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Monday, December 6, 2010

Random Musings on Habermas' "Discourse on Modernity"

The answer lies in Neitzche and Bataille.
If the Problem of Modernity is really the Failure of Reason to supplant, or even consider, the Unifying Functions of Religion, then, as in Neitzche,et al, a New Mythos is needed...which is yet another concept that I've been dancing around for years.
Mythos (the New One) is the Tanist of in the Old European Dionysian Cycle of the Year. Graves informs me, here....the Old King is killed by the the service of the Goddess, order to rejuvenate Life...bring back the Sun.
In this System, the Goddess stands for almost Platonic concept....both Trancendant and Cthonic.
The King, and his Tanist, stand for the Ephemeral....for that Material whereby Reason Acts upon the World.
What the Enlightenment forgot to do was include an Other, opposed to Reason...and I'm not speaking, here, of a dogmatic repitition of forms, a "going through the motions", but what is behind Religion in the first place....Huxley's Divine Ground of Being..."wherefrom words turn back, together with the Mind, not having attained"...
This is what's missing in the Project of the Enlightenment....and I reckon that it can be incorporated by including the Socratic "I don't Know" in our apprehension of Reality.
Reason's Ascendance these past 400+ years has led to Hubris, Certainty...which is inimical to further Knowledge, as i've said.
This can be seen in the Ossification of Beaurocracy, of the Fencing of Law...alll based on the Application of Reason to the Problems of Life.It gives Substance to the Neoconservative Critique of Enlightenment, that reason leads to Totalitarianism.
Enlightenment Eating Itself.
As in Rosenstock-Huessy's critique of Cartesian Application of Dualism to fields where it, arguably, does not belong....the transcendant quality of Reason insisted upon by the Enlightenment has fallen doesn't seem capable of fulfilling it's purported Promises....namely by fully replacing Religion...Meaning.
A Tanist, an Other, is take up that slack.
In the Enlightenment's destruction of Religion, it fails to take account of the Ineffable, the Transcendant...of the "Thing Behind Things" that Mystics ,at least, approach.
This explains the repeated Regressions (popularly known as " Revivals") of Religiosity...the backing away...which leads, it seems, to Nihilism....and eventually Fascism....
A negation of the entire Enlightenment Project...we see it all around us, today, with the resurgance of Fundamentalism/"Conservatism"/Palingenisis....the Gegenauflarung of the Neoconservatives.
Reason, it seems, cannot answer all of the questions....there is a Limit to our Knowledge...Granted, that Limit has been expanding since the beginning...But we are not, as yet, Gods.
The Enlightenment Project reached too soon for Godhood.
Perhaps this is why Reason is considered Cold, Impersonal...of the Void....indeed, perhaps this Fear of Knowledge (Tea People)is the necessary Reaction to that Cold Indifference.
The New Mythos, the Dionysian Chaos, as opposed to the Apollonian Order, must embrace that Void, where our Knowledge hasn't yet penetrated.
The Post Modern attempts at going into that Void, and the hubris of thinking that we've conquered it, are both illusory.
The post Modern "Project" (which is really an "antiproject") just feeds our Impotence.
Think Peggy Lee....
So we get ever more extreme "Art"....Jesus in Piss...Shock as Novelty....all the Idea-Cell Division, the Fragmentation....the proliferation of Porn.(Bukkake?Public Bondage? How many categories are there now?)...of Music..(."Death Metal"?, Really?)....
This is the attempt to Fill that Void, the very Idea of whose Existance is, necessarily, Taboo.
The much criticized HyperMaterialism...the "Consumer Culture" and "Debt Based Economics"....this is all of a Piece.
Reason killed Religion....Marduk slew Tiaimat...and put Cold in place of that Heat.
To be sure, despite what the Fundies of all stripes hope and believe, there is no Unringing of the Enlightenment Bell.
Both have to be incorporated in the New.
The Problem, since Neitzche, is finding a way of accomplishing this, without Killing the Enlightenment, in it's turn...and , at the same time, attempting to Go some Mythical Golden Age...Palingenisis.
Like the sentiment, familiar to all Musicians and Artists..."It's all been done before."...,Philosophy has been at an Impasse.
Our Milvan Bridge....except this bridge goes in all directions....and we don't know where to go.(Abbey Road)
Instead of an insistance of Returning to the Old Forms, which has entailed the forceful Authoritarian Centralisation of Everything, including Religion....instead of Homogenisation,perhaps we require Leto's Scattering in the Dune books....a Federalism of Ideation. Monotheism's Legacy, handed, whithout much thought,to the Enlightenment, is Universalism...Catholicism. One Size Fits All-ism.
I agree with Habermas.
We need More Enlightenment.