Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fabulation function, subliminal self, and social assemblages

Hindu society was "reformed" by many great men in British times - who realised that we had a lot to imbibe from the superior West. Raja Ram Mohun Roy founded the Brahmo Samaj and championed education in Western sciences and arts - while opposing Sanskrit - which is why he is known as the "father of modern India." I have an old post on this great man here. Compare what you read about him with any BJP "Hindu leader" of today.
Raja Ram Mohun Roy wrote Precepts of Jesus. He knew Arabic and Persian - and thus, Islam as well. Today, the so-called 'brahmins" - they are all the bureaucrat-professors of the State. Manmohan Singh is one of these - and they are all "Intellectual Bodyguards of the House of Nehru." They "profess" no "faith" - other than The State, which is their God.
The socialist State has thus re-established an ossified, petrified, brutalised, ignorant, and exploitative society - one that is far worse than anything either the Mughals or the Brits found when they arrived here. De-civilisation all around - including the destruction of every city and town. Capital consumption as well as the erosion of savings - both on a colossal scale. The British trained all the Rajput princes - so they were no longer "predatory."
But today, even the municipalities are predatory! So what can we say about the police? And the leader of the lower castes hates the traders! I recommend my latest work: For Civilisation, Against Politics: Arguments for an Intellectual-Moral Revolution.

On the one hand, I don’t think the cultural-linguistic turn in theory is able to adequately deal with ecology due to its tendency to treat everything as socially constructed, thereby ignoring the real differences that things contribute independent of signification.  On the other hand, I don’t think that we can adequately understand social assemblages without taking into account the role that nonhumans play in structuring power relations within those assemblages.  This project does not consist in excluding, for example, the questions of identity formation in feminist, queer, and post-colonial theory that Halberstam refers to, but in expanding the sorts of actants we consider when investigating power-relations in social assemblages… Ecological thinking is thinking in terms of relations between entities, investigating their hierarchies, as well as the positive and negative feedback relations that exist between these entities. 

Frederic William Henry Myers (1843–1901) was a poet, classicist, philologist, and a founder of the Society for Psychical Research.[1] The SPR was founded in 1882 in London by a group of eminent thinkers including Edmund GurneyFrederic William Henry Myers,William Fletcher BarrettHenry Sidgwick and Edmund Dawson Rogers.[2] The SPR was the first organisation of its kind in the world, its stated purpose being "to approach these varied problems without prejudice or prepossession of any kind, and in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned enquiry which has enabled science to solve so many problems, once not less obscure nor less hotly debated."[3]
Myers was interested in psychical research and was one of the founder members of the Society for Psychical Research in 1883.[7][8][9]He became the President in 1900.[10] In 1893 Myers wrote a small collection of essays, Science and a Future Life.[11]
In 1903, after Myers's death, Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death was compiled and published. It was two large volumes at 1,360 pages in length, which presented an overview of Myers's research into the unconscious mind.[9][12][13] Myers believed that a theory of consciousness must be part of a unified model of mind, which derive from the full range of human experience, including not only normal psychological phenomena but also the wide variety of abnormal and "supernormal" phenomena.[12][13]
Frederic Myers may be regarded as an "important early depth psychologist", and his significant influence on colleagues like William JamesPierre Janet, and Théodore Flournoy and also Carl G. Jung has been well documented.[14]
Myers speculated on the existence of a deep region of the unconscious (collective unconscious) or what he termed the “subliminal self” which he believed could account for paranormal events. He also proposed the existence of a “metetherial world,” which he wrote to be a world of images lying beyond the physical world. He wrote that apparitions are not hallucinations but have a real existence in the metetherial world which he described as a dream-like world.[15] Myers’ belief that apparitions occupied regions of physical space and had an objective existence was in opposition to his contemporaries views such as Edmund Gurney and Frank Podmore who wrote that apparitions were hallucinations.[16] [From Wikipedia]

Yet, although Kant's categorical imperative is supposed to be universal, it is not, according to Bergson. It is limited and particular. Closed morality really concerns the survival of a society, my society. Therefore, it always excludes other societies. Indeed, for Bergson, closed morality is always concerned with war. And static religion, the religion of closed morality, is based on what Bergson calls the “fabulation function.” The fabulation function is a particular function of the imagination that creates “voluntary hallucinations.” The fabulation function takes our sense that there is a presence watching over us and invents images of gods. These images then insure strict obedience to the closed morality. In short, they insure social cohesion.
But, there is another kind of morality and religion, according to Bergson. The open morality and dynamic religion are concerned with creativity and progress. They are not concerned with social cohesion, and thus Bergson calls this morality “open” because it includes everyone. The open morality is genuinely universal and it aims at peace. It aims at an “open society.” The source of the open morality is what Bergson calls “creative emotions.” The difference between creative emotions and normal emotions consists in this: in normal emotions, we first have a representation which causes the feeling (I see my friend and then I feel happy); in creative emotion, we first have the emotion which then creates representations. So, Bergson gives us the example of the joy of a musician who, on the basis of emotion, creates a symphony, and who then produces representations of the music in the score. We can see here that Bergson has also finally explained how the leap of an intuition happens. The creative emotion makes one unstable and throws one out of the habitual mode of intelligence, which is directed at needs. Indeed, in The Two Sources, Bergson compares creative emotions to unstable mental states as those found in the mad. But what he really has in mind is mystical experience. 

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