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December 08, 2009


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Cioran was friends with Mircea Eliade as well, which is of no little significance.


tAo, that's interesting. I read some Elidae long ago, way back in college probably. Can't remember much about him. What significance do you think this friendship had?

"What is the Fall but the pursuit of a truth and the assurance you have found it, the passion for a dogma, domicile within a dogma?"

If, as Mr. Cioran says, "The universe begins and ends with each individual," then certainly dogma must begin and end with each individual as well. That being said, why don't Mr. Cioran's assertions, stated with such a high degree of certitude, authority, - and yes, even passion - qualify as dogma just as well?

Brian from Colorado, in a sense you're right. But if we look at words in that self-reflexive light, we're left in an unappealing communicative morass.

I mean, I'd then have to say to you, "Brian, why don't your assertions about Cioran's assertions qualify as dogma just as well?" Because, of course, they do. And then you'd say to me that what I said to you about what you said about Cioran...

Here's a simpler way of looking at the situation. Cioran expressed how he sees reality. It's an individualistic, non-religious, non-dogmatic, poetic perception.

If we demand of him, or anybody, that what he says be preceded by a philosophical disclaimer, "I could be wrong; use your own judgement about what I say," speech and writing would get pretty darn boring pretty darn fast.

I enjoy deconstructive philosophical analysis. But taking things as they are, and enjoying words as they are, is also desirable. I read Cioran as pointing us toward a direct intuitive awe-filled embrace of life, the good and the bad, the uplifting and the decaying, all of it.

When his words and approach are analyzed too deeply, we can lose his message. Sort of like dancing or having sex while you're seriously thinking about how to dance or have sex.

Hi Blogger Brian, your response is very fine and fair. I was aware of potential semantic issues associated with using the "dogma" word, but actually, I was trying to get at something else, but was hoping not to be too annoying or aggressive about it. I probably whiffed as far as the annoying part goes! I guess I'll go ahead and come clean now.

The Cioran quotes seem to suggest a belief system in which personal existence is utterly subjective, which to me (at this stage of my own thinking, at least) is basically nihilisim. After all, in the absence of higher realms of objective reality beyond this plane of everyday material perception, aren't notions such as "truth," "beauty," "morality", "good," "bad," etc. reduced to arbitrary personal constructs, and thus essentially meaningless in any practical sense?

But then, why bother to devote energy critiquing - or even occassionally mocking (ableit quite mildly in the scheme of things, I concede) - other folks belief systems, however wooly-headed they might strike you personally? Don't get me wrong, it's certainly your perogative.

At the end of the day, how ought we to conduct ourselves in the world of human existence? The fact is, I've never found an ounce of insight or guidance from folks like your erstwhile Romanian compatriot.

I'd like to understand what you're on about, but it's a puzzle!

Brian from Colorado, I resonated with the Cioran quotes. I understand that other people will be left cold by them. As a blogger (and a human), all I can do each day, and indeed at every moment, is follow my intuitions, inclinations, insights.

If that includes criticizing other people's way of looking at the world, so be it. And if they want to criticize my viewpoints, so be it.

Recently I was emailed the results of a survey of the views of professional philosophers.

No big shock: the views are all over the map. Philosophers, who spend their life pondering big questions, can't agree on the answers. (I don't even understand some of the questions:
http://philpapers.org/surveys/results.pl )

So we keep on discussing, searching, wondering, writing, reading, suffering, laughing. In short, being human.

That's what I like most about Cioran: his humanity. He doesn't sugar coat life. Nor does he shit coat it, though Cioran can give that impression when he talks about suicide and such.

I was inspired by the quotes I shared. And I can see why you wouldn't be. Vive le difference.

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