Alan Watts – Insecure societies and hermits

It should be no secret what is going on here; but offensive as it is, of this we should also be aware. This talk was given, seems from the small references he mentions, around 40 years ago.

Video post.

Source: Alan Watts – Insecure societies and hermits

He speaks rather plainly and practically, and we might perhaps see that he speaks from a different condition than we might perceive of his talk now; which is to say, we should not reduce what he says to be directly applicable to our situation now, as if there is some constant and universal stasis that we somehow have access to. We are filling out just what condition means, and how what he is saying he is saying to and from his very moment, as it extends no further. This is the meaning of the limit of discourse; correlationalism is the conventional situation that would have Watts be speaking likewise of our current situation as there might be a progress from his to ours, as well as a stasis (this posited stasis is the transcendental clause). He was speaking of the particular historical condition that is his moment. What we can gain, though, is that the quite practical is just his speaking of that which does not change, but in the context of what is seen to change. This is entirely philosophical in the broad sense.

Philosophy in the narrow sense, in the conventional sense that sees progress, that always begins in the middle of the conversation even as it looks to ancient and historical texts to find the beginning (ancient Greeks; Scholasticsm; the general move of Western philosophy; the temporal Trueness of the periodic philosophers; et cetera.), should properly be seen for what it is as what it does: It argues the total inclusion of all human beings, the justification of the ideological city-state-nation, where none is allowed to be excluded. Watts put it in terms of governments and society but that is the grounds for post-modernism. The application of what he says comes from the possibility of escaping the ideological maxim and its coercive force of power. It does not come from merely being a ‘hermit’, as one who lives inside may describe the outside — see that in the 60’s (or before) there was still close memories of the Old American West, still Orientalism and Exoticism was present; cowboys from the old west were still alive; areas of the world that capitalism and commercialism had not touched. We cannot possibly understand such a reality; but the advocates of conventional reality would have it that we can through the descriptions that come to us along the route of progress and its causality.

See that the reason why Alain Badiou argues that the operator of Truth need not be a hermit or ascetic, is because he is still in the post-modern frame. He is involved with the propagation of the institution, of justifying the institution. He is working toward the progressive society where individuals can somehow retain or otherwise develop their ‘hermeneutics’ within a relating of subject-objects; this is the communist world. Yet, while this may indeed come about, it does so through the relinquishing of that which allows for the heurmunetics to begin with. This is what Land is saying in the previous post; that once enlightenment has occurred there is no going back, that now one has given up that which allowed the enlightenment in the first place; hence, a ‘dark’ enlightenment. But as I eluded to in the previous post, where he misses is where Badiou appears to hold the more true: Land is mis-contruing the principle (regardless if he is addressing or even knows of Watts himself) the Watts put forth: The encroaching of the ‘common body’ upon the free individual does not occur by any sort of oppressive motion except in as much as the possibility of enlightenment exists. It is the misconstruing of what is enlightenment is and or means that launches the move of bad faith, and opens the door for the explanation of the significant event; which is to say, the exposure of what happened and what is happening in the philosophical-ideological move. If communism as a lived social experience does come about, it will be in due course and not ‘because’ anything happened to convince anyone that it should or should not or can or cannot happen; this is to say that nothing about the way human beings experience life will have changed, but only in the same manner as a parent may not understand the fashionable environment of a child and speak of the good ol’ days: There would be no communication whatsoever including an ability to have such comparative experience if anything had indeed ‘changed’. It is only in as much as there is a possibility for comparison that society may have gone from capitalism to communism; we cannot have anything else now, just as ‘if then’ communism were to be effective whenever. Nothing about the human possibility as human has occurred; or, if it did, then it already has: It is always an ideological construct, the significant question concerns ones orientation upon the objects presented: Not upon the constructs, but upon the very notion put forth by it being a construct. In as much as indeed a parent must be a parent for a child, there do we have reality, yet likewise do we have the philosophical necessity for divergence from that reality.

The preoccupation with ‘nothingness’ in this regard is just a further dogmatic proclamation that relies upon a total human inclusion. I am not’nothing’ neither do I do nothing; I appear within the ideological construct but only when I engage with it. Divergence is the move of discourse to the place that the present ideological nothing is placed; as Harman and his Lovecraft: Where monsters lie. 

The reason what Land is a charlatan is because he never get to why his proposals have any meaning at all, what ground allows for him to say such things. At some point we need to stop being childish about what is real. And this is to say that the ground is exactly ideological and assumed upon a type of privilege that is available to all in potential: Again, exactly what Watts is saying, that we are all equal in our fallen state such that we all have an equal potential for the enlightenment that comes through the ideoligical posture and route: And this is the Marxist description of the state of identical reality.

To diverge from this leviathan is now not only a sin, against the ‘religious’ law, but also against the law in the ‘common’ sense because the ideological state of reality has commandeered the whole of the livable world unto its structure of meaning, which is to say, reality. Psychology and the philosophical psychiatry we are beginning to hear so much of from the ‘after-Zizeks’ is mere hogwash. So offended has the individuals of the real ideology become, so afraid of their own shadows, the shortened version of mediated rhetoric as seen to involve all existing human beings. No one dare challenge what they say because they can make sense; no one dare challenge them to ask why they make sense because everyone is so eager for their insecure reality to be justified; they cling together like so many rats on a piece of lifeboat. No one dares to read their philo-psycho mush and see it is a bunch of hogwash.