Modern

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If a person never contradicts himself, it must be that he says nothing.
Miguel de Unamumo

Modernity is a mass exhumation, plunging multiple, trembling, accelerating tunnels into the depths of affectivity. An ambiguous anticipation of this pure positivity can be paradoxically grasped already in the very grayness, finality, boredom and gravity of the classical categories of knowledge. For the consistency of the subject in the classical sense is metaphysical, sublime, hidden, like a secret promise.

But the same metaphysical operation has an entirely different meaning to modern ears. To us, subjectivity indicates creativity and energy. Flight exploits gravity, both in taking-off and landing: modernity brings a celerity and furor to bear upon hypocritical objectivity. For what guarantees the consistency of a decision upon critical self-awareness, besides an uncertain and terrifying project of profound (psychic) extrusion?

The modern project is also classical, but re-opening rather than repeating it. Dehiscence. The modern is an historical excess, a point of over-saturation, in-differentiation, hyper-depersonalization, “literal” dissolution. Conduct an experiment, disintegrate cautiously, get started! For beneath culture and nature, beneath science and literature, a cosmic or microscopic order intrudes.

An alien or insect, a plague or parasite, has already made its home. Science ignores the invisible virus, hoping that, against all likelihood, there will be order, stability, law. Ceaselessly, the parasite interrupts our silence, our judgment, our consumption — and creates love: a real relationship, a relationship to reality. Most of the cells in your body do not have your DNA: the plague co-opts our bodies. It “acquires” faith. It distorts our worlds, but creates the word as trace of its passage.

The dark shadow of the parasite threatens every bright and sparkling spirit; in its shadow is gravity itself. The parasite invents comedy by distorting messages; the insect who exploits seriousness, thereby liberating transformative intensities — but in the shadow of the plague, a gravity re-asserts itself. But we knew that all along, we planned on it.

Flight demands a parasite, creation demands subversion. The plague is a translator which overflows and constitutes our world itself as a trace of its passing. At the limit, the parasite cannot be distinguished from the angel. Both communicate; a signal is always already the name of God and the book of Hell. Classical thought attentuates this signal, imposes limitations, categories, boundaries, englobements.

Modernity rediscover its living experience — and its purpose — in re-opening the negated line of flight, an eschatology, powerful and passionate pathway to reality. Towards more profound love, towards an abstract plane of consistency. The prophet ceaselessly proclaims the same difference: knowledge is delirium!

Limitative hypotheses upon the limits of knowledge or observation, indicate a “degenerate,” used-up or otherwise blockaded line of thought. These breakpoints emerge dramatically, if obsessively, with modernity itself — if they are not its very motor.

The parasitic origin, the insect, the cyborg, the Outside can no longer be “originary.” Modernity must not cross the new plague out, nor confuse it with the classical plague. The modern spirit’s will-to-”truth” demands that this dangerous delirium be released, precisely where it was formerly enclosed, suffocated, ignored — and finally reduced to silence.

Modernity is the archae-ontology of the silence of the parasite, the silence of the organelles — in all seriousness, a diagnosis of the sickness of “health”.

This entry was written by Joseph Weissman and published on Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 2:18 am. It’s filed under critique, decision, escape, gravity, health, language, love, metaphysics, modern, order, outside, parasite. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Modern

  1. It is so pleasant to read some of your articles. This one is so much like a poetic piece of philosophy. Your choice of words was just perfect. But the message is a little scary… is it possible to escape modernity?

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