We all fantasize about novel things. Yes we get those occasional lustful fantasies from both man and women, For men, they are those passionate sex scene with that girl we’ve been thinking about (if your not gay). For the most part, we fantasize about our immortalization in the symbolic realm. What distinguishes fantasy from desire? Well fantasy for the most part, is not real. Fantasy is generated hallucination. When we want to become apart of a group, that group is thinking about us thinking thinking about becoming apart of it within their minds. Why wouldn’t we want to become apart of a group of people with similar interests? Life becomes easier with friends because joining forces against the realities of life makes enduring worth it. The external field that influence wants and desires have initially set up parameters to make them desirous. Or rather capable of being enticing.
The subject group is already connecting individuals through the Body without Organs and fluctuating intensities emanate from them. Their fantasies tend to align with each other. Because we live in the 21st century, groups need not be actually present in real time. We can group-up cybernetically to create an extended conscious. The individual then fantasises about being apart of this group for the benefit of him.
But Oedipus is two sided or in Deleuze’s term: “double binded.” Because the group has to get the individual to want to become apart of the group, the subject group has to cast an allure of desire. That is to solve the individual’s existential angst. Death is the soul’s greatest frustration, therefore a calling to live for greater principles or to give up the life of pleasure becomes so appealing to the subjected individual. This is Nietzsche’s ascetic principle which states that the nihilistic individual will further deny life by giving up pleasure to cleanse his soul. This ascetic principle is the salvation to his wretched life. But the other side of Oedipus, that “double bind,” is that the subjected individual will also depart from the group as he is becoming apart of it. It establishes a tension that keep them connected. The individual resist the subject group from thinking that he is desiring to become apart of the group. Why? because that is the subject group’s main goal. The subject group resists the individual from thinking about revolution or overturning of the group. Both the subjected individual and the subject group have eachother or each other’s mind. A psychic economy is born.
We all praise scientists. History says science progresses human society the longer we keep doing it. Scientists attribute the qualitative aspect of forces to its own identity and label it quantitative force. How? By measuring the world, piecing it and partialize it. Yes it is necessary to measure, scrutinize, and experiment. I would say it is necessary to measure the world to do anything. But it is how we proceed. Do we nihilistically strip the world down to it’s numeric essentials? Digital age is doing this by making everything binary, a one or a zero. Or do we flip to affirm human quality?
Several criticisms of Nietzsche tend to go for the psychological or moral side of his philosophy. His critics attack him the basis of “he thinks he is better than everyone else because he understands this or that…” This can not be further from the truth. Even some historians pointed out that Nietzsche’s psychotic breakdown period drew connections to his writings where he constantly criticized his own weakness and failures as the basis for his philosophy. I want to do justice to his metaphysics and ontology rather than his moral statements. Many know him because of his concept of The Eternal Recurrence. For those who watches Todd May’s lecture of Deleuze’s interpretation of The Eternal Recurrence, it has an ethical interpretation and an Ontological one.
The Naive Interpretation
The naive interpretation of Nietzsche is where one confuses his ontology for his ethical one. They often think of the will-to-power as earned or attainable. This is because ethical choices leads to rewards for being good or consequences for being bad. The Naive interpretation attributes ressentiment, bad-consciousness, and the ascetic ideal to the feeling of impotence caused by the powerful imposing their authority. As opposed to those who hold the power to enslave the weak, the powerful is the cause for evil. Especially when referring to murder, rape, and torture, to the naive interpreter, these are caused by the powerful or the weak’s impotence to hold up. Here, the reactive powers (ressentiment, bad-consciousness, and the ascetic ideal) are assigned a psychology; a response mechanism to being downtrodden. Reading On the Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche made it clear that he despises the English psychologist so much so that he mentions it at the very beginning of the book.
The other is the Narrative interpretation of Nietzsche where the reader understands the will-to-power through a series of moves. The “narrative” moves comes from the 3-structured polemic on On The Genealogy of Morals. The polemics are well structured pieces of prose that takes the reader on a series of thought. One can read it forwards and backward and derive clareboyancy from reading the book unconventionally. I will explain these interpretations by first going over the naive interpretation then explaining the narrative interpretation. In fact learning the naive interpretation is essential to understanding the narrative interpretation as it is embedded in it.
Ressentiment: The Naive interpretation
The naive interpretation goes like this… Two hypothetical tribes come unto contact with an unconquered tribe and the strongest tribe conquers both. The dominant tribe becomes the master class and the losers become the slave class. When Nietzsche reaches the the transvaluation of values in the middle of the first polemic, the naive interpreter can develop pity for the slave class, then hope in their overthrowing of their oppressor’s values. The values which belonged to the master class were defined as “good” then flipped to “bad” by the slaves. “Good” in ancient Greece or Ancient Rome did not have any moral connotation to it. Good was equivalent to clean, nobel, dominant, masculine, and powerful. Most importantly, “good” was the ability to assign and interpret meaning and not the consequences for utility. Or as the psychologists would say, “‘good’ is good because it is useful, it helped to serve society grow and function well.” The “bad” or slave class had no choice but to work in the shadows or learn to love secrets and work in dark corners. In a way, the naive interpreters are right, the slave class did not have freedom to make their own choices. But they’re wrong to say that they did not hold will-to-power. Both master and slave class hold equal will-to-power. With it, the slave class enacted that “spiritual revenge” on their masters because of the their weakness that infected the whole majority of society with ressentiment.
So then why if both classes held the will-to-power does one class (master class) dominate the slave class? It has to do with the slave class self-deprecating themselves. We’ll get to this when we get to the narrative interpretation. The naive interpretation continues into the second polemic and it has to do with how the slave class will identify themselves. The slave class re-identified themselves to be anything but their oppressors. The consequence is that the slave class pretends to enjoy what they do have and pretend to not enjoy what they don’t have. All they can do is resent the master class “have’s” at a distance. The slaves pretend to be fine with “have nots.” Already the naive interpretation develops a psychology of “sour grapes.”
Bad-consciousness: The Naive interpretation
Nietzsche asks the question where does guilt originate from. To the Naive interpreter, it came from the master class enforcing their power over the slaves. Spontaneity, potency, abundance laughter, over-indulgence, wealth, aggressiveness, joy, eccentricity, sexual fitness and availability, freedom, vigor, and demonstrative extroversion, all these life-affirming values would have to be compressed and buried deep inside the poor slave if he is to exercise power over their master’s values. Already it stinks of psychology. And not the good kind. The naive interpreter has to say that his heavy load of compressed life must be negated, rejected, and then purified to be washed clean. The ritualistic symbolism of baptism represent the washing of the dirty soul as a filthy, degenerate and impure human for the very fact that he was born. Thus the beginning of the Christian conception of the soul was born.
Before I get to the narrative interpretation and the materialization of the soul, I have to explain how the slaves managed to self-flagellate their symbolic souls. Nietzsche said that the start of society happens somewhere at first instance of trade. There’s no reason to trade an apple for another apple if one can trade an apple for two oranges. Trade is where people can measure oneself against another, that is to say, one can show their surpluses of life outward as a status symbol. It’s easy to fall into the trap of utility-psychology of this hypothetical society, arguing for fairness in commerce or organizing society into a fair state. Trade is a science and a useful one to the naive interpreters. It can be studied, tuned, and worked on in favor of a prosperous society. A society’s success is based on one’s commitments and obligation to fulfill his or her commitments. Those who break their commitments or promises are punished by those who control it.
When a creditor punishes a debtor, the creditor does so because of the debtor’s inability to pay off the debt. During the torture, the creditor can feel pleasure off the pain of the debtor’s suffering. The pleasure of watching someone suffer was the exchange of the missing payment. The debt must always be paid if society is to become resilient and reliable enough. Through torture and punishment, the creditor makes sure a memory is implanted into the mind of the debtor. The naive interpreter says, “ah! operant conditioning, a classical behavioral response. The punisher simply pairs up with pain with a condition to ward off unwanted behavior… See! The powerful abuse their power! The slaves are no more different than Pavlov’s dogs!”
The Ascetic Ideal: The Naive Interpretation
In the naive interpretation, a priest from the master race has to descend the slops to preach to slaves. The reason is the keep slave morality locked up and contained. If slave morality gets out, it could infect the larger population and cause an uprising. So the Priest becomes and ascetic prest. Asceticism is a practice where one abstains from pleasure and comfort for religious or spiritual reasons. The logic of the naive interpreter proceeds from before, if the master race contains the crowd, they can control these instincts for experiencing life. That’s why the ascetic priest preaches to the choir: the slaves already carry guilty or bad conscious, they were punished into submission because of their weakness and they denied themselves inwardly. The job of the ascetic priest was already made easier by this point. The slaves don’t want to feel or experience the pleasures of life, they want to be saved. The priest tells them what to do and how to do it. Guilty souls do not get saved unless they repent and purify themselves. They tell them that the carnal pleasures are “bad,” in the sense that the slaves made themselves bad, evil
The Narrative Interpretation: The Ascetic Ideal
Here is where we flip the hour glass and things fall into place. Because if the slaves created evil, then the priest can use this to their advantage. But what if the slaves wanted it in the first place? First we must understand what we have in front of us. Nietzsche only gave us half of the story if we read On the Genealogy of Morals from cover to cover. Early on, we sense Nietzsche give us clue on how the think genealogically. And that is when he said in his second polemic that the debtors actively seek their own punishment. In fact they welcome it. We can say, “of course they want it, the priest told them so, or “of course they want it, they turned themselves inwardly during their encagement process of negating life.
In any case, the end result was the overthrowing of the master class during the slave revolt. During rise of Christianity, the crucifiction of Christ marked the complete 180 degree flip of values. Good turned to bad and labeled “evil.” And bad turned to good and labeled “divine.” One could say “they had it coming.” But what if the slaves wanted someone to preach them? What if they desired it so much so that they welcomed in the priest to guide them and tell them what to do. One can argue, “of course they did, after generation of generation of torture, murder, rape, and suffering, they were intergenerationally traumatized.
The Narrative Interpretation: Bad-consciousness
We can say that the it is the fault of the master class for punishing their slaves into revolt. But the creditors did not punish their debtors out of revenge, but for the sake of restoring a balance. Maybe at the beginning, the slaves did suffer unjustifiably so. But as mentioned before, they welcomed their punishment. Why did they welcomed their own torture? Because they wanted to turn inward. They wanted to negate life and cage themselves into a weak and pathetic servant. They wanted to be guilty in a way to be saved. So they felt better after being flogged, whipped, burned, maimed, dismembered, slashed, suffocated, hanged or even killed. Nietzsche even said that life back then was brighter, greener, and more peaceful, not because of catharsis or psychological principle, but because both master and slave served with meaning.
This goes hand in hand with Foucault’s interpretation of discipline and punishment. Foucault’s accounts punishment is that torture happened in public squares and open spaces. A place where everybody can see the torture of the transgressor. The purpose of making torture public was to deter the population from committing the same acts of crime. When the population looked up to the torturer with sympathy. The scene was made into a sign of revolution. Punishment served the opposite effect. Now crimes could be committed for the purposes of being the one with the nose around the neck for everyone to see you. People got a hit out of watching public executions. Think of the French Revolution where the guillotine beheaded more and more people not less. Foucault said that torture moved inside buildings for only a select to see. But when internal revolution occurred because of it, torture and punishment moved into private cells.
The narrative interpretation: Ressentiment
We can sense from moving backwards that the slaves had supplied their own demand. They loved to be shamed and humiliated because they negated life. Like a disease, the world is infected with frugality, timidity, stoicism, limitation, moderation, purity, chastity, servitude, modesty, and forgiveness. They wanted more and more suffering for more repentance. All this for the hope of salvation of their souls because one day live they’ll live in peace and calm. They created heaven and hell from the very beginning and secretly wished their opponents to burn in Hell. They wanted a life that didn’t exist and negated the life they actually had. The infection that spread was the spirit of revenge. A creative revenge, a revenge where the master class would one day betray his own conscious and give up on life. This was the creative plan of the slave revolt The slaves created psychology. It is no wonder psychology is largely negative and filled with a sense of nihilism. Psychology steamed from the slave’s legacy. Nietzsche never choose a side, but it’s clear which side he despised and which side he feels a deep nostalgia for. But there isn’t any reason to suspect that Nietzsche’s life was somehow great or remarkable enough to despise christianity in his time. He was the son of a pastor and attended church regularly. He was constantly disappointed with life, love, and was constantly neurotic. If anything, he should show signs of being resentful of life. But held on to truth. He did something that the herd could not, stay truthful to oneself.
Stephen Jenkinson is a modern day sage for the youth. He works in palliative care counselling the elderly on dying in their last few moments of life left. The profession of preparing old people to die has levels of condescension to it. (So you mean to tell me that the undying can give advice to the dying on how to die…?) Yet counselors like Jenkinson are still sought after by many dying people. Jenkinson gripes about having people pedestalize him as if he’s an authority figure of dying. He refuses titles, awards, and accolades and aggressively denies being a modern day spiritual guru. Even though he counseled more than 1500 of people who have died, he doesn’t sugar coat it. He still believes death is the all terrible, all frightening horror it’s supposed to be. Just imagine all your worst fears of death and have it increased by a thousand! He isn’t vocal on politics but the very few he does voice out are political inquiries related to The Death Trade. During an interview at LondonReal, Brain, the host asked him about the consequences of living in a culture that denies death and are death-phobic. Jenkinson responds that the proper way to die in a death-phobic culture is a death where one is killed. In other words, one dies when one feels ready for it. My thesis is that modern day dying (and the legacy from which we got the modern medical system for the dying) fuels this sickness of preparing to grow up into adulthood is a resentment of being alive. This insidious feedback loop instills in youth-culture a disparate paranoia for having to live out their childhoods on time, making their entire growing process a longing for their missing childhood. This longing then keeps moving on into not having their toddler years lived properly, then their tween years missing, then their teenage years, their late teens, early adult, mid adult and so on. The unquestioning virtue of more life gave this generation a disastrous run for catching up to their lives not yet reached.
Somewhere, someone robbed us of our opportunity to live freely. But what we really lost is the ability to give honor to our enemies. This is the consequences of more life, more experience.
One of Jenkinson’s big assertion is that we are all orphans. On the London Real podcast, he states that westerners have no real heritage. It is all left over there. Westerners are running away from something in the same way ancestors who crossed the atlantic ocean to get here were also running away. We stare back at them through stories, picture frames, or genealogy relics from a different era.
The Death Gaze
After the all funerals we feel obliged to attend, we are advised to mourn, grieve, and do whatever we have to do move on. “Leave the dead with the dead” as there’s work to be done on this earth. This advice reflects the unchallenged notion of life, more life, more experience, more success in life is always better. But in the spiritual realm, it betrays our heritage. When it comes our turn to die, as we lie down at our deathbeds with our children and family members looking down at us, we realize that in between those smiles, tears, and gazes, just as we were in that same position of looking down at those who were dying, now that it is our turn one realizes how easy it was to move on and forget him. Just as we were advised to move on, forgive, forget and live our lives, it stares at us in the face and there’s nothing we can do but push up daisies from the ground 6 feet above us. Give it 3 or 4 generations, and we too will join this death gaze of being a mere photo sitting on the ledge to be used as memory for all the others to see. This is why we are truly afraid to die. Our success, our power, our legacy, our wealth are what will remain after we die. In the modern era, we die even before our physical death. When all these projects we set for ourselves fail, we take a hit to the soul. As we age, the glory of youth and endurance, and strong minded fades away more and more.
Our life momentum is losing inertia. It’s forward focused. Not in the time shooting in one direction like an arrow. But retroactively in an aggregate-generational direction. If we think about what the word “intergenerational” means, we immediately think about the conflict. We think about the conflict between boomers, millennials, and newer generations to come. The aggregate-generation would be the generation of a boomer if he or she were to be born in 1884 instead of 1984. Would live dramatically different lives? What would the equivalent of generation z would be in the 1880’s? There are negative and positives forces that move up and down within the aggregate-generation. The very top is where the life-force momentum begins. Which would be the the the latest generation alive, baby boomers. To begin at the last few moments of life is most important because “how you die, is the next generation’s teacher” (Jenkinson, 365). One can only imagine the experience of living the very last moments of life. Some say the fears death is irrational, but to me, it is the last unknown. Jenkins points in his book Die Wise that most of the elderly in critical condition are sedated and given antidepressant (Jenkinson 184). What do you think happen to those who see grandpa or grandma in this condition? Imagine those in assisted living realizing that they are next, “this will be me.” Nobody wants to be on the borderline of life and death with tubes sticking out of their orifices and family and friends watching them as they lie there. Why not just get it over with? Here is where we take this life-force one step down the intergenerational ladder. What would those who retired in their 60’s or early 70’s think of those in assisted living. Nobody wants to be abandoned by their own child put into an assisted living facility by their 80’s, and having a nurse attend to their basic needs. Their grown child would rather have their parents in a facility somewhere only to come by on Thanksgiving for a week. Possibly a guilt felt though families where the parent feels an obligation to get out of the way and not move in with their child out of the respect of giving their children a chance to live a “full life.”
The Hourglass: Gentrification of the Life-force
From taking an anecdotal look at history, retirement used to be the dream life. The American Dream benefited those 20 years in between the working family man and assisted living. The “greatest generation” who came out of two wars just wanted to retire for a good 20 years. The next step down the ladder was the generation who enjoyed the American dream in the 1950’s: The Working family man. Everybody wanted to be the stable worker in the 1960’s and 70’s. The America of back then experienced liberation, counterculture, hippies in the greatest country in the history of the world. The American Dream started to take form. But Jump down another ladder, everybody wanted to be the hip yuppie working on wall street in the 1980’s. Look at what is happening? Flip the hourglass and realize that as time progresses forward, the life-force (life worth living) is retrograding to the bottom. As the life-force trickles down the intergenerational timescale, the aggregate-generational timescale experiences a negative feedback loop with the life-force gentrifying itself to those experiencing life. The stable hardworking man who moves to the suburbs to settle down with a wife and kids lost it’s flair during yuppie culture, the “American Dream” of retiring lost it’s flair during the technological revolution.
This is where my generation, the late millennial, born in the digital revolution, has the gift 20/20 hindsight vision
Jump down another step and people can feel the acceleration weighing down on them. Living in the 1990’s was the last greatest time bearable enough to walk through deterritorialized space in major cities. Being in your 30’s meant floating around not really knowing where to go but still contributing to one’s family and the community while one find oneself. One can take a few breaks here and there and have manageable anxieties about the future. One has ability to move around, experiment, try out things, and move to the outskirts of the city if things didn’t work out the way one thought. With the help and support of friends, it was a pleasurable time lost in nostalgia. But the thought of choosing one stable path was suspicious to the 30 year old. Looking forward to your 40’s had its upsides like money, stability, and freedom. But no 30 year old man was looking forward to aging during the rise of smartphone in the digital age.
20’s are the new 20’s
This is where my generation, the late millennial, born in the digital revolution, has the gift 20/20 hindsight vision. Being in your 20’s will be the best years of your life. The effects of living in today’s era is experiencing the madness of leaving your 20’s. Fewer and fewer people want to leave their 20’s even to start a family. More celebrities are in their 20’s. Careers are chosen from people in their 20’s. Parents are making their child go to dance, boxing, hiking, singing, learn an instrument, learn fashion, go on dates, have fun even before they turn 20. There’s a sickness being felt, a guilt somewhere. People are feeling the effects of institutions taking the joy out of simply existing. One can not even stand and not have their dignity insulted for “being lazy.” There can’t be a break anymore. Having gaps in your resumes will deter employers from hiring you. There must be movement somewhere. We are feeling the effects of accelerationism. Even today, teenagers at 15 years old are becoming celebrities though their smartphones from apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok. You’d think we need to wait another generation for this to happen but there doesn’t need to be a 15-20 year wait to go down the intergenerational ladder anymore. As I write this, Lil Tecca, a 16 year old rapper from New York got signed by Republic Labeled after a break out single “Ransom” that hit number 4 in the Billboards Hot 100 (Fu). More and more young people are getting responsibility. A 30 year old would represents everything that a 20 year old doesn’t want to be.
The Rise of the Black-pill
A teen can’t have real responsibility right? WIth technology and the help of their parents, teens and even tweens becoming famous personalities through their smartphones. Undergrad college is the new University experience of the 90’s. Kids can experience stardom that an established songwriter in the 1950’s could only dream of. Pretty soon, it will be high school that will be the last greatest time to be alive. The life-force is being pushed to the front-end not in a life affirming way, but a running away from the responsibilities of having to grow up. If you’ve read my post on vitalism, a necessary majority must be present at the bottom to sustain an exponential rise of a shrinking minority. This insidious feedback loop has one conclusion to those unfortunate enough to be a majority.
The Rise of the Pre-parent
Molecular technology will be what moves the universal novelty out of humans as a species entirely. We will be what atoms and molecules are to living bodies. With genetic splicing technologies, pre-parents can pick the attributes they want for their children. No doubt it will be through an app, where parents can have their babies custom made. Even before an infant is born, they will have their body shape, personalities, gender, fitness, and every attribute selected for them through the touch of a screen. I think of a Black Mirror scenario where a cartoonish toddler programed into a smartphone will be the sensation of the world. The toddler will have cute freckles, playful personality, colorful clothes chosen for them and a funny voice to be auditioned in America’s favorite toddler. Once technology catches on, the toddlers will gain sentience of their own. Then it will be time for the toddler’s data to be transduced into genetic information. This will be the new way of being born. Injected with information, outside the uterus, in an artificial womb created from a 3D printer. Being a toddler will be the last great time they’d have.
I can’t imagine how things will turn out if an entire cyber-community of data realized that “being born” will mean taking on responsibility and suffering. Wouldn’t they try to rebel as teenager rebel from their parents?
Jenkinson, Stephen. Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul. North Atlantic Books, 2015. Print
Will and Arial Durant, two historians who wrote The Lessons of History noted that as astronomers took photographs of the Earth from space, it became clear just how overshadowed the Earth was relative to everything else. For the first time the threat of a belief in a god was so personal that people reinforced their belief in religion more than ever. The contrast between outer space and a personal god became so clear, it put into motion elements of the psyche that, given a few generations, had people claw at each other for life they desperately felt they deserved. Society then, turned inward. Just as scientists abandoned the world of the very large (planets, gravity) society scolded at the large centers of authority, institution, government, monopolies. They prefered smaller, individual packets of authority spread over the city. Scientists preferred to study the very small. Atoms! “Somewhere, in the absolute limit of space-time, should lie meaning,” they reasoned. So, focusing their microscopes, splitting the atom, and then the protons, what did they find? What they came up against with? The quanta world was too mysterious but at the same time, promising. As technology also became smaller, narrower, and intrusive with the discovery of the quantam realm, society confined and micromanaged it self so that every single joint, and articulation was invaded. But pay attention to the verbs physicists associate with quantum mechanics: “probability, chance, luck, uncertainty. These are the words nihilists have to work with to come up with any meaning. Society is now hitting a crisis of meaning at an intensity never before experienced. At least in observing the very big, one could fall enamoured with harmony in the orderliness of planets and their perfect ellipses, eclipses, and geometries. But it is now clear that beneath these perfect shapes a foundational disparity.
Lovecraftian horrers are hard to come to peace with
Reality comes to enphenominate with disparity or discrepancy. For example think of the age of the universe; we have deep-time, the time that is so uncomfortable for us to think about with ease. Deep-time is the time that moves continents, destroys mountains, allows species to evolve, stars to shift and move, suns created and destroyed. We are but a fraction of a fraction of a second compared to the timeline of deep-time. All this time needed to form a habitable planet to sustain and maintain an infinitesimal portion of life. I call this property vitalism, the need for dependent forces to represent a disparity in quantity and quality to enphenomenate existence. Reactive forces rests as a base and loses identity to, or incorporates either part of itself to or entirely to, active forces to enphenominate.
When I think about how vitalism affect us, I think about A Clockwork Orange, the film by Stanley Kubrick. Our minds are infinite, it can ponder about atoms and asteroids, time travel to the dinosaurs or to the beginning of life itself, but it is constrained by the limits of biological physiology, of which obeys the laws and properties of the universe. So when biology is stuffed into mechanical orderliness, the parasympathetic nerves wakes up like a loud alarm. When these elements manifests itself disfavorable to us, probability, chaos, exponentials, compounding, luck, chance, unequalness, uneven-ness, displacement, skewed, and uncertainty, feels so unfair . But when we fall favorable to it, it’s the status quo. If Schopenhauer lived today, he’d ascribe these experiences painful if they would manifest negatively but when manifested positively, the experience would not match the same intensity of the negative.
This is where I talk about vitalism at every level of the physical reductionism “ladder.” There exists a harmony, a purgatory, where Dionysian limbs rests on reactive forces. Think of the “wetness” that emerges from an uncountable number of water molecules to make a cup of water. Or the homeostasis of a body of which the physical molecules must obey without fail so the body could counteract the extremes of elements. Or the economic systems by which each individual must operate faithfully, like organs to a body, for vitalism to create an economic system with life of its own. A large component of reactive forces supply autonomy at the base to a small component of active forces. This is the dogmatic image of thought scientists injected into its sciences, public relations speak to its press, businessmen pay into their business, and politicians into its laws, that accelerates the slave individual. If you ponder population economics, the vast number of people that need to be at the bottom, “lower/ working class,” in order for the small elites to “find themselves” and “self-actualize” is normally acceptable.
Think about the environmental condition needed for our neolithic or paleolithic ancestors to procreate and raise offspring. All predators left at bay after becoming apex predator in the food chain is still there. Now, our survival energy is mitigated in such a way that the necessary violence between simpler-evolved organisms are still engaging in the battle for life. It’s just that we crossed a threshold that we have all these vitals working for us. In quantum mechanics most elementary particle exists to only be destroyed immediately. A ridiculous amount of self-decaying elementary particles are disproportionately sacrificed constantly, giving the necessary condition for a more fundamental particle to live a little more than that. Something like 8×10^-12 seconds is the lifespan for a mueon to exist in the cosmos. The abundance of these elementary particles needed to be sacrificed constantly must be insane. As we climb the ladder of physicalism to form quarks, chromodynamics lets us see how energy of these elementary particles engage in quantum fields similar to thermodynamics when gasses and atoms exists in a system. And on and on we find the same engagement mirror the scale as we size up.
What to do when autonomy becomes distributed?
Think about population economics where a large portion of the populations needed to obey ecological rules, for a subset of species to be “free-er”. In society, it is expensive for a lower status man to “find himself” than it is for a higher status person. Like mentioned above, we scale down every aspect of sovereign space to be micromanaged and owned. The consequences are that every interaction between two or more people is a stand off of life-force. We are invited to behave like atoms or else we’d be insulted. Soon, society will behave like elementary particles, 90% of the population consistently loose life-force to the 10% of those who “self-actualize.” It’s not like these 10% of high-status people wake up one day as say “I’m going to find my true purpose… but it happens necessarily. At a hypothetical city, a large portion of people would work intensive blue-collar labor for the higher-status people to sit in chair to get paid for thinking really hard. At the turn of the century, these intensive labour jobs got shipped oversees where the population lies in the billions, like china, India, and soon Africa. So now the new lower-status people of our city, will be service level jobs. Capitalism praises this altruistic move to vitalize. Better living conditions is the “new” lower class. While in fact, all the necessary hard labour is mitigated into this microscale micromanaged society where spaces are invaded. Now, our souls do all the fighting. All the strangers are subject for life-force life prey are in the jungle. Its survival of the fittest soul. And the faintest glance at a person, as people become isolated, becomes animosity. Every space is now fair game for the soul to conduct an inception.
Is the person who is calm and delivers a concise, well thought out argument, winner of this life-force I’ve talked about. Of which I mean the symbolic affirmation of the inner-self to prove oneself worthy of life? In the meaning-making process of capitalism, the gold standard of souls is where one can measure oneself against another for an objective assessment of worthiness. It’s a healthy reminder that souls materializes when archaic forms of violence (of which meant prehistoric survival) are transformed into modern forms of ‘violence’ (of which means symbolic immortality). For the dialecticians, the transfer of life-force happens through the labor of the negative i.e. conflict, arguments, insults, and submissions. All organisms that survive in open nature outperforms its rivals when physical brute force ends the threat. In modern society, the soul has taken up the responsibilities of measuring life worth, so, how is worth measured to the soul? Schopenhauer’s will-to-life concludes that there’s an underlying force that motivates everything from the very small (atoms), to the very large, (galaxies) to expand indefinitely. So we, with an evolved brain capable of comprehending what it will go through at the end of life, disregards the body as something temporal, a piece of carbon within a space rock flung thousands of miles around the sun, This view lead Schopenhauer, as well as dialecticians, to conclude the will-to-life striving is inherently meaningless and dangerous. So these archaic forces must be sublimated into utilitarian forces. The sense of most people that we are prisoners to our instincts only to be occasionally relieved by catharsis, oedipal forces, or reactive forces, is contributing to the reactive forces of capitalism making meaning for our souls.
I’ve talked about the two forces, active and reactive. Reading Deleuze’s take on Nietzsche in his masterpiece interpretation book Nietzsche and Philosophy, there’s a sense of accomplishment after understanding the active and reactive forces. It’s the kind of feeling one gets after acing a test by getting the right answer. Nietzsche reads forces much more simple and practical than dividing the world up into two. Further reading can frustrate the reader because Deleuze moves away from the clear-cut definition of these forces into an anti-ideological openness. This is where Nietzsche stands out as one of the most powerful yet humbling philosophers of all time. Nietzsche offers an active solution, instead of the the will-to-life, he offers the will-to-power. The will-to-power’s interpretation of capitalism is that active action can be done out of love or out of altruism. An action done out of altruism is when the active and reactive forces are confused as to the transfer of life-force of growing adults. An altruistic action is when reactive forces are participatory in the transfer of life-force but sentiments of loss are mitigated into a moralistic or ideological level. Capitalists want to forgive the debts their populations have, and give them opportunity, but remaining life-force is transferred. Capitalistic altruism is an example of an active force purposefully confusing this transfer where the betterment of society is itself a fair trade-off to the old, archaic states of humanity. The capitalists are also confused as to what they are actually understand as receiving. The betterment of society is itself its own reward. This keeps them blind to the life-force transfer. They are utilitarians and pragmatists which would explain why most capitalists are resort to moral structure in religion and the spiritual. They don’t know what to do with so much life that they’ve accumulated. But the-will-to-power is the genealogical force. Like i said, any phenomena contains within itself its own active force, capitalism as a force, contains within itself it’s own active and reactive forces. This tension is what gives phenomena it’s ‘realness.’ Similarly, capitalism sprung into existence out of this confusion. Returning to our hypothetical confrontation between two people, who wins the life-force? an altruist? As established in the last post, the winner is the one who conducts a successful inception, that is leaving your opponent ‘feeling some type of way’ where you relish in the fact that he is left feeling resentful of losing. This would make you the dominant force in the confrontation. The life-force is confirmed with an accurate modus operandi, as adults grow into understanding the world as objectively as possible… dialectically. Growing adults can checkmate an opponent into ‘playing himself’, meaning proving his own arguments working against him. Think of the inception as the apparatus where the indebted slave must suffer torture for the creditor to self-feel, that is to use his slave’s pain as payment for the unpaid debt. Again, this is set in Nietzsche’s hypothetical slave-master society. In today’s post-materialized soul, you can relish taking life-force as you win an argument and you can play your sweet victory over and over again in your mind or later, or forever for that matter. If your opponent has sentiments of bitterness but doesn’t understand the modus operandi behind it, this is altruism, because the loser accepts the dogma of growth. The same altruism that capitalism works under to confuse both parties as to what the life-force is. But if you want to leave your opponent having ‘learned a lesson,’ say with a fist to his or her face, or an uncalled for insult, then you leave your opponent better than when you found them. This the soul can not accept a mere ego trip, it wants revent, the fuel souls work on, the baggage of bad consciousness. This is active love, the love of a parent, the love of your boss, the love of your society, the love of god. You might intend to teach your opponent a lesson but this is disingenuous because it betrays the will-to-power. It doesn’t confuse which means it never enphenominates to anything. It just leads to banter and wanting to out-teach each other a lesson. Or worse, it becomes a battle of who gives a fuck the least. For the soul, the perpetual inception works in the ideological level. That is why if you attack someone’s beleif, not only will that person react as as if its a threat on his life, but his life is in constant torture, all live in the head of your opponent.
A component of a modus operandi is put your opponent into a position where he or she is required replaying his losing of life-force over and over again. Again, this works beautifully in the ideological or political level. And the name of the game is recognition. It is only if you recognize yourself inside the mind of your opponent’s fuled with ressentiment even after the confrontation is over. Deleuze want people to be anti-ideological, anti-reactive. To do so, he points out that there are active forces that become-reactive. and reactive forces that become-active. Love is an example of an active force becoming-reactive only because the reactive force takes away his ability to self-feel. That is he learns to become in the world.
Is an active force the dominant for because he hold the will-to-power? No. You can also ask this question: can a reactive force overcome an active force by using will-to-power? Again no. Nietzsche isn’t difficult to understand. Everything, body, or phenomena contain within itself active and reactive forces but with their genealogies. Meaning that there’s really only one force but with direction to it. That’s it. The question to ask is: is and active force becoming-reactive or is a reactive force becoming-active. Will-to-power is present within both active and reactive forces. Only reactive force can make an active force become-reactive by inhibiting what it can do.
It’s unpopular to divide the world into two. When someone says, “there are two kinds of men in this world…” well, I’ll divide the world into two, 3 times. ‘Hearers’ vs. ‘seerer’, Microevents vs. macro events, and accountant personality vs, hubris personality. So, there are the only two types of personalities in this world. They are the hubristic type and the accountant type. The definition of hubris is an extreme confidence or excessive self-importance in oneself. The archetype I think of the hubris is the talkative, demonstrative, and expressive extrovert but not always. There are introverts who are very confident but only referring to the contexts of the modus operandi. Likewise, we can archetypically think about the accountant as the perfectionist introvert with glasses who needs to take things into account.
Micro and macro events
Before I go on, we need to divide the world further into two. There are two ways of viewing the world. There are macro events and micro events. Like the label suggests, macro events are the big events in people’s lives. They can be thought of as milestones in a typical life of a person. These events tend to stick out like a sore thumb. These events would be the birth of a baby, their first birthday, their first day of school, graduation, their first job, a raise, termination of employment, first kiss, sex, marriage, purchase of a home, vacation, retirement and death. Macro events are important in that they involve gatherings or photoshoots to keep these memories forever. Then there are micro events in that they are are little steps necessary to get to the macro events. These are thought out in two ways, (1) nuisance, or (2) filler. If its a nuisance, micro events are just steps that nobody wants to take but are necessary. They aren’t the ‘feature presentation,’ but a chore, an obligation, something that is done with hands dragging across the floor. These . are the events in between macro events and are seen as a chore to many. Micro events could be viewed as filler in the sense that they are there to fill in the time. Everybody wants to get to the big event, quinceñeras, birthday parties, and vacations and people need something to do until their 15th birthday come about or work 40 years until till retirement. There can also be negative macro events like, death of a loved one, termination of a job, tests and exams. Even these are more preferable than the grinding and painfully boring runite of microevents. Sometimes.
The synesthetic argument for personality
We can make a better analogy than the extrovert being akin to the hubris and the introvert being akin to the accountant. There are two kinds of people in this world, seers and hearers. ‘Hearers’ are people who prefer to listen to rather than observe phenomena and vise versa. ‘Hearers’ use the biologically-intact faculties of the ear to observe the world around them. They almost use their ear as an eye. For example, the ear is divided into 3 main parts, outer ear, mid-ear, and inner ear, all have crucial functions in translating sound waves to perceived sound. One might have an existential crisis learning about how the biology of the ear works. The eardrum vibrates depending on sound wave frequencies of which connects to a 3-structure bone behind the eardrum of which connects into the cochlea where receptors take in information for the perceiving mind to interpret. In roughly the same manner, the hearer take in the world but in a way that needs to be interpreted first. Similar to the physical outer ear, our lives are like a dish that captures moments and events to be processed first. To a ‘hearer’, time is omnidirectional, similar to how a sound wave exists in the objective world. Events come in all directions and have to use all the senses in nonlinear time.
We live in an ocular-centric world. Our sight is placed top priority on top of other senses. We prefer to decipher a photo to tell us a story rather than read a book. This is because reading takes processing much like listening does. When you are reading, you phonetically ‘hear’ the words in your head, then you can ‘picture’ it in your mind. We prefer to watch a movie rather than listen to the radio. So the hearer living in an ocular-centric society can become overwhelmed or over stimulated. It’s almost like every color, sound, picture, note, light, loudness, all combine into a cacophony that beats and drums you into disorientation. Lucky for the seer, he or she lives in a world made for him/her. The world is what it appears to be. The seer simply sees the world and can accept it for what it is with every saccade. Every event lasts a millisecond and that’s just fine for the ‘seer’ because the world doesn’t need to remain permanent for the seer to appreciate it. Unlike the hearer for who the world needs to stick or remain for him to appreciate it. Think about a catchy song that gets stuck in your head. It’s a catchy tune, but it stays there repeating over and over again and you can’t get it out. This is a characteristic of the hearer, his events tend to stay for a while, good or bad events, but mostly the bad, embarrassing events tend to stay. Like an earworm. The ‘seer’ uses the seccades. Saccades are the micromovements of the eyes that move rapidly in a microsecond. This is the way seers ‘see’ their world meaning they could move on without giving much thought into what events transpired. Seers prefer to listen to rhythmically intense music, flat chorus but lighty, jumpy tunes. Hearers love to experience the bass or the refrain. They prefer deeper and mysterious music that they could play around with every repeat.
The Hubris VS Accountant
You already know who I’m going to connect in this Rhizome, the hearers are the accountants and the seers are the hubris, The accountants are more that willing to accept the necessity of going through microevents. For the accountants, it is important to take in every little event and decipher its meaning because the accountant need to interpret the in all its joints and articulation. Accountants stop at every transition point, as if to analyze closely first, then he can move on. ‘Hearers’ are very sensitive to every comment and statement, thus, to protect from other’s inceptions, we need an accurate modus operandi, or the closest objective truth of the world we can possible get. The accountant gets overwhelmed but still needs these microevents to pass smoothly. He sees the world as macro events with little articulations and joints that must ‘fix’ itself as it comes along. He soon finds out that the world isn’t like a song that can be glossed over. I mean, these microevents are just little talking points, just pieces of the world that can be resolved with small talk. For an accountant man to get a date, he thinks of how he can stumble into a crowd of eligible bachelorettes, (as if they are hanging around in the in the middle of a bookstore), and can casually walk over to meet one. His “accidental” eye contact should carry momentum over to “casually ask for directions” which should gradually turn into light conversation. From this effort, it should carry on over to ask for her number and go on and on until boom… sex. If you’re an accountant girl, you might happen to trip and fall into a guy who caught you with his arms in time and all these micro events leading up the macro events should contain within them momentum already imbedded within.
Hubris personality type, on the other hand, may or may not accept the necessity of micro events, but he disregards their importance altogether. Because of their indifferent attitudes towards microevents, they treats them all more or less the same. He uses the force of the will but to the hubris, he isn’t thinking about steps. He just lives for the macro events that he makes macro events out of the microevents. The hubris have confidence in themselves and not in the micro events containing the ingredients to get you to the macros.
In the lastest post, we established that the soul must have a “common currency” to measure up and know if we are worthy of life. Currency, the life blood of capitalism, is taken, sucked, traded, stolen, bartered, negotiated, or transfered in order to pay for goods and services. Using money, credit, or the soul itself, we play in this underground battleground for more life to become worthy. The soul’s form of currency is “self-feeling life”. In order to self-feel, we must obtain life from another soul. Why isn’t it enough to simply live off the life we’ve received from in birth? One can draw this analogy of soul-sucking to the body’s own need to eat. That the body must maintain itself through feeding, drinking and metabolic maintenance.
Fredrich Neitzsche deserves to be the one who connected the conception of our souls to the birth of society. Reading Nietzsche, one can’t help but to take a fantastic journey to the bottom of one’s own soul. He talks about how trade itself becomes society because each party enters into an obligation with one another. In agriculture society, an individual can become a creditor if he agrees to lend, borrow, or trade with another individual and that individual becomes a debtor when he accrues a debt. The debtor can make a promise to pay back his debt in the return of the object or animal he borrowed, the money, or principle with interest as well. That transaction would fulfill the end of the obligations. But as of now, a debt is not a physical requirement to be alive. That would soon change in a society where debts must always be paid. So what happens if someone cannot pay his debt or, in other words, brakes his promise? The creditor can delight himself in inflicting pain to the debtor if he isn’t able to pay back his debt. Torture implants a memory to the promise-braker and the confirmation of pain itself served as the transaction of the payment.
Nietzsche observed throughout the history of the Ancient Greeks and Rome, torture in the form of dismemberment, disfigurement, beating, burning, wiping, and abuse was sought after by the endebters of that society. The consequence to seek out pain to relieve oneself of guilt and debt was the creation of the soul. The downside of handicapping an entire slave class would mean society would collapse under ineptitude. So the aristocrats engineered a way for the slaves to torture themselves internally rather than externally. A priest would preach to them that all natural instincts, intuition, creativity, spontaneity, freedom, strength, libedo, and power, had to be internalized and demonized. This poor human disowned his body and his instincts made him impure. He consciously pushed those human qualities down, ignoring them, demonizing them. He who rejected an essential part of his humanity now carries the soul, that most disgusting, repulsive, and heavy inner-self. Now, he creates a burden that has to be purged away. He has indebted himself therefore, not worthy.
The genealogical legacy of the slaves remain in our genes that multiplied for that era. We carry a debt from those first slaves who encaged themselves inside their own bodies. From the earliest religions up until now, we’re all told about the indebtedness we are born into. Christianity notoriously pushed this bad-consciousness to the weak slaves who wanted to rid themselves of sin. Christianity was the systematic approach by which these individual can reproduce since reproduction itself was evil. The ascetic preist turned the libedo from something noble and life affirming, to evil and a malady. A teriffying calculation to exponentiacally channel this displaced lebedo to grow and fester like desease. Now, we are indebted to nature, god, or the economy, we must pay this debt in an attempt to be worthy of life. This worthiness of life is the currency of the soul and the way we move through society that is largely symbolic. The soul does the hunting, fighting, and eating in the subterranean battleground… symbolically. The soul transforms traditional violence into a modern, symbolic one. Earnest Becker, the author of The Denial of death, called the soul the symbolic inner-self.
And Just like those early creditors who confirmed the transfer of payment by watching his promise-breaker suffer in pain, we need to confirm the transfer of life from one soul to another. In today’s society where basic needs and individual rights are meet, the soul received the responsibility of the material body to affirm life. In other words, the soul has the archaic duties of the primal body to remain alive in a world of “survival of the fittest”. What is society’s equivalent of confirming the transfer of debt from ancient society to today’s? It is the ability “self-feel” when one’s opponent transfer it’s “life-force” to yours. Conversely, after losing “life-force” in an encounter, you gain guilt but because that guilt originates from unworthiness. Because souls do not have sensations, intuition, instincts and receptors like bodies, the soul can not confirm this transactional exchange in the traditional real sense. Losing encounters like these proves that the soul is not real! “How! This can not be!” says the weak enslaved individual. The “soul” is proven to be fake by its emptiness and is woken up from a profound alarming fact that one day his body will rot and die. And after it dies and his body turns into bones and dust and no soul would be found. This most disgusting, weight he carries is all he has. He must remain nihilistic to keep his “soul.” This is why Nietzsche predicted that nihilism would reign supreme under society after the death of God. No meaning and emptiness perpetuates the hunger for more life in an attempt to remain alive… symbolically. Thus the cycle repeats itself.
This is the terrifying self-perpetuation of cyclical madness we live today. Society advances through self-conscious learning in pure memorization of rules, etiquettes, and norms. Through sophisticated social-cold reading and games nihilists can suck “life-force” through by self-feeling. Everything must fall in line under autistic-like levels now. Society collectively is turning inside itself, making itself more miserable. Nietzsche stated that back when torture devices were used like the brazen bull, the iron maiden, the wheel, the blowtorch, spikes, spines, and crucifiction, slaves voluntarily submitted themselves to purge their souls for redemption. It was a bottom-up demand but today, there is no purging of bad-consciousness in today’s post- God is dead world. Souls search for little deviants to reprimand to prove to themselves that they have something that doesn’t exist. The overman has not soul. It has a body, a human body that suffers rather than self-feel. It is almost a learned behavior of the nihilists of today that there is no meaning to suffering. That there’s an emptiness that attracts other emptiness around to him.
The consequence of seeing the word through “physicalism” is that is that physical reductionism seems like the common sense answer to everything. In that society is composed of organisms and each organism is composed of organs and those are composed of tissues and those are composed of molecules and those are composed of atoms and those are composed of subatomic particles. General history tries to provides a neat, straight line through all the disciplines like history, science, and philosophy. We want a chronology of time that is easy to understand. I’m saying this because we often jump into conclusions that unfortunately makes us believe that today’s society is build from the bottom-up which leads us to believe that the “competitive instinct” for example, that runs at the core of capitalism, is a product of our evolutionary past. Or that pre-human violence that depicts many art of cave-dwelling humans. It is good to note that Nietzsche’s slave-master example implies the slaves were the ones indebted to the masters in this society. Also, those familiar with Nietzsche would notice that the masters who created these torturous devices weren’t looking for revenge. As the slave class held the ressentimant. Today’s worthiness of being alive is symbolic. Capitalism co-evolved with this soul-apparatus to “self-feel”. Just like money retains its value through a common currency like gold or dollar bill, the soul must retain “currency” through a standard measure of social obligation and a need to fulfill that obligation. Because our world is largely symbolic, and symbols are non-living entities, the soul must replace the traditional empirical senses by creating a society that can sense for itself. This society takes on a life of its own and “atomizes” its citizens into servitude. Individual transcends empiricism and turn to nihilism. Therefore the desire to overstep, outshine, showoff, out maneuver and out compete each other is sold to us criminally.