Author Topic: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism  (Read 14180 times)

Cain

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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2009, 04:34:17 pm »
Cain, this is an amazing piece.  I want to send it to everyone I know, especially the Bostonian Pinealists who keep bothering me.

The only reason I don't is the anticipation that you may edit the final paragraphs to your satisfaction.

Other than that, it is brilliant.

You're known to the Boston Pinealist crowd?  There is a Boston Pinealist crowd?

Well, any advice on where to improve it would be very helpful indeed.  Which paragraphs in particular should be junked etc  I can likely do it this weekend.  And thanks.


Way I see it this has the potential to annihilate pinealism once and for all. If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

Are you thinking Pinealism = passive nihilism or something here?  I just want to make sure I am following the logic.

Genius. i loved it. :D

Thankyou.

Nihilism is, in my opinion, the opiate of the 21st century.  It is so easy to fall into apathy, to wish to cocoon yourself in a little bubble of comfort and nice things.  Equally, it is easy to grow to despise everything around you, for not living up to childish and unrealistic ideas about the world, to the point that you cannot bear the gap between expectation and fact, and so let that frustration out in destructive and terrible ways.
To me both are equally comforting, superficial, unrealistic and addictive... which isn't surprising given the common root. Physical comfort vs mental comfort. Not to forget also, the devastation and destruction waged in the pursuit of a consumerist society.

Could be, yes.  There is also mental comfort in cynical apathy, too, if you wanted to complete the comparison.  Still, their expressions are somewhat different (to borrow from Zizek, passive nihilism tends to result in structural violence, whereas radical nihilism seems to result in mostly subjective violence, ie violence performed by small groups or individuals).



You give a good exposition of fragments from "Der Wille Zur Macht" (titles vary, Will to Power i assume?)

Some 80-95% of the world still categorize themselves within a religious denomination, but on terms of orthopraxis, rarely anyone follows that specific moral code, but instead come up with pseudo or hybrid value systems.

Religion used to regulate and be the measuring stick of everything; now its primarily split between religion, money (production and consumption) and "safety".

The term "strong nihilism" i would equiparate it with a synonim of "dynamism" of "not stagnating", you know, to really make justice to what is being attempted to be expressed; a nihilism only in the sense that erradicates all the nonsense, giving the groundwork of a "groud zero" whereupon there can be built a new system.

Nihilism needs to be embraced to later on be overcome. The "point of truth" taht should be reference is "life". For if in the process of questioning all values, one questions existence/life itself, and one determines life doesnt have an intrinsec value, then indeed it is a pure nihilism, as an end, and not as a means.

Quote
Nihilism is, in my opinion, the opiate of the 21st century.  It is so easy to fall into apathy, to wish to cocoon yourself in a little bubble of comfort and nice things. 

Yes! See this is the decay of which i was expressing myself about one of its symptoms in the lackluster emo rant i made!

You're right, The Will To Power was an influence on this.  I've had a copy of that for about seven or eight years now, it's a great read.

And your point is very similar to one made by Deleuze, who contrasts life and creativity (and resistance) with passive and radical nihilism (as an aside, it really is a shame he's dead, Deleuze would've loved Discordianism if he had heard of it, I'm certain.  Even a passing familiarity with his readings show he valued chaos, freedom and creativity, and he was an exceptionally talented thinker).


If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

I second this, for the lecture i recently made of the BIP left me with a vague feeling that speaking thru metaphors is one way of expressing what discordia is, but there must also be a more concrete and rigurous, parallel side to it.

Im gonna chew on the subject for some days and come up with something to write.

Sounds like a good plan.  I've been trying to get more rigorous myself lately, by subjecting myself to some high grade philosophical texts.  I haven't got anything ironed out yet (probably wont for years to come), but it's a start.

This is excellent, Cain. Thank you for writing it.

Going to go ferment on it in the shower for a while.

Thanks again, and not a problem.

I intend to read this a few more times over the coming days to better digest it.  Excellent.

Thanks

I agree whole heartedly.

Thanks as well

Nice.

Cain, what are your thoughts on where new age fits into all this?

It may also be worthwhile to have more in-depth discussion of socioeconomic status as a driver behind passive acceptance or violent rejection of the world.

What circumstances are most favorable for an anti-nihilist current that is nihilism's completion?

The New Age strikes me as passive nihilism without the Christianity.  It's largely about transcendent values and "personal betterment" which typically involves assimilating yourself more efficiently into the post-political social structure (New Age crap is fairly popular among a certain type of managerial thinker, for example).  But I'll be honest, I don't know as much about the New Age movement to be able to talk about it in depth, only give surface impressions.

It could be.  However, I know from previous instruction in terrorism studies that most terrorists can come from anywhere on the socio-economic scale.  I would guess though that it is easier to buy into fundamentalism when you are poor (so the evidence seems to suggest) and that it is easier to live a consumerist lifestyle if you can actually afford to do so, so there is likely something to it.

I am really not sure.  I'll keep an eye out, but I suspect such groups would probably exist at the margins and fringes of society.

This is one of the best things of read in OKM in a while. Thanks, Cain.

And thanks again.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2009, 05:36:31 pm »
Cain, this is a brilliant piece of writing.  It encapsulates much of what has been jumbling around in my head for a while, but draws together what I considered to be several different topics into one seamless piece.  I don't really think it lost steam toward the end, I thought it wrapped up well.

Would you mind if I repost?  Obviously with full credit given to you, upfront.
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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2009, 05:38:29 pm »
I was thinking of putting it up on my Facebook, and maybe my blog, as well.

If that's cool with Cain.


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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2009, 06:35:45 pm »
Way I see it this has the potential to annihilate pinealism once and for all. If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

Are you thinking Pinealism = passive nihilism or something here?  I just want to make sure I am following the logic.



Not exactly. I was using a much broader brush. Way I see it pinealism is a reaction or response to the absurdist, hippie humour which pervaded the original PD by people who only got the jokes and not the underlying philosophy. This, on the other hand, is a slap in the teeth, at the same time a tangent and a new direction. A more accurate direction if you ask me. I shit you not, this philosophical synthesis that you seem to be coming toward is the next step for discordianism (in my mind at least) I always saw the BIP as an attempt to re-examine the ideas of the PD in a more contemporary way but this is something completely different like an orchid growing out some hippie dung.

The "nihilist" monicker, although I totally get why you used it (I've done so myself in the past), might become a red herring eventually - too much baggage. But this essay is definitely a flag in the sand, a shifting of the goalposts if you like. It has the potential to radically change the whole movement. Or turn it on it's head or something.
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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2009, 06:54:15 pm »
The New Age strikes me as passive nihilism without the Christianity.  It's largely about transcendent values and "personal betterment" which typically involves assimilating yourself more efficiently into the post-political social structure (New Age crap is fairly popular among a certain type of managerial thinker, for example).  But I'll be honest, I don't know as much about the New Age movement to be able to talk about it in depth, only give surface impressions.

I believe that passivity surpasses Christianity, with "everything happens for a reason" not as an endpoint, but a starting point.  That is, the synchronistic world of the new ager is filled with divine messages and "lessons".  It is an act of violence against the cruelty of the world, but through narrative.


Quote
It could be.  However, I know from previous instruction in terrorism studies that most terrorists can come from anywhere on the socio-economic scale.  I would guess though that it is easier to buy into fundamentalism when you are poor (so the evidence seems to suggest) and that it is easier to live a consumerist lifestyle if you can actually afford to do so, so there is likely something to it.

I am really not sure.  I'll keep an eye out, but I suspect such groups would probably exist at the margins and fringes of society.

Fair points.

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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2009, 07:28:32 pm »
Way I see it this has the potential to annihilate pinealism once and for all. If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

Are you thinking Pinealism = passive nihilism or something here?  I just want to make sure I am following the logic.

The way I took it (but seeing P3NT's reply that was also not exactly right), is two-sided. On the one hand, yes, Pinealism has a lot of passive nihilist elements as you just described them. And on the other hand, the Pinealism element in Discordianism is exactly the thing we do not need for the Perfect Nihilism direction.

Wait, no that's not right.

The passive nihilist elements of Discordianism reside in its Pinealist aspects. In order to become this Perfect Nihilism/anti-Nihilism, we should discard those elements of Pinealism. That doesn't mean, however, that we should discard all Pinealism--depending on your definition of the term, that is--because there are more than enough zany, crazy and weird aspects in Discordianism that do further, or could be useful in, an anti-Nihilist cause.

but that kinda depends, those things are probably not what most consider Pinealism. it's a bit of a broad term.

anyway, that article is some serious good stuff, Cain.
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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2009, 08:29:09 pm »

Isnt pinealism just a regurgitation and subvariant of dada?


And your point is very similar to one made by Deleuze, who contrasts life and creativity (and resistance) with passive and radical nihilism (as an aside, it really is a shame he's dead, Deleuze would've loved Discordianism if he had heard of it, I'm certain.  Even a passing familiarity with his readings show he valued chaos, freedom and creativity, and he was an exceptionally talented thinker).

You are the second person that draws paralelles between my ideas and Deleuze, some woman from my schools doctorate gave me a compilation that has essays of Deleuze, Foucault and some other authors, its called something like "Biopolitics"... i need to dig deeper into the concept of immanence... the first reading i made of him was realllly hard to follow, and not just Derrida hard, but like hard hard.

Before here i never heard of agonism, ill look into it.


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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2009, 10:01:34 pm »
Hoops, LMNO,feel free to use as you see it.  Everyone else, I'll be on later to make comments
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2009, 08:15:54 am »
Sounds like a good plan.  I've been trying to get more rigorous myself lately, by subjecting myself to some high grade philosophical texts.  I haven't got anything ironed out yet (probably wont for years to come), but it's a start.

Lets get some synergy going! Theres is no tomorrow like today! (Or this month, you know what i mean)

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http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=23202.0


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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2009, 10:11:32 am »
Bump! Cos I don't want Cain going to sleep on this.

Have a mull over these ...

P3nT's 3 tenets of "Perfect Nihilism"

1) Gravity is absolute, morality is not.

2) God may not be dead but he does need to stand in line like the rest of us.

3) The ultimate meaning of existence is for each of us to decide for ourselves.
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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2009, 11:06:48 am »
at first i was like tl;dr

and then i was like: http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=11351.msg769281#msg769281

and then i thought: maybe discordianism is moderate nihilism.

i'm having a hard time seeing how pinealism fits in to all this.  i alwasy took pinealism as an "easy out" for coping with lack of original thought.  a self affirmation of beautiful snowflakeness so to speak.

now i'm thinking: i think i'll re-read and i'm interested to see where this thread goes.

nice job, cain.

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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2009, 01:53:56 pm »
Not exactly. I was using a much broader brush. Way I see it pinealism is a reaction or response to the absurdist, hippie humour which pervaded the original PD by people who only got the jokes and not the underlying philosophy. This, on the other hand, is a slap in the teeth, at the same time a tangent and a new direction. A more accurate direction if you ask me. I shit you not, this philosophical synthesis that you seem to be coming toward is the next step for discordianism (in my mind at least) I always saw the BIP as an attempt to re-examine the ideas of the PD in a more contemporary way but this is something completely different like an orchid growing out some hippie dung.

The "nihilist" monicker, although I totally get why you used it (I've done so myself in the past), might become a red herring eventually - too much baggage. But this essay is definitely a flag in the sand, a shifting of the goalposts if you like. It has the potential to radically change the whole movement. Or turn it on it's head or something.

Wow, thanks.  And yes, I see more accurately what you are saying now.  I was thinking too...uh, inter-paradigmally, I think (is that even a word) instead of taking a step back.  It happens, at times.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Cain

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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2009, 01:58:04 pm »
I believe that passivity surpasses Christianity, with "everything happens for a reason" not as an endpoint, but a starting point.  That is, the synchronistic world of the new ager is filled with divine messages and "lessons".  It is an act of violence against the cruelty of the world, but through narrative.

That sounds pretty fair.  I try to stay far away from the New Age crowd and so mostly rely on stereotypes to make fun of them, but if that stereotype is mostly accurate, and going by what you say here it is, then yes, it would certainly be a form of passive nihilism.  I know Slavoj Zizek, who works from a kind of Deleuzean-Marxist approach to politics and society, thinks that the New Age movement and Buddhism are coping mechanisms par excellence, in that they teach you how to cope with modern society and all that is wrong with it, and be happy with it, instead of getting discontent and changing it.

Also I did some thinking, and historically, Dada may have been on the very cusp of perfect nihilism.  It sought to destroy meaning and art, but through acts of creation.  And given the links between Dada and Discordianism, if we accept the latter could be a vehicle for perfect nihilism, then the former must reflect that in some way.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2009, 02:04:59 pm »
The passive nihilist elements of Discordianism reside in its Pinealist aspects. In order to become this Perfect Nihilism/anti-Nihilism, we should discard those elements of Pinealism. That doesn't mean, however, that we should discard all Pinealism--depending on your definition of the term, that is--because there are more than enough zany, crazy and weird aspects in Discordianism that do further, or could be useful in, an anti-Nihilist cause.

but that kinda depends, those things are probably not what most consider Pinealism. it's a bit of a broad term.

anyway, that article is some serious good stuff, Cain.

Yeah, I see what you are saying, too.  The problem would be where people substitute Pinealism for "stuff about Discordianism I don't like".  Or where elements of Discordianism get associated with Pinealism unfairly.  Like Dada, for example.  The original Dadaists were brilliant, vibrant and crazy artists, whereas those who rip them off....usually do it pretty poorly, which then reflects badly on those Dadaist elements, despite the fact that's Dadaist aims (like negation), methods and style are usually pretty cool and mesh pretty well with Discordianism.

And thanks.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Cain

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Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2009, 02:09:53 pm »

Isnt pinealism just a regurgitation and subvariant of dada?


And your point is very similar to one made by Deleuze, who contrasts life and creativity (and resistance) with passive and radical nihilism (as an aside, it really is a shame he's dead, Deleuze would've loved Discordianism if he had heard of it, I'm certain.  Even a passing familiarity with his readings show he valued chaos, freedom and creativity, and he was an exceptionally talented thinker).

You are the second person that draws paralelles between my ideas and Deleuze, some woman from my schools doctorate gave me a compilation that has essays of Deleuze, Foucault and some other authors, its called something like "Biopolitics"... i need to dig deeper into the concept of immanence... the first reading i made of him was realllly hard to follow, and not just Derrida hard, but like hard hard.

Before here i never heard of agonism, ill look into it.



Sort of, but not really (see above).  Usually, I consider it uncreative and uncritical regurgitation of the PD and elements within.  Other attitudes may vary.

Yes, Deleuze and Foucault never intended themselves to be easily read, and often came up with entirely new concepts and terms to describe their ideas.  Biopolitics, in short, is the politics of security.  Wikipedia explains it better

Quote
For Foucault, biopower is a technology of power, which is a way of managing people as a group. For Foucault, the distinctive quality of this political technology is that it allows for the control of entire populations. It is thus essential to the emergence of the modern nation state, modern capitalism, etc. Biopower is literally having power over other bodies, "an explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations". It relates to the government's concern with fostering the life of the population, and centers on the poles of discipline ("an anatomo-politics of the human body") and regulatory controls ("a biopolitics of the population").

Biopower for Foucault contrasts with traditional modes of power based on the threat of death from a sovereign. In an era where power must be justified rationally, biopower is utilized by an emphasis on the protection of life rather than the threat of death, on the regulation of the body, and the production of other technologies of power, such as the notion of sexuality. Regulation of customs, habits, health, reproductive practices, family, "blood", and "well-being" would be straightforward examples of biopower, as would any conception of the state as a "body" and the use of state power as essential to its "life". Hence the conceived relationship between biopower, eugenics and state racism.

With the concept of "biopower", which first appears in courses concerning the discourse of "race struggle", Foucault develops a holistic account of power, in opposition to the classic understanding of power as basically negative, limitative and akin to censorship. Sexuality, he argues, far from having been reduced to silence during the Victorian Era, was in fact subjected to a "sexuality dispositif" (or "mechanism"), which incites and even forced the subject to speak about their sex. Thus, "sexuality does not exist", it is a discursive creation, which makes us believe that sexuality contains our personal truth (in the same way that the discourse of "race struggle" sees the truth of politics and history in the everlasting subterranean war which takes place beneath the so-called peace).

Furthermore, the exercise of power in the service of maximizing life carries a dark underside. When the state is invested in protecting the life of the population, when the stakes are life itself, anything can be justified. Groups identified as the threat to the existence of the life of the nation or of humanity can be eradicated with impunity. "If genocide is indeed the dream of modern power, this is not because of the recent return to the ancient right to kill; it is because power is situated and exercised at the level of life, the species, the race, and the large-scale phenomena of the population."

Some of Deleuze's work that isn't Anti-Oedipus or A Thousand Plateaus is easier to understand though.  I recommend, if you can get them, the Routledge Critical Thinkers series books on both of them, as introductory texts.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before