Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Word of the day: Aha-Erlebnis

It is official, I have become a "poseure" (yes I do inist on the final "e" please).
Now I should explain that Ferney Voltaire does not really have the equivalent of Aix en Provence's Les deux Garçons or Paris' Les deux Magots, so philosophizing is reserved for my morning bus ride. On days when I don't have a book I often try to read the titles of what my fellow travellers are reading. This week I've been feeling a bit of a fraud, wandering around carrying a book which has "Becoming Divine" in large letters on the cover. Regular readers of this blog will know that my usual reading matter tends to be the latest detective fiction.
Today I nearly missed my stop because I had what the Germans refer to as an "Aha Erlebnis". Something Grace Jantzen wrote really struck a chord with me and moved me. I suppose I suddenly realised that it is absolutely ok to think theological thoughts in my crazy, imaginative, feminist, francophone-anglophone, intuitive way ... I arrived at work feeling good about life, about thinking, about ways forward. Perhaps this really is what is referred to as one of the consolations of philosophy!
I realise that once or twice before I have experienced something similar while reading philosophy. I was still rather under the influence of Walter Benjamin when I first really met and impressed Dr B, and I remember having a rather minor epiphany reading a page of Adorno
many moons ago on an East German railway station.
Anyway I'm not sure that what I am currently reading will change my life but anything that can both nearly make me miss my bus stop and lift my mood must have some power to it. It also made me want to read more and believe I would continue to understand. Here's a small taste of some of what la pasteure poseure was reading - but perhaps the Aha-Erlebnis only came as a result of my longing for café society!
"... if ... the aim of philosophy of religion is to enable becoming divine, becoming our sacred sexuate selves in relation to the earth and to one another, then mathematics and rigorous applications of scientific epistemology are less likely to be helpful than are psychoanalytic theory, imaginative possibilities of human becoming drawn from literature and the arts, and careful social and political analysis."


Lac19 said...

I guess I don't get it, but if it says —as it seems— that psychoanalysis is good, I am all for it! ;o)

Jane said...

Don't worry you don't need to get it - but yes it does say Psychoanalysis is good - though it also says that discipline is also heavily gendered despite its many insights. Jantzen and Irigaray seem to have lots of time for Lacan despite him being a sexist swine. I'm still having problems getting that ... especially as one of my most feminist friends is equally under Lacan's spell. I still think I prefer Ricoeur or Levinas but what do I know?