Presencing EPIS Volume 1 Number 1 Table of Contents I. Dedication Poetic & Philosophical Interlude from The Blue Pearl by Kevin Boileau, Ph.D.
II. Letter from the Editor Kevin Boileau, Ph.D.
III. Articles 1. Husserlâ€™s Psychological Phenomenology: Inverting the Transcendental Julian Von Will, Ph.D. 2. The Psychology of World Views: Jaspers/Heidegger Steven Goldman, Ph.D. 3. What is Spirituality? Richard Curtis, Ph.D.
4. Expanding the Concept of Internal Object Relations: An Introduction to the Concept of Horizons Alberto Varona, Psy.D. 5. Culture, Alienation, and Social Theory George Snedeker, Ph.D. 6. Philosophers, Cynics, Dervishes: An Inquiry Peter Wright, N.D.
IV. Poetry 1. Last Slope Bishop George T. Boileau, S. J. 2. Prescience Nazarita Goldhammer
V. Art 1. Despair Elizabeth Moga, M.F.A. 2. Self Elizabeth Moga, M.F.A.
VII. Current Events New Headquarters for EPIS
VIII. Back Page
PRESENCING EPIS A Scientific Journal of Applied Phenomenology & Psychoanalysis
Executive Editor: Dr. Kevin Boileau, Ph.D., J.D. Managing Editor: Dr. Richard Curtis, Ph.D. Student Editor: Ms. Molly Knell Director of Production: Ms. Nazarita Goldhammer Manager of Layout & Color: Ms. Tia Hopkins Book Reviews: Dr. Peter Wright, N.D. Manager of Art: Ms. Beth Moga, M.F.A.
We dedicate this issue of the Presencing EPIS Journal to Father David A. Boileau, Ph.D., whose life and work continues to positively influence the course and direction of this Institute and its publications.
For David A. Boileau
â€œPoetic & Philosophical Interludeâ€? from The Blue Pearl by Kevin Boileau, Ph.D.
When it stopped making sense I let go of my desire and opted Instead For virtue and truth Pushing away the noise That pulls.
Fragmented slivers of perception One after the other Continue pushing each other away So that vision of the Whole, impossible.
Thus, I am at once both lost and liberated; looking for signposts Along the way Which Always seem heralded by the blue Iridescence.
The dark penumbra of the walking park remains forever etched in my Consciousness. Unsure that I will ever return to the shadows there, I strain to recall her face Calling.
Mother Death. Sweet and bitter, Soft and genuine. Always with me speaking the Words; there is more; there is more. Do not be enchanted into egology. Abjection rules.
And all the while the tall, large frame of admonition walks alongside. “Couragio!” The royalist inside falters as the Governorship wanes. Lost. Eroded. “Couragio!”
II. Letter from the Editor When the Existential Psychoanalytic Institute & Society was first conceived and created, we imagined a reading group, a training program, and a professional network. Since then, over the past five years, we have accomplished all that and more. We now have learning centers in three cities, training programs, online education, seminars, a small publishing company, and our academic and clinical journal. The intent is to publish psychoanalytic and phenomenological articles that analysts, academicians, and other learned individuals find interesting and valuable. We do not follow any particular theoretical framework but instead prefer to philosophically and critically examine the various theoretical and clinical claims of those individuals who participate in the constellation of related contemporary fields. Presencing EPIS covers theoretical and clinical issues emerging from existential psychoanalysis, phenomenology, classic psychoanalysis, cultural studies, Critical Theory, post-structuralism, deconstruction, and fictional literature. The journal welcomes work addressing substantive and methodological issues in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, including ethical, political, professional, sociological, and historical ideas, especially as they relate to similar professional practice. Articles address theory, method, clinical case studies, previous articles, and research. The journal also has a book review and forum section for critical commentary on the journal itself. This is the first issue of the journal and, as with all new projects, we anticipate making mistakes and learning from them. We hope that our new readership will truly enjoy the work that follows. from the desk of the Executive Editor writing in Missoula, Montana USA Dr. Kevin Boileau, Ph.D., J.D.
1. Husserlâ€™s Psychological Phenomenology: Inverting the Transcendental Julian Von Will, Ph.D. 2. The Psychology of World Views: Jaspers / Heidegger Steven Goldman, Ph.D. 3. What is Spirituality? Richard Curtis, Ph.D. 4. Expanding the Concept of Internal Object Relations: An Introduction to the Concept of Horizons Alberto Varona, Psy.D. 5. Culture, Alienation, and Social Theory George Snedeker, Ph.D. 6. Philosophers, Cynics, Dervishes: An Inquiry Peter Wright, N.D.
Husserl’s Psychological Phenomenology Inverting the Transcendental Julian von Will, Ph.D. Abstract: I will summarize Husserl’s phenomenological psychology within the framework of the philosophy of mind and epistemology. Husserl uses psychology dialectically to bring the logical subject of idealism to the empirical ego in one blow intuitionism. Phenomenology works across Kant’s subject-object schematic to build a foundational ontology, prima philosophia and rigorous science by collective demonstration of the psychological ego as transcendent Being. Psychology manifests transcendental logic in the empirical ego, according to the jargon, and provides a blueprint based on teaching how to reflect on oneself. Unlike the idealists, Husserl affirms psychology and all the baggage of individuality juxtaposed to a Victorian foundationalism: It was an odd mix. Husserl notes that psychology and transcendental philosophy are allied through phenomenology. Cartesian duality is brought to an intuitive unity in the individual, for a duration, held by reflection that goes to a pre-reflective ego in protentional projecting to square the circle. The transcendental ego is a Frankenstein bridge away from the theodicy of idealism irreducible in nature. Husserl tries to secure a model of consciousness on its own terms. Psychological reduction makes the transcendental real, provides content for the logical subject and completes Kant’s theory of judgments by redefining critical reason. Husserl readjusts Kant’s block to reason venturing psychology and the individual as relational pivot for an ontological whole. Husserl argues that egological acts demonstrated from a psychological phenomenological reduction of transcendental subjectivity unifies the subjective manifold and this, in turn, secure the world from the inside out. Husserl inverts abstract philosophies of reflection with the appearance of mind, self and identity capable of intuition and then enacts a phenomenological psychological reduction to prefigure and prescinding that fact with transcendental apriori (a priori). At the end of his career, Husserl unhesitatingly affirms idealism and a transcendental psychology to complete the unity of the Kantian subject and world within the here and now beyond antimony and paradox. He offers a proof for the external world by injecting the transcendental subject into the ego. He uses psychology and ontology directly against Kant’s critique of metaphysics and “Copernican Revolution,” spinning it to break free from the epistemological circle of Cartesianism. Husserl exhibits the objective manifestations of transcendental forms through psychological acts. Eidetic phenomenology reengineers Kantian deduced apriori forms and categories of the analytic subject into “synthesis-nexus” of essential Being. He then reverses the reduction through a psychological phenomenological reduction to identify this individual as a universal. Husserl’s new theory of conscious intentionality advances a new subject of the transcendental ego; first among objects. The psychological ego embodies the transcendental through its acts securing a knowledge of “things themselves” by being one and awareness of the whole by reflection trying to be perception. Logic, intuition of time and prereflective ego form his foundationalism devoid of critical reason. Self-conscious does not find its objectivity in the ego any more than the ego in natural reduction. I will focus on Husserl’s subtle weave of philosophical self-consciousness into transcendent Being. He claims to have resolved Kant’s dilemma of transcendence through psychology. But the breakout or transcendence from the transcendental (immanent) is into a finite Being with immortal thoughts. Back into the thing-in-itself. I will attempt to
outline using the jargon of traditional German idealism and logical empiricism that Husserl profoundly confuses.
“We live in a time of great reversals. Rational ontology and rational psychology – how long will it last, and also rational cosmology and theology – the much maligned and apparently permanently abolished disciplines of past epochs, seem to be awakening again to life.” [HI3-60]
HUSSERL Logical Absolutism and Transcendental Logic Throughout his career, Husserl thought psychology was a “truly decisive field…I.e., decisive for the struggle between subjectivism and objectivism. For by beginning as objective science and then becoming transcendental, it bridges the gap.” [HC-208] But, he notes that “the history of psychology is actually only a history of crises” in grounding psychical processes to physical necessity, causality and objectivity. [HC203] The circumspective Crisis notes: “If psychology had not failed, it would have performed a necessary meditating work for a concrete, working transcendental philosophy, freed from all paradoxes.” [HC-203] Psychology would have performed the extraordinary mediation of the ancient dialectic and ontological difference and secured the modern epistemological problem of subject-object schema with unified individual without forced sublation, deduction or inductive polarizations. Unlike the idealists, Husserl’s ontological turn struggles for the individual against both conceptual fetish and natural reduction. The psychological reduction of phenomenology puts the diamond of philosophical self-reflecting reason within the here and now of the ego individual as the first principle for truth and Being. He renews subjectivism and grounds it in carful reductions of empirical ego acts through phenomenological analysis. During Husserl time, psychology surfaced as the last remaining sub-discipline of philosophy left and popular vehicle for science to deal with philosophical problems turning them into psychological and ultimately natural origin. Psychology was used to reduce consciousness to an object and thought to a neuron. Husserl advances a new transcendental logic against scientific realism, representationalism and nominalism. He aims at the “back to Kant “ movement advancing a decapitated logical empiricism and scientific naturalism. Husserl argues against grounding reason in nature, and shows the mutated genesis of science forgetting the logic of self-consciousness behind causality. Husserl returns psychology to philosophical reflection in order to provide it with a firm subject, and does so by rejecting natural scientific method. “Psychology failed, however because, even in its primal establishment as a new kind of [science] alongside the new natural science, it failed to inquire after what was essentially the only genuine sense of its task as the universal science of psychic being. Rather, it let its task and method be set according to the model of natural science or according to the guiding idea of modern philosophy as objective and thus concrete universal science – a task which, of course, considering the given historical motivation, appeared to be quite obvious.” [HC-203] Husserl laments here in the Crises of the misunderstanding of psychology. Psychology as a science demonstrates the causality of consciousness and he seeks to unify philosophy and science here. He wages
an attack on naturalism that fiddles away cognition by subtracting the ego and subject from objectivity. He attacks the mechanism of psychologism founded upon a disjointed psychophysical parallel bridged by mindless associations in a stimulus-response feedback logic. Consciousness was anti-nature. Husserl speaks about how “psychology was burdened in advance with the task of being a science parallel to physics and with the conception that the soul - its subject matter - was something real in a sense similar to corporeal nature, the subject matter of natural science.” [HC-212] Husserl affirms dualism to attack scientific positivism and neo-Kantianism. He separates reason from nature to rethink the relation. The end long flight into the cosmos was leaving causality behind and shutting off access to appearance Psychology becomes the battlefield for melding philosophy and science by reworking this reduction. Husserl is focuses on the ontological difference and the use of the metaphysical gulf between thought and Being, possible and actual experience define in final form existence in-itself. Intentionality becomes the mutation of transcendental logic and makes the synthesis or unity of manifold real through psychological intuitions of philosophical concepts appearing before our eyes. Reason becomes the object for which we are consciousness. Husserl joked he was not the first to have discovered the “object”. His quest to make philosophy a rigorous science begins with the clarification of science philosophically grounded. That is how he operates. The Kantian twofold distinction, logic itself is take for a primal object. The object is subjectively constructed as the secrete source for the sensible; not by deduction, by psychological reduction to the intuition of a pure ego. Husserl opens the discussion on the nature of phenomena by showing how thoughts are objective, real and embodied in the individual. The irreal of inner experience manifesting consciousness is reflected through egological acts. The psychological provides a unity. The miserable Kantian schematic, which forbid psychological mediation, is transgressed, the individual asserts the lens of traditional subjectivism, the monadic Cartesian-Kantian subject, as its own. Husserl engineers a new subject of the transcendental ego but his one great contribution comes by showing new methods of interpretation and description within scientific praxis. Ones that advance science by conscious intentionality. He muscles reflection into objectivity through finally sublating logical empiricism through a unified psychological person, not simply a psychophysical stimulus-response automaton. Husserl attacks the recourse out of Cartesian dualism clarified on psychological grounds tied to natural scientific explanation. He argues that logical universal validity is not contingent on the genesis of entity and their relation. The contents of conscious are not reducible to functions, processes of empirical relation. In the Logical Investigations, Husserl fights tooth and nail over the reduction of logic to psychology and later the reduction of psychology to nature and sensibility. He denounces the induction of logic and “supposed laws of nature, which operate in isolation as causes of rational thought.” [HLU-101] Moreover, this “never permits of rational justification, only of psychological explanation.” [HLU-117] Explanation fell on the empirical, and logic, the language of consciousness, was tied to a facticity and sensibility of the impossible. It deferred ownership to a duplicated without distinction. Psychologism was a tautology and a mass confusion. “As a genuine psychologism, it tends always to confuse the psychological origin of certain general judgments in experience, on account of some supposed ‘naturalness’, with a justification of the same judgments.” [HLU-117] It never penetrated the subject of its own self-posting nature as something real. Husserl undermines the empirical notion of the “human being as a psychophysical Object,” along with the lopsided mythical concept constructions of idealism. He breaks the “presupposed naturalness” and finds a way preempt a disjointed psychophysical parallelism [Animalität]. The most important point is keeping this ego real and built on experiential or empirical grounds. He pays tribute to Locke’s non-psychophysical psychology capturing the cue of unity as “nothing less than the first
attempt at a phenomenological transcendental philosophy.” [DFTB] These types of subversions of traditional philosophy aid Husserl in setting up his own mythical concepts of Methexis. His reduction of the transcendental to the ego-individual is unique by using universals through pre-reflective intuitive acts to bring epistemic unity to Kant’s subject. He seeks a pre-cognitive intuitive unity of the ego, here and now, that precedes cosmological regress, teleological totality and ontological tautology. He seeks to close off the inward and outward infinitudes within the finite here and now of self-consciousness as an objectcorrelate of ego. Intelligible Being. Psychology unfolds the field for this realization under no delusion about metaphysical presuppositions. Husserl undercuts the empirical given with the “pre-given” prime mover of primordial dator intuitions to get the job done. His empiricism, his realism is built on transcendental grounds of non-contradiction intersected or vectored within immediate states of human consciousness. The dialectic of Self and Other, the mechanism of identity through nonidentity is played out within phenomenological psychology as an egological unity claiming philosophical status while taking control over the sciences under a dialectical distinction of the impossible. He links thought and Being by melding logical relations with object appearance through identity and noncontradiction, of no two object in the same place etc. Ideality and entity are vectored into existence as whole found in self-conscious reason located in psychological mediations of the individual. Husserl’s psychological reduction of the transcendental subject preempts dialectics by positing a schema of transcendental possibility to ontological actuality within the totality of self-consciousness Being, once the method is taught. Phenomenology makes consciousness an object in the world. Husserl inverts the transcendental deduction to phenomenological reduction and intuits the conceptual unity of mind from egological acts. Psychological reduction not only advances transcendental logic by giving it content to mutate experience, it also gives everyone access to transcendental reasoning from their own individuality and experimentation. Husserl blends psychology into phenomenology to help manifest a unitary subjectobject. Psychology takes transcendental subject for transcendent Being. He deconstructs the idealism and scientific realism through self-consciousness. The existence of universals is intuitable and irreducible to nature from within individuated acts of self-conscious reason. They are seen in psychological acts of selfreflection that make their way into scientific method controlling causality. Human individual acts form a unique resolution of the epistemological circle transcending the transcendental problem of duplicity and contradiction within the subject that keeps it from objective Being. Husserl proves the external world within Kant’s own schematic using Hegel’s advanced method of the “inverted-world’ [Verkehrte Welt] to mutate logic into experience through a phenomenology of mind thematically showing, as did Hegel, the universal existing in the individual. But, as Adorno notes, no one can live up to this insight. Husserl embraces psychology as tool to secure phenomenology as a first philosophy by self-contained egological correlations of universal principles with immediate data. Reduced noema. From above subjectobject dialectics, and before simple common sense, Husserl draws upon the knowledge of the impossible to secure this subject beyond analytic understanding. Beyond reactionary mechanical presuppositions. He uses psychology to enact an eidetic science of transcendentalism within the empirical here and now by converting logical difference and temporal succession into egological acts. Having checked logic from psychologism and naturalism, he systematically reworks psychologism through rational psychology and ontology to project the transcendental ego as the real. He effectively counter-spins Kant’s Copernican Revolution by reworking psychology into a science of inner experience of consciousness, having objectified status to the point of grounding the sciences in eidetic psychology. “In this way, one may say, the enigma of the "Copernican Revolution" is completely solved.”[DFTB] Egological acts turn into objects, or phenomena, for Husserl, and this allows him to objectify the transcendental subject in the here and now from the beyond. A pure moment of existence, pure presence of self, inner sense is durated between spatiotemporal reality to perceive the continuum of primordial dator intuition projecting the subject’s
objectivity in architectonic intuitions of the whole within the part to embrace a psychological and ontological follow-through of transcendental law. Psychology makes the transcendental real by bridging self-consciousness with object relation through psychological acts of universal repetition coming together in a manifold unity of the transcendental ego. Husserl uses psychology to help phenomenology get a subject and a realm to relate data of primordial intuitions within an ontology of logical axioms, identity and intramental objects to convey intentional objects as correlations of sense and meaning from the individual out. The ego becomes the fixed point for Husserl to unlock consciousness and nature freely from immediate experience. But he also uses it epistemologically to secure scientific judgments of intersubjective agreement through the ego’s own difficult unity of Self as the measure and medium of internal chaos, isolation and death. Husserl’s many conceptions for the ego attempts to reduce an invariant premeditative form of ego, a pre-given and prereflected neutrality in order to work a first certainty principle, a prima philosophia into his constitutional phenomenology. Husserl secures the transcendental subject in the world through psychological reduction of the ego from duplicity of intentional consciousness and ontological difference of life and death to effect reality with the truth of its presence. Under phenomenology, Husserl binds the subject’s phenomenal machinery of consciousness, its “transcendental problem” of duplicity, complexity and paradox into a specimen, a psychological subject whose content fills the transcendental with manifestations of Being. This is describable and demonstrable within common sense experience. The psychological reduction exhibits transcendental logic at work but does so from forms of consciousness constructing a reality already agreed upon. Controversial by the standards of traditional idealism, Husserl brings reflection into the empirical ego to unveil within its repetitious acts and immediate data, the view of immutable forms, invariant patterns and intramental objects of consciousness inverting Kant’s Copernican Revolution simply by completing the theory of judgments. Psychology is then purified of the object world to view the synthetic unity of time and space, logic and time, under the ego of essential Being. The intentional object of correlation. Husserl first certainty principle comes in the simple self-reflection of common-sense finding itself immersed in metaphysics by mere extension. To get to things themselves, he questions the nature of an object and this leads to a philosophy of reflection. But reflection becomes intuitive and spontaneous. Acts of reflection become perception not conception. Modes of consciousness exhibit Being in the framework of appearance. Husserl reworks the transcendental subject of German idealism into object awareness. The logic of consciousness is self-conscious and its singularity, individuality and objective Being is formed through a pre-Kantian theory of mind in Leibniz rational psychology and Descartes ontology. His antiepistemology relates rational and empirical schools through psychology that intuits unity without having to deduce or induce it. Psychology provides the objective pole of ego to perceive ideation within immediate experience. Psychological ego transmits the continuum of space and time within the here and now as the first object of experience. This is an ontological return of the transcendental deduction in full circle. At the same time of this end to dialectics in the subject, unifying the logical shape of self-consciousness, this unity of psychological ego is accessible to everyone and becomes the intersubjective relation and understanding agreeable to everyone. Psychology mediates the universal in the particular by connecting transcendental rules to nature through the individual showing limited transcendental unity in the human Being’s selfreflective reasoning. Through the phenomenological lens, the empirical ego exists in transcendental acts forming appearance . The metaphysics of logic, the essence of consciousness down to its anti-nature or contradiction to nature its located. Husserl reworks the logical machinery into psychological acts to pregive the universal template of objectivity. He does this by sublating intuition to a devise of logic manipulating space and time with constitution of the object which fixes there meaning.
Rational Psychology Embodied Transcendental Ego Husserl’s critique of psychologism renews transcendental logic as the language of consciousness. Intentionality drives the transcendental ego unity of two types of acts denoting categorial intuition and retention-protentional consciousness. Combined with eidetic reduction and epoché, Husserl collapses the transcendental apriori into an ontology of psychical acts as objects of primary relations between identity and entity without in turn reducing one to the other. An egological pluralism of eidetic psychology opens up the object by articulating the subject’s self-posited modes of Being to get a neutral view. Husserl wages a dialectic with science and German idealism through psychology, taking ownership over causality mediating between inner and outer sense. He breaks the spell cast by the neo-Kantians, with the twofold schematic and clumsy psychophysical parallel. Husserl stress on an intuitive approach maintains empiricism but his foundationalism reduces its to an ideal hybrid notion of pre-givenness to introject categories. Through ontological possibility and pure ego of self-consciousness, Husserl’s transcendental ego taps into transcendental idealism first by defending the empirical given in the ego as a founded unity of logic and experience through the conscious psyche. The consciousness of objects makes a transcendental point about the real acts of pure consciousness connecting universal law with particular object from individual psyche. Husserl corrects the subtracted subjectivity within science by showing how the criteria of causality is built form the correlating thoughts of noncontradiction as the fundamental rule behind all possible experience. Modes of givenness is tied to validity of logical rules of combination. What is not possible, impossible, projects the arena or field of perception, a constant repetition and continuum of Being rather than non-Being. Husserl’s early period of logical absolutism sublates experience under logic by the principle of noncontradiction. He links this, as did Kant, to a schematic of time to show how logic correlates object appearance in succession of the fixed Self. He shows through the ontological difference the impossibility of science without this fixed universal subject that Kant backs away in hope of better worlds. He links logic to causality correlating the subjectobject in space and time. He builds this with a new psychologism of the finite caught in a task of bring infinitudes to the here and now of immediate sense experience. The possible-actual distinction of truth and Being comes together in an analytic of pure ego defining his psychology that grounds the science. German idealism fixes on the notion of contradiction attempting to differ and identify ideal laws with object appearance here and beyond. The line between contradiction and spatiotemporal sense forms the subject working both ends of mind and objective individual Being. The mind perceives itself as a unity in the world and as an object like any other for the first time in the history of philosophy. Phenomenology uses psychology to bind space and time to the here and now of a self-conscious totality. A unique bubble of existence and paradox that Husserl embraces through intentionality. Husserl collapses metaphysic poles in one blow, demonstrating the massive investment the subject has in the object, in the world of appearance as a universal life and death matter. Insight into a Self indicates an awkward logic of the mind that Husserl weaves into a totality of consciousness, the horizon, as a regress but not before a good glimpse of the individual who bears it. Husserl reworks transcendental logic back through the ontological difference. He begins with selfreflection found in the individual located in the world. The reversal takes place on behalf of a firm realism beginning with one’s own experience and the narrative of its nature and processes that differentiates itself from everything. In traditional terms, Husserl’s subjectivism is a contradiction that upholds the law of contradiction as object in order to change the rules of perception. He freezes the frame to achieve an analytic that exists. He breaks out of logic’s tautological self-saming dilemma into the thinking patterns of the man on the street. Husserl gets to the subject by questioning the scientific object and sublates science to a philosophical paradigm of self-consciousness while turning philosophy into a rigorous science empirically given. The power of Husserl lies in his weird attempt to formulate a transcendental realism as
pure science. His Victorian no-nonsense approach to the things themselves, to intuitive based analysis quickly becomes a colossal discursive reasoning, full of axillary concepts bridging a contradiction found in emphasizing the individual as ground for scientific agreement. His phenomenology of mind exhibits a contradiction in the ontological difference used against epistemology down the line by admixing and projecting a foundational ontology with a transcendental psychology. He bulldozes ego-consciousness into experience through a psychology leaving little to nature what is anticipated by reason. He attempts to undermine Kant’s critique of temporalized ego as copies of self in succession of time forgotten in memory. Husserl works a complicated duplicity between ego and subject into a synthetic-nexus. The transcendental ego is a dialectical construct in suspension. He claims to have a pre-given unified object in psychological acts of pure ego correlating the whole. This object speaks and reveals the subject. His philosophy of mind constructs an egology to mediate the modern school debate in epistemology through an ontology of acts forming a self-sufficient essential Being. The individual is universalized, the secrete source for the sensible lies in its acts and especially self-conscious intentions where sense and meaning are unified. The essential self-giving object of appearance and subjective continuum of succession come together in the immediate individual whose “synthesis-nexus” can be seen as an object of space and time once, paradoxically, a transcendental fractal is positioned beyond sense experience to bring consciousness to Being without temporalization and conceptual speculation. Husserl captures the Kantian thing-in-itself by breaking the block on reason from betting the individual as the whole. Husserl does not care about soliloquy and intersubjectivity because the facture lies in the subject alone. The problem of transcendence from immanent consciousness. Husserl introjects the transcendental subject empowered in empirical ego with transcendency. Husserl empowers subjectivity with causality, with essence, meanings and intentions under full empirical right by dictating possible realities, knowing impossible realities to the actual through from the individual, against scientific realism. The transcendental subject of logic, mathematics, time theory, space theory and causality is finally given existence and Being, in the here and now. The ego unifies these forms as its matrix of being the first object of space and time. As an intentional object without a past or a future. The pure in-itself of entity that locks space and time to mind by measure of the here and now immediate self-consciousness. The atomic core of the dialectic between logic and time. The transcendental ego is the real before any sense of empirical ego arrives with a distinction. Inverting the instrument on itself to illustrates the Other to scientific objectivity opens a Pandora box. The ego shows the truth of the transcendental subject in the here and now and rests the violent antinomies of subjectivism to the realities of daily life. But it will have a problem in agreeing on these acts and upon find new ones that are not merely repetitive, analytical and closed. Psychological phenomenological reduction performs a unique deconstruction of the empirical ego into self-consciousness, into critical reflection of immediate sense experience. It shows, from basic perception out, this unitary center of ego bridging two worlds, of life and death, immanent and transcendent modalities of Being. Husserl points out that the ontological difference is lived. It pre-gives us or thinks us in the shape of the ego having to mediate possible experience and actual experience. How this forms scientific causality. Husserl uses actual experience, everyday lived experience, to reduce a special genus of knowledge in the “pure ego” hierarchically bent. Husserl corrects Cartesian dualism reduced through Kantian twofold conceptualism or representationalism into intuitive structures. He brings the truth of idealism to ordinary reality. Husserl tries to make reflection an intuitive act and object not learnt behavior reduced to nature. Psychological acts reveal not only a pure ego but the transcendental in the real through categorical intuitions projecting space and time. The degree of their objectification from the fixed subject is their measure of Being that denotes the whole. Psychological descriptions of transcendental logic, intentionality and intuition of
concepts as objects like any other is a realism and empiricism, a positivism as Husserl admits, in a noematic sea of ontological intentionalities. It must link to the natural sciences to get substance, to claim through psychology an “object” of traditional subjectivism that outdoes the sciences with their own notion of something just given devoid of consciousness. “Phenomenological psychology is the unconditionally necessary foundation for the construction of a rigorously scientific psychology which would be the genuine and actual analogue of exact natural science.”[AML-§8] Reflection dictates to appearance and this opens science to a proper delimited nature that can absorb all metaphysics of Self. Immediate consciousness of objects is self-conscious perceiving. The object is not without its subject. All points are fixed by a superclass monad. A space and time vehicle shaped kinetically and imagined infinitely. Husserl puts the ghost into the machine. Denounces the Deists. The psychophysical parallel, is a cosmology of a logical whole by default to psychological objectifications to its own demise. One can intuit, in a sense, the acts of consciousness having invariant forms that repeat and remain constant. These are noticeable in temporized fields presencing successive alteration, changing mutation (Genetics) with categorical projected continuity. Husserl must unify reflection and intuition in one act of consciousness to bring the pure ego and foundational first principle to light. He uses psychology by default of transcendental antinomies to erecting a secular humanism and Hypokeimenon of the modern world. A pre- reflective (concept) and pre-given (object) forms the transcendental ego. A pre-logical, predialectical unity in Being across temporal succession and spatial extension of appearance. Husserl reduces the Kantian subject to ego through acts of perceptive understanding and/or categorial intuition, retentional-protentional time consciousness, that were considered admixtures and paralogisms in Kant’s time. He then, through the psychological reduction, shows this as objective acts of pure mind. He makes them appear transcendent as intuited. Assuming from the start the metaphysics of logic (Hegel), he tries to invert Kant’s attack on rational psychology as paralogism and amphiboly to a new synthetic apriori judgment. Husserl manifests the Kantian Transcendental Object, thing-in-itself, from the inside out, erecting a transcendental realism that Kant banned, and was unacknowledged by anyone at the time other than by Fichte’s and Schelling’s self-reverting ego. In a professional environment of neo-Kantianism, Husserl invest the ego as object correlate to traditional subjectivism and trumps the mechanism of objectivity from a more literal sense of what is real. Unlike the German idealists, Husserl uses psychology and psychic life to try to intuit Kantian synthesis of re-presentation in the true light of their anticipatory functions. The nexus of intuitive and psychological intentional objects restores a fixed position before Kantian antinomies. Psychological phenomenology is a specific reduction beginning with the natural attitude of everyday human consciousness. Through reflection, Husserl takes this state of consciousness as the source for objectivity without parallel. Separating logic from psychology, he finds the transcendental subject objectified through psychology and the egological functions and acts of empirical ego demonstrating transcendental functions. Psychology correlates logic and object by anticipating and regulating the object through relations projected by protention and retentional ego acts of categorical repetition. Ego perception holds memory and universal law in connection to the possibility for object awareness preceding over what does and does not exist. Under Husserl this because wonderfully chaotic. Husserl and Heidegger enter what Kant calls a “material idealism”, attempting to fix the logical subject of temporal regression in space as vectored point or object-correlate from which the subject of time has immediate and essential Being without any reproductive activity. A type of transcendental realism enters their foundational ontology against Kant’s own jargon, resting on the possibility of being a transcendental idealist and empirical realist casting the divided subject as Absolute Kant explores the idea of material idealism as the one and only proof of the external world using the object of succession “dialectically” to
grasp the identity and truth of time and subject’s temporalized self-consciousness. He uses this to rule over science and then he goes on to sublate Being finite by the reduction of time to a category of subjective delimited intention Psychology provides an intuitive base for understanding the unity of the subject with object without metaphysical antinomy. He asserts a transcendental unity over this by discovering a prereflective ego unity overcoming idealism and naive realism resolving Kant’s dilemma of transcendence through psychology. Psychology makes logic real. He notes rather late in his career of the propaedeutic value it holds for phenomenology. It helps teach how to see ideas as objects, universals as entities and the mind and self as object Being. Husserl exhibits self-consciousness as an object like any other. He brings self-consciousness into an object for which we are conscious. Psychological analogue injects consciousness into all judgments as the only thing consistently there to hinge a predicate of existence upon. Psychology points the way to essentialism without a metaphysical leap. He works this through an egological and eidetic analysis describing pure states of consciousness framing appearance, turning representationalism into presentationalism (apprehension to apperception) and clumsy conceptualism is given a body.
Phenomenological Psychological Nexus: Egology In Husserl’s Cartesian Mediations says the following: “The difference between empirical and transcendental subjectivity remained unavoidable; yet just as unavoidable, but also incomprehensible, was their identity.” [CM-84] This “identity” is gold for Husserl’s analytics to take up a passive synthesis of relations forming around the individual ego counterbalancing the ontological difference conceived by science. Husserl finds an equalizer in the psychological ego of self-consciousness. “It is so everywhere that a “unity of consciousness” is related to a transcendent unity of an object within a grasping of something given.” [HI2-237] The synthesis proceeds all analytics and dialectics of determinate negation, as the thing itself, ahead of all labor and negation as the positive ego-entity. The analytic subject becomes synthetic by changing the rules of the game. This comes down to idealism in affirm the subject. “On the contrary, we have here a transcendental idealism that is nothing more than a consequentially executed self-explication in the form of a systematic egological science, an explication of my ego as subject of every possible cognition, and indeed with respect to every sense of what exists, wherewith the latter might be able to have a sense for me, the ego.” [CM-86] Husserl turns philosophical reflection into scientific method through phenomenology. He makes this accessible by using psychology to objectify the logic of subjective thought. The formal syllogism of identity puts consciousness into the ego to ground the empirical mirroring apriori constructs of possible experience. Pure psychology “furnishes the necessary a priori foundation for empirical psychology with regard to the pure psychic.” [DFTB] Husserl’s inverts the natural reduction of logic by psychological spin. The ego is the pre-givenness by subtracting “thinking” from the subject as did Kant through time. He thinks he gets to a firm subject that is original rather than what Kant thought was a copy fading in succession to memory and forgetfulness. He works this through a formalized intuition to achieve sense of ego and then brackets this natural attitude to arrive at the pure ego as correlate of transcendental subject. A living logical entity. His subject to individual ego forms a monad or soul-thing that combines a unitary self-conscious Being, suspended in temporal succession bracketing past and future tense, to objectify the subject without regress or natural reification. He stops the metaphysical retrogress of the Kantian subject in the depths of time and the empirical ego to the “thing-in-itself” of natural regress and eternity of space. Husserl uses psychology to find a solution for what he call the transcendental problem
in duplication of the analytic or the predictive and synthetic unity of one’s own ego the source for the Other. The pre-reflective ego is a first principle of unity and indeed a pre-given entity of Being. The mind finds itself as Being-in-itself, securing the Kantian problem of transcendence from immanent thought (transcendental faculties) to transcendent Being within self-consciousness. Husserl egology is the “working out of the idea of an a priori psychological phenomenology has demonstrated to us the possibility that one can, through a consistently carried out phenomenological reduction, disclose in eidetic generality the essence proper to mental subjectivity.”[AML-§12] This is “within empirical certainty, namely, distinctions of act.” [HPS-88] Psychology provides the sense and ontology the meaning to effect a phenomenal unity of the soul-thing beyond Descartes and before Kantian infinite regress. The transcendental is given a vessel in the ego that undercuts the empirical given with a pre-given Self and bends ideality into intramental objects, into Being, by their relational and durational presence of consciousness. This is the first “appearance”, the primordial intuition. From the first person out, by proxy of personal individuality he springboards to ontological wholeness. Concerning scientific reason and judgments, the goal to secure a relation between thought and Being, embraces egological acts for objects and then forms an ontology to secure their identity across experience by sublating difference and multiplicity to a self-saming constant of logical noncontradiction forming his first principle of possible experience in general. The transcendental is always in the empirical and Husserl minds this shaft. There is cosmology in the uses of psychology to manifest gods out form furniture (Rilke). The transcendental sphere rests on the law of contradiction and how it projects appearance through intuitive succession of object and temporal self-consciousness. In its psychological composition, intentional acts of meaning become intuitive of their transcendent objectness. Intentionality bridges dualism in one go. Husserl uses psychology to get to consciousness and science depends on this “clarifying disclosure of the consciousness that, as such, constitutes all objectivity.”[AML-13] Husserl states: “Admittedly> this looks like a restoration of psychologism.”[AML-§9] But it’s the Queen of psychology for sure defined as pure psychology giving an ontological way out from transcendental tautology. Husserl’s phenomenology takes Kant’s notion of synthetic apriori judgment and Hegel dialectical movement of phenomenology into living presence. By covert dialectic, Husserl claims to intuit the apriori. He inverts deduction and subverts induction by bridging through rational psychology under Leibniz, holding Descartes’ first philosophy to a level of ontological relations of pure possibility from the individual psyche out. The transcendental ego is the unity of the continuum of spatiotemporal appearance, by relating to itself as an object In the Ideas 1, Husserl talks about learning to see ideas in positive constructive form in psychological acts. Not of association but of intention grounded on unified principles (identity and difference). Psychology presented a unified subject by taking the “naturalistic into the personalistic”, taking association of ideas to intentional meaning structures and teleological wholes. This comes down to the individual subject, human psyche and psychological ego of intention and motivation. Husserl says: “No causal research, no matter how far-reaching, can improve the understanding which is ours when we have understood the motivation of a person.” [HI2-241] Motivation is brought to meaning conferring acts pushed forward as the sense of the ego. The psychophysical subject by necessity of nature to reflect on meanings that have no sense as much, in regards to the ontological difference, sensibility is meaningless devoid of the individual. He ties epistemology in a knot of immediate self-consciousness open to interpretation and ultimately free imaginative variation. What is found is subjective projections that contrary to delusion have managed to get to the thing itself and know it without skepticism and without using limited sensibility to define its horizon. Husserl fixes the flux and captures that moment of the one and the many in one act-given essential Being. He sees in acts a route to primordial dator intuition archetypical objects or act as Being. Husserl’s panlogism becomes a techno pagan through psychology. Two types of acts;
categorial intuition and retentional-protentional time consciousness perform reduction of ego to both entity and validity in one go. Association becomes intended by apriori “facts” of consciousness projecting its own appearance as transcendental ego. This first phenomenological reduction is the egological one denoting the self-contained continuum of sense in the individual ego. Egology pinpoints the connection between consciousness and sense through acts of Being that remain constant through the flus and alteration of objects. Intentional consciousness exhibits the “ultimate subject, the phenomenological one, which can never be bracketed and is the very subject doing all eidetic phenomenological research, is the pure Ego.” [HI2-183] The pure ego becomes fixed and final in a syllogism predicating existence from psychological acts performing synthetic apriori judgments by extemporized intuitions. The pure ego becomes the transcendental ego, the irreducible first principle: “that nothing exists for me otherwise than by virtue of the actual and potential performance of my own consciousness.”[FTL-234] Through the epoché of the natural attitude and bracketing conceptualism, Husserl works the last reduction by subtracting the ”I” from the activity of “thinking” to arrive at a pure subject or ego holding the continuum between two worlds. The systematic first principle of truth and Being must separate itself from its thoughts and objects to be this consciousness of something. He says: “We have to go back to the consciousness in which things are given to us originarily and so perfectly that we can be lacking nothing for grasping the universal essential form which prescribes the apriori rule for such objects.” [HI2-37] Egoacts form the consistency principle of a new dynamic theory of consciousness as ever-present irreducible suspending the flow of representations for a temporal I, das Ichheit, of pure presence of Self in the moment (Anwesenheit) of immediate consciousness. In the realm of the unreflective life of immediate sense to find a unitary point for all to agree. Through intentionality, he takes over the ego acts of immediate perceptions into the machinery of epoché, description, retentional-protentional internal time consciousness, eidetic reduction and categorial intuition (Wesenshau). They comprise the essential correlating forms of logic, maths, time theory, space theory and causality. The five known transcendental logics forming the framework for consciousness begins to take shape as Intelligible Being, by which and through which everything may be (Kant). The “I think” is replaced by the intentional “I perceive something” introjecting psychological content into the subject of consciousness from the start. The pure ego, which turns into the transcendental subject is self-sustained ontology with a varieties of egos within the frozen succession of a temporalized immediate self-consciousness. But this is still a psychological field in ignorance of the gulf separating the ideal and the real of its own intrasubjective nature. Its own self-posited objectivity turns the phenomenological gaze on a dialectic that uses non-Being of its limitation to set the field for the positive sciences. Mirroring their subtracted subject from the death of their object. Lacking all sight. But here within the everyday, Husserl warns against “confounding of the ego with the reality of the I as human psyche” [FTL-230] He divides psychology from the natural attitude and defines the ego from immanent and transcendent objects to secure his subjective universal individual from critique by all camps. Psychology is taken into the teleology of pure meaning, to the eidetic ideal possibilities of pure ego devoid of thinking but not devoid of body sensation and essential insight. Husserl asserts here the identity principle I=I to self-saming ego functions and the self-reverting ego, as Being in space through the copula of essential relation. The thing perceived lies in the perceiving act as such, that shapes appearance from within to enact validity without dispute. This insight into “a living intentionality” forms a pure ego and the beginning of a transcendental turn. [FTL-279] Here the pure ego is experienced “in-itself” without the copy instruments of conceptualism and signification, image and sign. The ego is real. He says that the:
“Cartesian reduction to my ego as the subject of my pure consciousness, a new sort of possibility of cognition and being become the problem – namely the transcendental possibility of something existing in itself. As something exiting with this sense of me, exclusively by virtue of the possibilities of my pure consciousness.”[FTL-230] Husserl’s reductions are meant to find symmetry of Selfhood over and beyond the subject who bears it in the world that made it. The reduction goes back to dualism and hierarchy, but it does define the individual uniquely from the bastion collective point. ”I, the “transcendental ego,” am the ego who “precedes” everything worldly…Therefore I, the constituting Ego, am not identical with myself as a psychophysical reality; and my psychic life… is not identical with my transcendental ego...” [FTL-238] Husserl subtracts thinking from the Ego and winds up in a pre-reflective non-consciousness, a state non-unawareness. Time figures into his universal constant, but it’s logic that takes intention and then retention into a circle of selfsaming propositions of rational psychology because: “Consciousness has its own essence” and “Objective thinghood …is determined as a this only in relation to consciousness and the conscious subject” the reduction becomes too literally and this is Husserl’s platonic realism. [HI2-315] By division of the “I” as pure ego from its “thinking,” through a long line of intentional polarities he secures Being-in-itself and then commences journey back to these primordial prime movers of intuition to describe a primal first of infinite reduction. “The crucial question here is this: is the personal Ego constituted on the basis of pure self-perception and lived-experience?”[HI2-264] or “Is it necessary that I, in reflective experience, run through my modes of comportment in order for the personal Ego to be able to come to consciousness as the unity of these modes, or can it already be “conscious” in pre-givenness, before it was given originally through such series of identifying and realizing experiences, which, as reflections on the cogitationes, focus on the comportment in relation to circumstances?”[HI2-264] This is the Being that cannot not be. Irreducible and full of apriori content, of primordial dator intuitions of Self to posited world it become everything and nothing. This “being is essentially incapable of being crossed out.” [HPS-155] What is left in this state of pure Being as undetermined. According to Kant this sinks into a standpoint of individual existence expressed in a the wrong form of total knowledge. The pre-reflective “I” gets lost in possibilities devoid of distinction and without knowledge of death. It becomes uncritical. This reduction loses the precious cargo of the individual in the archetype of purity and idol of permanence. He loses the object as well in the apriori bound tight to an analytic of rational psychological categories of scholasticism. Husserl’s attempt to turn evidence into entity and validity to Being turns either into a colossal tautological and empirical hologram or it drifts into the empty subject. Description is cut short by transcendental reduction. The ontic lost in the ontological. The intuitive admixture with logic confounds the critical ontological difference of immanent and transcendent to psychological subterfuge.
Internal Time-Consciousness Logical reduction of ego turns pre-reflective intuition of time to explain the here and now university of the individual. His theory of internal time consciousness stops time to fix the in-itself of essential archetypes.
Husserl takes control over the epistemological impurity of alteration, mutation and decay. The succession of its flow is relative to a fixed point as its existence. Husserl bring the sense of the subject through time to a form outside of time. He does this by noting that objective time is a delusion. “The image of a stream plays a trick on us. Intentional analysis of immanent temporality actually destroys this image and at the same time places its legitimate sense before us.” [AML-§4] Eidetic reduction and epoché begins to form a pure ego around “primordial now-consciousness”. [HI-219] Husserl sublates time under logic reducing succession to a “kind of ongoing synthesis”. [AML] He finds an anomaly in the duration of the ego behind each object and each act. “For not every synthesis in consciousness exists as this type of continuous synthesis.”[AML-§8] He crosses-out temporizing succession from mitigating the act’s own essence of mediation for a quick fix of given objectivity in the raw. There is no past or future in this moment, no memory or projection. Husserl fixes the ego’s transcendental beachhead, reflective acts as intuitions, by making time an object of logic. He syllogizes the temporal flow to now-time. From analog to digital presentation, the succession of time and object movement in space is unified in consciousness. Husserl says the manifold rests on the “whole problem of the temporalization of the sphere of immanent time” [HI2-409] He works out Kant’s unity of the subject through time and advances immediate temporal awareness of self without successive selves, copies or representations of self in time, by dividing the moment into the this digit of presence, of now-time, dividing past-present and futural nows, temporalizing the temporal of reflection, to secure the objectification of the subject. Fixing the flux of time he then connects possible and actual realities to judgment by having manipulated sense, squaring the circle. Logical acts durate the in-itself of pure ego because they fix a point from which space and time meet. Intentionality secures an irreducible subject or pure ego by controlling the flow of time into an intentional object of the “now”. Selfconsciousness through time, as the tradition maps out into Kant, is reduced to the pure I without successive copies fading in memory or deluded by history and generative evolution. The transcendental ego is a Victorian time machine blueprinting singularity. Husserl attaches the ego to the transcendental here through Leibniz’s law of continuity to unify and hold the pure ego above the movement of change. An intentional web of pure presence, Anwesenheit, brings eidetic reduction to hypostatic union within the transcendental, with intramental objects of the irreal. The ego is now-Time. Husserl talks of genesis and sedimentation of history in the subject but this is transcendental logic talking about a passive synthesis contradicting a purely analytic starting point. Pre-reflected pure ego behind each act of object awareness posits the intentional correlation, the noema of appearance from the start and form between past and future. Essence is caught within appearance, in the blink of an eye, without mediation. This sense holds over time the fix finitude made absolute. Husserl exhibits this paradox and objectifies it as the transcendental ego in space, existing by suspending a past or a future that would conflict with its presence. Retentional-protentional consciousness enclose egological acts into ontology. Psychological acts make the subject objective, grasped in the pure moment of space. Subjective form and multiples selves of succession are overcome. Intentionality distills the temporalization of the temporal to formulate an admixture. This begins with insisting on purifying reflection of temporal elements. Husserl freezes the moment to attach ideality and intuition together as one act under Ego. This can be seen and described free from distortion and open to interpretation by, however, a genetic intuition to learn to see ideas in the object. Kant’s apriori intuition of space and time are taken ownership by Husserl, however awkwardly, by the reduction of time to a category held long enough to give the transcendental ego. Time produces the reduction of intentionality to retain and project reality in the original intuitive setting that is usually lost in the act of reflection. Time is the logic of self-consciousness and this is the source for a unified subject that degrees transcendental law.
Phenomenological Transcendental Reduction Like all German idealists, both Husserl and Heidegger refuse to surrender psychology to the natural sciences. But unlike idealism, they see psychology as a bridge between inner thought and outer sense as recourse from the empty logical subject. They reset the subject on the continuum of the finite made whole from the psychological intention. They firm the science of psychology as “a priori typical forms without which it is not possible to think the I (or the we), consciousness, the objects of consciousness, and hence any psychic life at all, along with all the distinctions and essentially possible forms of syntheses that are inseparable from the idea of an individual and communal psychic whole.”[DFTB] In Husserl’s and Heidegger’s second Draft B of the Encyclopaedia Britannica article "Phenomenology", the pure ego runs into space or time and the danger of becoming cosmogony and theological. Having founded the subject for psychology, the constitution turns ontological on the insistence on what Kant would call a mystical understanding of intuition and so on. As soon as the pure ego surfaces Husserl turns the psychological phenomenological reduction to its self-regulating unities by bracketing-out past and future non-existent variables and given entities relative to the ego. “In a word, the psychological-phenomenological reduction is transformed into the transcendental-phenomenological <reduction>...” [AML-§9] The transcendental question of disclosing essential Being cannot be “psychological subjectivity, not even that psychological subjectivity which eidetically and in phenomenological purity is the topic of psychological phenomenology.”[AML-13] However, “we will proceed stepwise from the psychological <phenomenological> reduction, and treat the transcendental reduction as a further reduction which grows out of and fulfills the psychological reduction.[AML-13] The transcendental reduction gets to the first principle of entity or idea of an absolute subjectivity, that “functions everywhere in hiddenness” reduced to an objectivity of the “whole transcendental life, in whose intentional syntheses all real and ideal objects, with their positive existential validity, are constituted. The transcendental reduction yields the thematic field of an absolute phenomenological science.”[DFTB] But, the medium of phenomenology is limited to the subject seeing itself as object, as a function, taking itself for an analogue of nature anyway by intentional unity. Husserl argues that pure psychology completes a self-contained relational model by the “possibility of disclosing, via a systematic phenomenological reduction, the proper essential character of psychic subjects in eidetic universality and in all their possible forms… Although this phenomenological-eidetic psychology is not an empirical psychology of the factical human being, nonetheless it now seems called upon to clarify concretely, and down to the last detail, the ontological sense of world as such.” [DFTB] Psychologism turns into ontological difference erecting and limiting reality. The subject of selfconsciousness found in the reflection on possible realities, of immortality within a mortal body is the only real thing. This logic “which puts up an unbridgeable gulf between ideal and real, is there by lost and the notion of normality which is substituted for it, confuses the basic concepts of logic.” [HLU-217] Losing this difference, science loses all perception. Phenomenology takes the ego and matches it to pure possibility and everything gets lost here. Ontology takes over and idealism secures the subject through knowing the ontological difference. Like Kant, Husserl embraces the “old ontological doctrine…“that the knowledge of ‘possibilities’ must precede that of actualities“ (Wirklichkeiten) is, in my opinion, in so far as it is rightly understood and properly utilized, a really great truth.” [HI-213] He says that: “The distinction in question is prior to all metaphysics…”. [HLU-569] It forms his dialectical act of psychological-ontological nexus that “turns psychology the psychic being of facticity to the universal subjectivity, which in its actualities and possibilities is one.” [HC-208] The unifying synthetic function of form and content propelling the Kantian theory of judgments is enveloped. Husserl calls this the epistemological circle that he seeks to overcome. He works this difference to defined his transcendental ego as an immortal being. Early on, Husserl’s blames “psychologistic logicians” ignoring the “never-to-be-
bridged gulf between ideal and real laws, between normative and causal regulation, between logical and real necessity, between logical and real grounds. No conceivable gradation could mediate between the ideal and the real.” [HLU-104] Husserl uses this against psychologism and then places the transcendental ego right in it as a type of unity of the here and now. Husserl injects universals in-through the ontological difference to then somehow look back to validate the projection. But the origin does not really matter because it’s the synthetic unity of data that identifies an absolute. This is what Husserl seeks to bring out in the everyday reduction of consciousness that falls into regress by instance on originality. In Husserl’s Amsterdam lecture: “The task that now arises is how to make this correlation between constituting subjectivity and constituted objectivity intelligible, not just to prattle about it in empty generality but to clarify it in terms of all the categorial forms of worldliness <Weltlichkeit>, in accordance with the universal structures of the world itself.”[AML-11] The reduced product is a paralleled transcendental ego locked into an infinite analytic of existence. Husserl advances consciousness as an object and intentionality becomes the reason why we exist. From knowing and being the ontological difference the subject enters the metaphysics of totality. In “the transcendental sphere,… infinity of cognitions that precede all deduction… has nothing to do with deduction and, being thoroughly intuitive, resists any sort of methodic or constructive symbolization.”[HI2-410] Transcendental intuitive understanding returns to a kind of parallel of pure ego against a total consciousness. Pure subjectivism. A number of fields reflect here the continued division of the subject. Husserl attacks the psychophysical but he too in his psychologism takes part in dividing up the subject. But his conception fall below the standard of idealism in double dealing from the psychological. Here, traditional dualism is force into the alliance and “wondrous parallelism of the psychological and the transcendental, which extends to all descriptive and genetic determinations that can be worked out on either side in the respective systematically maintained attitude.”[DFTB] But ego essence shows the history of man as a failed god and the individual defeated by death. The horror of the Kantian island of cognition being completely navigated shines through Husserl reduction. Claustrophobic soliloquy and tautology threatens Husserl stubbornness to find a fixed position drowns the ego acts into the status quo. Husserl’s Wesensschau forces the Kantian subjective manifold to hierarchy of self-preservation in the here and now. But here and now is no resting place for consciousness and phenomenology forces the individual to be something in the world, to intend an object, complete a judgment and be the real in one act without any mediation. It is a spontaneous knowledge of Being, a totality in pure consciousness, without letting actuality impair the intuition with tautology or bad memory. This is the Hegelian bacchanalian Being-in-itself, in which no member is not drunk with its presence repeating the same as the eternal never changing status quo. Kant is not overcome here in Husserl’s model but then again Kant is ignored for good reason. Dasein and its ontological difference presences death and Husserl prefigures the void of empty subjectivity as the fulfillment of human possible all the same. The drive for a totality became frozen to place and then turns in a circle. Transcendental reduction of psychology provides the relational pivot upon the Self of individual ego. It then gives the world, foundational ontology, as its correlate of predication. The self-contained reality, in which “all pure psychic phenomena have the ontological sense of worldly real facts” becomes shear empirical admixture, what Husserl calls a methexis. [DFTB] Logical noncontradiction and spatiotemporal object succession form the totality of Being. Oscillating the best of both worlds in the here and now, Husserl and Heidegger try to describe in Draft B a foundational ontology that would be apriori of the whole by knowing the par t and being the relational medium. A phenomenological correlation research shows this part unifying the whole, transmitting the one without contradiction.
A fact and essence and ontic-ontological dyad and duplicity of form surfaces in the transcendental reduction of intentionality. The colossal siege machinery of Husserl discourse reason finally subverts the Kantian “schematic” splitting the ego into a type of force field of consciousness of horizons, and modalities of noetic-noematic-noema successions of data or acts in the present. He further empower the schema with the imagination, phantasie Vorstellung of possible varieties of thought and Being to arrest the thing in-itself to an invariant concept. Imagination exhausts all possible modes of appearance, in the blink of an eye of presence, to secure the totality of givenness. Ego acts also have modes of conscious invariant processes correlating sense and meaning outlining the thing perceived and filling the subject with Being. we obtain with progressive evidence when we uncover to intuition our own concrete subjectivity and then, with the aid of free changing of its actuality into other possibilities of any concrete subjectivity as such direct our regard to the invariable that can be seen throughout – that is to say: the essentially necessary.”[FTL-26] Husserl warrants free imaginative variation to help fix the invariant form of sense of thing and Being of matter at this point. This is eidetic variation in possibility and apriori conceivability alone, “creates the basis for pure phenomenological psychology.”[AML-§13] Husserl says that “by means of a series of fantasy variations which offer a multiplicity of possible new perceptions projected as possible: <that is,> a synthetically annexed and joined set of fantasy variations” the disclosure of invariant transcendental ego in the act of “anticipatory sketching out of new moments which belongs to the way of being of the perceived” prefigures the moment.”[AML-§8] But this is desperate reconstruction anyway. The transcendental ego projects transcendent Being as nature by a knowledge of the whole from imagining all possible modes of appearance. This is the pre-ontological pre-given world of subjective forms act of immediacy that logical production. “Consequently, phenomenological psychology, systematically carried out, would seem to encompass within itself in radical generality the totality of research on correlations between objective being and consciousness. It gives the appearance of being the proper place for all transcendental clarifications.”[AML-§10] Husserl must not let the transcendental reduction of intentionality, the reflection on self-consciousness merely repeat the data expressed in Being of descriptive accounts. Nor must he go to conceptualism by having to reproduce the object in subjective forms, words, images, and common mediations of intersubjectivity to get to the real. He must mediate here with intuition this subject caught between the original and the copy trying to explain the difference and cannot do so other than by soliloquy. A static momentary universal holds the movement in a status quo to secure a standpoint. He captures the totality of succession from this moment but this is no double negation. Husserl’s insistence on both intuition and eidetic reduction forces psychology to take on a metaphysical role and yet at the same time teach how to understand phenomenology. Husserl discovers late the propaedeutic value of psychology for phenomenology. He argues that a psychological phenomenological reduction masters the method by proxy of ego to learn how to see ideas in objects as their correlative unity of being both. In his Amsterdam lectures he notes that the “building of a transcendental philosophy must perform a Copernican revolution, a transcendental revolution in psychological phenomenology. This indirect path through the positivity of empirical and eidetic psychology has great propaedeutic advantages…”[AML-§16] A psychological reduction of the transcendental realizes Psychology intuits the transcendent subject rather than thinks it. It is a pedagogical devise for intuiting transcendental phenomenology philosophical reflection to the empirical ego. Psychological phenomenology offers a solution to the incomprehensibility of transcendental system.
“Only very late did one come to see that in the return (which is possible at any time) from the transcendental attitude to the natural attitude, the whole of transcendental cognition within the transcendental field of intuition changes into pure psychological (eidetic) cognition within the field of psychic positivity, both individual and interpersonal. That very insight led to a pedagogical idea about how to introduce people to phenomenology given all the difficulties related to its unaccustomed transcendental attitude. Essentially every philosophy has to start with the attitude of positivity and only [subsequently], by motivations far removed from natural life, clarify the meaning and necessity of the transcendental attitude and research; therefore, the systematic development of pure psychology as a positive science can serve in the first instance as a pedagogical propaedeutic.” [DFTB]
CONCLUSION Transcendent-Transcendental Duplicity: Psychophysical Parallel For Husserl, Being is not a predict of existence, it cannot be seen. He uses the term essential Being to denote epistemological judgment. Husserl’s transcendental ego conjures a contradiction to prove its point and this is its failure. But its stubborn terminology and “two-sidedness of consciousness” which attempts to contain dualism and contradiction within intentional poles, is a unique picture of scientific selfconsciousness and the agreement about reality that needs to be performed in each act of consciousness as the “all-embracing conscious life which, reaching beyond the individual ego, links each ego to every other in real and possible communication…”[AML-§8] Know thyself first and the Other becomes intuitively conjoined in agreement by analogue of intentional polarities and the eidetics of phenomenological correlation. Husserl guns for a stronger subject to unify the intersubjective; “the apriori of a pure subjectivity, both as single subjectivity within an intersubjectivity as well as a single subjectivity in itself.”[AML-§8] The difficulty comes with the intuitive totality that turns to the machinery of essentialism to hold its appearance to an image of the same as the “invariant which preserves itself necessarily through all the variations.”[AML-§8] Husserl ties invariants in one’s own ego validity to the analogue of the Other by trying to secure the transmission of the whole within intentional consciousness. Analytically determined, the synthesis or unity from the ontological definition of consciousness and psychological objectivism of immanent subjectivity establishes the world from an absolute with anti-metaphysical standing. Here “destiny of scientific philosophy hinged, and still hinges, on establishing it as genuine transcendental philosophy, or what goes with this, on a radical overcoming of every form of psychologism…”[AML-§10] Subjective possibility is determined by a psychology of “time and place constitutes for itself the meaning and legitimacy of a world existing in objective truth.”[AML-§10]This gives a portal for the transcendental to embodied ego, the matrix of Being of Both. Singularity of intention erodes into a dialectic of duplicity, of the I=I, to secure the identity of the ego without doubt. The only way to secure this primordial ego and to know it or be it is to be eternally divided. The transcendental reduction depends on the psychological its objectification. Here a “ double meaning… arises as soon as the genuine transcendental question is posed. The disclosure of this double sense which links psychological and transcendental subjectivity together, and indeed not accidentally unites them, is brought about when the divorce is accomplished between phenomenological psychology and transcendental phenomenology…”[AML-§10] The epoché of intention, reenacting Cartesian reduction embraces the duality as its nature and sense of a “remarkable parallelism, indeed, to a certain extent an overlap of phenomenological psychology and transcendental phenomenology, both understood as eidetic disciplines.”[HML-14] The psychological reduction mirrors the transcendental forming the presence of existence in-itself without regressive surplus. But to affirm this takes a transcendental unity by stopping the reduction of intentionality on the second reflection from the duplicity of self flowing into non-Being of an infinitude of copies. Husserl limits temporal succession
and memory to a dialectic to stop the regress and the progress to achieve his hard won moment of the Absolute. But an intuitive unity fades in this model of logical differentiation that asserts the identity as well. “My transcendental ego is, as the ego of transcendental experience of self, clearly “different” from my natural human ego, and yet it is anything but some kind of second something separate from it; it is anything but a doubleness in the natural sense of one being outside the another.” [AML-§13] He asks the question: “But how do we overcome the paradox of our doubling <Verdoppelung> and that of all possible subjects? We are fated as human beings to be the psychophysical subjects of a mental life in the real world and, at the same time, transcendentally to be subjects of a transcendental, world-constituting lifeprocess.”[AML-13] The answer is yes, the subject is a paradox that he is trying to double negate. He stops methodological reflection from regress by limiting and constricting its attention back to immediate sense data of the ego as the resolution to the this problem of transcendence. The psychological phenomenological reduction is used to stop the transcendental from repeated itself. Husserl’s ego-acts are preserved “if-then” syllogisms of the “I think” to self-intuit ego-unities through projection. Intuition finally admits to being conception. Upholding the transcendental reduction at the cost of soliloquy, spoke on behalf of the individual’s object perponderment and bewitched subjectivity compressed into another logical empiricism. The reduced pure ego of identity and positivity in act and meaning is a psychologism and empty subjectivity in one. Nonetheless, the psychological phenomenological reduction as praxis, engaged in analysis, mapping the wonderment of consciousness is another issue. Phenomenological psychology is powerful psychotherapy based on a philosophy of mind. The intuition of universals is a brilliant bootstrap philosophy grinding away on the finite made absolute. Pure psychology is the apriori parallel between immanent self-consciousness and transcendental immutable entities balancing the transcendental ego between man and God. An egological reduction of intrasubjective agreement that never ends. END REFERENCE CODE Husserl, Edmund
[ HLU ]
Logical Investigations (vol. 1)
[ HLU ]
Logical Investigations (vol. 2)
[ HITC ]
The Phenomenology of Internal Time - Consciousness
[ HRS ]
Philosophy as Rigorous Science
[ HI ]
Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology
[ FTL ]
Formal and Transcendental Logic
[ EJ ]
Experience & Judgment: Investigations in a Genealogy of Logic
[ HI2 ]
Ideas: Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy
[ HI3 ]
Ideas: Phenomenology and the Foundations of the Sciences
[ DFTA ]
"Phenomenology" The Encyclopedia Britannica Article (Draft A)
[ DFTB ]
"Phenomenology" The Encyclopedia Britannica Article (Draft B)
[ AML ]
The Amsterdam Lectures: Phenomenological Psychology
[ CM ]
Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
[ HC ]
The Crisis of European Sciences & Transcendental Phenomenology
[ HPAS ]
Analyses Concerning Passive and Active Synthesis: Lectures on Transcendental Logic
[ PICM ]
Phantasy, Image Consciousness, and Memory
BIBLIOGRAPHY The following principle works by Husserl are English translations and are listed in approximate chronological order of the production or publication of the German original texts, manuscripts, lectures and Nachlass of his theorizing. This is not a complete or ordered list of Husserl’s works.
1900, Logical Investigations (vol. 1), trans. J.N. Findlay, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970. 1901, Logical Investigations (vol. 2), trans. J.N. Findlay, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970. 1910, Philosophy as Rigorous Science, trans. in Q. Lauer in: Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy (ed.)New York, Harper & Row Publishers, 1965. 1913, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy—First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology, trans. W.R. Boyce Gibson, New York: Collier Macmillan Publishers 1962. 1928, The Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1905–1910), Editor: Martin Heidegger, trans. James S. Churchill, Indiana University Press (2nd print) 1966 . 1929, Formal and Transcendental Logic, trans. D. Cairns. The Hague: Nijhoff 1969. 1931, Cartesian Meditations, trans. D. Cairns, Dordrecht: Kluwer 1988. 1936, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, trans. D. Carr. Evanston: Northwestern University Press 1970. 1939, Experience and Judgment, trans. J. S. Churchill and K. Ameriks, London: Routledge 1973. 1952, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy—Third Book: Phenomenology and the Foundations of the Sciences, trans. T. E. Klein and W. E. Pohl, Dordrecht: Kluwer 1980. 1952, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy— Second Book: Studies in the Phenomenology of Constitution, trans. R. Rojcewicz and A. Schuwer, Dordrecht: Kluwer 1989. 1977 Phenomenological Psychology, Lecture Summer Semester 1925, Martinus Nijhoff 1977 Netherlands. (1920-1926), Analyses Concerning Passive and Active Synthesis: Lectures on Transcendental Logic, Editor Rudolf Bernet, trans. Anthony J. Steinbock, Dordrecht: Kluwer 2001. (1927–1931), Psychological and Transcendental Phenomenology and the Confrontation with Heidegger, trans. T. Sheehan and R. Palmer, Dordrecht: Kluwer 1997. (1898-1925), Phantasy, Image Consciousness, and Memory, Editor Rudolf Bernet, trans. John Barnett Brough, Dordrecht: Kluwer 2005.
The Psychology of Worldviews: Jaspers / Heidegger Steven Goldman, Ph.D. Abstract This essay examines some of the arguments raised in the encounter between two thinkers – Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers – focused on their contrasting ideas about “worldviews” from 19191920. Jaspers’ conception of philosophy as a summons – to oneself and to every other searcher – and Heidegger’s conception of philosophy as a questioning of Being – a question largely forgotten in the history of philosophy – are articulated via the two thinkers’ notes regarding “worldviews” from this early period. This serves as the platform from which to ask fundamental questions about philosophy and its falling apart into distinct philosophies. In Socratic terms, philosophy is about examining oneself and trying to escape from ignorance; the encounter between Jaspers and Heidegger uncovers two very different approaches to self-examination and ignorance; I argue that examining this encounter helps to clarify the nature of philosophy and the relationship between philosophy and action.
Karl Jaspers’ 1919 work Psychologie Der Weltanschauungen (Psychology of Worldviews) begins with the idea that life confronts human beings with inexorable givens, most particularly the prospect of one’s own death, and argues that human beings win a measure of integrity through honestly facing basic “limit situations,” thinking them through and coming to terms with them. Jaspers took a new step in philosophy with this self-described “experimental and searching” work, which his younger contemporary Martin Heidegger realized immediately. Heidegger paid Jaspers’ work the great compliment of attacking it aggressively – as he wrote to his teacher, Heinrich Rickert, just after finishing a lengthy review of Jaspers’ work: “This book must, in my opinion, be fought in the severest possible manner, precisely because it has so much to offer, which Jaspers has learned from everywhere, and because it appropriates an important trace of our times.” As it happened, Heidegger’s review was accepted for publication by a learned journal in Göttingen, but only on the condition that he make considerable changes. He never did, and the piece was forgotten. The review appeared half a century later, in 1973, as part of Heidegger’s literary estate. Many themes in Heidegger’s 1927 masterwork Sein und Zeit (Being and Time) first appear in his argument with Jaspers – for example, the question of being, forgetfulness, everydayness and falling into inauthenticity, the necessary rethinking and “destruction” of the history of philosophy, and ideas about “self world, “with world” and “environing world” – also the political dispute that these two names call up – and most strikingly these two thinkers’ contrasting ideas about philosophy. The present essay makes a study of Jaspers’ work, Heidegger’s review and the dispute between them; it concludes by carrying their conversation several steps forward. 1. Some background on Jaspers Jaspers was born in North Germany – in Saxony – near the border with the Netherlands. He grew up and was educated in the political culture of North German liberalism. He initially studied law – his father was a jurist and advocate for progressive causes – later he settled on medicine. He completed his studies and spent a decade as a practicing psychiatrist. He published research on paranoia, delusions and diagnostic
criteria; he suggested a number of innovations in treating mental illness and is credited with inaugurating the biographical method in psychiatry (taking extensive background histories and noting how patients themselves feel about their symptoms). While practicing psychiatry in Heidelberg, Jaspers came into contact with the historian, economist, pioneering student of comparative religion and founder of sociology, Max Weber. Jaspers considered Weber to be the greatest man of his time – a true exemplar of scientific consciousness, humanitarianism, comprehensive learning and political courage. Weber threw himself against the tide of religious intolerance in Germany but ultimately was swept under it. Jaspers was dissatisfied with the way mental illness was understood in his time – especially by the tendency to reduce the patient to a set of influences – and was also struck by the powerful example of personal authenticity set by Weber. Meanwhile the German political state continued its descent towards totalitarianism. Jaspers began studying philosophy relatively late in life in an effort to give some frame to his developing ideas about selfhood, society, and more transcendent themes. He began from a Kantian perspective and wrestled with some effects of the categorical imperative – the idea that what a person does is bound up with a transcendent ideal of action. Afterwards he rejected what he considered to be Kant’s overintellectualized portrait of man. Instead he became a close reader of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, whose works bring a new skepticism to the human prospect – also a new challenge – a vision that resists being put into a summary, that cannot be systematized or fully articulated. Jaspers interpreted these thinkers as guiding spirits of a new, comprehensive life attitude. They seem to exalt in the anxiety and dizziness of modern freedom. They direct our attention especially to confronting life in all its complexity and painful absurdity, calling upon strength of character and willpower, personal integrity and genuineness, and the ability to go forward without getting stuck, as modes of authentic being in response to the problematic character of lived experience. Jaspers defined the new standpoint reached in his 1919 work The Psychology of Worldviews as the “philosophy of existence.” Following Jaspers, this standpoint was elaborated in many later works. Martin Heidegger, but also Gabriel Marcel, Jose Ortega y Gasset, Miguel de Unamuno, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir all made significant contributions to the philosophy of existence. Sartre renamed this philosophy “existentialism” and had great success in popularizing it. It is significant that this tradition includes figures of the political left (e.g., Sartre), of the right (e.g., Heidegger), atheists (e.g., Camus) and theists (e.g., Unamuno). Existentialist writers do not appear to share any system of belief or ethic, but instead an orientation to the main problem of existence itself. The problem of existence is taken subjectively. Existentialist writers do not use the term ‘existence’ to refer to the problem of sheer being, or stark reality – to the problem ‘Why is there anything rather than nothing?’ – but instead restrict the term to the sphere of human reality – thus to the problem ‘Who are we and how can we fulfill our lives?’ Jaspers introduced the term “existence” (which he writes as the substantive “Existenz”) with this connotation – trying to get at how human beings fulfill the brief moment they have to live. Jaspers is also the source of talk about “the conditions of existence” and about “existential givens” and about “givens of existence” that a person has to think and confront. These include (among others) “freedom,” “meaninglessness,” “isolation” and “death.” Jaspers’ studies of mental illness made him conclude that most people do not confront these givens. He makes the claim that most people live in an “inauthentic
state.” He also talks about “limit situations” and “boundary situations” and “limit experiences” that force human reality out of its normal complacency. Particularly any circumstance that reminds the individual of his or her own mortality brings on the “fear and trembling” and the “sickness unto death” (as Kierkegaard expresses these ideas) – in later times what Sartre calls “nausea” and what Heidegger calls “anxiety.” The state of anxiety brought on by the awareness that one is going to die represents a focus of personal energy unlike any other. In Heidegger’s words from Being and Time: “Anxiety in the face of death is anxiety in the face of the potentiality of being which is one’s ownmost.” Jaspers regards philosophy as a practice of asking questions – not of answering them – thus an activity and not a set of conclusions. Jaspers denies that philosophy is bound up with the scientific method. It does not propose hypotheses, test them, or work towards any intersubjective consensus. Philosophy is in search of truths whose status is independent of the method of establishing them. It may even work in ways that are incompatible with one another. Philosophy confronts absurdity and also creates absurdity but ultimately learns to work with absurdity. The first step in philosophy is to clear a space in which a new kind of thinking can occur. The “fundamental step” or “basic philosophic operation” is “thinking beyond” which is also “thinking oneself free.” Part of the idea here is that every finite object of thought emerges as such an object out of a larger context, which Jaspers calls “the open horizon” or “the encompassing” or “the transcendent.” Just as the foreground is framed by the background and the object is framed by the visual field, so every existent is framed by the larger context of Being itself. To “think beyond” or to “think oneself free” is to think oneself out from the object and into the horizon that contains it – from the hand before me that I can hold up and gaze at, to the body of which it is part, to the space I am moving in, to my usual haunts, to the city where I live – from one limited whole to another. Jaspers emphasizes that the first step in philosophy must be chosen, even if many experiences lead one toward it. Real thinking always has a deliberate character and represents a decision. As I take a step away from a determinate object and moving towards the whole in which it is contained – away from being and moving toward Being – at the same time Being retreats before my grasping will to know. All I can do is hold on to remnants and traces of Being in the form of beings – also the void left behind by its retreat. I am tracking the traces of the Big in the small. Thus I am trying to get out into The Open but in every case I am located in the Here and Now. Thus I am enclosed within a small space – a fixed horizon – and in every case I try to pass beyond this space (“thinking beyond”). Despite this, the horizon recedes and encircles me wherever I turn. I never reach the final space or last space or the true space, where there is no “beyond.” At best I make it as far as the current space and the next space. Nor is there any sequence or accumulation of experiences that completes the description of The Open – a final accomplishing – instead I always have something to learn and there is always something new. The point of moving from the small to the Big is not to possess the Big or become it (which in any case is impossible) but to cut free from the small and all the constraint it represents. The point of this action is captured in the phrase “to get some critical distance” regarding a problem – this is what we are trying to do – that is what philosophy is about and what it is trying to accomplish. It is (of course) absurd to try to accomplish this (since wherever we end up, we are still enclosed in a space). Jaspers notes that we are trying to treat something non-objective as if it were an object; we are talking about “thinking beyond” in a very general way but in every case we have to “think beyond” the particular context we are in (we have to get out from very particular constraints). Thus we are talking about reaching a new perspective but wherever we land we will have exactly the same work to do again. Jaspers says that philosophy is possible
because this absurdity – reaching for something that backs away – is something we can learn to work with. “Truth has an indecisive character in temporal existence. The form of communication appropriate to this indecisive being is indirect communication. This is why Nietzsche and Kierkegaard – both open and candid spirits – show a penchant for masks. Truth must be grasped in the process of becoming, drawn from the wellsprings of each separate and self-constructing Existenz.” Jaspers concludes that the preeminent value upheld in philosophy is honesty. Thus philosophy can watch over us but cannot nourish us. Philosophy is what we do with experience but is not experience itself. Philosophic honesty peering into the present situation of man confronts the problem of diversity – the problem of showing how different truths, that different human beings live by, can all be lived by simultaneously – how I can live my truth and let the other person live his truth, without gainsaying his truth or denying him the right to live by it – also without ceding my right to the truth I am trying to live. How can I tolerate the “historic finitude” of the truth I have discovered or been given, in response to the challenge of the truth that my neighbor has discovered or been given? Jaspers takes some first steps towards a cosmopolitan and global philosophic awareness, guided by the thought that as seekers we are all companions. My counterpart, the advocate of a different truth, is my irreplaceable brother. Cosmopolitanism takes up the struggle against totalitarianism – a cosmopolitan philosophy keeps the individual alive against totalitarianism – opposing the claim of allegedly “total knowledge” and like demands for unwavering loyalty. There is no final revelation. Jaspers’ conclusion is that we have to see ourselves as searchers. Philosophy is the love of wisdom but philosophers are often dissatisfied with love – they tire of the search – they want to bring an end to love and reach wisdom itself. Some philosophers claim that philosophy has come to an end in his or her thinking, as Spinoza does, for example, or Hegel, or Wittgenstein, or Heidegger. They say: this is the true philosophy, this is the last philosophy, philosophy is no more, the questions have disappeared, we have shown that they are mistaken or not important anymore. The Polish thinker and student of Jaspers Leszek Ko?akowski teaches that Jaspers reaches beyond this kind of talk. He claims that Jaspers shows us that philosophy “cannot tear the veil from ultimate reality” and is thus “a hopeless quest for knowledge rather than a way of gaining it” but also that Jaspers “still exhorts us to do philosophy” if only to show “that the veil exists.” Thus Ko?akowski claims that Jaspers deserves the highest marks among modern thinkers both for facing reality and for surmounting it. Jaspers saw “that the world does not offer us its own understanding.” He also saw that if we did not make the attempt to leap over the barrier, we could not overcome the feeling that life is pointless. “The attempt is doomed to death and is unable to conquer death, but it is also what makes us human.” Ko?akowski defines the central Jaspers thesis as a kind of puzzle: if existence were pointless and the universe were void of meaning, then we would never have achieved the ability to wonder whether existence is pointless or whether the universe is void of meaning. 2. Some notes on Jaspers’ Psychology of Worldviews As he was writing this work, Jaspers wrote to his father explaining that the thing he was trying to accomplish in this book was both to formulate “the worldview of human confidence in reason,” but also to avoid the trap of philistinism in which “so-called enlightenment” descends into mindless relativism and acceptance of any and all ideas as equal products of human invention. Jaspers thought that he had found a middle ground between partisanship (and assertion of exclusive claims to the truth) and relativism (where adjudicating standards of assessment are ruled out because all viewpoints are leveled as free
products of human creativity). Jaspers saw the defining problem of his time – the epoch of World Wars – in the fact that opponents face one another via opposing defining and conflict-producing loyalties “yet in all essential facts we are all human beings who suffer” – “their suffering and our suffering is exactly the same thing.” We need to overcome “the shells of fixed doctrines.” Jaspers sees his work as a thinking person’s response to living in a time of destructive conflict and war, looking for a way out that emerges from the common bond of the human condition. We are a brotherhood of fellow sufferers, joined in having to face the problems of creating meaning and confronting death. Human being, if we take it as a whole from this large perspective of the common bond, represents a kind of “cosmos of worldviews.” The sheer plurality of these visions is another way of stating the defining problem of our time – the problem of tolerating the “historic finitude” of the truth I am searching for, have discovered or been given, in response to the challenge of the truth that my neighbor seeks or has discovered or been given – learning from plurality to eschew closed-off and totalitarian structures. Jaspers appeals to the intuitive idea that in the open encounter and disputation of worldviews with one another, some visions “shine more brightly” in certain locations, or in certain times, more closely answering the present need. Kant and Hegel both use the term Weltanschauung (worldview) to indicate comprehensive perspectives such as we associate with religious traditions. The term was sometimes used interchangeably with Zeitgeist (spirit of the age) to indicate the general cultural climate of a place and time. Wilhelm von Humboldt used the term to indicate the comprehensive lifeworld and approach to reality shared by a linguistic community or nation. The term was in popular usage when Jaspers published his work – 1919 – Heidegger delivered his first lectures at the University of Freiburg the same year with the title “The Idea of Philosophy and the Problem of Worldview” – and many other authors felt a need to address the problem of worldview in this period (e.g. Heinrich Rickert, Georg Simmel, Paul Natorp, Edmund Husserl, Nicolai Hartmann, Emil Lask). By this period it was possible to refer to the ‘worldview’ of prehistoric man, the Confucian worldview, the medieval worldview; it was possible to refer to the worldview of smaller groups of people – not only world-historical entities such as the Roman Empire, or Catholicism, or the French nation – but more narrowly to groups within nations (Heidegger mentions peasants, factory workers, “educated people,” members of political parties, people who adhere to some or other religious doctrine, and committed partisans of varied social causes). A guild or profession might share a ‘worldview,’ e.g. the clinical Weltanschauung that Jaspers developed by working in mental health. At its furthest extension, the term referred to a given person’s attitude or general ‘philosophy’ or way of looking at things. Yet all the above uses are alike in referring to a ‘worldview’ as something that is not chosen or explicitly taken on, but instead is a feature of the life-conditions that one is born into, or that one takes on by becoming part of a group. Even in the case where people talked about the ‘worldview’ of a given person, the sense was that the person came to this naturally, not by explicit processes of search and reason, but instead more in the nature of taking on certain attitudes by the company one keeps, or by being part of a generation, or by some or other form of shared belonging. Jaspers uses the term Weltanschauung in this accepted sense as a natural (not explicitly chosen) attitude realized in life-experience and typical for a certain reference-set (a time, place, nation, subgroup). He thinks that it is possible to read the generic ‘psychology’ of such a group, but only in barest outline. A person is enacting a kind of human archetype in the form of typical ideas, goals and hates. The Weltanschauung in this sense is a compound of myriad parts, including “personality type” (e.g. realist, romantic, or spiritual personality types); a “basic orientation” (e.g., objective, self-reflective or enthusiastic); and a grounding “metaphysical conception of the world” (e.g., sensori-spatial, psychological-cultural, or “totalizing-absolute,” each of varied kinds). The important distinction between ‘worldview’ and ‘philosophy’ is the distinction between pre-theoretical understanding and explicitly theorized understanding. Heidegger says that “when someone strives for a
higher autonomous worldview, cultivating a thinking free of religious and other dogmas, then one is doing philosophy” (“The Idea of Philosophy and the Problem of Worldview,” War Emergency Semester 1919, Freiburg, section 1). At the same time, when someone tries to get some distance from all the ‘natural’ attitudes with which he has been raised, and which he has taken on by belonging to different groups – i.e., when this person starts trying to do philosophy – the goal is to develop a comprehensive point of view, a generic frame of reference for interpreting all experience – i.e. philosophy tries to articulate a comprehensive ‘worldview.’ Heidegger expresses this idea in his 1919 lecture course by saying things like “philosophy is metaphysics” and “philosophy’s struggle with the puzzles of life and the world comes to rest by establishing the ultimate nature of the universe realized as a worldview” and “the task of philosophy is worldview.” Jaspers uses these terms in similar ways (moving from one’s natural “creed” (Bekenntnis) as a function of one’s standpoint in time, to an individually created “scientifically observing philosophy”). He sets himself the goal of moving from the natural worldview of his milieu to the worldview emerging from his work in philosophy. This latter worldview, as he conceives it, opens itself to the diversity of philosophical conception – to the “cosmos of worldviews” – answering the problem of historic finitude with tolerance – also recognizing that the other person may or may not have taken the step from creed to science, or worldview to philosophy. Thus the problem is to move from the natural worldview to the philosophical worldview – the problem is philosophy – i.e., the problem is to find a way forward from the natural standpoint. Jaspers’ first approach is to say more about what philosophy is and explicate its existential root. In effect, Jaspers is attempting to lay out a psychology of philosophy. He is trying to uncover some of the elemental emotional and human roots out of which philosophy emerges and to which it always refers. Philosophy jumps out from the natural standpoint but remains tied to it. “The object of philosophizing is not separated from what philosophizing is really all about.” In science, knowing something does not identify the knower with the thing known (except perhaps as Aristotle theorizes in De Anima, III, 5). Thus an insight into a chemical process is not itself a chemical process. “But when I philosophize, I commit my self-being to be present in the object” – that is, I cease to be a philosopher when I try to be nothing but objective – the point is explicitly not to let “the things themselves” speak for themselves – the point is my commitment, my personal engagement in the search. Thus the big issue is the kind of being that I become within my philosophical engagement. Philosophy is a way of working on my engagement in the world (my “worldview”) and is not about standing face-to-face with or determining the exact nature of beings or Being. “The goal of science is objective cognition; but the goal of philosophy is the self-understanding of Existenz.” Philosophy cannot be communicated in observations and theses such as we find in scientific treatises. Neither is philosophy about possible standpoints offered to the discerning and choosing intellect. Instead, philosophy is a kind of commitment; a kind of summons; a kind of awakening and call to awakening. “Freedom turns to freedom” – that is: a searcher finds a way to express the current state of his or her search and makes a free offer of it to other searchers. The point of the offering is not to win over the other person or persuade anyone of anything, but to establish and preserve the cosmos of worldviews. As Jaspers explicates it, the work of establishing and preserving the cosmos of worldviews is, at the same time, work on founding and continuing my own search and philosophical understanding – these are two ways of looking at the same work. We make our way forward from the natural standpoint to a philosophical framework – the work of explicit observation, analysis, critique, conjecture and refutation –
by talking. The problem of conducting my search, and the problem of making a place for the other person’s search, is the same problem. I learn to converse, and to become a conversation, simultaneously – the same thing that drives me to dig into myself and question what I believe also makes me listen closely when I hear someone talk about his search and his questioning his beliefs. “In philosophy, I feel impelled to speak urgently, to approach the other tempestuously, but if this makes him follow me, I lose … Philosophical thinking only wants to awaken possibility; it does not want submission or imitation.” 3. Some Background on Heidegger Heidegger’s story is better known than Jaspers’ and I will not dwell on it here. Suffice it to say that Heidegger hails from the other extreme of Germany – in Messkirch, near the border with Switzerland – the province of Baden-Württemberg, with its contrast of Alemannic and Franconian dialects – he grew up and was educated in the rural, conservative and Catholic culture of South Germany, and came to philosophy, not from the study of medicine, as in Jaspers’ case, but from theology. The way in which Heidegger was drawn to philosophy plays an important role in the way he thinks about philosophy, though his thoughts about it as a young man seem very different than what he had to say at the end of his life. In brief he came to philosophy because he had the experience of waking up and suddenly realizing that he was already entangled in many relationships, that he was already possessed of many characteristics, that he was already a part of something much greater than himself – all of this came upon him of a sudden – and then it struck him that he had forgotten the question of being; it struck him that everyone had forgotten this question; our existence no longer strikes us but is simply given and unthought. As he says in his late work What is Called Thinking?, “The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.” As a young man he thought that he could reawaken this question. Thus the most important thing is to seize responsibility for one’s existence and overcome the vulgar and unthought condition of merely remaining what one already happens to be. We have to move from the natural standpoint to explicit philosophy. At the end of his life he gave this up – he arrived at the very different conclusion that “the greatness of what is to be thought is still too great for us” – we are not up to it, we are not ready for it – all we can do is “expect” and work on getting ready – and “only a god can save us.” In this essay I am trying to understand both the youthful ambition and the mature despair – more importantly, I am trying to articulate what they share in contrast to Jaspers’ idea of philosophy. Heidegger’s startling 1927 work Sein und Zeit (“Being and Time”) – representing the thinking of the young Heidegger – takes up the challenge of reawakening the question of what it means to exist, exploring the ways in which human beings are “already” involved in complex networks of relationships and how we exit “alreadyness” to inaugurate “authentic” existence. The book analyzes in great detail the different senses of space, time and sociality fitted to “everydayness,” as well as the opposite senses of these terms as they apply to authentic human existence. Sein und Zeit cites Jaspers’ work Psychologie Der Weltanschauungen in several places and makes these observations about it: “Jaspers takes as his clue to the significance of death (for human reality) the phenomenon of the ‘limit-situation’ as he has set it forth – a phenomenon whose fundamental significance goes beyond any typology of attitudes or worldviews”; “Jaspers is the first to have explicitly
grasped the real task of a doctrine of worldviews and carried it through”; “Here for the first time the question of ‘what man is’ is raised and answered in terms of what man can be.” Jaspers and Heidegger met in person at a birthday celebration for Edmund Husserl in Heidelberg on April 8, 1921. They had already read a good deal of one another’s works, but were wary of one another – however, they did become friends and kept up their friendship, visiting each other often, until the fateful year 1933. Jaspers was only six years older than Heidegger, but Heidegger considered him an elder and someone who belonged to the preceding generation. Heidegger and his teacher Rickert both considered Jaspers a kind of interloper in philosophy, especially since he was largely self-taught. They both regarded his works as lacking formal rigor or perhaps even verging on incoherence, and, most especially, as insufficiently grounded in the Greeks. Neither respected Max Weber, whereas for Jaspers Weber was a defining figure. But Heidegger respected Jaspers’ “human greatness and purity of intention” and realized that Jaspers’ deep medical knowledge and clinical experience had helped him to peer into profound depths of philosophy – he tried to learn as much from him as he could. But he also wrote disparagingly of Jaspers’ citified orientation, liberalism, cosmopolitanism and world-embracing outlook, all of which for Heidegger indicated rootlessness and a lack of standards. Jaspers, for his part, was inspired by Heidegger’s creativity as a thinker and his phenomenal and clarifying grasp of the history of philosophy; but he was also suspicious of him politically and wary about Heidegger’s advice to him to “join in.” Heidegger accused Jaspers of being completely out of touch with what was happening in Germany (about which, perhaps, he was right – Jaspers later wrote “I was still convinced that National Socialism would never triumph in Germany.”) Jaspers, for his part, wondered in notes to himself from the 30s whether it was possible that a philosophy could be true as a written work, as an intellectual construction, yet false as a practical guide to action. “What is the relation of thinking and practice? Authentically, what is Heidegger and what is he doing?” (In later years he accused himself of failing his friend – “I should have spoken with him. I should have found a way to break through. … I failed the enthused and intoxicated Heidegger.”) 4. Heidegger’s review of Jaspers’ Psychology of Worldviews From paragraph 5 of the review: “The basic approach of this review lies in its attempt to free up the real tendencies of Jaspers’ work.” Heidegger thinks that he has discovered the primary direction and the real motivation underlying Jaspers’ problems. He also thinks that Jaspers’ approach is out of sync with the deep impetus that underlies it. He intends to reason his way past Jaspers’ investigation, by following the real, underlying tendency of the inquiry to the very clear direction it points us. He adds: we cannot accomplish this “by adopting fixed standards,” or “by the aid of a finished philosophy established on some secure foundation” or “evaluated in terms of a consummate objective systematics in the field of philosophical analysis.” He also rules out any reference to a fixed ideal of scientific or logical rigor to assess Jaspers’ work. Heidegger rules out these strategies for judging Jaspers’ argument because he denies that these methods arrive at truth; he even asserts that creating a “new” philosophy from which to assess Jaspers’ work would be equally pointless. Instead of stumbling again through these missteps, “we need to explicate the original motivational situations in which the fundamental experiences of philosophy have arisen.” We have to get back to the basic experiences that call up philosophy in the first place – experiences that afterward become developed and refined and ultimately get expressed as familiar, but perhaps misconceived, epistemological, logical and scientific ideals. Thus – apparently – the only way Heidegger can give us a fitting tribute and critique of Jaspers’ work is by uncovering the basic experiences that give rise to philosophy – which would appear to be a much larger task than assessing Karl Jaspers’, or any
other thinker’s, contributions. But of course if we hit upon the original untrammelled Truth and somehow possess it without error or sin, then all things become possible and indeed we can give Jaspers, and every other thinker, a fitting tribute and critique. Heidegger says that we have to restrict ourselves to this task (recovering the original motivational situations in which the fundamental experiences of philosophy have arisen) and this restriction is exactly what philosophy is. So, we have to get back to very primordial circumstances and grasp philosophy as it emerges from this primal – original – unfolding matrix. But to describe this root situation and primordial condition – the thing that we have to get back to – this is extremely difficult – Heidegger loops around this question several times and gradually tries to zero in on the urgent thing he sees. He describes his process of offering up strategies and then renouncing them, because they all show signs of being late developments and complex refinements of philosophical ideas that, in their pure state, make many fewer claims but also shed much more light. We have to renounce late forms of philosophy because they fall short of the root form of philosophy in its still inchoate primordial state. We want to reach back to philosophy before it falls apart into philosophies – asking before it congeals into belief – returning to the prime question of being. Circling around and zeroing in on the root “motivational situations” lying at the origin of philosophy, Heidegger makes out a startling, central finding – i.e. that we dig down to the primordial level of things by worrying – “an incessant actualizing of a certain worry about achieving primordiality is what constitutes primordiality.” We are talking about a very important kind of worry that Jaspers’ work has caught hold of, though Jaspers has not traced it to its deep indwelling source. Kierkegaard called this worry “fear and trembling,” “sickness unto death” and “dread,” and Heidegger will later call it “anxiety” and “care” – the center of his argument in Being and Time. Worry, anxiety, dread plays a role as the “mood,” state, humor or emotional tone in which we feel the prospect of death. By definition, we are not “in” the moment, because we are worrying instead. Falling out of the moment and “substantiated” as a state of anxiety, our “bad mood” or “troubled mood” calls attention to, and powerfully uncovers, the sheer fact that we are alive. Worry is a kind of oppression by the inexistent future on the experiential present – an invasion of the present by the future – also a kind of hyperattention, perseveration or inability to get free from the past. Worry is a disruption in the sense of time, which is precisely why it forces us out of the flow of time, as we get all fussed up in worry, bumbling in the darkness of a “bad mood.” Worrying about something is attending to it and making it present. But once you are worrying, once you are struggling, once you are parachuted into this war zone in feeling, you begin to fight – you fight with yourself and also explicitly confront and deconstruct the mood in which you find yourself. That is: the original motivational situation from which philosophy emerges is – roughly speaking – worry itself. That is: Jaspers has hit upon the fundamental psychology of philosophy. He has uncovered the activating human responsiveness out of which philosophy emerges. Heidegger proposes that we explicitly appropriate this worry and direct it to ourselves and demand of ourselves “whether it is not high time to determine” whether we have really come to terms with ourselves and who we really are. Up to now we have been preoccupied with the “preservation of culture”; we are a “hustle and bustle” and an immersion in triviality and everydayness; but what we should be is a “firm hold” and “willful resolution” asking the most important questions in a philosophically rigorous manner. The point is to know and feel “the nature of the intuitive experiences lying at the basis” of philosophical questioning, and not become sidetracked with late developments and refinements of this basic worrying attunement.
Heidegger identifies this worrying self-regarding investigatory state of mind as self-critique and, ultimately, as pointing in a very clear direction – as a powerful impetus – as leading the thinker towards a definite result that he calls “thinking without presuppositions.” Thus the kind of worrying thinking that he is talking about shows us that we are holding up the flow of time on the strength of a presupposition – what he calls a “forethought” in Being and Time – i.e. because we have a certain kind of expectation, we experience the present as “worry.” In the wake of worry and dread, the guiding presuppositions of a complex life-construction come to light – worrying makes it easier to see what we care about – we worry and thus expose the guiding presuppositions of thoughtforms realized in this mind, this culture, this people, this time and place – where every thoughtform makes some things completely natural and unquestioned, and other things odd, strange, uncanny, not familiar but extraordinary. Worrying – confronting struggle, chance, guilt and death, as Jaspers names them – facing “limit situations” and wrestling with “existential givens” – worrying and worrying again uncovers the round of presuppositions and the interdependence of fixed idea and anxious mind. But worrying eventually becomes self-conscious and opens a space for the critique of worry. Thinking with presuppositions eventually uncovers its presuppositions – presumptions that guided thought up until the moment in which self-critique awakens – thus heralding “thinking without presuppositions.” In a sense, thinking without presuppositions is thinking without taking anything for granted, so that especially the sheer existence of the thinker, in whom the worry takes shape, finally comes into view. Thus human experience is (at minimum) the vicissitudes of presuppositions, worries, life-constructions that conduct and obstruct the flow of time, self-criticism, investigation, uncovering and finally “thinking without presuppositions.” Heidegger summarizes this chain of reasoning in his high praise of Jaspers’ work: “Thus the object investigated in Jaspers’ work can be defined in formal indication as human existence.” Heidegger set himself the goal of freeing up the underlying tendencies of Jaspers’ work. What he shows is that Jaspers has uncovered the psychology of philosophy. He shows that Jaspers has caught hold of the fundamental philosophical experience. He shows that Jaspers has managed to make human existence itself into a problem – which, he says, is an enormous step forward. “The progress achieved in Jaspers’ work lies in the fact that his classification of the phenomena, never previously made available in exactly this manner, has called our attention to the problem of existence” but “its philosophical shortcoming in respect to the need for actually getting down to work and delving into this problem is clearly visible in Jaspers’ use of unexamined ideas.” Heidegger’s criticism of Jaspers’ “unexamined ideas” starts out from Jaspers’ vague talk about “worldviews,” which (Heidegger argues) are simply too many things – guiding foreconceptions, attitudes, general contexts of thinking, the general spiritual situation of a time or place, a system of ideas, a personal commitment, a point of view or even a political cause – even general types of psychological character such as “realist,” “romantic” and “spiritual” type. He thinks that Jaspers has bumped into key ideas (such as existence itself; also, confronting existence in limit situations such as chance, struggle, guilt and death; and authenticity and inauthenticity) but he does not think that Jaspers is at all clear about how these ideas work or in whom they take place. The big objection is simply that Jaspers has simply taken over the idea of the self in use in the psychology of his day, but he has not thought this through this conception or assured himself that he has a right to use this idea by understanding its emergence and all its interconnected aspects. He also objects to Jaspers’ method – especially his way of observing phenomena without examining the concepts he is employing in the act of observing. Finally, he objects
to Jaspers’ framing of the problem of the diversity of worldviews as the problem of our time – also to Jaspers’ solution to this problem in the idea that “freedom turns to freedom.” In coming back against Jaspers and trying to solve some of the problems posed in Jaspers’ work, Heidegger sketches some of his own most important ideas, later worked out in detail in Being and Time. The first has to do with the general approach itself. Heidegger notes that Jaspers acknowledges that he (Jaspers) has no particular method in his investigation (Jaspers says that “We have no dominant method, but rather now this one, now that one” – also claiming that mainly what he is doing is “mere observation”). Heidegger claims that the problem with starting out without a fundamental reflection about method, is that the result is certain to be “an uncritical lapse into one or another particular interpretation” of the thing we are studying – human existence itself. This problem among all others “requires a radical reflection on method.” “For it should be obvious that one cannot approach the problem of human existence directly.” This is obvious because the thing we are trying to catch hold of and characterize cannot be encountered as if it were a thing that we can pick up and take a look at. In Jaspers’ terms, the problem is that we are trying to treat something non-objective as if it were an object. Since it is non-objective, or not an object, but is nonetheless real – it is the reality for us – it is something that demands thinking about. This means that the way in which we go about approaching human existence (the way in which we choose to think about it) will shape everything we come up with at the end. This is the case because the object we are trying to apprehend in our study is exactly what it is by virtue of the method we use to get to it. “Method in this case is part of the object’s very makeup and is not something foisted on it from outside.” Thus it will be all-too-easy for us to fix on some surrogate phenomenon and unthinkingly let that pass for the genuine phenomenon. We have to go very far out of our way not to do this; and to satisfy this out-of-the-way requirement demands some radically new thinking. Heidegger begins this new line of thinking by saying that the thing that turns out to be crucial in this connection – the key to the problem we are looking at – is that “I have myself.” The key is the basic experience in which I encounter myself as a self. Heidegger tries to figure out what this “me having myself” amounts to. He lists many things that it is not. It is not experiencing being, or feeling that one is located, in a certain place. It is not the experience of being an example of a universal. It is not the empirical subject. It is not what we are looking at in making observations in psychology. It is not even a psychic phenomenon. Nor is it the physical body. Instead, “I have myself” in the sense that I am worried about myself; in the sense that I am an issue for myself; in the sense that I matter to myself; and in the sense that I care about myself. But (he says) I care or worry about myself only because I have expectations about myself – all my experiences occur within a horizon of expectations that engenders worry, care, mattering, being an issue. Thus the experience of “having myself” takes place in an historical context. I have myself because I have a past. But “the past is not like an appendage that the “I” drags along with it.” The past is the specific content in which this particular potential-for-worry actually takes shape as a given worry, as a given set of expectations, as a given striving after actualization, based on a history that has preceded it. Thus before I have myself I have already been had: already been determined as a set of expectations about myself because of my history – that arose in my past – because of what has happened to me – because of what was. Hans-Georg Gadamer restates this idea in a famous passage in his 1960 work Truth and Method: “History does not belong to us, but we belong to it. Long before we understand ourselves through the process of self-examination, we understand ourselves in self-evident ways in the family, society and the
state in which we live. The focus of subjectivity is a distorting mirror. The self-awareness of the individual is only a flickering in the closed circuit of historical life. That is why the prejudices of the individual, far more than his judgments, constitute the historical reality of his being.” Heidegger emphasizes: it is a characteristic tendency of human potential-for-worry to stay in its present worry, the worry in which it has already been determined; also, it is a characteristic tendency of human potential-for-worry to fall into forms of worry as these press upon us from biology, from the family, from the society, from the environment; and thus it is a characteristic tendency of human potential-for-worry to forestall ever determining this worry for oneself. In fact the “characteristic intellectual situation” of our time is a “muddled interplay of biological, psychological, social-scientific, aesthetic-ethical, and religious concepts” that collapse into an amorphous concept of “life” before which we stand completely inert, hapless and flummoxed. (The problem of our time is not the diversity of worldviews but the universality of muddle.) Heidegger reasons that the only way “I have myself” fundamentally and radically is by subjecting every previous concrete tradition in which my worry has taken shape to a thoroughgoing destruction, so that the worry-process itself is brought into relief; thus I have the chance to determine my worry about myself for myself; so that fundamentally and finally “I have myself.” Human existence is “loaded down with tradition” and thus constantly faces the challenge of unhinging itself from tradition. The problem is to find a way of letting the self’s worry about itself emerge, become visible, become problematized – deconstructed as a binding necessity and thus “destroyed” as a defining worry – destroyed because its power to dictate expectations evaporates as soon as it is unmasked as a construction absorbed or explicitly learned in the past. A last step in the argument takes us from the idea of calling attention to constructed worries and thus uncoupling ourselves from these worries, to the very different idea that the overall solution to the problem of authentic human self-determination has to do with staying in the process of questioning expectations and preserving oneself in problematizing experience. The idea is to persevere in the problem state rather than replace the deconstructed worry with a new one. We do not solve the problem of being obsessed with wealth by becoming obsessed with power – or happiness, or goodness, or truth – or anything else. The solution is not to replace one worry with another. The solution is to take control of worry – which Heidegger interprets to mean inhabiting the worry – being it – keeping a “firm hold” and a “willful resolution” – concentrating on the fundamental experience of worry and asking the most important questions in a philosophically rigorous manner. The point is to know and feel “the nature of the intuitive experiences lying at the basis” of philosophical questioning, and not become sidetracked with late developments and refinements of this basic worrying attunement. Heidegger’s formulations for this ‘taking control’ stress its interminability – this is “incessant actualizing,” “continual renewal,” “constant renewal,” “constantly standing at the starting point.” The end goal is “an infinite process of radical questioning that always includes itself in its questions and preserves itself in them” (this is the last line of Heidegger’s review). This is his 1920 statement on “thinking without presuppositions” – an idea that he continued to reformulate over the years – later it is called Gelassenheit, for example (“releasement,” or “meditative thinking” as opposed to “calculation” or “calculative thinking,” from Discourse on Thinking, 1959).
The final Heidegger has given up the idea of staying in the process of questioning expectations and preserving oneself in problematizing experience because these formulations speak to a powerful sense of agency that he no longer feels. But his quietist or meditative ideas from late years speak to a similar ‘remaining in process’ – e.g. “dwelling,” “staying open to Being,” or “standing in the draft,” to cite a few Heideggerian formulations of similar ideas from the 1950s and 60s. Philosophy grows out a certain kind of worry. Initially the task seems to be to take over the worry machine, reset the dials and decide for oneself what to worry about. Later the task seems to be to convert the worry machine into a listening device and start listening to Being. These forms of thinking make Heidegger reject Jaspers’ solution to the problem of diversity. Jaspers thought that an honest solution to the diversity of philosophical attitudes must lie in virtues like openness and tolerance. The problem is to overcome “the shells of fixed doctrines.” “Freedom turns to freedom” – that is: each of us must find a way to express the current state of our search and make a free offer of it to other searchers. The point of the offering is not to win anyone over or persuade anyone of anything, but to enact our being authentically, to connect with people, and thus co-create the space in which we all struggle as the cosmos of worldviews. But Heidegger thinks that all this talk of worldviews is plainly muddled. He doubts that Jaspers has really thought the problem through. Jaspers is merely speculating that people frame their experience with different attitudes and loyalties, and this is why Jaspers looks for a way to erect a principle of noninterference – that way, we can all do our own work of reflection and make our own choices. But if Jaspers actually observed this condition as a reality we all face, then he would be imposing on his readers a particular view of the world that all of us would have to concede and share. But (Heidegger claims) this is not even remotely the case, and Jaspers has not established the diversity of worldviews as a fact. Instead, he has merely used concepts currently enshrined in the culture (and current in the medical practice of the day) without thoroughly thinking through the situations these concepts purport to describe. The relevant sense in which “we have ourselves” and pose problems to ourselves is not even something that could be observed. “We have ourselves” only by destroying tradition – not by using current vocabularies – when we knock down houses of cards and clear the field, then we can begin to determine the worry-process for ourselves. Doing so may not result in anything like a philosophy or a metaphysics or a “worldview” that we could define or offer anyone else. It is merely the beginning of a process in which thinking gets free of presuppositions. Thus the problem is not one of respecting the other person’s substantiation in a given worry. There is nothing there to respect. The point is to destroy thoughtlessness. But this is something each of us has to do on our own; or, at the least, I have to prepare my own readiness, and you have to prepare yours. Your respect will not help me, and my respect will not help you. 5. Two Points in Thoughtspace Jaspers talks about Existence, Heidegger talks about Being. Jaspers talks about thinking beyond, Heidegger talks about thinking without presuppositions. Jaspers wants to get out from constraint – to get free of smallness and get out into the open. Heidegger wants to get back to the beginning – to get free of corruption and get back to the source. Jaspers talks about the awakening, Heidegger talks about the clearing. Jaspers talks about overcoming dogmatism and upholding tolerance. Heidegger talks about overcoming forgetfulness and upholding rigor. Jaspers says that philosophy is what we do with experience. Heidegger says that philosophy is what experience does with us. For Jaspers the human task is to practice humanity (philosophy, and human thought and endeavor, are what we make them). For
Heidegger the human task is to await the sacred (philosophy, and human thought and endeavor, are completely powerless). The encounter between Heidegger and Jaspers is analogous to the encounter between Plato and Aristotle. The standpoints of these ancient thinkers make a similar, still sharper contrast. Plato sees the world as fractured, violent, more ruled by instinct than reason; Platonic themes include the sense that the world is an illusion, broken people, longing for the other world, the chaotic universe and the Ideal behind it, the darkness and the ascent; life is a pilgrimage, beauty a hint of the divine; Plato’s virtues are selflessness, endurance and imagination; his vices are self-hatred, intolerance and fanaticism. By contrast, Aristotle is at home in his humanity; economic growth, political expansion, cultural optimism, friendship, investigation of the natural world, and pride in understanding, are Aristotelian themes; the world is orderly, harmonious, immortal, and beauty is purpose; the task is to know nature and improve society; Aristotle’s virtues are curiosity and conviviality; his vices are arrogance and complacency. Plato and Heidegger are alike in looking at philosophy as something that comes to man – something received – withdrawing from the hubbub and standing in awe of being. Reason is somehow too little to capture awe, which is more like a “meditative thinking” or revelation. Philosophy is something we do alone in some pinnacle of experience in face of the Ultimate. Aristotle and Jaspers are alike in looking at philosophy as something that we bring to the world – something active – trying to look at reality squarely and bring naturalism to everything we see. Reason is our very core and, as Jaspers says “thinking is as thinker does” – reason loves, reason sees, reason communicates and acts. Philosophy is something we do in company right here in everyday life interacting with our friends. Aristotle points forward, Plato upward in Raphael’s painting The School of Athens; this is a way of making out the contrast between this-worldliness and other-worldliness; the red tunic of the soldier, the black frock of the priest; the virtue of “humaneness” in Confucius’ Analects, the “higher point of view” in Taoism; “concern for everybody” (Mo Tzu) and “to see things in the light of heaven” (from the Qui Wu Lun); medicine and theology, care of man and care of God. Rabindranath Tagore and Mohandas Gandhi were close friends and often supported one another – raising funds for each other’s political causes – but they also disagreed about many things and (strangely) their disagreements were fundamental. Gandhi was suspicious of reason, was a traditionalist about religion, advocated using symbols in politics because many people cannot understand complicated issues, was a nationalist, was an advocate for celibacy and held the view that everyone in his country should spend one half-hour a day at a spinning wheel. Tagore believed in science and rational argument, had nondenominational kinds of religious views, said that politicians should simply speak the truth and let the people sort it out, was an internationalist, a love-poet, and held the view that India could only solve its economic problems by modernizing and especially by making a modern education available to everyone. I am trying to rough out a picture, a kind of map, and I have located two points on this terrain. Let us call the terrain ‘thoughtspace’ – I have drawn some diagrams showing where these two points occur together in thoughtspace – it is there in Western philosophy, it is there in Chinese philosophy, it is there in Indian philosophy – the same figure is inscribed in maps from around the world. The different points on this terrain suggest different kinds of societies – different schools, such as the Academy and the Lyceum, the Confucian school and the Taoists, Gandhi’s ashram Sabarmati and Tagore’s college Santiniketan. The question that jumps out from the picture is ‘what is philosophy?’ What sense is there that there are different positions in philosophy, different schools, contrasting ‘worldviews’ rather than agreement and
unity? How is it possible that philosophy is in one version ‘this-worldliness’ and in another ‘otherworldliness’ – red or black, earthly or ethereal – why would philosophy have versions at all? Thinking through some arguments with Heidegger and Jaspers makes us look again at the origins of philosophy – questioning whether philosophy exists at all or is still in the making. Here are a few more steps in the same argument, aimed at seeing the import of philosophy for action. 6. Why there are Many Philosophies Philosophy originates in a social context and philosophy problematizes a social context. Philosophy has minimally two moments: the inherited conglomerate (the home culture, the tradition, everything a person is meant to learn and pass on to new generations); and criticism. The French thinker Jean Beaudrillard argues that when philosophy takes off from the inherited conglomerate – the cultural platform, the tradition, the given – and inaugurates criticism, it is responding, and not simply reacting, to the limitations of its home culture. It is not just the child who wants to get some independence from the parents. It is not just reaction. It is replying to something, mediated by the culture, but also transcending the culture. Thus philosophy like art and religion is something that comes up in human cultural evolution – it has a social origin and context – it is ‘thisworldly.’ And philosophy also like art and religion grows outside its home context and offers to enlighten people who are not members of the tribe in which these cultural forms arose – it is ‘otherworldly.’ Beaudrillard argues that the thing that philosophy specifically is responding to – mediated by the culture but transcending it; rooted in the culture but growing beyond it – is the enigmatic situation in which we all stand every single moment of our lives. Heidegger calls this enigmatic situation “Being,” Plato talks about wonder (thauma), Wittgenstein talks about wondering about the existence of the world, and Jaspers examines Existenz. You are face-to-face with the fact that you are alive – you are self-consciously mortal – this is a peculiar state of mind and gets people into a critical, questioning, searching kind of life. And even after a brief sojourn in searching you notice that many people around you are asking the very same questions. Plato and Aristotle were keen enough to see, and begin to examine, barbaros philosophia – strangers’ philosophies – thus framing the ‘conflict of worldviews.’ Jaspers thinks about the ‘conflict of worldviews’ and argues for learning about other cultures, learning about other people, and the great variety of truths/lies – we have to take it in, tolerate it, respect it, include it with one’s own – taking them all as examples of ‘worldviews’ – also taking what ‘I’ think as just another such example. Jaspers lets himself think about a future in which this plurality was accepted, normalized, celebrated – not precluding argument, but containing it in a shared commitment to philosophy – a cultural teaching that itself may become part of an inherited conglomerate and thus become problematized by future philosophers. Heidegger questions whether other people get far enough even to begin thinking – also doubting whether he himself is thinking – he wonders if perhaps none of us have gotten very far – thus there may be no ‘conflict of worldviews’ – at least not yet – we may not see enough yet to construct any such view – not even enough to begin thinking – we’re still in the cave. Jaspers imagines himself out in the world, engaged with other people and learning from them.
Heidegger makes the different case for everyone’s need to break out of inauthentic, thoughtless existence via the experience of worry, anxiety, dread, in which we face the prospect of death, and out of which (he asserts) genuineness and real self-examination are born. But he has almost nothing to say about how another person’s work in philosophy impacts my own, except to note that we are all “weighed down by tradition” and that living authentically implies destroying tradition. Thus for Jaspers, philosophy lives in society; for Heidegger, in the self. Jaspers argues that my work on developing my own ‘worldview,’ and the other person’s work as he is developing his philosophy, are interconnected, interdependent, and mutually supportive – the other’s person’s work helps me to see my own work in the proper light – without people I become “worldless.” Heidegger argues that the only way that people can really see anything and begin to live authentically is by breaking through the “stubborn dominion” of social life, breaking out of its disguises and compromises – in social life “everyone is the other and no one is himself” – “publicness” obscures, levels and corrupts – real thought is stark loneliness. It is significant that Jaspers developed the germ of the existentialist idea while working in clinical psychology and by reflecting on the interaction between therapist and patient – extended to a reflection about all human interaction – focused on the idea that the currency that human beings trade with one another – or withhold, or dump – the matter of give and take, is affect. Jaspers, the inventor of the “biographical method” in psychology, learned how to give of himself and also receive from the other person. He saw this commerce as the kernel of everyday interactions. Sometimes fighting against Freud – arguing against Freud’s “reductionism,” his tendency to reduce man to a “puppet of the unconscious” and his “depriving man of his basic dignity” – he also called himself a Freudian and especially supported Freud’s statement that “psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love” – in Jaspers’ terms the personality exists in a communicative context and is sustained, buoyed, or brought low, altering in der Kampf in der Liebe (war in the state of love; loving struggle) – a conception of “intercommunicative dignity.” Jaspers sees everyone as a moral agent, called to reach out to the other; this call is essential to selfhood. The core ethical ought is: become what you are. But “the thesis of my philosophizing is: the individual cannot become human by himself. Self-being is only realized in communication with another self-being. Alone – I sink into gloom – in community – I rise into fulfillment in the work of mutual discovery. My own freedom can only exist if the other person is free.” Jaspers frames the overarching problem of The Psychology of Worldviews in the following lines: “There are certain crucial situations that are bound up with our very humanity and unavoidably given for our finite Dasein … Limit situations are experienced as something ultimate for human life … The life of the mind is oriented towards unity … But the consciousness of our existence comes about through our experience of division … The collision of the search for unity and the reality of division throws up an obstacle … This is experienced as a limit … It is because we are trying to understand our experience, or reconcile our yearning for unity with the reality of division, that we meet opposition, and thus become conscious as such … The primal phenomenon of experience lies in the fact that the subject is divided from the object … Human beings live in the form of this division; the subject-object split is the very essence of human understanding … But they never come to rest here, but are always striving after some goal, purpose, value, good – for unity. Thus we and our world are split apart in the form of an antinomy, and this structural antinomy for our Dasein becomes conditional for any worldview whatsoever … The movement of our lives in worldviews has to be understood from the circumstance of this antinomy; but we are always on paths leading to the infinite or the whole.”
Heidegger’s review wrestles with the above characterization of the “fundamental problem of the initial conditions of worldviews” and offers the critique that Jaspers’ “attempt to understand life is forced to turn the surge and flux of the aforementioned process into a static concept which thereby destroys the essence of life, i.e. the restlessness and movement that characterize life’s actualization.” But Heidegger also accepts the above characterization of the problem of initial conditions; he accepts that Jaspers has characterized the fundamental ‘already’ situation that we have to face; he accepts the idea that the primal phenomenon of experience, i.e. the division of subject and object, is the source of consciousness, Existenz, the human kind of ‘is.’ Jaspers says that he is thinking about the conflict of worldviews, and even more so the conflict of philosophically clarified and elucidated points of view, but also says that there is no point of view unless there is a whole that it is a point of view of – the whole within which every point of view is contained. Jaspers’ explanations rest on the idea of difference marked out within an infinite whole. Heidegger asks Jaspers the interesting question: where did you get this infinite whole? Jaspers says: I only need to look around in order to see it. Heidegger responds by asserting that Jaspers has anchored his entire conception of life and especially the part of it called “human reality” in an “aesthetic experience.” Jaspers talks about “the infinite whole of life” and says that the splitting up of the subject and object – which is where “human beings live” and is “the very essence of human understanding” – only makes sense against the background of something that is not split. He says, I only need to look around to see this surrounding, encompassing whole, and when I experience the enigma of sheer being, I am experiencing precisely this infinite whole – so, yes, I am sensing something, seeing it, feeling it, and it is accurate to say that this is an “aesthetic experience.” Heidegger quarrels with this idea and calls it “an untested opinion.” He says that Jaspers has not acknowledged the unthought “prestructuring” and “historically contingent sources” that play into this idea, which he thinks Jaspers has probably received from Luther and Kant and Kierkegaard, or perhaps even earlier from Aristotle or Plato. Heidegger does not think we can begin philosophizing from an observation – from merely looking around or an “aesthetic experience” – because observation is theory-laden and a relatively late accomplishment in philosophical thinking. If this is the starting-point, then we have to get back to the basic experiences that call up philosophy in the first place – we have to get back to very primordial circumstances and grasp philosophy as it emerges from this deep source – and this is “fear and trembling,” “dread,” “worry,” “anxiety,” “care” – the primal emotion in which the prospect of death finally becomes real for us – the “sickness unto death.” Jaspers looks around and sees the infinite whole of life and he thinks that he can begin philosophical questioning from this basic experience. He says that this is an experience of mystery. We are amazed into philosophy. Heidegger says that we have to begin instead with worry and trembling and the fear of death. We have to be scared into philosophy. Thus we stumble on at least one more ‘conflict of worldviews’ – the confrontation between mystery and worry – philosophy as conversation or philosophy as loneliness – philosophy originating in love or fear – conflicting opposite basic stances opening up and closing down. Why are there versions of philosophy? Why are there many philosophies? Why does philosophy break itself apart and become ‘philosophies’ instead? Jaspers recognizes different kinds of personalities, basic orientations and metaphysical conceptions of the world; he argues that philosophies emerge from social milieus, but remain tied to them; and philosophers need other philosophers, working together through argument, criticism and dialogue, to sustain philosophical search. He came to these ideas, in part, in dialogue with Heidegger. Heidegger rejects this view and argues for the loneliness of genuine
thought. Yet he also rejects his own early thinking and christens his change of mind “the turning” (die Kehre). Thus even in the small space occupied by these two thinkers – two points in thoughtspace – philosophy breaks up into versions, thinkers take up opposite positions, and a thinker unfolds several versions of himself. Thus there are versions of philosophy because philosophy takes time; thinking needs to reflect on earlier thinking; philosophy breaks up into philosophies because being breaks up into the moments of time. Conclusion. The Relationship between Philosophy and Action Young Heidegger is a radical voluntarist and old Heidegger is a quietist and thorough determinist. As a young man, storming the gates, he thought that it was possible for a person to create himself entirely by will, with an intensity of being-toward-death which, in retrospect, matches a generation of young people throwing themselves into war, bringing death and living with death. Surviving the disaster and unspeakable massacre but also never making a public statement about it, never taking responsibility for anything, never addressing the horror of the war years or the holocaust but instead talking about immense, superhuman forces, such as the history of being or the essence of modern technology, forces that dwarf human effort; at this stage he no longer believes in the power of human agency and claims that human endeavor, as well as philosophy, even philosophy reimagined as “releasement” or meditative thinking, are completely powerless. “Only a god can save us” and “the only salvation left to us is to prepare readiness for the appearance of the god” and this is “the only thing that we can do” to prevent ourselves from “dying meaningless deaths.” There is a rebound logic in arrogance followed by despair – a wildly unrealistic, overblown account of a supposedly-wholly-plastic human nature, followed by a wildly unrealistic, self-defeating account of a supposedly-wholly-powerless human nature – overreaching followed by overreaction. This outcome reestablishes the Socratic baseline – philosophy is about self-examination and trying to escape from ignorance. Thus we have to see ourselves as we are, neither inflated nor deflated; self-examination needs realism. Escaping from ignorance requires some psychological sophistication, e.g. to experience, understand and to get some control over the interplay between high spirits and low spirits, the energy of rising and aspiring to the heights and the energy of sinking and coming back down to earth. The case we are looking at links up philosophy and realism (seeing things) but also philosophy and selfconsciousness (seeing oneself) – getting it right (seeing things as they are) and getting a handle (turning knowledge into agency). Jaspers saw Heidegger as a man enthralled by a powerful spell – hypnotized, even though he was possessed of a wonderful power of mind. Heidegger needed to be talked down, back to the world where we live and where what we do has effect. But in order to be talked down, a person has to want to communicate. Heidegger not only thought of himself as completely alone, but he felt no suffering from it – he had no faith in communication and did not want it – thus as a young person he talks about “anticipatory resoluteness” and “being-towards-death” and as an old man he talked about “the placeholder for nothingness” and “the guardian of being.” The rebound logic also applies to religious ideas. Jaspers always felt comfortable talking about religion, god, salvation, faith, but he never took any these ideas as absolute but instead interpreted them as metaphors, as languages of ritual and hope that we can use to talk with other congregants; they are traditions and old ways of expressing the enigmatic situation of Existenz. Heidegger by contrast ridiculed religious language and even traditional ideas about ethics when he was a young man, and only began
talking about god and salvation and preparing for readiness after he had lost all his human faith; by then his otherworldliness became all-powerful. Jaspers heaped insults upon himself for not seeing what was happening in Germany and rather blamed himself for not talking Heidegger down from his over-the-top enthusiasm than Heidegger. His nature was more inclined to take blame than to give it, and he called himself out from a too-serene, toocomplacent high-mindedness. After the war, he tried to make a public address on every important issue he was able to think about and tried especially to help Germany find a way through “the question of German guilt.” He developed a kind of thinking focused on ethics and informed by a spiritual consciousness in which the duty to the Other is the way in which spirituality is called upon to express itself. This is an ethical consciousness that bears witness and asks hard questions in the face of less-thanhuman works by less-than-human human beings. Ethics after the holocaust, the I-Thou relation after the experience of the twentieth century, the nature of human society in the wake of an epoch in which more than 100 million people died in war – these are some of the problems he looked at until his death in 1969. Jaspers struggled to understand the relation between Heidegger’s philosophy and his actions – his great power of mind and his great failure of judgment – his powerful reading of philosophic history and his dramatic failure to be a friend of philosophy. It boggles the mind that this amazing thinker, Martin Heidegger, could also be a rank bigot and shameful example of intellectual and moral cowardice. And in a way this is the same problem we are staring at with all great figures in cultural history who fail to be great men – e.g. Frege, Jung, Francis Bacon, Paul Gauguin. Macaulay’s essay on Lord Bacon draws out the paradox that many figures from history who have been great teachers and benefactors have also been loathsome human beings – the philosopher in his study is barely recognizable as the man who mingles in the crowd – Lord Bacon, “who first summoned philosophers to the great work of interpreting nature,” was also “among the last men of his country to use the rack” and sell justice to the highest bidder. Macaulay draws the conclusion that there is as much shame as glory in these kinds of histories, and that Bacon’s human failures have no bearing on his contributions to philosophy. Realism, in this case, is about seeing everything – the good and the bad. Jaspers is asking a different kind of question – not looking at philosophy as adding to the sum of knowledge, but understanding philosophy as bound up with action; because philosophy is not fundamentally about getting things right; philosophy is fundamentally about the kind of person I am and what I am up to in the world. Realism, in this case, is more like what Socrates teaches – i.e., Who am I really? What do I really know? Am I just a hapless pawn? Am I not responsible for myself and accountable for what I do? – Am I not exactly what I think and decide and do? Jaspers made what is perhaps his greatest contribution to cultural history in his idea of the Axial Age, a period between 900 and 200 BCE, in which the spiritual foundations of humanity were laid down simultaneously and independently in China, India, Israel and Greece. This is the period of the Buddha, Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah; the Upanishads, Sophocles, Zarathustra and Mo Tzu. This is “The Great Transformation” in which ancient spiritual traditions turn earthward and teach justice – the origin of the idea that spiritual consciousness shows itself in moral action. Jaspers thought that the Axial Age represented a kind of atemporal disjunction. “The Axial Age can be called an interregnum between two ages of great empire, a pause for liberty, a deep breath bringing the most lucid consciousness.” A human being can also become a special site of consciousness – what Jaspers calls a “paradigmatic personality” – someone who exemplifies what a human being can be – a pause between empires. Jaspers tried to be such a person.
Jaspers’ basic idea is that human beings win some integrity for themselves by facing reality. The big value that he is trying to uphold is honesty. Philosophy is a kind of unrelenting honesty and the value of it is that it keeps us real – it helps us stay human – signs of which are that we are open, that we have a sense of the moment, a sense of humor – especially that we are loving, that we go on with love, and not tire of love. Jaspers’ question about Heidegger, how a philosophy could be true as an intellectual construction but false as a guide to action, gets at Heidegger’s conception of philosophy, his severe attachment to principle and thus otherworldly cast. Heidegger’s basic orientation is to get back to the beginning – to the primordial, root form. At the first outset, before we are anything at all, we are entirely potential and can demand virtually anything of ourselves – every path is open – I am free – but I can never leave this primordial otherworld, if I think my freedom in this world requires my destroying the entirety of the past – it will take up all my energy to destroy everything that I have been – I will never arrive at the present or see what I am doing, here and now, in everyday life with other people in society. What I am able to see regarding the Heidegger case is this: Heidegger emphasized Being in relation to beings, the Ontological in relation to the ontic, the Authentic in relation to the everyday. When I read him in my twenties, I thought that he was trying to redirect human attention away from the pointlessness of pop culture and petty political squabbles, to the deep truths of ancient times, reawakened in existentialism, that call upon a person to reach for greatness. I saw him as a colleague of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and especially Karl Jaspers – not knowing that Heidegger rejected these thinkers and refused to call himself an existentialist. I regarded him far above cultural trends and I never believed he would countenance racism. Today I see that if one’s mind is at a very elevated level and one is preoccupied with grand thoughts that speak to towering vistas and vast aspirations, then what lies directly at one’s feet may well escape one’s attention; and perhaps one becomes too preoccupied with great things to be a good spouse, friend, colleague, teacher, or even a decent human being. The everyday is cast into the role of the trivial and it becomes possible to become arrogant, unfeeling, dismissing the cries one hears, as if they were of no account. The Big Truth that one thinks one has gotten hold of has swamped one’s human reactions. One fails to be a human being with normal feelings, like caring about injustice or helping someone who is in pain. Countless people, who did not grasp any Big Truth, who had no unheard-of powers of mind, who had virtually no education at all, but who risked their lives and even sacrificed their lives for complete strangers, become giants by contrast. Philosophy itself gets called into question, if towering thinkers like Martin Heidegger can fail so dramatically as human beings. Philosophers can become hypnotized, become fanatics, and do evil; and even in retrospect they may not find the strength of character to take responsibility for themselves; they may never speak the truth about themselves at all – not even on the condition that we hide away their words until after they are dead. But perhaps this is not philosophy at all – not philosophy as Socrates imagined it – but instead a kind of puritanical consciousness that always wants to return back to the beginning – to get back to the pure state before any corruption has set in – a cast of mind leading us out of the world rather than a worldly, humane thoughtfulness leading to action. In political life, in America, for example, we talk about to living up to our ideals, and not to let ourselves become a lesser community, because our enemies chase America off the high ground; and fear takes hold
of the leadership, and they are quick to take away people’s rights in the name of national security. But the big problem may not be that we fail to live up to our ideals. The big problem may not be about ideals at all, but about us – that, under pressure, we fail to be regular, every day, normal human beings. The Big Truth and the Big Lie are equal dangers. Heidegger shows us some of both – the Big Truth that he saw and that appears to have swamped his human reactions; and the Big Lie to which he lent his authority and that laid waste to so much of the world. He may have meant to make people bigger; in reality he ended up making them smaller. In retrospect I see Heidegger as a teacher, but it is just as important to reject him and hold him accountable. I gain from him, and I see more clearly because of him, from both experiences. It is part of Jaspers’ greatness that he did not try to make people bigger than they were, or smaller, but instead simply wanted everyone to get a hearing, and he saw his own stature invigorated by trying to do this simple justice; he explicitly called for his readers to reject him, not follow him, but to find their own way.
Sources Jaspers 1919 Psychologie der Weltanschauungen, Berlin: Springer. 1931 Die Geistige Situation der Zeit, Berlin: de Gruyter. Translated as, Man in the Modern Age, trans. E. Paul and C. Paul, London: Routledge, 1933. 1932 Philosophie, Berlin: Springer. Translated as, Philosophy, trans. E. B. Ashton, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1969–1971. 1935 Vernunft und Existenz, Groningen: Wolters. Translated as, Reason and Existenz, trans. W. Earle, New York: Noonday Press, 1955. 1936 Nietzsche: Einführung in das Verständnis seines Philosophierens, Berlin: de Gruyter. Translated as, Nietzsche: An Introduction to his Philosophical Activity, trans. C. F. Wallraff and F. J. Schmitz, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1965. 1938 Existenzphilosophie, Berlin: de Gruyter. Translated as, Philosophy of Existence, trans. R. F. Grabau, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971. 1946 Die Schuldfrage, Heidelberg: Schneider. Translated as, The Question of German Guilt, trans. E. B. Ashton, New York: The Dial Press, 1947. 1947 Von der Wahrheit, Munich: Piper. 1949 Vom Ursprung und Ziel der Geschichte, Zurich: Artemis. Translated as, The Origin and the Goal of History, trans. M. Bullock, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953. 1954 Die Frage der Entmythologisierug (with Rudolf Bultmann), Munich: Piper. Translated as, Myth and Christianity: An Inquiry into the Possibility of Religion without Myth, trans. N. Gutermann, New York: Noonday Press, 1958.
1957 Die Großen Philosophen, volume I, Munich: Piper. Translated as, The Great Philosophers, volume I, trans. R. Manheim, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962.1981 Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth, Freedom and Karl Jaspers' Philosophy, New Haven: Yale University Press. 1986 Ehrlich, Edith, Ehrlich, Leonard H. and Pepper, George B. (eds.), Karl Jaspers: Basic Philosophical Writings, Humanities Paperback Library 1988 Ehrlich, Leonard H. and Wisser, Richard, (eds.), Karl Jaspers Today: Philosophy at the Threshold of the Future, Lanham: University Press of America. 1993 Ehrlich, Leonard H. and Wisser, Richard, (eds.), Karl Jaspers: Philosopher Among Philosophers, K&N/Rodopi. 2004 Kirkbright, Suzanne, Karl Jaspers: A Biography—Navigations in Truth, New Haven: Yale University Press. Heidegger 1920: Anmerkungen zu Karl Jaspers Psychologie der Weltananschauungen, in Hans Saner, ed., Karl Jaspers in der Diskussion. Munich, Piper, 1973, pp. 70 -100. 1927: Sein und Zeit. Niemeyer, Tübingen; Being and Time, translated by J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1962 1936–1968: Erläuterungen zu Hölderlins Dichtung. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 6. erw. A. 1996 1935–1946: Holzwege. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 8. A. 2003 1935/36: Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes. Reclam (UB 8446), Ditzingen 1986 1936–1946: Nietzsche I und II. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 8. A. 2008 1936–1953: Vorträge und Aufsätze. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 10. A. 2004 1938/39: Besinnung. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1997 1951–1952: Was heißt Denken? Reclam (UB 8805), Ditzingen 1992 1953: Die Technik und die Kehre. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002 1919–1961: Wegmarken. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2004 1955–1956: Der Satz vom Grund. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 9. A. 2006 1955–1957: Identität und Differenz. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 12. A. 2002 1950–1959: Unterwegs zur Sprache. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 14. A. 2007
1959: Gelassenheit. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 14. A. 2008 1910–1976: Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2. durchges. A. 2002-1919 / Towards the definition of Philosophy. The Idea of Philosophy and the Problem of Worldview. Phenomenology and Transcendental Philosophy of Value. Freiburg Courses 1919, translated by Ted Sadler. New York: Continuum. 1927 / 1962 Being and Time, translated by J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson 1929/1997 Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, translated by R. Taft, Bloomington: Indiana U Press 1959 Discourse on Thinking, translated by J. Anderson and E. Hans Freund, New York: Harper & Row, 1966 1968 What is Called Thinking?, translated by F. D. Wieck and J. Glenn Gray, New York: Harper & Row 1971 “The Thing”, translated by A. Hofstadter, in Poetry, Language, Thought, New York: Harper & Row 1976 “?‘Only a God can Save Us’: Der Spiegel's Interview with Martin Heidegger”, Der Spiegel, May 31st, 1976. Translated by M. O. Alter and J. D. Caputo; also published in Philosophy Today XX(4/4): 267–285. 1993 “Building Dwelling Thinking”, translated by A. Hofstadter, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, pp. 217–65. 1993 “Letter on Humanism”, translated by F. A Capuzzi and J. Glenn Gray, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 217–65. 1993 R. Wolin (ed.), The Heidegger Controversy: a Critical Reader, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993 1993 “On the Essence of Truth”, translated by John Sallis, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, pp. 115–38. 1993 “The Question Concerning Technology”, translated by W. Lovitt with revisions by D. F. Krell, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 311–41. 1993 “The Self-Assertion of the German University”, translated by W. S. Lewis, in R. Wolin (ed.), in The Heidegger Controversy: a Critical Reader, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, pp. 29–39. 2002 Martin Heidegger: Supplements, edited by John van Buren, “Comments on Karl Jaspers’ Psychology of Worldviews,” translated by John van Buren, pp. 71 – 103, SUNY Press. Other works consulted Aristotle, De Anima; On Philosophy Jean Beaudrillard, The System of Objects, translated by James Benedict, Verso, 1996 Walter Burkert, Greek Religion, translated by John Raffan, Basil Blackwell, 1985
Walter Burkert, Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis, Harvard, 2004 Randall Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies, Belknap, 1988 Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, What is Philosophy?, translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell, Columbia University Press, 1991 Han Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, translated by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall, Continuum, 1975 J체rgen Habermas, Postmetaphysical Thinking, translated by William Mark Hohengarten, MIT, 1993 G.W.F. Hegel, The Philosophy of History Mary Hesse, The Structure of Scientific Inference, Macmillian, 1974 Leszek Ko?akowski, Metaphysical Horror, Basil Blackwell, 1988 Thomas Babington Macaulay, Critical, Historical and Miscellaneous Essays and Poems, A.L. Burt, 1823 Gita Mehta, Snakes and Ladders, Anchor, 1997 Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, translated by Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale, Vintage, 1967 Plato, Apology, Cratylus Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, Routledge, 1963 Herbert Schn채delbach, Vernunft und Geschichte, Suhrkamp, 1987 Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Allen & Unwin, 1943 Tsenay Serequeberhan, African Philosophy: The Essential Readings, Paragon, 1991 Leo Strauss, What is Political Philosophy?, Westport, 1973 Ernst Tugenhadt, Self-Consciousness and Self-Determination, translated by Paul Stern, MIT, 1986 Fung Yu-Lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, Free Press, 1948
An Overview of Basic Concepts for Existentially Inclined Therapists Richard Curtis, Ph.D. ABSTRACT This paper introduces a secular and universal definition of “spirituality” derived from the Comparative Study of Religion. That definition is: Spirituality is the practice of or the experience of reconnecting with something outside of and larger than the self; something that is social, natural and/ or supernatural. The meaning of these terms is explored in detail. The paper goes on to offer arguments in support of this definition and then explores its coherence with other views on human psychology and religious experience, especially Existential views. It concludes with a discussion of Erich Fromm’s views on an “objective” content for a modern (even secular) spirituality. Particular attention is given to how these concepts are used in psychotherapy and how Fromm’s insights move the understanding forward both in terms of theory and psychological practice, especially if interpreted via the lens of Existentialism. Main Text The fundamental difference between the two primary words comes to light in the spiritual history of primitive man. Already in the original relational event he [the individual] speaks the primary word IThou in a natural way that precedes what may be termed visualization of forms—that is, before he has recognized himself as I. The primary word I-It, on the other hand, is made possible at all only by means of this recognition—by means, that is, of the separation of the I. – Martin Buber (I and Thou, 2nd edition, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958, 24) When I am with bonobos I feel like I have something that I shared with them long ago but forgot. As we have clothed ourselves and separated ourselves we have gained a wonderful society but we have lost the sort of soul to soul connection that they maintain. And it sometimes seems to me that we are both a kind of disadvantaged species.…I feel like if I could maintain my abilities and have theirs I would be whole. – Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh (a senior primatologist, on the show RadioLab, http://www.radiolab.org/2010/feb/19/kanzi/) The Definition Spirituality is the practice of or the experience of reconnecting with something outside of and larger than the self; something that is social, natural and/ or supernatural. This is the basic understanding of spirituality I have come to as a scholar who has studied religion and its formal constructions (theology) for the last quarter century. I offer this definition here as a generic, intended to reflect the functional meaning of the word as used in the early 21 st Century across the globe. That may sound like a grand claim but is intended more modestly and scholarly. This word is used in highly structured religious contexts and completely unstructured contexts; by the most devout believers and by people who claim no specific religious or metaphysical beliefs.  We use this word in all these different contexts and that raises the question of meaning.
One might ask here if anyone has already defined “spirituality,” after all the comparative study of religion is over a century old now. Surely this word has a scholarly definition. Well, no. Interestingly, neither of the major reference texts in Religious Studies defines “spirituality.” The Encyclopedia or Religion (edited by Mircea Eliade, the Father of the Study of the History of Religion) and The Dictionary of Religion (edited by Jonathon Z. Smith, the leading religion scholar in the world today) do not have entries for “spirituality.” It is not a term religion scholars generally use outside specific contexts. It was in the Christian context that the term arose, so the technical treatments often assume Christian Spirituality, and both books have entries for that. That usage comes from the Catholic Church and refers to a person’s (often a saint’s) “religious sensibilities.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines “spiritual” as: “of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” The terms, “religious sensibilities” or “related to spirit” capture much of what ordinary people seem to mean when they use the word “spirituality.” But that is not the only usage common in the world today. In the west one often hears talk about “spirituality” outside of a religion, some even say they are “spiritual but not religious.” Existential theorist Emmy van Deurzen wrote, “…the spiritual world refers to a person’s connection to the abstract and metaphysical aspects of living.” It is all of these usages that a definition must include, and so that is the goal here. In as much as human beings tend to think of ourselves as beings that have a body and a mind (some include soul or spirit) then the dictionary definition really is useful because it refers to some whole sense of what is human. Spirituality is not just about our physical being (that is medicine) and it is not just our mind or brain (that is psychology) but a wellness of the totality (which is common to things like yoga or Tai Chi, which are often described as spiritual, as well as some psychology, in particular Erich Fromm and Abraham Maslow for my purposes). A more fruitful approach might be to see what it is not, to set it against a good contrasting term. Love In the relevant Philosophical and Psychological literature there is a related concept that provides that vital contrast. That concept is “love.” I will have more to say about this but would like to suggest first that: Love is interpersonal; Spirituality is transpersonal. I hold that we need both to have full lives. Abraham Maslow commented decades ago: “We need something ‘bigger than we are’ to be awed by and to commit ourselves to in a new, naturalistic, empirical, non-churchly sense, perhaps as Thoreau and Whitman, William James and John Dewey did.” He was clearly advocating a non-theistic position, where I am defining spirituality in a way that fits that view and more traditional theistic or metaphysical (in the colloquial sense) views. Let us note though that what he said is that human beings need spirituality, as it is here defined. It is also important to note here that both love and spirituality have to do with feelings of connection, either to another or to something beyond the individual. Even when people turn inward (as in some mystical experience) they still refer to something external (something beyond the individual) that is being connected with via this inward turn. By “transpersonal” I have in mind something like what Abraham Maslow seems to have had in mind with the term: states of consciousness beyond the self. By “love” I have in mind what the Greeks called agape (as opposed to philos or eros; intellectual or erotic love respectively). Love applies to someone who can love you back. Many mystics talk of love when they speak of the divine, and this usage applies here because that belief holds that the divine does love them back. Individuals may not discriminate in their usage between these terms but I would suggest this difference is a useful way to understand these terms and their relationship. This usage also fits with talk of “god loving humanity” as humans can love their god back. Fromm said, “Love is possible only if two persons communicate with each other from the center of their existence….” ”What I want to insist is most useful to notice about
all this is that the word “love” is used to indicate the reciprocal nature of the feeling of connection, where “spiritual” is used to indicate a non-reciprocal feeling of connection, or reconnection. Again from Fromm, “The religious form of love, that which is called the love of God, is, psychologically speaking, no different.” For example, nature cannot “love” us back, but we can have “spiritual” experiences in nature. Further this feeling, to be called spiritual, includes a component of awe, as Maslow suggested. This is something Rudolf Otto (a pivotal figure in the history of the study of comparative religion, and one of Eliade’s teachers) also held was vital to all religious experience and here I am suggesting that spirituality is the experiential level at which Otto’s talk of the numinous or the holy should be understood. One might next ask about the relationship between “Spirituality” and “Religion.” Spirituality is context specific and relates to ultimate meaning, so is important to religion. In that sense the two are intimately connected since religion provides definitions of ultimate reality. Spirituality is an experience word (it is about feelings) used to discuss ultimate reality and connections to it or some vital part of it. I hold that both religion and spirituality are universal (as scholarly understood in both cases). We find what the social sciences call religion throughout human history and across all human cultures. Keep in mind here that the social sciences do not mean “belief in things that can’t be proven” as the definition of religion. The most famous definition of religion in the social sciences is from an Anthropologist named Clifford Geertz: . . . a religion is: a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in [people] by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic. Note that Geertz uses the phrase “conceptions of a general order of existence.” I have shown in earlier work that this conception – this worldview – is three fold: emotional, existential and social. We all need this sort of basic understanding of the world to function, and it is a curious lesson from history that we need not believe only things that are true. Humans have believed all sorts of things that we later discover are not true, and often they got along fine. The trick is for the beliefs to be functional in context, and that leaves a lot of room for variation. Put more specifically, Ira Zepp (who was an important teacher in the field and former student of Eliade) described the scholarly view this way: This [analysis] of religion transcends the normal understanding. I am concerned with the religious person—homo religiosus—the tendency of human beings to re-link, re-bind, re-connect, and re-concile themselves with each other and nature. This is precisely what the Latin “re-ligare” (from which the English word “religion” is derived) means. Whenever people are in the process of restoring life to wholeness, integration and unity, they are engaging in religious activity. While not disputing Zepp’s usage it does seem that many people have come to see this reconnection as an aspect of spirituality (I am claiming spirituality is an aspect of religion, in the generic, but can be understood on its own terms as I am doing here). In Zepp’s understanding this is the core activity of all religion. I am here suggesting that the word “spirituality” be used to refer to the emotional sphere of religion, to this “reconnecting” and “restoring” rather than religion itself (given the confusion with religion colloquially thought of as “believing things one can’t prove”). This does not mean I am trying to say that religion and spirituality are not connected, only that differentiating the terms is analytically useful. Spirituality is a core interest of the religions around the world (now that the word has wide usage). In therapy the view is:
When people recover their inner connectedness to something greater than themselves, to some ideal which will lift them beyond their everyday struggles, a new motivation flows inside of them, which can carry them through difficulties with unerring purposefulness. I don’t mean to claim here that “reconnecting with something larger” is the core activity of every religion, or should be seen as definitive. Rather I mean to say it is something modern people would seem to agree is useful and something we have come to see as part of the activity of various religions around us as they act in the world. Of course some people are very critical of what organized religion does, and with good reason. I mean to point to positive aspects and potentials. This reconnecting is something that religion facilitates ideally, and something many people have come to see as vital regardless of religion. I think it is vital for all people just as I think all people have key aspects of religion in common with religious people – we all need a reasonably coherent worldview to get by. Reconnecting In some sense this is the formal job description of the clergy, facilitate reconnections. Theology provides content for an understanding of self, world and society, but the clergy actualize those ideas in the lives of people. In the modern world we also have the development of chaplains as reconnection specialists, and most interestingly the formalization of this as a professional quasi-freelance role (freelance in that patients, for a Hospital Chaplain, come and go where a congregation stays). Chaplains are like social workers for spirituality. There is, I think, a sense of self that we experience and seek to nurture and protect. I don’t believe it is a thing, but rather it is an experience of consciousness encountering the world. To organize that encounter our species has developed the evolved capacity of self-hood. We have a sense of self. Again, this sense is not of a thing but it is organized to seem like a thing. “I am a self!” No, actually “I” am an experience my brain is having. Producing this experience is a core activity of that brain. It is vital to how we live, as human beings. We protect it. We nurture it, when we can, but usually not enough. This nurturing is what I mean by an experience of reconnecting to something larger. It needs to be done personally and socially, since we are social creatures of a particularly complex sort. Reconnection is accomplished through experiences of felt intimacy between the self and other, a something other that is worthy – vital as judged by the individual or the tradition. I have this sense of myself and you have it of yourself, and how we have it is culturally as well as genetically conditioned. We are genes interacting with a culture, organized to have a sense of individuality, in community (some cultures emphasize one more than the other but both are vital). We are most in touch with that self in what Maslow called “Peak Experiences.” Peak Experiences are those in which time seems to stand still, thus Maslow describes them in terms of “being” rather than our usual mode of “becoming”. We are “in the moment” and that moment is felt timeless. These are moments when we feel connected to a larger reality (the experience may be framed religiously by believers and called god). In these moments the sense of self can drop away and we seem to experience reality more purely. Dr. Savage-Rumbaugh, quoted at the top, referred to “soul to soul connection.” The “I” becomes a “we” and in that experience the self has ceased being the central focus of experience. In love the meaning of the experience is the other; where in spirituality the meaning is the felt reconnection – both involve an “I” becoming more aware of a “we” (which can be the “I” being enveloped in a larger totality or the “I” connecting with another “I”). In some Eastern thought this description sounds like a discussion of losing the ego. It is a curious irony that by being in touch with that experience of self in relationship to a larger reality, the sense of the self can drop away. I think what is happening is that the lens of self through which we generally experience
reality has actually dropped away and we are aware of a more pure perception. The problem seems to be a difficulty in communicating the experience. I would suggest this is because what is called “me” is actually an organizing principle that is experienced, as mentioned above. To communicate it would require a vocabulary to describe how this experience affects “me” but that “me” has been enveloped in the experience. These moments are therefore difficult to communicate, by their nature. In spiritual experiences we often seek out experiences of losing the self, even though that self is vital to ordinary functioning. All manner of mystics, seekers and chemical experimenters work hard at losing something nature worked out over many eons, and they seem to be doing something good for themselves and for us in doing it (as an example of what is possible, when the motive is spiritual and not selfish, of course). Some Complicating Factors I often comment to my wife about a feeling I have that the universe wants us to be together. Our history is a bit rocky and so that phrase has special meaning and captures a profound feeling that I have about her and the place she occupies in my life. Does the universe want us to be together? No. It doesn’t care – about anything. I feel as if certain things are just true. We all do. That sounds crass and believers will want to interject that their feeling is something more, but I would here refer them to Friedrich Schleiermacher (the Father of Modern Protestant Theology) and his feeling language. The believer takes some of those feelings to be more than feelings. I do not. But feelings still matter, if not to the universe then to us. This is the deep emotional life that is referred to in the concept spirituality. It is problematic when we are not careful about what we take to be important to us versus true about the world. This is not a new observation on my part. Nor are replies to it. The most common reply is an appeal to the importance certain feelings have for us. This is sensible on the face of it, but cannot be taken as license to accept any feeling as true just because it feels important. A friend of mine shows his students the Heaven’s Gate web site to make this point when he teaches the issue. Heaven’s Gate was a cult the members of which all committed suicide together in the late 1990’s. They believed they would not die, but they are dead. The feelings were, in James’ language, “live, forced and momentous.” And the people having those feelings were wrong to accept them as more than feelings – dead wrong. We must balance the importance of our feelings with a healthy dose of reality about the spurious nature of their obvious interpretation. Do I feel that the universe wants my wife and me together or is that just a verbal expression of a feeling, an emotional experience? Obviously the latter. What is the real feeling, unclouded by language? This is a big debate in the study of mysticism but I think it is obvious from neuroscience that by the time a thought is conscious it has been through language centers and does not exist for us absent language. So what is the feeling really? Hard to say, but I am pretty sure my linguistic framing of it is culturally bound and poetic, not veridical. But it is still very, very important. This is the point. True and important do not go together necessarily. What do I learn from my feelings? How do I interpret them in a productive way? Those questions can be more important than “are they true?” However the balance is vital. My feelings want to run wild in a world that has real risks, so they cannot just run wild. That said, I don’t have a formula to offer here, just this suggestion to be “epistemologically humble.” This is advice I give my students in all sorts of contexts. We feel certain things are vital but if those things cannot be proven then we must be humble about the power of the feeling. A few years ago there was a film adaptation done of the book, “Into the Wild.” The central character leaves modernity behind to spend a summer alone in the wilds of Alaska. The story ends badly, but at a vital moment in the film this character writes in his journal, “Happiness requires others” (or something to
that extent). It is a stirring moment in the film, and a very important insight. Sigmund Freud famously observed that people need love and work to be happy (something to do and people to care for and be cared by). Erich Fromm wrote a great deal about love. In modern psychology a new idiom from the neurosciences is in the ascendancy and so the talk shifts. Daniel Siegel (mentioned above) talks about this in neurobiological terms. In his work there is a triad between body, brain and relationships. Freud and Fromm could not have known how deep this need for connection goes, this being formed in relationships is for human beings. We know now that it is vital and “soul to soul connection” or “love” are both good ways of describing it. There is a long standing view – especially in religion – that there is something broken about human beings. In The Symposium Plato has Aristophanes say: And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love. There was a time, I say, when we were one, but now because of the wickedness of mankind God has dispersed us, as the Arcadians were dispersed into villages by the Lacedaemonians. And if we are not obedient to the gods, there is a danger that we shall be split up again and go about in basso-relievo, like the profile figures showing only one half the nose which are sculptured on monuments, and that we shall be like tallies. Wherefore let us exhort all men to piety in all things, that we may avoid evil and obtain the good, taking Love for our leader and commander. What he is explaining is sexuality but a more general insight seems to resonate across the ages. Christians call this “The Fall,” but there are versions of it in all or almost all religions. This is not a logical necessity for religion so its universality is a curious feature. For most, fixing this brokenness is their core activity. Buddhists want to teach people to give up their attachment to the experienced self. Jews want to make peace between that self and society. Muslims see the solution in devotion, or submission to guidance (literally submission to the will of Allah). Each is solving a version of the same problem. Martin Buber (above) discusses this problem in a way that seemed to have been popular in his time. From his work, and others, we get the sense that this problem is largely to do with the individuation of the human self. Fromm claimed that this sense of separation causes anxiety and the felt need to love arises in response. We come from nature and imagine (perhaps correctly) that there was a time when our ancestor creatures felt connected to each other and to their world (social and natural, to the degree they had social worlds). G.W.F. Hegel makes this problem cosmic in arguing that even God needs a partner to actualize God’s self-consciousness. Judaism talks of YHWH and Shekinah, Islam talks about Allah and Sharia, Trinitarian thought in Christianity has the Trinity and Creation forming the same polar pair (which is where Hegel presumably got the idea). Relationships are vital not just to our being but to our sacred stories as well. My full view would be as follows: In evolutionary terms the emergence of the advanced trait we call selfconsciousness is the history of this self becoming aware that it is different from and other than the world and its fellow creatures. At some point we felt connected or at least did not feel unconnected, but with full self-consciousness we feel unconnected. We feel a sense of isolation that spirituality lessens. In Buber’s terms this happens with the development of I-It relations. The “It” here is the other, the external world and people who are not me. When I am aware of that separation, that existential distance, then a need develops from a sense of brokenness. We want to reconnect and so are spiritually inclined. Religions then develop as the specific cultural forms for this inclination to be followed, or a path to repair the sense of brokenness. Ultimately spirituality is a compensation for a need that arises out of the development of complex intelligence, out of self-consciousness. Various spiritualties, then, are the various cultural forms a search for a solution to the felt brokenness takes.
Buber and some psychologists in his time (especially Fromm) also came to see “love” as a vital part of this issue. My suggestion is that we see love and spirituality as intimately connected. As mentioned above, “love” applies to that which can (seem to) care for me in some reciprocal fashion and “spirituality” applies to that which is too abstract to care for me in a reciprocal fashion. Again, some believers might object that love is experienced from the divine, love in the relationship with the divine. I think that language works in context. To the believer, at least certain sorts of believers, the divine is the sort of thing that can care for me in a reciprocal fashion, of some sort. So the believer, especially the mystic, will talk about love of god and god loving us. A more abstract form of belief, say deism, would not think of the divine that way. The abstract god of deism does not care reciprocally, but nonetheless is important and for the deist believer that connection is vitally important – a deistic spirituality is still a reconnecting to a larger reality. Going from Theory to Practice In a Postscript Buber wrote: “…if the I-Thou relationship requires a mutual action, which in fact embraces both the I and the Thou, how may the relation to something in nature be understood as such a relationship?” He answers that we have to think of these things separately. I think his approach mirrors the one I am advocating here. I have called this reciprocal. Nature cannot be reciprocal that way, but we still feel powerful connections in and to nature. Nature spirituality is a powerful and useful thing. But it is different from love, is what I want to make clear. We cannot love nature in this literal sense. The Greeks distinguished between eros (erotic love), philia (intellectual love) and agape (true love, real caring for another). Here I have been interested in agape, the love we have for our mates and friends. Eros heightens and strengthens agape amongst romantic partners, but it is not the same as agape. Agape is the deep connection we have with other humans. Spirituality is thus the deep connection with non-humans (god, nature, etc.). I think these might usefully be seen as deeply interconnected concepts. We feel both spirituality and love very deeply. Both are very important to human well being. Both are involved in living well. So in that sense spirituality can encompass love, but love cannot encompass spirituality. Spirituality is the larger category. In 1963 Bishop John A. T. Robinson (then the Anglican Bishop of Woolrich, England) wrote, “Suppose the atheists are right – but that this is no more the end or denial of Christianity than the discrediting of the God ‘up there,’ which must in its time have seemed the contradiction of all that the Bible said?” What Robinson was arguing is that the notion of a God “up there” was discredited by the Copernican Revolution. It just didn’t make any sense after we knew more. Similarly, he concludes, the notion that God is “out there” (the metaphysical response to the end of God “up there”) is equally unsupportable. To him, and indeed to many others, Christianity is more than empty and indefensible metaphysical claims. He goes on, “Have we seriously faced the possibility that to abandon such an idol [God ‘out there’] may in the future be the only way of making Christianity meaningful, except to the few remaining equivalents of flat-earthers….” His answer is existential and he explicitly embraces the work of Paul Tillich (as well as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Rudolph Bultmann, who we might note was deeply influenced by Martin Heidegger – this was a source of disagreement between these two). Robinson goes so far as to say, “True religion (if that is not a contradiction in terms, as it would be for the Marxists) consists in harmonizing oneself with the evolutionary process as it develops ever higher forms of self-consciousness.” What is true? Or perhaps a better question might be “What is authentic?” And what then is authentic spirituality? Bishop Robinson concluded, “All true awareness of God is an experience at one and the same time of ultimacy and intimacy, of the mysterium tremendum et fascinans.” Fromm said the authentic is the natural. “The thesis of this paper is that values are
rooted in the very conditions of human existence, hence that our knowledge of the conditions – that is, of the ‘human situation’ – leads us to establish values which have objective validity. For Fromm the starting point is the same observation that has woven its way through this entire discussion. “Man is torn away from the primary union with nature, which characterizes animal existence.” In a more practical vein, Emmy van Deurzen (inspired by Victor Frankl) wrote, “Rising to the challenge of one’s own ideals can instill a while new meaning to life and with this sense of purpose comes a vital aliveness and passion which are commonly considered unattainable.” Her suggestion is that people benefit from having something that is important to them, important enough they would die for it. She and Irvin Yalom maintain that the goal of therapy is to make these ideals or values explicit as self-knowledge. But that seems completely relative and Fromm tells us these ideals are or can be objectively determined, and interestingly Bishop Robinson did too. What does one do with these conflicting points of emphasis? Fromm’s looks to social theory and suggests engagement with the world; Robinson looks to science and suggests engagement with it. Van Deurzen and Yalom would not disagree with that but seem to disagree with the strength of their claim. From my vantage point studying Religion a solution emerges. “The thing for which one is wiling to die,” which is needed for healthy functioning, is not and cannot be one thing for all people. Even when Fromm speaks of this as being objective I think he does not mean to suggest that there is one path for all people (he would suggest there are ethical limits, as the social world demands justice). What he seems to be telling us is that the path chosen, the ideals pursued and defended need to be values that are conducive of living. We need to walk a path that fits life’s needs, as those strike us in our time and place. We also have different interests and talents and these too must change how the path is seen. I have heard it said that Freud held that psychosis was at bottom confusing symbol for reality. In theology this is called idolatry. These are the real limits. A healthy and functional spirituality is, therefore, one that is conducive of living in the individual’s time and place, while fitting the individual’s talents and interests. It cannot be idolatrous, and so can be evaluated objectively. Does the representation or symbolic understanding of these ideals fit the individual’s real needs? Are they conducive for living? If so then they are most likely the sort that is needed. The Spiritual realm is the realm of values, ideals and meaning. These vary by individual and there are many valid constructions. If a particular construction is idolatrous or psychotic it won’t work and must be challenged and abandoned. The goal is to get at what really matters to the individual and to help them know this deeply and live it fully. Here I have tried to focus on the experiential side of all this. These values are not simply deduced from first principles; they are derived from lived experience. If that experience is engaged authentically and the symbolic representation of it can be achieved without appeals to idols then true self knowledge and vital aliveness can be achieved. Postscript One reading of the discussion above is: “spirituality is good.” That does not seem to be saying much. Indeed, I have tried to soft-peddle one of the most obvious conclusions. That conclusion is that Fundamentalist forms of religion and therefore spirituality are not authentic and therefore not healthy. The reason this conclusion is obvious, at least with a little knowledge of what Fundamentalism is, is that on Freud’s definition Fundamentalism is psychotic. Fundamentalism is, theologically, the confusion of symbol for reality. The Fundamentalist treats sacred texts as reality and fails to understand that texts are symbols too. The history of Theology is the history of reevaluating the symbols used to understand ultimate reality and the human relationship with that reality. Fundamentalism is an early 20th Century and originally Christian phenomenon that rejects that history in favor of a psychotic
relationship to religious symbols. This is true today regardless of what religion is in question. It is the common feature of all forms of Fundamentalism – confusing symbol for reality. What does this mean in a therapeutic context? Outside that context it simply means that people are cautioned to avoid those sorts of religious beliefs as they are not conducive to long term emotional well being (let alone a healthy and just society). The therapist is not a theologian and cannot be expected to navigate theological complexities in doing therapy. Curiously, the catch-phrase from “Dr. Phil” comes to mind. “How is that working for you?” If the client in therapy reports that it is working for them, then it is most likely better left alone. But, more likely, the reply will be that it is not working. The patient is hiding from something and using that psychotic belief as a defense mechanism. In these cases it is useful for the therapist to understand that there are limits to healthy spirituality and the patient living outside those limits should not be expected to be healthy. Their spirituality is dysfunctional and that is a real possibility, even though spirituality can be widely varied. How this is introduced in a therapeutic discussion will depend on context but it likely is a vitally important discussion to have. More theoretically, the reader may be aware that I have combined two schools of thought in Psychology that do not understand themselves to be in agreement. But that is the details. I think there is significant overlap in the approaches that derive from Fromm’s Analysis and Frankl’s Existentialism. I would suggest that the overlap can usefully be understood via the concept of “Facticity” as discussed by JeanPaul Sartre. Facticity is that which cannot change. The goal, according to Sartre, is distinguishing between the two. When and where I was born is part of my facticity, as is the gender of my birth, my parents, and my ethnic background. The prevailing views of society also have an element of Facticity but are not real Facticity as they can change, albeit with difficulty. Existential therapy emphasizes individual decision making and self-responsibility outside the realm of Facticity; and Analysis emphasizes the patterns and features that went into personality formation, which is to say the Facticity of personality formation. The two benefit from a healthy dialogue, I maintain. And so the conversation continues.
 The usage is so broad that, for example, the library research tool ProQuest finds six (6) different scholarly journals that start with the letter A with the word “spirituality” in the title. That is just the letter A!  Jonathan Z. Smith (ed.), Harper-Collins Dictionary of Religion (New York: Harper One, 1995), 1023.  http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_us1293221#m_en_us1293221.009  Emmy van Deurzen, Existential Counseling and Psychotherapy in Practice, 2nd ed. (London: Sage, 2002), 86.  I, personally, hold that we not only do not have a soul, we do not even have a self. Self is an experience not a thing. I would agree with the notion that mind is a significant organizing concept but would deny that it is ontologically distinct from brain. More below.  Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being, 2nd ed. (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1968), iv
 Maslow used the term in his 1969 article, “Theory Z”. It can be found in: Motivation and Personality (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), see page 28 for definition. He also founded the Association for Transpersonal Psychology in 1969.  Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving (New York: Bantam Books, 1956), 86.  Fromm, 1956, 53.  Rudolph Otto, The Idea of the Holy, trans. by John W. Harvey (London: Oxford University Press, 1958) Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 90.  I first argued a version of this point in: Richard Curtis, “The Essence of Religion: Homo Religiosus in a Dialectical Material World,” Nature, Society, and Thought, 11, no. 3 (1998): 311-330.  van Deurzen wrote: “Every person has an implicit worldview” (87).  Ira G. Zepp, Jr., The New Religious Image of Urban America: The Shopping Mall as Ceremonial Center, 2nd ed. (Niwot, Colorado: University Press of Colorado, 1997), 14.  van Deurzen, 87.  See: Daniel Dennett, Consciousness Explained (New York: Little, Brown, and Co., 1991). See: Daniel Siegel, The Developing Mind, 2nd ed. (New York: Guilford, 2010). His work focuses on the neurobiology of relationships, how our brains naturally are wired to be in community.  See: Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being.  Maslow, 26.  Schleiermacher focused on the term “Utter Dependence” in his book The Christian Faith (London: T & T Clark, 1928)  W.K. Clifford’s “Ethics of Belief” for example. Available at: http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/w_k_clifford/ethics_of_belief.html  William James’s “Will to Believe” for example. Available at: http://falcon.jmu.edu/~omearawm/ph101willtobelieve.html  Fromm, Art of Loving, especially.  Plato, The Symposium, http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/sym.htm, (this URL links to Aristophanes’s speech, the quote is the fourth paragraph from the bottom).  See Robert Bellah, “All Religions are Cousins” in Reasonable Perspectives on Religion, Richard Curtis, ed. (New York: Lexington Books, 2010).
 See Fromm, 1956, 53.  G.W.F. Hegel, Reason in History (New York: Prentice Hall, 1995).  Buber, 125.  John A. T. Robinson, Honest to God (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1963), 16.  Robinson, 16.  Robinson, 32. By the way, the Marxist writing this essay agrees with him, but I am an expert in religion as well.  Robinson, 131. I should mention that the phrase mysterium tremendum et fascinans is Rudolph Ottoâ€™s (discussed above).  Fromm, 1981, 1.  van Deurzen, 88.  van Deurzen, 87.  Irvin Yalom, Existential Psychotherapy (New York: Basic Books, 1980), 421. And van Deurzen, 87.
Expanding the Concept of Internal Object Relations: An Introduction to the Concept of Experiential Horizons Alberto Varona, Psy. D. Abstract The concept of horizons introduced in this paper is intended as an expansion to the concepts of internal objects and internal object relations as clarified by Thomas Ogden (1983). The concept of horizons acknowledges the direct relationship between the representational aspect of the mind and the world it responds to thereby reducing some of the difficulties of a world-mind dualism. Basing the representational aspect of the mind in direct relationship to the world also explains why internal objects relations –which are simplified embellishments of horizons– are dynamic and lively. The complex and creative syntheses of the two poles of horizons, the historic and the emergent, offer greater dimension to the theory of internal object relations. This theoretical expansion can be clinically useful as it reminds clinicians of the complexity of human experiencing and helps avoid the reductive interventions that sometimes create misunderstanding in psychotherapy. Main Text Michael walks into the consultation room. He looks very sad; his eyes are downcast and red. He slowly walks to his usual seat and he begins to sob, his face held in his hands. After several moments he wipes away his tears, looks up and says, “I had a very difficult meeting with my father. As you know I haven’t seen him for some time. Anyway, we met up at a local bar and when we finally talked he was very horrible to me. He made me feel horribly. After all this time not seeing me, he still could not show me more kindness.” After a moment the therapist asks Michael, “Can you tell me more about what it was like?” Michael looks confused and says, “It was just hard. There was so much going on at that moment. It is hard to articulate it. I wish I had a way to capture that moment so I can share it with you. All I can say is that it felt so sad and more, much more.” The therapist wants to attempt to capture the experience in words and responds, “It must be painful to finally see your father, after so much time anticipating it, and find that the experience showed him to be unchanged, so much like the father you remember.” Michael considers this for a moment and looks up teary eyed and says, “Yeah. I guess that is right. I guess that is true.” The therapist sees a great loss reflected in Michael’s eyes. His eyes communicate an acknowledgment that there was so much more to be communicated but that it was not possible to do. Neither of them can capture that moment. That moment was so much broader, more complex than normal speech can capture, and the experience is elusive. Both the therapist and Michael feel a deep sadness about it. But neither of them understands exactly what was left unsaid. The concepts of internal objects and their relations have proven useful as a means of exploring the inner landscape of human experience. These concepts acknowledge that there is an aspect of lived experience that is reflected internally and that it is often the most immanent aspect of experience for a person. Although the concepts of internal objects and their relations have been useful in articulating human experience in its complexity, they are also inherently restrictive. Other, less simplified, aspects of experience should be acknowledged in order to further advance our clinical theories and practice. These
other aspects of experience are important in understanding human experience, both internal and external, as the source of what is considered dynamic about the world of internal objects. The most fundamental experiences individuals have are both elusive and difficult to articulate, just as Michael struggles to understand and explain his experience with his father. In psychoanalysis, we must recognize these fundamental experiences, termed horizons. They are the basis for thought and language and serve as a link between the lived world and the internal world of representation. Recognizing horizons will give a fuller understanding of the human experience. THE CONCEPT OF INTERNAL OBJECTS AND THEIR RELATIONS Thomas Ogden’s (1983, p. 227) definition of internal objects and their relations is a useful reference point from which to begin an exploration of these concepts: Internal objects can be thought of as dynamically unconscious suborganizations of the ego capable of generating meaning and experience, i.e. capable of thought, feeling and perception. These suborganizations stand in unconscious relationships to one another and include (1) selfsuborganizations of ego, i.e. aspects of the ego in which the person more fully experiences his ideas and feelings as his own, and (2) object suborganizations of ego through which meanings are generated in a mode based upon identification of an aspect of the ego with an object. This identification with the ego is so thorough that one’s original sense of self is almost entirely lost. (italics mine) Ogden arrives at this definition after careful consideration of the conceptual variations of the term internal objects as fantasies (Melanie Klein), thoughts (Klein as articulated by Susan Isaacs and Hanna Segal), dynamic representational structures (Ronald Fairbairn) and mental representations with capacity for linkage (Donald Winnicott). He says that there are self-suborganizations and objectsuborganizations to internal objects. He also creatively uses Winnicott, Grottstein and especially Wilfred Bion to explain how internal objects – as internal object relations between suborganizations of the ego – are capable of generating meaning and experience. Bion’s concept of projective identification – particularly Bion’s ‘construction of bizarre objects’ theory (1957)- is used to explain how aspects of the dynamic ego can become identified with the internal object suborganizations. According to Ogden, aspects of the dynamic ego, i.e. taste, sight and thought, become identified with these internal object suborganizations causing these suborganizations to function with some relative and lively independence in generating meaning and experience. Ogden is correct in his identifying the self and object aspects of internal objects. He is also correct in identifying the need to explain how internal object relations become dynamic substructures that themselves generate meaning and experience. The concept of internal objects and their relations alone cannot account for the dynamism of people’s internal experience. But to Ogden and many other psychoanalytic investigators, the immanent fact that internal object relations are “capable of thought, feeling and perception” is not sufficiently explained by the emotion or action-based links that are supposed to exist between internal objects – object relations. Two thoughts or two representations linked together or associated with each other do not generate the dynamic and autonomous capacity for thought, feeling or perception. These dynamic qualities are associated with living organisms and their active functions, not with the mental copies that constitute internal objects. However, if we ascribe these dynamic mental functions to mental content itself, as Ogden suggests, another great problem emerges. Does our mind contain smaller beings that are somewhat alive and that wreak havoc on us? This can lead to demonological explanations of the mind and a separate mental world of entities in need of a psychoanalytic census.
Ogden’s work contributed greatly by clarifying a set of concepts that had been ambiguous in the psychoanalytic community. By giving his definition he was able to offer the community a more coherent definition to use in exploring the complexity of the inner human landscape. However, there are two significant problems with his definition and analysis. His definition, while identifying aspects of internal life in need of articulation (the self and object suborganizations of the ego), becomes a limitation upon that articulation. His theory misses the immanent fact that the internal world is not comprised of simplified selves and objects and their relationships to each other. Such a simplification can be very restrictive. Also, his analysis makes an unnecessary jump by linking mental function (e.g. thought, feeling, and perception) to mental content (self and object suborganizations) in order to explain the dynamism of internal object relations. Although internal object relations comprise suborganizations of the ego, their dynamism may be accounted for with fewer hypothetical steps. The mind is not a closed system, experience itself is continuously impacting it. The intersection of new experience and older experiences, encoded as they are in the memory, alone could account for the dynamism and autonomous nature often ascribed to internal object relations. ANOTHER ASPECT OF MENTAL CONTENT The concept of internal object relations misses a more substantive aspect of mental life that is encoded in the memory as experiential, responsive and historical. The word experiential is useful because it places this theoretical expansion of mental content on the sure ground of a living world and the context (Stolorow, 2011) of human living. The mind is not closed off from the world and anything that it contains within it must have some direct relationship with the world itself. Mental content comes from the world and it will always interact with that same world. The word responsive is particularly important. It establishes that mental content not only comes from the world but also is a response to the world rather than a copy of that world. When an ‘object’ is identified in one’s memory, e.g. the face and voice of the father, it is easy to miss the fact that these are not mental copies of the father. They are rather mental representations of experiences with the father. In other words, the face and voice of the father that one can conjure up in the mind are responses, what it was like to see and hear him from one’s vantage point. The visual and auditory memories are the subjective experiences one had when encountering the father. Finally, this leads to the use of the word historical. This word is used as a reminder that anything that exists in mental content is based in experiences and responses that have already passed. Any mental content well encoded in the memory is inherently historical. This is important because this historical pole is one aspect of mental life is always being conjured up by new lived experiences. When one meets with their father they certainly have a new experience but that same new experience is likely to invoke historical experiences which are themselves comprised of responses. THE CONCEPT OF HORIZONS These encoded responses to the world are broad, multi-sensory, somatic, emotional and cognitive. They are broad in the sense that so many aspects of our experience, whether central or peripheral to that experience, are also encoded in the memory. They include experiences that are responses to sights, sounds, tastes and tactile sensations. They include responses of the body such as stomach movements, muscular tenseness, increased heart rate and energy shifts. Some of these somatic responses are identified as constituting emotions such as sadness, anxiety, fear and excitement. When identifying somatic responses as emotions there is also a cognitive experience associated with these responses. The thought, “I am so sad” or “I am so excited” may constitute an aspect of the broad responsive experience. Beyond the simple identification of emotions there are also values placed on those states such as, “I hate feeling this way” or “I feel great being excited”. This is also an aspect of the cognitive experience.
For clarity these broad, multi-sensory, somatic, emotional and cognitive experiences will be referred to as horizons. Horizons are constituted of responses and the world to which one responds. The word horizon captures the breadth of experience in a matter that is theoretically useful. The word captures the entire broad field of experiencing; not just discreet subjects and objects. It also suggests that not all possible experiences of the world are included, just a broad yet limited range. A horizon is a significant portion of the world but not the entire world. The word horizon is inherently perspectival (Orange, 1992) in that it acknowledges a broad range of experience unique to each experiencer. When encoded in the memory, responsive experience of the world is encoded as a horizon. When responsive experience of the world emerges from memory it emerges as a horizon. If responsive experience of the world emerges from memory as discreet subjects and objects it does so always within the backdrop of a horizon. The face and voice of the father that one can conjure in the mind never emerges from memory in a vacuum. As it came to the memory from the broad and responsive experience of the world so it emerges with that in the background. It is inherently dynamic as it is backed by the dynamism of responsive lived experience. It is important to underscore that horizons are responsive, characterized by an interface between the world and the person. This means that this aspect of the representational mind is made up of responses to the world. It is not fundamentally constituted of copies of the world or its objects but rather of what it is like to be interfacing with it. This distinguishes horizons from internal objects not just in the quantity of what they describe but in the quality of what they describe. Remembered aspects of horizons are always about something, the experience of the lived-world is always a necessary counterpart to the remembrance. Both poles of horizons, the lived-world experience and the responsive memory to the lived-world experience, are essential. There is no meaning to one without the other. THE TWO POLES OF HORIZON The horizon is made up of two poles of experience: the historic horizon and the emergent horizon. The historic horizon is the aspect of experience that has already passed and is related to memory. It is the remembered, responsive and broad content of experience. It spans from life in utero to just milliseconds prior to having new experience. The emergent horizon is the experience that is occurring now and is a concept based in the real world. As emergent experience, it is always grasping for or moving toward the next moment, it is always progressive. It is considered the other pole of horizons because it constitutes the causal side of what the historic horizon is a response to. As such, the historic horizon is not a static thing. It makes continuous contact with the emergent horizons and they coalesce to form the unity with which we tend to experience ourselves in the world. A horizon is the creative syntheses of the historic and emergent poles of lived experience that constitute our lived being in a world. COALSCENCE AND THE EXPERIENCE OF UNIQUENESS Alfred Whiteheadâ€™s (1929) concepts of concrescence and actual entities articulate aspects of human experiencing that are crucial. For Whitehead an actual entity is comprised of â€œdrops of experience, complex and interdependentâ€? (28) that result from a coming together of history and experience (concrescence), generating a creative unity of experience. The unique entity that results from this concrescence of history and experience is not enduring as its movement through time and continuous experience is a never-ending process. This process is a process of becoming; the actual entity an elusive being that is an amazing intersection between the past and the future. This process philosophy is very illuminating for psychology. It serves as a reminder that the intersection between what is remembered and what is emerging, the entity or person that is generated from the
sophisticated coalescence between these two poles of experience, the historic and the emergent, is always unique and greater than the parts of which they are comprised. People themselves are the broad, multisensory, somatic, emotional and cognitive experiences. They are the horizons, the unique coalescence of two poles of experience. The historic pole of experience is the basis for what they deem stable and enduring. The emergent pole of experience is the basis for what they deem indefinite and the basis of all possibility. The coalescence of both poles of experience is dynamic and ensures that experience of the world is never passive. INTERNAL OBJECTS AS SIMPLIFICATIONS The mental content is not – at its most elemental level – constructed of subject-verb-object propositions or subject-affect-object experience. Mental content is always comprised of horizons. Internal objects and internal object relations are important yet simplified versions of what is given to experience in horizons. They are constituted of simplifications, verbal and sometimes visual propositions, layered upon the horizons from which they are drawn. Horizons, as coalescence, are the substance of human experience, animating and elaborating it. However, when self-reflection and speech are necessitated, the horizons undergo the process of simplification. It is simplified content that we often hear about in both theory and common speech. Simplification is necessary because it makes horizons available to propositional thought and propositional speech. The simplifying of horizons results in the simplified content of internal objects and internal object relations. Looking again at the case of Michael, horizons help us recognize both the complexities and nuances of his experience that are not captured through the simplified language of internal objects and their relations: Michael finds himself in a warm room that feels very unpleasant on his skin. It makes his skin too moist and itchy. He chose this place to meet his father after several years of not speaking. It is also extremely loud and he can feel his eardrums pulsing. On the periphery of his vision there are many people moving about at a very fast pace, faster than he himself would normally move and it makes him a bit uneasy. His heart begins to race and he believes himself to be anxious. Also, his stomach feels restless and uneasy as if anticipating something potentially frightening. However, he also believes this stomach restlessness is excitement about the meeting about to take place. The last time Michael saw his father they got into a great argument and he chose not to make contact with him for a long time. For years Michael has had tearful nights thinking about his father. He has also had many fleeting thoughts that his father may die without him there. Michael hasn’t entirely forgiven him yet, but he is hoping to today. He is aware of feeling frightened that his father hasn’t changed very much. On the other hand he hopes his father is exactly the same as he was before so he can stay angry and stop trying to forgive him. He had a passing fantasy that his father may be sick, which inspired him to reach out. Paradoxically, he feels comforted by and hates this fantasy. Finally, after scanning for several moments, Michael spots him. His father sees Michael as well. His father looks so much older. ‘Maybe he is dying’, Michael thinks. Michael feels a surge of excitement, sadness and annoyance. So many thoughts and memories flood into Michael’s mind, but they are hard to capture. His father approaches Michael and as he comes into earshot he says very loudly, speaking over the deafening noise and with a scowl on his face, “This is a terrible spot you chose!” Michael’s stomach sinks deeper; a deep sadness washes over him. Everything is as it was before. Nothing has changed.
Later that day Michael meets with his therapist and says, “I had a very difficult meeting with my father. As you know I haven’t seen him for some time. Anyway, we met up at a local bar and when we finally talked he was very horrible to me. He made me feel horribly. After all this time of not seeing me and he still could not show me more kindness.” This example highlights a typical occurrence of recalling and retelling an experience. It is usually only possible to recall and retell simplified aspects of the experience. The objects and emotions characterize what was central to the experience. It is normal to recall and retell experience in a simplified manner. In fact, it is possible that human thinking itself requires such simplification in order to operate efficiently. Nevertheless, it is this simplified thinking and verbal level of experience that is most readily available to the self and most readily accepted by those who listen to us speak. What is typical of the process of simplification is the identification of particular objects, activities and emotions of the horizon. However, beneath the surface of recalling and retelling is a level of experience often unexpressed, the level of horizons. Much more could be understood about horizons, but thoughts and words are often limiting. This process of simplification is called objectification. This simplified content is made up of objectified versions of those people, things, actions and emotions that constitute the experiences themselves. Even the concept of the self –a compulsory, evolved and essential construction– is an objectifying of horizons of experiences into an experiencer. The resultant ‘subject’ is also a simplified content that takes experiencing itself as its object. The simplified content can be utilized to form thoughts and sentences that are based in subject-action-object or subject-affect-object propositions. This is an important layer of mental life. In this domain, slightly withdrawn as it is from experiential horizons, the entire structure of human cognitive and linguistic life is constructed. However, just as horizons are essentially about the lived-world experience, internal objects are always about the horizons. They are useful simplifications of horizons but they are always one step removed from direct lived-world experience. INTERNAL OBJECTS AS THINKING, FEELING AND PERCIEVING ENTITIES Ascribing internal objects the capacity for thought, feeling and perception is an error. The sense that internal objects can think, feel and perceive could be better explained by reference to experience of the lived-world itself. The internal objects, drawn out of horizons of experience, are always intricately bound up with the responses one had in the experience of them. For example, the face and voice of the father can be conjured in the mind, but never in absolute isolation from the responsive perceptions, feelings and thoughts one had about the father when the memory encoded our experience of him. It follows that the father, as an internal object, is intricately bound up with many other dynamic aspects of experience and that these aspects of experience constitute the dynamism with which we experience this internal object in the historic horizon. Add to this the emergent horizon, the aspect of experience that is occurring now. The historic horizon, in this case the experience of the father as an internal object, is coming forward to meet with an emergent situation that has somehow called it forth. Maybe one has come in contact with a man that looks like the father, or perhaps one is meeting with a woman who holds authority like the father did. The internal object of the father is now coalescing with an emergent horizon of experience. It is coalescence itself, the coming together of historical and emergent poles, which accounts for the dynamism with which we experience internal objects and their relations. If this theoretical expansion is correct and internal object relations are simplifications drawn from horizons, there may be little need for Ogden’s use of Bion’s ‘bizarre object theory’ (1957) to explain the dynamism of internal object relations. Internal object relations have never existed in solitude as discreet mental copies, static and identifiable things-in-themselves that must be invested with the dynamism of living organisms. These internal object relations have always been objectifications of a broad, multi-
sensory, somatic, emotional and cognitive experiential life. Emergent horizons are always creatively synthesizing with historic horizons that are again surfacing and grasping for emergent horizons. Internal object relations were always animated by experiential life, both historic and emergent. People are the horizons and there is little need to imagine why the objectification of those experiential horizons would also be dynamic and lively. WHY DOES THIS MATTER? We can rarely ever think about or speak of our horizons in a fulfilling way. This is because horizons are the coalescence of our history and the emergent world. Horizons are vast, complex and elusive and yet immanent at the same time. As such they are not available to thought or to speech in the manner internal objects are. Horizons are responsive in nature, the experience-of something, and are not the agents of experience that make for narrative retelling. Horizons are also moving targets, never fully objectified nor subjectified, continuously transforming through time. The memory may subjectify and objectify horizons to some extent, thereby rendering them think-able and speak-able. However, these experiences can never really be shared with or given to another. As demonstrated in Michael’s case, we find the therapist and the client profoundly disappointed that the nuances of his experience with his father are elusive and difficult to communicate. The nature of horizons is that they are difficult to articulate and require a more patient and effortful engagement. For this reason it is important to understand something of the complexity and dynamism of horizons of experience. Every reflection, analysis or conversation about our horizons has already and necessarily been reduced to simplified propositions that inherently lack breadth and accuracy. Our attempts to know and understand others are seriously impaired by the function of simplification and by the process of speaking and yet, paradoxically, these are the most common means for knowing and understanding people. This is, in part, why psychoanalytic clinicians and other humanistic clinicians increasingly emphasize the process of therapy over the content of therapy. An understanding of the importance of experience, as horizons, can tip the scales away from simplification and further toward relational experience as the best process for therapeutic intervention. The content of conversations can also be elaborated more fully in order to reduce the isolation that can result from simplifications. The concept of horizons also reduces this theoretical danger of closed mental systems. Theories that isolate the mind too far from the lived-world are vulnerable to mind-world dualism. This has been problematic in psychoanalytic theorizing. It accomplishes this by removing the barrier between lived experience and the representational mind. With this theoretical expansion it is more difficult to conceive of the mind as a closed location in which the objects live and wreak havoc unbeknownst to us. The historic horizons of the representational mind are comprised of the responses to the emergent horizons that they respond to. They are the world’s impression on the mind, yet both poles, the historic and the emergent, are continuously transforming each other. The internal objects are simplifications drawn from responsive experiences and are dynamic by virtue of their basis in lived experience. There are no living internal object relations that are born in the mind and exist there autonomously. Historic horizons are remembered and responsive experiences. The simplified objects that are imagined out of these horizons are not alive; they are activated by life and by experience. To be clear, the concept of internal objects or internal object relations should not be eliminated. In fact, they are concepts that have been very useful to psychoanalytic practitioners for many years. Instead, we must view internal object relations as a layer of representation constructed upon a backdrop of horizons. This layer simplifies experience –both historical and emergent – to facilitate thought and make verbal articulation possible. This simplification inverts experience in order to create mental content in the form
of the object. Additionally, this simplification creates an experiencer who we call the subject. Finally, the relations aspect of internal object relations is a simplification that selects discreet activities and emotions that are proximally located between or experientially associated with the subject and the object. If horizons elude thought and speech, is this concept clinically irrelevant? Does this theory suggest that verbal simplifications in the form of insights, interpretations and narratives should be eliminated? These are important questions. The answer to both is ‘no’. Psychotherapists cannot eliminate simplifications. Our thinking and language are dependent on these simplifications. However, there are a few suggestions to mitigate the negative clinical effects of verbal simplifications. First, clinicians must always emphasize the process of therapy, the experiences co-created in therapy, over the content of therapy, that which is said in therapy. This is one way we can highlight the experiential horizon over the simplified content. Secondly, clinicians must adopt a clinical approach that is perspectival (Orange 1995) and contextual (Stolorow 2011). Perspectival approaches treat insights, interpretations and narratives as fragments of reality as opposed to absolute descriptions of reality. Contextual approaches expand the focus of therapy from simple dyads and simple content to complex environments and experiences. However, for perspectival and contextual approaches to avoid the pitfalls of simplified therapies they cannot eliminate the historic horizon, the representational aspects of horizons. Herein lies the clinical relevance of this theoretical expansion. It is a reminder that representational aspects of the mind and experiential life are important. They are particularly important in their coalescence. Finally, clinical insights, interpretations and narratives should be stated with tentativeness. This tentativeness will ensure that all insights, interpretations and narratives are merely attempts to understand the horizons of the other, an experience that is unique, elusive and ultimately private. Tentative insights, interpretations and narratives are meaningful possibilities not certainties. The clinician is now a participant in an emergent horizon that does not demand conformity and uncomfortable syntheses. Continuous engagement with clients that is process-oriented, perspectival, contextual and tentative can create an emergent horizon that is quite therapeutic. CONCLUSION The concept of horizon introduced in this paper is intended as a means of expanding the concept of internal objects and internal object relations as clarified by Thomas Ogden (1983). The horizon directly links the representational world with the broad, multi-sensory, somatic, emotional and cognitive experiential world reducing the danger of dualistic models of mind-world. The creative and coalescing syntheses between the historic pole and the emergent pole of horizons create an open and flexible mental system. Also, basing the representational world in relationship to the experiential world explains why internal objects relations –constructed as they are from upon horizons– are dynamic and lively. This expansion also introduces a component of time and process into our clinical theories by recognizing the coalescence between historic and emergent horizons. This expansion can prove clinically useful as it reminds clinicians of the complexity of human experience and helps us avoid the sort of limiting simplifications that sometimes create misunderstanding in therapy. If more attention can be given to horizons rather than to the discreet objects, actions and subjects of the representational mind, then clients and their therapists - like Michael and his therapist - can avoid the profound disappointment that may arise when the nuances of human experience are missed. This is a promising clinical possibility. If human experience is as complex as is suggested in this paper, nuanced theories are needed to grasp for understanding. The complexity and nuance of human experience will never fit within our concepts but it is an honorable aim to have our concepts adequately approach human experience.
Bion, W. (1957). Differentiation of the psychotic from the non-psychotic. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 38, 206-275. Ogden, T.H. (1983). The concept of internal object relations. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 64, 227. Orange, D.M. (1995). Emotional Understanding. Guilford Press. Stolorow, R. (2011). World, Affectivity, Trauma. Routledge. pp 19-34 Whitehead, A. (1929) Process and Reality. Macmilan,
CULTURE, ALIENATION AND SOCIAL THEORY George Snedeker, Ph.D. Abstract
In this article I will present an analysis of Jean-Paul Sartre’s ontology of social being, making reference primarily to Search for a Method. My analysis will treat Sartre’s theory of his Marxian approach to alienation and class analysis within the framework of capitalist society. I will pose the question as to how far Sartre goes beyond what Marx had to say about both alienation and class struggle. I will argue that Sartre was not a Marxist, but his social theory was nevertheless comparable with that of Marx. For Sartre, Marxism was a philosophy and Existentialism was an ideology within Marxism; Existentialism was a theory of individual freedom. Main Text Jean-Paul Sartre understood philosophy as constituting a framework for the understanding of a form of society or what Marx called a mode of production. Philosophy as such does not exist; only philosophies exist. For Sartre, Marxism is a philosophy. It had replaced the philosophies of Kant and Hegel. For Sartre, there is no such thing as a post-Marxist idea since we have not transcended capitalism. Sartre had a high respect for literature, philosophy and all forms of engaged writing. His belief in the special role of writing was articulated in What is Literature. There was a dialectical relationship between writer and reader. Both are engaged in the project of freedom. Sartre wrote for free men, not for slaves. Writing attempts to take the reader beyond where he has been. The engaged writer attempts to become a force for progressive social change in the understanding of society and politics. In his more Marxist writings, Sartre attempted to address the problem of exploitation, class struggle and the struggle against colonial domination. These themes were addressed in his Critique of Dialectical Reason and his essays of the 1960s and 70s. It was in these writings that Sartre articulated a theory of alienation, culture and social class. The book published in English as Search for a Method was included as part of the French edition of The Critique of Dialectical Reason. Search for a Method could serve as a preface to either The Critique of Dialectical Reason or Sartre’s several volume study of Flaubert entitled The Family Idiot. This book provides an introduction to a dialectical version of psychoanalysis, sociology and what Sartre refers to as the “ideology” of Existentialism. Search for a Method takes on the appearance of being a Marxist work, but it is really a debate with Marxism. Sartre later claimed that he had never been a Marxist. His primary task in Search for a Method was a defense of Existentialism. This point is made clear in his highly critical remarks about Georg Lukacs. Sartre was also responding to criticisms of Existentialism by French Marxists like Henri Lefebvre. Sartre suggests that Marxism is a philosophy that expresses the basic philosophical conception of capitalism while Existentialism is an ideology which exists within the framework of the philosophy of Marxism and articulates the reality of the individual as a mode of Being in the world. In his debate with Marxism, Sartre attempts to formulate the grounds for the intelligibility of culture in relation to historical totalization. In his attempt to formulate the dialectics of individual praxis and history, he elaborates a theory of social class and human agency. From the point of view of this analysis, two particular aspects of his theory are of interest: his conceptions of praxis and the practico-inert.
Culture: Sartre does not reify the concept of culture; his conception of culture is a theory of mediation, in which he attempts to establish the singular unity of individual praxis and history: The dialectical totalization must include acts, passions, work, and need as well as economic categories; it must at once place the agent or the event back into the historical setting, define him in relation to the orientation of becoming, and determine exactly the meaning of the present as such (Sartre, 1962:133). The ordinariness of culture is defined by its negation, by forces and structures limiting freedom. In opposition to culture as the “field of the given,” Sartre posits human freedom as the need to go beyond the historical facticity of reified institutions and the social relations of scarcity. In this context, need is understood as lack, and freedom (in the form of praxis) attempts to surpass the condition of scarcity. In this formulation of the problem, culture is presented as contradiction and struggle. In terms of Sartre’s notion of the project, the subjectivity of human experience and practice violates and struggles against objective restraints upon freedom and becoming. At the same time, Sartre posits history as the product of the objectification of praxis. Men and women both produce and are produced by their own practices. Historical totalization is the struggle between freedom and the reified world of the practico-inert. In other words, men and women both exteriorize interiority and interiorize exteriority. As I will argue, this particular formulation of the problem involves the positing of an ontological conception of freedom. For Sartre, freedom takes the form of a universal in relation to particular fields of institutional restraint. Freedom is understood on the level of a universal precondition in relation to a particular historical condition of the possibility of individual and collective praxis. Before pursuing this criticism, I will first examine the more concrete analysis contained in Sartre’s formulation. This analysis concerns the relationship between the individual and history. In this formulation, Sartre attempts to integrate the approaches of psychoanalysis, sociology, and existentialism within the theoretical and political perspective of Marxism. He attempts to incorporate these disciplines within Marxism and, in doing so, he extends the perspective of Marxism. This enterprise is both polemical and theoretical in scope. His polemic is written in opposition to the positivist and mechanistic versions of Marxism which had become popular within the French Communist Party in the 1950s. Psychoanalysis: Sartre’s appropriation of psychoanalysis to Marxism is not another version of the synthesis of Freud and Marx, similar to those developed by the Frankfurt School. Instead, he attempts to appropriate psychoanalysis into a Marxist analysis. In doing so, he intends the domains of investigation to include the family and childhood. In opposition to mechanistic Marxism, Sartre remarks: As we read them, everything seems to happen as if men experienced their alienation and their reification first in their own work, whereas in actuality each one lives it first, as a child, in his parents’ work (Sartre, 1963:62). His attempt here is to grasp the significance of childhood.
His analysis avoids the scientistic dogma often associated with psychoanalysis. His interest is in disclosing the relationship between childhood and the social totalization each child enters into through his/her experiences within the family: The family in fact is constituted by and in the general movement of History (Sartre, 1963:62). According to this formulation, the opaqueness of working class life (in all of its alienation) does not begin at the moment that the worker enters the factory, but is rather mediated through the family he/she is born into. The objective conditions of working class life are lived first on the level of childhood. The Marxist appropriation of psychoanalysis enables Sartre to formulate the relationship between biography and history. It provides grounds for the formulation of the relationship between concrete social practice and historical totalization: Psychoanalysis, working within a dialectical totalization, refers on the one side to objective structures, to material conditions, and on the other to the action upon our adult life of the childhood we never wholly surpass (Sartre, 1963:63-64). The version of psychoanalysis expressed here has been reconstituted in relation to the Marxist problematic. It is not the psychoanalysis practiced by analysts in either treatment or research. This version of psychoanalysis discovers only particular facts in isolation. It never grasps history. The reconstituted version of psychoanalysis formulated by Sartre is not confined to the study of sexuality or neurosis. In fact, this formulation of psychoanalysis does not have a distinctive domain of its own. It rather constitutes a moment within the dialectical understanding of society. If such an understanding is to be adequate, objects of study (such as the family and childhood) must be reciprocally connected with other domains of social practice: The child experiences more than just his family. He lives also – in part through the family – the collective landscape which surrounds him (Sartre, 1962:79). Sociology: Sartre moves from the appropriation of psychoanalysis to the appropriation of the domain of sociology. In a similar fashion, Sartre does not incorporate either the positivist findings or theoretical framework of bourgeois sociology. Instead, he appropriates its object of study: At the level of the relations of production and at that of political-social structures, the unique person is found conditioned by his human relations… The person lives and knows his condition more or less clearly through the groups he belongs to. The majority of these groups are local, definite, immediately given. It is clear, in fact, that the factory worker is subject to the pressure of his “production group”, but if, as is the case at Paris, he lives rather far from his place of work, he is equally subject to the pressure of his “residential group” (Sartre, 1963:66). Sartre’s interest here is not with particular findings. Instead, he is interested in social and institutional relations as objective conditions influencing social and political practice. These collectives exist both as objective structures and as the subjective conditions of life.
He argues that thus far the practice of sociology has served the interests of the capitalist class against the working class and that it is an instrument made use of in the control of the working class. According to this argument, sociology is not merely the scientific practice of collecting social facts, nor the formulation of general theories of society. Such practices express particular and not universal interests. Sociology serves the interests of capital’s need for control and does not express the universality of science. This is particularly evident to Sartre in the fields of urban and industrial sociology, although he concludes that it also applies to the entire practice of bourgeois sociology in less obvious ways. After attacking the ideologically embedded practices of sociology, he suggests that a Marxist appropriation of its object domain would serve the interests of the working class against the interests of capital. He argues that a Marxist sociology could be used by the working class in their struggle against capital. Sartre does not spell out the concrete details of how the working class might use sociology as an instrument in its struggle for working class power. One conceivable level of this appropriation is the formulation of counter-ideology through the intellectual apparatuses of working class parties and trade unions. Concerning the ideological struggle, a Marxist sociology could also engage the predominant bourgeois ideology within the universities and political journalism. The Marxist version of sociology which Sartre outlines would represent the particular interests of the working class in opposition to the particular interests of capital. According to this argument, a Marxist appropriation of sociology would not express universal interests, since capitalist society is divided into antagonistic classes. According to Sartre’s conception, the proletariat is a particular class on the way to becoming a universal class. The notion of universal interest is not conceivable within capitalist society. For Sartre, socialism represents the possibility of attaining a condition of social existence where universal interests might find expression. The achievement of socialism is in no sense inevitable; it expresses an historical possibility. In a similar fashion to the Marxist appropriation of psychoanalysis, Sartre argues for the appropriation of sociology to the Marxist problematic. As in the case of psychoanalysis, sociology can not merely be absorbed into Marxism. Nor can sociology exist as an autonomous discipline within Marxism. According to his formulation, sociology would be transformed and reconstituted as a moment of the dialectical understanding of historical totalization. Its positivist, theoretical perspectives and methodology would have to be discarded. As in the case of psychoanalysis, the Marxist appropriation of sociology would be in terms of the inclusion of its object of study within the working class political struggle against capitalism. In Sartre’s formulation, the appropriation of psychoanalysis and sociology is intelligible as a movement toward the dialectical formulation of the relationship between individual praxis and historical totalization. This theoretical enterprise involves both the specificity of the concrete social practices of culture and the larger historical process. The aim of Sartre’s analysis is to make the connection between culture and history intelligible. It is to surpass the apparent separation between culture and history. Individual praxis is understood as a moment of dialectical intelligibility. According to Sartre, orthodox Marxism has dissolved the concrete praxis of individuals into a metaphysical conception of social classes and history. For Sartre, this transformation within Marxism represents the re-emergence of idealism within Marxism. According to his reading of the predominant contemporary Marxist analysis, this analysis begins with a series of dogmatic assumptions as to the nature of historical change. Contemporary Marxists have transformed social class into a metaphysical Being which acts in accordance with scientific laws of history. The concrete praxis of individuals is excluded from the version of Marxism which Sartre polemicizes against.
The central point of his analysis is to reintroduce individual and collective praxis into Marxist political analysis. In order to do this, he relies upon his own existential conception of individual consciousness and freedom. He asserts the irreducible primacy of these conceptions: A product of his product, fashioned by his work and by the social conditions of production, man at the same time exists in the milieu of his products and furnishes the substance of the “Collectives” which consume him (Sartre, 1963:79).
Existentialism: By means of the ideology of Existentialism, Sartre reintroduces the praxis of the individual into history. In this formulation of Existential Marxism, history is analyzed in terms of the praxis of individuals and collectives. The insertion of Existentialism into Marxism insists upon the conclusion that men and women are both the subjects and objects of history. However, they do not make history as isolated individuals, but in relation to a collective struggle within given conditions: Now it is in terms of his relation with collectives – that is, in his “social field” considered in its most immediate aspect – that man learns to know his condition. Here again the particular connections are one mode of realizing and of living the universal in its materiality (Sartre, 1963:78-79). According to this formulation of the problem, the social Being of a class does not dissolve the existential reality of individual praxis or consciousness. Instead, the individual is transformed by his/her situated praxis. For Sartre, class is always a multiplicity of agents and never a singular unity. According to this formulation, individual praxis embodies the subjectivity of a trans-individual freedom. Freedom by means of the praxis of individuals goes beyond the given materiality of the world. This materiality is understood as including both the domains of nature and social institutions. On the level of universals, freedom opposes material scarcity. This condition of scarcity presents itself as both a given fact and as an historical product. In Sartre’s analysis, the concepts of freedom and scarcity are presented on two levels. They are presented as both the universal prior conditions determining human praxis and the specific historical conditions in which concrete praxis takes place. On the level of the universal, they provide ontological grounds for the meaning of human existence. They constitute the dialectic of freedom and necessity. This dialectic is the formulation of a political problem in philosophic terms. These universal conceptions form a frame of reference for the analysis of individual and group praxis. In this analysis, Sartre continually moves back and forth between the domains of concrete social praxis and the universal preconditions of this activity. The universal categories of freedom and scarcity are posited as the underlying explanation for human praxis. As categories, they form the prior condition for the understanding of events and actions. Within his analysis, individual subjects are formulated as the agents of historical change. Within historically defined circumstances, human actors produce and reproduce the social world. They act in combination and in relation to other subjects:
For us man is characterized above all by his going beyond a situation, and by what he succeeds in making of what he has been made – even if he never recognizes himself in his objectification (Sartre, 1963:91). Human subjects do not merely adapt to given circumstances; they go beyond these circumstances. Individual subjects are analyzed by Sartre in relation to objective conditions limiting the range of choices immediately available. These constraints are referred to as “the practico-inert.” However, this domain of limitation or restraint is never absolute. Instead, this field constitutes an historical condition to be surpassed through human praxis: It is by transcending the given toward the field of possible and by realizing one possibility from among all the others that the individual objectifies himself and contributes to making History (Sartre, 1963:93). The history made results from the objectified surpassing of this given field. The objective conditions of social life exist as alterity. Although these conditions result from prior objectifications of human praxis, they are often experienced as forces external to human design or control. Sartre’s analysis attempts to go beyond these appearances by restoring the relationships and activities which constituted them: Thus man makes History; this means that he objectifies himself in it and is alienated in it. In this sense History, which is the proper work of all activity and of all men, appears to men as a foreign force exactly insofar as they do not recognize the meaning of their enterprise (even when locally successful) in the total, objective result (Sartre, 1963:89). According to this conception, alienation does not result from the isolated praxis of an individual. It results from a particular organization of society, which in turn determines the ability of subjects to comprehend the underlying social relations and forces. The particular organization of capitalist society forms a field of denied possibilities for individual workers. These denied possibilities are formulated by Sartre as the negation of freedom: Every man is defined negatively by the sum total of possibles which are impossible for him; that is by a future more or less blocked off (Sartre, 1963:95). Racism, sexism, and class relations are concrete examples of such restraints upon the realization of freedom through praxis. However, such restraints never constitute absolute barriers. The future is always “more or less” limited by these institutional practices. Sartre’s theory of history presupposes a structure of intentionality governing the practices of social life. This intentionality projects individual praxis toward surpassing, toward the realization of freedom. This presupposition as to the nature of intentionality is apparent in the way in which Sartre defines the object of his analysis: The most rudimentary behavior must be determined both in relation to the real and present factors which condition it and in relation to a certain object, still to come, which it is trying to bring into being. This is what we call the project (Sartre, 1963:91).
The goal of surpassing given conditions is defined as an attribute of the activity analyzed. The aim of human praxis is the realization of freedom by going beyond the given field of the possible. Sartre attempts to analyze concrete human praxis in relation to historical totalization. He attempts to demonstrate the relationship between the ordinary practices of everyday life and the larger historical process. He attempts to demonstrate the relationship between the individual moments of this process and that history is only intelligible as a relationship between praxis and the objective results of praxis interiorized and re-exteriorized. This relationship is formulated as the dialectical relationship between subject and object. The relationship between subject and object is formulated on two levels; on the level of the universal and the particular. On the level of the universal, this relationship takes the form of the relationship between freedom and materiality. This is an abstract, trans-historical formulation of the problem. The particular formulation expresses the relationship between concrete individuals and the social-historical situations in which they live. Sartre attempts to analyze concrete social praxis in terms of his conceptions of freedom and materiality. These concepts form the grounds for his analysis of the concrete. The particular consciousness and intentionality of human social existence in relation to a field of possible action expresses the more general relationship between freedom and materiality. In this formulation, individual praxis expresses both individual subjectivity and human freedom in general. Such praxis is both historical and ontological. Sartreâ€™s philosophical conception of freedom expresses the trans-historical essence of men and women. Even in socialist society, the fundamental nature of this relationship would not be altered. The field of the possible will have been extended by collective human praxis. Scarcity will no longer be produced in terms of the capitalist need for profit. The bourgeois individual will have been replaced by the socialist individual. However, the relationship between subject and object will not have changed. Although my discussion thus far has primarily made reference to Sartreâ€™s theoretical formulations contained in Search for a Method, his basic conception of freedom is also present in The Critique of Dialectical Reason. In this latter work, a more complex historical analysis is set forth. Additional concepts are developed in his attempt to make history intelligible. However, his basic conception of freedom as an eternal category is not altered. It remains the fundamental conception underlying his analysis. The Critique of Dialectical Reason: In The Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre continues to posit freedom as a trans-historical category of human existence. This freedom projects human beings toward a future not yet realized: From this point of view, it must be pointed out that the practico-inert field exists, that it is real, and that free human activities are not thereby eliminated, that they are not even altered in their translucidity as projects in the process of being realized (Sartre, 1976:323). The practico-inert (in the form of social, political, and economic institutions) conditions the praxis of concrete individuals, but can not alter or transform the essence of human freedom. Freedom itself remains unchanged and eternal. For Sartre, the field of possibility (referred to as the practico-inert) is both the result of human praxis and a real constraint upon men and women as they lead their everyday lives: â€œThe field exists: in short, it is
what surrounds and conditions us” (Sartre, 1976:323). This field of existing institutions conditions and shapes the praxis of individuals and groups, but does not, and cannot, alter the existence of human freedom. Alienation is central to his analysis of class relations. Two forms of alienation that Sartre discusses are the series and counter-finality. In the series, people as the Other are to be found in a Queue, listening or viewing a radio or TV broadcast or participating in the market. Each of these forms of alienation is defined by impotence and the anti-human. In the anti-human violence results from the competition between people over scarcity. For Sartre, scarcity is the fundamental cause of violence, the transformation of human beings into the anti-human. The Other is perceived as constituting a threat or danger. The alternative to the series is the formation of the fused group. Social classes can take the form of either series or fused groups. Classes as fused groups require the perception of the capitalist class as the enemy of the working class, who is the source of danger. Fused groups by their very nature are an unstable form of group. There is always the danger of returning to the alienation of the series and a sense of powerlessness. Counter-finality refers to a negative unintended consequence of praxis. Sartre offers three main examples of counter-finality: deforestation in China for hundreds of years, the importation of plundered gold from South America into Spain during the sixteenth century and pollution resulting from industrialization in England during the industrial revolution. Deforestation led to soil erosion and flooding; the importing of gold led to the deflation of the value of money, and industrialization led to air and water pollution. Other examples of counter-finality could be cited. The product of man’s product becomes his enemy and a nonhuman force that opposes human freedom. It also limits the intelligibility of the natural and social worlds. Sartre’s analysis of class relations traces the history of the French working class from the 1830s, to 1848, to the role of syndicalism in the 1890s to the class conflicts of the Popular Front government of the 1930s. He also formulates a theory of the fused group as it moves through the pledged group, organization, institution and bureaucracy as a sovereign power. The danger of any fused group is its domination by a bureaucracy and the return to a form of series. Why this takes place requires a historical analysis. It is clear from what Sartre has to say about the series and the fused group that there is no historical law determining the process of change. Sartre identifies processes like fraternity-terror. The fused group itself makes use of terror against its own members to prevent the return to a series. For Sartre, scarcity is the root cause of violence and the creation of the anti-human of colonial domination, war and class struggle. The existence of scarcity provides the grounds for conflict. Social classes confront each other within a field of scarcity. Social classes take the form of series until they have a common enemy that represents a danger to confront. At that point, they form fused groups engaged in class struggle. This conception of social class is analogous to Marx’s class in-itself and class for-itself. For Sartre, there is no such thing as the dialectics of nature since for him dialectics presupposes human beings who possess the capacity to understand the process of history that they are making. Nature possesses no capacity to understand anything. It is understood by human beings by means of analytic reason. Sartre’s argument here is with Engels rather than Marx. He states clearly that he accepts Marx’s analysis of the capitalist mode of production and the theory of surplus value presented by Marx in Capital. Sartre was also engaging in a debate with the intellectuals of the French Communist Party who defended the notion of a dialectics of nature. For Sartre, only human history is capable of dialectical reason, the self-understanding of the history made by human beings. He was engaging in an attempt to influence the intellectuals of the French Communist Party. The primary result of his efforts was that he was viewed as an enemy of the PFC. It was not until May of 1968 that his Critique of Dialectical Reason was read and taken seriously.
References Sartre, Jean-Paul 1963 Search for a Method. New York: Vintage Books. 1976 Critique of Dialectical Reason. New York: New Left Books.
Philosophers, Cynics, Dervishes: An Inquiry Peter Wright, N.D. Abstract
While philosophical and mystical inquiries proceed in distinct and contrasting cultural and discursive settings, they address similar questions of fundamental human experience. The ostensible grounding of continental philosophy in a secularized European academic tradition belies deep thematic and historical connections with venerable streams of Eurasian spirituality. A personal exploration, documenting an attempt to bring these discourses into proximity through a lighthearted yet tendentious inner dialog, reveals recurring elements of both conflict and convergence. Main Text Inquirer: There wasn't one voice, but three or four, at least, who showed up for the invitation to pursue a bit of inquiry on matters of phenomenology and spirituality. Whose voices? Whose questions? Cynic: And who the hell cares about this kind of talk? Check out this crew here, for starters: Me: Phony sincerity, pretense, and show—that's the coin of the realm in what passes for mainstream culture, so naturally "cynical" is about the worst put-down you can lay on someone these days—or any other days, really, nothing new about that. To openly profess a stance of Cynicism, as I do, puts me and my kind well beyond the pale. Philosopher: Ordinary people consider philosophers pretty lame, as well: it's not science, it's not business, there's no money to be made, you can't prove anything, you can't understand what these people are saying most of the time—it hurts your head to try to read what they write. They keep coming up with their own ways to answer thousand-year-old questions, and inventing new ways to twist the language in order to mystify the poor reader enough to veil the fact that these are the same old problems that can't be solved. Jargon, headaches, confusion—no wonders your books don't sell! Dervish: Now we're really talking marginal! In the West, people just use this word very loosely for someone spinning more or less out of control, some kind of human whirlwind, a mindless frenzy of motion. In contemporary Muslim cultures, where there's more context for the label, dervishes are viewed with suspicion by many, as heretics, posers, outcasts, relics, deviants, parasites, and worse. All right, then. Set us around a table, stuck in a little room for a while somewhere, say, or inside some poor fool's head, to conduct some kind of inquiry, a dialog, trialog, tete-a-tete, whatever—I don't know if this notion is more like a wretched “no-exit” nightmare, or some kind of cosmic joke. The philosopher seems to imagine some kind of light might be shed in the process. Like I say, who all out there is listening or reading? Who cares?
Philosopher: One is indeed hard-pressed to disagree convincingly that, however we may update our language, or attempt to reframe our discourse in the most up-to-date manner; the essential terms of the argument are little changed over time. Like it or not, however we may focus on our differences, we belong together, we are inseparable, stuck here like Beckett's damned Didi and Gogo.1 We talk to each other, and to the like-minded—let the rest ignore us, they always have. Now I'm talking like a Cynic! But Cynicism is by no means, as contemporary usage would have it, simply an attitude of jaded rejection, but rather an ancient, and one must even say, a respected philosophy. At the very headwaters of the Western lineage through which current philosophers trace their origins, we find the figure of Socrates, by many accounts the immediate forerunner of Cynicism—a seeker of virtue and truth at all costs, utterly indifferent to wealth and to conventional opinion—and one of his foremost disciples was Antisthenes, generally regarded as its founder.2 If philosophy is truly about the love of wisdom, then, the Cynics are the embarassingly love-sick ones.3 Dervishes, similarly, are supposed to be all about love and wisdom, in varying proportions. Some challenge the purity of their faith, objecting to the presence of Greek elements in their doctrines—as if purity were possible, among the tangled roots of Eurasian philosophical and spiritual formulations. Inquirer: Anyone here concerned about purity? [Pause.] Thought not! Philosopher: And some see the marks of the Cynics' influence in pre-Gospel accounts of Jesus, and in many practices of the ascetic early Christians, who provided great inspiration in turn to the protodervishes of early Islam.4 Inquirer: You're here as a philosopher, or a historian? Or is philosophical innovation—as the cynic here would have it—largely a matter of repackaging the terminology of previous phases, in order to sell the update as a novelty? Dervish: Pursuing the historical assertions of the 20th-century Afghan trickster/scholar Idries Shah in his book The Sufis,5 we may discern the archetypes of philosopher, dervish, and Cynic, united as one, in the old European figure of the court jester or Fool, the joking truth-teller whose motley garb recalls the dervish's patchwork cloak. (Shah also published a number of books retelling the traditional Near Eastern folk tales/teaching stories of Mullah Nasruddin, the sly buffoon whose follies and malapropisms reveal a trenchant wisdom.6) On the other hand, this talk about dervishes and philosophers reminds me of an old story7 that underlines the distinctions between these two groups... They say there was once a king whose court included—as was customary—both a distinguished philosopher and an esteemed dervish. One day he posed a question to the two of them. "If, as it is said, the point of wisdom is to attain happiness, who is wiser and happier: the philosophers or the dervishes?" The philosopher answered, of course, that the philosophers were superior in both regards. The dervish disagreed, and suggested that the king might resolve the question by offering two feasts at his palace, one for the philosophers and another for the dervishes. The king assented, scheduling two lavish dinners, and asking each of the men to invite his colleagues to come. The palace was beautifully prepared for the occasion of the philosopher's feast. The surface of the lovely sand garden at the entrance to the grounds was raked and smoothed, and the tables were set with lovely bowls and long-handled wooden spoons for the delicious soup served as the first course.
The philosophers began to arrive. As they walked through the sand garden, each one took a different route, so that by the time all had appeared, the smooth surface had become completely trampled, as if a herd of animals had galloped through. Tradition dictates that the most honored guest is seated at the head of the table, and so as each one showed up, he was asked, "Who is the greatest among you?" The first one to come answered, "I am, of course!" and so he was seated at the head of the table. Each one thereafter said the same, and so each was seated as close as possible to that end, and the arriving philosophers grew more indignant as their assigned positions at the table were successively further away from the place of honor. When the soup was served, the very long handles of the spoons made them impossible to use without hitting other diners with the ends of the handles. Complaints and commotion filled the room as they struggled to cope with the resulting difficulty. At length, the philosophers dealt with the problem by breaking off the handles of the spoons and casting them aside, so that they could feed themselves without hindrance. The meal was generous; the guests ate their fill, thanked their host, and left in due course. Again, each one again took a separate path across the sand garden, redoubling the chaos on its surface. When the time came for the dervishes' feast, the palace was prepared in exactly the same way as before: the sand garden raked smooth, the long-handled soup spoons set out on the table, the fine dinner prepared. The first of the dervishes showed up, and when asked who was greatest among them, he replied, "He's coming later," and humbly took a place at the far end of the table. As the rest of the dervishes arrived and proceeded through the sand garden, each stepped carefully into the footprints of the first, so that when all were seated, it looked as if only a single person had walked through the sand. Each in turn responded to the question of who was greatest among them in the same way as the first, until the last one arrived—and he answered, "He's already here." None claimed the place of honor at the table. Rather than breaking off the long handles of the spoons in order to eat the soup, the dervishes used them skillfully to feed each other across the table, leaving the spoons intact. After a friendly, peaceful meal, they thanked their host and departed, walking out through the garden, all within the same single set of footsteps. Therefore the king saw that the philosophers had all walked separately through the garden and so disturbed its surface immensely, had all claimed the place of honor at the table, and had all broken the soup spoons in order to feed themselves. In contrast, the dervishes had all followed the same path, leaving its surface nearly unmarked, had all deferred from claiming the place of honor, and had all fed each other harmoniously rather than break the spoons. And he drew his conclusions about the two groups accordingly. Cynic: Nice story! But who's keeping it real here? The philosophers each claim to be original and superior: their competition is right out in the open. The dervishes' competition is a little more veiled: instead of who gets the place of honor, they're playing at who can act the most humble and self-effacing—a little subtler variation of the same dance, no? The Greek Cynics were so named for their doglike behavior: scratching where it itches, as it were; eating, sleeping, defecating out in the open. The corresponding groups in early Islamic culture, known in some of those places and times as kalandars—they never got invited to palaces.8 They were wandering outside the walls, some of them wearing animal skins, some of them pierced or tattooed, some eating grass or carrion (today they'd be dumpster diving), some sleeping in graveyards, some drinking wine, maybe using hemp or poppies, as they might please, avoiding normative work and family life—no fixed address, no respectability, no pretense, no excuse—not unlike the sadhus who still wander in India.9 The Qur'an is
clear on the point that one's relationship with the Creator is no one else's business. There are no generally recognized authorities in this tradition to issue rulings on what that's supposed to look like (though many rulings are made, to be sure). Following socially prescribed modes of scholarship or ritual is no substitute for the authentic experience of Reality. Philosopher: And how does this sort of lifestyle represent anything less of a pose, a costume, a pretense, than the accoutrements of my position as a teacher or intellectual, or the hat and robes of the dervish? Flaunting stylized displays of unconventionality, of membership among the outcast, no less than philosophers or dervishes may preen our superior intellectual or spiritual attainments... your pose of letting the freak flag fly is no more indicative of genuine authenticity (if you'll pardon the redundancy) than mine, or his— Cynic: [Audible release of flatulence.] Outta here! Dervish: Please, my friends, surely there are more pressing issues before us! For instance, what are we to make of Peter Kingsley's assertions? His interpretations of the Presocratics indicate that the discourses of key philosophers among the ancient Greeks have been radically misconstrued by Plato and the subsequent mainstream discourse following Plato's lead... that in various ways, Parmenides, Empedocles, and others were referencing inner realities accessed through a practice of trance known as incubation, secluded in dark places... that Pythagorus was contacted by a Mongol messenger who transmitted secret teachings and initiatic blessings from the heart of Central Asia, a legacy that gave rise to a Western culture that remains wholly unaware of its mystical origins. The essence of this transmission, as he states it, is the necessity for the truth seeker to “die before you die”—precisely the key teaching of the Sufis.10 (The revered 12th Century master Ahmet Er Rifa'i, for example, is said to have admonished the dervish: “Always live with remembrance of death as though you are breathing your last breath.”11) Of course, many Sufis locate their discourse strictly within the context of Islam (although many others claim otherwise), and Kingsley contends, rather, that essential elements of the tradition date back to much earlier periods, both in Greece and Iran (if such a distinction is even significant for two cultures whose histories are so intimately intertwined). Philosopher: The tricky part is that Kingsley writes as both a scholar of philosophy, and as a mystic. He blurs the boundaries, describing these Pre-Socratic as mystics, rather than the forerunners and architects of rationalism that their successors have made them out to be. And that makes many of us very uncomfortable. These are supposed to be separate categories! Dervish: Certainly, he upsets some people: not only that he messes with their assumptions, but he also flags the dishonesty in their scholarship. Where the original texts don't make sense to them, or point toward interpretations that they'd rather avoid, they simply change the translations. They break the spoons and trample up the sand garden. Philosopher: Whether his interpretations of the Presocratics are correct or not (naturally many scholars disagree!) it seems that a lot of the wisdom that he attributes to them comes very close to basic phenomenology: mindfully attending to what's around and inside of us, minimizing overlays of theory and explanation. Kingsley certainly dances between the academic philosophers' concern for scholarship and textual analysis, and the dervishes' focus on deferential protocol and etiquette, the discipline known in Arabic as adab. His evident isolation from the academy, as well as the tekke and ashram, speak to the marginality to which our cynical friend alluded earlier in the discussion.
In any case, the reference to death brings Heidegger to mind, with his notion of death as the touchstone of authenticity. And Heidegger's thought is rooted as much in theology as in philosophy. Among his philosophical influences, again, we note the pivotal role of the Presocratics.12 Dervish: In Heidegger's description of worlding we may find implications of something very close to the Sufi doctrine of wahdat al-wujud, “one body,” the single living entity that altogether comprises the Creator and all the worlds, all the creatures of Its creation, transcendent and immanent, wholly connected. Indeed, Henry Corbin, the peerless 20th-century western scholar of both Sufism and Islamic philosophy,13 began as a student of Heidegger, and considered his own explorations of the esoteric and angelic realms to be an extension of Heidegger's hermeneutics. Corbin absolutely rejected the idea that he had in any way renounced that analytic in his turn toward the mysticism of the Near East.14 But again, how many—among either my colleagues or your own—are up to the challenge of wading through his tomes to dig out such treasures as may be discovered there? Inquirer: Beyond the roiling, frothy clouds of sublime verbiage bequeathed by these esteemed figures, ancient and modern—as intoxicating as we may find our frolics there, far from the mundane banality of contemporary distractions—we are left with the challenge of confronting much more basic questions, questions about our fundamental identity, and addressing the many and pressing tasks that we face. Who are you? What are you doing? When's dinner?
1 . Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot. (New York: Grove Press, 1953). 2
3 . Anthony Weir, “Diogenes.” Beyond the Pale website, accessed July 20, 2012, http://www.beyondthe-pale.co.uk/diogenes.htm. 4 . Tarif Khalidi, The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001). 5
. Idries Shah,The Sufis. (London: Octagon Press, 1964).
. Yannis Toussulis, Sufism and the Path of Blame. (Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 2011).
. Sherif Çatalkaya, private discourses, trans. Cem Williford. (Seattle, 2002).
. Ahmet Karamustafa, God's Unruly Friends. (London: Oneworld, 2006).
. Peter Lamborn Wilson, Scandal: Essays in Islamic Heresy. (Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, 1988).
10 . Peter Kingsley, Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition. (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1997). In The Dark Places of Wisdom. (Point Reyes
Station, CA: Golden Sufi Center, 1999). Reality. (Point Reyes Station, CA: Golden Sufi Center, 2004). A Story Waiting to Pierce You. (Point Reyes Station, CA: Golden Sufi Center, 2010). 11
. Sherif Çatalkaya, unpublished manuscript.
12 . Martin Heidegger, Early Greek Thinking: The Dawn of Western Philosophy. (New York: Harper & Row, 1975). 13 . Henry Corbin, Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969). 14 . Henry Corbin, Association des Amis de Henry et Stella Corbin website, “From Heidegger to Suhravardi: An Interview with Philippe Nemo,” accessed July 20, 2012, http://www.amiscorbin.com/textes/anglais/interviewnemo.htm.
Winterlust crinkled along the forest trails, Camp robbers nuzzled close For evening’s warmth.
Lte rays leaned here and there On pine-edged crests Where tiny springs’ drops Had run nervously From white-tressed needles.
Soon my love would stir from sleep, Sigh and sing again. The cold challenge would fade away Under soft caress Of burdgeoning winds – My dreams will change anew
The Most Rev. George T. Boileau, S. J. February 22, 1965, Seattle, Washington
Aquamarine pooled water Forest green sentinels dark and light freckled pine, phthalo, persian, olive. chlorophyll pulsing blood life
slate sky horizontal bands of light rolling forward to greet me crows overhead checking me bothering wind, pushing to get my... attention... no caress here.
pushy ..pushing on my heart... open harder open wider bleed
By Nazarita Goldhammer
V. Art Elizabeth Moga, M.F.A.
VI. Contributors Julian Von Will, Ph.D.
Julian Von Will, Ph. D., studied philosophy, psychology, and phenomenology in Leuven, Belgium, and later received his doctorate from the University of Hong Kong in philosophy. He is currently associate professor at the Existential Psychoanalytic Institute & Society and is finishing a treatise on Adorno and German Idealism.
Steven Goldman, Ph.D.
Steven Goldman was born in Chicago where he attended public schools. He graduated from St. John's College (B.A.) and the Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D.) and also studied in France and Germany. He began teaching in 1976 and continues today, mainly in Philosophy, Classical studies, Comparative Religion and Ethics. Steve has taught at the Claremont Graduate University, The University of California/Irvine, the Venice Community Adult School, The Art Institute of Portland, Portland State University and the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Dr. Goldman has also held a number of academic appointments, including being the president of several colleges, and also has experience in the field of philosophical counseling.
Richard Curtis, Ph.D.
Richard Curtis did his PhD in Religion (Philosophy of Religion and Theology) at the Claremont Graduate University (2006) and MA and BA at the University of Colorado. He currently teaches Philosophy and Political Science in the Washington State community college system. He has also taught Humanities and Religion. His research interest is in the intersection of Philosophy of Mind and Religious Studies. Dr. Curtis serves as an editor for a couple of small journals, this one included, and publishes frequently on topics related to Religion and Consciousness as well as Religion and Politics. He and his wife, a Clinic Social Worker, live in Seattle with their daughter.
Alberto Varona, Psy.D.
Dr. Alberto Varona is Assistant Professor of clinical psychology at Adler School of Professional Psychology where he teaches Psychopathology I & II, Psychoanalytic Approaches and History &Systems. He is also the faculty advisor and guest lecturer for two student organizations, the Contemporary Psychoanalytic Study Group and the Great Books & Thinkers of the Humanities. He earned his doctorate from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA, after many years studying religion and philosophy. His current interests include philosophical phenomenology, process philosophy and contemporary psychoanalysis
George Snedeker, Ph.D.
George Snedeker is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the SUNY College at Old Westbury, where he has taught since 1984. He has published scholarly articles in the areas of Social Theory and Literary Criticism as well as short stories and poems. His book, The Politics of Critical Theory, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2004. His most recent article is â€œCulture, Alienation and Class Struggleâ€?, in the Nordic Journal of English Studies, 2012. His poems have appeared in Critical Sociology, Cultural Logic and And Then. He also serves on the editorial board of the journal, SOCIALISM AND DEMOCRACY, and is their
Book Review Editor.
Peter Wright, N.D.
Peter Wright is a naturopathic physician, currently specializing in counseling and psychotherapy; previously focused on Homeopathic medicine (1989-2002). Born and grew up in Palo Alto, California during the 1950s and 60s, attended several colleges including San Diego and San Francisco State Universities, studied art and anthropology before graduating with a BA in biology in 1982; graduated from Bastyr University as an ND in 1989. In addition to his professional practice, he has worked as a journal, book, and web editor; handyman and housepainter; medical assistant; courier; gardener and landscaper; and security guard. He has been married for nearly four decades, with two adult sons who currently live in Olympia and Bellingham.
VII. Current Events
New Headquarters for EPIS We are pleased to announce that our main office has moved to the following address: EPIS 31 Fort Missoula Rd. Ste. 4 Missoula, MT 59804
VIII. Back Page
He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression. ~Thomas Paine, 1795
Published on Sep 5, 2012