“ I can’t go on, I’ll go on.
Here we find both the highest and the lowest. ‘Going on’ becomes the mantra for the daily grind. We find ourselves immersed in a multiplicity of situations, worlds. Things go on…people, friends, lovers die. Vanish. One goes on. Because it always does go on.
But we are all familiar with those rips in the fabric, the ‘I can’t’ which precedes the ‘I’ll go on.’ And the usual simple question, simple, but the height of difficulty. Inscribed again and again upon a million funeral reefs, ‘Why?’. ‘For what?’.
No doubt the messianic is always proximate to this suspension. Maybe the messianic is constituted by suspension? That which no longer goes…
But the highest ethical act can also be this ‘I’ll go on’. But a going on which surely must look back, in constancy? If that is at all possible.
Here we could insert Benjamin’s and Klee’s Angelus Novus. Both the written, and the image. Something about which there is still much to say.
More to follow…
“ [L]ove is a violent gesture of […] privileging a One as the neighbor, thus introducing a radical imbalance into the whole. In contrast to love, justice begins when I remember the faceless many left in shadow in this privileging of the One. Justice and love are thus structurally incompatible: justice, not love, has to be blind, it has to disregard the privileged One […] What this means with regard to love is that the universal proposition ‘I love you all’ acquires the level of actual existence only if ‘there is at least one whom I hate’ - the thesis abundantly confirmed by the fact that universal love for humanity always led to the brutal hatred of the (actually existing) exception, of the enemies of humanity. This hatred of the exception is the ‘truth’ of universal love
“ … instead of the conflict which now the moral disposition has to wage with inclinations and in which, after some defeats, moral strength of mind may be gradually won, God and eternity in their awful majesty would stand unceasingly before our eyes. /…/ Thus most actions conforming to the law would be done from fear, few would be done from hope, none from duty. The moral worth of actions, on which alone the worth of the person and even of the world depends in the eyes of supreme wisdom, would not exist at all. The conduct of man, so long as his nature remained as it is now, would be changed into mere mechanism, where, as in a puppet show, everything would gesticulate well but no life would be found in the figures.
“ And so saying he seized the good-natured little rascal, laid him on his belly, and slipped his prick between his thighs. The libertine was lost in the clouds, his weapon’s hair rubbed the cute little hole he would fain have perforated : one of his hands fondled this delicious little cupid’s buttocks, with the other he frigged Celadon’s prick. What was more, he glued his mouth to the lovely child’s, pumped the air from his lungs, swallowed his saliva. In order to excite his brother, the Duc created a libertine spectacle by placing himself in front of the Bishop and proceeding to lick out the asshole of Cupidon, the other of the two boys serving coffee that day. Curval moved to within close range and had himself frigged by Michette, and Durcet offered the prelate the sight of Rosette’s widespread buttocks. Everyone toiled to procure him the ecstasy to which he plainly aspired ; it occurred, his nerves trembled, his teeth chattered, his eyes shone, he would have been a terrifying object for anyone save those three who knew full well the terrible effects joy had upon that man of God. The fuck finally broke forth and flowed over Cupidon’s buttocks, for that quick-witted little aide had at the last moment wriggled his way beneath his comrade so as to receive the treasure which might otherwise have gone entirely to waste.
“ The dialectical relationship between desire and the Law causes our desire to flare up only in relation to the Law, through which it becomes desire for death. It is only because of the Law that sin, [hamartía]—which in Greek means lack and non- participation in the Thing—takes on an excessive, hyperbolic character.
“ Ignore that nightmare in the bathroom. Just another ugly refugee from the Love Generation, some doom-struck gimp who couldn’t handle the pressure. My attorney has never been able to accept the notion - often espoused by reformed drug abusers and especially popular among those on probation - that you can get a lot higher without drugs than with them. And neither have I, for that matter.
Pervert Guide - Piano Teacher
"Hell is here."
Once we had Schubert providing the eco-system for Barry Lyndon. The slow, delicate, slow, meeting of two. Now it provides the backdrop for the incursion into porn stores, for brutality, for nightmare. There is no morality in this. And in this I mean my passage.
P.s. Actually, in terms of violence, and I mean in relation to this and Barry Lyndon. It’s difficult to divide the two.
The theoretical blind spot of current philosophy of mind is the issue of conscious suffering: thousands of pages are being written about color qualia or the contents of thought, but almost no theoretical work is devoted to ubiquitous phenomenal states like physical pain or simple everyday sadness (“subclinical depression”), or to the phenomenal content associated with panic, despair and melancholy — let alone to the conscious experience of mortality or of losing one’s dignity. There may be deeper evolutionary reasons behind this cognitive scotoma, but I am not going to pursue this point here (didn’t Jaron Lanier talk of “death-denial” some years ago?)
The ethical/normative issue is of greater relevance. If one dares to take a closer look at the actual phenomenology of biological systems on our planet, the many different kinds of conscious suffering are at least as dominant a feature as are color vision or conscious thought, both of which appeared only very recently. Evolution is not something to be glorified. One way — out of countless others — to look at biological evolution on our planet is as a process that has created an expanding ocean of suffering and confusion where there previously was none. As not only the simple number of individual conscious subjects, but also the dimensionality of their phenomenal state-spaces is continuously increasing, this ocean is also deepening. For me, this is also a strong argument against creating artificial consciousness: we shouldn’t add to this terrible mess before we have truly understood what actually is going on here.