“No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

Vladimir Nabokov
 

…Sickness is something I understand. My corpse trembles in a euphoria of allergy each day that it drags itself across the surface of the earth. The weather ravages me, my joints become inflamed, ankylose, my lungs are shredded and torched to the point that they scarcely resist any longer, my skin is greenish pale, and the sockets of my eyes are withdrawn into black pits of foulness. As for my nervous-system—charred and three- quarters unstrung—that is my true pathological exhibit. No movement that does not seem like the twitching of an animal tortured to the brink of collapse, no thought that is not an experiment in damnation. Between ecstasy and torment there is no longer an interval of moderation; there is not even an alteration. I writhe on the spit of a devastated vitality, laughing with hunger for each ratcheting of descent…

—Nick Land

Learning surrenders control to the future, threatening established power. It is vigorously suppressed by all political structures, which replace it with a docilizing and conformist education, reproducing privilege as wisdom. Schools are social devices whose specific function is to incapicitate learning, and universities are employed to legitimate schooling through perpetual reconstitution of global social memory.   -Nick Land

For us, eating and being eaten belong to the terrible secret of love. We love only the person we can eat. The person we hate we ‘can’t swallow.’ That one makes us vomit. Even our friends are inedible. If we were asked to dig into our friend’s flesh we would be disgusted. The person we love we dream only of eating. That is, we slide down that razor’s edge of ambivalence. The story of torment itself is a very beautiful one. Because loving is wanting and being able to eat up and yet to stop at the boundary. And there, at the tiniest beat between springing and stopping, in rushes fear. The spring is already in mid-air. The heart stops. The heart takes off again. Everything in love is oriented towards this absorption. At the same time real love is a don’t-touch, yet still an almost-touching. Tact itself: a phantom touching. Eat me up, my love, or else I’m going to eat you up. Fear of eating, fear of the edible, fear on the part of the one of them who feels loved, desired, who wants to be loved, desired, who desires to be desired, who knows there is no greater proof of love than the other’s appetite, who is dying to be eaten up, who says or doesn’t say, but who signifies: I beg you, eat me up. Want me down to the marrow. And yet manage it so as to keep me alive. But I often turn about or compromise, because I know that you won’t eat me up, in the end, and I urge you: bite me. Sign my death with your teeth.

— The Love of the Wolf // Hélène Cixous

Postmodernity is said to be a culture of fragmentary sensations, eclectic nostalgia, disposable simulacra, and promiscuous superficiality, in which the traditionally valued qualities of depth, coherence, meaning, originality, and authenticity are evacuated or dissolved amid the random swirl of empty signals.

Jean Baudrillard

It is very easy to buy Americans. The mention of money brightens them like a shot of drugs. It is not just the poverty; they were always like this, even when they were rich. It is the effect of spiritual emptiness in the very guts of the West, which no amount of Coca-Cola seems able to fill.

—Bruce Sterling

[I]n Nietzsche, individualism is accompanied by a lively critique of the notions of “self” and “I.” For Nietzsche there is a kind of dissolution of the self. The reaction against oppressive structures is no longer done, for him, in the name of a “self” or an “I.” On the contrary, it is as though the “self” and the “I” were accomplices of those structures.

—Gilles Deleuze

The young generation is a product par excellence of modern society, whether it chooses integration into it or the most radical rejection of it. What is surprising is not that youth is in revolt, but that “adults” are so resigned. But the reason for this is historical, not biological: the previous generation lived through all the defeats and swallowed all the lies of the long, shameful disintegration of the revolutionary movement.

—On the Poverty of Student Life
For the student cannot revolt against anything without revolting against his studies, though the necessity of this revolt is felt less naturally by him than by the worker, who spontaneously revolts against his condition as worker. But the student is a product of modern society just like Godard and Coca-Cola. His extreme alienation can be contested only through a contestation of the entire society.

—On the Poverty of Student Life

“The paradox of doing without exerting effort, responding without being disturbed, possessing by letting go, and assertion by remaining still….”

“There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbors will say.”
Cyril Connolly

“You’re obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you think absurd. You live attached in a cowardly fashion to moral and social conventions you despise, condemn and know lack all foundation. It is that permanent contradiction between your ideas and desires and all the dead formalities and vain pretenses of your civilization which makes you sad, troubled and unbalanced. In that intolerable conflict you lose all joy of life and all feeling of personality, because at every moment they suppress and restrain and check the free play of your powers. That’s the poisoned and mortal wound of the civilized world.”

Octave Mirbeau

“Sheep run to the slaughterhouse, silent and hopeless, but at least sheep never vote for the butcher who kills them or the people who devour them. More beastly than any beast, more sheepish than any sheep, the voter names his own executioner and chooses his own devourer, and for this precious “right” a revolution was fought.”

Octave Mirbeau

“We think that a man who does evil to us and to his neighbours must be very evil. So he is, from a social standpoint; but can’t you realize that Evil in its essence is a lonely thing, a passion of the solitary, individual soul?…It appears to me that it is simply an attempt to penetrate into another and higher sphere in a forbidden manner…Sin is an effort to gain the ecstasy and knowledge that pertain alone to angels, and in making this effort man becomes a demon.”

Arthur Machen

“You know the typical crowd, “Wow, it’s Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?” Well, yeah. Because there’s nothing out there. It’s stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves.”

— Charles Bukowski

“The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas.”

“There are several dimensions to [Nietzsche’s] critique. At one level he sees Christianity as a “slave revolt” against the aristocratic ethos of the ancient world. This inversion occurred as Judea (in the figure of Paul) triumphed in imposing its morality on Rome. Through this inversion, the empire’s “chandala class”—its wretched, enslaved masses—succeeded in dethroning the aristocracy’s virile morality and establishing its democratic reign of homo vulgaris. This made Christianity an “anti-Aryan”—an anti-noble—religion of the weak, a “herd” religion that, in the name of morality, anathematized the superior traditions of the Ancients. In this spirit, it spurned paganism’s tragic sense of life, which accepted the harsh, cruel, amoral character of the world and, in face of it, exalted the self-affirming values of strength and vitality.

What was reverenced in the Christian God, Nietzsche claims, wasn’t even “godlike … but a crime against life.” Following the collapse of aristocratic paganism, the ancient hierarchical values were not merely forced to cede to the resentful egalitarian values of the Church. The world itself, as cosmos, was desacralized. Positing one God who created and knows all things, the Christian concept of the sacred (which the pagan saw as immanent) was henceforth dispensed to a distant, otherworldly divinity. This privileged man’s individual moral relationship to God, not his place in a cosmos whose order reflected his higher ideals. “The weak, base, and ill-constituted,” who needed this otherworldly God, before whom all could and must be equal, also needed another world to compensate for the injustices of this world. God’s heavenly realm was thus situated in opposition to the existing world. By placing its highest values—God, Truth, Salvation—in an afterlife, Nietzsche argues that Christianity ended up negating real life. For this projection of hope beyond life denigrated earthly existence, making the Christian indifferent to the ascending forces that are life’s essence.”

–Michael O’Meara,

“Schopenhauer, in his opinion, came nearer to the truth. His doctrine and the Church’s started from a common point of view; he too took his stand on the iniquity and rottenness of the world; he too cried out in anguish with the Imitation of Christ:5 ‘Verily it is a pitiful thing to live on earth!’ He too preached the nullity of existence, the advantages of solitude, and warned humanity that whatever it did, whichever way it turned, it would always remain unhappy – the poor because of the sufferings born of privation, the rich because of the unconquerable boredom engendered by abundance.

The difference between them was that he offered you no panacea, beguiled you with no promises of a cure for your inevitable ills. He did not drum into your ears the revolting dogma of original sin; he did not try to convince you of the superlative goodness of a God who protects the wicked, helps the foolish, crushes the young, brutalizes the old and chastises the innocent; he did not extol the benefits of a Providence which has invented the useless, unjust, incomprehensible and inept abomination that is physical pain. Indeed, far from endeavouring, like the Church, to justify the necessity of trials and torments, he exclaimed in his compassionate indignation: ‘If a God has made this world, I should hate to be that God, for the misery of the world would break my heart.’

Yes, it was undoubtedly Schopenhauer who was in the right. What, in fact, were all the evangelical pharmacopoeias compared with his treatises on spiritual hygiene? He claimed no cures, offered the sick no compensation, no hope; but when all was said and done, his theory of Pessimism was the great comforter of superior minds and lofty souls; it revealed society as it was, insisted on the innate stupidity of women, pointed out the pitfalls of life, saved you from disillusionment by teaching you to expect as little as possible, to expect nothing at all if you were sufficiently strong-willed, indeed, to consider yourself lucky if you were not constantly visited by some unforeseen calamity.”

Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against Nature

“The lads were fighting now, snatching bits of bread from each other’s hands, ramming them into their mouths and licking their fingers afterwards. Kicks and blows fell thick and fast, and the weaker boys were knocked to the ground, where they lay thrashing about and crying as the broken stones dug into their bottoms.

The sight put new life into Des Esseintes; the interest this fight aroused in him took his mind off his own sickly condition. Faced with the savage fury of these vicious brats, he reflected on the cruel and abominable law of the struggle for life, and contemptible though these children were, he could not help feeling sorry for them and thinking it would have been better for them if their mothers had never borne them.

After all, what did their lives amount to but impetigo, colic, fevers, measles, smacks and slaps in childhood; degrading jobs with plenty of kicks and curses at thirteen or so; deceiving mistresses, foul diseases and unfaithful wives in manhood; and then, in old age, infirmities and death-agonies in workhouses or hospitals? And the future, when you came to think of it, was the same for all, and nobody with any sense would dream of envying anybody else.

For the rich, though the setting was different, it was a case of the same passions, the same worries, the same sorrows, the same diseases – and also the same paltry pleasures, whether these were alcoholic, literary or carnal. There was even a vague compensation for every sort of suffering, a kind of rough justice that restored the balance of unhappiness between the classes, granting the poor greater resistance to physical ills that wreaked worse havoc on the feebler and thinner bodies of the rich.”

Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against Nature

“If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.”

― Edmond De Goncourt

“The universe appears to me like an immense, inexorable torture-garden…Passions, greed, hatred, and lies; social institutions, justice, love, glory, heroism, and religion: these are its monstrous flowers and its hideous instruments of eternal human suffering.”

Octave Mirbeau

“Barbaric in its profusion, violent in its emphasis, wearying in its splendor, it is – especially in regard to things seen – extraordinarily expressive, with all the shades of a painter’s palette. Elaborately and deliberately perverse, it is in its very perversity that Huysmans’ work – so fascinating, so repellent, so instinctively artificial – comes to represent, as the work of no other writer can be said to do, the main tendencies, the chief results, of the Decadent movement in literature.”

Arthur Symons

“Nature seems (the more we look into it) made up of antipathies: without something to hate, we should lose the very spring of thought and action. Life would turn to a stagnant pool, were it not ruffled by the jarring interests, the unruly passions, of men. The white streak in our own fortunes is brightened (or just rendered visible) by making all around it as dark as possible; so the rainbow paints its form upon the cloud. Is it pride? Is it envy? Is it the force of contrast? Is it weakness or malice? But so it is, that there is a secret affinity, a hankering after, evil in the human mind, and that it takes a perverse, but a fortunate delight in mischief, since it is a never-failing source of satisfaction.

Pure good soon grows insipid, wants variety and spirit. Pain is a bittersweet, wants variety and spirit. Love turns, with a little indulgence, to indifference or disgust: hatred alone is immortal. Do we not see this principle at work everywhere? Animals torment and worry one another without mercy: children kill flies for sport: every one reads the accidents and offences in a newspaper as the cream of the jest: a whole town runs to be present at a fire, and the spectator by no means exults to see it extinguished. It is better to have it so, but it diminishes the interest; and our feelings take part with our passions rather than with our understandings.

Men assemble in crowds, with eager enthusiasm, to witness a tragedy: but if there were an execution going forward in the next street, as Mr. Burke observes, the theater would be left empty. A strange cur in a village, an idiot, a crazy woman, are set upon and baited by the whole community. Public nuisances are in the nature of public benefits.”

W. Hazlitt

“Love, respect, friendship, do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something.”

― Anton Chekhov

“Christianity – and that is its greatest merit – has somewhat mitigated that brutal Germanic love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered, the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. This talisman is fragile, and the day will come when it will collapse miserably. Then the ancient stony gods will rise from the forgotten debris and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and finally Thor with his giant hammer will jump up and smash the Gothic cathedrals.”

Heinrich Heine, “The History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany” (1834)

“You have lost your reason and taken the wrong path. You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty. You would marvel if, owing to strange events of some sorts, frogs and lizards suddenly grew on apple and orange trees instead of fruit, or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse; so I marvel at you who exchange heaven for earth. I don’t want to understand you.”

― Anton Chekhov

“Millions of books written on every conceivable subject by all these great minds and in the end, none of them knows anything more about the big questions of life than I do … I read Socrates. This guy knocked off little Greek boys. What the Hell’s he got to teach me? And Nietzsche, with his theory of eternal recurrence. He said that the life we lived we’re gonna live over again the exact same way for eternity. Great. That means I’ll have to sit through the Ice Capades again. It’s not worth it. And Freud, another great pessimist. I was in analysis for years and nothing happened. My poor analyst got so frustrated, the guy finally put in a salad bar. Maybe the poets are right. Maybe love is the only answer.”

Woody Allen, Hannah and her Sisters

“Furthermore, he now possessed his future much more surely than any youth could. The reason why young men patter on about the future so was simply that they didn’t yet have it.Possessing by letting go of things was a secret of ownership unknown to youth.”
Yukio Mishima

“Thus, for example, he knows the names of all the wild flowers, animals, and stones. He knows what herbs cure diseases, he has no difficulty in telling the age of a horse or a cow. Looking at the sunset, at the moon, or the birds, he can tell what sort of weather it will be next day.

And indeed, it is not only Terenty who is so wise. Silanty Silitch, the innkeeper, the market-gardener, the shepherd, and all the villagers, generally speaking, know as much as he does. These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.”

Anton Chekhov

“It is much more likely that he struck people as faintly sinister, perhaps a little more intellect and boldness in his look than people were used to. This man was powerful: you would approach him only with awe. He had a ‘sign.’ You could explain this any way you wished. And people always want what is agreeable to them and puts them in the right.

They were afraid of Cain’s children: they bore a ‘sign.’ So they did not interpret the sign for what it was–a mark of distinction–but as its opposite. They said: ‘Those fellows with the sign, they’re a strange lot’–and indeed they were. People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest. It was a scandal that a breed of fearless and sinister people ran about freely, so they attached a nickname and myth to these people to get even with them, to make up for the many times they had felt afraid.”

When someoneasks ‘what’s the use of philosophy?’ the reply must be aggressive, since the question tries to be ironic and caustic. Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy that saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful. Is there any discipline apart from philosophy that sets out to criticise all mystification, whatever their source and aim, to expose all the fictions without which reactive forces would not prevail?…Finally, turning thought into something aggressive, active and affirmative. Creating free men, that is to say men who do not confuse the aims of culture with the benefit of the State, morality or religion….Who has an interest in all this but philosophy? Philosophy is at its most positive as a critique, as an enterprise of demystification.
Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy,
Shall we set our little fascism against their big one? Organize ourselves, become disciplined, maybe we could make ourselves some smart uniforms and stomp about in the street? Politics is the last great sentimental indulgence of mankind, and it has never achieved anything except a deepened idiocy, more work, more repression, more pompous ass-holes demanding obedience. Quite naturally we are bored of it to the point of acute sickness. I have no interest at all in groping at power in the blister. What matters is burning a hole through the wall.
Nick Land, The Thirst For Annihilation

“The darker picture is always the correct one. When you read the history of the world you are reading a saga of bloodshed and greed and folly the import of which is impossible to ignore. And yet we imagine that the future will somehow be different.”

– The Sunset Limited, Cormac McCarthy

“[Food] is one of my persistent obsessions that had its source in my childhood. I was a child who did not want to eat. My parents were desperate. They would pour fish oil, fortified wine and various other liquids into me to enhance the taste of food, and they would send me to ‘fattening’ camps and other such places. I ended up so weakened and bony that I could not stand and my mum had to push me in a wheelchair. I was not even accepted in school. Besides, a chewing mouth is quite a fitting symbol of this aggressive, all-devouring civilization.” [x]

“Food is perhaps the most apt symbol of our civilization because in its insatiable aggression, our civilization consumes everything around us: nature, animals, whole ethnic groups, cultures… everything gets digested in its utilitarian maw only to be excreted as money—the excrement of our times. Just like a small child our civilization considers its excrements to be the most valuable product it managed to squeeze out, and uses it to reward its favorites.” [x]

Jan Švankmajer on the recurrent theme of food in his films.

“Both grew out of the same intellectual root: thinking in money, [76] trading in money on the pavements of the world’s capitals, whether as wage-levels or profits on exchange rates makes no odds. There is no contradiction between economic Liberalism and Socialism. The Labour market is the stock exchange of the organized proletariat. The trade unions are trusts for forcing up wages on the lines followed by oil, steel, and bank trusts of the Anglo-American type, whose finance-Socialism penetrates, dominates, sucks, and controls them to the point of systematic expropriation. The devastating dispossessing effect of bundles of shares and bonds, the separation of mere “credit” from the responsible directive work of the entrepreneur, who no longer knows to whom his work actually belongs, has not received anything like adequate consideration. Productive economy is in the last resort nothing but the will-less object of stock-exchange manoeuvres. It was only the rise of the share system to domination that enabled the stock exchange (formerly a mere aid to economy) to assume the decisive control of economic life. Finance-Socialists and trust magnates like Morgan and Kreuger correspond absolutely to the mass-leaders of Labour parties and the Russian economic commissars: dealer-natures with the same parvenu tastes. From both sides, today as in the days of the Gracchi, the conservative forces of the State – army, property, peasant, and manager – are being attacked.” –Oswald Spengler

“As the astronauts soar into the vast eternities of space, on earth the garbage piles higher, as the groves of academe extend their domain, their alumni’s arms reach lower, as the phallic cult spreads, so does impotence. In great wealth, great poverty; in health, sickness, in numbers, deception. Gorging, left hungry; sedated, left restless; telling all, hiding all; in flesh united, forever separate. So we press on through the valley of abundance that leads to the wasteland of satiety, passing through the gardens of fantasy; seeking happiness ever more ardently, and finding despair ever more surely.”  –Malcolm Muggeridge

“If, snatching away the mask of the Revolution, you asked her, “Who are you?”, she would say to you: “I am not what they believe I am.  Many speak of me, and very few know me.  I am not Carbonarism conspiring in secret, nor riots roaring in the streets, nor the change from the monarchy to a republic, nor the substitution of one royal dynasty for another, nor a temporary disturbance in public order.  I am not the howls of the Jacobins nor the furies of the Mountain, nor the fighting on the barricades, nor the pillaging, nor the arson, nor the agrarian law, nor the guillotine, nor the drownings.  I am not Marat, nor Robespierre, nor Babeuf, nor Mazzini, nor Kossuth.  These men are my sons – they are not me.  These things are my works – they are not me.  These men and these things are transitory things, and I am a permanent condition.

“I am the hatred of every religious and social order which Man has not established and in which he is not king and God together; I am the proclamation of the rights of man against the rights of God; I am the philosophy of rebellion, the politics of rebellion, the religion of rebellion; I am armed nihilism; I am the founding of the religious and social state on the will of Man in place of the will of God!  In a word, I am anarchy, for I am God dethroned and Man put in his place.  This is why I am called Revolution: it means reversal, because I put on high that which should be low according to the eternal laws, and I put low what should be on high.” –Jean Joseph Gaume

“Political equality is not merely a folly – it is a chimera. It is idle to discuss whether it ought to exist; for, as a matter of fact, it never does. Whatever may be the written text of a Constitution, the multitude always will have leaders among them, and those leaders not selected by themselves. They may set up the pretence of political equality, if they will, and delude themselves with a belief of its existence. But the only consequences will be, that they will have bad leaders instead of good. Every community has natural leaders, to whom, if they are not misled by the insane passion for equality, they will instinctively defer. Always wealth, in some countries by birth, in all intellectual power and culture, mark out the men whom, in a healthy state of feeling, a community looks to undertake its government. They have the leisure for the task, and can give it the close attention and the preparatory study which it needs. Fortune enables them to do it for the most part gratuitously, so that the struggles of ambition are not defiled by the taint of sordid greed. They occupy a position of sufficient prominence among their neighbours to feel that their course is closely watched, and they belong to a class brought up apart from temptations to the meaner kinds of crime, and therefore it is no praise to them if, in such matters, their moral code stands high. But even if they be at bottom no better than others who have passed though greater vicissitudes of fortune, they have at least this inestimable advantage – that, when higher motives fail, their virtue has all the support which human respect can give. They are the aristocracy of a country in the original and best sense of the word. Whether a few of them are decorated by honorary titles or enjoy hereditary privileges, is a matter of secondary moment. The important point is, that the rulers of the country should be taken from among them, and that with them should be the political preponderance to which they have every right that superior fitness can confer. Unlimited power would be as ill-bestowed upon them as upon any other set of men. They must be checked by constitutional forms and watched by an active public opinion, lest their rightful pre-eminence should degenerate into the domination of a class. But woe to the community that deposes them altogether!” Robert Cecil

“Concerning the first point, the notion of “many” (i.e., a multiplicity of individual beings) logically contradicts the notion of “many equals.” First of all, ontologically speaking, this is due to the so-called “principle of undiscernibles,” which is expressed in these terms: “A being that is absolutely identical to another, under every regard, would be one and the same with it.” Thus, in the concept of “many” is implicit the concept of their fundamental difference: “many” beings that are equal, completely equal, would not be many, but one.To uphold the equality of the many is a contradiction in terms, unless we refer to a body of soulless mass-produced objects.” -evola

“Doesn’t our world really resemble a neon-signed, fast food franchise-lined Hieronymus Bosch painting? A nightmarish plain of shrieking fraudsters, hucksters and dribbling goons? Yeah, that’s our world all right. From the craddle to the grave a slow motion zombie movie with a full customer loyalty program, but no purpose and no design. Tortured and decrepitude one moment, false salvation and hollow redemption the next. 

Every notable scripture warns that we live in an age of false prophets, that the devil walks among us. That we pray to him every night and surf his website every day. I posit that the devil is a salesman and that hell is the materialism that surrounds and permeates us. The fires from the engines of industry and commerce, the torments of avarice and jealousy, the fumes of sulfur and brimstone that belch from our cars and factories.”
David Thrussel

“Without Christianity we might, of course, merely sink into an apathetic decline: without faith, and therefore without faith in ourselves; without a philosophy of life, either Christian or pagan; and without art. Or we might get a “totalitarian democracy,” different but having much in common with other pagan societies, because we shall have changed step by step in order to keep pace with them: a state of affairs in which we shall have regimentation and conformity, without respect for the needs of the individual soul; the puritanism of a hygienic morality in the interest of efficiency; uniformity of opinion through propaganda, and art only encouraged when it flatters the official doctrines of the time.” –TS Eliot

‎”Man has no need to travel to become more powerful; he carries immensity within him. The impulses of your heart cannot be measured, they find an echo in thousands of other hearts ; he who has nothing of this harmony in his innermost being will implore the universe to give it to him in vain. Sit on a fallen tree-trunk deep in the woods: if in these moments of complete self-forgetfulness, in your immobility and silence, you do not find the infinite, it is of no avail to wander along the banks of the Ganges.” François-René de Chateaubriand:

“By the Conservative Cause, I mean the splendour of the Crown, the lustre of the peerage, the privileges of the Commons, the rights of the poor. I mean that harmonious union, that magnificent concord of all interests, of all classes, on which our national greatness and prosperity depends” Benjamin Disraeli  

 

“Paganism does not reproach Christianity for defending the weak who are unjustly oppressed. It reproaches it for exalting them in their weakness and viewing it as the sign of their election and their title to glory; it reproaches Christianity for not helping them to become strong.

So it is not a question of opposing the strong versus the weak — today, in any event, it is paganism that is weak and Judeo-Christian monotheism that is strong — but purely and simply of opposing a system of ‘remaining weak’ with a system of ‘becoming strong.’

It is also a question of making a world that is not a ‘Vale of Tears’ nor a ‘Theatre of Shadows’, nor a stage where man with erratic happiness “acts out his salvation”, but the natural field of self-expansion for a man capable of asserting his autonomy and establishing himself as his own project”.

— From ‘On Being A Pagan’ by Alain de Benoist

“Our colleges fail miserably; but they cannot hope for great im­provement until there is reform in public schools. College fresh­men pour into ivied halls ignorant of grammar, of orthography, of English literature, of modern and ancient languages, of scientific theory, of geography, of history, of the rules of decent conduct. With this mob—many of them potentially intelligent, many pathetically eager for knowledge—what can be done? Some have overcome the handicaps of our public schools, and possess some of the elements of knowledge; some fall into the hands of exceptionally able and devoted instructors; but most muddle through their four years, get their parchment, and go out ignorant into life.

The failure begins when children enter kindergarten. There are four sins of public education: equalitarianism, technicalism, progressivism, and egotism.”-russel kirk

“Doctrinaire individualism is dangerous not because it produces individuals, but because it suppresses them.The product of the doctrinaire individualism of the 19th century is the mass man of the 20th century.” Nicolás Gómez Dávila

The intelligence suffers today automatically in consequence of the attack on all authority, advantage, or privilege. These things are not done away with, it is needless to say, but numerous scapegoats are made of the less politically powerful, to satisfy the egalitarian rage awakened.
Wyndham Lewis

“It is worth pausing to mention another, and rival, generality that has been of some service to the left-liberal intellectual in our time, in his endeavor to wipe out the past, and to find a basis for political obligation that looks only to the present and the future. This is the idea of the “people,” as the fount of legitimate order. The idea is usually combined with the fantasy that the intellectual has some peculiar faculty of hearing, and also articulating, the “voice of the people.” This self-delusion, which has persisted unaltered since the days of the French Revolution, expresses the intellectual’s concern to be reunited with the social order from which his own thinking has so tragically separated him. He wishes to redeem himself from his “outsideness.” Unfortunately, however, he succeeds in uniting himself not with society, but only with another intellectual abstraction—“the people”—designed according to impeccable theoretical requirements, precisely in order to veil the intolerable reality of everyday life. “The people” does not exist. Even if it did exist, it would be authority for nothing, since it would have no concrete basis on which to build its legitimacy. Nobody can speak for the people. Nobody can speak for anyone. The truth, however, strives to be uttered, and may find expression, now on these lips, now on those.” -Roger Scruton

“We live, always, by two codes—the external and professed code based on an artificially cosmopolitan culture; and the inner, real, and motivating code, based on the true response of our instincts to their habitual stimuli. It is all very well to theorise decoratively from the outer code—but we must apply the inner code when we wish to calculate actual results. Stripping off the mask of nineteenth century euphemism and decorum, we know damn well that the human race is divided into many groups whose whole instinctive conceptions of what is desirable and what is undesirable are so antipodally apart in half to three-quarters of the affairs of life, that they cannot possibly be thought of as having any goal or complete set of standards in common. And to pretend that such a community can exist, is to complicate the matter all the worse. We misunderstand all the more, when we feign to understand what we do not understand.” lovecraft

 “Leftists and rightists merely argue about who is to have possession of industrial society. The reactionary longs for its death.” (Davila) ..

“Liberty is the right to be different; equality is a ban on being different.” Nicolás Gómez Dávila.

“We are not recommending insensitivity, or some misconceived stoicism. Far from it : it is a matter of acquiring and developing a sense of detachment towards oneself, towards things, and towards persons, which should instill a calm, an incomparable certainty, and even, as we have before stated, an indomitability. It is like simplifying oneself, divesting oneself, in a state of waiting, with a firm, whole mind, with an awareness of something which exists beyond all existence. From this state, the capacity will also be found of always being able to recommence, as if ex nihilo, with a new and fresh mind, forgetting what has been, and what has been lost, focusing only on what positive and creative can still be done.” –Evola

“In a multicultural society bound by submission to political correctness and “welfare,” a man must choose between living in a pack or living in a herd. Those who decide to join a herd have made the last decision of their lives, because they have decided to give the shepherd full control over their fates and minds. Those who decide to join a pack should know they risk becoming outlaws.” –Francisco Albanese

“The (psychoanalytic) subject is nothing but the failure to become an (Althusserian) subject. –Alenka

“It has been discovered that with a dull urban population, all formed under a mechanical system of State education, a suggestion or command, however senseless and unreasoned, will be obeyed if it be sufficiently repeated.”


― Hilaire Belloc

“The instinct of the conservative, as Lord Hailsham observes, is to enjoy life as he finds it, not to mold society nearer to his heart’s desire; nor does he think of practical politics as the end and aim of being. Family life, church, literature, good talk, good dinners, sometimes good hunting—these things please him far more than parliamentary intrigue or journalistic controversy.” -Kirk

“Democracy might begin as a defensible procedural mechanism for limiting government power, but it quickly and inexorably develops into something quite different: a culture of systematic thievery. As soon as politicians have learnt to buy political support from the ‘public purse’, and conditioned electorates to embrace looting and bribery, the democratic process reduces itself to the formation of (Mancur Olson’s) ‘distributional coalitions’ — electoral majorities mortared together by common interest in a collectively advantageous pattern of theft. Worse still, since people are, on average, not very bright, the scale of depredation available to the political establishment far exceeds even the demented sacking that is open to public scrutiny. Looting the future, through currency debauchment, debt accumulation, growth destruction, and techno-industrial retardation is especially easy to conceal, and thus reliably popular. Democracy is essentially tragic because it provides the populace with a weapon to destroy itself, one that is always eagerly seized, and used. Nobody ever says ‘no’ to free stuff. Scarcely anybody even sees that there is no free stuff. Utter cultural ruination is the necessary conclusion.”  -Nick Land

In a time like ours there are four kinds of people. There are those who consciously wish to sink further and deeper into chaos and darkness. There are those who willingly or unwillingly, are always ready to endure anything. Then there are also dinosaurs around who live the present situation by way of lamenting. From whining to commemorations, they imagine they can bring back the old order, which explains why they constantly score defeats.

But there are also those who yearn for a new beginning. Those who live in the darkness, but are not of the darkness; i.e. those who strive to resurrect the light. Those who know that beyond the real, there is also the possible. They like to quote George Orwell: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”’

Alain de Benoist

“This is why the philosopher has no real desire to argue or debate. Philosophers despise the confrontation of ideas, thoroughly avoiding it (and in this, they differ from the swarm of pastry vendors crowding journalistic, televisual and cultural debates). Because there is nothing to debate or argue about when one discusses philosophy. It is not a question of comparing concept to concept, of seeing what is true, how adequate this or that concept might be, and so forth. It is a question of initiating a plane of immanence, of constructing a new perspective, of opening a gap in the blindness of common vision, precisely of constructing bridges over the abyss. And it is a question of walking across these bridges accompanied by whoever shares the intensity that allowed it to be constructed.”
Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Félix Guattari:

Learn to love solitude – to be more alone with yourselves. The problem with young people is their carrying out noisy and aggressive actions not to feel lonely – and this is a sad thing – the individual must learn to be on his own as a child – for this doesn’t mean to be alone: it means not get bored with oneself which is a very dangerous symptom, almost a disease.

Andrei Tarkovsky

“you wish a shining of your light would change the world.

you wish the revelation of corruption, your gazing upon how things really are, could turn the powerful into stone

if only, you think, your good desires were hands upon the levers of power.

But that is not it. The world has tired of scandals and injustices. It shrugs its shoulders at corruption, ‘So what, to the slaughter. So what, to the profiteering. So what, to election fraud. It’s in the nature of things.”  –Frere Dupont

“, I am too consciously European to in any way feel like a spiritual descendant of Abraham or Moses, but do I feel that I am entirely a descendant of Homer, Epictetus and the Round Table. That means that I look for my  bearings in myself, close to my roots, and not in faraway places that are entirely foreign to me. The sanctuary where I meditate is not the desert, but the deep and mysterious forest of my origins. My holy book is not the Bible, but the Iliad (1), the founding poem of the Western psyche, which has miraculously and victoriously crossed the sea of time.” –Dominique Venner

In Brave New World conditioning means the complete preformation of human beings through social intervention, from artificial breeding and technological direction of the conscious and unconscious mind in the earliest stages of life to ‘death conditioning’, a training that purges children of the horror of death by parading the dying before their eyes while they are being fed candy, which they then forever after associate with death. The ultimate effect of conditioning, which is in fact adjustment come into its own, is a degree of introjection and integration of social pressure and coercion far beyond that of the Protestant ethic; men resign themselves to loving what they have to do, without even being aware that they are resigned. Thus, their happiness is firmly established subjectively and order is maintained.
Theodor Adorno, ‘Aldous Huxley and Utopia’.

We have no greater aversion than the aversion we feel towards those unstable, fetid and lukewarm substances where life ferments ignobly. Those substances where the eggs, germs and maggots swarm not only make our hearts sink, but also turn our stomachs. Death does not come down to the bitter annihilation of being – of all that I am, which expects to be once more, the very meaning of which, rather than to be, is to expect to be (as if we never received being authentically, but only the anticipation of being, which will be and is not, as if we were not the presence that we are, but the future that we will be and are not); it is also the shipwreck in the nauseous. I will rejoin abject nature and the purulence of anonymous, infinite life, which stretches forth like the night, which is death. One day this living world will pullulate in my dead mouth. Thus the inevitable disappointment of the expectation is itself, at the same time, the inevitable horror that I deny, that I should deny at all costs.

—Bataille


“Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.”

— Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society

“I am not interested in delivering judgments on what distinguishes the subversive from the unsubversive. Not only do I not believe that such judgments endure through time (‘contexts’ are themselves posited unities that undergo temporal change and expose their essential disunity). Just as metaphors lose their metaphoricity as they congeal through time into concepts, so subversive performances always run the risk of becoming deadening clichés through their repetition and, most importantly, through their repetition within commodity culture where ‘subversion’ carries market value. The effort to name the criterion for subversiveness will always fail, and ought to.”  –Judith Butler

“Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand; or your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire was in the fifth; with this difference, that the Huns and Vandals, who ravaged the Roman Empire, came from without, and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your country by your own institutions.”
–Lord Macaulay

“n order to understand what is taking place, we have to interpret Walter Benjamin’s idea that capitalism is really a religion literally, the most fierce, implacable and irrational religion that has ever existed because it recognizes neither truces nor redemption. A permanent worship is celebrated in its name, a worship whose liturgy is labor and its object, money. God did not die; he was transformed into money. The Bank—with its faceless drones and its experts—has taken the place of the church with its priests, and by its command over credit (even loans to the state, which has so blithely abdicated its sovereignty), manipulates and manages the faith—the scarce and uncertain faith—that still remains to it in our time. Furthermore, the claim that today’s capitalism is a religion is most effectively demonstrated by the headline that appeared on the front page of a major national newspaper a few days ago: “Save the Euro Regardless of the Cost”. Well, “salvation” is a religious concept, but what does “regardless of the cost” mean? Even at the cost of sacrificing human lives? Only within a religious perspective (or, more correctly, a pseudo-religious perspective) could one make such plainly absurd and inhuman statements.” -Giorgio Agamden

“There is no such thing as either man or nature now, only a process that produces the one within the other and couples the machines together. Producing-machines, desiring machines everywhere, schizophrenic machines, all of species life: the self and the non-self, outside and inside, no longer have any meaning whatsoever.” –Deleuze 

 
“It is said that taxes are simply the price we pay for civilization. This is true if you have a real country. This is not [what] we have. Taxes are what you pay so your neighborhood can be destroyed by Section 8 housing, so your business can be shut down if you don’t hire enough “oppressed” people, and so our soldiers can be sent to give welfare to Muslims who hate us, before they are eventually killed by our own “allies.” If you do not recognize that the greatest threat to our survival is the System that rules from Washington D.C., you are not even in the struggle. Every dollar you pay to Washington goes to making your life worse and ensuring the government can replace you and your children with more pliable clients.”
Gregory Hood, Waking Up From the American Dream: Fear of a White Rancher

We seek a kind of war machine that will not re-create a state apparatus, a nomadic unit related to the outside that will not revive an internal despotic unity. Perhaps this is what is most profound in Nietzsche’s thought and marks the extent of his break with philosophy , at least so far as it is manifested in the aphorism: he made thought into a machine of war—a battering ram—into a nomadic force. And even if the journey is a motionless one, even if it occurs on the spot, imperceptible, unexpected, and subterranean, we must ask ourselves, ‘Who are our nomads today, our real Nietzscheans?’

Gilles Deleuze, ‘Nomad Thought’

“Let’s face reality. There is no communion. There is no community. There are just human beings subjected and forcibly unified by a State to serve the interests of alien elites. A man alone has interests, but no power to secure them. Only the small, homogeneous community, i.e., the tribe — a group of individuals united by common origins, common interests, and a common destiny — can hope to represent the interests of its individual members, and to defend the tribe is to defend the individual and his interests.”  -Francesco Albanese

“Philosophy, as I have so far understood and lived it, means living voluntarily among ice and high mountains—seeking out everything strange and questionable in existence, everything so far placed under a ban by morality.”   –Nietzsche

“Ressentiment said ‘it is your fault’, bad conscience says ‘it is my fault’. But ressentiment is really only appeased when its contagion is spread. Its aim is for the whole of life to become reactive, for those in good health to become sick. It is not enough for it to accuse, the accused must feel guilty. It is in bad conscience that ressentiment comes into its own and reaches the summit of its contagious power: by changing direction.

It cries ‘It is my fault, it is my fault’ until the whole world takes up this dreary refrain, until everything active in life develops this same feeling of guilt. And these are the only preconditions for the priest’s power: by nature the priest is the one who makes himself master of those who suffer (GM III 15).”

Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy pg. 132

“Here we rediscover the dreadful feminine power of ressentiment: it is not content to denounce crimes and criminals, it wants sinners, people who are responsible. We can guess what the creature of ressentiment wants: he wants others to be evil, he needs others to be evil in order to be able to consider himself good.

“You are evil, therefore I am good; this is the slave’s fundamental formula, it expresses the main point of ressentiment from the typological point of view, it summarises and brings together all the preceding characteristics.
This formula must be compared with that of the master: I am good, therefore you are evil.

The difference between the two measures the revolt of the slave and his triumph: “This inversion of the valuepositing eye . . . is of the essence of ressentiment: in order to exist, slave morality always first needs a hostile world.’ The slave needs, to set the other up as evil from the outset.”

–Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy

What exists through itself, cannot come into being and will endure forever. Thus if there is independent being, nothing further can be attained, nothing more can be done, because everything already exists. If there were independent being, living creatures would be free of diversity. There would be no suffering. But if things are empty, there is becoming and perishing, action and accomplishment. To contest the emptiness of things is to contest their actuality in the world. Suffering is a reality precisely because it does not exist in itself and is not eternal. -Karl Jaspers

“Around these here parts we do that witches sabbat, with the laughin n dancin and drinkin of the wine and communin with the nature.

See these gnarly trees, shadowy woods, they speak to you if you listen. They howl the cthonic howls, reminding of bone dust and smoking ash and the creepers who live in these hills. Ain’t no talk of salvation and messiahs, none of that, only the lurking satyrs n watery below.

These parts here, inside the womb of the Goddess, beneath the torchlight of Hecate, hearing the wails of ghastly things..”

“To that friend who tells me he is bored because he cannot work, I answer that boredom is a higher state, and that we debase it by relating it to the notion of work.”

Cioran

“Consider the accent with which a man utters the word “truth,” the inflection of assurance or reserve he uses, the expression of believing or doubting it, and you will be edified as to the nature of his opinions and the quality of his mind. No word is emptier; yet men make an idol of it and convert its non-meaning at once into a criterion and a goal of thought. This superstition — which excuses the vulgarian and disqualifies the philosopher — results from the encroachment of hope upon logic. You are told over and over: truth is inaccessible; yet it must be searched for, aspired to, fought over.

Behold a restriction which fails to separate you from those who declare they have found it: the main thing is to believe it is possible: to possess truth or to aspire to it are two actions which proceed from one and the same attitude. We make an exception of one word as of another: terrible usurpation of language! I call simple-minded any man who speaks of Truth with conviction: it is because he has capital letter in reserve and employs them naively, without deception, without disdain. As for the philosopher, his slightest indulgence in this idolatry exposes him: the citizen in him has won out over the solitary. Hope emerging from a thought — that saddens us, or makes us smile?. There is an indecency about putting too much soul in such words: the childishness of any enthusiasm for knowledge?”

“The question is not: is it true? But: does it work? What new thoughts does it make it possible to think? What new emotions does it make it possible to feel? What new sensations and perceptions does it open in the body?”

-Brian Massumi, Foreword to A Thousand Plateaus

“With this insight a culture is inaugurated that I venture to call a tragic culture. Its most important characteristic is that wisdom takes the place of science as the highest end—wisdom that, uninfluenced by the seductive distractions of the sciences, turns with unmoved eyes to a comprehensive view of the world, and seeks to grasp, with sympathetic feelings of love, the eternal suffering as its own.”

–Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

“Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates. The reality behind Satan is simply the dark evolutionary force of entropy that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things. Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshipped, rather a reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will.”

Peter H Gilmore

“Beneath them
kneeling on his knee,
A superstitious man you see:
He fasts, prays, on his idol fixt,
Tormented hope and fear betwixt:
For hell perhaps he takes more pain,
Than thou dost heaven itself to gain.
Alas poor soul, I pity thee,
What stars incline thee so to be?”

–Robert Burton

“I don’t need any support, encouragement, or consolation because, although I am the lowest of men, I feel nonetheless so strong, so hard, so savage! For I am the only man who lives without hope, the apex of heroism and paradox. The ultimate madness! I should channel my chaotic and unbridled passion into forgetfulness, escaping spirit and consciousness. I too have a hope: a hope for absolute forgetfulness. But is it hope or despair? Is it not the negation of all future hopes? I want not to know, not to know even that I do not know. Why so many problems, arguments, vexations? Why the consciousness of death? How much longer all this thinking and philosophizing?”

— Cioran

After the earth dies, some 5 billion years from now, after it’s burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the Sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being — and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth.
Only optimists commit suicide, optimists who no longer succeed at being optimists. The others, having no reason to live, why would they have any to die?

“Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.”

— Giacomo Leopardi, Italian poet

“Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God Himself.”

— Miguel de Unamuno

Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates. The reality behind Satan is simply the dark evolutionary force of entropy that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things. Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshipped, rather a reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will.

My soul is a black whirlpool, a vast vertigo circling a void, the racing of an infinite ocean around a hole in nothing. And in these waters which are more churning than actual waters float the images of all I’ve seen and heard in the world – houses, faces, books, boxes, snatches of music and syllables of voices all moving in a sinister and bottomless swirl.

And amid all this confusion I, what’s truly I, am the centre that exists only in the geometry of the abyss: I’m the nothing around which everything spins, existing only so that it can spin, being a centre only because every circle has one. I, what’s truly I, am a well without walls but with the walls’ viscosity, the centre of everything with nothing around it.

It’s not demons (who at least have a human face) but hell itself that seems to be laughing inside me, it’s the croaking madness of the dead universe, the spinning cadaver of physical space, the end of all worlds blowing blackly in the wind, formless and timeless, without a God who created it, without even its own self, impossibly whirling in the absolute darkness as the one and only reality—everything.

…My mother died too soon for me to ever know her…

“Beyond what I am, I meet a being who makes me laugh because he is headless; this fills me with dread because he is made of innocence and crime; he holds a steel weapon in his left hand, flames like those of a Sacred Heart in his right. He reunites in the same eruption Birth and Death. He is not a man. He is not a god either. He is not me but is more than me; his stomach is the labyrinth in which he has lost himself, loses me with him, and in which I discover myself as him, in other words—as a monster.”

— Georges Bataille 

I have more respect for the man with thwarted desires, unhappy and desperate in love, than for the cold and proud philosopher. A world full of philosophers, what a terrifying prospect! They should be all wiped out so that life could go on naturally—blindly and irrationally.

I wonder how there can still be men searching for the truth. Do wise men not yet understand that truth cannot be?

“I have hoped for the laceration of the heavens.  I have hoped for it, but the sky has not opened. There is something insoluble in this waiting like a nestled beast of prey, gnawed at by hunger. The absurdity: ‘Is it God that I would like to tear apart?’ As if I were a true beast of prey, but I am even more sick. Because I laugh at my own hunger, I don’t want to eat anything, I would rather be eaten. Love gnaws at me: there is no other escape than a quick death. I am waiting for a response in the darkness in which I live. …No response to this exhausting agitation: everything stays empty. Whereas if … but I have no God to implore.”

— Georges Bataille, Guilty

God is the solitude of men. There was only me: I alone decided to commit Evil; alone, I invented Good. I am the one who cheated, I am the one who performed miracles, I am the one accusing myself today, I alone can absolve myself; me, the man.

”The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees fully with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as she is — absurd.”

— Richard Feynman

Anxiety reveals the nothing.

We “hover” in anxiety. More precisely, anxiety leaves us hanging because it induces the slipping away of beings as a whole. This implies that we ourselves – we who are in being – in the midst of beings slip away from ourselves. At bottom therefore it is not as though “you” or “I” feel ill at ease; rather it is this way for some ”one.” In the altogether unsettling experience of this hovering where there is nothing to hold onto, pure Dasein [human existence] is all that is still there.

To conceive of myself from the outside was my ruin — the ruin of my happiness. I saw myself as others see me, and I despised myself — not because I had character traits that made me worthy of contempt, but because I saw myself through the eyes of others, and felt the contempt they feel towards me. I experienced the humiliation of knowing myself.

To see clearly into ourselves and into how others see us! To stare into the face of that truth! And in the end the cry of Christ on Calvary, when he stared into the face of his truth: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

I will die and, with me, the weight of the intolerable universe.

I shall erase the pyramids, the medallions, the continents and faces.

I shall erase the accumulated past.

I shall make dust of history, dust of dust.

Now I am looking on the final sunset.

I am hearing the last bird.

I leave nothingness to no one.

— Borges, The Suicide

Existence is worthless, […] and nihilism is … the unavoidable corollary of the realist conviction that there is a mind-independent reality, which, despite the presumptions of human narcissism, is indifferent to our existence and oblivious to the ‘values’ and ‘meanings’ which we drape over it in order to make it more hospitable.

The disenchantment of the world deserves to be celebrated as an achievement of intellectual maturity, not bewailed as a debilitating impoverishment.

 

Understanding Being and Time

Heidegger’s fundamental analysis of Dasein points to temporality as the primordial meaning of Dasein’s being.

Dasein can be defined as that which we ourselves are, and is distinguished from all other beings by the fact that it makes issue of its own being. (Human existence)

Heidegger says that Dasein is essentially temporal and its temporal character is derived from a 3 part structure:

1. Dasein is potentiality for being; it projects its being upon various possibilities. Existence represents thus the phenomenon of the future.

(existentiality)

2. Next, Dasein always finds itself already in a certain historically conditioned environment; in short, in the world, in which the space of possibilities is always somehow limited. This represents the phenomenon of the past as having been.

(throwness/facticity)

3. Finally, Dasein exists in the midst of beings which are both in existence and not in existence. The encounter with those beings, ‘being alongside’ or ‘being with’ them, is made possible for Dasein by the presence of those beings within the world. This represents the primordial phenomenon of the present.

(fallenness)

Is this absurd? If this is absurd then it must also be absurd that I rage at the entire cosmos for having no ultimate meaning. But there is no reason to be pessimistic. There is no justification whatsoever for a negative attitude! There is no justification whatsoever for a positive attitude! There is no justification whatsoever for a neutral attitude! Who knows what will happen with certainty? I could be strolling down the street, being beautiful, on my way to kill myself, when suddenly I am run over by a bus. But wait a minute. Why am I doing this? Ah, yes, now I remember the punchline:

I’ll try anything once!

There is nothing to take seriously!

The ultimate law of language is, dare we say, that nothing can ever reside in a single term. This is a direct consequence of the fact that linguistic signs are unrelated to what they designate and that, therefore, ‘a’ cannot designate anything without the the aid of ‘b’ and vice versa, or, in other words, that both have value only by the difference between them.
The implications of life’s meaninglessness have not been elicited with sufficient ruthlessness. My methodology is honesty to the point of absurdity; honesty without mercy; honesty unprejudiced by morals, aesthetics, faith, or hope. When all illusions have been dispelled, at the end of overcoming subjectivities, biases, and prejudices towards life, one encounters the possibility of rational negation of self-interest; rational self-annihilation; rational self-destruction.
There is no nature to things […] There are no faces except masks… [There is] no true growth or evolution in this life… but only transformations of appearance, an incessant melting and molding of surfaces without underlying essence. There is no salvation of any being, because no being exists as such, nothing exists to be saved—everything, everyone exists only to be drawn into the slow and endless swirling of mutations…
Only because the nothing is manifest in the ground of Dasein can the total strangeness of beings overwhelm us. Only when the strangeness of beings oppresses us does it arouse and evoke wonder. Only on the ground of wonder – the revelation of the nothing – does the “why?” loom before us. Only because the “why” is possible as such can we in a definite way inquire into grounds, and ground them. Only because we can inquire and ground is the destiny of our existence placed in the hands of the researcher. The question of the nothing puts us, the questioners, in question. It is a metaphysical question.

And now at last the Earth was dead. The final pitiful survivor had perished. All the teeming billions; the slow aeons; the empires and civilizations of mankind were summed up in this poor twisted form—and how titanically meaningless it had all been! Now indeed had come an end and climax to all the efforts of humanity—how monstrous and incredible a climax in the eyes of those poor complacent fools in the prosperous days! Not ever again would the planet know the thunderous tramping of human millions—or even the crawling of lizards and the buzz of insects, for they, too, had gone. Now was come the reign of sapless branches and endless fields of tough grasses. Earth, like its cold, imperturbable moon, was given over to silence and blackness forever.

The stars whirred on; the whole careless plan would continue for infinities unknown. This trivial end of a negligible episode mattered not to distant nebulae or to suns new-born, flourishing, and dying. The race of man, too puny and momentary to have a real function or purpose, was as if it had never existed. To such a conclusion the aeons of its farcically toilsome evolution had led.

My writings are daily affirmations of death. I am painting myself into a corner until there is only one inevitable act left. I am killing every belief and breaking down every value that upholds my very life until what is left is nothing. An experiment in nihilism, I am destroying all values that uphold life until I am left with nowhere to stand.
How can you figure out if you are sane? … Once you begin to question your own sanity, you get trapped in an ever-tighter vortex of self-fulfilling prophecies, though the process is by no means inevitable. Everyone knows that the insane interpret the world via their own peculiarly consistent logic; how can you tell if your own logic is “peculiar’ or not, given that you have only your own logic to judge itself? I don’t see any answer. I am reminded of Gödel’s second theorem, which implies that the only versions of formal number theory which assert their own consistency are inconsistent.

The other metaphorical analogue to Gödel’s Theorem which I find provocative suggests that ultimately, we cannot understand our own mind/brains … Just as we cannot see our faces with our own eyes, is it not inconceivable to expect that we cannot mirror our complete mental structures in the symbols which carry them out? All the limitative theorems of mathematics and the theory of computation suggest that once the ability to represent your own structure has reached a certain critical point, that is the kiss of death: it guarantees that you can never represent yourself totally.

My speech is a warning that at this very moment death is loose in the world, that it has suddenly appeared between me, as I speak, and the being I address: it is there between us as the distance that separates us, but this distance is also what prevents us from being separated, because it contains the condition for all understanding. Death alone allows me to grasp what I want to attain; it exists in words as the only way they can have meaning. Without death, everything would sink into absurdity and nothingness.

Put it this way: I think that Camus was right to reject political and philosophical appeals; I think he was wrong to make nice with the abyss that remains after such appeals have been filed and cert. denied. Mortality salience is key—“your death and mine,” as Jim Goad puts it. It’s just that I am no longer convinced that the inevitability of death endows a life—or “life itself”—with any special significance. The inarguable fact is that every one of us has been dropkicked into a life we didn’t ask for, that leads to death. And the world ends when you die. Not a metaphor. Zeros don’t multiply. The apple isn’t just rotten; it’s shot through with poison. You say this kind of thing and people respond in predictable ways. I will be enjoined to throw myself off the nearest bridge. I will be advised to man up for the struggle. I will be told that I am a coward or that God is the answer. Don’t think for a second that I haven’t thought it through. There are plenty of shiny distractions to keep my interest for the time being. There are animals to be fed, deadlines to be met, and I want to see how Breaking Bad ends. But deep pessimism is where aesthetics breaks down for me. In particular, it’s what impels me to reject appeals to transcendent “survival” that resound in racialist and environmentalist rhetoric. Pace every zombie movie ever made, I don’t think “survival”—in the literal, generational, tribal, or metaphorical sense—is anything to celebrate. It’s just a Darwinian tic.Chip Smith

Every moment of experience is contingent on a vast complex of myriad conditions. Nothing exists in and of itself as ‘this’ or ‘that,’ ‘self’ or ‘other.’ Everything is what it is only in relation to what it is not. To recognize this emptiness is not to negate things but to glimpse what enables anything to happen at all.

Stephen Batchelor,

“Just as it is known that an image of one’s face is seen depending on a mirror but does not really exist as a face, so the conception of “I” exists dependent on mind and body. But like the image of a face the “I” does not at all exist as its own reality.”
— Nagarjuna

“The nature of phenomena is that of mutual dependence; in themselves, phenomena are nothing at all.”

Nagarjuna

Being inseparable from life itself, emptiness cannot be experienced apart from things. Emptiness is a way of talking about the sublime depth, mystery, and contingency that are revealed as one probes beneath the surface of anything that seems to exist in self-sufficient isolation. Emptiness is the untraceability of any such isolated thing. Yet for something to be empty does not imply that there is nothing there at all.

— Stephen Batchelor

Clinging is to insist on being someone—
Not to cling is to be free to be no one.

“We accept the necessity of finding money, by whatever means, because it is currently impossible to live without it, but we reject the necessity of working. Besides, we don’t work anymore: we do our time. Business is not a place where we exist, it’s a place we pass through. We aren’t cynical, we are just unwilling to be deceived.”

– The Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurrection

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