s about the fact that I can lose myself in a state which I’m not human anymore, in which I lack both individuality and sociality, in which I have no lifetime because I’m eternal, being everything and nothing, neither dead nor alive, not divided into subject and object, not located in a universe with a beginning and an end — and that this state eventually comes to an end. That I can even remember it. In retrospect, I then tell myself: yes, there are states, in which I’m eternal, but then I’m not myself — but it simply is, that state is. And, strangely enough, I always come back here, to the same body at the same place. That’s what I conceive of as the mystical. Others think of this as pure materialism. I can live with that allegation very well. Partly through my drug experiments, I have become an avowed materialist. I simply think: I am my brain state. Full stop. And at the same time, I conceive exactly this as deeply mystical. I’m speaking of the mystical in a Wittgensteinian sense. Wittgenstein wrote this brilliant sentence in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, to which I full subscribe: “It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists.” In my eyes, the truly mystical is not what seems amazing at first glance, but that which is the most amazing. The more it amazes me, the more mystical it is. And it amazes me a lot more that this life, as it is, so odd, so absurd, so simple, and yet so complicated, that this is what life is. Honza Samotar. (via kellie-sinclair)
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Everyone tries to make his life a work of art. We want love to last and we know that it does not last; even if, by some miracle, it were to last a whole lifetime, it would still be incomplete. Perhaps, in this insatiable need for perpetuation, we should better understand human suffering, if we knew that it was eternal. It appears that great minds are, sometimes, less horrified by suffering than by the fact that it does not endure. In default of inexhaustible happiness, eternal suffering would at least give us a destiny. But we do not even have that consolation, and our worst agonies come to an end one day. One morning, after many dark nights of despair, an irrepressible longing to live will announce to us the fact that all is finished and that suffering has no more meaning than happiness.

 Albert Camus, The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt (via nirvikalpa)

Most important thing you could read tonight

(via se-van)

I tried saying this exact sentiment last night and it most definitely didn’t come out like this.

(via therecipe)

Friday, March 9, 2012
Since people who live in Western Europe have so long been in the habit of thinking of Islam as the very definition of “the East,” it’s easy to forget that, from the perspective of any other great tradition, the difference between Christianity and Islam is almost negligible. One need only pick up a book on say, Medieval Islamic philosophy to discover disputes between the Baghdad Aristoteleans and the neo-Pythagoreans in Basra, or Persian Neo-Platonists- essentially, scholars doing the same work of trying to square the revealed religion tradition beginning with Abraham and Moses with the categories of Greek philosophy,a nd doing so in a larger context of mercantile capitalism, universalistic missionary religion, scientific rationalism, poetic celebrations of romantic love, and periodic waves of fascination with mystical wisdom from the East. David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, pg 271 (via augustuscarmichael)
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Part of what is appealing about the notion of ethnographic theory is the way that it cunningly reverses what many anthropologists think our discipline is supposed to do: make the strange familiar. Instead, the goal is to make the strange as strange as possible — to honor, welcome, embrace, and perhaps even emphasize its strangeness. In America, this smacks of ‘orientalism’ which we all automatically know is ‘bad’. But here, intriguingly, othering involves moral validation.

HAU and the opening of ethnographic theory | Savage Minds

Great post. HAU is indeed an exciting new development!

(via judaizers)

Sunday, September 18, 2011
One of the most significant facts about us may finally be that we all begin with the natural
equipment to live a thousand kinds of life but end in the end having lived only one.
Clifford Geertz (via kayyho)