by Dr K.Loganathan
[ 16. Disconstructing Ta Twam Asi; 17. Vedanta -- Metaphysics of Avoidance;18. The Viddhantic and Siddhantic; 19. Thinking and Religious Life; 20. The Limits of Reason]
Hermeneutics and Metaphysics -16
Disconstructing Tat Twam Asi
We have noticed that we are infected with TIME in our existence and that we are both I-T, intentional-temporality and P-T physical-temporality. But the new insight we have wrested out in our Hermeneutic reflections is that the famous Tat Twam Asi is in fact an oblique way of putting the IT dimensions of existence and where it is more fundamental than PT the physical temporality in the sense that once IT is no more there would be no more also PT.
But we can disconstruct IT only if we disconstruct
our INTENTIONAL way of Being, a way of Being where we continuously search
for this and that , get pushed hither and thither, be
pulled here and there etc. Disconstructing INTENTIONALITY requires
that we BECOME non-intentional or as it is said in Indian circles,
attain the state of
"desirelessness", the PaRRu aRRaan PaRRu of ThirukkuRaL. Where we attain this state of Being, there is no IT and hence no PT as well. And hence NO TIME at all. It is a state of Being of the self where understanding exists as the understanding of a self but without TIME and because of which it is Absolute , the civacattu of Meykandar, Civanjanam or simply the Jnanam of Jnanasambantar that he distinguishes from maRainjanam, the scriptural understanding and puts
And that it is TIMELESS also means the language , the ordinary vaikari
type with syntax as constituted by Verb Phrases and Noun phrases
becomes IMPOSSIBLE for without the notion of time, such linguistic structures
are just impossible. One cannot simply SPEAK and hence in enjoying the
Jnanam, one can only be Deeply Silent, hold oneself in the
famous Mouna Muttirai.
But does this mean that COMMUNICATION ceases to be?
No , I do not think so. My Deep Silence and the Posture I assume during those precious moments are in fact communicative. But I can be more specific here by assuming the posture Cin Muttirai, with hand gestures of a special sort where through gestures I communicate something profound and deep but without speaking. In enjoying the Jnanam, the Absolute Understanding, my tongues are locked up but NOT by body and the hands. They begin to speak nonverbally and communicate something that even scriptural languages cannot communicate.
My language has been, I notice now, both verbal and nonverbal or the bodily, the language of Mudras. Now at this final state of Being, verbal language drops out leaving me only with the nonverbal, the bodily!!
Thus in disconstructing myself from INTENTIONALITY I disconstruct also from the hold of the scriptures, hence the hold of Brahma. Also the states of transductive perceptions, the aRituyil and hence also the world of Vishnu. I must learn the scriptures with the help of Brahma and having done that transcend that world and enter that of Vishnu. And having learnt all that I have to in the world of transductive perceptions , transcend even that and go beyond the world of Vishnu, BEING-as--the- Manifest- World
But these fundamental discontructions : am I doing myself? That will be impossible for at this point we are NOT disconstructing one kind of intentionality and allow another to take over. Here in this ultimate disconstruction we are doing something more fundamental, more drastic -- disconstructing the intentional disposition itself, the KILLING of the Ego-Self itself. So it has to be something AGAINST my WILL , something done on me and by something else. But at this point only BEING remains as the ONE above Brahma, as the ONE above Vishnu and hence absolutely transcendent BEING, the ParaCivan.
This BEING, this ParaCivan ( or Allah, Christ, MahaVishnu and whatever name you may choose) is the one who disconstructs me and catapults me into the state of Being timeless, and hence experiencing everything non-temporically, as it is in itself, the CattaRivu of Meykandar. Because no temporality as a component of my understanding, there is only Cuunyam, a NOTHINGNESS as a that, just as Meykandar observed : cattu etir cuunyam
And I can progress in this only by allowing myself to be thus disconstructed by BEING by becoming willingly egoless and humble. I allow myself to be thus disconstructed without any resistance when I understand that BEING is LOVE and that I can TRUST Him absolutely. My Love develops into Bakthi and within Bakthi , I happily allow myself to be disconstructed continuously by BEING and in the way He sees fit.
I have NO CHOICE really for I am given to understand that "aadduvitaal aaroruvar aadaataaree?" the famous words of Appar: if played by BEING, who can refuse to play?
Hermeneutics and Metaphysics - 17
Vedanta -- Metaphysics of Avoidance
We have successfully disconstructed Tat Twam Asi by noting that it captures in a formulaic manner the Intentionality and hence Intentional temporality, the most universal existential structure. This is true not just of Indians but all human beings perhaps also other living creatures that are nonlinguistic or prelinguistic. For all living things search for this and that and therefore infected with intentionality of somekind or other. And this also means the possibility of becoming FREE of this intentionality is also UNIVERSAL, all human beings are capable of attaining this state of genuine metaphysical freedom.
We gained this understanding, i.e. there is intentional-temporality as the integral structure of Tat Twam Asi by bringing together the metaphysical reaches pertaining to this of Tolkaappiyar ,Heidegger and Meykandar. Among these Tolkaappiyar and Heidegger operate within I-T and do not attempt to disconstruct it . Meykandar using the insights of Thirumular Appar Cambantar and a host of others successfully does this disconstruction and thus understands BEING whose njaanam is NOT temporal at all and hence absolute and that we can enjoy this atemporal understanding provided we effect the disconstruction.
But we noticed that this final disconstruction is NOT something we can do -- we have to AWAIT the Grace of BEING for that final disconstruction that would catapult us into the realms of Permanence, Absolute Understanding and so forth.
Let us use the term "thrice born" to describe those who enjoy this final disconstruction and hence enjoy Mukti, the final releasement from Samsara, historicity-- existential repetition, being born again and again into the phenomenal world. The thrice born are Muktas, those who have attained Mukti, NirvaNa and what not.
To become the thrice born is a possibility all of us already have and therefore EQUAL in that sense . Thios understanding provides the framework for becoming UNITED despite being different in sexuality, professions, birth. lineage and whatever. At the deepest level all of us hold the possibility of becoming the thrice born and once all of us realize this and restructure the mind along these lines then we have a social organization founded upon MUTUAL LOVE and RESPECT for each other and LEARNING especially the metaphysical type as the central ingredient of polotical life.
It would transpire that there are NO privileged individuals and anyone who claims such special privileges would turn out to be a cheat who would distort truths for very selfish reasons.
The the spirit of social equality was that that was forged during the Bakthi period but unfortunately never became fully established with the necessary fundamental reorganization of the social ethos. It was a revolution that failed and one of the reasons it failed, was , I think, the rise of the Vedantic schools of thought that arose as commentaries to Vedanta Sutras of Badarayana, and with different notions about what constitutes Mukti ------ the Advaita, Visistatvaita, Dvaita and so forth.
But how is that possible? How did Vedanta killed the spirit of bakthi?
Philosophy that begins with " therefore now inquiry into Brahman " CANNOT be true philosophy, for such an inquiry CANNOT answer questions pertaining to the meaning of EXISTENCE but only articulate a metaphysics of AVOIDANCE of existence and NOT that of understanding. Vedanta makes one close the eyes to the existential struggles of man and justifies this methodically induced blindness through recourse to the authority of the Vedas
Let me explain this in some detail.
The ordinary existence, the existence of the philosophically naive is simply Being-in-the-World, simply living a life of basic passions and emotions, fully locked up in the world of the historical states oblivious to the higher possibilities that lurk behind the naive. Now when this is disconstructed and the naivety overcome with a heroic struggles to liberate oneself from the mundane then awareness grows of there being BEING and the possibility of drawing close to BEING and hence an attitude of Bakthi. The existence here becomes differentiated into Being-with-BEING-and -the- World (BBaW). This is the existential structure of the genuinely philosophical , where there is an understanding of the Metaphysical realms over and above the worldly and where BOTH ARE REAL only that the realms of BEING, the metaphysical realms are absolute and not transient as that of the physical. But the philosophical individual is both Physical and Metaphysical, trapped into the physical because of the bodily existence but TRYING to get releasement from it by metaphysical endeavors of various kinds.
Now this BBaW can be differentiated further into Being -only-with -World (BWW) and Being-only -with-BEING (BWB) where the emphasize is "being only with" that carries along with it the notion of negation, avoidance , exclusion, denial etc. BWW is the Godless metaphysics of Buddhists who were logical positivists of a kind such as Dignatha, Dharmakirti ARavaNa adikal of maNimekalai and so forth and who disallowed the matters of transductive perceptions and hence the Agamas and so forth as reliable sources of metaphysical understanding. They disallowed the TRUTH of the metaphysical realms and hence Bakthi as such. They could NOT disconstruct intentionality for they never recognized the presence of that by dissecting everything into flow of momentary particulars, including TIME which they dissected into a endless chain of photonic-times , the KaNikam. In this way they failed to understand and articulate a metaphysical realms WITHOUT temporality and hence BEYOND time.
Now the Vedanties , beginning from Badarayana seem to have opted for the antithetical to this viz. BWB, being only BEING and which they understood as the meaning of Aham Brahmam Asmi( I am Brahman really). The BEING is understood as the Brahman, the radiant and because of the "only" here we see also the emergence of the only Brahman is real and hence all else Mythiya, a falsity of a kind , adhysa and Aropitam etc. Being in the world as embodied person is DENIED as real and that too in order to maintain that BWB is the real possibility and justified by the authorityof Vedas (which is NOT mythiya! )
With this begins a systematic blindness of the Vedantic traditions to the physical world, to existence as the embodied , historicity of existence and hence understanding as such. And since such a special vocation is NOT for everybody it also began to be asserted that only the Brahmanahs privileged by birth to the study of the Karma Kanda of the Vedas are eligible for inquiry into Brahman thus transforming metaphysical inquiries themselves into a Casteic affair and NOT something universal. Now a days the caste restriction is no more but the acceptance of the Vedas as authoritative is insisted upon for otherwise " therefore inquiry into Brahman" cannot be maintained as proper starting point of philosophy.
In this way the emergence of bakthi and the FREE inquiry into metaphysical realms arising from existential struggles are DENIED as legitimate and dominance of Vedantic Brahmans in the philosophical world of India also ensured that the freedom of human mind be suppressed as a whole except when they talk about the Vedas and Vedanta fondly and with reverence.
Hermeneutics and Metaphysics -18
The Viddhantic and Siddhantic
Anyone who wants to understand Indian Civilization has to grapple with its metaphysics or the way metaphysics is understood and the Symbolic Life it occasions. The temple culture , the home shrines and other kinds of ritualistic life including dance music and such other fine arts have a distinct quality of their own and which cannot be detached from the metaphysics they presuppose. And along with it reflective inquiry is also enshrined as an integral part of it. The appropriation of the metaphysical realms experientialy is one thing , the reflective grasp of the contents is another. Meykandar says the contents of five fold existential states , the wakeful state of vigilance ( saakkiram) , the dream states ( coppanam) and the higher must be brought into the Iladattaanam, into the realms of clear consciousness so that there in no more IGNORANCE as part of the human understanding. Thus unlike in many other cultures where philosophical disputations are frowned upon or actively discouraged, in Indian Culture it is fostered as integral part of religious life. In the Upanisads we hear of Parishads after the Yajna, in Tolkaappiyam we hear of disputations among the philosophic as part of the PuRat tiNai, and in MaNimekalai and Sillapatikaaram we hear of Paddi ManRam where philosophers come and propound their own schools of thoughts and this as part of the Indra Viza .
We have also the very extensive field of Tarkka Sastras., the art of intellectual disputations.
It is out of this kind of thinking culture that Buddhism and Jainism arose and later declined and Bakthi was recovered and reestablished. It was also just at that time the different schools of Vedanta arose precipitating now another kind of cultural dynamics that saw the birth of Saiva Siddhanta , Sri VaishNava philosophies and later the enormous burst of Siddha literature especially in the Tamil country.
To understand Indian Civilization is to UNDERSTAND the tremendous cultural upheavals that took place then and see how they can be welded into the modern and provide thereby a cultural continuity. It is with such intentions that I pursue these reflections in the nature of Hermeneutics, that of UNDERSTANDING it all.
And I do not think that the different philosophical understanding mean the same -- that will be just too simplistic though emotionally it may be laudable. We have to UNDERSTAND these different darsanas in order to understand the hidden dynamics of Indian Civilization for such momentous events are quite peculiar to India and certainly of enormous significance.
And here we notice that it took place in the South which from ancient times has been the meeting ground of both Tamil and Sanskrit cultures. There is a cultural dynamics , a conflict of a kind but immensely productive for one cannot understand bakthi and metaphysical insights it enshrines unless there was Buddhism Jainism and Vedanta. Bakthi has to forge itself against the metaphysical forces that tended to wipe it out and hence forced to articulate with an understanding and vehemence it did not have earlier.
One of the basic metaphysical UNDERSTANDING that underlies this momentous event is what I have already said: metaphysics is all about understanding EXISTENCE in its depths and that there were different strands of understanding: Being-with- BEING-and -the World (BWBaW) , Being-with-only -BEING (BWB) and Being-with-only -the -World (BBW).
Having attained this clarity we have to pursue the matter further and here I notice that whoile the Bakthi nourished itself with BWBaW, while it was the kind of understanding that is enshrined in the Saiva VaishaNa Bakthi poetry, in the logical positivism of the Buddhists it was BWW and with with idealisms of the Vedantic schools it was mainly BWB.
We must also notice that both the logical positivism of the Buddhists and the Idealisms of Vedantic schools are immensely sophisticated , a sophistication that we do not find elsewhere ( as far as i know). And here we can also draw a broad division-- while Bakthi became the life force of Tamil language it was not so in Sanskrit (except perhaps much later). Bakthi was also not just simply enjoying piety -- it was an immense social revolution , a revolution in which there was an attempt to wipe out the varnasrama dharma and also reinstate the Tamil language as the language of the Tamil people and this against Sanskrit that was trying to displace Tamil.
But there is more to this than what I have said above and I want to touch upon it now.
There is a parallel between the birth of Western logical positivism and that of the Indian and within which is written the birth of this philosophical Bakthi.
Let me use the terms Viddhantic and Siddhantic to capture the difference in the thought processes underlying these intellectual upheavals.
The Viddhantic is CONSTRUCTIVE and siddhantic HERMENEUTICAL and while the former was fostered by Sanskrit, the latter by Tamil and because of which while the Vedantic thinking prospered in Sanskrit and the Siddhantic in Tamil ( to put it very roughly, overlooking a lot of niceties) constituting the different faces of what constitutes the immensely complex face of Indian Culture or as S Kalyanaraman keeps on saying, the culture of Bharata
The commonality in the Viddhantic lies in escaping from BWBaW and enclosing oneself either in BWW ( the Buddhists) or BWB (the Vedantic). But what is the parallel?
We can see it as follows: When Russel described his Theory of Descriptions in order to bring the whole of Pure Mathematics into Logic, he reconstructed statements such as "The King of France is bald" into the logical conjunctions of " There exists x" " For all x , if it is x then it is y" where 'x' and 'y' stand for descriptions and here 'king of France " and 'bald". Equating both as the same hence the sentence displaceable with those with existential and universal descriptions, he claimed that the referentiality implicit in the statements analyzed is no more and hence the whole statement in its logical aspects is detached from the world and hence made entirely LOGICAL. Thus making something purely LOGICAL is actually DETACHING or NEGATING the referentiality to the world the assertion has as part of its meaning.
Rudolf Carnap , Richard Von Mises and a host of logical positivists took off from this and tried to extend this theory of descriptions to the whole of range of sciences especially the socio-psychological so that references to the soul (and God) and so forth do not occur.
Of course those who are familiar with the History of Logical Positivism will know that this movement collapsed in the wake of which the Ordinary Language became something very important and along with it the notions of Speech Act , Discourse Analysis, Ethnomethology , Conversational Analysis, Natural Logic and so forth.
This trend in Logical Positivism in the West is an example of what I
have called he Viddhantic expression of the human mind and something
that we also find but of course in a different garb in Indian thinking
especially in the Vedantic . I put forward the following verse from Panca
Dasi of Vidyaranya (Trans. Swami Swahananda) as evidence towards
In the sentence "this is that Devadatta", "this" and 'that' refer to different time, place and circumstances. When the particular connotations of "this" and 'that' are rejected, Devadatta remains as their common basis.
Similarly, when the adjuncts, Maya and Avidya(
the conflicting connotations in the proposition "That thou art") of Brahman,
and Jiva, are negated, there remains t the indivisible supreme Brahman,
whose nature is existence, consciousness and bliss.
Thus we see an attempt in both to get rid of referentiality or simply NEGATE it mentally and attain a consciousness devoid of particularity, the CudduNarvu of Meykandar. We do not TRANSCEND the the-tic consciousness but rather NEGATE it by constructive moves of the mind to rid of it in thinking.
And the same is applied to the world -- NEGATE everything worldly , abstract the essence , the PURE and there you are, you get BRAHMAN and with is also that "Atman is Brahman "etc.
But what is the historical roots of such intellectual exercise and its dominance in the Sanskritic culture.
I think PaNiNi should be credited for this immense sophistication : when he abstracted from the living language Sanskrit as opposed Prakrit, the worldly, he already established a model for the Viddhantic.
And also for Varnasrama Dharma: The Pure Bramanah is a social construct akin to Sanskrit and hence the nonBrahmanah, is akin to Prakrit, the worldly.
But the linguistic tradition of Tolkappiyam does not have this distinction -- it has tonly he living language both as Vazakku, the speech and CeyyuL the literature both expressions of the spirit in the flow of life. Hence essentially Siddhantic.
Hermeneutics and Metaphysics 19 :
Thinking and Religious Life
I want to bring in the thinking dimension into religion along with
faith the practice of penances etc. I sincerely believe that
this is the best way to combat religious fanaticism that exists in
all religions in some form or other. In fact I want to bring
religious dimensions of human experience itself as part of Depth Psychology especially Agamic Psychology , the roots of
which are very ancient. In fact it goes back to the Sumerian times where we find Yoga as part of Temple culture and
almost every major cultural development was guided by transductive perceptions. There it appears that many people had
their Third eye open and basically lived by the disclosures of BEING through opening up their third eye. There were the en-kum-ine, those who sat silently in a special chamber but within the temple. This we learn from the Kes temple Hymns of Enhudu Anna. The account of the Deluge , the documents related to temple building, war campaigns against the intruders and so forth mention that they were all guided by transductive perceptions , a capacity we all have but due to historical factors and lack of cultivation we do not enjoy it as much as the ancients did. The organization of religious life for cultivating these inherent capacities and enjoying transductive perceptions and through that experience BEING directly in various archetypal encounters such as those of the Nayanmars and Azwars is the life that constitutes to me the authentic life and towards which the whole world is moving. I believe. Ultimately we do not need any intermediaries in the form of books gurus prophets mullahs brahmanhs and so forth.
True Yoga Sciences, called now the Inner Sciences by some such as those
of Patanjali Thirumular and host of Tamil
Siddhas also develop this kind of Psychology . With this understanding at the background let me outline my views
about thinking and its meaning and how it is related to metaphysical experiences.
There are different kinds of thinking , the logical , interpretive
creative lateral etc. And among these there is the
DISCONSTRUCTIVE such as that practiced by Meykandar and later elaborated and applied to various systems of
philosophies by AruNandi. Such disconstructive thinking has become an integral part of Saiva Siddhanta tradition by which it distinguishes itself from the Vedantic which are ultimately text based -- either the Vedas or the Upanishads. Saiva Siddhanta
tradition DOES NOT presuppose the authority of any scripture though it does not deny the reliability and necessity of studies of such scriptural utterances as one of the TOOLS for illuminating oneself. But the central goal remains directly experiencing BEING in whatever archetypal form He chooses to disclose Himself.
But no matter what kind of philosophical understanding or religious
faith we have we must articulate the basic principles
and DISCONSTRUCT that in order to FREE the mind from possible PREJUDICES that condition our thinking
and feeling rather unconsciously.
Such disconstructions are also processes of freeing the mind from what are called "acat aRivu" in Tamil, , not false understanding but that which are historical and thus temporal.; thinking and reflecting disconstructively on such notions will free our mind from the historical temporal forms of knowledge, culturally conditioned precepts and believes and thereby FREE the mind towards enjoying the absolute, the TRUE
Thinking in this sense is also reducing the scope of FAITH and
making the mind CLEAR so that there is
NOTHING in the end that remains still as faith. When we qualify something as FAITH it only means that we have an
understanding but still in the UNCONSCIOUS and hence something that has NOT been brought into the Iladattaanam,
as Meykandar would put it, into the realms of clear consciousness, the "cutta caitanyam" as Akattiyar would put it, so that in
experiencing it we are also led to feel the apodictic certainty , the indubitablity in the Cartesian sense. Thinking disconstructively leads us in the end to enjoy Pure consciousness, Absolute Understanding, that which in experiencing it also informs from within its absoluteness and hence its indubitablity.
Such a kind of thinking is necessary for DEEPENING religious experience
itself. As many have observed and as
the Siddhas continuously mention it, "vaarttaiyaal onRu millai" -- mere words, a mere study of scriptures are worthless
unless the soul is PURIFIED, made Cuttam as the Saivites would say . A soul becomes PURE in this sense when it
suffers what are called Tiikkai, literally meaning being burnt singed and so forth. These are the various kinds of sufferings in
life that are enacted in fact by BEING for wounding our Ego and making us humble. You can see this in Appar
2 that I just finished translating. He is assailed by a disease that burns his belly and he cries out with unbearable pain and in that also surrenders himself to BEING recalling the Destructive Forms Civa assumes in His world play to combat the evil that is already in the world.
Sufferings that issues forth due to diseases, natural calamities, war and pestilence and now by acts terrorism make us THINK and think disconstructively, see the FAULT in us , the evil propensities that are already there in human beings and think of ways and means to get rid of it, to cleanse the soul with the GRACE of BEING. Disconstructive thinking is then a sever kind of self criticism, standing up to the weakness in oneself and having identified it , get rid of it so that we become converted into a higher kind of species. If all the cultures in the world have this orientation then we can reduce the incidence of barbarism in the world.
Disconstruction of self such as the sufferings in life promote,
make it PURER and at the same better fit for the blessings
of BEING in the form of the more of the engracing processes within that manifest themselves as deep and profound metaphysical insights, insights that really satisfy the the soul and allow it to live in genuine santhi, in real peace.
More in due course.
The Limits of Reason
Thanks for your response. I am glad you agree that thinking especially the disconstructive form has a place in tempering the emotions or as you say:
I would, however, agree that reason must be promoted to temper the
passion of emotions. We must always remember our psycho-emotional
make-up - both reason and emotions are important - a balance should
This is a huge problem, that of tempering and culturing the emotions and for which purpose Agamism cultivates the fine arts as integral part of Temple Culture that we see so abundantly even in Sumerian culture. The music and dance , certainly of various qualities, can be tuned to become an art that refines the mind , purifies the soul. All goes to show that AESTHETICS is more fundamental than REASONING including even the dialectical and disconstructive varieties. Deep inside the heart of all there is a need for being BEAUTIFUL psychically and this brings in the dimension of CUTTAM, that of being CLEAN and which means being FREE of dirt. This notion is also available in Christianity and all other religions in the form 'paricutta aavi", the "genuinely pure soul" and so forth.
But becoming PURE or Cuttam is something, more than aesthetics, more than what can be attained by merging the soul with the mantric melodies of dance and music. And it is here that I see the metaphysical relevance of SUFFERING as such and the consequent Tiikkai , the inward burning or tapas that sige the dirt within as highly relevant.
We suffer all kinds of mishaps in the world. The world process contains within itself elements that induce tremendous PAIN and ANGUISH in our heart . In the ancient times there was the Deluge in which only Jivasudra ( Noah) survived. And throughout world history there were wars and wars and recently the first world war , the second world War and now the Third World War of a peculiar kind -- barbaric and inhuman terrorism arising from some kind of religious fanaticism. Certainly there will be a retort, a reply causing further bloodshed along with reducing many countries into desolate landscapes and the world process continues thus and it has done so in the past. Such events along with natural disasters diseases dry spells earthquakes and so forth generate PAIN and ANGUISH in the heart of all, even among hadr hearted.
Appar returned to Saiva way of life after his misadventure into Jainism and what brought him back is the excruciating PAIN and ANGUISH that he suffered on the onset of what he calls Cuulai Nooy, a kind of disease that burning the intestines makes him fall to the ground and cry out with unbearable PAIN and suffer also ANGUISH in the face impending death.
Such events in the personal life of individuals and world history are metaphorically understood as the Dance of Destruction of Civa as Rudra, or Civa as KoRRavai, the Kul-kul-amma of the Sumerian times.
But what is the metaphysical significance of PAIN as such? Of tremendous mental ANGUISH as such?
The mind can trap itself in FALSE METAPHYSICS, the metaphysics of mental creations and which are attempts at RATIONALIZING and JUSTIFYING one's own DESIRE , or borrowing a term from Nietsche, as expressions of WILL to Power. There is tendency in all of us to be aggressive , defeat all others and become the HERO he who is worshipped by all, expressed collectively and individually. Tolkaappiyar would put this kind of tendency as one that falls within the Paalaith ThiNai, the ThiNai of desert landscape, the interior ecology that inclines one towards DESTRUCTION and turning the world into a desert both physically and psychologically.
We should view the function of unbearable pain , the fear of death and the anguish that it generates against this background of various kinds of false metaphysics within which man can trap himself. For PAIN and so forth cannot be wished away, one cannot conclude that they are just Mithya Jnaanam, Aroopitam, mental projections and addhyasa, suprimposition and supremely inconsequential.. The unbearable pain and immense melancholy that swells the heart in the face of disasters PULLS us away from WISHFUL thinking and enclosing ourselves within all kinds of false metaphysics. It forces us to acknowledge REALITY and think about it as it is, understand the world as it is from within itself, as it shows itslef from within itself i.e. objectively -- uLLatai uLLavaaRu kaaNal, as said in Tamil.
This ushers in thinking hermeneutically and phenomenologically -- that of seeing the world as it is and understanding as to why it is so especially about the presence of PAIN producing events as part of the world process. And it is in the course of such thinking that man discovers the presence of EVIL in the world, the dark demonic forces in the world AND in oneself . This insight is most consequential for from the burst of this understanding man begins to see that he is a real filth, a very lowly kind of person, capable of all kinds of evils and that he can rescue himself only by seeking the presence of BEING within. For only BEING, assuming various types of the destructive archetypal forms can the destroy the demonic and devilish forces within oneself and in the world. This realization makes us really humble by making us egoless . Not only that - it makes us OPEN up the heart for the engracing blessings of BEING and in order to be fit for it, become PURE at heart.
It is this point that bakthi bursts forth and establishes existence. I must mention here that bakthi is really very ancient and integral to all human beings. The extremely beautiful metaphysical poetry of Enhudu Anna , Sirbiyam ( 2200 B.C.) is one of the most beautiful bakthi poetry to have come from the ancient world. The Agamism is founded upon and fosters Bakthi. The sacred lore of the Tamils , from the Cangkam Paripaadal to Theevaram , Divviya Prabantham and so forth are perhaps the very excellent expressions of genuine bakthi.
It may be possible that what is called FAITH in Christianity is the same as Bakthi in Hinduism. However I am not sure, despite this possibility, whether there is a complete overlap of meaning. For genuine bakthi is one of the products of UNDERSTANDING and hence disconstructive thinking. It must be recalled here that genuine disconstructive thinking does NOT have authorities except that of TRUTH, it does not any scripture as soley authoritative for if it does, disconstructive thinking cannot be practiced everywhere.
[meykandar] Re: Hermeneutics and Metaphysics-19
Tue, 18 Sep 2001 15:08:26 -0000
Dear Dr. Loga,
All well and said. And yet I would reiterate that any proposition
that reason and thinking or as you would term it deconstructive
thinking (very similar to our Christian self-examination form of
spirituality and dialectical correlation form of theologising)can
reveal and expose the Absolute Truth with certainty, is in fact a
statement of faith rather than of rational certainty. If meykandar
can theoretically be deconstructed it would mean that he did not have
the absolute truth but was only convinced of the same. Deconstructive
thinking should also expose the fallibility of human reasoning - we
can never be truly free from our conditioning - its part of our
makeup as limited beings. To insist that deconstructive thinking is a
conclusively demonstrable way of attaining the Truth is a dogmatic
assertion, rather than one of rational or empirical certainty.
We can try to isolate our prejudices, our fundamental perceptions and
orientations, and yet we are never free. To speak of the Buddha or
the sadhus having achieved enlightenment and thus ultimate liberation
is an assertion of faith rather than of demonstrable proof. There is
never a case of pure hermenuetics - we always interpret from a
particular perspective - whether it be one which is unconscious or a
conscious criteria which we have adopted. It is safer to say that we
postulate in this or that particular manner by virtue of our
affective convictions that this appears to me (having or sometimes
not even having considered logically and rationally whatever possible
for the moment)to be the best solution - thus we commit ourselves to
its ideals. And yet this commitment in a mature religious person is
never closed - it is always opened to the possibility of achieving
greater insight. This should prevent us from falling into the trap of
noetic pervesions - the dogmatic belief in the infallibility of
reason (or deconstructive thinking) and exclusiveness.
I would, however, agree that reason must be promoted to temper the
passion of emotions. We must always remember our psycho-emotional
make-up - both reason and emotions are important - a balance should
be preferred. However, I would also say that reasoning with fanatics
may not be the only (or even the most suitable) solution. If fanatics
reject our method of reasoning (which they often do as they perceive
it as patronising) where does this leave us? Dialogue always begins
with understanding the position of the other - placing ourselves into
the shoes of the other rather than judging them as outsiders. In
order to facilitate a change within persons who are wholly and
fanatically committed to a cause, it is very important to enter into
their frame of mind and emotions. Thus, emotions of hatred and anger
may even need to be met with emotions of love, compassion and
forgiveness. These emotions and values are supra-rational. It is also
necessary to recognise that the most fundamental basis of any
religious belief is that of faith and hope - not so much of rational
or empirical certainty. Trying to argue on the latter grounds would
not resolve the passions and convictions fueled by the first two
basic attitudes. Therefore, an intellectual conversion cannot take
place independently of an emotional conversion, especially when the
latter is highly valued by those whom we hope will 'convert.'