Friday, August 14, 2009

� la recherche du temps perdu: The Logic of Operation Pi

No, I am not ripping off Marcel Proust's famous semi-biographical novel even though I will not be quoting from him, similar to how Gabriel Marcel (see the dissonance?) quotes from his plays when he writes his books. What I am really interested right now, however, is the dynamics of Marcel's (or whatever little I have been able to garner from sitting in Mr. JC Uy's Ph 101 class) representation of phenomenology. As we have been told, whereas Martin Heidegger would begin from astonishment, and while Descartes begins such from the commission of a mistake, Marcel would root it from the desorbitation de l' idee de fonction, that is, a detachment from one's functional idea of reality. Initially, desorbitation was translated as misplacement, but most have already agreed that it is insufficient (even my own word "detachment") to encapsulate the implication of desorbitation, which is easy to visualize through the heavenly bodies.

It is probably this grave and violent detachment, separation, from one's initial and original perception of history and one's place in it, that makes us look for the questions and the answers that are fundamental to our existence. In a sense, despite our need to maintain a sense of mystery with regards to our persons, we ourselves also are becoming willing subjects and objects of the process of labeling and restructuring of the body. In seeking to learn, we also suppress information, reflection and wisdom. Yet despite this suppression, the means of information are als transformed and becomes a vital means of expressing our selves. It might sound paradoxical, but then again it is these presences of paradoxes and dichotomies that history is made to live out and become that space by which people are becoming part of a narrative.

There are questions, however, wherein the accountability of people are becoming more and more subject to question in the aftermath of being part of history. Due to the behemoth numbers of those who are part of history, the pockets of power and relationality are therefore not clear: these assemblages mask each other.

But perhaps it is not actually a valid question if we are going to consider the very typecasting nature by which we consider the human condition. If we will say it this way, it is as if we are actually espousing the belief that humans are actually mere components, elements that are only good for being part of assemblages which have no dynamism.

I got a potential answer in Dr. Gus Rodriguez's own Ph 101 class. Which is why we look to the question of value. Value, despite its highly commodified nature, is actually among those conceptions which makes us reflect and be aroused by its very presence. It inspires trembling and fascination simultaneously, for it is the culmination of the condition of nature which is made manifest in itself through the senses of the sensing. And it is this definite reason why value is a conjunct concept to love: that is, it is only through love by which we can actually affirm our capability to sense and be sensed, to value and be valued, to feel and be felt, to show true emotion and be shown true emotion. Which is why despite basketball being an extension of tribal wars, and a ritualized system of murder set into play, people are still enthralled by its allure, due precisely to its allowing emotions be set loose and free from problematic value judgments.

And maybe, just maybe, this is why we have philosophy in the first place. Because we are part of history, and love is the impetus by which history flows. But then again, our definition of love being a violent act, it is no wonder history is replete of violence as well.


Operation Pi is my personal project of sitting in in various Ph 101 subjects taught by different faculty of the Philosophy Department. Reflections or importat points will be reflected upon, interspersed with all teachers I have been able to hear so far. Obvious concepts attributed to Foucault and my own professor, Fr. Luis David S.J., will no longer be mentioned as this is my default lens of analysis.

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