I got my HTML right this time. The Read more here option is now selective (as it should). I changed the order of the post and some content (the Hinduism post is now more conceptual. Please, read it to inform your post discussions).
Let's summarize some of the points in today's lecture. (I may have seem all over the place but keep in mind, there's always a conceptual constellation). 1- Change and "the odd couple" (Heraclitus' pantha rei vs. Parmenides' eon) 2- Hegel's master/slave dialectic to explain religious syncretism (and Joseph Losey's The Servant as a fine example of a film), 2- The symbolic richness of Neti, neti as negative theology, 3- Children's power for empathy -and fish-empathy in Julio Cortazar. 4- About Brian Pennington's book: Is Hinduism a colonial invention? 5- The proto-symbolic power of poetry employed as poetic philosophy. Your comments in class? Right ON! Now, let's argue here.
In my lecture (Tuesday) introducing Eastern Philosophy, I brought up this idea of metaphor1as worldmaking: a conceptual frame through which we could comprehend stuff. What I’m trying to say is that to facilitate our discussion, one doesn’t have to take some of these ideas literally: I don’t have to literally and a priori accept the idea of “karma” to illuminate other aspects of such metaphor. If God and the universe is the same thing, how can one meaningfully address the issue of teleology? Then, one can say does it make sense that I even bring up the question? Is there any sense in conceiving such proposition without losing sight of the difficulty of the endeavor?
Nelson Goodman: Willingness to accept countless alternative true or right world-versions does not mean that everything goes, that tall stories are as good as short ones, that truths are no longer distinguished from falsehoods, but only that truth must be otherwise conceived than as correspondence with a ready-made world. Then, there is redemption and Benjamin.
Finally, I want to bring some of the paradoxes implicit in our discussion: Karma (what’s the limit between what I’m supposed to be and what I am) self-realization; is it even possible? i.e. just a second before my death (imagine a somewhat morally lived life), have I realized myself, how do I know it?) or moksha (liberation of what?)2
1According to philosopher Paul Ricoeur, a metaphor is a rhetorical process to liberate the capacity of a fiction to re-describe the reality. 2 According to Buddhism atma-jnana is a precondition to moksha.