File nietzsche/nietzsche.0509, message 3


To: <nietzsche-AT-driftline.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 13:04:33 -0400
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Subject: [Nietzsche] 'I Am,


Just Published:

'I AM, THEREFORE I THINK': SEPARATING FROM THE SYMBOLIC ORDER
by Richard Koenigsberg


Whereas many currents in contemporary thought emphasize the embeddedness of
the subject within culture, Buddhism focuses on that part of the self that
is not bound to the symbolic order. Buddhism constitutes a method or
practice for separating; detaching from culture. Buddhism embraces rather
than shies away from the encounter with emptiness or non-being. Within the
space of emptiness, language and the symbolic order dissolve, allowing one
to return to silence-the essence of being.

Buddhism compares the self to a vast, empty sky. Ideas and thoughts are like
clouds. Why cling to each passing cloud? From the space of the empty sky one
may observe ideas and beliefs that inhabit the self without declaring that
these ideas and beliefs are the essence of self. From within the space of
emptiness, one may examine the nature and structure of the ideas and objects
with which one had become identified. Buddhism represents a psychological
method whose purpose is to facilitate disidentification with the symbolic
order. Buddhism nurtures a place within the mind where ideologies and the
discourses of society lose their power.

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The complete paper by Dr. Richard Koenigsberg is available as an on-line
publication. To read:

'I AM, THEREFORE I THINK': SEPARATING FROM THE SYMBOLIC ORDER

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http://ideologiesofwar.com/papers/rk_think.htm

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'I AM, THEREFORE I THINK': SEPARATING FROM THE SYMBOLIC ORDER

According to Buddhism, the self comes into being, not by virtue of one's
status as a "speaking being," but to the extent that one pays close
attention to one's posture and breathing. One focuses on the immediate
moment-one's thoughts and feelings as they occur in the immediate moment-and
gradually becomes aware of one's existence. Self derives from mindfulness.
French philosophers with their emphasis upon language and symbolic processes
descend from Descartes who declared, "I think, therefore I am." Far greater
numbers of people in the civilized world believe it is more accurate to
state, "I am, therefore I think."

To analyze ideologies of destruction and self-destruction, it is necessary
to become capable of dis-identifying with them; of experiencing them as
separate from the self. It is not productive to "fight" an ideology. In
waging war against an ideology, one becomes part of it. War against the
ideology becomes a struggle against part of the self.

It is necessary to distance oneself from "good" ideologies (those that one
believes in) as well as from "evil" ideologies. Just because everyone else
in society attaches to an ideology doesn't mean one has to do so oneself.
Just because everyone believes that something is true, this doesn't mean it
is true. Just because everyone believes that there is no truth this doesn't
mean that truth doesn't exist. Before Galileo, most people believed that the
sun revolved around the earth.


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