I stands for human.［白森］
As sabotage is to war. Literary subversion is to ideology.
I maintain that no ideology in-itself shall be held sacrosanct and that wherever we may be so equipped, we should subvert the ideologies of domination. Not to say that all ideas are bad; or that certain principles are not worthy of admiration; or that we should not adhere to them. I am only saying that we should always question the validity of ideas which conspire to dominate. Particularly those which do so covertly are most worthy of the subversive effort. After all, why shouldn’t we the people of the world play an active role in the creation of our own belief systems? If there is to be a collective belief system at all, let it be in the state of perpetual, collective creativity! Otherwise only the sovereign individual shall be the one legitimate author of any belief.
Ideas should be shared between likeminded individuals and presented nobly in civil negotiations of mutual discourse. Best of all is when we exchange new ideas through the medium of artistic expression. In this domain the binary nature of argumentative language can be transcended, such as with humor, jokes, etc. “A joke worth laughing at always has an idea behind it, and usually a subversive idea” (George Orwell). Humor sustains us human beings. It is not only a powerful tool for survival but also a powerfully subversive tool. Knowledge of this power dictates that art must be substantive. Art must do something other than simply entertain. Not to say that art must always be subversive, destructive, etc., but in these times of profound cultural decay, the first step towards reinvigorating our cultural landscape is to tear down all decadent structures. The good, the beautiful, the true—never die. These ideals not only stand the test of time. They persist through any malevolent strikes of subversion. Let us be literary subverters, therefore. All we have to lose are the nefarious ideologies constraining us—restraining our creative urge.
There can be no single, dogmatic approach to our system. Our ethics must overthrow what Christopher Hitchens would have referred to as the “celestial dictatorship.” Ours is the becoming of a dimension more philosophical than purely political, although it is the entwinement of both; at the core a dedication to the principles of not only anarchism, but also the Taoist Way.
Especially in the way that it functions in our society today the media is perhaps something more akin to the antimatter of human consciousness. Pointing this out is not to say there is no great artistry in contriving moving pictures or in composing an image or in arranging words into meaningful patterns. Indeed, I am far from saying that because after all, I am a huge fan of the cinema, of art, of literature, etc. My point is that moving pictures and images and the written word wherever they may be, which is to say everywhere, are working on us in propagandistic fashion; expanding our awareness yet funneled into only one preordained, unitary herd direction that is I dare say, alien to the natural flow of human consciousness. Another way of putting this would be that the media as it exists today solely exists for the purposes of narrowing our consciousness through the process of expanding it ever more towards the artificial, the technocratic, the fake. At every waking hour of every day, provided that one does not live under a rock, one is being bombarded by a constant stream of messages. It’s hard to imagine that anyone would deny that; but maybe you argue these messages are largely benevolent, benign, inconsequential. Thinking in this way is skeptically optimistic, but tragically naïve. For throughout human history, as long as the written word has existed—and, perhaps, even having been adapted mostly for this one purpose alone—the rulers of humankind have utilized a steady flow of propagandistic messages as a form of mind control. We have long been fed the maxim Think for yourself but ironically this was just a subtle nudge into the cage of isolation. Before one can truly think for ones self one must become liberated from the fortified illusion of Self. We cannot allow consciousness to expand into the pyramidal funnel of artificiality. Reject that—permitting instead the mind taps into the eternal everything that already is.
Who among even the most enlightened class of human beings could claim to know with absolute certainty the full scope of our mysterious universe? Certainty looks good. It feels good. It sells well. Whereas doubt, on the other hand, appears weak. It depresses. It spurs decay. Shall we go on feigning certainty then, among those whom we cannot bare to let down by exposing our fears?
Let us remove authoritarianism from religion. We shall liberate our human soul from the tyranny of superego. I advocate meditation as opposed to prayer for this reason. There is a subtle, but I will maintain important, difference between these two practices that has to do with the substance of identity. Both prayer and meditation involve a focus on interiority and the connection one may discover about metaphysics therein; however they may be distinguished by their contrasting active versus passive modes. In general that is to say that prayer is an appeal to divinity, whereas meditation is the contemplation of emptiness. One is in essence a form of wishing. The other wishes to transcend wishing by recognizing the illusory aspect of wishing itself. Wishing reinforces earthly desire. It is precisely this kind of psychic behavior that locks one into the realm of appearances. It is intimately bound up with the substance of identity, as the occurrence of wishing requires a subject to do the wishing, i.e. an ego. My argument is that ego becomes immorally conflated when desiring unification with the image of supernatural authority invested in superego. It doesn’t matter from an ethical standpoint whether the object of prayer is someone else as opposed to one’s self. Altruistic desires fuel self delusion as much as selfish ones. Speaking about what is and isn’t moral, I should assert here that there is nothing inherently moral about authority in itself. Morality is rooted in choice and the eternal moment which is everything that exists as an infinity of choice. Authoritarianism aims to reduce this into one coercive moment of making the “right” choice. I will hold that actively conflating oneself with this illusion of immutable correctness is irreconcilable with cosmic freedom. The most radical statement available to make is the simple fact that it is just not moral.
Could a single will effectively break itself? Am I capable of tearing down my very own psyche so as to build it back up again, but in only the manner that I sees fit? Is it possible for one in the same consciousness both to submit and be submitted to? Moreover if it were, would that be a worthy project? Is that not the absolute zero point of sorts? A valuable project befitting of all fully autonomous, moral individuals?
“Stoicism is self-tyranny,” says Nietzsche. . .
If tyranny as a concept was ever considered in the positive sense, then it would have to be in this one. We must resist political tyranny in all of its manifest forms. Except for one. In ourselves, towards ourselves. This is the only moral form of political tyranny. If we are to resist it, first we must overthrow it in ourselves. We must take it over, indeed turning it on itself, in ourselves. This is called the conquest of the dominator urge. It is the first step towards opening up a space for liberation. It is the principle of no rule but self-rule.
Self-rule with an iron fist.
We live in a new Dark Ages, where paradoxically there’s never been greater potential for illumination. Information is everywhere. Whereas a comprehensive knowledge of how to adapt to this state of affairs is lacking. A starting point for untangling this matrix of wires might be in learning how to exert greater control over the faculties of the mind, rather than in ceding more territory and surrendering more will to cybernetic control and technocratic authority.
Is it possible to develop a dual faculty for an idea, to understand it in such a way that one can use it both for power and disarmament? Or is that not already a double edge? What I mean to say is that in our State of Affairs, there’s no information that can’t be turned into disinformation, and these days disinformation is the norm. Hence, one must at all times try to disarm information in order to reveal the point, where one can see closest to its naked essence.
Just think of Marx or Nietzsche. A good idea is not enough. It must be interpreted. It must be practiced and rehearsed. And forget good ideas, think about how many great ideas have been perverted by the powerfully mediocre! Think of the ways they have been inverted, or rendered impotent by those who would claim them for their own, or sapped of their vital force through commodification, or obfuscated through a hidden layer of ideology.
We might have to accept the idea that no idea can be outright accepted prima facie. What we lose in certainty, we only have to gain in the ἀταραξία of Pyrrhonism.
In avoiding being mislead, one can avoid misleading others. And carry it like a talisman into the bizarre theater, aflame with this insane project of knowing everything through science, through religion, through State symbolism, states of affairs, etc.
“We’re reaching for death / On the end of a candle / We’re trying for something / That’s already found us” (Jim Morrison).
One more thing: maybe concepts precede words in the same way that mythology precedes history. Or maybe like cause and effect on the quantum level, their relationship is not precisely this logical.
A dual faculty therefore teaches us to beware of conflating a distinction but as importantly, not to privilege one before an other.
You are not your thoughts, yet without them you are surely nothing. This idea however mustn’t lead one down a path to despair, but rather into the boundless space of liberation. For nothingness alone is boundless.
While in despite of the incorporeality of thought, every mind is a delimitation. Every concept is a vanishing point, if and only if understood in the widest sense. Broadly speaking then, thoughts are the building blocks of appearances. Their concreteness in macrocosm is the prerequisite for being to exist. However if one falls victim to the illusion that such a substance is quite actually solid, or that this image of the thing-in-itself is more than just an image; thought becomes the generation of a perceptual cage, precisely due to this illusion of imperceptibility. One mistakes for the essence of what they’re thinking, their very own spiritual chains.
One assumes they are the map, rather than an experience of the territory.
Go beyond the concept of an origin to realize that since no One thought generated, no One thought can dictate, the terms of All-in-Existence.
Unification can be paradoxically also a process of division. Conquerors of the world have used this technique to enlarge their tyrannies. We however shall counter these measures by becoming our very own liberator of the soul. One does so by becoming the cybernetician of one’s own spiritual code.
Thought if you will, is a code of sorts. It is the underlying demiurge, writing operations for this phenomenal world. Each line of code or concept, every nuance of this system has been contrived. Nor would anything exist otherwise. Knowing then, really, is as they say. Knowing that thought is a necessary contrivance is already half the battle, for then no one without your conscious awareness, shall ever again put a thought into your head.
There shall be no more room for a helmsman, besides the one that controls from within; for truly, no thought may control anyone, who stands at least one step removed from their own head.
I will now sing into existence my concept of the warrior poet.
A warrior poet is no soldier. Nor is they even a writer in the traditional sense. There’s no writing for profit, there’s no going to war, for the warrior poet. One does however, live and die by a code of the sword like pen and the pen like sword. Or that is to say, one takes its conceits seriously, as if they were principles. And one regards all principles as if they were conceits. To a warrior poet, there’s no difference between a pen and a sword. And yet this difference means everything.
The first key principle of a warrior poet is that thought must be understood as a form of action. Our goal is to act in ways that interface with the created and the one who creates. We must live our lives in accordance with the dictum, that art can’t merely reflect, but must also shape.
Another: We cannot merely let our art descend into propaganda, but must make art that is so authentically meaningful that it becomes more true than propaganda.
A shining example of hitting this mark is George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984. These works manage to extract the essence of propaganda and ideology, presenting to us their raw schema after deconstruction, and reassemblage into an artistic diagram.
Said in another way. If we are to achieve this effect we must become like serpents, that eat up a poison, spitting it back out as the cure. A process which goes by many names, the most obvious one is: Solve et coagula.
The next is called the principle of writing with a water brush on a block of hot granite.
“Writing” is a shadow side to life but also creates it and gives it form, which is a paradox because: It is formless.
Reason and Imagination are tracked in this mold, these faculties which can section off discrete units of the territory that get onto the map. By another metaphorical name, this process may be likened to the construction of a ladder, rung after rung. The principle of writing with a water brush on a block of hot granite means essentially, to climb a ladder then kick it away. The point is that height is an illusory reward, a mere plateau in the vast range of emptiness, where there is nothing to “get”—only an infinity of places to go.
Wittgenstein tried his best to delineate a realm of perfect sense, so as to discover the exact shape of nonsense, because it was the latter (and not the “ladder”) that truly interested him.
Not to say that this is what our lives will have amounted to ultimately, but that in living life in such a way, we might find the invisible pattern beneath.
If you think this is nothing, words also won’t help you.
No concrete thought, no immaterial word.
A definition may be true but no language is created through a dictionary, no law is universal beyond a mere contingency. The Logos is like the Tao. This is not an anthropomorphic god or transcendental logic but an immanent cause, a primordial chaos that creates order out of itself.
From where else does this power, the authority to create a law, originate?
In our time, this power was invested in the State. Until we began to question just why one apparatus should have a monopoly on this capacity.
Precisely what is it that forbids a sovereign individual their capacity to judge on their own terms; to associate with other sovereigns freely, and to form communal organizations, effectively creating an independent code of conduct?
If it’s possible that art can shape the world; if it’s not bound to a mere reflective function, then this is a power that we’ll call the power of equivalence. Of course the idea of equivalence here is a metaphor, and indeed another word for this power of equivalence is metaphor. And it is ποιεῖν, where “to make” is also “to do” and “to bring something into being that did not exist before” and hence, it is precisely where poetry becomes praxis.
And hence it can be said that the concept of the warrior poet is the same as the figure of Orpheus.
We could also categorize our principles as Orphean. The possibility of even making this move however is dependent on the power of equivalence, and hence we may also call this move the mere Orphean principle.
This can be worked as a double edge: As equivalence or equivocation. Equivocation is more like a Siren’s Song, i.e. the conflation of appearance with reality that leads to being swallowed up by an illusion. It’s that method of artificing which skillfully cuts out the truth, and reassembles it, “the truth,” as a collage of extraneous detail, or as a reduction to pastiche; whereas equivalence is to weave what is seemingly irreconcilable into “One,” i.e. the power of metaphor and signification, let’s say. What is meant, for example, by saying that art is like life, in how: “Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass, / Stains the whole radiance of Eternity, / Until Death tramples it to fragments [and we can] No more let Life divide what Death can join together” (Shelley, Adonais).
This is a conceit that we might also deem Sympathy for Pluto.
Equivalence beats equivocation, every time.
Art beats propaganda.
Creating is a force for good. Poetry is praxis transubstantiated in the figure of Orpheus, and adhered to as the way of the warrior poet.
One interpretation of the folly of Arachne in ancient Greek mythology demonstrates the tactical importance of pretense.
As Ovid writes in Book VI of The Metamorphoses: “. . . Arachne dared / To rival Pallas [Athena] at the loom, to think / Herself superior in art. [. . .] . . . she, foolish, / Ready to show her skill, raced to her fate. [. . .] Not even Pallas nor blue-fevered Envy / Could damn Arachne’s work. The gold-haired goddess / Raged at the girl’s success. . .” (English translation by Horace Gregory).
If we conceive of this mytheme in terms of a battle, especially one in which there’s a power imbalance between the two sides, the strategic flaw presents itself to us as failure to heed the precept: “Pretend to be weak, that [your opponent] may grow arrogant” (Sun Tzu, The Art of War, I.xxii). In this light, we may now consider the efficacy of darkness, the 陰 side of things. And thus, we’ll consider the use of equivocation as a stratagem for deceit.
Consider those who were executed poets. Think of the medieval troubadour called Marcabru, who was put to death for criticizing the Lords of Gascony in his songs. Consider the techniques of the classical Chinese poets like 白居易, who used the art of symbolism and romanticizing to enact sociopolitical criticism of a current regime. Think about what Alan Moore says about the archetypal bard.
Our art redeems those who were executed poets, doing what those who were executed poets once did in the empires of old; namely, using codes to mask the true nature of our subjects, in order to criticize power by way of asymmetrical warfare. For one can’t expect to outwit a tyrant or expedite the fall of tyranny through sheer honesty alone. But rather the authenticity of our just rebellion if it’s to be successful, and if dedication to the emancipatory struggle is not to be in vain, our warrior-poetry must presuppose knowledge of how to use and thusly of how to counter the arts of deception.
Again, this is where the power of art to suggest unconscious meanings can’t be underestimated, in both the pursuit of enforcing repressive ideologies, and in sowing the seeds of their implicit destruction. Hence, our maxim bears repeating: “[Our art,] literary subversion is to ideology, as sabotage is to war” (白森).
But take heed not to engage in this battle without significant foresight. Mind Chapter IV, precepts xiii, xiv, xv of The Art of War: “[One wins their battles] by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas [one] who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory” (English translation by Lionel Giles).
Creation may only take the form of destruction insofar as the better, more beautiful and truer object is posited from the ruins of the target, before the process is even unfurled. Before making the first move, a diagram for victory must have already emerged victorious in the mind. And after all, this move doesn’t literally destroy the target, so much as set beside it a mere alternative. It opens a new door.
And where once all seemed immutable, that image has now been shot through with holes, allowing the light of a rhizome of individual minds to pass freely beyond it, indeed; “[it ticks] off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through anyone that suits you” (Jim Morrison).
What does it mean to be the author of a value? Which is more desirable, morality imposed from without, or morality composed from within?
“The healthy person is virtually without compulsive morality, but neither does he have any impulses that would require a restraining morality” (Wilhelm Reich, The Sexual Revolution).
What is it that we admire in the morality of the rebel? Of the voyou or rogue? It’s in the freedom of choice out of which the heart is followed, from which good is performed. To be sure, one may also follow their heart into badness. But whenever good is performed, also to be sure, it will be entirely of one’s own volition.
Whereas compulsory good is volitionally the same as accidental evil. A rogue may be a total bastard sometimes but at least they live by a code created from volitional purity, and hence the true rogue or scoundrel—our voyou—simply can’t act badly out of nihilism. Instead one must live with the consequences of being the sole author of meaning, and of the interpretations of karma.
For what the “moralist” calls “nihilism” is precisely a power vacuum, the contingency of all rulers.
What the “moralist” calls “nihilism” is actually the fear of anarchy, as defined as the absence of rulers.
What the “moralist” calls “nihilism” is actually the fear of chaos, as defined as unconditional freedom.
What the “moralist” calls “nihilism” is actually the fear of meaninglessness, as defined by our responsibility to create our own values.
It’s certainly true that the absolute definition of good and bad will always be at perennial odds. For there is an evil so evil that evil is good; and that law in the hands of a psychopathic ruling elite is a means of protecting unlawful action. We can see when ends are said to justify means that pragmatism becomes morality and yet morals simply can’t be prescribed. We must all move in the “wrong” direction first before knowing which is truly “right,” and if we are so convinced, let us put our all into it! Acting “wrongly” is one thing, but to act “wrong” and call it “right,” now that is something altogether less forgivable! Unless history one day ends, which is impossible, then there will always be room to criticize that ends justify the means.
In the sense that all causes are immanent to their effects, all moral action, indeed all action itself, must be founded on the covenant of no means that aren’t ends in themselves. Every I is an end in themselves, and every I is immanent to this universe.
Must not I define my own subject, or else by another be defined?
Power to the people to define their own subjects! Power to the people to define their own methods of self-control, for “[the] only discipline which is of any. . . value is self-discipline. . . Authoritative discipline, imposed from without, is invariably immoral [. . .]” (Bayard Boyeson).
Let us return to our rogue,—voyou.
Our principled rogue whose principles are founded on the principleless ground out of which codelessness produces a code, and whereby their one rule is rulelessness, out of which a harmony of rules must flow. By necessity order grows out of chaos but conversely all order “imposed from without” must descend into chaos.
Where there is badness in the rogue, it manifests in the form of trickery. Now might we tease out the degree of badness that distinguishes evil from trickery, or more specifically: Where is that threshold which lies in between evil and good, known as bad, located?
Orphically I wish to suggest that it can be found in the concept of a double-edged sword said to be like a φάρμακον.
This takes us back to the question of deceit, or of the tactical importance of pretense. There is the tactic of equivocation as a mode of defense, and the tactic of artificing as a mode of offense; all communication is dependent on artificing, and hence all of control too is even dependent on the strength of a message. Without a medium, there can be no message. So the medium is key. “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind” (Jim Morrison).
Any medium can be thought of as a threshold, or as a kind of liminality and what else emerges in a threshold, it is precisely trickery. The trick is a successful artificing of reality, also called illusion or magic. Every trick is in this way a provocation, too; an act that demands reaction, and not any reaction will do, only a thoughtful one.
Bad artificing is see through whereas evil artificing is an illusion and good artificing is a code that can be decrypted. The quality of the message in good artificing will be in proportion with its aesthetics. In evil artificing this translates into depth of illusion. Bad artificing is, of course ineffective, but can also be helpful or harmful in varying degrees.
But this is the constant, that wherever a fabrication can become true; wherever truth cannot exist without the possibility of lying, and where a form of lying can be raised to the virtue of an art, such as in the actor; or writer who portrays unconscious truths that, for whatever reason, can’t come out, or be understood without this form of lying, this is our territory. The issue of ambiguous morality now becomes a metaphor for our questioning of the generic division between fiction and non-fiction, a division without which, no propaganda could actually exist. For “[one] can’t speak precisely / of the way that things are besides / in a form of metaphor” (白森).
This is an axiom of the warrior poet, whose sword is a pen and whose pen is a sword; whose theory is praxis; whose actions and thoughts are bidirectional, in the sense that causes are immanent to effects; and whose covenant is: All means are in harmony with the ends.
It’s a duty imposed from within, never without, and yet flows in and out, bidirectionally, inside a liminal sphere. This liminality is art; a composition that we share. Language is a system within which, we all must play, the poet especially, whose ability to craft images, and to create concepts, is dependent on it. Furthermore, language is that which is the same as what and different from what it purports to be.
As a thing that purports—an image—is both a real appearance and an unreal equivalence, because an image is empty. To see into it thus is to know the truth of appearances.
The creation of ideology,
lines of sense and innate concepts
spun into a web,
the demiurge codes
A powerful image.
One has the power to reveal or conceal, to enlighten or deceive. How shall we continue, then?
in The Lords
Morrison showed how art is a φάρμακον,
or double-edged sword.
The Lords “vitiate possibility” (Ruth Jennison / Julian Murphet)
through artifice (or ποίησις).
Artificing can be used
as a means of obfuscating and interpellation,
But also as reversal,
ἀποκατάστασις and Verfremdungseffekt.
For: “If one has learned to think dialectically one can find it possible that a technique which is taken from the realm of magic can be used to combat magic with.” (Brecht)
We must represent the world
in a way that emphasizes
Not as an immutable
Elizabethan stage play
With a tragic script
conceived of in the mind
of a god-genius.
Francis Bacon is still alive!
boo, hiss. . .
Pound was the modernist poet par excellence
Suggesting that modernity is madness.
Has any World War ever left one solitary individual
“Thinking over precisely / the same fields of conflict / again and again, / Dressing in general / the war machine / down to primary causes, / Every war in human / history has been fought / principally in the mind. / An idea that begins / with its culmination; / already over in a sense / once the concept is realized” (白森).
There is a kind of magic that works only with the complete disavowal of magic altogether: The idea of objectivity and that what is real are called facts.
What are facts? A fact is something that happens; if something can’t be shown to have happened, then it can’t be considered a fact.
Illusions also happen, but as it turns out no illusion presents itself as such, besides a self-conscious illusion; no real illusion presents itself to us as an illusion, otherwise it wouldn’t be an illusion. Rather a real illusion will always appear as something real at first, indeed it will appear to exist as indistinguishable from fact. This is the defining feature of an illusion, that the fact of an illusion is prefaced on a condition in which one can make perceptual errors. Understood in another way, ultimately there can be no concept of reality without there first being a concept of illusion.
Now what is fiction? Or along similar lines, what is myth? Fiction is for us defined by what it is not, non-fiction, and non-fiction is true. It’s factual; it really happened or happens, as opposed to something that was made up. Fiction comes from somebody’s imagination. There’s what’s real and there’s what’s been imagined according to which myth is fiction, but like an illusion it’s also something that’s been mistaken for, or understood as, having really occurred. Furthermore it goes without saying that myth, unlike fiction but exactly like illusion, ultimately doesn’t understand itself to be or present itself as myth, as fiction, but rather, as an account of something that’s believed to have occurred, as something factual, or at the very least, something that’s considered “true.” And in this way we might also say, then, that there can be no concept of mythology without there first being a concept of history, history being to non-fiction what mythology is to fiction.
And yet, what if today much of what we understand as history, reality and non-fiction has more in common with mythology, illusion and fiction, than we realize? Are we so sure that our history is history and not mythology; that our journalism is journalism and not propaganda; that our concept of reality is real and not merely a more sophisticated illusion than ever before? Putting aside the fact that this is something we may never know, might we shift our focus a bit. Might we reduce these grand subjects to their everyday functions as words, and consider this: How does the concept of reality function? What does this word as a concept do when employed in conversation, and specifically in what ways does it interact with its opposite, not precisely illusion but rather the imaginary?
What’s the difference between the imaginary and an illusion? Again, an illusion purports to be real, whereas the imaginary—defined as a thing that’s made up—doesn’t deny this fact. And uniquely, furthermore, the imaginary as a product of the imagination, isn’t always restricted to the realm of having never occurred, insofar as radically often, an object or occurrence in reality manifests that was only first conceived of in the imagination. It’s not only possible, but in fact very often occurs that things in reality which never existed before, come to fruition as a result of the imagination. While an illusion can only ever purport to be real, the power of the imagination is such that not only can it make things up, but actually make them become real.
Properly understood in this way it doesn’t seem like a satisfactory line can be drawn that strictly divides reality from the imaginary. Clearly this line must exist. Although to assume it exists absolutely, in an objectively fixed predetermined category, is extremely suspect. One clear indication of this is because the categories of reality and imagination are already human concepts, and hence its unequivocal that they’ve been prefigured, or indeed, that they’ve already been imagined. There are no objective categories; data always has and always will require an interpretive framework in order to make sense of itself. Reality is a concept.
And so how does this concept function? We might say that reality is an organizing principle, whereby existence is divided and subdivided in an infinite regression. Ultimately this leads to an imagined split between the internal and external world, the creation of a schism between subject and object, grounded by cogito. If this process can be historicized and categorized as the term, subjectivization; and it results in the prefiguring of these categories of reality and imagination; then I wish to suggest that a function of this process is, for whatever reason, the subjugation of one category over another; its function is the subjugating of the imagination to this concept of reality.
From my point of view, this is the negation of non-duality into duality, and I believe that the utility of this move is equivocal. For all the problems it solves, I think that it too is a φάρμακον. “Mind is my weapon / Thought a cutting edge,” (白森). Individuation cuts both ways, like a trip undergone that afterwards leads right back to the same location. If we expect to arrive someplace else, we will surely become lost.
Truthful speech is good, poetic speech is beautiful. What is good is that which delights in its repetition. However good is merely the inversion of bad and both are indeterminate. One chooses to ground their stance in the field of negatives or positives.
First positive is the understanding of the interdependence of reality and illusion, all truth by necessity arises from this irreducible fact.
How can we know the difference between them?
All that we can know for sure is that there’s no such thing as absolute certainty.
First negative: demiurge/Demogorgon. The difference between these two may be as hard to call as that between ΑΒΡΑΞΑΣ and ΑΒΡΑΣΑΞ. But who knows, it’s not on me to decide.
I merely apply the first positive here in order to define the first negative.
The definition thus becomes: Demogorgon is a demiurge which denies its true origin. It’s an illusion, because it purports to be “real.” Reality is constituted by the imagination of the demogorgon. In this way it makes concrete, that which is fluid.
Lying is a means to an end, whereas truthful speech is an end in itself. Fiction belongs to the former category however so does ethics.
There is no ethical statement, only ethical action. And hence we understand: 大道廢有仁義, 慧智出有大偽. “It was when the Great Way declined / That human kindness and morality arose; / It was when intelligence and knowledge appeared / That the Great Artifice began” (Tao Te Ching, xviii).
Speaking is a means to an end, the power of communication. Truth is the negation of speech in its correlating between the map and the territory. All ethics therefore are founded on the use of force, for the silent also speaks, and every word is a form of violence. The Orphic also knows this. This is why their song becomes a force valued above non-fiction. This is why every polemic is preferable to an act of war. This is why even equivocation isn’t purely wrong, because no act of violence is ever purely right.
Stating is ethical compared to the ethic of might making right. Cyclicity establishes right; cyclicity being the force of irreducibility. Law is the founding of prescribed cyclicity. Even the concept of cyclicity is differentiated through a description of what should be expected. Once an expectation is in place, its violation is of universal concern; indeed the question remains the same in all circumstances: How should one act?
Is there a fundamental difference between action and reaction? Is there any statement that can ensure the right of one to use might or said in another way, isn’t the use of might neither wrong nor right?
Second positive: non-violence is right, powerful and good. No indication of weakness is more obvious than in the outwardly mighty, in the recourse to violence.
All violence is an assault on the self. It should only be used in the name of preserving non-violence, for only the will can deny itself. Every will is double; either a vicious or virtuous cycle. So, do as the Way; there is no ‘say.’
Communication is non-violent force, by using words we war peaceably with each other.
It evolves from here into a problem of codes. One might say that all of life breaks down into an ὁρμή for the perpetuation of a code. We are a part of that code, a code that is heautonomous. The individual is microcosm, the community macrocosm; each irreducible to the other, interdependent with itself. The code for this is ὅλος. Deeper understanding of the reciprocity of its inner and outer flows is the key to self-mastery.
Mastery is dominance, control. Over which mastery exerts itself as either physical or mental. Physical control over one’s self is mental; control over another can be either physical, or mental, or both. Whereas physical control is obvious, mental control where it’s successful, is hidden. Mental control over the exterior which isn’t hidden or physical isn’t dominance, or the controlling of another but rather reflects the reciprocity between the world and conscious organisms. For wherever we’ve mastered ourselves, we’ve mastered the world, each other. Needless to say this form of selves-in-control-of-themselves is the only desirable form of control. There is no other form of control which locates itself strictly external to the self, and yet is also ethical.
One power of the Demogorgon is schismogenesis, or the ability to create stasis out of the contrivance of a conflict, or the illusion of change. The tendrils of this propaganda are also like that of the hydra and by trying to oppose them head on their dominance is only magnified. The only way to confront this ideology is by plucking it out holographically at the root, demolishing its foundational plinth. At root this confronts the same principle employed in the tactic of controlling the opposition. The technique of controlling the opposition is dependent on the use of disinformation and agencies of disinforming, also know as double agents. It works in the sense of contriving a more extremist form of one’s opponent that serves to destabilize its ideology, and hence may scramble its control schema.
A possible destabilization could be to say, scramble the code that structures the difference between a “terrorist” and a “freedom fighter” effectively inverting our common sense notions of “good and evil.” This is then, precisely what Shelley meant in 1.380-381 of Prometheus Unbound with “Evil minds / Change good to their own nature.”
[. . .]