Arquivo para a ‘Antropotécnica’ Categoria

Moderate realism and contemplation

06 Dec

It has already been stated that the rupture of the vita contemplativa was due to homo laborans, that is, in modernity when work becomes an economic imperative, especially for the poorest layers of society, at the beginning of the industrial revolution there was not even a time limit for workers and many industries disrespected even Saturday and Sunday.

However, the issue arose in the Middle Ages, organized work in monasteries, and many of the first Benedictine monks came from the nobility, was carried out for the first time by free men, and even the word “tripalium” from which work comes meant torture (gutting). .

While thought in this medieval period arises the quarrel of universals, there are several versions for its origin, but a widely accepted one is a fragment found in the writings of Boethius (480-525 AD), before Thomas Aquinas, he translated into Latin and commented Aristotle, albeit partially, and made an introduction to Aristotle’s “Categories”.

The dispute was about questioning whether these categories were real things that existed or just names that were given to things, hence the medieval realist and nominalist currents, which have reached our days with the issue of the linguistic shift recently revived.

The fact that these things exist or not means that we must see Being as a being of language, as argued by Heidegger, or simply a fruit of the material environment and its variations, it is not just current materialism derived from objectivism, but from a view of the subjective, after all that which is characteristic of being (subjective comes from subject).

Moderate realism in the Middle Ages approached, but placed limits on realism, for example from Thomas Aquinas, who, as Boethius will reread the work of Aristotle, in his Summa Theologiae, characterizes as reason and this is a forgotten root of modern rationalism .

Boethius, much earlier in his reading of Aristotle, makes the choice between a “transcendent” or extreme realism, more of a Platonic nature, and an “immanentist” or moderate realism, influenced by Aristotle. It is important to emphasize that Boethius was a reader of Porphyry with a strong influence.

The question left by Boethius was “whether” universals (categories) existed, just to exemplify the idea of ​​animals that are generic horses or real horses with race, color and their species, and which can be understood in two comments:

“since that it is necessary, Chrysarius, to know, through the useful contemplation of these things, what is genus and what is difference, what is species and what is proper and what is accident, as much as in Aristotle … Next, I will certainly refuse to say, about genera and species, the following: do they subsist or are they placed in isolated and naked intellects? Subsistent, are they corporeal or incorporeal?” (Boethius, 1906, p. 147).

The issue deserves to be deepened since the “names” of things mean a language.

Boécio. (1906) In Isagogen Porphyrii Commenta. Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, vol. 48. Vindo-bonae: F. Tempsky/ Lipsiae: G. Freytag.


Between immortality and eternity

05 Dec

It is not just a spiritual theme as it seems, Hannah Arendt’s Vita Activa cited by Byung-Chul is a course correction, to remove us from simple mortal temporality, to the “time that is proper to the gods, who do not die and do not age , and the immortal cosmos” (Han, 2023, p. 145), where he differentiates immortality from eternity.

The search for immortality is, again Han quoting Arendt, “the source and center of the vita activa”. According to the author, “human beings achieve their immortality on the political stage. On the other hand, the objective of the vita contemplativa is not, according to Arendt, to persist and last in time, but the experience of the eternal, which transcends both time and the surrounding world” (Han, 2023, p. 145), in other words, immortality is the senseless search for the political stage, while eternity is the search for the experience of eternity already here and now.

But the author warns that the human being cannot linger on the experience of the eternal, “he needs to return to his surrounding world” (idem), when comparing it with the thinker, as soon as he starts writing he abandons the experience of the eternal , this is how one dedicates oneself to active life, and it is in this that one hopes to achieve immortality, Arendt admires Socrates who does not write, although Arendt herself thought and recorded her thoughts with the intention of immortality (Han, 2023, p. 146), but the Writing can be a contemplation, says the author.

In Byung-Chul’s view, the way Arendt sees Plato’s myth of the cave is actually a completely different story, it is of a philosopher who frees his companions from the chain of the shadows that waver before them, which they consider the only reality (page 147-8), Plato asks Glaucon to imagine: what would happen to philosophers if, after having seen the truth, they returned to it and tried to free prices from illusions? (page 148).

“Parehesia” (opening of the truth) is a risky situation, “the philosopher acts, when despite the danger of death, returns to the cave” in order to convince them of the truth, thus the action precedes the knowledge of the truth, while contemplation is the path from knowledge to truth, which precedes action (page 149).

After all, the Greek polis itself and Plato’s thought originated in the dialogues of Socrates written by Plato himself, this is a contemplative and discursive truth (I would say dialogical, but the term can have dubious interpretations), so action precedes thought in Plato.

According to Hans’ criticism, the idea that the loss of contemplative capacity led to the victory of the “animal laborans” that subjects everything to work with the consequent loss of contemplative capacity and its reintegration into nature and the planet.

Han quotes Saint Gregory, a master of the vita contemplativa: “when a good life program demands that one pass from the active to the contemplative life, it is often useful for the soul to return from the contemplative to the active life, in such a way that the flame of contemplation awakens in the heart surrender all its fullness of activity” (page 151), this is how eternity on earth is lived.

HAN, B.C. (2023). Vita Contemplativa: In Praise of Inactivity, transl. Daniel Steuer, USA, ed. Polity (the page numbers is in brazilian text).




Palestine, Winter General and Essequibo

04 Dec

The truce unfortunately ended because Hamas committed an attack on the last day of the truce, killing a rabbi and two women, according to the Israeli press, and the Al-Qassan militia, the armed wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) 200 Hamas targets have already been hit, one of them a sumptuous building that housed the Hamas Supreme Court, the scale of the war returns.

Winter General is the name given to the Russian winter during the wars because both in the Napoleonic invasion (1812) when the army of a set of alliances (it is important to remember that some European nations supported it) lost the war due to the winter, also in the second war Worldwide, the winter was decisive for Germany to lose the war.

What to think now about the winter in Ukraine, where Russia has made advances on several fronts, however it has problems in Crimea where there is a large part of Russian ammunition, the winter there lasts until March and Ukraine shows signs of weakness and loses part of its support, now countries like Finland and Poland are already mobilizing in their own defense against a possible invasion.

Finally, a front may appear on the Brazilian border, the army has already sent troops to the region due to the possibility of an invasion of Brazilian territory, which would be strategic for an invasion of Venezuela against the fragile military strength of Guyana (formerly British Guiana).

A referendum held in Venezuela these days, it is good to remember that Maduro controls the entire State apparatus, gave a favorable opinion to 5 questions about a possible invasion of Guyana from Essequibo as the region that today belongs to Guyana is called, one of the questions challenges the International Court of Justice that prohibited Venezuela from any invasion.

Ultimately, a disastrous scenario of civilizational crisis is getting worse, but we believe in Peace.



The society that comes

01 Dec

This is the title of the last chapter of Chul Han’s book “Vita contemplativa”, in which he analyzes the religious crisis and its consequences for culture, being and current society.

It begins by stating: “the current crisis of religion cannot be reduced simply to the fact that we have lost faith in God or become suspicious of certain dogmas” (page 153), it resides in the fact that we have lost the capacity to contemplate, a growing coercion Both communication and production make “contemplative time” difficult, there is no way to “stop”.

He quotes Malebrance who said that attention is like a “natural prayer of the soul”, our hyperactivity can be blamed on religion, “the crisis of religion is a crisis of attention” (page 154), and the worst thing is that the author does not points out, fanaticism dominates “attention”.

The author says “listening is the verb for religion” (page 155), but it is also for meditation, study, contemplation and reflection, whatever the threshold principle of a thought, it requires a stop, an inactivity.

In the current thought of romanticism, “freedom is decoupled from the self”, action gives way to listening: “only the tendency to intuition, when directed towards infinity, puts unlimited freedom in mind” (page 159) says the author now quoting Schleiermacher.

Still quoting Schleiermacher, he writes that tears interrupt the “spell that the subject places on nature” (page 160), dissolved in tears, the subject surrenders to the Earth.

Now quoting Agamben in “The Coming Community” he states about the coming kingdom of the Messiah that Walter Benjamin would have told Ernest Block and is quoting in Han:

“a rabbi, a true Kabbalist, once said: to establish the kingdom of peace, it is not necessary to destroy everything and start a completely new world; it would be enough to move that cup or that bush or that stone a little bit, and all things in the same way. But this little bit is so difficult to achieve and its measure so difficult to find that, as far as the world is concerned, men cannot achieve it and the messiah must arrive” (Aganbem apud Han, 2023, pg. 171).

It is this arrival, called parousia (a new coming for Christians) that is also celebrated at Christmas.

HAN, B.C. (2023). Vita Contemplativa: In Praise of Inactivity, transl. Daniel Steuer, USA, ed. Polity.




Contemplation and the polis

30 Nov

The fifth chapter of the book “Vita Comtemplativa” is The pathos of action, it begins by describing the two sacred concepts of the Jewish tradition: God and Sheba, for Jewish culture God is Sheba, that is, he is redemption, the immortal (page. 107), yesterday time is suspended, that is, compared to Han’s concept, it is inactivity.

The creation of the human being is not the last act of Creation, only the Sabbath rest completes it, the world is similar to the bridal chamber: “but the bride is missing. Only with the Sabbath does the bride arrive” (Han, 2023, p. 108), which is a quote from “Der sabbat” by Heschel.

The analogy with the bride will also be used in the parables of the brides, the arrival of “that day” when the groom comes to look for her and must find the lamps lit (developing around the theme of prudence), Arendt will modify the idea of ​​rest divine complementing it with the principle freedom for a new beginning (or a fresh start, necessary in many stages of life), says Han’s quote:

“with the creation of the human being, the principle of the beginning (which in the creation of the world was in the hands of God and, therefore, outside the world) appears in the world itself and will remain immanent in it as long as there are human beings; which, of course, naturally, ultimately, means nothing other than that the creation of the human being as a ‘someone’ coincides with the creation of freedom” (apud Arendt, Han, 2023, p. 109).

“The “feeling of reality” that is due only to action; that is, when acting and producing an effect, it completely represses the feeling of being. The feeling of festivity, in which it is possible to experience a superior reality, is foreign to Arendt” (Han, 2023, p. 112).

This concept is the temenos of the Greek polis, which means the sacred space cut off from the public space that is reserved for deities; a peribolos (literally a playpen or enclosure), that is, a fenced space, an area of ​​the temple delimited by walls. Temenos is a templum, a consecrated and sacred place, the word contemplation goes back to the templum (in picture the acropolis).

Thus the templum is part of the polis, on his trip to Greece, Heidegger has the acropolis in mind when he writes about the polis: “… this polis did not know, therefore, subjectivity as a measure of all objectivity. She submitted to the yoke of the gods, who, in turn, were subjected to destiny, to Moirá” (apud Heidegger, Han, 2023, p. 113-4).

By presenting it only as freedom and action, Han criticizes Arendt, the cultural dimension of parties, rituals and games has no place in her thinking and they were members of the polis.

HAN, B.C. (2023). Vita Contemplativa: In Praise of Inactivity, transl. Daniel Steuer, USA, ed. Polity.


Contemplation and the Self

29 Nov

The third chapter on Byung-Chul’s “Vita Contemplativa” begins with a text by Walter Benjamin on the painting Angelus Novus in ink, pastel chalk and watercolor on paper by Paul Klee from 1920, which is currently in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, in the Christian collection.

Describe Benjamin’s quote: “an angel is represented there who appears as if he were moving away from something he is facing. His eyes are wide, his mouth is open, and his wings are outstretched. The angel in the story must look like this. He turned his face to the past. Where a chain of events appears to us, there he sees a catastrophe that incessantly piles rubble upon rubble, sliding before his feet. He would very much like to linger, awaken the dead and bring the fallen together” (apud Han, 2023, p. 57) and continues.

Benjamin’s text ends with a sentence: “What we call progress is a storm” and thus begins the chapter “From action to being”.

Hannah Arendt was the first to understand the 20th century as a time of action, says the author, later in the text the author will remember that the anthropocene was the result (I would say the attempt, since nature rebels) of the submission of nature to human action, losing our autonomy and dignity, we “make” history by acting, he states.

What can we do about this catastrophic action on nature, Arendt confesses that she cannot offer any solution, cited by Han: “address the essence and possibilities of the action, which had never been shown so openly and revealed in their greatness and at their peril” (apud Han, 2023, p. 59).

She points out a path in thought that would be a type of “philosophy of politics” that would bring a reflection on the problematic of human action, in “Vita activa” she exposes (I think recovers) human action in its grandeur and dignity (page. 60).

Reflecting further on the figure of Angelus novus (above), “his wide eyes reflect his impotence, his horror. Human history is an advancing apocalypse. This is an apocalypse without an event”, the relationship with current events is remarkable.

Years before Arendt published Vita Activa, Heidegger had given a lecture on Science and Reflection where he said that as opposed to action that moves us forward, reflection brings us back to where we always already are. It opens up to us a being-there (Da-Sein) that precedes every doing, every action and that takes time (Han, 2023, pg. 62).

The same Heidegger will write in Black Notebooks: “What would happen if the presentiment of the silent power of inactive reflection disappeared?” and Han reflects: “the presentiment is not deficient knowledge. Rather, it opens up to us the being, the there, which escapes proportional knowledge. Only through presentiment do we have access to that place in which human beings always find themselves…” (page 63).

HAN, B.C. (2023). Vita Contemplativa: In Praise of Inactivity, transl. Daniel Steuer, USA, ed. Polity.


Illness, health systems and abandonment

23 Nov

Illness is part of the human experience, it is not specific to this or that class, race or ethnicity, however the way we treat different types of humans is often disrespectful and a symptom that something is wrong in the social structure.

First, of course, there must be a system that allows access to treatments as widely as possible and safely, then comes the issue of proximity to family, friends and especially the system itself that must treat the patient and not just the disease.

The experience of human fragility in different situations, and also in a serious illness, is what should awaken greater solidarity and harmony between the people who are close to us and the health systems. The pandemic revealed great fragility, although the systems worked, the degree of solidarity and responsibility remained at sordid levels.

We did not improve humanly with such a huge scourge that shook the entire planet, the expectation that we would emerge more supportive of this experience was not confirmed.

The Korean-German philosopher expressed in a lecture at the university…., he expressed his post-pandemic feeling like this: “it is dramatic that we are not able to touch another person, as this transmits incredible energy”, “we no longer touch each other, we don’t even tell stories among ourselves” (a reference to his latest book “The Narration Crisis”), and he said: “we are more alone than ever”.

In the book “The palliative society”, Byung-Chul, quoting Ernest Jünger, writes: “Tell me your relationship with pain, and I will tell you who you are!”, our relationship with pain in society shows how we live today, those who speak of peace, many Sometimes they support and even desire war, not all of them of course.

HAN, B.C. The Palliative Society: Pain Today , transl. Daniel Steuer, NY: Polity Press, 2021.


Meditate or pray

17 Nov

There is no space in contemporary life for time spent caring for one’s inner life, the hustle and bustle and demands of the “society of tiredness” pushes man to an action that is not always meaningful, in many cases a space of time is needed for the personal life.

It may seem like alienation, or even something useless, but the countless human illnesses that only grow in society: depression, anxiety and even the use of chemical drugs are often the result of a process of inner emptiness that is not filled, of course there are cases that They are purely clinical and require specialized care.

The moment of conflicts and increased social tension only aggravates these phenomena of modern man, one of the processes that has been faced socially is that of treatments aimed at greater physical and mental health, public policies are necessary for this.

However, those who are healthier, in everyone there is always a gap of emptiness to be filled, must also take care that the “inner” life does not succumb to the pressure of a complex social life with constant dangers.

Therefore, care for inner life, in addition to physical health, must pay attention to human aspects that are fundamental, one of them is the use of meditation, prayer or praying, it depends on the type of worship each person has, but everyone has this need. .

In biblical passages in which processes of great public dialogue occur, whether between prophets, judges, kings or oracles, there is always a space reserved for the sacred, man before the infinite and for those who believe, before God

The passage in which the parable of the widow who insists that an unjust judge handle her case is told, is the path not of social justice as it may seem, but to say the fact that those who ask God for their “case” will be listen to the unjust judge, so that the widow does not trouble him any more.

The passage says (Luke 18:2-8):

 “In a city there was a judge who did not fear God and respected no man. In the same city there was a widow, who came looking for the judge, asking: ‘Give me justice against my adversary!’ For a long time, the judge refused. Finally he thought: ‘I do not fear God, and I do not respect any man. But this widow is already annoying me. I will give her justice, so that she will not attack me!’” And the Lord added: “Listen to what this unjust judge says. And God, will he not give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out for him day and night? Will it make them wait? I tell you that God will give them justice very quickly. But when the Son of Man comes, will he still find faith on the earth?”

Prayer is a request to the just God to listen to the soul and calm the inside of the person who prays it.


Contemplating or searching for nothing

16 Nov

Byung-Chul Han, in his essay on contemplation, gives a cruel sentence to Eurocentric Western knowledge: “knowledge cannot fully portray life. The entirely conscious life is a dead life” (Han, 2023, p. 29) and is supported by nothing more than Nietzsche in the context of a “new enlightenment”, one that for Heidegger opens a clearing of Being, albeit from a different perspective.

Quoting Nietzsche, Han writes: “it is not enough that you understand in what kind of ignorance human beings and animals live; you also need to have the desire to not know and learn it. You need to understand that in this type of ignorance life itself would be impossible, under which the living being is preserved and flourishes: a great and solid bell of ignorance must be around him” (quoting Nietzsche, pages 29-30) .

He clarifies that the ultimate objective of a “master” is “to reach a state in which the will resigns itself. The master exercises in order to eliminate the will.” (page 31)

It states on the next page that it cites a parable made by Walter Benjamin “Don’t forget the best” in which he outlines the idea of ​​a happy life, it deals with a businessman who has always carried out his life with precision and zeal, but at a certain moment he throws his clock out.

Then he starts to arrive late and things start to happen without his intervention, and they make him happy, it now turns out to be a “path to heaven”, things happen now when he least expected it, “friends visit him when they least thought of him” and remembers the legend of a little shepherd boy who is allowed on “one Sunday” to enter the mountain with his treasures, with an enigmatic instruction: “don’t forget the best” (page 33).

Benjamin’s parable of inactivity ends with these words: “At this time he was quite well off. He finished few things he had started, and didn’t consider anything finished” (page 33).

The age of hyperinformation, of fatigue, is not a time to search for the truth of being, for what we really are culturally, socially and spiritually; It is a time of searching for nothingness, in times like this, prophets, oracles, monks and sages emerged who fled this temporal void, to find themselves in an infinite totality, one that contemplates all being.

Byung-Chul Han wrote: “those who are truly inactive do not assert themselves. He discards his name and becomes nobody”, it is not nihilism, it is a reunion with the truth that everyone looks for in things and does not find them if they do not look at themselves, at their inner emptiness and their inactivity.

There will be a time when everyone will be looking for the truth, they will say it is here or there and they will no longer find it, it will not be an end, but rather a “new enlightenment”.

HAN, Byung-Chul. (2023) Vita Contemplativa or about inactivity. Trans. Lucas Machado. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.





Inform, symbol and connect

15 Nov

What was missing in the text of Crisis of Narration, there is also something wrong in “Infocracy: digitalization and the crisis of democracy in philosophy” (2022) of Byung-Chul, the idea that information is in itself incomplete, is present in another book entitled Vita Contemplativa (ed. Vozes, 2023) because there, returning to being, one can find how form becomes narration within being, and becomes in-form.

An excerpt from this book says: “The loss of shared feeling accentuates the lack of being. The community is a symbolically mediated totality. The symbolic narrative void leads to the fragmentation and erosion of society.” (HAN, 2023, p. 91-92). (emphasis added)

Thus recognizing this aspect of the need for being as a symbolic void, which the contemporary narrative in general does not contemplate due to its informational vices, at the same time the author states: “The human being, as a symbolon, longs for a sacred and restorative totality” (page 92).

The term symbolon appears prominently because the author uses it based on a reading of Plato’s Banquet, where Aristophanes remembers that this broken piece of being, which for him was initially spherical and was broken, has this broken piece with a “symbol”.

Now if symbol is a part, united to another part we form a totality, not just in a community, but in every “sacred and restorative totality”, where there are men united for a good and just cause.

Narrative and information in this context, where the part is united, as an important principle defended by Edgar Morin said: “It is necessary to replace a thought that isolates and separates with a thought that unites and distinguishes”, thus the union of distinct “symbols” and that are part of contemporary cultures and peoples.

Thus, the ontological information (proper to being) linked to the context of the narration in its time and the object of thoughts within a diversity, are not a reason for fragmentation but rather for a universe that unites us and makes us more “whole” within our lives. communities.

Contemporary hyperactivity, which not only but also the digital world can lead us to, is itself a world that rejects internalization, meditation and thus, narration itself.

The author writes about this interiority: “Active life, with its pathos of action, blocks access to religion” (page 154), action is part of religious life as much as lay life, what differentiates is that in addition to prudence, our reflections from last week, can lead to a different, fair action that leads to happiness and fulfillment different from pure “action”.

Pathos, to clarify, is part of the Greek triad “ethos, pathos and logos”, while ethos persuades us through character, or by whoever narrates, if this is worthy of faith, logos persuades us through logical (broad) reason and pathos by feelings caused by sadness or joy, love or hate, and so often without going through reason and ethics.

HAN, Byung-Chul. (2023) Vita Contemplativa or about inactivity. Trans. Lucas Machado. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.