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Valorization of Mind over matter

A handy word that I've just learned: valorize, meaning to give something a value, the opposite of denigrating it. Stephen Batchelor uses it in Chapter 4 of Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, in a fascinating and important comment:

As soon as you split the world in two parts—one physical and one spiritual—you will most likely privilege mind over matter. Since mind—even an impermanent Buddhist mind—survives bodily death and is the agent of moral choice, then it is not only more enduring and "real" than mere matter but also the arbiter of one's destiny. The more you valorize mind and spirit, the more you will be prone to denigrate matter. Before long, mind starts to become Mind with a capital M, while matter becomes the illusory sludge of the world. The next thing you know, Mind starts to play the role of God: it becomes the ground and origin of all things, the cosmic intelligence that animates all forms of life.

Hmmm ... maybe as a devout materialist I should start capitalizing the word "Matter"?!

(cf. MeanMeaners (1999-07-03), ThoughtfulMetaphors (2000-11-08), CeramicMantra (2002-05-25), DiffuseConsciousness (2003-05-21), ...) - ^z - 2010-05-16

I like this!