Being Modern Mindfully

I have been reading a huge textbook on mindfulness. It is truly a gargantuan book for mindfulness: a thick textbook with everything, from history, through philosophy (East and west), neurobiology…everything about it. Very cool.

One of the things that strikes me, though, about this very academic, clinical and scientific, conventional approach to Being, is the great assumption that is invested in the kind of knowing presented in this book. In short, despite all the uses it finds for mindfulness, for which it recruits Buddhism as well as Husserl and phenomenology, and others, it becomes very noticeable what this book represents by the kind of knowledge it promotes.

Let’s see if I can explain.

The analogy that comes to mind for me is between what is posed in various ways.

There is a, what Husserl calls a Natural manner of experience and Being, and then there is what he famously calls phenomenal reduction aspect. Mindfulness is proposed as a kind of western phenomenalism reflecting or mapped into eastern knowledge.

The issue that comes to mind for me is around or next to what I understand is the core of mindfulness practices. Mindfulness practice promotes awareness without judgement.

I feel this is the best definition to be had. Any other, I feel, loads conceptual artifacts upon the effort.

For example, the extremely loaded ideal that mindfulness is an achievable state of Being. To my mind, any achievable state of Being begs a basic question about Being itself. But that question is larger than this post.

Now my question:

If mindfulness practices are about developing or cultivating awareness without judgement, then what is the notion that there is or we should want mindfulness practices saying about awareness without judgement?

It seems to me that by virtue of its formulation and actualization, it is inherently judgemental. For, by its existence, a judgment is implied about the situation.

So then; what is that really saying about any state of being?

Despite any argument, before we could say anything, just in contemplating and considering what I have laid out so far in this post, we would have to say that the situation itself is a problem.

The reason that this is significant for me is due to my fundamental axiom, a sort of basic or grounding substance from which all things arise. This is: there is nothing wrong.

There is no problem. The basic philosophical assumption that goes into any philosophical work of substance must stem from the ground of, basically, nothing. And, if we are going to translate this into a practical situation, this nothingness must equate to a situation where there is no problem.

( Slavoj Zizek calls this a catastrophe ! )

This is particularly interesting in the context of mindfulness in so much as — at least the author of this textbook, but I have heard many other authors and speakers talk about mindfulness — an ideal state of being that a person can achieve called mindfulness is posited…

…The very idea of that state of being (mindful) is that problem is already handled at all times.

Now, what does this really mean?

Does it mean that we’re happy and content all the time?

While I do love mindfulness as I understand it, which is to say, as the practice of cultivating an awareness without judgment,  I think it is a ridiculous proposition that a human being could achieve a “state of mindfulness being”. It’s like setting one up for failure in the act of trying to help them.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, to me it is an idealism. And what it’s really indicating, what it is really trying to get someone to, is really the fundamental and basic working ontological knowledge that there is no problem.

Because human beings are indeed human beings that are constantly faced with problems, we have to find the moment of this mindful proposition within the context that it is indeed arising in this moment:

Modernity is problem.

Mindfulness is awareness without judgment. 

xxx

The Dim light of the Tech baised mind

xlink.medium.com/YWmx8Y2eKcb

I know. We must always broaden our view and accept that things exist, or at least acknowledge them enough to consider that they do exist that way.

I read the post above; I decided to check out the Bloggos on Medium just to get some new words around.

Correct me if I am wrong and it’s probably just me being pissy; looking around Medium I get a weird feeling that there is a certain Medium culture which is oriented upon tech. Like, the kind of people we use to call ‘metro’.

It is a weird feeling to me; it feels like the people who populated the Capital in the movie “Hunger Games”. Weird because it’s like a group of people who enjoy living in ignorance and who have an intelligence based in the very thing-world of tech: surface, fad, skill — like a plastic wrap thought base, thin and transient. Of doing and not thinking. Like thinking and living to them is meaning something else, like something not actual, something fabricated. High School to the n-th degree, institutionalized.

Well: tech. In a very conventional sense.

—–

I’m so

Judge mental.

My comment is really about Mindfulness. I strongly dislike that term; I will use the techniques of course in practice, but, the whole idea has become, well…just tech. It has lost what I feel is a basic meaning or reason. It has become, like everything else for the tech oriented: another means to “be creative” or “to get up do something something” or “make a difference”. Code phrases for: Don’t think! Don’t reflect!

In a way, though, the post is trying to address the issue I point to, but it does so under the presumption that the point of living is to “be productive!!”. I mean, it’s like the whole reason one should listen to this guy or to use mindfulness skills is so you can be yourself being productive, doing things, contribute ! Go do psilocybin! You’ll be more creative and productive ! Go meditate! You’ll get that next raise!!

Yes; that is a nice thing for humans to do, but it feels to me so regular and, kind of, loaded with propaganda. (Ha ha: the company Obey Propaganda is the perfect example of the ironic acquiescence the tech generation adheres to). Not maybe so terrible — but does it have to so reek of ignorance and stupidity all the time ??

—-

I really dislike the word and idea of Mindfullness.

I think the more accurate notion from which Mindfulness as another modern activity has been commandeered is:

Awareness. Without judgement.

….and this is an indictment — not a support — of the linking of productivity to tech oriented living.

The post seems to me to address a distortion with another distortion, which then serves to cue that the distorted, non-reflective manner of living is correct.

And indeed, ironically, that is what most people want.

And indeed indeed, is it a conventional reality that we have to account for and deal with, in order to get on with the actual living of life, truly?

Yes. 🧑🏾‍🚀
x
a practice of awareness without judgement. less mindfull than compassionate.

An Example of Argument which is Erected Upon a False Choice.

Self-Care Puts Us on an Amusement Treadmill

Self-Care Puts Us on an Amusement Treadmill
— Read on benjaminstudebaker.com/2019/01/07/self-care-puts-us-on-an-amusement-treadmill/

Benjamin Studebaker, the author of the blog of this re-post, doesn’t allow for comments on his blog. so I am regarding his argument here. (I love his blog, btw.)

Basically, my rebuttal is a rebuttal against his whole approach in viewing. An argument usually evidences a platform which is assumed extended into a common space to allow for a particular topic to be forged toward a certain discussion already taking place. The assumption of the common allows for segregate discussion to not encounter other discussions such that it never has to answer to questions that are outside its intension.

The Repost is an example; I understand what various authors such as Aristotle, or whomever, might be talking about, but I think that to bring such an analysis into our day is a little bit anachronistic if not often myopic. And so my rebuttal is really a description of an approach through which I am able to notice what is “Common”. It is a rebuttal to the common.

The Common is an assumption of a ubiquitous and Omnipresent field, what we could call in general “reality”, a philosophical argument (assertive presentation) from an assumption of a unitive and common experience of what the human being is.

And where the rebuttal really digs it’s claws in, is to say that by virtue of this rebuttal that I am making, by the ability to notice that I am not, as a human being, entirely contained in that which Studebaker assumes, I am there by not suggesting that I am not a part of reality, but more questioning his assumption that we are totally involved as human beings; which is to say that the category called “human being” is assumed in his argument, and that it is this assumption which is faulty; it erects the condition where false choices can appear substantial (not false not consequential).

Nevertheless; this left/right analysis of the idea of self-care appears itself as a ploy to keep people in the viscosity of the ideological machine.

There is indeed a bare fact of existence where there is no ideology that is imposing or oppressing in any way; it is a fact. No argument needs to be made about this true condition to dispel it and, in fact, no argument can be made without enacting a violence. The use or application of ‘self-care’ is involved with a truth that someone has innate and inherent emotional reactions at times which cause thinking to go in ways which are, shall we say, not comfortable. There is no requirement for an ideological oppression with self-care. The simple fact arises to awareness given certain conditions; ideology is merely one condition that can draw awareness.

So by virtue of this kind of noticing I can point to those people that would say that never is there a time where they feel that they are uncomfortable in such a way that they would have to apply a certain kind of self-care to their situation — those people are de facto part of the oppressive machine in which they argue pros and cons, left and right, at least in this circumstance. We can even go so far as to say one who has not has to deal directly with adversity cannot possibly know what they are talking about as to what self-care might address; they thereby cover their insecurity with assertion (of propriety over actuality). This is to suggest that they are not being honest with themselves and they are not able to view themselves into context of something that might not be correct about themselves. They view themselves and their intellectual capacity and indeed their position in the world as automatically correct, what I would say is sacrosanct, i.e. as a religious faith. They that can stand back not only from their existence being themselves, but also from the rest of the world to engage with it thereby through a proclamation of their ideological position reveal their position of assumed privilege.

The idea of self care, which can be argued to stem out of or through the state of  mindfulness, does not arise through some sort of intellectual contemplation of a persons’ state of being. Indeed it can, but then we have the condition we call “practicing mindfulness”; one of the things to keep in mind (lol) is that practicing mindfulness is not mindfulness. I believe that it is this misunderstanding that Benjamin Studebaker and others are addressing; it is the misunderstanding which is informing the address. They do not see the inconsistency and do not notice their mistake in viewing the world and what self-care might involve.

Mindfulness is a state of Being, a state of existing, just as ‘care’ is a certain kind of orientation upon that state. “Practicing mindfulness” (which can be said to be, on one hand, a type of self-care, and then on the other, the basis of self-care) is an ironic admitting that mindfulness has not been realized, and so self-care can be said (even if it is not recognized) to be the practice of the attempt to reach a particular state of Being which is not effectively oppressed. The illusory quality which might be understood of such awareness of Being thereby only arises in the compensation for the contradiction inherent of the theoretical assertion of common ubiquity. One cannot make someone else need or want self-care.

*

Such assertion of propriety evidences that the required break with ideology has not occurred to thus be able to understand what self-care is addressing.  Studebaker  brings in Aristotle’s idea of slavery because indeed that is (likely) the self-reflection that he is coming upon in the meaning of self-care. Which is to say, echoing Paulo Freire, he is inextricably involved with the game of oppression, i.e. a slave to the system. He (and others) thereby argues the ubiquitous substance of the game of oppression through the idea of a priori synthetical reason as he is oppressed by the system itself, the reasonable self-containment which must then assert itself onto an unreachable real world in order to posit a real freedom. This system he can see no way out of except to use this a priori pure reason, which verifies Freire’s thesis that the oppressor also is caught in the game of oppression. This is the irony of Kantian Pure Reason.

Such congregants cannot see the way out and so use the forces of ideology in order to explain how someone can get out theoretically, which then merely confirms the irony of the modern colonial state, and consolidates the ideological power itself. The freedom that is so argued through the theory is empty and hollow because the orientation upon what is real is not able to make the necessary break.

*

Yet I would also add that through this argument or description I am not thereby invalidating the existence of those so oriented by the confinement embodied by the theory. Nor am I saying that I am exempt from it. Rather I am granting that the object of such theory indeed operates as a real mechanism. However, also, it is this kind of absurd discussion which is out of bounds according to the rules of ideology based theory, what I refer to as conventional method. We are not all slaves, but indeed we are caught in a technological empire where all sorts and types of Beings exist.