202211091419 documents for edification
Documents for Public Edification
¶1. One can neither underestimate nor understate the vulgarity, arbitrariness, and ignorance of their writing. Nor, moreover, can one take lightly their own infantility, absence of experience, and absence of practical knowledge (phronesis) awarded in and through that experience. Acknowledging these subjective failings can proceed doubly, either as affirmation or negation. Negation is only a self-immolation, or a self-destruction and submission to the chains of history. The essential thought of this self-negation runs: “I am a weak man before society’s brilliance. Who am I to say otherwise?” It is upon this thought that society essentially proceeds. As I show multitudinously throughout all that follows, experience offers us no shortage of such self-negations. Indeed, one can say analytically that social experience is constituted through them. For, the courage to hermitage, the most absolute self-affirmation, is so rare because men are comforted by their self-negations. Only in and around others do they sense something right about such negation - they feel themselves a part in a whole, surrounded, secure, entrusted by powers beyond them. It is common sense to live this way - common sense to assume one’s inferiority, common sense to live as a worm at the feet of Mater Noster, Civitas.
¶2. Self-affirmation of one’s worminess (to quote St. Theresa of Avila), the extent to which one grovels before society, means only the courage to rise above the practice of perpetual groveling. Only the hermits and utopians see this at its most absolute and unflinching. Only Stirner and Thoreau, that is, have taken it to its analytic conclusions. Marx and Emerson, their socially hopeful counterparts, are not so analytic. I follow in the tradition of the latter, and not the former. For history as the collective deposit of genius, to synthesize the German and the American, can proceed only as society casts its geniuses to solves problems for itself, to appropriate CS Peirce. Self-affirmation of one’s vulgarity, therefore, is the self-affirmation of the possibility of one’s genius against society - it is a hope in the belief of one’s uniqueness, what one and he himself alone has.
¶3. Self-affirmation of any stripe, then, is to some degree narcissistic. Such a charge is unavoidable and, by social lights, must be shown. Narcissism must be hemmed in, lest we fall into dogmatism and cultishness. Equally unavoidable, then, is the charge of erecting a cult of personality around oneself. One cannot underestimate the extent to which he raises this, either, for all men want at bottom to be loved unconditionally. The cult-establishment is, internally, only the attempt of a would-be Father to extract love out of his pseudo-children. Such a motive-hermeneutic reading of Freud’s account of religion is apt, for I cannot avoid seeing it in myself. I want to take care of others, I want that they be taken care of. I cannot avoid such thoughts as a quasi-Oedipal moment of my desires, nor will I avoid them when such things are thrown at me, as they inevitably will be. Anyone with deep ambition and dense thought is so-called, either under the epithets of “prophet,” “preacher,” “daddy,” or “saint.” Thus Marx calls Bruno Bauer “Saint Bruno,” thus Popper calls Marx himself a prophet, thus some facetiously call his Soviet inheritor “Daddy Stalin”. Originality is a scourge on the compliant, for it scratches open the half-healed wound of one’s own covered up originality. All want to be heard, all want to be felt, all want to be seen by each other. All are original - only some have had enough narcissism to believe in that originality.
¶4. One cannot, then, underestimate the profundity and depth of their own narcissism. Like the waters of the man from whom the name derives, self-love appears at first as something natural and self-reflective. It seems only to be a regular consequence of a pre-given order rather than something intentionally constructed. Narcissism, then, picks up such naturalness, incorporating it into itself as proof of itself. This much, as I show in Minimum Knowledge, is unavoidable. What can be done to cope with such affairs, however, is the ruthless self-criticism required to prevent free fall into one’s own inner abyss (to paraphrase William Law).
¶5. I do not attempt, then, to do anything more in the documents that follow than affirm myself. I give only human truths verified on human terms, and nothing more. I make no pretensions to universality, necessity, and absolute unqualifiable except where particular arguments demand it (as, for instance, in the System, where I deduce conclusions a priori - such deductions are necessary insofar as they are valid). The aim here, then, is a new kind of writing, what we might call a self-conscious spirituality. Such a synthetic view of my work is only embryonic. It amounts, however, to this - a sense of the True Whole must pervade our thoughts and, as it does, we win the right to dissect all Falsity for its pretensions to True Wholeness. We win the right thereby to practice towards the True, to make the Truth Actual. This is a spiritual work, since the highest whole amounts only to the realm of Spirit, as Hegel has wonderfully shown. I mean Spirit and Spiritual, then, in a distinctly Hegelian sense. This sense, as Robert Pippin reads Hegel, is at once metaphysical and logical, normative and descriptive. It is no metaphysical “that” - it is no soul inside us (for there is no such thing, as I show in the System), nor is it some vague “energy” that pervades us. Rather, the Spiritual is normative practice, that which we can do as guided by that which we ought. It is something which flows from Kant’s postulates in the second critique - God, Freedom, Immortality - and yet is none of them. It is the codification of human action for its own sake, what I elsewhere call Reason’s autodetermination, Reason’s Practical Self-Determination. In this we attempt to raise Practical Reason to its own self-consciousness as Spirit, or Nature turned Logical.
¶6. I have only a priori determined myself, here. Only empirical practice will prove whether or not this work has determined anything beyond me. That is, the “autodetermination of reason” is arbitrary - it is my determination. Only practice can lead to the truth of such determination. That is, only if society can cohere around what I’ve here written will such autodetermination be True. Until then, it is no such thing - it is merely a set of arbitrary declarations and deductions made as preconditions for that Final Judgment. I thus say: believe nothing written here. Only if you can practice it might you begin to believe it. Until then, until I have made something of it real, your belief is nothing. For your own reason must determine itself - by reading this, such determination will inevitably proceed, for experience is reason’s absolute autodetermination, in a sense stronger than I have used it above.
¶7. The following are my attempt at spelling out all of my thoughts on all that matters to society en masse. I here give a philosophy of thought, a philosophy of action, and a philosophy of interpretation. I also give a set of tools for my own thought, my own action, and my own interpretation. What follows thus serves as my own points of reference for the public justification of my actions. It simultaneously serves, however, all who would read it and take it up as a work of their own. Given here is a tool, an instrument, for the analysis of life as such. In addition, various articles have been included here determining demonstrating this tool in use. Various background articles have also been included for topics orthogonal to the system, which constitutes the bulk of my thought. As such, articles have been included after the system and the works on transcendental/immanent hermeneutics - these constitute my instrument “proper.” All else is merely an appendage for clarification.
Shae H. 11/10/2022
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