Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Response to Joy
Two thoughts for now on Joy's thoughts:
(1) It seems as if Joy's anxiety about withdrawal is rightly concerned with some notion of the proper, of propriety—that withdrawal is like a kind of sealed off enclosure, a hortus conclusus or game park in which, as she rightly points out, all kinds of violence are implicit and explicit.
(1.2) (okay, another half thought). The kind of process-relational materialism that Jane is into (from what I've heard when I've talked with her and heard her talk) does have difficulty imagining withdrawal as anything other than some actually located island somewhere on or in the object, entity, whatever.
I've had some discussions with other process type folks who also get stuck right there. This is, from my point of view, a symptom of an implicit reductionism—they think objects are made of matter, so you can have subsections 1, 2 and 3 (whatever) and then Mystery Subsection 4 (the withdrawn section).
The problem they have assumes objects can be broken into pieces somehow. Now I solved this myself by letting go of the idea of matter...yikes...so now I have ecology without matter as well as ecology without nature...long story....
(2) "Withdrawal" suggests as Joy says something retreating or shrinking like a snail disappearing into a shell. Actually I have good psychological associations with that kind of introversion, but I know what she means—there's a spatiality there. This spatiality does rather induce the (1.2) problem.
So in my own work I'm imagining "withdrawal" as a kind of magical display that happens right under your nose in the very performance of appearing...sort of queer display...all a bit hush hush right now but that's my solution, probably just a perverse aesthetic solution but what the hey...(shameless Realist Magic plug here)
(2.2) (what the hey again): I may have been wrong, or maybe a little wrong, about the mesh and the strange stranger, at least in the way I articulated it in The Ecological Thought. I now think that strange strangers are real, ontologically prior, while the mesh is the emergent effect, the sensual object!
In ET it seems like it's the other way around and also in the Spinozan or Bohmian type implicate order language I hear Jane talking (actually I recommended that Bohm angle to her a while ago cos I also really love that).
I think I was confused by the temporal sequence of how humans discovered ecological awareness: first you figure out everything is interconnected, then you start to see these beings emerging from the web. But I think what really happened was, our instruments picked up beings that really exist whether we are monitoring them or not e.g. global warming.