"If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next — if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions — you’d be doomed. You’d be as ruined as God. You’d be a stone. You’d never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You’d never love anyone, ever again. You’d never dare to."
You say my name is ambivalence? Think of me as Shiva, a many-armed and -legged body with one foot on brown soil, one on white, one in straight society, one in the gay world, the man’s world, the women’s, one limb in the literary world, another in the working class, the socialist, and the occult worlds. A sort of spider woman hanging by one thin strand of web.
Who, me, confused? Ambivalent? Not so. Only your labels split me.
"I am a wind-swayed bridge, a crossroads inhabited by whirlwinds. Gloria, the facilitator, Gloria, the mediator, straddling the walls between abysses. “Your allegiance is to La Raza, the Chicano movement,” say the members of my race. “Your allegiance is to the Third World,” say my Black and Asian friends. “Your allegiance is to your gender, to women,” say the feminists. Then there’s my allegiance to the Gay movement, to the socialist revolution, to the New Age, to magic and the occult. And there’s my affinity to literature, to the world of the artist. What am I? A third world lesbian feminist with Marxist and mystic leanings. They would chop me up into little fragments and tag each piece with a label."
"We are not transparent to ourselves. We have intuitions, suspicions, hunches, vague musings, and strangely mixed emotions, all of which resist simple definition. We have moods, but we don’t really know them. Then, from time to time, we encounter works of art that seem to latch on to something we have felt but never recognized clearly before. Alexander Pope identified a central function of poetry as taking thoughts we experience half-formed and giving them clear expression: “what was often thought, but ne’er so well expressed.” In other words, a fugitive and elusive part of our own thinking, our own experience, is taken up, edited, and returned to us better than it was before, so that we feel, at last, that we know ourselves more clearly."
— Alain de Botton, Art as Therapy (via whyallcaps)
"While we do not presume a simplistic causal relationship between anthropocentrism and the myriad crises impacting our planet, we believe that its narrow humanism and restrictive definitions of the human have played significant roles in shaping these crises. We need new definitions of the human, new subjectivities, and new epistemologies. In short, we need new worldviews. Rosi Braidotti makes a similar point: “[W]e need to devise new social, ethical, and discursive schemes of subject formation to match the profound transformations we are undergoing. That means we need to learn to think differently about ourselves[,] … . to think critically and creatively about who and what we are actually becoming.”3 Like Braidotti, we call for the development of “alternative schemes of thought, knowledge, and self-representation” (12). And so, in this article, we explore the possibilities of shifting from anthropocentrism into less centralized, more expansive and interconnected worldviews in which the human is neither exceptionalized nor excluded."
— Decentring the Human? Towards a Post-Anthropocentric Standpoint Theory AnaLouise Keating, Kimberly C. Merenda*