9.13.2008

now to begin thinking about "sacredness" and "purity" -- appropriate this anniersary year for the first edition of TECHNICANS OF THE SACRED, eh? written by a person named Catherine = katharos = pure? i.e., some things I DO spend a lot of time thinking and knowing about

a) the sociological/anthropoligical work done by the author of the edge article was purportedly done in India. where I did mine! I would suggest that subcontinental purity vs. pollution is quite different from greek catharsis, purgation, purity. subcontinental purity vs. pollution issues then encoded in things like the caste system and religious practices are, well, yes, originally a lot about poo and things like that; they have a lot in common with leviticus / kosher laws. if you eat with your hands and wipe poo with your hands, you probably designate one hand for the food, and another hand for the processed food. and you probably designate your dominant hand for the food. and so the other hand is probably the polluted, or bad hand. and it is probably a pretty sticky wicket to be a southpaw in such a society. but, other than a sort of wasp-y "nocd" series of attitudes that political conservatives who are wealthy are very good at manipulating, and political conservatives who are not wealthy are very manipulated by, I would suggest that catharsis is about emotional purgation and communication. something that prepares one to encounter a western sacred through ritual, or an inner eastern sacred state. not about poo.

> But if Durkheim is right, then sacredness is really about society and its collective concerns. God is useful but not necessary. The Democrats could close much of the gap if they simply learned to see society not just as a collection of individuals—each with a panoply of rights--but as an entity in itself, an entity that needs some tending and caring. Our national motto is e pluribus unum ("from many, one"). Whenever Democrats support policies that weaken the integrity and identity of the collective (such as multiculturalism, bilingualism, and immigration), they show that they care more about pluribus than unum. They widen the sacredness gap.

this seems utterly hollow to me; how does inclusiveness weaken the collective? it forms it. what is a collective but an entity made of a collection? warning to psychologists: take some Literature courses, already. our national motto is about many STATES, one NATION, not "some of the people who happen to be living here, who are united by a set of religious beliefs"


> Sanctity does not have to come from God; the psychology of this system is about overcoming our lower, grasping, carnal selves in order to live in a way that is higher, nobler, and more spiritual.

This is SUCH a strange notion.

WHAT IF mind and body aren't separate? WHAT IF we all have one life to live and nothing follows? Doesn't that throw off little sparks of, "well, maybe then shafting people of different sexual orientation or body type or nationality or religion is REALLY REALLY WRONG"? Unfortunately, for many who firmly believe first that the rapture is coming and mind and body are separate, what can even in the imagination replace heaven is not only mortal fear and fear of mortality, but also the fear of complete suspension of ethics and "selfishness"(not a la Rand or Nietsche) of "the enemy" Hitler, the great satan, the serial killer, and the unbelievable pressure and responsibility one must assume. I mean, wow, what if "they won't get theirs" and a little prayer won't make it better, and handing it over to a higher power is just a mind fuck? well, then we had better have a sense of the sacredness of the collective and the value of the individual. In other words, the politics of fear -- if the liberals want to do that, which I think is pretty crappy, but -- can be based on the fear of no god just as it can be based upon fear of god and disdain of the godless.

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