Thursday, May 12, 2016

Private Meditation as a Revolutionary Act

For Nietzsche, beauty is NOT primarily transcendent. Beauty is the difficult marriage of the transcendent with the immanent.

Unfortunately, our society has not heeded his advice. We have only accelerated the patriarchal addiction to transcendence, which, due to market competition for funding, has spread to every field. The easiest, and therefore best economic strategy, to receive funding is to dazzle the customer/donor/viewer.

Private meditation is dangerous to the whole idea.

The first commandment of American economic life is 'thou shalt appear constantly busy.' Even when there is nothing to do, we are strongly pressured to maintain an appearance of activity to others, or risk being labelled as "no fun" or depressed. To disrupt the appearance of activity is to call into question the premise on which our entire economic structure is based: our insatiable addiction to be dazzled by new products and consumer experiences. To say “no” to transcendence in this regard, even for a moment to desire balance instead, is outright rebellion.

Industry brings Meditation into relatively public group settings so that it, too, becomes a choice for consumption, becomes yet another stage where our addiction to transcendence can repeat its performance.

Rather than seeing our societal addiction as needing more rules, more techniques so that it can be controlled, imagine addiction as a frustrated passion frantically seeking a new mode of expression. That gives me hope.

This post is a slightly altered combination of a couple posts 2 years ago.