Seeking a Method of Philosophizing

Reason does have its blind spots. Heidegger makes this all important point when he says,’ reason glorified for so many centuries, is the most stubborn enemy of thought.  Plato seems to have spotted it very early. This is the reason perhaps we can find a separation the mythos and the logos following Plato.  Muthos leads to mimeses or copying and therefore has to be kept away from logos.   Plato wished to keep logos free from the specter of imitation.  But such an insulation form the specter of imitation is dangerous and can become breeding ground for fascist identification with that which is thought to be the essence or nature of culture which then is deemed to be conserved without letting it be lost. Thus the separation of the muthos from the logos appears to be the cause of most totalitarianism that the world has seen.  In place of dialectical recovery of the lack of the muthos, these totalitarianisms opted for an aesthetic solution. One can clearly see in the weaving together of Nazi ideology.  The mythical mist in the ideology of Nazism gave it traction among the Germans. This brought mimesis back in their lives. They can then become Aryans and dominate the world.  This became the guiding myth of the people who become the followers of Nazi ideology. 

 Therefore, the making of the myths is important for totalitarian ideologies.  The plasticity of the cultures offers symbolic possibilities to the making of the myths. The myth then becomes resource that lends itself as a force of identification for the people as an exemplar to be lived.   This means myth then becomes symbolic dream image which has be lived dialectically against tendencies that oppose its actualization. This fight against resisting tendencies becomes one that reinforces one’s conviction to live for the symbolic dream. The symbolic dream is narrativized using the power of self affirmation. There is neither knowledge to establish nor thought to be overcome. The narratives hammer tireless repetition of certitudes. These narratives present the myth as exclusive difference and thus can be lived out simply by its affirmation.  

The identity is not given as fact or discourse. It is given as dream to live for.  This is the mythical power of dream that projects an image with which one identifies.   This means myth requires it adherent to believe in it. To ensure this belief a myth has to embody a figure or type, Nazi myth had the myth of race within it.  Hindutva myth for instance carries the figure of Lord Ram along with Hinduism.  The type or the figure gives myth the position of being absolute, concrete and singular identity. Hence, those who fail to identify with it can be scorned which itself creates a condition for them to identify with the myth.  The Hindus, who embrace the myth of Hindutva then become sanskari Hindus and other Hindus feel, left out which itself creates the desire to join those that lives the myth.  The type also constructs an anti-Type that gets demonized. The Jews, the Muslims and other minorities   become the anti-Type in the case of the Nazi and Hindutva myths respectively.  The anti-Tpye becomes formless or plastic and can be acquire form that Nazis or the Hindutvadins can give to reinforce their.   This prepares the conditions for the moral justification of elimination of the anti-Type that then becomes an antinational who can be annihilated.  People live the truth of the myth by living the myth. It has the dream aspect that makes it  project not-yet-fulfilled.  This pushes its adherent to live the myth and seek self-fulfilment.  This self-fulfilment is sought by living the myth through repetitions with a difference. 

This means muthos has its own way of working. It has its own logic.  It is moving between the semiotic and productive hermeneutics. The semiotic or the meaning dimension is lived through perfomatives . These perfromatives links muthos, logos and vivos. Perfromative are mimetic. They imitate the myth. This means the myth, reason and life meet in the way myth produces mimetic drives in the people.  This does not mean that living of myth is taking away the agency of the people. It certainly weakens it. Hence, we need to decode the way myth works and produces its subject.  It can manifest several questions that linger in our, minds. Thus, for instance we can see how the Hindutva myth is lived in our country and how it has led the hindus to vote as Hindus to the BJP. 

The Philosophy needs a method that enables us to look for the link between the Mythos, Logos and Vivos.  This method has to  be based into dissensus. Consensus cannot mark a distance from the myth to hermeneutically examine the logic of it workings.  This is why we have to appreciate the strength of dissensus.  Dissensus is the attitude that we have to bring into our thinking. But we have to begin with practices or performatives. These performative are sites where the myth is being lived out.  Examining the peformatives and the affects that they produce with distanciation taught to us by Paul Ricouer will enable us to map the myth, its type and the anti-Type. Once we explore the myth we may be enabled to understand its workings.  Thus, we can interrogate the workings or counter the workings by exposing the narrow boundaries of the myth that holds people captive. What we are facing is actually a problem of aesthetics. We have to bring about a reversal of this aesthetic orientations that give power to the myth which people live.  This is why the question, ‘can philosophy bring about a change in the aesthetic orientations. Will it mean that philosophy will have to counter myth with another myth with its type and anti-Type? Can we keep our vivos free from muthos? Logos of philosophy itself is our muthos that we live through our performatives. This is why philosophy awaking to its own muthos can assist how muthos works in totalitarian regimes and pluralarize  myths that are emancipative.   

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao