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RE: [existlist] Why Not?

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  • Herman B. Triplegood
    Louise: I think you are right about the serious monks. The ones who knew what alchemy was really about did not waste their time doing the puffer thing, a
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 1, 2005
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      Louise:



      I think you are right about the serious monks. The ones who knew what
      alchemy was really about did not waste their time doing the puffer thing, a
      pejorative used back then to identify the naïve ones who presented alchemy
      as a gold manufacturing enterprise. Vaughan is intense indeed. His House of
      Light is a beautiful piece of mystic prose/poetry. Others are also inspiring
      in this way. The Book of Lambspring is one of my all time favorite pieces,
      and the thousands of engravings that go along with the texts from the
      fifteenth through seventeenth centuries can often teach far more than the
      words themselves. Your remarks on the political relevance of philosophy are
      an expression of the need for philosophy to make a difference in the world
      of human relations. Interestingly, even if one takes that road of
      renunciation of which you speak, which many monks, and alchemists, did, the
      end result should be, and often is, a profound impact upon the society, the
      culture, and the politics. The hermits invariably have something to say, in
      spite of their dedication to the life of silence, hard work, and simple
      living. By the way, a little news from India: This is strictly rumor that I
      got from my boss at work. There is this young man over there who has been
      sitting under a tree for the past couple of months. This has stirred up a
      lot of interest among the locals, and the Indian government is taking a look
      at the matter. Could it be…?



      Hb3g



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      From: existlist@yahoogroups.com [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of louise
      Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 11:56 AM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Why Not?



      It's not illegal. But is it existentialism??

      Whilst I gave up political activism in the early 1990's, I continue to
      believe that philosophy, including existentialism (and I think it
      would be good to keep attempting new, varied definitions for same),
      cannot meet the reality of what it is to be here human, physical,
      ensouled, capable of ascent and descent, even this side of death, must
      embrace an awareness of politics, even if in the form of conscious
      renunciation of the world. That is ethics. That is responsibility.
      That is strenuousness. Not to criticise, Herman, just to attempt to
      clarify, no serious monk, interested in alchemy, would want to make
      ingots. Says she, trusting to intuition. Actually, men like Thomas
      Vaughan are too intensely spiritual for a seeker in different waters,
      like myself, to spend much time with. It is sweet, to know they
      are 'out there'. For I believe they are so, these spirits, in some
      sense. It is the truth, which dwells within us ... or we exile her.

      Louise





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    • Exist List Moderator
      ... The problem with mixing existentialism and politics is much the same as mixing existentialism and religion: the major figures are from a range of beliefs.
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 9, 2005
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        On Dec 01, 2005, at 11:56, louise wrote:

        > Whilst I gave up political activism in the early 1990's, I continue to
        > believe that philosophy, including existentialism (and I think it
        > would be good to keep attempting new, varied definitions for same),
        > cannot meet the reality of what it is to be here human, physical,
        > ensouled, capable of ascent and descent, even this side of death, must
        > embrace an awareness of politics, even if in the form of conscious
        > renunciation of the world. That is ethics. That is responsibility.

        The problem with mixing existentialism and politics is much the same as
        mixing existentialism and religion: the major figures are from a range
        of beliefs. Sartre's Marxism would not mix easily with Nietzsche or
        Kierkegaard, and we know that both Husserl and Hegel were perverted by
        the left and right.

        If you read the comments on the Existential Primer, I have been told
        there is no way I can be a thinking individual and be a capitalist and
        libertarian. The only way to think, if I were smart, would be to
        embrace Marx or democratic socialism. Of course, the individuals
        commenting are substituting capitalism as it is over the economic and
        political theory, which like communism would demand that people
        actually be honest and follow legal and ethical obligations.

        I believe in no political system as the "ideal" because people are not
        naturally kind, caring, sharing creatures. We know that the people who
        become leaders in any system are self-centered egoists. You cannot tell
        me Hugo Chavez is a great democratic socialist while he does away with
        limits on presidential power in Venezuela. We cannot look to China,
        France, or Germany for an ideal system. All political systems, in the
        end, are great in theory and lousy in practice.

        Being an "activist" is probably best left to acting as a balance to
        whomever is in power. No one person or party should have power for too
        long. A good activist would probably be the person calling for limits
        on power, not offering more power to whomever he or she supports.

        I might agree with one or two leaders at any moment, but I'd never
        trust them with unlimited power. This is why I would not campaign for a
        person, but would for certain ideas, propositions, or amendments that
        limit powers of political organizations.

        Freedom requires more distribution of power, not concentration of it.

        - C. S. Wyatt
        I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
        that I shall be.
        http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
        http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
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