I seem to be grooming myself for Philosophical Horror. Who shall I study in order to become a Philosopher of the Void?
Schopenhauer, Cioran … of course.
Familiarize myself with some of the more honest and disturbing literature: Celine.
Familiarize myself with the unorthodox lifestyles of Artaud, de Sade, Van Gogh.
Explore weird French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari.
Explore strange rantings of Nick Land.
Explore short stories (looking for clues) by Ligotti, Lovecraft, and Poe …
I may not be able to articulate myself with the verbal sophistication of Emil Cioran, but my way of life speaks for itself. While the sheep worship their millionaire actors who amass huge amounts of CARGO, I cannot deny my inner wealth even with a minimum of resources (government relief). What would Diogenes do in a 21st century mass-industrial society?
Would Franz Kafka have heard about the Marquis de Sade? Kafka certainly admired Schopenhauer, as did his friend Max Brod. Could de Sade’s writings have had a profound influence on Kafka’s concerns in The Penal Colony? Was Sade writing horror? Was Kafka secretly impressed with Donatien Alphonse Francoise de Sade’s nihilism?
There is a total rejection of prescribed ethical systems.
We may tend to think of Arthur Schopenhauer to be among the first unapologetic atheists, but Sade was clearly an outspoken free thinker, and Sade would have been 48 years old – and in a dungeon – when Arthur was born.
Two different men: Schopenhauer was so obsessed with so very many phobias and fears that he always slept with a loaded pistol close at hand. Nobody was going to bugger Arthur in his sleep and live to brag about it!
It is becoming clear that I have most likely broken out of the system of the controllers. I still depend on government relief for sustenance, but I have a great deal of time to think … to expand my arsenal of knowledge, and generally to be a hack. Remember that the ancient Gnostics withdrew from the world. They ate and drank little, needed little money, did not have conventional homes or jobs, and clearly avoided contact with members of the mainstream religions.
They took themselves off the grid. You can’t be controlled by a system in which you do not participate.
Who was Carpocrates? As children we are never taught about the renegades. The disciples of Carpocrates rejected marriage and private property. The Marquis de Sade, the poets Baudelaire and William Blake, philosophers Nietzsche, Cioran, Schopenahuer, the madman Antonin Artaud were all examples of people who rejected the convensions of society. They are role models …
A nap once again proves to be a powerful experience. Isolating also proves to elliminate much unnecessary grief from having to do with others. Socialization is over-rated. I’ve basically been on kind of a personal strike since 2002 … a 12 year binge?
Suddenly, as if my brain is reconstituting, I find my interest in low-level computing reawakening. Maybe I’m a different breed. I want to start compiling math code again. I download and install CYGWIN just to get the UNIX feel on the computer I’m using. Sure, before I move on, I’ll reformat the harddrive and leave it clean as new and up to date … better than new … but for now I’m going into codemode.
I want to get the old clunker out of storage and install Linux Mint 17 with Xfce on it … I want to run GCC and GDB … I swear my brain is reconstituting – like Robert Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It is said that Bertrand Russell warded off Old Man Suicide through an intense study of higher and higher levels of mathematics. There is absolutely nothing to do in this life except, of course, replicate our DNA. If we opt out or just become a dead end, what do we do with our days and nights? I once again want to explore lower and lower levels of computing.
Listening to Roger Water’s Amused To Death, it is difficult to fathom that 22 years have passed since I was listening to that driving up to the mountains to go camping with a woman I haven’t seen in 18 years. I am glad I have kept records of daily life … it sure passes.
Magic symbols that fix problems with XP being unable to connect to the Internet:
netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt
After installing Linux and exploring Jon Erickson’s Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, my spirit feels somewhat renewed. The monkey in the corner scribbles some notes in his notebook.
A trip into Freehold was kind of depressing … as usual, all there is to do in my hometown is to walk down the railroad tracks and through the fields into the woods. The town is depressing to me. So much thinking I did there … I see more clearly than I ever have. My plan is to isolate and explore computing concepts, literature, and walk around thinking deep thoughts …
Since I started a new “hacking diary” my anxiety seems to have decreased. Have I come to actually like being me? Does studying computer science concepts relieve anxiety or increase anxiety? I guess it depends on one’s mood. Ultimately the machine I am studying, exploring, and examining is myself. The very act of writing seems to soothe me. Why is that? It is a victory to discover peace and delight in being lost in hours of study rather than to be at the mercy of those who prey upon the vulnerabilities of depressives. If I can get back into the groove of thinking coherently, this might be the greatest revenge angainst the systematic stupidity of mass society.
I am unable to post the code because the WordPress editor erases everything in between carrots ><. Fuck. Now I have to delete the sections in Dead End that include any code since it will not make any sense.
Temporary solution: I stored it over at whywork.org/forum. They won’t mind. It’s a very mysterious zone …
A Better Solution: Started Message Board: WHY BOTHER?
Another day and I am too discouraged to search for apartments. I seem to have no place in this world. What am I doing here? How does it end? How uncanny that some writings by the Marquis de Sade were hidden in the walls of the prison he was being held in. He thought they were destroyed, but they were published 150 years later …
And yet he found great consolation in writing! He found comfort in disturbing us. Why to I force myself to read through literature so disturbing? I guess I want to force myself to look into the darkness …
I have come to the conclusion that it is life itself, yes Nature herself, that is the root of all our misery, and that relocating will not solve the basic horror of life. It’s a razor’s edge. Why was I relieved when, at around age 20, I read Schopenhauer declaring “Life is evil.” A disturbing truth, but a relief to read someone articulate this rather than sugar-coat it.
I no longer envy anyone.
There is something to be said for losing all hope. I don’t waste energy getting all enthusiastic. When I don’t get approved for a certain apartment, I think of the everyday reality of actually living there, pacing around talking to myself, walking around outdoors, coming back inside, preparing meal, trying to get comfortable enough to read or even write … and maybe even becoming overwhelmed with anxiety … enough to force me down the road with the intention of seeking oblivion in alcoholic inebriation … then blabbering into a recorder. Ah, but I’ll deal with those demons when I have no choice. Tonight I am on coffee, going through my current notebook, catching up with my blog.
I have no delusions that a job or more advanced education would make life wonderful. I’ve looked over my notes from when I had a secure position with the State and a live-in concubine. Roller coaster of emotional entanglements … continual petty politics at work. I’ve looked over my notes from when I was excelling in my formal studies of Computer Science and higher mathematics. Many depressing nights where I expressed utter frustration and suicidal ideations. Vector spaces … enough to make you want to blow your brains out.
What now? Now you go insane. Now you sink into that space-cadet glow Roger Waters was singing about in The Wall. Suddenly, after an unexpected diarrhetic episode, I got the idea to write about life just the way it is, right down to my aging mother pestering me about what I could possibly be writing about. How could I have so much to type or scribble? What goes on in that head of yours?
I prefer writing about day to day thoughts and anxieties rather than make up some story about some high brow who marries into a politically powerful family but never shits or pisses. What about the real creature as it is, the animal thing that doesn’t care about the Olympics?
What about all the refugees without access to clean water? Surely it shames me to complain about having been born into this world when so many are suffering far worse fates.
And so I just keep reading like a patient locked up in a psychiatric ward … Survivor’s guilt?
The very well educated Mitchell Heisman shot himself on the steps at Harvard University. Evidently, having all one’s primitive needs satisfied is not enough to make life worth living.
“If the literature we are reading does not wake us why then do we read it? A literary work must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us.” (Kafka)
“Overcoming the will to live, then, represents one of the final steps in overcoming the provincial and ‘primitive’ life instincts probably inherited from our evolutionary past, i.e., inclinations toward patriarchy, authoritarianism, sexism, kinism, and racism.” (Heisman)
Mitchell Heisman’s suicide note was 2000 pages. I humbly admit I can only skim through it.
This phenomenon forces me to be less judgmental of people by appearances as I can not know how each person really feels. Some people go insane with drugs. Others go insane with books or philosophical concepts. As Thomas Metzinger argues, there are solid grounds for maintaining that the phenomenological subject of appearance is itself a phenomenal appearance generated by neurobiological processes. I am the thing-in-itself observing itself, questioning itself, doubting the representation of itself …
I remember out in Seattle drinking with an elderly black dude, and he started getting very angry while he was shaking his Bible around, yelling at me about how he wrote the Bible. In a strange way, now I understand what he was saying. When I read Schopenhauer’s The World As Will and Representation or some of his essays, I find a part of me saying just that: I wrote this. I am this thing that wrote that. I am still that self-same thing writing this.
Damn it to Hell, I am still here … there is no way out, not even in death! How does this end?
What is this metaphysically transcendent empirical entity?
What is this I THINK? What is this that Husserl called Pure Phenomenological Consciousness?
When we go extinct, nothing will have happened. Tick tock tick tock … Do you understand how easy it is to go insane? When someone digs deeper and deeper into the mechanisms of their own mind, when one considers these bones and this blood we have become so attached to, the teeth, the stomach, the intestines, the veins, the sinews … and there is no switch to turn it off … So many people complain of racing thoughts, insomnia, migraine headaches, toothaches, every day angst … How to explain it?
No wonder there is an epidemic of addiction to pain-killers, opiates, alcohol … It is no wonder! And yet do these chemicals bring genuine relief?
The case against hope: Hope makes people feel worse. What happens to the long-term unemployed when they reach retirement age? They experience relief in the end of hoping to find a suitable job. Giving up hope sets you free. And so I give up hope in ever feeling at ease about existing. I am this THING, this self-same thing that was Arthur Schopenhauer.
Since ‘reality’ is itself a transcendental concept, Kant’s usage of a distinction between appearance and reality suggests a critical difficulty with his project. Every attempt to formulate a relation or distinction between the phenomenal and the noumenal realms must itself fall back upon conceptual and abstract thought! Why bother trying to explain reality when all we end up doing is chasing our tails?
Can we blame the poets like Georg Trakl who fail to keep a job, become addicted to opium, become enmeshed in alcoholism, fail to defeat their psychoses, and die of a cocaine overdose?
Trakl’s traces are the ruins of a horrific failure – a failure to adapt or conform, a failure to repress, a failure to produce, a failure to come to any conclusions.
Lunatic? Werewolf? How many of us are on a similar trajectory and just don’t know it?
We do not know what we want. If we have a strong death instinct and find daily existence ridiculous, how long do we go on philosophizing about it before our death instinct manifests itself?
What did Nietzsche learn from Schopenhauer?
Anti-humanism; anti-academicism; misogyny; the distrust of mathematical thinking.
It is great to have broken through so many mental barriers throughout my life, but once breaking through to the Dark Side, there really is no turning back. One can’t unsee what one has seen. Have I come to value my mental faculties enough to resist self-destructive impulses?
Do not be in public when intoxicated! It’s like full fledged demonic possession!
Maybe the real reason I write is because the process consoles me. I give advice to myself. Doing nothing all day, day after day, is not as easy as it sounds. It could be that writing down one’s thoughts in a free flowing manner gives access to a secret reality below the surface of consciousness. Who keeps track of the mundane details of The Thingly Presence? I observe the creature-in-itself … I don’t feel ashamed of the creature’s nature, because the creature is life itself, a microcosm of Nature. It’s very nature hardwired into the sinews of being: anxiety, paranoia, want, dissatisfaction, fear.
“We are all created to be miserable, and that we all know it, and all invent means of deceiving each other. And when one sees the truth, what is one to do?” (Leo Tolstoy)
What is one to do? Think deep thoughts. Avoid marching.
Does one courageously refuse to “man up”?
That isolated men kill themselves because they don’t seek help is a redundant excuse. Men are shamed into marriage by playing on the fear that they will die alone, but who does not die alone? We, each of us, is in our head alone.
This shaming is a snide way to pressure someone to conform to idiocy. The corporate world wants obedient workers … they don’t want deep thinkers. They will make snide remarks like, “ … that’s a little bit too much information …” or “ … OK, Mr. Philosopher, are you taking your medication?”
There is no brotherhood. If a living man does not remain a slave to the Machine, he is ostracized, viewed with disdain and contempt. When I am able to view myself as a living phenomenon, my capacity for introspection grows, and I will not subject myself to the denigrating judgments of a systematically stupid society.
What is there to do at this point? Breathe? Eat? That seems automatic. For me it’s automatic, but maybe some lose the will to live. I read somewhere that some chattel slaves were able to stop their own breath. I’m sorry if I can’t get all worked up about some play-offs. From the sidelines, it all looks rather absurd. Circuses and cake. Ah, to be an outsider living in an almost mythical dimension …
On the one hand you have the sports fans. On the other hand you have the renegade thinkers. There is mutual disdain, I’m sure.
“Knowledge is attained only by the one who despises happiness.”
It turns out that taking a nap is a more intelligent move than going on a job interview.
I remember a psychiatrist from Israel had made a snide remark when I informed her that I spend a great deal of time writing. She told me that writing in notebooks doesn’t mean anything unless it is for some kind of purpose. It has to amount to something. Was she suggesting that writing has to be monetized in order to be valuable? I shrugged it off, and, of course, later jotted down how I felt about the remark.
Basically, I am talking myself through existence. No need for a priest or a minister or a therapist. Yes, I know some doctor already wrote a novel called The Schopenhauer Cure, almost anticipating some renegade thinker like myself would scorn group therapy as worse than useless. Maybe it was a preemptive strike, as an attempt to undermine independent thinkers who might buck the system in this age of group homes and treatment centers for the superfluous disenfranchised masses.
What’s going on? The medicalization of unconventional behavior.
If Arthur Schopenhauer were alive today, he would most certainly be diagnosed with a mood disorder.
“Denial of the will to live? Are you suicidal Art S? Art S? Don’t just sit there sulking, Art S, introduce yourself to the group!”
“My name is Art S. I guess you could say I’m a bipolar albino super-genius.”
So, I am drawn to literature that horrifies and disturbs me. I get off on it. I too would like to horrify and disturb …
Looking across the room at Schopenhauer, Hentrich says, “My name is Mike H. I think I might also be a bipolar albino super-genius.”
S gives H a spontaneous wink and chuckles.
Hello? Is there someone or something inside you? Is it a presence older than mankind? Yes … it’s older than the world religions, older than God, older than the Devil, older than civilization, older than the indigenous, older than all the ancestors … It is the non-human presence within us, the inorganic elements within the organic … It is looking out from behind the eyes … it is Nature and it can do without humanity … Even as I write these words, I know that it is the nameless nonhuman thing peering out from behind the eyes mocking all historical narratives and sociological constructs.
Why write? I understand why I write down how I think and feel, but why type any of it? Why store it in a file? Why post it on a blog? Why put it out there for the public?
There seems to be an unspoken understanding that you really ought to monetize something you do because if you are not getting paid then clearly you are wasting your time. And yet, if I were to attempt to monetize my writing skills, I would have to consider an audience and what the audience wants to read. So, screw that.
Ambition and aspiration are society’s way of compelling you to behave, compelling you to write ideas masses of people will be drawn to. No wonder I would never consider writing for money or for copyright. Still, even if I am not trying to monetize my writing habit, why don’t I stop posting on the Internet? Not only that, why don’t I stop typing documents? Why not just stick to writing my mysterious scribblings in tiny cursive in personal notebooks?
The thought processes are what has inner value for me. How many others are experiencing similar doubts and concerns? By writing on the Internet or even by writing “books” aren’t we in some way censoring? Where am I going with this, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? Well, do I write differently than I think? When I solidify my thoughts into words, on some level there is a self-censor. I wouldn’t just blurt out deeply unconscious sexual fantasies in the middle of a paragraph.
What if I find myself empowered when I make an aggressive attempt to value qualities and characteristics that are devalued by the corporate “go-getter” mentality? I was born into the middle class, but I dropped out of the middle class and have no desire to be subjected to its value system again … never … for the rest of my life … no ambition, no aspirations to monetize my skills. If the only way to be granted some kind of income for basic sustenance is to submit to the medicalization of my unconventional attitude, then so be it. Call me bipolar. Call me mentally ill. Call me lazy. Call me a bookworm. I don’t give a shit. The tendency to reach for the DSM-IV is standard protocol these days. Labeling those who have clearly nonconformist attitudes as mentally ill imbue conformity with a veneer of medical authority. Like I said, so be it.
If it brings me satisfaction to articulate how well I have wrapped my head around reality, then, granted, ok, it’s therapeutic, but why express these sentiments publicly? Why not just jot them down in some secret magic spell book and burn it when complete? Why publicize one’s private interior reality?
I don’t like to be interrupted when I’m talking to myself. How about this? I’m about to experience a major breakthrough. I am just another character in a dystopian world where billions of dollars are spent to keep the masses distracted with meaningless sporting events, where a renegade thinker has to possess a heroic degree of integrity to stand up to the mob and tell it like it is. What I am trying to access is an intellectual forbidden zone. To be a thought criminal …
The philosophical subversion I invoke is far more significant than any social embarrassment I may suffer as a consequence of unleashing my true feelings in a world of liars and phonies who may be offended by my audacity. I obviously don’t type up my thoughts in order to impress the masses, but merely to leave a message in a bottle that might inspire some lone wolf out there to fight back against the corporate mind fuck. The battleground is the mind.
The reason I refer to myself as a super-genius is clear: I am standing up to the stigma of being labeled mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, or just a weirdo creep. In a society where they are able to fill stadiums filled with gorts cheering over men playing with balls or smashing their brains in or driving cars around in circles, not fitting in with the herd is a sign of merit, nothing to feel ashamed about.
In such a society, being different is equated with being inferior, when nothing could be further from the truth. Where is the truth to be found? I am neither “left” or “right” or “center.”
I am in my own orbit. The only “movement” I feel any connection to is the small (yet global) interconnected circles of lone individuals who get tagged with such labels as nihilists, pessimists, antinatalists, antihumanists, atheists, and other terms that are meant to demean. How about “Philosophers of the Void” – how’s that for a genre?
There is some kind of underground, hidden, natural movement that is happening of its own momentum, and scribbling in journals is what we do. You see, this is a riddle we are living, and some of us are in the know, some of us have figured something out, and this is reflected in how effectively we resist …
When one witnesses that there is a systematic conspiracy against intellectual honesty, this may motivate the renegade thinker to detach from the farce of society, finding more consolation in literature than in phony human society, work, marriage, family, friends, etc.
One might just embrace being a weirdo … I mean … really get into it.
What is there to do with this life but contemplate? I get a certain enjoyment from my own misery, and I have developed the confidence to stare into the abyss, and to overcome delusions, illusions, and hallucinations of security. I don’t need to ask permission to think, and I’ll take my chances with writing in a manner that comes natural to me. I don’t want to read or learn about “how to write science fiction.” I prefer the Beat style, just writing about what actually happens. That’s science-fiction horror enough. Holy shit, the process of applying for an apartment … Like Kafka trying to get into the Castle … all the gatekeepers … maybe it’s just discrimination against a single unemployed isolated twenty-first century schizoid man. Who knows? Most likely. This society has its ways of punishing those who don’t conform to its idiotic norms. I have managed to detach from the values of the hypnotized masses. I get high off thinking … it’s like I have a Dostoevskian protagonist in my head at all times.
Many people who thrive in mainstream corporate culture might read subversive literature and just not get it. Maybe one out of a thousand people get it, and , if you happen to be one of the ones who gets it, even if by society’s meritocracy you are deemed a “loser,” you are actually some kind of unofficial elite …
It’s true, there are those who do well in phony societies, and when they encounter characters such as Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye), Ignatius Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces), Martin Dean (A Fraction of the Whole), or even the classic hyper-sensitive protagonist of Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground, such conformists will gather together and declare smugly just how pathetic Holden, Ignatius, Martin, and the Underground Man are.
The dark satire, the black humor is a consequence of how ridiculous the situation becomes when people of different mindsets interact. People are in different orbits. What one person sees as “failure” or “defeat,” another sees as victory. Some fish brag about how easily they found a position in the net. They even feel superior to those useless fish who are net-shy.
I wish I could verbalize just how I feel in the morning when I open my eyes. I can’t help but wonder how many others feel the same way. Is there a vast conspiracy to make us feel that we are so peculiar? We are bombarded with stupidity that insults our intelligence. No wonder there is so much rage. It is not necessarily a bad thing to become disillusioned or to experience hopelessness to the dregs. When soldiers become disillusioned they become conscientious objectors. Kurt Vonnegut Jr didn’t even carry a weapon in Germany throughout World War II. He was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. How are we expected to lionize those who just follow orders?
Keep your startling and dreadful thoughts to yourself!
I keep a record of how one is processed through the system, how one is barred from the Castle and slandered by the villages who defer to the authority of the officials and the gatekeepers.
Jehova-One Alien Space God says, “Marry and reproduce!”
Could it be possible that I am in the process of resigning from the species and that more servile, less reflective DNA is being encouraged to farm babies for the future work-force? What percentage of the population actually reproduces? Are there zoo-keepers who keep track of such data? A few generations of too many “philosophers of the void” and the species goes extinct. The absurd comedy of reproduction ends. Go team go. Yahoo.
Some people go off the deep end and go on shooting rampages. Some people just give up but just don’t die. I must be eating well since my bowel movements are gargantuan. I spill my seed on the ground. You don’t have to read Schopenhauer and Cioran to come to the conclusions they did. Still, reading such philosophers of the void is most likely much better than getting plastered in a bar. Maybe someone ought to invest in the creation of “thinking bars” where, like in pre-war Germany, people were encouraged to discuss the deep problems … Turn the beer halls into forums for tackling the deep issues, like whether life is even worth living. Turn off the games. Add some lights … have someone on a little stage reading from a book.
Hearken well: “None of us wants to hear spoken the exact anxieties we keep locked up inside ourselves. Smother that urge to go spreading news of your pain and nightmares around town. Be sure to get on with things or we will get on without you.” (Ligotti)
Note: To discover the unconscious, write early in the morning, right after you wake up: a stream of consciousness flow of nonsense, life advice from yourself to yourself, expressions of dread. Tap into the unconscious mind. Writing with ink and paper may be better than typing directly with a keyboad since my relationship with “the demon” is delicate.
It refuses to be subjected to the indignities of judgment and competition. And so I drift and wait …
I suspect that there are many philistines who do not experience too much anguish or perplexity over the deep issues because they don’t think deeply. I really wonder about the values of those who perpetuate the status-quo. My failure to acclimate myself to the norms of our society is a badge of honor.
philistine – a person who is hostile or smugly indifferent to intellectual pursuits or is contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes, i.e., the phonies who fancy themselves “the middle class.”
Philistines … charlatans, frauds, shams, humbugs, phonies, liars, lapdogs, actors reading their scripts, following orders, obeying … those whose entire identity is wrapped up in their social functions. Mind you, reader, that these words I am typing have more to do with my perceptions and feelings than they have to do with actual people. This is how I experience the world as it is, and I even suspect that deep down others experience this world the same way.
Just because an individual has all the socially approved credentials does not mean they are really using their brains much at all. Remember what George Carlin said before he died, that the “owners” want obedient workers just smart enough to operate the machinery and do the paperwork, but not intelligent enough to sit around the kitchen table talking about how they got thrown overboard thirty years ago!
Mass society requires automatons, drones, obedient workers, obedient soldiers, team players who do not think independently … Does civilization require systematic stupidity? Civilization would collapse without stupidity. Were a generation of youth encouraged to develop their powers of perception, their critical thinking skills, and gain confidence in following their thoughts to their conclusions, our current social order would be seriously undermined.
I may have experienced a nervous breakdown a couple of days ago, but after some deep rest, my mind quickly reconstituted. All it took for me to fall off the deep end was not being able to secure a place to live all day: two different apartments in a row in two towns I’ve lived in before and didn’t particularly want to live in again anyway. Still … this triggered a spontaneous drunk which developed into me raging in the woods and fields like an articulate baboon. I staggered around in the woods, laying down on the wet ground every now and then to rest, licking moisture from leaves to relieve my agonizing thirst. I knew better than to wander back into town to rehydrate.
Forget about survival for survival’s sake. I don’t enjoy being alive, and sometimes I feel hypersensitive even in the grip of my own body’s demands. I laid upon the ground wanting to sleep through the anguish. Wherever I go there will be liquor stores and the potential for drunken outbursts followed by panic and anxiety over loss of control. Is there anywhere where I will be able to just calmly endure being alive? Are some of us just wired in such a way that certain environs or situations have these effects on our nervous systems? I doubt there is anywhere I would be content, so I have no choice but to embrace dissatisfaction as the ultimate truth of my existential experience.
In actuality, compared to some people I know, I am keeping my head together fairly well. Some folks are in a Living Hell Inner-Directed Nightmare … madness in epidemic proportions. And yet, there is a thin line between “having a grip on reality” and “being in the grip of intense anxiety”. How to describe the Nightmarish Sensation? Is it possible to be too hypersensitive for most industrialized environments? What is one to do when one experiences the epidemics of madness seeping into their “fragile eggshell minds”? Where is one to hide? We can’t hide from our own bodies, our own minds. Even those who understand that it would be better were we never born do not want to die of hypothermia.
Very vivid dreams. I visualize a memory of the experience, but I am unable to articulate it into alphabetical symbols. It was like a futuristic Steppenwolf (see Hermann Hesse) … strange flutes … an open-air prison environment … railroad train going through forest of huge trees with tall heavy fences higher than the trees … the people all imprisoned even though outdoors.
I awaken with an urge to remove myself from LinkedIn, not even remembering how I became registered with them. Instead of deleting the account, I decided just to fill in some of the corporate-minded fields with the satirical truth. I felt dizzy so I ate three fried eggs and scrapple. I snapped a photo with the webcam and inserted it in a post, Scorning The Corporate Mind Fuck. Then I closed my account with LinkedIn. I don’t want to be linked into that world.
I have to admit that I feel much better not inebriated. Maybe there are only certain situations where alcoholic inebriation would be enjoyable for me … I can’t deny the relief I experience coming to my senses when my head clears up. Just being able to calmly read literature or write a little is a delicate exercise that I tend to under-appreciate. I don’t fathom the complex nerve-endings involved in these processes until I become incapacitated. It’s a strong mental quality to be able to laugh at the Abyss, to face it squarely. All the industries from entertainment to spectator sports to sitting in a bar to dancing in a club – what is it all about if not merely to distract the masses from the fact that there is no purpose to being alive, that there really is nothing to do, and that those who reproduce are following mechanically a blind irrational will or traditions accepted without questioning the purpose of it all?
There is nothing to do once you’ve figured it out, and now you are better able to face the Abyss.
I enjoy writing when I am mildly depressed. Actually, being mildly depressed feels very sane.
I refuse to feel any shame for not following the gortards’ idiotic norms … the mass hypnosis. It is better for me to write in a “diary” than to sit in a theater watching some stupid Hollywood blockbuster.
The optimist’s impatience with or condemnation of pessimism often has a smug macho tone to it (although males have no monopoly of it). There is a scorn for the perceived weakness of the pessimist who should instead ‘grin and bear it’. This view is defective for the same reason that macho views about other kinds of suffering are defective. It is an indifference to or inappropriate denial of suffering, whether one’s own or that of others. The injunction to ‘look on the bright side’ should be greeted with a large dose of both skepticism and cynicism. Cheery optimists have a much less realistic view of themselves than do those who are depressed. ~ David Benatar (Better Never To Have Been)
The perception of reality is called mentally healthy when what the individual sees corresponds to what is actually there. Illusion is defined as a perception that represents what is perceived in a way different from the way it is in reality. An illusion is a false mental image or conception which may be a misinterpretation of a real appearance or may be something imagined. It may be pleasing, harmless, or even useful. (Stein 1982)
Can one ever know reality? What if one can’t handle the truth? What if, in order to protect one’s psyche from fully perceiving a world of DNA run amock, surviving for the sake of surviving, with no purpose whatsoever, blocks out that reality? What if illusion is actually manufactured for the masses intentionally so that they remain distracted chasing things they think they want (like continued existence, a career, an automobile, a mate, offspring, etc)?
As difficult as it may be for some people to admit, most people are not nearly as content as they themselves think they are. In fact, having access to more resources does not necessarily diminish dissatisfaction. It often aggravates dissatisfaction, where one needs more and more distractions in order to maintain illusions of ontological security and personal fulfillment.
Paradoxically, so-called depressed or negative people might be more content and more grounded in reality than those who profess to be happy or positive people. It is quite possible for one to be unrealistically positive.
In contrast to the extremely positive view of the future displayed by normal individuals, mildly depressed people and those with low self-esteem appear to entertain more balanced assessments of their likely future circumstances (Taylor, Brown 1988)
An attribute of many psychologically disturbed people is an inability to monitor reality effectively, and the so-called healthy individual may be portrayed as one who maintains very close contact with reality. Recall Erich Fromm’s work The Sane Society. How ironic that mass hypnosis could bring about a situation where those who see things as they really are most clearly may be viewed as “mentally ill” because they are depressed or don’t want to work or reproduce, while those who are unrealistically optimistic with a positive attitude may have very little contact with actual reality.
To be continued …
Radicalized Gorticide at Not Everyone Works For A Company Gortards
I am just enduring existence, spending most the hours of my days and nights contemplating the absurdity of surviving just for the sake of survival. I find our species to be ridiculously vain, and the whole corporate mind fuck rather insulting to my intelligence.
My Bucket List: To Erase Myself From LinkedIn.
Gorticide has great disdain toward those who uphold the status quo.
Experience: Getting through a life not worth living. My responsibilities? Are you kidding? I just type some ideas up when I feel like it.
Rutgers University-New Brunswick: Computer Science 3.68 of 4.00 with Honors
Brookdale Community College Monmouth County NJ
Associate of Science (A.S.), Dean’s List
I basically just helped fellow students in the Math Lab and got straight A’s … then I became infatuated with a young woman from Costa Rica which motivated me to ask my Nordic concubine to vacate from the historic house we were residing in. Wait … that was in 1995 or so. When I returned in 1998-1999 I just continued to Ace academics but refrained from helping others in the Math Lab!
Interests: I like to write in my diary and I try to sleep as much as possible.
Advice for Contacting Mike H: Leave a comment at xhentric.wordpress.com
That seems to be my final frontier.
Please note that I refuse to validate the corporate gort culture.
To be blunt, I need a place to live. A studio apartment would suffice.
I am a comic philosopher with no credentials … and a Gortbuster Warrior in Limbo.
I don’t do facebook, twitter, or job interviews.
So long, gorts!
What do I expect from life? Tragedy. For whatever reason, writing is an obsession with me … not phony “this is my persona/image” writing, but “this is how I really feel” writing. It can’t hurt to document the inner life of one who has figured out certain riddles, side-stepped certain traps, and stubbornly outsmarted certain evolutionary and social mechanisms.
What’s the story? The story is not what we do with our lives, but what life does with us. I wake up knowing I have to find an affordable apartment soon or else I lose government assistance. There are those who might like to see everyone with rental assistance corralled into work-farms. It was not my goal to end up depending on government assistance, but it is what it is … sooner or later, it just becomes your life. Ride it until the wheels fall off. Welcome to the Twenty First Century, the age of the high-tech low life, more literate than kings and high priests of past eras, but feeling like a deadbeat on account of the metrics that have us rate our value and worth by our income or our position in the “work-force.”
Many people define themselves by their income or by what they “do for a living” – in fact, that is often the first thing people want to know about you: “where do you work?”
You married? Got kids? Where’s your car? Why don’t you own a car?
I define myself as a deep thinker regardless of how I pay the rent, regardless of my personal reaction to being born into mass-industrial society … the machine age run amuck. Stress. Tension. Anxiety.
I don’t require much to be content, but these days, even that is becoming scarce: a place with my own kitchen, my own bathroom, somewhere to store some books and chestfuls of notebooks … The Records of a Steppenwolf. I’ll take what I can get, even some dive on the Jersey Shore, even if all my futile scribblings end up in the Atlantic Ocean as the oceans rise.
The long and short of it is that I have an anti-corporate (BAD) attitude. I’m an extremist nonconformist and a radical philosopher … I lean strongly in the direction of madness. I have basically figured out that all of us, not just myself, would have been better off not being born. Does this imply we all would be better off dead? Possibly but not necessarily.
How can I think this way? Well, as soon as I overcame the fear of public opinion, I broke through to the Dark Side, so to speak. I mean, there never was any real need to decide upon a career, secure a position (JOB), get married and reproduce. All this is obvious to me now, but it wasn’t like this all my life. There were times I had been a nervous wreck. I was concerned about things like, what others think. Forget that stupid shit.
A hostile attitude keeps me from conforming to idiotic norms. It’s good to be able to be carefree, to be a free spirit. It’s a catastrophe to have been born, but now that I am alive, I strongly resist becoming even more ensnared in misery, so I do just enough to get by … to stay alive, to stay dry, and do a lot of contemplating on the futility of the cosmos. No matter who anyone is, they are free to question why the world even exists rather than not. The great thing about thinking is that it does not require anyone else to engage in it with you.
There is this inner dimension to our existence that can’t be measured in terms of monetary value. Since I am drawn to obscure literature, when I write, I expect to have a small audience. In fact, I am surprised when anyone at all is drawn to what I write. I write as an outsider. Some people might say I am a social parasite with a negative attitude. I don’t give a fuck.
I’m disgusted with the corporate overtones of the social networking software that seems to suggest we define ourselves as if the entire world were potential employers and co-workers. Link me up to a barf bag for that pig shit corporate mind fuck. Who the Hell isn’t a “technical writer”? Jeezuz.
Who can I talk to about how I REALLY feel? Now the value of a diary can be appreciated! This is not about entertaining the masses. These diaries are written in cursive … This is the real stuff … another anti-novel by another authentic being who actually exists.
Writing is a great source of revenge!
I want to be a philosopher who can be read like a poet … a rebel monk without a religion, without a god.
“… the only thing I could read was Schopenhauer. Everything else I tried confirmed the feeling of sickness … I always knew he was one of the ones that mattered most to me, and it is a pleasure more real than any pleasure for a long time to begin to understand now why it is so. And it is a pleasure also to find a philosopher that can be read like a poet.” ~ Beckett
I am not enthusiastic about anything. I have to admit that I am nervous about the lack of affordable housing. I purchased twelve special notebooks … that’s about all I can become enthusiastic about … making some kind of breakthrough, not in how I live day to day, but in the style of my writing, in my attitude. I want to be able to write in a more hostile tone. I want to become more negative. No more romantic delusions. No more infatuations. At this point in my life, I want to be able to unload the honest truth, even if it is a bitter truth that stings.
prohibitively expensive – something which costs so much it would prevent most people from being able to do or purchase it.
We are well aware of how prohibitively expensive formal education, high quality marijuana, automobile-dependency, and living indoors is, but have you ever, out of pure curiosity, done a spontaneous search for a book you are hoping exists, and then, when you start to zero in on what that book might be, you discover the price is “prohibitively expensive” – as in, you could never justify the purchase?
[Who are you talking to, Mike?]
[ – It’s called writing, if you don’t mind. I’m “talking” to an imagined audience. It’s how I amuse myself. – ]
Anyway, so there are these areas of interest we may be drawn to, and the texts associated with these interests are extraordinarily high-priced … and the public libraries can’t get them either. You want an example?
Suppose you are obsessed with BLACK HUMOR, i.e., DARK SATIRE, dark comedy … You want to not just read or view examples of it, you want to explore it. This is just one example. We each have our own peculiar obsessions and idiosyncrasies. There is a text called American Dark Comedy: Beyond Satire by Wes D. Gehring. List price: $223; lowest price used: $97.
From Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush to Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Gehring presents a compelling theory of the black comedy film genre. Placing the movies he discusses in a historical and literary context, Gehring explores the genre’s obsession with death and the characters’ failure to be shocked by it. Movies discussed include: Slaughterhouse Five, Catch-22, Clockwork Orange, Harold and Maude, Heathers, and Natural Born Killers.
Notice that most of the films listed above were novels first.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner sells for $177.84 at bn.com. You might get lucky following this link.
I think you might get a better bang for your buck checking out Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s mad scribblings or even John Kennedy Toole’s masterpiece comedy that wasn’t even published until 12 years after his suicide. They might even be at your public fucking library. Maybe you can get them for a few bucks on Amazon DOT COM.
Another thing you might try, when you feel frustrated with not being able to purchase the literature you think you want, wondering if it even exists, is to get yourself a fresh composition notebook and about five decent pens. Just start writing what you think you would like to read. If you dig the kind of stuff Dostoevsky was scribbling in Notes From Underground, then start off like that, just writing about your own anxiety and frustration. Complain to the Abyss. Scream into the Void.
The idea of death consoles me. Thinking about the inevitability of eventually or even quite unexpectedly dying can be a great comfort. In moments of such intimate and private reflections, one becomes the antihero of their own personal anti-novel where there is no need for plots, meaningful insights, or even consistent traits in characters.
I imagine my ancestors encouraging me not to reproduce, to spare future generations from coming to the same conclusions I have. Even my father, who is still among the living, advises me against replicating. Nor did my father ever pressure me to build pyramids for pharaohs. Even though he has devoted most of the days of his life to erecting walk-in freezers for businessmen, he never made me feel obligated to do the same. We know the score. Evolution is not something to be glorified. It is possible to resign from the species.
Now, if someone has mentally resigned from the species, wouldn’t the social pressures such as duty and honor no longer have any influence whatsoever?
Why are there not more antinatalists? The answer: antinatalists tend to reproduce less, if at all … hence, the tendency to be horrified by existence doesn’t get passed along … The Schopenhauers ended with Arthur. The Ciorans ended with Emile. A high degree of intellectual honesty may lead to a kind of insanity. In other words, a certain amount of self-deception and delusion may be necessary for the continuation of our species. It is possible to know too much, to see too clearly, to possess such a high degree of psychic integrity that the ridiculous nature of our predicament becomes overwhelming … and fills us with despair and even panic. When we finally behold certain truths, we may let out the kind of laughter associated with madness.[youtube.com=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjJfHFphLYM]
A leopard doesn’t feel heartbroken by the fact that she can’t be turned into farm equipment. Why would a human being be ashamed of having an “unemployable personality”?
A tree with a knot in it can’t be turned into lumber, so it is considered “useless” – it can’t be used.
I want to be like a leopard to the farmer. I want to be a tree with a knot in it, a knot so thick that it breaks chainsaws.
I will be the useless intellectual to the captains of industry.
Touché, Broken Spirit. Touché, indeed.
Okay, now, I don’t usually do this – including a huge blast of insight from another person from a message board, although I did include several such excerpts in the manifesto 2 (Nat and a woman named Nathaniel Katz (Evil Clown at The Hat Rack) and a woman named Nicole Cushing (nicolecushing.wordpress.com : Laughing At The Abyss)), but I feel compelled to place this here, just in case the whywork.org forum should vanish again. Stranger things have happened, eg: gortbusters.org, isis.phpbb3now.com, etc.
Local Search at whywork.org/forum for ‘drooling fish’ posted by ‘Drift’.
I don’t see much change in the future. If anything, my attitude against jobs has hardened recently. I ** LOVE ** being on the dole, and will do all I legally can to avoid work. The only work I would consider is creative mind-work such as photography or writing.
Normally, the Jobcentre will only send you on a course after you have been claiming for a year and a half. I’ve been on two such courses. A month ago I completed the great Government initiative — a thirteen week programme of “Intensive Activity” designed to push me into a meaningless drudge job with no extra pay (a “placement”). The scheme was run by a nearby council which failed to place me. I just sat in the office, talking and reading magazines.
Here are some tips for avoiding work without being penalised:
1. Apply for exactly the number of jobs your advisor demanded. No more. No less. This has two advantages: (a) You’ll still get your wad of readies; and (ii) You won’t look more keen than you need to be. If you did, this might encourage the Jobcentre to be more helpful than you necessarily want.
2. Make sure you fill in your jobsearch booklet. This is your “proof” that you have been looking for work. Some unscrupulous characters have been known to make up their job search and write it in this booklet. They falsely claim they visited corkinglygoodjobs.com and went nowhere near sweatygentsinshorts.net. Still, they get away with it, sometimes for years.
3. If you apply for specific jobs from, say a newspaper or the “Job points”, your advisor is less likely to make you apply for vacancies from the system. This is important because:
4. If they ask you to apply for a job from their system (i.e. they give you a printout), they’ll make you apply for it. If you don’t they might stop your dole. A couple of years ago they did this to me because I wasn’t ready with a good excuse (I’d lost the piece of paper under the armchair). Good excuses include: “Oh, I forgot,” and, “My mother vomited on it.” Remember though, you only have to apply for it, you don’t actually have to go to an interview. You can get away with turning down at least a couple of interviews. Just tell the Jobcentre that you felt a bit ill on the day, having, the previous evening, downed eleven pints of Scugdale’s Brain-Immobiliser.
5. If you do inadvertently get to an interview, you should subtly draw attention to, for example, your lack of experience, your travel difficulties, or your abundant flatulence. Opinion is divided on the subject of smiling. Some say you shouldn’t smile at all. Others say you should smile broadly and constantly, especially if you don’t have any teeth. There is a third way, which is to alternate rapidly between smiling and frowning while staring intently at the interviewer, but this takes practice and can lead to spasming, cramping and, in rare instances, excessive tensioning of the facial muscles. In one famous case, an over-enthusiastic candidate wound his muscles tighter and tighter until eventually they snapped, flinging his face across the room and into the employer’s potato salad. Not only did the candidate get his benefit stopped for attempting to chow down on the boss’s nosh, but he suffered the additional humiliation of an appearance in the News of the World under the headline, “Packed Lunch Ate My Face.”
6. A better tack is to avoid getting an interview in the first place by taking care with your CV. Long gaps in employment almost always reduce your chances of being hired. In addition, a liberal sprinkling of terms like, “angry”, “nausea”, and “violent, jerking chicken impressions,” can help no end.
7. Use a neatly hand-written envelope and a carefully-placed second class stamp.
8. If the worst comes to the worst and you actually get a job, you must deploy the only weapon that remains: Mind-boggling incompetence. You can’t be subtle about this. Many employees are bumbling fools, yet few are fired for such idiocy. If you are merely bad, they’ll just give you a crap pay rise, or give you the most boring tasks, hoping you’ll leave of your own accord. So you have to be jaw-gapingly stupid. As this must also appear natural, you have to start from day one. Even this may not be enough. In my previous job as a programmer, for example, I sat at my computer for each entire day, staring at the screen, glassy-eyed, blankly scrolling the window up and down, drooling delicately over the keyboard and occasionally blurting out, “I like fish!” Not once was I seen to add a line of code. I was bad. Very bad. Eventually, even the caretaker noticed. My supervisor had originally instructed me to complete the task in four weeks. Ten months later I moved to another company, still with the task unfinished. Insanely, they hadn’t sacked me. They were already haemorrhaging programmers and had given me the benefit of the doubt in the futile hope I might finally do something. As an aside, a friend of mine demonstrated a way of attempting to be fired that I wouldn’t recommend. He worked in a local crisp factory, operating a machine that filled bags with crisps. Frequently, he and his co-workers would consume large amounts of garlic, stilton cheese, and boiled eggs. Then they would compete to see how many open bags they could burp into before sealing and sending on for distribution. When this practice was discovered, he was identified as ringleader and moved to administrative duties. So you see how difficult it is to get dismissed. Best not to get to this stage in the first place.
Best Post Ever on the legendary forums at whywork.org/forum.
As Mattius said, Pure GOLD.
Some people hear their inner voices with great clearness, and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy … or they become legend. They won’t be using my sperm to create an army of slaves – that’s for damn sure.
The Liberation of Psyche From the Constraints of Polite Society, Political Correctness, Science, Religion, et al.
PSYCHIC REVOLT: Resting Calmly in Perplexity
By Chapter IX, titled The Scientific Basis of Pessimism (B) The Pessimist’s Interpretation of Mind, beginning on p.206 of the 477 paged work, Pessimism: A History and A Criticism (circa 1877), James Sully admits that his main goal and purpose is to show that “there is no scientific evidence for the existence of will as a moving principle in physical nature.” Sully is determined to comfort humanity by undermining and destroying the principle of the Will-to-live, the “unhappy principle” – as Sully calls it. It’s as though he were protecting children (the students of life) from the bogeyman, that mean old grouchy all-too-melancholy sour kraut, Arthur Schopenhauer, sent from the nether regions to upset mankind’s belief that life is alright, that being alive is inherently good, an absolute miracle, in fact.
First our protective Sully claims there is NO EVIDENCE for the existence of WILL as a “moving principle in physical nature.” Then he concedes, “At most it has a limited existence.”
Is Sully suggesting that the Will-to-live is some kind of OCCULT ESSENCE? He is using the term, “science,” to invalidate the intuitive understanding of what Schopenhauer calls the Will-to-live. Actually , he uses three magic words: the modern science of psychology.
Franz Brentano and his pupil, Edmund Husserl, maintained that the natural sciences could only yield hypotheses and never absolute truths. Brentano attempted to develop an exact science of psychic phenomena. Husserl, his student, attempted to develop a “Science of the Mind” in Phenomenology. The basis for these sciences? INNER PERCEPTION.
This was exactly the point that Sully bases his so-called fatal attack: “The manner in which Schopenhauer assumes, without the least investigation into the matter, that by simple introspection we may reach a sub-phenomenal reality in the shape of the will.”
And yet we experience our animal bodies as manifestations of this very Will! We are the manifestation of orgasm. Our teeth and stomachs are the objectification of hunger, appetite. When instinctive impulses are not immediately satisfied, this is a state of unrest and craving … dis-ease. We are anthropomorphicized Will.
One of the many obscure texts I had abandoned when I went out West was Dermot Moran’s Introduction to Phenomenology, circa 2000. This is where I first learned about Franz Brentano. At the time of this typing, there is a pdf version of the text available online:
Phenomenology as initially understood by Husserl meant DESCRIPTIVE PSYCHOLOGY and had its origins in Brentano.
Philosophy consists in description and not causal explanation. Philosophy is the description of what is given in direct self-evidence (Evidenz).
Franz Brentano attempted to rethink psychology as a science. He proposed concentrating on illuminating the nature of inner “self-awares” acts of cognition without appealing to genetic explanation. Brentano was proposing a kind of philosophical psychology, or a philosophy of mind. In his lectures on Descriptive Psychology (1889, hence a contemporary of James Sully), Brentano employed the phrase “descriptive psychology or descriptive phenomenology.”
This is an a priori science of the laws of THE MENTAL, identifying universal laws on the basis of insight into individual instances. Brentano denies the possibility of purely UNCONSCIOUS MENTAL ACTS.
Right from the outset, Husserl laid great stress on phenomenology’s Principle of Presuppositionlessness; that is, the claim to have discarded philosophical theorizing in favor of careful description of phenomena themselves, to be ATTENTIVE only to what is given in INTUITION. (Moran 2000)
Every act of knowledge is legitimized by “originary presentive intuition” – originar gebende Anschauung. This concept of ORIGINARY PRESENTIVE INTUITION is at the core of Husserl’s philosophy.
Now, the word intuition comes form the Latin intuir, which means “knowledge from within.” Isn’t this at the very root of James Sully’s so-called undermining of Schopenhauer’s quasi-mystical elaboration of the WILL-TO-LIVE as the hypostasis of reality? Today, in 2014, Cognitive Scientists think of intuition as a set of NONCONSCIOUS COGNITIVE PROCESSES.
What is the difference between “unconscious mental acts” and “nonconscious cognitive processes”?
Isn’t this just contemporary technical jargon for the deus de machina, the Unconscious? (UNCONSCIOUS WILL)
Every living creature behaves exactly in conformity with Schopenhauer’s philosophy. Whatever we call it, the Will, anima mundi, the World Soul, physiological or psychological processes (nonconscious cognitive processes), Nature, etc., organisms are compelled by an occult master force to survive and reproduce, no different than science-fictional phenomena such as The Thing or The Body Snatchers.
The real source of life’s misery would be this essentially unconscious longing (and consequently dissatisfaction) inherent in self-preservation. Life is nasty. We don’t need labs, priests, or universities to validate life’s nastiness. We feel it in our intestines.
In 1877, James Sully wrote that the first fundamental objection to Arthur Schopenhauer’s world-principle is that it is inconceivable. “Will, in the abstract, is wholly unthinkable.”
The inexpressible is not the unthinkable. Is it necessary to be able to articulate our deepest thoughts?
We cannot explain the whence, the whither, or the wherefore. We can only try to explain what is, not why or how it is. Sully accused Schopenhauer’s position of being quite untenable.
“In the Idea which is at once both will and representation, the Ding en sich is said to know itself as object.”
Inconceivability. Schopenhauer was attempting to, not so much explain fundamental riddles and inpenetrable mysteries, but to contemplate them, to inspect and investigate the very problem of existence itself. The mere attempt to even just contemplate such phenomena does not have to be a frustrating endeavor. The striving to get to THE HEART OF THE MATTER… to be stirred by a longing that compels this strange ape to WONDER … this brings the deep thinker closer to all the ancestors who ever gazed up into the stars or suffered from hunger pangs, a tooth ache, love-sickness, or just a sense of the absurdity of there being a world rather than there not being anything at all…
Ligotti points to Peter Wessel Zapffe as the honest thinker to investigate, but Zapffe’s work is nearly impossible to track down. It is not translated into English. Zapffe’s thought, says Ligotti, is the most elementary in the history of philosophical pessimism. His thought shuns the profound and difficult to understand BRAIN TWISTERS (that are complicated and intricately involved) as something to be avoided.
Even though Ligotti has many praises for Schopenhauer, acknowledging that his two-volumed (1819 and 1844) The World as Will and Representation lays out “one of the most absorbingly intricate metaphysical systems ever contrived,” he does seem to warn us that ” … a quasi-mystical elaboration of a ‘Will-to-live’ as the hypostasis of reality, a mindless and uniting master of all being, a directionless force that makes everything do what it does …” proves to be nothing more than another intellectual labyrinth for specialists in perplexity.
Zapffe’s principles, by contrast, are non-technical, shunning theories and focusing more on the brute facts of our LIVED EXPERIENCE. Emile Cioran also rejects the compulsion to systematize thought, choosing instead, to break thought down to what can be whispered into the ear of a dying man, or spoken loudly to a drunkard.
In the end, Schopenhauer’s thought is an elaborate construct for THE END OF HUMAN EXISTENCE. Point blank. Bottom line: Stop reproducing and this absurd comedy will be no more.
Life itself is a cosmic accident, a great blunder. This makes sense of the conundrum that life itself makes no sense whatsoever. We can feel this in our bones. In a novel titled At the Mountains of Madness (1936), HP Lovecraft has one of his characters mention a PRIMAL MYTH about Great Old Ones who filtered down from the stars and CONCOCTED LIFE ON EARTH AS A JOKE OR A MISTAKE.
Once Schopenhauer had drafted his mythology that “everything in the universe is energized by a Will-to-live,” he shifted away from brain-twisting perplexity to the far more easily understood variety of pessimism we encounter today, i.e., “Life sucks.”
What is the ultimate aim of all this striving? I’m hungry so I eat, yes, that is why I eat, because I am hungry, but what is the ultimate aim? Existence is a state of demonic mania, with the WILL-TO-LIVE as the POSSESSING SPIRIT of tormented individual creatures. (Ligotti 2011)
Trying “not to know” these things may be the common-sense tendency since life depends upon us not knowing it very well. Is it a mere coincidence that, in the creation myth of the ancient Hebrews, knowledge is the forbidden fruit? If the individuated creature figures out the riddle of existence … then what? Nothingness? Non-being?
Isn’t it uncanny that some people say, “I’m not trying to know that shit!”?
They don’t want to know that life is an accident of cosmic proportions. They want to believe otherwise, that there is some kind of Grand Plan and Purpose.
What do you think? Better yet, what do you feel in your bones?