“Latour draws no distinction between blind practical manipulation and privileged theoretical awareness. For Latour, we have nothing but our dealing with networks of objects; some may be nobler and others more base, but all are on the same ontological footing…If philosophy is to make any progress in the decades to come, it is vital that we consistently oppose Heidegger and side with Latour: against the ontological/ontic distinction, against the theory/practice distinction, against the blanket contempt for mass produced objects, against the idea that knowledge means transcendence of the world, against nothingness, and in favor of endless curiosity about all manner of specific beings.”
Graham Harman - Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics
“The critic is not the one who debunks but the one who assembles. The critic is not the one who lifts the rugs from under the feet of naive believers, but the one who offers the participants arenas in which to gather.”
As a therapist (a different kind I hope)...he has a point...
“We’re swamped with therapies, self-help books, and techniques—what musician and activist Bob Geldof called ‘the thriving economy of psychotherapists, designer religions, and spiritual boutiques’—which treat our lives as projects to be tweaked and fixed. Isn’t meditation (if it’s anything at all) a relief from all this? Isn’t it the opposite of repairing and adjusting and striving and perpetually wanting things to be different?”
— Barry Evans, “The Myth of the Experienced Meditator”
“As I write I create a textual self which is different from the “me” who lives out in the world. But the textual self I create also changes the historical “me.” And so I’m kind of creating myself as I go along, mostly through the writing and the speaking. In order to do this I have to take myself apart and then put myself together. This is the Coyolxauhqui metaphor. It’s very painful, this dismemberment, burial, and then having to look for all the hidden parts of yourself that have been scattered about. When you constitute yourself, or when I reconstitute myself, it’s a different me that I reconstitute, and that’s where the transformative aspect come sin. But also it’s like tearing apart your inards, your entrails; it’s physically, emotionally, and psychologically painful.”
"In addition to inhibiting our ability to develop and implement innovative strategies for progressive social change, oppositional thinking erodes our alliances and communities. As the histories of numerous social movements have demonstrated, all too often oppositional politics fragment from within, damaging the individual and the group. These hostile, oppositional energies become poisonous when we direct them at one another, as we often do." - AnaLouise Keating
Hello Friends- On Sunday March 2nd I will be visiting the Open Door Sitting Group in Claremont and giving a little guest talk titled "Radical Interrelatedness". I am especially excited to visit my Dharma sister Melanie Yetter the guiding teacher at Open Door who will end the class with a Breath Work and Meditation practice. We will be going to lunch after so if you would like to take a field trip with me, please let me know! The FB link can be found HERE
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” — Henri J.M. Nouwen
"How could we assume that these oppositional politics could effect the permanent, progressive change we so desperately need? After all, the oppositional thinking we employ relies on (and therefore unitentionally reinforces) the existing (unjust, oppressive) frameworks that we’re trying to transform. Even if oppositionality’s dichotomous approach to reality seems “hardwired” into our brains, as some scientists suggest, I’m tired of knee-jerk reactions and recycled theories and practices. I’m exhausted with this divisive mono-thinking and the negative differences on which it relies."
Transformation Now! Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change
"Drawing on her own experiences with a variety of social-justice movements and academic organizations, as well as her innovative understanding of the Nahautl term nepantla, (Gloria) Anzaldua coined the term nepantlera in her post-Borderlands work as she developed an expansive alternative to Chicana lesbian identity politics. For Anzaldua, the nepantlera represents a type of threshold person or world traveler: someone who enters into and interacts with multiple, often conflicting, political/cultural/ideological/ethnic/etc. worlds and yet refuses to entirely adopt, belong to, or identify with any single belief, group, or location."
- AnaLouise Keating
Transformation Now! Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change
Most important book I have read in a long time. Shit, she quotes Bruno Latour at the start of the introduction. Must read.
Neuroscientist Sara Lazar’s amazing brain scans show meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain, improving our memory and making us more empathetic, compassionate, and resilient under stress.
Narrative therapists view identity as relational, distributed, performed, and fluid.
By relational, we mean that our stories of who we have been
and who we can be wouldn’t exist outside of our relationships with other
people; they are shaped by our experiences with others and our sense of
how they perceive us.
By distributed, we mean that the stories and experiences
that shape our moment-by-moment sense of “self” are located in different
places. Stories and experiences that support our sense of self are
distributed in other people’s memories, in hospital records, in
graffiti, in the Facebook pages of high school friends, and many other
places. At times stories from several of these places can come together
to solidify a particular sense of identity. At other times, stories from
different sources can give a sense of multiple possible identities.
One’s associates at work may describe a different person than would the
members of that same person’s once-a-month poker game, and the members
of the grade-school soccer team that person coaches may describe yet a
When we say that our sense of self is performed … , we
mean that we are all participants in each other’s ongoing dramas. Each
of us is always performer and audience at the same time. On the one
hand, we become who we act like we are. We constitute ourselves through
the choices we make. On the other, we are shaped by the responses and
expectations of those around us. Our notions of how we can act in a
given event are influenced by our memories of how people have responded
in similar past events, and by which particular people are present in
the current episode.
This relational, distributed, performed self is also fluid.
It is not the “deep, true, authentic” self proposed by structuralism; it
happens between people and is always changing, although there is also a
trace that runs through all the stories of our history. One implication
of this fluid sense of self is that change is practically impossible to
avoid. Rather than trying to help people be “true to themselves,” we
can focus on different experiences of “self,” and either help people
choose the relationships, contexts, and commitments that support their
preferred ways of being or help them bring other aspects of themselves
into problematic contexts in ways that will change their experience.
- from Combs, G. and Freedman, J. “Narrative, Poststructuralism, and Social Justice: Current Practices in Narrative Therapy,” The Counseling Psychologist XX(X) 1-28. (in press) 2012. pp. 10 & 11.
"Individuals find a real name for themselves only through the
hardest exercise in depersonalization, by opening themselves up to
multiplicities everywhere within them, to the intensities running
through them. A name [one’s own name, speaking for yourself in your own
name] as the direct awareness of such intensive multiplicity is the
opposite of the depersonalization effected by the history of philosophy;
it’s depersonalization through love rather than subjection. What one
says becomes from the depths of one’s ignorance, the depths of one’s own
underdevelopment. One becomes a set of liberated singularities, words,
names, fingernails, things, animals, little events."
— Gilles Deleuze, “Letter to a Harsh Critic” in Negotiations 1972-1990 (via mattersofconcern)
I think of Alcoholics Anonymous and Judith Butler’s readings (Giving
an Account of Onself) of Foucault’s later writings on the act of
confession when I read this.