Saturday, January 31, 2009

Regarding metaphysics

Regarding metaphysics, it has long been engulfed, for several centuries now. It is quite the task to take up a brute metaphysical thought, for not only is it inaccessible, but it is recovered by layer upon layer of errors. It’s as if you wished to find the original wood of your shutters: you must scrape off layer upon layer of paint. It is a tough job, and even wearisome, in particular because some layers which have been deposited are quite tenacious.

For us, it is notably necessary to unstick Descartes, Kant, Hegel and the Marxist dialectics, Nietzsche and then Heiddeger….and then one must pass Plotin, the Fathers of the Church, notably Thomas Aquinus and Augustine of Hippo, and go back in such a manner to Plato, all whilst regularly receiving bits of wood in the teeth, for when one swims upstream of a river one’s face is besieged by any which sort of junk, and at the source, one progressively understands that the world is entirely neoplatonician, and then, one must ultimately decide to start afresh with Aristotle, he who radically faced off with Plato, because that’s where everything plays out…I’d even say that for the Oriental world, for India is very close to Plato, or vice versa, but between Plato and India there is a stunning proximity.

But this task is nothing more than very long, tedious and even fastidious, for the immediate difficulty is that of translations, without mentioning understanding Aristotle, which cannot be done in a day, for ethics or physics or logic is one thing, but the 14 books of metaphysics is another matter, and one must read the Zeta book of metaphysics 100 times before even just hoping to understand the problem under review. Very few consent to this, and the majority flow downstream at a rapid clip, the cadavers being those that descend the most swiftly since they do not oppose any resistance.

As you leave a comment, please read profile.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The duck laid the egg!

It is not unusual to hear some chuckle inanely when asking the question: "what came first, the egg or the chick?", and who think, with such a demeanour, they can ridicule the intelligent theological analysis manufactured by their fellow man. So I say enough, and you God, you must not lie on this matter, even if you were caught out this time around. So if you don't mind, I will say the truth as it is.

Now then, all this is because few have read the Aztec bible, in which the first text starts as follows: "In the beginning, God created the duck", and then it explains in detail how God asked the duck to go fetch him some loam at the bottom of the pond to craft man, and to what extent the duck was very obedient at the time, that is to say before, on the advice of the meandering one, Georgina should eat the earplugs off the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Don't be silly! The duck made several trips, come now, for I don't know if you looked at how you are built, but he could not have brought up 85k of mud in his bill in only one go! To make a long story short, when God got sufficient material to start the job, he sculptured man over several days. The duck waited by docilely, but since time was moving slowly, inevitably, boredom started to yank at its wings, and it decided to play a prank on God: the duck laid the egg of the chick by pushing very hard from behind.

Needless to describe the speed at which it took off and hid further away, for it gathered that God would only be half amused when he would see what would pop out of the egg. When the chick stuck its head out with exactly the same silly air as Georgina when she puts in her earplugs, the duck laughed out loud, and it cried out to God: "Hey! Check out the peabrained chick that everyone will think you have crafted!" God didn't particularly appreciate the prank, but since his hands were covered in loam, that the duck was some ways off, and that the chick, oblivious to the situation, was walking on his loam, he whacked her a good one, to an extent never seen afterwards, even when Cain made him believe that Abel was doing well and had only gone out for a stroll. It is ever since that day that the little red crest on the head of the chick doesn't quite hold up straight. There, for those who snicker along with Georgina that I think too much: it is the Aztec duck that laid the egg of the chick to play a prank on God... and if you studied your theology instead of just reading People magazine, like Georgina, you might be no less knowledgeable than I am. Hey, I said "might", don't get all excited now!

As you leave a comment, please read profile.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Descartes or idealism

Picture: Descartes treading a book of Aristotle.

I learned Descartes in school. Later on it was a real punishment to reread him, in view of showing the inanity of his philosophy, in particular of his metaphysics.

In short, here is why the Cartesian school of thought is a true calamity for the modern world.

All his philosophical construct rests on his renowned “I think, therefore I am”. This assertion is not false in itself as it is evident that each of us can deduce our own existence by establishing that we think. However, what is horrifying is to lay ones thought as anterior to ones sensations. Descartes in this way is the one who laid the first rock of almost all contemporary ideologies, because, as one does not necessarily know, Marx, Freud, and many others were greatly influenced by this radical inversion in our way of knowing. In fact, if our thought takes precedence over our way of knowing, what will we know? It’s simple, we will know ourselves!

So Descartes denies or rejects the proper sensibles, and recognizes the common sensibles as the only objective ones. I will remind what the proper sensibles and the common sensibles are: the proper sensibles are the realities perceived by one of the five senses (taste, smell, sight, touch and hearing), the common sensibles are those accessible through various senses (size, shape, number, motion, rest).

One must realize the crucial role that imagination and affect play in the perception of the common sensibles! If the common sensibles take precedence, as Descartes professes, the proper sensibles go to the wayside, and reality becomes secondary… and when Descartes declares that the common sensibles are the sole objective sensibles, he sinks humanity into subjectivity, later to be coined “transcendental subjectivity”.

All the same, and notwithstanding what Descartes may have thought, who claims that only the common sensibles are objective (given that one can measure them), it is the opposite which is true: only the proper sensibles are objective because they impose themselves to our intelligence externally.

Think of this, when you have a nightmare, you are a prisoner of the common sensibles: it is the big dog that is gaining ground on you, the chains that immobilize you… And then you grab your pillow in a startle, you recognize its texture, and you come back to the real world. It is through the proper sensibles that you escape from the labyrinth of nightmarish images of your dream. Well the neocartesian ideologies are the nightmare of humanity, and one must reconnect with reality to escape from them! This is the first tight turn that ones’ intelligence must not miss, lest it race straight into a field of nightmares.

And what is an ideology ? It is precisely an idea that takes precedence over reality. In general we take something that has some truth in it, and we make an absolute out of it, in other words a total system, cutting out what of reality does not fit into our idea of reality. That is what an ideology is and what history has shown and continues to show it is, and which has on occasion led to large scale massacres.

Hence Descartes is the pillar of modern errant thought, even if William of Ockham, the theologian, alienates objectivity to subjectivity; in fact, Descartes may well have popularized Occam. Whereas Aristotle seeks what is first in knowledge, and looks at the object, in other words at being (later on Thomas Aquinus would state "primo in intellectu cadit ens", "being is the first thing to fall into ones intelligence", borrowing a formula from Avicenna). But when Occam seeks what is first in knowledge, he looks at the “Intelligo”, in other words the “I am thinking”, like Descartes with his “Cogito”. And when Occam looks at the “Intelligo”, what does he know? Himself, also! In both cases being eclipses itself before quantity and the measurable, and from then on quantity has increasingly taken front stage, naturally to the detriment of quality.

Well then it is quality which we touch objectively and immediately, which imposes itself to us, whereas quantity is something subjective, which we only have access to mediately, through measure and specifically the unit of measure, which is not quantity, but something which our intelligence produces so as to all the same have something to say about quantity. Descartes in essence has put everything upside down, and everyman is clapping!!

It is quite remarkable to observe this radical difference at the source of two philosophies, one which starts, like with Aristotle, by interrogating about the existence (or non existence) of a reality, and the other, as with Descartes, which thinks first of the nature of something before even having evaluated the reality of its existence! Further, if God exists, Descartes usurps the supreme title, because in the order of being, it is only with God that the idea can precede the act of creation. Descartes should thus have been more explicit in setting forth his famous expression: “Je pense donc Dieu suis!” (I think, therefore I am God”!).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Artists of the spirit

(some definitions in the comments section.)

In my view, there are only two possible routes to metaphysics (first philosophy): either one starts with relation to go to substance, or one starts with relation to do away with substance. There are presently two philosophies on the market, not three, two, and to divide philosophy between philosophy of spirit on the one hand, and philosophy of relation on the other hand, is a mirage, for what else does human intelligence do but abstract and produce universals... and what is the universal but a relation!

Therein lies the choice, since we are de facto obligated to start with relation: either we start from there to climb up to substance, or we turn our back to substance and we let ourselves drift with the current of logic. This is what the Buddhists do, pushing the dialectic to its extreme limits, to the point where it is in denial of itself, where it lifts the spirit as in a state of splendor. The Buddhists annihilate the spirit as Heidegger annihilates beings (das Seiende) to make (being of) being gush out. But if I deny reality to make being gush out, what remains? By Jove, what remains is being in the mind, which is not being! And so I can just as well call that being or non being, like I could call it Geraldine or Albatross!

As the human spirit can create relations but not being, many have been seduced by a metaphysics of relation, for in this manner they become creators. With a metaphysics of being, we receive, whereas with a metaphysics of relation, we have the privilege of creating links and rapports, to the point of absurdness. We thus can see the possible confusion between metaphysics and a philosophy of art, even though the latter is at the service of a philosophy of substance. In my view, Buddhists are more artists than they are philosophers. In fact, they have seduced and still seduce quite a few Western artists. They are artists of the spirit.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two sources

I see in philosophy - in others words the thought of humankind - two main possible starting points: thought which starts by reflecting upon itself, and thought which starts by reflecting upon what is not itself.

In this respect, it is not correct, in the natural order, to say that we begin by reflecting upon ourselves. That is not what the child does! The child marvels on what around him is not him! Aristotle in this way seems to me to have this child spirit which marvels over what surrounds him and asks the why of things, whereas, for some time now, the Moderns have preferred the infantile spirit to the spirit of infancy - although they are persuaded of the contrary.

It follows that by starting with a philosophy of the spirit (or more exactly of relation - for the mind can radically only invent relations), negation evidently takes a capital importance, given that the spirit measures all the rest, and that the rest does not measure the spirit.

The two principal sources of Western philosophy are incarnated by Plato and Aristotle. The former developed a philosophy of relation, all sorts of relations, mostly proceeding from intuition and from a poetical inspiration which he had a gift for; the latter developed a philosophy of reality.

Have there been other philosophies since that time? Not to my knowledge. The immense majority of newer philosophies are philosophies of relation: Descartes with his "Cogito Ergo sum", setting explicitly his thought as solely reliable and as the first stone of all his research (he went as far as to indicate that he turned his back to Aristotle, and was therefore quite conscious of what he was doing); Hegel for whom the spirit also primes, the spirit being the spirit which transforms itself, and relation substituting itself clearly to substance; Nietzsche for whom man is the artistic person; Marx for whom man is the working man and who idealizes... matter!; Kant for whom what primes is transcendental subjectivity; Heidegger for whom being is being in the mind, and who reduces beings to... nothing. I don't see for that matter any other starting point which would not be either reality or relations produced by the mind, for philosophy would have to have a third actor which would be neither reality nor intelligence! I don't see any other... unless obviously if the profound nature of reality and/or of human nature were to change!

At the end of the day, the difference is there: there are those for whom being imposes itself to intelligence, and there are the others. In other words, either we accept that it is being which measures intelligence, and eventually, at the crest, being qua being, or we want to dominate over being, and in that case anything goes, absolutely anything! Further, to deny or refuse to give priority to being over spirit leads most often to stumbling into dialectics, with little chance of escaping from them.

If one does not accept to be dominated by being, and as one progressively discovers that it is via this route that intelligence attains its true nobility, then anything is possible, and it is this term "possible" which takes precedence over anything, for if intelligence is made essentially for being, to deny this leads to a suicide of the spirit. Therefore, that's where the choice lays, and, moreover and in my opinion, it would be rather sensible not to stray down the wrong path.

As you leave a comment, please read profile.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Essence of a nightmare

I've just realized something.

In our dreams, there is no final cause, and this is especially perceptible in a nightmare, in which one is absolutely engulfed in the efficient causality: you sink in the moving sands without knowing why... and the moving sands are the efficient cause. The essence of a nightmare is to find yourself entrapped in a pure efficient causality.

"Hell", the absolute drama, is a pure efficient causality, and by "pure" I mean that it is an errant cause, i.e. separated from its final causality. It is the hand cut off from the rest of the body, only the separated efficience remains.

In other words our life is a nightmare as long as we don't reach our end, the trap being to put all our energy in making the pure efficient causality agreeable. But then we remain only in change and errancy, for where being is no longer apprehended, the final causality disappears, since final causality is fundamentally "being in Act", being that attracts.

Incidentally, psychology only looks at the efficient cause, conditioning and change.Yet there can be no perfect psychological knowledge which is not ordered towards a philosophy of finality. Someone like Freud is not afraid of attributing the rank of the final cause to the errant cause! I can't help to think, what a paltry figure Freud was!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Talent doesn’t exist, not in the commonly viewed acception. It is said that talent is a particular disposition, all right, but which disposition is that? Fundamentally it is a desire towards something, which sometimes borders on obsession, thus goes too far. Bach for instance repeated to whom would listen to him that if anybody worked as much as he did, anybody could be Bach. And who can work as much as Bach? Only he who loves and desires music for itself as much as Bach did!

That’s what it boils down to, the heart of talent is there: desire. You might argue that there is desire and desire, for some desire and never achieve anything, at least they don’t go very far.But what is it precisely that they desire? Often reputation, or to get revenge from life, or originality at all costs, or maybe they just desire to become an artist. In short, they desire all sorts of things which are not a pure enough desire, and ultimately boil down to a desire of oneself or an autistic and foolish egocentrism.

Thus, talent also serves to purify a desire of a reality which is exterior to us. In art (or even in craftwork or in work in general) there are two things, a term and an end. The term, your working matter will always claim victory over it; it is the limit, be it time or whatever else, what in any case is irreducible to your idea... thus, in one way or another it is the working matter itself. The end is what finalizes you. So something is finished not when the term has rung, but when you can look at what you have created and understand that your working matter has kept its secret but that in this cooperation between it and you, you have in some way succeeded to make its secret seep, you by insufflating your insight and your idea, therefore ultimately your capacity to desire, your working matter in keeping its secret and nevertheless cooperating with you.

Therefore, someone who has a talent is firstly a person who loves his working matter, for itself, before wanting to transform it, and above all who loves it to the point that he knows he will never be quite victorious of it.That’s the first aspect, and at this stage, the blockheads are out of the picture even before the gun sounds because they are people who absolutely want to dominate, who are incapable of saying: this is grand, I am overwhelmed. For that matter it is the reason why they ingurgitate antidepressant pills, for it is quite depressing to stay confined within oneself, and only reality can make me lift off, thus something other than me, or someone else, and that is what realistic love is, and that’s why it’s the most sublime thing to be realist, face to face with reality, in the form of a person or a working matter.

In short, talent consists very essentially not in accepting to be surpassed, but in wanting it truly, passionately, obstinately. So then you will retort "but everyone is surpassed, without necessarily having any talent". Well I say that is not the case, and to back up my claim I will use an image. If you see St Peter’s Basilica in Rome from a distance, to be truly surpassed you have to advance to its foot, that’s were you touch the vertigo in all of its measure. If you are a distance away, you eye it up and down, you imagine the Basilica, and your idea of the Basilica does not impose itself to you, you impose yourself to it. With art it is the same thing, there are those who watch from the sidelines whilst claiming to be humble, but who in actual fact don’t have the desire to come closer, half-hearted individuals, middle-of-the-roaders who embrace quantity and ignore quality, that’s what they are! Then there are those who are fascinated by a reality, who seek unquestionably to approach it, to get closer to it at each new occasion, and who truly feel the immensity of their subject, who are the only ones capable of humility, not at all cretinous, for they are faced with the immensity of reality... Someone once pronounced these admirable words: “humility is truth”. I have never heard the heart of reality beat so closely. But you cannot hear the secrets thump without approaching reality, instead of trailing your hemorrhoids around the beltway of your misgivings.

Thus a truly alive person doesn’t cease to interrogate reality, be that in transforming a matter or in love. In the first case we interrogate our working matter, and in the second case the person we love. We don’t ask “Why do you not love me anymore, or why do I not love you?”, but “why do you love me?”. An intelligence that doesn’t interrogate or ceases to do so is moribund.

Talent is desire on the one hand and the right questions on the other hand.

I might add, as we are on the subject of art, that Aristotle made this rather remarkable comment: if all realities were works of art, substance would be the idea of an artist. From there and through analogy, negating substance amounts to looking at a painting or a text without grasping any signification. Many of us enter into first philosophy through philosophy of art, given that the dominant culture is an artistic one, to be more precise a pseudo artistic one, but it is the approach that often predominates... man wanting to be the creator of all things. And what is the fundamental determination of a work of art? It is obviously the idea and the project of an artist. Thus Aristotle’s short phrase (which is to be found in the Zeta book of metaphysics) is quite astute as it aids in understanding what substance is.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Categorical imperative

The more I look at it, the more I see that Kant´s categorical moral imperative (i.e. "duty") has done considerable harm to Western civilisation. Yet it still holds sway, the entire Western political spectrum rests on it, maybe even the entire world political spectrum, from the far left to the far right. Further, one must realize that without Kant, Freud would have never existed.

Look, if you consider that in a same day one sleeps and one is awake, this begets the question of whether sleep is an imperfect state relative to the state of being awake. For Kant, to be awake is to do ones' duty. It was thus left to Freud to explain that sleep is that state in which our instinct rips off the camisole which duty is, which each of us don all others. In other words, for Freud, our instinct is our primitive state, savage and amoral, the virgin state which escapes from what culture, education and the collective circus imposes unduly on each individual. To summarize, Kant reduces the state of being awake to morality, and in response to this farce, Freud, through a quite infantile dialectic, has inversed the perfect (ruined by Kant) and the imperfect, i.e. has inversed the state of being awake and sleep, by withdrawing to instinct under the pretext that he escapes from the moralizing ruin of human reality.

There is nothing more destructive than to diminish reality, all the more so when it is sublime. The Western world is presently almost entirely subordinated to humanitarian moral atheism and Kantian anthropology. I would hardly be surprised if more and more irreproachable men, well educated, perfect examples of morality and duty, should suddenly commit abominable acts, muting at night in a sort of sub-animal species, for neither morality nor duty come first, and, in fact, it is so absurd to think such a thing that the most monstruous human instincts would not cease to seek revenge since morality assumes nothing of the grim underpinnings of human nature, nothing at all. Morality and duty are consequences, and one must beware the back draft if they are put to the fore.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Soul

Someone recently asked me: "The soul? What type of thingamajig is that?" The soul, as type of thingamajig, is for example, when you have two different usernames, it is still you. You're chuckling, but some people are persuaded that they live solely by their username, and if it is deleted, there is nothing beyond that. One must absolutely not tinker with their subscription, lest they have excruciating anguishes!

Tis true, you have no experience other than affective of your soul, at least during the period of your subscription, because if your soul leaves your Internet provider, then you become completely free. Plato635 said it a while back, so you see, it's hardly anything new under the sun. Plato635 is about 850.000.000 page views before AOL. Later on, JC specified that upon resurrection each of us would have a glorious username, but this would lead us to a theology of the username, which would be too much to see in one go.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


My beloved headbutt and I, from the second we glanced at each other, we knew we were made to divorce one from another. We did not have the same neuron type: incompatible in case of a transfusion. She was zero++ and I was a grouper, but also ++. Inevitably, we experienced a lightning jolt short-circuit. Now it's done, and I have come to understand that it isn't useful to put off to today what can be done yesterday. But careful, because one must be creative when one divorces beforehand, there are no common goods, and one must absolutely find common goods for it to nonetheless be a real divorce, for the sake of argument, else the whole thing is null and void. So I had to think it over for a while. Beloved headbutt had forgotten her flip-flops at my place so I told her: "if ever you come back, I shall dump your flip-flops in the dustbin. She answered: "Ooooh, you jackass, that's blackmail!" I added: "maybe, but it will be your flip-flops or me". She retorted: "I don't give a hoot, but anyways you forgot yours at my place and I already put them in the dustbin". All that was left for me to do was to set forward my responsive conclusions: "All right, then I will never come over to your place again, it's pointless." So there, I won the divorce case by knockout and I managed to impose the amicable judgement to her expense. But, hey, one must not imagine it is a piece of cake either. It took me a year to carry out my plan, which is a long while but not much compared to many other cases. The others are blockheads, they get married then they are convinced that they will see how it pans out along the way. And in fact they know very well what will pan out: they will have to divorce sooner or later and they will be at a loss because they have not planned ahead, instead of divorcing immediately, whereupon one is assured of tranquillity. I have a friend who has been divorcing for five years. He pays judges, clerks, and what have you, and even they can't do anything for him. The other day he came over and asked if I had a stopper for his carafe. And I told him that I did, but since I also have the carafe, I keep the stopper. He explained, the blockhead, that he only has the carafe because his wife kept the stopper. As plain as a nose on a face! It is only now that he understands that he should have divorced before getting married, when everything belonged to him. It's really none of my business, but it's a shame one has to explain these things only when it's too late!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


It is fashionable to consider indifference as a sentiment, even as a "wise" sentiment, an approach possibly drawn unconsciously on Greek stoicism and also in some sense on the teachings of Buddha (no desire, no suffering). I have even heard that indifference is the opposite of love. One could treat this assertion in an ironico-comical way by having the big drum of the absurd resonate: "If indifference is the opposite of love, it is also the opposite of hate, and thus love and hate, having the same opposite, are one and the same thing". I'm not sure that this farce is so absurd in some cases.

The same approach, this time with the pretension of gunning down metaphysics, wants firstly to look at nothingness as the inverse of being. But nothingness, in other words what doesn't exist, is no more the inverse of anything than the inverse of itself, since it doesn't exist! It is already not convenient to signify being, but the representation of "what is not" frankly makes one giddy. That's probably why this approach is in style: it procures a sensation, not unlike that of the Kingda Ka roller coaster, of which I have always thought was the poodle's chance of having an intuition of being.

Yet, given that indifference is the absence of sentiment, it is the non sentiment par excellence! Exactly in the same way that silence is not the inverse of noise but the absence of noise, illness the absence of health, and finally evil the absence of good, and in no way the inverse. That's a whole other ball game! And this is fortunate, for if in Swiss cheese the holes were the inverse of cheese, needless to say your cheese would have a rather odd taste!

Some buffoons, to maintain willy-nilly the primacy of nothingness and negation, have not been loath to affirm that noise was the absence of absence of noise. Jean-Paul Sartre has shined singularly of an intergalactic cretinism on this matter, leading several generations to a suicide of their intelligence, for what falls first in intelligence is being, not nothingness!

To get back to "indifference", the final prestidigitation consists often in assimilating indifference (or apathy) to contempt. But contempt is an active form of sentiment, model derived from hate with specific qualified accessories. This error is not that of Buddhism, for apathy assumes with Buddha the form of a certain compassion. I admit for the rest that I have always thought that Buddha was more of an artist than a mystic (contemplating the "chose en soi"), which seems to be confirmed by many westerners whom at one time or another were seduced by Buddha (Nietzsche, Cioran), thinkers primarily on a quest that art save man and the world, at least from suffering.