birth, creation, difference, glare, outline, parasite, religion, resonance, signal, silence, singularity

Arpeggio

We are not one, but two. Dimorphs, in between, always escaping the fold and the unfold, running off madly in both directions. We are more viral — composed of parasites, miniature bodies without organs — than we are “hominid,” more “dead” than alive.

The origin of religion is the veil, the simplest tomb: the meaning of birth is not death but exposure, a novel opening into what admits of nothing but pure exchange. The two series diverge, but a singularity escapes both: a counter-signal, a nuance.

God is tucked behind innumerable folds, joyously obscured by the interweaving, patchwork garments of the messengers.

Perhaps the difference is tiny enough, and ever shrinking in this cosmos of interfusions. But already we are carefully following them, even — as it were — drawn forward by these untamed singularities…

He dances in their silences. What is the message? There is no answer to this question. Only, perhaps, the briefest of glimpses, the outline of the fold, an opening nearly obscured by dangerous glare.

The frame doesn’t converge with the outline; and there were never really outlines. Without signals the frame bursts, and what remains is neither finite nor infinite, but inter-finite, creation, resonance.

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asceticism, gandhi, God, love, nihilism, non-violence, paradox, Politics, purity, religion, truth

Purity

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To see the universal and all-pervading spirit of Truth face to face one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself. And a man who aspires after that cannot afford to keep out of any field of life.

That is why my devotion to truth has drawn me into the field of politics; and I can say without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.

Gandhi

To Gandhi’s way of thinking, self-purification is the straight and narrow path towards realizing God, the only possible means human beings have to allow them become truly and actively non-violent. Purification is not constrained to one or two kinds of activities; religion is inseparable from all human activities, as their essence or content. In order to approach truth, human beings must becomes purified; if they purify themselves, the world around them will become purified as well.

The pathway of purification therefore also leads to non-violence in all ways of life: only once we become pure of heart can we identify ourselves with any living being — even those who hate us. We can love the lowest; we can even find the strength to love our enemies:

Not until we have reduced ourselves to nothingness can we conquer the evil in us. God demands nothing less than complete self-surrender as the price for the only real freedom that is worth having. And when a man thus loses himself he immediately finds himself in the service of all that lives. It becomes his delight and his recreation. He is a new man, never’ weary of spending himself in the service of God’s creation. (MM, 30)

We may begin to grow curious at the absolute positivity Gandhi deduces from self-negation. How can surrender produce freedom? Yet Gandhi claims surrender is the price for the only freedom which is worth having. We must lose ourselves in order to find ourselves (transposed, does this imply God must be infinitely distant from us in order to discover him as truth itself? That in a way, God must die in order to be revived within us, through our spiritual self-purification?)

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art, ascetic ideal, chaos, efficiency, history, humility, illusion, improvement, irony, meaning, Nietzsche, order, problem, religion, resentment, science, socrates, spirit, will to power

The Meaning of Science

What is the Meaning of Science?
Nietzsche and the History of the Human Spirit

What is problematic about science? What does the “progress” of science mean about human beings? I believe this question turns everything which is unsettling, mysterious, and uncanny about the course of human development (and not only human); who can exhaust what is figured within the folds of this strange question — science thought as a symptom, science grasped as a problem?

What obstructs this question from being thought? How do we interpret this ‘secondary’ problem which intervenes at the critical moment to derail thought — this “problem of the problem” of the meaning of science? At any rate it is clear the difficulty we encounter in formulating this problem are manifold, altogether formidable, but taken separately…? For science itself always already understands, justifies, and regulates itself in turn upon the basis of something non-scientific. Science as such is ultimately foundationless, and furthermore, this is one of its necessary conditions. This is a warning for those who would seek to regulate philosophy by means of “scientific” protocol; for these would in turn require their own justification… Which is not to say that such justification exists or should be sought after — but rather to pause right here, so that we can open up our profoundest capabilities of insight in order to ask: what is science as a problem? What is the meaning of science?

We should stop for a moment and reflect upon this question. We are looking for a meaning specific to science, but the meaning of science as it actually operates in history (and not, for instance, an abstract image of “science” considered in isolation of real problems.) We must try to seek the meaning of science in the more general context of human development, and ask what science means for the human species; or even more pointedly, what it means about what the human species has become. This question should be read as signifying science’s concealed meaning-about-us, a partial truth about what we are becoming as a species. The meaning, if we can but attune ourselves to it, indicates something real — albeit darkly, indirectly and only with constant resistance — about the “rate” and “direction” of human development. In this sense the problem of meaning of science reveals a way to diagnose civilization itself.

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critique, decision, determination, epoch, expression, freedom, history, illusion, Marx, metaphysics, networks, Politics, practice, production, religion, slavery, struggle, Thought

Being and Revolution

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The materialist doctrine concerning the changing of circumstances and upbringing forgets that circumstances are changed by men and that it is essential to educate the educator himself. This doctrine must, therefore, divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society.

The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-changing can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionary practice.

Karl Marx

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corruption, culture, enlightenment, exhaustion, free spirit, Gay Science, individuality, Nietzsche, progress, religion, superstition, war

Nietzsche, Corruption, Exhaustion

In book I, section 23 of Gay Science, Nietzsche deploys a theory concerning the rise of the individual in relation to the signs of corruption in a society. This corruption signifies for Nietzsche the development and culmination of superstition in a culture. Superstition in this text is equated with the “second-order free spirit.” Unlike the religious advocate, the superstitious is always more of a person, meaning that the appearance of this attribute is the development of the progress of the intellect in its movement of becoming more independent; thus superstition is the delight and celebration of the cultivation of individuality and individuals. Similar to his attacks on “the good” in Zarathustra, Nietzsche reminds us that the term “corruption”—which here, as elsewhere, appears as a positive condition (for the growth of ‘riper’ individuals no less)—actually stems from a value judgment made by the religious status quo against the rise of superstition. In this sense, Nietzsche strikes against the reactionary (can we say, re-reacts?) and affirms that, on the contrary, this development of superstition is “actually a symptom of enlightenment.” Superstition and corruption become here the means by which morality, its means of capture and containment, its stratification of the individual, and its disciplinary ‘No’ of auto- and trans-policing all lose their primacy in governing and guiding the actions of the individual, which, to follow Nietzsche, we will interpret as the inevitable symptom of the decline of the legislative and repressive power of the collective.

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apparatus of capture, culture, custom, decay, democracy, genealogy, image of thought, individual, instrumentality, Nietzsche, nomad, overman, Politics, power, religion, society, sovereignty, state, unground, universal, universal politics, utopia, war, war machine, warrior, Zarathustra

Nietzsche and the Capture and Domestication of Peoples

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“You shall obey—someone and for a long time: else you will perish and lose the last respect for yourself”—this appears to me to be the moral imperative of nature which, to be sure, is neither “categorical” as the old Kant would have it (hence the “else”) nor addressed to the individual (what do individuals matter to her?), but to peoples, races, ages, classes—but above all to the whole human animal, to man (Beyond Good and Evil, §188).

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artaud, becoming, chance, change, freedom, hunger, necessity, power, religion, structure, Theory / Philosophy

Freedom and Becoming

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Jacek Yerka, Port

Artaud writes that there is a possibility in theater for the creation of a new freedom, under the light of a “strange sun, [with] an unusually bright light by which the difficult, even the impossible, suddenly appears to be our natural medium.” His unusual description points to the possibility for a radical transformation of psychic and social capability; it also points to the very real likelihood (though not certainty) that all such efforts will fail for the time being.

Of course, culturally speaking, failure is relative; a work of art is only really as profound as its failures. (Not to mention that our own failures contrast our victories, a struggle without which poetry and religion would lose all their power over us.) However, Artaud’s curious image makes it possible to see a path beyond victory and failure, beyond destiny and chance. It is always possible to act in such a way that the situation itself is transformed. It all requires the most perfect timing, the most effective and delicate deployment of intensities. Becomings must be undertaken carefully; they are apt to lose control, overflow, and fly off the handles.
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