Thursday, September 30, 2010

The spirit of infancy

Finally, one step ahead, one realizes that truth for the modern day westerner is on the one hand what makes a consensus and on the other hand what no one can deny, this second point implying the first. There exists in effect a primacy of negation: is considered to be true what one cannot deny. Moreover, in a certain number of cases, one cannot deny an assertion or its contrary. For example one cannot deny the existence of God or Gods non-existence. We consequently conclude that "It is not important to know whether God exists or not, what is important is the manner in which one believes or disbelieves".

It is also for this reason that mathematics seduce so much, are omnipresent and impose themselves as wisdom, for they prop themselves up on an aspect of intelligence and on a logic with a universal countenance. Can we demonstrate that 1+1=2? I don't think we can, but we cannot demonstrate the contrary. Therefore it is of little importance whether it is true or false, but what we can do with it, statistics, marketing etc.

I know a little chap who got an F in algebra because to the question "how much are 1 and 1", he would obstinately answer "1". So his mother, a bit bewildered and asking herself if he was not a bit slow, turned to him holding a tennis ball, then a second one, and asked him: "So now, this ball plus this ball, how many balls in the hands?, and he answered : "Two, of course! But that was not the question that the teacher asked! She did not say how much are 1 plus 1, she asked how much are 1 and 1! Yet 1 and 1 is 1 mom, just like you and you is you, and moreover, you and you doesn't mean anything since it is already all of you in you! The little chap had already understood what One is and what a transcendental is! In fact, I have oft noticed that children are much better metaphysicians than many adults who are perverted in their intelligence. This is the spirit of youth which we hear of here and there, which is not infantilism. The child always seeks the "why" of things, and he is right to do so, for that's really all that is interesting, whereas the adult does not cease to bog himself down in the "how" of things. It is the adult who is infantile!

Now then, what is worrying is that negation is at the heart of what is considered by the modern westerner as true. One should imo scratch quite a bit around that spot.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The road less travelled

The more I ponder over it, the more the answer to the question "Why do so few attain substance?" becomes clearer; bear with me for a second.

1) To begin, one must let go of "I am" to get to "This is". That's the first stage, and obviously it eliminates all those who haven't sharpened their pencil; that is to say about 80%.

2) Then, face to face with "This is", one must abstract "is". Here, you have another 15% who get sidetracked.

3) There are only 5% left who, in front of the abstraction of "is" must now set forward the interrogation: "What is being as being"? Amongst those who have surmounted the first two obstacles, more than half drop off - only 2% remain in the race.

4) Then, in front of this interrogation, one must let go of the abstraction of step 2, in other words the universal being, the being of reason, go beyond logic, that is beyond the "thinking the being", further than the artistic or poetic or mathematical approach, and practically all of the contemporary elite, turn here indefinitely in circles, Heiddegger, Levinas, Husserl, Jacques Maritain... they are subjugated by being in their thought, and they never come back to the concrete and reality. That's where the big divide plays out amongst people who think, with the following choice: either intelligence dominates being, or being dominates intelligence. In Antiquity, single-handedly and foremost, Aristotle accepts to revert to experience and to be dominated by being.

There are only 000,1% left: 1 in 100.000.

5) These few come back to reality with "I am", the "I" being the most perfect modality of the "This(is)" that each of us experiment. There, finally, they discover soul, then substance. Yet there are still a good few who don't get past soul, to substance, like Saint Augustine.

We have 0000,1% left, 1 in 1.000.000.

This is curious, for the contemporary figures which I admire the most, notably artists, all fall at stage 4.

What I don't understand is why metaphysics should absolutely be art? The big obstacle is in effect that of stage 4, which equates metaphysics and logic (or art, it's essentially the same). When one adopts an artistic viewpoint, one does not do metaphysics, and vice versa, when one does metaphysics, one does not do art. I admit I do not understand how we have managed to make a rivalry out of these two touches... as if we absolutely wanted not to differentiate two vital activities, like to sleep and to eat for example. I don't quite understand the thing about absolutely wanting to mix the two, possibly to the point where they become mortal enemies; this is quite curious really.

The majority don't get past stage 1, they stop at "I am", most often in a very infantile way, for if the Cartesian spirit has found its way into the bloodstream of Westerners, not everyone is Descartes either, who was a cretin but certainly no idiot! :)

Credit image: Frost by Chapin

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back to the sources

Following on the "Two sources" post, an e-conversation between Avatar and another web-user.

Aqua: "I think for you there are the "realist" philosophers who see the truth and the others who make nice constructions which inspire respect but who are as far away from truth as can be. Tell me if I am mistaken?"

Avatar: What is true? It is what is, isn't it? Do you agree, Aqua, that what is true is what is? If you do, you must conclude that a construction of the spirit, which truly exists, in the spirit, but truly exists, is thus true! Therefore how do we manage if we start with the spirit which is separated? We can't, so it's well and truly with external experience that one must start, with what is not oneself. If we start firstly with the spirit, or the relations produced by the spirit, we find ourselves in an area of maximum confusion between what is (and which is not ourselves) and what is in ourselves and which we will then project over reality. Descartes sentence "I think therefore I am" is correct! It is quite evident that by experimenting that I think I can conclude that I exist, but what is horrific, is that Descartes decrees, quite explicitly, that his thought is solely reliable and objective, not at all what is real, which can be a source of error, and that in consequence one must set ones idea before what is real, as the first stone of all philosophical research. In this way, Descartes is the father of modern ideologies... for what is not mentionned very often is that he greatly influenced Marx, Freud and a good few others.

Aqua: "You say you take Aristotle out of the picture? So who are the realist philosophers who adhere to your school of thought?"

Avatar: I know a few of them, who are alive, but it is certain that the realist approach does not have a huge following, as the intuitive and poetic approach is far more appealing. It is wearisome to read someone like Aristotle, it is almost drudgery, it is drawn out, without poetry... whereas Plato is absolutely delightful! Thus to answer your question, I do not see many famous philosophers who have gone as far as Aristotle down the path of realistic thought. Many have tried to find something else, and since he has gone very far down this path, they naturally wrote a philosophy of spirit.

I thus see two reasons why so few "celebrities" have put forward a realistic thought, in Aristotle's footsteps: 1) It is wearisome 2) Aristotle has taken it very far, and it is not via this route that one can invent and claim some fame; the first role is already taken.

Moreover, I don't have an interest in Aristotle per se!! Thought does not belong to Aristotle, thought belongs to man, it is a common good!! What Aristotle discovered does not belong to him, even if he is the father of realist thought!! It is a concept which belongs to an author, not what is real, which belongs to all!! Thus one must choose: either one wants to invent a completely new way of thinking under the premise that realistic thought is a concept, either we seek truth, and use predecessors as indicators, without ever dispensing oneself from reverifying or rediscovering, or not, what they have discovered! I say this to stress once more that I do not speak of Aristolianism. And I am not a professor! I seek the truth! Thus I am no more Aristolian than Avatarian! What is true is neither to the left nor to the right, neither red nor blue: it is! Lol

Aqua: "This philosophy based on a construction of the spirit that substitutes itself to being is that what you call a philosophy of relation? I see nothing synonymous between these two expressions."

Avatar: What does human intelligence produce if not relations? Can you show me something other than relations that is produced by intelligence? Either intelligence contemplates or it produces relations. This is precisely why I say that at the start of any philosophical thought, either we admit that being is what falls first in intelligence (contemplation) or we create relations. So you could retort that Aristotle never ceased to create relations, that he even wrote the Organon, which is a treatise on logic, all right, I agree, but he did so after having chosen, accepted and sought to look at reality as imposing itself to him, which changes everything! Consequently, there are well and truly only two starting points to philosophy, a philosophy of being, and one of relation.

Aqua: "Another question: is it unthinkable that the concept of being could be a construct of the spirit? This question must be asked if one desires to orientate oneself in philosophy."

Avatar: Of course it is possible, this is what Heidegger did! But I am not speaking of the concept of being (which is not being), I speak of being. So I agree with you, this begets immediately a question which has far reaching consequences and which is this one: given that it is I who knows and that there is no adequacy between reality and my knowledge of this reality, how does one know this reality since to know it one must know how one is known. This is the reason for which everything starts with "this is" (and not "I am"). That is to say with the judgement of existence pertaining to a reality that is not me and that has a "this" and an "is", i.e. a signification of reality (this) and an apprehension (is). Everything plays out there, right at the start. So each and everyone chooses, more or less consciously for that matter, but that's where it happens, and the ramifications are rather extensive downstream.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

A spectacular firework

After having started by confounding substance and the individual, Descartes explicitly turns his back on Aristotle, followed later on by Hegel... with Hegel came dialectics and the primacy of relation.

We thus have forgotten that substance is the indirect source of relation. One could say that relation is the granddaughter of substance, its daughter being quality. If we truly understood relation we would paddle up to the grandmother - substance - and this would help us to understand its necessity... at least it would be easier to grasp it than in a direct manner. In lieu of which, we have thrown grandmother off the train!

We started with substance and we magnified relation and the relative, setting off a spectacular firework, but we are only left with smoke and an odor of burning. Contemporary philosophy knows no principles; it can't teach us anything; it only carries breezes which give the neuron a cold.

Now relation is literally asinine when it seeks to take the place of substance. Hence the world is an asinine place.

In the last analysis, there are only two ways to go about it, either we start with relation to go to substance, or we start with relation to decapitate substance. There are presently two philosophies on the market, not three, two: to divide philosophy into philosophy of spirit on the one hand and philosophy of relation on the other hand is a delusion, for what does human intelligence do if not abstract, thus produce the universal, and what is the universal if not a relation? Thus there lays the choice, because we well and truly have to start with relation: either one starts with relation to go to substance (and it is not handy for one must paddle counter current and the descending current is quite fierce), or one does as everyone else: you start with relation, you head dunk grannie, and you let yourself drift down the current whilst splashing amongst the corpses.

Well then, we have no choice! We must go back to Aristotle to see how he looks at relation, and also take a peek at Hegel. Between the two there is Descartes, but it doesn't take too long to walk around that diminutive thinker. Conversely, one must absolutely go back to Aristotle and spend a bit of time with Hegel, for he is the father of all contemporary dialectics.
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Friday, February 26, 2010


Time is a measure of movement, hence of becoming. Why is there becoming? Because every potential being is entirely relative to a being in act which it is attracted to, and that it is through becoming that being in potency meets being in act.

Therefore, not only being in potency is not being, rather a modality of being, the most tenuous at that, it is not anymore becoming. However, it is through becoming that being in potency attains its end by joining being in act.

It follows that being in act is anterior to being in potency from the point of view of perfection, which is the inverse of the (genetic) viewpoint of becoming, where being in potency precedes being in act.

I thus conclude that being is anterior to becoming, and that becoming only exists through being, which manifests itself through the present moment, since only the present moment exists, for neither the past nor the future exist.

The present moment is the victory of Act over Potency, thus of Being over Becoming... an ephemeral victory at that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Gypsy swing

2004. Bireli Lagrene. You will realize, when you listen to him, why it did not take me long to understand that this prodigious kid would necessarily become an international star.

Later on he revealed himself capable of understanding a music piece in less time than is required to write it… and he played and plays today with anybody without difficulty. Obviously he never studied music, that is how it is taught in the “Conservatoire”. He does not read partitions for example. He plays everything by ear.

Around 16 years of age he listens to Georges Benson, Jimmy Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, American jazz and he absorbs everything at a phenomenal speed. What is more, he works the violin, the bass... Soon he escapes to the US and plays everywhere with Jaco Pastorius, the most famous virtuoso bassist of the time. At age 24, Biréli has assimilated all American music and jazz. He can play with the best.

He has, for around the last 2 years, started a group which plays the themes of Django. In the group there are gypsies but also the son of… Jacques Dutronc. How long will Biréli stay in this line? Probably not too long, the danger for him being to be completely absorbed, body and soul, and thus to be squelched in a certain sense, by the spirit of “show business”…

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Imagination IV

When we are engulfed by imagination, we lose the sense of reality, hence of quality. It is important to see that it is through reality that we attain quality, and through quality that we attain reality... not at all through imagination! We have so much difficulty in inducing substance that it is always possible to slide into a figurative mode, whereas quality puts us in direct contact with reality. In fact, substance is completely overlooked in today's world; not only do we replace it by relation of reason (i.e . the "universal", One from the multiple, Being as an abstraction) but we don't distinguish relation of reason and real relation. Hence, we cannot discover what realism is, as relation dispenses of distinguishing between realism and idealism.

In the order of Being, if we do not ask the question what is the is of the judgement of existence "this is" (i.e. what is Being), our experiences are always susceptible of being idealized and of being enveloped by our imagination. Why do quantity and imagination often go hand in hand? In my view, it is because quantity has no limits. Incidentally, quantity plays a huge role in psychology. To let oneself be taken down the river of quantity can give us a thrill not unlike that of rafting. In any case, one can well measure the difference between the Freudian and the Aristolian vision... for the former, our sleep and our vegetative life are the peak of the human person, whereas for the latter the peak is the spiritual soul: intelligence and will in act.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Imagination III

Imagination is borne of the body. It is what is most subtle in it. It indubitably comes from it for it is grounded in our senses (hence the body). Without a body, no imagination. Hey, do you realize "angels" don't have an imagination!? Hard to imagine, huh? :wink:

It's a curious thing because imagination proceeds from the body and at the same time it seeks to separate itself from it.That's what imagination and virtuality are: a world that could exist but doesn't; a world that proceeds from reality but that is not reality.

There is an affective virtuality, a mathematical virtuality, a scientific virtuality, an artistic virtuality. It is because this make believe world, which once more doesn't exist but could exist, proceeds from me that I like it so much and that it often interests me much more than reality itself.

In short, however this subject warrants a much longer development, the body, hence imagination, is terribly limited, but it is positive in as much as it enables the soul to live of sensibility. That will be all for today. At ease! ;-)

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