(Out thinking) Thinking

Martin Heidegger says that we have the challenge to out think our thinking. We are used to think from the comfort of Plato’s cave. It excludes and keeps several things unthought and leaves several things as unthinkable and even tabooed and thus keep them closed away from the horizon of our thinking. we are a mimetic society. We want everything like us. Sameness is paramount to us. We oppose otherness. We flow the binary oppositional logic in our thinking. Thinking the other relational and not oppositional Hence, the philosophers have the imperative to stir the ocean of knowledge and thought to draw out the nectar of wisdom. There is no end to thinking. we cannot think of point that we can call post- thinking.

Although, the radius of thinking is 360 degree, individual acts of thinking are limited and can be constricting in its breathe, length, depth and height. Thus, for instance, Heidegger want us to unthink ontotheological thinking. Jacques Derrida wants us to unthink logocentric thinking. Emanuel Levinas wants us to unthink thinking through reductive sameness and embrace otherness. This is why there is an After to thinking. It challenges us to mark what Paul Ricoeur calls distantiation. We need critical distance to evaluate and overcome the blind spots of our thinking. Distantiation brings us to the examined life of Socrates. Socrates thought us that un-examined life is not worth living. Thinking enables us to examine our life. It enables us to arrive at second naivete of Ricoeur. Thinking thus, as Hans George Gadamer teaches us enables us to put ourself at risk that may lead us to the transformation of our lives. There is an emancipative interest to thinking.

Jurgen Habermas, in his book, Knowledge and Human interests takes emancipative interest as the goal of his thinking. Hence, we have to recognize that there is no neutral or innocent thinking. All thinking is politically motivated thinking. This is why we have to follow Karl Marx who says in his thirteenth thesis on his teacher Ludwig Feurbach ‘it is not enough to explain the world, what is important is to change the world’ . This will happen when out thinking becomes critical and thinking itself out performs itself. This why we have the moral imperative to out think thinking. It will challenge us to let our idols die and symbols live. Idolizing select modes of thinking can make us narrow minded and even fanatics. This is why Ricouer called for ‘idols to die and symbols to live’. This tells us that thinking is not acultural as well as ahistorical. All thinking is hermeneutical. It occurs within the cultural boundaries. Out thinking can cross cultures and we can do intercultural thinking.

Cultural embeddedness of thinking reveals us that culture becomes an enabling condition of letting it appear. Thus, we think through the clothing of our cultures. We in India as well as Goa think from our cultural position. Our thinking, therefore, is mediated by our Indian-ness and Goan-ness which is continuously Goanizing as well as Indianizing us. The out thinking that we have embrace has to be doubly rooted. It has to be rooted in our Indian-ness and Goa-ness as well as enable us to go beyond it so as to bend back and critically evaluate our own rootedness and its impact on emancipation . We cannot but think through what Gadamer calls historically effected consciousness. This means we cannot think outside the prejudices of our culture. Thinking is vulnerable to be inward looking but has the power to out think our prejudice. This is because thinking is a response to the revelatory of call of nature of things that Heidegger calls Being itself. Thinking, thus, is determined by that which is to be thought as well as one who is doing the thinking. What is thought provoking is that thinking is provoked thought.

Thinking about philosophic thinking take us to the primordial home of thinking about thinking that dares to question its presuppositions. Heidegger teaches us that thinking of sciences has a sole aim of progress while philosophic thinking has the aim of regress. It takes a step back from an object-centric thinking resulting into a primal act of thinking about thinking which lets thinking itself become self-critical and reflective. This means when we think we step into the mythos before we begin to reason through the logos. This tell us, although, the Presocratic thinkers moved away from the mythos to logos to result the birthing of philosophy, we have the challenge to juxtapose and not oppose both the mythos and the logos. This is why I have been saying that our act of thinking has a call to fidelity to the truth. Our loyalty to the truth is a loyalty to the event of thinking. Thinking, therefore, has to be an event. Thinking is evental in the sense of Alain Badiou, to whom event converts us into its subject. This means thinking does not just make us subjects but it has to become an emancipative event to us and to everyone who are addressed by it.

We have the challenge to respond to the call of thinking. This call is to take step back from the fast lane of life. Unfortunately, the pace of life has accelerated our society. It has even sucked our passive energies. We are unfortunately enslaved by linear accelerated life produced by the forces of the market. We do not really have time to stand and stare. When we come home tired wanting to rest our mass culture has produced interpassivity where the Tv programes do the laughing for us or even noisy debates at prime time on tv do the fighting for us. Zizek calls this canned laughter. To be me it can be also canned fights. We are drained out and have become restless. Thus, our massified society needs a therapeutic thinking. Philosophy, therefore, has an important task of initiating salubrious modes of thinking. In Goa where people flock to find rest and rejuvenation has this unique challenge, to bring critical thinking in the ordinary lives of people. Are we ready? The best answer may be an active association of Philosophers in Goa.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao