The Penumbra of the Empty, Part III
I hate the “dividing practices” but the question is: does anyone truly like them?
Are there those who are not divided but who divide? Would these thus be those who truly like the dividing practices? Are there those who, though sometimes and to some extent divided, are nevertheless net beneficiaries of dividing practices? (In other words, whatever disadvantage accrues to them through the dividing practices enacted upon them, there is yet more than net advantage canceling it out.) Would these then, though they hated being divided, through a kind of wisdom, see they were more helped than harmed by these practices?
If there are those who truly like the dividing practices, then the explanation for why they continue might be simple—not very important. However, if no one truly likes them, the question of why they continue has urgency. What if the dividing practices continue though everyone hates being divided at all, whether it is a little or a lot, whether there are some more divided than others, whether some positions within the general dividing practice hurt only a little while others hurt a great deal more? What if the dividing practices continue even though the idea of changing the framework of “dividing practice” is an idea everyone would be willing to entertain?
A question I asked last time I would like to continue to entertain: could there be practices which no individual wanted to practice but the practice of which was forced into practice because some “abstract” entity—not an individual—did “want” the practice to continue? Isn’t this “abstract entity” whatever specifically it is—an idea, a theory, an organization of individuals, a state—what we would call a totality or a Totalization? It has this property of inertia—of being obdurate of change—of resisting desire, I assign to Totalization. I’m not saying no individual would ever come to identify with this abstract inert density, or ever come to be identified with it—these individuals might embody both our most vivid desire and our most vivid horror.