There are four types of being: existence, which is made of souls; reality, which is made of bodies; nothingness, which is made of minds; and eternity, which is made of God. These are called the Four Alimonies.
Capitalism prevents the formation of a collective vision by shaming the desire to posit a divine origin for the world. It ruthlessly separates music, philosophy and art, partitioning their discursive spaces,
hamstringing freedom. But it also widens our conception of what is possible technologically and what apparently absolute horizons are actually relative/contingent. It also provides the technological basis, in principle, for a world of pure culture beyond the body. Nevertheless, its overall tendency is towards stupification of the privileged and horrid levels of inequality and misery, perhaps culminating in the dissolution of subjectivity altogether.
The problem with materialism (Marx-Deleuze) is that is is a reaction against idealism (Hegel-Findlay), which is simply to say that it is an antithesis to the thesis that idealism represents. The great open question for philosophy today is to rise above this opposition, to see materialism and idealism as two sides of the same coin, two aspects of a position which seemed absolute for 200 years or so but which is now revealed to be contingent from a new, higher perspective (synthesis - and by the way, this dialectic is far older than Hegel, and has no need of formal or autopoetic logics to be the motor of history). The limit of accelerationism is that it is not able to carve out a position that is neither idealist nor materialist. No matter how hard it tries, it has to align with either Plato or Nietzsche, because of an anti-theist pre-philosophical decision. Theism is required to transcend this opposition, which is to say a resurrection of pre-Kantian notions of the divine virtues and the mystical apprehension of true reality. But these must be united with the critical spirit of Marxism and psychoanalysis so that the new religion which this work will produce is a genuine step beyond secular modernity and not a retreat. The mode of production beyond capitalism is none other than the kingdom of heaven prophecied by the Abrahamic religious lineage. World history must be written with this thesis in mind, so that God may guide technological innovation beyond this mortal coil.
There is a world only because a blistering surplus imagined an empty child-lover into whom she might discharge her Laet. The material and the ideal are barriers between the surplus and the void, erected for mutual protection and access at the same time; their relationship is dynamic and evolving. Everything that takes place in this world is an opportunity to connect the void to the surplus.
Three Armistices are material (Rael, Hael and Caul), and three are ideal (Urael, Urizen, Varizen). The first three appear earlier in a certain sense, but in another sense each is coextensive with its respective ideal partner (Urael understand Caul, Urizen understands Hael and Varizen understands Rael). The beginning of time is in the middle, between Caul and Urael, and fans outwards - backwards in physical time and forwards in collective time as civilization evolves by means of greater and deeper knowledge. Haelegen, the final age, is the sum of the entire series: a status for human society that is coextensive with its knowledge of a deeper level of reality than the current scientific paradigm has not yet been able to access (but towards which the ‘structural realist’ approach of Wolfram or Tegmark points; whatever meta-level of organization beyond the causality of physical laws we ultimately uncover - some dimension of reality more fundamental than matter will be both the physical and the collective aspect of Haelegen at the same time )
Each armistice has a principle. Rael is governed by force, Hael by energy, Caul by drive, Urael by will, Urizen by truth, Varizen by passion, Haelegen by love. Each of these principles is a transmutation of a fundamental ideal flow called Laet
The first thought: not 'why is there something rather than nothing', nor 'why this rather than something else', not even 'why is something wrong'. These thoughts are posterior to the true first thought, which cannot be posited as a question any more than as a statement. It could be loosely formulated as: 'It differs from the way it seems it should be'.
This is the highest degree of immanence available to thought, but nevertheless it itself is not perfectly immanent (and therefore thought cannot be perfectly immanent). The thought presupposes value, appearance and negation, none of which it can precisely define (at first) - which is to say, thought is the negative image of MUSIC, without which it has no motivation. This means that the most abstract definition of music as such is: 'the way it seems it should be'.
The best way to rephrase the thought of Renihilation in question form is: 'Why is there something that isn't music?'
The seven armistices (rael, hael, caul, urael, urizen, varizen, ololon) corresponds roughly to: matter, drive, consciousness, society, truth, capitalism and the kingdom of heaven. Each stage represents a degree of freedom higher than the last
Why is the world changing so quickly? It doesn't seem like it needs to. The answer is: because thought is converging towards being, which is to say that time is unfolding. Ark Work is not strictly identical to this convergence, though it is closely related. The convergence has a natural and a divine aspect - or an outside and an inside. Only the inner, divine aspect of the convergence can be called Ark Work. This is the aspect that is free, impossible, and opposed to amor fati .
Any cosmogonical effort is a step towards the convergence of thought with being. Cosmogony is the contraction of an impossible thought, and it necessarily does more than it thinks. Its action always has the character of unbinding - seeking an answer, the thought further darkens the question. It erodes false answers. The cosmogonical thought is inherently eschatological, though it is never able to represent its own eschatological dimension to itself.
For Augustine, the absolute simply has to have three co-equal aspects: a content, a knower of this content, and a choice. The Trinitarian nature of God isn't specifically Christian, really - for Mullah Sadra it amounts to the same: the lover, the beloved, and love. One wonders whether modern and critical philosophy are too eager to reduce the number of aspects, or to hypostasize or reify the dynamic involved ( in terms of faculties or dynamics) - always seeking either monism or dualism, when trinitarianism is what is required to truly grasp the nature of reality. Let the three aspects of God be named HAQQ, OIOION and HCSC
Let the Glory of HAQQ refer to HAQQ's untrammeled power. Does this power make HAQQ good or evil? It would appear that it can't properly be called either - following pseudo-Dionysus we can say that HAQQ is good, but also not good - yet the negation involved here signifies that God is simply good beyond comprehension. His goodness is not what we conceive of as good, because it is even better than that. HAQQ is perhaps unbearably good, too good. In the Kabbalah tradition, this truth is represented by a flame flickering in the darkness while consuming its wick. From the outside perspective, the flame illuminates and provides warmth. But the same flame, on the "inside", or simply from a closer proximity, burns, causes pain, destroys. This is the reason we are to fear HAQQ and, astonished, be humbled by its power: in small doses, from the right distance, it bestows life. But it is equally able and willing to destroy.
But does that mean that God is a blind force, like a whirlwind? Not at all, I think. I am stuck with the pronoun "it" because "he" and "she" don't do it for me. But "it" is misleading - it suggests that God is in the third person somehow. But we're talking about the very Real that gives rise to all of 'third person' reality - not that reality itself. Of course we don't want to anthropomorphize HAQQ either - but perhaps we can imagine its personhood in the same pseudo-Dionysian way we are imagining his Glory: personhood, but not personhood - such that God transcends all personhood. He's more than a person - too much of a person, even.
Further, it seems that God is able to "express" and will, in some sense that is partially beyond comprehension. Difference, after all - the determinations that God makes, the divine attributes (to perhaps merge the Islamic and Spinozist sense of this term 'attribute') are God's mark, God's word.
Furthermore, it seems we have evidence that this expressing and determining that God does leads to a lowering in intensity. The world "cools down" as it gets further and further away from God, eventually coagulating into representation. And isn't this what God wants? Relief from the horror of its own Glory? Isn't God perhaps subject to greater intensity that it itself can bear?
Obviously these things are obscure. Can we say anything more about this expression, this choice, this will? There was a time when I had a strong interest in the idea that will operates at the quantum level - with the collapse of the wave function and so forth. I recall that Zizek, Dan Siegel and Caroline Leaf all present different accounts of this idea. I wonder if it would be possible to articulate a negative theology of God's will that isn't strictly a negative theology at all, but is a sort of cognitive instantiation of a Hilbert space.
I had an epiphany during the cold shower I took after my hot yoga class a few hours ago. It was about the relationship between HAQQ and OIOION. Originally OIOION was the name for the First Alimony, but recently I have, for a variety of reasons, not been satisfied with this name and been inclined to introduce a new name to replace it: HAQQ (the reason for the dissatisfaction being that the name OIOION implicates articulation, repetition and variability - and I an not entirely willing to ascribe these features to the absolute). Now I realize that I don't need to replace OIOION at all, however. My current proposal is this: HAQQ is a real, pure intensity. Following Mulla Sadra, we wager that we are able to experience intensity directly (of an impure kind, mixed with determination), and that it follows that there is a necessary, real, self-existing pure and absolute intensity beyond all determination.
But there is also determination - and, following Robert Cummings Neville, we suppose that the originary determination (but not posterior determinations) must be created by the original self-existing principle itself. OIOION, then, is the originary determination that is created by HAQQ. It is the divine Name, Word, Attribute - we could call it the hexagrammaton. We will associate OIOION, however, with a "rule" in Stephen Wolfram's sense of the term. Wolfram speculates that there is a single rule that, in essence, acts as a code which the entire universe is running on - underlying chaos and chance just as much as order (but does not precisely determine every event that takes place in the universe). All the content of both mathematics and physics (and biology, sociology, psychology) are posterior to this rule. In principle, we could one day discover it (according to his theory).
Note that HAQQ determines OIOION unilaterally: OIOION does not reflect back on HAQQ in any way. Much more needs to be said about all of these points (and possibly revised) but we can work with this as a direction to explore for now.
If HAQQ outstrips even the most originary determinations of it, how do those determinations come about? HAQQ has to generate them itself, but they have to be generated at the same time by and as a primordial traumatized thinking being, traumatized only by the fact that it is not itself HAQQ and does not know this, or at any rate isn't able to think it. It's easy to see how this theory performs the same radicalization of Deleuze that Deleuze performs on Hegel. Deleuze evacuates representation from his dialectic and develops a replacement in terms of, basically, biology. There is good reason for this, since our apparatus for representation was evolved and is not absolute. But since biological (and generally "macro") existence isn't absolute either, it would make sense to evacuate this also. But then what are the new terms in which we recast the dialectic? Computation? Or are we eliding the question of objective cosmogony and turning it into an epistemology? The yearning is for something that is neither objective or subjective. Computation actually has this character, however - it is simultaneously thought and being
The effort required of Transcendental Qabala is oriented towards articulating a nondogmatic cosmogony. This is of course a seemingly contradictory effort: a true cosmogony, in the theological sense, not only accepts the existence of first principles (i.e. is dogmatic), it even believes it is able to establish a further principle that grounds these first principles (God). Here, cosmogony is not just dogmatic but is doubly so.
Critical philosophy rejects all absolutes - realist, idealist, materialist etc - and insists that philosophy can only start in media res. Its grounds for this are both epistemological and ethical. Nevertheless, the critical philosopher tends to end up sliding into a kind of union with the absolute in the act of philosophizing.
Anyway, there has to be a way to accept the dynamic skepticism of critical philosophy and at the same time meaningfully articulate a cosmogony.
Of course, the only thing that knows God is God itself - so the only way to know God is to become God. This requires the help of music and art. But still, there is more to articulate about how this would work
Why articulate a cosmogony? Because ultimately God is required if there is to be love
Some philosophers suppose that the birth of the world took place according to a sort of Kleinian model of psychogenesis: there was a terrifying world of whirling drives, and then - because the pain was too great - a primordial contraction yoking them under a Word, repressing aspects, yielding temporality with the disguised repetition of these repressed elements.
If there is anything to this picture, the question remains: why was there a terrifying world of whirling drives? Aren't we required to look beyond this to a primordial shevirat? A shattering, which was the result of a cosmic wager gone wrong, yielding a vortex of chaos?
There is a subterfuge in calling the pre-Word vortex a void. Void implies nothingness. But the vortex is not a nothingness at all - it is positively teeming with difference and activity. Therefore it explains nothing.
Where then do we find absolute nothingness? This is the void that God imagined and then accidentally shattered. Prior to the vortex there was a true void, and prior to the true void there was a perfect light.
...but then why was there a perfect light
How far can the effort to liquidate presuppositions go? We can associate different efforts to do this with different moments in the history of philosophy and spirituality. The Upanishads are founded on the conviction that the ordinary reality we live in (and our desire for what it has to offer) is an illusion. The same goes for the provocations of Socrates. Descartes liquidates the Aristotelian theoretical presuppositions, Hegel liquidates empirical presupposition, Deleuze liquidates the presupposition that philosophy is moral and communicable, Laruelle perhaps liquidates the supposition that philosophy is possible at all. Can more be said about this ideal presuppositionless that animates the history of thought?
THE GENESIS CAUL is this initial disturbance - doubt, wonder, worry, whatever. In a way, it is surely a subjective starting point with a psychological explanation. But it also may well be a pure and empty form of time that is identical to the very production of the many by the one at the heart of nature. I really don't know - as with so much, it is difficult and worthwhile simply to articulate the nature of the question and possible avenues for addressing it (which don't necessarily need to be 'philosophy' at all in the sense of engaging in conceptual creation and analysis in conversation with the tradition - they could just as well be physical, spiritual and artistic practices - or could they??)
Deleuze says that sensibility is privileged above the other faculties because for it, what forces it to operate is also what it experiences. Its outside is the same as its inside, so to speak.
Im actually not sure I understand what he means. Isn't an objective quantum of intensity different from the way the quantum feels? It seems he is trying to deny this - proposing that the objective quantum is a mathematical abstraction, and the real phenomenon that it measures is sense/intensity/difference, which is only insofar as it is felt.
The categorial human affects like sadness, anger, etc. and the world of entities in space and time that they relate to are all constructed by and on top of a subterranean world of pure intensity.
My understanding is that this is a perfectly defensible theory, at least when it comes to human and animal experience. We don't really know what affect is, but Dan Siegel has proposed that affect drives all cognition. It "motivates" the flow of information, the creation an dissolution of states, the retrieval of memory and so on.
This would mean that even inorganic systems like computer networks and ecological systems literally feel parts of the spectrum of what we are able to feel.
It is not clear to me whether this would extend to the atomic and astrological scales.
What does this discussion have to do with cosmogony? Deleuze defines a world as a sphere of 'common sense' where the faculties are in agreement, such that objects and relations arise. This the sphere of representation, consensus, 'reality' in a quasi-pejorative sense.
Cosmogony is the contemplation of world-birth, so Deleuze's account of the rise of representation out of the flux of difference can be said to be a cosmogonical theory.
The difficulty with it, though, is its immanentism. If every kind of world arises from the sea of difference in basically the same way, then philosophy, religion and science are all basically forms of art - which is the same as nature.
If we accept this, then we've elided the question we started with. We ask: why is there a world, and why are things going badly? Deleuze answers, because differentials yield essences. But then we can ask: why do differentials yield essences? Do they need to? Has it always been like that?
In other words, the answer isn't entirely sincere. It is a sort of creation, a story, a guess. But we want an answer.
The attraction of Meillassioux's principle of factiality is that it is presented as a proof. It must be true, and true once and for all
We cannot conceive of the absolute - it is beyond comprehension. We distinguish ourselves from it, but it does not distinguish itself from us. But - there is no transcendental horizon. Cognition as we know it isn't some kind of absolute. Why couldn't we transform our ability to know, and one day know the absolute itself?
Cosmogony lies between and before the differentiation of ontology from epistemology
I cannot be sure that the world I take to be natural really is as it appears. Neither can I be sure that the categorial frame within which I experience it is any kind of absolute.
In principle this is both an epistemological and political stake in transcendental skepticism. Reality - not just the world as it appears but my very habits and chemical composition - is ideology.
Absolute knowledge is knowledge of transcendental skepticism - knowledge of the sheer astonishing power of the world to be otherwise. But it must be known in an embodied way - believed, loved, yearned for. Because it is also the sheer power of knowledge to be otherwise.
It is hard for me to understand why most people do not desire thought - either a thought that cracks open ideology or a thought that provides a universal categorial frame. What is it about me that makes me desire thought? Paranoia, suspicion, alienation, I guess. I've never belonged anywhere. Or maybe just strong affect as a sort of default. I yearn and yearn, never stop