Saturday, December 01, 2007

Homo Sapped Sapience

The hominid I am becoming is a becoming-human.

The animal I am becoming is a becoming-human.

The human I am becoming is a becoming-animal.

It makes a difference.

It makes a difference.

What we think of as the animal hasn’t got a damned thing to do with the animal. It has to do with reacting to the ultimately restrictive changes and differences assembled by the geniuses of the 18th century Enlightenment and then inflicted upon all of us.( As if we were dumb matter and what the geniuses supplied us with was the “form” which arranged this dumb matter into a "beautiful" sculpture.) That’s all it has to do with. In other words, there's nothing whatsoever creative or creatively-potentiating, in taking up "the animal" as we typically conceive it - it is a reactive and regulating principle, not an activator or actuating concept.

Enlightenment was a casting off of self-inflicted immaturity; immaturity was understood as an inability to reason for oneself... The capacity to reason came to be viewed the criterion of maturity, of being adult.( The capacity to reason came to be viewed as what is distinctively human; the capacity to desire has been assumed to be shared with "the animal." Reason in the 18th century Enlightenment comes to be a form which forms the dumb matter of the human being's many "animal" impulses.)

But there's really only one kind of maturity that matters- sexual maturity- and though "reasoning for oneself" could play some as yet unexplored role in sex-matur- becoming, "reasoning for oneself" alone is not sufficient. Sexual maturity cannot be achieved with an isolating disparagement of "the animal"...it requires the animal as a creative concept.

The biological-physiological maturation processes, alone, are not sufficient, either. One doesn't reach sexual maturity at the end of puberty- puberty is only the very first baby step in that process.

Enlightenment,having privileged "knowledge" and a "knowledge maturity", has had the curious effect of removing even an expectation of sexual maturity beyond puberty...The dynamic of knowledge maturity displacing a notion of sexual maturity reminds me of the phenomenon of the hypertrophy of one organ or area of the body leading to the atrophy of another, of one faculty developing at the expense of another, but perhaps a more productive way to view what has happened is to see the effect as the "redistribution of singularities" created by the powerful Kantian-Enlightenment conceptual apparatus. The prospect that this redistribution of singularities would doom so many to perpetual adolescence may not have displeased Kant...I see a pertinence to the "merely" biographical fact of Kant spending his afternoons enjoying fine English cheeses, but never ever another kind of afternoon delight. In What is Enlightenment? where we see Kant explicitly equate the power to reason for oneself with maturity, we also see Kant getting down on his hands and knees before Frederick in what I urge be recognized as a gesture of sexual immaturity.

Excuse me now-- Betsy has invited me over for some good, old-fashioned, raw carcass. Oh boy!

The 18th century Enlightenment was really the most important, the primary, step in a becoming human, in what we would all call being human.(Being human comes to mean not being animal.) Let’s be honest about that, okay? It’ll be a lot easier that way.

Becoming animal is a primary step in counteracting the hylomorphic heist of the human capacity to boldly go outside, out there where we can be “out there.”

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Yusef.

When you write...

I see a pertinence to the "merely" biographical fact of Kant spending his afternoons enjoying fine English cheeses, but never ever another kind of afternoon delight. In What is Enlightenment? where we see Kant explicitly equate the power to reason for oneself with maturity, we also see Kant getting down on his hands and knees before Frederick in what I urge be recognized as a gesture of sexual immaturity.

...I have to defend old Immanuel and his - shall we say - pragmatic nod to King Frederick simply because he (Kant) would probably have lost his job if he had not paid the obligatory royalist respect to the autocratic ruler. It is stretching it a bit too far to see this as an expression of sexual immaturity, I think. Rather it was a sign of professional maturity.

Precisely because The Enlightenment elevated reason, intellectuality, and the capacity to support political liberation from tyranny through mental concepts did The Enlightenment become "human" and release the "animal" oppressed.

Admittedly, this is a sort of atavistic utopia = meaning glorification of the future of the past.

This is a roundabout way of agreeing with your point...

The 18th century Enlightenment was really the most important, the primary, step in a becoming human, in what we would all call being human.(Being human comes to mean not being animal.) Let’s be honest about that, okay? It’ll be a lot easier that way.

I guess this is the time to think rhizomatically. Imposing the "becoming human" versus "becoming animal" plus the "outside" versus "inside" (the box, or whatever) dichotomy into this only limits both distinctions.

Lets go "boldly" out- and inside.

Orla

5:48 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

But there's really only one kind of maturity that matters- sexual maturity

Have you read anything about the sexuality of pan paniscus? For me it's been a very long time, but I think this idea of yours is quite interesting and should be pursued.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

"...I have to defend old Immanuel and his - shall we say - pragmatic nod to King Frederick simply because he (Kant) would probably have lost his job if he had not paid the obligatory royalist respect to the autocratic ruler. It is stretching it a bit too far to see this as an expression of sexual immaturity, I think. Rather it was a sign of professional maturity."

Kant would have lost his job and I am sure he could have lost a great deal more if he had, with his great powers of mind, begun to chart courses to open rebellion.

But you see, Orla, what I am working toward here is examining whether any feasible concept of individual sexual maturity exists in a condition where political and economic immaturity are the order of the day.

The prevalent idea that there is such maturity, which exists almost as a given in our society, is an important element in the ideology which governs, or controls, us. It seems to me this ideology would begin to fray and weaken in the contemporary situation we have before us where there is so much evident sexual immaturity, but it doesn't. It tightens and grows stronger. (I think.)

I hope it goes without saying that I include myself in the ranks of the sexually immature. Wanting to leave those ranks is part of what makes this a matter of burning concern for me.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

I don't have to read about the sexuality of pan paniscus...I actually have personal experience. The problem is I smell so bad pan paniscus won't let me join in any of their pan paniscus games.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Yusef, for your stimulating repsonse. This might take us where we have never been before. I appreciate that.

when you write,

The prevalent idea that there is such maturity, which exists almost as a given in our society, is an important element in the ideology which governs, or controls, us. It seems to me this ideology would begin to fray and weaken in the contemporary situation we have before us where there is so much evident sexual immaturity, but it doesn't. It tightens and grows stronger. (I think.)

- you touch upon not only a reductionistic concept of sexuality, but also on a sociological consequence of this = meaning the Reichean (is there such an adjective?) notion of orgasmic liberation. Or didn't he call it "orgone therapy"?

Thank you for bringing up the concept of "sexual maturity" anyway. This holds great promise. Let's discuss it further.

All the best,

Orla

8:37 PM  
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