Meet the Intellectuals

Craig Chalquist, BAH, UBET, EIEIO

I think, therefore I am a thinker. — Miguel de Unamuno

Jacques Derrida deconstructs himself –

I have written this, and I have not. You have thought I have, and you have not. I have thought you have thought I’ve written this, but I have not, you have not, we have not, and all this leaves us where? Notted up. But I have named it, and the naming of the fact that I have named it places it, not as named or a naming of the named, but as an effort to name that although named, names nothing. Do you want me to repeat that? I cannot (nor can you), for in repeating I have repeated a repetition that repeats repetitively….

Ernest Hemingway on being a man –

It rained. The bullfighter drew his sword from the carcass and wiped it on his cape. Life was hard. Afterward nobody knew, because you were dead. Dead people didn’t talk much about it. It wasn’t their mucking game anymore. The game was rigged anyhow. The rigging stank. Come to think of it, everything did.

He shrugged and went indoors. He spat then and drank off a glass of grappa. Outside, it kept on raining.

Jean-Paul Sartre on awakening to authenticity –

There are no excuses, there are no evasions, and the whole shebang makes me puke.

Kurt Vonnegut on Hemingway and Sartre –

Hell, I agree with them. Tolstoy said, “Everything’s a river!” I say everything’s cigarette smoke. Maybe it will finally kill me before I get kidnapped by Tralfamadorians. If the Republicans win again I may switch to a stronger brand.

Francis Crick on being a physicist –

Soul, spirit, mind, heart: all come down to sparking patterns of neural nets. We can therefore dispense with nonscientific explanations of phenomena. But before I continue, I’ll be right back: I just realized I left my lucky rabbit’s foot in my car.

Richard Dawkins on Superstition –

Don’t bother to me about those mountebank “greens” and other intellectually inferior eccentrics who say that the planet is somehow alive in and of itself. Animistic nonsense, of course; one does not even require my level of training in Darwinian evolution to see that. Of course, it’s natural for those of us who have nightmares about strafing dive bombers to envy earth people who sleep at night; but I’d rather give up some rest and be a biologist and selfish expert gene–sorry, that should be “selfish gene expert”–than a follower of all that superstitious Gaia humbug. What was that?? [ducks behind the podium]. Oh, a plane taking off. Whew. No matter how thoroughly I shoot down my critics and detonate prescientific dogmas, I always seem to start when another aerial attack is shaping up overhead….

Arthur Clarke on belief in God –

Belief in God is an infantile holdover of archaic mythologizing, and if most of my novels are stuffed with spiritual-archetypal imagery, what of it?

Isaac Asimov on being a writer –

Not that it matters, but I’ve written more books than Arthur.

Philip Zimbardo on the Lucifer Effect –

I challenge the traditional notion that behavior is motivated primarily from the inside. My famous study at Stanford demonstrated clearly that the average person can easily be seduced into evil actions by an authoritarian figure–in that case, myself, posing as a prison warden in the school basement while my graduate students mistreated each other. In fact, the study ended only when one of the students snapped me out of my role. See how easy it is to forget oneself? That’s why I’m a member of the American Psychological Association, two of whose presidents were directly involved in teaching the CIA how to torture people. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why they never took away my license. I’m proud to say that one of my Stanford research subjects went on to become a prison psychologist.

Of course, my research has sensitized me to the risks involved in such descents into uncritical obedience; but if it ever happens again, well, let me just say that if I don’t get to be in charge of it myself, I’d at least like the chance to watch.

Gurdjieff — from Meetings with Remarkable Marks –

…There I was in the steppes of Asia, with hundreds of followers of my ideas dependent upon me for sustenance and only two rubles in my tattered pocket. However, possessing in my humble opinion both an unusual resourcefulness and a spirit determined to turn this to advantage, I collected six thousand pounds of dung and, painting and scenting it with unguents that just happened to be nearby, I summoned my admittedly seasoned arts of persuasion* and wiseacring and announced to passersby my MAGICAL BEAUTY POULTICES which when applied daily to the face entirely suspended the aging process, enhanced one’s sensuality, and contributed toward the formation of a permanent “I.” Having no compunction at so cleverly turning a profit from the mental laziness of my fellow human beings, who nevertheless sensed unconsciously the importance of my mission for mankind, I expanded my own “I” by making ten million in three hours, thereby enabling us to continue our search for truth (and our escape from those we’d bilked via the sacred movement exit, stage left) with a tidy sum left over.

But everything I said about finding the Sarmoun Brotherhood really happened.

Trust me.

* This is not the time to describe such arts of persuasion; they will be dealt with in detail in my forthcoming book The Place of Deception in the Harmonious Development of Man, Volume XVIII in my Ends Justify The Means Series.

C. G. Jung on complex manifestations –

My researches have detected within the pleromatic potentiality of the unconscious a number of numinous points or centers (cf. the alchemical theme of the fishes’ eyes), which I have called complexes (cf. my work on the Association Test) and which indicate accumulations or stoppages of libido (cf. the alchemical aqua permanens, elixir vitae, medicina catholica, vinum ardens; cf. also the broken shells of Lurianic kabbala, the awakening Shakti flowing into the sushumna (cf. my seminar on kundalini yoga), etc.).* A complex repressed by the ego does not disappear; it merely operates behind one’s back via projection onto a suitable “hook” (e.g., a man with a father complex reacts inappropriately to certain men** as though they were father figures). The resulting excessive emotionality***, preoccupation with the container of the projection****, and failure to acknowledge to oneself what is happening***** often exhibit the complex more clearly to others than it is to oneself.******

* Freud, however, has failed to realize these obvious implications of his libido theory.
** Freud misunderstands this as displaced castration anxiety.
*** Freud also irrationally accuses me of repeatedly attacking him in my books.
**** I would never do that. Freud’s remark “resistance to the father” is totally unfounded, and our disagreements have nothing to do with similar ones I used to have with my dad. Or with the fact that my dad was so weak and passive that I never really allowed myself to get angry with him.
***** Furthermore, my dream of shooting Sigfried had nothing to do with Freud.
****** Did you know that he repeatedly fooled around on Martha? And I thought I was bad! I, however, was realizing the anima function, with help from Toni Wolff and Sabina Speilrein…and “libido” in his materialistic sense had nothing to do with that. Stupid old codger. I wish he’d drop dead instead of just fainting now and then.

Sigmund Freud on feminine psychology –

I have nothing more to say on the subject because the last time I did, the famous comparison between a woman and a cigar, Martha heard about it and beat the shit out of me.

Bumper sticker on Edward Edinger’s car –

The Self is coming, and boy is It pissed!

From the unpublished field notes of Carlos Castaneda –

Don Juan and I ascended the slope. He took the lead, moving effortlessly. As I scanned the terrain for Mescalito, don Juan asked me over his shoulder, “How come you wrote all those fantasies about my having magical abilities? Nobody believes that crap anymore, and it has nothing to do with the heart of the teachings.” So I killed him.

Arthur Edward Waite on tarot symbolism –

As my painstaking researches have amply demonstrated, the rectified Tarot represents secret esoteric knowledge culled from hidden ancient sources; I care nothing for any other view, for I have evolved beyond them all. Don’t call me Artie, or I’ll hex you.

Bertrand Russell on the value of philosophy –

Philosophy when rigorously thought through can free the mind and the goods of the mind from the darkness of superstitions and common-sense prejudices. It can give a critical unity to those beliefs and values which survive its purifying inquiries. And finally, it’s also a convenient escape when your personal life is an irrational mess. The question of which came first, the mess or the cleanliness of abstract philosophizing, will not be addressed just now: don’t tell my wife, but there’s a dandy number waiting for me just up the road from here…I don’t suppose you sell roses on the side, do you?

B. F. Skinner on why he refused to release tapes of a debate with Carl Rogers in which Rogers apparently got the best of him –

Q: Fred, why did you say no to our request to print transcripts of the tapes?

A: Because I was conditioned to.

A short exchange between Carl Rogers and Rollo May –

RM: I think you’re in denial about the reality of evil and the power of the daimonic.

CR (eyes filling with tears): I’m not finding this helpful, Rollo. I’m hearing that you’re frustrated because you haven’t been painting enough lately.

Irv Yalom training his new secretary on his client selection procedures –

Quit screwing around and just send in the pretty ones.

Martin Heidegger on care, thrownness, and the use of tools –

We encounter the ready-to-hand within-the-world, and therein it becomes thematic, as do our essential “thrownness” into it and the self-sheltering of Dasein. To repeat: the foundational foundedness of authentic authenticity is Care, and…Excuse me, but a member of the audience just handed me a slip of paper with a question on it. It reads: “Would a concrete example of these rather abstract concepts be this: that your old Jewish friend and mentor Husserl was ready to hand, so you demonstrated thrownness by getting him kicked out of the university, you uncaring Nazi hypocrite?” Aach! Blodes arschloch! Somebody give me a hammer!

Ayn Rand on “Objectivism” –

I call my philosophy “Objectivism” because it eschews subjectivist emotionality and relies instead on appeals to the men of reason and intellect, wherever such may still be found. –What? The parking meter in front of my limo just ran out? I’ll be right back…I certainly WON’T let you put in a quarter for me, Sir! I pull my own weight in this country, and altruism is the root of all evil and the first step toward socialism…There, that’s taken care of–and the change in my purse provides us a fine example of the usefulness of a supreme human achievement: money, capital, an even greater invention than the parking meter. Commies, Kantians, Christians, and homos will have no place in the new America guided by reason and regulated by the principles of laissez-faire capitalism, and the so-called problem of the poor will be no problem because no one operating on Objectivist premises will give them anything with which to patch up those dirty rags they all seem to like to live in. Down with charity! Long live reason! Away forever with moral bankruptcy! Oh shit, I just ran out of quarters…

Da Di Da (or The Guru Formerly Known As Fred Smith, Da Hootie Tootie, Free Up Da John, and Hellolo Lala Lulu Largelap) on the Belly of Tasting –

Oh, my child, don’t you see that you must cut through the obstacles in your life as the knife cuts through the cake? You must go through that self-expanding process. You must deal with all your constrictions. You must outgrow the garments of anger. You must give the Lovingly Upraised Finger to Ken Wilber. You must realize that the ego cannot shed the weight of the ego. And that is it (belch). Either you will do it, or you will not. If you will do it, you will expand internally with the salad–excuse me, the sadhana of the Way of the Bellyheart. Ah, breakfast–at last! One must keep the Fountain full so the repetitious but revitalizing Wisdom will continue to pour forth, you see.

So–which is your choice? If consuming the ego in terms of the Way of the Bellyheart is your choice, you are not doing much to fulfill it. You, a questioner seeking to lap the Fount of Wisdom, are the skinniest kind of beginner, a mere skeleton compared to My Spiritual Girth. My Wisdom-Teaching is Divine Food for sale to everyone. But My Wisdom-Teaching is not the Way of the Bellyheart. My Wisdom-Teaching is only part of the Meat–I mean, the Means of the Way. Just a morsel. There is the total Ordeal of sandwich–er, sadhana, and all the responsibilities that come with it. The organization, Da Di Dum, is simply a banquet that displays My Cuisine, publishes My Wisdom-Teaching, lays out a spiritual cafeteria, provides all kinds of gourmet instruction on every course of the Way of the Bellyheart, and so forth, to everyone willing to submit totally to My Authority and My Grapefruit–Guruhood, Guruhood! But what is it that a practitioner of the Way of the Bellyheart is consumed by? The relationship to Me, to My Perpetual Roundness, the Source of Nonegoic Spiritual Sustenance, which in turn will consume you as well. Speaking of consumption, is it lunchtime yet?

Excerpt from Canned and Handout’s Unusually Frank New Book Stupor For Chicken Souls –

Well, it’s not hard to inspire a warm-hearted glitter in a shopper’s sleepy eye. People will digest any sort of lukewarm pap these days so long as they perceive it as “positive.” To think up a new book we just take the words “Chicken Slop For” and tack on whatever comes to mind over a bottle of Jack Daniels: For Golf Players; For Underwear Salesmen; For Corporate Cheerleaders; For Codependent Rescuers; For Seekers; For Losers; For Finders; For Cat-Jugglers; For Mass Murderers; For Guru Fiends; For Sledgehammer Collectors; For Neurotic Psychotherapists; For People Who Step On Rakes; For Excessively Horny Taxidermists; For Photographers Who Snap Pictures Of Phallic Dirigibles (hand me that bottle…thanks); For Bestseller Addicts So Dazed That They’ll Gobble Up Anything That Even Vaguely Looks Like It Might Distract Them For An Evening While The TV Is In The Repair Shop…

D.C., M.D. on Marketing Limitless Possibilities –

It is my great privilege to introduce you to me, Deeplack Chakra, M.D., and to raise your consciousness to include the following mind-body unification/quantum healing products obtainable only at my Web site or that of Anthony Robbins.

Let us reflect on them together:

BHAGAVAD BUBBLE BATH!

Its subtle essence will soak into your very soul through the psychophysiological connection. Allow the foam to be a metaphor of Maya and a reminder of your Original Face hidden behind it awaiting cleansing with the lather of your awareness. (Lather samplettes also available.)

GANGES GOLF BALLS!

Hit a spiritual hole-in-one with my divinely inspired gold balls, each dipped in the sacred Ganges to insure accurate flight toward the goals in your life. “Tee off with Truth!”

AUTOWAKEN!

Protect your car with this combination alarm system and self-improvement suggestion maker. The pitiable person who has not seen through the fiction of ego will touch your car and hear this message: DEAR FRIEND, I’M NOT PRESENT TO SAY THIS IN PERSON BECAUSE I’M OUT HELPING OTHERS, BUT PLEASE REMOVE YOUR HANDS FROM MY JAGUAR. SAY, WOULDN’T IT BE MORE WORTHWHILE TO DEVOTE YOUR ENERGY TO WORKING THROUGH THIS TROUBLING SELFISHNESS? MAY YOU REALIZE YOUR COSMIC ONENESS! Comes with randomly played phrases from the Vedas, the Upanishads, and Napoleon Hill.

SURFACING SOON: SELLING YOUR SOUL FOR SAMADHI AND PROFIT.

* Have a self-realizing and affluent day! *

William Faulkner [he really said this] on being offered the Nobel Prize for Literature –

Tell the bastards they can keep it.

–Want to learn French Post-Structuralism in Ten Easy Steps?

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