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Monday, March 19, 2007

It is pomo fundamentalism - “there is no such thing as metaphysics"

alan kazlev Says: March 17th, 2007 at 8:44 pm Personally, I see pomo as just another version of Western secular/agnostic modernity that began with the Enlightenment in the 18th century. Therefore any pomo-derived criticism of occultism or esotericism isn’t valid, because
o it is trying to critique something it has no understanding of
o the criticism is motivated by the fact that occultsim & esotericism conflicts with the secular-agnostic worldview of pomo. An analogy is the Skeptic criticism of Paranormal phenomena.
Re the pomo refutation of Wilberism, I don’t see how Edward’s statement about holons being contingent avoids the problem. A holon is still a metaphysical (sensu Aristotle, not sensu pop-colloquialism) entity (complete with quadrants, teleology, etc), therefore it can be refuted via pomo.
However I do not consider pomo as being a more advanced insight than science-inspired modernity. This is because I have never seen a criticism by pomo that is able to refute the findings of the hard sciences. Pomo may be fine when it comes to the Social Sciences, but it is unable to critique the acumulated facts regarding the empirical reality of the physical word as revealed through scientific methodology. Wilber-V fails for exactly the same reason (I have elsewhere pointed out that Wilber’s critique of Darwinian science is pretty useless, because it depends on already refuted Creationist and ID arguments and on Ken’s appeal to his own authority as final arbitrator.)
It is however worth pointing out that there is a form of occultism, called Chaos Magic, that is similar to pomo in that it advocates no fixed worldviews as superior to others. It says one can adopt any view, even, say, fundamentalist Christianity, and experience that, without being bound to it. (here’s the Wikipedia write-up, but Peter Carroll puts it better; I don’t have the reference on me atm)
While pragmatic relativist meta-perspectives like Chaos Magic (mental & astral occultism) and philosophical relativist meta-critiques like pomo (mental & physical agnosticism) and Wilber-V (mental & physical holism) all have their own truth, that teachers like Sri Aurobindo and Gebser point (in different ways) to higher realities beyond the multiple relativities of the mental/belief perspectives and meta-perspectives.
alan kazlev Says: March 19th, 2007 at 1:52 am I have absolutely no problem with pomo as an analytical tool (e.g. showing the relative and arbitrary nature of culturally determined concepts and viewpoints) and agree with you regarding its usefulness. It is pomo fundamentalism - “there is no such thing as metaphysics because it cannot be validated through pomo” - that I argue against. Same as science and scientism. Or mysticism and religious literalism...
My reply to Derrida (and to all other reductionistic, relativistic, and agnostic worldviews) is the Primacy of Consciousness. At the basis and as the substratum of your (or anyone’s) stream of consciousness is the pure “I” or Witness, the Self, the Atman, which is one and undivided. In Advaita Vedantan methodology, this is what is the same, what persists, in all states of consciousness. There is only knowing subject, and that is “your” Consciousness, the witnessing “I” which is in “you” and nowhere else. This cannot be refuted through pomo methodlogy, because the thought associations that constitute pomo, just like those in all philosophy, are activities of the rational-logical mental faculty, and hence simply are a part of the stream of consciousness and an activity of the waking state of consciousness. Crudely, this might seem like nothing more than solipsism. But from a more profound perspective, this is proof of nondualism.

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