Thought begins where hyperborean desire stops working. Thought rejects the illusions of immediacy and reaches ecstasy in the apprehension of a higher mode of desire - transcendental desire, or even ololonic desire - that is attuned to true reality. In some ways it hardly matters what thesis about true reality is arrived at, so long as one rises above the hyperborean. Yet in another way it does matter. It is worth attempting to catalogue the different possible attitudes that can be taken regarding the supra-sensible true reality. I can think of five basic possible theses: stoicism, tychism, skepticism, heathenism and theism.
For the stoic, true reality is completely determined. It is an illusion to think that I am able to change the outcome of my own situation, let alone that of the world around me. Beatitude comes from a deep apprehension of this fact, leading to acceptance, which creates a certain freedom. The stoic is liberated from their own emotions and confused wishes and thoughts by a gnosis of amor fati. Marcus Aurelius and Spinoza present examples of this thesis.
For the tychist, true reality is absolute chaos. Nothing is determined - not social laws that I am told to obey, and not even apparently iron-clad laws of nature. Tychist gnosis merges with an abyss of radical freedom in the face of pure contingency. Sartre and Meillassioux present examples of this position. While arguments can be made about whether there is really any distinction between absolute determinism and absolute chaos (if there’s nothing I can do to make a dent in either, so to speak), tychism at least foregrounds that a real radical shift is possible the world; the comfort that it takes is not in merging with what’s going to happen anyway (like the stoic) but in a sort of suspended hopeful terror.
The skeptic professes radical nonknowledge: I do not and cannot know the nature of true reality - no amount of deliberation will provide me with the information I need to connect my actions to any kind outcome they intend. Skeptical gnosis frees the skeptic from the desire to know, and if one protects one’s self from the decadent tendency to ontologize logic and create a demi-in-itself out of human history, one can make room for faith or for some kind of nondursive quasi-knowledge. Kant and Bataille approach this thought in (very) different ways.
The theist claims to apprehend God's will and the power to merge with it. This gnosis entails the attunement to God's command in the name of an eschatological destiny. Duns Scotus and Mulla Sadra could be examples here.
The heathen apprehends a will, not of a God, but of nature or matter. Heathen gnosis entails merging with an acephalic creative force beyond representation and riding it as a creative wave, not knowing where it will arrive (perhaps at destruction). Lao Tzu and Deleuze point to this attitude.
There is some truth in each of these theses, and each also has its limits. One task for Transcendental Qabala is to propose an ascetic horizon that orders these insights correctly and makes a choice about which to privilege. Each is a path to transcendental freedom, but in fundamental ways they are not compatible.