What now?

I’ve spent time thinking about how things should go here and have come to some conclusions. First some preliminary thoughts. I think Matthias’s text tells it as it is.

There are a few points, though, I would like to expand on.

The non of non-buddhism, which is the anti-decisional non of non-philosophy, has never been developed beyond an intuition.

For me this is the central issue.

I don’t want to go into what the non would look like once developed beyond an intuition. Anyone interested can read what we have written on Laruelle here or do their own research.

But I would like to give one example of where it might have gone. Matthias has already touched on this:

At the same time Mr. Pepper appeared. He at once pointed out that Brassier and Laruelle both are beholden to an “atomistic” view which places the individual wrongly at the base of any analysis while in fact it is an effect of ideology. The dialectics of individual and ideology would have been a point of departure to begin to work on Laruelle’s thinking and how it solves the vicious circle such a relationship develops, but that never happened.

Exactly.

Here was an early opportunity to explore the disjunction between Badiou and Laruelle. This was essential given that Laruelle’s method is at the root of the non buddhist critique of Buddhism

Speaking of the genesis of non-buddhism Glenn Wallis described how:

[···] four concepts in particular were initially formative: decision, auto-position, specularity, and radical immanence.[···] Wallis: Nascent Speculative Non-Buddhism.

The question was this: given that decision and auto position transgressed against philosophic as much as against Buddhistic transcendence, and given that Laruelle had already explored the decisional nature of Badiou’s thought (Laruelle’s anti Badiou) how could we justify the introduction of Badiou’s thought into the practice of non–buddhism?

 When Glenn inaugurated the new phase “under the sign of Badiou’s thought” he structured the contradiction into the new phase of the project.

To put it bluntly the non of non-philosophy is as much a transgression against Badiou’s thought as it is against Buddhist thought. It is a transgression against all isms, philosophical, religious or ideological.

This is the reason we should persist with Laruelle’s thought, despite its difficulty. He offers a way of perceiving the human as an a priori given free from any determination by philosophy, ideology or any admixture of the so-called human sciences and philosophy. Further he proclaims the lived of human experience as the condition for philosophy, making philosophy serve the human and not the other way round. In this he aligns his thought with Marx in its essentially materialist bent while avoiding the decisional structure of later forms of “dialectical and historical materialism”

Some conclusions

1) Laruelle’s thought is central to the critique of absolutist philosophical and ideological systems and by implication of political practice.

2) Since political practice is central to any post Buddhist practice Laruelle remains central as we move on.

3) We are free to explore the usefulness of any philosophical postulate, once freed from the decisional structure.

4) Laruelle’s thought has as yet unexplored implications (unexplored by us) for the practice of politics.

5) We need to explore the relation between Laruelle’s thought, Marxism and the practice of radical politics.

6) Buddhism has no further role to play in the project, other than as an object of critique and a source of perhaps useful concepts or practices.

7) We need a name change.

The Zombification of Speculative Non-Buddhism

I see that you practice the rhetorical strategy of first misrepresenting what I say, then proving you are ever so much cleverer than I am because you can find a flaw in your own invention. (Tom Pepper)

What has become of Speculative Non-Buddhism? Mr. Pepper (alias Gabe Syme, alias Bill S.), has summarized it in his usual succinct way. Speculative Non-Buddhism has become a game of twisting and turning words, taking out of context and ignoring the development of arguments, confusing or intentionally misinterpreting meaning – all the while its proper and actual task has long been lost or hasn’t been achieved to any relevant scope ever. In short, the discussion degenerated into flamewars while François Laruelle went missing early on. The non of non-buddhism, which is the anti-decisional non of non-philosophy, has never been developed beyond an intuition.

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Bow to the Supremacy of Peace

 

I have recently visited the largest Polish internet x-buddhist forum, as I do from time to time to assess a general mood of this still fringe, virtual community subsisting in my dear Catholic Poland. There, in the header, spread across the whole page, I read the following message taken from one of the essays by Bhikkhu Bodhi:

If we trace external conflicts back to their source, we will find that they originate not in wealth, position or possessions, but in the mind itself.

Well, there we are, I thought, another fine example of x-buddhist rhetorics that rhymes so well with the general message of neoliberal hegemony, namely: blame the victim. It is you, you, and you, and your miserable minds that are the real source of all the external conflicts and misfortune, not some wealth, position or possessions.

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Real Work

The last thread once again developed in un-anticipated directions. Be it as it may, it is a rhizome-like structure and that’s good – but only when we somehow take with us some results and if we don’t always come back to the same questions.

Sadly the latter is the case. I think the reason is very much the unorganized, loose structure this SNB-blogging thing has and that there seems to be no one asking questions like 1) what is it that interests me really in this project, why do I come back reading and maybe commenting; and 2) what kind of commitment, if at all, would help to develop this further in the directions which are motivated and to some extent determined by the interests in the first question?

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Super Mario and the Gray Matter

Mario and the Gray Matter

Can meditation have something in common with video gaming? It appears that it can. And that something what brings together those two seemingly distant spheres of human activity is an increase in gray matter. Yes, just have a look at the results of studies published last year in Molecular Psychiatry and compare them with some of the conclusions presented by the authors of the article entitled “Mind of the Meditator” that has just appeared in the latest issue of Scientific American. For all those of you who, with some understandable reluctance, abandoned your Nintendos in favor of thickening your brain tissue and honing your concentration skills through practice of meditation, this could be surprisingly welcome news. It seems that now you can safely skip those grueling hours of sitting practice and simply return to grow your grey matter with your old pal, Super Mario.

But before you happily dust off your consoles and plunge into the game, let’s look at Mind of the Meditator from a slightly broader and critical perspective. Promise, it won’t be long.

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Body, Nature, Commodity : The Regime of the Spectacle.

images

Civilization and the Stories we tell Ourselves.

I’ve been reading recently over at the Dark mountain project. For a number of reasons. Weariness with the same old inanities churned out by politicians — sustainable business, sustainable agriculture, the “management” of climate change — at best, fiddling while Rome burns, more often cynicism of the worst sort. I think a lot lately about the relation between the body, nature, ecology, and the way such a discourse might dovetail with a critique of capitalism and the opportunist embrace of environmentalism by liberal political parties, capitalist entrepreneurs, and marketing strategists out to create and exploit niche markets. Not to mention the buying and selling of carbon quotas by western governments, intent on business as usual despite impending catastrophe. Same old story and one structured on an unquestioned anthropocentric discourse that looks to me increasingly bankrupt.

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A New Subject?

job-rebuked

By Labelling as heresy all views of which it disapproved the Church successfully passed off its orthodoxy as a unique scale for weighing the true meaning of words, beings, and things. It nevertheless felt inadequate and disarmed in the face of certain attitudes that it deemed “meaningless and demented”. With some unease the Inquisition attached the words “free spirit” and “madness” to men and women who renounced all spiritual and temporal authority, seeking no more than to live in accordance with their desires…….    Raoul Vaneigem: The Movement of the Free Spirit.

Intro

This post addresses points about meditation Matthias and Tomek brought up in a recent comment tread. My thoughts were further stimulated by Tomeks video links and related printed material and by Matthias’s list of points on meditation. (links below). The following is structured on a series of questions (the section headings) to emphasize the exploratory nature of the content and its provisional character.

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