Perhaps we could begin by taking a look at the free introduction, which I
downloaded a few weeks back. The following paragraph attracts my attention.
This is provisionally a philosophy that is as much about the rock – a rock, any
rock, our own rock, our planet – as it is about the shape of a voice engendered
and enveloped by our planet: it is essentially an expression of what the 20th
century philosopher Martin Heidegger referred to as our thrownness. We are
hurled into our lives. There are conditions to our existence that are beyond
our grasp and outside our potentiality of control. And yet we are charged with
our lives. We do our best to cope with and nurture existence within our
capacities. We are limited by the conditions of our making and these conditions
are not of our own making. And in the end, our limitations become our project.
On first reading, I find the idea of “thrownness” appealing. Then associations
and questions begin to bubble up. To me something thrown has left the hand. It
has left the hand’s control. It is, we might say, out of control. If we “are
charged with our lives.” “launched” might be a better term. The sea and storm
that surround our travels are conditions to be coped with, but we have some
room to maneuver. There may be reefs or lee shores on which we will quickly
founder or fogs that obscure our location and direction. We can perhaps develop
the skills to avoid or cope with the challenges they present.
On a more abstract plane, I think of Chicago sociologist Andrew Abbott’s
proposition in Processual Sociology that the past per se has no effect upon the
present. It is only so far as the past is encoded in the present, synchronous
with our choices, that it can have any effect at all. From this perspective we
are not thrown once into conditions that remain unchanged as we struggle to
adapt to them. Depending on present circumstances some bits of the past may
affect what we choose and the outcome of our choices. The central fact,
however, is that the world refuses to stand still. We are thrown repeatedly,
over and over again, in every moment of our lives.
Following this train of thought, I recall Zygmunt Bauman’s remark that when
Marx imagined the past melting in the fires of revolution, he expected it to be
recast (a typical modernist vision) in new, more functional, and permanent
forms, a utopia that would then endure forever. He never imagined what we now
experience, what Bauman labels “liquid modernity,” an incessantly changing
world in which, as the anthropologist and student of popular culture Grant
McCracken, observes, “meaning flows.”
Enough, more than enough, for now.
On May 5, 2019 21:51 +0900, Torgeir Fjeld <t.fjeld1@xxxxxxxxx>, wrote:
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”
E.A. Poe (1845)
Mvh. / Yours sincerely,
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