Driftwork

21/03/08

epicurus, religion and a truth regime

Filed under: culture, philosophy, event, difference — sdv @ 07:15:59 pm

To a friend engaged in a spiritual turn…. What seems to be at the core of your relation to religion is the belief that religion is potentially a regime of Truth, which is another way of understanding the different spin, the religious experience you refer to below. My assumption is that the turn marks the argument that it is an extension to Badiou’s four regimes of truth; Science, Art, Love and Politics. This does not require that we accept the individual truths that emerge from these regimes but merely that we should accept the idea that these regimes are ones from which Truth emerges. But if religion is a truth regime what would it’s truths be ? How would we separate them from religions ideologies ?

I can see how this would not prioritize one type of religious practice over another and that the generic notion of religion, justified by its claim to be a Truth regime, does become an area of special study. The specific type of study that is being advocating is grounded through your references to the spiritual godfathers, ( Gurdjieff, Aldous
Huxley, Timothy Leary, Alan Watts, Mircea Eliade,Joseph Campell, Carl Jung, Carlos Castenenda, and Robert Anton Wilson )all of whom claim and are granted some special status to religious and spiritual knowledge, within the argument. Whilst I do have great sympathy with the idea that these regimes of Truth need to be studied, the question is what kind of study ?

Obviously I’m not suggesting that Badiou is correct in his construction just that the force of your argument suggests that the justification is founded on the belief of an underlying ‘Truth’, but rather I’m trying to speak into a set of discourses that are outside of my normal framework. The work of the spiritual godfathers suggests a very different understanding of how to study religion, more idealistic and involved than is understandable. This is a very different concept than that which emerges from the study of Indo-European myth (aka “comparative indo-european religious studies” Dumezil) as ideological concepts, of what in the 1930s would have been called “peoples” (a term which is thankfully almost meaningless now). Within this latter line of thought and study there is little or no difference between the monotheistic religions and the myths of Indra and Varuna, and perhaps because from the latter perspective the work of the spiritual godfathers would be just another area of ideological study.

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