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Friday, February 6, 2015
After all these years, Nietzsche is still my favorite Philosopher.
As I've said, I read Zarathustra when I was 8, or so...after watching Clark/Kubrik's 2001: a Space Odyssey, and becoming enamoured of Strauss' theme music(“alzo sprach Zarathustra”).
That book, and Joseph Campbell's “Masks of God”, vol. 4(“Creative Mythology”), which happened to be on the shelf at home, set me on the tortuous path that led to where I'm at.
I enjoyed Aristotle, especially Metaphysics and Poetics.
I enjoyed Marcus Aurelius even more...his Meditations is the book I've purchased and re-purchased more than any other...I keep giving it away to various and sundry folks I've encountered who were at some crisis point.
Uncle Friedrich turned me on to Schopenhauer, who I found interesting, if not convincing...and to Hegel, who I intuitively rejected, due to his Authoritarian solipsism. I was biased by Nietzsche' in this assessment, and unashamedly.
When I finally got to Popper, just last year(!?), the first part of the second volume of “Open Society..” had me laughing uproariously in the parking lot...I so identified with his hilarious, ridiculing critique of that Court Philosopher and pedantic apologist for Empire and Certainty.
Heidegger had some ideas I liked(Dasein), but this was negated by his embrasure of Naziism(hard to overlook, however, Jefferson owned Humans).
Popper also re-affirmed my intuitive uncomfortableness with the later works of Plato...I had never before been able to put my finger on what it was that bothered me about things like the Republic.
I enjoyed Erasmus, and Aquinas, whom I just happened upon due to my lifelong interest in all things Medieval...these led me into the various Mysticisms of the time: Meister Eckhardt, Abelard, and the like...
Campbell had also quoted those wild eyed folks extensively, and Kerouac, et alia, led me to Beatnik Buddha and Avolonkitsara and the Diamond Sutra.
Diogenes and Carl Jung ride around on my shoulders;
Immanuel Kant, in my front shirt pocket
I found that I agreed with Bertram Russel on his political/religious sentiments, but had little use, generally, for Analytic Philosophy, Positivism, and other Reductionist tendencies...Wiggenstein(sp-2) bored me to tears, almost literally.
Rosenstock-Huessy's 'On Revolution' I found revelatory.
I vacillate, without shame, between Structuralism and Post-Structuralism...depending on circumstance...on what I'm standing on, at the moment( my preferred view is from a tar paper shack on the Moon, near the Mare Crisium)
Descartes seemed arrogant; Hobbes, morose; Kierkegaard, almost suicidal in his dour wordiness(I like him more, now); Augustine, a disingenuous, moralising life-eater...afraid of his own shadow.
I like Origen and Pelagius, Marx and Smith, and prefer J.S. Mill to Jeremy Bentham.
I came to Camus, late...and can really relate to his take on Absurdity, and how he reckons we should respond to it.
Sartre, interesting...but ultimately unconvincing.
Rawls became a favorite, and I'm still toying with Foucault and Deleuze...translations of the latter are quite vexing.
I wish Onfrey would find a decent translator as well.
I'd like to get roaring drunk with Zizek, but have yet to seriously delve into his peculiar outlook.
I prefer “Third Wave” Feminism, and Paglia... I imagine arguing with her on many things...but I find her interesting...and certainly courageous.
I'm enjoying Proudhon, and recently had a pleasant time with Kropotkin, but...as with most Anarchists...I wonder about the general applicability/Practicality of such things.
Ivan Illich,Tolstoy,and Wendell Berry...as well as Thomas Merton, Gandhi and even Lysander Spooner...Thoreau, Whitman and Walter Benjamin...Adorno and Horkheimer(depressing as they are)...and somewhere foundational in me, Thomas Jefferson.
I am a creature of the Enlightenment, but due to a cursory study of History, and an aversion to Certainty and so called Prophetic Historicism, I'm not so sure any more of it's continuing applicability.
The apparent failure of the Enlightenment...rather, the realisation of that apparent failure...has been a dagger in my soul.
“Progress” just doesn't look like a going concern, any more.
My biggest issue with the modern world(post-postmodern?) is that I know of no-one in real life(meatspace) who has read even a third of this sort of thing. This is likely a function of my allergy to cities, and my stuck-in-amber-ness in this far place, on the edge of what passes for civilisation.
Place engenders Bias...however I attempt to control for it.
I boil all of this continually, along with my bootstraps, and realise that I seem perhaps contradictory and obscure.
I am doubtful that any book I manage to write will clear any of it up sufficiently.
I keep coming back to Uncle Friedrich.
Amor Fati, and all that.
I'd like to unify, at least somewhat, his affirmation of the Individual, with some framework for a workable Society...some synthesis of One and Many, Me and We...but then I look around(virtually, as well as at the Feedstore), and despair of this project.
Tea Party, Steamed Vaginas and David Brooks do not fill me with confidence that Humanity can survive...to say nothing of whether or not We Deserve to.
Σταθερός και αναίσχυντος,