Saturday, December 17, 2005

Concept: "agere contra" (against one's self or nature)

Stumbled across this one in the LA City Beat while sweating to the oldies at Gold's. Apparently Jerry Brown, ex-gov of California and a former monk, is an adherent of this Jesuit notion heavily marketed and branded by one St. Ignatius. At it's root, agere contra is about exploring unlikely, radical ideas, new solutions, and challenging your beliefs. It's a sacred twist on the old pizza box epithet: "Try it, you like it!" Rather than expending energy being against things or ideas that seem foreign or contrary, you digest them, familiarize yourself with their effects, add them to your problem solving tool box, and perhaps, embrace them. It's a fairly punk rock credo. Wonder what those Jesuit monks are getting up to?

None of this should be confused with Joris-Karl Huysmans' amazing read Against Nature (A Rebours) about a "decadent, and ailing aristocrat who retreats to an isolated villa where he indulges his taste for luxury and excess." It's short and hilarious. If you haven't had the pleasure, go on ahead and get yourself a copy.


Blogger undertherift said...

This is a fairly old post - approximately a year ago. But i think my question still stands...

I was looking for something that meant 'against human nature', and ran across this entry on your blog. I'd like to know
1. Is it latin?
2. Are you religious? I saw the article to which you referred to, but didn't really read it.

Where did the term come from? I find it very interesting - the implication more than the words. I used it in a sentence to mean 'against one's nature', but it could of course be used in a more volatile manner, in a Fight Club-esque kind of way. Against one's self (id, ego, and the like).

Anyway, nice post, and here's hoping you still read this.

5:35 AM  

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