Love, Death, and the Sub-Creative Imagination in J.R.R. Tolkien (revised)

Love, Death, and the Sub-Creative Imagination in J. R. R. Tolkien Written March 3, 2013, Revised September 20, 2014 by Matthew David Segall In the year 1951, as recorded by the calendar of our world, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to a potential publisher of his Lord of the Rings trilogy to describe the origin of his [...]

Love, Death, and the Sub-Creative Imagination in J. R. R. Tolkien

Yesterday I found myself reading The Silmarillion, an unfinished collection of Tolkien's mythopoeic writings depicting the creation of Ëa and its passage through the first of the three ages of the world (The Lord of the Rings trilogy depicts events at the end of the third age). The stories, posthumously published by his son Christopher in 1977, are prefaced [...]

Immanent Law, Transcendent Love, and Political Theology

I'm going to attempt to clarify my own position in relation to that of Levi Bryant's on the issue of the potential role of religion in revolutionary politics. Bryant has toned down the diatribe, offering two substantive posts over at Larval Subjects, as well as several comments to me here at Footnotes. I'll try to lay [...]

Experiments in Political Theology and Dialogical Blogging

The first clause in the title of this post is the subtitle of Simon Critchley's newest book, The Faith of the Faithless (2012). Critchley is a deep ethical thinker who had until a week ago managed to fly under my radar. This isn't all that surprising, since the admittedly still diffuse research methodology of my [...]

The Poetics of Cosmogenesis, or Cosmopoiesis

Jason/Immanent Transcendence has asked me to offer a Whiteheadian take on his recent posts (two examples are HERE, and, especially relevant, HERE) concerned with such ideas as purpose, process, form, time, and chance in John Dewey. Jason has also recently written about a Deweyan approach to the place of values in nature while in conversation [...]

The Mysticism and Cosmology of the American Genius Howard Thurman, a lecture at CIIS

Last night I had the privilage of attending a lecture by Brian Swimme and Bonnie and Kashka Wills on the thought of Howard Thurman. Brian is a mathematical cosmologist who teaches at CIIS here in San Francisco. Bonnie is a Restorative Justice Facilitator in Oakland. Her brother Kashka is a former literature professor turned poet. [...]

Levi Bryant on the Role of Love in Philosophy

Bryant posted a great piece on textual transference and the role of love in learning. He has succeeded in making me wonder what it is exactly that gives ideas their alluring personalities. How is it that sympathy and charisma have such an effect in the world, while cold-hard facts and rationally deduced truth seem to [...]

Gravity Is Love, And Other Astounding Metaphors : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR

This NPR article mentions one of my professors, cosmologist Brian Swimme. Here is my comment: Dr. Swimme calls gravity love, and I think it is an apt metaphor. Anthropomorphic? Perhaps, but how else are we to really understand gravity unless we can relate it to our human experience of the universe? And it is not [...]

Physical and Spiritual Energy

Energy. The science of thermodynamics defines it as the ability of a physical system to do work. But in the case of a human being, how does this work relate to the conscious experience of the person performing it? That is, what is the relationship between physical and spiritual energy? We might start trying to [...]