samedi 22 janvier 2011

Where to begin?

L'année dernière j'ai commis un billet qui montrait sans l'ombre possible d'un doute ma totale, absolument totale ignorance des systèmes de pensée de l'Inde puisque j'avais confondu Thomas Sankara et Adi Shankara. ZapPow a dû intervenir pour éclairer ma lanterne...

Eh oui, il y a 7 mois je n'avais jamais entendu parler du plus connu des philosophes Hindous!

Il fallait faire quelque chose, il était plus que temps de sortir de la pénombre dans laquelle j'étais concernant la civilisation indienne, son histoire, sa littérature et ses religions.

Pourquoi ne l'avais-je pas fait avant? Hmmmm... Il y a un temps pour tout et on passe de toutes façons à côté de mille et une choses, l'occasion, la curiosité, la très diffuse sensation qu'il s'agit d'un monde impénétrable et comme dit Anijo, Where to begin?

Quoi qu'il en soit j'ai suivi un crash course depuis trois mois, des Aryens arrivant dans la vallée de l'Indus au Sikhisme, plus récente école de pensée issue de l'Inde je crois.

Wiki  m'a permis de mettre un peu d'ordre dans cet univers d'une incroyable richesse et de situer les écoles astika par rapport aux non-astika, le Bouddhisme et le Jaïnisme, les Védas et les Upanishads, l'Âtman et le Brahman etc. et donc aussi Adi Shankara.

Problème : cette civilisation est tellement riche de courants et d'écoles, de différences et de nuances que vient un moment où l'on parvient au seuil de l'érudition où l'on risque de perdre pied. 

Une chose notamment m'a surpris, c'est l'apparente "simplicité" de la pensée chinoise par rapport à la pensée indienne. Etchdi, s'il était encore parmi nous, ne manquerait pas de me corriger mais de la pensée chinoise il m'est resté le Taoïsme avec Lao-tseu et Tchouang-tseu et le Confucianisme avec Confucius donc et Mencius. Et bien sûr des dizaines et des dizaines de milliers de pages de commentaires et d'interprétations.

Mais l'Inde! Quelle extraordinaire et déroutante diversité!

Comme on sait, il ne faut pas envisager les systèmes de pensée orientaux avec notre rationalité occidentale qui vise plus à la compréhension du monde qu'à une pratique personnelle dont la finalité serait de vivre en harmonie avec celui-ci.

Je remercie donc ZapPow d'avoir tiré la sonnette d'alarme, il était plus que temps de mettre un terme au scandale de mon ignorance, différente cependant de mon avidya, non moins réelle néanmoins.

Connaissant le where to begin? il m'est donc possible désormais de pénétrer plus avant au sein de cette civilisation tout en sachant bien que je n'irai jamais bien loin tellement elle est exceptionnellement foisonnante.

Quant à Auddalaki Shveraketu il s'agirait donc de l'auteur d'un Kâmashâstra du VIIIè siècle avant notre ère.

17 commentaires:

Anijo a dit…

"The Self of this whole universe is the same as the tiny seed it came from. And you, O Sveta-ketu, are That!"

Where to begin?

Alexander Pope

A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir'd at first Sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless Youth we tempt the Heights of Arts,
While from the bounded Level of our Mind,
Short Views we take, nor see the lengths behind,
But more advanc'd, behold with strange Surprize
New, distant Scenes of endless Science rise!
So pleas'd at first, the towring Alps we try,
Mount o'er the Vales, and seem to tread the Sky;
Th' Eternal Snows appear already past,
And the first Clouds and Mountains seem the last:
But those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing Labours of the lengthen'd Way,
Th' increasing Prospect tires our wandering Eyes,
Hills peep o'er Hills, and Alps on Alps arise!

Flocon a dit…

There are too many data attached to these pictures... grrrr...

Sveta-ketu is learning he's part of the Whole. A lesson in monism so to say.

That post will be an unpretentious and even humble one for once...

Thanks for the mention of A. Pope, I'll go and ask my friend ;-)

Anijo a dit…

il m'est donc possible dorénavant de pénétrer plus avant au sein de cette civilisation tout en sachant bien que je n'irai jamais bien loin tellement elle est exceptionnellement foisonnante.

Ah, alors Flocon goes to school and discovers that a little learning is a dangerous thing, and thus he drinks deep from the Pierian Spring

Comment dit-on Pierian Spring en français?

Flocon a dit…

"Comment dit-on Pierian Spring en français?"

Source pierienne. Je n'ai trouvé que 2 résultats sur Google et je ne connaissais pas cette légende de la mythologie grecque.

The English Wiki says it's mostly known thanks to the poem by Pope. Therefore I make the deduction that this legend is far from being largely known.

Which is evidence I haven't drank much out of the Pieran spring...

"a little learning is a dangerous thing"

Il est vrai que lorsqu'on ne sait rien de rien sur un sujet quelconque, dès que l'on a ouvert la porte du temple et fait quelques pas dans la salle du savoir on découvre l'existence d'un univers jusqu'alors inconnu et l'ivresse peut faire tourner la tête.

But what did I write in the first place?: "That post will be an unpretentious and even humble one for once..."

Yes, I've gone to school and I've read the story of Svera-ketu who I didn't know of.

But now, since I "possess" the very basics of the very basics (Historically speaking) I am able to locate Svera-ketu on the map.

Like you know a little more about guns and al after the information SemperFi has provided to you ;-)

You've also drank a little from the Pieran spring and do you feel like you know it all now?

All in all, the more I know the less I know since I find out how much more extended the world is than I thought it was.

Anijo a dit…

What a beautifully stated response Flocon. You have a way with words.

As you know, I'm a long way from knowing it all about firearms. I'm just slightly less ignorant about the subject than I used to be.

I searched and searched on Google for Pierian Spring in French to no avail. Now I know why. I did find this rough translation of the two famous lines though:

Un soupçon de connaissance est une chose dangereuse
Buvez profendément, ou ne touchez point à la source de la connaissance

Flocon a dit…

Elle est parfaite cette traduction Anijo.

Le thème de la connaissance et des dangers qu'elle comporte se retrouve dans l'Ancien testament (la Genèse) sous la forme d'Adam et Ève.

J'ai une idée de billet la-dessus (la connaissance en expansion, la dynamique de la conscience as exposed by Hegel etc.) mais je vais attendre un peu, I feel I'm not able to write correctly these days.

Also I think there are more things to learn in philosophy, be it Western or Eastern one, than in the firearms and assault weapons business... ;-)

Anonyme a dit…

//Also I think there are more things to learn in philosophy, be it Western or Eastern one, than in the firearms and assault weapons business... ;-)//

I agree. The former can rise to the level of a profession. The latter can never be more than a trade.
SemperFidelis

Flocon a dit…

Semperfidelis is on the sarcastic mode today...


Hmmm...I may eventually reconsider my own first assertion...

When I think of firearms, weaponery business etc. there is much to learn like in any field of expertise men have developed.

Guns, riffles, ballistic missiles require extrem precise knowledge in terms of chemistry (powder) and mathematics for example and all that goes with metallurgy and the fine art of devising stocks for cannons inter alia.

It's not the load of knowledge which makes the difference but something else that I'd be at a loss to precisely define...

Now you can also evok the Hamlet line about Heaven and Philosophy or suggest that a bullet can send me right in Heaven (depending on my karma of course) where I'll have eternity to ponder the respective virtues of philosophy and the product the Glock cie manufactures...

Anonyme a dit…

Flocon: You are too quick to find sarcasm. I meant what I said. Perhaps the difficulty is in the associations the terms "profession" and "trade" have for the Anglophone. A profession is associated with learning and deep understanding. A trade, however much skill and craft is required, is only a means to an end.

On the other hand, a person famous for his learning, but not so famous that I can recall his name, said:

"Good philosophers and good plumbers are equally important to a society. Without them, neither its theories nor its pipes will hold water."

SemperFidelis

Flocon a dit…

SemperFidelis,

I admit I wasn't too sure of how to interpret your comment that I wrongly thought was kind of a quip. My bad!

Too bad Blogger doesn't provide emoticons.

You rightly spotted where my misunderstanding arose from. Trade and profession/métier et profession.

Thanks for helping me undertand my mistake.

As pertains the quote, it's from John Gardner's Excellence.

"An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society that scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."

A good plomber is immensely more useful than any philosopher, no doubt about it!

Anijo a dit…

I didn't think you were being sarcastic SemperFi. But then when Flocon thought that you were, I was wondering.

Without them, neither its theories nor its pipes will hold water.

Ah, a Zeugma! This is a new word that I learned on Christine's blog.

I'll have to remember this Zeugma.

Flocon a dit…

"I didn't think you were being sarcastic SemperFi. But then when Flocon thought that you were, I was wondering."

I'll never live down having mistaken SempFidelis's comment!

Anijo a dit…

I'll never live down having mistaken SempFidelis's comment!

Quelle horreur !

☺ ☺ ☺

Anonyme a dit…

Since I am on a roll with imperfectly remembered quotations, here is another. It goes something like this:

"A gentleman is never sarcastic. He may, however, be permitted the occasional irony."

SemperFidelis

Flocon a dit…

"A gentleman is never sarcastic. He may, however, be permitted the occasional irony."

An elegant one which, no doubt, will be much appreciated by Anijo...

Anijo a dit…

Well, I do know that SemperFi, Flocon and ZapPow are all gentlemen and are thus to be allowed all the irony that their heart's desire.

ZapPow a dit…

Voilà qui me rappelle une citation dont comme d'habitude k'ai oublié l'auteur :

"Certains s'abreuvent à la fontaine de la connaissance, d'autres ne font que s'y gargariser."

Surtout, ne va y voir aucune allusion, Flocon, je ne fais qu'étaler orgueilleusement mon vernis de culture.