Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
"The prefix ‘meta’ has acquired something of a bad rep over the last few years. It has come to be understood primarily in terms of self-reflection – i.e. a text about a text, a picture about a picture, etc. But ‘meta’ originally intends something rather more colloquial. According to the Greek-English Lexicon the preposition and prefix ‘meta’(μετά) has several meanings and connotations. Most commonly it translates as ‘after’. But it can also be used to denote qualitative ‘changes’ or to designate positions such as ‘with’ and ‘between’. In Plato’s Symposium, for example, the term metaxy designates an ontological betweenness.
"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.
"Indeed, if anything, meta intimates a constant repositioning. It repositions itself with and between neoliberalism and, well, keynesianism, the 'right' and the 'left”, idealism and 'pragmatism,' the discursive and the material, the visible and the sayable. It repositions itself among and in the deconstructed isms and desolate ruins that rest from the postmodern and the modern, and reconstructs them in spite of their un-reconstructableness in order to create another modernity."
I'm a big Morin fan too. He is explored at length in the pomo complexity thread.
I like the quote. Again, it reminds me of Morin, which is a good thing.
To reiterate Abramson on transcendent metamodernism. Now where have I heard about the 'space between' and 'de/reconstruction' (de/re) before? Answer: volumes at Ning and FB IPS!
"But a still more intriguing question is whether antipodal analyses are any longer useful, or whether the time has come to speak of multiple dimensions of reality, actualities that are irresolvably contradictory and deliberately incalculable, and a state of affective response in which contemporary humans feel perpetually overwhelmed, but not critically degeneratively so. Whereas postmodern theories of hyperreality invariably metaphorized erasure of the line between fact and fiction as a gradual process of degeneration, collapse, and decomposition, metamodernism approaches contradiction, paradox, and ambiguity as reconstructive forces, and emphasizes not singularity qua collapse but multiplicity qua transcendence. […] The question to be asked of and into contemporary culture, then, is [...] indeed a transcendent metamodern condition in which the poles themselves have disappeared and we, collectively and individually, have found in the middle space between them an entirely new site of 'reconstructive deconstruction'" (7-8).
As I've noted in other threads, I'm reading Rushkoff's Team Human. Chapters 61 and 62 deal with art after modernism. As Abramson noted above, it shuns bi-valence, the traditional hero v. villain. It also shuns traditional plot structure which creates tension and release in a certain outcome. Rather it features ambiguity and paradox, replacing an omniscient narrator with points of view from multiple characters, no central one to subdue the others. Any contingent and temporary answers are arrived at via collaborative interpretation. There is no theory of everything, no assholon, no ultimate truth. Yes, that in itself is a metanarrative, but one more open and porous, more in-between, a cohesive, de/reconstructive hier(an)archical syntegrity.
Abramson from an '18 essay:
"Metamodernism is an evolution of postmodernism, and it comes from people who acknowledge how terrible and fractured everything and everyone is — a knowledge that’s the sum and substance of our postmodern inheritance — but who also still see the internet as a place of boundless self-creation, unfettered problem-solving, limitless invention, and more opportunities for collaboration than humans have ever had. To be a metamodernist is to adopt what’s called a 'romantic response to crisis,' and to do so by trying to see and use the whole of the internet’s field of information. A metamodernist posits that by making use of our idiosyncrasies rather than hiding them or pitting them against those of others, we can arrive at better solutions than we ever would’ve alone. It’s an optimistic philosophy, but it’s a hard-won optimism that’s often called, by metamodernists, 'informed naivete.' Informed naivete is your optimism is naive — but plowing on anyway."
Abramson: Metamodernism in 5 diagrams.