The Philosophers Awakening

Krishnamurti referred to thought itself as a very protective mechanism interested in its own survival. Richard Rorty wrote about the philosophers obsession with a kind of thinking which often involves succumbing to the old occultist urge to crack codes, to distinguish between reality and appearance, to make an insidious distinction between getting it right and making it useful.

In awareness there is the realization that you can not truly separate the object from what you say about it. The evolutionary development of thinking has been a revolution making tool. Self awareness: the phenomenon that differentiated humans from all other species was, one might say, the first realization of thought. An inevitable consequence of that, for humanity has been that this emerging conscious experience required a step of separation from the whole. In that separation there is a fragmentation if the whole experience and a resulting sense of alienation and vulnerability; as if one is entering a new unknown world. It is in another way of seeing, embracing and investigating the inner sense of separation and vulnerability that arises from our reliance on thinking, that we rediscover our wholeness; a wholeness that has never really left us. In that awareness we realize the limitations of our thinking.

Rorty continues “So presumably we erect the distinction as a barrier to our monomaniacal desire to subsume everything to our own needs. At the beginning of this particular quest romance, it dawns on the Seeker after Enlightenment that all the great dualisms of Western philosophy – reality and appearance, pure radiance and diffuse reflection, mind and body, intellectual rigour and sensual sloppiness, orderly semiotics and rambling semiosis – can be dispensed with. They are not to be synthesized into higher unities, not aufgehoben, but rather actively forgotten. An early stage of Enlightenment comes when one reads Nietzsche and begins thinking of all these dualisms as just so many metaphors for the contrast between an imagined state of total power, mastery and control and one’s own present impotence. A further state is reached when, upon rereading Thus Spake Zarathustra, one comes down with the giggles. At that point, with a bit of help from Freud, one begins to hear talk about the Will to Power as just a high-falutin euphemism for the male’s hope of bullying the females into submission, or the child’s hope of getting back at Mummy and Daddy. “

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