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Francisco Varela - La Belleza del Pensar 1/3

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This conversation with neurobiologist Francisco Varela Recorded a few months before his passing is one of the highest moments in the search for the beauty of thinking. Varela invites us to look at the world with renewed awe and to make up a way of thinking connected to life. <A passage of "Hymn to Matter" by Teilhard de Chardin, written in 1919, in New Jersey. This is what he writes: "Blessed be you, mighty Matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever newborn, you who, by constantly shattering our mental categories, force us to go ever further and further in our pursuit of the truth. Blessed be you, universal Matter, immeasurable time, boundless ether, triple abyss of stars and atoms and generations: you who by overflowing and dissolving our narrow standards or measurement reveal to us the dimensions of God. Blessed be you, mortal Matter: you who one day will undergo the process of dissolution within us, and will thereby take us forcibly into the very heart of that which exists. Without you, Matter, without your onslaughts, without your uprootings of us, we should remain all our lives inert, stagnant, puerile, ignorant both of ourselves... I bless you, matter, and you I acclaim: not as the pontiffs of science or the moralizing preachers depict you, debased, disfigured, — a mass of brute forces and base appetites — but as you reveal yourself to me today, in your totality and your true nature". Says Teilhard de Chardin in 1919. And to discuss about Matter, about Life and about other things, we have here with us once again after 3 years, Francisco Varela who I'd like to thank for being here at "The Beauty of Thinking". Thank you Francisco for being here in Chile again and in this conversation. <My plasure!> Well, this passage I've read was deliberately picked because I've read somewhere that one of you readings or books you've casually read, during your university years was indeed Teilhard de Chardin. What is your opinion on this passage? Well, indeed when I was a young medicin student... We're talking '64...'63/'64. Adventuring in para-medical and para-biological readings - I've done a few years of medicine, before switching to science studies... Interested in reading and thinking, I've indeed worked for a whole year in a seminary with a very special man in this country, who is a jesuite. His name is Arturo Gaede, an expert of Hegel. Together with Arturo we had a small seminary, below the jesuit's house, around... what's it called? ...Almirante Barroso. And indeed we did an in-depth reading of a key book by Teilhard de Chardin called "The human phenomenon". A large subject in that same sense you've just read: this kind of... well, Teilhard's basic idea is that there is an alpha point, which is Matter, but this transcends to an omega point, which is the numic phenomenon of God. Reading Teilhard, for me... was both... ...it had 2 main effects... First it had a very positive effect: because it allowed me to widen my perspective, to think about nature's phenomena and biology's phenomena... and much about anthropology and archeology, as you know. But... at the same time, it made me see clearly that that was not my path. Teilhard had, I felt - this is something I realized a bit later... - what for me is the wrong direction in the understanding of the Phenomenon of the World, The Phenomenon of the Universe Matter and no Matter the phenomenon... of what is natural - let's say - Nature. Why? Because basically... with time I've come to bear some kind of awe and fright some kind of respect a visceral respect, for what the phenomenon is, Phenomenology, the appearing: even the smallest things, the tiny bubbles in the glass. And all of what I experience, cycles... all these are things that carry a huge richness and depth. Which we miserabily lose, if we force from behind, like Teilhard does, this kind of meaning grid. Which is the theological grid. So that at some point appears this transcending entity. In the case of Teilhard - no mistery here - it's a monotheistic transcending entity, coming from the christian and biblical tradition. Eventually, in front of all this beauty in the world, it was like wrapping it up and selling it for sale! I made a little package of it, so... ...it's just like that story of the Mullah Nasrudin, about how a bird should look. In this story there comes an eagle at the window of a man who says: "Poor little bird, you look so strange", and starts trimming its wings, trimming its beak, its tail... and finally when the eagle is no more than a pigeon, he says: "Fine now! Now you really look the way a bird should look"! He cages it, satisfied. of how the West has to put it very ... I do not think too false - and well ... Certainly! It comes from the roots of Plato, explanation of the material. That why? ambivalence, in some fields, years you find texts I remember - paper 30 years ago, of course. the first scientific texts and books Because common sense is nurtured Now certain social phenomena provide was a phenomenon curiously which are the two that I know is that God is one thing The truth is that ... That is a gesture of materialism and Latin America were in some way. Chile has to think in international terms, That's not a problem. I mean, The notion of place, what I read as used by Nietzsche, palavra the fenomenosque know what were the 60's, A lot has changed that scenario. the possibility of having a reference point a universal vision, a global vision, do not know. I believe that Heidegger understood there little known, Nishida Nishida invented a philosophy Basho call. what you call prodria Earth the roots Because that's the source of life! where we experience. experience the world - talked to the other conversation - this experience and thinking common and current and places

Video Details

Duration: 19 minutes and 58 seconds
Year: 2001
Country: Chile
Language: Spanish (Spain)
Genre: None
Views: 1,451
Posted by: hipocampo on Apr 3, 2012

Entrevista a Francisco Varela (Santiago de Chile, 7 de septiembre, 1946- París, 28 de mayo, 2001). Biólogo y filósofo chileno, investigador en el ámbito de las neurociencias y ciencias cognitivas.

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