The Ontology of Ghosts

R. Scott Bakker waxing eloquently as usual on the semantic apocalypse. My answer came quick:

E.M. Cioran once said that “All my life is a baptism of shadows. Their kiss made me mature for darkness and sadness.” He also reminded us that “It seems to me that the whole future process of humanity will be nothing other than a regaining of delusions.”

With the Semantic Apocalypse imploding all around us we are neither ghosts nor zombies but remain as always shadow thoughts in the cave of light and darkness we call the multiverse. Liberated from what you have lived, unconcerned by what you will live you demolish the signposts on all your roads. As autochthons of this world we find ourselves bound to the clay pot of existence and rejoice not in some transcendence of this life but rather in digging deeper into its strangeness seeking not some elsewhere but rather the darkness of our moment in being. Silenced by the stars we imagine ourselves stars, and we find that the very dust we are fell from the death throes of flames billions of years ago. Measuring this deep history we demarcate a mathematics of geometric solitude that offers neither redress nor salvation but only the truth of our infinitesimal point on the chain of time. Knowing like all things that we too have had our day, the evolution of life will leave us again in the dust heap of being. Yet, what new forms we shall be replaced by is the excitement of machinic modulations in the very fabric of our brains. That we shall be replaced is assured, whether through the fabricated dreams of our own minds; or, better yet, through some happy fault, some accident of unmaking that unbinds the very threads of our long journey to nowhere and nothing. At the edge of this apocalypse of meaning and value we gaze on that which is neither us nor something else, but the horizon and limits of all we could be under the sign of emptiness and erasure.

Three Pound Brain

In the courtyard a shadowy giant elm

Spreads ancient boughs, her ancient arms where dreams,

False dreams, the old tale goes, beneath each leaf

Cling and are numberless.

–Virgil, The Aenied, Book VI


I’m always amazed, looking back, at how fucking clear things had seemed at this or that juncture of my philosophical life—how lucid. The two early conversions, stumbling into nihilism as a teenager, then climbing into Heidegger in my early twenties, seem the most ‘religious’ in retrospect. I think this is why I never failed to piss people off even back then. You have this self-promoting skin you wear when you communicate, this tactical gloss that compels you to impress. This is what non-intellectuals hear when you speak, tactics and self-promotion. This is why it’s so easy to tar intellectualism in the communal eye: insecurity and insincerity are of its essence. All value judgements are transitive…

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