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the existential i/eye

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  • Aija Veldre Beldavs
    i already introduced myself. some interests: humor, cogsci, folklore, ethnomusicology, mythology, electronic medium, virtual ethnography, ecology, natural
    Message 1 of 4 , May 30, 2005
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      i already introduced myself. some interests: humor, cogsci, folklore,
      ethnomusicology, mythology, electronic medium, virtual ethnography,
      ecology, natural medicine, outdoor (land, water) activities. i live on
      the Indiana univ. campus, but the geographical area of my specialization
      is the Baltic. some comments & questions in response to the Moderator's
      comments:

      On Mon, 30 May 2005, Exist List Moderator wrote:

      > This does not mean that the people most cited will be the dominant
      > figures in every text, nor every culture. Russian movements would
      > certainly have a much different list, and I have seen lists of Asian
      > figures in existentialism.
      [...]
      > Because absolute free will and alienation/separation from any (real or
      > desired) deity is key to most existential thought, it does not fit well
      > in any orthodoxy. Buber, for example, was quick to admit he could only
      > be "culturally Jewish" and not truly orthodox,
      [...]
      > I'd suggest you focus on Kierkegaard and Nietzsche; everyone else just
      > builds upon them and goes in different directions.

      since it appears the list is broader than Western Euro-American, perhaps
      this opens up an opportunity to explore also any analogues to western
      existentialism, as well as proto-existential tendencies in folk or
      popular culture of otherwise (at least at this time) theistic cultures.

      in spite of the flowers in the Neanderthal graves, belief in or at least
      lengthy speculation about the afterlife may not be universal for ancient
      cultures. some of the early state civilizations may have felt immortality
      to be only for royalty, or else ordinary people continued as vague shades
      in a rather dismal half-existence. there were philosophers in the western
      classic world who came to be skeptics about the gods generally. needless
      to say there is the concept of emptiness in eastern religions. even in
      more recently recorded oral folk religion there are some voices that
      either refuse to speculate about the afterworld, or sound a skeptical
      note. are any of these proto-existential?

      while most classical latvian folk songs dainas vaguely see the "Othersun"
      as mirror image of life as it is experienced in "this sun, this world,"
      some classical latvian folk songs dainas seem to be proto-existential,
      having a feel that for many westerners might seem "eastern" but probably
      is just archaic or proto-western and pre-Christian. (the Baltic was
      forcibly Christianized by Crusaders in the 13th - 14th c. and was the last
      pagan European area - significant mythology is still known.)

      "a moment, a time for me to live
      not to live the sun's time.
      for the water, for the stone -
      for them the sun's time."

      (briidi laiku man dziivot, nedziivot saules muuzhu, uudenjam akmenjam tiem
      dziivot saules muuzhu.)

      there is a daina that suggests God can not be perceived directly but
      metaphorically "through nine leaves" (though in others the divine presence
      is invited to participate in ceremonial occasions).

      (pasha dieva neredzeeju caur devinji kljavu lapu)

      the orientation is to this life, rather than the unknown "otherworld" and
      while ultimately fatalistic or stoic, also manages to be generally
      life-affirming (female influence?) even during some rather dismal times.

      aija
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