Axiology: what is the right thing to do? The answer could be fleshed out in the following way. First show that there are four irreducible versions of this question - make use of meditations performed by Descartes, Kant, Deleuze and Meillassioux to describe four versions of the soul that “must” be real, and then take the unique step of showing that they all four of them are acutally real (as opposed to singling one of them out) and that they are irreducible (these are the Four Alimonies). Then show that there are four trajectories of truth - or modes of emancipation - along these four axes, which give rise to four distinct philosophical Arenas (Axiology itself, along with Metaphysics, Cosmogony and Eschatology). Then show that each of these Arenas has an implicit Value as its horizon, and declare that these are the four new values that should govern the civilization that will come after ours (Sovereignty, Hierarchy, Emancipation, Individuation).
It may well be the case that the only means of sustaining a state of consciousness freed from social programming is to be at work on a cosmology and an account of history - to give a law to the world. That’s the wager of The Ark Work and Transcendental Qabala, at any rate.
“There is a two-way connection between value and being, nothing being capable of being that is not in some respect a specification or distortion of good, as nothing good is which does not in some imperfect or distorted form exist.”
Here’s one of the many possible ways to define freedom: freedom is conscious knowledge of one’s own psychic structure, which gives one the capacity to make deliberate choices which are neither due to one’s immediate impulses nor due to social programming. In other words, freedom is the capacity to catch oneself on the threshold of an unfree act, binding the energy that drives it by analyzing it, and choosing otherwise - interior alchemy.
Knowing one’s psychic structure is very difficult, in part because it requires faith in a particular theory of the ‘psyche’ (or soul, or subject), or a cluster of them. I favor a combination of Lacanian psychoanalysis (the Other, objet a; the four types - psychosis, perversion, obsessional neurosis, hysteria; the ‘sinthome’ etc) with aspects of Christianity (sin and repentance) and Vedanta (the chakras, kundalini awakening).
I would further posit the necessity for a collective project that attempts to synthesize the three traditions from which these emanate - the project of scientific rationality that began in Europe, the Abrahamic faith tradition of the Middle East, and the wisdom traditions and spiritual technologies of India and China. Many of our contemporary crises are in effect symptoms that such a synthesis is possible and desirable.
Subjectivity is constituted by an experience of pain that has a quality of desperation, impossibility, unbearableness. We put so many different masks onto this experience, attempting to render it more bearable by assigning meaning to it, thereby limiting its infinity. The entire drama of blame, revenge, worry, etc is all a distraction from something apparently much worse than any of the seeming problems that we can name and enjoy (secretly). The basic vector of mysticism is the gradual concrete apprehension that the nameless void actually isn’t so bad, and that in any case it is the only thing that’s real. The Genesis Caul is the name of the particular inflection that the void takes for a particular individual, which is to say, the essence of that individual.
The heart is something western philosophy has never understood, it seems to me. The heart is able to open or close. It can become solar, can receive a spirit that henceforth lives within. Or at least people who devote themselves to certain practices have this experience. It is possible to read a book with the heart instead of with the mind, but it’s difficult to explain what that means or what it’s like. When the heart is open, there are no longer any means, but only ends. Western philosophy tries to reduce as much as it can to logic or to matter, or to maintain a rather open ended skepticism. The heart doesn’t seem to fit into any of these categories. The heart can make contact with genuine knowledge that it cannot explain.
Genuine philosophy has to begin with a felt experience of dependence on a transcendent source of power, together with a sense of astonishment at the lies and deception that rule the pre-philosophical state of being. Philosophical reasoning will always be corrupt if it does not start with this experience (which must be renewed again and again), but, at the same time, this experience is ~only~ the starting point. From there, reasoning is required (and then a critique of reason itself, and then speculative vision).
The first negation is of what one perceives as one’s self. The second is a negation of apparent reality that can be made explicit. The third step is a negation of thought that cannot be made explicit. Finally there is a construction, an affirmation that is nevertheless a negation of the first three negations. Axiology, Metaphysics, Cosmogony, Eschatology.
The four cardinals are configurations of will (ascesis, catharsis, fervor, majesty). Each is derived from a particular relationship to OIOION. Ascesis has no relation to OIOION at all - it either never had one or, if it did, has transcended it - instead it relates directly to HAQQ. Catharsis seeks to gain favor from OIOION by working hard to discover the truth. Fervor is characterized by a contradiction between passionate worship of OIOION and a desire to destroy her, to be special by way of blowing apart the very being that could grant such a status, somehow. Majesty does not fear OIOION, but sees itself as an instrument of her pleasure all the same. To be come a Haelegen, or citizen of Haelegen, the Muncipality of Sovereignty, Hierarchy, Emancipation and Individuation, one must ultimately pass through the four cardinals as so many stages (in some ways majesty is a summation of the previous three cardinals, but in another way it is just one of the four). Each has its own dangers, shortcomings and virtues. Each carries with it an entire 'meaning of life'. All must ultimately be abandoned. In the "Four Cardinals" section it is typically emphasized that each cardinal has an epistemological, axiological and logico-temporal aspect (each is a 'motor of history' and a philosophical approach at the same time). We should also remember that the axiological dimension of the cardinals is not just a matter of collective social vision but also a matter of unconscious psychic structure. Each cardinal lives within the heart and soul of the person reading these words; for each individual the configuration between the four is different, and in each case the configuration can and should change over time. The key is to see OIOION for what she is - to see her consciously rather than unconsciously, to see that she is fighting with Hael over the melted remains of the Caul, that she wants to break free but also to merge, and that I myself am OIOION, or at least I am one of her fiery tears.
Passive stimulation (as in drugs or sexual pleasure), discipline (exercise or the practice of an instrument) and risk (taking a potentially embarrassing or harmful leap): these are three paths to the transcendental, three modes of true will. Each dissolves personal identity and reconfigures normative coordinates in its own way. Each has a sensible, affective quality - each is a kind of pleasure-pain at an increased level of intensity. And each is a reaction to an underlying pain which must be escaped, which pain is perhaps the distorted form of a will with which I must ultimately conform and which is not mine: HAQQ
My opinion about the past, the future, what I want and whether I have it - these oscillate far more wildly than I tend to realize, because any given configuration of these tends to distort my memory of the others.
The revaluation of value posed the question: what use are values? How does this or that cultural norm serve me? Instead of accepting the values imposed by one’s culture, one questions them, experiments with them, choosing to adopt or create values that serve to expand or sustain power. Today our understanding of value is much more exact than it was during the 19th century, when the question of the value of values was first posed. We can ask: how is it possible to evaluate in the first place? What are the parameters of evaluation?
Values exist because of a substance-process called LAET, which takes the form intermittently of energy, information and emotion at different times. It has an optimal mode of functioning that involves ability to expansively adapt, to outwardly express and commune, to be coherent to itself, to interpret stimuli in a useful way, to be optimally sensitive to its outside and optimally intense on its inside.
The pagan opposes the Good to the Bad; the Christian opposes Good to Evil, in a reversal; the Haelegen synthesizes these two and opposes the Good to the Dysfunctional.
But even as civilization acquires greater and greater control over the exact parameters of the Good, it becomes more and more possible to question the very value of eudaimonia or thriving itself
Evil is for the most part the result of a superabundance of good, though it quickly gains relative autonomy and forgets its origins. Good is re-established as soon as an evil entity is designated as an obstacle, so that it can become an instrument for discipline. This is why evil is associated with darkness: the only evil in the world is evil that is ~unseen~. The horrifying thing is that only a tiny portion of this ~can~ be seen and designated in this way, so that unseen evil effectively rules the world
Haqq is the same for every human being - a radical exterior omnipotence and a corresponding interior impotence that grants access to true time
The Caul is singular for every human being - a contingent trace initiating an infinite problem that demands a series of finite solutions that will not exhaust it
Kel Valhaal is a spontaneous, sensitive quasi-divine figure in every human heart. A play-agency devoted to the task legislated by the Caul
Reign Array is a virtual God whom any human can build and worship, organizing time and space, in relation to whom freedom from social transference can be achieved
Haelegen is a future city, a universal goal toward which every Caul in its singularity is ultimately aimed, in which the marriage of Ololon and Sheymn will take place, human nature will be transformed, and the union of expansion and cessation will be achieved
The first ethical dimension pertains to an active relationship to a Gend: mastering it, participating in its essence and transforming it. The wager of immoralism is that there is no other criterion for ethics, but this is not so - there are two more.
The second ethical dimension, which we will call Gnostic, pertains to accurate and exhaustive knowledge of the Good itself (through critical knowledge of history and capitalism and scientific knowledge of mind and world). This knowledge creates the power to articulate a concrete vision for humanity and reconfigures desire so as to be motivated by such a vision. Not all Gends are created equal - there are better, higher gends which depend on gnosis for their attainment. Immoralist ethics can only lead to the intensification of capitalist desire, the destruction of human culture, or both. Gnostic ethics is required to rise above.
But there is a third aspect of ethics: Divine ethics, which involves a religious suspension of the ethical as such and an immediacy of lived faith and communion. This ethics is more difficult to describe, and its legitimacy has an inherently undecidable quality (there’s no criterion for distinguishing it from terrorism). However, it is surely the missing link between immoralist ethics and gnostic ethics, their unification in difference.
These are OIOION, HQQ and HCSC. Each can be seen directly by any human being who devotes energy to the appropriate respective practice. OIOION is the labor with a contradiction and its resolution in a new contradiction at a higher level. HQQ is pure existence as pure experience. HCSC is the sanctity of pure contingency as such. The existence of thought, music and drama respectively refer to these three faces of God.
Reign Array entails the four hyperborean virtues: ascesis, catharsis, fervor and majesty. Kel Valhaal entails the three transcendental virtues: adaptation, apocalypse, and endeavor. Reign rises upwards out of the hyperborean to make contact with OIOION. Kel descends from OIOION to produce a singular life in her name. The transcendental virtues are only available if the hyperborean virtues are practiced.
Matter only shows up if spirit is there to apprehend it, yet spirit has no choice but to represent itself to itself as emanating from matter. This is the dynamic tension between Kel Valhaal and Reign Array, and it is only ever resolved when a teleological vector of futurity is introduced by Ololon
Building joy from the inside rather than pursuing it in an imagined outside - the essence of Transcendental ethics
The basic figure of deontology is the creative solution to an antinomy - rising above an impossibility by means of the union of reason and intuition. The passage from deontology to eschatology comes with thought of the highest antinomy (as opposed to all of the ordinary antinomies that we personally and collectively face day to day). The highest antinomy can be conceived as that between spirit and matter as such, and it can be approached as a vision of the permanent subjugation of evil by the good.