Saturday, November 30, 2013

Is habitus actually Karma? Bourdieu through the Indic and psychoanalitical lenses

As quoth the poet:

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.   
    They may not mean to, but they do.   
They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,   
Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

                                      Philip Larkin

This is, sans doute, a poetic account of habitus transfer on the subjectivity level. I imagine, Bourdieu would be nodding approvingly.

Social studies only observe and comment on that state of affairs, with no suggestions as per how social change would occur here (aka the trap of Post-Structuralism). The Indic and psychoanalytical traditions, however, take it that there is a way out of it and beyond it, it just takes the right kind of concentration, awareness and effort. Whether psychotherapy or yoga and mediation, ultimately it is about trying to stop that karmic buck or to shed the luggage of life scripts passed on generation after generation.

Or, as good wise Karl would say, a technological change in the material base (relations of production +  mode of production)  would cause a shift in the superstructure of values and ways of biding time until we die.

Would you go  into a yoga retreat/psychotherapy or rather wait until post-industrial society changes your lifestyle?

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