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october 10, 2011

1 | An act may be inner-directing, or an act may be inner-directed. If I appeal to your heart, so to speak, it’s inner-directing for you. But my appeal itself would be (presumably) inner-directed: coming from my heart. (I would be outer-directed, if I claimed to be—or seemed to be—representing someone else’s sentiment. I would be outer-directing of you if I were intending to manipulate your attention, as when a teacher is instructive, rather than educively tutorial). When you do what you really want to do, it’s inner-directed action, whether or not you’re outer-directing (which is mostly how we are: getting “things” done during the day, at best in accord with our own preferences). Self reflection is inner-directing inner-directedness. You might educe reflection in-and-for someone else. That would be outer-directing evincing of another’s inner-directing inner-directedness? It’s easy to get confused about what’s directing vs. what’s directed. But you see the useful difference: Is enactivity basically directing itself or directed? (Real unconsciousness—which is different from mere nonconsciousness—can be a self-excluding outer-directedness [hiding itself as directing one’a attention], mirrored as an overt [aware], inner-directed [as one’s own] exclusion of the perceived other’s inner/hidden disposition. [I’m reminded of R.D. Laing’s Knots, which was fun for me when it first came out, packed away somewhere. I see it now sells for $235. I believe I paid about 2% of that for my copy.])

2 | Over many pages of my Website, I’ve sometimes sought (explicitly, as well as implicitly) to show how self-oriented or selfal relations (inner-directed) can fairly prevail over interpersonal relations (outer-directed), yet with good care for another’s presence (i.e., a good balance of inner- and outer-directedness).

3 | My desire to understand and explicate this kind of difference traces back to my 20s, part of a good (I think) autobiographical story, which I’ll skip. You’re somewhat familiar with the legacy of existentialism’s concern for authenticity, which actually belongs to the entire history of Literature. Psychological issues in my own life led my philosophical interest (psychal-philsophical interest) in the concept, which I carried into a social-philosophical engagement with issues of [merely] interpersonal life (I became very “political” for decades), where sincerity of interaction is all that’s called for. Authenticity doesn’t reduce to sincerity, but sincerity (I would argue) is only as good as the degree of authenticity that can justify it (a point which social thinking commonly doesn’t appreciate), in the face of questions like “Are you really being sincere with me?” How does one have confidence—confidence enough—that the other is being genuine? That’s a different kind of issue from the basis of genuineness itself in authentic self representation. (The confidence question translates into: What is “knowing” that the other is being genuine? Or: How does genuineness validate itself? How does one “know” well enough that the other has a good basis for claiming to be genuine when this is questioned?) A person who’s ingenuine may master the behavior of a sincere person and want to be sincere (employing that behavior), but is unable to really be sincere, because one is so out of touch with one’s own feelings (at the moment) or, generally, out of touch with oneself (e.g., loving a vanity fair).

4 | By 2007, this kind of theme had become quite conceptual for me, re: sincerity proper to interpersonal life, authenticity belonging to oneself. I’m rather in love with differences associable with the self <-> interpersonal difference: artistic self <-> teacherly personality; expansive inquirer <-> accessible partner; the work of one’s ownmost life <-> good parenting (which is, at best, purely about the other’s burgeoning life). I find potentially great beauty in a resonance of this kind of <->: “regional” interplay, relative mirrorplay.

5 | True Love belongs to both of “us” each: I cannot love you any better than I love myself. (You cannot love me any truer than you can love yourself.) Yet, you’ve become integral to whom I am, so I can’t love myself any better than I’m loved and love you. You can’t love yourself any better than you’re loved or love. Love dwells in the resonance of Belonging togather in our Same, immanently-transcendent differencing or embrace of resonating lives.

6 | So, I’m nearly obsessed to emphasize my fidelity to balance, like fidelity to a conception of beauty in our presence through what we have, be it merely a page.

7 | That said, I’m in love with living in a relative prevalence of self irt interaction, thus self over interpsychal interaction, in a non-dominative sense of interest here, for its own sake, which I share online, to some degree. Here, love of intangibility prevails over tangible life, introversion over extraversion, yet inclusiveness over exclusiveness. (To my mind, exclusiveness—and vain pretext of that—is childish or/and symptomatic of personality disorder—which might imply that the entire vanity fair is a social disorder.) Living so much in the world of tangible value, extraverted interaction, and exclusive pretense, I feel compelled to be a vocal advocate of sublime solitude. But from here, inhering, the theme dissolves into a play of mental things, as solitude as such is no “solitude” at all, rather Flow itself in “terms” of (as) the play of things themselves. The inception of phenomenology had the motto “Back to the things themselves,” which is also an artist in his space or a scientist in her lab loving to be alone with an array of prospects.

8 | Inquirial and creative solitude is irreducible to “mindfulness” (a holism of interpsychal life with intrapsychal holism as supplement, it seems to me) and irreducible to “meditative” thinking (a respite, resort, or recovery from daily life, like a self-therapeutic). Both modes of mindal life are usually conceived quite precursorily, relatively exclusive of a high degree of mindal engagement that’s common to academic life—something one wouldn’t bother to say within academic life itself (an innerworldliness of inworldness). It’s a point for our commons: An apparent exclusiveness of actually-inclusive academic life doesn’t originate there. For example, a nexus of Literary, psychological, and philosophical interest calls for a degree of study that ephemeral considerations won’t capture, but the world of all that belongs to everyone. Though it’s common knowledge, in ordinary life, that “academic” work is likely inaccessible, that’s trivialized (rendered not really important) by marginalizing its originary place in what being human is: that there arose the academy that became the monastery that became the university that altogether embodies, I think, our nature (so far beyond religious comprehensions), which ordinary life marginalizes in order to keep the scale of relevance ordinarily cohering because The Arrangement which keeps the tangible economy going calls for merely episodic attention to intangible difficulties (like the “market” of ideas that bears on barely-functional organizational life). Political budgeting for humanistic higher education (i.e., the Humanities) is just another line item which consumerist humanity (i.e., the prevailing electorate) will permit to wane.

“But I digress” (which is the favorite seque of brightly funny Gail Collins’ NY Times columns).

Next: section 5 of “a sense of inworldness”


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