A write of passage…

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Writing is a bit like sailing. There are days that you’re coasting, the waters are calm and uneventful, but the life underneath appears as miracles do. Other times winds conjure travesty and all is now opaque, yet scandalously alive! Sometimes it feels like a rite of passage, as if, oh faithless one gather your tears, God has made it so. Believe and all is won, doubt and all is cherished. Writing is neither. For with each stroke the arrogance of pernicious truth finds the page, doubly entreating for the faint of heart lamenting as the ink dries and false idols appear.

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Philosophical Confessions

I decided to rename my blog Philosophical Confessions in light of new formalized sensibilities informed by both experience and my philosophical propensities. My original motivation for this blog has not changed.

It is still:

Home to philosophical reflections on life issues. These will vary from philosophically dense scholarly-type papers, to quibbles, annotations, critiques, self-help guides, and problematics. It was the university, first as a student and later as a Professor of Philosophy, that was once home to my philosophical engagement with life issues. Initially this was an ideal forum for an interactive, passionate exchange of commonly entrenched concerns but as education came to suffer the ills of institutionalization more and more, and standardized policies replaced the creative, and biophilous dialectical flux that characterized the inter and intra-human exchange amongst practitioners of philosophy, this became an ever alienating experience. Yet the yearning for meaningful reflection has not waned and the practical application dating back to the Greeks has finally found new footing in Philosophical Counselling. Putting philosophy back on the streets and employing philosophical methods as a form of counselling constitute the two-tier structure of this blog. Negotiating the “truth” in all facets of life and living will be the driving force that both defines the parameters and implications of all philosophical reflections.

I am now enriched from years of  ‘agitation’ that has both deepened and contoured my philosophical preoccupations. Not unlike Socrates, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Simone de Beauvoir and even might I daringly add, Veronica Franco (16th-century Venetian courtesan and poet), seeking the truth, the mainstay of all philosophical ventures, is sought not somewhere aloof, rigidly outside, beyond, over-and-against, or cast off from its visceral incarnation.  For it is in how one lives one’s life that the truth is revealed. Writing brings truth to bear in a social domain which often goes amiss, creating havoc wherever misunderstanding perturbs interpretation. Confessionals add context; they are personalized moments in which the truth is disclosed or dislodged from the abundance that purveys life. Not then to be read like a map plotting life denotatively, but more like music rich in notational instructions which only properly comes to life when played …symphonically. I like to think of these confessionals as a symphony of sorts – however badly written, for I am no musician.

The Fragility of Writing

writing-transformation-vulnerability-amyjalapenoOften it is presumed that a writer writes aloof and quite certain that she is invulnerable to evaluative pronouncements, however deeply embedded in her verse. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is in experiencing in oneself that an issue is an issue that it ever enters the playing field of investigative inquiry. Indeed, one might quite literally say that oblivion characterizes the state of mind for whom the unconcealed remains …well…concealed. Unearthing that which awaits retrieval presupposes engagement, and hence a state of being vulnerable to the elicit modes of being of which it is constitutive. Writers expose themselves to their readers. It is not just their arguments evaluated for soundness, their linguistic formulations that are dissected for their form and clarity, nor still assumptions and presuppositions that are identified. For though all of this may prove to be disheartening and potentially ego-deflating, it only really speaks to one’s cognitive comportment to one’s ideas; whereas, this experience of writing (and not all writing is created equal) rehearses the comportment of being in the world with others. So though I may offend, unnerve and plain right annoy my readers (none of which in itself is necessarily unwarranted or undesirable), I am never quite so fragile as when I expose myself in my writings. I guess I might characterize myself as self-reflective, confident, yet, fragile, and certainly prone to self-mockery and enjoy the hilarity that can often times be uncovered even in the most despairing experiences. This is what you – my Readers – may sometimes see in my posts.

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