Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Recently, Layman Pascal shared with me a very interesting document -- a manifesto of sorts -- that I thought would be fun (and illuminating) to explore and discuss in depth, if anyone is interested.
I'll post the first page of the document below, since it summarizes the contents of the paper, and I'll post the full document as an attachment.
The Rules of MetaTheory
c. 2014 CE
The Governing Principles &
Teleological Ethos of Integrative MetaTheory
(expressing and clarifying the Dionysian Cultural Revolution)
This brings together, in both content and style, my personal contributions to “integral
meta-theory” and a summary of much important material from the collective conservations
of Alderman’s online forum devoted to: postmetaphysical spirituality.
1. THE NATURE OF METATHEORY
2. THE PRIMAL SPLICE
4. GENERIC METATHEORY
5. THE DIONYSIAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION
6. POSTMETAPHYSICAL SPIRITUALITY
7. THE “LR EMPHASIS”
Balders comments to (c) above remind me of Golden Dawn 'worship,' since I'm on that kick today. In the outer order Temple set-ups a person through various initiations gets to assume a particular deity for ceremonies. One makes the rounds of these god-forms depending on the degree of initiation, up to the apparent head of outer order rituals, the hierophant. The later is considered the central officer-deity in presiding over the lesser officer-deities for outer order work. But even in the outer order rituals this head is guided by inner order officer-deities, which may or not have personal representation on the dais. So like Balder's comments one makes the rounds of a variety of deities to see how they work together.
Granted the rituals themselves might be considered a particular supertheory or grand narrative in that it is the Golden Dawn egregore. And yet with that GD narrative there have sprung up a plethora of variations with different emphases on ritual, theory, practice and dogma. Even to the point that some claim the 'true' lineage and are the 'right' one. All of which is the main problem with having one paradigm as the model for all others. Same with one god/dess. Same problem, different app.
Very interesting, Edward -- and, yes, quite fitting.
Jordan Luftig shared an interesting post today on the meaning of 'meta-' -- emphasizing its prepositional flavor especially...
Presumably any comparison and simultaneous validation of deconstructive and integrative approaches makes at least minimal use of a context which sustains and embraces both (with the implication of a shared set of functional components and social tasks)... i.e. MOA-3. But the Wallis link isn't working for me.
Luftig's brief article ends very well.
Meta- does not refer to one particular system of thought or specific structure of feeling. It infers a plurality of them, and repositions itself with and between them. It is many, but also one. Encompassing, yet fragmented. Now, yet then. Here, but also there.
The definition of "meta-" must be made to honor both its deep and superficial forms, both its structural-intellectual usage and its colloquial usage. Together these indicate a general cultural emergence which is indicated by the sense of a simultaneously diversifying and unifying "paradigm" which is based on the insight patterns of people who are drawn to the multi-directional, prespositional & interstitial functionality between perspectival styles.
On Trish Nowland:
She is spot on when it comes to a "minimal ontology" which brings together (without cancelling the differences between) "notionally unrelated theorists". This simplest scaffolding is the implied goal of MOA-2 approaches (currently exemplified by AQAL). The shared tasks of MOA-1 and MOA-2 work is to make sure we have "all the parts" and their "best fit" in a "popular trans-disciplinary utility" which notheless remains as "minimal" as possible. It's almost like building the infrastructure for the internet of perspectives.
In terms of cultural dispositions, and their potential unconsciousness in many of our efforts, I think we can draw a lot of inspiration from Gendlin's philosophy of the Implicit -- in so far we are looking to progressively articulate a structure that may already haunt us as a half-emerged gestalt of mood. The transition from such things into theory is at the heart of Gendlin's later work.
On Serge Lanoe:
MOA-1 work will always tend to discipline itself cautiously by observing that we should initially remain open the non-presence of a Meta-Theory foundational to our deep Theories... and just operate on the homeomorphisms. However, because the "clearing" or "opening" (associated with the enabling circulation of the perichoresis) demonstrates common patterns of approach to the holding of deep Theories it can, from the very beginning, be characterized as expressing a worldspace with its own style. Although the MOA-1 worker/explorer needs to move cautiously in some regards, the cultural project which empowers their efforts is also inhibited by unnecessary attitudinal conflict between themselves and the various proponents of versions of MOA-2 supermodels.
So I would say that the ethical basis for tentatively refusing to accept a Meta-theory beyond the perichoresis/homeomorphisms is something which itself demands a high degree of fraternal affirmation and even slightly incautious mutual celebration between the Meta-Theory advocates and the Meta-theoring explorers.
Serge Lanoë: At least, if we have [deep] Theories A, B, C... or Concepts A, B, C... may we accept initially that there is no Meta-Theory foundational to A, B, C... But just working on the homeomorphisms [Raimon Panikkar] between A, B, C... and Perichoresis of [A, B, C, ...].
The PDF in the opening post is now slightly revised, clarified and extended. The Bible of MetaTheory 2.0.
In particular I have clarified:
Your space of scapes & the spacefaring scapegoats who dwell therein (floating around in their tiny, fishbowl-like, goat space-helmets) deserve a response. In particular I was inestimably delighted by your trans-ironic description of how "masterful" was your own invocation of post-colonial thinkers!
Of course, in many cases, it is entirely appropriate to wonder "Do you have a better idea?" We pragmatically must move forward in our vessel unless a better vessel appears. And castles make legitimate use of gargoyles. Plus the deeper, higher, more coherent, more classical, more stable man certainly exhibits -- on many occasions -- a perplexing laissez-faire attitude about even the most critical irruptions and dangerous elements of life.
However, his frequent placidity must be somehow distinguished from the sealed self-enclosure of the narcissistic system agent. From such people a NO screams at us.
(Snob, of course, has the wonderful folk-etymological sense of meaning people who are are not actually noble -- sine nobilitate)
However, the tone of such statements (do you have a better idea?) is often wildly in excess of their utility. A certain resentment, revengefulness and impersonal or non-integrated aggression stands out starkly.
This vile mood is present also, I think, in the idea that YOU should be the good recycler, stop your tap from dripping, purchase according to your values... and in this small, voluntary way become the primary bearer of responsible for massive, systemic destruction of the ecosystem balance. The autonomy and creativity of the individual becomes a staging area for dumping the System's guilt. An insofar as we can sneak a few peaks at the ways this happen... it is decidedly scape-like.
Every phase of cultural history seems entangled with a set of exclusions. Are these exclusions structural necessities of varying complexity -- or pathological symptoms?
Both MOA-1 and MOA-2 can, like any other set of concepts and forms, be affirmed by anyone at any "level". There is pluralistic dogma and post-pluralistic dogma. However an unnecessary impasse certain forms, or the pipe gets clogged, by derivative discourse of many kinds. What early Fritz Perls might have called a failure of digestion.
Non-violence depends upon making peace between the alternative tendencies in ourselves which is almost isomorphic to fully assimilating rather than learning-and-holding.
Pax, Lux & Pascal.
Ah, the brisk salt air! The sea! The sea! My god -- the sea!
Or as Conan might say:
"Crom and Manannan mac Lir!"
Having completed v2.0 (available in top of thread) of the Rules of MetaTheory I, of course, immediately began making notes for a future version. One of the modifications I have made in my private draft already is to include "nonviolence" among the synonyms characterizing the Dionysian approach.
This is delicate work. Why? I must extrude language which captures the halcyon empowerment of peace while not sundering it from the dynamism that a few of our great integrative predecessors have associated with wars and friction. My great ally in this work is my old dictum "the separator is the connector" -- as well as the fact that the previous sentence already counts minimally as a logically phrasing which enfolds both ends of that complex renaissance quality.
I rejoice in your predilection to bring the scapegoating conundrum into the ethos of higher intellectual and spiritual conversations. Justice is a quality that often gets sidelined by scientists, mystics, philosophers and artists alike. Somewhere in all of this is an element of your presentation that I feel must be more strongly included in the Bible of MetaTheory.
As I mentioned in my previous missive, I am fascinated by how scapegoating functions as either
(a) a pathological deviation at any level of development OR
(b) a minimal structuring element which helps constitute each level.
I trace my own thinking on the subject of ideology back to a hot sunny day outside a Starbucks. The green and brown poster screamed down: "WHO SAYS MOCHA CAN'T HAVE A SUMMER SIDEKICK?!"It blew my mind.Who says that? No one. No one ever says that.
They (sic) wanted me to purchase an iced coffee drink as if it were an act of defiance -- the individual rebellion against the anonymous system. A rebellion which, by sheer coincidence, happens to consist of fully conforming to the interests of the system. All the hints I had read in Zizek, Lacan, Marx, etc. came tumbling forward. All those jokes on the Daily Show where Jon Stewart reveals the non-existence of the hypothetical heretic-candidate that regressive conservatives think they are running against!
It is one thing to suspect the non-existence of the Big Other. It is quite another to realize that the Big Other is maintained by the sense that YOU (i.e. someone) are interpolated as the enslaved outsider.
Do YOU have a better idea? If not -- get on board.
Do YOU want to show that mysterious voice that says mocha cannot have a summer sidekick? Get on board!
Aren't YOU responsible for climate change?
Don't YOU need guns to protect your family from satanic UN muslim gay hordes?
This minimal form of scapegoating (minimal because it does not even require that we band together to ostracize some other group, it requires only that we act as if we are the site of a potentially extraneous entity who ought to voluntarily re-join the hegemonic implication) is usually accompanied by ugliness. Does that mean it is unnecessary and eradicable? Maybe, maybe not.
This seems to be the great unanswered question. Do cultural fields require at least a minimal non-member class in order to operate? Must we scapegoat someone even if it is only the scapegoaters? Or, on the contrary, is this merely the fingerprint of deviance in a cultural field. The structural initiation of a nihilistic tendency that feeds upon and germinates reactive emotional responses and unnecessarily limited cognitive habits?
Before I take up Layman's Burden (i.e. attempting to package these alternatives into a coherent singular concept) I must ask:
What do you think?
Accordingly, my emphasis in general spaces or forums such as this lies typically with the value of non-scapegoating, whose independent importance as a matter of truth obtains alongside that of particular situations where scape-like behavior is warranted in order to cut back against the global capitalist flows. The two may well occur co-current-ly with one another. Put simply, this is my fundamental concern: that we are always so quick to scapegoating, so quick to go swimmingly with reserving violence without first thoroughly considering the potential power of nonviolence. As a matter of motifs, it is always curiously absent or else forcibly excluded from the sea of thought in a way that, I think, demands a special attention or focus.
Isn't that ... fishy?
Sorry for the radio silence from this end, LP -- not out of a lack of interest! I have had a couple things demanding all my time this past week but I hope for more time to participate here by the end of the week...
Layman, I've read your updated "document" and appreciate your additions. I'm still mulling over the following section, in part I expect because I am comfortable with and tend to want to privilege both MOA-1 and MOA-2 sensibilities in different ways at different times...but in a way which blurs the distinctions you draw here. Which is reasable for a general MOA view, of course.
When you talk about any "generally workable Metatheory" at level 2 necessarily engaging in the game of subsumption and benevolent enslavement of other metatheories, are you talking about specific metatheories here (IT, mR, CT, etc)? And is your suggestion that practitioners of IT, mR, CT, etc, should -- if they are MOA-2 approaches -- operate in this way, working to subsume and benevolently enslave other metatheories in their environment? That a Bhaskarian mR meta-theorist, in practicing an MOA-2 style of his art, should work to demonstrate the pre-inclusion of IT and CT within his own model, and to operate as though they were (or can be made to serve as) tributaries to the larger mR vision? And that MOA-2 practitioners of IT and CT should/would do the same with respect to their neighbors?
My impression from the first was that LP chose IT as the One. And the only One capable of such a task. If they all can do this then it's just more of the same pluralistic "irritable sensitivity." Of course one can posit that deconstruction and reconstruction (de/re) can be integrated in an MOA-3 type metatheory, and that there can be several of these, no one of them capable of subsuming all the others in toto, i.e., pluralsingularity or same/difference, etc. And that this so-called MOA-3 may have little to do with being a more vertically developed hierarchically complex thingamabob. Heresy, I know, generally reduced to pluralistic "irritable sensitivity," the MGM in another guise.