Holy Irreality
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
5d ago
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well,” the Lord says to Julian of Norwich in the fourteenth century — a truly “calamitous” century, as Barbara Tuchman calls it in the subtitle to A Distant Mirror (New York, NY: Knopf, 1978), her history of the period.  Julian recounts that experience in Showings (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1977).  Most of Julian’s coevals would probably not have seen things that way at all.  “It’s all right, it’s all right, everything is all right,” parents everywhere for many centuries, in those or other words, have ..read more
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Disowning Ownership
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
2w ago
All things should be the common possession of all, as it is written, so that no one presumes to call anything his own (Acts 4:32). But if anyone is caught indulging in this most evil practice, he should be warned a first and a second time. If he does not amend, let him be subjected to punishment.                                      — Rule of Saint Benedict 33:6-8 (RB 1980) All the believers were one in heart and mi ..read more
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Disowning Ownership
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
2M ago
All things should be the common possession of all, as it is written, so that no one presumes to call anything his own (Acts 4:32). But if anyone is caught indulging in this most evil practice, he should be warned a first and a second time. If he does not amend, let him be subjected to punishment.                                      — Rule of Saint Benedict 33:6-8 (RB 1980)   All the believers were one in heart ..read more
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“You Say You Want a Revolution”
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
2M ago
From now on, when anyone in our ranks who has done some useful work dies, be he soldier or cook, we should have a funeral ceremony and a memorial meeting in his honor. This should become the rule. And it should be introduced among the people as well. When someone dies in a village, let a memorial meeting be held. In this way we express our mourning for the dead and unite all the people.            — Mao Tse-Tung, “Serve the People” (speech of September 8, 1944)* Whether I ever in any way make it with anyone after saying so, honesty comp ..read more
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Argh! An Argument!
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
11M ago
“Don’t let arguing get in the way of the argument!”  I used to say that to the students in my philosophy classes from time to time.  Sometimes, I would explain what I meant along the following lines: Our word argument eventually traces back to the presumed Proto-Indo-European root *arg-, which meant “to shine,” like the white metal we call silver, the archaic name of which was argent. Keep that in mind as you go on to consider two very different sorts of conversations, in both types of which we have all been engaged many times, I’m sure. Reflect upon ho ..read more
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Our Disconnection
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
1y ago
Typical U. S. commuters in the 1950s The purpose of newspapers is to paper over what’s new. News-casts—whether over the radio, on TV, or through the internet—are a great way of casting the new away. In general, processing information, however it’s done, can always be relied upon to keep us blind and bewildered. Staying connected to our cell phones and computers is especially effective for fostering our disconnection.  Diversion is everywhere to be found. Diversion from what? From ourselves—and from one another. Wherever you go, be sure to take numerous selfies. Then post them on Faceboo ..read more
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Our Current Crisis and the Potency of the Archaic
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
1y ago
Image by Andonix PREFATORY NOTE: The following post is a short portion of the new afterword I wrote at the end of 2020 to a set of four lectures on “postmodern” philosophy I originally delivered by invitation at Renmin University in Beijing, China, in the fall of 1998. My four lectures were subsequently published in Chinese translation, along with all the other lectures belonging to the same series. I wrote the new 2020 material—which consisted of the afterword already mentioned, as well as a new foreword, preface, and acknowledgments—for a planned new Chinese edition of the whole lecture se ..read more
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The Centrality of the Margins and the Claim of Authority
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
1y ago
How slippery the paths on which you set them;  you make them slide to destruction. How suddenly they come to their ruin, wiped out, destroyed by terrors. Like a dream one wakes from, O Lord, when you wake you dismiss them as phantoms.            — Psalm (72)73: 18-20 (Inclusive Grail translation) Those set on such slippery paths and sliding down to destruction are all those who lay claim to power. They are those who posture pompously as though they were powerful, so posing themselves to others but also and above all to themselv ..read more
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International Nations
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
1y ago
Map of a variety of indigenous American nations The United States is an international nation. So is Canada. So, too, is Mexico.  The map above makes that clear. Each of the three—the U.S., Canada, and Mexico—is itself a nation in the sense of that word whereby it means “sovereign country,” which is to say an independent “nation-state.” In contrast, the same word, nation, is being used differently when it is embedded in the first term of the phrase “international nation,” at least in so far as that phrase is illustrated by the above map. In that first of the two terms of th ..read more
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Our Greatest Danger
Trauma and Philosophy Blog
by Frank Seeburger
1y ago
Making bombs will only destroy. It doesn’t matter whether or not we use them. They will destroy us either way.                                                                                  &n ..read more
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