In the first half of this chapter I focused on the role of philosophy as argued for by Badiou and Žižek, while in the second half I focused on the role of philosophy as Hadot presents it in light of his work on ancient philosophy as a way of life.
I have shown that Badiou and Žižek’s thoughts on the matter present the role of philosophy ‘in the present’ as something very diverse, but certainly it is a ‘foreign-ising’, displacing and transformative force, where that which is ‘foreignised’ is humanity as it has been historically constituted. Philosophy cannot confine itself “to humanity as it has been historically constituted and defined” (Badiou 2009:74-75) without diminishing itself and suppressing itself. I have shown elsewhere in this study that humanity as it has been historically constituted is Promethean, and with extensive references to Badiou and Žižek I have argued that in its opposition to historically constituted humanity, the outcome of the role of philosophy as presented by Badiou and Žižek is thoroughly aligned with the Orphic attitude. This is not to say that philosophy as argued for by Badiou and Žižek is definitively Orphic in character, but that the ‘outcomes’ of applying philosophy as they see it are clearly Orphic. In the first half of this chapter I worked to elucidate the particular ‘outcomes’ to which I have just referred, emphasising that these outcomes can play an important role in the context of the ecological crisis as I developed this context in previous chapters.
In the second half of the chapter I looked at Hadot’s exploration of philosophy as a way of life, showing clearly that philosophy as a way of life is perfectly aligned with the Orphic attitude. Philosophy as a way of life promotes cosmic consciousness and inner peace where existence and perception are endowed with inherent value, thereby disrupting the instrumentalism and utilitarianism of Promethean habitual perception. I showed that philosophy as a way of life is thoroughly Orphic in character, and furthermore that this manifestation of philosophy has outcomes that promote Orphic interactions within nature rather than Promethean action upon nature. I emphasised that these outcomes can play an important role in the context of the ecological crisis as I developed this context in previous chapters.
Considering the urgency for the human species to find a sustainable (Orphic) route forward in light of the ecological crisis, a (Promethean) crisis human beings have played no small part in creating, philosophy as I have explored it in this chapter is something to which we can turn individually and collectively for help in this most important of matters.
I will conclude this chapter with reference to Heidegger’s notion of Gelassenheit – a notion of considerable relevance considering various issues, information, arguments and themes that have been explored in this chapter. Gelassenheit is usually translated as ‘letting-be’, but not in a passive sense; on the contrary, in an active sense of letting the earth be an earth, letting animals be animals, etc.: “Freedom for what is opened up in an open region lets beings be the beings they are. Freedom now reveals itself as letting beings be”: this
is not to be understood only as the mere management, preservation, tending, and planning of the beings in each case encountered or sought out. To let be – that is, to let beings be as the beings which they are – means to engage oneself with the open region and its openness into which every being comes to stand, bringing that openness, as it were, along with itself.
What the Promethean non-ethos has done, and still does, with its exclusive focus on pragmatism and instrumentality, is to negate ‘letting-be’: “humanity replenishes its ‘world’ on the basis of the latest needs and aims, and fills out that world by means of proposing and planning. From these man then takes his standards, forgetting being as a whole” (Ibid). If the forgetting of being as a whole occurs in the realm of the Promethean – and this certainly fits with the analysis of the Promethean as it has occurred in this study – then perhaps the Orphic arena, where respect for the inherent value of being is a central characteristic, best offers opportunities to ‘remember being as a whole’. Appropriate to my argument – that philosophy as it is focused on in this study is well situated in the Orphic arena – is Heidegger’s comment about philosophy (.pdf pg.9): “In the gentle sternness and stern gentleness with which it lets being as such be as a whole, philosophy becomes a questioning which does not cling solely to beings yet which also can allow no externally imposed decree”. To repeat, philosophy “lets being as such be as a whole”, which is an Orphic quality, even possibly the ultimate Orphic quality considering the context of the ecological crisis. In “not cling[ing] solely to beings” philosophy is flexible and allows for dialectical processes to occur, which, as I have argued in the introduction to this study, is not the case in the realm of exclusive Prometheanism. In allowing “no externally imposed decree”, philosophy does not impose dogma, ideology, or attitudes onto anything – which again emphasises the compatibility of philosophy with the qualities of the Orphic.
In the final part of this study, specifically the ‘recommendations’ part, I will make suggestions regarding how to make some of the focal areas of this chapter (as well as other chapters) ‘actionable’ in manners whereby qualitative and quantitative results can be created to help in mitigating the causes of the ecological crisis.
 Quoted from the online text of Heidegger’s essay, ‘On the essence of truth’. Pdf. pg. 6. http://aphelis.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Martin-Heidegger-On-the-Essence-of-Truth.pdf accessed 5 March 2017.