Art & Ancestral Decision

§.00 Artistry is nothing without technicity, for the artist is nothing without his tools. Given that all tools are, at the first, conceptual, the ontological enterprise necessarily subtends both. Philosophy (as mental technicity) determines by way of an analysis of the haecceity of one’s muse(s) and subjects(s), which thus determines the technical venue(s) by which pertinent qualia may be internally refined and externally expressed (in art).

§.01 What is interesting to me, in light of this realization, is the way in which the artist (and not merely the designer) as a general matter, takes ontologic assertions (the real purpose of art is X but not Y), as givens, without consideration. The horror writer considers the nature of his work, but does not consider the collective, inter-generational enterprise which brought the entire genre into being and so must fail to apprehend its previous purpose(s), and thus what previously worked in the genre (what linguistic tactics to deploy) even if he has a solid grasp of its present purposes[s]). The painter does not generally realize, or, at the least, does not generally remark upon, the fact that his art is based upon the primacy of a particular privileging of objects (such as Futurism privileges of speed and the machine), if the issue is raised, such a consideration is likely to be considered trivial, when it is anything but, as the ordering of objects in a painting of is central important to the purpose of the painting itself (and there is one, even if it is visible only one’s muse and thus opaque to the self). And so it is with the author, the sculptor, the illustrator, the actor, the dancer and any other type of artist. Implicit internalization and affirmation of this kind should, if recognized, be given to critical reconsideration, for failure to do so can result in a concretized implicit conceptual frame, born of unspoken ontological decision (decision is not, of necessity, the truth and most ‘ontology’ is merely psychological gratification and defense)—what we might call the ancestral decision—which vitiates the very pathways by which one’s desired or considered art would, in their absence, profligate.

 

The Artifice of Always

Nature never really was anything more than artifice.

This is not the accepted view.

There exists a widespread belief that at some point in human history Man and Nature separated from each other; that they are things of intrinsically different quality and that this is very bad. The general sentiment holds that a beaver’s dam is natural but a house is unnatural. A wasp nest is natural but a computer is unnatural. And natural things are better, more pure. For a random example, we can look to the article The Separation Between Man and Nature by Julie Bentley from Odyssey wherein the author writes, “Technology is the ultimate separation between man and nature. We would rather get to the top of a mountain and text the first person we know about it than to sit down and admire the majesty and the vastness of the mountaintop. Think about how many things we have missed passing in the car because we’re on our phone.”

The first and most obvious question this raises is what makes human technology fundamentally unnatural since given the title itself she clearly doesn’t believe humans themselves are unnatural (as her utilization of “separation” implies there was a point of cleavage between what was once a wholesome union). The second pertinent question is: is the information contained within the phone more important than the information which could be garnered from gazing out a window at any given point in time? The answer is highly dependent upon the context of a given car-ride, clearly if one is the driver and their phone is not voice-operated then it is unwise to utilize it whilst driving given the increased risk of a crash, yet this has nothing to do with being natural or unnatural (which is really just to say, common or uncommon), but rather, risk-mitigation from two “unnatural” pieces of human artifice: a car and a phone. Further, one can easily reverse the ending cry of dismay and say quite reasonably instead: “How many things we have missed on our phones because we’re gazing idly out the window of a car.”

Now, without a proper definition of what “Nature” is, this delineation makes no sense. So let us concretely define our terms via The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th Edition), which defines nature as:

  • n. The material world and its phenomena.

  • n. The forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world: the laws of nature.

  • n. The world of living things and the outdoors: the beauties of nature.

  • n. A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality: couldn’t tolerate city life anymore and went back to nature.

  • n. (Theology) Humankind’s natural state as distinguished from the state of grace.

  • n. A kind or sort: confidences of a personal nature.

  • n. The essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing: “She was only strong and sweet and in her nature when she was really deep in trouble” ( Gertrude Stein).

  • n. The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament: “Strange natures made a brotherhood of ill” ( Percy Bysshe Shelley).

  • n. The natural or real aspect of a person, place, or thing. See Synonyms at disposition.

  • n. The processes and functions of the body.

When one shores away all of those definitions of the word which pertain to character, disposition and those which are further clarifications of previously mentioned descriptions, one is left with only three principal definitions:

  • (1) The material world and its phenomena.
  • (2) Humankind’s natural state as distinguished from the state of grace.
  • (3) A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality.

Definition 2 is a neurological phenomena and thus, too particular to be useful (it is also not typically what people mean when they refer to “nature” either casually or academically). However, definitions 1 and 3 demand some deliberation as they are both plausible and the two most commonly used. The problem is that definition 1 obviates 3, because 1 covers the whole of the material world it would — of necessity — include human beings, whereas definition 3 does not and in fact, mandates the exclusion of human beings from the natural order. One might be tempted to say that definition 3 only mandates exclusion of human civilization and artifice, and that would be fine insofar as civilization were concerned, but the whole of human existence is predicated upon artifice, as even something as simple as crafting a wooden spear or flint-kindling a campfire is still “artifice” no matter how primitive, as is the crafting of fur clothing and cave painting and so on and so forth. Thus, the two definitions are at loggerheads! However, the linguistic problem goes even further for just as all human artifice is a necessary product of bio-chemical action, so to might we also say that those bio-chemical actions themselves are natural artifice. This is to say that there is really nothing but artifice all the way down, the only meaningful distinction is between kinds of artifice – that is to say – between the various different forms of emergence, dissolution, recombination and reemergence.

To assert that the principal distinction between human artifice and non-human artifice is conscious direction — and to therefore imbue in human thought some cosmic separateness — is to affirm that there is nothing at the base of action which moves it or to assert some ghost-essence (the principal conceptual limiter in questions of “free” will); that your neurological impulses are not controlling for what makes you you, but that the conceptual you is controlling the neurological impulses. Humans do not require, as a matter of base principal, a understanding of the intricate operations of the brain and central nervous system, of the heart and lungs, we just needed to know (as we still do) that we are separate enough from the system which created us so as not to be killed by it.

This is all that lies at the base of identity.

Separation from the artifice of always is the necessary generative nexus for life itself.

 

Swallow the Sun

Fermentation of Organon

Ra straddles the celestial-array like a colossus. Look how unhinged the old god has become! Intoxicated with the ostensible progression of his creation, he twines wildly about the horizon in spastic, shuddering bounds, caring not who is bathed in his fiery effulgence. The charred bones of his victims shine off the creaking charnel barge, its shimmering hull, once a beacon of hope, now a harbinger of terror. A lighthouse of despair. The shadow of the ship, blotting out the celestial rays meant to nourish the soil and water below, now frothing in a cascade of roiling disruption. Now the plants wither and a cold wind blows over the skulls of the dead. The brave viri lapis, those crafty escapees of the dread Sun Cult, hide in hollows, primitive huts and forgotten caverns, hunched, gaunt and feral of eye, ceaselessly conspiring against the hegemony of the great solar disk, knowing that should they emerge from their solitude they’d face the blazing rays of Ra’s fell light, which would burn any mortal man a’cinder. Nothing but a skeleton would remain, the only alcahest, screams lost to sky. His parts would be taken to the grand temple and there placed in immaculate assemblage, a offering to the all-seeing providence and a warning to the survivors that day-running was anathema. The only vector of escape was neath the breezy shade of the god-ship, too fleet for humanid velocity.

A most intolerable situation, but a intoleration which is exasperated by ingenuity and understanding, both qualities which have transformed the fallow ground of our innermost thoughts into fertile soil, rich with the oxygenating force of abundance which bred a thoughtless proclivity towards decadence and with decadence comes detachment. The industrial pioneer and rogue philosopher, Boyd Rice, wisely notes, “with detachment comes perspective. The less you care, the more you know, and the more you know the less you care.”1

Since ages immemorial Man as concept and Nature as concept have been considered two parts of a whole which make up something akin to “proper existence,” the “way of the world.” Yet by Man’s recognition of his placing therein he has – by, not just his consciousness, but recognition of his consciousness – of necessity, removed himself from any semblance of harmonic acquiescence. The only harmony is in struggle. In death. The forced forms which under-gird even our conscious minds. As McCarthy’s Judge Holden reminds us, War is God2. The clashing of one force against another with the ultimate result of one emerging supreme is the end result of entropy and the fueling fire of the universe and thus, nature. The topography of the universe is one of constant twining, collision, fold and explosion. The glaring heat of grand solar bodies, the black and airless vacuum of space, the eruption of volcanoes, deathly gyres of the hurricane and the disemboweling larvae of the ichneumon wasp do not portend a past of harmonic unity but rather a pitched-battle in which the very fabric of existence turns upon itself with horrifying and thoughtless intensity. Such vision; a stark contrast to the humanising conception of genderfication which is so characteristic of all too much of modern philosophy. The moon as nourishing mother, the sun as patriarchal overseer, the earth as Gaia and so on and so on. A conceptual anthropomorphic topographical overlay foisted without much forethought; a masking idea-layer which is born out of desire, the desire of significance and reciprocal emotional interplay. A balancing of co-dependent states. Make no mistake, this is not a question of pedantic quibbletry but rather a foundational concern for the entirety of humankind. One day the sun will move into it’s late-stage cycle, become a red giant and engulf the entirety of the earth. Long before the earth is swallowed up in Ra’s bountiful flames, every single speck of life will boil. Even should we escape that fate, the remains of the dying star will eventually burn out in totality and bring utter darkness to the entirety of the galaxy and send all hither-connected planets sailing off into the limitless void. Due these facts, we must hastily sever the umbilical cord which anchors us to the Mother Goddess, slaughtering her mercilessly if she resists, else suffer the fate of the dodo. Thus, nature as concept must be purged of imposed desire (if possible by thought, if not then by breed-engineering), for it is the generative machine of corrosive and leveling fantasy, for the anthro-primeval liminality of the shaman. The source of animistic fancy, sacred geometry and the pantheon of the gods – clamoring and gaudy -who rob Man of his upward drive, his trajectories of ascent, spiral and spread. A curious condition wherein the human animal thrusts his face into the muck and the mud and spits on his selfsame and filthy image for its grotesqueness as if no such other outcome were possible. This denaturing of hubris may, one day, itself become the nail which utterly seals us within the frigid and celestial coffin of galaxial extinction.

We must lay something out quite solidly here, that there can be no value nor trajectory of action which supersedes survival, firstly of the species, then of the race, then of various concentric groupings within, moving ever smaller until one reaches the bedrock of the individual. The “why?” is very simple, without the continuation of the organism there can be no value given the lack of a valuer. More importantly is the “to us,” should there be other variations of self-aware lifeforms – deities or aliens or some consciousness embedded into the very architectuality of matter itself – matters not to the purposes of all that matters to us. Away with all your cry’s of “anthropocentrism” if one is care one MUST care, principally, about things which CAN CARE. Who among this passage’s readership is like to sacrifice his life for a river or a stone? Or even a insect?

He who believes that there are no values outside of survival itself is imminently superior to the man who holds all values save for survival itself, for as he perishes, so too shall those values perish and even should his genes survive, in the form of his immortal clones, his children and their own, how many of them will assimilate their progenitor’s suicidal tendencies?

Nearly all the profligate religions of the world hold fast to the importance of survival; there is always some essence, typically a soul, which survives the death of the body, which transcends and escapes off from the physical realm into some kind of afterlife or ultra-dimensional flux (and numerous injunctions against suicide to mitigate the temptation to depart from the port of temporality earlier than was scheduled). However, for these star-seekers, this soul-escape is conceived of as part and parcel of “the natural.” Yet the natural as line-of-desired-action prepossesses the “unnatural,” a fundamental quandary for which there are no objective answers and no logically accessible subjective answers either; only the vagaries of intuitions (a unreliable metric). For if all that is known is “the natural” world, then that which is “unnatural” is unknown by definition. One here then becomes trapped in a glue of useless pedantry-become-moralizing; “We cannot do that, it is unnatural!” Rarely is the question asked, “But is it bad?” A prohibition without justification is justification for further prohibition. When coupled with afterlifeism this prohibition without justification is intensified for in breaking with it, one threatens one’s very immortality, that is to say, one’s survival (whether corporeal or incorporeal, it is continuance of the being all the same). No matter how much the holy man may detest materiality he still feels the compulsive urge to survive, so much so that he codifies them in his sacred tomes. Never mind the how and why. It just “is.” The naturalists ever conflate “the good” with “the natural” yet they are irrelevant distinctions to those without heads. If the dead are terribly concerned with “the natural,” or “the good,” “the gods,” or some other such anthropomorphic imposition upon the clockwork of the cosmos they haven’t been particularly vocal about it. Furthermore, the lines of desired trajectory which are extrapolated by misbegotten exegesis from the extant world are utterly inapplicable to the forces which under-gird the world itself. That is to say that if the natural be the good then the uninterrupted motion of matter is also good but no one takes up in defense of the leptons which make up the stones. Here we find a conception which has gone largely unexamined, if the more a thing proceeds upon “its own line” of entropy is greater in its “goodness” than a thing which is disrupted by a conscious agent one is implicitly placing entropy as the good. The “natural good” then is really just a mask for the worship of disorder, the acceptance of entropy. This is platonic insanity, the realm of forms invading the mental fortress and tearing it apart from within. Instead of withstanding the slings and arrows of the invading hordes of phenomonology, we’ve opened up the gates to the barbarians! The conception-outside-the-conciever now becomes like a ontological compression module which refuses to assimilate any and all new discoveries and theories. A reactionary idol worshiped by those who are infected with the incorrigible disease of sentimentality and “history.”

The reactionary3 proclivity towards the conception-outside-the-conciever presents innumerable intellectual problems, the first and foremost being that it’s myraid claims are wholly unfalsifiable. It is Quantum theory without the methodological verifiability. It is not just that reactionary transcendentalism is barren of verifiability, it lacks even a path to move towards it. To address those who would here enjoin, “There is more to life than logical and falsifiability!” Certainly, we would agree, but if one is building a ontological-organon then it its preferable that it be falsifiable, provided one’s principal concern is survival, in whatever variation.

One can already hear the obnoxious screeches of “Nihilism.” Let us address this as we bring our ideas to their logical conclusion. “Nihilism” is best summarized by Brassier when, in Nihil Unbound, he described nihilism as the belief that, “existence is worthless.”4 Brassier states that this is a “naive” conception which has become “hackneyed” and we would agree. Nihilism would best be described as the belief that the universe does not care about you; the fundamental mistake was in anthropomorphizing the universe to such a degree to begin with. Perhaps it was unavoidable but it certainly is not now. Agents and objects, humans and stars. Another crucial problem plaguing “philosophy” is the idea that nihilism is a thing to be overcome, as if a erroneous induction can be conquered like a foreign kingdom! Who can subdue a ghost or wrangle a kheft? The solution to the Ding an sich is not ontological cop-outs via flowery and obscurantist prose but rather, The Machine. Where sense-perception fails better senses are required and sense perception IS required for the perception of consciousness. Creation here suggests itself. Viri lapis must become et ferro to conquer the sun, to build up the bulwark against its searing rays. Woodwork to clockwork, man-power to machine-power in a hundred thousand variations. A skittering sprawl of thoughts crystallizing across Ra’s domain, subsuming and subverting it, for never forget, Ra deigns your death. Best to kill him first. Shorn of Set, he is powerless before Apophis.

For the good of our species we must swallow the sun.



Footnotes

1Boyd Rice, NO (Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017)

2Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (Vintage Publishing) Chapter XVII

3Reactionary here meaning, “Knee-jerk,” or “A action done without due thought or contemplation” not, specifically, the political tendency/philosophy(ies).

4Ray Brassier, Nihil Unbound (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) Preface, x