[Nostalgia for the Absolute] EBOOK DOWNLOAD
Tural condition of the inorganic The of the
libido lies in p20The book is a little dated at times cold war ideologies and his gloss of lies in death p20The book is a little dated at times cold war ideologies and his gloss of Freud and Levi Strauss tended to be frustrating Five lectures on the decline of Christianity the death of God and its effects on Western civilizationSteiner examines three modern mythologies which attempt to fill the gap the hunger for absolute truth left by the decline of religion Marxism Freudian psychoanalysis and Levi Straussian anthropology A mythology in Steiner s sense of the word has an easily recognizable beginning and development a prophetic vision preserved in canonical texts later disciples and prophets develop the teaching there is a passionate conflict between sects each believing they present the truth that they are the genuine heirs to the founding prophet competing with dangerous and deluded heretics The mythology presents a total explanation of history and humanity s place in the cosmos uite often it claims that the analysis is based on science though it will tend to be unfalsifiable and so not ualify as a scientific theory The mythology has its own vocabulary its own rituals and legends and imagery His examination of Marxism is particularly effective eg We recognise in the history of Marxism each of the attributes We have the vision of the prophet and the canonical texts which are beueathed to the faithful by the most important apostle We find a history of ferocious conflict between the orthodox heirs to the master and the heretics an unbroken family of fission from the time of the Mensheviks to Trotsky and now to Mao Each time and this is the theological scenario a new group of heretics breaks away and it always says look we have the real message of the
#Master Listen To Us The #listen to us the texts have been corrupted the Gospel is in our keeping don t listen to the church at the centre How familiar all this is to students of the history of Christianity Marxism has its legends Marxism has its vocabulary Marxism has its emblems its symbolic gestures ust like any transcendent religious faith It offers a complete explanation of man s function in biological and in social reality Above all it offers a contract of messianic promise concerning the future The fourth lecture examines modern superstitions and irrationality astrology UFOs occultism Eastern mysticism repackaged and hollowed out for Western audiences This lecture is lighthearted Steiner is having a good rant about things that clearly piss him off In the final lecture he talks about the history of scientific truth a relatively short history and how thinkers from the Enlightenment onward hoped that the pursuit of scientific truth would replace religious myths and mysteries Alas the pursuit of scientific truth subject to falsification experimental proof and logical constraints is not something that can ignites the passions of all hearts He discusses whether the truth when discovered will actually be beneficial to humanity I found this lecture a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion though it does have neat closing paragraph The truth I believe does have a future whether man does is much less clear But I cannot help having a hunch as to which of the two is important. Sh between truth and human survivalUltimately he suggests that we can only reduce the impact of this collision course if we continue as disinterestedly as possible to ask uestions and seek answers in the face of our increasingly complex worl. .
Of scientific truth Then I took a large piece of paper stuck it up on the wall of my apartment and wrote I don t believe in anything Still don t I think It definitely pointed out the impossibility all systematic philosophy for me Good book for those who are into a myth A good short book that seems thoroughly sensible The gist is that the author argues that the
Major Intellectual Movements He Calls Them Mythologies Of 20th Centuryintellectual movements he calls them mythologies of 20th century from a reaction to the spiritual vacuum left in the wake of the rise of
SCIENTIFIC RATIONALISM THE FIRST FOUR SECTIONS ARE ATTEMPTED TAKErationalism The first four sections are attempted take of Marxism Freudian psychology L vi Straussian anthropology and occultism respectively I m not informed enough on any of the topics to say whether the author is successful The final section deals with the Pursuit of Truth as the new ultimate hot thing Had I to do it over I d skip the first four sections Not as profound as I d hoped Pretty unclear ending the search for truth via science and reason or something to replace the loss of Christian certainty God is Dead Doubling down on the Enlightenment despite
Truth Being Potentially Harmfulbeing potentially harmful t leave much to hope for but Steiner also seems to shrug at the current possibilities His conclusion reminded me of the first paragraph from Lovecraft s Call of CthulhuThe most merciful thing in the world I think is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity and it was not meant that we should voyage far The sciences each straining in its own direction have hitherto harmed us little but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality and of our frightful position therein that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark ageHis conceptualization of Marxism Freudian psychoanalysis and Claude L vi Strauss anthropology as pseudo mythologies to fill the void of Christianity is pretty useful however though exclusively pointed leftward He also has a ruthless chapter on modern spiritual replacements that will give some laughs if you roll your eyes that direction on occasion Summary as we seek philosophies and cosmologies to fulfill our need for the absolute we find there is nothing entropy Here s a pick me upper Two deities two gods to overwhelming agencies govern and divide our being said Freud Love and death Eros and Thanatos The conflict between them determines the rhythms of existence of procreation of somatic and psychic evolution But finally the contrary to all intuitive instinctive expectations to all our hopes it is not Eros not love but Thanatos who is stronger who is close to the roots of man What the species strives for finally is not survival and perpetuation but repose perfect inertness In Freud s visionary programme the explosion of organic life which has led to human evolution was a kind of tragic anomaly almost a fatal exuberance It has brought with it untold pain and ecological waste But this detour of life and consciousness will sooner or later end An internal entropy is a work A great uietness will return to creation as life revers to the na. The alternate mythologies Marxism etc and fads of irrationality astrology the occult Steiner argues that this decay and the failure of the mythologies have created a nostalgia for the absolute that is growing and leading us to a massive cla. George Steiner died yesterday His brilliant and wise literary
and cultural critiue will be greatly missed I have commented on his book N Not an uninteresting book consideringcultural critiue will be greatly missed I have commented on his book N Not an uninteresting book considering topics it hovers upon But incomplete and incoherent The only issue where I disagree with Steiner is his all too uick dismissal of what he calls orientalism but I can imagine that back then it involved a lot of superstitioussuperficial beliefs and pr I came on this book through a tweet by Marc Andreesen where he claimed that it handily explained a lot of modern day Weltschmerz The central thesis is controversial but rings true Scientific rationalism induced the death of Christian religion in Western Europe and the popularity of aliens communism eastern religion Freud and structural anthropology can be explained as a direct replacement of the role religion used to fillIn fact George Steiner goes one step further and calls these movements meta religions or mythologies that share key traits with religion George Steiner doesn t go into details for why movements with these characteristics resonate so deeply with humanity A meta religion Needs to have taxonomy a set of terms uniuely meaningful for the religion Needs a narrative arc a founding story a mythological founder apostasy Needs to be holistic and disprovable the mythology needs to explain everything about the world and be presented as a disprovable logical systemOne can definitely uibble with the criteria above Is that really the complete basis set Is it the right basis set In my opinion these criteria seem reasonable and his chosen meta religions clearly check the above boxes His chosen targets are also clearly important world movements and are worth discussing as pseudo religions The bulk of the book is spent proving that each is a meta religion Steiner s critiue mainly has to do with the pseudo scientific claims of these mythologies Each errantly claims a basis in scientific fact as a bulwark of legitimacy and this makes these mythologies dangerous and disingenuous It s definitely clear that these movements are important to the world and that their adherents really do believe in the inevitability of their claims the communist March of Progress rings faintly It s also clear especially wrt to Communism and Aliens claims the communist March of Progress rings faintly It s also clear especially wrt to Communism and Aliens this deep belief can truly pervert the world how else to explain the humongous amount of money poured into Astrology Steiner s larger point is to shine a light on these movements to understand them as surrogates for religion
As A Means Of Explaininga means of explaining popularity especially bolstered with pseudoscience The conclusion of the book is a uite depressing investigation of science as savior His inescapable conclusion is that science has actually driven people into the arms of pseudoscience through recent ish discoveries like the inevitable heat death of the universe and the acknowledgement that scientific advancement might come at the expense of humanity and not in service of it eg AI I bought this CBC Massey lecture when it first appeared a couple of millennia ago 1974 75 It was important for me in that it was only after reading it that I first framed my own deeply rooted skepticism I agreed with Steiner up to the point of his discussion. Writer and scholar George Steiner's Massey Lectures are ust as cogent today as when he delivered them in 1974 perhaps even so He argues that Western culture's moral and emotional emptiness stems from the decay of formal religion He examines.