Mark Foster Gage and OOO

Mark Foster Gage and OOO

https://doctorzamalek2.wordpress.com/2019/12/15/mark-foster-gage-and-ooo/
— Read on doctorzamalek2.wordpress.com/2019/12/15/mark-foster-gage-and-ooo/

Interesting article.

While reading it, I was come upon a significant issue where Harman is revealed to his metaphysics.

It appears Gage is an architect that only makes art, but his art uses the state of technology to make structures that appear like they are photos of actual buildings, even though the art may defy what we are able to physically construct as a usable building.

And here is where the issue appears, and is where I think Harman and OOO is finding most of its purchase in at least architecture (Harman works as SCIarc in Los Angeles, an architectural school).

Gage says that he likes to deal in structures that appear real, but are not.

Now, I know what he means, and that’s why in the paragraph above I tried my best not to use the word “real”, And instead use the words “actual” and “usable” and etc.

And this use of “real” by Gage appears to me fitting with OOO Becuase Harman says the real object withdraws from view, or is always kept neatly out of sight, harboring itself in the shadows.

Where I differ with Harman and this kind of OOO metaphysics is when I ask if the art that gage is making is itself real. Are the structures in his art real ? And my next question thus asked in what way am I able to even perceive Gage’s structures in the art itself is not real.

I have a comment on Harman that will only get answered after I die, maybe (lol) For the simple fact that Harmon will never stoop to answer my question or address my point. 🙂

Nevertheless, I submit that Harmans OOO is concerned with philosophical objects, and due to this focus, understands reality is hidden behind a screen of sense. We can begin to see that Harman’s real objects reflect that he sees himself as dealing with thought as the foundation of everything else, Becuase obviously he is using his proposal in a field of other equally valid proposals of thoughts, the actual object they talk about, then, withdraws from the discussion. In this way. Harman’s proposal falls flat so much as it indeed might have to do with real things.

I am skeptical of this kind of hinting that uses thought as unapproachable while foregrounding the discourse as though he is not merely using sleight of hand to not be using his centrality of thinker position.

And I think I thus see an irony that Harman attempts to avoid by simply remaining in philosophical space as though it is able to address all things outside of it. 

I side more with Bruno Latour, one of Harmans hero’s, ironically again. Latour suggests that reality is right in front of us at all times, harboring no actuality of itself, nothing hidden, but objects occurring within networks of objects.

What is in the shadows appears to me to be merely another kind of phenomenalism, yet of a kind that Harman decries.

I cannot but wonder how OOO has taken the full power of phenomenal assertion to argue a metaphysics that only has substance due to the motion that Latour describes in his book “The Pasteuriszation of France”. Namely, that Harmon must argue a shadowy reality Becuase Harman is involved in a kind of Pasturian scientific phenomenon where time moves due to a certain kind of religious adherence to phenomenal intension and its power to ignore what Adler and Hillman might call “inferior”. Harman, while his idea to me appears sound, is being used in a particularly dishonest manner, one which only acknowledges the “presence of the superior”.

See my posts on bad faith.

Philosophy, Religion and Negation.

Here I am reading the paper that Was accepted to the conference at the University of Toronto, Negativity, Pessimisms, and Sad Affects in the Study of Religion Conference. Next week, April 18-19, 2019.  Right before THE GREAT ZIZEK PETERSON DEBATE!!

I just realized I said the name of the conference wrong in the video 🙂

 

 

 

 

I am not able to attend, though, so I made a video.

Note – the negation of the speculative negative theology can appear as a philosophical venture of arguing philosophical primacy as not a religious effort. We can call a move of bad faith, the “sickness” which permeates some avenues of philosophical effort; that is, a sickness unto death. Hence the problem Highlighted in my essay. See also this essay. This is to say that the problem does not dissipate through philosophy but is rather suspened, which then perpetuates real psycho-social aggravations.

My paper can be viewed at Academia.edu HERE. Even though I wanted to post the paper with resources, it looks like it has posted without them.

And HERE is the Researchgate listing, with references.

(Im pretty sure I formatted the paper incorrectly. Oh well. Learn by living, learn by trying.)

Maybe someone will want to give me some pointers.

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Heres the three books I cited:

Carol Gilligan’s In a Different Voice

Graham Harman’s Tool Being

Slavoj Zizek’s Living in the End Times

>>>

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If you want to hear all the hoopla about the Zizek Peterson debate, just search Zizek Peterson debate.

Of course, I have my opinions, which can be found throughout my blog.

 

 

…and sowing the seeds: Reply to Blake with draft excerpts from “The Second Moment”.

Reply to Terrence Blake’s recent post over at Agent Swarm:

As usual Terrence you pegged it. It’s strange how I view it and actually I can totally agree with you and yet somehow there’s something that I’m not agreeing with and really that has to do with my work, The strange situation that I find myself in reading you and is also what I’m trying to sort out. It’s actually really great.
For indeed I would say the same thing as you,  and add a few other authors to your list who really kind of saying the same thing. Yet I don’t think that Laruelle is merely repeating what these other people have repeated in a better way. I do not think that’s all that’s going on here. I would put it more in the framework of the question of why Laruelle appears in a religious context; as you kind of say his acolytes or his believers. Lol. I agree, yeah. I would say inasmuch as people are appropriating his discourses in such a way that it is organized around a proper ordering of his definitions, whether one would either believe or not believe, or that they would be ‘congregants’ or not, is a misappropriation of what Laruelle is really saying.

This further goes to my point about Laruelle himself, that he is missing the significance of what he saying (oddly enough,about the event, the object of the discourse) as a further dynamic in the whole discussion.

“…if we can talk about Kierkegaard or Nietzsche in the same or similar context, that they indeed mark sort of turning point, or at least a sort of speaking in a certain way about a certain particular thing, then it is because before this mark (that is such talk) people of such an experience, what I call the significant event, still felt or still thought in terms of a common human standard,  within  a stratified horizon of human experience where all human beings can participate in the same context of any world through the manipulations of discourse. I’m not sure what others may make of Laruelle’s ‘unilateral duality’, but to me such a term defies the stratification to which his ideas are typically applied. The idea that thus takes hold and thus usurps the meaning of Laruelle’s notions is that mode that says “if I can just explain it well enough, if I can shred up a given term into its proper real elements, if I can deconstruct a term so thoroughly that I can present it to anyone and they will understand, potentially” …(from “The Second Moment”)

This is the enterprise that you’re talking about, and indeed that’s exactly what Laruelle does, exactly the effort that he’s involved with, which is why I say he is in bad faith. For if we can take a certain lineage that involves those characters as you brought up, if not more and other ones, each of those authors attempts to situate a certain type of experience within a communication of discourse, and actually not only that, but each of them is putting it in such a way that it is clear to them, such that their project then extends into explaining to others in rebuttal and response what they already explained, yet ,in further differentiated terms as if they will somehow at some point be able to communicate what they’re really saying to these other people.

Think about phenomenology. Husserl, from what I gather, tried to put forth a science of phenomenology, and Heidegger had the same idea and difficulty with his students. You can also feel the frustration in Nietzsche’s writings and you can hear the despair in Kierkegaard. After Kierkegaard and Nietzsche pretty much that’s it. The rest of it is just a reiteration and a repetition by someone who is come upon a certain type of experience attempting to improve upon the initial explication or pronunciation of it…”

Strangely enough, the science that authors might propose seems untenable because of the very mode that they are caught in; which is to say, the mode of Enlightenment thinking, which is really evangelism under a philosophical guise. The science they ‘feel’ is untenable because they are involving ‘everyone’ in the possibility that ‘everyone’ does not as a free agent participate in. Just think if a molecular biologist had to get an OK from everyone who was involved, or who ‘proved themselves’ to be involved with biology: Nothing of molecular biology would have ever gotten anywhere since everyone thinks they know something of biology because they are ‘by definition’ a biological creature. The conventional philosophers tend to work upon a level that is supposing everyone and everything, metaphysically, but the fact is that they can never dismiss themselves sufficiently enough from their own thinking (and thus everyone else’s opinions as they are positioned upon a hierarchical transcendental scaffolding) to thereby gain an objective quality of being to thereby gain a single fact to base such a science upon,  and yet they suppose this of themselves and their ability at every turn. This is the significant issue: That they cannot allow for a humanity that is truly ‘different’; the very notion of difference becomes all too often merely an ideal notion of essential thought, as this is justified in the common thing that is the being of human. They cannot enact a science that they feel should be available precisely because they are involved in a failure to understand the mode by which they are being allowed to posit ‘being’: They are involved in an effective distance whereby they cannot ever philosophically approach the object that is human; they are ‘caught’, involved in, saturated by (if I may bring in Heidegger) the destitution that is their spirit…”

So what I see  in the period of time that goes between say the 1850s (though it  extends back further, its just at that time that a certain manner of appropriation of the object has arisen to discourse) up until now or until Laruelle, is we have the extension of the failure of the discourse that is attempting to explain a particular type of experience. And what this failure is, is involved with the religious type of orientation upon the world, which is to say that if I have (one person, i.e. the philosophical author) had this experience then everyone else should be able to understand it and should be able to realize the significance of this experience also because we are all human beings, common in the potential for communication. But what do we find in Nietzsche? Irritation and frustration at that no one can hear him. And what do we find in Lyotard? We have an evolved situation of the same experience. Here though, the Postmoderns have taken a different tact. They noticed a failure and so they use the failure as a means to establish a whole new manner of speaking about it, a different manner, so to speak. This is why postmodern is often associated with irony, because while they were sitting there talking about deconstructing everything and grammatology and such things, they are/were really trying to indicate the same thing that Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were indicating but couldn’t effectively communicate. So we have the postmodern admitting that there’s a failure in communication and making another whole  series of clausal structures based upon this different type of view of the same object.

So then what we have after the Postmoderns? We have another attempt, but this time the attempt is in the deconstruction itself. The ‘post-Postmoderns’, as I call them, Laruelle and Badiou at least, see the failure of the postmodern tact and so they think that they can improve upon what is occurred over the long +-200 year extension: If they can just deconstruct terms sufficiently enough. Laruelle is the most extreme example of this kind of  deconstruction in the sense of attempting to convey the object of knowledge that is been going on since before Kant, but just reached a certain type of saturation with Hegel and Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

Badiou admits the total failure, and calls this failure, the object that is failed to be communicated, ‘void’. And yet because it is still there (being there) and the failure involves communication, as communication is taken still as upon a stratified human horizon, his tact is to posit how it is possible that it still arises ‘apparently somewhere’. So his sensibility is that the void erupts into multiplicity, because the problem seems to be that there is this single object that is being spoken about in a very specific manner that is somehow not being apprehended in its specificity.

In contrast, Laruelle still supposes to be able to deconstruct the term (object: terms are objects) sufficiently enough to be able to make a solute communication. But what we find is that he’s crossed the line. We find that in the attempt to deconstruct the term so thoroughly as to be able to communicate that object, that object is now apprehended as a religious type of assertion. So, instead of viewing the blowback of multiplicity, Laruelle sees that the problem lies in a prior decision of how objects are apprehended and or how people/human beings are oriented upon them for how they can be situated in reality. He blames the incongruity upon the fact that there is some other order through which objects are appropriated, that is interfering in the direct communication of this said object…”

Now for me, because I understand what the object is (the subject that is the object or purpose of the discourse) when I read these authors, there is no miscommunication about what they are saying. It is obvious to me; this is why I say all these such and such authors are really talking about the same thing, and it is why I understand the problem that they all face as well why it does not take very long to figure out and  understand the approach that they take…”

Laruelle’s ‘in the last instance’ is significant. Because somehow intuitively he knows or knew that this would be the last instance of the given of reality; that after his effort reality would precipitate out within this understanding such that it could be begun to be described as a religious institution itself (an actualized unilateral duality would begin to pronounce itself). But not just through his work; this is the long game…”

—-( Excerpts from the upcoming 2017-18  book tentatively called  “Darkness: The Second Moment of Decisive Significance”)

REPOST:

CLEARING THE GROUND (1): Laruelle’s rearview mirror

Laruelle: the mountain of jargon that gives birth to a mouse of common knowledge. One of the evolutions of my thought on this blog is the passage from a relatively favorable attitude to Laruelle to a great disappointment. This evolution stemmmed from my return to Laruelle, after having dismissed his non-philosophy as unworkable turgid repetition […]
https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/clearing-the-ground-1-laruelles-rearview-mirror/

Gggh

Ghhhrkness

the Divergent Proposal, part 2

The question left in the previous essay (the Divergent Proposal) asked us to consider what about the current philosophical proposals are apparent in our daily lives. We need unpack this. Easy at it may seem to refer to science and say that there indeed are processes at work that we do not recognize or acknowledge in our daily activities, we should have pause when including philosophy in this deferment.

We have already touched upon the presumed equivalency of philosophy and science, of metaphysics and physics. Indeed, the arena in which we are involved at this point is ripe for deception; we argue one one side in order to argue against it, to argue the other side. Let us take the usual philosophical example, from the basis that is assumed common of the likes of Bertrand Russell. His description of the situation is a good one. He considers a table and moves toward finding what the table actually is and goes on to describe that at no time do we ever arrive at a table. The table exists as a condition of multiple aspects that arrive according to the various routes of analysis, sensation, intelligence, the instruments used, mode of comparison, et cetera. In fact, it might be possible to bring in Harman’s “Third Chair” as a response to this situation. Nevertheless, in considering an object, there is no knowable reduction that encounters a table, as we say, in-itself.

Now despite that Russel is probably responding to the 200 years of critical philosophical thought since Kant by suggesting that the object exists through different modes (well get to Latour later), it is sufficient to say that through the working of all such modes, even then, we still never get to the table itself, but instead find out selves and the ability to know of the chair within a network of approaches, attitudes, and views. At root, again despite out intellectual strategies that appear to offer us new ways in the attempt to find it, we still find that we never get to the table in-itself.

Something odd has occurred here that I have not seen addressed anywhere in the philosophical literature. Nowhere do philosophers address this shift; I only hear of ‘turns’, but no one ever talks about why or how such a shift occurred. They only justify why it is logical or sensible to begin to speak about something in a particular way. What I always see is philosophers starting in the middle. This shifting of starting in the middle bahaving like it is a beginning, we call a type of pass.

So it is time to start at the beginning again. Any philosophical and or critical effort worth its salt begins its proposal at the beginning. Now, of course, with this statement we should then see that indeed most philosophers would have something to say about that; they would probably say, for one, that that is why people go to school, maybe major in philosophy or at least take a couple classes or read some books. But also, as many are indeed accredited academics, studies and well learned if not proven intelligent, they would say that they indeed have a position (just look at my papers and books Ive written) and that they do start at the beginning.

Again, we have something odd that has occurred here. Are you feeling it? Do you see it?

My hint is that the problem is in the very route by which such beginning are being said to have substantiality. Indeed, there may be a ‘beginning’ of philosophical considerations located somewhere in time, somewhere in the historical library, but isn’t that what and where philosophy gains it stature? From the neverending shuffling and proposing upon various manners of statements, of arguments? We do not find a beginning here. Those philosophers who would site this route might say that, well, one needs to know the issues, the various proposals made around particular topics, and then through addressing and getting responses upon various proposals made through considering particular vectors and types of philosophical arenas (epistemology, ontology, computer science, artificial intelligence, ecological idealism, et cetera) one has developed a position and there by has allowed a sort of organic beginning to arrive by the mere fact of now the operator being involved in the network of discussions. Indeed, the philosophers of this route would say that the very idea of beginnings is another philosophical arena unto itself. (And here I am considering such beginnings. LOL)

Further, though we can site the ideas of Kant as a certain beginning by which to draw conclusions as to what is and has been occurring over the past 300 yeas or so, we could just as well start with the Ancient Greeks. The point is is that it doesn’t matter where we start in the historical discursive record, what matters is what is occurring when a person reads a philosophical work and come to certain ideas about what is occurring and or what to do next, where to go, where to look.

But lets go back to the simple philosophical situation. The table; the object. The basic: Im sitting here on the couch typing on my computer with my legs up on this table. I am going to purposefully limit my scope and focus on the table. What is the table? Take a moment. What do I need to know, have, experience the table?  Of course, there is a slew of critical thinkers that would say, Oh, well, what about the table are you trying to consider? Its “beingness”? it relation to your knowing it? Its structure? Its physicality? Its relations to other things? The mind that is considering it?

Blah blah. Ok yeah; humans have at its disposal potentials located of individuals for various kinds of approaches and solutions to various problems that it also can creatively apprehend. Such is intelligence, ego, superego, wit, privilege, schooling, strategy… Again: We are not attempting to elaborate upon what might occur in the middle of things. We are not advocating the mediating subject. We concede that there is this real aspect of being human and that humanity functions within reality along dynamics of all these possibilities of novel and rehashed ideas that arise from real human viability. There are philosophical thinkers that merely want to showcase their super philosophical intelligence, and likewise there are spiritual gurus who only want to ‘be helpful’. We grant all the ideas that arise to make various real explanations.

What is the table? Let us take the Kantian and Russelian idea as a beginning. In the framing above, we can say that the table exists only as knowledge and that such knowledge exhibits a network of functional categories that are ever changing, dynamic in the flow that is the human and universal exchange and negotiation of information, the views offered through encountering the table at different observational and sensational junctures allowing for any particular frame of reality by which to enjoin further negotiation for progress.

Really? So me sitting here right now, the table that I have my feet on is really a product of a dynamic network of knowledge? In this respect, if the real table is indeed is totally accounted for and described by that statement and extrapolations, rebuttals and reiterations and proposals of actuality, then I would have to say then that the table on which I have my feet is not real. In fact, if I extrapolate to other objects the same basis, such as that cup, the floor, the window, the tree outside, electricity, my car, my hat, coat, chair, book, my foot, legs, pants, bulbous belly, fingers, eyes, vision, brain, thoughts…then I must say that at least part of what is occurring is not real, including most significantly, that aspect by which I am able to have such a consideration, that I call, colloquially, my self.

By this situation I just described, we, in some partial yet significant way, discount what philosophical considerations that propose upon me what is real and true. And by this we can categorize these new Realist proposals as of another sort of ontology, another sort of teleology. In fact, we have only then to see that what they are proposing, as psychologically as well as politically and objectively,, falls entirely into the realm of phenomenal ideology. I am a psychological being only in as much as I must speak about what is occurring in particular manner to make sense to those occupants of that real world in which I find myself.

We must admit then, given all the Zizekian-Lacanian-Hegalian ontological posturing that a type of non-philosophical event is occurring. The way I frame it is that I must behave as a lie. I must wholeheartedly and truly take the form of that which I argue against in order to expose and reveal the faultiness of that position, and that is the only way any sort of progress can occur. So if this is the case, then I have only to offer that such Realists, again, are involved in a Bad Faith, because they are posturing upon an existential maxim of honesty that cannot occur truthfully in any ideological stance.

But, we cannot say that somehow I have a better grasp on some truth of reality. No. The functioning of reality occurs the only way that its does; the significant question is rather about orientation upon objects, and not whether any particular mode of existence is more or less real.

I am concerned with truth. Reality is left to those so invested in objective identities. I propose through a divergent route that uses ideological structures in order to expose their fallacy. In short: The offensive route is toward the destruction of the transcendental object of faith, the fetishized commodity of identity. Yet see that this is not to suggest that reality will somehow relinquish what we must say are their idols. This never occurs. Rather we merely attempt to lay a foundation by which to speak about what is neglected, in fact, agued out of existence, or rather, this can be to say, what has been usurped by the discourse of power.

Ill get back to what happened later in this essay.

Issues and Existence.

I subscribe to a blog called “Bigstoryguide” where he author is involved with a running commentary as he goes through the Bible. Yes, the whole Bible. His blog he calls ‘Jesus’s death to life project’. I think he just got to the New Testament.

I am not a Christian; I am not religious nor prescribe to any particular religious doctrine. I would say if there is a god then he-it-they guide and/or ‘cooperates’, not so much with me, but, more so say, ‘upon’ or ‘through’ me. I’m not much for claiming god as my homie or leader of my gang or nothing, but neither, as what could appear contrary but complimentary to religion, would i say i practice or believe any sort of spirituality; if i am spiritual it is because i am motivated to convey (in practice and speech, as writing or talking is a practice also) what I understand and understand how i might be able to convey it. God or gods, religion and spirituality are just interesting to me, and seem to suggest many significant issues with reality, life and the world, as well as their solutions. If I say I am religious or spiritual, believe in God, gods, spirit, universal energy, etc… It is in the ‘spirit’ of colloquialism for the purpose of the attempt to communicate and/or to help. In a way, one could say, it is not so much what I say I believe, but what is true of what I say.

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So this blogger posted a nice piece that I use as an occasion to comment. Here is his post, with the link after:

One night during the Spanish Inquisition in Seville, a cell door swings open and The Grand Inquisitor steps into the doorway. Pausing on the threshold, he lifts his lamp into the small dungeon to cast light on the prisoner’s face. The light yreveals what he already knows. The prisoner is Jesus.

There will be no trial. In fact, The Grand Inquisitor has already made his decision. He will burn Jesus at the stake in the morning.

The verdict: What Jesus offers human beings is not enough. Although He offers Himself as the bread of life, it simply is not enough.

Thou has promised to them the bread of life, the bread of heaven; but I ask Thee again, can that bread ever equal in the sight of the weak and the vicious, the ever ungrateful human race, their daily bread on earth?

(“The Grand Inquisitor” from The Brothers Karamozov by Feodor Dostoevsky http://www.gutenberg.org/files/8578/8578-h/8578-h.htm)

John 6. Non-fictional.

A crowd of people searched and found Jesus – excited about the way He had miraculously provided bread for them. However, Jesus didn’t want to talk with them about miraculous provisions of food.

Instead, He offered Himself to them. He offered Himself as “real food” and “real drink.” Their verdict?

“This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.

http://bigstoryguide.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/bread-of-life-no-thank-you/comment-page-1/#comment-132

I don’t think the blogger intends it, but the situation he presents here in juxtaposing the fiction and the, supposedly, non-fiction, sums up what can be called our current ‘existential situation’.

Again, as I have said in previous posts, the issue is not so much about what may be true of these stories, but how to speak of it, about its significance. The religio-mythological writ coordination of meaning, such as the (assumed) intent of the Bigstoryguide blogger, is much too dogmatic for me, too much like “…and the moral of the story is…better eat yer veggies!” As if one can merely choose to believe; as if if I just explain it to you well enough, then you will of course choose the obvious better choice. My question is: Why wouldn’t you? I mean, if all you got to do is believe and everything will be ok, why would anyone choose not to believe it? I, for one, can honestly say I have not chosen anything about what I believe, except maybe that I believe I will leave for work tomorrow 20 minutes early instead of 30. So it is that we have our existential situation. (By the way, in case you didn’t know, Dostoevsky is considered an existentialist writer, though he wrote before the term was coined.)

{ Side: Somewhat recently I saw a book, a humor book, that was called something to the effect like, ‘The Idiots Guide to Choosing a Religion’. It was great; truly funny. Similar tongue-and-cheek to a book from the 1980’s called, again, I think, “The Book of Money”, or maybe “The Money Bible”, From what I remember of it (the latter book), someone wrote this book using ‘biblical-speak’, with titled books that mimicked the actual books of the Bible, numbered chapters and versus; stories similar to the Bible stories’ content, but its was all about money. I wish I would have gotten it when I saw it. It was classic. The best chapter, which was in the book with the name and style that mimicked the book of Psalms, and was called “Money”, went something like this:

1. Money money money; oh money. Money money money money money money thou money. 2. Money money, money money. My money money money: money money money money. 3. Money. Money money money ….

Well, you get the jist. Absolutely hilarious. And the really great thing about it, the thing that struck me about it, was I wasn’t totally sure that it was meant to be a joke. As I said; Classic.

The ‘Religion’ book, though, is like a reference book, and it has every religion, sect, and cult that you can think of from the ages till now, all listed as to their qualities. Fundamental beliefs; type of pantheon, from one God, to paganism, to polytheism, to natural philosophy; benefits, such as, having an afterlife, or being forgiven, to you get to have you own universe, and ‘thumbs-down’, like, believes there is a hell, or must be willing to kill yourself, or have to wear certain clothes; practices; etcetera. Each religion and/or spiritual belief system has its own listing and even is rated, like, in a five star scale, against others. At least, again, this was my impression of it; the actual details may be slightly different. And again; I’m not totally sure that it is a joke, but I’m pretty sure it was written in good fun.

The reason I mention it is because it comes out of the idea that people can choose what they believe, like we can actually go shopping for a religion that best fits our beliefs, as if i can find one that meets most of my criteria and the rest ill just choose to believe; or, I can even choose what I want of believe because I’m not totally sure what I believe, or what it means. Well, I’m sure we can do this, but what does that really say of what we believe ? }

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The issue I am going to deal with now is posed in the excerpt. Particularly how John puts it, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

Again, if I wasn’t clear, I am not advocating Christianity, or that one needs to ‘accept’ Jesus as their personal savior. But likewise, I am not taking a dig at Christian blogger dude; he likewise could no more choose not to be a Christian (I only assume he is a Christian), than he could choose to be, say, an alligator, though it is just as well that most everyone believes that there is a choice to be had. I suppose the significant idea is found in asking someone to believe she can choose to believe that she has no choice. Or even better, asking someone to not believe in what they believe. That person might then respond by saying that their belief (that is in question) has developed through a consideration of circumstances, upon choices made, and that they cannot choose to not believe what they believe because their belief is sound, and they would not want to change their belief. So then I would have to say that they have no choice in what they believe. The rebuttal then would affirm that for their present belief they have no choice because the choices made in the past have brought them to their current condition of belief, which is to say that our present situation is determined by our past choices, which is thus sound (or not sound, as the case may be with having an issue (read on; see below) but the point then for the response is that the belief that they have an issue, is sound) Well, I say, what prevented the past situations of belief from being chosen out of; at what point in time did you have a choice upon what you believe? And back: And why would I want to believe that I had or have no choice? And me again: in what way has your wants determined what you choose? So can you choose to not want what you want? The argument could go on and on, through many avenues and considerations, quite like Plato’s dialogues, but the pivotal response would inevitably arrive: Why would I want to choose out of that which has soundly brought me to my place of truth? And, why would I want to choose not to want what I want anyways?

This is the issue, isn’t it. Issues.

*

Here is another way of looking at it.

The question I have pondered for a long time is: why wouldn’t I choose the ‘easy’ way; I mean, why wouldn’t I choose what is healthy for me, or ‘better’ for me? Why would I choose to make things difficult on myself? Am i not intelligent and sane? Now, I don’t mean this in the sense like studying and going to school to be an engineer might be difficult. Rather, I mean why would I choose to party real hard, too hard maybe, so I am incapable of studying well enough so I could get the career of my dreams? Well, the typical thinking goes to psychology: I am just fuckt up like that, like, something is wrong with me, like I have some issues embedded in my psyche or my mind that makes or compels me to make decisions that are not to my benefit despite myself.

I propose for this situation that the individual in question could not choose because she had no choice, and Christianity, the institution, and all Religion and spirituality in general, as well as psychology, the ‘science of mind/ behavior’, so to speak, develops not only in response but out of this apparent inability. I submit that the individual was doing all she could to do what was in her best interest, that in fact, she was doing what was in her best interest the whole time ( ill address the ‘best interest’ part later). Most if not many would say, that is because she does have issues. Ok; say I believe that I have issues. I reflect upon those times, or I resent those times because I come across thoughts that I had, or now have in me that were telling me that I should make the other choice, the one that at the time I knew was the right choice but did not make. I have an issue, and then I have an issue because of the issue, so I decide to get get help with my issues. I goto therapy. Over time I come to terms with my issues and get better – or maybe I don’t.

Never mind that many would argue that one does not ‘believe’ he has issues, he merely has issues; well, who is talking about what one believes? What issues are there if one does not believe that there are issues? The issues everyone else sees, or believes they see? The issue one has in-itself, or the issue that one believes everyone else does not have? But here, this is not a matter of believing, it is a matter of what is true.

The significant question has got to be: Why could I not just choose to leave my issues behind when I realized that I had them? Why would I sit in them when I know they have caused and are causing me all sorts of problems? The answer has got to be concerning belief, and not so much of what is reality and what I chose as a subject of reality; it can not be so much about what may be true of reality as much as one is involved with it. Perhaps it can be said, it does have more to do with what I am not choosing, but not so much as my issues have not been chosen in so much as they were thrown upon me: it is because my issues are informing me exactly as to who I am, and I cannot dismiss myself from my identity, nor do i want to. And, if i want to, I cannot. Hence the problem.

So I have to ask, against what am I having the cognition that I have issues? Exactly against the idea that allows me to know that I have issues. It is not some issue in-itself, as if there is some natural, ‘non-issue’ way, and due to this, I have some issue that is making me screwed up in my choices. Perhaps a person looks out into the world and sees that his life is not a picture that he enjoys, or perhaps he just feels wrong in his own skin. Again, the question must be, how could he be any different? Against or within this question lay the pertinent answer: in the past as different choices, or the future as a result of making different choices. Indeed; if such answers ( and so the question) were not salient, would there be an issue? And what is the past and future? Only an idea against which can have ideas about how one might have issues or not. ‘Now’ is not viable; in fact people will argue against my having an issue even while they will admit it. Likewise, those pictures and feelings one has of oneself and ones life can only exist in that they take form as ‘something that I am not’. I’m sure many are thinking that this is a most ridiculous notion, merely a conceptual game – but again, a ‘game’ as opposed to what? To what is Real? I say that it is just this game that we are all playing. In truth, such issues are entirely of one’s self, not put upon him by some separate force, but exactly the force that is that person entirely and absolutely, which has no true basis as a construction of outside forces. To bring in and reiterate what I have said before; in so much as I am an individual that has real issues thrust upon me, so much do I have faith, as well, am a subject of faith, and thereby do I look to solve my issues through faith, but ironically that faith that expresses my inability to choose to exit from them.

The thing is, so much as i may have issues, when I am able to fully concede to my issue, and thus fully accept it as me, it goes away. In as much as I deny or ignore it, it remains, and if I accept it, but not that it is me, likewise it remains. This is the presumed mode or operation of modern ‘psychoanalytic’ and/or ‘encounter’ therapy; when someone realizes whatever it is that has prevented them from ‘real-izing’ the issue (which is, really, a break from their usually reality), it is a ‘breakthrough’, like they have ‘broken through’ the facade of ‘their’ reality. And also, in this very same way, this is the presumed mode of the Christian problem, expressed in the above excerpts, that is solved through ‘belief’. In truth, this is to say of either solution, which actually is the same solution, either the issue still remains, but is accepted of oneself, or the issue is gone and so needs no acceptance; either way, the effect of the issue having power over or in ones life, is proposed as belief of the problem ‘no longer an issue’.

This is so much to outline the situation of human existence.

*

The main problem that the excerpts shed light upon is that for most people, such a ‘breakthrough’ never occurs. (At some point I will address this issue). So far as Christ might relate to the human condition, people are unable to sufficiently understand, or believe, so to bring about a dismissal or relieving of the issue. Beyond the dogmatics of Christian religion, Christ is the figure or actual-symbol of the message that a person merely needs to fully accept, understand or otherwise come to terms with her or his situation as an existing being. In fact, one cannot merely ‘believe’, as if a choice can be made; one must actually ‘give up’ the ideal relation that establishes oneself in, as I have spoken about it, reality. Yet, within the belief of Christianity, the functioning thereof, Jesus is that element of oneself – a precipitate of sorts, of oneself ‘un-revealed’, so to speak, unto his inability – that holds the person back from making the breakthrough, which is to say, ironically, Jesus ‘fills’ in that place, aspect or otherwise resisting area of the individual that prevents one from ‘accepting the teaching’. Jesus is the bread, is the link between the ‘not being able’ and the sought after ‘wanting for’. His presence in position of interlocutor for the discrepancy is that part of oneself that is denied for the sake of having belief being effective as a belief of choice; in other words, the Christianized Jesus is choice objectified, is that boundary, that chasm, by which one may find oneself in the substantive echo, the ‘issue’ of not being able to believe well enough, such that one may then choose to believe what suits her the belief that belief is significant. Such it is that only with the presentation of Jesus do we have the situation of a “hard teaching” that no one can accept, except that one may then, for Christianity, choose to believe.

For Psychology, as it is for Christianity, one need only choose to believe. If I can choose to believe that a ‘discussion’ about the terms of my issues will allow my issue to go away, then similarly I can choose to believe in Christ, since I need only to address my issues behind not believing. But one need not choose; choosing is the problem. So it is that the problem of the apparent inability is taken as indicating course, and a method for discerning exactly where the inability resides within a psyche or mind or soul of a now real individual (one who cannot but have the inability) is drawn out through a method of finding truth; the truth is thus the way as well as the life; it is the only way to find truth, as it concerns the human life, the only life that can be for all humanity in reality. The method becomes the true method to find truth (of oneself). No more then must we choose because our inability to choose ‘the better’, the ‘not having an issue’, is found in the choice that is the method: we need not and can not choose our way out of the situation of reality that is the issue, we instead goto therapy and believe. The therapist works to draw out the issue, as a leech for the disease of the blood, by listening to the individual speak and directing the individual to possibilities within what the individual has said, possibilities that have arisen as the science of psyche has developed out of and due to the analysis of the inability to step out of the issue. At some point, hopefully, the individual ‘speaks the issue’ so to speak, and or comes upon the issue in relation to a meaning of what was being said about it, around it, or because of it. The issue thus ‘breaks through’ the ‘wall’ of the psyche that was created by the psyche itself to protect itself in the procurement of a proper reality from the issue, but it thereby effects or establishes a reality that is ‘off’. Thus the issue is responsible for reality, as reality is the issue. Like the tract responsible for ambergris, the psyche of psychology develops along with the issue such that the matter of expulsion of the issue becomes a disgustingly beautiful thing to behold, but likewise, we can be sure the functioning of the psyche will produce another issue in its procurement of reality. The truth of this method, and or the method for finding a method that works, is hardly chosen, it is taken in faith that it is true, and that its methods are real, at least. Hence the conventional bias that sublimates and or denies its basis of operation for choice and belief.

The “breakthrough” of Psychology is the “bread” of Jesus of Christianity extrapolated in time’s discourse for the incessant and persistent inability or refusal of humanity to come to terms with its own existence. It was the same in the supposed time when the Gospels were written, as it was for Dostoevsky’s time, as it continues to be for our time. Nothing has gotten better, no one has gotten closer for all the ‘progress’ we might purport. I submit, just as many believed then as now as with those doing therapy now – so it seems.

*

The mid-20th century notion of Existentialism, as coined by the thinker Jean-Paul Sartre, is the expression in its explaining of the condition of not being able to relinquish such an identity. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, whom Sartre called the first existentialist, was the first (it seems) Western, or maybe also ‘modern’ thinker to come upon the point of contention in the way I am presenting it. They tell of the motion of existence, possible ways of situating existence in reality, which is to say, discourse, and the process whereby human beings come to terms with such an understanding. The proposal can be seen as ironic; people either are in bad faith, or they find themselves in a situation of ‘bad faith’; this is the process of conventional faith on one hand, and faith in doubt on the other. With reference to John (above, and please keep in mind that I am not advocating believing any type of dogmatics), when a person finds themselves in a situation of existence, they then realize the paradox of the “hard teaching”, and they become unsettled. They come to have ‘angst’ or become ‘anxious’ because the certainty of reality is failing, and this person either falls back into discourse of the real, or they fall onward in truth. If the latter, such angst leads to ‘despair’, and despair then is the harbinger of the ‘breakthrough’. Ironically, then the person finds that what they saw or knew of reality is no longer real.

And again, and to reiterate; the problem is precisely that understanding this process does nothing to bring it about; actually, understanding this process works to prevent it from occurring; for our examples, understanding how and why therapy operates, and that Christianly speaking, that our sinful nature can be solved through Christ; both resolve in a capacity for belief. The truth of the matter at hand is ‘hard to accept’, I would say ‘offensive’, so this state of innate human offense is solved conventionally by belief; this is summation of the presentation of conventional history. Understanding the issue only functions to bring it back around so it remains, and understanding this further tends to keep it cycling. This is the same problem of reality, what I have called “conventional methodology”. The means and manner by which reality is established and maintained is due to the overwhelming predominance of human beings who cannot let go of their ‘real identity’, even when it is plagued with issues that hinder ones ability to function. The recourse to this plague, this dis-ease of what is real, is to reify that the problem can only be found in what is real, namely, methods.

This is why and how the message of Christ became the institution of Christianity that allowed for Western Psychology. One merely needs then to believe; one needs only to repent; one needs to pray; one needs to confront their issues; one merely needs to get real with oneself; the real answer is always one needs to do something differently. Thus Christianity (of the West), sewed its own predominance; Catholicism let to Protestantism, because the Catholic way was not doing the trick. Protestantism lead to modern ‘philology’, as if we just need to study more and find the true meaning; this lead to the current Western philosophy, and this brought psychology. Round the time of the rebuking of supernaturalistic metaphysics, maybe circa 1750, and into the 19th century, we see a split in method. Protestantism developed all sorts of sects; Transcendentalism arose, as well as all sorts of Spiritualism, culminating in a profound polemic of Atheism and Magic, this last most significantly of the scholarly sort that seeks the truth through study, Alistar Crowley. Though this is admittedly quite a rough description of developments, all seek to reconcile that which is most insistently discrepant: the problematic real individual person.
It also is significant that the concepts of individualism, freedom and capitalism all came about at a time when the Christian sway was evidencing a profound failure: A state founded on the idea of the free and equal individual under the law, and the law as merely a device of negotiating individuals, individuals with pronounced and apparently unsolvable issues.

Direction 5.18: Recant and Reoccasion.

I am a bit hard-headed. I think most critical thinkers/philosophers are. I find this the best basic method for my endeavor, which is a grounding of my experience in discourse. In this effort I have come across, what I could call, using the most true, and possibly non-philosophical sense of the term, guru that have allowed me to make strides, such that one could make a certain sense of Socrates, “‘When two go together, one sees before the other” (Protagoras; 348d). Indeed, as of late, such a guru has made himself known to me through these posts; and i could say to him, nameste, but be mindfull not to get too caught up with conventional religious inferences, for beginning this essay with such a salutation forebodes a philosophical object over which I could become quite nauseous. Though i have not yet reached the primary, or grounded meaning of my argument, I have spent much of the foregoing essays and posts upon the secondary, or what could be called the conventional-objectival appearance of bad faith, and it is of the assertion that Laruelle is exhibiting this kind of bad faith that I recall. So I can say I withdraw my accusation that Laruelle is in bad faith, so far as one needs a philosophical basis by which to propose anything, since Laruelle does indeed admit the inherent polemical appearance of non-philosophy.

My proposal is that Laruelle is in bad faith by the presentation of his Non-philosophy. Many times I have reiterated what this means: the meaning of non-philosophy is denied in its presentation. More precisely, I was saying that the method, the proposing of terms through a scheme of definitional relation, contradicts the meaning of its premises, that it is inherently, hermenutically (ah ha!) contradictory. Basically, I was proposing that his non-philosophical ideas are philosophical in nature – a proposal based overtly in the secondary orientation – for my argument recedes where many probably see it as marching forth – an ideal motion which flies in the face philosophical effort, the sense of which I call Conventional Methodology.

So i reiterate as i recant; In the process of beginning is repetition. Perhaps all this might be more clear if I refer to the Preface of his Dictionary of Non-Philosophy, pages 1 & 2; here is the link:

https://53647d68-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/nsrnicek/DictionaryNonPhilosophy.pdf?attachauth=ANoY7coaPXFFbg2rrirj7f4YuacR_fpuh3ADXmiJjBgwOtD9RYyz9tCPvYW_Ajr8pyRsHCw6CToTWiqSCL9E4b4HOgPw1xI1J10qneAeVrrPIGKdvOcrgikqzY55Zzx7HIlsrqYwKburyOdKFJCPkK_UZ4RUHxUbZHkwb3-G-d57UdmFj-208t8J0H9u__0FTfXHn60cnph-5uBcvlK1T-FiEy99L7tf9Uobmg1f_N1obJtCjdGpvZ0%3D&attredirects=1

[Wow; that’s a very long URL.]

If anyone has been following my posts, and watching the development of my argument – I have asked the question: does Laruelle see this contradiction that I see? It is of a true irony as well as justification of my process of doubt that I would have come upon the answer to this question in the first words of the preface of the first piece I had come across and read of non-philosophy, this Dictionary of the link above. I can only blame myself; I was curious and when i began reading at random places, just to get a rough idea of what non-philosophy could be, i became excited and within a few minutes i knew the basis of his whole presentation; I skipped the preface for the meat of the definitions. I moved from one to another of his terms and had little difficulty in seeing his points and how they might have come about. But indeed, if I would have started at the very beginning, I would have seen that Laruelle and I have not only a common understanding, but that indeed, both of us, have come across the significant issue. And as I have said before – but it could be that I am somewhat unread – I have only encountered a proper addressing of the significant issue in authors that are dead. The significant issue is reality and existence, and a proper addressing is something that what is usually understood as philosophy does not do or has not done. This is why it is significant that a long time before I ever even heard of non-philosophy, I coined a term to refer to my work: aphilosophy.

Aphilosophy was a tongue-in-cheek indication of my position through a stab at what i see as philosophical lack, but I assert that what I, and I might include Larurelle, am doing is philosophy, and by this confidence I then call what is typically called philosophy “conventional methodology”.

Again, to be clear with the elements termed: Laruelle has non-philosophy and philosophy, I have philosophy and conventional methodology, respectively. The reason why I use the term ‘philosophy’ in a proprietary manner, rather than a dismissive manner, has to do with how I am oriented upon reality. Conventional philosophy, as I merge the terms, as Laruelle also sees, never ends. This is so much the case that I cannot speak to say ‘reality’ without a persistent and continual rebuttal from the informed philosophical mind that the term ‘reality’ is problematic. The rebuttal will then proceed to present the various problems, which simply round out to “what do we mean by reality”, but will never find an end, never find a solution to the problem. The discussion thus starts in an arbitrary place, like, when I make a statement about reality, and then only develops, and this discussion has continued and will continue ad infinitum, resolving only with various momentary systems of thought that seemingly define reality in a scheme of definitions that appear solute or terminal, but then inevitably someone will problematize the scheme, and the whole discussion, that then appears to begin again, continues, developing a proper history and scheme of relations. This is exactly philosophy; it is a scheme of definitional relations that develop, present and rely upon a proper method of finding or coming to the truth.

I situate my work differently than Laruelle. Again; I see that Laruelle and I am in an effort of philosophy, of finding and presenting what is true, and because what is typically and usually known as philosophy (Laruelle sticks with this given term for his situation) never finds truth, but always claims to be (what is called truth in negotiation, or relative truth), I call it a conventional methodology, rather than philosophy.

Again, if one refers to the link, specifically pages 1 and 2, one will see that Laruelle uses the same term, methodology, but has chosen to call the element “doctrinal” what I have determined as “methodological”. His “methodological and disciplinary” he brings against the given of philosophy, and thus calls his position non-philosophy. I see that he uses the term “doctrinal” to indicate a type of religious type of effort, since doctrine is taught, or likewise able to be learned, but also it indicates that what is taught is promoted as good and true, if not right and correct. Thus our distinctions further conflate; such philosophy-doctrine/conventional methodology promotes a particular scheme of definitional relations as reflecting what is true and proper.

Our position, our premises are parallel; not the same, but stemming from the same basis of experience, or what one could say is the same experience of knowledge. Once this experience has become foundational, then the only issue is the term; that is, how to speak of it. Hence, one might see where or how I came across my initial provocation: why is Laruelle using such a complicated and jargonesque presentation?

Nevertheless, I seek here to explicate my terms as parallel to what he outlines his Preface, as i have been doing with other terms of his (see my posts on radical immanence and the quadripartite) that some may see that Laruelle and non-philosophy is not to be made into another philosophical object over which to debate, but to show or bring in the possibility that non-philosophy is but one way to speak about a basic, common issue; fundamentally then, the significant issue is not so much whether it is ‘philosophy’ or ‘conventional methodology’, ‘non-philosophy’ or ‘philosophy’, but rather the term, and one’s ontological existential orientation upon it.

*

I will attempt to explicate Laruelle’s Preface and coordinate his meaning with what I have come upon, including describing non-philosophy’s appearance under the primary rubric of bad faith.

Non-philosophy is constituted under a double aspect: doctrinal, with the objective appearance of a philosophical type of thought; methodical and disciplinary, with a more theoretical than systematic will of extending its modes of argumentation and its vocabulary to all fundamental knowledges.”

Here it is: he evidences that he understands the contradiction of non-philosophy, as he spells it out as a polemical reality: the “methodological and disciplinary” indicates activity, as in method and type of activity, and the “doctrinal” indicates that the activity of non-philosophy necessarily appears as a philosophical object; which is to say, it appears on the scene toward a true object of discussion. Further, non-philosophy is more-like theory than a system that one can coordinate into understanding as its theoretical nature actually addresses what can be seen as the possibility that there is more than one type of knowledge, contrary to philosophy which brings all possibility of knowledge into its single, but segregate-relative domain; which is to say, philosophy binds all discussion in a motion of itself, to itself.

This much is sufficient to show that Laruelle appears an effort to bring about change through a proper communication. In as much as he affirms his position by determining his non-philosophy as a sort of ‘more correct’ description, as a correction of the philosophical mode, he is asserting righteousness as a sort of proper way of doing, which is to say, a proper method of thinking about reality and existence. It is thus through this ‘discipline’ of non-philosophical ‘method’ that he is promoting a way into reality-existence-being: it “extends its modes of argumentation” into all possibility of knowledge, and therefore is claiming to have a more complete or better comprehension or ability of application than philosophy.

I have difficulty with this presentation. I say that no distinction can be made without transforming itself – either distinctions – into a philosophical object: Laruelle risks nothing except his hope, that is, his faith that what he is saying will not be turned into a philosophical object. If this is the case, what we have is an element of conscious agent who is involved in a project of deception due to the inherent qualities involved in the activity of presenting it. What we have with L then is an agent that has taken total responsibility for the world and thus can do nothing but that he does, but is in denial of the capacities of the mode of non-philosophy as subject to the determinations of philosophy. The very fact that I am discussing what he may be saying makes non-philosophy de facto (as Laruelle says above) a philosophical object. In as much as non-philosophy is capable of being communicated with its meaning intact we have a radical agent, one that defies all philosophical modes and operations, including that there are other comprehending agents who might learn how to apply non-philosophical methods. It becomes obvious, then, that Laruelle is involved with a positive orientation upon the world, an effort that seeks to change the parameters or representations or meanings of symbols that sustain the world. But in as much as he may be a radical agent, he is speaking nothing more than what is being said, and putting out into the world the world that he cannot but help in manifesting as a radical agent.

Basically, such a world that seeks to discuss the radical agent, the non-philosopher, as if he or she may have discussable qualities as a philosophical object, thus finds that the radical agent only manifests against a common agent, what one could say is a conventional agent, and it is here we have the repetition of the categories of this discussion: one includes, one excludes – is a world that is unified under a common rubric of meaning such that they might discuss the various possibilities of non-philosophy. Such a world cannot be some sort of illusion; it is reality, but, in that it has missed the radical agent for the object-agent, such a world is a “conventional” world. It is generated, manifested and perpetuated through such discussed terms, and thus proports a proper method. Hence, this world, that cannot be said to be a world because of the philosophical discursive determinants which reject such a conception due to its dissecting and incising contingent protocols of truth for what is real – I say such a world is real by virtue of conventional methodology, what Laruelle calls ‘philosophy’ or the ‘philosophical reality’.

While Laruelle situates his position to indicate the distinction, the distinction must necessarily collapse in on itself. This is the primary meaning of bad faith, and it is admitted in his Preface. His meaning indicates a position that cannot be discussed for its truth is manifest, but the manifestation of the description of the position cannot help but incite discussion as to its proper meaning. The orbiting discussion concerning non-philosophy that ensues reduces what might have been ‘radical’ to not only a proper (must I say: conventional) truth, but assumes as it indites the proper way to come about non-philosophically: it thus falls firmly in the realm of conventional methodology.

Hence, what he has situated, because his situation is that of indicating only this dyad, the one and the two, and that his situation is that of promoting a discussion along particular lines such that there is discussion that is particularly non-philosophical by definition, his contradiction is entirely with the conventional methodology, and reveals nothing more than a correct method to those who supposedly understand him. Yet, if he is to say that his understanding is confluent with the discussion about non-philosophy, then he is in bad faith since the meaning of his non-philosophical “theory” would denote that there is nothing to be discussed about it, i.e. that it reflects the truth, such that those who do indeed understand what he is saying really thus take it as a statement of the truth that verifies and confirms to those who already had come upon the truth that they are indeed correct and likewise have nothing to do than what is and has been set before them. For as Laruelle says himself: “Non-philosophy does not attach itself to a particular tradition, for it is a theory and a pragmatics of all actual or possible philosophy, past or to come.” It does not even attach itself to itself, but is indeed an occasion, an observed thought and action based in truth, that reaches out toward nowhere but the objective that is patent in the truth of the matter at hand as expressed by, what Laruelle would call, the non-philosopher, as what I would say is more accurately, for the position Laruelle attempts to present but only inadvertently indicates: the ironist.

It is the effort to grasp or otherwise explain as a truth the real or actual truth, as a definite and solute common object and to propose such findings as truth, that is exactly an effort of bad faith. And as well, ironically, this is the case: these are the facts of the matter at hand. The issue, then, concerns the primary situation of bad faith.

In so much as there may be a radical non-philosophical agent, its appearance in reality never is apprehended for what it is, except by those who see the truth of the manifestation, where it therein becomes the mere occasion for radical agency.

IDirection 3.20: The summary of Francois Laruelle’s Non-Philosophy, with further commentary.

The Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing deals with the explanation of non-philosophy. In regular circumstance, this link would have been posted at the beginning of Constructive Undoing, but this is highly irregular, so, here is the link ( or at least the address, since it may not have transcribed the active link) to Laruelle’s own summary of non-philosophy:

Click to access laruelle_pli_8.pdf

That is the official summary. The Direct Tangents reflect a process of coming to terms with Non-Philosophy, since, what non-philosophy is is really part of the issue of figuring out how Francois Laruelle has situated his terms upon the point of contention. This post addresses the meaning of non-philosophy as a step in this process; Constructive Undoing is the revealing of the limitations of non-philosophical principles through aphilosophy. Please see my subsequent posts.

With that, here we are at an early phase of coming to terms.

Right off, I dare anyone to read the link and say ‘”wow, that was so clear as day; his meaning is so apparent”. Occasions aside; someone say that and then tell me what he is saying; that is, read it, understand it and then convey to me in regular language what he is saying. Please leave me a comment. The words appear to be simply laid, but as one reads the ideas seem to get tangled up somewhere. Even as one attempts to wrap their head around his concepts, it becomes difficult to really get ahold of what he is saying.

Now, my issue is why did he use such ridiculously dense and opaque language? I have to ask, why the Greek words? I have to open a dictionary and encyclopedia just to figure out the meanings of those words and then i have to ask why didn’t he just use the French, or in translation, English words. And what’s up with this ‘radical’ business? Its like I’d have to study his works or something, but, as I have been informed, not only that, I would have to study philosophy first in order to really understand him.

A question of mine that aggravates or disrupts this traditional method is: How is it that I understood him at first reading? But first, the more mundane or simple consideration, one that approaches non-philosophy from it’s ‘first’ stage, that of the usual subject-object duality.

I have stated my opinions earlier, but one more easily gotten reason is that it is because he is talking to academic or intellectual-ized idiots. Now, here I now reach: To back pedal; i do not mean that these people are stupid or unintelligent, I mean only to refer to a tendency for pomposity. Though in many cases the regular meaning might apply, here I prefer the ancient Greek, roughly in the sense of “one alone” or “ones own person”, and I extrapolate this to our issue: as one might will himself into the community, and thereby resemble Jean-Paul Sartre’s picture of the waiter as an analogy for ‘bad faith’, he thereby remains an ‘individual’ alone and separated: an idiot. Of course, idiocy abounds everywhere, but one must suppose that he is primarily speaking to an audience of academics. What I mean is, many of the people who would be interested in non-philosophy are so caught up in terms of privilege (read: educated jargon) that even the academics don’t know what they are saying beyond the jargon. They are actually speaking a language the meaning of which they cannot reduce to actual life; they are speaking of such high matters that practical application to being human and human knowledge has no baring in their purpose, except maybe in the sense of poetry. Yet, the idiocy is because it doesn’t matter; they are making a living or establishing a position or identity speaking this way and so it doesn’t matter if what they are saying makes any sense. In fact, it only makes sense because they are establishing an identity and or making a living doing it. Because they then have an identity by their jargonizing, their nonsense is very important, and the proof of this is they take no criticism from non-academics or people who may not appropriate the jargon, because they are ‘educated’ royalty who have worked so hard that they deserve to talk about nothing because it is very important – and because in many cases, all those other identical based thinkers turn to them for their great skill at thinking (such philosophy I call methodology because it has to do with coming up with methods based in an assumption of ethics that is invisible) all the more confirming to their own sense of propriety that they indeed – yup – are making quite a valuable and significant contribution to the world. As well; one can tell how important a person is by how many people they listen to; the deaf ear is a cultivated aspect of a truly skilled and deserving member of aristocracy. At least, this is most of them; Laruelle, I have found, is one of the exceptions, maybe. (See my earlier post.)

Anyways; to me what he is saying is clear, and the jargon does not hinder the conveyance; so I attempt to make clear in Direct Tangents his most significant contribution for the rest who do not have the patience or gumption to wade through his pudding, but who nevertheless would like to venture toward the truth of the matter. He is saying that we can know ‘more’ than what we think we can know, and that reality is larger than what we know as knowledge of typical reality, and – and this is key – and this atypical and unusual knowledge can be known. There; how clear is that ? Maybe about as clear as a sink full of dishes in dirty, soapy water? We might begin to get a glimpse of the problem before us then, as well as why Laruelle’s language appears illusively simple yet confoundingly dense: we cannot rest upon metaphysical or spiritual conventions.

See, many of the academics, intellectuals and philosophers who think they understand him really do not. But that’s ok because we really are only half way to seeing what the necessary implications of non-philosophy are. And a quarter the way, here, we find that the consideration of understanding is a mute point for Non-Philosophy, that it only goes off of what people who think they understand reiterate back in their involvement with the Project. The significance here is that we have to wonder about two parallax ideas: is any communication taking place, and then, what or what kind of communication is occurring. But see: these questions do not run into each other, they no not stem from either of each other to the other. They are parallel ideas that do not combine to coalesce, except in that their separation allows for the combination of meaning intended. (And again I have explained what a ‘parallax’ might be in the context of its description: two entities which are separate but which nevertheless combine to create a single impression or meaning. This meaning is gained through the converse of the definitional meaning; which is: a displacement of apparent position depending upon line of sight. )

Then again, some may just understand him. But there is only one position that has any barring upon the non-philosophical project: those who may understand it and yet disagree with it. In this case, we have two possibilities. Either they understand and merely confirm the point of what they disagree with, and thereby set themselves in a state of self-contradiction that they are in situ – that is, in their situation being as they are right then (see, I clarified my Latin (Latin ??)) – in denial of, and thereby confirm the situation whereby non-philosophy gains its credence. In this case, any rebuttal is a tragedy, since its so obviously comic efforts would be wasted on the seriousness of the rebuttal. Or, they understand and thereby set themselves in an apparent contradiction that they do not deny and are thus in a position to rebut non-philosophy. In both, one has to doubt the question of whether communication is occurring, and then figure just where, from what orientation, this question is coming from; this is an indication that we have to step aside in to another tangent, for someone somewhere is failing in the attempt to find truth, since he or she may have already invested the truth in relativity, which is to say, invested in denial. And, if they do not see this irony – that they cannot understand how there could be no communication, and yet they have not been communicated to through reading my posts – then I can only say that my proposition is true (Laruelle is in bad faith by the presentation of non-philosophy) and their doubt, again, is orientatively and concordantly wrong. But then I have to consider if a tangent on this point is even worth the compassion, since those I would be attempting to educate or enlighten have already decided against finding the truth of the matter, so accustomed and acclimated to darkness they have become. Yet, if there be light, what a comedy this has been!

We will see what post forms in the intermission.
***

For a more thorough addressing of the issue at hand, check out “Non-philosophy and Aphilosophy”.  Avaliable in eBook here: Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Tangent: Bad Faith, Part 3

Ok, time to get serious. One has to have the time, see, to get really serious because when one gets really serious, things tend to get really funny, so funny, that most people will hardly have the time, so serious they are about having such a little amount of time. But thats a joke.

Bad faith is about being seriously serious. What is serious, as I have said earlier, is that which confronts one’s mortality, and the biggest threat that one has is, what I shall call, the Object. The Object is that which impedes or confronts the subject. If I am talking about something in particular, I have addressed an Object, and to the extent that I might think that I have actually indicated somthing else, something that is not the subject, I have barred the subject from existence because I am speaking about a particular object. This is the problem of duality.

Most people understand duality, but it takes a little more consideration to come to the point made earlier: Religion is the convetional effort to overcome duality. The typical and most overt analogy to what I am talking about is Heaven and Hell, Nirvana and like religious doctrines. This kind of overcoming duality is where the person puts-off the overcoming of duality to the ‘moment’ of unity, which usually means (but not always) ‘when I die’ – they go to heaven. The duality is overcome by ‘kingdom come’; this is to say that this duality is overcome by the complete negation of duality called that which is ‘after-life’. This is the very secular way of speaking about this effort: and we call it ‘Religion’. One will find continuing with my essays, that convenetion mimics, or reflects, what is true, but does not actually get to or reveal anything true in itself beyond its own ability to suspend truth in relativity, which is to say, in duality.

But that route is to easy; it is too easy to point to religion, or believers, or, the faithful and relieve or justify oneself as to one’s belief. I am talking about truth, not relativity. Yet, here is the difficulty: I cannot say that a ‘unity’ is the truth either. Unity, or a One Universe, as I have said in another post, is just as a religious proposition as heaven and hell. In fact, I can only say what is true in reality, and reality is determined as conventional.

So, again, it is not truth that is at issue. If the truth is at issue then one is in a conventional negotiation. The investigation into the truth of an Object is a conventional negotiation of reality. When this effort is taken as substantial, that is, as what I shall call essential, or basic truth, as that which informs and has nothing else or prior that informs it – when we have an effort into the truth of an object, an effort that is taken under a premise that it has something to contribute to an essential truth, as opposed to contributing to reality, as if reality is de facto truth – and this is to say, when the effort is supposed to contribute to an essential truth of objective reality, we have what is conventional: we have a religious undertaking: we have meta-physics. We have an effort that is made under an assumption that is the assertion of the true Object. Furthermore, and this is key: The true Object is always transcendant: it is never found, the truth of it is always the objective. An effort which proposes to find a true metaphysical proposition is a real contradictory effort; it proposes to find the transcendent and bring it down into the world as an object, so it thereby can be immanent, and this would be the true Object. Every real motion which proposes this objective against a truth is a metaphysics, and as such a proposal elicits maxims, or actual truths, it proposes religious truths called dogma. The conventional secular world avoids its religiousness by discursive slight-of-hand, and calls its ( as opposed to Religious) doctrines as ‘ideological’; in other words, it finds the truth of reality by segregating religion from itself: it thereby cannot be a metaphysical (read, ‘false’) reality, but the reality it proposes is thus the True Reality.

Hence we have come to the most solvent presentation of what religion is. Such a presentation explains a feature of human reality without recourse to any other discussion. it contains all rebuttal; we have thus what can be called truth. It is real because it cannot be otherwise and be communicated, but it is not of reality because it explains reality: it is true, it has no prior or other referent but itself. This explanation is thus the ground of any discussion that concerns religion. Every other explanation inevitably must fall to this explanation as its premise. Conventional reality posits a transcendent true Object by its very motion, and because of this fact, what is true of reality is that it is a religious proposition.

We have found a fact of reality; a fact is that which is real, and what is real cannot be avoided except through denial. A life lived in denial is, by definition, lived in Bad faith. When we can come to a full acceptance of such a disclosure of the single person in the world, then we might be able to get somewhere. Until such disclosure is accepted, we will only make decisions based upon a mistaken apprehension of reality.

We can now rejoin the discussion upon the question: why do I say that Francis Laruelle’s project of Non-Philosophy is in bad faith ?

* * * A Further Tangent.

What I am taking about is the strange, offensive notion that whatever is there is entirely contained in knowledge. If one has an open mind, this can easily be demonstrated: attempt to describe some object to someone so that they know exactly what you mean. At some point in this excersize I bet that you will not be able to convey what that thing is without referring to an underlying assumption that that person is human. At some point you will invaribly point to it, or say it is like this or that, or say ‘you know’ and will begin at some point to almost urge that person to understand what you are trying to indicate, you will try to convince that person that they really do know what that object is. Eventually, if the other person does not give into your urging or your compelling to agree with the common humanity, you will give up under the justification that this excersize is stupid or the other person is just being obstinate. But the fact of the matter is that there is only the object there, as a true object, to the extent that both parties agree that some reasonable amount of information has already been given before the exchange had even begun; there was already an established ‘scheme’, if you will, ‘matrix’ of meaning or understanding, knowledge, that supplies the true object prior to the interaction. Yet, as one proceeds to attempt to uncover what this knowledge is, or try to find some pattern or orderly sense to the scheme or matrix, they only find a further aggrivation of the scheme. At each juncture where the investigator comes upon a ‘truth’ of a situation, a true thing there, he or she has found only faith; they have found only the margin of thier encompassing belief, that which establishes for them thier identity as a human being in reality.

Of course, what we have now a days is a new faith; we have a world where people have given up the investigation into what is true and returned to the effort for the true Object – but, this is not because there is no truth, but because thier investigation is founded in convetional methodology: religion.

And it is not difficult to see this everywhere.

(But part of the problem I am explicating is this ‘new’-ness. As if people ever were ever not interested in attaining the Object.)

Ill let this soak for a little while now…

Tangent: Bad Faith, part 1

In an earlier post, I suggest that Francis Laruelle, by his Non-philosophy, is in bad faith, ala. Jean-Paul Sartre. So I might do well by explaining what this means.

One could easily come to a close idea of what bad faith might mean by comparing it to ‘good faith’. I would say that good faith is a kind of trust one has in another but before the other person has really earned it: the trust is given in good faith. And this can be closely associated with plain Faith, as in, I have faith in you, or, I have faith in Jesus.

Sartre comes up with the idea of Bad Faith in reference to what may be common to general human experience; so far as what may be real life, people tend to take it on good faith that it is real, or at least tend to take experience with the benefit of doubt. Even things that seem odd or disagreeable are still taken as an occasion for a plausible judgement as to what may be real or not.

Now, Sartre is making a claim against such typical experience, that such realities taken in good faith are actually of bad faith. One avenue of looking at this is to see that he stakes his claim on the possibility of freedom. In an extended analysis, one comes upon the peculiar confinement that reality places upon a person, that freedom is defined against other qualifiers of reality such that freedom itself is designated and so does not qualify itself to its meaning: freedom has no essential meaning – and this means that we are not really free.

Here we get to what is meant by existential angst. We want to be free; we feel free but upon consideration of what this means we never find any more freedom than what we want or what we feel. What has been termed an ‘ existential crisis’ is a moment when we become trapped in our existence; whatever the actual circumstances or events, we come to a point where a sensible decision into action becomes impossible, a catch 22, where the definers of free choice crowd in upon us and blur and do not allow us clearity. The decision, then, that is ultimately made is one of pure event, of pure experience: we are thrown into existence, the inevitable movement of existing itself. In response to this moment, one thereby makes sense of it, and thus comes to real freedom. Sartre says we make a choice out of the inevitable, what he calls the abyss of freedom, back into true agency where we find real freedom in our new found ability to choose truly of ourselves in reality, we ‘revolt’ against the abyss of freedom. Bad faith is the condition of the usual events of living before such crisis. This is the typical existential reading.

But this reading is wrong; it is a superficial reading that justifies freedom by denying basic existence for the sake of reality.

We cannot stop at feeling like everything is ok, because soon enough everything will not be ok again. Bad faith indicates a situation of denial. I contend that it is due to this denial that all problems occur – and if this is the case, then we will find that philosophy, and rhetoric in general, speaks of a maintenance of incorrection.

So what am I really saying when I say that Laruelle’s Non-philosophy is in bad faith? This is the issue at hand.