Post-modernism’s Worth. 

When we are too close to an event, we talk about it as from a distance. That is, what we say is automatically distanced from the event, a maximum distance. The event is thus, by this occurrence, an object. As opposed to our psychotherapeutic model, the closer we are to an event, the more dishonest we are about its true bearings, that is, the truth of the matter, why it is that the (the wholeness of the) event has occurred the way it has. The impetus and the reaction can be come upon as an included item, a truth in-itself, only when we are distanced from the event. The truth of an object, as opposed to the True Object, can only be viewed in its truth from a distance. The equation is thus of inversion, of ratio.

Here then we may have a basis upon which to properly view foundational post-modern writers, namely, Derrida, Deleuze and Guittari, but others also.  To wit: Their descriptions were from a basis too close to the event, such that they attempted to quickly and finally establish a ground for the event; the event being thus so profound and significant, they were compelled to offer a reason.

They were not wrong, only rash. 

It is analogous to an explosion. We have now the data from the explosion, having encountered it ourselves, but also come across the initial first hand rationalization and fact crunching reports of the explosion itself – with that, subsequent explosions, and now the reports and experience of the aftermath(s) of explosions, we can now safely report upon the truth of the whole event. 

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The Impossible, part 4: Spiritual Oneness and the State of Incorporated Reality.

The operative question that motivates the essays on the impossible can be formulated by the questions of determinism and contingency: Is the random aspect of the physical universe of science responsible or otherwise enacted or present in the random aspect that involves human choice, such that choice is determined by the state of the universe, or, is the human being a mediator or mediation of an extra or supra universal element and the physical world, where the random aspect of the physical is but that supra element of the human, that the physical universe is contingent upon the series of choice?

We should see that these questions remain salient so far as the terms themselves reflect or are capable of reflecting True Objects of a particular scheme. The impossible, then, lay at the exposure or decoupling of such metaphysical structures, at the complete shredding of all discursive-conceptual methods for meaning, including such conceptions that would end this with an ineffective nothingness or nihilism.

The reader should be clear in his or her orientation upon this reading. This is not a discernment of ‘either you’re in or you’re out’ situation; but, this statement assumes that the reader is indeed oriented in this way, or at least can understand from that perspective, and thus has been coming upon a sort of intuitive rebuttal, that some sort of antagonistic anxiety is cultivating the response that places the argument for nonsense, ripe to be useless, ridiculous, or for a term extrapolated to nothing less than impossible. This is the sign of irony; the argument presents the dissolution of its representation. The attachment to or faith in the True Object come upon by its dissolution as an indication of another True Object is, as Soren Kierkegaard rightly situated, despair, but its opposite elicitation is elation. The continuation through despair, and not the Sartrean revolt from it, is the revealing of the impossible into discourse, into the logic involved in the meaning of terms, it’s implicated scheme, that has become itself ripe to speak of the impossible in its impossibility, that what has so far been seen as the polemical position to reality is but a discursive situation of a modernist sort, which is to say, of a One True Universe, that is or has developed itself to the point of being capable of revealing its own limitation through its limiting definition of objects, such that these objects not only argue their determination but their contingency as well, and ultimately, that because this situation has arisen only and of the the supposed common humanity of meaning, that this common humanity can no longer be upheld, where the subject agent of will likewise is seen as a faulty conception. The irony is that the universe counts as a ‘one’ in which humans are not segregate, and that the universe, as a conceptual scheme that comes about in humans, has developed the meaning of its unsound concept. Hence, the concept brought to its objective ends is despair, yet it moved through is the phenomenon itself, an ironic reversal or upending of reality. The revolt from despair is a re-establishing of reality, as well as its historical truth.

The potential at any moment for the revealing the full extent of the contradictory feature of any conventional discourse evidences the true qualitative motion of history and is reflected in the mood or attitude of the era. What has been defined, at this late date, as modernist and post-modernist expresses the oscillation of history to non-history, and by this we should surmise that the history of which science designates evolution and the development of human beings and all its stages, is much, much older than what physics and anthropology has determined. In our moment we are struggling with the situation that has deconstructed the subject, what heretofore I have called the subject-object. The natural and automatic ‘revolt’ has been back into modernist objectivism, which is for our time, reality, the ideologized capitalized corporate structure. The conception that is left to fully dismantle the tower of righteous babble, since we have already seen how the human determines object contingency, thus involves the revealing of the object unto itself, which is to say, how it is the object itself that determines human contingency. The resistance to such exposure, the subject of the object of capitalism is the incorporation of the the effect of human ignorance into the exaltation of its own designation, the subject (-object) in despair of its own existence; in effect, this is the building of the ‘God-human’ out of the oppressing state of reality, which is to say, out of the real, inviolate, and essential human subject of faith. To reiterate: The effect of the inability to withdraw faith from the calculus of reality is capitalized upon, and this, also as effect, reduces reality to a real particular assertion of power that is enacted by the capitalist upon humanity. The con of capitalism is reality itself maintained through a ploy of the individual with free will.

The reason we must emphasize ‘effect’ has to do with the difference between authentic human interpersonal relations and the thoughts which overdetermine the activity of a larger common human whole. The traversing of what I shall term ‘local’ interactions to a ‘distant’ humanity calls forth the ideological negotiations of faith concerning True Objects, and thus the various religious (see below) assertions of Truth that become capitalized upon in the reducing capitalistic fetishism; in the avoidance of such objects of faith, one must speak about effects (see my earlier essays, particularly, “Aphilosophy, Convention, Faith and God”).

Yet, before we describe in detail the impossible situation of reality that most of know intuitively, we must begin with tying up some loose ends.

Whereas ‘before’, in the subjective ‘phase’, so to speak, such argument come upon was seen to indicate some sort of spiritual basis, some transcendent or otherwise meta or supra reality, some ‘other than regular’ world that lay at some recouping of total meaning that then indicated a Truth of the universe, that couples with regular reality. The idea is that usual reality is recouped or accounted for by a type of ‘psychic’ or thoughtful ‘centered-ness’, that in turn presents usual reality against a more real ‘One’ reality’. There are two rebuttals to this. The first concerns ‘logical’ discursive failure, as Western minds might consider metaphysics, and the second, spiritual or philosophical failure – and see that what is philosophical is meant in a more Eastern mode, such as Tantric or Zen Buddhist can be considered. The union of these two coordinations represent the one possibility of reality. Religion, or what can be called spiritual ideology, in general reflects belief that corresponds the logical and spiritual in this respect. Recently, Non-philosophy-as-method appears to resonate this ‘one’ posture, but its move is incomplete; this is why non-philosophy represents convention in-the-last-instance, the ‘least overdetermined’ object of reality, despite its ‘regular’ non-philosophical meaning incited in the ‘Future Christ’.

It is not difficult to see, though, that metaphysical speculation, which includes all forms of real speculation, will not relinquish its hold upon the agent as a fixed social construct. The subject object of faith will not allow reality to be disturbed, and the linear progress of history will continue as the individual subject-object remains under the dominion of a particular effective power of the doctrine of free will. We can only suppose that Non-philosophy will be taken as another philosophical object, even as we redefine what philosophy is or re-term it, and that its Future Christ will become another speckle in the lineage of philosophical ideas.

One issue in this that will be addressed later is the point of elucidating the truth of the matter if no one wants to or is capable of hearing or understanding it.

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If we can concur that this can be a logical assessment of the facts thus far (see my essays on The Impossible, parts 1,2,3) then it is here from which we may derive all the facets of ontological and cosmological discourses, their arguments, including religion, philosophy and science. These purport to explain what can be called ‘the argument of the One’, which is always the basis of every reality, and which can amount to the query, how do we reconcile the random universe with the random human choice? We have just indicated above that the answer is routinely reconciled in having the universe as basic, and the human being as a thing of the universe, and that even taking the human being as central, the universe is situated likewise as basic. Science proposes to be able to discover or uncover the true thing (True Object) that is the universe, and psychology proposes that we may discover the true thing (True Subject-Object) of the human being, that we may discover the mechanisms and or functioning of the universal human, a thing of the universe. Religious and or spiritual thought also propose to be able to offer a true One of reality, but is not limited in the same way as science; spiritual proposals may use any number of rhetorical devices, but their arguments likewise draw from the sensibility of a knowable One.

We can see here that the historical solution to reality always tends toward falling into the True Object, as I define it, of faith; the bare human in the world is one of a past ignorance toward an informed future. The situation is always of the world of True Objects, since it is quickly apparent that there is a world of things that humans must negotiate in order to survive, but this imperative then colludes with the terms and derives reality proper. Any deviation from this endeavor, of things, as definition might distinguish various things from other things that are not things, is typically called ‘spiritual’ and is correspondent with a situation that occurs ‘within’ the knowing subject individual; psychology is scientific investigation into this ‘spirit’, and thus accounting for the motion that sees the universe as primary to any investigation, amounts to a ‘world religion’.

The motion of spiritual endeavor, though, the activity of psychic investigation, is taken up along two vectors of discourse that again collude ( I will take to the ethical implications later) in a quadripartite:

1) A practice of instruction that suggests the individual toward a correct understanding-and-practice, an experience-understanding gained by the individual. This is nothing more than an assertion of proper method. The Eastern philosophical teachings that propose a relieving of the individual of all true objects to the ‘meta-nirvana’, so to speak, recourses similarly to Sartre-esque motion. From a coming to a realization of the sangsaric phantasmagoria of temporal objects, the ‘enlightened’ individual may come to more intuitive or aware consciousness of bodily operations and how such operations may effect the individual’s appropriation of conceptualization of objective situations. The various coordinations amount to the methods traditionally call ‘martial arts’, as these stem from ‘right’ thought, action, attitude, etcetera, but extrapolated into achievement and practice for ability can said to include any proper method.

2) A practice of ‘following ones bliss’, so to speak, where the individual is disclosed upon his or her own motion as proper unto itself. Whether the individual sees itself as some sort of cosmic or psychic center or entity, in communion with a spiritual source, is worthy or unworthy, the product of such calculus is the same; the motion does not avoid this classification. When undertaken thoughtfully in experience as a thing unto itself, as a motion with ends of itself and not upholding a proper object as projected ends, this vector develops in a more ‘proper’ Sartre-existentialist motion, as I describe in my previous essay, “post-post-modern-modernism”. The individual ‘revolts’ from this precipitated abyss of nothingness and thereby finds true agency for the negotiations of established ideological structures, or True Objects, and appropriates proper methods based upon given routes for such methods, though most are not systematized to a degree as the Eastern martial arts to be called such. Of course, the individual of (now) free agency would never admit to their activity being determined, neither that they are fitting their agency into preexisting ideological structures of True Objects, it is more likely that such a one would adamantly assert that they have created or established something entirely new, but he is capitalizing upon the gap that is maintained in the revolt; the power of the True Object is gained through its becoming a fetish, the ‘magic’ that arises in the real denial of the gap (see below). Obviously, such agency is supplied by the old adage “ignorance is bliss”; it is similar to my assertion that computers function by water moving through vessels to fill rubber balloons, obviously I don’t care at all about how they might really work, but nevertheless, they still work for me. Hence it is useless to talk about ‘more real’ reality, but only effects of reality – the power that humans appear to have over objects is a real effect.

These two ideologic situations can be coaxed out of the present East-West ideological paradigms, where it can be seen each ideological-spiritual base involves the same polemical motive elements. Respectively, though aggravated argument can blur any statement of character, it is not difficult to draw an umbrella over the West to characterize it with individualism and as well see the European-American ideal of manifest destiny as an individualized motif. The individual, moved by a ‘invisible hand’ starts out and motivated by his or her own impetus, strives and thereby creates their own world united in individuality. The East, similarly generalized, contains individuals ordained in their incarnations under a celestial dictate that is evidenced in social order. Noted that such generalizations are not absolute in their designations; the West has an overreaching and implied structure of order, and the East has individuals that act upon individual ‘karmic’ designations. Indeed every human place carries these designations in their own way. Again, what can argue the inadequacy of such a generalization are based upon random factors that real investigation seeks to discredit in method, and by its effort establish the unified ‘One True’ universe.

( Note: This is the third-moving-into-the-fourth of non philosophy, but, as I have said elsewhere, the non-philosophical fourth is still but one fourth of two possibilities, such that we have a quadripartite of a quadripartite that derives its meaning from the philosophical object that is non-philosophy as it represents itself as (non-) cornered in the Real, extended by radical immanence into the Future Christ, that has inevitably been established by it.)

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Again, the same problem poses itself through every route. The persistent aspect of real inquiry into True things that obscures the truth for the certitude of the One Reality can be called a ‘gap’. As to our discussion so far, we consider universal randomness, human randomness, universal basis, and human psychic basis. Conceptual gaps become presented in a critical consideration relating any to each of these categories, but are always overcome with reference to and or correspondent with whichever category is taken to be basic to the investigation. Francios Laruelle has indicated as much of philosophy in his non-philosophy. When the universe is taken as basic, then all discourse refers to its truth, that once the human mind is understood, a proper linking of causal relations will be made to universal physical randomness. When choice is basic, likewise physical interpretations will be able to be understood by a contextual consciousness, such as free will. Where the universal thing is basic, the human will be accounted for as an explained thing; where the psyche is basic, universal structures will likewise become realized. And, where choice, discourse will reconcile determinacy; where the universal true thing, randomness will be accounted for. Any combination of these four categories yield a correspondent solution oriented by what is taken as basic, but each solution, when applied dialectically to the possibility of other bases, will yield a conceptual gap, a contradiction that then necessitates a move upon, elliptically, in condensing and expanding substantive real quality, back into the base as truth of the matter in question.

Of course, the distinctions of these categories do not argue absolute categories and are not upheld, rather suspended, in the activity of consideration; each operating base organizes a particular matrix of transcendental and immanent elements within the discursive posture (see my earlier essay, “Aphilosophy, Convnetion, Faith and God”). Take for example the statement, “I am a human being.” In considering the statement’s veracity, any term of the phrase will reside in a transcendent or immanent state while one term is considered. For a universal basic query, the term “I” considered may yield an assertion of evolutionary physical traits acquired through a natural selection such that the term “I” is qualified; in such suspension, “am a human being” may state transcendent qualifiers that reify the universal proposition, while offering immanent qualifiers in the subsequent explanation likewise. The human query may refer the term “I” to a universal evolutionary stage, but then qualify the universal evolution to an immanent fact of knowing, thereby reifying the meaning of the basic human. The humanity of the universal, it the case here, and the humanity of the human position may have exchange due to the ignorance of the contradiction involved in approaching absolute bases. The term “human”, though understood as an object in-itself, as indicating a True object between such arenas (universal/human), is already a contradiction in argument, since one cannot have an evolutionary product decide upon its own agency to be evolutionarily determined. Yet also the contradictions are suspended within bases likewise in so much as ‘I’ may be a ‘human being’, but when I go to figure out what a human being is, ‘I’ am not including the ‘I’ in the consideration; ‘I’ have become immanent to the discussion, and by the time I may have found out what a human being is, I have probably situated it in a universal setting yet while avoiding again the basis of my evolutionary redundancy for the sake of arguing the human center of being human, so the evolution has become transcendent. Different terms and the statements that support argument pronounce or otherwise punctuate different ordinances of transcendental-immanent structure according to the base from which it is argued; this feature of discourse can be called a ‘differend’, the gap that is reconciled in a discursive redundancy that is denied for reality, and this occurs in ‘real time’.

To reiterate; for every basic argument, its conclusions are supported upon non-admitted contradictions that reveal its lack when considered against other discursive bases; to uphold its truth, it must retain an ability for plausible denial in its argumentative structure by speaking of and to possible referents of and to other discourses while never confronting the base of truth the other discourses rely upon: it must ‘disguise’ its equivocations that cover for the vacillating or oscillating discourse through posturing, or for another term, identity. In general, the science of physics and mathematics eventually comes to admit a type of universal structure that contains the possibility of ‘non-locality’ (an extrapolated meaning of the Heisenberg Principle), along with mathematical ‘complexity’ and ‘chaos’, where the non-local event resides in the position of observation; a contradictory situation, but also a noticeably ‘conscious’ indication. The scientific observation of non-locality in chaotic complexity excludes the observer as an included variable but instead develops parameters that include the description of the observer as ‘an excluded observer’, and by extended discursive moves, negates the act of observation through including multiple occurrences of different observers’ observations, which again, through yet more discursive maneuvers neatly avoid that the arena by which the observations have been or are being performed has already been established as the reality that they are testing, the results of which already determined by the parameters of real meaning; a particular orientation upon objects is assumed. Reality is seen as variable in contrast to the controlled experiment which yields the constant elements of reality, but reality is static in as much as it yields consistent results when a consistent method is applied. In other words, the procession of physical discourse, in its transcribing mathematical data to meaningful terms, must use terms that are a ‘best analogy’ and left uninvestigated in order to make the statements of its findings. What is truly static and variable is ignored for the definition that corresponds with a particular and proper orientation upon objects. In effect, science does its best to assure that the choice that is made upon a decision to experiment or observe, is mitigated by the ‘natural’ demands of physical element to be tested; the phenomena ‘lends itself’ to the formulation of experiment and the matter of its communication is likewise left to a presumption of the real universe where what is spoken about the findings of physics is necessarily consistent with the terms of the experiment. Take for example the Higgs Boson; this particle is supposed to have something to do with the manifesting or ‘ability to be’ of matter. What this Higgs-type Boson has to do with the scientists who are made of matter experimenting, finding this boson, and concluding things about it, I am not sure. It seems plain to me though that the boson is nothing more that a way to justify the individual human scientists in reality. What this boson has to do with me is I find an occasion to write in a particular way. To stick to some absolute category, such as physical science, as if they are really finding an actual basic particle of the True universe, avoids the reality that is already manifested so as to bring about that course of events, including me writing about the ridiculousness of the importance of the boson, for the sake of the individual free agent of reality.

Extended at root, the situation of human choice represents an effective conceptual gap from the physical base, a gap that occurs where the universe is segregated into static or controlled elements and ‘in motion’ or variable elements. Since the physical-mathematical world is taken as base, yet it is choice that has allowed such a base to become known, the knowing individual comes to miss its own resonant motion in the vacillation, for the sake of defining what is moving. One could say Einstein was a philosopher. Likewise and further, spiritual type findings of ‘acceptance’, as well for meditation, communion and proper action, deriving from choice as base, and seeking to find guidance or correspondence from some ‘higher’ source, may use the ideas of theoretical physics to support its spiritual affection claim, such as ‘chaos’, ‘complexity’, ‘fractal’, aspects of subatomic theory, to name a few from contemporary science, but the scientific and physical discourse of the manifestation of physical things indicates no effective ‘source’ that an individual may have audience with beyond an inference made by the spiritual participant. The individual is caught in a vacillation that he does not recognize due to the insistence of his own true conceptual-discursive base.

Though this may be a somewhat ‘dry’ interpretation or designation, while these two categorical arenas may seem to overlap and conspire with each other to define a sort of ‘holistic’ picture at certain junctures, the meaning of each discourse indicates a universe that cannot admit a transcending consciousness as well as a consciousness that cannot fully account for a (scientific) physical universe due to the insubstantial situation of those things, even while each might defer to the other to round out each respective lack. Together, the implicated unity of such universe relies upon discursive situational gaps that are avoided in the act of deference, or emphasized in the act of debate, to the ‘One’ truth. Here we find the definitional parameters of reality; the various discourses of truth have veracity only in as much as the truth they suppose to be the goal or purpose of their efforts contributes with other discourses of the One Truth, but this One Truth is always suspended in the very proposal that seeks it.

Yet, ironically, one argument is typically and routinely unheard, one that arises in the conflation of basic discourses, in the gap, so to speak. Our understanding of the universe has no necessary correspondence with what is true of the universe or ourselves beyond what is understood through faith. The effect, the ‘presence’ of the conscious human being thinking, acting, and behaving in the world, is consistently reduced in the prior decision of investigation that seeks the true One; faith is anachronized in a history of and displaced to religion and spirituality of the One True Thing. This is to say, the idea of reality is a mythology, as well an ideology of power that prescribes beforehand every investigation as to its object and purpose, as well as placement and function. Further, and in type contrast, in so much that the human being is merely another thing of the universe, all human activity must be correspondent with the universe functioning; that which evidences this without seeking a scapegoat of random occurrence must admit then that the mythology is the human-thing of the universe behaving universally. Yet, its behavior cannot admit anything ‘of the True universe’ since the universe’s operation is not evident ‘to’ the meaning that humans develop, but only ‘in’ the meaning. The meaning that would have humans gain a true understanding of the universe and its operations or even purpose, is an ‘overdetermined’ meaning, a meaning that derives from a presumption of the One, of transcendence and or immanence of divinity that ‘evens out’ the vacillations of existence for the sake of itself. This then outlines what is meant by the question “how do I know this”, and, “how do I segregate myself from the universe sufficiently to know of the truth of the universe”. To reiterate; human consciousness cannot be anything but a universal operation, which is to say, human consciousness ‘makes sense’, it ‘forms meaning’ and ‘means forms’, but that such meaning has no more meaning beyond its establishing than, say, a leaf might be able to know of a true photon of light. The relation of meaning meaning is one of pure effect unto itself. The issue then is not so much about what may or may not be determined or chosen, about the uncovering or discovering the truth of an object, but about how one is oriented upon the True Objects of reality.

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Hence, not only have I outlined the problem of what is possible and thereby indicated what is impossible, and as well represented what is most offensive to faith in reality, but most significantly, I have presented a situation, the meaning of this essay, that is not only impossible, but more so, ironic. For if the meaning of this essay is true, then its meaning cannot be true. Indeed, it is, again, not real, absurd. For what has occurred in order for the meaning of this essay to be conveyed, is no discursive segregated overdetermination. The essay speaks of reality, for for a one that may not be included by it. It speaks of history for the future; in other words: nonsense.

It is for this reason that metaphysical speculation will always remain the procurer and law of reality, and irony remain excluded as a viable discourse of truth.

So, if I may accentuate my point with a quote from the bodacious author David Mitchell, from his abominable book “Cloud Atlas”, 2004, pg 401:

“Maybe the answer is not a function of metaphysics but one, simply, of power.”

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More impossibility in part 5? Hold onto your diapers!

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Direct Tangent 6.9: A Word on Faith: An Appropriate Rendition of Francois Laruelle’s ‘Sufficient Philosophy’; The True Object, A Moment with Pierre Bourdieu and the Practice of Process.

As a close to the Direct Tangents and segue to the next, this essay is a simple and direct stating of a basic series of the matter at hand. By ‘series’ i mean to refer to the structure of argument: points that must be understood as true in order for there to be an discussion; what are called ‘premises’ usually do not have to be true, but only sufficiently understood for an argument, but then communication may not occur. I would say that it is the insufficiency of premises, and thus argument in general, upon which conventional reality is manifested. A practice of process involving a statement of series is the condition of truth; here, I cannot, that is, am incapable of coming upon a concept already proposed as if it should not be or not have been, as if i were then jealous or offended, against which i would then argue. In the process of truth, there is no exceptions. The issue is not so much about finding truth; it has to do with the situation of terms. What is the object?

We deal in two possibilities. If i am stating my position by my opinion, i can call it an argument, and I can start anywhere I please as long as I develop sufficient premises. Yet, because, here, we deal in truth, I may not approach as if I am speaking within a conversation already developed (considering my whole blog is really one essay). I must start at the beginning, not in the middle, every time. I thus do not ‘disguise’ my target through addressing what then appears to be particular arenas of discourse, though I may use such discursive objects as an occasion for what I have to propose. The tact that is taken by many writers, whether acknowledged by them or not, of opinion, is often deceptive at best, a type of withholding, and derailing for many who would otherwise be interested.

Though Francois Laruelle appears to come very close to being ‘honest’, a reader has to be somewhat informed as to the particular meaning of what terms he presents, cloaked as they are in a type of conventional-institutionalized deception (what I have designated as ‘jargon’), to be able to appreciate what he has to say; indeed, Laruelle produces his own “dictionary” of non-philosophical terms, an effort that i see as unnecessary. It is sufficient to convey his meaning, and necessary in that he could propose it in no other way for himself and be in line with his intent, but it is not necessary by virtue of the insolvency of the true object (see below). In his attempt to be transparent and approachable (I must grant this to every writer, at first), he ‘auto-excludes’ much of his potential audience, and demands of his audience a certain academic effort. In previous posts, I have addressed this by suggesting he is in bad faith by his presentation, since – is he not supposed to be speaking upon ideas that concern everyone? And if not, why not? I, on the other hand exclude all but none in that I approach through an intent to be clear to everyone as well as myself; my exclusivity is found by choice, as there is maybe barely one who would have never chosen to come upon my work. (Nevertheless, one should note: Laruelle’s manner is indeed appropriate, since he is attacking what can be seen as the ‘head of the beast’, the effectively institutional-religio-ideologicracy of conventional method called “philosophy”, the ‘bastion of the sacred method’ by which he is a self-proclaimed “heretic”. Just as Martin Luther, and just as noteworthy, Martin Luther King Junior, among many others, challenged the prevalent institution of their times by advocating and practicing what can be seen as the antithesis of the institution’s pro-motion, Laruelle confronts the similar element of our time, but in a ‘radical’ manner. Reader, please keep this in mind as I occasion Laruelle in this discussion. I am left to wonder if in his assault on the boarder gates he has become a citizen of his own pillaging and continues to build and climb an ever renewing ladder, or whether in his proposition he has thrown away the ladder.)

So, whether or not his intent is to also confront the greater reality, I see that when he says ‘philosophy’, and proceeds to address and direct his activity upon and through a supposed institution or discipline called ‘philosophy’, he is also talking about how people in general may have ‘philosophies of…’ the various aspects and circumstances of life and existence. In contrast, I suspend no presumptions; I am addressing and treating of truth, and nothing less than what it seems a life of experience has lead me to see of how myself and other regular people (including theorists) deal with life. What is ‘rigorous’ is the critical undertaking of experience, and less so, the experience of learning how I might approach an analysis of it and thus so to speak of it. I thus approach from a proposed basis of ignorance, because that is how I came upon the world, through doubt, and through a transparent process that shows frustration and contempt as well as assuredness and askance upon the issues (Constructive Undoing is a process) as most anyone earnestly interested would, attempt to shed light on the significant issues concerning reality and existence. Hence, I hope it helps with this purpose to say that Laruelle and I are parallel in our presentations, but moreso involved in a basic parallax upon the same point of contention.

To this end, a have located a (another) specific occasion. Laruelle’s “sufficient philosophy” suggests that philosophy sees itself sufficient by itself to indicate what is true in-itself, what is true of truth. Where Laruelle has coined this idea, appearing as proposing as he is addressing a specific discipline, as he may or may not be, I coin ‘conventional methodology’ to make explicit that I am indeed taking on truth and reality of the everyday sort, the ‘ordinary method’ of coming upon reality pertaining to agreement with accepted standards, and in this I submit that I step to where Laruelle avoids, as he has been invested in a (slightly) more conservative effort, a conservation of the clause – ironically, at least in appearance.

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Here is an excerpt from Pierre Bourdieu’s “The Logic of Practice” with my clarification comments in brackets, not italicized:

One has to escape from the realism of the structure {the true object}, to which objectivism…necessarily leads when it hypostatizes {makes, sees, understands or otherwise develops as foundational} these relations {true relations of conventional methodology} by treating them as realities already constituted outside the history of the group {an object ‘in-itself’ or ‘out-there’ as opposed to the individual thinking human being} – without falling back into subjectivism, {the individual thinking human} which is quite incapable of giving an account of the necessity of the social world { in so much as reality or the world can be argued as originating from the individual human being (subjectivism), it fails to account for the apparent arbitrary agency of random events and other conscious subjects}.” [1980 Stanford University Press; English translation, 1990 Polity Press. Pg. 52]

One cannot assume a common understanding. This is why there is discussion. But a discussion must find a common ground before there is true communication. This is the initial problem. The meaning of the terms of the issue have not been sufficiently disclosed, and it seems for our discussion, here, we are up against a very large obstacle: faith.

What I mean when I use this term is also part of the problem; through Constructive Undoing I have been attempting to indicate how faith is to be situated so communication might then occur. In this post I have presented the above excerpt because it describes the situation in a pretty good and clear manner, such that I might be able to elaborate and thus promote and get at a sensible, understandable and productive communication. In short, I turn the conventional meaning of faith, as having to do with belief and choice, on its head, or rather, back upon itself and its proclamations of truth, proposing that the conventional effort itself is based in faith, yet more precisely I propose faith as the containment that allows for the individual and conventional reality due to its ‘having’ choice and belief, but that the truth needs no faith.

Here is a more fluid reading (my rendition appropriate to ‘faith’) of the excerpt above:

One has to escape from objectivism, the idea of the true object, where objects exist ‘out there’ in the world and where the human being is likewise an object among objects of a true universe, the meaning of which allows for and maintains an absolutely true scheme that relates objects and establishes conventional reality. But also, one should not respond by falling into subjectivism, or the idea that reality stems from the individual thinker, or that whatever one believes is thus true, for this idea also fails to account for much of the aspects and activity of a social world.

Please note that Bourdieu is involved with a critique of anthropology and sociology, their theories and practices of approaching and analyzing cultures. Though his presentation is quite profound, I will not go into his particular argument here, except to say that his proposal is that one needs instead to look at practice, hence his book “The Logic of Practice”. At some point in the future I will discuss in more detail the relevance of his and others’ positions and activities. For now, his is a sufficient occasion to talk about faith.

In as much as Bourdieu proposes a solution of ‘practice’, I extract from his proposal and develop ‘faith’. The situation that he describes above, that one must “escape” from, represents how faith is constituted as reality. For my occasion toward meaning and in a manner of speaking, he is suggesting that what is necessary for truth is to relinquish ones faith in objectivism and subjectivism. It is not difficult to understand what a usual or common object is; we see them and interact with them every moment of our lives: the tree, the lamp, the box, the shirt, the person. What is not so easy is to see that these objects are not solute in knowledge, meaning, though they might be presented to knowledge, and may be re-presented by knowledge, such knowledge does not contain or correspond with any true object except that what is ‘true’ is likewise qualified or quantified to a ‘true’ meaning. What this means is that knowledge reflects only knowledge; it also means that what is at issue is where or how truth finds its ground, or its fundamental basis. Knowledge cannot, does not, ‘reach’ some ‘out there’ object, nor does the various qualities of such a true object (what can be known as an object “in-itself”, or what I call an “absolute true object”) influence knowledge or yield up information of itself that knowledge then ‘apprehends’ or ‘gains’ of it. Knowledge is not ‘knowledge of…’ so to speak. Admittedly, though, this concept seems to defy common sense, but it is apparent when one attempts to convey a truth without sensory confirmation, and without faith; hence, what is ‘common’ sense.

What we are dealing with here is a necessarily advocated separation of things in the world; we are dealing with what we see actually occurring in life and ones perception of life and the world. The method of theoretical reduction of reality to some ‘more real’ idea, such as Laruelle’s “Real” or “vision-in-One” as opposed to “reality”, is merely a situating of meaning based upon a presumption of the true object, and this yields nothing but a mythological ideology, as if one mythology might be better or more advanced or progressed than another. How is it possible for there to be a something more or less real? Despite all discursive gymnastics, only through relativity can we have a Real and then a reality, only in a world where terms are able to indicate something better than or worse than, ignorant and enlightened, essential as opposed to mundane: only in a world determined through a conventional methodology. To be more more precise, the issue is not of a discerning or discovering of (true) things based upon phrasing, clause or context, but quite the converse. It is not a mis-definition that gives us the mistake of belief in the true object, it is something infinitely more subtle and insidious: it concerns ones orientation upon the term; the issue has to do with a situating of terms for a designation of the object.

Bourdieu does an absolutely amazing job at putting into words the situation of reality as it pertains to this idea, how theoretical assertions fail, how exactly terms interact meaningfully, and how these issues resolve in, what he proposes, practice. Here, though, I am not so concerned with the particular discursive meanings of practice since we all practice every day. Our ‘inner’ thoughts and ‘outer’ physical activities are the manifestation of existence; so far as I am concerned, the world of practice just “Is”. The contemplations of what I shall do to day as well as how I actually do it as well as the thoughts about all this is commonplace, well worked and though interesting, not very significant. Things get done, I have my attitudes, my opinions, others have theirs – life goes on. But it is how one is oriented upon such ability to “practice” that is significant: it reveals ‘faith’, or how one is oriented upon reality.

Where it is possible for an absolutely true object to be correspondent with, or signify itself as, a person’s thought of it, there is faith, but also conventional reality. The theoretical reduction that would remove the incidence of meaning intended here, that would rebut again to reveal how “there is no absolutely true object”, has not grasped reality, but has asserted it; indeed, in that theoretical move, conventional faith has been restated. Such a faith is not of reflection, it is of direction; conventional faith is of the naive past toward a knowing of truth revealed as such, a superstitious past toward an ‘enlightened’ future. The direction is the conflation of sense and knowledge; the sensation combined with what ‘makes sense’, knowledge, amounts to the true object; so it is also with the ‘sensation’ based upon a ‘proper’ theoretical argument. The reflection that understands that the sensation only confers meaning through knowledge, and not along side of it or conspiratorially with it, is not in play for conventional reality: a TV is a TV, a doll is a doll, a tree a tree, a car a car, cells are cells, bricks bricks, a bird a bird, a dog a dog – a theory a theory – the assemblage or ‘world’ of such true objects, I call ‘conventional reality’, or simply ‘reality’. We should be not so concerned with some fundamental, more real, reality, which is to say concerned with how to describe (the true object called) reality for what it ‘really’ looks like, for this amounts to a metaphysical proposition; rather, our discussion here has to do with what is practical, what emerges as a result of ‘practicing the process’ life.

Absolute true objects rely on and are found by the possibility in equivocation of thought to the thing out there that is sensed and a subsequent negotiation with things out there or other; such objects rely not only on knowledge but on an indication – i say “tree” and i point over there and the person next to me sees the tree or touches it or smells it and nods “yes, i agree, that is a tree” and thereby we know that thing there is a tree in truth absolutely. By the term ‘absolute’ I mean to indicate an orientation one has upon reality, but this is difficult because in our discussion of faith there is no objective referential like a tree to point to; i can only describe situations from the occasioning of objects ( such as this ‘discursive’ object called faith). Again, even as I would argue the position that there are no absolutes, that such ideas gain their meaning as relation, which is to say, in the negotiation of meaning, i am arguing not only a truth, but i am asserting an absolute nature, aspect or thing of the universe, as if the universe has given me some piece of data or information of itself to my knowledge, as if the true one universe has relinquished or revealed itself to my knowledge. The irony of this situation cannot be overdetermined.

Conventional reality that rests upon the possibility of the absolutely true object is not true, but only true in knowledge; the reality that mistakes the ‘object of knowledge’ for the ‘knowledge of the (true) object’ is of faith. Only through knowledge can we know of what may be sense; the sense that orients sensation, as from the physical senses, that would distinguish it (sensation) from thought to show how they involve separate elements of stimuli and process, also uses such ideas to develop and reinforce the incorporated individual who is manifested, a human being, as a result of these elements. The idea is that thoughts can be distinguished from raw physical senses but the sense can influence thoughts and thoughts the senses, but that in fact they are intimately intertwined. The real human being is defined in reality and in this way is real. Hence, what i say is not real of the human being is that none of these situations can be recognized without knowledge, and thus knowledge is the total situation of being human. But, as pointed out, we should not take this to mean that we should look to subjectivity for the truth, as subjectivity usually denotes belief, not so much because, as Boudieu puts it, subjectivity fails to account for and actually avoids social contingencies, but rather because the rhetorical-theorietics of subjectivity is also informed by a particular orientation toward the true object, what I call the subject-object. We are thereby concerned with, and revealed unto, not the real subject, but rather, the true subject.

*

I coin the phrase “faith makes true” to emphasize the difficulty of overcoming the mistake of (conventional) reality. Reality is qualified as such, as designating the arena of true things, because it is so prevalent and common: it is reality, the relations of things in reality are real. It seems frivolous and presumptuous to make a counter-distinction, as Laruelle does, and call his ‘the Real’, as if it is somehow more real than reality; it seems more consistent and logical to call a counter distinction “not real” – and this sensibility thus also re-emphasizes the difficulty of escaping the “realism of the structure”, as Bourdieu puts it above, since one inherently and apparently is bound to what is real, to reality, because the conventional methodology deems it real and true. Also, the ability to come upon ‘what has been chosen’ informs reality inso much as ‘one chooses’ of what may be come upon. In this the object, inanimate or animate, may behave and be interacted with the human being through the free act. Reality thereby confers upon the individual his situation as real in reference to what he may or may not have chosen of himself; thereby he may have illusions based in the choices he made and be brought back into reality. So it is that the conventional agent of faith is incapable and unwilling to relinquish what (to her or him) is true, because of his faith in the true object. Faith is sufficient for reality, but not for truth, and what is more real is only likewise of faith; nevertheless, the terms of reality are sufficient to convey the truth, but are not sufficient of themselves. The non-philosophical method itself is a sufficient philosophy, and can thereby pose some ‘more real’ reality (the Real), but it is insufficient to reveal the truth.

How can this be so?
What we have is a meaning of basic duality that precipitates from conventional duality, that is found through a simple doubting of everything; a precipitate that I call the conventional bias. The sufficient non-philosophy that would recourse to offer some progressed state of reality is rooted in bias. When what is needed to bring about such progression is needed, there is faith, because the hope is that what is sufficient for logic will be sufficient for the truth of progress; but alas, it is so difficult to relinquish ones faith.

Tangent 4.19: what gives? The possibility of Communicating.

What gives? This is the question.

In partial thanks to Mr. Adkins, his site translation of some of Laruelle’s writings, that these came up rather early in a Google search for ‘non-philosophy project’, as well his willingness to actually read a post of mine and then to comment on it, I am lead to more and more sites with non-philosophical excerpts, comments, takes, explanations, and even some of Laruelle’s less formal essays on his own ideas. I would give a bibliography but one need only search the Internet and find as much as I have.

I am finding that I am having a certain sympathy for non-philosophy. This I come upon reading many of these excerpts and finding that my initial impression of non-philosophy, that impression I got from reading Laruelle’s own Summary of Non-Philosophy, the link to which is found in my own Direction 3.20, is correct. With apologies to those who struggle with him: a more thorough reading of his premises are sufficient to spell out everything that appears subsequently, and, everything that follows can be said more succinctly and clearly. What he has to say and has said is apparent; that is, ‘should be’ apparent. I read some of his less formal essays and it is confirmed, but his “non-philosophy dictionary” and other more academic papers – My question all through my essays is simple: why is his language so complicated. I have offered a few reasons and continue to do so, but a significant reason has to do with what could be called ‘evangelism’ – his question of “should humanity be saved” is implicated in his use, in his appropriation of the priority discourse of philosophy, though his appropriation also has to do with the necessity of existing (see my posts: Direct 2.28 and Direct Tangent 3.1 and more on this later). One should notice in conjunction with this idea that my argument uses Laruelle ironically, as the occasion for his argument as well as his for mine: this is his position and mine and possibly others – but this is the issue, isn’t it. What the hell is he talking about? For that matter, what the bejesus am I talking about? Well, I am talking about how complicated the issue can be made to appear, and he is complicating the issue. What?

Further, once we see this we can only conclude that it is contrary to the philosophical premise and method (the proper conventional method: that extraneous details can be ruled out of the explanation offering the truth. So I must also ask: what gives of non-philosophy? Is it really different than philosophy? Only one person can answer that sufficiently: this is the point of the project.

* *

Through my investigating Laruelle himself, as well by other authors various synopses of Laruelle, I cannot get by the overwhelming drudgery and weighty cumbersome language used to convey proposed non-philosophical thoughts. I can get through it, but I cannot get by it. I cannot but help to be hit by the question of why would someone wish such entanglement upon themselves that they would have to resort to such – shall I say – unwieldy conceptualizations and to boot have them must be reflected in writing. I should think that the most simple iteration of a concept would be the more true of conveyed ideas. Are the concepts that Laruelle wishes to convey truly so complicated?

Whereas before having delved into the pit I could only almost reprimand Laruelle himself for his abuse and his evidently misleading of putting into words the obviously troubled thoughts, now I have sympathy for a soul that would have to try so hard for something that for me is so utterly simple. But yet also, I should see that Laruelle must be putting it into the simplest presentation he knows. Understandably one has to wonder how much is bogged in the French-English translating, but even accounting for this – then I have to wonder about the French as a culturally influenced discursive-traditionally trodden group of individuals who cannot help but make a discursive mess of complication out of simple truth. I only say this after reading Sartre also, never mind Badiou and the others. But I cannot blame it on being French; they just have their own way. Still I am left with other non-philosophical authors. Slavoj Zizek has a great way also, but Zizek has a different way, a talent unto himself of being non-philosophical without being non-philosophical: if there ever is a man who can act, that is perform radically immanent it is Zizek (But ill get into the radical sensible nonsense in the later).

Every one ( because maybe there is at least one ) reading my blogs should already know that it is about describing the emperor’s new clothes: his new clothes here is the non-philosophical jargon.

*

All this here leads me to wonder about mass hysteria. I wonder how just sounding important makes importance. Shit; new modern music of all sorts is all about production. One has the right look, the right sound, the right stage presence, the right lighting, the right sound engineer – it hardly matters if the music is any good because the quality of the music is all these things: and so people love it and it thus becomes good music. Of course the modern philosophical thought-ers and hipsters will counter: well, what do you think is good music? And of course we live in the relative age, where very one’s opinion is valid, especially if you apprehend the details and can talk the talk. If you can talk the talk then of course everyone thinks you are walking the walk, even if you are not . Its so great we can at any time conveniently mark away ideological, theoretical, philosophical, critical and psychological ideas of power and control, and reduce the high thinking to the lowest common reality. Thank god for individual freedom and personal preference; individualism will surely find us the right way.

As long as I am using big words, and big concepts jammed into condensed terms, and as long as I am name dropping enough I get to be important and what I say magically becomes imbued with deep significance; it hardly matters if I am saying anything significant at all because I am one of those so hysterical. I cannot help but thinking I am saying something really cool and deep because I am modeling my coolness and depth after someone I admire because of his or her complex discourse that I deciphered or was taught to decipher. Now I have something to say and I propose to be perpetuating or contributing to the great complicated idea by further complicating the issue.

If this isn’t exactly what Laruelle is decrying then his project means nothing. But this is what he is saying philosophy does. He is saying it kindly and subtly – as I said in an earlier post, he is trying not to offend anyone – because this is what he does also!

But here is a man who is indeed saying something significant. And thus my query of “Direct Tangents”, and thus my “Constructive Undoing”. Laruelle cannot have come upon such an idea and not have known the outcome, that is, the point, by the time he was beginning to write: his problem could only have been how to put it into terms. Since he must at least by now know that his premises are contradicted in its manifestation, his project must include the possibility of its being taken over, commandeered, by the masses who think they understand him; he must have already considered the possibility involved in the limitations of communication. It is obvious that what has been termed ‘philo-fiction’ stems from a particular conveyance of this limit. Indeed, in, what I believe is the preface to his book “Struggle and Utopia at the End Times if Philosophy”, he even says that non-philosophy by its mode of communicating risks being made into another philosophical object.

And it is here that we come to the only result of his project. Either he sees this and remains consistent in his argument, thus he admits his bad faith, or he does not and thus is essentially in bad faith. No amount of discursive acrobatics can alleviate this paradox. No amount and no type of argument can wind its way out from this web. The project must involve what is not real, i.e. fiction. This is one way he designates his departure from traditional philosophy, but also how he implicates philosophy to the rest of reality, and not just some part of it, some discursive arena.

Part of the answer lay in his discerning of radical immanence.

So, what gives? Does he understand the issue or does he not? What gives? ( Hint: if his question “should humanity be saved” is any indication, I would say he hopes he does.)

And so, next up: some more particular addressings….

Direction 4.10: Jargon, Bad Faith… Part 2

Since the previous post was rather long, and really could be seen as addressing different parts of the issue, I decided to re-post the second part of 4.5 as a part 2.

This part continues with my question of academic jargon, and shows how the jorgonizers are making things much too difficult. I have then to continue to ask, why?

*

Here is a bit of synopsis of Laruelle by another author

[Gabriel Alkon,1 Boris Gunjević2
1City University of New York, Baruch College, Department of English, 455 Fort Washington Avenue, US–10033 New York, NY
2Theological Faculty “Matija Vlačić Ilirik”, Radićeva 34, HR–10000 Zagreb gabriel_alkon@msn.com, boris.gunjevic@zg.htnet.hr]

PG. 213:

“According to Laruelle, the true event for philosophy is in fact the coordinated positing of relative and absolute, combined and separate, conditioned and unconditioned, as mutual presuppositions – there is no event apart from the philosophical “decision” that sets these oppositions in motion. This decision is the “proto-event”, which is the self-positing of philosophy as the discourse concerning the relation of the unconditioned to what it conditions, or of the transcendental to the given. This relation, which becomes an immediate unity in the event, is the presupposition that establishes philosophy’s adequacy to its other. The presumed correlation of actual being to a transcendental condi- tioning power is what allows philosophy to know itself through the other by moving beyond the other as given. It is the sheer being-given of what it knows that philosophy must resist; its skill is the derivation of the transcendental – the transcendental that is its unacknowledged presupposition. The event, which undoes the given in the immediate presence of its preconditions, is the true culmination of philosophy – the moment at which it need no longer depend on its objects, which are replaced by the transcendentals that are the preserve of philosophy alone.”

Now, my problem with Laruelle is primarily founded in the high-speak of philosophical jargon. Here is another author explicating what Laruelle has said and he cannot even remove himself from the necessary jargon. It is like a disease that is contagious, spread by the mere act of dense and vague verbosity, not even the person who is attempting to disseminate into, what I suppose is meant to be, simpler language, is able to tear himself away from the sickness, is not able to get simple. In simple but jargonized terms, the great thinkers who carry a philosophical plight with them that concerns being overdetermined, themselves are being and carrying on the overdeterminism that they are decrying. As I say: they are in bad faith in the effort to not be. And Laruelle, proposes a discursive method, a method of situating terms, by which he should be supposed to not be over-determining in the meaning he asserts.

Since I am not concerned with status, position or privilege, I find the truth of the matter in much simpler terms and thus come to a more solute ground of the issue (my wording nor word count does not have a dollar or a academic discursive value attached to its effort):

The issue is the term. Since the object can never be known in itself, we are left with only knowledge. Not knowledge of it the object, but only knowledge. Knowledge concerns the object, but because of its limitation (knowledge reflects only itself) the object thus likewise must be a condition of such knowledge, and not the converse. Such conditions designate reality according to discursive relations of meaning ( I will dispense with the Big-Name droppings since there is no profit in it in truth ), relations that correspond with Laruelle’s “coordinated positing”. Such relations cannot be known in themselves without, as Laruelle also finds, resting upon silent, or denied relations upon which the new relations are thus situated for their truth, and this is Laruelle’s philosophical “decision”. Thus, to be simple, we are not ever dealing with things in-themselves, but only terms; it is not that there may be such “decision” or “proto event”‘ but how one is oriented in knowledge toward those ‘things’. Terms are thus situated in consciousness and are revealed by the manner of their use by Beings as to their orientation upon existence- this orientation operative in the questions: Is the term equivalent to its object? Does the term express a true object? Does the Being see itself essentially integral with a common true reality designated by true objects that are conveyed through terms – what Laruelle calls “the world given to knowledge” ?

When we begin to understand the issue, we will see it is one of faith; in other words, terms always rely upon an ability to express absolute truths, an object in-itself, and thus implicate, in their role of expressing truth, a transcending element. Again: We are not therefore concerned here then with what the terms may be able to express so far as absolutely true objects, but whether or how one is so oriented upon the truth that is supposed to be expressed in such terms. Hence the polemical non-philosophical and philosophical projects – which I see as better expressed as ‘philosophical’ and ‘conventional- methodological’, respectively.

It appears that Laruelle in his efforts is like Sartre (and others) in that he is attempting to describe a true world. We may find over time and repeated returns to this type of philosophy ( or non-philosophy, as the case may be), that they are indeed giving us a comprehensive picture of reality as it is/was at the time of the position. We will have then another way to view reality in existence as another sort of style or fashion, and again be able to draw from the discourse (ala Laruelle) another overdetermined analysis and assertion of a true reality. So far, in as much as every expression is an exact reflection of existence at that moment, at least, we have Sartre’s description and now we have Laruelle’s, among a plethora of others.The problem is in their bad faith of being able to present a description of a real, true world; they end up only giving us a picture of a world that existed for a moment – but without the irony that would allow their proposal to give a picture of an eternally true world. It seems the history that fractal ontology, and other philosophies, rebuts is needing a little more time to fully realize its mythological basis.

* *

I am honored if indeed anyone has continued with me this far; I must assume that if you are still here then I have been speaking to the right person.

But chances are none have ventured this far… One is very hand to find; sometimes it takes a hundred and fifty years, or 2000, as the case may be.

Nevertheless, I have only to continue, regardless.

But right now, I’ve to go to the snack stand….

Direct Tangent 4.4: science and faith.

The main problem in finding the truth is that no one cares about the truth. And, even if one may, the usual outcome is that truth is located in two arenas of knowledge, found through their respective methodologies, science and culture, that reflect only a temporary-momentary truth called theory , or as a theory is played out time and time again and so confirmed, law, or tradition-dependent truth, which likewise develops law. The two are situated into arenas that may function exclusively but also cooperate. In other words, there is no ‘absolute’ truth, but only ‘relative’ truth except that the absolute truth of the matter is that there is only negotiated, or relative truth.

But indeed, I had a periodic and lengthy discussion with someone over just this feature of truth. His position was that there is an absolute truth but we just don’t know what it is yet, that science is in the process of uncovering the absolute truth of the universe. Further, he says, that we cannot know if what we know now is even a portion of this absolute truth, but through science, in the future, we will sort this out; for example, the theory of plate tectonics. He would say that the theory of plate tectonics is absolutely true, that indeed there are continental plates that float on a layer of magma, etc…

I countered that with Stephen Hawking’s idea that what we know as truth is really a scheme of truth based upon models, and that these models seem to work for practical solutions of apparent problems. I am not sure if Hawking would say that there is as absolute truth out there that we seek in science, I think he would be content with merely saying that there is a truth out there that we uncover through our investigations, but it is a human truth, and such truth is limited in its nature but it is all we can know, that there may be more to the universe than our knowledge, but we can never know it.

I do not stop on one side of things and proclaim it for the other; I say that such ideas, both my counterpart and Hawking’s, are based in faith, that this faith lends itself to a particular kind or scheme of knowledge, and that this scheme is intimately linked with the ethical standpoint of action, as this ethics develops a humanity to a particular kind of reality; a reality which is inherently false. That is, reality is inherently mythological at its base, and in so reflects only itself upon the unfolding of existence: it is not true, but only true in negotiation.

*

I was watching a show the other night called something like “Steven Hawking’s: the purpose of existence”, or something like that. The grand culmination is, after going through all the theoretical physics and nifty science facts, after the tip of the ‘model’ limit of knowledge (above) and using the model idea to indicate, as counterpoint, the individual realities that go on inside of each of us, that, thus, we all make our own realities, and the purpose of existence is the individual’s.

Umm; what ? Such a platitudinous regurgitation of modern new age spiritual science seems hardly worthy of one of the supposed Big Minds of our day. I could only think that the poor guy must need money, or Cambridge does; I’m sure someone does, because if all the Big Minds can come up with after all this science, thinking and formulating and discussing, is that each individual creates his or her own reality and purpose for that reality – with such an act of statement they have moved from scientists into priesthood, so presumptuous they are to proclaim that their science has even taken one step into or toward investigating what they have proclaimed truth upon: it is an act of utter religious flagrancy and pomposity – indeed; the Big Minds have done nothing but propagate their faith, as evidenced by Hawking’s move here. Utter small mindedness hiding itself in grandiose bias.

What I am saying is that if i have come upon the truth of the matter, or at least the beginning of it, maybe there will be people who will investigate with open minds what the truth may actually be; but i doubt it, becuase the great thing is, no one or hardly anyone cares so faithful they are. It is the story of the ages.

* *

So back to what i see includes Laruelle in this whole thing.
Science does contribute; philosophy, now, is a wing of science, or at least tries to be; Laruelle sees this. I cannot comment right now as to what he sees as following from his project, but if he is to remain consistent, the project can only propose necessary outcomes.

Hence, I proceed.

The problem of science is that even if it is a model that grants humans a working truth, humanity and scientists such a Hawking, do not go about life as if it is a model; they go about life as if it is absolutely true. Hence a reiteration of what I propose above: the faithful humanity, guided by the priests of science (among other priests) views itself and determines its worth ‘individually’ with reference to this truth of science. It likewise cannot help but see itself in the reflection of scientific dictates, in particular, psychology. Psychology proposes to describe the true human psyche and everyone sees him or herself through a lens described by psychology. It is not difficult to see that if I am having a view of myself as a reflection of the science of psychology, as my mind may work in various ways, I immediately have self worth or not in view of the truth of psychology which is admittedly only a model of the truth – I am going to have problems that I cannot but describe either as stemming from a spiritual or psychological malady. It is no wonder that our most popular forms of spirituality and religion have to do with aligning oneself with some transcendent god or gods or what have you. Science, and by extension, psychology, creates the necessity for a transcendent entity by the contradiction involved in science being itself a model, the model being a basis for actual and absolute (relative) truth, and the assertion of individual realities – such a formula allows for the individual that hardly “knows thyself” because the self, in faith, is always relegated to the mysterious individual of free will.

Yet, this is not to say that such a faith based in a methodology of acting, of action, does not contribute, but it does so in the arena of social justice. (See my post on Feminism.)
* * *

So I must describe Laruelle as a passivist. Not a pacifist, but a passivist as opposed to an activist. What I mean by this is not that he is a pussy or that he has no principles that he will stand up for. I do not mean that he does not behave from a general standpoint of propriety or that he won’t punch someone who crosses that line. I do not mean that there aren’t things worth advocating actively. What I mean is, in so much as i understand what Laruelle is saying, I cannot escape from the position where every problem that involves the individual reduces to one answer, so I am unable to address myself ethically to solve one problem wholeheartedly without also addressing other problems that naturally and inevitably concern the initial problem. This does not mean that Laruelle or I do not live life and address problems; rather, such problems have already been solved by their reduction to one solution, which is my being consistent with myself in existence – and I am thereby activated.

On the other hand, we have the co-conspirator in the project: the activist.

The activist sees each problem as being solvable, at least potentially, and the hope that accompanies the activity of solving each problem is justified in the ethical default that at least one tried to solve that problem even though its solution may then present, lead to or have caused more problems. The activist is thereby passive, in that they pass by the aggregate of the world, the world which is inevitably the activist itself, for the sake of solving one problem, and in remaining active despite its own deficiency in solution, the activist finds itself in the solution of other.

Together, the activist and the passivist join in active praxis through their natures of having an ability to confront ignorance; ignorance is seen by both as the antithesis of an ethical human existence. The passivist confronts what ignorance there may be for the individual human itself by refusing to stop himself or herself at their own belief, and thereby the passivist might become an unbiased and un-violenced representative instrument of existence. The activist confronts ignorance by questioning others from the perspective of an ethical righteousness that takes its form from an initial individual reflection of service, which gains from an impetus toward a common human social justice.

Ok. Now before I get into the more juicy parts of the meal, Im taking a coffee break. We will return after these important messages…..

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

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

http://web.warwick.ac.uk/philosophy/pli_journal/pdfs/laruelle_pli_8.pdf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tangent 3.1: Feminism

Readers may be confused by my comment on feminism, like it came out of nowhere and then was shanghai’d and made into a strange, over-milked form. That’s ok; I intend to be clear, so I should take a moment to explain terms that perhaps are not widely understood. Also, I should be clear that what I am describing some may consider just one aspect of what feminism is, a narrow aspect, but I believe that no feminist worth his or her weight will discount my presentation here. ( And I do invite critique.)

In the common world of everyday, feminism means about the same as women’s rights, except maybe a little more hardcore. A feminist of this sort maybe has become a sort of stereotype, maybe wears her hair short, but maybe not; maybe she tends toward more traditionally masculine jobs such as tree trimming or the trades, or maybe is driven to achieve in business and become a CEO, maybe she is just one who is sensitive for typical traditional Western manners such as holding a door for a woman or letting her in first. Maybe, even, she is homosexual. But also maybe – and this could be the most modern form of common feminism – she is none of these. Maybe she is a he: men can be feminists too (but not really, because they are men – wink, wink, nudge, nudge). At minimum, though, feminism is usually associated with advocating for women.

Yes; feminism most assuredly arose from the problem of women as second citizens. But feminism is not just about women’s rights. Feminism proper (and I use this ‘proper’ as a designating term of propriety, of what an end-run of analysis would bring) sees itself more as a praxis. As I explained in an earlier post, praxis can be said to be an alignment of knowledge, thought and activity into effective practice; feminists and social activists like the term ’empowerment’. Feminism thus usually concerns social arenas of human interaction, but especially uses of power.

Feminism is rooted primarily in critical thinking, and along with this, discourse. One of the basic ideas that was brought out by feminism was or is, what can be called, ideological encoding. What this means is that power is supported just as much, if not more so, through talking as it is through physical force. Power is encoded into how we speak of reality, and is developed and maintained as a manner of speaking about what is true, and what is ethically correct; this latter part forms what is called ideology. Such encoded structures of power are called discourse. Feminism arises as marginalized, or oppressed people, people who do not or have little say in what they are to do in life, begin to question what it is that keeps them down. Feminists have thereby equipped themselves with the tools to subvert unjust wielding of power. They see that every discourse has an implicit agenda, and their role is to uncover what this agenda is and how it functions in the ideological reality for the maintenance of power. Much of feminist critique concerns how such discourse occludes itself, or hides its mechanisms, from a notion of power as a part if its effect, so the other half of feminist praxis is to awaken subjects of power, to educate them, the oppressed, to their actual situation within ideological power structures.

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I mostly agree with feminist intent, though sometimes I think it is over applied.

My comment on feminism in the previous post concerns the implicit and explicit concerns of feminism and how, though they do often and mainly serve well for what can be known as ‘the good’, they tend to convey a limitation of this good founded in social justice, as if justice and fairness is the end, that one then can go on their marry way content that they have been empowered and achieved freedom in its most ideal and essential sense. My complaint is with the ideological structure in which feminism finds its true reality. For if the end run is indeed freedom and justice, once found through social action, they can not be taken as a Mercedes Benz that one has worked so long and saved up for, the prize having arrived. While they are noble things for which we must establish stalwart boundaries to guard against that which would more crassly and overtly impinge upon such freedom and justice, once established we must be obliged by such earned luxury to renounce it as individuals. We owe it to what is known as history not to become spoiled and lax, but to continue fearlessly into the void that is left inside the barricades, that we love, the void called freedom. We should not waste it on selfishly created despair and harbor together in support against the cold, gathering chemicals to ease us and things to appease us, sick minds to comfort us. We need continue onward. This is what I say.

Thank god for the feminist infantry who man the lines; but what they offer is not the goal, it is just the beginning.

Direct Tangent 3.1: Appropriation of the Rhetoric of Power, part 2

There is a book called “Castes of Mind” by a man maned Dirks. It is an historical analysis and critique of 19th century English colonialism through an overtly cultural difference, caste, and how this feature of Indian culture was dealt with both by the English in an attempt to rule, and the Indians attempting to assert cultural autonomy and agency. I do not remember what his argument is beyond a picture of this interaction, but what I inferred from his presentation was this idea of appropriation of rhetoric, what feminists and modern theorists and activists call, but from a slightly but significantly different view, ‘hegemonic discourse’. Dirks is giving us a picture of how ideology asserts itself through a process of discourse, where those who have the power, in the case of colonialism in India: England ( but colonialism in general), dictate the terms of the cultural negotiation upon the colonized, namely, the indigenous Indians. The scheme or group of terms and their definitional relations are seen as a mechanism or tool of asserting power (read: violence) upon those who are colonized, and, as a very light definition, this is called ‘hegemony’.

What this means is that those in power bring the terms by which those not in power may be allowed to exist. And this is literally the case. Dirks paints a picture of how this really means for us that people are permitted to exist through discourse. One example (keep in mind I am not doing a research paper here; I am merely recalling the book from memory – one can easily look up the book for themselves if interested) he gives is about some Indian ritual. If I remember correctly, Dirks is drawing his analysis from written material of the time of the events, from various sources. The significant point here, is that the English there had trouble making sense of it. When they would ask the locals what was going on, or their feelings about it or the reason behind it, the English had no context by which to understand them. The Indians were effectively silent; they could not be heard: they effectively did not exist. Because of this, the English could only act upon the events through the understanding they had, which was total misunderstanding. The English, because of their position of power, were righteous in their view, having little or no ability to understand that they perhaps did not understand the Indian context: the Indian context was exactly what the English thought it was. Thus, the Indian context, the reason and meaning of the ritual in this case, was ultimately written by the English. The Indians, in an effort to establish their cultural legitimacy thus, in various ways and circumstances, developed a position in relation to what the English were saying, and doing, and in this way the Indians began to exist, for if they did not respond to such rhetoric in that fashion, they would in effect ‘remain silent’, and would thus be forced, physically, existentially, out of existence.

This is the typical feminist reading, analysis and comment upon such a situation; there are many such analyses upon various cultural contexts. The feminists propose to reconcile this hegemony, to balance this abuse of power and infringement of human autonomy and rights, by advocating that the colonized people, whether it be women, blacks, Hispanics, Argentinians, Koreans, hair dressers, union workers, or what, raise their voices, as the Indians did, by asserting themselves actively into the discourse, what one could call, the priority discourse, or the discourse of power, what i call a ‘rhetoric of power’ for reasons I will develop later.

What I am saying is a critique of such feminist rhetoric. The Feminists say that one needs to appropriate the hegemonic discourse, so that there is enacted thereby a shift in power, so it loses its effective hegemony. See, hegemony is read to imply agenda that is not recognized or approved of by those who are the subjects of the hegemony. But I suggest that what occurs is not that the people are empowered to their agency, but rather, they themselves become subject of the rhetoric of power such that they then too get to partake in the spoils of – what has developed out of – the hegemony, of colonialism. The people who appropriate the priority discourse lose their identity as individual cultural agents, and instead become, as Paulo Freire might agree ( maybe, but his was not at this level of critique), oppressed: involved in the game of oppression, both the oppressor and oppressed likewise caught in play. The oppressed, who learn the ways of the oppressor, become acculturated such that they are rewarded for their complicity, and thereby sustain the game of oppression. Neither have enacted a true free agency, neither have come upon praxis; both are oppressed.

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This is the position Laruelle appears to be presenting, the position I present here. Laruelle has appropriated the rhetoric of power, the priority discourse, in order to present his minority view, which is exactly silent – but as opposed to the movement of feminist-colonialist theoretics, which present the possibility of pushing agencies out of real existence by virtue of the establishing reality of the hegemonic (priority) discourse. And, it is because of this feature of his proposing Non-Philosophy within or by the priority discourse that he appears to be in Bad Faith.

It is thus the explicating of this appearance that is my task at hand here. The existence Laruelle proposes is exactly real opposed to the reality of the rhetoric of power.

Direction 2.28: Appropriation of the Rhetoric of Power

The impetus of this blog page “The Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing” concerns the question: In the explication of his project called ‘Non-Philosophy’, why is Francis Laruelle so bogged down in high-speak jargon?

Now, be prepared; this series of essays is gonna drop some super bombs on your ideal reality. Granted, probably next to zero people are following along ( though I write as if some one person is), but the explanation is simple, as I said earlier: people care nada. Most people do not care about anything but their own idea of what is correct. If I can coin a term I just picked up from another blogger: the sheeple make up 99.99 % of the population, the cattle-people, and of that .01 that may care, hardly another .001 of those will be able to burden themselves with such a weighty, hard-hitting conceptual explosion. They only want to do their skill set and proclaim their ethics upon the world from their porch while they drink margaritas and bar-b-que steaks on their days off. There is no getting through to most people.

OK. Now that I’ve alienated what audience I had left, as i eat my steak and drink fruit smoothies, you fraction of a minutiae, you one people, you zero-percenters, get to see if you can hold on, because I am speaking to you. It is among you that the point of this discussion may find root. What I have to offer should be heard by academics, but I’ve probably insulted them too much already and their career typically doesn’t allow such boldness. One must remain timid, pliable; which is to say, conventionally acclimated.

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One might be easily drawn to the conclusion that Laruelle is an academic, and has been involved in academic circles so has been long acclimated to such linguistic weather. Sure. I am sure that this is the case. The idea behind this, though, is that academia hold the path to answers and that these answers, as well as the route, can only be understood through jargon. This is one explanation: it was the only language he knows/knew ( he is still alive at this point in time).

Yet the nature of his non-philosophy belies this explanation, for its message, the message that necessitates the ‘project’ aspect of his proposition, is saying as much as I am. Whether he sees it or not, there is a contradiction involved in his using the jargon to speak, or attempt to convey a reason and a proposal for action, against the proposal that is implicated by his use of such jargon. Hence, non-philosophy and philosophy, respectively.

The point of his project, though, is exactly that he sees the contradiction, and is in an effort to make it consistent. This is his project. To be clear: he must assert the project because it has to be more than a theory because the theory contradicts itself in its presentation.

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What we are seeing here is a trick of mirrors. See, what I am offering here is a description of what Laruelle is up to all the while showing through my description what he is actually saying; I am presenting a picture of what he must mean by not only explaining his ideas, but presenting the moment of understanding as the process of reading this essay.

What we have with non-philosophy is a juxtapositioning of rhetoric, as this juxtaposition thus indicates the rhetoric of power. One would not be wrong in calling it also a discourse of power, but more so its significance is found in a particular rhetoric that usurps meaning unto itself.
In the same way feminists speak of hegemonic discourse, such as, colonialist discourse, or as Paulo Freire might call the discourse of oppression, Laruelle’s proposition is based in the notion that there is a manner of speaking that appears on the scene as reality, as if it is indicating a true reality, but that it really is indicating mere one particular reality. By his non- philosophy, he is saying that this particular rhetoric is the only way of speaking that can be used, but that indeed, it is being used (by non-philosophy) in the attempt to convey another reality: one that is not subject to the rhetoric in power, but one that has no other rhetoric to use for its conveyance.