Marxists will wince (go ahead) but the time has come for Open Communism, a ‘Horrid Hybrid’ of Marx and Karl Popper. The latter’s idea of the Open Society was ridiculed on the left but was a pop Marx kryptonite device non-pareil. Don’t panic it is only another ‘gedanken experiment’….
Open Communism must examine critically the possibilities of ‘open society’ subsets inside more controlled hypersets, e.g. a larger domain of communist control of industrial mega-sectors and deliberate indifference zones for culture, thought schools, artistic zones, even flea-market to near ‘petty bourgeois’ shopkeeper zones. The latter is actually highly dubious, to start. It might curdle the whole larger experiment. But it does raise the idea that in a crisis of planetary of macroeconomies, microeconomic niches might be ‘look the other way’ issues.
In general though a study of Bolshevik society shows the unnecessary overcontrol of the macrosystem on the microsystem. Whatever the case the Bolshevik case shows hundreds of cases where things just happened, under the assumption of needed macro control, and the result was not open at all
The mindfulness fad is an experiment in progress: what will happen when millions start to meditate. Let’s be democratically open minded but acknowledge the sneers in the background from esoterically connected so/and/so’s…
The link above is about a meditation of mine (I know absolutely nothing about meditation) in which two levels set a ‘mouse trap for the devil’ (not a literal reference). You can fool your mind as it tries to fool you by doing two meditations interleaved (as long as it does get too complicated so you are distracted by the non-method). You can catch yourself watching mechanical meditation with an unsettling realization your ‘meditation’ is robotic.
This exercise can be useful here. Let us be praiseworthy of the heavens and cosmic destinies that meditation is entering a massive larger population. But we can also meditate over our meditations and watch to see if any mechanical elements enter a public mediation cult. Since they enter private esoteric meditation cults the issue is a no-brainer so let’s be compassionate and encourage massive pop meditation cults, with reservations…
This criticism is easily made, and by me, so I agree, but disagree, if only because the current situation is so grotesque it hardly matters. Mr. Sanders could actually go a long way here, but the criticism of Hedges will probably play out….
As with any part of our life, we can aim for awareness and clarity in choosing how to live with modern technology — in other words, we can be mindful. Mindfulness means aiming to live life more often in real time, as it is, with emotional openness, mental clarity, and resolve. Its practice reinforces traits that make managing life easier.
In spite of how it often feels, technology at its best aims for a similar end. Used wisely, it can make life simpler and easier to manage. So here are some ways to cultivate awareness and clarity through technology:
• Practice Mindfulness. Any new habit requires consistent, sustained effort before becoming a routine, including getting started with mindfulness; technology can support the process. Multiple apps provide guided mindfulness instruction, and most also include a prompt for daily practices. Better-known apps include Headspace, Calm, Smiling Mind, Stop, Breathe & Think, and the Insight Meditation Timer, with many others available (apologies to those I’ve forgotten). The Mindfulness Bell chimes randomly at times during the day as a reminder to pause and settle for a moment — or use your phone ringing itself, pausing before responding to the call.
The word of Bennett in the Dramatic Universe is perhaps falling out of date but it was a seminal work in the era of the fifties when the first volume appeared. Bennett was a successor to Ouspensky in the sense that he provided a book that claimed to be independent but was drawn into the Gurdjieff propaganda orbit, and this caused the work to suffer from two modes, one of them the questionable presentation of Gurdjieffian notions that were are remain very doubtful.
This makes it necessary to sort out two books in one, a very unfortunate situation for any author.
But there are a host of ideas we might try to rescue from the work:
an example of a book influenced by sufis who never appear in public
and there is probably also a connection to the ‘demiurgic powers’ mentioned by Bennett
in my opinion Bennett was contacted by these powers the reason his book jumps so disconcertingly between superintelligent and klutz squared…
We get a taste from a hyperintelligent English thinker who had some really weak areas of the reality of hyperintelligent spiritual entities at a higher stage of evolution, or beyond that concept.
Such an idea must remain classified as speculative but it helps to put Bennett’s work in perspective. This is something more than Gurdjieff. It could be hidden sufis, or both…It is important to realize we have never really met sufism. Perhaps we see with Bennett that there is a domain, which probably surpasses ‘sufism’ and ‘Islam’, of realized beings on earth we never see. Gurdjieff tried to make the point, but somehow scrambled the message.
The book however suffers from a kind of Roadrunner effect: every time you look around the Roadrunner goes Zip and leaves us in the dust. The book proceeds in multiple directions and covers a lot of ground in a somewhat facile manner. But much of the material is not particularly thought through, or so we wonder.
There are some important issues we can extract here:
a genuine exposition of classic Samkhya in a modern form. This does spring from Gurdjieff whose source is unclear: it wasn’t quite the same as the original Indian version.
a new division of semantic categories, Being, Function, Will
the creation of new categories to replace Kant’s, a very doubtult procedure, but the result doesn’t have to have anything to do with Kant to be usable
the generalization of dual/dialectical logic to a progression of categories up to or beyond the dodecad
the clear distinction of the dialectical dyad and triad (as discussed on this blog)
this set of categories was put in the form of a dodecad that created a useful triad of the hyponomic, autonomic, and hypernomic words and this
was connected to the distinctions of consciousness, with a connection of ‘consciousness’ (or what is often called ‘mindfulness consciousness’) to the hypernomic, a stunning innovation that can help to clarity the obscurity of human evolution…
…. a deal more but concluding with
a unique “new agey’ account of the evolution of homo erectus/sapiens and a claim about how this might have happened (in the context of his demiurgic powers)
This stuff is half science fiction but it contains a number of ‘leads’ as to an exit from scientism and the isolation of the useful from the larger work is worth pursuing…
We are going to continue with an idea from a while back of a series of posts to make up a book, with some video in tow. We can begin with some draft/notes on the way…
The Crisis of Modernity
July 5, 2015
Introduction: The Crisis of Modernity
The last generation has seen the vagaries of the postmodern fad attempt to perform a kind of debriefing of the ‘modern’ with results that were confused because the issue was not the modern period but the confusion of the postmodern idea itself. The ‘dialectic of the Enlightenment’ was a perfectly good effort to examine that period but the results were more about the later misinterpretations than the original period itself. The Enlightenment period is really five or six ‘enlightenments’, the French and the German but two examples, and it is hard to focus on its ‘core message’ which doesn’t really exist. A good example is the difference between concepts of ‘Enlightenment Reason’ in figures such as Hegel, the French Philosophes, and the later secular humanists. The postmodern idea was much favored by many in the so-called ‘new age’ movement because it seemed as though the ‘post’ period of ‘modernity’ could allow a challenge to the dreaded ‘secularism’ of modernity and allow a new era after the modern to restart the question of religion in society. It was somehow wrong for the modern world to have no direct connection to religion and this appeared to invalidate its status as in some fashion the onset of a new era. And many new age groups and their gurus have indirectly challenged the modern as a failed category because of its presumed faults and its inability to provide a venue for the spiritual. In the apocalyptic version we are confronted with the spectacle of the end times and this demands a restoration of the presumed spirituality of an earlier epoch to the entropic state of affairs we call the ‘modern’. In the nonce the idea of an Aquarian Age, this based on the myths of the cycles of the Great Year and other astrological fictions, took off in the seventies, but the concept failed completely, even among new agers. The seventies of the last century were a very poor candidate for the onset of a new age. And that’s the point: It is impossible to compete with the early modern. It is the source of so many innovations that to negate it requires reinventing a huge list of foundation concepts, well beyond the capacity of the new age movement with its troglodyte gurus. [Read more →]
The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The ancient monkey, known as Victoriapithecus, first made headlines in 1997 when its 15 million-year-old skull was discovered on an island in Kenya’s Lake Victoria. Now, thanks to high-resolution X-ray imaging, researchers have peered inside its cranial cavity and created a three-dimensional computer model of what the animal’s brain likely looked like. Its tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve before brain size in the primate family tree. The creature’s fossilized skull is now part of the permanent collection of the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi.
Will we have to liquidate Chomsky on the Ultra Far Left? It seems like a bad idea. What about Pope Francis? But these deadbeats are in the way. Chomsky isn’t even a leftist, in his anarchist bliss, so he is not on the active list at all. It’s a long way to Thermidor…
But the whole shebang of the current marxist left is problematical. It needs to be liquidated in the polite sense of being replaced with a new movement that is faithful first to the idea of communism, which must be reinvented as neo-communism, and to a judicious core of marxism, with a post-Leninist intelligence that can not have to answer to Stalinism, because a total disconnect has taken place.
Warning: your marxist ass is bullseye from now on….