The Biological Age (re-edited)
The "biological" age of a people, culture and civilization can be divined by the degree to which naivete or cynicism is held in either high reserve or starves in emphatic want...
All begins and must in naivete, without which no good deed or worthy thought at all could ever come to pass, nor even be attempted.
Indeed, the higher, more luminous and lofty the nascent goal, the more naivete is not only required from the start but its companionship demanded through the interim in order to see a man successfully unto the end. For the moment one gives himself over to naivete’s opposite, i.e. the exhausted sentiments of cynicism, forever does he surrender the spirited health and happy vigor required of life’s greatest and most transcendent pursuits; cynicism which, too often the bitter fruit of certain kinds of inalterable temperaments, is impossible to enduringly recover once definitively acquiesced, a reality that condemns the every action of the cynic to the perpetual fulfillment of whatever predetermined fate he has already surrendered his heart and thus little resists, his “tragedy” being that he “knows” (or “believes” he knows) the unavoidable catastrophe that does indeed await every heroic action; foresight that, in fact, prevents the tragic spirit and thus life’s most visceral truth from consummating its essential course, that course which must remain largely unawares and ignorant in order for the hero to be graciously shrouded with the delusion that tragedy does not in every case exist nor unavoidably must.
The “biological age” of a people, culture and civilization can be divined by the degree to which naivete or cynicism is held in either high reserve or starves in emphatic want: the older, more senile, stubborn, infertile, incontinent and life-preserving a people, the more cynicism will dominate the spirit of their intellectual, social and creative discourse, while the more youthful a group, the more naivete will abound in the zealous effluvium its collective actions; naivete which, according to its teleological nature, keeps a people from realizing the truth of its youth and by so doing ensures the cultivation of its cultural immaturity and civilizational flowering, preserving its bloom only insofar as it can overcome the poison that results from the over-accumulation of its own tragic understanding; such build-up which does indeed afflict man with the reticence of excessive reflection, contemplation, internalization and from it, all the many consequences associated with decadence and decline; decadence which, by continually availing itself to the ease and predictability of a stable, coherent and orderly social organization – one that provides the basic want its every member – renders all of life had under such a fortuitous dispensation “optional” and “discretionary”: philosophy, therefore, as Occidental Man’s most potent means of reflective “internalism”, which is the most decadent and superfluous activity available to the race at large; philosophers who – vain and unproductive as they and their intellectual products certainly are – can only arise to express their worthlessness if allowed to presume themselves atop innumerable toiling shoulders and countless crowns of bowing heads who slave endlessly for the decadent stability of the state and those who lord uselessly upon it.
As a result of this, Philosophy – in its “essence” – is the voice of decadence itself; decadence which, as mentioned, is without value to anything but its own vain expression, its own superfluity and excess, all of which requires the tangible productivity of the anonymous “worker” to sustain its unproductive (but irreplaceable) waste: “work”, and with it, the sole purpose for so many billions throughout the civilized ages, which cannot “be” or ever have “been” without the anti-utilitarian, impractical, inessential and ephemeral to give it form, contrast, differentiation and indeed the metaphysical possibility for its own accentuation and consummation.
Decadence, as an ontological necessity (both in man and groups), embedded as it is within the inextricable truth of what-is, must not only be expressed but be morally allowed to find its fullest expression among a people, insofar as it can be reasonably confined to certain rigidly-defined times, pre-ordained seasons and (most important for the ongoing health of the state and life) concrete castes of people whose station already moves, acts and speaks in an undeniably superfluous way: the rulers, priests, aristocrats, idle thinkers and the rest.
For so destructive is the Decadent expression that it must be kept from the mindless hands of the mass worker who, as a formless, inarticulable animal at the continual mercy of the capricious whims of his own senses, would too soon abuse the proper function of such expressions through their heedless over-indulgence, bringing swift ruin to their civilization (as has been demonstrated time and again throughout history); over-indulgence which always achieves its final, irrecoverable form the moment the masses insist that the various forms of decadence be christened as certain “inalienable human rights” and “highest goods” to be pursued and hallowed by every individual at the expense of all and anything else, especially that which might be future, orderly, severe and restrictive.
The poor, peasant, slave and working masses have, since the dawn of thinking time, been naturally antagonistic towards the master, ruler, noble and executive, while the master has largely felt the same for him (and often worse), no matter the paternalistic affections aroused by the loyal obedience of his servants. For, at bottom, both castes of humanity must fulfill and no less embody opposite (but by no means less essential) ontological roles so that the dynamism of social life may grow and evolve: the worker who works, mindlessly produces and thoughtfully saves, the ruler who, idle, rules and carelessly wastes that which he has not for a moment raised a finger to initiate or hasten; the ruler who would, quite reasonably, collapse but for the products of the worker, while the worker’s highest spiritual expression would never find its most eternal justification but for the wanton lusts and sway of the ungrateful master.
Despite my apparent deference to the opposite, I am indeed grateful to live in such banal and unextraordinary times, one that allows me to stand – as only one from my generation can – upon the hinge of a metaphysical transformation with little precedence in the known annals of earth, this vantage which allows me to witness (or at least begin to witness) long before it materializes, the birth of a completely new – or should I say, renewed – ontological dispensation and means of human expression and essential understanding, one that will – perhaps a century or so from now – see the development of a novel conceptualization of the world and with it, a revolutionary aesthetic means of self-actualization; the kind of novelty perhaps glimpsed only by the likes of Thales or that mystic quack Pythagoras whose groping hands of poetic ignorance slowly gave birth to Prose shorn of its original bureaucratic function and utilitarian purpose; Prose which bestowed upon the Greek speakers a tool with which to access, through the development of man’s so-called “rational” faculties, a more direct, concrete, tangible and thus “objective” method to narrate the products encountered by such rational facilitation.
Devil walks into bar. Orders drink. Asks Philosopher sitting next to him: “And what do you do?”