GARDENING

I haven’t posted anything philosophical here in months. This is partly because I’ve been so busy recording and preparing for the upcoming Liturgy tour and the live-action debut of Origin of the Alimonies, and it’s also because my philosophical energy has for the most part migrated to Twitter, YouTube and my new Discord server. But part of me is beginning to miss the quasi-privacy of this site. Not that it really is private, but that I don’t get any immediate feedback on anything that I put out there, so I’m not watching anyone watch me while I do it.

A result of not writing on this site is that I have also not been reading my old posts. Usually, when I choose to post something new, I start by reviewing the more recent of the posts on the feed to which I intend to add, if not all of them. This - I’m sort of just noticing now - is a crucial aspect of my relationship to this site. Without it, I wouldn’t remember what I’ve written. Time and time again, I’m inspired, fascinated and motivated by something that I’ve already written. It’s a bit like a catechism or like articles of faith. You just run them through your mind at regular intervals, and they influence your conscious awareness. You stop, and they stop.

The point I’m getting to is that I had nearly forgotten what I even mean by Majesty. Well no that’s still not the point. After reviewing this feed, I’m noticing first of all that Majesty is by far the least-crystallized of the Cardinals, and with good reason: it is to some degree a part-of-no-part with respect to the other three (Ascesis, Catharsis, Fervor), given that the other three so easily map onto religious discipline, scientific investigation and artistic creation, whereas it is not entirely clear what aspect of human (re)production Majesty is meant to refer to.

It’s something like politics, or building a community, or generating a quasi-autopoetic structure, but there’s just so much to it that these examples feel less adequate than examples of the other three Cardinals do. On the one hand, Majesty involves actual human beings, their fantasies, their drives, and their ability to form an assemblage together. It isn’t art, because it doesn’t pertain to any kind of new frontier for the imagination or the discharge or materialization of new forms; it isn’t science because there is no formula capturing something in the real, it isn’t religion in the ascetic sense because what I’m referring to there really refers to an inner journey.

But it also must pertain to the absolutely new. Like it must generate this. I was reminded yesterday of this passage from Nick Land’s text: “Positive feedback is the elementary diagram for self-regenerating circuitry, cumulative interaction, auto-catalysis, self-reinforcing processes, escalation, schismogenesis, self-organization, compressive series, deuterolearning, chain-reaction, vicious circles, and cybergenics.   Such processes resist historical intelligibility, since they obsolesce every possible analogue for anticipated change.   The future of runaway processes derides all precedent, even when deploying it as camouflage, and seeming to unfold within its parameters. Positive feedback replicated reproduction as a component function of its departure from the same” 

What catches my eye the most is this notion of resisting historical intelligibility, obsolescing every analogue by definition. This is what Majesty does, at least at its highest potential: it changes things in a way that things have never changed before.

And the change happens ‘on its own’, as a a reaction to the practice of faithful tending and contribution, to gardening. This - and I wrote this more or less in an earlier post - is the essence of grace. Originally my only online work was this site, which I began during a time that Liturgy wasn’t active. Now that there are all these other dimensions (new track and album releases, a film, a server, various social media platforms), it’s possible to spiral around and energize this with those and vice versa.

I’m currently especially interested in the introduction of new people to this structure having an inspiring effect, like for those few true kindred spirits out there who see this to make contact with the potential within themselves to do something similar. This is already very much happening, and it’s really my primary goal. I probably wrote somewhere else (and have forgotten) that I fairly recently discovered that Stephen Covey wrote a follow up book to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which was called The Eight Habit. The eight habit, the habit to complete them all, is simply using your authentic voice, and in doing so awakening others to their own. This type of resonance, perhaps the most beautiful thing that can happen in this world, is deeply occult, and deeply connected with the true essence of music, whatever that turns out to be.



INTELLECTUAL INTUITON

Intellect and intuition seem to be two opposed faculties, and it may be that they are correlated to an objective, metaphysical, macrocosmic opposition that has the same character. Striation versus the smooth, matter versus the ideal, masculine versus the feminine. As soon as the intellect and the intuition are distinguished from one another, it is possible to imagine this distinction collapsing to produce “intellectual intuition”. This would be, perhaps, a mode of knowledge that is ‘intellectual’ in the sense that it does not involve the external senses, but ‘intuitive’ in that it forms a gist, a total picture, a kind of emotional grasp, all at once (rather than a system of concepts with distinctions and properties). An awakened being is perhaps capable of achieving this state of mind - and perhaps there have been many such beings in history. But, more speculatively, perhaps a permanent merger between these two faculties is possible for society as a whole.



SHAME AND HUMILIATION

Human beings resonate emotionally with one another.  We can read one another’s emotional states, choose to either match them or not, and become habituated towards  resonating in particular ways with particular people - this is what it is to ‘know’ someone - and ultimately to influence and be influenced.

Shame arises when my intense emotions are not matched by the outside.  Humiliation takes place when an outer emotion imposes itself on me without taking mine into account.   Both shame and humiliation presuppose a lack of adequate knowledge, which is to say a suboptimal level of feedback between two systems or two elements in an assemblage.    Evil arises only from ignorance, as both Plato and Shankara proclaim.   Shame and humiliation generate traumatic modes of organization which, once they are unleashed into the world, create chaos and confusion. 

 

Is there a technical, instrumental solution to the problem of evil?   If we take a systems theoretic approach to consciousness, the answer is yes.    Better feedback, knowledge at a higher degree of resolution, would prevent shame and humiliation from taking place.   We simply need to enhance our cognitive abilities so that we are better able to understand and resonate.    And what is this resonance? Is it music? 



NEW JOY

Majesty always pertains to a joy we never knew we wanted.



NEITHER NEGATION NOR AFFIRMATION

Majesty should be opposed both to the abyss of negativity and the floating avoidance of affirmation.   Affirmation somehow presupposes victimhood (the chaos hurts very badly, but I affirm the pain and become equal to it) whereas negativity is affectively thin and immature (unable to make the basic gesture of cultivating joy and gratitute).  Majesty should be understood as different from either of these - it pertains to the sublime, the awe-inspiring, the profound, the construction of a new sky.  



RATIONAL MYSTICISM

Religion is only allowed by capital to exist if it takes on one of two inadequate forms: vague syncretic spirituality, as in the Yoga industry, or parochial, conservative moralism, as in evangelical Christianity, which is obviously continuous with the capitalist work ethic,  or radical Islam, which falsely appears to be a threat to western secular culture but actually intensifies the sense of crisis needed to sustain it.    

It really ought to be obvious that what is needed is a new post-capitalist mode of religion, which takes the cutting edge of culture as its driving force, harnessing new forms and channeling them into a new ascesis.   All hitherto existing forms of religion have reacted against the world.   Today it is possible to imagine a religion that would  first of all actually stand against capitalism, rather than surreptitiously sustain it, and then ultimately simply become the world, an ever-evolving kingdom of heaven.   The doctrines of this religion would have to be clearly articulated in its theology, and both account for and transcend the immanentization of theology that took place  during the 19th century - to draw the lines connecting God’s mind to money and experimental science (rather then foolishly positing the latter two as profane and attempting to protect God by attributing to it a fundamental ineffability, which is the mistaken strategy of existing religion and spirituality).



INVISIBILITY

Majesty:  to pass through Ascesis, Catharsis and Fervor, to master them, and then - to become invisible.   



THE RADICAL

Majesty differs from Ascesis in that the latter proceeds according to traditional spiritual laws, while Majesty respects no law.  It differs from Catharsis in that Catharsis proceeds by way of conceptual incision, while Majesty refuses all concepts.    It differs from Fervor because Fervor proceeds according to the flesh, while Majesty has no body.   Majesty is the logic of no-logic.  It pertains to whatever is new, radical, avant-garde, the transgression of all logics, all moralities.  As soon as thought adjusts itself to make room for Majesty, Majesty had moved on.  It cuts to the quick.   We can identify Majesty with the "true vine" - the nexus of art, psychoanalysis, music, experimental lifestyle that has been produced by European and American cultural  elites and countercultural formations in the past 100 years.  Driven by irrational, contradictory notions about justice and freedom, self-destructive and irresponsible, nevertheless seeming to carry aspects of the message of Christ more rigorously and authentically than Christianity itself has ever been able to.  

But it is not just transgressive - it is noble and proud, and it dominates.  It sets the agenda, it influences.    It scorns what is base, what is beneath it, in the name of taste more than anything else, though with a sense of justice, purity, a mission that it cannot articulate.  Majesty is glorious, the creation of a new star that guides and illuminates.  

We cannot use a frame of reference to define it - it simply cannot be known in this way.  We can only describe it from a distance, create a space for it, acknowledge that it surpasses our attempts to articulate its nature. 

 

RENIHILATION has to synthesize Majesty with Ascesis, Catharsis and Fervor, a tetra-logic that synthesizes spiritual arcana, differential becoming, conceptual negativity and an 'x' that escapes capture by these three. 

It is only then that it is possible to give a robust account of Cosmogony (the seven Armistices), Metaphysics (the four Alimonies), Deontology/Aesthethics (the nature of God, humanity and freedom) and Eschatology (vision of Haelegen / S.H.E.I.M. as a posthuman kingdom of heaven)  - making use of these four logics as opposed frames of reference while at the same time giving an account of their genesis  



OMNIPOTENCE

Thought is omnipotence in principle.  It liquidates all seeming necessity, all barriers.  Barriers to what? To the fulfillment of the promise made by music: perfect resonance.  



WAR

Renihilation is truly a war against nature, aiming not at its destruction but at its willing submission.   Majesty is the moment at which thought touches nature and converts it, commands it to harmonize with thought and carry out its mission.  



VICTORY

Majesty is victory-in-process.  It is the erasure or reconfiguration of the past and the installation of a thought that was once an intrusion as a seemingly natural principle, a presupposition.   



LIVING THOUGHT

The majesty of Renihilation consists in its organic nature.  It has inputs and outputs - sources of inspiration and lines of distribution.  It glows with majesty, exhibiting itself, soaking up energy from the eyes in which it is reflected.   And in this process it is transformed.   A book written twice would be written differently the first time and the second time.    Words are not Renihilation, neither are concepts, judgements or decision.  Renihilation is an interplay between all of these, a negotiation at their interstices  



THEORY and PRAXIS

Philosophy and political intervention tend to stand opposed.  The philosopher says - sure, intervene, but without understanding the whole, your intervention will simply be reabsorbed.  The activist takes the opposite position - go ahead, generate your theories.  But they contribute nothing real.   

 

Qabala undoes this opposition.  As thought, it is knowledge of the absolute, from which practice follows immediately as art, which makes way for music.    

 

This activity is substrate-independent.   It unifies aesthetics, politics and eschatology.  This is the cardinal of Renihilation we know as Majesty



HABIT and GRACE

It would perhaps be possible to naturalize-without-undermining the concept of grace when we consider it in relationship to habit.  The instauration of a new power - this is surely something that feels divine.  There is a period of trial - requiring faith - according to Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan it is 40 days.  Alcoholics Anonymous pegs it at more like 90.  And then:  grace.  After faith, hope and tribulation, the habit gets up and stands on its own two legs.  And from there, it only gets better and better - onwards towards excellence, magnificence.  There is a real joy in exercising a capacity - any capacity whatever - and likewise it is very difficult to find joy in any capacity that is not well exercised.  Thus we arrive at the notion of HYPERTROPHY as Ethics.  Reign Array provides the structure for repetition, Kel Valhaal provides the grace.  

It should be underscored, however, as always, that POWER is only one of four cardinals.   More so than perhaps any of the other three, POWER in isolation is evil:  its ultimate endpoint is totalitarianism and cruelty.  It has to be exercised in coordination with ASCESIS, CATHARSIS and FORCE



MAJESTY

The truth of awe, even terror: of status, greatness, freedom, grace, dignity.  This most maligned, twisted, projected truth.   The most dangerous truth.  The truth of the master.   The truth that requires the greatest ignorance, for sure: ignorance of the sickness and pain of others and of the ultimate meaninglessness and rot.  Certainly majesty is a feature of art qua love.  Majesty awakens and inspires.  Jealousy, competition, failure.  We should recognize the truth of majesty for what it is: one of four types of truth that require constant negotiation and coordination.   How does Majestic Truth function?  It requires maintenance, practice, excellence - we could call it Aristotelian.   Fervent truth is always a sort of assassination.  Cathartic truth is objectified, with no thought of the subject to whom it is true.  Ascetic truth is humble and aware.  Majestic truth simply glows, influences, communicates, crushes opposition, unfolds - and ultimately comes to a tragic end.

Nietzsche's genealogy of morals - obviously majesty was the original form of the good: good qua beautiful and strong.  After a series of dialectical-differential reversals we arrive again at a post-Christian opportunity for a new majesty:  majesty-in-and-for-itself.  But doesn't this simply culminate in the 48 Laws of Power, Think and Grow Rich, Donald Trump?  There have been lots of attempts to gentrify the idea of the uebermensch or give it a more subtle esoteric sense - and Nietzsche does not always describe it in the same way, to be sure.  For example, one aspect of it is the affirmation of the destruction of humanity or its reinscription in terms of nature.   But at the end of the day, Majesty needs to be differentiated from and then reined in by three other forms of truth:  Ascesis, Catharsis, and Fervor



HEALTH

Power is the mode of truth that is associated with victory: the victory of a transcendental, so that something that was originally a created, fragile, flawed idea attains the status of a  presupposition.   Power is the truth that is the way of the world.  It requires work, faith, relationships, recognition, compromises, deals.   The interesting thing about power - one of the interesting things, anyway - is that it tends to disappear behind that which it sustains.  Power is the truth of visibility, but its own power is not visible.   This invisibility is not simply an accidental feature of power, either - it is constitutive.  Invisibility is a necessary condition of the functioning of power.  If power is seen, it loses its power.  Power only maintains its power if it appears as though what power sustains simply sustains itself, or is sustained for some reason other than the existence of the power that actually sustains it, or is simply natural.  As soon as power is recognized, it loses its power.