I went to a talk over at the Bard Graduate Center on ritual objects. There was an 18 minute documentary on what I would call object veneration or transference or a transitional object – I dont really know… It is the manifestation of a desire in a physical object.
I, personally, do not have reverence for objects and I feel like this is a personal shortcoming. I feel like my work in manufacturing has disenchanted objects for me. But this is really not what this is about. It is about the uniqueness of an object but about making an object unique through some sort of personal identification or transformation – through desire. Perhaps there is something wrong with my desiring mechanisms, that I do not have ritual objects…
In any case, one of the objects that are imbued with desire is the Ekeko. Ekeko seems more like a god, or spirit, but it is an object brought to life by the desire for what the Ekeko symbolizes – abundance and material wealth (for example).
Recently, the Ekeka has been introduced. This is the female verso of the Ekeko. I imagine a factory in china making Ekekas, similar to the one that probably makes Ekeko, probably out of poly resin. Does this make the Ekeka more or less valuable or precious. It is, for me, the intersection of the capitalist economy with the gift economy that perhaps make me the most uneasy.
Jung drew mandalas every day for a period of time. He looked at it as the state of his soul. He wrote about the circle and the mandala, and how this relates to the magic circle used in folk magic as well as circle structures. It probably also probably inspired Huitzinger’s notion of the magic circle in games.
But there is another circle that this reminds me of – Ba Gua – also called circle walking. There are many similarities between Ba Gua and Jung’s method as well as their connection to the I Ching. First that comes to mind is that Ba Gua is for people in the second half of life, as often Jungian analysis is said to be.
Analysis in general is a mental activity. When the indian monks came to the shaolin temple and saw how weak the monks were from only meditating. They could not even stay away or hold a posture for meditation. The Indian monks started teaching them physical exercises – and this is the origin story of kung fu.
Where many contemporary practices fail is that they ignore the body- psychotherapy included. Now I have heard about things like Rolfing and Adler’s orgasmatron device -but I have to do more research. The failing of all practices today and education in general is the distinction between the mind and the body – because if you cant stay awake while you meditate, you cant meditate at all.
This image is inspired by the book The World Does Not Exist, by Markus Gabriel. It is a wonderful book, very clear and thought provoking. Sadly no one will read it in 10 years. What is the thesis? The world does not exist, as we talk about it. But really the thesis is that all knowledge is domain based knowledge and to talk about the domains of all domains is to talk about something that does not exist.
Ok this is an interesting point, and one that I think a lot about. These days we cannot help talk about levels of reality. How we reconcile water as the molecular structure of H2O with water as something human, animals, plants, drink. Water as a molecule is under the domain of chemistry perhaps, or science, and water as something I drink is probably under multiple domains such as resource management, wellness, and so forth. There is some hat tip for the Foucauldian distinction between discourse and facts (medieval laws against witches vs the eruption of Mt Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii).
What it means to exist is to itself exists in a field of sense, and no one can sense the world. In this respect it reminds me of Gilbert Ryle’s complaint about Philosophy of Mind- namely that it is a category mistake. It is like going around looking for the university and the tour guide shows you all the buildings and the sports teams but not the university. Well the university, like the world, is a concept that does not exist in the physical world – only in the world of mental constructs. Does this mean that it does not exist. That is beyond the rocky shoals of rationality and we cannot talk about it.
When did we become so concerned with what we can and cannot know, when the limit in mathematics was explored? This started in western Europe with Leibniz and Newton. Augustin Louis Baron Cauchy gave the first definition of the limit. And ever since we have been talking about the limits of things. But now we are starting to talk about the sets of things (set theory) or domains, and also the topologies of things (Deleuze). I think we should start talking about the exchange between things. The interface between the things, the translation from one domain to another.
I have no idea what I was thinking when I named this blog post ritual knowledge. It is very provocative for me? There are different ways of knowing and aspects to knowing beyond reason that we are now beginning to understand. What is ritual knowledge? Is that knowledge as a ritual, or knowledge of a ritual. What is a ritual it is an activity that puts you in a state of mind, that creates a certain mood, that invites a certain interaction. What has that to do with knowing? Or with the world or with any of this stuff?