The Art of the Transpersonal SelfTransformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice               A Dissertation Submitted...
AcknowledgmentsOne guiding thread of this dissertation is the relationality of human existence. The becomingof this disser...
Table of ContentsWhy write?..................................................................................................
6.4. Conclusion..............................................................................................................
Why write?The question that needs to be asked at the beginning of every written work, and indeed evenmore so at the beginn...
but in order to give this perpetual process of becoming a certain, temporary shape, try tofashion it in a certain style an...
In the end this is also the task of theory in my opinion: to contribute to atransformation of the self, by showing how thi...
However, in order to do so a provisional starting point and location within the state of the artneeds to be established.  ...
Far from challenging only the philosophical assumptions of Platonic/Socratic thought,Nietzsche’s critiques also concern th...
thinking subject is posited as an autonomous and self grounded “I,” and so is supposed toprovide the stable foundation fro...
them as if they were pre-given and would remain the ever same, unwavering and unchangingthrough the times.           We ca...
demythification has finally turned against itself, recognizing that even the ideal of the       elimination of myth is a m...
Verwindung (twisting, distortion, fading) and Weak ThinkingThe term Verwindung derives from the thinking of Martin Heidegg...
überwinden, to overcome, means, however, in practice: to recover from an illness           while still bearing its traces,...
acknowledging it as part of our past and (in a twisted form) possibly also future. Both theconcepts of weak thinking and V...
The TranspersonalThe term transpersonal is also frequently used in this study. It shares with the transrational notjust th...
first its mature egoic form (the centaur) and subsequently transcends this form into higherstages of being (subtle and cau...
the questions of being and becoming. In summary, it can be concluded that the present workis an Art of the transpersonal S...
With openness as our existential taste and co-evolutionary power as our design, Homo        Generator favors eternal revis...
one’s existence, without, by this very same token, believing that the good life could beplanned.        In this undertakin...
(Schirmacher, 1989: 5). Recognizing one’s own face in the suffering of others givescompassion an understanding of a basic ...
ObjectiveThe question which drives this dissertation is the ages-old question of how is one to live? Ifwe understand postm...
(Apollonian) and energetic (Dionysian) practice. I will thus, approximate an Art of theTranspersonal Self.       From the ...
Fifthly, I will complement this Art of the Trans-personal Self with an ethics that doesnot derive its validity from a form...
However, in light of the implicit critique of empiricism that is also inherent in thiswork, any empirical research leading...
The term philosophy and philosopher for the purposes of this work are therefore takenin the broader sense of the word, inc...
Consequently, the method I employ could perhaps best be described as a circle oftranspositions following Rosi Braidotti (2...
to both a postmodern, immanent, interpretation but can also be used towards providingpathways for a re-opening of the plan...
many of the ideas developed in this work. The third case fitting neither rule nor exception isthe work of Wolfgang Dietric...
dissertation hinges (Foucault, 1974, 1977a, 1977b, 1980a, 1990a, 2000c). The late period isidentified commonly with the Se...
dedicated to an Art of the Self, is always also and even primarily a personal undertaking thisobviously influences my thou...
1. Apollo and Dionysius                                             “He [man] is no longer an artist, he has become a work...
disrupted and thirdly approach some possible consequences of the subsequent Hegemony ofApollo and Suppression of the Diony...
about in the future, the Birth of Greek Tragedy deals with a way of living that at Nietzsche’stime was long dead and gone....
(Socratic/Platonic) philosophy with the question of the Greek tragedy and ultimately the wayof living.        At this poin...
conditioning each other in the form of a co-dependence and dynamic inter-relation. Contraryto appearances there is so no d...
certain way of perceiving life, a clearly defined expression on how to deal with the questionsof form and content – or aes...
The word “Dionysian” means: an urge to unity, a reaching out beyond personality, the       everyday society, reality, acro...
the rare ecstatic states with their elevation above space, time and the individual. [...]        Where the political drive...
be suggested that his disciple Plato here deserves our equal attention. With Nietzsche we willso take a look at the change...
[...] Socrates might be called the typical non-mystic, in whom, through a hypertrophy,       the logical nature is develop...
In the Platonic understanding the truth is something that is derived from graspingthings as they really are: truth is the ...
the Dionysian an energetic interpretation of the world. Moral in this sense implies theinterpretation of the world accordi...
The reign of Apollo, the reign of the principle of form, came to its full force in theinstitutionalizations of Church, sta...
claim to the Truth. Morals can so be defined as an abstract code of conduct, exclusivelyregulating and setting down the un...
realization: “All efforts to aestheticize politics culminate in one point. That one point is war”(Benjamin, 2002: 121).   ...
Using the terms of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (1987), the Apollonian principleis the one of the stratified - that w...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Divis...
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The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Division of Media and Communications of the European Graduate School in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy By Norbert Koppen

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The Art of the Transpersonal Self
Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice
A Dissertation Submitted to the
Division of Media and Communications
of the European Graduate School
in Candidacy for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
By
Norbert Koppensteiner

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Transcript of "The Art of the Transpersonal Self Transformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Division of Media and Communications of the European Graduate School in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy By Norbert Koppen"

  1. 1. The Art of the Transpersonal SelfTransformation as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice A Dissertation Submitted to the Division of Media and Communications of the European Graduate School in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy By Norbert Koppensteiner December 2007
  2. 2. AcknowledgmentsOne guiding thread of this dissertation is the relationality of human existence. The becomingof this dissertation – just like the continued becoming of myself – is a plurality, it is theflowing together of different threads that form the nexus that is this dissertation, that form theever shifting nexus that I call my “self”.My appreciation and profound thanks go to my supervisor, Prof. Wolfgang Schirmacher forthe guidance he has given, a guidance which has made me grow, made me reach, or - indifferent words – fostered my becoming.Prof. Martina Kaller and Prof. Wolfgang Dietrich both read the first draft of this dissertation.They have provided valuable critical feedback but my gratefulness runs much deeper thanthat. For years of inspiration I thank them both and Wolfgang Dietrich for providing so manyof the key tunings for the following pages. The song may be mine but the tuning fork towhich the music is set has been provided by him.This work finally would never have seen the light of day without Josefina. Your criticalreading, your support and love have provided the beacon on which to chart my course throughthis adventure, this challenge. Te quiero mucho.
  3. 3. Table of ContentsWhy write?.................................................................................................................................. 5State of the Art and Definition of Terms.................................................................................... 7 (Post)modernity.......................................................................................................................8 Verwindung (twisting, distortion, fading) and Weak Thinking ...........................................13 Rationality, Transrationality................................................................................................. 15 The Transpersonal.................................................................................................................16 Homo Generator....................................................................................................................18Objective................................................................................................................................... 22Methodological Considerations................................................................................................ 241. Apollo and Dionysius............................................................................................................32 1.1. Friedrich Nietzsche and the Birth of Greek Tragedy .................................................... 33 1.2. The Apollonian Hegemony............................................................................................ 39 1.3. Conclusion..................................................................................................................... 492. Philosophy and Spirituality................................................................................................... 51 2.1. Placing the Hermeneutics of the Subject....................................................................... 53 2.2. Philosophy and Spirituality - Knowledge of the Self and Care of the Self................... 57 2.3. Truth, Knowledge, Practices and Transformation......................................................... 61 2.4. The Hellenistic/Spiritual, the Platonic and the Christian Models.................................. 67 2.5. Beyond the Greek Example........................................................................................... 74 2.6. Subjectivity and Self...................................................................................................... 77 2.7. Conclusion..................................................................................................................... 80 3.1. Science and Art.............................................................................................................. 83 3.2. The Object of Art........................................................................................................... 90 3.3. A Life in Transformation............................................................................................... 93 3.4. Conclusion................................................................................................................... 1014. Energizing Foucault............................................................................................................ 104 4.1. Approaching Power......................................................................................................105 4.2. The Conventional Interpretation of Foucault’s Power.................................................106 4.3. Power Re-visited.......................................................................................................... 111 4.4. An Energetic Power .................................................................................................... 115 4.5. The Relational Self.......................................................................................................118 4.6. An Affirmative Practice............................................................................................... 123 4.7. Conclusion................................................................................................................... 1285. Ethics as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice ........................................................................ 130 5.1. Placing Foucauldian Ethics.......................................................................................... 131 5.2. The Four Domains of the Relationship to Oneself...................................................... 136 5.3. Ethics and Aesthetics................................................................................................... 142 5.3.1. Beyond Morality................................................................................................... 143 5.3.2. Two Understandings of the Aesthetic................................................................... 145 5.4. Ethics as Aesthetic and Energetic Practice.................................................................. 150 5.5. Conclusion................................................................................................................... 1546. Practices of the Self ............................................................................................................156 6.1. Augusto Boal and the Theatre of the Oppressed..........................................................158 6.1.1. Theoretical Premises............................................................................................ 160 6.1.2. Spectator, what an Insult!......................................................................................163 6.1.3. Relational Becoming in Severality....................................................................... 166 6.2. Systemic Constellation Work.......................................................................................169 6.3. Holotropic Breathwork................................................................................................ 175 6.3.1. The Self as Form – Emptiness and Fullness......................................................... 185
  4. 4. 6.4. Conclusion................................................................................................................... 1887. An Impersonal God – Where Theory Fades....................................................................... 192 7.1. An Impersonal God...................................................................................................... 193 7.2. Affirming Life as Prerequisite for Experiencing the Divine........................................198 7.3. A Weak Transcendence .............................................................................................. 201 7.4. A Parting of Ways........................................................................................................203 7.5. Spaces for Encounters.................................................................................................. 206 7.6. Conclusion................................................................................................................... 2108. Beyond the Apollonian Hegemony.....................................................................................212Bibliography............................................................................................................................216
  5. 5. Why write?The question that needs to be asked at the beginning of every written work, and indeed evenmore so at the beginning of a work of the size of a dissertation is: why write? Closelyfollowed by why write this particular piece of work, with these means towards these ends? The answer, if there is to be one, can only be a personal answer as the reasons forpicking up a particular topic at a particular time in life are always personal and distinct. Adissertation and any kind of written work furthermore always remains a snapshot, a take of amoment bound in pages, a picture or at best a painting of what actually is a flow of life, a flowof thoughts and practices in an ever shifting field of becoming with possibly much lesscoherence and cohesion than this image of a bound work, published under the name of anauthor, would suggest. This flow of life, this continuous transformation is, I believe, also quite unavoidable,quite unstoppable and thus quite human. From one moment to the next, with each breath wetake we cease to be identical to ourselves and, in some perhaps infinitesimally small way, webecome other than who we are. Sometimes those changes are not or only barely perceptible, itis only rarely that some event of great proportions causes us to change in fast forward,speeding up the process. And yet we change. Given those observations, one possible answer to the first question could be: the workof a dissertation can be seen as part of a work of the self on the self, part of a consciousattempt at a work of transformation. Not to escape what we are at the moment. Not from somefearful rejection of what is towards some perceived perfection or paradise of what might be,
  6. 6. but in order to give this perpetual process of becoming a certain, temporary shape, try tofashion it in a certain style and direction which always remain contingent. The movement that might occur perhaps could be perceived, by oneself, as a steptowards the subjectively better. This subjectively better would simultaneously be the onlystandard of measurement in a world without fetters, without a grand book of levers and nooverall system of coordinates in which this movement could be inscribed and measured for itsprogress or direction. However, in a certain Deleuzian sense, we might still become thecartographers of our own space – the cartographers of a twisted path on a map that is aconstant work in progress and will need to be partially redrawn time and again (Deleuze andGuattari, 1987). I would thus like to answer these first two questions, not quite coincidentally with aquote from Michel Foucault – a quote which has haunted me and to which I have returnedagain and again ever since I came across it in the fall of 2004: “I am not interested in theacademic status of what I am doing, because my problem is my own transformation [...]. Whyshould a painter work if he is not transformed by his own painting?” (Foucault, 1997a: 131) Writing can so be perceived as part of a practice of the self, a transformation oneeffects on oneself and the conditions of possibility for both this transformation and also thisvery “I” which has been cast here upon paper with such a seemingly easy stroke will be thetopic of this dissertation. If there is something like freedom then I would propose that it mightbe found within a certain awareness of the self and of its possibilities of becoming, thetransrational and transpersonal conditions of which it will be the work of this dissertation tosketch. 6
  7. 7. In the end this is also the task of theory in my opinion: to contribute to atransformation of the self, by showing how things could also be different instead of, as MichelFoucault (1990b: 9) says, “legitimating what is already known”. The good life will not berealized in theory, in discourse alone we will not be saved, transformed or reconciled. Yetinsofar as the continuous practice of becoming necessitates effecting a shift in the self, achange of perspective, a certain work performed on oneself, finding out to what extent it ispossible to think differently for me is a crucial step towards a transformative practice andtowards opening a door to a different perception - even if it consists in the recognition of thepoint in this process at which we have to let go of rational cognition. In a personal vein my purpose thus is the following: to think until that curious momentat which knowledge has to give way to intuition and understanding, and so to also thinkingly,but not purely thinkingly, trace the path towards that transrational moment in which, througha rebound effect of a certain constellation of knowledge and practice, a transformation of theself can occur. State of the Art and Definition of TermsBefore any discussion of the contents can commence, some terms which will be usedfrequently need clarification as to their meaning in the framework of this study. Since severalof those terms also have been the topic of frequent, and often heated, debates in differentacademic arenas it furthermore needs to be asserted at which point we shall enter thediscussion. Some of those notions introduced in the following will be reassessed during thecourse of this work, will be interpreted differently, evolved further, changed or altered. 7
  8. 8. However, in order to do so a provisional starting point and location within the state of the artneeds to be established. (Post)modernityFollowing Wolfgang Dietrich I shall use the term modernity as designating “the societalproject characterized by Newtonian physics, Cartesian reductionism, the nation state ofThomas Hobbes, and the capitalist world system” (Dietrich and Sützl, 2006: 283).Philosophically, I take this project to be grounded in the tradition deriving from the AncientMediterranean area and in its origins to be associated with, although not exclusively, thethoughts of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Special focus in this dissertation will be placed onthe thinking of Plato, namely on the concept of the truth and the division into a real and anapparent world, as it is derived from his Republic1. This venture, however, has to be readagainst the background of an already existing long tradition of critical encounters withPlatonic thought; a small part of which will be further elaborated in the following. At the beginning of a line of skeptical thinking towards modernity, as it is of relevancefor this dissertation, there stands the work of Friedrich Nietzsche in the second half of thenineteenth century. It has been pointed out that already Nietzsche’s very first book, The Birthof Greek Tragedy (1967), is simultaneously a critique of the culture of his time as well as ofits ancient foundations: The Birth of Tragedy is at once a re-interpretation of ancient Greece, a philosophical and aesthetic revolution, a critique of contemporary culture, and a programme to revitalize it. (Vattimo, 2002: 13)1 The most famous description of this division between the apparent world of our senses and the real world ofconcepts (ideas) is of course the Platonic cave allegory as portrayed in the Republic (page 240ff. in thetranslation of Waterfield, 1993). 8
  9. 9. Far from challenging only the philosophical assumptions of Platonic/Socratic thought,Nietzsche’s critiques also concern the long tradition deriving thereof which ultimately leadsinto modernity. The division between real and apparent world, truth, objectivity (scientificity),the self-grounded autonomous subject (Descartes’ cogito) as well as notions of civilizationalprogress or the humanistic ideal of enlightenment so become the target of Nietzsche’s vitriolicand dissolving attacks. In the twentieth century this critical line of investigation has been followed up,amongst others, by thinkers such as Martin Heidegger (1993), Wolfgang Schirmacher (1983),Gianni Vattimo (1988; 1997), Jean-François Lyotard (1984; 1988), Jacques Derrida (1978),Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (1984; 1987), Michel Foucault (1972; 1988b) and JeanBaudrillard (1993; 1994). This list is by no means exclusive or exhaustive but points to acertain strand of critical thinking of importance for this dissertation. The field of criticalengagements with modernity is far from unified but reaches out in manifold strands, rangingfrom the different version of Postcolonialism to various waves of feminist critiques and queerand gender studies and Peace research. This debate often has circled around a criticism or deconstruction of the metaphysical(or metanarrative) foundations of modernity. Metaphysics here can be understood as any kindof thinking that is grounded in ultimate foundations or first principles; those principles fromwhich all other thinking can derive and which themselves remain beyond questioning. Jean-François Lyotard (1984: 27ff.) renders those first principles as metanarratives, from whichlegitimation for further (scientific) knowledge originates, but which themselves are not opento proof of rational argument. Lyotard shows how this concern with legitimation via firstprinciples arises with Plato and his cave allegory and continually resurfaces – as for examplein Aristotle or in Descartes’ Discourse on Method (1984: 29). With Descartes’ Cogito the 9
  10. 10. thinking subject is posited as an autonomous and self grounded “I,” and so is supposed toprovide the stable foundation from which all further argumentation can derive. Lyotard callsthis foundation the “story of the mind” (1984: 29). It is a story, or (meta)narrative, because onits own premises it can neither be proven nor refuted. This critique called postmodern so concerns itself with making visible and contestingthe exclusionary tendencies inherent to metaphysics. Such metaphysical or, in the words ofGianni Vattimo (2006) also strong thinking, is seen as ultimately leading to violence. Toillustrate this point about violence, Michel Foucault (1988b) sets out to show how thehistorical establishment of reason is not the result of an ever more inclusive historicaladvance of progress, but that reason is, on the contrary, built on the constitution andsubsequent exclusion of unreason as madness. With the same author the Platonic relation between truth, power and knowledge isinverted (Foucault, 2000g). In the Platonic understanding, Foucault asserts, truth andknowledge could be opposed to (political) power and therefore could work as its corrective.While it thus remained possible for Plato to pit a “powerless truth against a truthless power,”(Foucault, 2000g: 33) Foucault inverts this relation by pointing out that in fact, knowledgeand power advance together and that truth is only ever the result of a specific strategicconstellation between them (2000g). In the wake of the postmodern critique, concepts like the truth, the autonomous andself grounded subject, progress, civilization, solvability of conflicts and even peace, havetherefore become sites of contestation and debate. Neither of those terms can today be takenfor granted any more and many pertinent questions from different directions have been raisedabout what has been excluded through the tradition of thought which builds on them or uses 10
  11. 11. them as if they were pre-given and would remain the ever same, unwavering and unchangingthrough the times. We can thus grasp the postmodern, in the words of Jean-François Lyotard, as“incredulity towards metanarratives” (Lyotard, 1984: xxiv) - a definition from whichWolfgang Dietrich derives the following: Postmodernity should not be misunderstood as the historical epoch that follows modernity, although the prefix “post” might suggest this. However, “post” also refers to a reflection of something, in this case, of modernity. Therefore, “post” indicates that the social value system of the time span that it circumscribes refers to a condition which, although preceding it, still has effects and remains relevant at a particular point in time. If this were not the case, the prefix “post” would be redundant. Postmodernity, then, describes the state of mind of one or several generations that have had to painfully disassociate themselves from the great truths of the previous epoch, without having found for themselves a new unitary system of reference. This state could be described by the word dis-illusionment. (Dietrich and Sützl 2006: 283)However, regarding the critique of these first principles, it is also becoming increasinglyobvious that what has started with Nietzsche’s scathing analyses has up until now remainedlargely a critique that, contesting rationality and pointing out its limits and lacunaes, itself stilladvanced by rational means2. The critique of rationality by rational methods in the end seemsto have come full circle, in the recent realization of an increasing dis-illusionment about dis-illusionment, or as Gianni Vattimo refers to it, disenchantment about disenchantment [w]e are all by now used to the fact that disenchantment has also produced a radical disenchantment with the idea of disenchantment itself; or in other words, that2 See also Dietrich, 2006b: 26 11
  12. 12. demythification has finally turned against itself, recognizing that even the ideal of the elimination of myth is a myth. (Vattimo, 1999: 29)At its limit point there today arises the question of whether the postmodern rejection ofmetaphysics and subsequent dis-illusionment has proven to be tenable and indeed livable.Frederic Jameson (1984: xii) seems to arrive at a very similar question when asking whetherthe great master-narratives, which Jean-François Lyotard deemed to be unsustainable, have infact disappeared or might not, much rather, merely have gone “underground,” towards a“continuing but now unconscious effectivity as a way of “thinking about” and acting in ourcurrent situation”. What in consequence can be seen emerging in current discussions – having taken noteof the necessary shortcomings of a critique of rationality itself carried out by rational means –are questions revolving around transrationality and transpersonality. This dissertation and thetopics dealt with therein have to be seen as part of this emerging debate which, while stillanchored with one foot in postmodern grounds, is already reaching out with the other,wondering whether it will dare to put its foot down and where it might land. This step,wherever it finally will land, should in any case not be interpreted as a step forward, a stepbeyond or one that perhaps overcomes an obstacle, but much rather as a twisting movement (aVerwindung). The current work therefore begins from a postmodern vantage point, taking toheart the incredulity towards metanarratives. However, by the very token of this incredulitypostmodernity has largely remained a venture of critique. The current work, while heeding theimportance of a postmodern critique, wants to twist postmodernity towards a practice that isno longer (purely) critical and rational but much rather affirmative and transrational. 12
  13. 13. Verwindung (twisting, distortion, fading) and Weak ThinkingThe term Verwindung derives from the thinking of Martin Heidegger (1973) and it is hereused in Gianni Vattimo’s (1994, 1997, 2006) interpretation of Heidegger’s thoughts. Whilebeing highly critical of the metaphysical tradition and the violence that is inherent to it,Vattimo points out that this tradition still forms part of the historical horizon from whichcontemporary thinking arises. Vattimo sees the rejection of metaphysics in the light of a truer,more adequate description of reality as impossible, because such thinking - by the very sametoken of a categorical rejection - would fall back into the metaphysical categories it tries tocriticize (1997). The relation that one can establish with metaphysics is thus not one ofovercoming – as the perpetual movement of higher unifications which increasingly becomemore true - but on the contrary, one that “cannot do otherwise than establish a relation ofVerwindung: one of resigned acceptance of continuation, of distortion” (Vattimo, 1997: 53). Vattimo so contrasts the notion of overcoming (überwinden) with the HeideggerianVerwindung (1997: 53, 54). While the former carries the connotation of a step towards anincreasingly accurate correspondence to the objective truth, the former, while giving up on thenotion of an objectively discernable true world, still accepts metaphysics as part of its heritageto which it resigns itself, but from which it also heals itself and thus, while giving thismetaphysical heritage a certain space, simultaneously twists and “distorts” (1997, 53) it into anew place: But since it is not a case of correcting the errors of metaphysics with a more objectively true vision of how things stand, the way out of metaphysics is shown to be more complicated. We do not have before us any objectivity that, once discovered in what really is, could provide a criterion by which to change our thoughts, as though metaphysics might be set aside as an error or a discarded and worn-out piece of clothing. [...] This term [Verwindung], preserving also a literal connection with 13
  14. 14. überwinden, to overcome, means, however, in practice: to recover from an illness while still bearing its traces, to resign oneself to something. (Vattimo, 1997: 118)Similarly, Heidegger’s English translator Joan Stambaugh (in Heidegger, 1973: 84) points outthat Martin Heidegger’s Verwindung is not identical to overcoming in the sense of somethingthat is “defeated” and “left behind” or that one has gotten “rid off”. Verwinden, she asserts,also has the connotation of “incorporating,” however without the notion of being elevated bysuch incorporations into new and progressively higher unities. Verwindung, especially in theconnotation given to it by Vattimo so operates in conceptual proximity to the idea of aworking-through modernity (durcharbeiten) as Jean-Francois Lyotard (1994) has coined it. From such an understanding of Verwindung Gianni Vattimo develops his own conceptof weak thinking (2006). Weak is a form of thinking which is aware of its own situatednessand contingency, takes into account the historical background against which and within whichit is formed (owing to what Heidegger calls the “thrownness” of being3) and thus, perdefinition “cannot occur according to a logic of verification and of rigorous demonstration,but only by means of that old, eminently aesthetic instrument called intuition” (2006: 237).Weak thinking is impure (2006: 228) for it still contains parts of the (strong) metaphysicaltradition. However, instead of rejecting this tradition, weak thinking embraces, declines anddistorts strong metaphysics. Against the background of the magnificent metaphysical truth Vattimo so states theweakness of the own thought from the very beginning and thus refrains from building anothergrand narrative with an even better, and more perfected overarching truth (Echavarría andKoppensteiner, 2006: 169). Going beyond Vattimo this approach enables a positive re-engagement with metaphysics, bewaring its violent tendencies but integrating and3 See also Thiele, 2003: 214. 14
  15. 15. acknowledging it as part of our past and (in a twisted form) possibly also future. Both theconcepts of weak thinking and Verwindung will recur frequently in this study and especiallythe former will be developed further in the following chapters, in particular as in light of theconcepts of transrationality and transpersonality. Rationality, TransrationalityAs regards the question of rationality and transrationality I take the former to be one of thehallmarks of the project of modernity. I understand rationality as the method of proceeding byreason. The term transrational has first been coined by Ken Wilber (1999, 2000a, 2000b,2001). The prefix trans- derives from Latin and signifies across, beyond, through (Walch,2002: 120). The transrational thus describes a process which, while also acknowledgingreason, transcends it. In a Post-Hegelian interpretation this might result in the including and sublatingtranscendence of rationality itself within transrationality (Aufhebung) - towards a higher unity.In a non-dialectical, weak interpretation, instead of elevating and unifying, the rational istwisted away from the purity of its form (the rational so no longer serves as the proverbialultima ratio) towards the acknowledgment of fields of experience beyond rationality. Themanner in which the Apollonian and Dionysian will be related in the course of thisdissertation thus gives rise to a transrationality which does not contain them both in a higherunity, but is the always precarious and always different relation of two weak principles whichare not dialectical but are mutually part of each other and therefore contingent and co-determining. 15
  16. 16. The TranspersonalThe term transpersonal is also frequently used in this study. It shares with the transrational notjust the prefix trans-, but also its origin in transpersonal psychology: It derives from the fieldof transpersonal psychology and has been introduced by Abraham Maslow (Battista, 1996:52). For use within the psychological field it has been defined in the following way: Transpersonal, meaning beyond the personal, refers to development beyond conventional, personal or individual levels. More specifically, transpersonal refers to development beyond the average, although such higher functioning turns out to be more common than previously was thought. Transpersonal development is part of a continuum of human functioning or consciousness, ranging from the prepersonal (before the formation of a separate ego), to the personal (with a functioning ego) to the transpersonal (in which an ego remains available but is superseded by more inclusive frames of reference). (Scotton, 1996a: 3) In differentiation to such a psychological understanding of transpersonality I will beusing the term in a more philosophical connotation. What is thus of interest here is not somuch a model of the development of the self as it is proposed for example by developmentalpsychology or Ken Wilber’s (1996, 2000a) concept of an expansive and including model of anevolutionary self which goes through successive phases becoming ever more holistic – moreencompassing, integrated and comprehensive. What Wilber (1996) outlines might also be termed an Art of the Self, however hedescribes the hierarchical version of such an Art, striving for ever higher forms of realizationand implying a developmental telos inherent to all of humanity. For Wilber, development ofthe self implies an unfolding through pre-given and describable stages, until the self reaches 16
  17. 17. first its mature egoic form (the centaur) and subsequently transcends this form into higherstages of being (subtle and causal). On each level the self materializes as an individual form(surface structure, the personal and concrete expression) which is shaped and determined bythe pre-given, unconscious structural “potentials and limitations” (Wilber, 1996: 46) specificto that level (deep structures). While my project thus shares many common spaces with the work of Wilber (asindeed the very terms transpersonal and transrational also signify), one crucial differenceregards the question of those developmental hierarchies. In comparison, my Art of the Self isset against a more open horizon, whose transformations are intuited by the experiencingperson and whose necessities are co-derived from the concrete surroundings without,however, embedding those transformations into an overall frame of universal reference. Insimple terms it might be stated that what will be proposed here is more the (relational,situational) outside perspective rather than Wilber’s view which turns the gaze inside the selfto find the pre-existing potentialities which for him always already slumber inside us4. In the present dissertation the transpersonal will be understood much rather inconnection with certain theories of subjectivity (and subjectivation) which problematize theidea of a single, coherent and stable individual subjectivity (the Cartesian cogito) and dissolvethe understanding of an I-you dichotomy, however without directly recurring to theprepersonal-personal-transpersonal evolutionary model. The question that is thus opened isnot so much the psychological question of the evolution and superseding of the ego, but thephilosophical and ethical question of an understanding of the self beyond individuality and thedistinctive way of life that might ensue from such a conception; as well as in general terms of4 This is not the space to critically appraise the works of Ken Wilber in detail. Suffice therefore to say that inregards to Wilber’s developmental model I hold the criticism that Gustavo Esteva (2006) raised against theconcept of development and Gianni Vattimo’s (2006) skepticism towards strong thinking to be pertinent. 17
  18. 18. the questions of being and becoming. In summary, it can be concluded that the present workis an Art of the transpersonal Self because it (1) acknowledge the individual person as oneform of experienced existence, yet also (2) intuits larger frames of reference as for examplethe notion of an aesthetic-energetic sphere which will be developed throughout thisdissertation. Homo GeneratorOf special importance for this dissertation is the ground that has already been covered byWolfgang Schirmacher (1989, 1991, 1994a, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007a, 2007c)with his concepts of homo generator and artificial life. Both concepts raise the question ofpost-metaphysical living and ask how a good life can still remain possible for humanity at thedawn of the twenty first century. Moving from a Heideggerian being-in-the-world to aDeleuzian being-for-the-world (Schirmacher, 1996: 6) homo generator focuses on the activeself-generative powers of the human being. Schirmacher (2007c: 4) here recurs to HannahArendt’s concept of natality, as “the explosive ability in politics and private life to start a newlife at any moment.”5 Humans, Schirmacher (2007c) asserts, have always been a self-generating beings butit is only with homo generator that this feature – characterized in the context of thisdissertation as the art of giving one’s life a certain, distinct, form – comes to the forefront. Ashuman beings we are therefore “artificial by nature” as it is within human nature to becomedifferently, to use the technologies at our disposal in order to turn ourselves into somebody or(in the Age of New Media, of Internet and Second Life) something else. This sets in motion aprocess of becoming which is never finished:5 Translation from the German original by Daniel Theisen at http://home.bway.net/danny/wolfgang/, lastaccessed 30/07/2007. 18
  19. 19. With openness as our existential taste and co-evolutionary power as our design, Homo Generator favors eternal revisions and safeguards the freedom of creation. (Schirmacher, 2000: 2)Homo generator also acknowledges that what is necessary for a gelingendes Leben (a life ofaccomplishment) is a certain forgetfulness. The good life, the successful life, indeed, cannever be grasped theoretically; it remains cognitively elusive, rationally ungraspable. Whatdoes remain possible is to attain glimpses of this good life of which we so can become“vaguely aware”, but always on the condition that we “need to forget at once” what we haveglimpsed (Schirmacher, 2000: 4). And yet, we all live this good life, every day, without beingaware of it and, in fact, also on the condition of not being (rationally) aware of it. Theoretically, the gelingendes Leben remains unattainable, it is impossible to pre-design it according to some master-plan, but practically we live it every day. It occurs, asSchirmacher says “behind our backs”6. What he so proposes is an affirmative practice ofliving. It is a practice because it wants to be lived instead of just being theoreticallydetermined and it is affirmative for it acknowledges and embraces all facets of life. It is this double move of simultaneously turning away from (strong) metaphysics whilealso sidestepping the traps of rationalism which characterize an important element for thisdissertation. Homo generator provides a conceptual model for what is at stake here: thequestion of how an art of living can concretely be envisioned; an art of living which makesuse of different methods and techniques of a transformation of the self and takes to heartFriedrich Nietzsche’s (1974: 232) premonition that “what is needful”, is to “give style” to6 Quote from personal notes taken during Wolfgang Schirmacher’s lectures at the European Graduate School(EGS) during the summer of 2006. 19
  20. 20. one’s existence, without, by this very same token, believing that the good life could beplanned. In this undertaking of using the technologies available for generating the own lifeWolfgang Schirmacher and Michel Foucault agree when the former concludes that “everyoneis capable of developing an “aesthetic self”” (Schirmacher, 1989: 5). The very artificiality ofhuman life, in fact, makes the stylization of such an aesthetic self part of human nature. “Theself”, Schirmacher (2007c: 7) concludes, “exists in no other way than as engaged in form-giving”7. As regards those technologies of existence Wolfgang Schirmacher places a strongemphasis on the creative potential of the New Media while the focus in this dissertation willbe placed more on those technologies of the self which can be derived from the realm oftranspersonal psychology and theater practices. The ethic which Schirmacher proposes in light of this inability to plan a gelingendesLeben is an ethics characterized by several features: Gelingen zeigt sich allein im nachhinein, vollzieht eine Ordnung, deren Merkmale Unberechenbarkeit, Leichtigkeit und Gelassenheit sind. (Schirmacher, 1995: 5)8Unpredictability, lightness and, most importantly Gelassenheit are three of the characteristicsdetermining for a Gelingensethik – the ethics concomitant to the accomplished life. Thisethics is completed with a commitment to compassion (Schirmacher, 1989). This compassionhas to be understood not as an abstract compassion towards an other that is known only at oneremove, but as a concrete practice which is embodied in a “physically conveyed empathy”7 Translation by Daniel Theisen at http://home.bway.net/danny/wolfgang/, last accessed 30/07/2007.8 “Accomplishment [Gelingen] shows itself only after the fact, and brings about an order whose characteristicsare unpredictability, lightness and releasement [Gelassenheit].” Translation by Daniel Theisen athttp://home.bway.net/danny/wolfgang/, last accessed 30/07/2007. 20
  21. 21. (Schirmacher, 1989: 5). Recognizing one’s own face in the suffering of others givescompassion an understanding of a basic connectivity of life which goes beyond mereindividuality. Drawing on both the Western philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and the IndianUpanishads, Schirmacher asserts: Das Gaukelbild, das uns vormacht wir seien vom Leiden aller Kreatur durch Individualität geschützt, zerbricht, und Opfer und Täter erkennen sich als dieselben. TAT TVAM ASI – das bist du. Die Mitleidshandlung ist ethisch bedeutsam, gerade weil sie nicht auf die einzelne Situation zielt, sondern mit dem „ganzen Dasein der Welt und dem Lose der Menschheit“ verbunden ist. (Schirmacher, 1994b: 7)9With that Schirmacher asserts the ethical dimension which is inextricably linked to theconcept of homo generator. The generative function of the natality inherent to homogenerator is thus not to be understood as a facile anything goes but on the contrary alwayscomes together with the task of facing up to one’s life. A gelingendes Leben is one for whichalso responsibility needs to be claimed and affirmed, but without, however, for this reasonfalling into a culture of guilt. Just like her/his failures belong to homo generator in a similarmanner as the own successes, homo generator also rejects the blame “for everything you havenot started yourself” (Schirmacher, 2007b: 4). Both failures and successes are but two sides of the same coin if they are approachedwith the ethical fourfold of compassion, Gelassenheit, lightness and trust that theunpredictability inherent to life will lead towards the gelingendes Leben without our planning.9 “The mirage which leads us to believe that by our individuality we are protected from the suffering of allcreature shatters, and victim and perpetrator recognize themselves as the same: TAT TVAM ASI – that is you.The act of compassion is ethically significant exactly because it does not aim at the single situation but connectsto “the whole being-there of the world and to the fate of humanity”.” Translation by Norbert Koppensteiner 21
  22. 22. ObjectiveThe question which drives this dissertation is the ages-old question of how is one to live? Ifwe understand postmodernity, like it was defined above, as incredulity towards metanarrativesand if we therefore assume that the tenets of a strong truth which in former times could serveto ground a way of living – like the believes in progress, enlightenment, civilization,development, but also in religions like Christianity – have in postmodernity been cast undersuspicion and are examined for their potential for violence, then the question of how live, howto still give the own life a certain shape, style or form looms large. It is thus exactly in thepostmodern times of the twenty first century that this question has gained renewed relevanceand is now more crucial than ever. While postmodernity has its merit and importance as practice and virtue of critique, itleaves open the burning question of how one can, while heeding this postmodern critique, stillengage in affirmative practices to give shape to the own life. Taking heed of the postmoderncritique implies that this process of giving shape can no longer be moral, yet postmodernityleaves open the question whether it can still be guided by an ethics and affirmative practices? In this work, which will be undertaken in conclusion of my doctoral studies at theEuropean Graduate School, I will so venture to re-think some of those categories holdingsway in (post)modernity in order to approximate a possible understanding of how atransrationality and transpersonality could concretely be lived. I will thus sketch the outlinesof a possible art of living for a subjectivity that is perceived as constantly emergent and intransformation, a subjectivity that dares to embrace conflict as part of its perpetual trans-personal relational becoming and that emerges beyond the hegemony of the categories of thetruth and morals through a transformation of the self which is understood as an aesthetic 22
  23. 23. (Apollonian) and energetic (Dionysian) practice. I will thus, approximate an Art of theTranspersonal Self. From the ethical question of how is one to live? Ultimately a double objective derives:First to sketch a transpersonal art of living and a fashioning of the self beyond morals and,secondly, to show how such an undertaking also takes us with postmodern philosophy out ofpostmodernity and re-opens the plane of transcendence towards a transrationality. In order to achieve this objective, I will first re-take some critical moments of Westernphilosophy, interpreting with Friedrich Nietzsche and Wolfgang Dietrich the current situationas Apollonian Hegemony. Secondly, I will show the specific effects of this hegemony on theforms of subjectivation, and establish with Michel Foucault that a subjectivity, which is opento transformation, necessarily has to be thought without recurring to either morals or thestrong category of the Truth. Thirdly, in counterpoint to the Apollonian hegemony, I will develop a concept of artand establish how, through relating the Apollonian once more with the Dionysian, an Art ofTransformation becomes possible, which is perceived in relationality and aims for a(verwindende) transfiguration of the subject through putting into dynamic play bothDionysian (energetic) and Apollonian (aesthetic) elements. Fourthly, this ApollonianDionysian interplay shall be linked to a radicalized version of the Foucauldian understandingof power towards an energetic power. A transpersonal idea of subjectivity will be developed,perceiving subjectivation as perpetual process within an aesthetic-energetic sphere ofbecoming in severality. 23
  24. 24. Fifthly, I will complement this Art of the Trans-personal Self with an ethics that doesnot derive its validity from a formal code of behavior and which is thus not a moral ethics, buton the contrary an aesthetic and energetic one; and will, sixthly, draw out several concretepractices of the self, as they are applicable and usable in the technological age of the twentyfirst century. I will finally show how such a trans-rational practice ultimately takes us beyond thefield of theory back into a realm of experiential understanding beyond postmodernity, a weaktranscendent realm where (scientific, rational) knowing has to give way to the intuition ofunderstanding. Methodological ConsiderationsThe main methodological problem posed by this dissertation is reflected in the question ofhow one can thinkingly and theoretically approach something which eludes theorizing? Howis it possible to approximate theoretically something which is beyond rational description?The main method proposed in this dissertation starts from an analysis, recombination andinterpretation of certain practices, certain works which, following Foucault, the self performson itself. From here I will trace a connection from these practices to a type of experience whichis linked to a certain understanding of the self leading further to an art of living. This method,however, at first sight might be seen to hit a barrier exactly at the very moment when anargument for a limitation of the reach of theory in favor of the practice of living is put forth.At this point recourse to empirical methods might perhaps appear logical. 24
  25. 25. However, in light of the implicit critique of empiricism that is also inherent in thiswork, any empirical research leading to scientific knowledge will consciously be avoidedwhen encountering this point of theoretical rupture in favor of an argument for experientialunderstanding (and so an understanding that is non-empirical in the scientific sense) beforewhich theorizing ceases. This is a necessary restriction advocated and not a shortcoming. As itwill be argued that a certain experiential field of life invariably falls out of the reach of bothrational theorizing and empirical research, any attempt to bring it back into either of thosefields can only be through an act of reduction and renewed rationalization. The methodchosen thus consists in leading the theoretical argument up to that moment of transformationwhile acknowledging that it is only through this critical restraint and a cognitive (theoretical)letting go that the field of the transrational can be opened at all. The authors chosen here are mainly drawn from the realm of philosophy. Although itwould of course also have been possible to approach the topic via the field of psychology, Ihave chosen to lay more emphasis on the philosophical side. If the question is in how far it ispossible to go with certain postmodern philosophers beyond postmodernity, then this slanttowards philosophy to me only appears consequent. Still it needs to be mentioned that someof the most interesting and cutting edge concepts and practices are currently found in the fieldof transpersonal psychology, recurring to the works of, amongst others, C.G. Jung, WilhelmReich, Stanislav Grof, Roberto Assagioli, Abraham Maslow, Ervin Laszlo and Ken Wilber10.It is my aim to propose meeting points for those two fields, spaces of connectivity where,beyond the narrow categories of disciplines, a new field of research might open up.10 See also Dietrich, 2006b 39ff. 25
  26. 26. The term philosophy and philosopher for the purposes of this work are therefore takenin the broader sense of the word, including as my main sources the works of Michel Foucaultand Friedrich Nietzsche. My affiliation with philosophy ends whenever it is stipulated that inorder to philosophize one needs to have a system – which is something I do not claim formyself. It is in this respect that I follow Michel Foucault, who defines philosophy not by acertain system or syntax but via its content: philosophy for Foucault is the (critical)preoccupation with questions of truth and freedom11. It is, he asserts, an activity or movement: The movement by which, not without uncertainty, dreams and illusions, one detaches oneself from what is accepted as true and seeks other rules – that is philosophy. The displacement and transformation of frameworks of thinking, the changing of received values and all the work that has been done to think otherwise, to do something else, to become other than what one is – that too, is philosophy. (Foucault, 1997l: 327)This movement which, according to Foucault, makes a venture philosophical is also themovement of becoming differently. This activity of detaching oneself from what has beenheld as true is simultaneously a movement of freedom. On my own trajectory - which I understand as philosophical in this sense - I so remain,without chagrin or regret, an assembler who takes what he needs but also has no qualms to cutand continue with something else, if what previously has been found no longer fits hispurposes12. It is in this sense that I intend to take serious Foucault’s famous statement that hewishes his books to be read “like a kind of tool-box, which others can rummage through tofind a tool which they can use however they wish in their own area” (Foucault, 1974).11 See also Schmid, 2000: 269.12 I owe a debt of thanks to Prof. Dr. Martina Kaller for reminding me of the strings that come attached if onetakes up the mantle of the academic discipline of philosophy. Since I have no intention of letting this work bepulled by those strings I prefer to sever them right away and choose a path which, while perhaps more eclectic,hopefully is no less meaningful. 26
  27. 27. Consequently, the method I employ could perhaps best be described as a circle oftranspositions following Rosi Braidotti (2006: 5), who defines a transposition as follows: It indicates an intertextual, cross-boundary or transversal transfer, in the sense of a leap from one code, field or axis into another, not merely in the quantitative mode of plural multiplications, but rather in the qualitative sense of complex multiplicities. It is not just a matter of weaving together different strands, variations on a theme (textual or musical), but rather of playing the positivity of difference as a specific theme of its own. As a term in music, transposition indicates variations and shifts of scale in a discontinuous but harmonious pattern. It is thus created as an in-between space of zigzagging and of crossing, non-linear but not chaotic, nomadic, yet accountable and committed […].The term transposition, Braidotti elaborates, has a double history in genetics and music.Moves of transposition trace a path which appears to “proceed by leaps and bounds” but is not“deprived of logic and coherence” (2006: 5ff.). In the circular form of transposition used herein this dissertation, starting from a certain concept a circle is described through a series ofsubsequent approximations, couplings and partial fusions with and differentiations fromrelated concepts. In this case the starting point will be the concept of the Apollonian andDionysian by Friedrich Nietzsche and, through such a series of transpositions, we shallexamine how a path can be traced leading via a “careful dissociation of bonds that wouldnormally maintain cohesiveness” (Braidotti, 2006: 5ff.) from Friedrich Nietzsche intopostmodernity and back out again, thus achieving our objective of going beyondpostmodernity. In this movement I will simultaneously draw out the Art of the Transpersonal Self,thus also approximating the second goal. For this undertaking the works of Michel Foucaultand Friedrich Nietzsche have been chosen as guiding grid, also because they lend themselves 27
  28. 28. to both a postmodern, immanent, interpretation but can also be used towards providingpathways for a re-opening of the plane of transcendence and an art of existence. Ultimatelythose Nietzschean and Foucauldian concepts are so transposed to a series of practices andtechniques of living derived from a different tradition and different cultures of origin, oncemore following Braidotti`s idea of transposable concepts as “‘nomadic notions’ that weave aweb connecting philosophy to social reality, theoretical speculation to concrete plans;concepts to imaginative figurations” (Braidotti, 2006: 7). As far as the use of sources goes, the main bulk of research so has undoubtedly beenconducted on the works of Michel Foucault and furthermore on Friedrich Nietzsche. Withthose two authors I have ventured to stick as closely as possible to their own texts, with twomain rules for exceptions. The first one consists in those authors who are of such animportance in their own right that it might be impossible not to familiarize oneself to someextent with their works. This goes for Gilles Deleuze in general and for his treatises onFoucault (Deleuze, 1988) and Nietzsche (Deleuze, 1983) in particular, as well as for GianniVattimo’s Nietzsche (2002). The second exception was made for literature drawing on thosetwo authors and of such relevance for the state of the art of the topic at hand that they cannotbe ignored: Wilhelm Schmid’s Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Lebenskunst (2000) would beone such example and in a similar vein I am indebted to the works of Bracha Ettinger on theMatrixial Sphere (2006), which have helped my conceptualization of the transpersonal. Falling in neither one of those two categories of exceptions is first Gianni Vattimo’sconcept of Weak Thought (2006), which has been used as a touchstone for this whole work.This dissertation is in many ways, indeed, a weak proposal. Special emphasis secondly has tobe placed on the influence of Wolfgang Schirmacher whose philosophy of Lebenstechniken(1983, 1989a, 1994a, 1994b, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007) has provided an inspiration for 28
  29. 29. many of the ideas developed in this work. The third case fitting neither rule nor exception isthe work of Wolfgang Dietrich (1998, 2006a; 2006b, 2006c) and especially but notexclusively his interpretation of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Apollo and Dionysius. WolfgangDietrich’s influence on this study rightly belongs right next to Michel Foucault’s andFriedrich Nietzsche’s. While the mistakes I might have made of course are my own, itremains to be said that without his inspiration and guidance none of this would actually havebeen possible. The frequent and crucial reliance I make on especially the energeticunderstanding of the Dionysian is drawn from Wolfgang Dietrich’s work. A few further words on the use of the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and MichelFoucault are in order. Although the understanding that can be gleaned from FriedrichNietzsche’s Apollo and Dionysius (1967, 1968, 1974) are one of the guiding threads for thisdissertation, I originally had intended to predominantly draw from Nietzsche’s early period,making an exception only for the The Gay Science (1974) which truly is his lifestyle book.This, however, has proven to be impossible since the Apollonian and Dionysian surface atdifferent times throughout Nietzsche’s whole work and really can not be separated from manyother crucial concepts of his thought. In the end I think that this study has profited from notsticking to the original working plan in this case. The works of Michel Foucault have provided more of a difficulty to narrow downfrom the beginning, especially since his influence is so prevalent throughout this wholeresearch work. Ultimately I have decided to focus on his middle and late period of work, thereasons for which I think are fairly apparent. The middle period shows his pre-occupation with power, discourse and practices, andit will be an energetic re-interpretation of power around which a lot of the work of my 29
  30. 30. dissertation hinges (Foucault, 1974, 1977a, 1977b, 1980a, 1990a, 2000c). The late period isidentified commonly with the Second and Third Volumes of the History of Sexuality(Foucault, 1988a; 1990b) and many of his later lectures at the Collège de France (2005) aswell as several crucial articles, interviews (1997b, 1999, 2001) and parts of his projectedfourth volume of the History of Sexuality13. These works mark the period in which MichelFoucault concerned himself with ethics, the self and the art of living, which for my re-castingof his ideas towards the Art of the Transpersonal Self simply are crucial. Foucault’s laterlectures at the Collège de France (Foucault, 2003, 2005) in this regard are seminal andbasically the whole chapter two has been dedicated to his masterpiece in this respect, namelyThe Hermeneutics of the Subject (Foucault, 2005). This focus on the middle and late phase of Foucault’s creative life should in no way beconsidered as a depreciation of the early phase, as indeed the middle and late phase only canbe understood if read in the light of his early work centering around discourse and the socalled death of the subject14. However, for the purpose of this work it is - to express it perhapsa bit flippantly - less important to know the details about why the subject has died but how theself can still, while taking this death into account, constitute itself in a positive manner andwhy and how that could lead us beyond postmodernity. This is really the net benefit that aradical reading of the late Foucault could bring us, provided one is ready to twist, decline anddistort his thought. Last but not least, it shall at this point also be explicitly stated that my academic andprofessional background is in Peace Studies. Insofar as any dissertation, and especially one13 This, at the time of Foucault’s death supposedly almost finished, fourth volume has never been published in itsentirety. Only a fragment has appeared under the title The Confession of the Flesh (1980b).14 If such a periodization is taken to be admissible, then the early period would span the time from the originalFrench publication of Madness and Civilization in 1954 until The Order of Things in 1971. The middle periodwould gyrate around two major publications: Discipline and Punish in 1975 and The Will to Knowledge in 1976;followed by the late period with the above mentioned Use of Pleasure and Care of the Self, both publishedshortly before Foucault’s death in 1984, as corner-pieces. 30
  31. 31. dedicated to an Art of the Self, is always also and even primarily a personal undertaking thisobviously influences my thoughts and writings. In this light also the works of theorists likeWolfgang Sützl (2003), Francisco Muñoz (2006) and Johan Galtung (1996) can be found inthe following pages, providing an ethical background for this Art of the Transpersonal Self. Ihope it will become sufficiently clear in the course of this dissertation that ethical here by nomeans implies moral. 31
  32. 32. 1. Apollo and Dionysius “He [man] is no longer an artist, he has become a work of art [...].” (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1967: 37)The work of Friedrich Nietzsche stands at the cradle for large parts of twentieth centuryphilosophy. The influence of his thought spans the bridge from such diverse thinkers such as,for example, Martin Heidegger, Sigmund Freud, and yes, Michel Foucault. Foucault himselfhas asserted this influence on his thought at several instances during his life – and readingNietzsche at a young age might have been the same revealing experience it has been for somany contemporary thinkers. What this chapter and the next one will focus on is to establish aconnection between these two thinkers, Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault, aconnection which will fully become apparent in the third chapter and which will lead ustowards the Art of the Transpersonal Self. To be more concise, the aim of this introductory chapter is to work out the first part ofan interpretive frame which shall serve as the theoretically guiding grid for the wholedissertation. The second part of this frame will be provided in the subsequent chapter, whenwe will be re-taking from a Foucauldian point of view some of the topics dealt with nowunder a Nietzschean light. Both together will constitute the frame from which one canapproach the main topic – the Art of the Transpersonal Self. This first chapter thus serves several purposes: First we will approximate a certainstyle of living as practiced by the ancient pre-Socratic Greeks. We will see how theirunderstanding of a distinct style of life is concretely derived from an interplay of two forces –the Apollonian and Dionysian. We will secondly establish how this interplay was to be fatally 32
  33. 33. disrupted and thirdly approach some possible consequences of the subsequent Hegemony ofApollo and Suppression of the Dionysian. Ultimately it will become necessary to supersede this (like any) theoretical frame atthe point at which theory fades. However, in order to be able to twist (verwinden) ourtheoretical foundations, we need to first make explicit what they are – and this will be thetopic of chapter one and two. 1.1. Friedrich Nietzsche and the Birth of Greek TragedyWhen Friedrich Nietzsche published the Birth of Greek Tragedy (1967) as his first book in1872, there might have been a myriad of purposes on his mind. Some of them, indeed, arefairly obvious and have been much discussed – amongst those evident reasons one mightsafely rate his hopes for a rejuvenation of Europe through Germany (a hope which he wasvery soon to give up on) and another obvious motive in this book is to give expression to hisadmiration of Wagner, for which he would in the preface to a later edition also criticizehimself harshly. However, there are two things of interest for what is at stake here which uniteNietzsche’s first work with many of his later writings. The Birth of Greek Tragedy (1967) isfirst of all, like also his later Gay Science (1974) a life-style book. They are both life-stylebooks in the sense that they both deal with a certain style of living understood as a way ofconceiving oneself and of giving one’s life a distinct shape. However, while the Gay Scienceis a work of a more prospective kind and so deals with Nietzsche’s reflections on his own wayof living and with the ways of living he saw during his time or wished to see coming or bring 33
  34. 34. about in the future, the Birth of Greek Tragedy deals with a way of living that at Nietzsche’stime was long dead and gone. In the latter Nietzsche (1967) analyses the cosmovisions of the ancient Greeks. And hechooses a rather peculiar approach at that, for he looks at Greek life-style through the lens andfocus of Greek tragedy – an art form. The time span for which Nietzsche takes the Greektragedy into view is no coincidence: It is the period of time in which something happens thatFoucault (1997e) probably would call a problematization: a practice which has hitherto beentaken for granted and accepted starts to lose its self-evidence, becomes problematized andthus appears in discourse as a question and problem. Nietzsche deals with the crucial time-span in Greek history in which in the realm of art the ancient tragedy withered to be replacedthrough the New Attic comedy. Simultaneously, this is also the period in which philosophystarted to appear on the scene in its modern form – with the advent of Socrates and Plato. What Nietzsche (1967) suggests is that this shift is more than a coincidentalsimultaneity between a change in the realm of arts (replacement of the tragedy by Atticcomedy) and in the realm of thought (a new system of thinking which arises with Plato). Hecontends that together with those two occurrences a whole way of living and perceiving theworld undergoes a fundamental change and break. This in turn brings us to the second interesting pre-occupation which already can befound in the Birth of Greek Tragedy and which would stay with Nietzsche for most of hiscreative life: the two principles of the Apollonian and Dionysian. And it is those twoprinciples, or to be more precise the change of relation between those two principles and thedifferent ways in which they are portrayed which, in Nietzsche, connects the question of 34
  35. 35. (Socratic/Platonic) philosophy with the question of the Greek tragedy and ultimately the wayof living. At this point we need to take a closer look in order to discern how exactly one of thosethree elements (the shifting perception of the Dionyisan/Apollonian relation) traverses theother two elements – the life and death of tragedy in the realm of the arts and the onset ofSocratic/Platonic thought. With Wolfgang Dietrich (2006c) I will argue that what ultimatelyemerges from this shift is a changed cosmovision, a changed perception of self and universeand how those two relate to each other. Following the Birth of Greek Tragedy in the chronology of its account let us beginwith an approach to the realm of the arts. This immediately leads to the Greek world ofdivinities. In the form of Apollo and Dionysius the Ancient Greeks had the peculiar habit ofvenerating two gods of the arts and, as Wolfgang Dietrich (2006c: 37) puts it they “honoredboth gods in kind”. On the one hand, the deity of formal beauty, aesthetics and style or, as Dietrich rendersit, the God of form – Apollo. On the other hand, the wild revelries of the Cult of theDionysian, as God of the orgiastic, and, once more in the words of Dietrich, the god ofcontent. If the formalistic elements of the Apollonian reached its epitome in the clear andsublime Greek architecture, it was the “nonimaginistic art of Music” (Nietzsche, 1967: 33)and the energetic vibrations it produced that was deemed to be the expression of theDionysian. Manifested in those two gods, therefore, were two principles, two concepts. Thoseconcepts in turn were not so much perceived as opposed, but on the contrary as mutually 35
  36. 36. conditioning each other in the form of a co-dependence and dynamic inter-relation. Contraryto appearances there is so no dialectics in the Apollonian and Dionysian but a reciprocal calland co-determining connection. For the Greeks Apollo could not exist without Dionysius andvice versa. What is hidden in those metaphors is a fundamental perception about life andabout how to live it. Life, human life, for the ancient Greeks in this pre-Socratic period only becomespossible in the interplay of those two, in the simultaneous acknowledgment of both Dionysianand Apollonian elements. This is indeed how the Apollonian/Dionysian connects the world ofthe arts to the concretely lived world of the Greeks – a world in which it was deemednecessary to give an individual life a certain shape. The image of a struggle between Apollo and Dionysius which arises on first sight inNietzsche’s account of this time points to the conflictive nature of this interplay and to theshifting relation between the two principles. Apollo and Dionysius were not always and ateach time evenly matched and equally balanced. The picture that so arises of Greek society isthus of a way of perceiving the world in which, first, the two principles of form (aesthetics)and content (energetics) are perceived as mutually conditioning each other. It is, secondly, aworldview which is inherently conflictive but which does not at all deny this potential forconflict but, on the contrary, celebrates it as source of creative energy. And it is thirdly acosmovision in which the ever shifting relation between both elements is perceived asabsolutely necessary for human life to remain meaningfully possible. The celebration and symbolic expression of this complex system in turn was Greektragedy. The ancient tragedy, far from being a mere form of amusement and far from beingfocused solely on its theatrical happenings in the foreground, was an affirmation of this 36
  37. 37. certain way of perceiving life, a clearly defined expression on how to deal with the questionsof form and content – or aesthetics and energy. In the art of tragedy the aspects of both of those two gods surface in great detail: TheApollonian (formal) aspect gives the tragedy its structure, it serves to channel the Dionysianenergy. For what is at stake in an Art of the Transpersonal Self it is important to realize thatNietzsche furthermore renders this tragic Apollonian as the principle of individuationaccording to stylistic and aesthetic criteria. Through the Apollonian structure the subject canachieve individuality, separate form and distinctness. In Greek tragedy the Apollonian is thussymbolized through the single, individual figure – the tragic hero. Towards the end of hiscreative life, Nietzsche would come back to this figure and describe the Apollonian thefollowing way: The word “Apollonian” means: the urge to perfect self-sufficiency, to the typical “individual,” to all that simplifies, distinguishes, makes strong, clear, unambiguous, typical: freedom under the law. (Nietzsche, 1968: 539)The Apollonian so turns into the principle of individuation – the principium individuationis(Nietzsche, 1967: 36) – which makes for individual identity and stability. The Dionysian onthe contrary is expressed on stage through the dithyrambic chorus. The chorus as main sourceof tragic music pulls us into another direction: The chorus is a collective which in itself andthrough its music defies individuality and compels us towards a forgetting of ourselves,towards losing and dissolving individuality in the wild effects of the music. The Dionysianthus becomes the collective element in which all individuality is potentially dissolved in anenergetic flow: 37
  38. 38. The word “Dionysian” means: an urge to unity, a reaching out beyond personality, the everyday society, reality, across the abyss of transitoriness: a passionate-painful overflowing into darker, fuller, more floating states; an ecstatic affirmation of the total character of life as that which remains the same just as powerful, just as blissful, through all change; the great pantheistic sharing of joy and sorrow that sanctifies and calls good even the most terrible and questionable qualities of life; the eternal will to procreation, to fruitfulness, to recurrence; the feeling of the necessary unity of creation and destruction.” (Nietzsche, 1968: 539)The Apollonian soothes, calms and heals, but also asserts and fortifies individuality andstructure, whereas the Dionysian is the perpetual call to let go and give in, to lose inhibitionsand move from the conscious level towards the emotional, towards that which is not knownbut felt vibrating through every pore and is thus experienced. Gilles Deleuze (1986: 11)provides us with an image of this intricate connection between the Apollonian form and theDionysian content: “Dionysius is like the background on which Apollo embroiders beautifulappearances, but beneath Apollo, Dionysius rumbles.” On the background of the Dionysiancontent the Apollonian forms of individuality become possible. Simultaneously, theDionysian pull towards dis-individuation is necessary for Apollonian individual being to giveway to a new becoming. For the Ancient Greeks life was this always precarious balancing act between the twoprinciples, it became a taking into account and respecting both elements of life as well as theirconflictiveness. In this balancing act Nietzsche situates Greece not just geographically at theborder between two places which show the extreme prevalence of either the Apollonian andDionysian - Rome and India: But from orgies a people can take one path only, the path to Indian Buddhism, and in order that this may be endurable at all with its yearning towards the nothing it requires 38
  39. 39. the rare ecstatic states with their elevation above space, time and the individual. [...] Where the political drives are taken to be absolutely valid, it is just as necessary that a people should go to the path of the most extreme secularization whose most magnificent but also most terrifying expression may be found in the Roman imperium. [...] Placed between India and Rome, and pushed toward a seductive choice, the Greeks succeeded in inventing a third form. (Nietzsche, 1968: 124, 125)In the negotiation between those two principles, between the formalizing individuation of theApollonian and the energetic flow of the Dionysian, revelries the tragedy and the art of Greeklife took place. To sum it up: it is in this way that the Apollonian/Dionysian traverses the field oftragedy and gives it meaning within a larger context, as crucial corner stones in a distinctcosmovision characterized by a striving for an always precarious balance between theprinciples of form and content (or aesthetic and energetic) and the acknowledgment ofconflict as potentially creative, but in any case inevitable force in human life. We now havetaken a look at the relation between two of our three elements (the Dionysian/Apollonian andthe field of arts via tragedy). Before we can complete our first part of our theoretical grid anddraw the pertinent conclusions we will now need to take a look at the third element ofrelevance for us in The Birth of Greek Tragedy - the Socratic/Platonic moment. 1.2. The Apollonian HegemonyThis brings us to the point of rupture within the Greek cosmovision, the point when thebalance between the two principles was to be fatefully upset. With the appearance of Socratesand Plato the scales were tipped in one direction and ultimately proved to be beyond thepossibility of regaining a balance. Nietzsche in this instance focuses on Socrates, but it might 39
  40. 40. be suggested that his disciple Plato here deserves our equal attention. With Nietzsche we willso take a look at the changes occurring in the fifth century B.C. around Socrates and Greektragedy, before approximating Plato and the Apollonian hegemony15. In the fifth century B.C. the art form of Greek tragedy dies away and is replaced by anew form of theatrical art – new Attic Comedy as conceived for the first time by Euripides.The protagonist and the structure of the story subsequently gain ever more importance intheater, while the chorus and the music are relegated to mere scaffolding. Theater increasinglystarts to follow a cognitive structure for which the energetic elements play an ever smallerrole. In the general realm of the arts Apollonian elements are focused and highlighted, whilethe Dionysian recede. Doric architecture, the clear and simple lines of this most Apollonianart form, also reach their maturity at this time. Nietzsche comments that there is a war beingwaged to push back the Dionysian elements: “For me, the Doric state and Doric art areexplicable only as a permanent military encampment of the Apollonian” (Nietzsche, 1967:47). For Nietzsche, Socrates (together with Euripides) is the first person to no longercomprehend tragedy, to no longer grasp its emotional and energetic Dionysian pull. Socrates,the “theoretical man” (Nietzsche, 1967: 18) approaches the arts from a rational (and thusApollonian) point of view:15 The latter necessarily has to remain a sketch. Important at this point is to draw out some of the lines of theApollonian hegemony and subsequent developments in order to approximate why a search for alternatives mightbe imperative. However, the focus of this dissertation after all is on an Art of the Self and not so much on thehistorical overview which a more complete picture of the history of the Apollonian/Dionysian elements up untilmodernity would necessitate. Such a comprehensive account of (European) history is neither possible norrequired here. We will thus subsequently work out the elements of the Apollonian and Dionysian essential for anunderstanding of the Art of the Self, but will follow the details of the historical overview only as far as strictlynecessary. 40
  41. 41. [...] Socrates might be called the typical non-mystic, in whom, through a hypertrophy, the logical nature is developed as excessively as the instinctive nature is developed in the mystic. (Nietzsche, 1968: 88)For all his rational and intellectual capabilities which made him such a titan of his time, thisinstinctive or intuitive element necessary to feel the Dionysian seems to have remainedunderdeveloped in the Socratic worldview. Looking for structure, speech and aesthetics theDionysian element is thus downplayed. It is no coincidence that Socrates found that hehimself was unable to play a musical instrument and places so much importance onknowledge. Once more in the words of Nietzsche: “This is the new opposition: the Dionysianand the Socratic – and the art of Greek tragedy was wrecked on this” (Nietzsche, 1968: 82). But Greek tragedy had been, as we have just seen in the previous section, more thanjust a form of theatrical amusement, it had been the expression of a cosmovision throughwhich a whole way of living had been celebrated. The shift that occurred when tragedy startedto wither might have been imperceptible at first, but it would turn out, as we shall see, to be afundamental break in Western history. Nietzsche here in his account stays with Socrates, butfor the purposes of this work it is necessary to follow the turn of events for a little longer andalso take Socrates’ most famous disciple into account. For while it can be agreed withNietzsche that in Socrates’ theoretical man had found its origin, it was Plato who would beginto formalize this new way of life, which we will take a look at in the second chapter. The foremost principle for this new way of life and founding ground for a newcosmovision turned out to be a new category: the Truth. Truth, at that point in history did notconstitute a new phenomenon as such, however it would become Plato’s lasting influence tohave taken this concept and filled it with a hitherto unknown meaning. Only with Plato doestruth become what we perceive of it today – the Truth. 41
  42. 42. In the Platonic understanding the truth is something that is derived from graspingthings as they really are: truth is the effect obtained through an approximation to the pureworld of ideas, a world which lies beyond the mere and deceiving appearances and constitutesa sphere where things reveal themselves in their essence. Foucault remarks on Plato that “hesearched for the authentic, the pure gold” (Foucault, 1998e: 344). And he did so by taking alook at the (impure) manifestations in the real world and then “looking from above thesemanifestations to a model, a model so pure that the actual purity of the “pure” resembles it,approximates it, and measures itself against it” (Foucault, 1998e: 345). Having the truth thus implies seeing things as they really are – in their ideal andabstract form which can be differentiated from the merely apparent world of everydayexistence. Gianni Vattimo sums up this Platonic invention of the truth: Plato’s stable and definitive world of ideas was supposed to guarantee the possibility of rigorous knowledge of the mobile and mutable things of everyday existence. (Vattimo, 1999: 29)However, with positing such a world of ideas, the truth itself becomes an abstract categorywhich in principle works the same and is valid everywhere and at all times. Through thehistory-making importance that is placed on the truth, the Apollonian elements of the formal,the abstract and universal are favored. The truth can now become an abstract and formaluniversalism – an entirely Apollonian concept. Wolfgang Dietrich re-casts the Nietzschean interpretation of the Apollonian/Dionysianonce more by associating these two principles more explicitly with two tendencies on how toorganize a society: the formal Apollonian becomes the moral worldview and the content of 42
  43. 43. the Dionysian an energetic interpretation of the world. Moral in this sense implies theinterpretation of the world according to a formalized and universal code of conduct, anabsolute grid from which a division between good and evil can be derived and whichadvances hand in hand with the formation of institutions. The energetic worldview, on theother hand, strives towards harmony in the universe – the harmony of society, nature, andcosmos (Dietrich and Sützl, 2006). Harmony reigns when the relations in a concrete place andtime are in order and balanced. The energetic is thus primarily a quality of relationality, whereas morality is derivedfrom adherence to an externalized and abstract formal structure. Extrapolating this thought itfurthermore follows that the formal Apollonian worldview, as we have seen, also lends itselfeasily to universalization, whereas the Dionysian harmony has to remain local and contingent.With Plato and ever since in his wake Apollo is given precedence over Dionysius and with itthe category of the formal reigns within the Mediterranean and in the cultures that derive fromthis region: With the transition […] to the concept of the one and only final truth the Mediterranean turns away from all its neighbours, invents philosophy as an intellectual virtue and Europe as a cultural project. (Dietrich, 2006c: 28)With the Apollonian the logical - the rational, the formal and aesthetic - triumphed over theenergetic – and with it triumphed the political now understood as a formal andinstitutionalized category of societal organization. The first effects of this shift were so to beperceived exactly in the field of societal organization – with the institutional development ofthe city state of the Polis. The Dionysian fall from grace was fully corroborated later on withthe beginning of Christianity, when Dionysius – as Satan - “was relegated to the dark”(Dietrich, 2006c: 37). 43
  44. 44. The reign of Apollo, the reign of the principle of form, came to its full force in theinstitutionalizations of Church, state and, later on, in the formalistic methods of science.Finally, this led from the Socratic “theoretical man” to what Wolfgang Dietrich’s Nietzschecalls “White Men’s Disease” as the effect of the negation of Dionysian energy (Dietrich,2006c: 37). The suppression of the energetic principle individually leads to blockages and, inits extreme forms, to anomy. The formalistic reign of Apollo leads to the attempt atcontrolling emotions via institutionalizations and, in its extreme forms, to the fossilization andpetrification experienced within the modern state system and its ideas of tracked diplomacyand conflict prevention. On the effects of this Apollonian hegemony on a larger scale Dietrich points out that itserved to make Europe “stubborn, self referential, strong and aggressive” (Dietrich, (2006a):2). On the outside this led to centuries of the European expansionist drive of conquest andcolonialism which always went hand in hand with the Christian missionizing zeal, and on theinside it meant the formalization and increasing aesthetizication of politics and social life. Unhinged from the Dionysian another element has since surfaced and the West - beingthusly influenced by Apollo Phobos – has become phobic in its striving for security, its manicfear of the Other and absolute quest for control. The Church and the State would more andmore become the guarantors of the Apollonian tyranny. Under the sign of institutionalizationand (at least in the case of the Church) absolute Truth a formalistic, abstract, and ultimatelyrational and universal worldview was aggressively spread all over the world. As Friedrich Nietzsche - and later Wolfgang Dietrich - already pointed out, Churchand morals also formally advance hand in hand, as morality is exactly derived from such a 44
  45. 45. claim to the Truth. Morals can so be defined as an abstract code of conduct, exclusivelyregulating and setting down the universal precepts for the Good life. Through morals itbecomes possible to separate the Good from the Evil, the righteous from the sinners just asthrough the Good Book the believers can be separated from the pagans. Once the claim to ultimate truth and morals has been set down in principle, the Others,those who do not follow this code of conduct, can at best be tolerated, but most of the timethey at least have to be shown the right path (towards alternatively salvation of their souls, thetruth, development, progress, civilization or enlightenment). And, as history has shown timeand again, once the claim to the absolute truth is established, also this negative and emptytolerance is always endangered and can only too easily give way to that other practice of theChurch over centuries: Convert or die! In this rejection of Otherness another Apollonian element, the striving for purity,reaches its pinnacle. Those three figures - the claim to absolute truth, the rejection of theOther and the simultaneous striving for the own purity – be that of the self and the ownphysical body, the purity of one’s thoughts, of the social body or the race - are intricatelyconnected. Left unchecked, there so surfaces something extremely violent in this Apollonianstriving for purity. Everything indeterminate, uncertain, not following the rule laid down – bethat rule of the law, the formal code of conduct of morals, but also everything Other that canso also be classified as inferior - is constantly under the threat of aggression. It would take long centuries for this formalization and aesthetizication to be pushed toits extremes. At its culminating point there nevertheless stands the civilization break whoseshadows already led Walter Benjamin in the middle of the 1930s to his pre-sentient 45
  46. 46. realization: “All efforts to aestheticize politics culminate in one point. That one point is war”(Benjamin, 2002: 121). In a re-interpretation of Benjamin’s statement one could agree that with Apollorampant and unchecked the Dionysian is ever more pushed to the margins. The completeformalization and aestheticization of the social and political sphere can ultimately only behostile to life and become inhuman – and can so lead to the complete rejection andannihilation of the energetic force of life. The Fascist regimes from this point of view are notthe accidents of modernity but the culmination of its Apollonian tendencies. But even if we do not push the argument until its logical conclusion in the Fascistextremes, there still is something deeply disconcerting about the modern nation states andtheir large scale statistical attempts at population management. The abstract and formalfigures of birth rates, life expectancies, crime rates, literacy and the subsequent measuresleading to hospitals per capita, literacy campaigns, sanitation projects, education policies,reforms in penal laws etc. – all those attempts to cull and optimize this abstract figure of apopulation according to predetermined statistical standards have been characterized byMichel Foucault (1990a and 2003) as biopower in which all modern states are engaged in oneway or the other and to some extent. Biopower is the power that does not need to kill the Other any more, that does nolonger regress to weapons and wars, but that just makes certain forms of Otherness disappear,through certain policies disallowing certain lives, certain ways of living and thus, in the end,certain people to exist. Behind the functioning of biopower there is in each case an abstract,formal, scientific or moral universalism, or in other words: an Apollonian form. 46
  47. 47. Using the terms of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (1987), the Apollonian principleis the one of the stratified - that which segments or territorializes and ties the subject to theprinciple of identity. Its expressions - discourse, structure, syntax - pull us in a certaindirection of individuation – in the famous words of Stuart Hall (1996: 6-10) they hail us into aparticular place and so induce the investment into pre-established identity categories. It isonly through this investment that those (abstract) categories are filled life. Letting oneself behailed like this has, one the one hand, a stabilizing effect on identity. On the other hand, it isalso petrifying and normalizing. Falling into the Apollonian trap, performing identities (Butler1999) in line with those categories implies a discursive normalization of the subject accordingto pre-given social standards. The fortified Apollonian principle so favors being, stability self-sameness and is hostile to becoming, transformation and, ultimately, change. But simultaneously also a door is opened when one realizes with Judith Butler (1999)that if identity is performed, this implies that it can also be performed differently. It can beperformed not only in accordance with social standards but also in a disobedient way,resignifying those identity categories to which we are being hailed. Performing identitydifferently implies refusing the standards of normality, like for example when queering theboundaries of the white, North-Atlantic, heterosexual ideal of gender identity. Michel Foucault (2000f: 336) points in a similar direction of resistance when statingthat “maybe the task today is not to discover what we are, but to refuse what we are”. Thosekinds of resistance, however, always run the danger of entirely remaining within Apolloniancategories, in so far as becoming “other” always implies becoming somebody else and thedanger of re-ensnarement is so never far off. In the seventies Foucault at first tried tocircumnavigate this danger with the gesture of a permanent, unceasing, refusal. Our task thenwould be the perpetual displacement of identity, the unceasing becoming other. 47

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