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+3 votes
Personally, one thinker I'm drawn to Zhuangzi/Chuang-tsu. What about you? I'm speaking more of literate/civilized/symbolic cultures.
by (7.5k points)
edited by
@strawdog: I would like to apologize the the last comment i made about your post, i think it was a little mean-spirited....but i would like to say that it seems you oppose general esoteric thinking and blending of ideological ideas, and i don't like the way of thinking that stems from that...i know there's a lot of nonsense in new age spirituality, but there's also lots of really deep and interesting stuff in spirituality in general....

and what do you mean by affectation, when you say syncretism leads to affectation?
@rs666 - Esotericism <> Syncretism. As to affectation, it should be repeated that I can only speak to my experience, I've no knowledge that would lead me to believe it must be so. Nonetheless, what I mean by affectation here is the wrapping of myself in the trappings of a way of being such as to convince myself, and maybe also others, that I walk that path.

In a larger sense, the reason I find syncretism, and especially a syncretism built on picking and choosing, worth avoiding goes something like this:

There is a cake. I know this is what it is called because I have been told so, but I do not know how it works, let alone how it came to be made. I taste it, mmm chocolate, I like chocolate. I didn't know you could make it creamy like that. Oh, it's made with whipped butter, I don't normally eat dairy, but I'm sure I could make that work in something else, especially considering how much I like chocolate. Huh, they tell me there are eggs in this. Why the fuck would you put eggs in sweets? Well, that doesn't make any sense, but no loss, I don't like eggs anyway.

From this experience I add to my way of cooking more chocolate, something I already liked, but not only do I fail to understand cakes, as I failed to see in my confusion the possibility of my own ignorance, I fail to learn what it is that an egg does when part of a cakes way of being which also forecloses the possibility of me seeing in my own practices room for something like an egg. I leave the experience having reinforced my existing ways while learning nothing of this other way beyond that they too agree that chocolate is delicious.
I hate the walk the path shit too, always have, I understand...however, i've found that the willingness to go beyond bare, direct logic in order to arrive at certain kinds of emotional truths to be interesting...even though as you point out can be misleading too..

however, im not sure if i understand your story...are you say you don't need to learn about eggs cuz your love of chocolate is good enough?
The story is a syncretic approach to learning about cakes.
ohhh ok i get it now....its true that knowing context in reading helps a lot, knowing what the writer is thinking, lol

1 Answer

+1 vote
jiddu krishnamurti said a few things that i find fairly useful, and his rejection of his privileged "destiny" didn't hurt him in my book. my favorite is his classic (i will probably mangle the actual words, but...): "it is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society." the first time i read those words i was floored.

i guess sun tzu (the art of war) also had some interesting stuff to say, in terms of strategy.
by (13.4k points)