m of care – jul 15

on david graeber‘s beyond the monastic self

via museum of care fb share:

On 15 July, the MOC Reading Group will be discussing David Graeber’s unpublished manuscript entitled ‘Beyond the Monastic Self: Joint Mind and the Partial Illusion of Individuation.’

In the text, the author grapples with questions that strike at the core of human existence: What is the mind? What is consciousness? What is the self? How is human existence made possible by the endless variety of mystical experiences that occur between and among “embodied personalities”?

What might politics, ethics, and science look like if we start with, instead of run away from, the idea of an underlying unity of all physical processes?


notes/quotes from meeting:

(13 here at beginning)

steve bachelor: appears in fragments.. a think piece that leaves implications up to readers.. turns on what it means to be human.. conscious of self and in community.. humans engaged in convo – interpenetration of minds.. that neuroscience show happens.. when happens in brains of 2 people in convo.. so beyond anthro.. into cog/neuro sci and what this might mean about how humans might understand self.. 1\ if ideas emerge from relations/convos.. then not possible to talk about being great thinkers.. only thinkers in convo w others.. he calls it: dialogic emergence of ideas.. all theory based on mis apprehension.. conscious exists in concrete junctures of embodied personalities.. familiar to his ‘not possible to talk about individuals.. but people are accretions of social relations they have’.. so conscious collective not individual thinkers.. what we consider consciousness is often misunderstanding.. what we describe is just a window.. we can’t keep more than 2 seconds at a time.. implications profound.. challenges us to erase idea of singular great thinkers.. but also.. practice of convo is what makes these fleeting moments of consciousness.. so no rational intellect.. philosophy didn’t start w idea of rational individual.. but telo.. a process.. over time.. philosophy shifted from dialogic to academic pursuit.. communal to few individuals.. ie: monastery.. and from their to uni.. and what’s lost in process.. is a shrinking of our imaginative understanding of philosophical practice.. this is something david finds resonance in distributive cognition.. thinking takes place outside the head.. but philosophy over time has come to concentrate on the machinery/tech aspect.. this is what the uni is .. a house for great thinkers.. rather than a dialogic process to begin with.. so the self conscious individual created thru the (training/discipline) of academia/uni.. destroying our consciousness of unity.. so our existence of intell beings possible when occur between people.. philosophy has lost a sense of itself but abandoning that non dualism.. individuation is at the expense of others.. if we found an in between place.. would have deep implications.. if we start from premise of non dualism.. see new ways of politics that hasn’t been done..

ie: networked individualism ness.. a nother way via 2 conversations

16 here now

sevda: getting masters in this.. w/o language we don’t have consciousness.. this is what i understand from this.. i want to draw on the importance of language.. relation between human beings and bodies.. (then went into a lot of that).. the body that the human being is.. the living organism.. what i want to say is that the collective unconscious is where we can find many of our unanswered questions.. where we are from.. where we are going..

embodiment (process of) ness

hard to understand her.. so missing some

steve: sevda.. i think when you ask.. is language the unconscious.. you mean.. it allows us to step into the unconscious.. does that also mean the unconscious is a symbolic order

sevda: ie: can explain dream because not yet in the symbolic order..

steve: it would seem then that the meaning is the order.. the practice itself is the cohering of order.. and the meaning comes out of that

sevda: on children being in stage where can’t distinguish self from others.. strength of language ‘i.. i did it..i am’.. the kids love that

? yeah.. i don’t resonate w that thinking.. ie: not yet scrambled et al

sevda: i think about people who have language problems.. tend to use a language really diff..

higashida autism lawthe reason i jump (film)

let’s try idiosyncratic jargon ness.. and let go of all the rules.. and ie: language as control/enclosure et al

sevda: i think it requires loads of research/reading.. that’s why i kept it in my master’s thesis

yeah that.. ie: language as control/enclosure et al.. research ness and takes a lot of work ness.. et al

kenneth cardenas (@kennethcardenas): on (?) saying.. ‘sorry i’m not coherent right now’.. speaks to spirit of this essay.. can be incoherent yet cogent.. helps me make sense of my own thinking.. t i think we should move away from myth of heroic author.. i wonder if our own practice.. ie: authorship.. **is there a way we can trouble that practice.. and make it’s clear that it’s always in convo

*language as control/enclosure begs freedom of ie: idiosyncratic jargon ness

**yeah.. quit author-ing/publish-ing/naming the colour.. to sell.. let go of any form of m\a\p.. and form of property ness

next day in thread of nika dubrovsky‘s tweets:

In the text, @davidgraeber made an important observation that the cause of social inequality lies precisely in this ( wrong) idea of the existence of an isolated mind because it assumes that some people will be actualized *at the expense of others.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1416055219192991747

again.. hardt/negri property law.. need to let go of naming/owning/labeling things

thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of *hating than of dying – Robert Thurman 

michael reinsborough: idea of unconscious as inside person.. what would happen if start thinking about common structures in world every human has to interact with ie: language.. on imagery of snake as symbolic order that surrounds and attacks people.. i’m interested in the cyborg/material things around us.. human working w material environ.. so becomes way in which we interact

yeah .. language as control/enclosure

simona f: this essay makes me think of german/nazi author.. influenced a lot of social construction of reality.. all working on how human beings build their reality together.. very interesting despite conclusions because looks at human beings as having to build reality together.. even self individuation made by looking at others..

kelig: on david’s works moving away from one author.. pirates et al.. aboriginal’s never quote authors.. what is important is how the reader feels about it.. i think that’s an important approach to take..

nika shares this book: anarchy in a manner of speaking.. convos w: nika is one of them

robin taylor: on math being used to keep people in sync.. i’m less convinced by that.. but interesting how a very precise language keeps those blinded to one another.. t

naming the colour ness

nika: on what to read next

vassily: only thing i know for now is end of august w group from milan.. maybe 2 sessions.. because want to read book on ed which is quite long.. then w alan on marshal sahlins sometime soon.

nika: for me the major question (from group today).. is about relationship to reality.. how these diff ideas of being human beings can affect our real world..t.. i feel lost on this.. i don’t know

because we’re in sea world .. speaking whalespeak.. ongoingly.. black science of people/whales law.. et al

need means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature

vassily: if someone in group has expertise in ie: critical realism

steve: in summary.. lot of diff points.. gets to.. like said.. there isn’t really a discipline inbetween these other disciplines.. esp because we’ve gone form monastery to uni.. everything depends on single authorship.. ie: get tenured et al.. i’m not an expert on critical realism

there is an inbetween ness.. if we got a means to undo all this hierarchical listening.. maybe we could hear/be it

Critical Realism (CR) is a branch of philosophy that distinguishes between the ‘real’ world and the ‘observable’ world. The ‘real’ can not be observed and exists independent from human perceptions, theories, and constructions

sea world.. sea world.. sea world

and to misunderstandings/blurrings happening on p 36 and following in emergence as whalespeak

steve: trying to find space between materialism and realism.. maybe maurice bloch is better place to begin.. others suggest bhaskar

someone in chat said bloch would be a nice bridge to bhaskar

nika: maybe we can do first thursday of august.. aug 5

vassily: could also be an expert on durkheim.. neuroscience.. maybe someone will volunteer eventually..


He remained a dominant force in French intellectual life until his death in 1917, presenting numerous lectures and published works on a variety of topics, including the sociology of knowledge, morality, social stratification, religion, law, education, and deviance. Durkheimian terms such as “collective consciousness” have since entered the popular lexicon

17 at end




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