Олесь Манюк
Author: Oles Maniuk
Ph.D. in philosophy, consultant in advanced studies Jansen Capital Management
InterviewPhilosophy
6 minutes for reading

“WE ARE MOVING TO THE POINT OF OMEGA”. The interview with the philosopher Vadim Rudnev

"WE ARE MOVING TO THE POINT OF OMEGA". The interview with the philosopher Vadim Rudnev
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Vadim Rudnev (1958) is a famous philosopher, culturologist and semioticist. Author of many books on the philosophy of postmodernism, psychoanalysis, philosophy of language / newcinemaschool.com

 

What, in your opinion, is the place of philosophy in the modern world? And in general, is there a place for it now? This is precisely about philosophy, and not about the academic discipline of the same name.

Vadim Rudnev: Yes, of course, there is a place for philosophy, this is confirmed by the fact that philosophers have become more active in connection with the pandemic. A lot of people talk about the pandemic, in particular, my head of the department, Fedor Ivanovich Girenok. He even wrote a book about it.

One can point to the French and German philosophers who actively discuss these topics in the public space, and their voices are heard. Here are examples of the fact that philosophy has a place in this world, that it is relevant.

 

In your opinion, what is the current position of philosophy, what is its place in the world? What’s this? How does it, for example, differ from what philosophy was, let’s say, in the post-war period, in the twentieth century, when a whole galaxy of French philosophers appeared?

V. R.: I will give a specific example: I have a laboratory for the study of man and culture of the XXI century, it is interdisciplinary, but there are mainly philosophers who work there. What are we doing? We hold meetings in which people of the creative profession participate.

Now for me philosophy is not the activity of thinkers and for thinkers, it is the creation of a special environment for people of creative professions: for musicians, actors, artists, directors, in order to enrich knowledge about the world.

I make a lot of new acquaintances, and they all read my books, which I donate in large quantities.

 

In other words, do you now consider philosophy as a kind of impulse to human creative activity, regardless of the sphere in which it manifests itself?

V. R.: Quite right.

 

And how do you think, to what extent, in principle, philosophers are listened to? In this case, I am interested in how influential philosophy is in the modern world? Because there are different views on this matter. We can take, for example, the wonderful essay The Civilization of the Spectacle by Vargas Llosa, who says that in general philosophers have lost their place, and now showmen are taking their place.

V. R.: I will answer you again from my practice. Yesterday my wife and I went to a wonderful performance, by the way, at the invitation of the actress, who read my book New tragedy. Psychological aspects of the exit from postmodernism. The play was staged based on the novel War and Peace by Tolstoy. And I felt the impact of my book on this performance. That is, my philosophical work influenced this particular wonderful production.

 

This is an area of ​​art, but what about social life? Let’s say what is called everyday life.

V. R.: More specifically, please.

 

I mean the everyday life of society, if we consider it as a space in which there can be centers of culture. For example, in ancient Greece there was an Agora…

V. R.: Yes, I understand your question. I have a friend who builds houses using a special technology. And he once asked me to write a philosophical book together. It is called The Philosophy of Building Houses.

This person is completely immersed in everyday life, philosophizing is absolutely alien to him, but I have a very strong influence on him, and willy-nilly we created and published the book. It was read with interest by practitioners who seem to be far from philosophy.

Sorry that I only give examples from my own practice. I don’t follow fundamental philosophy, I stay at home and write books.

 

If we talk about the direction of philosophy, about the style of philosophy, have both of them changed significantly in comparison with the era of postmodernism, or is this era continuing?

V. R.: In a broad sense, this era continues. In a broad sense, postmodernism has always existed, and Eugene Onegin is postmodernism, which has also always existed, and we will never get rid of it. The same as for the pandemic.

The world will never be the same as it was before the pandemic. But in a narrow sense, postmodernism ended somewhere in the late 90s, and we come to new statements. That is, we greatly abuse quotations, and this is what my book New Tragedy. Problems of a psychological exit from postmodernism. I would like to give an example of the head of the Department of Philosophical Anthropology Fedor Ivanovich Girenko. He created his own anthropological school.

It is associated with philosophical anthropology, which is described in the Introduction to Singular Philosophy. So, human life, according to Girenko, is hallucinations. He understands hallucinations not clinically, but in his own way, and this is a clear departure from postmodernism towards so-called realism.

 

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How do you interpret this singular philosophy, what is it for you?

V. R.: You know, since the New Year, I want to study Fedor Ivanovich’s book, and so far I am not ready to answer your question. For me, this is a completely new logos, something completely unknown.

I didn’t even finish reading his book, it’s very difficult, because, for example, I love Einstein very much, I’m used to working in the mainstream of analytical philosophy, and the singular philosophy for me for now is a dark forest, but next year I will certainly do it and even, perhaps, I will finish the last book.

 

How do you think, if look at the perspective, how realistic is the revival of philosophy in the original form in which it appeared in the era of axial time, if you use Jaspers’ term?

V. R.: No, I think that it will not be reborn in this form. It will take on some other form. There was such a wonderful physicist, Pauli, and he said that it was necessary for physics and psychology to become one science. In this sense, I really want to recommend to the reader of your almanac the book Consciousness and Quantum Physics by Mikhail Borisovich Mensky.

 

You mean everetika, right? I just wanted to ask you about it. It is based on Everett’s methodological developments on the many-worlds.

V. R.: Yes, I was talking about it – multiverse. So, I wrote an article about this work, and now I have a book About Parallel Worlds that comed out soon. It is about the fact that we all live in parallel worlds, just our consciousness is hiding behind the blinders that are put on us so that we do not go crazy.

 

In different epochs, the path of an individual person was somehow directly or indirectly associated with social, cultural space. So, in this regard, there is probably a slightly strange question: do you think that the path of some absolute loner is possible now, who begins to create his own reality entirely himself?

V. R.: Yes, you know, it is possible. Here I am such a loner, although now I communicate with people a lot, but, in principle, when I am depressed, I withdraw into myself and write my books, I don’t think about anyone, I don’t give a damn what others think of me, I building my reality.

I have a book New Model of Reality, for which I received the Andrei Bely Prize. So, I think that one person in the field is a warrior, that a loner can do a lot, if, of course, he lives against life. Living against life means living against the second law of thermodynamics.

 

Now it will be a completely strange question, but for me it is relevant. Once Sigmund Freud spoke about the kingdom of mothers, that is, a certain force that destroys the individual for the sake of such an immortal ancestral plasma. Do you think it is possible in principle such a rebellion of the loner, which is able to overcome the gravity of death?

V. R.: Yes, you know, one of my books is called Experiment with Death, Presentation of a New Model of Immortality. It is very difficult to overcome death, but it is possible. To do this, you need, as I said, to live against life, there is a fundamental concept – this is metanoia. What is metanoia? In traditional Christianity, it means repentance.

 

That is, a rethinking?

V. R.: This is a change of mind in Christianity. “Repent until the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” in the language of Christianity means “Change yourself, change your mind, as the kingdom of higher consciousness is already here”. But this is feasible only for a very few people, to whom I do not count myself. I’m just a writer.

 

Which way do you think it is? What are its main principles or rules?

V. R.: It requires self-remembering. Gurdjieff says that we do not remember ourselves at all. It seems to us that this is not so, but in reality we are sleeping machines, working in a broken mode, machines of desire. And you need to remember yourself all the time – it is very difficult, it requires very painful exercises, and it is possible only for individuals.

 

What is self-remembering to you? Precisely in your interpretation, not Gurdjieff’s.

V. R.: For me, self-remembering is such a prototype of inspiration. When a person has inspiration, he forgets everything around him and remembers his selfhood, and selfhood is a term for an Orthodox person, meaning Jesus Christ. And if you remember Christ, if you remember that they crucify him all the time (Heidegger says that they continue to crucify Christ all the time), then you are in a state of self-remembering.

 

Expanding and removing such religious connotations, what is the essence of self-remembering? For example, if you look at the path that Sigmund Freud paved, and, besides him, very, very few, say, the same Lacan, what is he, from your point of view, for the position of psychoanalysis? What will self-remembering be through the prism of psychoanalysis?

V. R.: Through the prism of psychoanalysis, the most basic thing is inspiration. Take, for example, Lacan and his magnificent seminars in which he speaks incomprehensibly, but perfect pearls of genuine revelation slip through this tirade of incomprehensible words and expressions.

 

How do you view what is happening now in the context of an eschatological vision? Can we say that what is happening now is something more than, relatively speaking, “the end of an era”? At the moment, we are probably witnessing something incomparably larger. What do you think?

V. R.:We are not able to adequately assess what is happening now. I don’t like to talk about a pandemic at all, for me it has created such a cozy little world: I don’t go to university, I read lectures at a distance. But, of course, the whole world has changed a lot, and something very ambivalent is happening – in fact, not the fact that it is bad, but simply very significant and so far very difficult for our understanding.

 

Do you have any idea what it is? Guesses, glimpses of some kind of foresight. Or some kind of fantasy at all. What could it be? In which direction are the changes going?

V. R.: It’s like what I always, following Teilhard de Chardin, called the Omega point. Some kind of unity of mankind in the face of a common danger.

 

That is, you believe that if you rely on Umberto Eco, his vision of the New Middle Ages, there will be a new synthesis, and not a new split?

V. R.: I would really like that.

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