Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Myth of the 'Philosophical Investigations'

1.  The World (language) is a Labyrinth in which the Lover and the Beloved continuously approach one another upon labyrinthine ways which equally continuously move them apart. 

The Purpose of the Investigations is to create a labyrinth of the “We” (‘language is a labyrinth of ways’) into which the ‘you’ is guided – conducted – seduced.  Every ‘you’ is a potential beloved of the lover waiting in his labyrinth. 
The lover=the Minotaur=the monster of the labyrinth.

Out of the ruins (of disciples) one builds a labyrinth – the centreless universe – the all-devouring monad – the plural monad.

Only by losing oneself in the labyrinth can one be found by the lover – you have to want to get lost before the lover can find you in the labyrinth.  Wanting to be lost creates in the potential beloved a vertigo of self-abandonment, surpassing any other sort of betrayal.  One places one’s own genetic uniqueness in the service of the genetic destroyer.  Is that a manifestation of the ‘death instinct’?  

The labyrinth is dark – darkest of all is the lover.
The Beloved is the light in the labyrinth.

The “We” is a labyrinth of (disembodied) voices – not necessarily in unison – but occasionally punctuating the darkness with a chorus-refrain or an amen – spoken as ‘we’ and at once in “Übereinstimmung”; the intimation, attuned and coinciding, coaxing and chiding the ‘you’ – the beloved – to ‘go on’. 

The voices of the labyrinth were once ‘you’.  They are now ‘we’ – the voices of the damned – the ghosts of the previous beloveds.  Once ‘you’ becomes a voice of ‘we’ – he becomes a previous beloved – no longer the present beloved.  These are the voices of the remembered loves.  The ‘We’ is the chorus of dead loves.

When the ‘you’ of the beloved becomes a voice of the ‘we’ in the labyrinth, the ‘you’ dies as a beloved but the lover=philosophy dies for the ‘you’ as well.  Or the ‘you’ does not know itself anymore.  It is an atom of the ‘we’ of the seducing chorus.  Which is the same thing as saying – the lover has died for the ‘you’.  Only the next ‘you’ will revive the lover for the time in which the ‘you’ still resists becoming a ‘we’.

For the lover is also the hunter of the beloved – and what the lover hunts is the Will.
This leads to Bruno – the myth of Actaeon.  The chorus of dead loves are those who have received the mystical ‘mors osculi’ – death of the kiss. 

2.  In the negative cosmology of Bruno, Hell is part of God.  His ideas finally entered English thought some 50 years after his death during the time of the English Revolution via the ‘teutonick philosophy’ of Jakob Böhme.  The annihilation of the soul – as portrayed in the drama of Faust – is a desired end.  Mystical enlightenment comes only in the deepest darkness.  Divine grace is to be found in the depths of hell because that is where “God shall retire himself within his own Center, to be truly Hell.” (“An Introduction to the Teutonick Philosophie”, C. Hotham, March 3, 1646 – Dispute at Commencement in Cambridge)

Ludwig Wittgenstein revived certain aspects of the ‘teutonick philosophy’ when he began his teaching career at Cambridge in the 1930’s.  He found many young disciples willing to follow him along the ‘via negationis’, entrusting him with their malleable souls.   “My attitude towards him is an attitude towards a soul.  I am not of the opinion that he has a soul.” (Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Part II)
In the drama of their souls Wittgenstein’s role is never perfectly fixed.  Sometimes he appears to be Faust, sometimes Faust’s tactless crude apprentice Wagner, but more often Mephistopheles.  Wittgenstein is not evil, but he sees with the eyes of the Evil One – very far.  Who is really in charge of the obedience of ‘bare life’ if not the Master of Hell – where and by whom are the damned punished?  God may write the Law, but Satan enforces it.  Wittgenstein is the mystical personality – he transmutes evil into good and good into evil until the question of good and evil collapses into absurdity.  One of Wittgenstein’s sources for his ‘negative political theology’ is the vision of Church jurisdiction expressed by Ivan Fyodorovich in Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov”.  In a discussion in the cell of the holy man Starez, the simple monk Vasij sketches the utopia of the Church-State:  “It’s not the Church which will turn into the State (…)that’s Rome and its dream.  That is the third temptation of the devil!  On the contrary, the state turns into the Church, advances itself to Churchhood, and becomes a Church covering the whole earth.  This World Church is completely opposed to the ultramontanism of Rome and is reserved for the Orthodoxy on earth.  Light will come to the world from the east.” (Dostoyevsky, Die Brüder Karamasow, München, 1978, p. 93)

The mystical personality is a person who has a general reputation for being very virtuous, self-sacrificing, almost unnaturally good, no matter how much evidence to the contrary.  Anything he does or is no matter how remote from the conventional notion of good will always be interpreted in a positive or logical light.  This is the very essence of his negative influence.  The ‘essence of negation’ which eluded Wittgenstein in his philosophical writings – is captured in his life.  He speaks through his interpreters and they declare his words to be oracular.  The first sacrifice required of Wittgenstein readers is sacrificium intellectus.  As Cavell writes in “The Claim of Reason”: “(…) Wittgenstein’s writing is, as certain of his readers had shrewdly suspected from the beginning, beyond rational criticism.” (Stanley Cavell, The Claim of Reason, Oxford, 1979, p.20)
His personality is a paradox because his kind of dialectical harm, which is generally recognized as good, is a cause of holiness in others.

The proof of true love is the breaking of the will of the other.  Through his ability to break the will of others, without necessarily imposing his own will in its stead; the mystical personality is a prime mover of fate.  He is the embodiment of the negative principle.  He nullifies his ‘victims’, he does not posses them.  The negative principle is not the essence of the mystical personality – it is his prestabilized fate.  He may try to evade it in his youth when it is less obvious – being simply disguised by youth and its excessive vigour.  When the lethargy and solitude of age set in, the true mystical personality begins to shine through.  The mystical personality can no longer hide behind the living, it is reclaimed by the worlds beyond. 

The ‘riddle of evil’ is very close to the ‘riddle of holiness’.  To measure their nearness one must first familiarize oneself with certain principles and methods derived from a negative theology of coincidentia oppositorum (Nikolaus Cusanus, Giordano Bruno, Jakob Böhme) 

Negative Theology:  God is not redemption.  The Anti-Messiah.  Why shouldn’t there be a separate anti-force, which brings the Anti-Redemption.  With all the magnificence of the Redeemer?  Not Lucifer – he isn’t the expected one.  But a figure about whom prophecies have been uttered – a figure of the future.  As Nietzsche’s Zarathustra says: “Oh that someone would save them from their Saviour!”.  The characteristics of the Not Redeemer should be equally recognizable as those of the Redeemer.  The first axiom of negative theology – God is the Not-Redeemer, the star of not-redemption.   

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