Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
I started reading the new Sloterdijk book, since it was published as a paperback.
I enjoy it; I'm far from finishing it, but so far he seems to introduce a new concept which will replace the construct of "Religion". Instead, Religions will be subsumed under the category of ascetic practices, which makes the human species the "homo repetitus", the practicing animal.
As a metaphor, he draws on Nietzsches word "the human being is a rope between animal and Ueberman" On this rope the artist (or asket) must climb and balance along. Another picture is Jakob's Ladder (from the bible) in which Jakob saw the heirarchy of angels up unto God Lord Father.
Of course, since God is dead in our times, There is nothing or nobody to climb up to and join, but, so Sloterdijk proclaims, the rope and ladder still remains: their meaning is that the human being must overcome itself, by practice, to climb "mount improbable".
The perfect example for a religion which contains nothing but nonsense and practices (or injunctions) is Scientology by L. Ron Hubbard. Apparently, so says Sloterdijk, there is no better way to show that all religion is scam than to invent a new religion. Axiom: in every religion is a core of practices or injunctions that do the trick. Every other mystical nonsense around this core is New Age and can be skipped without losing anything of worth.
Did you notice? This fits with the "Integral Transformative Practice" of Ken Wilbie. I am beginning to suspect that Sloterdijk has read one or two Wilber books also. cant wait to read on.
Context for the following quote: Sloterdijk is discussing growth-oriented living and self-transformative practice in terms of (or in relation to) spiritual asceticism, acrobatics, artistedom, (participatory) creativity, and cosmic evolution as the ascent of Mt. Improbable.
"The creator follows a metaphysical assignment: if life itself is already a vibrating mountain of improbabilities, one can only prove an affirmation by piling that mountain up even higher. That is why upward procreation is meant to create a creator. By producing additional increasers of the improbable, one acclaims the dynamic of improbability increase as a whole. Hence the demand for a human being who has overcome their own obstacles in life and is free of resentment towards creativity. Only such a person would no longer take themselves -- let alone their ancestors -- as a yardstick for the becoming of the next generation. Only they could affirm without neophobic reflexes the idea that the cultural mountain range of improbability must, in future, be unfolded a level higher with each generation; they would not turn their own imperfection into an obligation for their descendants. They would rather die out than return unchanged. They understand and welcome the fact that according to the law of the normalization of the improbable, earlier peaks present themselves as mere hills or plains in the perception of later generations...
For the 'creative' (a word that died a heat death in less than a century) person, the comparative -- in the form Indo-Germanic languages place in their speakers' mouths -- is more than simply a grammatical function. The elementary triads big-bigger-biggest, bonus-melior-optimus, or potens-potentior-potentissimus give a primitive impression of life's graduated acts of enhancement. One need only undo the theological blockage of the superlative in order to understand that the maxima have always left room for increase, even when they are secured with nec-plus-ultra fences. It is the very cultural process of life that presents what was great yesterday as smaller, and passes off the greater of earlier times as normality only a short time later. It transforms the insurmountable difficulties of yesterday into paths on which, soon afterwards, even the untrained will advance with ease. For those who have lost faith in the omnipotence of obstacles -- and what was classical ontology if not a faith in large-scale obstacles? -- the previous state is the base camp for the next outing. From that point on, the acrobatic path is the only viable one...
Artistedom is the somatization of the improbable."
~ P. Sloterdijk, YMCYL