Life and the Choice

“I am never able to choose to live. Any choice to live is life itself, is living itself. There is no choice there. My choice will at all times be living.

But, I am able to believe I have a choice of whether to live or die. And this is the distillate of the modern human condition, the contradiction that lay at the heart of all ideals about mental health.”

—— C. N.

x

x

On a Different Note: Concerning Truth: Ethics as Logistics.

I just had to repost my comment:

It seems to me that once we say “religion” and we understand the word to indicate something other than what the particular “religion” means, then we necessarily are discussing something other than whether the content is true or false, but are talking about how those “objects” to which the term “religion” refers, i.e. Islam, Christianity, Wicca, etc… relate. what might be common of them, different, aspects, etc..

If you think about, say, Judaism. It was not a religion. It was the Truth. It only became a religion when there was another group who didn’t ascribe to those laws and such. And then not even then did it become a religion. There were no religions until like 1000 years after Christ. Christianity wasn’t a religion. It was another Truth that entered the arena of battling over what is True.

there wasn’t even Faith. Faith, in the context of religion, is something that one has to Will for. There is no need to Will for anything or believe anything if you are killing people because they do not think the same as you. It is only when there are many more people who think differently than you than there are apparently people who think like you, that you have to “have faith” the what you understand as true is indeed true.

If it is the truth, there is no need to believe. The truth is the truth. It doesn’t matter what any One else thinks because the truth is the truth, including that fact that they don’t believe it: that fact is true, there is no need to prove to them that their “not true” is true in its being not true.

It is only when a person of faith is overcome with the bare fact that an overwhelming number of people do not see the truth, and that you cannot get rid of them, that now one who has faith must “have compassion” for others to try to convince them or get them to see that their “not truth” is indeed “not true”. Hence this ethical mandate is not some essential kind of commandment or gift from God as much as it is a manner by which consciousness is attempting to deal with the contradiction of knowing something is true that no one else understands as true.

If I know the truth, then it is true. Nothing that can happen can disprove to me the truth. It is not “my” truth. It is simply true. It only becomes “my” truth to the extent that I could be wrong. but then it wouldn’t be the truth, but merely a belief or religious faith.

The distinction thus has nothing to do with what is known as ‘belief’ or ‘opinion’. It is not about any sort of assertion of truth which defect then admits of its inherent ‘untruth’. It has to do with an entirely different manner of coming upon real things, a difference that I indicate through the term orientation.

I think I making a really good point…

Go to my recent post about ability and belief, and read that short post and tell me that I’m not making an excellent point.

I think I’m making such an excellent point about values and belief That I had to make this post just to direct your readers to go back and read that post again — and because I added some things that really drive home the soundness of what I’m suggesting.

😄

Belief and Ability.

I was ponderIng the relationship between a persons beliefs and their ability in mind of the situation of the baker that said she would not bake a cake for a homosexual occasion. Or something like that.

https://aclu-co.org/court-rules-bakery-illegally-discriminated-against-gay-couple/

And so he was brought to court and it’s a big case.

Now whenever I hear this story on the radio what comes to my mind is it sounds to me that the Christian Baker is unable to bake a cake for the homosexual couple.

And so I’m wondering what’s the difference?

I think it would put people who are discriminated against in a better position if we just call out those people who claim that their beliefs will not allow them to do things, to do a service for them because of whatever state they might present themselves as. Because then we would hold people responsible for their believes by saying that your belief is reflective of your capacity and ability.

So a baker who is being a bigot or a homophobe because they won’t bake a cake for a homosexual occasion, instead of just saying they’re assholes, we can say that they’re incompetent.

I mean think about it. If there is a computer programmer who said hey I’m an excellent computer programmer and he knows all the commands that there is in every single Computer coding language including machine language, but then you ask him to write a program that sorts out my emails and he won’t do it, we wouldn’t say he’s just an asshole. It wouldn’t matter if he writes a bunch of other programs because obviously, de facto, by the fact that he is not writing this simple email for me means that he is incapable of doing it . Becuase then we’d say Well, prove it. The fact that he could write an email program for someone who is not homosexual would not prove that he was making any sort of value judgments, but de facto show that he is absolutely incapable of making that cake for a homosexual couple. We would then say he’s incompetent and we wouldn’t hire him.

Perhaps we are serve ourselves better if we adopt that kind of attitude instead of the attitude that everyone gets to choose what they believe. Or better yet, judge people according to the actual circumstances that present themselves. If someone can snowboard super well when they’re just up at Snowmass or whatever, and they’re doing flips off of random rocks and embankments, as well as beating everyone down the hill and whatever, if we take them to the Olympics and she totally flounders, we wouldn’t say that that Olympic snowboarder is making a value judgment about where she wants to perform.

So I say it is not that the baker is choosing not to serve certain people Becuase of a belief, but they are unable to serve Becuase of an inherent aspect of what they are, and using ‘belief’ to justify their lack.

And would it matter whether or not they bake this perfect cake for the birth of Christ or something. Because we would see openly and overtly where their ability lay.

What do you guys think?

The Fallacy of Belief: modernity and its tells.

This guys seems to do a pretty good job of laying out some flaws in Christian thinking.

via The Ridiculousness of some Christian Arguments — Christianity Simplified

Comment:

Notice that his argument is being made against claims of another theorist in the debate.

One should ask how it is possible that he can move from the specific theoretical claim made by another person to the actualities of occurrence in the world.

This should really be the debate.

I have to laugh at his arguments because they are so good and so true; I am not denying his rebuttal for Christianity. I wish I could have heard the other guys too though.

The real issue, or the issue of the real, doesn’t have anything to do with who made the stronger points. As I have said elsewhere, there is no argument that can change what I believe about God because I have no belief. And those, including this dude we hear, who is placing his whole being upon his ability to make claims about what people believe, is himself a believer, and can just as well have his beliefs changed upon a good argument. As well as all those others who believe in the power of human thought as a divinely inspired tool.

The plain fact is that millions of children will die every day regardless of what anyone believes. This is a fact. It has only to do with belief in as much as people have beliefs that frame how the world is supposed to be. Just like Doctor Coolness Smooth Sam in the video. Can he offer a different belief that does not consider why or how these children die that prevents them from dying? Science? Rationality?Lets hear some moral arguments about these beliefs, huh?

Is it any less moral for him to participate in this debate while a 17 year old junkie just overdosed and died 3 blocks away because of such arguments against Christianity (such as Sam’s) that told him not to do into the church that day because Christianity is a stupid superstition, than it is that people buried children in post holes? Is Sam any less responsible than the post-hole diggers?

Oh yeah; for the debate he is. This is an entirely different situation…

Lets get a little real here. OK Sam.

And lets put the most significant feature of his oh so great anti-Christian argument: Shall we mention that this debate, is taking place in a Christian institution, that the manner by which he is making his name, his holier-then-thou white guy suave, is through the idea of Christianity? By virtue of Christianity he gets to make a living (in this moment at least) Shall we ask where  and how his clothes were made, how much money he spent in it?

I am fairly confident that if he was so offended by the beliefs and activities of Christians that he could make a better moral statement by not having theoretical discussion in an institution that makes claim to The Mother of God in its namesake, Notre Dame.

Lets face it: His corcern and passion for morality is an act. It is a strict performance that argues itself as substantial through its own implicit assertion of power: We call this privilege. He doesn’t have anymore concern for the millions of children dying in the name of Christianity than he does for the lint in his pocket. He whole purpose is to make name for himself on the substance of substance-less claims. Despite Christianity being a narcissistic belief, he should more look at himself and his own mode of operation.

Hes a sham. The debate is a sham. Sam Harris does not care about the children; he cares about the debate. Thats all. He is arguing for his own religious belief that is supposedly more moral than that of the “superstition” of Christianity.

It was a debate that has no more substance than the one I have in my head over what shampoo I should use today.

Should I wear my $24 socks that have a picture of Einstein on them, or my $15 socks that absorb moisture so well?

Maybe its Einstein today. Im feeling on top of the world.

Ah modernity. The perfect world.

Oh. Not also to mention that people do not hold beliefs based in what arguments can be made. The whole methodology that sees itself in a unitive category is itself is based in a type of thinking that at best we should call disorganized and at least largely unreflective.

In short, I think the discussion about the existence of God and various theological justifications, in as much as there are indeed people who feel that such discussions are important, nevertheless, are evidence or part of a kind of thinking that upholds qualifiers for existence that are of a different kind or of a different order than thinking that considers what is true.

Here is an example of how we could begin to distinguish types of philosophy. And which types are good for which areas of problem.

Here we thus have the need to make notice of offence, accept it not as a negation of it, to thereby be able to discuss true aspects of what humanity does. Not what is ‘more true’ to thereby propose to eliminate it as an incorrect appropriation of what is effectively transcendent knowledge, but an approach to truth that takes examples of belief as true situations not to be discounted, but only left to those who see it as important. To hence locate facts of humanity. Not so much as an ironic analysis of primitive belief, but merely ‘belief’ as a religious term, the use of which located an effective religious structure.

Religion: that state characterized by a supported organization that does not reflect upon itself, except through diversionary tactics which avoid its own inherent disorganized conceptual foundations.

Real Belief.

Food For Thought | Who Believes What Today?Sunday’s food for thought

love, sunday vibes, thoughts, Zizek, who believes what today, Inspiration, Food For Thought, lifestyle

https://hewnly.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/who-believes-what-today/

Such a great little excerpt. But I think it leaves out, Or Zizek doesnt finish his thought, gets side-tracked in the middle of his point :

We might already have noted that it is a current condition of our situation that we are able to believe; everything that we do is always conditioned with the “I believe”, which means that we take everything that everyone says tentatively as a part of a larger condition in which people have a capacity to know things as true that are actually false in this sort of larger scheme of truth that extends into unknowability. We say not only “what do you believe” but we condition everything that everybody might know as true as a belief, which means really that I can have my own belief and function in such away within a certain truth condition, and you can likewise have your truth, and we can live happily together because there’s this larger true universe of relativity we’re both are beliefs really have no foundation.  

Within this environment then, if we are to attempt to speak about anything true then we always have to condition it, like he talks about Judith Butler and the cup of tea. 

Innoway it’s a very postmodern situation that Zizek is defying. For the irony of the postmodern and it’s deconstructivism is in the motion of its discourses, but also inasmuch as there is an inherent irony in those postmodern discourses what it takes in order for them to be solute, in order for them to function or have certain capacity to be describing something not ironic, which is to say something substantial something directly communicated in its truthfulness, is a certain force, something that brings the inherent irony into it substance, and this is, in fact, the power of belief. And this is the say That we have to bring to bear upon these conditional discourses a certain force that makes them substantial; this force is belief.

But more so it is the situation that we find ourselves in that causes believe to precipitate out of the situation as Zizek is describing, such that we condition ourselves our own situation to say like oh there is no substance anymore and at some point there was real belief or some substance of character in the world or something of that sort. But it is in fact merely our particular way that we condition or knowledge to exceptionalize ourselves from what might be past or historically distant. 

Zizek goes on to suggest that really there’s no difference in what is allowing us to manifest reality as world now as compared to whatever may have been occurring 100 years ago or when ever, and that it is in this feature  of being human, the being that is human, through which we might gain a view of the situation that is more accurate. 

The Impossible. Part 1; If/Then.

The impossible can be discovered along many significant vectors of reality as limit. The particular discussion that contains or otherwise accounts for the various vectorial meanings is ironic; it is the event that begins the count, that can be said to to be a basis upon which a linking of meaningful terms is made that presents the truth. That by which irony is informed, due to its unknowable prior linkage, is impossible. What is possible is made upon the meaningful linking of the event which places it among other events in an eternal conventional relativity of True Objects.

In reading this essay, one might understand that while it addresses a particular discourse, it explains many. When discovering conventional limit and the situation concerning reality, one thereby begins to understand what true agency can be in revealing reality’s counter-partial not real situations.

*

The search for truth through a negotiation of objects, or limits, establishes reality; if we are seeking a truth that is not negotiated then we must no longer attempt to discern what is more real. The assertion that there is some article of knowledge that is more real than another is of conventional faith, which, as we may have seen, does not find the truth, but only the True Object, the object of faith. For the conversation to mean anything beyond merely repeating what was before, it must be about effects.

*

I cannot deny that to believe that there was a man, who actually was the son of the most high and true god sent to earth, who actually existed as a human 2000 years ago, for whom the Gospels are a history of, is an act of faith. In fact, it is difficult to believe this, so to believe it must be a truly significant feat of faith. For me, it is absolutely incredible, and perhaps, I admit, this is exactly where I do not have faith, except that it is an article of a type of faith. Yet I can, in good faith, believe that it is possible to have faith in such an idea.

Because I can have such a faith, I can also see that the faith in the article presents a dubious situation. My faith in the Idea of the idea is not troublesome, but the process of understanding the Idea can be. It is the one of this latter faith that has made a choice of a difficult path, as I said, to believe in something that by a certain standard is incredible; hence requiring the choice to have faith in it. The redundancy that is denied through the standard brings the nobility of requiring faith; it brings the incredible to its stature of needing faith, and a resultant choice. But by this same criterion, the incredible, I submit that there is an even more difficult article to choose to have faith in, since in order to have faith in this alternate article, the standard, one would have to choose to believe that he has no choice, for the standard is what grants the situation of choice, in that one has no choice in that he has choice, or must be choosing. The faith in the article that presents a situation of having no choice likewise then requires that the idea of faith be relinquished, since the act of faith itself is based in choosing to believe something incredible.

Here then, we can come upon a duality that presents the incredible as something one must have faith in as opposed to that which one need not have faith in for it to be true, such as, everyday reality. In this way the object of faith is understood as exceptional to everyday reality, but the incredible is still possible. It may be just barely possible, but it is possible enough that faith is required to believe it; that is, it is still believable: The standard is given, does not require faith for it to be true, and the incredible requires faith. The significance here is that it, the situation, is not impossible, for it is the impossible that is truly difficult. Yet once what is really difficult to have faith in is realized for what it truely is, which is the standard, then what was once incredible no longer requires faith for it to be true – but also the reverse. This is to say, the standard that is true allows for the incredible that may be true through faith, but what is incredible through the terms of faith, the meaning of what can be incredible, is brought by the terms of the standard; hence, what is true regarding the incredible is nothing more than an extension of the standard, and thereby what is of the standard is likewise or consistently come upon by faith. This is the transitive set. The real difference allowed through the standard for the incredible is exactly of faith, but this, so far as the standard becomes true through faith, is a step into the impossible, the absurd, insanity. The common standard of reality is granted through faith; this is impossible.

*

To believe that humanity exists along some sort of continuous thread, that the past and future can be a part of this thread, and that human beings are set upon this thread with a certain fundamental condition that at once is of a same type, inherently and innately discrepant, ‘sinful’ to use a term, such that a figure was or is set upon or within this thread so as to draw all sinners unto itself as relief for the condition – which is to say, this first condition is but an ‘eternal’ condition, against which a second condition then also shows itself: that human beings are involved with a movement of progress that gains its quality upon the first condition, where the resistance to the first condition defines the situation of the second – this is a development upon the point of contention as I see it: the significant difference between what calls for faith, and what is truly impossible.

Jesus can be viewed in the forgoing two ways against each of two conditions, and this gives a quadripartite; the eternal condition of duality and its reconciliation or removal, each applied to (A) and (B) below, disseminates as follows:

A) Jesus the actual Son of God, actually manifest as an individual human being 2000 years ago. This figure is clamed to be able to absolve human beings who exist at all times subsequent to his moment, of their inherent sin. Jesus thus has eternal power despite the passage of time.

The individual existing at any time always has the potential to access the eternal Jesus through choice. They become saved regardless of the actual historical condition of progress as it has moved away from Jesus; time reveals humanity dealing with Christ in history as it progresses to rebuke him until its greatest despair, when Jesus will return to save that humanity. The basic idea is that of a confused or aggravated individual extrapolated in history who comes to believe in Jesus and is thereby relieved of his aggravation. This aggravation can be called ‘sin’.

B) The human being exists within no actual temporal sphere. The functioning of consciousness behaves so as to allow meaning of reality. Reality is thus not separate to what meaning is had of it. 2000 years ago is a situation of consciousness, a particular formation or construction of meaning by which other things have real relations; no 2000 years ago exists beyond the scheme of meaning that would understand it, and in the understanding of this condition as a mere condition, 2000 years ago is actually ‘happening’ now, in consciousness, as meaning. Jesus is the human being who has ‘awakened’ to his existence. Jesus thus is the figure representative that indicates in words the situation of the human being who likewise has come unto his existence of the eternal moment, as those who have likewise such knowledge ‘hear’ the words of eternity, that is, of describing the same atemporal condition. Once such words are heard, it is because no other meaning could have come forth from existence, and this is to say that one has no choice in the meaning which he has gained from the words.

Yet, typically the individual of reality sees it through a lens of historical time that exists in actuality, one thing arising from another, contingent upon actual conditions of things moving in essential time. Ironically, in such a state, the individual is ‘aggravated’, is in ‘sin’ due to the mistaken ideas of reality, the limit that is the reasoned and knowable aspects of reality, so while it seeks really its own existence, it perpetually and continually puts it off in seeking into temporal things, thus creating the world, but also by mistaken default, creating the condition of being divided unto itself, this condition that is capable of arguing an actual Jesus individual God-human being that bridges the unassailable gap, the condition of (A) above.

This dialectic brings us to a situation where one might say that these two versions are equal in effect, where both (A) and (B) can be understood to account for a lack, in (A) by Jesus, in (B) by the potential of knowledge, but I must say that where (B) appears as a more comprehensive account of what is represented, it also seems to bring a reasonable defaulting – in the extreme case – to (A), due to its similar limit. (B), though it may seem more appealing, does thus not seem to solve anything since it develops a polemic with (A), which, in the last, is merely repeating (A) in different terms. At last, then, (A) seems to me not to work; again, it is insoluble, for this reason:

The effect (A) appears to reify and maintain the problem, since the individual is still left to his capacity or ability to believe, which then apparency compounds the problem because the believer still vacillates in moments of question, willingness, and perhaps sinfulness, basically over their own inadiquacy. And it seems even one so devout in his faith is only so through selective denial, who then gets angry at what offends his faith, and who cannot help but turn a blind eye to logic that would show him where his belief may be lacking.

*

What ‘Jesus’ (as I develop both possibilities, A and B above) accomplished might be described in this way: Below, items (1), (2), (3) present the possibility that what is impossible lays in an absolute polemical relation to what is possible, the principle of exclusion, or being a part; item (4) is thus impossible with reference to the first three, the principle of inclusion, or belonging:

(1) The dual understanding of (A); (2) the dual understanding of (B); (3) the dual understanding of (A) against (B); (4) the understanding that includes these three possibilities.

Which is to say: If, either, either A or B, or, either 1 or 2, then 4.

In short, we have moved from the ‘either/or’ possibility into, what I call, the ‘if/then’.

To explain; (A) is that of admitted faith that claims the actual Jesus as God Christ; (B) is that not admitted of faith that claims Jesus as part of the negotiation of reality; the true method of knowledge will bring understanding of truth. (1) is the duality inherent in the consequence of not having faith, i.e., going to hell, say; (2) is the duality inherent in the consequence of having faith, i.e., that we do live in a progressive temporal causality. (3) is the either/or condition that argues the veracity of either (A) or (B), which is really, (4) the inclusion of (A) in (B), which is the standard of non-philosophy as method.

The problem lay in the situation of (3), which defines the polemic of faith and establishes the true within reality, the preliminary (4); reality, while admitting faith, does not require faith. Faith thus belongs to reality, but reality does not belong to faith. The event is reality and faith is included in what may constitute the event, or the count that was initiated as the event. But what we have in the method of non-philosophy is a restating, a repetition, of either/or. The methodological event of non-philosophy poses its limit in the Real even while Laruelle attempts to disperse the Real from its object; yet to distinguish what becomes the non-philosophical philosophical object, we should not propose a ‘one-in-one’ because then the ‘unilateral duality’ becomes an identifier of limit, of a knowable true object, another philosophical object – either that object or this object. This feature of non-philosophy evidences bad faith; thereby we can have his Gnostic base, as well as method. To assert or otherwise argue a Real overdetermines in the last instance the meaning of convention, which is, in the first, a progressing knowledge or order of true objects, which is, in the last, merely another assertion of faith, merely another repetition of ‘either A or B, and 4′, the eternal linking that is the critique by the differend, whereby no progress is made beyond (A,B). It is no wonder that Laruelle expounds upon a ‘Future Christ’. Yet, where non-philosophy presents and does not represent, there and only there is ‘if (A,B) then 4’, there is the impossible; here is aphilosophy. The object has become the occasion of the condition by which I can exist in reality.

The argument for truth that seeks what is more real resides in the confines of which Jesus is part and only possibly significant. Here, the state of reality I call ‘convention’. The impossible move is to see that what is of choice (A,B), by virtue of the impossible, requires or is otherwise constituted by a faith that cannot but be situated in the way it is by the standard for it to present the object of faith, and in this, involves no choice. Yet if I have somehow chosen the impossible, then that by which I may not have chosen requires faith. Jesus, in this way, can be said to have achieved the impossible, but where this is possible, Jesus is not necessary.

The irony cannot be overestimated.

*

But wait, there’s more! Always more – but nevermore.

Post-post-modern-modernism: The Mistake of Irony; Or, The Ironic Mistake.

Perhaps a little bitty on postmodernism and the, what could be labeled of our current situation, post-post-modern-modernism.

Here are a couple links that roughly define the conventional problem I will address in this essay. The first is a little less ridiculous than than the second. The first offers us an argument for why postmodernism is not dead, but is rather the condition upon which people find a new agency. David Foster Wallace is talking from so far down the conventional hole – at least, that he was at some point- his polemic reveals how deep his confusion is or was, as the case may be ( no disrespect intended).

http://partialobjects.com/2011/08/what-comes-after-postmodernism/

This is not to say that there was not this postmodern thing-era that these authors are talking about; it is also very interesting, and possibly ironic, that postmodernism has been seen as first represented in architecture (so says the first link). Nevertheless, the era was the conventional reaction to a large misunderstanding that continues.

It is not difficult to find a link between Constructive Undoing and postmodernism, especially with the irony/convention duality that has arisen here. So, in light of this parallel, and that irony is too often defined to postmodernism through deconstruction, sarcasm, posed apathy, withdrawal, multivocality and the like, as well that irony does not stem from any sort of reaction (though pm may) as it merely takes the proposed new as old hat, as already given before it became new, one has to hit it straight on, as a tangent, one might say. As the post of the link says, with “arms folded tight” one continues to lift; irony works, despite the conventional reaction.

We should look into this reaction. To do this, we will use the framework of the definition of irony, taken from Dictionary.com ( as of spetember, 2013) since the typical conventional misunderstanding involved with the coupling of irony and postmodernism is at play; the reaction allows postmodernism to be placed outside of its ironic bearings.

[Note: This essay is a shortened version.]

Irony:

1.)the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

Literature.
A.) a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
(especially in contemporary writing)

B.) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., especially as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.

3.)Socratic irony. (which is defined as feigned ignorance.)

4.) dramatic irony.

5.) an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

6.) the incongruity of this.

7.) an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.

8.) an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.

Generally, all the definitions reiterate the fifth definition; basically, the opposite of what is expected expressed in the various arenas. (A) and (B) are literary devices of turning plot or meaning. (3) is an idiomatic expression of the complete misunderstanding of Socrates, a one-sided view. (4) is little more than (3); (5) restates all the definitions. (6),(7) and (8) are the key definitions, the ones that have been elicited from the most offense of irony, in the postmodern sense.

The really interesting thing about irony is the absolute comedy of its seriousness; in all seriousness, this is the most offensive aspect of irony, and is the reason postmodernism has become a kind of stigma in philosophy, a kind of joke for modern thought so much that it had to ‘die’. Where do I laugh? Where do I nod? How can I tell if what is being said is really meant for what it says? The irony never ends, and everyone wants ends. Most every one wants to be told the punch line – but not overtly; everyone wants to be in on the joke. But the joke and the deep meaning are one in the same; if you have to guess or wonder, then you get embarrassed: you are offended.

Though I can’t be sure about the intent of definition number 6, I assume it refers to definition number 5. In fact, unless it is a type-o, the definition is probably intended to mean irony as the incongruity of what is expected and what actually occurs, in distinction to def. 5 where irony is the “outcome”. If I say I am a liar, and then I lie, the irony could be not very ironic or be very ironic depending on what has been signaled, but the incongruity of this is that one would have to guess, that is, unless the liar while telling the truth were indeed poetic as he lay, for then he would indeed be lying. But what if he were telling the truth?? As it is, the definition number 6, as a definition for irony, is quite ironic, because none of the other definitions reference the other definitions, but we are expected to see that number 6 does. It is a simple pleasure then to think that the authors of this definition included just this presentation (of 6) as a particular definition of irony because probably the best definition of irony is the incongruity of this, as it is not only a definition, but also an example. And just as such a simple pleasure could be a proclivity of some people, this paragraph itself will find many quite fed up and see no humor or pleasure in this exposition; they find it corny or even lacking in a certain finesse or refinement, or perhaps they find it too subtle. Yet it is just this kind of insensitivity or intolerance that seeks ends, that, if not indicated to the punch, will develop a position highly distanced from it, the ironic move so lowly and indistinctive as it is patronized.

Such a humor is of the most inside that one can fathom, so it is no wonder that most cannot help but develop a resentment concerning its irony. To them, they are being made the butt of a joke; like some sort of transcendent wit they miss, they maintain their seriousness as they pull the heavenly act down to their mundane decisions and proclaim and accuse and dismiss. It is not a wonder postmodernism has a bad rap; the dense can hardly hold a tune, let alone wish to appreciate the finest symphony in the world without the liner notes. Grinding their teeth together they talk lightheartedly and then seriously about this and that fashion, all the while truly being the object of ridicule that was never intended for them except that they made it such. “We are not laughing at them, we are just laughing,” and they have much more serious things by which to set their recreation.

(7) and (8). The definition of ‘sardonic’: characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin. In other words, the distasteful, ‘dark side’ of irony: “objectively sardonic”. The attitude behind this irony is an anxious individual, almost despairing of the world. The irony is a type of ‘sick’ humor; his denial is palatable. This one has come close to his theoretical, indeed actual, demise and spits out his fate upon everyone and the world (the objects) because it is the world. Ironically, the world has let him to know, and he doesn’t like it; he doesn’t like being dominated but he has found his distance from it in one of two ways: a) The world is shitty. The world of history is not the place of his childhood dreams; it has brought everything opposite childish happiness had more than hoped for. He wants to be free, but his conscience tells him its all a sham, and this is known to him due to the world’s history coming upon him. The oppressive world. b) His attitude is justified in righteousness. The offense of the shitty world is countered by the nobility of human presence: the world is great, it is working in his behalf. This nobility is held in countenance for the world, but soon the world rejects it, it counters every move. A suitable image must be maintained; the oppressive individual. In both, the object is prominent; in (a), it is the object proper to convention, in (b), the individual, the subject-object, the subject of convention. Whether it is in reference to some ‘childhood dream’ or the ‘grown-up’ approach to reality before him or her, the motion is that the nobility rejects the rejection and the world crumbles; it deconstructs because the individual is no longer complicit with the world, but again, offended by it. The individual perpetually lives in a fear of his own making, cast upon the world that is surely going bad from the activities of himself – if only he could just leave, or, can he save it in time!

*

The reaction here is ironic; the ironic-sardonic postmodernist and the individual that sets postmodernism to a proper era are both implicitly involved in the conventional reaction. Consciousness, by its very nature, is a retreat from the world; perhaps more precisely, the world is consciousness’s retreat from existence. The individual who is being ironic by realizing that the world of the great (at least, modernist in the last, but conventional in its beginning) human history has brought itself to destruction, is reacting not to the world, but to her inability to reconcile it to her knowledge; her knowledge does not ‘reach’ the object. The reaction is completely of alienation, which is to say, the individual is not alienated due to some historical social motion where she is offended at the state of the world and so withdraws from it, but rather the individual is alienated from herself due to her rather un-ironic belief (faith) in the oppressing thing of the world, that is, that there is this world, which is reality, the conventional world of the true object. This is not so much that the world brought itself to its own destruction, but that the world did not destruct, and this is to say that the world did not find solution, but that the world is insolvent. The result of the world finding a new way due to the old way not working, or bringing itself upon destruction, is not finding a solution in this new way, the result is that the new way is exactly the same as the old way, that the two ‘ways’ could not but have caused and resulted from each other necessarily, that the causes will be found conventionally. The reaction is thus not of the world but of the meaning that the individual has derived from it, which contradicts that the human was ever part of the world in the first place. Then the reaction becomes dismissive, yielding the ‘that’s just life’ tail. Asserting the priority of beliefs and their function for finding ‘the good’, the reaction wields the power of resentment in hopes of stifling and ending all dissension.

The belief itself, the act or motion the term ‘belief’ signifies of faith, is what creates or allows for the alienated individual; the condition of the human being in reality is the separated individual. This separation, basic to the individual, is what constitutes freedom, the great future of progress, as well as its complimentary spiritual form of union (yoga) and ‘return’ (Christ, messiah, or ‘anointed one’; the motion as ‘to anoint’ connotes a uniting of separate substances, yet where one significant or uncommon element is rubbed on a regular or common element, and in this moment the two are transformed; the blessed oil becomes merely oil, the common, significant. The misused idea of ‘karma’, so prevalent in the West, falls in here also.) Nevertheless, it is recognition or realization, a coming into knowledge, that develops ‘alienation’ as a lived experience. But the inherent and unavoidable condition of human consciousness is separation.

Anxiety and despair over such a realization is usually understood to be relieved by two moves, though there are really three; the first two are conventional. The first is denial, where the realization is avoided. This reaction replaces the old with the new as part and parcel of willed, reasoned progress. The initial problem here is replaced with the solution that is human agency, the negotiation of parties, be it spiritual negotiation or mundane. The second is insanity. Both of these reactions are complicit in the resolution to the problem, since there is no true overcoming of the discrepancy; faith in reality accomplishes this feat through denial; hence, denial and insanity are the only real options. I emphasize real options, in the sense that I have already been developing conventional faith; anything else is absurd, insane. Thus the third option is the non-conventional, the ‘not-real’ option (Francois Laruelle might call this the Real option); the reconciliation that can come only does so with existence, through the experience of irony: denial and acceptance become not mutually exclusive.

The human being in existence cannot but help behaving in the only way it can: ultimately determined in every activity. But this activity, this existence, is also human consciousness; it can only behave the way it does. This is to say on one hand that consciousness does not behave or operate in any way separate from the behavior of existence, but also on the other that its operation is to have a world that is sufficiently separate from itself by which it can then perform its functions, and these are exactly formed and allowed for through the partition we call free will, that is, choice. Human consciousness must have a true object, it cannot function without it, but in order for there to be a true object there must be a correspondant of at least equal stature, and this is the individual thoughtful human being. The evident aspect of consciousness is thought, and is itself a mode or motion of the existing universe. Thought thereby retains an effectively universal operational structure as part of its nature, which is to say, the processes and features of knowing resonate the very motion of the universe as course, which is unity. Yet unity, unfortunately for the individual, can only exist by separation; only in the condition of separation can a notion of unity have meaning. Separation and unity have a significance for the meaning making existent human being; the tension or motion thereof, which is vacillation, is not allowed in the progressive reality: reality relies upon the equanimity of subject and object as real things, absolutely true objects, and its privileging of either dependent upon the circumstance at hand as the circumstance is foundational in indicating progress.

Stepping back from this, we can say nevertheless, once the equilibrium, or symmetry, of the statures of true object and thinking subject are upset, existence effectively takes over its proper imperative, that is, the sanctity of the true object begins to fail for knowledge, and knowledge likewise is compromised of its ability to ‘hold off’ the encroachment of the operation of thought upon itself: consciousness then must uphold its existential operation, as its foundation is the differend between thought and object, and the reduction of the knowledge of the object to the object of knowledge eventually brings thought into a consideration of itself, as an object of itself. Only in the balance that holds the (inner) subject and (outer) object at sufficient distance in consciousness can one say that the objective dominates; psychology is the conventional method that attempts to keep the distance of thought and object, to maintain the balance. Once this symmetry is lost, however, the motion never falls toward the object, the motion is always toward the knowing subject, falling in upon the subject of knowledge until consciousness almost comes upon itself and faith is reestablished; this can be called, what is typically known as a ‘psychological breakthrough’ or a ‘spiritual experience’. Where it indeed truly comes upon itself, we call this insanity or death. Where the individual is incapable of functioning constructively in the group of humanity, conventional reality is upheld by the group through a faith that functions to keep the balance and maintain the symmetry of the subject and object in knowledge, as an objective aspect, and thought, as a subjective aspect, which is to say, in knowledge that such an individual is insane defined as a true object for the purpose of establishing the standard for the individual: the subject (subject-object), and in thought for the purpose of establishing the objective standard of reality: the object.

*

The usual reading of postmodern exposition is contained thus far; not for a reiteration of it, but to a step from it. Though more than a few authors either contributed to the development of postmodernism, or step from it, to offer their version, I address two authors here: Jean-Paul Sartre and Francois Laruelle. Through a particularly conventional lens, each offers a stating of the point of contention, a reiteration, as well as a reconciliation of the ironic problem, while saying, really, ironically, the same thing. The punch line: the discrepancy (the individual is established in separation) is solved through an assertion of essential freedom. Again, this is to say that both proposals arise through a denial of existence and an assertion of the true object. This, in effect, is the definition of what Sarte terms “bad faith”, as I have argued of Laruelle in the Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing.

Sartre’s points are foundational. The reduction of thought to an object of itself opens meaning to an ‘abyss’ of freedom, where meaning comes to its own essential lack. To (here now) reiterate the foregoing, the essence of meaning (if we can say there is such a thing) is seen to be vacant, void, nil, as Slavoj Zizek has said of the subject. This knowledge of contradiction, meaning that is no meaning, causes the individual angst, or Kierkegaardian ‘despair’; in my terms, the individual understands that the reality through which he or she was moving, that has been established and motivated through basic, what was before thought, true tenants of reality, true objects, is found to be not true. Sartre’s move then is to ‘revolt’ from this ‘nothingness’, since the individual supposedly sees now that meaning is arbitrary, and thereby find true freedom because the individual sees that he is no longer constrained by any essential, determined, or otherwise actual truth of any matter whatsoever.

Laruelle, if we are able to set aside the conventional-temporal object for one moment, where Laruelle builds his non-philosophy due to Sartre’s and others’ ideas before him, we may find his address through what I shall use as his basic idea. While all of his terms interact and compound upon one another to indicate the same thing, which is the point of contention, his ‘unilateral duality’ works to indicate the last conventional object. The ‘future Christ’ he terms as a culmination or basic differential which allows or accounts for the total meaning of, what I call, the scheme of meaning that is conventional reality, the meaningful organization of true objects. By summoning total meanings of significant oppositional objects, his critique of philosophy proper reduces its operational terms to explain conventional reality; he limits conventional reality to the arena of ‘philosophy’ for strategic reasons, and calls the consequence or result of this reduction the ‘Real’. Using the idea of future Christ, his reconciliation poses some sort of radical agency – mind you, ‘agency’ has been likewise re-situated in non-agency – that, one is to gather, comes about through a proper understanding of reality. The reason he can appear, as we say, ‘in the last’, is the real and the Real remain for him ‘lateral’ or maybe better, parallel but are situated more properly upon a parallax. The freedom of Sartre is similarly re-situated with the ‘radical’ form of knowing and proposes some more evolved state of humanity.

Again, keep in mind that I am presenting a typically conventional reading of these authors, that the fact of their presentations are routinely and faithfully, in Laruelle’s terms, ‘made into another philosophical object’, a representation of the point of contention. The problem is at all times conventionally upheld for reality, Real or free. The problem is not the presentation that these authors enact, but the re-presentation: the overcoming of the true object is impossible for conventional reality.

Hence, perhaps a better rendition of the matter at hand can be better situated to address the impossible. To put it directly into conventional grasp, we might then see that to confront the impossible is a matter of insanity.

*

Yet before we venture into the impossible, I would like to offer a small quote from Thomas Nagel, and his effort from the possible, of staying in the possible:

“However, I do not find theism any more credible than materialism as a comprehensive world view. My interest is in the territory between them. I believe that these two radically opposed conceptions of ultimate intelligibility cannot exhaust the possibilities. All explanations come to an end somewhere. Both theism and materialism say that at the ultimate level, there is one form of understanding. But would an alternative secular conception be possible that acknowledged mind and all that it implies, not as the expression of divine intention but as a fundamental principle of nature along with physical law?”
~ ‘Antireductionism and the Natural Order’, in Mind and Cosmos, p.22.

One should see that Nagel’s situation is nothing larger than what Soren Kierkegaard offered 160 years ago: Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical? For the question Nagel asks here is nothing greater than conventional, though he might be trying to indicate something more (we shall see). Nagel is asking if there is a way to bring the remnants or basics of the bifurcated real meaning wherein we have idealist subjectivism and religious transcendence/immanence versus materialist objectivism, into a scheme of meaning that does not indicate upon such distinction, which is to say, does not reify the insolvency. The answer is: conventionally, no. All human reality depends upon the duality of meaningful categories; the real is the universal is the ethical. The answer ironically is: yes.

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.

*

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 ? }

*

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.

Direct Tangent 4.28: What can I say ? Part 1.

Its about time I get to the point. I have spent plenty of time talking around the issue. I have talked about Bad Faith and mentioned the issue, I’ve talked about aspects of the issue and indicated that all this has to do with the reason why Laruelle seems bogged down in jargon. I feel i have explored the elements of the issue, i myself have even begun to get sucked into speaking the ‘high speak’ and leaving many of the ideas to linger, un-de-mystified, contrary to my intentions i came out with at the beginning. so now its about time i clear up the weed garden: what, for crying out loud, is the issue?

The issue is what we deal with in philosophy: duality, what is it, what does it mean, but more so, the issue pertains to everyone in that everyone deals with and come to terms with duality in some way. The problem has to do with the fact that every philosopher is dealing with the same issue, basically saying the same thing, but are taken and understood as saying something different. Because there has to be a separation of things in order for there to be an observed thing, philosophy cant rightly analyze itself, so Laruelle proposes an analysis of this feature of philosophy, that he calls non-philosophy. Generally speaking ,I say that he is in bad faith because he proposes the issue then denies it in the act of developing a positive discourse about it, because the issue implies what we can call the negative as well. I will explain and address the repercussions of this later.

The crazy thing is, it is absurd: the content of the issue is not real. Again, this is why I say that Laruelle is in Bad Faith all the while agreeing with what he is saying; it is the contradiction involved in the working out of what bad faith actually is that establishes what is true.

See, in order to find truth one cannot stand in what one believes. A belief is conditioned by relativity. A person would not need to assert what s/he believes if everyone believed it; a belief only has validity if someone else believes something else. It is as I have already said: one must doubt everything. One must doubt his own beliefs, and then turn and doubt not only the result of doubting, but the very idea that one must doubt or is capable of doubting, including doubting if there was anything to doubt to begin with. Where one does not doubt, there exactly does s/he stand in faith. So, it can be said that where one doubts, one is in bad faith because he is not seeing faith as a good thing in that case, at least so far in the endeavor for truth. But also, and this seems paradoxical, where one has questioned and doubted and come to a truth of a matter, where he stands in that truth he is in faith, but it is bad because he has not doubted everything, but only some things. Yet, if a person has indeed doubted everything (if this is possible) then he is in an odd sort of position, and this position has to do what what he says about it.

* [NOTE: Please try to ignore the obnoxious underlining that has occurred in much of this text. I do not know why it has formatted this way. ]

The issue has to do with what can be spoken about :
The question at hand can be said to have to do with what is real and what exists. What is actual might also be said to be involved, but the significant issue has to do with definition and many authors and thinkers have offered various terms in various ways of definition to make their point. Perhaps I am no different I this way, but, if you will bare with me, I will make my point after I give you here a definition of ‘real’ and ‘exist’ from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

Definition of REAL

1
: of or relating to fixed, permanent, or immovable things (as lands or tenements)
2
a : not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory : genuine ; also : being precisely what the name implies
b (1) : occurring or existing in actuality
(2) : of or relating to practical or everyday concerns or activities (3) : existing as a physical entity and having properties that deviate from an ideal, law, or standard — compare ideal 3b
c : having objective independent existence
d : fundamental, essential
e (1) : belonging to or having elements or components that belong to the set of real numbers
(2) : concerned with or containing real numbers (3) : real-valued

May I draw your attention to definition 2b(1), which refers to ‘existing’. This definition seems to equate ‘occurring’ with ‘existing’ and that something real thus occurs and/or exists. Also def. 2b(3), here the definition implies that something real already exists.

And so…

Definition of EXIST

1
a : to have real being whether material or spiritual
b : to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions
2
: to continue to be
3
a : to have life or the functions of vitality
b : to live at an inferior level or under adverse circumstances

Strangely, def. 1a. refers to something ‘real’. Here, though, what is real has to do with ‘be-ing’.

Of course, we use these ideas interchangeably and freely given various circumstances that often lie outside of these definitions, but usually if pressed we will come to a distinction between them, and a bit of time and philosophical rhetoric has been spent on finding some truth through the defining and situating of meanings of ‘real’, ‘exist’ and ‘actual’. If we attempt to find a ground or basis for a true meaning through using these definitions, we would come to something like:

1. occurring or having real being whether material or spiritual, in actuality, not artificial, etc.;

2. To have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions as a physical entity and having properties that deviate from an ideal, law, or standard, not artificial, etc. –

– or any number of like configurations that derive from replacing the various definitional clauses in place of the term within the definition we are looking at. As it is, the extended definitions seem to be saying something sure, but what it is exactly is still rather vague. If I were to continue to search for truth in this way, through definitions, I would have to look up ‘being’ and ‘actual’ and a bunch of other words, I would spin in a festering cycle of endless looking-up, but I would inevitably find definition that use the terms ‘actual’, ‘real’ or ‘exist’ and like-meaning terms – well here you go:

Definition of BEING

1
a : the quality or state of having existence
b (1) : something conceivable as existing (2) : something that actually exists (3) : the totality of existing things
c : conscious existence : life
2
: the qualities that constitute an existent thing : essence; especially : personality
3
: a living thing; especially : person

So what we find, at least in this dictionary, is a certain redundancy where, extrapolated, terms also refer only to other terms which redouble back upon their proposed meaning.

But of course the righteous will clamor, “we’ll it depends on context”, or “such definitions are only an attempt to describe usage”, or “it’s only referential; a dictionary is not supposed to, nor should be assumed to, define actual life or existence”. And I then have to ask: “what do you mean?” And they will give me a further elaboration of what they mean – and of course often never stopping to realize that I know what they are talking about, because they have missed the point entirely.

I am looking for the truth. It is not foreign to any intelligent person of our modern civilized societies to refer to a dictionary, or even get into philosophy, for truth.

And they (albeit unknowingly) quote Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?” Meaning, truth is relative.

And I will ask, “how do you know this?”

*

The point here is not so much about what is real as it is about what is not real. How does one talk about what is not real? Well, someone could say that Pegasus is not real, it is mythological. And I would have to ask them to define what ‘real’ is. But more significantly I would have to ask them that if Pegasus is not real, then how is it that it is effecting their life? How are you able to describe features of a Pegasus if it is not real? For, if something is not real, it should not be having anything to do with your idea of what is real, by the bare fact that it is not real. But indeed, here we have something which is proported to be not real influencing and effecting what is being discussed, eliciting and causing various ideas to be spoken and elaborated upon, inherently forcing certain thought patterns and drawing expressions and behaviors. We can only say then that what is not real is conditioned by what is real and that these ideas do not come about independently, that is, without the other idea formed simultaneously, intact for what we can possibly know as real. The anthropoloist/theorist Claude Levi Strauss (if i am correct) developed his Structuralism on this very fact: that realities are conceptual structures that hinge upon binary formulations of meaning developed and supported by culture, but because of this cultural component we cannot say that such structures are true, but only relatively true; this is where we get the contemporary notion of Cultural Relativism where we need understand that people have different realities. ( I do not believe that Strauss came up with cultural relativity though.)

Yet, if such relativism is true, and not relatively true, then it somehow must be something that is not cultural. It’s truth must reside somewhere outside the relativity of cultures. But this is not the case: cultural relativism is a culturally encoded truth that is, right at this moment, giving us truth that is not relative: it is a culturally developed idea of truth that does not conform to the relativistic maxim. This idea is known as contradiction in action. This idea too must not be true. It is this type of ‘non-truth’ upon which Laruelle bases his non-philosophical critique of philosophy.

As well, I myself am a product of the culture into which I was born and continue to live, so the concepts that I am thinking, the categories by which I come to know reality must be culturally produced and not inherently developed by anything that can be said to be of my own, since even these categories by which I know myself have been developed and determined before I exist.

Nevertheless, As I continue to live, it is proposed in modern critical thought that I am not determined entirely by culture but have an ability to negotiate the given categories and develop my own sense of my self, the world and reality; in this way reality is a negotiation of conscious individuals, agents, living their lives.

Hence, in so much as I may be only partially conditioned by culture, I should ask from where or what does the other part of myself, or likewise reality, come from? This is also the issue: how do I speak of that which informs reality but is not determined by the known elements that establish reality, for as soon as I speak about it, I have effectively nullified that it indeed was or is part of the aspect informing reality that is not contained in knowledge, as soon as i speak about it, i am conforming what is not known into the cultural condition of discourse that functions by the implicit philosophical cision. This possibility, as i see Laruelle – to paraphrase the 19th century philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, is allowing the concept to come into existence through the phenomenon. We will get more into this aspect of the issue later.

*

There are many ideas and discourses that develop in this way I have described above; in fact, Laruelle suggests as much of Philosophy. (Note: The meaningful critiques that precipitate from such discourse do so along vectors that indicate necessary results; results that can be seen to be described or presented in the activities of various thinkers: Paulo Freire, particularly of his book “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”; Jean-Francois Lyotard, in his book “The Differend”; Francois Laruelle and his Non-Philosophy ((the topic of these Direct Tangents)); Slavoj Zizek’s whole demeanor and presentations; as well, others. See my other essays in Constructive Undoing.) The point is that the fundamental, or basic, distinction precipitates from this situation, the point I describe: such discursive, structural, cultural truths are indeed real. Such a reality is a suspension of truth; it grants truth through holding at bay the fact that what is understood as true is in fact not really true, but only true in reality. So, in truth, what is real and not real comprises the truth in reality; the composite reality that is of relative cultures’ realities, but is not contained by them, is thereby the really real, big-R, reality. This way of logic indicates, but has not yet come upon, the non-philosophical project.

Now, I cannot say this unless I have been dismissed from such (cultural real and not real) reality so much that I can understand it. I cannot understand this if such reality is all there is; if reality and the discourse and discussion about reality is indicating and arising from what is actually true, and this is to say that existence and reality are one in the same as revealed by and to knowledge, then I cannot say that the truth of reality is that there is a sort of ‘extended’ cultural relativism (one that determines what is real and not real) without suspending what I know about cultural relativism for the particular case of truth that is my knowing. This, my friends – the suspending of truth for the sake of justifying ones own idea of truth – is what is known as faith. I call the reality of faith “conventional“.

*

I will come back to the necessary ideas that follow. For now, it is well enough to say that we have outlined the problem of what is not real; again, the only way I can say this is if I have encountered something that is not real, which is to say, not of conventional reality. Now, if reality is comprised of concepts based upon binary formulations, it would seem I am delusional or lying, because then whatever I may think is not real is really already contained in reality as its binary counterpart. This is indeed the case, but in a way that is absurd. The issue is no longer a describing of the truth of the particular matters of reality, of things or objects, of a synthesis of real things, true things, that are conveyed into or by terms for knowledge; reality thwarts such a production that moves beyond an immediate presence: truth is manifest, so it is rather a situating of terms: the issue is how to speak of it.

Laruelle has coined the conscious precipitate of this situation by his term “radical immanence”, by which he proposes a ‘crazy’ idea, an idea which departs from the typical rhetoric of self/other, or real/ideal/not real, or human/god, or any of many other discourses that ignore the binary confinement of their conceptions; he attempts to by introducing the “radical” element.

* *

I have been informed that Laruelle’s question is more correctly translated as “should humanity be saved”, And not, as i supposed earlier, “can” it be saved. This question can only stem from a sense that somehow humanity is in a precarious position. Such a question rightly framed must take from a position that has the possibility of saving within it: “should” propses that humanity can be saved- but should it ? It is useless and patronizing, if not downright theological, to pose such a question and not already have the potential to save within. The question thus naturally arises: “should it be?” ( more on this, also, later.)

But the ‘saving’ will not be excersized on the small scale; as he rightly notes, his is a displacing of conventional rhetoric, a radicalizing of the traditional base of binary conceptualizations, a decentering of real value. The value that is being displaced is that value that works toward its own destruction. But indeed, it is this value that only exists in reality, and not in truth. The question of “Should humanity be saved” already displaces the “humanity can be saved, if only…” rhetoric; but indeed the Real, as L might put it, answer is ‘maybe’, whereas the true, as i would put it, answer, the answer that has not yet been reached – evidenced by the effort in bad faith – is, ‘humanity cannot be saved’. This last is the ironic.

The fact that I might have come upon Laruelle emphasizes such a displacement.
But though L might say that this indicates the Real, I simply say that such a discourse is not real; It merely exists.

* * *

With that, I retire to the smoking room ( the outside) and ponder my next move.