The Appearance of Sanity

Slavoj Zizek writing in 2001 in The Cabinet.

The “Western Buddhist” meditative stance is arguably the most efficient way for us to fully participate in capitalist dynamics while retaining the appearance of mental sanity. If Max Weber were alive today, he would definitely write a second, supplementary, volume to his Protestant Ethic, entitled The Taoist Ethic and the Spirit of Global Capitalism.

Thanks to Chris Locke at Mystic Bourgeoisie and his Cluetrain Manifesto “Now there are 50 million bloggers, easy. They still can’t read, but they can type.”

I have this “he doth protest too much” relationship with Chris. I caught the Cluetrain zetitgeist before Chris went anti-mystic. Like clearly he’s right that recognising any value in the mystic could be a slippery slope to new-age twaddle to be avoided and defended against. I shall consider myself chastened on that score. But I do read plenty – even too much.

With so much gloal activity dependent on appearances, the appearance of sanity may be a poor substitute for the real thing, but conversely how in fact do we recognize real sanity / insanity when we experience it ? I shall have to digest the Zizek piece, but it seems fair to recognize and question the apparent insanity in western globalization and the reasons why “Eurotaoismus” (Peter Sloterdijk) is seen as providing a valuable counter-balance. All things in moderation, even reading.

2 thoughts on “The Appearance of Sanity”

  1. here’s a little koan(ish) thing I composed about 30 years ago. I invite you to contemplate its esoteric import. Then take two aspirins and call me in the morning.

    Tao wow! I’m so in it it’s beyond me!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.