Mad Speculations of Becoming

The question remains one of how exactly the hallucinatory activity of cognition can best adapt to the black chaotic assemblages of contemporary forces.
Excerpts from Ben Woodard’s “Mad Speculation and Absolute Inhumanism: Lovecraft, Ligotti, and the Weirding of Philosophy” (2011): 
In rejecting the Kantian apparatus we are left with two entities – an unsure relation of thought to reality where thought is susceptible to internal and external breakdown and a reality with an uncertain sense of stability…
Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalysis is a combination and reversal of Kant’s split, where an aesthetic overengagement with the world entails prolific conceptual invention. Their embrace of madness, however, is of course itself conceptual despite all their rhizomatic maneuvers. Though they move with the energy of madness, Deleuze and Guattari save the capacity of thought from the fangs of insanity by imbuing materiality itself with the capacity for thought. Or, as Ray Brassier puts it, “Deleuze insists, it is necessary to absolutize the immanence of this world in such a way as to dissolve the transcendent disjunction between things as we know them and as they are in themselves”…
Speculation, as a particularly useful form of madness, might fall close to Deleuze and Guattari’s shaping of philosophy into a concept producing machine but is different in that it is potentially self destructive – less reliant on the stability of its own concepts and more adherent to exposing a particular horrifying swath of reality. Speculative madness is always a potential disaster in that it acknowledges little more than its own speculative power with the hope that the gibbering of at least a handful of hysterical brains will be useful…
Without the sobriety of the principle of sufficient reason (following Meillassoux) we have a world of neon madness: “we would have to conceive what our life would be if all the movements of the earth, all the noises of the earth, all the smells, the tastes, all the light – of the earth and elsewhere, came to us in a moment, in an instant – like an atrocious screaming tumult of things” (104).
***
Bataille suggests that there is an immanence between the eater and the eaten, across the species and never within them. That is, despite the chaotic storm of immanence there must remain some capacity to distinguish the gradients of becoming without reliance upon, or at least total dependence upon, the powers of intellection to parse the universe into recognizable bits, properly digestible factoids. That is, if we undo Deleuze’s aforementioned valorization of sense which, for his variation of materialism, performed the work of the transcendental, but refuse to reinstate Kant’s transcendental disjunction between thing and appearance, then it must be a quality of becoming-as-being itself which can account for the discernible nature of things by sense.
In an interview with Peter Gratton, Jane Bennett formulates the problem thusly:
What is this strange systematicity proper to a world of Becoming? What, for example, initiates this congealing that will undo itself? Is it possible to identify phases within this formativity, plateaus of differentiation? If so, do the phases/plateaus follow a temporal sequence? Or, does the process of formation inside Becoming require us to theorize a non-chronological kind of time? I think that your student’s question: “How can we account for something like iterable structures in an assemblage theory?” is exactly the right question (“Vibrant Matters”).
Philosophy has erred too far on the side of the subject in the subject-object relation and has furthermore, lost the very weirdness of the non-human. Beyond this, the madness of thought need not override.

5 responses to “Mad Speculations of Becoming

  1. Like. But I would say a rejection of Kant is already a conceptual imbalance based in a Kierkegaardian either/or, which is, through misunderstanding, really the move of ideological consolidation. As you show by your essay, this consolidation cannot be removed but perpetually reestablishes the ideological domain through the creative recourse.

    The postmodern ideal that no one can really understand subjectivity, and that subjectivity and interpretation are the ultimate basis of the real human being, is a modern religious theology.

    In the same way that we can point to various historical errors which are dominated by a particular institutional religious faction, say Catholicism or Roman Catholicism or Persian Zoroastrianism, or Egyptian pre-Muslim or whatever we want to say about those particular religious ideological structures —. What is routinely missed when we point out those structures as an indication that are thinking right now is progressed or has come to a larger conclusion about what is actually occurring in the human being or four of the world or however we want to put it, misses the fact that such either or ideological methods function to consolidate the ideology itself into a religious structure.

    This is why right now we can say that such postmodern kind of ideals that say that no one is allowed to get out of the political ideological relativity, is a theological dogma that is not based in what is actually occurring for the human being.

    But I like your essay. 🤘🏾

    • ….I feel that these philosophical mediations nearly perpetuate the faith.

      I think a proper reading of Kierkegaard would have us understand that we need a clean break. Hegalian-type Philosophy which replicates itself through the next 150 years under various names and headings, Merlis serve to show that we are involved in accounting and type of enlightenment way of understanding the “true-reality”.

      The clean break just says OK I can see your tradition-based philosophical point; so here now we are going to talking about what is true of the situation.

      • … I mean, of course if we’re talking about “becoming”, and then we preface it while following up to say, oh well we are really trying to link up with various discourses about becoming, then sure we can say anything we want and it’s good . I mean, what is really the difference between that and talking about how my chakras might inform my relationship to Cali and how that relates to low-key and the horn to God of wicker and the devil in the desert with Jesus Christ ? very creative for sure and interesting in that respect.

        But what is it really saying except that we can be all sorts of creative? I think because that’s exactly what it’s saying is it’s placing the subject of the particular ideology in a real world. And what is that for a different set of terms: it is nothing less than a religious cosmology.

        I’d say that the sinner of medieval Europe was in a no different place than we are right now to say or to consider what becoming might be in modern reality. We are doing the exact same thing: placing our subjectivity our humanity in a context of justification for the world.

        I suppose I’m saying that while it is interesting, I’m not that interested in myself to be that creative.😆. OK I’m done I really love the essay though it was cool I like this guy that writes these things.

  2. Pingback: Mad Speculations of Becoming — synthetic zerø – アズイフ? まるで? COMME SI? ALS OB? AS IF?·

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