It is possible that we will one day discover that every law of every kind that we have ever discovered is reducible, as a totality, to something different altogether from law: to a RULE.  A single formula that has generated them all.  The laws of fundamental physics would be shown to be epiphenomenal - accurate descriptions of patterns generated by a more primal series.  Perhaps at this point the eternity of nature will be subsumed by a higher temporality - the time needed by the rule to carry out its concrete steps (Wolfram).  Or maybe it will be shown to eternally give itself all at once (Tegmark).   The question then arises: why this rule and not others?  If it has any determinateness at all, it must be contingent.  The answer could be that it itself is one of an infinite number of rules - some producing physical universes, others yielding various mathematical and chaotic heavens, still others producing phenomena we can't yet begin to conceive (the term "phenomena" being hardly an adequate term here).    This points us to the mathematical infinite itself, our knowledge of which continues to develop (Conway's surreal numbers and beyond).  This hypothetical rule, and the infinite continuum to which it belongs, is the horizon of the cathartic aspect of Renihilation.  

And yet isn't there something beyond this mathematical infinite?  Catharsis gives way to the other Cardinals.  The question points in two seemingly opposed directions: towards the theological and towards the social history of humanity. 

On the theological side, we arrive at the mind of God.  Who made these numbers?  Whose mind holds the infinite quasi-determinacy of number as such?  Here we arrive at the Qabalistic and Pythagorean account of God's creation of the world - that is, we arrive at God's will .

But we cannot ignore the social history of mathematics and science.  Isn't it we ourselves who have constructed infinity?  Isn't it a primordial human torsion that has driven the development of mathematics - economic need, the drive for prestige, the thirst for catharsis as such that has driven the genius of the likes of Dedekind and Cantor? 

Hegel seems to have bridged the gap between the social and the divine by positing  that the mind of God is none other than social history itself, temporalizing the divine attributes as so many eras and paradigms in a horrifying history, a Great Labor that yields greater and greater tragedies even as it succeeds in advancing towards a culmination in peace, justice and glory.  

There is a certain gnosis that entails grasping that we ourselves are already God, that we are given the contradictory task of giving birth to ourselves and to God in the same stroke.  God is the alpha and the omega because God is a cause that can only be posterior and antecedent at the same time.   There is only a God because something is wrong, and there is only something wrong because of God.  God is the reason for the world.     


For Renihilation to function properly, catharsis and fervor need to be in dynamic opposition.  Each is pathological without the other


Abstraction is the movement from concrete particulars to a created  generality.   Adstraction is the opposite movement: from a concrete particular to something that is even more concrete and more particular, but impossible to perceive in an ordinary state, the perception of which has a transformative effect on the soul.  In a way, the Hegelian gesture is the speculative identification of abstraction with adstraction:  reasoning and categorizing are precisely that which is transformative,  approaching a higher reality that is neither a pre-constituted but invisible substance nor a sort of map or model.  Renihilation


Catharsis takes aim at the end.  Or the beginning?  The punctuation mark.  The hammer crashing down on the anvil.  Unable to define what that would mean or what good it would be


What is the affective correlate to catharsis?  Sylvan Tomkins could point the way to an answer.   He distinguishes sharply between two basic positive affects:  excitement and joy.  Excitement is the affect that drives alertness and effort.  It is worth it to work on something because the affect of excitement has been awakened to some degree.  Without excitement there would be no attention.    

After excitement - or after any of the negative affects, any state with a high density of neural firing, if there is a sudden change in neural firing, humans experience joy, and they smile.  Depending on the situation, the joy could be interpreted as relief, triumph, recognition - a number of different outcomes.  But the key for triggering joy is a combination of two variables:  the density of stimulation must have initially been quite high, and the reduction in density must be sudden.    So a sudden reduction in a density that was already relatively low will not produce joy, nor will a gradual reduction of high density.  

One could suppose that joy is the affect involved in catharsis, no matter what type of truth is is attached to.  A discovery, an answer, a relief - whether a unified theory or a psychoanalytic insight


This is the dimension of truth - the Cardinal - that, on a personal note, has been dominating me recently.   Something has stirred in me, driving me to devour every morsel of knowledge I can about history, science and philosophy.   Catharsis is a cruel master:  the totality of knowledge looms on the horizon, a limit ordinal, a star hanging in the sky, pasted to the horizon.   What is the use of all that I learn about?  The historical development of logic and mathematics, the Byzantine empire and the spread of Christianity through west Asia and Europe, the mechanisms that govern the nervous and glandular systems, the history of scientific breakthroughs in the early 20th century.   Structural realism, the consideration of the universe as a great computer.  I am a slave to knowledge, because in knowledge I find resources to develop Transcendental Qabala.   Without Ascesis, Force and Power, Catharsis is nothing.  It is pure death drive, a sort of heroin addiction.