Event and Substance

Various philosophers have already discussed the “event”recently. I generally consider three philosophers contemporary that are significant to the discussion of truth. I talk about them all the time: Zizek, Badiou, Laruelle; The indivisible remainder, void, and void qua void as implicated in non-philosophy, respectively. Which is to say, in a very Witgenstein manner, that whatever might be nothing is nothing to be concerned with. There’s nothing even we could begin to say about it that has anything to do with what we name it. Nothing here becomes foundational as opposed to merely speculative.

It is this last significance that encompasses the event. The event is nothing that we can talk about, but it is everything that we must be concerned with. In this way it is not fully present, as various sorts of random occurrences filled with content That occupy as well as catalyze change due to the fullness of their content that we unpack meaning from. Rather, it is very much like Rudolph Otto’s slight mention in his book The Idea of the Holy where he quickly suggests that the “mysterious tremmendum”, the “awe-full-ness” Which motivates our very being, which in his discussion is really the root of the holy, is that center of vacancy around which religion arises.

But the event is also not pure nothingness. Zizek points to this contradiction of speaking about nothingness as “a catastrophe” Which arises at the beginning of the universe, where everything is turned on its head, and what we understand is love becomes the manifestation of real evil. With Zizek, Nothingness inscribes us from all sides and indeed it is the event which brings us into the middle to form political identity, as one might say, out of nothingness, or, in the middle of nothingness, stretching backwards to a moment of pure absurdity, and extending forward into a ‘Master signification’ which avoids all scrutiny.

Badiou attempts to tell us what being and event actually is. Indeed his masterwork book is called “being and event”. We find, though, that he too must take up a sort of Zizekian tack and move everything into the political realm. In very short, Babiou says that the event is where being irrupts into the world. The event “begins the count” of reality. And I imagine we are supposed to gather that this “count” is quite similar to the generation of meaning by human beings. And so where else do we generate meaning but in the political realm, I guess.

Laruelle is really the only one of these three that actually takes seriously the idea of nothingness. He takes it so serious that it becomes a foundational feature of existence. Like I said, there’s nothing even to say about it; it is being so effective. One could even speculate that if I had anything to say about nothingness, it must not be very effective. One could also gather that where nothingness is effective thereby do we find Truth; and indeed I’m pretty sure that this is why many people have accused Laruelle of conspiring toward a religion. Indeed, many people that really enjoy this philosopher sound like religious fanatics, but I would say, honestly, it’s because those people really don’t understand what he’s talking about.   When nothing becomes substantial, when nothingness is indeed a foundational term of a universe, Then something changes in the way that we reckon the universe. This is to say, as opposed to the invisible given that what we understand is the regular or conventional philosophical approach, what Laruelle calls “sufficient philosophy”, Understands as an essential substrate, a criterion of truth where everything revolves around everything else, all the while assuming that there is this fundamental “truth of the universe” that we are finding through experimentation, empirical science, academic philosophy — I’m not really sure what label we would put on this given. Badiou I think makes the best proposal for this kind of real philosophy, because it gives everyone involved a legitimate stake in the game by allowing their being, they’re thinking, their efforts in reality, to arise from nothing without ever having to admit that indeed nothing is what is informing their activity. How offensive to my being in the world to consider that everything that I’m doing is based in nothing! (It is devastatingly offensive, in fact. What the hell is alienation if it isn’t an identity which understands itself in the context of nothing and thus meaninglessness?)

In truth, this is why I believe it is more justified to call such a real activity thus “religious” in nature. Because in reality we can talk about whatever we want to as if it has substance, for example, we can talk about nothingness and what it might be and how it manifests in various this and that, but all the while never recognize or rely upon that nothingness as indeed as that which is informing the activity again. Instead, people point to the effects, and use that as an argument for an ontological foundation of relativity and eternal interaction of thinkers which establish for themselves and for each other the world, the real universe, etc. Such approach I call religious because it requires a certain amount of energy, or force, in order to overcome the contradiction involved in having all efforts actually based on nothing. Because most people will quickly retort “well, what is nothing?” And begin the cycle of eternal recurrence again.

There’s is a faith because they (we) are involved with what the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre Proposes that every good being does when they encounter the “abyss” of freedom: we “revolt” from it to gain our freedom. There is no freedom in nothingness, though; nothingness is really nothing else but nothingness, And the “…of freedom” part of the encounter is really the ability and capacity to deny what offends us.

It is the ability Part that is most significant for me, because it indicates to me that this is not some essential truth of existence, something that all humans do automatically or something, or how the universe actually is or — again I don’t even know how I would talk about it in the short venue right here on WordPress…

But it is an ability of consciousness, an ability of the human being to revolt from that abyss to create our own worlds of intention, worlds that we want to have. Worlds that we desire, worlds that we use desire to make. Etc.

This context from which I’m speaking here on this post, this particular post, I am just saying that while I might be able to revolt from the Abyss , I don’t have to revolt in order for the universe to remain viable and for me to be an actual person in society. And in fact I think that is a significant issue is whether or not I’m revolting from anything. Here and there are use the term “acceptance”. Indeed, human beings have an ability to revolt from the abyss of nothingness in order to gain their freedom in society, but this freedom is not essential in the sense that it somehow is implicit in the nothingness. The nothingness is nothingness. It is nothing. It’s nothing to talk about. It is in our effort to speak that we find freedom in denial that such speaking is based in nothing at all.  The overcoming of this contradiction I call faith.

It is a particularly 20th century industrialized capitalist democratic religious congregant which finds its identity in revolting from the abyss of freedom in order to make choices about who and what they want to be in the world.

Presently, it is this particular mode of reacting that we call “modern”, and what I described amounts to a reason why it is so difficult to think beyond capitalism. It is just one particular mode of being human, but being in general, though, and that indeed it projects itself both forward and backward, we must necessarily understand that it is not some essential human trait, or some essential human way of being that has gone on since the beginning of humanity — But it is indeed the “beginning of humanity” that is arising as a psychic component within the modern individual around the event.

When these parameters and limitations Are realized, are comprehended and accepted, Then we find the only truthful way to discern what we are involved with in our current situation is a religious faith, A mythological cosmology which is actually effective.

X



Author: landzek

My name is Lance Kair, a philosopher, a counselor and a musician who is being questioned.

One thought on “Event and Substance”

  1. Hello my friend, hope you are doing well.
    Interesting post! Must I say you were reading my mind. Since the Beirut explosion, I have been thinking about the concept of “event”. An event happens et doesn’t last. Consequences do. I will read your post again later. Thank you ❤

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