Sunday, March 31, 2013

Time to Leave

"Sunrise is for today, sunset is for tomorrow," Mr. Kim, a fourteen eight-thousanders summitter says.

We live today because of tomorrow we wait for.  Time to leave to the mountain.  

at Mingma's house

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Group vs. Mass

Group (or aggregation) necessitates multiplicity constituted by properties of each individual in the group, where the priority of "I" has no privilege.  On the other hand, mass (or crowd) designated, being an object of an observer, as opposite of "I" or "my" part, exists firstly with its category as the Other.

The former -- group -- focuses on the multiplicity itself, formed by many-ness, not by individual subjectivities themselves.  Many-ness is to pay attention on the relation between individuals or individual subjectivities, not just to recognize its plenty.

Although identical in terms of quantity, the concept of the latter -- mass -- is founded on assumed hierarchical, qualitative difference in properties of each individual.

Are they 'mass' or 'group'?
Hundreds of climbers on the sheer Lhotse face to climb Mt. Everest, May 18th, 2012.  

Everest again, "From 0 to 8848"

Climbing Mt. Everest (8848m) again.  I will try Lhotse (8516m) without supplemental oxygen.  The expedition leader Mr. Kim Chang-ho will try Mt. Everest "from o to 8848" which means he and another one member will Kayaking through Ganges river, bicycling to Tumlingtar (482m), trekking to the Everest base camp, and climbing without supplemental oxygen to the top of Mt. Everest.

Sherpa Losar Rally

Kathmandu Sherpas conduct a bike rally in a huge scale at Kathmandu, Nepal.  They celebrating Losar (or Lhosar), the Buddhist new year's day, Feb. 13, 2013.

Sherpa Life in Winter

Finally, I returned back to the Makalu Walung Sherpa village.  It was the winter 2012/13, and, before coming back to Kathmandu to prepare next spring's expedition to Mt. Everest again, I stayed there about little more than one month.

I have been writing articles on my experience at the village with the Sherpas on the Korean monthly magazine "Mountain" ('Sahn' in Korean) where I contributed as an editorial member.  Here is I think not a best place I could write about my experience in its entirety, so, I wouldn't do but, if you want, visit the site and read  yet everything is in Korean.

arriving at the Walung Sherpa village, finding canola flowers all blossomed

one eight-year-old girl pour hot water to my "tongba" (millet whisky) cup

winter is "good" season for the people.  cool and clear weather, without much work.  most "puja" and marriages occur.

Sherpanis carrying down "ssolum" (fallen leaves and etc.)

killing a pig

tough life at the lamb hut

an old Sherpa man making a bamboo basket ("chebboo")

Dhaaja puja at the "Purba"'s house

Sherpa expedition to "Kambalung", a sacred cave for Nepalese, Yaphu area.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Meaning of Climbing Grade

"It looks like climbing grade has been applied for showing off, not for standards expressing the extent of difficulty, as it supposed to be.  I just mentioned this climbing was easy.  Without any grade."

- The P'iolet d'Or (Golden ice-axe) Asia award recipient, Mr. Kim said, 11. 29. 2012.

Post-Humanism: an Impossible Project

Bertrand Russell once wrote: "nature is irrelevant to human value, and therefore may be understood only when we overcome (or ignore) our morals" (reverse translated from a Korean translation of "Do We Survive Death" (1936)).

I suggest seemingly impossible project: to overcome a humanist understanding of the world, such a Russellian nature/human dualism.  It can be thinkable that the border between the two duality itself an outcome of human thought and, after a series of thoughts, our understanding of everything has a fundamental limit called humanism.  This is the basis for some post-modernists in humanities or social scientists after 1980s who have tried to resist any humanist project including constructivism.  However, their project was impossible in nature: without such a dualism, of nature/human or more primarily of subject/object, any task of reflecting ways of human to the worlds could be unthinkable.

Talk to Oneself: Border of Individuals

The fact that frequency and extent of 'talking to oneself' differ from culture to culture implies difference of the extent of rigor in bordering individuals.  "I" talks to "me".  What is "I" and what is "me"?  The "me" exists in the form mixed with the other; the "I" of the other, a fundamental mystery, spans over my "me".

Horizontal and Vertical

The fact that among the two-eyed animal species no one has eyes vertical suggests a significant phenomenological idea.  Although the directional nature of horizontal and vertical in their world can be seen no other than as only different sorts of unit which measure geometrical quantity of same kind, we must assume there is to be a fundamental qualitative difference.

by Shobha, 1999

Nostalgia for Being

That time flows always to next, that here we have things or materialities onto which time accords in order to come up tomorrow, and thereby that provising such a distinction between things and time are all the beginning of series of fallacy: a fallacy we may call ____.

"Sex industry is necessary evil", "festival is required for supplying protein", "history develops according to sudden steps, which may be abstracted and applied to prospect future": typical outcomes of the fallacy.

This I would call 'nostalgia for Being', nostalgia for things, nostalgia one assumes being prior to time, things like human, agencies, economy were awaiting to participate in time.

Freedom from Desire

‘Consider those who in the course of many lives on earth have become free from desire. By this we mean that all their desires have found fulfillment within the soul itself. They do not die as others do. Since they understand God, they merge with God.

‘When all the desires clinging to the heart fall away, the mortal becomes immortal. When all the knots of desire strangling the heart are loosened, liberation occurs.

‘As the snake discards its skin, leaving it lifeless on an anthill, so the soul free from desire discards the body, and unites with God – who is eternal life and boundless light.’

-         Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4:4.6b

Fieldwork Hardship

I have joined another journey, right after back to Kathmandu from Mt. Everest.  The journey was to instruct students (of course adults) on a smaller mountain in Langtang area, northern part of Nepal, with other Korean instructors.  It was rather short period -- 15 days -- and easier.  But difficult to motivate myself in.  Below is an excerpt from my diary.

Is it really difficult to conduct high-altitude mountaineering and anthropological fieldwork side by side?  I find I become inattentive to jot down everything detailed onto my note.  As for climbing, continued tensions of climbing seemed have made me almost fully seasoned.  Or, do I not feel tension because I am rather inside of the continued tension?  Even at this instructing program, I care little about climbing, but more on my lovers, philosophical themes, payment and money, equipment and clothes, and relationship with students and others.

I feel a necessity of days for taking breath, calmly thinking over, and thereafter founding a basis again.

At the Yala Peak base camp
10. 31. 2012.

with other instructors. photo by Kim Jong-O.

at the high camp of Yala peak.  the peak seen behind is Langtang Lirung

at the summit of Yala peak.  photo by Kim Jong-O.

at a Kathmandu hotel.  photo by Kim Jong-O.

Other's Existence: Impossible to Comprehend

Other's existence is impossible to be, overcoming theoretical standard and accepted real, regarded equally with one's own.  One always ends up with a belief of others as an immature being who could not understand myself and thereby unable to scroll up to the plane I thought out now.

For example, 'a person under age' is nothing but a social habit of such hierarchical relation.  It is the impossibility of comprehending other's existence that makes us participating in production of status and hierarchy.

Coming back from Mountain

Helicopter at the Everest Base Camp

Riding a helicopter full day sat on the Temba's body.

Had been considering whether I should have come back to Kathmandu, but finally got on the heli at the Everest Base Camp.  The pilot perhaps British or Australian seemed not at all care about the dead body, and, rather, he looked like enjoying an acrobatic flight.  He was coming from Kathmandu this morning, and let us down to a flatform at Namche for hours, flying to Island Peak carrying tired climbers from its high camp to the B. C.  

Helicopter flying down from E.B.C. to Namche Bazar

I was just hungry, finding out that nothing I ate the morning.  Our liason officer Gyaljen Sherpa gave me a biscuit.

The Namcher policemen wanted to open and see the dead body's face, to whom I expressed my anger.  "It took a great effort, why do you want to open it!"

"This is my work, and I need to check whether he dead as reported," he said.  "And, if nobody wants to care about him," he continued, "how can he do any?"

Poor Tenji lost one pair of his gloves somewhere today.

Descending onto a yard of a hospital at Kathmandu, we have found a girl screaming and crying, must be Temba's eldest daughter among three.  How shots of cry would gain back a dead life.

Came back to a korean hotel where we members stayed before launching expedition, taking back my luggage and logging on via my laptop.  No having lost my memory of my ID and password, that I had done months ago.  Went back to Dawa's house to sleep.  So much out of mind.