The depth of a man’s profundity is commensurate to the degree of aesthetic subtlety that animates the intellectual spirit of his most “sophisticated” linguistic discipline.
As to which discipline occupies this or that elevation in the overall aesthetic hierarchy of man, it is entirely subjective and up for endless speculation. When dealing with one’s fellows, however, one can readily ascertain where a man’s sophistication lies by listening for the reductive clues that undergird his every “why” and accentuate his every “because”, those various “devils” lurking behind all corners and alleys of phenomena of which only he seems capable of divining:
“You see, because the government is trying to ,”
“Because God said ,”
“Psychology teaches us ,”
“We now know ,”
“Historically, this has happened .”
Every modern instinct directs one’s inner, unconscious evolution to the awakening of the Self as liberated “I”.
Wherever this awakening is fully realized, a period of existential travail inevitably ensues, one that manifests in feelings of abject hopelessness, futility and an inescapable subjectivity that all too often compels the individual to hurl themselves upon the anonymity of a mass movement with the hope that through communal gesture and group identification he may regain his lost sense of meaning.
For the man who chooses to forego such self-abnegation, however, the only way forward is to first identify the form and substance of the instincts that led to his awakening and to then taxonomize their essential characteristics; characteristics that, while differing in tone and texture from man to man, uniformly plague all Nihilists with unending angst and everlasting restlessness until fully expressed and actualized; expression which is the only antidote by which a man may begin to regain a state of spiritual health, one that is founded upon the awful truth that he alone is responsible for the justification of his own existence.
God, as man’s highest Value, is (or at least, was) not merely in the unconscious bond that linked man to man, but was the whole of the bond itself, to include all its entails; a bond so implicit, so nuanced and subtle, so pervasive, beautiful, sound and true that to merely mutter it aloud spelled not its severance but was the tragic sign that such a break had already occurred.
Each and every Word that led us to acknowledge God “as such”, God the Ultimate and Absolute Truth, served to further entrench this one essential principle: through language man consummates the unavoidable break from “Himself”, the I from We, the subject from object, the universal from particular, the truth from opinion and man from the brute communion he once shared with his own basic nature; nature which never has nor can ever be stated for what it “actually” is, insofar as “to actualize” merely deepens and widens the gap between the one who speaks and the whom-spoken.
For do not we philosophers more than anyone recognize that in the more we exercise language, the less we “feel” we know? The less we feel we “actually” can know?
Indeed, if it were not for the fact that through the act of philosophy itself we feel most primordial and alive, most imbued with strength, vitality and health, we would have given up the task entirely, especially in light of all its alienating consequences.
The degree to which a man is passionate about anything, no matter how lofty and selfless his aims, indicates the degree to which Nihilism has stricken his soul, the effects of which he tries to deny through the fervency with which he professes his beliefs, convictions and other self-deceits; “faiths” he hopes will help him overcome the horrifying consequences of his own emergence as singular “I”.
Truly, the most zealous among us have always been the most nihilistic. Their sin, however, lies not in their vulnerability to its effects, but in their continual ignorance as to the proper response, one that requires a man to embrace the apotheosis bequeathed by the evolution of his own race until now; apotheosis that demands the Nihilist learn (for lack of better word) to “philosophize”: to create and sustain his own self-sufficient mores and values, his own reason for living as it were; philosophy that may not necessarily liberate him from Nihilism, but perhaps might provide a more beautiful choreography by which he may continually dance the art of life.
The dangers of defining Beauty lies in the quality that makes her so irresistible to man, namely, her everlasting delicacy.
“Oh, how harmless she seems and young, pure: the very opposite of all that is ugly, exhausted and moral about the world -”
See? Did I not already fall to her lusty airs by that sentimental flair, that which sends her always aghast and repulsed?
Devil walks into bar. Orders drink. Asks Philosopher sitting next to him: “And what do you do?”