General update

Why don’t I give an update. The main news, I suppose, is that Liturgy is going into the studio in August. We’re going to make a studio recording of Origin of the Alimonies along with a new album. I’m very excited about this. This past Thursday we played at St. Vitus in Brooklyn, and we performed four of the new tracks. I find that, especially with this project, you don’t really know how to play a song until after you’ve performed it live, ideally more than once. Anyway, the show was really wonderful. I hate being sentimental or kind when communicating publicly, because I hate the culture industry and false tribal identification with pseudo-values and so on - but - that said, I am so appreciative of Liturgy’s fans. The energy at this show, and also at our show in May at the Glove (also in Brooklyn) was just incredible. We’ll perform in Baltimore in a few weeks, and then in Boston on our way up to Providence to record the new LPs at Machines with Magnets.

Philosophy has somewhat taken a back seat during this time. I led a reading group on Reza Negarestani’s Intelligence and Spirit that began in January and ended a few weeks ago; quite an important book, I think. Really something special. Beyond that I’ve been reading some Evola here and there along with Rowan Williams’s book Christ: The Heart of Creation. I’ll definitely have a tight account of my Transcendental Qabala system ready to publish in time for some activity this fall (which I guess I shouldn’t say too much about yet). But the most notable item regarding philosophy during the past six months is actually how much less time I’ve been devoting to it than usual. I have the sense that I don’t need to read much more. Oh, I almost forgot that I was developing an interest in the red-pilled fringe philosophy culture on Twitter during the past few months, especially during the time that the “Nina Power scandal” was unfolding. There’s definitely a lot of interesting and rigorous thinking going on out there in the dregs, and a lot of it connects with interests of mine like black metal theory, cyber-Catholicism, entrepreneurial Marxist religion and so on. I don’t really feel comfortable interacting very much, because there is so much crossover between this world and genuinely incorrigible Alt-Right thought. But I do think it’s really cool that there’s a kind of steamy, transgressive philosophical energy somewhere in the world that has its own infrastructure cut off from academia.

I’m inching towards developing an online philosophical presence, which means releasing philosophical videos, launching a Patreon and perhaps a podcast. I’m quite aware that very few people are aware of this site, and they typically have no idea that I have a system of concepts that means a lot to me and has been incubating for many years. Anyway, there will be more soon there.

Also, my new band with Dion Olivier and Tyler Thacker have played a few shows now, and we put a track called “Seraphim” up on the internet. We’re called Ideal. I’m looking forward to doing more with this band, it’s a really enjoyable collaboration.

Maybe the main ‘thing’ I have to say right now is that I have a renewed sense of commitment to majestic, sincere, disciplined ecstasy. I love Liturgy so much, and I respect the uniqueness and power of this music more than I ever have. I firmly believe that it is an important energy to be sending into the world, and the musical dynamic among the current lineup feels kind of sacred. The career of this band has been so turbulent, but I don't currently wish it to be or have been any different. As I’ve been writing the new record, I find myself with little interest or curiosity about breaking new ground or exploring cultural fault lines. I just want to make more music that sounds like Liturgy, and that sounds better than ever.

MEMORY

I’ve posted somewhere between three and five texts this week, but if you asked me what I said, or even which feeds I posted them on, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Memory is a strange and fascinating thing, especially when it comes to the kind of sprawling systematic philosophy that I’m attempting here. I simply do not, and cannot, have the entire system in my head all at once, and I am frequently negotiating the relationship between its parts - the species and genii, the connections and disjunctions between different aspects. Part of what I love about having precisely dated posts, which I return to from time to time, is that I discover - quite often - that what feels like a new insight this month is something I conceived of and elaborated thoroughly a year or two ago. At times as though I feel I am tending to a garden that is growing according to principles I don’t really understand into something I’m unable to conceive and may well hardly want. I make sense of what I’m expressing after the fact, ascribing intentions or motives to phenomena I am emitting, if I’m being honest with myself, for reasons that are totally obscure to me - or perhaps for no “reason” at all.

Someone pointed out to me recently - a kindred spirit - how rare it is for a philosopher (I don’t entirely want to actually call myself by that name, but it’s a decent placeholder) to actually try to be making sense of things from the ground up, to really be wrestling with the nature of knowledge, being, truth, history, subjectivity, creation and politics all at once while being unwilling or unable to accept a firm foundation for conceptual creation in terms of any of them - to not be speaking in anyone else’s name, and to not be limiting one’s self to a topic that has built-in presuppositions. I was touched and inspired upon hearing this - which is in itself a fascinating phenomenon, the way threads of mutual transference braid together as an engine of heterogeneous creation.

At the end of the day, though, it takes effort to remind myself that a cloudy memory is not a deficiency, and that perfect consistency between the various moving parts of a system and even the various expressions related to the same topics is a somewhat illusory ideal, given that we don’t really know what consistency is or what value it really has.

TO RETURN

Currently this is practically the only feed I contribute to. It’s my go-to feed for when I’m feeling resistant towards writing anything (quasi-)publicly, so as to get the wheels turning - but I’m posting so rarely that the engine just turns right back off anyway, and the next time I post I end up right back here. I’m devoting a fair amount of time to writing privately, trying to consolidate my system of ideas into something fully coherent and beautifully polished. For me, however, writing and thinking always constitute essentially an affliction, especially when I keep what I’m writing to myself. “Always” is the wrong word. I really don’t know what to write right now. You're just reading me fish around for coherent sentences to begin, pass through, and end.

I’m reading hardly anything at the moment - I swore to myself that once I finished Reza Negarestani’s Intelligence and Spirit I would no longer allow myself to dive deeply into any book, because clearly at this point reading anything at all is a rationalization (i.e. occupying myself with another’s thoughts amounts to avoidance, a waste of time). I know just what I want to say, or I know it as exactly as one can without having actually fully said it, and I don’t need help from any other voice ancient, modern or contemporary.

One book I have been reading, however, despite my prohibition (but not really, because I’m not reading it systematically and taking notes etc), is a text by Jean Wahl, a French philosopher who was quite prominent during the heyday of existentialism and phenomenology, but who is not currently discussed in any philosophical circles I’m aware of. Partly I think his current neglect is explained by his perhaps being too clear in his writing, making it seem facile and fashionable or glib. But it’s also partly - and this is what I’m attracted to - because his stance on the relationship between philosophy and theology was so level headed and reasonable. Unlike so many continental philosophers, he doesn’t contort and mangle his words so as to appear to not be talking about God while manifestly talking about God.

Of the many interesting points he makes, I’ll just list one here: he’s critical of Heidegger’s insistence upon secularizing the concept of transcendence. Heidegger asserts, as though it were a fact, that humans are faced with essential finitude (this awareness of finitude thus becoming a liberating transcendent experience). According to Wahlm, this declares far too much about the nature of the Absolute than any honest philosopher has a right to - namely declaring that it certainly does not exist. It would be more philosophically rigorous (because more skeptical, more open to the alterity) to allow the Absolute to have theological meaning, namely to allow it to perhaps not exist, but to perhaps exist, or even to alternate between seeming to exist and seeming not to (what Lacan calls “insistence”). This idea was taken up by Marion and the other theologically-inclined French phenomenologists like Jean-Yves Lacoste and Michel Henry (the idea that the idea of God can’t be bracketed out of phenomenological experience).

Anyway, as I write this out more, I see more clearly that by reading Wahl I really am simply avoiding working on my own text (as much as I could be), because hardly any of the ideas I’ve encountered his book have surprised me, they simply resonate with me - they’re ideas I’ve already had or encountered. I think the fact of the matter is that - given that my formal education in philosophy ended long ago, and given that very few people who are acquainted with Liturgy have any inkling of the depths to which I’ve gone in my study of philosophy, psychoanalysis and religion - I am in fact deeply afraid to consolidate what I’m trying to say in my own voice, because I am unconsciously anticipating showing it to ‘the world’ and being unjustly scorned for all my sincere hard work. I’ve had vitriolic scorn hurled at me for even making the gesture of philosophizing at all, in the context of being.a musician, not just by message board trolls but also by powerful journalists - these latter have actually done a great deal to harm to whatever I have of a ‘music career’ - this fact more than any of the others makes me extremely reticent to articulate myself.

Everyone pays lip service to the idea of going against the grain, of being so uncool for a time that you then turn around and are extremely cool once society catches up, of being ‘untimely’, as the Nietzschan term goes, but my experience is that in the current era it is almost impossible to be truly untimely rather than pseudo-untimely. Shaming and ostracization have more power to cut to the quick in the present than they once did, because the would-be ‘alternative’ world is just as rigidly codified as the supposedly more conformist world to which it is an alternative (and, according to my theory, this is a symptom of the fact that capitalism simply extracts pseudo-transgression from the young in order to trick them into sacrificing themselves at its altar via confused self-expression and render them incapable of discursive reasoning, which is a major requirement for achieving ‘post-Capitalist desire’).

The thing is, I really can't blame it on the journalists, because all this time I’ve known precisely what I’m doing and the effect it would inevitably have. This point reminds me of something Nick Land said in a recent podcast interview I listened to this weekend: part of why he’s so sure that every humanist attempt to defeat Capital will fail, no matter how ingenious or radical, is that as soon as you start doing anything well, it becomes capital. You get attention, produce value, expand in complexity in some way, and (he didn’t take the point in this direction, but this is the way I see it) soon your own desire changes, you’re infected with the will to grow your brand and derive rewards, and pretty soon you’ve just expanded Capital’s reach. I can confidently say that given how thwarted, broken and bizarre the ‘career trajectory’ of Liturgy has been, that this bullet has been dodged! And I am hoping that the next round of activity will have a thorough enough philosophical architecture that it might be possible to move forward with enough self-awareness that a certain success can go hand in hand with actually fostering concentration, focus, reasoning, a coherent narrative of world history together with a highly crystallized and coherent desire for an astonishingly different and better future era for civilization, and tactics for working towards this vision which are both explicitly elaborated and rigorously performed. My goal is to try to live a future mode of production and inspire others to do the same, basically. In any case, there really will be a book coming later this year. It really is close, and I actually have a sense that the world is fairly ripe for it (for a book that endorses rational theology and a religion conceived as a coordination between both the transgressive and the conservative tendencies in various domains of the humanities).

RUST

Sharing ideas with a community is a beautiful thing, especially when you pay close attention to precisely what takes place when the sharing occurs.   I have a social constellation embedded in my mind that is only loosely correlated with any real constellation in the world.   Once sharing and recognition begin to unfold, desire gets raised.   A single word, glance, depending on who it’s from, can suddenly re-animate an entire body of work that was beginning to seem stale.   

THE WOUND

I have yearned to develop an original philosophical system ever since I was a teenager.   My primary motivation was not interest in philosophical questions or the work of existing philosophers.  Rather, it was emotional:  pain and confusion in alternation with a sense of cosmic wonder.   If I’m being honest I suppose there was also a strong desire to be  someone who knows  , to pass judgment on the world - some kind of identification with the greatness of Nietzsche, fueled by a sense that I was a monstrosity or a freak, which goes back to my family history and upbringing.     

As my System continues to incubate, there’s always a barrier preventing me from producing a concise exposition:  I lose confidence in the integrity of my starting point.   The question of where to begin or of how to philosophize in an immanent way is, of course, a major topic in modern philosophy, addressed in different ways by different thinkers in different traditions.   

One idea is that thought is driven by the unthinkable.  It requires contact with an outside that eternally resists symbolization but responds to symbolizing efforts by coughing up fundamental ideas (axiomatic, aesthetic, lacking discursive foundation) that can be built upon.   

If I accept this premiss then I am essentially allowed to construct whatever system I want - or rather, on the contrary, I have no choice but to solve the unique problem that I am, the wound that came before me and afflicts me.    To some degree I think this is true:   I can sense that I wouldn’t be motivated to philosophize in the first place if I didn’t have such an unusual experience of class, sexuality, religion and gender, that I have something true to offer the world because of a particular experience of chaos.   

But there has to be an additional requirement involving breadth and depth of scope, and some kind of criterion for rigor.   This criterion is very difficult for me to establish, because a criterion depends on a community, and I know of no community that would take my basic philosophical axioms seriously (I’m thinking of the thirst to unify dogmatic theology with psychoanalysis, Marxism and pragmatism in particular).   The fact that I have never had a mentor is what requires me to make contact with God, an imaginary mentor who blesses and authorizes my work.  

MOMENTUM

The problem with not expressing one’s thoughts regularly is that they begin to swirl around in one’s head half-formed, but become so familiar that they no longer seem worth expressing. That leads to a sort of noetic clogging. To start thinking and expressing again requires that the abortive or stale thoughts be flushed. But for that to happen, they have to be expressed.

NEW ADDITION

Most of the RSS feeds on this sites are meant to be a venue for me to communicate flashes of insight on topics contained within the architectonic of Transcendental Qabala.   I often find myself wanting to comment on the process as a whole, however - how I'm feeling, the gist of what I'm trying to communicate - and I hesitate to do this because I don't really have a place for it.  Sometime I make comments like that in the "ENDEAVOR" feed, but that one is really supposed to be articulating a theory, not giving a personal account.  

An issue I'm having right now is one that has plagued me for a long time but is particularly intense at the moment:  as soon as an idea I have becomes fairly clear to me (or an idea in a book I'm reading), I'm not motivated to express it any longer.   It's only the half-formed and inconsistent that can hold my attention.    I do an enormous amount of tortured-and-ecstatic work making my way towards consistency, but then just as the fully articulated structure comes into focus... I passionately shift my attention to some other badly-posed question or cloudy, dubious formulation.   

On the one hand, sure, the unclear is inherently more interesting, because it has a mysterious ‘not-yet’ quality to it.  But I am beginning to detect that there is a certain weakness, passivity, even fearfulness in the attraction to the unclear.   Never fully rendering something in an obvious and digestible form is akin to never making a firm decision - i.e. it is akin to what I designate "the hyperborean".    This is very essence of the pathology of the control society: unable to will clearly, to elaborately imagine goals, to focus and concentrate, distracted by casino rewards from social media, lacking a coherent narrative, the very schizophrenized dissolution of time that leads to all the political apathy or self-righteous extremism that is in fact the very yoke of capital clouding our souls so that we cannot see God and act in the name of the Eschaton!

I owe it to other people, and to a future generation which will hopefully surpass my abilities and perhaps surpass what I’m able even to conceive and desire, to deal with this issue methodically, work through it, and create what I feel I am meant to due to whatever multiplicity of drives constitutes my True Will.