Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Shadows of Totalization, Part VII

Let’s say there is a garden of forking paths and I am wandering it, lonely as a cloud, as a gold-tinged fog. I presume there is no other way to wander such a garden—it is bound to be lonely—it is not a thoroughfare—if it were a thoroughfare, it wouldn’t be forking—it wouldn’t even be a garden.

Okay, I’m not entirely correct to believe I must be lonely in this garden—I really can imagine a small number of people wandering along with me, either at my side or one or two steps back or forward—a small number of friends to accompany me from one fork to the next—the paths will accommodate this kind of traffic--but I don’t think, unless there were some meta-commonality guiding us, we’d stay together very long…Soon enough, members of a group would choose different paths at the forks, and would be separated, perhaps forever.

If there were some meta-commonality guiding us, I once again must question whether we are wandering a garden of forking paths. We may be in a garden, and there may be forking paths in this garden, but if there is some meta-commonality guiding us, the existence of the forks in the paths becomes almost incidental. We could, without any loss of purpose or meaning, forget (or deny, or negate—troubles choosing a verb I once again do have,) that they were there. We are being guided—what is important to us is that we be attuned to the guidance, not to the multitude of choices which present themselves to us.

Can we be honest? (I shall make it a matter of honesty--If Kant were so hypocritical as to make it a matter of boldness, I shall consider myself so entitled!) There is some degree of exclusion (no matter what Kant said,) between meta-commonality and spontaneity, choice.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Yusef,

Thanks for a lucid definition of this blog, as when you write,

I really can imagine a small number of people wandering along with me, either at my side or one or two steps back or forward—a small number of friends to accompany me from one fork to the next—the paths will accommodate this kind of traffic--but I don’t think, unless there were some meta-commonality guiding us, we’d stay together very long…Soon enough, members of a group would choose different paths at the forks, and would be separated, perhaps forever.

This is a creative metaphor (which btw reminds me of Epicurus' garden - always a welcomed reference!) of what's happening in this virtual landscape: The garden (tamed nature) is being visited by various guests and/or followers, but they are all taking different paths.

I have previously praised the unpredictability of this blog. I'm not so sure anymore. We will have more "becomings" if we (like Epicurus and his friends) agree on one concept at a time and stick to that. Otherwise we end up in static stereotypes (Yusef: erratic and often brilliant musings. Christoffer: Fiercely independent and exotic. Carl: Calm and academic. Orla: Happy-go-lucky Deleuzian.)

In other words let's focus. I have trouble dealing with "The Shadows of Totalization" and "The Totalization of Shadows".

Suggestion for future discussion:

Stasis and becoming

Orla

PS: I trust that I don't have to state that this is written with all the best of intentions.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[In other words let's focus. I have trouble dealing with "The Shadows of Totalization" and "The Totalization of Shadows". Suggestion for future discussion:
Stasis and becoming]

Write a post describing how this can be distinguished as a new topic for discussion.

I think that I am, without creating or working within definitions or demarcated conceptual frames, focusing. I am simply taking a few concepts, so far only three: "myth","totality" and to a lesser extent "rationality", and finding some new connections.

I wonder whether the source of disappointment is I reject any transcendental concept of becoming.

I want to examine a double articulation--shadows(lack of clarity, lack of light,lack of meaning,lack of purpose) articulated against totality (all is clarity, all is light, all is meaningful,purposeful(conscious))--what it is like to be articulated,subjectivized, thusly. What opportunity for autonomy could be found between these, if any at all.

--Yusef

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment and clarification, Yusef. This helped me a lot in understanding what you are trying to do.

We can work with the concepts of shadow, fog, and light. The metaphor of the garden could also be promising.

Like you I reject any transcendental concept of becoming.

And I was not disappointed, just bewildered as to the direction of your overall project. Probably my fault.

Looking forward to your posts.

Orla

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orla, What I want to know is this: if you want to focus upon the topics of stasis and becoming why don't you do so? Why do you require me to also focus upon them? You are free to write whatever and however you wish, and why care what I'm doing or how I'm doing it? I thought you made an excellent contribution with your comments on eternal return even though I have no wish to write about this myself-- what happened to that "focus", anyway? You haven't exhausted the material there, have you?

The gold-tinged fogs and the gardens of forking paths are in some ways referenced to the very idea of focus and what that does to thinking. If I cannot write anything of value to others in this manner of writing, I want to know whether it is because I have in fact written nothing of value, or because of a systematic valuation wherein strict rules on how one writes, expresses oneself, approaches a topic, etc. govern unconsciously and exclude other ways of doing things. I recognize and am somewhat self-conscious of the possibility I might blame the exclusion of such a systematic valuation for my failure to reach anyone else rather than my own sloppiness, lack of discipline, scatter-brained nature, etc. rendering my writing worthless. And so I remain open to criticism. (I don't accept every criticism without questioning, however.)

--Yusef

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"in fact written nothing of value"

It's a strange thoughtworld we inhabit, is it not?...I want to know such a thing...

--Yusef

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Yusef, thanks for your reply. Let me try and elaborate on some of your comments.

I have no wish to "require you to focus on" any subject I might like to pursue. And incidentally after I posted my first comment I regretted having suggested "stasis and becoming" since we (or I) have already written too much about this in the past, although it is by no means exhausted and I will probably return to it again, just not now.

Then you ask, why care what I'm doing or how I'm doing it?. I care very much. Really. And even if I sometimes find myself a little "bewildered" at your intellectual directions I am always interested and often fascinated by your writings. And I want to contribute as best I can so that maybe we can move forward together to illuminate a concept or idea.

That brings me to your observation,

I want to know whether it is because I have in fact written nothing of value, or because of a systematic valuation wherein strict rules on how one writes, expresses oneself, approaches a topic, etc. govern unconsciously and exclude other ways of doing things.

- which is an important one because it touches on our "blogging behavior" as it were. I care very much about what you write. That's why I'm still here after several years of philosophical twists and turns. But you are right that maybe we (or at least I) am unconsciously governed by "rules", meaning that I think of our blog as some Socratic dialogue in the vain hope that out of a dialectic process between us some new insight might appear. In other words, a meeting of minds rather than parallel idiosyncrasies. The former has happened on a few occasions in the past even if the latter often seems the norm.

Be that as it may, I continue to enjoy your posts and your writing is certainly not "worthless" (as you yourself (un)consciously would be the first to deny, I suspect :-))

I don't have a lot to contribute at this time. I hope to soon. In the meantime I think it's important to create an encouraging and gracious milieu on our blog for whatever "forking path" we like to take.

All the best,

Orla

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[And even if I sometimes find myself a little "bewildered" at your intellectual directions I am always interested and often fascinated by your writings.]

If you could indicate how these arise or give some other indication where the problems come up, I would find it very useful.

If you just say you are bewildered, I don't necessarily know what you refer to, or what to do about it. If you give me something specific to look at, I can either explain it further, or admit I've made an error, or have schizoized, or whatever.

--Yusef

--Yusef

11:41 AM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

You two sound like an old married couple who stuck together when they should have split.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are an old married couple, how'd you know? But we're looking to form a threesome...Interested?

-Y

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Yusef,
Thanks for your response where you ask,

If you could indicate how these arise or give some other indication where the problems come up, I would find it very useful.

If you just say you are bewildered, I don't necessarily know what you refer to, or what to do about it. If you give me something specific to look at, I can either explain it further, or admit I've made an error, or have schizoized, or whatever.


I’m a bit hesitant to name (censure?) some of your posts now or in the past but since you ask for examples, here are a few from two years ago (August 2006) in the numerous posts entitled,

“The Repression of Geology” (many) and “The Geology of Repression” (even more) in the form of a play with several characters with dialogue like,

Pussy L’Amour: “Hey maggot… ya know something, Maggot? That rhymes with faggot.”

Maggot: “Hey Pussy. You wearing that pink feather boa and all? I’m still scared of you. I know you could hand me my ass… I don’t think I’m going to take issue with you here. You want to call me a faggot, go ahead.”

I didn’t know how to respond and was at a loss of words. This was also illustrated in our exchange after one of your posts of a month earlier July 2006,

OogaOogaMooga I Want… Philosophy ? Me Arse!!

But Yusef: You have tried philosophy as comical exclamation points in your latest posts. The question is: How can we respond to THAT? Appreciation of your wit. Admiration for your iconoclasms. That's all right - and well deserved. But is it REALLY giving us fresh ideas or (do I really dare say the word?) new CONCEPTS.

-----------

Your reaction:

I feel at times as if there's been a new D-G axiom created ( axiom in D-G's sense of the word, and I think you know that's not good,)and it is under the auspices of that axiom that D-G will be studied, coopted, and coordinated. It worries me.

I am very fond of Deleuze and Guattari - but I feel that I honor them best if I deterritorialize them - deterritorialize them absolutely. I'm not doing that yet, but I am trying.

I am also a long way from even beginning to create concepts; you indulge me with any attention you give to these puerile outpourings.

Please respond however you would like. If that ends up being something quite strange, I will be receptive. See, I'll just incorporate whatever it is and try to see where it takes me (us.)

Thank you

-------------

And later:

Orla,

I think I am detecting a tension in your thinking which is in my own thinking as well.

You know that philosophy can never be some sort of "anything goes" mishmash of self-indulgence and still be philosophy; that if it becomes mere iconoclasm or a "trying-to-be-funny" that this isn't the gay science we are trying to create.

... But you also know that the dry bandying about of "ideas"- idea understood as unembodied and unchanging form - things which do not confront chaos - which have no moisture of vitality - isn't philosophy either.

I wish with all my heart to honor these reservations - this tension - I think it is on this line of tension we will have a line of flight....

I took it very seriously when you said you were having a difficulty responding to what I've written... a gay science, I think would be more successful in inviting responses.

---------

So we have been there before. And you are still right that we need a Nietzschean “gay science” or a Deleuzian “joy of philosophizing”. Let’s do that.

Orla

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, and I find this very troubling. Looking at some of my past disasters does make me think twice about releasing myself to "flights of fancy"( if that isn't too noble a phrase for such crap,) in the future.

I would like to see you attempt to assimilate or otherwise relate Schantzian plasmaism to focus or Socratic dialogue. I still think you are bobbing back and forth from one extreme to the other.

--Yusef

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We do resemble an old married couple.

I ask you to be specific about what's wrong and you end up telling me something from over two years ago which I'd completely forgotten about.

-Y

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, well, we can choose (or be forced into) any metaphor we like, be it old marriage couple or whatever, it doesn't really matter.

We like to engage in philosophical explorations because we enjoy it. It's healthy and inspiring.

It's not about competition or one-up-manship. It is about intellectual exploration - where ever this might lead us.

Orla

6:51 PM  
Blogger James River Martin said...

"Like you I reject any transcendental concept of becoming." ~ Orla

Do you, then, --any or all of you-- replace the old familiar world of intersecting verticality with horizonality
with pure horizon?

How is it possible, even, to have pure horizonality? Are these even apt metphors?

But I see that I've just assumed that transcenence is equated with verticality, as it is often named.

Is a horizontal transcendence not possible? Is such a construction sensible, meaningful, valid?

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But I see that I've just assumed that transcenence is equated with verticality, as it is often named."

But you see, whether the metaphor is "apt" or not, it is a metaphor. And in its being a metaphor,being within the framework of being a metaphor, there are certain consequences for desire and thought, for the "image" of thought.

What mystifies me is the way we find a metaphor which we then find apt, and which we then inhabit. However, later, we find we want some fresh air and want to get out of this metaphor which we now inhabit, and inhabit habitually. inhabitually. inhibitually. We find we cannot uninhabit what we inhabit, what we created-"create" meaning something somehow different from habit. Habitat for humanity? No. I want Creatitat for humanity. Why would we ever trap ourselves? Why a habit for habit?

-Yusef

2:01 PM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

Yusef, regarding your emphasis on a Creatitat, do you want to create everything? Is everything constructed in the Creatitat? If our house is a Constructivat, is our garden a Creatitat, and collectively it is where we are used to be and where we dwell as Creatures: the Habitat.

Are we now trapped in Metaphors? I dont feel trapped.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"do you want to create everything?"

Does this mean do I believe I have, or want to have, the power of a God to create ex nihilo? I do not.

"Is everything constructed in the Creatitat? If our house is a Constructivat, is our garden a Creatitat,"

No, not everything is constructed in the creatitat. The Creatitat is different from habitat in the same way to create is different from continuing to behave according to some habit, according to habitual behavior.

"and collectively it is where we are used to be and where we dwell as Creatures: the Habitat."

Yes, and there is an entire metaphysics encapsulated in this--old,tired, threadbare, creaky, and endangering us with its imminent collapse.

-Y

3:01 PM  

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