File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0009, message 26

Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 19:43:58 +1000
Subject: BHA: Post on Kierkegaard post 3a of 4

Dear Listers,

This is the third of my posts on Kierkegaard. The initial impulse was that 
they were pieces that I could not get into my conference paper as it was 
way too long.  My paper was about the relationship between Bhaskar's 
alethia and Heidegger's aletheia, or I suppose between the rational and the 
intuitive mediated through the aesthetic. I completed these posts before 
the Lancaster Conference but have been unable to get back to them until 
now. Hopefully some will find them of interest.



'The Arabians say that Abdul Khain, the mystic, and Abu Ali Seena the 
philosopher, conferred together; and, on parting, the philosopher said, 
"All that he sees, I know"; and the mystic said, " All that he knows, I 
see." (Emerson)'

Before I comment on Kierkegaard's journal entry for July 29 1835 the 
thought has occurred to me about my methodology- specifically why these 
particular  pieces?  It would be easy, I believe, to answer in terms of the 
typicality of the excerpts I have chosen.  I am convinced that in terms of 
Kierkegaard's work they are indeed typical.  However the real reason for my 
choice is that in their romanticism the passages selected fit in with my 
own specific tastes and I suppose needs.  Thus I prefer Schubert to Bach 
though I am prepared to concede that the latter is a greater 
musician.  Still Schubert's Notturno strikes me as being truer to my lived 
experience than anything I have found so far in Bach. Though I am working 
on the violin concertos.

The passage from K.'s journal raises the question of the ontological status 
of religious experience, especially of the mystical variety- a question 
that is of particular relevance at present for the Critical realist 
movement.  For the rationalist, when we read this particular entry in K.'s 
journal we are in the presence of yet another 'traume eines geistersehers' 
as Kant remarked dismissively of the mystic, Swedenborg.  Religious 
experiences, such as those of Swedenborg, are accorded little respect today 
and are generally explained away in terms of personality traits or dopamine 

To be honest I am anxious to fudge things here, in a desperate effort to 
hold onto what is left of my reputation for sanity. But I do not think that 
such a compromise stance can be maintained for long.  Last nite over dinner 
I raised the topic of this post. Emboldened and fortified by several very 
cheeky reds I said that I believed that when K. spoke of the dead coming to 
comfort him that they really came.  My older son gave me a look, which 
seemed to say that I had betrayed the cause, and he asked caustically, 
"From where did they come, dad?"
It is impossible to answer that really. Either one believes or one does not.

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