Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Your turn #4:
Update, Update2 Update 3 (last post, closes next Tuesday) keep it going-growing
Today: Zen techniques, "talking silence" (John Cage's 4:33), "the fool," (think of Arlecchino, Lazarillo, from Simplicius, Scapin, Melville's deaf-mute, to Felix Krull and Erasmus' The Praise of Folly), "doing poetry" (from the poet as "possessed" [manikos] in the same sense as the Pythia at Delphi), "doing nothing" (read: doing the laundry), etc. Anyone can be a master, Zen is nothing special. See you this Thursday for the final exam and later, dinner, chez moi. By the way, here is a review of Just Another Love Story (the Danish movie we talked about in class).
Today: poesis as antidote for unproductive lives, The Art of War: Sun Tsu's meaning of "force," winning without fighting, contrarian philosophy, Tao's cycles, strategy, suntsuian "complete victory," Chuang-Tzu's dream thought experiment (or "how to connect verbal subjunctive with travel in parallel realities"), levels of insult, "the impossible is possible" as chuang-tzuian poetry, Tzu's "leveling of all things into ONE," Who is crippled?
Since we only have a week left, let's make this post more ambitious and include Taoism (up to the post below on wu-wei), even if it means making your comments a little more comprehensive. Feel free to comment on Confucianism or Taoism or -better- both.
I enjoyed our last discussion because of its socio-political dimension. Confucianism's social project strikes me as a sort of communitarianism. The jūnzǐ suggest a middle-point between individuality and community. Each one of us -as individuals- is embedded. “Li” is the social bond, a proto-ethical set of habits that translate as civility, the cohesion needed to foster individual happiness. Aristotle would agree with Confucius that personal fulfillment (eudaimonia) cannot exist without a community. Can “li” become petrified? Certainly, but this is no fault of its original purpose, not at least if “shu” is properly applied. Go ahead.