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Latest posts by Ed Park (see all)

Final graf of NYT obit for the Maharishi:


In the last years of his life he rarely met with anyone, even his ministers, face-to-face, preferring to speak with followers almost exclusively by closed-circuit television.

From my piece on Mladen Dolar’s A Voice and Nothing More (2006), in Modern Painters:

Both the Baumian and Freudian setups…owe something to the idea of the acousmatic voice, the “voice whose origin cannot be identified.” (“I am everywhere,” Oz tells his audience.) Michel Chion first elaborated on the concept in 1982’s The Voice in Cinema—tracing it back to the mother’s voice, heard omnidirectionally in the womb—and Dolar notes that the word (acousmêtre) has its roots in the Acousmatics—per Larousse, “Pythagoras’ disciples who, concealed by a curtain, followed his teaching for five years without being able to see him.” This practice enabled them to concentrate on his voice in the absence of his body, the better to concentrate. If Pythagoras is indeed history’s first philosopher, then from the beginning philosophy has concerned itself with the split between mind (for which voice will substitute) and body.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar Mollie wrote:

    Oddly enough, I too prefer to speak to followers via closed-circuit TV. However, since I have few (if any) followers and no such technology at my disposal, I am forced to continue with the messy business of face-to-face interaction. Life is so unfair.

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