Back in the late ’60s and early ’70s, when I was a graduate student in philosophy and passionately probing the deep interior edge between thought and language, I found myself drawn out of academic philosophy into other “disciplines,” including sociology, depth psychology, and developmental psychology.
I wanted to learn how to consciously straddle and blend that edge — for “reasons” that still feel obscure to me. But the desperate longing was real, and I now realize that it fueled a sea-change in my own psyche, dismantling the world-view I had inherited to pioneer a way of thinking/feeling that was/is still new and strange.
My professors discouraged me from my quest, since “my topic” was not “purely philosophical,” hard to formulate, and indeed, downright messy and confusing. And so was my life! — confusing, and messy, interwoven with many many threads both internal and external — just like this magnificent, messy world in which we live! Despite the “infrastructures” of society and consciousness that aim to hold everything in place — damn it!, Nothing ever seems to “stay the same”! — especially these days, when revolution and/or extinction shimmer in the chemtrailed air.
Worse, nothing can be pinned down. “Aha! There it is, this is that, and that’s it! NOW I understand!”
Worst of all, change one tiny element, and reverberations smatter in imponderable ways that boggle the brain to the point where yes, it’s much easier, and very tempting, to just lapse into distraction, entertrainment, addictions of one sort or another. At least that way, we can be sure of small repeating patterns! One cigarette after another. One movie after another. One shot of sugar or alcohol or sex or heroin and we’re good! We don’t have to “think.” Instead, sleep it off. Then get up in the morning and do it all over again, all the messy confusion swelling and demolishing small repeating patterns — of scheduled boring work and glittery, feverish, boring play.
So I’m glad to find this post from Michigan State University. I very much appreciate that academia might be beginning to gingerly put one toe in the mess of the real world, or that at least it wants to, longs to, knows that something fundamental is deeply amiss, and that as long as it keeps its “departments” firewalled against each other, the entire enterprise will stay detached, ineffective, castrated.
That it took the vast scale of real-world destruction we have so far wrought with our reductionist, analytic Cartesian mind-set for us to even begin to see that yes, indeed, it’s all connected, it’s all one, is of course, utterly unfortunate.
Our job is to center ourself within the puffy, pissy pleroma that includes inside and outside, and all the permutations that spill out and in. Our job is, hopefully, to begin to breathe in a new way so that we encourage what may at first be only glimpses, into the rich interdimensional territory that features unlimited thought sliding into formal linguistic structures that can face and embrace the seemingly accelerating complexities attending the end of the industrial age and the beginning, hopefully, of another age that is integral with both our natural selves and our natural home.