Monday, 23 June 2008

Towards A Coherent Peakian Philosophy: some epistemic questions

Just a brief post in the way of something to facilitate discussion and debate in the coming weeks. I have long wanted to put together a cohesive and coherent philosophical review of the Peakian dyad, the CTF thesis, and the Daemonic concept. For me, at least, there is much fodder contained within which is pertinent to a philosophical analysis and critique. In my very first email communications with Tony, just after reading his book, I spoke with him of his parallel to Kierkegaardian existentialism; he delighted me by making reference to many philosophical works remembered from his undergraduate studies. It has been my intention for the longest time to put together an essay which would honor CTF and show in what sense it extends its implications broadly throughout the areas of metaphysics, epistemology, deontology, ethics, and axiology. For those who do not share my own philosophic bent, these are respectively : surmounting of physics toward a comprehensive theory of ultimate existence; ways and methods of acquiring knowledge; questions of rights and duties; essential questions of normative moral valuation and meta-analysis of the same; and areas of aesthetic valuation. Also: the domain of semantic analysis: bringing the ITLADian glossary into some proper form of philosophic discourse, which I do plan to do, aided by KLLM.

I am certain that the many intelligent bloggers of this forum might be able to reflect and relate some of the ways that CTF has informed these areas for them. Of course our own Dark Philosopher has extensive knowledge in these areas which he handles with deftness and dexterity unmatched; and his own formation and ideation of theory which has sprung from his understanding of CTF extends this area of exploration greatly for me. As I said, just something to ponder and perhaps add remarks to as they arise naturally and spontaneously, in the coming weeks. Best regards to all and thanks for considering.

33 comments:

SM Kovalinsky said...

Just an addendum/explanatory note: I am aware that some of these areas actually have been discussed within this forum: The reason why I suggest re-discussion of them now is in an attempt to gather all into some sort of coherent philosophical framework and purview. I had hoped at some point to form an essay which would include comments from bloggers to be posted on my own blog space, which deals with American Philosophy and Culture Studies. In an attempt to re-introduce Peakian theory through an academic forum, I had hoped to give him the philosophic weight which is his due, and which would render him as applicable to philosophy in America as to "Afterlife Studies".

woodsprite said...

Susan-Marie: Sounds good to me! I'm sure you'll provide lots of thought provoking ideas.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Thanks, Woodsprite; But I would also like to hear your own views, as well as those of other bloggers. These concepts, when removed from their lofty philosophical language, are really quite basic, so do give it some thought. (When you have the time, that is: no rush, and I know what a headache these things can be!)Thanks as always!

ra from ca said...

I'm not a student of philosophy, but your posts and Anthony's work are pushing me to be more thoughtful and thanks to you both for that. Nothing like facing death to make you more thoughtful.

You have commented previously that Anthony is a teleologist meaning (if I understand correctly) that he thinks there is purpose to life. I also have the impression that he believes that daemon knows that purpose.

Some people at the blog suggest the purpose is to embrace death. I understand that we all need to learn to let go of attachments and life, but don't we also need to learn to pursue life with gusto? Speaking as one who has lacked assertiveness and courage to pursue life, I think this is the other side of the coin that is required. We need to learn to embrace both life and death with courage on both fronts.

I have a favourite film (Martin take note) that comes up in my mind when I think about my own death. It is an Albert Brooks comedy called "Defending your Life". Now Anthony wouldn't agree with this scenario, but perhaps this would be the collective daemon judging how did you live your life. Did you show courage or not?

SM Kovalinsky said...

Ruth: Thank you for your thoughtful comments. This is the whole point of philosophy: to inspire thinking, and a sense of wonder in the process of inquiry and aspiration to find truth. You grasp the concept of teleology well, unburdened with the cumbersome Aristotlean doctrine and language which I haul around as a vagabond hauls his belongings( I studied his Nichomacean ethics and never returned from that).I think Tony's dyad does inspire to more robust and courageous living, while at the same time lessening the obsession with death. The movie you reference I am not familiar with, but do ask Hurly! I see, though, your point, and it is a valid one. I have always found you very thinking and reflecting, and the lack of formal philosophic training has little bearing : In fact, there is an American Socratic by the name of Marinoff, and in the '90s in New York City he ran philosophy cafes using the Socratic method of inquiry, and actually PREFERRED that the forum not use any scholarly terms, but flow with ordinary language. So I really do thank you, Ruth, and keep on thinking, as you do it earnestly and well! love you

SM Kovalinsky said...

I also wanted to add that it is through discussions with bloggers - who think on ITLAD - that my own mind attains a sharper focus as to precisely HOW it is that Peaks strikes me as so "philosophic". And why this is so important. Ditto with KLLM writings. And how to present this concisely and clearly in American forums, so that it produces real movement and change.

woodsprite said...

If the purpose of life was merely to embrace death, then suicide would be the simple way to attin that purpose. I don't believe this is the case. Surely the purpose is to live life fully, whatever that means, making the most of every second. If nirvhana is the end of striving and achieving enlightenment, could that be true merging with the daemon. This would mean the final run through of the Bohmian IMAX and the end of the cycle.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Yes, I agree. When I spoke previously on another post about "embracing death", it was in the specific sense of Heidegger's "freedom toward death" as opposed to "Das Man" (the nameless one of mass society). And this itself is very Kierkegaardian (embrace the eternal and inward and not the outward crowd). But this precisely is "living life authentically and to the fullest". So Heidegger, if he were speaking in Peakian terms, would say "freedom toward daemon" , "authenticity begins in the daemon realm". Also, to clarify "Tony as teleologist": He seems to place the origin of purpose within the daemon, and thus infers that the eidolon has a certain responsibility to heed its dictates and messages. So this extends into deontology (what are our rights and duties?) and thus it goes on and on until Tony becomes a Philosopher who I must write on! And then LeMarcsian theory widens this, and so it goes on and on. . . until I feel urgency to set it all down and share it with American philosophers! Thank you so much for your input, Woodsprite.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Also meant to add: The term, "axiology" is the branch of philosophy concerned with the process of valuation. I tend to think of aesthetic values, but it extends into religious and ethical valuation as well. If there is an actual Daemon, as Tony theorizes - and much proof points to this and I for one am convinced of it - then the presence of this Daemon would have a great deal of bearing on the valuation process. Hence, Tony introduces a new element into the discourse of philosophy, and I want someone to notice this!!!

woodsprite said...

I am so looking forward to reading Tony's next book which will no doubt explore the concept of the daemon more fully.

I am still very new to these ideas - bear in mind I only came across Tony's work back on the 17th May - and I have lots of refinements to make to my understanding.

Am I correct in my belief that the daemon exists as a product of having lived what Karl terms the Virgin Life and subsequent lives, following almost to infinity, in the split second of the Life Review? If so, the daemon remains part of ourselves always, its apparent wisdom a product of experience. As soon as the eidolon makes a truly novel choice and begins a fresh path, it has no greater awareness than the eidolon and cannot guide us. So is the goal simply to explore and learn from that exploration forever? Or is there a point when we have followed the "best" pathway and there can be no room for "improvement". At this point death becomes the final death.

johar said...

When it is said that the purpose of life is to embrace death, my interpretation is that by living your life to the full in whatever way that may be to the individual, the inevitability of death can be embraced rather than feared or regretted.

Being able to look back on one's life positively prepares us for the future, which includes a positive death. As Ruth said living life with gusto and courage prepares us for death with courage. It is a world view that fosters evolution within Tony's daemonic theory of guidance, I think.

I'm not sure I have explained that well, I hope it makes sense.

By incorporating Tony's CTF theory, the life lived is the life to come, death is but a doorway. This also encourages a dynamic mindset with which to pursue life. The dyad of life and death. It's no longer a case of life begets death, it is now life begets death begets life.

Erm... am I making any sense? :)

SM Kovalinsky said...

Yes, you and Woodsprite are both making very much sense, and I do enjoy hearing this sort of talk. And Jo, I like the way you put things! I think my own problem may be seeing the Daemon as somehow connected to the Platonic realm of Ideal Forms, and thus exerting a moral influence. So living life to the fullest would have to, in this view, include allowing the daemon to exert its guidance, which is akin to the dictates which Kierkegaard grants to the inward self. The idea that the daemon is starting "fresh with no recollection" (Woodsprite) I think is not quite right: It records and stores the empirical process and spins them out in its Bohmian IMAX. Yet I see it as still bound up in the metaphysical realms, and this is the point where I have to be very careful to get my facts straight, lest I run afoul and sully the whole thing for Tony! I do like that reference you make, JoJo, of "the dyad of life and death", it has a nice ring and resonance to it. However, I want to be sure and get the input of Tony and Karl, as my desire is to bring them into American philosophical discourse and not reshape them to my own neoPlatonism and its purposes. But I do thank both of you so very much for such strong insights. Most appreciated.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Woodsprite: As you've only very recently come to Tony's book, you have a very good understanding. I have re-read it many times, and have yet to work out a precise philosophic framework in which to place it.

woodsprite said...

Susan-Marie: I don't really think the Daemon has no recollections. Even the first time it guides the "re-run" life, it has recollections up to the point when the second or subsequent life deviates from the first. Of course over countless "re-runs" it has recollections of countless alternatives which inform its consciousness. That is where its wisdom lies and why we can benefit from its greater awareness.

johar said...

Susan Marie,

Thank you for this post, I am finding it very thought provoking and I am enjoying learning about different philosophical viewpoints. It's really refreshing to look at the CTF theories and incorporate different philosophical ideas.

As I said you are a good weaver of ideas SMK!

johar said...

Woodsprite, I agree with your comments. The daemon can only guide us based on the existing knowledge it has of the past life memory. Once the eidolon leaves that path, the daemon has no more idea than the eidolon as to what will happen.

HOWEVER, I believe Tony and Karl are working together on a further theory that takes the daemon into a MMI/MWI, Bohmian Mutation, Probability Density Function type scenario, so this idea that the deamon knows nothing of the future may change when we hear this new theory!!!

*rubs hands in anticipation*

SM Kovalinsky said...

Jo: Thank you, so long as I don't get all tangled up in my own weaving! But I am so glad that you find this thought-provoking.

Woodsprite: Oh, OK, my mistake. I thought you meant that each time the daemon started anew, when it is actually the eidolon who does so. So you've understood fully on that score, and so much the better.
And there is something to Kierkegaard's idea of the eternal, in which all is present at once, and this overarching Daemon, who can leak its understanding to the eidolon, and exert a sort of moral influence. At least to me, it is a question of it having some possession of "truth" which the eidolon must hold in checkmate. And Kiekergaard was a moralist, and yet Tony seemed very receptive to him in our earliest conversations.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Oh, I just saw that last: Yes, that is where the anticipation sets in, and the two of them begin to take on that "midwife" glow, which is so thrilling and frightening!

woodsprite said...

Johar: I'm looking forward to that too! Tony and Karl keep giving little hints about the further developments which I'm pretty sure will warrant a full exploration. I find that Tony writes so well that he manages to sweep me along as his discourse develops. He has a knack of blending concrete examples and theoretical ideas so that you can understand easily. Karl and Tony both manage to cross reference so widely from all domains - I'm sure it's going to be worth waiting for!

SM Kovalinsky said...

I second that, whole-heartedly! It will be well worth all of this anticipation. Yes, they are a couple of inspiring scholars, no doubt of that.

Jesamyn said...

Morning All! Susan Marie, this sounds like a truly wonderful idea and I will be really honest here.
I was sent Tony's book by your generosity of Spirit and Friendship and from what I now know, your avid desire to help others floundering in seas of grief and doubt. I have had much time to try and understand it all, and have pleaded workloads as my excuse. The other side of the coin is that I have at my displosal 52 weighty tomes of Philosophy, a pot pourri of the Worlds Great Thinkers.. it has been years since I promised to plough through each one in a zeal-like manner as indeed Reading is my first love...However(and this is the point, finally!!) I have pleaded again lack of time and work and tiredness, but...
THE TRUTH IS I AM LAZY AND HAVE WALLOWED TOO LONG IN GRIEF FOR 12 MONTHS... so this blending of Tony's theory and Karl's ever-patient conseiderations explaining to all of us, and your tie-ins with Philosophy would mean the world to such as myself and seems to be a gift from the very Cosmos and I await it most eagerly and wish you and all concerned the utmost success in weaving all together... Fantastic news!!
Love
Jesamyn.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Thanks, Jesamyn, and it IS very difficult to get philosophical ideas all in order; I have been at it since my teens and still don't know where I should firmly stand on certain things. As for writing on Tony and Karl, I sort of propelled myself into it, and so I do it tentatively and cautiously; above all, with humility. In the end I only hope that I can get them across to certain segments of the thinking and reading population here, but it all remains to be seen.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie: As ever, your words and enthusiasm astonish me.

Your discourse and polemic are inherently Philosophical, but are also based within a rationalistic realism.

Almost EVERY word I have written on this blog can be seen as a contribution towards the metaphysical, epistemological, empirical, deontological, ethical, and axiological aspects of Philosophy, of which you speak.

Thank You, for all that you do.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Oh, thank the gods that you do see some rationalism in me! It is all to my honor to write on you and Tony as I do, and I fiercely want it to be fruitful and coherent and have lasting results. As you thank me for my polemical work (which is never a polemic with regard to you two, and never will be) I thank you for allowing me to grapple with these thoughts on your respective theories in so public a forum, including on my own blog.

SM Kovalinsky said...

I also wanted to say, KLLM, that it was the fact that all your blog contributions did indeed touch on these areas of metaphysics, meta-ethics, epistemic theory, and axiology, that made me see that all that I had experienced and known through philosophy, and saw gleaming out of Peake's CTF, could be reasonably put into a real framework of discourse. In short, you should write philosophically on Tony and ITLAD; I can't go as deeply in as you do, I can only blog or forum. But you can do more, and should do it.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie: Thank you, Dear Lady.

I certainly shall, and always with your help.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Another thought, which struck me: A philosophy of the binary mind - as seen through this particular Peakian dyad of eidolon/daemon and its Bohmian IMAX - could be the nexus from which all the subsets of metaphysics and epistemology could flow, in expository or argumentative essay form. Now as essay, I could do it. As full text, it is up to the two of you (even a short text would be nice, in my opinion, over here in New York ). Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor, as the saying goes, so a certain urgency accompanies my thinking. Enough said; I'll say no more.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie: Yes, I agree, and you have me onboard!
I'll talk to Tony when he returns from his Sicilian Sabbatical.

I can work with you towards your essay and can produce a lengthy text with references and even put together a talk and/or presentation.

Thank you again.

SM Kovalinsky said...

OK, see that sort of thing, a polished presentation which is well thought out and well referenced, is exactly the kind of thing that Marinoff in New York or a Steinhart, and all the cognitive and consciousness studies circuit here in the tri-state area would respect and defend, both as presentation and text. This is why I am not getting anywhere; it has not been properly presented as I have not been able to really discuss it with Tony or get his full feedback. I should not be impatient, and I am sorry if I seemed so. Regards: smk

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie: No apology required at all. Your efforts in promoting Tony's work and my own are wholly appreciated by me (and also Tony).

I will work with you on presenting just the right discourse and writing for the likes of Marinoff, Steinhart and Hameroff.

Thank You.

SM Kovalinsky said...

ROSHNI: As I told you via email, your question to me in your email of this morning was a good one, and I think it is appropriate to reflect on it briefly on my philosophic post:
You ask me if ITLAD can really be viewed as universally valid, and if the various aspects of culture and religion may be truly united within Peakian theory.
My belief is that it may be, and that they can. I do think it is of utmost importance that Peake's theorizing become more academically perceived, and part company in some ways with NDE and Afterlife studies. Areas such as teleology and epistemology are a breeze as applied to Peake. What is difficult is questions of moral valuation and concepts of deity. Now, this blog has never been the proper place to delve deeply into such questions. However, as my goal was to bring Peake into American discourse in a mighty way, I will say this: These questions of spirit, deity, religion, morality (contained within axiology and ethics, 2 great branches of speculation)simply must be addressed when entering American discourse. We are currrently having a huge resurgence of spirituality over here(offensive to the scientists, who have my DEEPEST sympathy, by the way) ; the likes of which has not been seen since the Civil War era. Science needs to ride this, control it, master it: And not to run, to scorn, to become apathetic and cynical! I have the greatest faith in the powers of Mr. LeMarcs to be one who could really get aggressive here, and find solutions which truly resonate with both camps, and when applied, really work. My ancestry and my father have me placed to see, to comprehend, and to understand: after this, I faint away. Then come in Tony and KLLM to BE this refutation, rebuttal, polemical stance truly and actively as orators and theorists. I want to hear their British voices ring out in New York City and cut through the drawling, grating prattle! Praying to all higher powers that this will reach its rightful conclusion! Thanks for your sweet email, Roshni!

roshni said...

Dear SM, thank you, so much for considering my query..
whn u say that" We are currently having a huge resurgence of spirituality over here"
i must say, same is the case with indian youth...though india is essentially a spiritual country, the last generation saw religion/rituals taking a back seat.But this generation is questioning and trying to find answers.. which i see as a great thing...the spiritual scholars in india are getting younger and younger.But the truth is that if ITLAD has to become really popular worldwide, it has to address axiology and ethics as u rightly say...and i truly believe that Mr.Lemarcs with his diligence, intelligence and commitment will surely cut it in the middle as u said..( i didnt understand the sentence about your ancestry and father)

SM Kovalinsky said...

Oh, thank you, Roshni, for your remarks. Sorry, I only meant that my ancestry and my father were involved in this sort of inquiry, which I believe has been genetically transmitted to me. Thanks for telling me about youth in India, as well!