2 thoughts on “Fusion”

  1. Very nice video, Bharath! Look forward to watching the next installment!

    Regarding your basic project of promoting fusion, synthesis, or unity of distinct traditions or disparate modes of thought, what if there’s in reality only brokenness, fragmentation, or disunity of those traditions or modes of thought? I’m thinking of the lines in T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland: “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow/Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,/You cannot say, or guess, for you know only/ A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,/And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief.” What if it’s the nature of the modern world to be incapable of, or resistant to, the kind of unification you’re attempting to promote? Are you being sufficiently cautious in your optimism about being able to unify philosophy and spirituality, academia and non-academia, Eastern and Western thought? Is any kind of “fusion” or unification susceptible to becoming a kind of system-building or attempt to formulate a grand theory of everything? The modernist or postmodernist impulse may be to reject unifying metanarratives that function as overarching frameworks to legitimate knowledge claims.

    Regarding your project of fusion, I’m also thinking about what Foucault says in The Archaeology of Knowledge, that the unity of any discourse is actually a dispersion of elements that involves discontinuity. Thus, the task of any discursive analysis is to discover the rules according to which this disunity of objects, forms, concepts, and theoretical options is present.

    And why fusion, as opposed to analysis (discursive, linguistic, or textual) of disparate elements of experience (personal, social, philosophical, spiritual, or cultural)? Why unification, as opposed to deconstruction? Perhaps we need to learn how to live with conflict and contradiction (within ourselves and within society), arriving at that negative capability of which Keats speaks, in which we recognize and reconcile ourselves to uncertainty, doubt, and mystery.

    Look forward to further developments in your exciting project!

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    1. “Perhaps we need to learn how to live with conflict and contradiction (within ourselves and within society), arriving at that negative capability of which Keats speaks, in which we recognize and reconcile ourselves to uncertainty, doubt, and mystery.”

      This is well put. This is what I mean by fusion, of how we can accept the many sides of us and live with the conflicts and the contradictions – both within ourselves and in the society. So the contrast of unity vs deconstruction is I think misplaced. Both unity and deconstruction happen at the same time. In order for there to be unity (so that we can live together and tackle the big problems), we need to embrace the diversity within each of us, and also embrace how that diversity can be different in each person.

      Accepting that inner diversity will involve change and disintegration. For example, my accepting my interest in spirituality and in academic philosophy and seeing how they come together means also my coming to grips with my separation from the current institutional structures as they are – and my coming to grips with those institutional structures disintegrating or transforming so that new structures can form. The question then is: what kind of new structures can we form so that we can appreciate this fractal nature of fusion, rather than assuming that fusion means there is just one way of being a fusion person.

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