Implosion

Philosophy begins in aporia, with a paradox or inconsistent consensus. Thus, the most ancient metaphysical figure, which we also recognize as the most simple, the shadow of the parasite upon the unconscious: a thought which denies and provokes, which produces a paradox through its utterance, through its very way of existing. Precisely, then: a prohibition which prohibits its paradox from being thought. The most ancient trope of philosophy begins and ends with this “must,” which exceeds its limit, and so cannot “seriously” be interpreted as a prohibition. But now what does this injunction become? It functions as a portent — a premonition: do not think this now, but perhaps some day. Thus a portent in the precise sense that the paradox prohibits itself from being resolved, and so remains inextricably open, ex-posed to an outside of thought — to a possible future. A denial of the impossible — which follows as a necessary consequence of the possible. Thus the prohibition is not a “discipline” of mind but a rigorous passivity or vulnerability which allows the compulsion of a result, even against the heart’s own desires. Hence the labor, and danger, of thought.

The prohibition barring the very Thought is a portent in the literal sense that it proclaims the immanent Reality it simultaneously denies. The world is swept away and transfigured, merely by a breath, a word, a thought: the originary paradox of becoming, already giving birth to both those of language and being, of discourse and discipline. The philosopher’s stone is only an implosion; to philosophize is to make legible this indecipherable transformation, to reveal this uncanny origin of writing, and to uncover the divergent roots of sensation and signification: in short philosophy’s task today is to crack itself open… Philosophy is a vulnerability, not a power but precisely a humility before thought, a restrained reason which is finally capable of inventing a way out of the black hole, of engendering immanent becomings… We are only beginning to diagram this machine. Philosophy sometimes realizes itself to be one with its result, and poses the question of its foundational prohibition in rigorous terms as the force of a concept: this “strange” energy attending the donation of signs. We may well ask: why are we continually returning, or rediscovering this result, this symptom? Reality itself become symptom; of what origin is this “hidden” glare, this resonance, this infinite inter-mediation, this fold?

An odd but simple paradox which is immediately the production of an entire system of mixtures, a complex and diversely-constituted assemblage, rigorously but madly constructed — axiomatic and diagrammatic by turns. A machinic immanence, where we had thought to discover life; and a new humanity, where we had “only” thought to invent machines. We are moving outwards from the middle of language, turning towards an outside. The essence of language is not this journey but the sound of pure silence, the tension of the saying without a “said,” which indicates a unique vulnerability before truth: the sincerity or truthfulness which is the very donation of the sign itself; thus beyond essence or before being, this giving without a given, this ambiguity.

This entry was written by Joseph Weissman and published on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 9:15 pm. It’s filed under desire, diagram, future, language, life, machine, ontology, outside, philosophy, thinking. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Implosion

  1. Very close to somethings I was trying to say! Oh and by the way it does remind me of the first few paragraphs of “Violence & Metaphysics”.

    And when you say, “It functions as a portent — a premonition: do not think this now, but perhaps some day”, I would add that a further exploration into this “perhaps” might lead us to the Lure in Philosophy, or rather as some would dare say, the Lure ‘of’ Philosophy, esp when you briefly mention the “danger, of thought” and the “vulnerability” therein.

    What would be further “revelatory” I guess, is if you would have or may in the future mention/link Corporeality along the lines of this Thought, for it is mostly ignored (or taken to be so obvious for mentioning) which discussing these!

    As I had once written, “to philosophize is to learn how to ultimately unlearn this very thing of philosophy”

    In regard to your statement, “Philosophy is a vulnerability, not a power but precisely a humility before thought”, what can be further asked is: –
    Can one be perpetually vulnerable, so as to ‘always’ remain open to the possibilities of the impossible, that being thinking-the-unthinkable, and yet not be struck down by hurt?

    And because I talked about the Lure in/of Philosophy, and also I see you post it under “desire”, so would you say that there be some link between Desire and Violence as there is one between Love and Hurt (through Despair I think)? And if there be so, then possible connotation can that have to this post on the Love-Of-Wisdom?

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful comments! Both Deleuze and Derrida care a lot about this dangerous boundary or lure, this channel where everything happens, between bodies and words, entities and judgments. Philosophy, it seems, can adopt a positive, democratic attitude towards science, art, politics, in short, modernity — it can circulate between them as its conditions — or it can adopt a negative, authoritarian attitude towards them and pretend to legislate them. Incidentally, I think Badiou and Deleuze connect together precisely here: our paths, our origins, are divergent, but this divergence must nevertheless be affirmed, precisely as the non-being of the One — the transversality of truth, the univocity of sense… As for your last question, I think we need to stop interpreting desire, and start resisting its repression, especially in our own hearts — vengeance, rancor, and so on. As Serres remarks, the same situation — hierarchy, exchange — is found on the playground and at academic conferences alike… The same little fiefdoms. Where, then, is truth, if not precisely in a certain kind of relationship, in other words, a specific — a safe — distance from the event? I think the point today is that there is no such safe distance, no absolute truth or absolute ignorance, only degrees, senses — an ambiguity which itself is a model of lucidity.

    Thanks again for your wonderful comments!

    Joe

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