Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunlit Path for weeding out ignorance

[What Badiou Meant to Us Posted by larvalsubjects March 24, 2012 7 Comments 
Badiou’s theory of Truth was really a theory of commitment. A truth was, for him, not a representation or correspondence, but an activity that transforms the world. It is not so much the details of his thought that mattered. No, what mattered was the message. What Badiou was daring us to do was commit and commit passionately. Commit passionately to rapturous love even if it leads to your ruin. Commit passionately to scientific discovery, even if it departs from dominant paradigms. Commit passionately to artistic invention, even if it departs from tradition. Commit passionately to political transformation, even if that work seems unrealistic and to desire impossible outcomes. Badiou said commit, live passionately, and continue. Badiou said risk, risk everything for a Truth. Badiou said wager. What dominated Continental thought at the time was a series of meditations on why it is unreasonable to wager, risk, and commit. Badiou said commit and continue. Suddenly the air felt very different.]

Badiou did the most explicit work to reactivate truth by bluntly invoking the rights to philosophy. For even Deleuze had to frame his struggle in much the same way as the great phenomenologists and vitalists: a struggle against the horizon that philosophy had set for itself…
The sad consequence is that a lot of people have used Badiou as a platform for a very fashionable, inane pseudo-Marxism, which is often composed of the same people that enlisted in the ranks of deconstructive apathy. Being a 'leftist' has become a trendy moniker for hipsters and graduate students to play revolutionary under extremely elitist circumstances. You have these pseudo-leftists go brag about Marx and then hit the pubs for their weekly dose of booze and Deerhunter. This is not at all a new phenomenon: it is a variant of the 60's hippie, New age liberal motif. But in its current 'commie' version, I think it borrows more from what has been happening in South America for the past decade or so.]

Our worth lies only in the measure of our effort to exceed ourselves, and to exceed ourselves is to attain the Divine. -The Mother (1973)]

I say there that a great variety of subjects should be studied. I believe that is it. For instance, if you are at school, to study all the subjects possible. If you are reading at home, not to read just one kind of thing, read all sorts of different things… 
I believe there are general faculties and that it is much more important to acquire these than to specialise – unless, naturally, it be like M. and Mme. Curie who wanted to develop a certain science, find something new, then of course they were compelled to concentrate on that science. But still that was only till they had discovered it; once they had found it, nothing stopped them from widening their mind.]

Some people, by a special culture and training, are even able to become and remain conscious of the deeper activities of their inner being, independently of their own cerebral transcription, and thus to evoke them and know them in the waking state with the full range of their faculties… Uncultivated lands produce weeds. We do not want any weeds in ourselves, so let us cultivate the vast field of our nights… If our night has enabled us to gain some new knowledge – the solution of a problem, a contact of our inner being with some centre of life or light, or even the accomplishment of some useful task – we shall always wake up with a feeling of strength and well-being. The hours that are wasted in doing nothing good or useful are the most tiring. 25 March 1912]  

Much before any Deleuze, Bourdieu, or Badiou, the Sunlit Path laid out by The Mother guided our thought and action. The integrality of her ideas scattered over 30 volumes will continue to be a fount of inspiration for years to come. [TNM55]  

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