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Fw: NECESSITY OF DEBATE II: Heidegger on Sociology and Psychology Pt 17

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  • Gary C Moore
    ... From: Gary Moore To: Cc: Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 4:36 AM
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2000
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Gary Moore <gottlos45@...>
      To: <heidegger@...>
      Cc: <gottlos75@...>
      Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 4:36 AM
      Subject: NECESSITY OF DEBATE II: Heidegger on Sociology and Psychology Pt 17


      █PART 17


      But the problem is still more problematic than that. Essentially the cure
      existed before the 'illness', i. e., the 'They' self knew exactly before
      hand exactly how to live. This is not a 'put down'. It is a perfectly valid
      statement, that if one proposes that one should live, that this is the
      overriding goal of all action however it may be interpreted in particulars,
      then living and PERSISTING in living NECESSARILY means either obeying the
      ethical rules the 'They' self teaches, or at least being keenly observant of
      them and manipulating them carefully. There is no way around this, if that
      is your fundamental premise, i. e., that you must endure no matter what.
      Even suicide, to a large extent, conforms to this idea, i. e., the 'They'
      self had the right idea and I failed it in some way. That the 'They' self is
      overwhelmingly successful is not only proven by the fact it has survived for
      millions of years, but it has survived because of the accumulated fund of
      practical knowledge that children are suppose to receive from the total
      archive of language itself has handed down in inheritance. Not only does
      language deliver messages of practical import, but language itself in its
      fundamental form always strives after clarity and rationality so that
      language always presents through itself the way to practical comprehension.
      If success is the ultimate argument for validity, the 'They' self wins the
      contest hands down. And if the real premise of proper living is endurance
      and survival - NOT ACHIEVING THE END GOAL OF ONE'S UNIQUE PROJECT - i. e.,
      then life is its own justification and therefore one should endure anything
      no matter what.


      I do not say psychiatry has problems, I question all of the fundamental
      premises it is built on. Even that is wrong. I utterly reject it in the
      utterly impractical affirmation of insanity. Those who maybe need to be
      'cured' are those who maybe took that path in life by mistake, not
      understanding what they were doing or the full consequences of their acts.
      But this is entirely too simplistic. For the 'bad choices' are 'bad' by a
      standard in turn chosen in "Bad faith". So that only by discarding the
      standard, and in a sense starting completely over again by wiping the
      'slate' clean which is what you do in answering the EXISTENTIAL "call of
      conscience" in existential anxiety and fundamental boredom and are then
      confronted with the infinite field of possibilities, all leveled down in
      total indifference to being equally valuable/valueless. You then confront
      your having-been of 'bad choices' and "Bad faith as something totally
      objective and completely detached.

      If they need to be cured of their supposedly their 'bad' choices, then one
      is in a quandary. What they left, what they separated themselves from in
      their desperate manner, in the first place was an intolerable situation,
      usually within the family. This involves all the basic values of their life,
      i. e., their obligations and morality, not only the difference between good
      and evil, but the difference between true and false, i. e., all inherited
      notions whatsoever. And they have come into conflict: either the good and
      the true do not accord or good and evil DO accord. In other words, a basic
      conflict has arisen within their fundamental everyday selves. The standard
      by which they choose in the first place is either totally put in question or
      destroyed. And yet, like any one else, they still are "pushed' to make a
      choice. And any choice they make, unless they can stand back from and at
      least temporarily cut themselves off from all values and judgements, will
      still be based upon those wrecked premises. All they KNOW is that they must
      leave the situation. But the situation goes on pushing them wherever
      nonetheless. And if the basic distinction of truth and falsity is so
      intertwined with subjective values and distorted with family conflict, and
      therefore becomes rejected in one piece, how can one even communicate then?
      And who is going to try to communicate with them? Someone who fundamentally
      shares those same values that the 'patient' has rejected? And is essentially
      saying the 'patient' must go back to those values even in a modified form?
      One would think finding a free and open space for the 'patient' to work out
      their own thoughts in would be the primary and most essential thing to do.
      But just such a situation as we have already described rejects ALL values,
      or at least puts them at a far distance, including the value of life. And
      what institution or organization or even the law itself is going to really
      permit that to happen?

      Anything I can think of as a 'cure' has basic premises that are not just
      questionable but are outright lies. There is no CORRECT METHOD to at all to
      help people in a POSITIVE, assertive sense. This would, by its very nature,
      be a manipulation, and it is precisely manipulation by others that they are
      fleeing. There are certainly many wrong ones, "wrong" being simply defined
      as a logical contradiction, i. e., having abrogated all values supposedly,
      then one is shown the 'right' way to do things. But if you have cleansed
      logic of all its hidden, unquestioned presuppositions, for instance, the
      'sacred' value of life which if one took that seriously with logical
      consistency would pit you diametrically against all the forces of society
      and institutions since "life" as the "refusal to leave the solid ground of
      experience" is always YOUR life for which you alone have the absolute
      'responsibility' and have the 'right - that is absolutely the wrong word -
      the POWER to choose to be totally irresponsible with it. You ALWAYS have the
      possibility of choosing to become a monster like Dr. Hannibal Lecter. BUT
      ARE YOU WILLING TO ACCEPT THE LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF THAT CHOICE? Are you
      even fully aware of what those consequences are? Do you have the
      intelligence and ability to maintain that choice? Dr. Lecter was necessarily
      portrayed as a genius. He perfectly understood how other people thought, and
      understood that their everyday value systems LET HIM MANIPULATE THEM! In
      other words, though he chose an extremely difficult life path to go down, he
      had the ability to do so. And the main key to his choice was: He did not
      value his life simply for the sake of living. As he said, "Those fools
      should have killed me a long time ago." It was their value systems that gave
      him the leeway to operate as a monster. To value life in and of and for
      itself AS AN ABSTRACTION is to completely negate in a fundamental way all
      individuality. Those who preach the sacred value of life hate yours. And yet
      personal identity can only exist in one person at a time: 'groups' do not
      exist. Only the individuals that manipulate or are manipulated by those
      groups exist.


      I have little use for Victor Frankl's logotherapy, but the man's personal
      experiences have taught me much. When he got off the train at Auschwitz, and
      the inmate at the reception station took his belongings and was going
      through them, he found the manuscript that Frankl thought was his life's
      work and ultimate crowning achievement. Frankl begged him to get it back,
      that it was the meaning of his life. At first the inmate was surprised, then
      a look of sympathy came over his face. Then he suddenly started laughing,
      said "Shit!' and tossed the manuscript into the trash pile. It had NO PLACE
      in Auschwitz. Basically the question comes back to Auschwitz, and is TOTALLY
      relevant to what I say: What, then, DID have a 'place' there? What WAS the
      appropriate thing to do? People received a cup of water a day there. Those
      who did not use part of it to clean themselves and help preserve their
      selfish self respect died. They had no water to afford to share with others.
      I think Primo Levi tells of a moment during an unintentional break from
      work. He and his partner sat down in a secluded spot that had a water pipe
      that very slowly dripped water. His partner first noticed it and eagerly
      started licking up the water. Levi pleaded for him to let him have some
      before they went back to work. The man gently smiled and let him. Now, the
      point is that Levi was totally surprised the man did this and thought he
      would not have let him have a chance, and then endured the LUXERY of being
      ashamed. Survival had a terrible price. When one contemplates these things,
      it is very hard to give any respect to 'normal' morality and judgements. How
      does one say who is evil and who is good here honestly? What meaning does
      sanity have at Auschwitz? What is moral? WHAT IS NORMAL? -- that sacrosanct
      altar that Freud sacrificed his patients on. Was not Auschwitz reality too?
      As Hegel said, "What is real, is rational." Auschwitz was founded upon very
      clear cut and proper moral principles with sound rational efficiency and
      planning. Zyclon gas was introduced as a more merciful way of murder that
      was also much cheaper than using bullets, immensely faster, and helped
      process far more inmates. The Nazis did this for what THEY thought were
      good, sound, moral reasons. Many of us still to some extent accept those
      principles, never having questioned them and faced up to the logical
      consequences of our 'moral' decisions. We say the Nazis did such and such
      and because they were Nazis everything they did was evil. However,
      completely detached from a Nazi context, it is still considered right and
      proper and NECESSARY to process people as mere numbers while completely
      ignoring what we do to these people by doing so. We do terrible things to
      each other without the slightest bit of notice by simply doing our jobs.
      That could, in fact, be the epitaph of the whole history of child rearing.
      For parenting has ALWAYS been a matter of processing human beings. There is
      a terrible story Dostoyevsky tells in THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, based on a
      newspaper account he read, about what the parents did to their little girl
      in the name of proper, normal morality that has more meaning than a library
      of psychiatry. But the trouble is, the story just ends without resolve for
      the little girl just as it usually does in reality. In such a situation, how
      could any 'resolve' to the story, even one of rescue, be what we demand of
      life: a happy ending? Might not that be enough to question the overwhelming
      value of 'reality'? In reality, there is no resolve, and no one is saved in
      the end.

      If one's project overrides the value of life . . . but that is a
      contradiction since you must be alive in order for your project to exist.
      Life is a necessary presupposition. But if the project dissolves into
      meaningless dispersal, if it collapses, if you discover too late that it is
      based on factical and very mortal premises that CANNOT endure or even
      resolve, then life even as a vehicle of projective behavior becomes broken
      and turns into a meaningless circle. Unless bare, naked life itself is the
      meaning, it can provide no meaning whatsoever. And it is an EXISTENTIELL, it
      is ontic. It is not only finite, it is formed past, present, and future by
      an overwhelming flood of circumstance which one can ignore only through
      ignorance. So that it is "always already" a 'thing' made by other people -
      AS YOU FIND IT! And it always is "as you find it" in the Moment of vision,
      Augenblick, that you must live 'with' it, that is, life. Therefore the only
      way of renewing, refreshing its meaning and 'value' is detachment - not
      judgement, and certainly never self-condemnation. That is the ultimate
      self-contradiction.

      Now to return to Heidegger's NIETZSCHE for we have not plumbed the depths of
      nihilism yet. "When we allude to things that are in being, we are also
      referring to appearance, illusion, deception, and falsehood. If such things
      are not in being they could not delude us or make us err. All these things
      too are named in the phrase 'being as a whole'"(THE ETERNAL RECURRENCE OF
      THE SAME, vol.II, pg.26). This would seem to be a dramatic and drastic
      change from the traditional view of evil as Thomas Aquinas defined it, i.
      e., evil is a lack, a deficiency of being, something that has intruded into
      the way things are which is as they should be, being as being itself is
      equated by Aquinas to God. This is fundamentally based on the judgement that
      God is good, is purely good without any admixture of evil whatsoever, and
      therefore all of his creation must necessarily be good as created. This is a
      theme we will have to come back to, but for now the point is evil is
      essentially something broken, not fulfilling the original purpose of its
      being, a deficiency as in a broken jug. But what Heidegger is presenting us
      with is "Being as beings as a whole", inclusive of everything whatsoever,
      that we must accept and affirm that whole or reject "Being" itself IN
      LOGICAL CONTRADICTION because the individual being-there MUST ACCEPT what it
      is as defined by the Situation it is in and all of its having-been as
      "throwness" even though that, in turn, MUST be transformed in its meaning
      from the intentions of others into your own purpose in reappropriation. In
      other words, you transform the meaning of "Being".

      This is what both Heidegger and Nietzsche define as the gateway of the
      Moment of vision that binds together both the past and the future in the
      deliberately maintained struggle of contradiction that is "the eternal
      recurrence of the same." This is also "the loneliest loneliness". In reply
      to the demon recounting to him that theory, "Would you curse the demon, or
      would you perceive him as a god? Would you be MANGLED (mine) by the thought,
      or would you ask nothing more than that it be true? Would you be dragged
      into the abyss by the greatest burden, or would you yourself become its even
      greater counterweight?. . . It is most burdensome, for example, with respect
      to that which is to be thought in it, namely beings as a whole. The later
      commands the heaviest weight and so is more burdensome in the sense of the
      weightiest. But it is also the hardest to bear with respect to the thinking
      itself, and thus is the most difficult thought. Our thinking must penetrate
      in thought the innermost abundance of beings, must probe in thought the
      uttermost limits of being as a whole, and must at the same time proceed in
      thought through the human being's loneliest loneliness" (pg. 25). In
      essence, right here is Heidegger's basic purpose - proposed very
      simplistically - that the goal of existence is simply to find how you can be
      the counterweight to the abyss. What are we saying here? We are setting up a
      pair of utterly dependent opposites: "Dasein' as counterweight versus, but
      also needing for self-definition, the abyss which is "the greatest burden".
      In other words, your greatest FEAR in life is again providing the 'meaning'
      of life. It is like translating the words from Russian "Ivan Grozny".
      Traditionally in the West, it is translated as "Ivan the terrible". But, as
      I understand it, Russians tend to think of him as a marvelous hero, and
      think of "grozny" as meaning 'awesome' or even 'wonderful'. In other words,
      the term 'awesome' combines both the meanings of 'terrible' and 'wonderful'.
      And I think this is exactly what both Nietzsche and Heidegger are getting at
      here, that is, the abyss IN THE VERY TERROR it inspires within us makes life
      become wonderful, i. e., "Together with the sober ANGST that brings us
      before our individualized potentiality-of-being, goes the unshakable joy in
      this possibility' (B&T, 286/358/310). And thus we come to a discussion of
      the following chapter 4, "Incipit tragoedia".


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