Any man worthy of the title “philosopher” will be the first to admit that in his (however inarticulate) desire for an audience lies not the hope that he may be received, understood or much less lauded for his supposed profundity, but that through the attention of others he may, alas, be relieved, no matter how fleetingly, of the innumerable pathologies bequeathed by the solitude of his craft, the foremost that haunts his every day and night with the question: “am I mad?”
Derision, rebuttal, embarrassment – all are preferable to blithe disregard, to the shrugging of shoulders, to the “well, this has been said by so-and-so (and better)”, all of which confirm the philosopher’s most abiding fear that his solitude has, indeed, rendered him utterly deranged, incapable of psychologically enduring the social world of others, his own opinions of man being “essentially correct”, though he the only one on earth who knows it, tragically.
On the other hand, with wide readership comes social cacophony and cacophony superfluous responsibility and responsibility the deterioration of said solitude which alone grants the philosopher access to the marrow of his work: the lived experience of his own subjective body.
As one who stands always askance, ambivalent and unsure of the words he pens, he wonders how others could approach his or any other writings without similar reserve, let alone embrace any of it as true.
“If these doltish brutes can comprehend my metaphysics, of which I can’t rightly appraise, what does that say about my own relationship to and with profundity?” – profundity which the philosopher holds most tremulous in his hands, most afraid that if it was to ever touch the soul of another – and not be immediately purged – that it would no longer be “his”, which is to say, his own peculiar justification of life; Justification, strange and intermittent: God to him, or at least a temporary heaven, if there can be such things.
A Brief Primer on “Time”
The precondition for artistic genius is psychological tension, that which is perceived as a constant, but not unendurable, dissatisfaction with one’s current interpretation and expression of Life and the body’s subsequent desire for more of It; “more” not in terms of plurality or broadness of experience or even complexity per se, but in ever-particularizing refinement: in the continual refinement of a single, essential idea from whence all else must necessarily spring.
Such psychological tension is the sensual perception of Nihilism, of the body’s emotional awareness of its own subjective meaningful-lessness; “meaningful-lessness” which is experienced as a dissatisfaction with the body’s everlasting finitude; dissatisfaction with one’s present aesthetic development in that finitude, which, if left unattended, does indeed begin to decay and pollute the whole of a man’s faculties, resulting in a sensual anesthetization that renders him unable to feel anything true or meaningful at all; “feeling” which, despite its risks, its dangers and the peril of its delusions is the only mechanism by which a man is forced to adapt, grow and become; adaptation which can only be achieved through the perennial slaughter of one’s present existential framework, the slaughter of one’s values, sensibilities, tastes, opinions, hopes and dreams, heavens and hells.
In light of this, can we not then in some way equate Nihilism to “Time” itself? To Time’s ceaseless unfoldment in the body as perceived – however vaguely – by the mind of man? Time and its unstoppable continuance which does indeed seem to mimic the movements of a certain eternal Will to Life, the will to know Life and justify It for and by one’s self; the will to provoke and prod and otherwise perturb Life’s ideal so as to evoke an emotional response that may perhaps reveal the full breadth of Its tragic glory; tragedy which, if fully embraced, invests a man with the clarity of conscience that can empower him to christen it good (or otherwise), one cleared of every vain and unrealizable millenarian falsity, those that have and will continue to wreak untold destruction upon the “world”: the landscape of man’s emotional body.
For if anything can be said of Time it is that it always frustrates and disappoints the linear, the stagnant, the unwilling; eroding to the uttermost the efficacy of all systems and schemas, overthrowing our every attempt to proclaim a single Undying Absolute.
It is for this reason that Time has hitherto befuddled the aims of philosophy itself, insofar as philosophy is understood to be a more or less unbroken and predetermined back-and-forth dialectic between two reasonably-defined forces whose eventual evolution is never in doubt, inasmuch as its next iteration will simply be whichever side is not presently in vogue.
It is for this reason, too, that every philosopher bound to schemas has – and will – come to the same approximate end, receiving the same proverbial “bullet” to the skull, that which is reserved for their various systems too; the bullet that Time reserves for all Wills unwilling to move and evolve: that of a diluvian cosmos whose chief joy is the swallowing up of all things dead and dying with the lips of obscurity, loss and forgetfulness.
Devil walks into bar. Orders drink. Asks Philosopher sitting next to him: “And what do you do?”