(im)potentiality

Repost from AU : grim christmas-worthy madness

(im)potentiality by Adam Lovasz, author of Tracing the Inoperative.

Violence is a natural consequence of language in the Buddhist and deconstructionist viewpoint; Jacques Derrida and Nagarjuna both teach, in their own ways, that nonviolence and language are mutually exclusionary categories. Nonviolence begins where actants reject the coming-to-actuality of language. There is no more stringent ethical imperative than the injunction to abandon language and embrace the apotheosis of meaninglessness: silence. Silence is language that has been relegated to potentiality. Silence resists the urge to break forth to the surface and engage in activity. Every single actant is unified by the certainty of death. Acceptance, as outlined by Ludwig Wittgenstein, is the logical method of absolute negation:
The propositions of logic demonstrate the logical properties of propositions by combining them so as to form propositions that say nothing. This method could also be called a zero-method.”

..:I’m testing the waters of indie publishing with the paperback of TtI, a journal sometime in spring, and some poem tomes on a vanity label called Void Front. A website coming soon, accepting submissions? Anyone want to write a book?

20 responses to “(im)potentiality

  1. for Derrida the was no (living) way out of language/meaning and language is not a cause of violence in buddhisms that I’ve known, as for Wittgenstein he wasn’t interested in negation (in some hegelian way) for its own sake, he was for getting on with life and being as free as we can be of the bewitching effects/affects of grammar.

    • Not a phys violence for sure, but near constant repetition of the dangers of utilising language as the only connecting component between “souls” is everywhere in at least the esoteric end, often suggestive that relying on that as the only possibility inevitably leads to or is equivalent to a kind of emotional or mental violence on the other. As for Witt I’ve only slightly read but that^ reading of the Buddhism/language but would coincide, also coincide with, say stoicism or whatever. The negation he was interested in would be the negation of those effects, the negation of negation or something maybe. I dunno. A sort of sense that nihilism somehow fails if it only reaches the bottom and refuses to negate the bottom. Which is my main problem with D, a refusal at the end of the day to keep deconstructing until there is nothing left to deconstruct without constructing something new to take apart, and doing that instead of stopping. I’m just rambling though, really. I JUST LIKE OBNOXIOUSLY DARK SHIT BRO. Haha…

      • later in his life Derrida does make an unfortunate (perhaps Levinasian) move to something like deconstruction being a sort of stripping away in preparation for the coming of im-possible things (that as John Caputo puts it the true things Love, Gifts, etc are the impossible ones) now if he meant that literally (as I feared he did) or more as an almost Whiteheadian lure to keep us striving I don’t know. As I said Wittgenstein was trying to work our imaginations in ways that would free us from getting meta-physical from worshiping/reifying figures of speech and such but than to return us to everyday life. Nihilism isn’t an achievement (nor a kind of cleansing/purification) and it doesn’t free us from meaning-making, at best we come to some occasional understanding/re-minder that there is no Meaning to Existence and no answers/solutions to being human.

    • My own view on deconstructionism would be that it is a necessary stage in the burning-away of impurities. You’re absolutely right in calling out the self-referential nature of much of deconstructionism. In my own view, it is, ideally, part of a broader process of creating the detachment necessary for spiritual fulfillment. The trouble with affirmative views, such as the standard reading of, say, Buddhist “nirvana” as being a final state of freedom, is that there is no guaranteeing that this freedom is truly the last one, the final state in a long chain of states. There is always parinirvana, mahaprinirvana and who knows what else waiting for the seeker after nirvana, i.e. a freedom that is “freer” than the actual state of freedom. This is a trap. True nihilism must negate even itself in order to truly go beyond dualisms such as “good” and “evil”. Wittgenstein’s final destination is “silence”, a complete negation that, crucially, does not foreclose our ability to speak, continue writing, manufacturing discourse. Wittgensteinian “silence”, according to my limited understanding of his work, is a kind of “unworking” or “worklessness” in the sense used by Jean-Luc Nancy or the “automatic writing” of the Surrealists and Maurice Blanchot, to note just two analogies. Giorgio Agamben’s “coming community” also springs to mind, as well as certain monastic orders that take vows of silence. This is not the absence of discourse or activity, but the removal of attachment to discourse, even attachment to one’s own words. So I definitely wouldn’t consider deconstruction as something more than a sort of tool in the interests of going above and beyond dualities.

      • sure lots of folks (including Zizek) seek to revive judeochristianist theo-logoi, a world better lost for those of us of who dwell in the wake of nihilism, for better or worse we are a tiny fringe minority and aren’t opposed to making political alliances with folks like yourself when our interests overlap, we just don’t share the imaginal leaps of faith (no ways out of being alltoohuman, the buzzing blooming con-fusions if you will), must say tho that you have missed the boat on Wittgenstein who wasn’t seeking Silence or anything else meta-physical, he just wanted to get on with things…

      • It’s not really metaphysics. It would be misleading if I gave that impression. In the view of non-oriented-ontology there is no “other side” to cross over to because there is nothing to transcend in the first place. N.O.O. is more like a sort of non-ontology or anti-realism, definitely not an onto-theology in the Heideggerian mould. Francois Laruelle’s nonphilosophy could be an analogue to what I am trying to do.

      • “must negate even itself in order to truly go beyond dualisms such as “good” and “evil”. Wittgenstein’s final destination is “silence”, a complete negation” doesn’t sound like a physical possibility so in that sense seems meta-physical. be interested to see where this line of though takes you, if you have any how-to experiments to share that would be most welcome.

  2. Also, and however, as much as I’m totally geeking out over Adam’s writings, he scrapes edges I’ve no real desire to even touch quite often, and I often finding myself tensing up at a statement before finding it wrapped up more nicely a little further on. I also don’t even nearly 100% agree with everything he says, but I do agree with enough I’m content letting him talk abortion on my wall haha…in the book he riffs on male fraternities in a positive light which truly made me worry that this was where I was getting off the crazy train, but it came back around to a (reasonable in the context of utter destruction made real) “reasonable” conclusion that we just can’t -focus- on the dissolution of problematic frats without approaching weirdly fascist moments, situations where taking various ideas to their logical conclusion means death to everyone yet again and again…he is a weird guy for sure, almost reminds me of Edgar Saltus in a way, but that may be because I read Anatomy of Negation directly before starting his work.

  3. There is also the view I definitively share with the guy, that an experience of the “mystical” or a phenomenological account of direct experience of the noumenous

    (there is that unfortunate mystical word again, maybe I can begin replacing these concepts in my vocabulary with Gabriel Catren’s “phenoumenological” terminology)

    is a {{direct pre-condition}} for these strange overturns
    “at the “end” of nihilism”
    or what Micheal referred to as a “zero-point” experience
    and if you compare most mystical accounts, god, love, void, “impossible things” seem to come to dominate every account with damn near 100% coverage. Whether all of this is merely pure hallucination or not, this is where I find myself obsessed and routinely espousing heretical thoughts 😛

    • how do you know that these are direct experiences of the “noumenous” and not just noumenous experiences (like with drug induced hallucinations), and don’t such experiences generally come with feelings of inflated (even godlike) senses of some underlying/overarching Meaning?

      • You could totally be right, but what is the difference if the outcome which is often experienced as incredibly positive is reliably similar and often causes large scale positive behaviour change? This is definitely the centerpoint of the book I’m working on, and I treat the “zero point” as the point when your default mode network is triggered into (at least) a simulation of being disconnected from the task-positive network. Really waiting on Shaviro’s Discognition book, I feel like it is going to be a pretty big deal in this area.

        • well in part I have an interest in what’s real and what’s not but also this ” often causes large scale positive behaviour change” is dubious both statistically and also just in terms of how hard it is to make even minor changes in behavior/habits. Post-nihilism isn’t a kind of via negativa it’s in part an understanding that there is no Way out of being alltoohuman.

          • I should rephrase, as you’re right – reliably generating good behaviour is inaccurate, I should have said reliably generates a modulation of subjectivity in the subject that is remarkably similar across the widest variations of time space and ideology.

            • I see, perhaps, my own experiences, readings and interviews point to a wide variety of experiences (experiences being with/in the life-flows of particular individuals and so particular) but would welcome any how-to directions you might offer folks here, thanks

              • By similarity I mean they, regardless of ideology seem to result in breakthroughs outside of dogma into a generative intuitive space, so…not a limit, but a hatching. Not looking at the content but the construction. I’m not saying the subject matter isn’t as unique as the individual, just that there are components which ring true across various exps such as a hard breakdowns of subject/object separation, void/ocean/desert/space/openness zones balanced against labyrinthine structures, washes of symbolism pertinent to the experiencer etc. As much as I hate recommending something I contributed to, the black metal theory Mors Mystica book is basically 15 reasonably academic essays about how this “thing” happened to them and how they interpreted it through they way others interpreted their similar moments. What I thought was more interesting than each individual story was how cohesive it all was in the sense of similar components, and two of the essays explicitly delve into the neurosci of this, regarding the functional uncoupling of the brain systems in charge of self and working memory from parietal structures like the thalamus and reflex zones etc.

  4. To re-express some thoughts in light of this train….my using of the term mystical could count as a type of violence in the sense that I’m fully aware of how many misleading connotations it has in the minds of most but I also felt for a long time it to be one of the more accurate descriptors. After reading Catren, I’m not convinced of a single bit of its accuracy, except in that it MAY lead to a more accurate perception of SOME of the discourse.

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