Spirituality, Diversion, and Decadence: The Contemporary Predicamentby Peter H. Van Ness
Pub. Date: 10/22/1992
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Spiritual discipline is especially effective at combatting Pascalian diversion, the pursuit of
This book presents a philosophical rethinking of the meaning and nature of spiritual discipline. It offers a new way of describing and justifying practices like praying, meditating, fasting, and yoga, and it provides an innovative case for their contemporary importance.
Spiritual discipline is especially effective at combatting Pascalian diversion, the pursuit of activities that occupy the mind just enough to avoid thinking about important things; and Nietzschean decadence, the proclivity for extirpating instinctive drives instead of satisfying or sublimating them. In addition to overcoming diversion and decadence in contemporary consumerist culture, VanNess recommends spiritual discipline as a means of political resistance to powerful institutions which seek to exercise social control in democratic societies by promulgating addictive patterns of consumption.
Finally, he argues that regimens of spiritual discipline can serve healthful and liberating purposes, and generally promote fullness of life, only insofar as they are shaped by an ethos of intellectual criticism and aesthetic experimentation.
Table of Contents
Introduction: On Praxis and Pleroma
I. The Philosophical Problem
1. A Historical Perspective
2. A Contemporary Evaluation
II. Categoreal Themes and their Practical Applications
3. Semiotic Self-Reference
4. Physical Symmetry
5. Biological Equilibration
III. Rethinking the Nature of Spiritual Disclipline
6. Nietzsche's Negation
7. A Novel Response
Conclusion: Beyond Diversion and Decadence
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >