Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code

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If there are diverse kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing place, then we need to learn to value the different ways each of us sees a single place that is significant, but differently so, for each perspective.
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apocalyptic dread & sublime « Previous | |Next »
February 01, 2007

Leunig's light hearted cartoon can be read as a witty comment on what Rough Theory calls the conversational flow around contemporary apocalypticism. The commentary is conveniently summarized here at High Low and in between.


This apocalypticism can be linked to Susan Norrie's Undertow, which I have considered under the notion of the sublime. Norrie's work connects apocalyptic dread to the popular unconscious in Australian culture, which finds its everyday expresson in droughts and bushfires. (Floods in Australia are commonly seen as restoring life after a drought).

Eugene von Guerard, Bush fire between Mt Elephant and Timboon, 1859, oil on canvas board

Apocalyptic dread is increasingly being expressed in our concerns about the effects of global warming on our mode of life. The catastrophic scenario is a 6 degree rise in temperature signified by the melting of Arctic ice. The ecological discourse of a passionate environmentalism connects with this dread and fantasy, in the sense of an industrial civilization so harming the Earth that it’s killing our life support systems.

Global warming effectively returns us to Kant, who lodged the sublime in nature, and understood the sublime as an aesthetic quality in nature distinct from beauty.The dynamically sublime is a kind of horror" and we struggle to grasp the enormity of a sublime event such as an bush fire. So we come to the edge of our conceptual grasp of the event (a maelstorm), a realization that nature elides our attempts to control it through instrumental reason, and the growing senation that the subject is
caught between nature and freedom.

In Aesthetic Theory Adorno says:

Deeply etched into the sublime are characteristics like domination, power, and greatness, and yet art protests against domination....With the eclipse of formal beauty it seemed as though sublime was the only idea of traditional aesthetics to survive and live in in modern art.(p.281)

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:46 PM | | Comments (1)


On the horizon appears an approaching religious [and scientific] furore so contentious, any clash of civilizations may have to wait. On one side, a manuscript titled: The Final Freedoms, against all the gravitas religious tradition can bring to bear.

The first wholly new interpretation for 2000 years of the moral teachings of Jesus the Christ is on the web. It focuses specifically on marriage and human sexuality, overturning all natural law ethics and theory. At stake is the credibility of several thousand years of religious history and moral theology.

What at first appears an utterly preposterous challenge to the religious status quo rewards perseverance in closer examination, for it carries within its pages an idea both subtle and sublime, what the theological history of religion either ignored, were unable to imagine or dismissed as impossible. An error of presumption which could now leave 'tradition' staring into the abyss and humble the heights of scientific speculation.

If this material is confirmed and there appears to be both the means and a concerted effort to authenticate it, the greatest unresolved questions of human existence may finally have been untangled.

Published [at the moment] only on the web as a free [1.4meg] pdf download, this new teaching has nothing whatsoever to do with any existing religious conception known to history. It is unique in every respect.

It is the first ever viable religious conception leading faith to observable consequences which can be tested and judged; a teaching able to demonstrate its own efficacy; the first ever religious claim of knowledge that meets the criteria of verifiable, evidence based scientific method; as such this teaching enters the public domain as a reality entirely new to human history.

This is pure ethics. It requires no institutional framework, no churches, no priest craft, no scholastic theological rational, no dogma or doctrine and ‘worship’ requires only conviction, faith and the necessary measure of self discipline to accomplish a new, single moral imperative and the integrity and fidelity to the new reality.

Using a synthesis of scriptural material from the Old and New Testaments, the Apocrypha , The Dead Sea Scrolls,The Nag Hammadi Library, and some of the worlds great poetry, it describes and teaches a single moral LAW, a single moral principle offering the promise of its own proof; one in which the reality of God responds to an act of perfect faith with a direct, individual intervention into the natural world; correcting human nature by a change in natural law, altering biology, consciousness and human ethical perception.

This new interpretation identifies the moral foundation of all human thought and conduct and the single Law finds expression within a new covenant of human spiritual union, a new paradigm of marriage between one man and one woman; resolving the most intractable questions and confusions of sexual indentity.

For those able to think for themselves and imagine outside the cultural box, who are willing to learn something new, the beginnings of an intellectual and moral revolution are unfolding on the web with a proof available for anyone to test and discover for themselves.

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