[D-G] 1949 Diss. on Spinoza and Vedanta

Super Dragon superdragon at addlebrain.com
Sat Jan 17 02:04:09 PST 2009

No need to be sorry-I am not! The experiential learning has been indispensible to current work-I would not now chose not to have had the episodes although, at the same time, it is not a path I can responsibly recommend to anyone else.

Thanks for the references-it is the spiritual materialism that interests me-I'm reading Aurobindo's The Life Divine at present-quite a chewy read but these seems to be some Bergson influence on key terms ( as well as out and out dislike for Nietzsche). Aurobindo is one of the more 'Western' Indian thinkers (studied in France) and his Integral Yoga has already been (badly) 'popularized' by Bede Griffiths attempts to marry it to catholic doctrine on the trinity. As you suggest, folowers tend to be barking...although Aurobindo is interesting in so far as he ( along with The Mother) founded an ideal community Aurosville-this is still running and has a fairly good library for anyone interested... 

 Yes, I take the non given as given-what interests me about chaosmosis is the construction of a refrain from the  disorganisation of psychosis. Guattari is interesting from a recovery perspective as he is one of the first practioners to look at ways in which a meaningful life can be constructed in coalition with the clinical symptom. It is only just becoming fashionable to consider recovery as led by social goals than as clinical reduction. One could argue, and i do, that the construction of delusionary figures are ways of organising non-sense and are functional coping strategies in their own righ. For example, one delusion was that dead people were invading my body through my feet ( I live near a graveyard)Being a housefly made it possible to get out of bed and put my feet on the ground (essential to survival really!) The spaceship delusion would kick in when the housefly became unsustainable. None of this was pregiven BUT the form these delusions took are undoubtedly culturally sourced and have a personal past-e.g I grew up watching the moon landings and watched a lot of bad 50s sci fi!

None of this predeetermines the way these images will be cut out and redistributed in resubjectifying from non-sense but the resource to cut them out in a new refrain belongs to my singular past and no other-although of course the cultural sources are shared. So I take the currently heretical view in mental health that psychotic delusions may be therapuetic in their own right -I'm not into the romantic idealisation of pychosis- I should also point out that I know of someone so convinced he was the lamb of God that he starved to death. But too much emphasis still on the liquid kosh as first port of call for strange or unusual beliefs... 

I will check out the Stengars essay. I had forggeton about her but could be useful
Happy new year also

--- pbains at xtra.co.nz wrote:

From: Paul adrian Bains <pbains at xtra.co.nz>
To: deleuze-guattari at lists.driftline.org
Cc: postmaster at neurobiol.cyt.edu.ar
Subject: Re: [D-G] 1949 Diss. on Spinoza and Vedanta
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 07:50:05 +1100 (EST)

Hi Ruth,
Sorry to hear about your horrifying episodes!


30 yrs ago I spent some time in S. India discovering yoga (principally 'hatha' yoga) and a little about the Upanishads. I found the best modern interpreter of advaita to be Krishnamurti (hated by many). The other good modern read was Aghenanda Bharati's The Light at the Centre: Context and Pretext in Modern Mysticism. 
Altho he was a little arrogant - mitigated by a keen wit.He particularly liked Chogyam trungpa rimpoche Cutting through spiritual materialism. But as in so many cases his followers in Boulder, CA, seem to be a bunch of idiots....Or as Gurdjieff would have said, 'candidates for a mental asylum'.

The main focus of Guattari's Chaosmosis was 'subjectivity' not being a 'given' - and the possibility of change. Look at the intro and the final paragraph of the book.......

For the record I would quote the philosopher and physicist/biologist Mariela Szirko who likes to say that 'in changing we do not become someone else'. Each person (whether human or not), or existential finitude, is unique.....and does not 'emerge' from the body it finds itself availing of.......but that's another story - one that anglo/american science is still somewhat ignorant of. But see:
Ontology of Consciousness: percipient agency, MIT Press, 2008. (An anthology of essays from many fields - tibetan buddhism to neuroscience...

You might find this essay by Stengers of interest (if you don't know it). 'Diderot's Egg: Divorcing materialism from eliminativism.'


Happy New Year,

From: Super Dragon <superdragon at addlebrain.com>
To: deleuze-guattari at lists.driftline.org
Sent: Thursday, 15 January, 2009 7:29:59 AM
Subject: Re: [D-G] 1949 Diss. on Spinoza and Vedanta

Greetings Paul-it is interesting to hear the directions you are taking. I remember the question of a core personal self being important to your position all those moons ago on spoons.

The reason I write is because I have been studying the lives of Hindu sunyassin dedicated to experiential union with advaita (literal meaning not two). The study was prompted by the similarity of this understanding of nondual reality and themes in Deleuze. The big difference is the manner of attaining what amounts to a transpersonal consciousness-for the sunyassin, the methods are chiefly yogic, contemplative and ascetic-while there is violence in the process,the desired state is blissful immersion and desubjectification v the violent process of desubjectification described by Deleuze.

As with yourself, I am more in favour of subjectivities for better or worse these days. It should not be forgotten that Deleuze also talks about resubjectification-a position that is not tenable for the sunyassin and which Nietzsche did not achieve. I am now out of the closet at having lived through several quite horrifying psychotic episodes in my own meditations on Eternal Return-it was a bit difficult to sat this while I was a doctoral student.

It is symbolic death (but not quite) for delusionary experience resymbolizes idiosyncratically at the 'edge'. I have been in these expereinces, a housefly, a spaceship and other transitory images of transcndence and immanence (images in which de and re subjectification play back and forth in precisely the zone of indetermination proposed). My point is desubjectification ain't funny and returning from the dead ( as recommeded in WIP) much easier said than done. However, having done it and reassembled as something like a proviosional speaking subject, I would say that there is both something core that is esistentially personal but which by no means can be called an I and encounter which pushes the personal self past its sustainable threshold. In other words- Being is indeed experienced as a clamour in these states but nobody could live there for long. But going there does change subjectivity for better or worse...

Warm Regards
Ruth.C aka Rudeearth
Sloughing one's skin.-The snake that cannot slough its skin perishes... Likewise spirits which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirits (Nietzsche: Daybreak:V:573)  
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