Month: October 2020

Total Enclosure as Renunciation

Renunciation is a term used by Arthur Diekman [TART-ASOC.34] to denote a “decrease in responsiveness to distraction”. 

On a larger scale, it is commonly thought of as being associated with the rejection of worldly cares, sensuality, and other “lower” aspects of life by ascetics so that they may concentrate all of their attention on their quest to find God, etc.  They attempt to “banish awareness of the world”; they seek “freedom from distraction”. Of course, for ascetics, this thrust tends to color their whole lives all of the time.  They renounce the world. The more formal versions of renunciation may involve taking a vow of some kind.

On a much smaller, shorter-term scale, much of the practice of meditation is based on the idea of renunciation, albeit for a very short term.  Meditation generally involves focusing on one predesignated precept to the exclusion of all others.  Here again, we see “freedom from distraction” as the goal.  The difference is that the meditator’s session of “freedom from distraction” is usually a matter of minutes or hours whereas for the ascetic it is (ideally) prevalent during all of his waking hours and lasts a lifetime.

In a sense, the archetypal idea of Total (rubber) Enclosure is a kind of renunciation.  It attempts to exclude all worldly and sensory stimuli except tactile on which it focuses almost exclusively on the sensation of latex on the skin.  In theory, the totally enclosed subject cannot hear, see, smell or taste anything which, in turn, causes the mind to focus more fully on any remaining available stimuli.  Tactile is the only remaining sense and it is “flooded” with the sensation of latex against the skin. In a sense, we are attempting to attain “freedom from distraction” so that we may more fully concentrate on the feel of the latex as a mantra.

However, this “renunciation” goes a step deeper. If we think of the latex total enclosure as a kind of temenos or “separating wall between the sacred and the mundane”, how could take this idea of “freedom from distraction” to the next level?

ref: 101018-0735