Worldviews and their Transcendence as Spiritual Practice
In Discipline and Punishment. The Birth of the Prison Foucault writes that each training we undertake, each exam we pass, is nothing more than part of our own indoctrination.181 In sinister mood I suppose one could say that the training at School was simply another way of conditioning the self, this time in order to become a good, caring, ethical person, living happily within a horizon full of meaning, purpose, innate goodness, and essence, heading for enlightenment; an- other existential framework within which one can feel a little bit better, a little bit more held, more loved and safe, as opposed to facing the ‘terrifying empti- ness’ of the so-called modern predicament. One could say the students were par- ticipating in training themselves to become good and happy, letting their ‘beauti- ful essence’ shine forth into the world, or something like that. And maybe this was true to some extent. But I think it was not all. There was a distinct feature of the training at School which did go beyond mere conditioning, and which seemed to have a sincere interest in truth, authenticity and freedom. There was an aspect of the training, I believe, that was reaching into the existential, onto- logical dimension of the human condition. 8.1 Essence, oneness and the question of ontology If there was one final or ultimate truth the School would transmit, it would probably be the idea that all was one and that the ultimate ontological status of the world was ‘oneness’. This...
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