Team, Agency, Idealism and Philosophy

“When one speaks about a thing, she does so vicariously.”

—- Cedric Nathaniel.

Team Work

I think I’m just naturally rebellious. I’m not at heart a joiner.

I can, though, be a team player. In fact, I love where I work primarily because we have such a great team. However, I feel that a team is a group of people who all have a common goal, even while they may not have a common general philosophy behind what we do as a team toward that goal. We definitely do not share a similar ideology or belief about what it is we are involved with or what it means. Quite remarkably, we share a common purpose as a motion of what we are doing. We work well as a team because we share the common bond of what we do together.

I’d have to say that a team is the name for a motion of a group of people who feel a sense of camaraderie around a purpose. Even if that purpose is philosophically indistinct.

My Issue with Society, or the Ideal of the Social

I am, somehow, involved with society and social things, even as I would say I’m not a very social person. My therapeutic work as a counselor has something to do with society, as a sort of underpinning, only spoken in certain context specific to the client, primarily concerned with the person or people in front of me and not theories or ideologies.

Yet, my philosophical work is not social, neither is it about a person, the person, or people. I have to use these words and indeed I talk about them and they are involved with my work; however, I feel if I use these words or invest myself too much into the objects that these words are supposed to be indicating as a substrate (subjects), I cannot help but to feel naturally resistant.

That is the critical posture despite belief.

I feel that being human, being part of society, dealing with people and the world, it’s just some thing that happens. It is a kind of given that has nothing to do with whether or not I’m using words about them or making theories, asserting my agency about how they might fit together, what they are, or what we’re supposed to do about them.

Does God Exist?

Reference my approach on the issue of God‘s existence.

Recently, I was come upon by a person and a discussion with them that comes every once in a while, but routinely.

The question that will come out is, “Do you believe in God?” Or similarly, “Do you believe that God exists?”

My answer was met with a blank stare and look of confusion from the other person.

My answer: “ The existence of God has nothing to do with any effort I make. God‘s existence has nothing to do with my belief. Belief, I feel, is overdetermined. I use the word ‘belief’ very intentionally, in the sense that “I believe I might play guitar today”, or, “I believe that this coffee is too cold”. I do not use the word ‘belief’ as indicating anything that has to do with the truth of some thing, some supposed or proposed object of the question. For example, I do not believe that the chair exists. But likewise, any discussion about the theory of existence does not require my belief. Rather, I would believe something within the discussion with reference to the discussion that already exists or is existing by virtue of the fact that we’re having the discussion.

So it is: I do not believe that God exists.

But if I say that to a person that’s asking me whether I believe that God exists or whether or not I believe in God —which I see is basically the same question despite philosophical dissections — what will happen is that the person will routinely misunderstand what I’m saying. I

So, in my effort to try to be clear to this person about what I’m saying, I simply tell them that I have no belief about god whatsoever, simply by virtue of the fact that God‘s existence has nothing to do with whether or not I believe in it (him,her). And I might add, in the same way as your existence has nothing to do with whether or not I believe that you exist.

Prior Categories

If we understand anything about what people have said philosophically over the years, it is a plain fact that I have to somehow deal with the categories that are already there. It has nothing to do with whether or not I believe they exist; it has more to do with whether or not I feel that those categories are accurately representing the situation in which I find myself.

Note: The categories have to do with the situation in which I find myself.

This is different than what I see is most philosophers discussing. Most philosophers, most essays books treaties arguments speak of categories as if they exist independent of other things. And so the discussion or the argument revolves around a very subjective, phenomenal existence: the phenomenal agent is able and is justified in distinguishing things in themselves apart from other things. This despite what argument they might be making or what category to which they apply themselves.

So it is that in dealing with this situation, I find difficulty at every turn calling myself a philosopher. My assertion mostly fails at every juncture. I understand intuitively what I mean, but as I go to engage philosophically with what society or the larger group of people who are supposedly involved with Philosophy understand as Philosophy, I find myself at an impasse. I find myself unable to move. I feel it in a very regular way, as I put it, probably because I’m not a joiner. Idealism is not really my thing.

The Epistemist

I have to find someway to identify what it is that I’m involved with. I find most of the given philosophical categories are so well assumed, that I am excluded, in the Kantian scheme, a priori and synthetically.

I am involved with knowledge. No matter what else is going on, everything has to pass through knowledge. It doesn’t matter so much whether that is a phenomenon; indeed I would have to say it is indeed a phenomenon, but then also we’ve already found out everything there is about the logic of phenomenal existence as a category. If you would say we haven’t then I would say you are either just beginning or missed something. Then perhaps we should have an discussion. I’m not sure…

Nonetheless, epistemology would be the usual way that I might identify myself. But I also find that if I start saying ‘epistemology’ there is a whole set of presumed and assumed history about what I’m talking about and what I’m doing.

I am going to try and use a new term:

The Epistemist

This has to do with everything that can possibly exist, be talked about, be known, and must arise in knowledge and discourse truly. 

As well, because I think when we start to talk about “philosophy of…” some thing interesting, we have necessarily fallen into a discourse and understanding that already exists, and thereby excludes what we’re really talking about as a subject of knowledge. So, what an Epistemist deals with is truth Philosophy.

It does not propose a philosophy of truth, because it is already dealing with everything that can be exist by virtue of the fact of addressing knowledge truly.

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.

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