'Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth.'
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 A summary of my philosophy.

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Join date : 2011-12-11

PostSubject: A summary of my philosophy.   Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:16 pm

Since I am finishing up my book and preparing to publish it somewhere, I thought it would be good for me to break my philosophy down in the briefest way that I can. From my postings here, one should be able to appreciate this run down of key concepts:

Key Concepts:

Excess.-- Nietzsche called it Will to Power, Kierkegaard called it despair. I perceive the same underlying concept beneath its names. It is the unresolvable relation between the empirical and transcendental spheres of consciousness, between freedom and necessity, the infinite and the finite, which constitute the self.

The daemonic.-- This is the self's capacity to reflect, that is, represent this excess in a series of conceptual oppositions, ie. relations as a kind of anti-dialectic. For example, the opposition of the infinite and the finite.

Subjectivity.-- This is the representation or reflection of the excess in conceptual oppositions. A kind of 'kenotic' differentiation of the excess. Different modes of life, different ruling passions, are produced as the self orients itself within the conceptual oppositions.

Speculative ethic.-- The experimental and intentional production of such modes of life. Exploration of them. Appraising them against one another.

... Each of the conceptual oppositions created daemonically constitute a different mode of life. The mode and its quality depends on the opposition, one example of a mode is the aesthetic mode of life. The number of these different modes of life that a particular individual can produce depends on the power of his daemonism. Not all individuals are capable of living the same modes of life or living the same number of modes.

A transcendental good is an ideal that roots the individual in that opposition wherein his daemon comes to a rest, is exhausted. Most men are not rooted in this way, and so we have the daemonic frenzy, the repetition of the same modes of life, a kind of psychological stunting. Their self is fragmented in this way throughout the modes and they must continually re-orient themselves within the conceptual oppositions which it has created.

Philosophy endows us with the concepts with which to exhaust our daemonic nature. A speculative ethics as a particular way of philosophizing would aid one in finding out the ideal by which to comprehend the final orientation of one's daemonism, namely by comparing and clearly differentiating the different modes one has lived through, becoming more conscious of them. Hence I call it the transcendental good rather than transcendental ideal: it is realized through a valuation, a speculative ethic. The Eternal Recurrence was Nietzsche's transcendental good.

To put all of that into perspective I will explain the two densest passages I wrote in the book. They are the following:

" ... Tout homme a vu le mur qui borne son esprit, speaks the poet Alfred de Vigny: every man has seen the wall which limits his own spirit. In accordance with that wall, that obscurity, the primal darkness which it is beyond all consciousness to grasp, in which the first stirring of the self arises as in the waters upon which Narcissus directed his gaze, there is conceived within the self an inner representation or image, a reflexive representation of itself, which because it can take as its object nothing other than itself, remains a mere image or eidolon, a thing of smoke, impenetrable and ungraspable. How then does this mere image come to form the absolute basis of the self? How does our sense of self, matured and grasped at the point of living and wakeful consciousness, draw the strength adequate for life and continuance from this representation? It is conceivable only insofar as the self cleaves from itself something to oppose it, and is divided into two eternal, infinite objects; an ego and a non-ego, a self and a world, for in this way the image becomes something more, namely a symbol, by turns the living intimation of the ego and non-ego. This is the mystery of the self: it lives, it comes into being, by resolving into unity that duality which it itself creates; like love, it recognizes the abyss by which it is separated from its object and at the very same time recognizes the abyss which it itself actually is, so that "abyss might call unto abyss,' and in this way it dissolves this separation, and through this dissolution draws forth its own being. But this being, this self, is only that upon which its living intimation, the 'image become symbol,' which we call thought, (the reconciliation of ego and non-ego) is eternally focused and eternally designates. Though the life of man embodies the perpetual reconciliation of the ego and non-ego, the self in its actual and true being stands forever outside their relation as the designation of thought which thought cannot attain, which no dialectical system can absorb. "

" The Greeks pitted themselves against this spiritual pain through art- ultimately they made everything into art, both man and the world; through art they unified certain drives and relieved their antagonism. This is why the Greeks portrayed Eros itself as the 'inner antagonism' - the son of penia and poros, lack and excess, which discharged itself in art and, in the vision of Plato, through the ascension of the entire scale of contemplation. But, instead of Eros- an inner antagonism, in Christianity there was transposed into the heart of the individual an 'absolute longing,' an inner lack which took the place of Eros and found its answer only in God. The theological category for this inner lack is quite various: finitude, creatureliness, etc. In any case the perfect antagonism was here realized, that one between the finite and infinite, the profane and the divine, the carnal and the holy: the entire order of religious thinking utilizes this antagonism to inform the unity of man's psychic being. The 'spiritual pain' is discharged through the order informed by this perfect antagonism in the contemplation of God. The theological description of such is 'kenosis' - the act of Christ's self-emptying before God, which John of the Cross made use of in his own theological speculation. From it he invented the concept of a 'dark night of the soul,' in which all mortal and finite passions gradually detach themselves from their mortal and finite objects, through an intensive and terrible process of 'purification,' in order to gradually attach themselves to the divine principles. This principle is contained summarily in that strange doctrine of the theologians, dei virtutem sapientiam, "Knowledge is the virtue of God and the sin of man." In man all knowledge, however wondrous, is communicated to carnal nature; in God, all knowledge, however profane, is communicated to the divine nature."


So the Greeks thought of the self as an antagonism, a contradiction, between empirical reality, time, and desire, and on the other hand form, the eternal, etc. This contradiction is Eros, love. Eros can fall into matter, sensuality, and physical beauty, but it can also ascend the ladder of being and attain to philosophy. It thus constitutes an excess, which by its very nature cannot be absorbed in a dialectical synthesis. The Greeks made the self livable by exploding it into a series of conceptual oppositions, time and eternity, form and matter, etc. Each of these oppositions provided a vantage in which the self could orient itself within its own excess, each provided a ruling passion, a new pathos, a new mode of life, a particular kind of "subjectivity." Of course no ancient Greek says any of this, this is my interpretation of them.

The Judaeo-Christians had a whole new conception of the self. To them the contradiction which constituted the self signified not an excess, but a fundamental lack, an abyss. Why is man such a grotesque synthesis of conflicting powers, of the finite and the infinite? How is he even possible? It is because, all the way down, man is missing something. It is not the things of the earth he misses, for he is equally a temporal and earthly thing, nor the things of heaven, for he can indeed philosophize, practice justice, and achieve virtue.... No, no, he is missing God. Thus they psychologically figured out a way to cohere the self. Kierkegaard is all about this, for him this "God" provides the self a leap of faith by which to cohere and bring into unity its despairing relation of the temporal and the eternal, the finite and the infinite. He himself could not figure out how exactly the religious life, how God, cohered the two parts, but I have, and I just explained why it works psychologically. The reinterpretation of the excess as a lack allows the two parts to be cohered when they are brought into a unified longing and desire for this missing thing, "God."

The problem is, the Christian answer to the self leads to the fragmentation I talked about, and the Greeks never realized the full extent of the logic of the daemonic, ie. transcendental goods, so they tended to just annihilate themselves in mystical union with the cosmos or in abstract exaltation above the universe, like Plato, exhausted demonically but without an idea in which to repose and take cognizance of that fact. Nietzsche himself ended in annihilation like a good Greek, a will to power annihilated in the Will to Power. With access to my philosophy he would have been able to understand his eternal recurrence as his "transcendental good" and avoided that.

My philosophy, then, is ultimately an answer to the self, and to the pain of being a Self. It is the only other answer besides the Greek and Christian one. It is also the only answer that truly works. I am the first human being to ever live that didn't hate himself.


A sik þau trûðu

Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.

It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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