Apophatic implications: A-syncretic

This will be a short piece; I want to think out loud through some ideas coming up around the apophatic material, see how they sound. Take what I say here with something of a grain of salt because I am stating the ideas a bit strongly to see them more clearly.

As I work through the implications of apophatic work, syncretism presents itself again and again as a problem, one intricately bound up with the concern for idolatry that runs through the gnostic material. Kabbalism proper is necessarily anti-syncretic, but I suspect that even less rigorous expressions of this gnostic vein of thought (like my own) must be suspicious of syncretism.

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[NB] Bland Insight

This post circles around Francois Jullien’s In Praise of Blandness. I first encountered Jullien during my “if I see a Zone Book I read it” phase of my college library wanderings. I stumbled into In Praise of Blandness (also a Zone Book) at a used bookstore and picked it up for old time’s sake.

This book fits into Jullien’s long-running argument about the distinctiveness of Chinese thought from Western European thought. I’m sympathetic to Jullien’s argument, but you can bracket whether or not he is precisely right about the question of cultural difference and appreciate his close portrait of a distinct form of conscious experience.

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