Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parallels between marriage and citizenship

Despite the many thoughtful critiques of the relationship between family and the state, I have always found it a little surprising that there is very little commentary on the relationship between two strange legal fictions. The first is the idea of the restitution of conjugal rights (RCR), and the other is sedition. The restitution of conjugal rights basically consists of the right of a spouse to demand that his or her- though more often his than her- spouse cohabit with him after she has ‘withdrawn from his society’. Away from the misty world of legal euphemisms, we all know what this means: that you can be forced to sleep with a somewhat less than pleasant person against your wishes. A legal commitment to love in a marriage is a serious thing indeed which only warns us that we must proceed with such a choice very carefully.
But like many marriages, the question of choice is somewhat restricted for many people- as is indeed the case of the choice of loving your country. After all isn’t sedition a crime of passion, and the punishment of an offence of the withdrawal of love for your nation. It is interesting to see that while treason in Sec. 121 of the IPC is about the waging of war against the state, sedition is about a forced love. It is about the creation of ‘disaffection’. As Nivedita Menon points out in her post, Disaffection means “the absence or alienation of affection or goodwill; estrangement”.
A legal commitment to love your nation is also a serious thing indeed, and what then is the punishment of sedition if not, the restitution of the conjugal rights of the state? Posted in LawMedia politics | Tags: Arundhati Royseditiondisaffection « Sedition: ‘The highest duty of a citizen’ RESPONSES
This analogy is absolutely brilliant.
Obligatory love and duty, punishment for failure to love – why didn’t I see the endless parallels between marriage and citizenship before? Thanks! By: Nivedita Menon on October 27, 2010 at 9:16 AM Reply

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Humble serenity of pure intellection

This interior cathedral is where the soul finds its rest. Schuon speaks of "the humble serenity of pure intellection, humble because impersonal and serene because conforming to That which is." […] Schuon discusses the various spiritual types, which are classically divided into ruler, priest, sage, warrior, merchant, laborer and outcaste. Each can be sanctified in its own way save for the latter, which can only be saved. 
Consider Schuon's description of the merchant caste, which includes the craftsman and farmer: there is a "love of work well done -- both the result and the performance -- and of wages honestly earned; an emotional accent on the fear of God and on meritorious works conscientiously and piously accomplished."

Please note that he is not being the least bit condescending. Imagine, for example, if American capitalism were dominated by this mentality -- which it actually is, far more than people realize. Indeed, this is why it "works," because of the American "civil religion" so accurately described by de Tocqueville.

My father was of this caste -- a very pure businessman. In this regard, it is impossible for me to imagine him engaging in any kind of unethical or dishonest business dealing, even though he was in no way conventionally religious. Nevertheless, one can see how his work was a kind of karma yoga, since it was always "elevating." And people loved doing business with him for it. Is living the truth not a kind of implicit knowing it? Or is it actually explicit?

Schuon goes on to say that such individuals can appear superficially "horizontal" and conventional, but there is nothing wrong with being conventional in a just and rightly ordered society. Indeed, it can be "a protection against the lack of a sense of proportion for those not sufficiently endowed with discernment."

For example, consider an Obama, who clearly imagines himself to be of the priestly/intellectual caste, but who is so lacking in humility -- not to mention discernment and conformity to the real -- that he falls far lower than any upstanding merchant in the Chamber of Commerce. It is no coincidence that he so contemptuously attacks the latter, just as he belittles all normal Americans and the civil religion that has served us so well. 

Continuing our little discussion of caste and clue, Schuon notes that the priest/sage and knight/warrior share the common capacity "for spontaneously placing oneself above oneself," the former through wisdom and disinterested intelligence, the latter through heroism and self-sacrifice. In both cases, the person simply responds to "the nature of things" in order to provide what is needed in the moment, whether in the field of intellect or of action.

The third caste discussed yesterday -- the merchant, artisan, or craftsman -- may have more of a challenge in this area, in that it is possible for the mercantile mentality to dominate, thus reducing everything to quantity -- to know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

Nevertheless, it shares with the sage and warrior "an inward incentive toward the good," in contrast to the fourthcaste, which "cannot maintain itself in the good except under a pressure coming from outside and above," the reason being that "this human type does not dominate itself and does not like to dominate itself" (Schuon). […]

Only the first caste is truly lacking in "worldliness." The warrior caste obviously must deal with the world -- and mankind -- as it is. But the priestly caste is aware of the distinction between celestial and terrestrial things, and doesn't allow the Is to obscure the Ought.

Note that our secular class of tenured priests also trucks in the Ought, but this Ought is purely terrestrial and marxmade. It involves what Voegelin called the "immamentization of the eschaton." It also must redound to coercion, since it is not a "truth" that lies outside or above man. God vouchsafes his truth and lures men to it. Man can only enforce his.

Extremes meet, so it is quite possible -- especially in our day and age -- for our sages to actually be outcastes, in particular, if they are in contact with no reality higher than themselves. As Schuon explains, the outcaste lacks a homogeneous center, and is "unbalanced" or "mixed" with all sorts of incompatible and contradictory impulses. For example, imagine a university professor who doesn't believe in objective truth. Such a person cannot be helped, and yet, here he is presuming to help others!

Schuon goes on to say that the two higher castes are "noble," in the sense that their spirit is "free," or "'sovereign,' for it is naturally conformed to the universal Law, whether in 'heroic' or 'sacerdotal' mode." A man is noble "to the extent that he carries the Law within himself," but he is ennobled "to the extent that his obedience is perfect," at first "quantitatively" but eventually "qualitatively."

In other words, obedience is gradually interiorized -- or, as the interior is awakened, the obedience becomes spontaneous.

There is also a hidden relationship between the priestly and mercantile, which recalls Somebody's wise crack to the effect that few things make a man more peaceable than when he is occupied at making money.

Think of the natural contemplativity of the artisan or farmer: "It is easy to see the peaceful character of the peasant, the craftsman, the merchant; none of them has any interest in coming to blows, and each of the three functions possesses an aspect that binds or unites human groups rather than placing them in opposition" (ibid). Which is why capitalist countries are more peaceful within and with each other.

The warrior may fall if he forgets his higher purpose and descends into ambition or mere quarrelsomeness; this results from "an intelligence with too little contemplativity" (ibid). In contrast, the merchant can be afflicted by a "contemplativity with too little intelligence," whereas the intelligence of the priestly caste may become "narrow and pedantic," thereby becoming flaccid and ineffectual. In other words, it is possible for the elect to suffer from electile dysfunction.

In the ultimate sense, the priest/sage should either be "without caste" or encompass the qualities of each of them. Think of the heroic martyr-priests, or those who patiently and lovingly (not to say beautifully) transcribed and preserved all those ancient manuscripts prior to the invention of the printing press. 

Mine’s the Meno, and no changing it. […] In fact, “favorite Platonic dialogue” is probably the philosophical equivalent of zodiac signs.
You have the Timaeus people, who are generally either hipster vitalists or colorful antiquarians.
You have plenty of Republic people, and they could be of all different types because there’s so much in it.
You have the Sophist people, who tend to be grave ontologists with beards.
What other types are there?
Symposium people. Right. It may even be my second favorite. I’m a Meno with Symposium rising.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

दोपहर के वक्‍त महिलाओं से बहस करने से बचना चाहिए

दफ्तर हो या घर दोपहर के वक्‍त महिलाओं से बहस करने से बचना चाहिए क्‍योंकि शोधकर्ताओं ने शोध में पाया है कि दोपहर के वक्‍त महिलाओं के मूड में काफी उतार चढ़ाव आता है। दोपहर के वक्‍त पुरुष अगर महिलाओं से बहस करते हैं तो उन्‍हें हार का सामना करना पड़ सकता है। 
वहीं शोध में यह भी कहा गया है कि महिलाओं को पुरुष से कोई काम करवाना हो तो शाम 6 बजे का इंतजार करें। क्‍योंकि इस वक्‍त पुरुष अपने करीबी लोगों की इच्‍छा पूरी करते हैं। इस स्टडी ब्रिटेन के 1000 पुरुषों और महिलाओं पर किया गया है। 
अध्ययन में यह भी कहा गया है कि जब किसी महिला को तनख्वाह में इजाफे या प्रोमोशन की बात अपने बॉस से कहनी हो तो वह दोपहर 1 बजे अपने बॉस से बात करें । ज्‍यादातर बॉस इस वक्त अच्‍छे मूड में रहते हैं। महिलाओं की मुराद पूरी हो सकती है। लेकिन बॉस अगर महिला है तो दोपहर में उससे बात करने की कोशिश न करें। आमतौर पर देखा गया है कि दोपहर एक बजे के बाद का समय ऐसा होता है जब मैनेजर अपने कर्मचारियों की मांग के प्रति बहुत उदार होता है। इच्छा पूरी करने के लिए शाम 6 बजे का इंतजार करें दैनिक भास्कर