Often, when using proverbial language, stating the obvious is required, just as a reminder. All persistence is relative to the frame of time that is being used. Even in the frame of geological time it is clear that no matter is ‘really’ stable, it does not ‘exist’ like we imagine our imaginary things to exist. Matter happens, not only momentary in the quantum field but also over measurable TimeSpace.
Variants of this proverb relate to MoneySpace ( ”matter matters”) or, indirectly, to the Neo-Cathedral Law of Conservation of Information (“IT matters“).
7. nothing exists
variant “no thing exists”
The Cathedral’s radical denial of both ‘existence’ and ‘things’ does not boil down to it’s nihilistic aggregate as some are led to belief on hearing this proverb. Nihilism as a philosophical or ideological choice points towards the opposite proposition, that of ‘nothing’ or ‘nihil’ or ‘zero’ or even Nirwana as a desirable state. The Cathedral-Mother in her 14th Lecture mocks the nihilistic attitude with her exclamation ‘get yer arse out of yer grauzone will you’, referring to the 1980 New Wave song ‘Eisbär’ by the German band Grauzone
Things or existence are not the case. Events and becomings and temporary aggregates are. But the linguistic and inescapably human need to metonymize and reify everything (sic) clouds our thinking and often lead us to disastrous conclusions. It’s a bad habit, but we can’t do without it (cfr. the German neo-idealistic philosopher Vaihinger rightfully claimed that “the attempt to do without fictions would be ruinous” to almost every human endeavor), but we do need to be aware of it while ‘elaborating our fictions’ (dv in an article on the nature of Anke Veld, blogpost june 23th 2018) lest we get caught in our own Post-Truth fabrications (has the notion ‘Post-Truth’ already been popularized by this article’s timestampTime? it has? Ok, just checking).
8. you are nature
While the NKdeE absolutely abhors any kind of ideology, it is very much concerned with the mental health of it’s users/participants. The proverbs, much like Blake’s Proverbs from Hell, can all be read as sound advice to counter sickening tendencies in the individual’s thinking or to intice the reader to change their behaviour so as to get healthier to then better pursue whatever their goals may be.
Much pain and frustration can be avoided by changing the behavioural tendency to consider ‘nature’ as some lost ideal that should be restored to its pre-human condition. If nature wanted to be pre-human it wouldn’t have allowed our existence, no? In fact we are integral ‘part’ of nature, our computers, concrete buildings, plastic pollution are completely ‘natural’, they are not ‘against nature’. If all these human ‘accomplishments’ are against anything it’s against us, humans, making our survival more improbable every year, month, day, second…Perhaps they are even nature’s way of getting rid of us, because we’ve served our purpose, namely that of allowing Capital, a pure force of Nature if ever there was one, to take over ‘things’ in a far more persistent manner.
Realizing the fact that we have been fooling ourselves is, as in all problems of addiction, the first necessary step in trying to heal our damaging behavior and regaining our mental health. We need to be able to say to ourselves in all earnestness, yes, me [your name], i am and have been for quite a while now, fatally addicted to consumerism…
Ein Aphorismus, rechtschaffen geprägt und ausgegossen, ist damit, dass er abgelesen ist, noch nicht „entziffert“; vielmehr hat nun erst dessen Auslegung zu beginnen, zu der es einer Kunst der Auslegung bedarf.
Life, Vita, the Bergsonian creative force, is beyond human measure. Measure is a technological imperfect application of mathematical reasoning, life escapes its futile attempts to ‘grasp’ it, even (or better: especially) when human technology is stretching itself to meet theoretical (mathematical, i.e. humanly abstracted) demands. It seems clear that human abstraction (mathesis) has a limited scope (Gödel) but any question towards the ‘nature’ of what lies beyond is, by definition, devoid of possible answers, which doesn’t need to imply that posing them is useless. The need for a unified theory in physics is a human need, a bad way to question infinity that can only lead to useless finite answers. Measure fails conceptually, the problem is that Deconstructionists don’t understand quantum physics and quantum physicists don’t care about Deconstructionism. They should though, if they ever want to get their shit together.
2. nature does not need a thing
Our attempts to ‘save’ nature are a sick joke, as if we are harming ‘nature’ in any way. The only thing we succeed in doing very well is destroying those natural processes that our own lives depend upon. Furthermore, we are very cynical in our suicidal attempts because while making sure no human will be able to survive on this planet we take several million of particularly beautiful species along with us. When at last our tale of ‘human progress’ has run its course, nature will take a little sigh and start something completely different and be quick to forget about the ‘human slip of the tongue’.
3. nothing is an invention
Zero or ‘nothing’ as an entity is a conceptual Arab invention that revolutionized Classical Greek thinking of things, ideas and categories (Plato & Aristotle) and thus became the foundation of western technology and Capital power. It doesn’t exist but it’s utterly useful in construction and a handy deterrent. It can be used to define God as Nothing we could understand( “start shaking before the big Nought, you sinner”) or it can be identified with Death as a fictional Agent of destruction in a desacralized society (“you will be swallowed by the vastness of Nothing”). In fact Nothing is nothing more than a technological (language= techne) construct just like Being is just an auxiliary (cfr. later). God is a thing so it doesn’t exist (see above, later) and death is just a transition (one of the more boring ones, in fact, no heavenly virgins there, sorry).
4. god will not like us very much
variant: “our guess is god will not like her father very much”
The Cathedral’s ironic take on all the Singularity and Gaia stuff: there’s no way of telling for certain what the (inter)(im)mediate future will bring us, what will happen the next say 50 years. Except that there will be a huge number of dead people involved, perhaps. All speculation on those topics is extremely inspired by ideology. People are talking a lot of rubbish to better their interests directly (Trump, Alt Right, Extreme Left, …) or indirectly (sell books or give ted-talks and have lot’s of pussy or dick afterwards). The Neo-Cathedral guess is as good as any so we guess (i.e. tell you what we think is good for the Cathedral) the way us humans are fucking Gaia (given the quakes and the storms she seems to absolutely adore it) this cannot remain without consequence and the God born from all this will most certainly kick our human asses into deep space and have Her Mum all for Herself.
5. capital is natural
Here Cathedral theory seems to be indebted to Landian Accelerationism and its Bataillesque sources because far from interpreting Capital as a human construct it is seen as a purely natural force that merely has been ‘awakened’ by our human efforts. Capital is Nature mocking us, having us believe that the global economy is something we can master or even harness. It is not because Capital expresses itself through human interactions that any human action could influence the way it is headed in any decisive way. All opinions to the contrary are again pure ideology, more or less poorly disguised blind self-interest of individuals whose ego’s, in a Capital way, are worth less than the shit they produce.
erhaps fiction is all we have. German idealist philosopher Hans Vaihinger posited something of that nature in his work on the philosophy of the as-if.
As it happens, Vaihinger’s work is only known by frequent quotations, not all of them very reliable, in papers, essays and books dealing with American literature. In that field Vaihinger seems to function as a mythical ‘deep’ layer on which many ‘surfacing’ fictional theorems are then supposed to be building (that is to say: theory as somehow included in novels, much like theoretical conjectures are brought to the attention of the reader in works like Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, re-counted, or discovered as part of the ‘conte’, the progression of the discovery of what happened, how the past got to be what it is in the present, by main characters in novel stories).
The novel as a genre has a very large tradition of incorporating philosophical treatise in its corpus of ‘fiction’. Tragic and deeply moving stories by Dostojevski are largely lacerated by lengthy religious distractions, most of which could perhaps have been extracted leaving a more pure fictional work. It’s been 30 years since i read the darn thing, but i do remember giving up after 40 pages of religious treatise in his “Brothers Karamazov”. I remember a feeling most of you will recognize as ‘ok, we know you’ve got some dark hidden truth way down there, explaining it all, now please get on with the story, i want to know what happened!”. Whatever it is that we want to know while reading, it certainly isn’t the theory behind it all. Authors who keep trying to explain, will eventually get flunked by their readers.
But authors of novels always kinda seem to like, well, er , be after the truth of things by means of their fictions. They often very much want to be taken seriously. The creation of fiction seems to imply a creation of truth as a negative by-product, and where there is a large production of beauty an equal amount of theoretical build-up appears to trouble the acclaimed novelist, tempting her to burst out in interviews proclaiming her world according to ME, the abandoned I she can’t write or even speak from, the final persona that is left in the dark when all the worlds lights shine on her fictions and her raving characters.
In the novels themselves, pure theory however is only tolerated as a perforation of the fictional entourage. It’s function is exactly to drive a thread of the real through the fabric of fiction. It allows the real to percolate into the moist and the thick of the plot, in such a way that will satisfy even the hardest of readers, another novelist.
The escape into fiction, a primordial motivation to start writing fiction in the first place, may well be that the author is seeking out the excitement involved when you start writing on the edge of your ignorance. The object of desire, the agency driving the act of writing, is a nearly physical craving for truth. The Other takes the form of an Outside that needs to overtake the author so that she can speak as one of the Wise, the True, and perhaps, the horrific Elders.
Writing fiction in that sense may be a kind of weakening of the sharp edges of the unknown, a laceration of darkness with daringly thrown bolts of lightning, a move forward by means of the acid of wordiness, the dynamite of poetic language, the recoiling of growing intrigue. Amidst her territoire armée d’armes et de larmes, the author stand bold, as if nothing could ever happen to her, as if the author always knew what she is going to write, as if she has total control over all the motions she is about to initiate, just by starting out like ‘riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs’.
Of course she doesn’t. And when we ‘re done, she, the author, us the readers, and it, the riverrun of fiction, we still don’t we don’t have the slightest clue of what ‘really’ happened while we were reading, only that our real world somehow got truncated by another, by an outside in which everything was a lot more straightforward, easier to grasp, better to hang on to, and full of sound and fury signifying exactly the same amount of nothing that we started out with.
Fiction, thus, enjoys the liberty of meaning without significance, of moving without being moved, of bringing about nothing and keeping you on the edge of your concentration while doing just that. The currants of ‘real’ theory inside the fiction function in much the same way as currants of artificial intelligence in large programs aimed at very specific goals: they lift the flow of what happens ever so slightly towards a perception of something real taking place, they reassure us that what is going on beyond our scope or hold is truly intelligent, sound reasoning, efficient data-handling: progress.
Both the Modernist novel, starting with Zola and Lawrence, as the post-modern body of fiction including such marvels of intricacy and intellectual splendour as Pynchon’s work, both takes at the novelist job, have in common this continuous friction between theory and fiction, a poromechanics as our series-subject Negarestani would have it of the imagined real by the real as conjecture and vice-versa.
But what happens if the tables turn, and the theorist wants to become the producer of fiction, and when a body of theory is lacerated by shiny strings of sensuous fiction? Will the theorist retain his manly stature as a prominent builder of systematic thought? Or will he fall victim to the strategem of his own device? Will we end up with the best of both worlds, or the worst?
Wait and see, be sure to tune in regularly to NKDEE.blogspot.com for our next episode of DIGGING FOR OIL, a review on the run for the horrors of CYCLONOPEDIA, Reza Negarestani’s take on the Middle East as a sentient entity…