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IX Place Memory

Edward S. Casey Indiana University Press ePub

In this unique world, everything sensuous that I now originally perceive, everything that I have perceived and which I can now remember or about which others can report to me as what they have perceived or remembered, has its place.

—Husserl, Experience and Judgment



Isn’t memory a matter of the past? Is it not primarily a temporal phenomenon? How can we think of it otherwise after Kant and Husserl—not to mention Aristotle, who said straightforwardly that “memory is of the past”?1 Philosophers’ propensities apart, it is certainly true that whenever we think of memory, indeed whenever we actually engage in acts of remembering, we have to do with past time: with time that in some sense has elapsed and is now being revived in some guise (whether by image or word, or by bodily movement). This is undeniable—even if it is equally undeniable that such time past is ineluctably elusive and always reappears in memory “as seen through a veil.”2 Since memory does not require exact repetition in any case, the elusiveness does not matter in the larger picture. In the larger picture, remembering seems fully preoccupied with the past. Who could possibly question such an apparently well-founded bedrock assumption as this? Would not questioning it amount to questioning the existence of memory itself?

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Medium 9780946439980


Wilfred R. Bion Karnac Books ePub

Theories for use in the psycho-analysis of disorders of thought

The scientific principles on which this book [a preliminary outline of Learning from Experience] is planned I have explained elsewhere. But it may not be out of place to summarize the main points for the benefit of those to whom this form of presentation is unusual. First, a warning: the reader may feel that what is said is obscure and difficult. Allowing for the intrinsic difficulties of the subject, I believe that much of what is felt to be obscure on a first reading will appear less so if the reader will not allow himself to dwell too long on his first encounter with an obscurity, but will press on till the end, when I think he will have a fair idea of the whole and will thus be in a position to return to the earlier obscurity to find it much more comprehensible. But of course I realize that ultimately the difficulties of the subject, and my limitations in exposition, will make the value of the book depend very much on the skill and patience of the reader, and the goodwill with which he repairs the deficiencies of my work. I can at least promise that he is not being called on to waste his time because I have grudged mine.

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Medium 9781934989111

Chapter 12: Education and Integration

J Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation America ePub
Medium 9780253357144

1. The Case for a Creator

Hugh J. McCann Indiana University Press ePub


This book is about the concept of a creator as it has been usually construed in the Western theological tradition, broadly speaking. I wish to explore the idea that the world and all that pertains to it—indeed, anything that exists in any way—owes its being and sustenance to the act of an all-powerful being whose own existence requires no explanation, and whose nature is as perfect as we can conceive it to be. I shall argue that the existence and act of such a creator dovetails perfectly with a properly scientific conception of the world, that it supports a robust conception of human free agency, that it permits a satisfying theodicy, and that it ultimately leads to the classical conception of God as a perfectly simple yet personal being. This project is best begun by arguing that the world is indeed a product of creation. Efforts to demonstrate that this is so tend to fall under two major headings. Cosmological arguments cite as evidence the sheer existence of things, and contend that it may be accounted for by the activity of an all-powerful creator. Teleological arguments dwell on the structure or design of the world, holding that this is to be accounted for by postulating an intelligent designer. I will have an occasional remark on teleology in this chapter, but my main purpose here is to develop an argument of the first kind: I maintain that the best—indeed, to our knowledge, the only—adequate explanation for the existence of the world is the creative action of an all-powerful, personal being of the sort we call God.

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Medium 9781934989128

Without Goodness and Love, One Is Not Educated

J Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation America ePub
Medium 9781934989159

Transformation and the Energy to Change

Jidda Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation America ePub

The very awareness of what is is a liberative process. So long as we are unaware of what we are and are trying to become something else, so long will there be distortion and pain. The very awareness of what I am brings about transformation and the freedom of understanding.

Ojai, 5th Public Talk, May 5, 1946 The Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 75

As long as you are looking for transformation, a result to be gained, there will be no transformation. As long as you are thinking in terms of achievement, in terms of time, there can be no transformation, for then the mind is caught in the net of time. When you say you are thinking in terms of immediate transformation, you are thinking of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Such transformation within time is merely change, which is modied continuity. When thought is free of time, there will be a timeless transformation.

As long as a problem is thought about, the problem will continue. Thought creates the problem. That which is the result of the past, the mind, cannot solve the problem. The mind can analyse, can examine, but it cannot resolve the problem. The problem, however complex and however close, ceases only when the thought process comes to an end.

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Medium 9780253009258

5. Giants Battle Anew: Nihilism’s Self-Overcoming in Europe and Asia (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Nishitani)

ELODIE BOUBLIL Indiana University Press ePub


Giants Battle Anew

Nihilism’s Self-Overcoming in Europe and Asia (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Nishitani)

Françoise Bonardel

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshness; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is.

—T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton

TRANSPLANTED INTO THE “ground” of Being, words take on new meaning.1 Thus some clarification is in order when Heidegger announces that presentation and interpretation will necessarily interpenetrate each other in his “argument” (Auseinandersetzung) with Nietzsche. This argument is in no sense demonstrative, as the term is commonly understood, and there is nothing representational about the presentation, which opens the way to the essence of what Nietzsche would have only incompletely thought: nihilism, as the “covert basic law of Western history.”2 What, then, does it mean to interpret? It is anything but an intrusion of subjectivity into what is meant to freely unfold; rather, it is a way of consenting “so essentially to what is in question that Nietzsche’s words are allowed to remain intact and to resonate purely from that which is in question.”3 Simply an accompaniment, then, paired with a consent to being led not by the thinker but by the question the thinker himself has accepted being led by, an attention so scrupulously careful, in short, that Heidegger calls it “compassionate” (mitleidig) and talks about a “meditative thinking” that underscores the singular “piety” (Frömmigkeit) of thought. When Heidegger adds that one only accedes to the Unthought in the thought of a great thinker if one enlarges yet more on “what is great in him,”4 we may ask ourselves if he has actually reached his goal, or if he has only highlighted “all of Nietzsche’s twilight grandeur, on whom the Platonic sun, on the verge of expiring, was casting its last rays.”5

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Medium 9780253014191

6. Prayer and Sainthood

Christina M. Gschwandtner Indiana University Press ePub

Prayer is a fairly prominent topic in Marion’s writings, although it is not a concern addressed much by the secondary literature on his work.1 Already the early distinction between idol and icon in God without Being is to a large extent about prayer or worship, about the human approach to the divine that can be expressed in idolatrous adoration or authentic prayer before an icon. The former is idolatrous for Marion because it becomes an invisible mirror that returns entirely upon the self, while the other is authentic because it is emptied of self and exposed to the divine gaze. This account is deepened and focused more fully on prayer in The Crossing of the Visible, where the final chapter examines explicitly what it means to pray before an icon. Somewhat surprisingly, the final chapter of In Excess, which really should examine the possibility of a phenomenon of revelation if it consistently followed the outline of the five kinds of saturated phenomena (event, idol, flesh, icon, revelation) as presented in Being Given and the first chapter of In Excess, instead examines the kind of language appropriate for the divine. This language turns out to be prayer or praise. In some sense, then, this simply continues the earlier distinction between an idolatrous and an iconic way to approach the divine. Yet, formulated as a response to Derrida on negative theology, it is a much more conscious articulation of the linguistic element in prayer.2

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Medium 9780253011244


Jean Godefroy Bidima Indiana University Press ePub

THE GOAL OF reflection on palabre is not to impose a mode of thought coming from tribal society on the organization of the state. Nor is it a matter of making palabre a panacea that will resolve all the problems raised by the present organization of African societies. Palabre unlocks the trigger of historical reflection. It does not offer Western societies, often in love with exoticism, an “access to the primitive forces of human evolution, but rather a confrontation between types of becoming.”81 By palabre, we understand the African person's becoming-subject within his or her social space. The politics of the word and the words of politics that make up palabre preoccupy every reasonable being, because palabre is the path by which one raises questions about culture, becoming, recognition, the common good, and above all, action. Today's political structures have suffered a great loss of confidence, to the point that democracy—which is the least bad system—is often discredited as a whole. The very notion of practical politics, not just reflection on the political dimension, has been flattened following the ruin of contractualist theories and the reduction of political practice to domination. Palabre allows us to get beyond this damage; it lets us discuss politics in terms of acting rather than in terms of the state, laws and legislature. What is at stake in palabre is the possibility of once again finding a real theory of action.

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Medium 9780253013958

3 Creative Matter and Creative Mind: Cultural Ecology and Literary Creativity

Serenella Iovino Indiana University Press ePub

Hubert Zapf

I WOULD LIKE TO focus in my chapter on the question of creativity, which after long neglect in literary and cultural studies is reemerging on the agenda of scholarship, especially within recent directions of ecocriticism. For a long time, the concept of creativity appeared to be inextricably bound up with a notion of radical individualism and of the quasi-godlike creative genius of the human mind, which seemed to represent a classic case of an anthropocentric metaphysics. In ecocritical perspective, however, creativity is beginning to newly move into the focus of attention not alone as an exclusionary feature of human culture but as a property of life and, to an extent, of the material world itself. The latter aspect is especially emphasized in the paradigm of a material ecocriticism, which provides the framework for the present collection of essays. I will address this question of creativity, however, not alone from the perspective of a material ecocriticism, but from the related and complementary perspective of cultural ecology (see Zapf, “Literary”; Literatur). In the first part of my chapter, I will structure my argument accordingly in the following steps, which reflect evolutionary stages of emergence and differentiation of creativity between matter and mind, nature and culture: creative matter, creative biosphere, and creative mind. In the second part of the chapter, I will specifically turn to the question of literary creativity, combining insights of material ecocriticism with cultural ecology, with contemporary creativity research, and with literary theories of creativity. In the third part, I will show that the creative potential of imaginative literature is intrinsically related to its power to actualize in always new forms the fundamental relationship between matter and mind, nature and culture, as a source of its creative processes. As will be demonstrated in various examples from literary history, specifically from American poems and novels, literary creativity can be described in one important sense as a self-reflexive staging and aesthetic transformation of those processes of emergence and creativity that characterize the sphere of material nature itself. This self-reflexive, transformative power of imaginative texts, however, marks both the interconnectedness and the difference between natural and cultural forms of creativity, of which literature surely is one of the most remarkable manifestations.

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Medium 9780946439980


Wilfred R. Bion Karnac Books ePub

The claim of psycho-analysis to be a scientific procedure has often been challenged by scientists of other disciplines. Stirred by a desire to repudiate what seems to be a denial of the analyst's aspiration to be honest and to state his findings truthfully, psycho-analysts tend either to assume that the criterion is based on a misunderstanding of their work, or else that there is such a thing as scientific method employed by physicists, chemists and others, but that it cannot be used in any valuable way in their own work. The explanation of this attitude probably lies in the nature of psycho-analytic training, which has to cover such an enormous area and is so closely associated with the cure of patients that the would-be analyst can hardly find time to concentrate on the essentials of psycho-analytic theory, let alone investigate metalogic and metatheory. It is likely that if he does so, he will rapidly conclude that they have no relevance to his work and so dismiss both as insignificant.

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Medium 9780253013835

4 The Persistence of the Trace: Interrogating the Gods of Speculative Realism

CLAYTON SCOTT CROCKETT Indiana University Press ePub

Steven Shakespeare

ABRAHAM STOOD ON a hill above a wide plain. It was familiar, but he was rather surprised to be there, as he had been dead for three thousand years. A voice spoke from behind him. “I assume you remember our previous conversation here?” Abraham shuddered. “Oh. It’s you,” he said. “I might have known. I do remember now. I remember that I haggled with you for the lives of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. You said that you would spare them if there were fifty righteous among them. I bargained you down to ten. Not that it stopped you.” By this time, the Lord stood at Abraham’s side. He smiled, but did not answer. Abraham cleared his throat. “So why am I here now?” “Things have become interesting once again on the plain of Sodom and Gomorrah,” said the Lord. “Look down there.” Abraham looked. There was a multitude of tents and awnings scattered among trenches and quarries and piles of earth. God sniffed. “Archaeologists. They’re digging, mining for answers. Going below ground to get the dirt on yours truly.” Abraham asked, “What do you mean?”

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Medium 9780253007865

2 “The Will to Believe”: Policing versus Free-Roaming

William J. Gavin Indiana University Press ePub

In 1879 and 1882, James published two parts of articles that collectively would become known as “The Sentiment of Rationality.” It is remarkable how much this early text anticipates his more mature and even his final positions in philosophy. He begins by looking over various conceptualizations of the universe and noting that, while some people seek out similarities, others seek out differences in providing descriptions. This became the notorious issue of “the one and the many,” which James later called the most important problem in philosophy. Here he quickly moves on, telling the reader that “the only possible philosophy must be a compromise between an abstract monotony and a concrete heterogeneity.”1But he quickly concluded from this that pluralism is necessary, that “none of our explanations are complete.” A completed explanation is always perspectival and also incomplete. “In a word, so far as A and B contain l,m,n, and o,p,q respectively, in addition to x, they are not explained by x. . . . A single explanation of a fact only explains it from a single point of view” (WB, 60). Going further, conceptualizations are teleological in nature. We see things from a particular point of view for a particular purpose. Hence, certainty is not possible.

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Medium 9780253017543

6 Unmeasured Music and Silence

Afterword by Michael Jackson Edited by Indiana University Press ePub

Ian Bedford

THIS ESSAY ORIGINATES in an effort to comprehend some aspects of music in Muslim countries. I recall my first exposure—a kind of ambush—to procedures in music new to me. Up until 1971 the nation of Pakistan precariously consisted of two wings, West Pakistan and East Pakistan, soon to become Bangladesh. In October 1970, heavy floods, a cyclone, and then a tsunami battered the East wing, with enormous loss of life. In December the country was still in mourning. There were (as ever in Pakistan) all kinds of distractions and preoccupations—with livelihood, governance, rumor. Campaigning was underway for the first-ever democratic elections, but in Lahore, West Pakistan, the community address system carried the strains of public lamentation for the dead.

I had heard Qu’ranic recitation before, but never for long or to sustained effect. The twists, runs, and interval displacements of the lofted male voice, shorn of measure, honeycombed with silences, spoke to me for the first time. I received them as unpredictable elements of a novel and sublimely moving genre of utterance. This genre of utterance was far from new to the Lahoris, who would drag me indoors away from the loudspeakers: “We have been listening to Qu’ran for weeks. This is noise to our ears. It is of benefit only to the mullahs.”

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Medium 9780253001788

10. The “Serious Play” of Book 7 of Plato’s Laws

Edited by Gregory Recco and Eric Sanday Indiana University Press ePub

10  The “Serious Play” of Book 7 of Plato’s Laws

David Roochnik

R. G. Bury begins the introduction to his translation of Plato’s Laws by stating that this work “lacks the charm and vigour of the earlier dialogues … [it] is marked also by much uncouthness of style, and by a tendency to pedantry, tautology and discursive garrulity which seems to point to the failing powers of the author.”1 Even without acceding to his suggestion that the inferior quality of this dialogue is due to Plato’s diminished abilities, it is tempting to acknowledge Bury’s description of the work. For the Laws does lack the sparkling density and playful irony of other dialogues. The Athenian is indeed pedantic, and his long-winded discourse is remarkably laborious. Especially for a reader inspired by the endlessly provocative minimalism characteristic of Socrates in so many other dialogues, tackling the Laws is a terrible chore. For above all else, what characterizes the Athenian’s speech is its sustained and relentless seriousness.

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