Tuesday, November 12, 2013

JMJ: Oxygene 8

 

There is something about this track that has stuck with me for many years. Swirling dualities pushed along on an eternal, winding stream.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Narratives in Blogs

As a corollary to my previous self-loathing post, I felt the need to comment briefly on the use of overarching narratives in a medium such as this one. Blightography, as one might tell from the opening salvo, was intended to have some sort of metaphysical and sociopolitical narrative. For the past year (yes, this site turned one year old yesterday to absolutely no fanfare - my poor, neglected literary bastard child), I attempted to construct a narrative upon what I perceived to be sturdy ground, only to have the building, foundation, and underlying terra firma vaporize in an instant after a period of steady decay.

I yearn to write a treatise on the post-structuralist hilarity of a blog about decay... which itself decays, but I will save that for the realm of imagination. Rest assured, I am not clever enough to have intended such an irony, but I am pleased by it nonetheless. Attempting to fit each individual entry into that flimsy narrative was a silly project, but I was entirely unaware that I was creating such a stitched-up abomination, a veritable Tower of Babel.

Whither shall this project next travel? I have not the faintest idea and I intend to keep it so. Narratives in this medium are too constraining and more often than not impose a certain sterile rigidity which  stifles free exploration.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense

We have seen how it is originally language which works on the construction of concepts, a labor taken over in later ages by science. Just as the bee simultaneously constructs cells and fills them with honey, so science works unceasingly on this great columbarium of concepts, the graveyard of perceptions. It is always building new, higher stories and shoring up, cleaning, and renovating the old cells; above all, it takes pains to fill up this monstrously towering framework and to arrange therein the entire empirical world, which is to say, the anthropomorphic world. Whereas the man of action binds his life to reason and its concepts so that he will not be swept away and lost, the scientific investigator builds his hut right next to the tower of science so that he will be able to work on it and to find shelter for himself beneath those bulwarks which presently exist. And he requires shelter, for there are frightful powers which continuously break in upon him, powers which oppose scientific ”truth” with completely different kinds of ”truths” which bear on their shields the most varied sorts of emblems. 

The drive toward the formation of metaphors is the fundamental human drive, which one cannot for a single instant dispense with in thought, for one would thereby dispense with man himself. This drive is not truly vanquished and scarcely subdued by the fact that a regular and rigid new world is constructed as its prison from its own ephemeral products, the concepts. It seeks a new realm and another channel for its activity, and it finds this in myth and in art generally. This drive continually confuses the conceptual categories and cells by bringing forward new transferences, metaphors, and metonymies. It continually manifests an ardent desire to refashion the world which presents itself to waking man, so that it will be as colorful, irregular, lacking in results and coherence, charming, and eternally new as the world of dreams. Indeed, it is only by means of the rigid and regular web of concepts that the waking man clearly sees that he is awake; and it is precisely because of this that he sometimes thinks that he must be dreaming when this web of concepts is torn by art. Pascal is right in maintaining that if the same dream came to us every night we would be just as occupied with it as we are with the things that we see every day. ”If a workman were sure to dream for twelve straight hours every night that he was king,” said Pascal, ”I believe that he would be just as happy as a king who dreamt for twelve hours every night that he was a workman. In fact, because of the way that myth takes it for granted that miracles are always happening, the waking life of a mythically inspired people-the ancient Greeks, for instance- more closely resembles a dream than it does the waking world of a scientifically disenchanted thinker. When every tree can suddenly speak as a nymph, when a god in the shape of a bull can drag away maidens, when even the goddess Athena herself is suddenly seen in the company of Peisastratus driving through the market place of Athens with a beautiful team of horses-and this is what the honest Athenian believed- then, as in a dream, anything is possible at each moment, and all of nature swarms around man as if it were nothing but a masquerade of the gods, who were merely amusing themselves by deceiving men in all these shapes. F. Nietzsche
(Full text here)

In other words, my preceding abomination of ideas, stated more eloquently and efficiently. 

Demiurge

The cards are stacked against us. From the moment we come into this existence, Death has a bounty on our heads that time will collect. "Nature" is rife with suffering. Traditionalists and conservatives of all stripes constantly reinforce the idea of a primordial Nature, a supreme Good, and a higher Beauty. They desire transcendence.

Why? Because life as mutant apes is miserable. Deep in our hearts, we know it. All of our endeavors have centered around an escape from this dreadful prison. Look at the notion of an Afterlife, whether it be Heaven or Nirvana. All involve the escape from the conditions that bind us to this horror. Nirvana, in the Mahayana tradition, is especially interesting: it is not a place, or a state to be "attained;" rather, it is a non-state, a complete Void. To the Buddhist, the conditions of life and time are such that suffering is inevitable. Time is the Fire that burns us, but we are the Fire.

Religion is not the sole avenue: art, music, culture, crafts, jobs - all are methods of escape. We yearn for moments of orgasmic ecstasy, to imprint on each passing moment some sense of permanence and meaning. Perhaps we could survive without our knowledge and books, but we could not survive without passion - Eros and his allies, the only true saviours and redeemers.

There is an even more latent method of escape flying by night, unbeknownst to even the most skeptical of conservative sentries: historical idealism. We often look to past civilizations to admire their "superior understanding" of what is "good" - as though our predecessors were more than confused mutant apes like us.  Postmodernism as a memetic context has existed for far longer than most are comfortable to admit. We all hate the world. Even the most battle-hardened, life-affirming Ubermensch will lie upon his deathbed, cowered by the oblivion that awaits.

The Hero archetype must be redefined, at least so far as my own perspective is concerned. Camus's Absurd Hero is a good start: Fighting against the Absurd, rebelling against entropy and chaos, creating castles and fortifications within, and, by extension, without - all necessary. But I feel something is missing.

What is needed What I need is more than a mere affirmation of "Life." I need to affirm Eros. Eros and Life must become inseparable. Reason may continue its existence, but it must be subservient to Eros. Reason must exist for the sole purpose of facilitating Eros. As a condition of being human, Reason demands utilization, but only as the stablehand of its valiant superiors.

I must also crush the appeals to Nature I make within. Nature, being a model, desires certain imbibitions - "good," "bad," "ambivalent." But I cannot use Nature as a basis for any of my formulations. What is "natural" is not what is "good" (I use "good" and "bad" in the Nietzschean sense, here). Transhumanism, then, becomes a viable platform, so long as it is stripped of its fallaciously objective, pseudo-Christian moral imperatives.

I'm tempted to end this rant with a witty aphorism, but I know my efforts are put to shame by the ones who came before. In fact, instead of ending with a short, witty quote from some dead philosopher, I am going to copy an entire passage and post it simultaneously so that my own drivel is buried beneath it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tantras against Decadence

The mistake of those who apprehend decadence is to try to oppose it whereas it must be encouraged: by developing it exhausts itself and permits the advent of other forms. The true harbinger is not the man who offers a system when no one wants it, but rather the man who precipitates Chaos, its agent and incense-bearer.
Cioran - A Short History of Decay