2018 Newsletter 3: Mars or Bust
|Rajesh Kasturirangan||Mar 7, 2018|
Writer's Lament: In the absence of a response, it's impossible to know whether these pixels make any impact. So please please do hit reply (even if to complain or castigate). Even better, read this week's essay and tell me what you think.
Way back when I sent the first newsletter of the year (actually, December 31st of last year), I said I am going to explore the hoary concept of "Samsara," and yet, here I am, talking about planetarity, animals and capitalism.
The absence of any Indian philosophical material so far is deliberate - I am first trying to get a fix on the main features of our planetary condition and only then take those features through an Indian whirl. The reason is simple: I believe that Indian philosophy as it's currently practiced is marginal, if not dead. There's only so much one can do with close readings of Sanskrit texts.
At the same time, I also believe that the street metaphysics of the Indian traditions have insights that generalize well to our current condition. Just as astronomers make better lenses by rubbing two lenses against each other, my goal is to smoothen two metaphorical lenses - a contemporary account of life at the planetary edge and a classical tradition of empty living by rubbing them off against other. But the contemporary lens has to be crafted first.
Read the essay please.