I’m old-fashioned and above all open to new ideas. Contrarian.
- Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None
- I was born in Rhodesia in 1968.
- PhD (2011)
In my memoir, MINUS THE MORNING, I make fun of my youthful lack of knowledge about my time and place, whilst endeavoring to understand the origins of my connection with nature and my sense of the natural as sacred. As as young adult, I struggled to understand why I lacked exact political and social information about who I was in the world. Twenty years later, I have pieced together much of the cultural logic that had led to my original psychological and historical naivete. I’ve developed all sorts of knowledge and power to control my circumstances.
- Personal information:
- I was born in Zimbabwe and live a vivid physical and intellectual life with an active USA guy.
- I’m attached to stoicism as a trade-off for the ability to have wide-ranging experiences: I crave these experiences as my body craves roughage. Such challenges provide real intellectual, emotional and cognitive rewards.
- Extreme sports, martial arts, women’s self-defence instructor, Continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, psychology, feminism, the life of the mind, Western boxing, Shamanism. I coined this term, “shamanistic doubling” to describe how certain types of ‘madness’ can be productive states. One looks at oneself from the outside and gains valuable knowledge and experience by reducing or increasing the level of one’s emotional involvement. Traditional shamans take special drugs to see everything from, as it were, outside of the ego.
We can understand shamanism as a temporary departure from the here-and-now to bring something back from an altered state of consciousness. This could be a solution to a problem, a creative product or an intellectual idea. Notably, The double helix was discovered on LSD. Altered states of consciousness are often experienced spontaneously by those who exposed to war or extreme episodes of violence. My PhD thesis (2010) examines the experiences of Zimbabwean writer, DAMBUDZO MARECHERA. “Shamanistic” detachment and stoicism came naturally to me due to my stoical upbringing. My philosophical, psychological and aesthetic influences derive from Nietzsche and Georges Bataille.
My employment of the term, “intellectual shamanism”, is intended to imply neurological shifts and in no way suggests mysticism, except as a phenomenological effect of mental processes. This model of “intellectual shamanism” is entirely my own and was developed over five years, whilst writing my PhD.
Posted by Jennifer Armstrong
Or, Australian or British terms, for that matter.This means I can sometimes appear like an American leftist, sometimes like an American rightist. But I am neither.I’m not hypocritical.Often enough I don’t even know about the delimiting markers. I don’t play that game because I AM NOT THE GAME. It’s not my war: I wasn’t educated to play that role.I’m African. More accurately, I was African. Nowadays, I am simply someone whose perceptions have been conditioned by African experiences.People tend to read a left wing or right wing identity into me, but to the degree that these are Western identities, you WILL miss your mark. It’s not even a question of ‘IF’.You WILL miss it. And you will miss it again and again.I’m not deceiving you. You are deceiving yourself. You may not have taken the time to immerse yourself into an African sensibility. It could even be that you do not know very much about Southern Africa.Any default assumption that I am simply Western will come naturally to you.It’s an interesting solution to your problem.That solution will make me less understandable, as assuming I have Western points of reference will lead you to obvious errors. But, you have not had the kinds of experience that would enable you to know what I am.I don’t mean to condemn you as your mistakes have already been anticipated as well as documented.The pattern of mistakes could be scientifically verifiable.My points of reference are consistent with African sensibilities — particularly war, revolution and social overturn in Southern Africa.