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[...]Nietzsche: will to power
Bergson: elan vital
Spinoza: conatus

animating power footnote feeling metamorphic transformation desire think imagine attention difference worlding interruption story [source: Adilnor Collection - al-Jawahir al-Khams] as an ___ I respond to this challange with an ___ic persona


***(my methodology:) let's include in our dedication to X also a butt of jokes and mimicry

i see you, among other things, as ethical actors

(recent work in anthropology ==>) ethic =/= simply instantiating “categorical imperatives” and obligations, a journy from war (or politics, as the “continuation of war by other means”) to a nonagonistic equilibrium of “perpetual peace” (تعادل ناهنجارانه صلح دائمی)
*life often produces intensities and conflicts that cannot be accounted for by a priori rules and obligations

nobility = refusal of revenge

(Nietzsche:) to sanctify revenge with the term justuce <-- characteristic debasement of agonistic ethics (رستم)
as though justice were simply a further development of the feeling of having been wronged ***
*agon* can morph into a nobler, more animated form. it (can) come closer to life than to death

**(singular) energetic expression of vital life is not always “individual” **

noble and base --> they name a coordinate within (in excess) of which life forces flow and way and wane

Deleuze + Guattari + Nietzsche --> an ethical imperative to examine the kinds of life forces we affirm. negation is not expelled --(Singh reading D+G+N's ethnographic intuition)--> what ‘is’ may be richer than any ideal ‘ought’ ==> anthropology and philosophy, then, are two distinct but related ways in which life may be examined

to think affirmativelt ==> our negations become sharper

my recent knee-jerk reaction (for example to Olearius) would be to invoke Eurocentrism
(resist: “west” and “non-west”, built on entirely negative images of Europe, from which perspective postcolonial settings appear with double negativity from which they can never recover)

thoughtful moments among friends but scholastic and conversational traditions (--> Greek) =/= “sage”, part of a larger conversational contest culture (not always between “friends” but is an agon -->? Kelile-o Demne)
-other conceptual-conversational traditions (in Iran,,,?) [for example “taking an author from behind and giving him a child that would be his own offspring, yet monstrous”, producing an anthropologically oriented Deleuze, a reading of ___ that produces a ___ically oriented ___]
*** it is not a question of negating dialectices but of setting out a different style of thought and examining the ethnographic and political consequences that follow ***

“when you asked him the question about deities, you began a type of conversation called gyan-charcha --> knowledge-talk technique (<-- my favorite mode of reading of literature, and basically everything, is like that)

?which concept(s) you use to think through these things:
bonded and legitimate labor
power relations

}--> the fabric of human relatedness depends on it

*[lunar enlightenment]*
(Singh's beautiful lunar reterritorialization of “enlighting”:) what kind of light do we assume as our image of plenitude?
عجایب ماه #moon's inflow-ence, waxing and waning intensities, fluctuating thresholds, the rise and fall of gods, tutelage of moon, a lunar rather than a solar sense of enlightenment, blemished and inconstant, the moon is nondialectical, *neighbors lunacy*

Derridean moment of negative transcendence

waxing and waning plenitude of that flux

varying thresholds and intensities
logics of a/not-a
ethics and energetics @Sana

*** a shift of even a degree (say, a different mode of contract or force) could be the difference between social life and death, happiness and despair, or exploitation and freedom ***
(Singh teaching me to think about Tehranians)

دروغ بد را با دروغ بهتر جایگزین کنیم نه با حقیقت

Nietzsche's double affirmation, yes yes
Deleuze, “the ass does not know how to say no because he says yes to everything with is no” --> to affirm is “to release, to set free what lives”
--> the idea of “challage your presuppositions” --> this is a dialectical habit of thought: the idea that the signature moment of thinking is a determinate negation (of State, Islam, Europe, etc.) Singh asks: how did this particular mode of reflexivity come to stand in for “true” anthropological thought?

would it have been better to leave things more “fluid” and “complex and contradictory”? @Eszter

ethnographic labor:
1- a form of hunting and gathering impressions
2- sifting الک کردن and cultivating expressions

(my work in apass:) our relation to concepts becomes more explicit, as we turn impressions into considered thoughts


thinking postcolonial urbanism with Anand Taneja

(this is the question of the limitations of imagination:)
how (for a generation of scholars [or artists]) rural (india) [or syria, Iran, or South Korea] has become simply a space of disasters, statistics, and deaths ----> Anand's work is a counter-example [i am learning from him to be attentive to my own imagination's stopping-points. to resist stories that render life in those milieus unthinkable] --> that those spaces are not only of abjection but also of imagination and curiosity --> to think about alternative (conceptual) vocabularies to think about those abjected places, religion, and ajayeb [that does not only negate those milieus]
-to think about religion is super usefull and relevant, because it is also about what secularism is

how people (in rural areas) conceive of vitality and advancement?
*how people imagine a better life?* --> (to think non-unilateral and non-static) *picture of aspiration* (in a world like Tehran; #proposal to research on ‘the image of growth’ رشد roshd, slow growth, [roshd-e bi-raviye رشد بی رویه of toxins and species, and so on] in the context of contemporary Tehran)
-imitations of forms

(i am activating a rhizomatic mode of perception [learning from Anand learning from Deleuze and Guattari])--> how one aspect of life leads to another =/= paritioning of the milieu

anthropology of the state : how one engages the state in an every day level

*historically one crucial exit point from the system of ruler-relation was to become ascetic (زهد): disregard for sovereign authority (حاکم hakem, hakemiat) --> a different form of power that one let's to lead to self-rule

[bare life =? life without a way of life ----> there is no life without a way of life]
(Singh:) someone's life cut off from their source of vitality
a local body of thought (jinn, etc.)


(Anand asking) what does it means to live in a city of jinns?
the jinn:
serves as witnesses of times long gone
figures of authority whose shrine blesses remembered forms of urban religious life
forgotten by the amnesia of the postcolonial state
rendered unislamic by the selective amnesia of revivalist tradition

jinn --> revive that old orientalist trope, constituted not only by bazzar, mosque, and hammam, but also of the antinomian potentials that have long been part of the Islamic tradition


lives of saints
تذکرة الاولیا Tazkirat al-Awliya
concerned with canonization, education, and collective recollection of contemplative life
(vita as a biological genre recounting the lives of holly men and women in several religious traditions: Bhaktamala, Theravada buddhism, Therigata, etc.)

Singh asking: how would we narrate a scholarly life? (and i add to that: who could be oulia اولیا Arahant [further ones] today? queer or nonhuman)
*participated in the world historical “isms” (--> ajayeb)
--Singh--> narrating a conceptual life, vita

*uncertainties of reception* (in Attar's Tazkirat al-Awliya)

singularity of trajectory of Attar's saints =/= my random sampling of themes

anthropology: to write about anything t[...]