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Peter Sloterdijk - You must change your life!

There's a new book by Peter Sloterdijk which should soon be available to you in English. This article tells you some basics about it: http://pervegalit.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/sloterdijk-you-must-change-your-life/ I was given the book as a present and have started to read it. As Sloterdijk tends to keep some things open and ambiguous I cannot tell you final judgments about the book until I have read it in full. But I do recommend the book as a philosophy book which can possibly be very useful to occultists. I even find Sloterdijk's style highly entertaining. The whole topic of the book is exercise and training and it opens a philosophical perspective, or even many perspectives on this topic. Matters of Esotericism, Mysticism and the Occult are not dealt with very explicitly but sometimes lightly touched upon, at least within the 200 pages I have read. However the ideas in this book can very easily be aplied by occultists in their practice I think. Presently Sloterdijk gets criticised (once again) for political implications some people see in his present work. But once again the journalists prove at least selective perception. Some passages look politically weird to me as well, but I don't have the final judgment, yet, as I said. It's very much a matter of context. And there are clearly very humane concepts in this book, which get ignored by some journalists. Some passages show a uniquely humane version of Nietzscheanism, which I am very fond of. Sloterdijk often causes his own problems with sentences that selectively quoted look highly stupid in political matters. However I swear, in context it's entirely different. Maybe I'll tell you more about this book when I have finished it.

Comments

  • I have read further. Sloterdijk describes a Utopian university at some point in his book, the way it should be for him, and lists many disciplines which should be taught there, and among them you find Meditation and "Ritualistics". I find this extremely cool. I know how much courage it means for a philospher of today to say this, when Analytical Philosophy dominates and wants to tell everyone what may be talked about and what not. Sloterdijk can afford this. I as a student had to go through terrible attacks when it was noticed I had an interest in such matters. Happy to be a freestyler, now! So you see, you definitely have an example of esotericism-friendly philosophy here.

  • And it's becoming more esoteric later on even... Still serious philosophy I would say. Aaaargh, too many philosophers are caught up in dogma and categories and side-taking and unability to transcend. It's a shame. I wonder if I will write a philosophy book. Had the idea that contemporary academic philosophy can hardly be said to still have much to do with wisdom - sophia. I mean what's wise if you say transcendence or meditation don't mean anything? Some scholars would tell you that. Aaaargh!

  • Writing Philosophy? Who's going to read it? And is that audience big enough for your ideas to make an impact on the world?

    My own philosophical reading is meagre and my formal education is limited, but I have read examples of the genre. Still I've an opinion that the best way to express the insight and have it be understood is to write fiction and have a character develop the same insight in a way the resolves a story conflict.

    That way, you have fun writing it, and you can sell your idea really well. Look how well crackpot objectivism sells when sold in the form of popular fiction?

  • Aah, well - selling! Michael, I have published several things, among them a novel already with a classic conflict and a developing protagonist. But I didn't even manage to earn anything with that. If you have got marketing tips, they will be welcome. I am a little disappointed in that concern. My past dreams of the profession writer seem more like confusion, since I approached the market with my work. And the shame is, the few who have read my work say they love it. It was just an idea, not a plan to write philosophy. But you are probably right, the chances to sell it would be even worse than for my fiction. I don't know if the situation is as bad in other countries as here in Germany. In fact the puiblishers seem to be fond of translations from foreign countries rather than German literature. And the whole impression of German media is pretty much one of superficiality, mediocrity and avoidance of thinking these days. And then there are thousands of writers in each other's way who don't get their work sold. However I keep having my ideas. They don't let me alone. Disappointment still rules my mood in that regard very much.

  • Thanks, some words again that make me think of continuing, like the ones by some writer colleagues some months ago. Although current ideas I have are rather for films and that philosophy thing, or it could become an occult/philosophy crossover thing, than for fictional literature.

  • My advice would be same as Anton's. I would simply stick to writing or whatever you feel like doing. Thinking of how to succeed never makes it happen.

    The idea of emailing to your audience could be a mistake depending on who your target audience is. I for example find it extremely annoying if my inbox is being flooded with random adverts from different sellers, even if they are advertising products I would be interested in. I know quite a lot of people who feel the same. It would rather put them off buying. Better make sure your audience isn't well informed about marketing strategies. If they are they could feel offended for trying 'cheap tricks' on them I think that most of really successful writers find followings because they are original not because they are good at marketing anyway, so don't worry about it too much.

    I definitely think that there is quite a large audience out there that would be interested in modern philosophy. Maybe being 'brainy' isn't trendy but people who follow trends aren't fussy. They prefer to go with a flow. It doesn't matter to them what the trend is. They rarely are a loyal fans anyway. Getting a small but devoted audience is probably a better idea. At least it will give you steady small income and it may grow overtime. I knew a considerable number of people reading Nietzsche, Huxley and others. I think that more people read philosophy than admit to it. It's currently kind of 'uncool' to like it but it is just another trend. It will shift with time. Also because it isn't considered cool people who are into this kind of thing are probably quite desperate to prove it actually is cool and so that could be a route to go with Michael's advice, write some really cool philosophy! - That as a magickal act in itself could shift things a bit.

    The thing that could make a difference is to get your work translated into a foreign language. It would give you a chance to reach out to more people but that's just one reason. Quoting a bible 'prophet has no honour in his own country'. I find this really is true. It is somehow more exciting to read foreign writers and listen to foreign music. I suspect this isn't possible for you at the moment, but if you would have a chance it's definitely worth having a go.

  • I was literally dis-illusioned about my lack of success. I don't actually aim at making my creativity my profession anymore. There are a few people who notice and like what I've done, and if I can't hope for more, that's OK. I'm working on earning money in a different way and just noticed that creativity is a thing that makes me happy. That's why I go on. I'm just in the process of publishing the new book - can be days or weeks until it's out. Of course I'm hoping again - but actually because when I wrote it I had looked at the market and tried to see what sells. But in the meantime I figured that's not the original reason why I started writing. The original reason was inspiration. And the artists I admire all followed their inspiration foremost. That's why I feel I will mostly do that in the future.

  • I was literally dis-illusioned about my lack of success. I don't actually aim at making my creativity my profession anymore. There are a few people who notice and like what I've done, and if I can't hope for more, that's OK. I'm working on earning money in a different way and just noticed that creativity is a thing that makes me happy. That's why I go on. I'm just in the process of publishing the new book - can be days or weeks until it's out. Of course I'm hoping again - but actually because when I wrote it I had looked at the market and tried to see what sells. But in the meantime I figured that's not the original reason why I started writing. The original reason was inspiration. And the artists I admire all followed their inspiration foremost. That's why I feel I will mostly do that in the future.

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