Excerpt from the Upcoming “The Philosophical Hack.”

An excerpt from my upcoming book “The Philosophical Hack“:

Deleuze through Zizek about the speech act and the Event.

 

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(This is a test of this voice feature of Word and iTunes.  I think going forward, I will slow down Alice’s cadence. And perhaps look to an app that does this text to voice a little better. )

Free Speech is Downstream from Territory. 

REBLOG HERE.

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I have pondered for a while what Soren Kierkegaard talks about. We can talk about his points elsewhere, but, as I have said elsewhere, my first concern with him was how what he wrote was so obvious to me right off the bat. Then subsequent to my first encountering him, I found that the general opinion is that his works are not very easy to understand; this perplexed me.

After grappling with the possibility and significance of this apparent direct and unclouded communication, I began to consider that this was not a universal human situation. What I mean is, when I spoke about this strange situation with other people, it likewise became obvious to me that they did not have the same experience with the text. It was not that they necessarily misunderstood K, or had a different opinion, rather, it was that I could tell that they had come to these understandings of K by a different manner than I did, a different route, and because of this different manner, they were evidencing, what I saw, as a basic misunderstanding of him; the understanding I had was somehow and oddly different. It was as if in considering a table, they were taking the veneer of wood grain as the truth of the material of the table, whereas the table was made of plastic; somehow I already knew the table was plastic covered by a coating made to look like wood.

Nevertheless, and despite the route and substantive meaning, I did find that a few people understood what I was coming to see: That this feature of Being human that K seems to strike so resoundingly, is not founded in a common human sort, but indeed must have arisen with a particular manner of knowing things; in order to understand what he is saying (that the table is plastic, not that he is describing the ‘plasticity’), one must have already had a sort of “informing primer”, so to speak. But this is not some academic educational listing of bullet points or necessarily involved study of the object-terms and definitional clauses of his essays; one must have had been informed underneath his awareness that certain things were the case, certain organizations of clauses, particular formations of of conceptual cement, if you will, that went into the kind of semantic scheme that one uses to even be able to understand anything at all. This must be the case because of the particular kind of event that must have been at work as the impetus for his work; for all his works talk about the same thing. I hypothesized that Kierkegaard’s writings are the product of a particular cultural manifest, and that part of this manifest is two ways of coming upon real things, that the manner that consciousness deals with the particular cultural appropriation of objects is to develop a bifurcated possibility of choice.

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When we get round the possibility that Kierkegaard himself is accessible through a consideration of all of his expressions taken as objective representations of his inner self, that someone we may get to know K’s inside from the outside, then we may begin to consider a different manner of understanding worlds. When we understand this is not merely a subjective manner of individual and separate brains coming upon an objective universe through different semantic organizations, but more a psychoanalytical situation, then we can also appreciate this post of the LINK above.  We can begin to see that cultural appropriation of objects is the common manner of consciousness operating; the various manners of maintaining of subject-object duality for the sake of an inclusive foundational category (human, world, universe, etc…) is but one manner of staking out territory for the purpose of speaking about things in a particular way. For the issue concerns when we might find and actual ground of universal scientific objectivity, against which humans have historically merely been in a “conceptual superstition”.

I was brought to Kierkegaard here because K speaks about such conventional territory as itself a territory where human beings are allowed only to think (or speak) about things in a particular manner, referencing particular and common ways of understanding objects: Belief and faith are the real operational manners through which a human being is supposed to present herself: We should be free and territorialized; but Kierkegaard seems to be speaking toward the out side of this kind of freedom. We can also find Delusional Guitar Players here (Delueze and Guattari –lol) with their de-ontology and de-territorial proposals. But the problem is then further aggravated when such “de-” is taken in stride to indicate a territory that is not territorialized (we could get into Francois Laurelle here); instead of describing a territory by which we inscribe ourselves as another unitive (albeit schizophrenic) entity, Kierkegaard perpetually places us in an authority that is again retracted from its (existence/post-modern) mechanistic horrifying present zen future modern human projection. The Delusional Guitar Players was describing a state that would quickly find itself, ironically, deterritorialized in its foundations, to be, basically, anachronistic except as a modern religious apology. Sure, sometimes we should be polite and mind our manners…

We are indeed still modern after all….

Zizek and the Event of the Past.

In his book “Event”, the chapter section ‘Connection 5.2’, Slavoj Zizek, in his usual manner of changing the stakes of the game in the middle of the game, discusses what he notes Delueze calls the “pure past”.

I think Zizek kind of fails at this attempt (at least we can safely excuse Delueze’s ‘Zennnnnnnnnnnn Ohhmmmmm’ descriptions for being too close to the Event). And this is significant because Zizek is famous for keeping his juggling balls in the air; I think he dropped one.

(around page 126)

…”eternal pure past which fully determines us itself subjected to retroactive change.”

“This perhaps, is the ultimate meaning of the singularity of Christ’s incarnation: it is an act which radically changes our destiny. Prior to Christ, we were determined by Fate, caught in the cycle of sin and its payment, while Christ’s erasing of our past sins means precisely that his sacrifice changes our virtual past and thus sets us free”

“…the real task of Caesar is to become worthy of the events he has created to embody.”

“…a kind of folding back of the condition onto the given it was the condition for: While the pure past is the transcendental condition for our acts, our acts do not only create new actual reality, they also retroactively change this very condition. “

First of all: When does this happen? I say, it doesn’t happen for everyone, that it only happens for some people. Explanation, even if it makes sudden sense to many people, does not ‘make it happen’ to them. It may allow them to deeply ponder the possibilities, but it doesn’t ‘make it happen’. More on that later.

Here (the quotes) is one moment where Zizek is just about losing it, has really no argument to make and such ‘fudges’ discourse to ‘push’ out a meaning. It really is discursive gymnastics, but this time he didn’t nail the landing. But it’s Zizek, so he can do those things and people just oooo and aaaa.

He is saying nothing there: He is putting out and taking away as if there is some residue of substance that remains in the motion.

The pure past as a condition which exists as a transcending condition which determines outcomes (eternally, atemporally), that actually places acts in the non-transcending reality, becomes changed by the very act of the act taking place as an act.

Sounds profound. But when one considers what it can mean as a possibility, which is to say, if we bring the meaning of the statement(s) into a field of meaning to try and have it compare to what is occurring in our consideration of it, it is actually saying that there is no ‘pure past’, or that the very notion of the ‘pure past’ that occurs in this way is utterly theoretical, and unconditional by its very nature (it is transcendent). We have to wonder then how we are even able to come to any understanding at all of what that can mean, since if the pure past is transcendent to the situation of the act, then how in the act can there ever have been a condition which transcends it? Only in a partial reality, one that defies Zizek’s psychoanalysis, can there be an aspect of something which transcends that same something.

We have only to conclude that we have found the opposite of what Z says earlier of the philosophical police that he talks about earlier: We are not in the business of finding where ‘nothing’ has been committed, in the effort to find the proponent of totality.

Our effort here is to find out where that totality has been breached, where ‘nothing’ is being posited as ‘actually something’. He has made an error by conflating his philosophical psychoanalytic with real (impossible) determinations. He has come upon an overt instance where, for his discourse to have weight, a totality and partiality must intertwine; so, where his psychanalytic is the situation of totality, he must be able to bridge totality into partiality in philosophical discourse. The problem here is that the only way he can do it is to resort to the transcendental aspect by which partiality is able to be partial; this is to say, he must leave his total psychanalytic world and admit that it is not a totality. In most of his discourses he does well at translating what is inherently partial (symbolic, imaginary) into what how it is not only real (unattainable and impossible to estimate or transcribe) but true (the description of the total system); his philosophy is that his Lacanese phychoanalysis can account for the totality in partial terms, which is to say he proposes to be speaking of reality but as well and most pertinent, all of human reality; this is his cultural theoretical part. But, in the effort here to describe how acts change the condition of past determinations, he has stepped too far out into the partial world that it becomes noticeable; the suturing, the discursive stitches can be seen.

We might come upon this view when we consider that we are not caught in an illusion of any sort, that from the psychoanalysis point of view, we come upon subjectivity through a total sense which designates as it marks off, coordinates as it distinguishes, every aspect of what we call reality. In this, we know what the past, present and future is, if only by mere convention.

Consider what Z is presenting here and what he is attempting to show. The Event, in this case, is the case of subjectivity as it has a past that determines the field of contingency which shows up in a life a reality. He is trying to show or describe that the past is changed as a necessary element of its constitution for a present subjectivity, and that this change is an Event, that this is what an event is. He is attempting this feat in light of what is usually understood as temporal order. The regular uncritical version of things is that events are understood laid down and fixed in their place, they occur and become manifested against the contingency of the present which occurs mediated through choice-act. Choice is commonly understood to fix variability into a specific and unchangeable state. The manner by which we go about life is that we make choices upon fixed situations, and these choices determine the condition of ‘future presents’ upon which choices will be then made.

Zizek, as usual, is disturbing this notion. He is saying that the act of choosing does more than determine a set of conditions for the future; he is saying that present acts change the past even while the past remains fixed in its determination, that the act (of choosing) also changes the condition of the past whereby we have a decision to make. In short, he is positing a blatant totality as partial, which is a weak move in one sense, and negating of the psychoanalytic he wields so well.

That is contradictory. If we are to remain in the true telling of a total reality (what Zizek does so well), we would like to be able not to notice blatant, unresolvable contradiction. What Zizek has done is presented us with such a contradiction and then fails to resolve or resituate it like he is famous for. He merely states the same contradiction in various ways, but he cannot get beyond the quite stubborn condition that the only way you can change an unchangeable state is to talk about a different state. Zizek is a master of transformation; the only way he can transform this particular state is to deny it, to use a smudging of discourse to appear like he is not merely saying outright that ‘here is another contradiction that I am resolving’; his talent is in showing us and thus transforming a state into a different state. Here, Zizek has merely used different phrases to show us that one and two are mutually exclusive but while saying that they are uniformly intersectional and interdependent. That is hardly the level of what we usually expect from Zizek and, frankly, clumsy and premature. But some situations cannot be glossed over, even by an expert glassier like Slavoj.

Good try.

Delueze and Drugs. 

DELEUZE AND DRUGS: against the marginals’ conformismThe immanent molecular and perceptive causality of desire fails in the drug-assemblage. Drug addicts continually fall back into what they wanted to escape: a segmentarity all the more rigid for being marginal, a territorialization all the more artificial for being based on chemical substances, hallucinatory forms, and phantasy subjectifications. Drug addicts may be considered as […]
https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/deleuze-and-drugs-against-the-marginals-conformism/

I freely admit that I have not read 1000 plateaus very thoroughly at all I’ve skipped around here and there…

I think the reason is is that to me it feels like he’s on acid on LSD. Granted he’s probably not tripping at the moment that he’s writing, but it just seems to me, and through my experiences I have become more able to trust my gut on certain things because most of the time when my gut says something and I’m almost trusting it, it turns out that it was right. So with Deleuze it feels to me that he’s took some good acid, and of course that he was intelligent of course, and that he saw the hallucinogenic experience as an arena to investigate. If you’ve ever encountered anyone who’s dosing really good, The way they talk, their rhythm, cadence, their rambling their associations and extrapolations sound like Delueze’s writings. 

The problem with this is that everyone who likes D will immediately jump back in defend him from the accusation that he might have taken drugs. I wonder how many people doubted Freud because he was on cocaine; Hitler himself was on meth. By what criteria are we judging rationality, intellegence and sanity? It is kind of offensive to me that people are so offended at the mention of drugs when it comes to intellectual pursuit. We read Freud as if he’s some sort of demi god of psychology and conveniently set aside his more questionable ideas (such as the protogrnitor) and that may have been due to the fact that he was on cocaine . in one instance wesort through our ethical filters that which might have been influenced by cocaine from that which was not, or we minimalize effect that the drug may have had. And another instance we say that the effect of the drug was pervasive; we look at Hitler and we go oh of course he was on meth amphetamine.

 Further; We listen to music from the 60s and 70s and say oh yeah everyone was taking drugs and they made great music, but we only have the recording’s for the most part of their good performances. We listen to Iggy Pop and we don’t see some fucked up junkie that’s playing shitty ass noise, we here powerful and emotional, real engaging art. We don’t hear all the other hundreds of Jimi Hendrix performaces solos that really may have kind of sucked; we only hear the ones in which his solos are really good. The great thing about the Grateful Dead is they have all their shows recorded; but more than this and what the wonderful thing about the grateful dead fans are is they understand about whole experiences, reality drugs performances good bad fucked up addiction recovery, death life… with the Grateful Dead you get the whole thing. You listen to the shows when they’re all apparently really high and I can’t play worth shit and you listen to it and you go that’s fucking rad because they’re fucked up and they’re playing like shit. Then you listen to other shows and they’re just on it and you go fuck yeah! 

We read Deleuze and we see some super intellectual philosopher and we read him through the window of perfection: ” he couldn’t possibly be on drugs because drugs are bad and they make you sound like shit and they make you think stupid things”. These are the types of philosophers that we need to arm against; these are the type a thinkers that would have a stay in institutionalize norms well supposedly arguing against them towards a more progressive and better future, even if they do that; because many will honestly argue a D construction or some sort of analysis of gloom and doom. Both these kinds of extremes are playing the middle. They want to sound like they have such a great open mind but really they’re vision is limited and small, law-abiding. 

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When you read D — aside from the fact that I think that he sounds like he’s on acid, or at least has had a good trip recently — he is talking about this very same thing in the extended passage that Terrence gave us. People want to take D through a “psychoanalytic philosophy” so to speak. They want to appropriate everything he says to psychoanalysis and the plane of psychoanalysis as D outlined it. But they don’t see it that way; and this is what D is really saying what is pointing out. In terms of D, they want to understand what are you saying by molecular without really applying the meaning of what he saying to their appropriation of molecular. They want to maintain their psychoanalytic identity and use the terms of molecular philosophy to stick their claim for reality. 

But back to my opinion of D being on acid: his works just sound to me like someone on acid. And I’ve had plenty of experience with LSD. If you haven’t then you won’t know and you won’t see it. And the thing is as D outlines in other areas of his work, there is no explaining to you how it is that I might have this opinion that he’s on LSD or has had a really good trip on acid and make you believe it. You will perpetually fall back into your experience of a general humanity in which your opinion of drugs are located in a certain offense. Only those with the most open mind will appreciate those who have had an experience that you have not had. I can’t proclaim to know anything about the American Indian experience, for example; I have to listen to them and I have to believe them and I have to trust them that what they are saying in a general sense it’s true even if it goes against my theoretical position of what is correct. Basically I have to allow myself the possibility to be wrong or at least lacking in some areas of intelligence. But when it comes to philosophy, for some reason everyone is a philosopher and everyone has equal access to philosophical things, this to the extent that there can be no exceptions; in the example of the philosopher who is never taking LSD, often enough that person will argue to the end to the reasonableness of doubt that he had ever taken LSD and stick to the fact that somehow he is intelligent without the need of drugs and completely missed the point that D is talking about with reference to the molecular and to drugs, but to psycho analytic posture in general.

It is interesting when you read D and G they are pretty much saying that only certain people will understand what they’re talking about; yet in almost every case everybody thinks they know what they’re talking about, yet everyone disagrees that is except so much as they’re involved in some sort of textbook reading about what they’re saying . And indeed once we understand the situation then we find that we understand the other philosophers of his time and the ones that came after him like Badiou and Laruelle in particular and the issues that they are addressing. 

Thank you Terrence for that little bit. The reason why I say also that I feel like D and G or too close to the event (philosophically speaking) is because they have to go on and on and on and on and talking about these aspects in a molecular fashion. Reality through the experience has degraded and fragmented to such an extent that all that is left is the molecules, molecules without context, and so they had to somehow assemble a sort of fundamental meaning that really their only gaining through feeling itself, through a kind of sensual appropriation, and they had to find a way to talk about it to create a context. But because they were so close to the event the context had to be described as a myriad of instances. They were involved in the experience of LSD and hallucinogenic’s most probably. And this is not to say that they are drug attics, but what they are saying really has given me an opening to talk about addiction and recovery. Because they weren’t drug Addicts, but we’re actually having a particular experience of the dissolution of reality. I think D here in this excerpt is really saying that the drug addict is confined by psycho analytic confinements, what I generalize to say real structures of discourse. Whereas if the addict where to see the molecularization of their situation, it might be possible that they wouldn’t be drug attics but would be nearly have an experience that pertained to drugs in a particular fashion. I’m not sure if this is totally true in the rough fashion I just put it here, but at least they took a step into philosophizing about an actual experience that isn’t the interaction of nations and political strategies and terrorism and these large ideological framings of power.