Imperfection of Western Indology (pace Fosse)

JR Gardner jgardner at
Fri Sep 5 14:26:29 UTC 1997

What is truly significant in the findings of these scholars (Greg Downing,
Lars Martin Fosse, and Jonathan Silk) is a point suggested, for instance,
by Halbfass viz. Europe's philosophical heritage in Indian thought (India
And Europe: An Essay in Understanding).  

In anagrammic crypto-perfection, then, "no-do-log-why" is the history of
the world's mental awakening -- note, it is not "no tree"-- true to
India's philosophical quest to overcome repeat death, the name points us
to the reasoning within that quest.  And lest we not forget--tat tvam
asi--or the very "forest texts" in which the philosophical thoughts
gleaned and mulled by Hegel for the "weltgeist"  were articulated.  

What has been made clear by Fosse, Downing, and Silk is that Indology is,
indeed the "root." For where would western philosophy be without the ever
present "tree." Whether it stand there to be beheld by Kant or Fichte as
other/same, or whether it fall in presence or absence of an observer, the
tree is stuff of our thought--philosophy is what grows on trees.  From
their limbs fall the apples that catalyzed Newton's innovations.  From
that part of them attached to the ground the Television Miniseries was
born at its "Roots." Even down to the "branches" as we now call them of
the neural net, we--like the Lorax of Dr. Seuss, speak for the trees. 

Arbor Day is really "Honor Indology Day" and the U.S.  Forrestry
Commission is a secret library of MSS used by politicians to perpetuate
their power.

I enclose the inspiration for this humble submission below,


On Thu, 4 Sep 1997, jonathan silk wrote:

> Yes, I "forgot" the y. But of course, it cannot have been an error, but
> instead revealed something very essential about language and reality itself
> (or Reality I should write). Thus, one can certainly read with Lars that
> Indology *is* the axis mundi itself, and therefore the support of ALL, as
> he so rightly says. But at the same time, because the omission of the y is
> both correct and an omission, Indology is also a non-tree. The so-called
> can't-do-without-it character of our scholarship is at the same time a cry
> for freedom from our scholarship, a cry for inaction, and thus of course --
> as Eliade has taught us -- a return to the beginning time before time.
> Thus Indology is both the sine qua non for the world itself, and yet the
> cause of the return of the world to the original nothingness, the oceanic
> beginning. Vide Eliade, Jung, Campbell and (perhaps our erstwhile colleague
> Masson?) et al. I think this has well illustrated how once we free
> ourselves from the idiotic restraints of Western colonial philological (and
> no doubt also male, genophobic -- one could go on, I am sure!) logic we can
> easily discover the overarching "field theory" of culture!
> (I forgot to mention another discovery -- that Indology is also the same as
> O! Go Lindy! -- indicating without any doubt that ancient Indian scientists
> not only invented the airplane, but knew that Lindy would be the first
> across the Atlantic!)
> Jonathan Silk
> SILK at

On Thu, 4 Sep 1997, Greg Downing wrote:

>Thank you Jonathan, I think we are getting in deeper and deeper here. 
>However, you forgot to explain the y. This letter is, of course,
>pronounced why, "indology" should there be understood to mean "why is the
>piece of wood inactive?". I will suggest that the "piece of wood" is
>actually a secret reference to the world tree, the skambha, which doesn't
>move. The answer to the question "not-do-log-why" must therefore be:
>Because it is the support of ALL. (What else does the skambha do?) 


John Robert Gardner      Obermann Center
School of Religion         for Advanced Studies
University of Iowa       University of Iowa
319-335-2164             319-335-4034
It is ludicrous to consider language as anything other 
than that of which it is the transformation.

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