Freedom is the element of love

Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher and so-called “father” of existentialism was born today, May 5 in 1813. To celebrate, I share this essay …

Freedom is the element of love

————- After speaking with a coworker about how to deal with a patient, he replies “Is love a thing?”

Happy Birthday S.K. !

The Simplicity of Substance and the Lengthy Post

I have been re-approaching philosophical ideas that have long held a deep significance for me. Because my life has been basically informed by an incessant and consistent questioning of what I am coming up on, I am finding that I am merely continuing to be what I am, which is, for a term, in motion.

I think this last round of doubting comes about because I am realizing that I am more concerned with actual people than I am with my ability to think great thoughts.

Now, what is strange about this is I am intensely antisocial in general while at the same time at ease with being social in a certain context or a certain framework. I generally hate people (groups) but I love and am very concerned with people (individuals). 🌏

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This is very Zizekian, from the Zizekian standpoint of media/ideological primacy:

“I do not love the world….I pick and choose who and what I love.”

So far as “the world” might be an ideological fantasy established through magical symbols, Zizek, the critical theorist/media critic-turn-philosopher states unequivocally that “love is evil.”

What he means by this is that we are persuaded by an existential anxiety which pervades the maintenance of the fantasy– that is, due to our investment in the truth-value of the fantasy (the value is gained because it prevents us from having to encounter that which we are most of afraid of: the dissolution of the fantasy, or death) — to love the world, to extend an ideological hand out into the grandiose narcissist world because the idealism inherent of the fantasy is we are ‘in this together’, so to speak, individually yet identically.

The modern individual is ethically bound to, at least, trying to love the world. But in the whole, he doesn’t have a clue how to actually love his sisters and brothers around him. The imaginary world establishes intuitive subjective barriers which serve to maintain the ideological modern identity at all costs against his neighbors, while extending out ideals to the “universe” or “the world” where we all must try to get along.

So; yet in truth he denies what is really occurring; which is, we are all being selfish and choosing certain universal things and people to love, and not really loving the world.

It is this tension of modern subjectivity we deny through the institutionally normalized and sanctioned “state of” anxiety which then in relief shows our ultimately ‘sinful’ nature: “In despair to will to be oneself” (as Kierkegaard puts it) is the condition of the modern man concept of love which avoids its true nature: hence, it is evil because it is an ideologically sanctioned “global” love that misses the intimacy that we generally misconstrue in the notion of agape, or man’s love for God. Since, God in this modern sense, is indeed a “usurper” god which takes the place of brotherly love to which agape would otherwise return to reflect in God itself, that is, in the world.

Zizek is, of course, referring to the modern ideal of love by which humanity defers itself and by which humanity is regulated to its conceptual ability.

Beyond the ideological love, by reflection, any love of a transcendent world is a narcissism, a pathological version of the human being. While within the fantasy, the narcissism is justified through the fantasy erected by trauma and told or narrated as “just human” , the “all too human” who takes on little responsibility for his actions, while erecting layers of intellectual and ideological facades in grandiose defense of them. Hence, the love that is evil is indeed, on one hand, a carnal love based in the libidinal control of the ego which then moves to impose or identify itself with the super-ego material norms: the subjective ideological identity.

Yet on the other, love is evil from the transcendent standpoint because the love I would have for the world that is my sisters and brothers, that is, not put off to a mere grand idea, is an evil and absurd activity.

So ironically, items that I pick and choose to love are in or of the reality that I cannot but be involved with– this is an evil manner of doing things. Hence, I do not love the world from Zizek’s standpoint of an ideological (media critique) analysis.

But indeed. I should not love the world in this way, so I don’t. Instead, I pick and choose to thus remain consistent and cohered to that which is the fantastic manner by which I must apprehend the ideological world.

The true love I profess is not modern, thus from the modern ideological standpoint, it is evil.

I won’t go on.

(Please don’t) 👨🏽‍🚀

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Read: The Philosophical Hack

Oh Kaay!

I finally took a minute and got some things in order.

THE OBJECT OF THE SUBJECT : The Second Part of the Philosophical Hack  is available in EPUB HERE. 

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                 and in paperback HERE.

THE PHILOSOPHICAL HACK: The First Part is available HERE in paper back.

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“The Philosophical Hack a hack into philosophy. A hack in one sense is someone who knows how to use the technology but nevertheless assembles useful objects in non-conventional manners. A hack is someone who adeptly utilizes standard methods but is not employed to make marketed products. Yet in another sense, a hack is a repeated application of a specific yet broad algorithmic protocol upon a closed problematic space. The role of the hack is at once to disrupt and to consolidate. The hack is a check on the security of closed functional systems, as well as the impetus for its growth. Defining this problematic space through a careful assault on weak points in the philosophical facade, Nathaniel offers us a way into a “science of philosophy”.  Mr. Nathaniel is writing to a wide intelligent audience. It is written in such a way that the philosophical mind will not be ostracized but will indeed be challenged. It is indeed a philosophical hack.”

 

Using Slavoj Zizek’s EVENT! as a platform, Nathaniel moves us beyond Zizek’s more political subjective confines into an object orientation.  Graham Harman, of noted Object Oriented Ontology, posits that knowledge either speaks to what a thing is made of or what it does, and that while we need knowledge to exist and to thrive as human beings, cognition is not exhausted by knowledge.  Objects, in this sense, exist at once as present and withdrawn.

Further, he suggests that philosophy is not only about knowledge, not only about what what objects do and what they are made of, but about the love of wisdom. 

He also tells us that Object Oriented Philosophy includes the human being as an object, what Nathaniel calls a universal object.

Setting up a few steps back from Harman’s front, and in Harman’s terms, the Philosophical Hack sets up the contours of a philosophy as an effort of love toward or involved with wisdom. Nathaniel thereby begins to lay the groundwork toward a hopefully more substantial and meaningful practical philosophy for mental health and counseling.  In this new understanding, the conventional and traditional modes of human Being, such as science, biology, psychology, religion, and spirituality, as well as the traditional philosophical theoretical (as many we know) constitute contributing components of the object that is the subject.

The Philosophical Hack is the beginning of a philosophy which includes other disciplines to form a more coherent and seamless cognition of what the human being actually is as a universal object infinite in its involvement with other objects, as opposed to what the human Being is able to be as a transcendental and special phenomenal subject limited in its ideological nothingness.

This new way is to retain everything, as opposed to excluding.

#mentalhealth, #objectorientationcounseling, #truth, #loveofwisdom

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Again with this Love?

…Here Kate spells out the truth of Densher’s betrayal: he feels guilty, and refuses to profit from Milly’s death, not because he doesn’t love her and is for this reason unworthy of her gift, but because he does love her—not while she was alive, but from the moment she died.

— from “The Parallax View” by Slavoj Zizek used in the post by Neotenionos

The difficulty of speaking about love in the sense that Zizek wishes to convey in this segment is that the manner we have to use language is close to, what we can call, the point of contention in discourse. The meaning is quite similar to what Jaques Derrida attempts to convey, and even Theador Adorno, both who attempt to grant examples reflecting definitions in one setting. For conventional philosophers, it is that arena where ‘discourse’ begins to collapse into the space that brings an equanimity that is called demonic in one sense, and ridiculous in the next, nonsense to those worried about stature, and undifferentiated contradiction in still the next.

Where Zizek does succeed, though, is at remaining in the exact middle of what we could call, and as well locate through understanding the views inscribed by parallax, two states. The psychoanalytic of Lacan allows for an inscription upon the text of history; unfolding as contradiction (Adorno), Zizek represents an understanding that is repellant, or rather, that those who would understand him specifically or particularly are unable and indeed incapable of grasping, so offensive (Kierkegaard) to what we generally call the Real world. Zizek speaks, thus, the break, the gap, but in doing so manifests an historical-politcal moment that founds itself through the engagement with it (capitalism), since this engagement that does not see its own offense but instead understands the offense through the context of excess, perpetually finds itself drawn into this moment even as it resists and reestablishes its own mass (substance) and thus gravitas (objective identity).

We might see now where we are being lead even now.

We should not shy away from Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophy, and for a quite similar reason that we often confidently engage with Zizek even while we are effectively repelled. Slavoj does not often (at all?) engage with Laruelle, and the most probable reason is because Laruelle represents the explanation of the Hegel-Lacan-Zizek psychanalysis that effectively places it outside of the frame in which and through which Zizek works so fluently; the frame that most others think they can expose, confront, challenge and overcome through various agencies, Zizek knows is unassailable, yet he behaves concordant with the rules presented with any particular moment of how the frame is being challenged; he cannot but do so. This is the point that is so offensive.

The significance of this segment is in that Densher “refuses to profit from Milly’s death, not because he doesn’t love her…but because he does love her”. This is what is offensive to the conventionally oriented philosopher/critic. It is not that he is not choosing to profit; it is that due to his love that was not real love during her life, but only after, that by virtue of her sacrifice he is only able to love then, which is to say, because thereby does he realize how much she loved him. He there by is already sentenced, but it is a sentence that he suspected all along, and one that only now, once she dies, comes to fruition. The trauma of guilt is relieved by Kate helping him to be honest. He will be then the post-traumatic subject who no longer “lives” and yet is still alive, one who no longer ‘exists’ within the ethical confines that the love that was in bad faith had defined. He is thus free to love beyond the confines of ethics, his ‘punishment’ is that he cannot choose to escape this situation: He is free.

If Denser profits, then it is because he could do nothing else, thus, it is in effect no profit (profit depends upon the ability to notice a distinction, which needs a space for choice, a situation with excess, with room to move), and as well, a noticeable point of contradiction in the fabric of sensible (structural) space.

Love and the Truth Procedure (second try)

This post is my attempt to answer the question that Agent Swarm put forth in his recent post, which I reposted just before this post. 

Q: “Why is the truth procedure that includes love called “love”?, which should not go without saying. Why should “love” (the truth procedure) include psychoanalysis but not religion?

Q: “Why is “love” a matter of the Two and not one of multiplicities and metamorphoses?

We already know that any situation that can be spoken about always resides within what we could call a ‘phrase universe’, ala Jean-Francois Lyotard. There is no discussion about this; it is or it isn’t. If it is not then the person does not understand the notion. This is because the question is always “If there is something beyond discourse, then what is it?” How can there be something without using a series of terms (clause; phrase) ? If there is something outside or beyond discourse, then it is completely negligable and does not concern human beings.

Now, the misinterpretation of this maxim is founded in what we can call ‘speculative method’, which is to say, human beings get to use their imagination to come up with things that could exist outside of discourse. It misses the bare fact that as soon as we come to posit “that which is beyond discourse” we have collapsed the supposed realm of what is beyond discourse to discourse. This is why we can speak of ‘philosophical denial’. But more: It relies on retroactively appropriating the question of discourse for a central human agent-thinker who then uses this privilege for the purpose of placing all real things under this human privilege; in short, it places everything that can possibly exist (discourse) as a mechanism of meaning which can then, by default of a total inclusion of all agents, say that even the idea that everything exists as a function of discourse can then produce actual real situations that can exist outside of that maxim. It is a distortion as well as a deceptive act of production and a symptom of the decadence of conventional philosophy.

It is within this context we must find what I call the ‘founding term'(I think it is Delueze that also wrote about this very same idea; but it goes to my point that regardless of Delueze (or whoever) the issue does not concern what a history of tradition/conventional philosophical thought might have posed, because it is always available to anyone who already understands the situation at hand). Within any phrase universe there can be found a pivotal term whereby the whole argumentative structure finds its meaning. The whole of conventional philosophy resides upon a comparison of phrase universes, and the finding of the foundational term that enjoins (enframes) the two (or more) universes such that they may be compared in the first place. The mode of operation of conventional philosophy, though, is to deny the idea of the founding  term, as well as phrase universes, for the sake of its functioning; this is to say, that if the only thing conventional philosophy is doing is working toward the foundational term (the ‘end’ of any reduction), then such philosophy cannot be really discovering anything true, because upon finding the foundational term one is then left to find another universe by which to then reduce this ‘found’ term to a further reduction; this is the basis of post-modern multivocality and such. And, if this is all that is occurring then philosophy as an activity could be said to be basically spinning in its own slop. Such it is that the ideal that must go into philosophical work must be one of progress, and of establishing what is actually true of the world, in other words, reality. Conventional philosophy thus is so concerned with ontology, and thus we eventually find that philosophy must pivot from finding out what is actually true, to talking about what is merely philosophically real, and this then is nothing but establishing a metaphysical truth despite the emptiness that exists all around such argumentative descriptions. We find that there is a certain multiplicity that is concerned only with religious position and the identity of the acting free agent. We find then that there are two independent functions that collapse in the encounter with each other, and toward and within whichever effort would have brought itself to such a moment of contradiction. This moment cannot reveal itself unto itself, but only establish itself in the denial of the effectiveness of its dialectical opposite.

Badiou discovers and admits as much, and this is because he cannot but be involved with the dialectic. If we are to escape from the ever-presence of conventional gestures put to work for the dogma of ontology (religion), we must be talking about the bare Being in the world and not some special universal situation of ontological unity (cosmology of reality).

Further, we should not miss Badiou’s complicity with a Zizekian notion: Love is Evil. The whole dialectical appearance in history cannot contribute to a pinning down of its own irony. Hegel can never be underestimated and the motion involved that he describes will always yield the moment of contradiction wherein we must investigate (what I call ‘contradiction of non-contradiction’, and what Adorno notices as well). The method that would place a centrally stable conscious entity through which all things retain an ethical universal validity as well as veracity, will always miss the oscillation of ethical terms; i.e. what is evil should always qualify to ‘evilness’ under a strict objective logical application, and what is good likewise; essential categories must exist within a humanly identifiable matrix of meaning such that good and evil may retain means to be known as such; evil cannot be good, nor good evil, except as ethically justified, again, within a scheme that denies its own foundational terms. So it is not difficult to want to find a term that could avoid these ethical mandates yet while retaining the ideal whereby good and evil could be justified.

Hence we find the the foundational feature of everything that must ‘be’, could be called ‘love’, and at that, upheld within its own dialectically ironic theme that defies the perpetual want of philosophy to reify its ontologically real (and discursively argumentative) structures.

Likewise; “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”. Religion (real ontology; cosmology of real things, their organization unto the totality) should be left unto its own devices as real estimations should be left to its own method of negotiating real (politics, ideologies, etc) situations because –and this is the idea where everyone gets pissed off and offended — such people who are involved with using metaphysical truths by which to situate contingent discourses to thereby discover real (social, cultural, political, ideological) solutions de facto are not involved with what we loosely may call ‘psychoanalysis’, for they are involved with functioning though these operations and cosmological structures and behaving within them as omnipresent and immanent truths (zizek: frames): They react within such real structures because they are incapable of understanding anything else; as we say, they behave within the tenants of their faith. Yet they cannot simply decide to step aside from their faith to thereby consider psychoanalysis; only in the destruction of their faith are they able to begin to consider if their faith was the problem. In most cases, their faith was not destroyed, but is again used to justify the distracting event into the total reality20140103-000828.jpg that is their religious faith.

I think I have put forth a good general proposal of why Badiou talks about things the way he does and have justified such postures: It is because he is involved with the dialectic despite whether or not he speaks of traditionally dialectical issues.

Note: Of this dialectic, I am not excluded from They.  

Thoughts of God, the Dialectic of Faith and the Conventional Bias.

As we move into the process of constructively undoing the presumptions of method that present to us the problem-filled world of reality we all know, for which we recourse to hope, it may be well that you need not venture into that heart of darkness all alone. Otherwise, at minimum, you should see that it is only on the precipice that the abyss seems endless; we need no longer cringe back into the bliss of faith. One may proceed as in a liturgy, but where the call and response of priest and congregants are removed from any hierarchical or proper structure, the hymnal and ‘Good Book’ consigned to discourse, the priest extraneous, its voice from the outside, an unnecessary element, and the congregants likewise lose their imperative compulsion to supplicate. Neither does the arrogance of righteousness cloud the firmament of heaven.

Considered much, and ventured far from civility, it is often difficult not to speak the truth; I am sure it is with you. Bias is only mitigated through faith, so we have first to deal with situating the conventional bias.

The truth exists through the dialectic, as one is thereby placed within it. So, we should situate what is meant here by the dialectic; here I tend away from Aristotle, more toward Hegel. I call into play here an idea developed by Jean-Francois Lyotard: the differend. We might see that his is an extrapolation or possibly re-presentation, a re-iteration of what Hegel presented; yet i would go so far to say that most, what is called, Continental philosophy, if not all philosophy in general, is merely a re-presentation of the point of contention.

Lyotard’s moves and layout of the necessary reprecussions of his designation are not entirely pertinent here; this is because his project exhibits problematic limitations (which I will more thoroughly address) that can be discerned by his situating the dialectic as part of a total phrasing by which he poses the differend. Breaking with his inherent boundary, a boundary that forces significance in polemical fashion ( a differend of itself), I shall call the differend that aspect of discourse that cannot be accounted for within conventional discussion, but nevertheless is involved ironically. It is not a basis of such discussion, nor a given, nor a ‘decision’ of the like of Francois Laruelle; in fact it is the converse of the philosophical decision, and not un-akin to the non-philosophical method, so to speak. A differend is that which stands ‘in the way’ of discussion; it grants the discussion from the person that reaches out to an other in order to establish a common ground. A differend is that by which a discussion about the nature of reality and existence may take place and have credence beyond the division of labor. It is also the assumption of what is common between participants where the assumption carries no weight for the discussion due to the differend allowing for faith by its absence. A differend is a means for accounting for truth; it is a way ‘I’ can account for ‘you’ as well as you, I, as well as we, the world. Thus, complicit yet skew to Lyotard’s situation, we should see that a true dialectic occurs, not between two parties in an attempt to locate or discover truth, the process based in faith (bad faith), rather, it occurs of the first party in relation with the differend of the presented discussion, such that the differend is the only ‘thing’ that remains constant through the real scheme of negotiated truths, that which brings the discussion of two parties indeed to a common ground. In this way or effect, the differend is what likewise presents, in relief, what I have termed the conventional methodology for truth, that which supplies the ‘true object’.

“Be not discouraged” is operative. In the dialectic, we come to terms with this, for an object is an obstacle that brings in its relief the irreconcilable damages that then require the reasonable doubt for which faith is demanded, the judgement of the court.

The philosopher Bertrand Russell has given us a pretty good rendition of the issue of the ‘true object’, but I shall attempt my own. I present an object, and ask, “what is it; that thing there in front of us? How shall I define it?” Maybe I begin by describing its functions, then its characteristics. Have I succeeded in granting what, say, a chair is? The person next to me says, well, you have given me qualities of that thing there, but im not sure you have conveyed what a chair is; I know what it is, but i wish to communicate what it is. So then maybe I go to a dictionary, maybe an encyclopedia. Still, the person is not convinced. We are looking at a chair, we both call it a chair, but I have not succeeded in granting to him what a chair is, beyond an incomplete description of that thing that somehow is common between us. In fact, I can continue to describe aspects of that thing and I will never get to a complete description of it. Then, besides whether or not the thing ‘the chair’ can be described enough to grant it, there are also questions that bring into question that there is really a thing that corresponds with the label ‘chair’. For example, if I say ‘a chair has four legs’, one may ask if a table qualifies as a chair, and I could say, yeah, if I sit on it then it could be a chair. But if you don’t sit on it, can it still be a chair?

This is the situation of every object. It is not a situation of subjective, personal or individual realities, but neither is there an absolute qualifier for what a ‘chair’ is beyond knowledge. This is the idea Kant expounded upon when he concluded there is no knowable object “in-itself”, that objects exist entirely within or of knowledge. His analysis goes much further in depth, situating terms and discussing the outcomes of the apparently logical ordinances that then arise, than our discussion here requires. Yet, we should see that his analysis involves a differend that implicates at least two ‘things’, an object in-itself, the chair in our example, as well as a ‘brain’ or ‘mind’ (a subject, un-problematized) that is deduced as incapable of overcoming the epistemological wall (the object problematized); this situation, then, presents a fundamental duality, a given that then allows for its own denial, a forgetting, so as to allow his presentation. Though his effort concerned establishing a ‘better’, less superstitious, metaphysics, he succeeds ironically in perpetuating the same (see my subsequent post).

The key to breaking this epistemological nightmare, though, where what surely appears to me as a true thing is actually not so true, at least, in so much as I might want to convey it to another person, is the third party. In the third party lay the responsibility of truth, there resides truth’s criterion. It is the problem of the third party that reveals one’s orientation upon the object. Orientation concerns the differend. In contrast to the dialectic as I situate it above, but projected toward what Lyotard calls “the referent”, what can be called the object, where the thing or object is taken as self-evident, as containing aspects of itself that human beings through some method can then know as true (for example, the proposed objects of conventional dialectic and discourse in general) as well, where the subject is localized by the individual for the sake of the substantiation of the individual – in other words, where there is no deferend worth mentioning – we have then the ‘true object’. Where the situation of knowledge concerning communication is mitigated or denied for the sake of having a true thing, due to the ‘displacement’ of the individual into reality, there we also have faith.

The overlay of ideas that accounts for the dialectic of faith concerns the subject as the subject no longer is distinguished through the conventional methodology as equivocal to the individual. What then emerges through this differend is a real assertion of the priority of the individual that henceforth can be called the ‘subject-object’.

Hence; what we deal with can be understood through the following possibilities:
(1) Faith: The relation between transcendent-immanent (God) and human involving a total reality of the created universe (of objects);
(2) Faith: The relation between (1) and the subject-object, which is to say, the individual of conventional reality;
(3) The effective differend of (1) and (2).

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With the foregoing in mind, I begin with a quote from an ongoing discussion of comments for the previous post “Issues and Existence”:

– “For example: I discover I have terminal cancer. I have heard that God loves me, and I have heard that God is all-powerful. Given these “truths,” I can’t imagine why God would not cure me of cancer, so I ask him to cure me.
Why does a request like this not get answered with a cure 100 percent of the time?

If I understand The Bible’s rendition of our story, this world is no longer the world that God created or intended. God has a plan to restore creation, but His Death-to-Life Project moves directly through death.

So, I think a short answer to the question is that God is leading humanity on a difficult — but hopeful — route through a ruined world“.
.”

Since the idea of faith is so tied up with Christian ideology and cosmology, I’m gonna give a list of ideas mentioned in the excerpt that I have difficulty with:

– god intends.
– god loves
– god restores creation
– god is leading humanity through a ruined world

These above statements present most poingnoantly the problem I’m treating. The statements indicate one statement. I’m going to skip over that it relies and implicates a ‘Divine Power’ (obviously), and go to what is most significant: It exactly ‘presents’ a proposed absolutely true object, God, and beckons the human being away from the world. It confirms the problems of humanity, that a human being cannot but have problems, that is, that the ‘problems’ are universal (again, a proposed ‘true object’) and so all human beings deal with problems the same way; which is to say, they have a common mode of psyche that defines humanity as such – saying this without a speck of irony. God thus ‘intends’ better for ‘all’ humanity because humanity is taken as another common true object amoung other objects of a true universe (God at the ‘top’ as creator of true objects) with absolute definitive qualities and having ‘difficulty’ being such because it is human nature in-intself, as human nature is defined by the ability to choose out of thier (problematic) sinful condition through ‘repentance’ and belief, this idea being totally misconstrewed in the idea of free will. The correspondence between these two true objects (the ‘equal’ and common true object called the human being and the true object ‘God’ that intends and tends for that humanity) must indeed be one of faith as I have described, and bridged in Christianity by belief in Jesus, instead of relieved through knowledge of what is said of him. I would suggest reading, or re-reading Nietzsche.

I would prefer to say “God is love”. If there is a heavenly or divine aspect that human beings can be involved with, it must be love. But this has nothing to do with “why God would not cure me”, except that one is involved with an orientation upon the world that requires of him (the individual), for the sense that one can have of it, to think of oneself as partial to oneself essentially, that is, as having elements of themselves that can be separate from other parts, such as, my self, what people like to call ‘ego’ (which is a most appropriate idea here), separate from God. Only through this type of denial can ‘a God’ love, and by extension or retraction, love the individual.

We can begin to situate how conventional reality lacks in irony by considering what
Slavoj Zizek has said about love:

(You can also google ‘Slavoj Zizek on love’, if the link doesn’t work.)

In listening to Zizek, one should see that how he frames his bit is the same that frames the differend with its referent, so to speak, that the universe is contained or accounted for as a totality in this framing. Thereby, if there is a ‘good’, as one might inscribe a whole universe, ‘inclusivity maxima’, where all is ‘come over’ by a total ethics, where the impetus (non-impetus?) is toward or completed, resolved, in ‘goodness’, then it is what can be understood as a ‘beginning-and-but-end’, or perhaps, a ‘creation’, and ‘good’ is the purpose or reason in a ‘returning to’ (reckoning). Love is then the proposed motion of this return. Against the ‘beginning’, as what has begun thereby separates what has set out from its beginning, and what at one time began is now separated from, Zizek says, “love is evil”.

We are situated in a world that we supposedly all know. Some people who proclaim themselves as a sort of activist, or maybe spiritual advocate for whole-ness, of a whole world, say they love the world, while others of a more pessimistic nature might say they hate the world. But these postures reflect the very position of ‘being set out’, of having the inherent ability gained by their being ‘not whole’. By the fact of the phrase, as Lyotard might put it, such sayings present the world as separated, as ‘not good’, as ‘evil’. By the sayings or assertions of position (presented presentations: representations), those seek to overcome the discrepancy involved in the having to say ‘I love…’ or ‘I hate…(the world)’. The sayings present thus a ‘longing’ that cannot be resolved – except through faith. Thus Zizek is saying “We do not love the whole world…(rather) we pick and choose what we love” through the phrases as they indicate a referent (the true object); the condition of such referent is, though, insolvent, and is thus termed expressions of the evil that resides in the world.

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If ‘creation’ means its most exstistant meaning, as opposed to its existing meaning, then there is nothing to restore; rather, every moment restores what was lost through itself. This is the dialectic, the truth found within. To bring in ‘a God’ destroys so it might redeem; when one reads many Gnostic texts, we get a glimpse of how they situated this possibility in discourse. (By the way, Laruelle attempts to reiterate this meaning without reifying the Gnostic dogma or the textual form of analysis {hermeneutics}.) In most religious-type systems, such ideas typically are found in ‘secret”; this includes Judaism. The God who creates the world or universe is seen to have revolted from an earlier ‘God’ from which the ‘creator’ came. If I recall, at least in one Gnostic text, this creator-god is seen to hold the world in a lie, and proclaims upon his creation “you will have no other Gods before me”.

From another angle, if you think about it, one must ask, why would a god who created all the heavens and the earth need to make a law, to command his creation not to have any other gods?

The ‘ruined world’ must be that human situation where such a commandment is necessary. So it is that with the presentation of the commandments we have already the ruined world. But there has been no ‘progress’. There has only been the situation of the ‘one and the others’: the one, such as Moses or Jesus, who has knowledge, and the others, who need or have faith. The ones of knowledge need no faith, they know the truth; creation is manifest; creation exists. Only for those of faith does creation need to be restored, because ruination is their own, but denied for the sake of faith. The restoration never occurs because the situation is the situation of existence, not of conventional history, not of the true past toward a fulfilled future. The movement of such history is entirely of knowledge, spoken synchronously, the subject separated from the individual projected into humanity and extended as hope in time. Thus the movement of history is the movement of humanity involved in this dialectic, the discussion founded upon the responsibility of the third party, and how this is situated for meaning; there is nothing beyond this aspect. This is to say, the movement of what is beyond is ironic; so much as history is extended in time as the discrepancy and dynamic of knowledge and faith, what is beyond is beyond distinction in this way: It is contradiction in truth and paradox in meaning. It is that which contradicts while affirming that is existence, and in this way, is offensive to conventional truth: the truth is absurd. That which contradicts and is offensive to conventional faith is that we merely are meaning-making creatures; what is absurd is that this reduction allows for meaning that arises from such meaninglessness, the truth of reality in faith: the double voice.

What we can have of the differend is the distinction between knowledge and faith, instead of the relation that is revealed of knowledge and faith that tends toward a speculative metaphysics of conventional reality. The difference is located in whether all the facts are accounted for without offense or not. What is not offensive to the conventional method, the reason why metaphysics is so alluring, is that it is involved with, indeed, making progress. Whether such progress is marked by technological, scientific, economic, emotional, mental, religious or other objective genres makes no difference because they are all motions of the conventional methodology of reality, of the individual of objects, all motions posited in faith. I submit that humanity, the conglomerate or constituency of human beings, of faith is being lead nowhere. What is ‘difficulty’ is being free and alone in a hostile world, and this then beckons a faith in hope as purpose. But likewise, what is difficult is the knowledge of what is true against the multitude of faith. The one of knowledge thus is not alone in a hostile world, but free against the hostility founded through the ones of faith. His difficulty is that he knows the truth and thereby is lead; the problem then is how to come to terms with the people of faith. The problem here then, is how the differend is situated in reality. The differend has to do with absolute presentation of the situation, not so much the phrase or its existant or substantive role in context, but rather as i have said, the issue is the term.

*

Tangent 5.16

TANGENT 5.16

I figure it prudent and sensible at this time to take a tangent, aside from the direct Laruelle-nonphilosophical discussion.

And back up..

What am I doing here in this blog, these posts? What am I addressing?
I have said the basic issue is duality. But though this can appear as a beginning, at times it can appear in the middle. So perhaps, a more beginning beginning.

As I proceed to live life, I merely live. I do, I think, I ponder, I solve problems, I interact with people and things, I process information, I have emotions, I encounter physical problems, I get sticks rammed through my toe when I step on them, I get scratches from my dog with untrimmed claws, I love my wife, I have sex, I love my child, I play silly games and hopefully give her a good basis by which to proceed into the world, I live life. Philosophico-crtiquo-thinkers seem to forget these basic aspects of life and the world; it is as if they live in a fantasyland, as if their fantasy is true.

As a thinker, I attempt to reconcile all these experiences to a sensibility, an understanding, reasons for things happening, I make decisions, I move into the world. I hear, feel and experience other creatures, human and not human, I discuss things big and small with others. I talk about sports, I talk about planets, climate change, culture, religion, politics, I hear opinions, I give them mine. As a critical thinker, I attempt to explain all these things and events. I consider how it is possible that there is someone else, what their opinions mean and what it means that I can consider their opinions; I attempt to describe the truth of the matter of life and existence.

Being involved in this process, I am inevitably brought to truth. I could lie or fabricate a sensibility, a description, and then I would be involved with literature or popular fiction. If I am programming a computer, I cannot string together random strings of code and have the computer do anything with it except reject it, or do nothing with it. I am not programming a computer here, but it is a good analogy: remaining with the principle of truth, I am limited in what I can say and have it be sensible.

In this process, then, I have to consider every facet of experience, I cannot leave out anything. I have to fully accept everything, and in this acceptance I further have to doubt it all. I have to put through the ringer every notion, challenging every idea with all possibility of rebuttal. I cannot cringe or run away from distasteful events or ideas. I have to account for my past, present and future, my idea of it, that this idea is an idea, and I have to be able to reconcile this to the fact that I am here now thinking about it, writing about it. I have to consider what a tree is, the meaning I have of it, what other people know of it, that there are other people, how this might be possible, and how this might be communicated.

My task is to make sense of it all, but not only that, I am in an effort to communicate it to others.

This is a most daunting task indeed.

One could say the biggest problem I have encountered has to do with what I could call ‘compartmentalization’. It has to do with being the event of doing. For example; If I am going to ride a bike race, I get the $5000 dollar bike. I also get the spandex clothes with the fancy color designs and the logos all over it. I get the tight shorts, the funky soled shoes that I cant walk properly in. I go to ride a bike race and I am a bike racer; I have the gear, I look the part. If I were to show up in cut-off jeans, a cigarette in my mouth, flip-flops on a beat up beach cruiser, other people would probably laugh; they might still believe that I was going to ride the race, but they would doubt if I was serious: they would doubt I was a bike racer.

Compartmentalizing activity in this way is not bad so far as it goes for the things we do. It identifies us, it allows for interaction along common lines, including dissent, it allows for the furthering of a activity by having controls against which we may discover better ways of doing things, such as, waring spandex clothes for racing reduces drag and allows one to go faster with less energy expenditure.

But honest, true critical discourse about life, existence and reality does not fall into a compartment in this way; in fact, in defies it.

The problem I have in presenting my ideas is that those who are in the business of considering such ideas have an idea of what one supposed to say and how one is supposed to say it. There is ‘gear and a look’ that one is supposed to have, or one is not taken seriously. And this seems to happen automatically. The serious bike racer looks at the cigarette clod rider next to him and writes him off before the race has begun, and his does this automatically. He makes no choice in this opinion, rather, his opinion is already made due to what a ‘real’ bike racer should be, how he should look, what he should be talking about. What discussion may occur between these two racers has more to do with the geared-up racer, if he has an open mind, suggesting to the cig-racer that, if he wants to win, he might want to not smoke, and he might want to get a better, lighter, more streamlined bike, and maybe get some spandex, suggestions for the course and how to take turns and certain hills. The discussion of the cig-racer telling his couterpart that he’s gonna ride real fast and kick your ass, means little or nothing to the geared-up-career racer. But this is not because the cig-racer might not win, it is because there is a history, a tradition, a science that has developed racing in such a way that it tells what a bike racer is, what they should do (if they want to win), what gear they should use, and all this translates into how they should look. And this is sensible so far as racing a bike has little to do with planting a garden, and when they are racing they are not considering what time of the season to plant tulips.

Of course this is an overdetermination, and there is no ‘winning’ in the critical discussion (or at least, maybe there is in some circles), but the activity I am undertaking is just like this: as soon as a person enters the arena, it is assumed that they are doing certain things and using certain tools, because the assumption, the given, the ‘supposed to’ is that the method and tools of investigating and discovering existence and reality have been developed in the same way as racing equipment. This understanding is automatic. It seems so automatic that the theories developed around such a topic soon have little to do with the life that was taken as the initial object of investigation. The theories and ideas become merely an identifier of a particular compartment of experience: just as if I may be talking about computers, I may be talking about existence. The discursive technology develops in the same way in both arenas, around a supposed object or activity that is distinguished from another.

Now to my point:

The problem is that the arena in which, and the topic about which the discussion is supposedly taking place is assumed. And, as we go about to define what it is, we move toward terms that supposedly identify a particular object of our consideration: but by then we have lost the initial reason why we are talking about anything. The arena becomes the defined object of consideration: it is redundant. The arena, the thing we are supposed to be discussing, has dissolved into the terms that we are using to frame the arena. Such terms do not thereby locate anything but the discussion itself. The problem is that describing reality or existence is not like another object like a car. The terms here, of existence, reality and the like, that are developed around a particular object of thought do not identify any object except the thought itself, that thought which has departed as soon as another person uses other terms to propose it. To assume the contrary is to rely upon an existence of a ‘thought-object’, which is to say, to rely upon a necessary correspondence between the thought and the object of discussion. The example of this is put thus: if such an object existed, I would only have to say something about it and the discussion would end, for everyone would know it was true (which is ironically the case for the few; see elsewhere in my essays).In so much as one might suggest that is what discussion ‘finds’ through its process, is likewise to rely upon some true object, as if there is some ideal form of sorts that exists between participants in the discussion. This is then the exact discussion of transcendence and immanence.

To propose that there is some ‘actual’ truth to the matter of existence or reality, because we have a history, a tradition, and a method that has given us logically reasoned out descriptions of existence and reality, as well as a method by which we can argue with old ones and propose new ones: this is exactly the proposal of a true object, as if thoughts, existence, reality, being, are things-in-them-selves that can be ‘gotten’ or understood, as if these aspects of life are actual true objects. Such discussions reveal, on one hand, nothing but metaphysical, religio-ideological postures, but on the other – and only for those who have stuck with the basic issue through the whole discussion, who have seen that the terms get nothing and nowhere – a description of existence and reality as it is presently manifested in discourse, a description of how the process of description is operating at this moment.

***

This last is indeed what Francois Laruelle has attempted to do, and has done very well. So, if this is the case, then inso doing, inso being able to describe in detail what or how the method of description is operating, the funtions and relations of its pieces, its terms, and how this scheme grants a particular picture that is the very picture we see including how such a description is presentable, the whole thing is thus called into question, and allows for the possibllity of a different… whatever term one wants to use.

Further, it is not just a theory, because the theory itself, the description, includes and/or realizes the lack involved in thoery, so it must be an actual lived practice, a praxis: the project of non-philosophy. This is not particularized, in fact, it is non-particularizable, non-campartamentizable. So it is that he becomes the occasion for my work.

Tangent 3.9: Love

The song, “This is not a Love Song”, by the 80’s band PiL, for some unknown reason – not that i liked the song when it was around – came through my mind today.

And this seemed relevant…

Love. To me, love is more than attraction, or even intense attraction, or infatuation, or big like, and it is not just sexual attraction that can be called lust. It can be all of those, but to me, it is commitment. To me, love is the knowledge that usurps whatever reservations I may have had for what I before may have thought was ‘commitment’. Love effects me so that the feeling or thought or intuition I may have had upon what the future may hold, is accompanied by a negation of what potential desires I may be imagining of that future, such that I know that I will always have invested concern for that person in my life, that my future becomes thus ‘our life’. The commitment may not always be easy to uphold, but whatever dissatisfaction may arise, it is and will be always, to the best of my ability, tempered by love, that indeed we are committed.

Probably many people have no idea what I’m talking about. I see this is because they have no idea what love is, that to them it has to do with immediate desire. Perhaps this is why divorce is such a viable presence and why many people do not get married. And I mean married in the supra- or extra- institutional sense, as a committed relationship made between two people aside from social stamping.

** **

With this, I enter on a tangent upon the main issue of my ongoing discussion concerning Laruelle and Non-Philosophy.

Now, when commitment is seen or understood as requiring a great effort, where love has seemed to have nearly disappeared from the relationship, I would suggest that it is because love, true love, that stems from mutual love, was not really true to begin with. Love, when it has developed along side of commitment, as a force of will, only loses integrity as an effective ideal when the individual is oriented upon desire – that is unless great force is applied, and ironically, love is the great force that is usually misunderstood and so never leveraged effectively, which is to say without will. Don’t get me wrong, though; desire is a natural and inherently good aspect of our human being. The problem is when desire dominates the individual so as to fulfill one’s purpose in life, it usually inflates the sense for the need of willfullness. Want becomes the overwhelming motivation in being human; want becomes what it is to be human.

In an attempt to be more clear: In existence there are objects. In an earlier post, I write about how things are, for our being human, entirely contained in knowledge. The physical effect, such as pain, created by an object, while causing some reaction in us – the meaning of such effect is mediated and significant to us only in and by knowledge. There is not pain for a human being that is meaningless. Even if someone were to not know the reason of pain, or could not identify a source and purpose of an effect from a thing, the meaning is exactly “I don’t know”. Autonomic reaction, or reflex may occur, but not void of meaning. There is nothing real or unreal that is not contained in our knowing of it, of it being of knowledge.

The solution to the basic problem of humanity must begin with knowledge. The basic problem arises between the subject, the person or single individual, and the object, the thing. This duality has been relegated into the duality of thought and action. The problem can be phrased thus: how does one be consistent with one’s self ? How does one proceed to remain confident at all times that he or she is doing what is best for him or herself, all the while remaining within one’s own ethics such that there arises no conflict, no doubt of one’s own self in life? Is there a way to align one’s thoughts and actions so they achieve the fullest benefit of life for one self (as this may include social benefit, but it does not have to) ?

I propose that such questions align with a perception that includes the individual as a thing, and, that because an individual is thereby a thing, the individual itself, of itself, to itself, is likewise a thing. Such perception also aligns with the idea that we have a subjective, or inner self, that we are capable of thinking upon as if it were likewise a thing, in other words, objectively. This idea has been expressed many times in the ontological (issues of Being) postulates that arise as “we can be conscious of our own consciousness”, and we then get the ‘ego’, ‘super-ego’ and such psychological constructions by extrapolation.

When such a perception or idea forms the root or ground of one’s thinking about reality, history unfolds in a progression that finds psychology, which is the human being come complete as a thing, an object: a subject-object. Hence, items or objects of the psyche thus also become things and can be liked and disliked, and then not only do other individuals become appraised as to objective qualities, but the individual itself, upon itself, as if he or she is likewise an object to be appraised of qualities, is defracted, becomes, as a process of history, divided unto itself. The solution of psychology aggravates its own problem. This is our present condition of human conventional understanding. (And this is the problem Laruelle notices of philosophy. )

I venture to say, coming back to the topic at hand, that such an individual, a subject-object, has no ability to love to another human being, beyond merely desiring them to possess, as a thing might be possessed. The human being is not a thing with definite static qualities; even noticeable traits that seem consistent change. Rather, this is to say, the love as commitment achieves for such a one, anger, fear, frustration, doubt, and struggle. Attraction, linked as it is to a definite quality of thing, fails in the effervescence of the human dynamic.

Love, true love, is called up from the subject to test the integrity of the Being in the world. The problems of the world are the the failure of the subject of conventional knowledge (the subject-object).

Are we things or are we Beings? When love is true, attraction never goes away, the complexities of life do not sway one from the other but only confirm that the love is true; desire never diminishes, attraction never fades, and love grows.

*

When Laruelle talks about his project of Non-Philosophy, he is implicating that which I speak here, that i have put in terms of love.

I shall continue back into the discussion proper, after these messages….