Sunday, August 5, 2012

An I for an eye

Sartre has spoken: “In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposing team.” Watching an amateur football game where the instincts are not subjected to a legitimacy check, one may rephrase the above as “ the presence of others in my team.” It is just an innocuous reminder of a momentous trend to monologically resolve the contrasts and hence to preserve oneself. Ironically, this act of reconciliation is not by sharing of space with the other but by re-asserting oneself in the scenario. This leads to the rise of insular entities which are not thoroughly secluded but protruded on a grid of inter-relations.

Lives are getting reduced to monographs and cyber profiles are posited as a mode of existence. Octavio Paz has commented that monotony is an attribute of immensity. Transcribed into social realm, a quest for personal immensity can lead to a monographic representation of oneself. In the levels of communicationa monographic expression can become monotonic and its constitution can become monolithic. The Virtual World (read as cyber world) has changed the way we think of the world. It has given us a sensible substratum to project oneself, but being in vogue can become a matter of life and death in the virtual world. Tenability and viability in the virtual world has added a new dimension to the longing for our immensity. People come as profiles, enumerating a bundle of categories (which largely serve the commercial interests of hidden players). Constant status-updates and customizations of personal space and the volume of communication, as a norm, suggest a dynamic virtual life. One can catch up with it and even turn up in the halls of fame in the virtual world. Every virtual activity ultimately boils down to a nondescript and extremely personal expression of a self which is conveniently called by a username. A cyberpersonality secures the liminal space of his existential microcosm from the macrocosm of the virtual world by a password, technically a private key which is very vulnerable to an incursion by a "bad other." When these sort of monographic expressions become the order of the day, what is at stake is the readiness to face the concrete reality man-to-man.
The monotony of monographic existence can be very heady Monotony transposed into eternity gives cyclicity. Cyclicity is the mark of man's sacred exercises as Mirce Eliade has shown. A search for a meaning in the cyclicity or the recurrences of life and understanding them as scaled down versions of a cosmic cycle has been the thrust of a variety of religious traditions. The celebrated Tea Ceremony in Zen Buddhism reveals how a unique instance is possible even when the framework remains rigidly essential and canonical. Monotone is the sound of universalization and as such it overlooks the beauty of particularities. Music takes our breath away and syncopation even more. Nevertheless in an actuarial mode of understanding life there are no particulars, only eventualities. Foucault speaks of a carceral continuum running through the society. Accordingly, discipline is understood as an economy of the body. Structural similarities exist between monastic formation and penal confinement. What robs the charm off
the latter is the tiring monotony of that life reminiscent of the infraction each moment and thus reliving the moment of infraction in a vicious circle, it is a monolithic existence. Monastic discipline is an orientation towards a soteriological point. This renders fluidity to that life.
So far an attempt was made to draw a distinction between adopted and inflicted versions of monographic existence.

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