Inspired by a book review of Daniel Cérézuelle's

La Technique et la Chair: Essais de Philosophie de la Technique

Lyon: Parangon/Vs, 2011




by Kristo Ivanov, Umeå University, (April 2012, version 190727-1625)

The text that follows is a development of a section on "Flesh as theology without God" in my review Trends in Philosophy of Technology ( of Daniel Cérézuelle's book (in French) on Technology and the Flesh.
Because of reasons of space and focus I have moved the more detailed treatment of this issue into this separate text, including Michel Henry's approach, based on the philosophy of Heidegger that the author of our book has been directly influenced by. For a proper reading and understanding the following text should be read within the context of the review.

The reviewed book leads us to both phenomenology and symbolism. Regarding phenomenology I adduce
Karl Löwith's portrait at the Goethe Institute written by Berndt Mayerhofer, and Löwith's famous statements quoted by John Macquarrie in Heidegger and Christianity (p. 6) taken from Löwith's From Hegel to Nietzsche (trans. by D.E. Green, 1967, p. 207). I will never forget my reading it many years ago, namely that Heidegger's philosophy "is in its very essence a theology without God". And, as Macquarrie observes (p.70f.) "we might blame Heidegger himself for never having developed an ethical side to his philosophy...he consistently avoided ethical questions...the ethical question is passed by."  (I think it is really so, except for some inconsequential statements in his Letter on Humanism, found in Basic Writings, and see below about "values" and blasphemy against Being.) Or, as Mayerhofer expresses it for the Goethe Institute: Löwith (a contemporary student of Heidegger) at least noted that "modernity, oriented to a this-worldly goal [cf. our book's flesh, my note] and a philosophy of history obsessed with the idea of a successive approximation of this goal [even if framed as survival or peace, my note], depends upon theology or the theological view of history as a redemptive process. This idea originates in the biblical belief in salvation and ends with the secularizing of its eschatological model." And I would say that despite Husserl, and Martin Heidegger, it is Friedrich Nietzsche behind them who is the representative philosophical "father" of it all about flesh and earth. In this sense the book is an outpost for Nietzschean thought and it explains its seemingly paradoxical pulling ahead of this sort of Christianity.

In the context of Karl Löwith and his time it is interesting to note another contribution by Georg Lukács in his book with the intriguing and pertinent title of The Destruction of Reason (1980/1962). I give due consideration to the fact that the author was a problematic committed marxist whose criticism aims also at some of my own sources. He appears partially redeemed through his commitment to the critique of nazist ideology, and his admirable respect in taking into account theology. (Those who seek a reconciliation between Lukács' marxism and my own orientation should look for it in the type of analysis offered by Alain Besançon in his The Falsification of the Good: Solovyov and Orwell, orig. La Falsification du Bien, 1985.) Besides repeated references (e.g. pp. 173, 214f, 449) to "religious atheism" that Heidegger builds upon, and reference (p. 493) to his "epistemological hocus-pocus", Lukács writes (p. 506-507) that "Heidegger's ontology was turning into a moral doctrine, indeed almost a religious sermon...the methodology and content of Heidegger's philosophy are expressing in an extremely complicated (but above all, mannered) terminology the intellectual philistine's feelings in a time of severe crisis: the threat to personal "existence" is so deflected as to prevent its giving rise to any obligation to alter one's external living conditions or indeed to collaborate in transforming objective social reality." Furthermore, still about Heidegger (p. 834-835): "His terminological peculiarities are well known, as is his verbal hair-splitting. Now, as the crowning of Machism, phenomenology and semantics, he succeeds in making a philosophical method of language....In Hitler Heidegger greeted the dawning of a new age and thereby, to put it mildly, brought eternal disgrace upon himself...He expresses himself with caution, with a deliberate obscurity, but lets the idea of a new age glimmer through this twilight again." And later on in the text (p. 838): "Heidegger keeps his cynicism hidden behind a verbosity which flirts with obscurity and has pretensions to poetry. This cynicism is voiced quite nakedly by Hitler's former personal jurist and law theorist, Carl Schmitt."

A better understanding of our reviewed book's theology of the flesh revealed as a theology without God beyond or behind a cursory reference to Merleau-Ponty would also have dampened the final anti-climax at reader's meeting the flesh as a sort of conclusion at the end of the text. At the same time it would have enhanced the understanding that the connection to a name such as Merleau-Ponty has not only an "academic" interest since he and the existentialist tradition (Sartre) has apparently inspired important political activism at the edge of so called terrorism: see, for instance, Frantz Fanon. Such an understanding is offered if one collates the book's terminology against phenomenological vocabulary as related to Heidegger. It turns out that the book's flesh corresponds to what Michel Henry in his work on barbarism calls simply "life". Life corresponds
in turn to Heidegger's famous "Being", also sometimes referred to as "Presence", recalling the likewise obscurely conceived presence that is (in the light of our reviewed book) paradoxically adduced in the "post-literate future of body-based communication" of high-tech human-computer interaction such as in the essay (pdf-download) "Presence as a Dimension of Communications". That is: Flesh=Life=Presence=Being. (For being as presence see D.F. Krell's introduction to Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, 1978, and Henry, p. 125). That it is a matter of convolute "phenomenological" theology without God becomes evident in the awkward treatment of the central question of ethics.

Henry writes in La Barbarie (pp. 166-169) that if ethics is defined as the relation between action and ends, norms, or values, one has already left the site it belongs to, that is the site of life where there are no goals, no purposes. Whoever conceives ethics as a normative discipline and a knowledge prior to action will always collide with Schopenhauer's irony (in his The World as Will and Representation, 1818-1844) stating that an ethics that wants to model and correct human will [=life] is impossible. This is so because doctrines act only upon knowledge while the latter does never determine the human will. If there are ends and norms to be prescribed to life, i.e. a theoretical or normative ethics, they can be only ends, norms or values originating from life itself, by means of which life attempts to represent what it wants. This auto-affirmation of life merges with life's own motion in its effort to persevere in its being and to grow (also addressed on p. 125-127 in words that recall postmodern ideology). No surprise if Nazi-Lebensraum found opportunities to appropriate the "spirit" of such survival ideology, as Nietzsche's and Richard Wagner's. (Cf. my blog-reflections on "Wagner faddism"). Interestingly, the coupling to religion is conceived by Henry (also closely influenced by Heidegger) in noting (p. 220-221) that "religion is rooted in the essence of life" since it cannot be the foundation of its own being, as evidenced by the anguish of death. It originates the compelling respect for life as in universal condemnations of murder, rape and larceny. (But Henry does not account for an origin of at least some among the other biblical commandments.) Art itself, having its origin in the sacred, will decay if it loses its religious content.

It is then remarkable, then, that Heidegger himself while considering art as the source of salvific insights
(with obscure meaning of "salvation") chooses a famous painting by van Gogh, "A pair of shoes" in order to "manifest the struggle between earth and world". They are words that Heidegger himself tries to unravel in his The Origin of the Work of Art but his apologists keep unraveling again and again as much as they try unraveling the meaning of salvific insights in Heidegger's apparently cryptical cluster of words when he states (in The Question Concerning Technology") that "to save " is "to fetch something home into its essence, in order to bring the essence for the first time into its genuine appearing." The question I want to pose here is: why do Heidegger-apologists prefer the "pair of shoes" and comment them in a way that recalls the interpretation of a Rorschach-test, and do not, say, choose Heidegger's other example of the Greek temple, or Michelangelo's Pietà, or the crucifixion of Jesus. The latter offers the advantage of relating to the poetry of holy books for that, as object of innumerable works of art during hundreds of years. Indeed it is a question of art and/or poetry, that Heidegger else highlights for its salvific power, often with reference to the poet Friedrich Hölderlin. In such a context it is significant that Heidegger's seminal text on The Origin of the Work of Art ends with a verse by Hölderlin on "origin" and prompts Krell's introduction in the earlier mentioned edition of Heidegger's Basic Writings (p. 146) to clarify the meaning of "earth" by presenting a translation of the thirtieth Homeric hymn To Earth, Mother of All. It starts with the exclamation "Gaia! Allmother will I sing", and ends with "Goddess sublime! Generous divinity!". Through modern expressions of Gaian spirituality we can intuite the place of God (or rather the goddess) in academic revivals of theology of flesh and life. It is a Gaian spirituality that under the label of "primitivism" also finds its place among the commentaries (in Swedish) to "quantum physicist and mathematician" Helena Granström's phenomenologically inspired discourse on flesh-related "bodily presence" that she emphasizes (in Svenska Dagbladet, 23 March 2014) to be completely lost in the latest results of Big-Bang modern physics: evidence of gravitational waves in the infant universe. All this while phenomenological apologists ignore the obscure if yet possibly important meaning of the very same Heidegger's statement on the opposition of world and earth, their strife, with his warning not to confound strife with discord and dispute since it is a process of mutual self-assertion whose meaning Heidegger subsequently merges into a mysterious cluster of words (see below).

Heidegger's own conception of God as related to ethics is probably most explicit towards the end of his essay "Letter on Humanism" (also in Basic Writings). There he endeavors to "think against values" because every valuing is a subjectivizing. He sees the bizarre effort to prove the objectivity of values as a proof that it [sic, the effort!] does not know what it is doing: when one proclaims "God" the altogether "highest value", this he sees as a degradation of God's essence. And he exclaims "Here as elsewhere thinking in values is the greatest blasphemy imaginable against Being." Blasphemy against Being: but who is the one that declares this, and declares Being? I agree that it is not anonymous man's valuations, but then who else sets the highest values and priorities if not the holy books or the scriptures interpreted by the Church? I do not conclude that all values are subjectively determined by human evaluations or a self-appointed prophet of Being. A particular phenomenological thinker, Max Scheler is very explicit on this point and it made him worthy of a doctoral dissertation by Karol Wojtyla, the becoming John Paul II. I conclude that for the author it is Being that is the supreme God who auto-affirms that Being is the supreme objective value. In such a context it is appropriate to note one of the possible sources for this sort of unperceived tautological thinking. In the "Origin of the Work of Art" mentioned earlier Heidegger criticizes the use of the "thing" and warns that "to keep at a distance all the preconceptions and assaults of the above modes of thought, to leave the thing to rest in its own self, for instance, in its thing-being"! He seems to believe that by naming something as Being he has kept "at a distance all the preconceptions" by letting Being rest on its being. Some may believe that Heidegger in virtue of his superior intelligence has been able to keep at distance his own preconception by means of what one can perceive as a magic of words but it is apparent that his text does not disprove that he has substituted what he perceives as Being for what the majority of the world's religious humanity perceives as God.

How Heidegger because of some (interesting) reason insistently continues to influence contemporaneous academic thought is illustrated by the example of Hubert Dreyfus' and Sean Kelly's book All Things Shining, with the much more informative subtitle Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age. What is remarkable in our context is that they both, and especially Dreyfus, are known to me as related to the field of computer science, and in particular "artificial intelligence", from which I was "cured" by West Churchman's The Design of Inquiring Systems. Amazon's customer reviews confirm my opinion that the authors' word-rich rhetoric is neither fully convincing nor appreciated despite of its mass media hype, e.g. in the Swedish Radio, 14 October 2012 program on "The meaning of life in a secular culture". Neither convincing nor appreciated, but it is fascinately confusing, as Heidegger himself. It attempts to revive polytheism through "existential thinking", experiencing and sensitiveness to "sacred wonder", reliance on intuition under the guide of "gods" who are forces capable of putting us in mood and "create meaning", in order that everyone finds his own's truth, and such, all with the help of literature and music. That is, backing the clock 2500 years and effacing Christianity in search for a higher form of intelligence. And what about the problem of evil? Yes, they seem to answer:
in order to deal with evil you also need experience, and if it upsets you you will try to get out of it. And what's the difference between their version of "secular polytheism" and good old value nihilism? Yes, it appears that they understand nihilism as the statement that nothing has value, while secular polytheism tries to extract value from whatnot - everything possible, i.e. "all things" which implies the often used word "presence" - being present, i.e. "all things shining." Susan Neiman in her book review in The New York Times 20 January 2011 concludes her strainedly sympathetic valuation with words that were possibly chosen unconsciously and at the same time illustrate what I described in my review of Philip Zimbardo's impasse about evil in his The Lucifer Effect. She writes: "Understanding how development of character may prepare us to respond heroically to extraordinary circumstances opens other possibilities for making meaning than hoping to be called by the right god." It justifies a recall of the Latin saying "intelligenti pauca".

And this brings us to a last embarrassing but most important point about what I call the Heideggerian seduction, or what a philosopher friend of mine calls "the Heidegger industry". This is akin to the "Wittgenstein industry" and a few others in the present intellectual-universitarian industry as denounced by Michel Henry himself in the final chapter on "The Destruction of the University" in his book La Barbarie.

In the first part of Mark Lilla's review, "Ménage à Trois" (The New York Review of Books, November 18, 1999) of the correspondence between Hannah Arendt and Heidegger edited by Ursula Ludz, Lilla recalls Heidegger's surprisingly religious Catholic background that receded progressively but unprogrammatically into something difficult to grasp. Karl Jaspers, almost lifelong senior friend of Heidegger and forming the friendship "triangle" with Hannah Arendt, confesses that he did not grasp the "the position from which his friend leveled his criticism" of Jaspers' Psychology of Worldviews.
In a private notebook with reflections on Heidegger (announced as Notizen zu Martin Heidegger, 2nd ed., 1989, edited by Hans Saner) Jaspers is said to have oscillated between expressions of wonder, loyalty, and frustration in relation to his friend ("communicationsless", "wordless", "godless"). In her commemorative essay "Martin Heidegger at eighty" Hannah Arendt is said to describe the excitement her entire generation felt about Heidegger as being induced by its feeling that "cultural treasures of the past, believed to be dead, are made to speak, in the course of which it turns out that they propose things altogether different from the familiar, worn-out trivialities they had been presumed to say."  I pause and remember that in the past I have wondered whether a likewise passioned popularity of a Karl Marx or Adolf Hitler (that is said to have enchanted Heidegger) was due to similar feelings. Lilla continues on Arendt having associated Heidegger with that "passion of thinking" that "like other passions, seizes the person - seizes those qualities of the individual of which the sum, when ordered by will, amounts to what we commonly call 'character' - takes possession of him and, as it were, annihilates his 'character' which cannot hold against this onslaught". And, again, I ask myself whether this is not a "Luciferic" possession or "Luciferic effect", still prior to any psychologizing (see below), consistent with Heidegger's terrific erudition, and recalling the famous Biblical exhortation to
"distinguish true spirits from false" (Mat 24:24, 1 Cor. 13:1, 14:26, 12:10) that I consider again in the final comments of my book review. It is not only because of my limited intelligence that after more than twenty years' studies of Heidegger's works (not only his Basic Writings) in various translations in several languages, I have not yet been able to make any sense of his relation to ethics, religion and spirit. Concerning the latter it is symptomatic that my reading of Heidegger's brilliant and problematic spiritual brother Jacques Derrida in his Of Spirit: Heidegger and The Question (1987, trans. 1989) leaves me in an inconsequential labyrinth, as exemplified by his treatment of technology (pp. 60-65) or of evil (pp. 29, 40, 62, 69, 78, 97, 101, 106, 132, 138.) I myself have participated in academic seminars of two hours wholly dedicated to the interpretation of a couple of lines in one of Heidegger's books, like in a church sermon about a biblical text which, however, can be felt and understood without the need of erudite neologisms. My only conclusion has been that attempts to understand Heidegger (and therefore his followers) requires the mediation by, as it were, priests of the phenomenological church, some of them higly respected friends of mine who may forgive my blasphemous outburst. One should also forgive ordinary people for being unable to think and still less to feel anything except mindblowing episodic ecstatic wonder when contemplating Heidegger's or Derrida's prophetic words.

And Lilla continues, "The married old professor and his younger student [Arendt] write to each other about the nature of love" against the background of their prior affair. It is indeed an analogy, if not perfect, when Carl Jung writes (with risk of throwing stones from glasshouse) that "when, for instance, a highly esteemed professor in his seventies abandons his family and runs off with a young-headed actress, we know that the gods have claimed another victim. This is how demonic power reveals itself to us" (Collected Works, CW 9 part 1, §62, p. 30) But despite rich use of "unconcealment" Heidegger never mentions such phenomena. Returning to Lilla's review where he quotes Jaspers' Philosophische Autobiographie (2nd ed., 1984): "I saw his depth yet also found something else that I could'nt quite put my finger on, something difficult to take...It could sometimes seem that a demon had crept into him..." And finally on his political engagement with Nazism, having "explicitly placed his technical vocabulary in the service of the Nazi takeover of the university." (See above, related to my reference to "survival ideology".)

In the second part of the review (idem, December 2, 1999) "The Perils of Friendship" Lilla remarks that after a shift in Heidegger's thinking in the Thirties he moved on to a new analysis of human existence that, he claimed, took the standpoint of Being itself - "whatever that meant." He also began writing in a self-fashioned mythopoetic language inspired by Hölderlin, about "Being as a divinity revealing itself to man." In Heidegger's manuscript of the Thirties there is much made of "the preparation of the appearance of the last god." The review continues noting that Heidegger was never able to confront the issue of philosophy's relation to politics, while living with his lofty resolution "to refound the entire tradition of Western thoughts" [sic]. My own impression of witnessing a case of sheer hubris or "ego inflation" or "perils of the self" that today would be also related to some personality disorder is reinforced by what Lilla reports: Heidegger considered himself a victim of Nazism and "hence his astonishing remarks to Ernst Jünger that he would only apologize for his Nazi past if Hitler could be brought back to apologize to him." He felt that now all was lost, he could only flee to his study, and "wait in serene expectation for a new messianic epoch of Being." I would add my guess that he felt to be its elect messianic prophet. And there belongs the famous phrase during the interview with Der Spiegel in the Sixties, that "Only a god can save us now." Lilla continues observing that after the war Jaspers wrote that Heidegger's manner of thinking, which "seems in its essence unfree, dictatorial, and incapable of communication, would today be in its pedagogical effects disastrous." Later he considers Heidegger to have been like a child incapable of understanding what he had been doing, upon which Heidegger responded "with shameless self-justifications and irresponsible political speculations." Heidegger is quoted to write that "while modern man puts his faith in the political realm, which is dead and now occupied by technology and economic calculation, all we can hope is that a hidden 'advent' will burst forth out Germans' homelessness." Two years later Jaspers concludes that Heidegger was a demonic antiphilosopher consumed by dangerous fantasies. Regarding the hope for "advent" he considered it to be utter dreaming and that Heidegger had stepped out as a philosopher seduced away from reality, a prophet revealing the supernatural from hidden sources. In my view Heidegger's obvious political disorientation recalls what Alexis de Tocqueville in his famous studies of democracy (Democracy in America, vol. II, chap. 5ff.) states about the importance of religion in the context of politics.

The second part of the review continues reporting that Hannah Arendt had published an article (1946) where she pronounced his philosophy to be an unintelligible form of "superstition". As for his Nazism, she refused to attribute it to a mere lack of character [an euphemism for immoral or ethical behavior?], preferring instead to blame his incorrigible romanticism [without a justification of the gratuitously pejorative use of the term] , "a spiritual playfulness [cf. bricolage in the postmodern spirit that he helped to found] that stems in part from delusions of grandeur and in part from despair. Heidegger is reported to have continued his contact with Arendt. In 1952 he writes to her "The world is becoming bleaker...and the essence of history ever more mysterious...Only resignation remains. Still, despite growing external threats in everything, I see the arrival of new - or, better yet, old - secrets." And at this point I ask myself "what are we
to make of this, of all these prophetic visions from obscure sources that in this case may have been directed in trust to only Arendt? Jaspers' comments that Heidegger really does not understand the Nazi period and is hardly in a position to find out what devil drove him to do what he did. I realize that such a kind of rhetorics repeatedly prevents the mention of ethics: so much, then, for this devil's ethics, which prevented a development of the relation between politics and philosophy, i.e. the once central issue in Plato's philosophy that Heidegger so cheerfully left in his passion for the pre-socratics. Or, then, that was the unconscious point of it all, to divest oneself from ethics and politics. Lilla tells that Arendt eventually considered Heidegger to be a pitiful creature, like a fox trapped in the lair of his ideas, convinced that it was the entire world, and whose intellectual passion [whatever that is] was unable to distinguish obvious truths. It was politically dangerous, in need of distinguishing between thinking, willing, and judging. I would add in guise of introduction to the next section that such kinds of distinctions, besides of their valuable treatment in the philosophy rejected by Heidegger, were being developed by some his contemporaries, e.g. in the field of analytical psychology. In the meantime, Jaspers in his Notizen exhorted Heidegger to take responsibility for his own gift, to place it in the service of reason, of the reality of human worth and possibilities, instead of in the service of magic [sic]. He felt betrayed by Heidegger's "intellectual sorcery" [sic], "as human being, as a German, as a friend, and as a philosopher."

At this point we should remember that this overview aims at pointing out and "deconstructing" a sort of "mysticism" that surrounds the vocabulary of Flesh=Life=Presence=Being. A symptomatic further example appears in gender studies such as those in the issue of Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, vol. 23, no. 3 (2012), as described by Karen Barad in the article "On Touching - The Inhuman That Therefore I Am". Apparently influenced by the "Heideggerian" Jacques Derrida, she writes (p. 207): "Each of the essays in this special issue touches on questions of touching: coupling and decoupling, entanglement, sensation, immersion, visual hapticity, ciliated sense, the synesthetic force of perceiving and feeling, contact, affective ecology, involution, strange and wonderful intimacies, sensory attunement, arousal, response, interspecies signaling, affectively charged multisensory dance, technological intimacies, remembering, figuring, embodied mathematics." This kind of thinking eventually trickles down to trendy technological and "practical" fields such as the design of computer-human interaction (CHI) as evidenced in Caroline Hummel's and Ambra Trotto's Hephaestus and the senses (2013.) They state that inspired by phenomenology, pragmatism and embodied cognition, they explore how to use embodiment and skilful coping to connect people and to catalyse a constructive design "conversation" among people with different background. They developed six different interactive "Engagement Probes": open, creative and playful tools aimed at engaging people in a design process more concrete and effective than a brainstorm session. In an experimental workshop where participants were grouped in teams "every team started to meet and getting to know each other in a playful way using their bodies through one of the Engagement Probes." They conclude that "the results of the workshop show that the Probes stimulate engagement, help people to get familiar and connect in a short period of time, and inspire and boost a design process with an emphasis on embodiment and tangibility." All this is in line with other references by Michael O'Rourke in (pdf) "'Girls Welcome!!!' Speculative Realism, Object Oriented Ontology and Queer Theory" (in the Speculations Journal, May 2011) to queer terms such as posthuman performativity, queering of the normativities of queer theory and speculative realism, agential realism, and ethics of mattering. Similar terminological upheavals can be sensed in other papers such as Paul Reid-Bowen's on the "Speculative turn in the Study of Religion and Gender" (in Religion and Gender, vol. 1, no.1, 2011.)

The question is why do appear so many volatile "neologistic" terms, or concepts, or whatever they are since "concepts" have with Kantian insights acquired a very special connotation that does no seem to be applicable here. Carl Jung states that he considers it to be wiser to acknowledge the idea of God; for if we do not, something else is made God, usually something quite inappropriate and stupid such as only an "enlightened" intellect could hatch forth (CW 7, §110, p. 71). For instance, what West Churchman in his The Design of Inquiring Systems refers to as "the guarantor", and further to God (p. 241 and cf. word index) is referred by Heidegger as "enduring" while he prophetically states (in his The Question Concerning Technology) that "Only what is granted endures. What endures primally out of the earliest beginning is what grants." Compare with Karen Barad's article mentioned above writing (p. 216, original italics): "What if it is only facing the inhuman - the indeterminate non/being non/becoming of mattering and not mattering - that an ethics committed to the rupture of indifference can arise?"

In his Letters, vol.1, edited by G. Adler and A. Jaffé, which probably were not envisaged for later publication Jung allows himself to express himself bluntly and "blasphemously" when referring to writers such as in the Heidegger school, who have an astonishing facility with words, merely playing with verbal tricks, and juggling with words which they endow with an almost magical efficacy (p.273)
. He finds (p. 330-332) that Heidegger is an example of the mastery of complicated banalities, and that his philosophical style is neurotic through and through and is ultimately rooted in his psychic crankiness, an example of intellectual perversion that is a German national institution. Finally he concludes his letter with "Excuse these blasphemies! They flow from my hygienic propensities, because I hate to see so many young minds infected by Heidegger." In his Letters, vol. 2, (p. 121) Jung refers further to approximations to "the Heideggerean or neo-High German schizophrenic style (Auf-forstung, be-treten, An-rempelung, Unter-teilung) as being hardly convincing (or con-vincing) to the reader."

Jung returns to a more serious and less blasphemous style when writing on the nature of the psyche, and stating that (in CW 8, §359f., p. 170f.):

"Wherever the spirit of God is extruded from our human calculations an unconscious substitute takes its place. In Schopenhauer we find the unconscious Will as the new definition of God [which, after Michel Henry's La Barbarie I could have included in the equation Flesh=Life=Presence=Being], in Carus the unconscious, and in Hegel identification and inflation, the practical equation of philosophical reason with Spirit, thus making possible that intellectual juggling with the object with achieved such a horrid brilliance in his philosophy of the State. Hegel offered a solution of the problem raised by epistemological criticism in that he gave ideas a chance to prove their unknown power of autonomy. [cf. West Churchman's attempt of solution by passing from Hegelian to Singerian inquiring systems in his The Design of Inquiring Systems.] They induced that hubris of reason which led to Nietzsche's superman and hence to the catastrophe that bears the name of Germany. Not only artists, but philosophers too, are sometimes prophets. - I think it is obvious that all philosophical statements which transgress the bounds of reason are anthropomorphic and have no validity beyond that which falls to psychically conditioned statements. A philosophy like Hegel's is a self-revelation of the psychic background and, philosophically, a presumption. Psychologically, it amounts to an invasion by the unconscious. The peculiar high-flown language Hegel uses bears out this view: it is reminiscent of the megalomanic language of schizophrenics, who use terrific spellbinding words to reduce the transcendent to subjective form, to give banalities that charm of novelty, or pass off commonplaces as searching wisdom. So bombastic a terminology is a symptom of weakness, ineptitude, and lack of substance. But that does not prevent the latest German philosophy [text written in 1946 - my observation] from using the same crackpot power-words and pretending that it is not unintentional psychology." [My italics.]

These hard words are echoed by what the British philosopher Bernard Williams writes in his Essays and Reviews 1959-2002 as observed by Carl Rudbeck in his review "Filosofihistoria fångad i ögonblicket" [History of Philosophy caught in the moment] (in Swedish, Svenska Dagbladet, 12 March 2015): "Heidegger is the only world-famous philosopher of the 20th century about whom it can seriously be argued that he was a charlatan, not because he is obscure, but because it can seem that his obscurity is functional, and that his characteristic combination of an abstract metaphysical terminology with homely domestic metaphor (so that things 'stand in the clearing of Being' or such) is not a necessity born of the unequalled depth of his inquiry - something to which he insistently refers - but a purposive substitute for thought which in more perspicuous modes is harder." (Essays and Reviews 1959-2002, p. 183.)

And what about technology versus "to give banalities the charm of novelty"? I myself have found more about science and technology in a couple of pages by Carl Jung than anywhere else in "high-flown language": to make it short: see Jung's about the "sovereignty the idea" (CW 5, §§ 106-114, pp. 72-78) that I have in part quoted elsewhere in a paper on Belief and Reason (note 49). It includes an explanation of why the world and its beauty historically had to be shunned because love of created nature soon makes man its slave: It is not merely a question of sensuality and of aesthetic corruption, but of paganism and nature worship that in me recalls contemporary fads and adoration of Design, as well as design trends in consumer behavior and in postmodern academic research, which recall Heideggerian aesthetics in the contemplation of van Gogh's "pair of shoes". Because of space limitations here I will pick up only a few words from another piece of work (CW 11 §§ 442ff., pp. 289ff.) that deals directly with technology: "[The development of our modern consciousness] so far has made it emancipated enough to forget its dependence on the unconscious psyche. It is not a little proud of this emancipation, but it overlooks the fact that although it has apparently got rid of the unconscious it has become the victim of its own verbal concepts [...] Our dependence on words is so strong that a philosophical brand of 'existentialism' had to restore the balance by pointing to a reality that exists in spite of words - at considerable risk, however, of concepts such as 'existence' [cf. 'Being'] , 'existential', etc. turning into more words which delude us into thinking that we have caught a reality. One can be - and is - just as dependent on words as on the unconscious. Man's advance towards the Logos was a great achievement, but he must pay for it with loss of instinct and loss reality to the degree that he remains in primitive dependence on mere words. Because words are substitutes for things, which of course they cannot be in reality, they take on intensified forms, become eccentric, outlandish, stupendous, swell up into what schizophrenic patients call 'power words.' A primitive word-magic develops, and one is inordinately impressed by it because anything out of the ordinary is felt to be especially profound and significant [...] Neologisms tend not only to hypostatize themselves to an amazing degree, but actually to replace the reality they were originally intended to express. [...] And just as the intellect subjugated the psyche, so also it subjugated Nature and begat on her an age of scientific technology that left less and less room for the natural and irrational man. Thus the foundations were laid for an inner opposition which today threatens the world with chaos. To make the reversal complete, all the powers of the underworld now hide behind reason and intellect, and under the mask of rationalistic ideology a stubborn faith seeks to impose itself by fire and sword, vying with the darkest aspects of a church militant."

Please compare with programs like those summarized by the International Humanist and Ethical Union and ongoing "Wars on Terror". And Jung continues (CW 11, § 869f., p. 534f.) with something that anticipates the conclusions of our reviewed book, without the need of a problematic philosophy of the flesh: "The power of science and technics in Europe is so enormous and indisputable that there is little point in reckoning up all that can be done and all that has been invented. One shudders and the stupendous possibilities. Quite another question begins to loom up: Who is applying this technical skill? in whose hands does this power lie? [...] Our technical skill has grown to be so dangerous that most urgent question today [1936] is not what more can be done in this line, but how the man who is entrusted with the control of this skill should be constituted, or how to alter the mind of Western man so that he would renounce his terrible skill. It is infinitely more important to trip him of the illusion of his power than to strengthen him still further in the mistaken idea that he dan do everything he wills. The slogan one hears so often in Germany, 'Where there's a will there's a
way,' has cost the lives of millions of human beings."

To all this I wish only to add one again "Intelligenti pauca", while noting that Heidegger does not seem to have anything to say about love except for some words in his usual vocabulary and his sheer behavior as induced from his correspondence with Hannah Arendt (cf. the 2007 study in the Harvard Review by Maier-Katkin about their "Love and Reconciliation").
Since the text of this section, however, grew to such an extent that does not fit the term "pauca" I moved it from my book review to this separate linked article. This is the more so necessary since I perceive that this type of analysis has no end in sight except in prayer. It could be continued from having the focus on the "Heidegger industry", to the "industrialized" schools of, say, Jürgen Habermas (with which I already struggled years ago in my Presuppositions in Information Systems Design) , Michel Foucault, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper, Bruno Latour, gender studies, or whatever in the intellectual industries that through their domination bias and spoil many modern universities. If I may borrow a sentence from above, I will say that my struggle "fol lows from my hygienic propensities, because I hate to see so many young minds infected by Heidegger" and, for that matter, not only young minds, and not only by Heidegger. For the rest, in my later research I studied anew especially the volume 7 of Jung's Collected Works, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, and for the purpose of others' further studies I wish to testify that I found what I judge to be several indirect references to the problem of Heidegger (pages: 31f, 46, 48, 169f, 182, 195, 208, 286, 295.)

I think that the above analysis illustrates how and why ethical questions tend to be deleted from technological research and from research on technology and how this process invalidates the final conclusions or hopes of our reviewed book about the salvific power of the flesh. At the same time I discover that I have unconsciously returned to, detailed and confirmed some results I already had obtained in 1998 when writing a research paper about Management of Information Infrastructure. It can contribute to the understanding of the issue seen from another point of view.