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Parodites
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PostSubject: The problem.   Wed May 16, 2012 6:53 pm

For the Greeks, the self or "the soul," and all that belongs to it, including freedom, happiness, power, consists in the temporary, that is, daemonic stabilization of the mortal and divine aspects of the self achieved through artist creation and philosophic reflection: under the banner of the Judaica and of the Christians it consisted in the disavowal of the mortal aspect of the self, a capacity founded on the reinterpreted excess as an abyssal lack, the nothingness before God, a God in whose image this nothingness was satiated. The Cartesian cogito, as the vacant substratum underlying consciousness, is a modern expression of this inner lack, a Christianization of philosophy. To really understand the extent to which philosophy has been Christianized it is perhaps necessary to unite my drive-psychology and conception of the daemonic. To take what I have already said about the historical development of the self, one must admit that the "Parnasus Ad Gradum" which leads from the primitive self to the Greek self, psuche pasa, as that immortal soul which could not bear the wastes of eternity without the sensuality and beauty of a physical incarnation, which it must after all take with it into the world beyond, to the political self of Aristotle, to that self of the Augustianian confessions, is both a long and a frightening one. Originating as a way in which to correct the disintegration of man's originary nature, something that can apprehend the variances in drive and emotion, between internal states, that can comprehend them and itself as something enduring throughout them had to be produced. Two inner states were reified in an abstraction in which their discontiguity, their variance, their difference, could be comprehended. This is the beginning of the spiritualization of man and world, and the development of the "self." Those abstractions in which man grasped the transformations and difference between his emotional states, granted him more and more consciousness of his "selfhood." Self-consciousness here is seen, not as a thin growth upon the deeper subconscious, but as an instrument that is submerged in the subconscious for the purpose of its subordination and organization. Contrast is the basis of our consciousness. There is no consciousness without the separation of mental phenomena and sense impression into opposition, oppositions which must be reified in some abstraction that makes us conscious of the variance between two inner states, a condition which, grasped psycho-existentially, I call the daemonic. The derivation of self-consciousness would have been psychologically painful at first because all the drives responsible for the survival of man, as the most fundamental and apparent, had to serve as the first to be placed in opposition to one another. Death rituals that celebrated life, mass suicides, cannibalism, death orgies, pain festivals. All of this was necessary. It formed the first social connections beyond hunter-gathers, ie. religious connections, as well as helped develop self-consciousness. The failed abstractions, the values that proved suicidal or ended up leading to death, obviously we don't know of. The failed cultures to which they belonged never lived long enough to write their own history books. But there is an extensive history which we have no knowledge of which details such failed cultures, the forgotten madness of our species, and much self-imposed torture. Only the "sanest" values and value-creators survived, all the history and culture we know is of them. The values and moral philosophies of this survivor culture are no more credible though, they just didn't end up killing us. Well, they didn't end up killing all of us. One only needs to think of human sacrifice, self-torture, cannibalism, death worship, all common in the earliest human societies. Why is this destructive "disorganizing force," the reifying abstractions belonging to the "daemonic," preservative of the human species, when in fact it arose to correct the disorganization of man's drives effected by his enhanced reasoning capacity? It is a greater impetus to life, it is "stronger" than the half-slumbering active consciousness achieved by re-harmonizing the drives through "thinking." It provides a greater way of cohering a social order. When man made the switch from small hunter-gatherer tribes to larger communities, it found its best soil. To speak archetypally, we have one group that grasps contrary emotional states in an abstraction, through discontinguous states of consciousness, so that the intellect operates separately from the emotional organism, the egoic consciousness wholly circumscribed by the intellectualization and narcotized as it were. Everything is morally good which provides this respite, anything that reawakens emotional and sensual life (which must be highly painful, granted the contrary passions) is bad, like sexual desire. Another group, who achieve mental integration, are not hurt by the same things that awaken for the former the drives, because their drives do not exist in such destructive configurations. But these two classes of people do not war, they integrate, socially, over time. Those who emerged from the passions and the drives without any injury, as the drive for sex, become early priests, the administrators of the Gods, and teach others how to tolerate these drives through things like sex rituals, as was practiced at the temples of Athena. The reification of the variances between inner states in abstractions (the daemonic) and the active integration of compatible drives by means of the coordination of these abstractions, (dialectically, meontologically, poetically, or ultimately empirically and transcendentally, to use my terminology) that is, "thought," as two tendencies or psychological strategies, noia and dianoia to distinguish with the Greeks, operate together, producing the model of the modern human being, in whom was portended their dissolution into the Greek and Christian man, in whom was portended the dissolution of the integrity of transcendental and empirical modes of reasoning. Nihilism was the devaluation of one mode of reasoning by the other, while the seemingly irreparable division of the two doesn't yet have a name. Philosophy continues to exist only because the germ of its destruction is radiated immanently from within itself.


 

___________
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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PostSubject: Re: The problem.   Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:30 am

I think this interpretation of excess as lack, that you mention here, and which Judaism and Christianity accomplished, is precisely the root of the problem of modernity: science today is the outward example of this interpretation, this error, in so far as science would aim to describe everything without realizing any need to explain or understand any of it (and philosophy has chosen in large part now to become "scientific"). What does it really mean that cognitive neuroscience for example, or analytic philosophy, develop these empirical or logical schemas and seek to animate them with the life-blood of their passion and interest when in fact such schemas and constructs are entirely incapable of receiving such an animation, and even exist expressly because they forbid such passions from ever becoming vital, which would mean informing us directly as inspiration, motivation, clarity of insight, a truly more comprehensive and multi-dimensional understanding we might call pathology-free sanity? Science and analysis NECESSARILY become myopic, because they actively exclude what cannot be reinterpreted according to their narrow dictates.

It will take neuroscience and analysis centuries to reach even the most basic insights into consciousness and the self, which insights philosophy is able to achieve and has already achieved. By localizing activations of brain regions science finds its way into "thinking" about the true questions of our own existence, questions of the self, consciousness, life, meaning; basic questions of ontology-psychology. Isn't this very analytic dependency on recreating surrogate mental objects via empirical observations, the essential method of science, in order to become capable of thinking even in the first place, the very quintessential expression of the basic reversal that Parodites mentions here: the reversal achieved by interpreting an excess as a lack.

Most people lack ability to think in philosophical ways, to truly free-think without bias, to objectify their subjectivity, and scientists are prone to this as well; this lack on their part is now being interpreted, by them, as a new excess, an excess of "scientific thought", for the scientist sees his own method and tools as the only ways to arrive at understanding and insight. If the scientist is an already-Christianized capitulation to a fundamentally existential self-experience in the form of Lack, namely in this case "lack of truth" or more accurately "lack of data" then this Lack has now reinterpreted itself as an Excess within which alone supposedly all the answers and values can be found.

This is what I mean about science needing to create surrogate mental objects in order to generate for itself the possibility of thinking. The old-world lack before God is being reinterpreted in modernity as a lack before sufficient data, theory and application; in this way the circle is closed and modern man, through science, is able to slowly, painstakingly begin to learn how to think again, like an infant forming the very first basic concepts for the first time. The true excess, which is already-always daemonic, simply found a new means of expression... it is using science against itself, it is carving out analysis from the inside. Eventually the empty structures of scientific positivism and analysis will be hollowed out to the exact proportion that they have generated upon themselves a basic capacity for real thinking---again in spite of themselves and their own praised methodology---and at that point the false construct of Lack will be unable to sustain the weight of the true thoughts bearing down upon it.

Maybe this is already what happens in ever case of the philosopher: the weight of his true ideas overpowers the false construct of his former self, converting that self into something else. Maybe every philosopher has already passed through a thousand years of "scientific development and analysis" at the level of his personality, something that actually takes those thousand years to enact itself in the human world considering that at the world-level trauma and suffering are dispersed and unable to condense an influence and effect as they do upon the individual subjectivity.

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

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