Ideology/Identity and Nihilism

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Ideology/Identity tries to contain thought within an enclosed space that is the reality-that-is for those within it. It may be dynamically charged with the concept that it is also the reality-that-should-be or the best reality for everyone. In the latter case the Ideology/Identity runs the risk of exploding into a surge of imperialism (e.g.: the West, on one hand, and the Islamic Nation on the other). In the case of the West, despite its grand ideology of “freedom” the spaces enclosed by Ideology/Identity are consciousness-restricted spaces that are determined by dogmas and xenophobias as opposed to any authentic lust for liberating awareness and opportunities. The borders of the USA, for example, enclose an enormous conglomeration of Identity ideologies and the idea of the nation-state system working in harmony and bringing all these ideologies together within the same enclosed space is promoted as a magnificent example of what the Global-economy Ideology of Freedom can do. But, in truth, Ideology/identity can only be obtained by promoting the opposite of freedom. It requires false consciousness or even unconsciousness.

As for the Islamic Nation it has no borders and its Ideology/Identity is firmly rooted in the idea of Islam, which means submission to Allah, or, in practical terms, to those who profess to know how to interpret Allah correctly.

Seen as freedom versus submission the West and the Islamic Nation are antithetical forces which offer very little to each other in terms of creating any Yin Yang type harmonious separation. Nevertheless, both systems do have a common ground based on their shared anti-human nihilism created by a dualism of believers or non-believers. The nihilism of the non-believers versus the nihilism of the faithful; the nihilism in the belief in the paradise beyond the earthly versus the nihilistic faith in the fact that nothing we do in our lives makes any sense other than that we make the most of our limited time here on earth.

This nihilism is a direct result of the process of Ideology/Identity formation. As if the last thing we should consider is that we are human beings and that humanity has an authentic purpose in itself. It is a process of separation and segregation through the creation of enclosures. Separation breeds ignorance and ignorance is a kind of slavery for Sapiens. A fetter holding humanity back from uncovering its real destiny as a species.

THE MEANING OF THE UNIVERSE IS THE MEANING OF LIFE

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For a scientific understanding of life on Earth (or all life as we know it) we need only study its double helix, DNA. The DNA is an archive, a library and an operating system. Life, as such, is dependent on information that is stored, read and followed. The individual is subject to the complexity and limitations of this information. What’s more, it is this double helix which also determines our individuality as much as our similarities. We are biological computers based on a binary system of base pairs: a combination of adenine and cytosine; cytosine and guanine; guanine and thymine; thymine and cytosine, etcetera … This is our four element, binary combination language – the language of life.

But the question why does life exist is a profound one, as is the question of why does anything exist. Fundamental questions that the scientific understanding of life can only satisfy up to a point. In order to find deep answers to the deepest questions we need to go beyond fact to reasons and purpose; we have to bring science back into the fold of philosophical speculation from which science originated from sometime around the 5th century BCE.

This is not to say by any means that we should abolish or even diminish the science, but, on the contrary allow speculation to fuel a science-based philosophy concerned with meaning that will pull science back into the realm of metaphysics. A future science with pre-Socratic intentions if you like.

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Nothing can come from nothing, says reason, but science demonstrates that a particle can emerge from the void and vanish again. From nothing you came and to nothing you will return. The will to have what we lack. Nothing lacks everything, but let’s start with something. From the void there came a particle. That was enough. A thing, generated by lack of everything and motivated by a possibility of anything, aggregated into a singular complexity of that everything that needed to explode and allow such potential to become forms, perhaps even become everything in an infinite, multi-dimensional way. An everything that needs time and space in order to understand it. But within that time and space it also needs something capable of perceiving it. It needs an objective observer, something fashioned with sensors. Of course if everything exists there will not only be an abundance of these organisms, and an abundance of intelligent forms of these creatures, but also, an absolute lack of them … but that doesn’t make sense, does it? Or perhaps it does …

In order for everything and nothing to exist, time and space must exist, for it is time and space which provides the separation allowing for diversity to be possible. Everything is One thing, a mass that needs to be broken apart in order to be able to perceive the real potential of everything, but included in the One is also an Absolute Zero as well as a never truly achieved Infinity. This breaking apart of the Infinite singularity is managed through the manifestation of time and space.

But what has this got to do with the meaning of life?…

Life: a double-helix DNA executive commanding its single-strand RNA clerk. Our primary communication, which is at the same time the executive communication. Constant, but silent and secretive. The secret Genetic Code. A linear codex as of the steps of a ladder. Letters in a sentence, a punctuated sentence. Life is a language, dictated by DNA. We are built on carbon foundations building other complex language systems on silicon foundations.

The goal of evolution is to produce the perfect brain that will be able to achieve the most complex understanding of the world and the universe it is a tiny part of. The universe is a universe of information transmitted through language but mainly devoid of objects capable of understanding that language and acting accordingly. But by analysing the physical form of the universe it becomes clear that it has an aim. Time and space and DNA exist because the principal aim of the universe is to understand itself; to be able to exist in a conscious and self-conscious, self-fulfilled way. This can only take place through the agent of intelligent life.

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Uroboros vs. Ego : World vs. Humanity

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“The nascent ego becomes aware of pleasure-pain qualities, and from them it experiences its own pleasure and pain… The unconscious life of nature, which is also the life of the Uroboros, combines the most meaningless destruction with the supreme meaningfulness of instinctive creation…” (Neumann, 1949, p. 39)

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Human reality is a dual expression between pleasure and pain in a world of meaningless destructions and meaningful creations. A dual experience between the reality of the world’s nature and the fantasies and creations of our imaginations. The real is the great duality of Being: that we are in the world and the world is in us. A dual reality that breeds its own dualities: the agony of the ecstasy of creation, the senselessness and inherent natural necessity of destruction.

The Uroboric reality is an unconscious one, egoless. We preserve a sense of it in our subconscious for it was our prenatal reality. The unconscious being of being in the womb. With birth so to is born the ego: the self-consciousness that separates us from the Uroboric world and empowers us with contemplation of it and of ourselves. From sensory consciousness to cerebral understanding, to reason.

With its ego activated, life for the human becomes a tremendous, often overwhelming experience. At times there seems to be too much life; at others everything seems to be lacking. Yet the unconscious connection with the Uroboric is never completely lost, in fact it seems to manifest itself in the fabric of all our ideologies as a yearning for autarchy.

 

The yearning for the Paradise, for a return to the Garden of Eden, is a yearning for a return to the autarchy of the Uroboros. The simple autarchy of being-in-the-world without any other responsibility or necessity other than that of being-in-the-world.

The yearning persists, but the ego has turned against it, transforming the yearning into a melancholy that we dare indulge in only spasmodically – lest it annihilate us. The infant ego contemplates the overwhelming with more fear than wonder. Reality for the child is a constant struggle to face fear and overcome it. It is from this struggle that the idea of the hero is born, and the protector, which is another form of heroism.

Inherent in both heroism and protection there is the concept of power. Power is a struggle which has to be either provided, as a gift from the powerful hero or a god, or acquired, usually by passing a test, a quest, a coming-of-age ceremony, an initiation.

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According to depth psychology, ruling over the psychic stage of the adolescent ego is the Uroboric figure of the Great Mother of Mother Nature: the Earth Mother; the world in which we must be; the great womb enclosing our after-birth existence.

It is the Earth Mother who brings death and sickness: plagues, famine, floods, forest fires, droughts and earthquakes. She terrifies us with her thunder and will strike us down with lightning.

In the beginning we did not love the world, we could not love it, we were terrified of it. Our fantasies, instead of liberating us from our fears only worsened them – for human reality is not just being-in-the-world but being there accompanied by all the phantoms, beasts and monsters of our fecund imagination. It is not enough that there is a famine this year, there is also a terrible demon and dragon that is causing the famine.

Yet it is this fear which also fed the human ingenuity that created a human need for technology, art, science and culture. Every inventor is a potential hero. Every architect, every doctor, every sculptor… Every culture until now has been the result of our heroic need to overcome our inherent fear of the world, and in this detail we see our inherent problem with the world.

We have to stop fearing and learn to love it; learn to unselfishly live with it; to treat it with the respect that it deserves.

We are in this world and we would like to think that we control it, but that is a lie. We are never really in control. The force and power of nature is tremendous. We can but react to what nature throws at us when it throws itself at us. We do our best to protect ourselves, but ultimately we are dependent on the benevolence of the powers that be.

ECOLOGY AS IDEOLOGY AND THE UROBORIC DRIVE

ImageIs ecology a science or an ideology? It seems to be both, but can it be both? What does ecology as a science gain or lose through its ideological processing? How is the ideology of ecology strengthened or weakened by the science?

Žižek, in his work on ideologies, disassembles ecology into a minimum of six ideological streams: conservative; etatist; socialist; liberal-capitalist; feminist; and anarchic self-management[i]. But he argues that none of these categories is itself “true”, which is not to say that the ecological concern is not a real one, rather that the methodological angle proposed is “not true”. Or, in other words, the ideological process falsifies the attempt at establishing truth that is carried out by the science. Does this perhaps explain why ecology as a political movement, despite all the concern for climate change and the prophecies of an eco-collapse apocalypse, has had only negligible results in the polls?

Žižek is right to point out the fractal nature of the ecological movement, but its stratification also points to a political need of veiling its own nature. By painting itself in different colours, the ecological propagandists are attempting to divert our attention from the inevitably most frightening side of ecology as an ideology: its unavoidable totalitarianism. No matter where we stand, if we accept the ecological discourse we are also accepting its absolute necessity, and it is that absolutism which scares voters away, for any truly Green government would have to be a totalitarian one.

But what is a totalitarianism based on absolute necessity? Is it any different to any other totalitarianism?

How would it differ to the totalitarian regime of the globalised liberal-democracies we currently have? Well, it would not be based on an illusion, like the lie of democracy and the illusion of freedom that our capitalist system offers. The basic ecological-ideology premise is that of the need for a partnership between humanity and the world that ultimately must sustain humanity. This creates a shift of human priorities away from the fantasies of economies and the money grabbing game toward  the most obvious and irrefutable necessities of survival in a world we have become hostile to and which is becoming increasingly hostile towards us. In a sense a return to that which is so obvious that it was forgotten.

Of course the success of capitalism has always been its great inner dialectic, and in this way the stratification of ecological ideology could also be a positive thing: a government of shades of green within the great forest of the world and humanity. But capitalism has always used its dialectic and creative potential unwisely and egotistically, creating an absurdly internecine ideology out of the fantasy of perpetual growth. Ecology, on the other hand, encourages diversity within the “truthful” confines of a holistic world-view, geared toward the maintenance of a human partnership with the world.

Ecology is certainly very different to the capitalist machine we have today, but does that mean it could fall into the same traps as the anti-capitalist, communist totalitarian regimes? How would an ecological holistic differ from a communist one? What would the difference between ecological totalitarianism and communist totalitarianism be? Would the power-hungry forces not also adapt to any such total ideology of truth and take control of it for their own profit as soon as ecology was seen to be the most likely survivor in the political maelstrom? Surely a system driven by the concept of “necessity” would be easy prey for those who would like to legitimise absolute control.

A vicious circle is already unravelling itself, only to take hold of its own tail again in order to swallow itself. But perhaps this most ancient image of the Uroboros, the tail-swallowing serpent, is the final revelation: that our drives are magnetic ones, folding us back toward the Uroboric state of an autarchic relationship with the world which is the perpetual result, if only in a perverted way, of any attempts to revaluate or reinvent our circumstances. Capitalism’s final end is to become a Uroboros, even if this is not its conscious eschatology. the System, whatever form it has, is manipulated subconsciously towards the Uroboric, autarchic paradise which we lost so long ago. But while for capitalism the Uroboric autarchy is a Utopian dream that can only end in a complete annihilation of the tail swallowing serpent, the ecological Uroboros has to be imagined perfectly intact and healthy.

The Uroboric drive is in Eros as much as in Thanatos. It is the ultimate unity, representing where we have come from – the autarchy of the foetus in the womb – and where we are going – our final conversion into dust or gas. At either end of the unity the condition is an ecological one. A return to the Uroboric state of being is the Being of the Great Mother, the planet Earth. As an Eros-driven force, our will to freedom is an autarchic will, as is our will for love; our sex drive; our will for community and our desire for isolation; our will to communicate; our creative drives; our willingness to share; and also our need to be protective and cautious. The essence of all of this is in autarchy.

To use Lacan’s terms, we have an “unredeemed symbolic debt” with the Uroboric. The Uroboros acts on the constant within our reality. It is the unchangeable, ever-real force that drives the unconscious of all human will. To take the lie out of ideology would be to bring the Uroboric drive to the forefront. If art is a recalling and an uncovering then what has to be rediscovered is this Uroboric will. It is a will to necessity and will to potentiality. A will to return (Thanatos) and at the same time a will to moving forward (Eros), but above all it is a desire for the preservation through eternity in the autarchy that lies between the two conflicting drives.

The Uroboros has to be seen as that which encircles humanity. The human is within the autarchy of the world and must respect the autarchy. Alchemical symbology comes to mind: of the macrocosm and microcosm, a visual image of the Uroboric serpent encircling the Vitruvian  Man. These are our constants:

Firstly, the Uroboric system is the system of all systems; the autarchic state that all macro-psychologies aspire to.

Secondly, the human, which stands above all races and nationalities, beyond all gods and God, and all machismos and feminisms. In this simple harmonic duality, which is a singular image that could be portrayed as infinite regression[1], lies the truth within the complex lies and fantasies of all ideologies.

Ideology can only be correct, therefore, if it is geared towards the constant of Uroboric autarchy in a way that can acknowledge the human above sub-groups of humanity. Ideologies that don’t take the Uroboric into consideration are therefore perverted and Utopic, impossible fantasies that have no logical, ultimate future. The consumer ideology and that of perpetual growth (albeit in its cycles of crises) are non-Uroboric by nature. Any ideology which divides humanity is perverse: all nationalism are non-humanist because they value national interests above human ones. Freedom is likewise a perversion and a Utopic ideology of illusion unless it anchors its liberty in autarchy, for the only true freedom can be an autarchic one.

The only correct ideology as such can be one that can envisage a paradigm of anthropocentric-ecology of a humanity in the Universe-world that encloses it. Green ideology is therefore correct if it is anchored in autarchy and the Uroboros. Or, in other words, to act according to the guidelines of a science rooted in uncovering real necessity. A science dedicated to a belief in humanity, human knowledge, discovery and technology as vital forces rather than negative ones within the world that encloses us and keeps us alive.


[1] This infinite regression could be created in order to show the real partnership between humanity and the world: that the world itself exists in the intelligence of the human mind that the world created, an intelligence that the world depends on for its own Being.


[i] Slatoj Žižek, MAPPING IDEOLOGIES, Verso, London-New York, Introduction

THE ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIO

ImageThe Pentagon Report on climate change carried out by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall in 2003 claimed that “significant global warming will occur during the 21st century” and that this could lead to: “harsher weather conditions, sharply reduced soil moisture, and more intense winds in certain regions that certain regions that currently provide a significant fraction of the world’s food production.” And concluded: “With inadequate preparation, the result could be a significant drop in the human carrying capacity of the Earth’s environment.”

As a result of this lack of the world’s capacity to carry us there would be:

i)                    Food shortages.

ii)                  Decreased availability and quality of fresh water in key regions due to shifted precipitation patterns causing more frequent floods and droughts (these phenomena are already apparent).

iii)                Disrupted access to energy supplies due to extensive sea ice and storminess.

iv)                These climatic aberrations would in turn force human migrations from severely affected areas to less affected ones, or ones who, though also severely affected, had a technological development that mitigated the disastrous affects.

v)                  The affect of this would be that nations with the resources would build virtual fortresses around themselves.

vi)                Wars related to food, clean water or energy would take place.

In the Pentagon Report abrupt climate change is elevated beyond scientific debate to a US National Security concern.

Basically they are announcing to the US military that they could come under attack from the climate. And in fact several attacks on the USA have occurred since: Hurricane Katrina; the tremendous tornados of 2011; bitter winters, etc..

The report bases its abrupt climate change scenario on the collapse of Thermohaline Circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. The probability of this taking place is a very real scenario and tests have shown that a certain collapse has already begun in the polar regions.

As the Pentagon Report states:

“Is this merely a blip of little importance or a fundamental change in the Earth’s climate, requiring an urgent massive human response?”[i]

It is hard to imagine an “urgent massive human response” occurring until the disaster hits. Politically the Liberal-Democratic world is divided on this reality between believers, sceptics and non-believers with different levels of extremism in each camp. To generate the human response necessary, to justify the changes that will have to be implemented like population control and energy consumption restrictions, to adjust humanity to a revolutionary re-technologising of our civilisation toward eco-friendly systems before the Apocalypse happens – there will need to be a massive conversion of sceptics and non-believers, and such a conversion would have to take place in record time. In short… we have to pray for a miracle.

And even if the political parties suddenly formed a radical consensus to impose the bullying changes that are required and set about creating a new world, the people would demand a more gentle transition. But, the longer we put it off the more severe the bullying will have to be.

The drastic change that is needed will be painful. Deep down we probably all sense the extremism of the decisions ahead of us, and that if we don’t change, change will be forced upon us, by climate change or the extinction of the resources our complex way of life has grown so dependent on. We are not going to just be redecorating our house, we are ill and will need a visit to the dentist, and the surgeon as well. This is not just an aesthetic question it is our health that is being effected. It is a question of life or death. But even so… How many of us put off painting the house even though it is so obviously necessary? How many have postponed the visit to the dentist until the molar starts to ache? How many cancer patients have perished because they could not be bothered to subject themselves to preventive examinations?

We have to change, but are we capable of making such a truly radical switch? We are creatures of habit, aren’t we?

Creatures of habit: we keep telling ourselves this and yet we are changing our habits continually with each new object we buy. No – it would be more accurate to say that we are creatures of adaptation, adapting to a “surplus” environment. Adapting very often to the novelties of lifestyles we do not need, lifestyles that have been sold to us. But our next adaptation has to be more radical and purposeful if we are to survive. We are talking about NECESSARY ADAPTATION and this is such a radical concept for we who have been adapting to the power of the absolutely unnecessary all our lives.

The will-to-want-more is a will-to-want-that-which-we-do-not-need.

In order to get ourselves on to the track of what we do need to do in order to correct the mess we are making, we have to change the fabric of our perception of the world; to change what the Lacanian  Žižek calls our ‘symbolic fictions’. He says that is in the realm of ‘symbolic fictions’ where we can adapt ourselves to ever new situations, and radically change our self-perception.[ii] And radically change our self-perception is exactly what we NEED to do. The new symbolic fictions we need to create would be subservient to a new Master Signifier opposed to the surplus necessity which is the Will-to-want-more of capitalism. Necessity is now to be defined as: the benevolent enemy of the surplus-waste of capitalist consumerism. Consumerism with all its propaganda and symbolic fictions, and which is itself perpetuated through the Master Signifier of the need to improve my life. Necessity would replace the myth of a “better life” with the uncomfortable truth of the need to create a better-life-in-the-world.

Instead of living in-the-world and against-the-world, we must learn to live in-the-world-and-for-it.

Human existence could thus be distracted from its irrational fixation on the great Master Signifier of surplus-improvement[iii] and learn through a new symbolic mythology to take its common interests into the common hands of everyone concerned – for the optimistic side of this disaster is that, as in the case of all disasters, the tragedy effects us all. At last we can say to the rest of mankind, without exclusion, we are all in the same leaking boat. And the only way we are going to get home alive is if we all pull our weight and row together.

THE PENTAGON REPORT SOLUTIONS

To combat the effects of climate change the Pentagon Report on “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario” suggested these steps:

1)      Improve predictive climate models to estimate better how and where climate change would occur….

Climate of course is a far too abstract enemy for the military, and here it really is being treated as the enemy. As if we must predict when an attack will occur. What they should be asking is: How can we predict when and how our actions will screw things up enough to bring about an abrupt climate change so that we won’t screw things up? But the screwing up is taken for granted. Should we assume that perhaps it’s even desired. Isn’t there a longing for an enemy in any military institution? If not, what would be there reason for being?

2)      Improve projections of how climate could influence food, water and energy.

Here they are saying: we know the climate change that we are causing can affect food, water and energy – but we want to know in exactly what way.

Again, what they are failing to see is what really matters: that we are influencing climate in a negative and dangerous way and we should stop.

3)      Create measures to anticipate which countries are most vulnerable, and therefore could contribute materially to an increasingly disorderly and potentially violent world.

Does this mean that countries will be monitored carefully and even brought to their knees just because they are vulnerable to climate change? Locate the enemy even before they know they are our enemy.

4)      Identify no-regrets strategies such as enhancing capabilities for water management.

5)      Rehearse adaptive responses.

Does this mean rehearsing how to adapt to the Apocalypse?

The feeling is one of surrender. We cannot fight this enemy, the best thing to do is lie down and let the survival of the fittest do its work to create a new race of men.

6)      Explore local implications.

Perhaps it won’t be so bad at all for us.  

7)      Explore geo-engineering options that control climate.

Scientific positivism: we can always invent a machine to clean up the mess caused by all the other machines we have invented.

Never underestimate the military’s capability of turning science fiction into reality.           Nevertheless what would Hollywood sci-fi do with the idea of a weather controlling machine? They have already touched on a similar issue in the film The Core. That deals with a so called Project Destiny: a military weapon that creates earthquakes to defeat its enemies. In the core the military experiments cause the Earth’s core to stop rotating. This in turn threatens the destruction of all life on Earth. Other scenarios are easily imagined. The idea of playing God and getting it all so wrong. Chaos mathematics – the Butterfly Effect.

This optimistic idea may well be more dangerous than what it hopes to remedy.


[i] Schwartz and Randall, An abrupt Climate Change Scenario and its Implications for the United States National Security, October, 2003. http://www.edf.org/documents/3566_AbruptClimateChange.pdf  

[ii] Slavoj Žižec, THE PLAGUE OF FANTASIES p. 119

[iii] “What characterises human existente is thus the irrational fixation on some symbolic cause, materialised in a Master-Signifier to whom we stick regardless of the consequences, disregarding even our most elementary interests, survival itself…” Ibid, p. 120

BETWEEN BIRTH AND DEATH

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Where is the freedom

Between birth and death

In the illumination between birth and death

Where is the freedom?

 

Open your eyes into the light

Close them and blackness fills

 

Our prisons are walls, or bars, or desert island insulations

Cells can be cages, or boxes, or bags, or homes

We are trapped in tunnels, or caves, on roads or rivers

Prisons can be of flesh

Or they can be of families

The tyrant gaoler father mother sister brother teacher boss

Ruler or friend, lover or foe

Prison is an isolation or a multitude

Retard movement in a restricting suit

With rope or chains or behind a steel locked door

Prisons impede

Impede your progress

Your ability to leave

Only mentally can you escape

 

Homo Sapiens: I think therefore I know

I know therefore I’m free

 

But the multitude is a different prison

A lobotomising gaol that dresses you

In the way it wants you to be dressed

That nourishes you

With the junk it wants you to have

 

The multitude is a prison of thinkers that do not know

Ostrich-head minds that do not want to see

Anti-sensory sapiens that refuse wisdom

 

Our boots are heavy with the mud of life

As we wade through the stress filled swamp of an imaginary illumination

There is no freedom there

 

Prisoners to the techno monsters that master us

We struggle so hard to buy our way in to the gaol

 

There is no freedom there

Unless you find the door

 

Everyone has a door to open

Hidden from them by the multitude

Under its thick curtain of economy

And the culture of money

But the exit is there if you are capable of uncovering it

 

You are Homo Sapiens: You think therefore you know

You know therefore you’re free

 

Imagine Rodin’s statuesque Thinker

Sitting on a backdoor key

That will unlock the exit and free him from the trap that

Is this ridiculous anti-human space

Between birth and death

THE CULTURE OF PURPOSE AS AN ANTIDOTE TO NIHILISM

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What are our beliefs? What do we believe in? Ironically, in our world of nihilists everyone seems to believe in something – of course we must, something has to push us along. So we have believers in the family or the economy, in God or a football team… But it is still nihilism, because what all these believers overlook is the belief in humanity itself and, therefore, the truly positive belief that our humanity is going somewhere purposeful. The opposite of nihilism is true purposefulness: a belief in human purpose. We posit human purpose  as an alternative to the nihilist idea that real purpose can only be found either in personal satisfaction, or in a supernatural satisfaction offered by a blind faith in a god in which the real will only be grasped after death.

            Seen in this way, human culture becomes a narcotic pill, taken in order to escape the pain of an otherwise total surrender to the meaninglessness of life itself. Like all narcotics, it allows one to relax and stimulate fantasies of satisfaction in one’s daily life. Culture has allowed humanity to escape from life rather than to search for real reasons to go on living. Reasons rooted in real purpose derived from the human experience of being in a universe condemned to perish.

            From the first invented god, humanity washed its hands of its own mightiest dilemma. Instead of contemplating its own capacity for understanding the tragic nature of the universe and planning a way of overcoming finality, it turned its back on the problem and left it in the hands of its fictional saviours. Gods or banks, fathers, mothers, or sons and daughters, or whatever way we have of turning away from truth – they are but patches, diazepam to cope with the tremendous stress of the complexity of the ultimate paradox: if everything must come to nothing, if all existence is ultimately vain, why do anything at all except make the most of the time we’ve got? And by surrendering we ensure that nothing meaningful will be done.    

            There is only one truly positive idea: that humanity itself is the way for the universe to overcome its own self-destruction. Everything else is most certainly infected with the sin of nihilism.

Our Moloch System makes Whirlwind Crises

Our Moloch system, like topological constructs, is no easily divisible thing, it’s full of a lot of crazy atoms called people and forces of attraction and repulsion between them. Some are spinning clockwise, others anticlockwise – we know from physics that high energy creates either one or the other.  At high energy the pendulum starts spinning in circles, only at low energy will it move with at a nice comfortable to and fro. Likewise the hot, stressful Moloch society propels its particles with violence.

Imagine each one of us in the Moloch of stress as a little whirlwind. We start to whirl in spiralling, weaving vortices, going up and down in merry-go-round movements, twisted and braided vortices of stress-filled-system suffering individuals that start to gravitate towards other vortices forming spiralling interpenetrating groups. Whirlpools reaching tremendous speeds that bring on pockets of turbulence in Moloch. Regularity becomes irregular. The debt-ridden, junk-full sink fills too fast and the filthy cesspool becomes a second source, with the junk oozing back out again, frothing up swirling around – contamination.

And while some of us are going clockwise others are spinning anticlockwise, and the directions we spin in seem out of control. It is a question of the environmental conditions that have created us. Once we start spinning in one direction it seems impossible for us to change, and we keep whirling in that direction until we run out of steam and all our dust sinks back to the ground again. At high speeds the continuum cannot be sustained. We have to dampen the energy. The whirlwind vortex system does nothing but create antagonism, contrary force – clockwise or anticlockwise; right or left. We need to find the continual sway again, but to do it we must relax, slow down, revaluate our reality, change its levels, find different meanings, become pendulum, and once we are, find enough simple motivation to keep us swaying for a long, long time. Just enough to make it perpetual, to make it last – why not? – for ever.

From this analogy we can see that our enemies are not the whirlwinds spinning in the contrary way to us but the high-energy, will-to-more Moloch system itself. Everything is just too hot and fast and needs to be dampened before we explode. Moloch has made the planet too hot. Hot air rises and produces thunderclouds. The system is already flooding, stretching and rising in waves that stretch up rather than out and back over themselves. The flood waters gush and spread across the limited space of the world. The limiting world, limiting Moloch. Moloch howls as it realises it can only stretch so far despite its precious will-to-more. Its stretching will to go further and further.. but where can it go? Frustrated the system must rise up and flow over itself, trying to fit all its new made rubbish into the limited space it has. The result: what we call crisis.

Can we go on? (2)

 

Can we go on?

Our global civilisation and its Wall Street Casino economy, bashed against the rocks of communism until it eroded it away before seeping into Islam which returned the seepage back into the now wide ocean of money culture, floating petrodollars that blend perfectly into Chinese Yuans. It seems that little good will come of this: the flood of capitalism has almost drowned the entire globe. A total flood. Start building your arc.

 

Can there be any way out of this pessimism other than by soaking back into the earth or evaporating into air?

The only other escape we can imagine would be a topological one, a purposeful deforming of the already full system, using our connectedness to knot ourselves in a continuous Borromean Ring. In this way we could imagine ourselves in a positive fashion as the corpuscles flowing through a world-wide, arterial system, pumped by a positive heart whose purpose is to give more life-force to this world as well as to ourselves and the other creatures that depend on it and will benefit from it.

By association we imagine a macro-psychological system of a Lacanian Borromean Knot corresponding to the Real, Symbolic and Imaginary, now construing a vascular system civilisation in which class structures are replaced with social-psychological ones. The Imaginary is concerned with visionary, utopian issues: philosophical drives and incentives for a humanity reaching out for an ever more harmonious and beautiful partnership with the world that sustains us. The Symbolic concentrates on building a bridge between the imaginary and the Real, searching for the paradigms and organisational structures needed to bring Reality closer to the Imaginary ideals. And then the Real itself, the practical world where Real construction takes place…

 

 

THE QUEST FOR NECESSARY TRUTH

There are three truths: one is based on authentic Being and is authentic truth, and the other two depend on necessity and practicality. The problems with the first, and authentic, truth are many. Firstly, it hides itself magnificently and questions the capabilities of our perception and reason. Yet its greatest draw back is that even if we could discover it, it may be of no practical use or of any good for us whatsoever (other than that we have discovered the “truth”).

Let us posit, as an example, that Parmenides truth is determined one day to be the authentic one. Parmenides deduced through reason and intuition that the universe is One. If we could re-debunk all refutations of Zeno’s paradoxes we will be on the right track to agreeing with Parmenides. Parmenides implied, and Zeno tried to prove, that motion is impossible in a universe which is One, because there is nowhere to move to. Space is full. There are no little voids for us to occupy. If we move then the whole universe must move with us. Of course this is absurd in terms of human experience, but that is because this authentic Being has nothing to do with human experience. If Parmenides were right, we would be living a Matrix kind of existence in which we confuse reality with something that is actually a complex fantasy generated by the enormous computer which is the universe itself. Seen in this way, our lives become a mere projection of possibility by the One which has infinite potential, but which is really nothing more than an enormous singularity.

This may be the authentic truth – it certainly is one of the many possible projections that stand as candidates for the post of authenticity. But the knowledge of it, whilst it might be spiritually uplifting, has very little, if any, practical use for most individuals – not least because all authentic truth lacks certainty of its very authenticity.

And so we need something else. A more personal truth that we can create our own personal paradigm around, that will help us make sense of the world perceived around us and guide our way through it. It is a truth that is in the most part created for us. We are taught it, and we absorb it through observation of the reality unfolding around us. It can be tainted with ideas of authentic truths as well. But it is never just a religion, it is one’s individual religion, and is expressed in the predicates of I am… statements as identity. It can be regarded as a life philosophy, and may be a balsam for the trauma of death. It may be based on an identity toward a much larger group and guided by a religiosity, a patriotism, or a deep class-consciousness. Or even by a complete rejection of one or more of those moulds. But in its essence it is individualistic pragmatism and is easily toughened into bigotry and egotistical chauvinism.

Which brings us to the third kind of truth. This is a kind of transcending of individual truth in search of greater, more universal pragmatism. The search arises whenever one finds a need to question the paradigms that have shaped one’s personal identity, but it’s more intensely felt when this need arises out of deep practical reasons as well. As is the search for authentic truth, this quest, which we will call the search for necessary truth, has to be an excavation, a tunnelling job, digging into the hidden spaces of the system in order to find the elementary dangers that our manipulators have hidden there.

In another sense it is the awakening of the marionette, who sees, for the first time, the strings that are pulled, and the first struggle must be the decision to cut those strings that hold one up. With the fear of falling, but also with the hope of relearning how to walk on one’s own, motivated by this new, necessary truth. A truth that is fuelled, not by bigotry, but by universal needs. The third truth is not concerned with the practicality of making my life better, but with making the world a better place to live in.