“Derrida also claims that with all four of his paradigmatic examples of subjectivity as the subjection to a death sentence — Socrates, Jesus, Hallaj, and Joan of Arc — what was actually being put to death was language, language that in each case claimed to be the presentation of divine speech. These four figures must be executed, suggests Derrida, because people are afraid to hear — “directly, immediately” — the voice of God, which is also to say that these four must be killed because their defining statement, “I am the truth,” confronts both church and state with a performative utterance with which the established models of sovereignty, and therefore the hegemonic understandings of life and death, cannot contend.”—
Jan Mieszkowski in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Derrida and the Death Penalty
Last semester, my professor for Philosophy of Language kept calling me Michael.
This semester, he’s also teaching my seminar on Personal Identity, and he’s still calling me Michael. That’s not my name! -___-
If I put a gun to someone’s head, say, a 30-year-old healthy male, pull the trigger, and kill him, assuming an average life expectancy of, say, 84, you can argue that possibly 54 years of life [were] stolen from that person in a direct act of violence.
However, if a person is born into poverty in the midst of an abundant society where it is statistically proven that it would hurt no one to facilitate meeting the basic needs of that person and yet they die at the age of 30 due to heart disease, which has been found to statistically relate to those who endure the stress and effects of low socioeconomic status, is that death, the removal of those 54 years once again, an act of violence?
And the answer is ‘Yes, it is.’
You see, our legal system has conditioned us to think that violence is a direct behavioral act. The truth is that violence is a process, not an act, and it can take many forms.
You cannot separate any outcome from the system by which it is oriented.
“There is suffering - political, social, religious; our whole psychological being is confused, and all the leaders, political and religious, have failed us; all the books have lost their significance. You may go to the Bhagavad Gita or the Bible or the latest treatise on politics or psychology, and you will find that they have lost that ring, that quality of truth; they have become mere words.
You yourself, who are the repeater of those words, are confused and uncertain, and mere repetition of words conveys nothing. Therefore, the words and the books have lost their value; that is, if you quote the Bible, or Marx, or the Bhagavad Gita, as you who quote it are yourself uncertain, confused, your repetition becomes a lie; because what is written there becomes mere propaganda, and propaganda is not truth. So when you repeat, you have ceased to understand your own state of being. You are merely covering with words of authority your own confusion.”—J. Krishnamurti
“I cannot respond to the call, the request, the obligation, or even the love of another without sacrificing the other other, the other others. Every other (one) is every (bit) other [tout autre est tout autre], everyone else is completely or wholly other. The simple concepts of alterity and of singularity constitute the concept of duty as much as that of responsibility. As a result, the concepts of responsibility, of decision, or of duty, are condemned a priori to paradox, scandal, and aporia. Paradox, scandal, and aporia are themselves nothing other than sacrifice, the revelation of conceptual thinking at its limit, at its death and finitude. As soon as I enter into a relation with the other, with the gaze, look, request, love, command, or call of the other, I know that I can respond only by sacrificing ethics, that is, by sacrificing whatever obliges me to also respond, in the same way, in the same instant, to all the others. I offer a gift of death, I betray, I don’t need to raise my knife over my son on Mount Moriah for that. Day and night, at every instant, on all the Mount Moriahs of this world, I am doing that, raising my knife over what I love and must love, over those to whom l owe absolute fidelity, incommensurably.”—Jacques Derrida, The Gift of Death (1995), p. 68 (via queertheoryissexy)
“Let us not look for examples, there would be too many of them, at every step we took. By preferring my work, simply by giving it my time and attention, by preferring my activity as a citizen or as a professorial and professional philosopher, writing and speaking here in a public language, French in my case, I am perhaps fulfilling my duty. But I am sacrificing and betraying at every moment all my other obligations: my obligations to the other others whom I know or don’t know, the billions of my fellows (without mentioning the animals that are even more other others than my fellows), my fellows who are dying of starvation or sickness. I betray my fidelity or my obligations to other citizens, to those who don’t speak my language and to whom I neither speak nor respond, to each of those who listen or read, and to whom I neither respond nor address myself in the proper manner, that is, in a singular manner (this for the so-called public space to which I sacrifice my so-called private space), thus also to those I love in private, my own, my family, my son, each of whom is the only son I sacrifice to the other, everyone being sacrificed to everyone else in this land of Moriah that is our habitat every second of every day.”—Jacques Derrida, The Gift of Death (1995), p. 69 (via queertheoryissexy)
“Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.”—Thich Nhat Hanh (via purplebuddhaproject)
“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”—Charles Bukowski (via aestheticintrovert)
“There was a frail syrup dripping off
his lap danced lapel, punctuated by her
decrepit prowl, she washed down the hatching
gizzard soft as a mane of needles.
His orifice icicles hemorrhaged
by combing her torso to a pile.
Perspired, the trophy shelves made room for his collapse.
She was a mink hand job in sarcophagus heels.”—the mars volta.
“I believe that introversion is my greatest strength. I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward.”—Susan Cain (via purplebuddhaproject)
“In general, ‘Buddha’ means ‘Awakened One’, someone who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and sees things as they really are. A Buddha is a person who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions. There are many people who have become Buddhas in the past, and many people will become Buddhas in the future.”—Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (via kmctexas)
You ask me who I am.
I respond with me in relation to my…
my various degrees.
my residence of city, state, and/or nation.
my ethnicity and race.
But who am I apart from these?
If my identification changes
depending on conditions,
what could we point to and say,
“Here. This is the intrinsic nature of me.
Here. This is the thing that always stays with me.
No matter what.
Here. This is the thing that exists
even when words and ideas are no longer attached
to the referent.
Here. This is the essence that has existed before.”
When my self is standing in a river of transient thought,
variable and impermanent and interruptible,
Who is the one standing?
Is the body made up of a collection of
various impressions and ideas,
a stage of skandhas performing their scripted roles,
conditioned by the world since birth?
Within the ‘I’, there is vast ocean of space,
so much more than the number of skandhas that orbit each other;
a solar system of fragile perceptions, beliefs, and thought
in a universe ready to fade away at any second.
The stars are dying every minute,
giving way to new empty worlds without an intrinsic nature.
Warm tea and coffee.
A bed, A roof, and a book.
An environment to learn.
An environment to speak freely.
An environment to freely not speak.
A sensitivity to the world.
A sensitivity to the ‘Other.’
A sensitivity to sameness,
Overcoming the difference.
A patience with time.
Breaking through conventions.
Swimming through an emptiness of ‘I’.
Melting through the strainer of ‘self.’
Happiness from trying to always ‘become.’
The welcomed lingering of contentment
Even through stress and strife.
“Truth is a pathless land.”
Neither the beginning of the end,
Nor the end of the beginning.
Always the transient present
And the acceptance of such.
Here lies the residence of love,
Alive and well.