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!


  1. Freud's psychoanalytics is very good a providing explanations for everything--which makes it less scientific than its proponents would love to think (i.e. it can never be wrong?).

    Likening pure efficient causality to hell is appropriate--because an ability to establish an explanation for everything might presupose among many things: absolute insight, deception, or delusion (albeit a very compelling one).

  2. Hi MTM! What I understand is that psychology looks at conditionning, the HOW, whereas philosophy looks at what determines a person, the WHY. What is toxic is to make an absolute out of psychology (ie to discard the metaphysical underpinnings of the human person).

  3. You have given me something to think about.

  4. Mmmmm food for thought. I studied to be a pscychologist but then went into more creative pursuits. Philosophy has interested me more. Interesting you lived in Australia. Spain is a lovely place and there are many Spanish here also.

  5. Hello Lilly,
    I´m not Spanish actually. I quite liked the movie Ballroom dancing (that had Spanish immigrants if I remember correctly).

    Glad you are following.

  6. I should have a post with definitions. I realize things like "causes" are not easy to apprehend, for a newcomer, and many original meanings were "corrupted". I noticed realist philosophers (which I don't claim to be)amd idealist philosophers often end up not understanding each other because they haven't agreed on the definitions. This is called equivocity.

  7. I liked W.B. Yeats' poetic attitude towards life when he told us to cast a "cold eye" on life and death and ride on.
    But, of course, this would not provoke much discussion...would it? Count Sneaky

  8. What possible finality could we know of???
    We are here in the realm of belief systems
    then,are we not? Count Sneaky

  9. CS,

    The starting point of Aristolian philosophy is external experience (ie objective), and even though he proceeds mostly through induction and analogy in his metaphysics, it is also something one can objectively experiment.