Saturday, February 28, 2015

being a spirited democrat

March 8 update

Here I’m just moving some spontaneous notes from my home page, preliminary to a page that gives credence and elaboration to the spontaneity below. That page is now done. Getting beyond the Feb. 8, 10, and 15 meditations below included important kinds of issues, worthy of elaboration—at book length, which I won’t make time to do. But I usefully got beyond the spontaneity. This posting is just a record of a week-earlier inspiration.

February 23

Whatever one’s critical insight (e.g., Critical Theoretical, deconstructive, Analytical), traditional terms may remain highly important, deserving to be advanced in new ways.

In view of earlier postings this month (below), a reader may believe that I want to revert to traditional approaches to virtue ethics simply because I enjoy notions from that legacy. One may surmise that nothing new can be said about such notions, as if historical invalidation required abandonment rather than, say, conceptual re-design that may be highly promising and appropriate.

I find 42 elemental and composite themes in the postings below. It all may seem precious (in the dismissive sense), but it is not. Playfulness is as important as authenticity, enchantment as heartfulness, improvisation as commitment, spiritedness as humanity, creativity as teaching (and more).

Yet, a philosophical discussion will have to be later. (I choose a grouping of my 42 themes into 9 topics.) One feature would be that philosophical discussion is worthwhile, to my mind in a way that is historically attuned, yet non-traditional. Another feature would be that I’m having fun doing it.

February 8

For me, enchantment is so easy—too easy relative to deadlines (self-imposed here). Fidelity to others’ need of reliability matters.

“I will come back—though I’m still at sea.”

The venture is a love—all kinds of love in constellating appeal of my season.

Think of synonyms for ‘enchanting’. What is the phenomenon they all together render?:

attractive, appealing, glamorous, engaging, fascinating, alluring, magnetic, charismatic, seductive, bewitching, captivating, entrancing.

Enacting my season before writing home, I sail in the spirit of it all.

Ah, yes: spirit!

Better: the enspiriting. Yea, eudaimonia.

I am highly spirited, the archetypal child which true inquirers and giggling elders keep flourishing.

February 10

I realize that realities of mainstream news make this page seem hermetic; and me naïve. I am not.

I’m with the heartfulness of President Obama’s response today to confirmed death of Kayla Jean Mueller. What matters is her devotion to the importance of caring, which transcends heartlessness. “All of those who love” keep “the essential decency of humanity” thriving. “The future belongs to the irrepressible force of human goodness.”

How wonderful that Kayla’s teachers and community enabled her exemplary humanitarian path. Love of enabling humanity shows a nobility of spirit in teaching.

Abstract, but vital to realize: A nobility of spirit is intrinsic to enlightened modernity and intrinsic to all great religions. A great spirituality keeps our humanity thriving.

So, the classical social theorists were wrong to find general “disenchantment” rather than spiritual transformation in recent history. The heart of spiritual evolution was never enchantment. But also, “spirit” is a merely proximal notion of what the heartfulness of cultural evolution really is. Yet, true comprehension of essential heartfulness doesn’t annul primordial potential in the name. The quote marks dissolve: There is nobility of humanity, humanity of spirituality itself.

Inspiration in growing up, exuberance for learning and inquiry, love of exploration, elations of imaginability, entrancements of creativity—on and on—originally led our spirit to shape all our legacies that keep life promising.

A professor of philosophy I met last week believes that Habermas is “blind [to] the problem of dis-enchantment.” I thought, hey, I’m as Habermasian as anyone, and I’m not blind. His problem is “the” problem: being an “absolute beginner” (he calls himself, re: Habermas, in e-mail to me), yet he will be arguing at length (formally, as a seminar guest) that the other (Habermas) is blind. (Well, he got paid air fare to his balmy locale, I guess.)

Anyway, I realize that playfulness about enchantment may seem out of place in a cruel world.

But I don’t live in a cruel world—though I’m just a point in the pointillism of humanity.

Humanity of humanity will prevail, despite some of us being killed by inhuman primates.

February 15

Horrors in the news cause me to not want to remove earlier comments here. {My habit is to replace postings on my home page with a new one.]

Authentic spirituality knows the humanity of humanity and exemplifies as best one can its nobility.

February 18, the White House will host a “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.” I hope that the result stands powerfully for global solidarity about what truly matters.