If we are steadfast in our undertaking we will not labor our attitude of righteousness. Yet, we likewise must not fall back into the comfort of the easy way. The challenge is to indeed be challenged, and not to again be presented with another variation of puzzle, for by now the puzzles are seen to be transient extensions of our own process. Where they are not seen as transient, there what is critical is merely somewhat important, or at least the importance that makes for another puzzle. Let the big minds remain big, their importance emphasizing how important they are -how great their problems are! The purpose of critical thinking is to reach beyond what we believe, to question that which we are represented by, to not flinch when our status as an individual is threatened, go headlong into that heart of darkness, willing to give all unto the unknown.
Do I ask too much? Too often, I think so. The beginning of the Constructive Undoing admitted that barely anyone if no one will be up to the task of challenging reality, the nobility of individuality, that common of the hoard. Maybe it will take another two thousand years, but maybe only 150, maybe only 30. It is not for me to say. Maybe it will take no time at all. But how we love to have so little time.
The nonsense that appears to have been represented here and in the previous essays (Extreme Dialectic, in particular) either invites or it mocks. I am sure most everyone will have felt mocked; and many will suffice it to think that it has already been said and disproven. They have the next problem to solve. It is easy thus to tell one who has been mocked: they put up a defense, and assert their problematic identity. Indeed, I am talking about them but I am not talking to them. I am talking to you, you who have been thus invited. We thus depart.
Though this departure may be a bit sudden and crass manner, metalepsis is just this feature of communication that departs to leave parted and not to rejoin but to offer. Sudden, crass as a hit to our sensibility but delightfully ironic, the individual is challenged where the distance that typically intervenes for reading, between the author and reader, suddenly loses its quality; the boundary that flies up is noticed as the fault that it is, and fades. The words no longer are seen as coming from some ‘other’ human being, offending us, but are come upon as arising to your experience. What was unknowingly held as precious has been obtruded upon. Your will has been superseded.
Some may wish to classify this perceptive move a type of poetic mechanics, and perhaps, in the end, this is what ultimately we are involved with, a bringing about the function of poetry but without all the subjective interpretation, that is, without the need to bring what may be poetical (aside from the lyric) or metaphorical into the conventional definite; a specific intention apart from the material science. If I have found something to show you, and I want you to know of it, do I need to tell you of all the details about it when you are here? I can paint you a picture, even if it is with words, and you can see it how I see it. Can you not know what it is when I show it to you and smile with you in that coupling of mutual recognition? But when I show you, will you know it like I know it? How do you know? But I know. Barring all the conventional possibilities, the only problem that remains is then how to speak of it.
It is not necessarily a sales commercial or an advertisement like on the TV and magazines that invite you. Too much, perhaps, now do we take the you at a distance, so keen and suspecting we are, so witty and defensive. It is not ‘me’ it is speaking to, or if it is me, it is because I just happen for that need; I have been called, but not called upon. I have needed before, but such a call is beyond suspect; everything else becomes suspect. I have not heard myself in you. Not in collapse of reality but a restating of reality.
More may want to call this unto a type of spiritual-ness, and perhaps it is a type of spirit that arises, but the one who hears that ‘spiritual’-ness has done so only ‘in the spirit’ of spirit, so to speak. Who then will fall back into what they already know, and at this, for the sake of keeping us independent, individuals, common only in our strife? And not question it? Spirituality and thingFs of the spirit are so routinely spoken to be transformed into a type of feeling that one attempts to achieve, it is no wonder intoxicants are the way of the world; it is no wonder we behave so selfishly. No one really wants to work for it, but we are lead to believe that one must do just that: work to achieve a spiritual feeling to life. Perhaps, in such a discussion, we should speak of two kinds of work. This is not to say that the spirit may not be moved in that way, of a spiritual feeling; it is only to say that too often what is called ‘of the spirit’ is merely a feature of being human that allows for a plausible denial of the truth of human existence. Of the spirit should not push us back into our individual strife to hope, and we should not be forced to define ourselves in any manner. Call it ‘synchronicity’ ? But how much, even in our situating an experience in that way by that term, do we passively settle back into some unknown that only included us for a moment, to be defined. Or if we take it to heart, what of this heart isolates us? Deja vu? How do we still observe this moment? And hope? Even if we have a sort of spiritual center that takes such moments in stride as a part of the greater spiritual universe, how often do we still speak of gods and goddesses, elements, energies that define us for the world against which we can thereby be righteous and proper, maybe even the teacher of those seeking fulfillment? Again, it is not so much that such moments lack significance, but rather how we situate the significance in a difficult dialectic. Here then we might have gotten a clue.
Far too easy do most live. Yet, the other type of easiness, so usually missed, is then put into a derogatory difficulty or category of apathy or laziness, a defensive assertion perpetrated by those who have no clue. Everyone wants to be extreme except in the very activity by which they are even able to be extreme. We stop when the extreme just begins to get difficult. Everyone wants to work hard but everything in moderation. No one really wants to work, but they do want to call it work, to say they worked hard, especially when they are just playing around; when one really has to work, there is no calling it anything but doing – at least, the work that accomplishes anything. So we have those complacent who calculate risk and work at it so that everyone knows, and those who actually do risk, as their work is nothing more then they must do, that most everyone cannot help but being offended by because they do not say “I worked so hard”, even though it was the hardest work anyone could ever do.
“He who works, gets the bread.” But as we already know, this is not usually the case. Often it is he who does nothing, or he who takes the easy way, or he who scams another who gets the bread. Basically, he who loves deception and its conventional method typically gets the bread; the rest of us blindly uphold the goodness of humanity and maybe we get some bread and maybe we don’t – so is there really a difference? It seems just as well that we join them because we cant beat them.
In the world of the spirit, the spirit that is not spirit, though, Master Kierkegaard tells us, he who works gets the bread every time. So why is it that we work so hard for the spirit and only sometimes get the bread? Well; what bread are you after? Probably you are not merely wanting bread, but a specific kind of bread, or you already have an idea of what the bread is or supposed to be. This latter is what causes all the trouble, for usually we are not looking for the spirit, but merely what everyone seems to be meaning when they speak of the spirit. But not only this; because we are taking on faith what this spirit is from what everyone seems to be saying about it, we inevitably figure if we do what they do then perhaps we will get some bread. So we prod them for their method, practice it, yet still it comes at times and other times not. Then we work still harder for it, and the results are the same. Soon we just compensate for the inconsistency, the apparent failure, and the spirit becomes the method, a real practice of life. Like working out some spiritual muscle, we figure over time we will gain, most likely in retrospect, something along the lines of spiritual food. What we have actually done is given into the con game of those who would scam us so we can get the bread for ourselves – but the joke is that the method doesn’t work for them either – to get the true spiritual food: the bread of life – so we gain what we can and resort to calling it spiritual; we degrade (downgrade) the spirit into the mundane. For the truth is, he who works, gets the bread, every time. And what it means to work has been falsified: it should rather be said of it, “he for whom functions the spirit, gets the spiritual food”. If I am practicing a method, I have not allowed the spirit to function, but have only allowed the idea of spirit to behave as a thing to be had. One cannot be so timid; one must ‘go big’, as they say, and going big is to risk all that would create me from the methods of spirit, which is to say, the methods of men who have great ideas of how to achieve the spirit.
For those who do risk, we cannot balk at anything, even our own destruction. We are not satisfied with spiritual platitudes. You who are here now for this have just risked it all without even knowing it. The object has been compromised, and the subject has been blurred. The words become occasions for experience. Now, we just might be communicating. If not, well, you can keep reading too.
We continue beyond the tape – to hell with the safety protocols, the standing back – so that the aphilosophical discussion of non-philosophy may come about for their truth. It is a vacillation that occurs of being one then the other, of opening rather than fixating.
From here, we can begin to see how the usual configuration of duality, the subject and object, and or the one and the other, the one and the many, is disrupted and a more basic duality precipitates out of a necessary matrix of meaning; I have called this a situation of ‘conventional’ and ‘ironic’. This motion is similar to how Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophical quadripartite actually comes into play for aphilosophy. This can be formulated in the following manner: (1) subject-object basic duality; (2) reduction of duality to knowledge, which yields a ‘subsequent’ duality, the ‘subject-object’ reality in contrast to the reality determined in knowledge: the elimination of the objective; (3) the elimination of the subjective; (4) the radical and non-philosophical or the aphilosophical: the result of existence removed of the subject and object yet retaining effective human presence on the scene. The fourth move is an extension of the third but it should not be seen, as Laruelle seems to see, to be necessary; indeed, the secondary duality emerges in this restated duality as significant rather than radical. Hence, the first move is a non-philosophical repetition of convention, the second an aphilosophical reiteration of it.
Laruelle’s non-philosophical contribution can be seen as the last, or the ‘most minimal’ type of conventional overdetermination that can be permitted by convention, thus he determines his, what could be called, ‘passive-activism’, or maybe ‘active-passive-not-to-be-confused-with-passivity’, his radical unilateral duality, as the ‘end’ of philosophy. His terming of ‘radical’ this and that further shows this effort most poignantly; that it is an attempt to reconcile ironic and conventional realities but without acknowledging irony.
To appeal to the conventional methodology so as not to offend the conventional reality; most everyone is looking for or enjoys an Idea of a ‘more real’ reality, and Laruelle offers just that. Instead of the philosophical decision, which is argued, that informs philosophy, philosophical reality, or what I call conventional reality, that founded upon a dyadic structure, this base a methodological cision, Laruelle offers a ‘joining’, so to speak, a radical unity that he situates through destabilizing terms, succeeded through his much labors of hyphenation (See my Direct Tangent 6.9). By his situating ‘radical’ as the basis of his proposed coming to terms with what he ventures is Real, that is, of a more fundamental or more true reality, he evidences his position in conventional reality, having missed the ironic for the ‘vision-in-one’. Where the quadripartite misses the mark is by that which is polemical to the first, or usual subject-object duality, which thereby indicating a tripartite thus moves to a fourth. These then are upheld in an asserted more true reality that is described by him through a giving and then taking away, a, as I have said, disruption of usual conventional definition, as this is all proposed as a method of thinking or coming upon reality so as to be able to teach or otherwise make one aware of the more real Real, the true Reality. Irony is the complete and not repeated cision (aphilosophy reiterates the decision) of philosophy that conventional philosophy as well as non-philosophy refuses to respect. Irony is exactly the iteration of what is not conventionally real; it is the instatement of the Truth of unequal citizens in the world, where each is empowered to their own existence, as opposed to the universal Law of equality where each is disempowered to another’s reality. Where non-philosophy fails, as method, is in the teaching of inequality through a method implicit in equality: a ‘democracy of strangers’. Perhaps aphilosophy is more analogous to a republic.
Aphilosophy accepts the existential maxim of basic duality that resolves non-philosophically in unilateral duality: two truths at play that do not resolve in the other, but the one accounts for the other where the one excludes the other. Aphilosophy reiterates the conventional history; it speaks the same under a different rubric. The irony of a critique of non-philosophy should not be missed; there is no Real opposed to reality, but what is Real is indeed reality as they are different. Having missed it within the method of non-philosophy, the reader should not believe that non-philosophy ends anything, but rather announces aphilosophy – unless the ending and the announcement indicate the ‘poles’ of the unilateral duality. The ‘Future Christ’ of non-philosophy, itself a vision or conclusion of philosophy as utopia, the ‘man-in-man’, has all too conventionally taken the risk of offering the view of the ‘remainder of the term’ (see my essay “Aphilosophy, Convention, Faith and God”) yet from the quite secure position that is set in the last vestiges of the conventional boarderlands. To use an adage: Laruelle has not thrown away the ladder, but has stepped to the second from the top rung and from there is looking out beyond; but, of course, he should then only be able to see the ‘last’ true (subject-) object: the Future Christ. The irony comes when one understands that the proposed method is an effort of faith, of hope in the promise of humanity coming to terms with itself in existence; this is evidenced, as I have repeatedly said, in Laruelle’s statement or rhetorical question: “should humanity be saved”, for only a conventional methodologist would frame any meaning in such a manner, but likewise, it is evidenced by those non-philosophers who believe in the proposal of method as they attempt to stick to the method and end up speaking a poetry that they see as substantial and not metaphorical. The irony sets in when one sees that non-philosophy has merely used the wrong terms to situate the point of contention, but has indeed situated it due to its complete description of the issue and its proposed method; non-philosophy thus necessitates the ironic move that cannot contain nor is capable of presenting a method beyond its necessary re-presentation in conventional reality.
The Future Christ is thus the situation of meaning that stays in line with Spinoza speaking about God, miracles and nature as if he was simply addressing universal static situations of historical true objects. In contrast; when Spinoza is seen to be addressing a basic feature of the existing human being, then we can also see that Laruelle’s Future Christ is a term that gains reference from conventional reality, a particular scheme of meaning, an intrinsic mythology(we will discuss intrinsic and extrinsic mythology later), and that such a Christ is really an inevitable future manifestation or organization of humanity that is only Christ-like from the perspective of the conventional orientation upon the true object, progressive temporality, and that such a perspective is inherently unsuited to view the truth that stems from the point of contention, which is ironic, to say the least.
I can never say enough of my belief, but I can say that when I have said enough I will no longer have any beliefs except so much as I might need to still refer my daily decisions. Am I Christ, the Future? I don’t think so, but some might take it to mean an analogy, so they could be that Future Christ – oh – but only in a figurative way, here, let me describe to you the many intellectualized facets of non-philosophy. Ridiculous. Life goes on; human life goes on. We should not get too caught up in our Christlinesses of metaphor. Once you know you will never forget and you will begin to do only that which you do, though you may speak of it. But then, then again; how many will speak of it as if they do more than just do?