Perhaps what is needed in order to deal with what Bernard Stiegler refers to as our symbolic misery, notre misère symbolique, is a true dynamisation of our ontological apparatus.
Badiou, the self-indulgent little creep, has gladly given us a reductionist ontology nicely co-inciding with a reductionist mathesis, a tapestry of maps covering maps of the maps of a fictional world, and, on that basis, a Second Chance to establish a clearcut ethical New Order, a network of static gates governed by the Supreme Being of his own Badinage, a Sacred Topology centered around the zero ground of the one significant Event in the Universe: the Birth of his own sorry ass.
Serious philosophers however will know how to pierce through the blatantly maoistic style sheets of his rhetoric and will have no trouble in separating the true logic from the man’s business logic, a particularly venomous variant of the old affliction that unfortunately has accompanied most seekers of wisdom who fail to love their own ignorance as the field in which they are allowed to progress: an insatiable need of power, a wish beyond all reason to dominate and to salvage their doomed ego’s from death by the attempt to inscribe themselves as an identity on an imaginary Plane of All Humanity.
Now, for that, those two paragraphs is all that i will ever (from now on) write on the wretched subject, so please let us go back to our urgent problems. Bernard Stiegler offers us a very bleak picture of our present condition, and although i haven’t at this moment by far finished with going through the entirety of his tracé, a quite impressive route along a number of often quite brilliantly written books of merciless analysis, it is now time i think to accompany my readings of this and other authors with a minor strand, or tiny string of my own.
In mentioning the One Who’s Name i Will Mention No More, i have tried to indicate that our ontology, as we know it from one particular angle in our Western Way, is indeed in some respect and given sufficient linguistic reduction identifiable with a mathematically definable topology.
The way we think ‘naturally’ leads to mathesis, and the nature of mathesis is primarily static, i.e. it refers to a systematic of Place. Any referentiality of thought is based on and biased towards a conception of spatiality and in any conception of spatiality the human mind will always tend towards closure, finiteness and a dismissal of the Real through a fictionalisation into (systems of) objects. Any human becoming is limited by our need to be before we can come, hence the inevitability of our erotic misery.
My very Cathedral is built on the same premises, a designation of mathesis as the firmament of our sense of Being, our ontology, but i have at all times diligently steered away from the temptation to build a fictional apparatus of ‘engulfing’ on a discovery i do not consider my own, nor His, nor anyone’s because it is simply the only logical conclusion that we, the totality of our intellectual efforts, are driven to by the inherent machinic conditions of those very efforts themselves. In spite of Alice’s story, looking in the mirror doesn’t make us actually leave the Place.
It is , in other words, all too easy to reconstruct the nature of Becoming as a system centered aroud a objectified Event, a merely topological co-ordinate that organizes our Being by its very existence. There is an awkward need and a dangerous desire to close the circle here, a circle of identification that ought to have remained the spiral of differentiation. Again the strange attractor of our need for Perfection is literally smothering any further chance of becoming, of escaping our need to Be.
Our contention throughout these writings will be that in spite of the tragedy of our human condition, and without the need to construct any transcendent realm of salvation, we can indeed overcome our own suicidal tendencies by construing an indirect virtual ‘contingency’ plan, a way, in short, to summon the Exterior into our fictional Existence.
The prospect of such investigations should of course be an utterly frightful one. The Lovecraftian adegium of ‘Be afraid, be very afraid’ should be taken most seriously because we are dealing here with things that concern our very survival. It is, in fact , a matter of life and death, and in such matters fear is often a better guide than self-indulgent bravery. But, as we will try to make clear later, this has always been the case, it is only our mastery of self-delusion that lets us of the hook of utter fear, our ability to turn our heads away from the monster and merrily chatter about the weather, right until the very split second that all cameras focus on our being snapped away by It.
We will therefore assume that what is required is an actual method that defies all our misgivings that anything that is written is an accomplishment. There is, in fact, no such thing as a philosophical accomplishment. Philosophy is a disposition, a process enabling the opening of accessoires (secure points of access – sluices) through wich the Exterior is allowed to give Breath to the living.
Therefore, what i write here need not be true. It needn’t even make any sense (at this moment, or at the moment you are reading it, or at any given co-ordinate in spacetime).
What i write here needs to work, that’s all. If it gives Breath to the living, it works, and then i will have written wisely, i.e. as a temporal construct bravely but self-deceivingly in love with my own ignorance.
There is, in fact, as Nobel Laureate Dorris Lessing once referred to ‘No way but to go in”. In doing so however, we generate a motion that can be forced into a virtual relationship with a Motion of the Outside. This can be achieved by meditation, as many religious traditions have shown in their adherence, their belief in the power of individuals, mystics to supersede the limitations of human perception. It will be our contention that some result can be achieved by refusing to designate ( again that word) any sense of contact with the Outside to what is traditionally contained by a religious harnessing, the belief in a Supreme Being.
Other does not necessarily lead to an-other in a relation to an a that is. Figures of speech do not add up, you can’t count on them doing so. If you do, you’ll necessarily end up in atrocity.
Soit. Let that be, for the moment.
Our main angle of approach will then be to further that to the contrary of what is historically our given method, a conditioning of our very modes of thought, and in spite of serious efforts of (for instance, but also: mainly) Jacques Derrida in deconstructing those modes of thought in order to revitalise the mortal coil that threatens us as humans, the spiraling down of our energies to our own extinction, and, moreover, in spite of Gilles Deleuze’s efforts to break down our ‘humanist’ tendencies to close our world, his continuing effort (beyond his own death) to steer us towards a fundamental openness, we are still in a very urgent need to take up the continuing challenge to see through our own delusions and – sorry but you need to dig the humour of the thing too, or you will miss the whole clue of the enfolding tragedy – to boldly go where no man has gone before.