This is where I share my current work in progress. I like to see it as a kaleidoscope of notes, thoughts, drafts and inspirations. I invite you touch it, and add your own thoughts; to co-edit, add comments, notes, links, etc.
Thank you, Monique
The problems of the mind cannot be solved at the level of the mind. Once you understand the fundamental disturbance of human functioning, there is not much else that you have to learn or understand. At the usual level of the mind I mean. The brain is potentially much more than that. But there is a blind eye in our usual way of using the mind. A kind of excavator that keeps on pounding. By studying the complexity of the mind you will not get past the mind. You understand the fundamental operation of the unconscious state, identification with the mind, which creates an unreal self; the ego. or as sohn-rehtel explains: with the invention of money a 'necessary false consciousness' has arisen. this is the basis of total civilization.
But it's also about power. what cynical artists think at this point is too easy. "then it doesn't matter" or something in that rhetoric. by pulling everything apart, you ultimately only dismantle the weakest. the underlying structures remain intact. many artists are not aware of that, because they are millionaire children. They do a poverty experience for a number of years. But they have no idea of the real risks of poverty because they have a trust fund. But enough about that.
Through meditation you can get to know the ways of the mind. You can observe the ego. You can observe the layer of 'false consciousness'. that does not necessarily mean that there is another "me" that observes the ego, a divine layer - that also depends on your definition of god. As long as god means 'nothing', there is not much going on. but enough about that. The brain is more than just the mind. In the common sense as we are used to. Or at least the brain is capable of observing itself.
the disadvantage is that a meditative way of life, where you are constantly aware of your ego, if it is possible, as it were, an anti-capitalist consciousness can only exist as part of a very conservative lifestyle. Little complexity, little social complexity, little input, little participation in the complex structures that do have an effect on the distribution of power in our society. It is very difficult - if not impossible - to blend this with a modern lifestyle. And because conservatism is very much in wait here, it can become an instrument for the right. Bluntly said, if everyone on the left is meditating on their own, they can go ahead with writing and implementing laws. Individualism also fits in seamlessly with the meditative state. that is a risk.
The object-subject structure of thought is created by the brain itself. That does not mean that this structure is not 'real'. It is a real abstraction in our society.
Since the invention of money, there are real abstractions in our society. Things that are abstract and real. Like ownership. You could imagine a hippie commune where ownership does not exist. But this is a naive conclusion that we keep getting stuck on, because no society is possible without real abstractions. We can't go back. We shouldn't want to either. That is why conservatism is such a big problem. We really have to dare to be progressive. Accept real abstractions, accept the ego.
So what we are looking for is a combination of learning to observe and understand the ego, understand the false consciousness that also makes possible that we have perspective. Keeping control, but especially taking on the complexity in this state of consciousness. Art is the perfect place for this. It is not about understanding, but about stirring, mixing, infiltrating. Provide leftist progressive input without being naive.
To develop a new consciousness that is awake and takes power. I think this might even be a non-individual consciousness. Posthuman.
Sohn Rethel knew very well that the abolition of private capital by the abrogation of its property rights would not automatically dispose of the antithesis of intellectual and manual labor. It is this antithesis that remains in being and makes for the continuation of an antagonistic society. This antithesis must be done away with he argues, but it requires an alteration at the superstructure level – at the level of consciousness.
The sophists (if you like) for Sohn-Rethel are the “reflectionists” who view the external world as existing regardless of consciousness. When you ask a reflectionist how a certain idea is a reflection of being he answers by reiterating the same contention in the guise of a prime truth – of a truth that is grounded in an ahistorical intellect. It is this intellect that generates necessary false consciousness and it is this intellect that Sohn-Rethel unearths.
“the socialized mind of man is money without its attachments and is immaterial, it is pure intellect”.
caused by an abstraction that excludes use value.
In the simple act of the handing over of a coin, there is the creation of a new temporality that is abstracted from a quantifiable dimension and this creates the scientific intellect.
It was Parmenides’ declaration that being and thought are one which represents the first philosophical proof of the impact of commodity exchange on abstract thinking – on the invention of intellectual labor.
“exact science is knowledge of nature in commodity form”
“Whatever the type of labor, the social synthesis will determine the consciousness of the era”
Breaking the division between intellectual and manual labor is a task leveled at what Marx referred to as the superstructure – it is a task that calls for a change of consciousness.