Hyperstition: Metafiction and the Landian Cosmos

Letter from Carl Gustav Jung to Echidna Stillwell, dated 27th February 1929 [Extract]

…your attachment to a Lemurian cultural-strain disturbs me intensely. From my own point of view – based on the three most difficult cases I have encountered and their attendant abysmally archaic symbolism – it is no exaggeration to state that Lemuria condenses all that is most intrinsically horrific to the racial unconscious, and that the true Lemurians – who you seem intent upon rediscovering – are best left buried beneath the sea.

—Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987 – 2007

In a series of meta-fictional sequences an anonymous author transcribes the letters between Echidna Stillwell and certain well known and unknown personages of the modern era before, during, and after the World War II. In one she receives a letter from Carl Gustav Jung, the renegade psychotherapist and ephebic heretic and pariah of Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis. Nick Land will transcribe these accounts which are gathered both in Fanged Noumena and in a more detailed reworking of the material scattered across both the current and defunct archives of the CCRU website.

Those who are versant in the great literary traditions from Lucian to Calvino will understand that such intermixing of fictive and historical personages for the purposes of conveying what cannot be conveyed by straightforward means will understand exactly what is going on in these otherwise insane stories. Anyone who has read Land’s principle works A Thirst for Annihilation and the series of essays gathered in Fanged Noumena by Ray Brassier and Robin McKay, not to mention all his current work scattered in abstract horror fiction and online essays or youtube videos will be well adjusted to his sparse yet methodical obsessions with Time and Intelligence.

As the editor of that material gathered from the CCRU website admits,

There is nobody positioned to accept attribution for the ‘work’ of the Ccru, nor has there ever been, so this compilation has been guided by a principal of editorial modesty. Whatever it is that occurred ‘here’ – during these years of the Numogram’s initial ingression into recent human history, triggering an outbreak of digial hyperstition – is not considered a matter to be resolved in this volume, even in part, through retrospective commentary. This book is sheer documentation.1

So with that in mind we approach the outlandish and occulted counter-worlds like travelers from a fictional land, seeking neither sense nor meaning but rather an exploration and experiential mutation into the core metamorphic and display-asignifying diagrams of occultural events being enacted.

We had already seen in those series of essays gathered in Fanged Noumena Land’s slow and methodical demolition of modern and postmodern philosophical presumption, as well as his search for a language beyond the world controlled by the Turing Cops (i.e., the official and authoritarian worlds of Academia, Media, and the Western Cultural regimes he would label under the rubric of Human Security Systems).

Before venturing into this dark world of myth, fiction, occult, hyperstitons, etc. I want to explore a few aspects of the Human Security System. The Human Security System is a term use by Land to denote the elaborate manipulative systems of capture that trap humans within a network of manipulation and duplicity. As he’ll state it speaking of the work of Deleuze/Guattari in Anit-Oedipus on schizoanalyis and desiring machines,

Since only Oedipus is repressible, the schizo is usually a lost case to those relatively subtilized psychiatric processes that co-operate with the endogeneous police functions of the superego. This is why antischizophrenic psychiatry tends to be an onslaught launched at gross or molar neuroanatomy and neurochemistry oriented by theoretical genetics. Psychosurgery, ECT, psychopharmacology … it will be chromosomal recoding soon. ‘It is thus that a tainted society has invented psychiatry in order to defend itself from the investigations of certain superior lucidities whose faculties of divination disturb it’. The medico-security apparatus know that schizos are not going to climb back obediently into the Oedipal box. Psychoanalysis washes its hands of them. Their nervous-systems are the free-fire zones of an emergent neo-eugenicist cultural security system. (FN)2

The Human Security System is a magical system of social, political, religious control used by the cultural authorities of the current Reality Studio to manipulate the planetary consciousness and weave a nexus of global duplicity as part of its domestication of the human species. In A Thirst for Annihilation a post-philosophical survey of the work of Georges Bataille Land would remark,

Bataille writes of ‘the catastrophe of time’ because security cannot establish itself, because time is jealous of being. It is in his early essay ‘Sacrifices’ (1936) that he first develops this thought to its rigorous conclusion in incompletion and collapse. No ontology of time is possible, and yet ontology remains the sole foundation for discursive accomplishment.3

This notion of Time as the pre-ontological thermospasm or energetic unconscious that is suddenly tamed within discourse or external writing systems of which ontology or the Discourse on Being suddenly make their appearance as the foundational element in the Human Security Regime comes with a price. As Land comments,

Time is the suicidal jealousy of God, to which each being—even the highest—must fall victim. It is thus the ultimate ocean of immanence, from which nothing can separate itself, and in which everything loses itself irremediably. The black mass of jealous rage swells like a cancer at the core of the universe, or like a volcanic ulceration in the guts of God, and its catastrophic eruption consumes all established things in the acidic lava of impersonality. We say ‘time’—and become philosophical—to describe jealousy purifying itself of God (but with God purity collapses also). (Thirst)

In this poetic foray into the underlying metaphysics of the Western traditions of philosophy, science, and the arts of control we term the Human Security Regime we begin to perceive a tale, a grand narrative in the shaping. One can accept or reject Land’s worldview, his base materialist perspective, his unphilosophical or even anti-philosophical stance. But one cannot blindly reject a hearing of what is emerging from this mad and at time psychotic voyage into our temporal wars. For it is the Time-Wars all around us of which Land is speaking. For Land has entered or allowed messages from renegade systems from the future to convey the keys to our current malaise and collapsing civilization. To reject Land outright is to one’s own detriment. Yet, I’m sure many among my readers will think I, too, am mad for even venturing into the burn zones of such a schizoworld. My readers of course are welcome to their opinions, and many have seen and said so to me in private messages. Yet, I’m unafraid of the extremities of thought and feeling that broker the far horizons of our cultural index. To venture past the Human Security System of acceptable authority, academic or socio-cultural mindsets that harbor only the policing of our minds, the caging of our desires, and the ultimate pacification of our lives in a system of slavery is to me the real danger. The Land’s of this world have broken out of the cage and are exploring the dead zones of unlife, bringing back to us like neoshamanistic voyagers news from the strange climes just beyond the human prison.

Animal Cunning and Duplicity: Mêtis and the Magus

Detienne and Vernant in their study of mêtis tell us,

From a terminological point of view, mêtis, as a common noun, refers to a particular type of intelligence, an informed prudence; as a proper name it refers to a female deity, the daughter of Ocean. The goddess Metis who might be considered a somewhat quaint figure seems, at first sight, to be restricted to no more than a walk-on part. She is Zeus’ first wife and almost as soon as she conceives Athena she is swallowed by her husband. The king of the gods brings her mythological career to an abrupt conclusion by relegating her to the depths of his own stomach. In the theogonies attributed to Orpheus, however, Metis plays a major role and is presented as a great primordial deity at the beginning of the world.3

Yet, the central motif underlying their study of mêtis shows us that Mêtis is itself a power of cunning and deceit. It operates through disguise. In order to dupe its victim it assumes a form which masks, instead of revealing, its true being. In mêtis appearance and reality no longer correspond to one another but stand in contrast, producing an effect of illusion, apate which beguiles the adversary into error and leaves him as bemused by his defeat as by the spells of a magician. (CI)

It’s this sense of cunning and deception, illusion, magic, sorcery, and the beguiling of the senses through seduction and techics both artificial and natural that informs this study of these ancient myths of the Greeks. For primitive humans the natural growth of cunning intelligence was a means both of survival and security against natural and human enemies. As these authors state it: “Engaged in the world of becoming and confronted with situations which are ambiguous and unfamiliar and whose outcome always lies in the balance, wiley intelligence is only able to maintain its hold over beings and things thanks to its ability to look beyond the immediate present and forsee a greater or lesser section of the future. Vigilant and forever on the alert, mêtis also appears as multiple, pantoie, many-coloured, poikile and shifting, aiole. They are all qualities which betray the polymorphism and polyvalence of a kind of intelligence which, to render itself impossible to seize and to dominate fluid, changing realities, must always prove itself more supple and more polymorphic than they are. Finally, mêtis, wiley intelligence possesses the most prized cunning of all: the ‘duplicity’ of the trap which always presents itself as what it is not and which conceals its true lethal nature beneath a reassuring exterior.” (CI)

It’s this latter form of ‘duplicity’, of the world of capture and traps that “conceals its true lethal nature beneath a reassuring exterior” we will be concerned with. In his Eros and Magic in the Renaissance Ioan P. Coulianu before his untimely demise began a series of studies into the strange realms of religious, political, and socio-cultural manipulation and control that has been used to domesticate humans and pacify or capture their desires. As he would suggest in this particular study the figure of the Magus would take on the hues of the Sovereign as counter-power within Renaissance society. As he states it,

Nowadays the magician busies himself wit h public relations, propaganda, market research, sociological surveys, publicity, information, counterinformation and misinformation, censorship, espionage, and even cryptography—a science which in the sixteenth century was a branch of magic.4

 In fact Coulianu would go so far as to say that the figure of the Magus is still with us, and as the great manipulator most historians have been wrong in concluding that magic disappeared with the advent of ״quantitative science.” The latter has simply substituted itself for a part of magic while extending its dreams and its goals by means of technology. Electricity, rapid transport, radio and television, the airplane, and the computer have merely carried into effect the promises first formulated by magic, resulting from the supernatural processes of the magician: to produce light, to move instantaneously from one point in space to another, to communicate wit h faraway regions of space, to fly through the air, and to have an infallible memory at one’s disposal. Technology, it can be said, is a democratic magic that allows everyone to enjoy the extraordinary capabilities of which the magician used to boast. (EM, 104)

The Breakout: Smashing the Discursive Linements of our Mind-Manacled Reality Studio

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear

—William Blake, London

This brings us back to the paradox of fascism, and the way in which fascism differs from totalitarianism. For totalitarianism is a State affair: it essentially concerns the relation between the State as a localized assemblage and the abstract machine of overcoding it effectuates. Even in the case of a military dictatorship, it is a State army, not a war machine, that takes power and elevates the State to the totalitarian stage. Totalitarianism is quintessentially conservative. Fascism, on the other hand, involves a war machine.

—Gilles Deleuze; Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus

That our lives are trapped in a world of manipulation and control by the very tools of the mind themselves, by what Blake would poetically call the “mind-forg’d manacles” of discourse and Logic is to open a void as deep as hell itself. That we have been steeped in the House of Reason for at least two millennia goes without saying. But that our global civilization is deeply embedded in a war machine, that it is essentially a system of fascism that has one objective to secure and commodify every aspect of existence within its assemblage is another matter altogether.

As Deleuzeguatttarian commentary has it

When fascism builds itself a totalitarian State, it is not in the sense of a State army taking power, but of a war machine taking over the State. A bizarre remark by Virilio puts us on the trail: in fascism, the State is far less totalitarian than it is suicidal. There is in fascism a realized nihilism. Unlike the totalitarian State, which does its utmost to seal all possible lines of flight, fascism is constructed on an intense line of flight, which it transforms into a line of pure destruction and abolition.(TP)

What happens when the global order as an artificial whole becomes a war machine? Is the line a flight it is taking leading to a perfected nihilism, to a “line of pure destruction and abolition”?

Land sees a future of pure war, a world of PODS: “Politically Organized Defensive Systems. Modelled upon the polis, pods hierarchically delegate authority through public institutions, family, and self, seeking metaphorical sustenance in the corpuscular fortifications of organisms and cells.” This is a world or neocameral City-States, mini-states, or neostates where the rich and elite gather behind protective macropodic security systems to fend off the excluded, anarchic, and outcase outlaws and renegades of a new dark age of man.

He remarks that the macropod has one law: “the outside must pass by way of the inside”. Where humans are no longer singular and free, but rather are machines in an assemblage of desiring machines, plugged into “segmented and anthropomorphized sectors of assembly circuits as the attribute of a personal being”. Rather than following those such as Badiou, Zizek, Johnston, et. al. into a dialectical materialism of the Transcendental Subject that seeks its irreducibility to the Real, Land follows Deleuze/Guattari into the unconscious Subject:

Schizoanalysis methodically dismantles everything in Kant’s thinking that serves to align function with the transcendence of the autonomous subject, reconstructing critique by replacing the syntheses of personal consciousness with syntheses of the impersonal unconscious. Thought is a function of the real, something that matter can do. (MD, p. 3)

Rather than the autonomous Subject Land supports a base materialism wherein “thought and Real” co-habit a space of non-utilitarian pragmatic praxis, a transitional zone or  space in which the “eradication of law, or of humanity, is sketched culturally by the development of critique, which is the theoretical elaboration of the commodification process. The social order and the anthropomorphic subject share a history, and an extinction.”

In his reading of Anti-Oedipus he observes a philosophy of the machine, one which advances an “anorganic functionalism that dissolves all transcendence,” and “mobilizes a vocabulary of the machine, the mechanic, and machinism” (MD, p. 4). This is a black-box theory of use and pragmatic endeavor that asks the question(s) ‘What are your desiring-machines, what do you put into these machines, what is the output, how does it work, what are your nonhuman sexes?’ (Anti-Oedipus, p. 322).

In fact this is a virtual materialism that names an “ultra-hard antiformalist AI program, engaging with biological intelligence as subprograms of an abstract post-carbon machinic matrix, whilst exceeding any deliberated research project” (MD, p. 5). This is Land’s attack on all those systems of Transcendental logic like the medieval construction kits of the New Prometheans, Brassier and Negarestani, who seek (after Sellars/Brandom) to build navigational systems in the “space of reasons” into command and control centers of the deontological giving and asking of reasons in a normative throwback of an age when ethics and the epistemological world still believed in itself: – a world updated only in its speculative status as hyperfictional philo-fiction. Land instead following in that other tradition of the dark post-vitalist curve from Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bataille, Freud, Deleuze/Guattari, et. al. brings us the machinic desires at the heart of the Real, the realm of Zero intensity, Unlife, where a hidden impulsive, desiring machines flow through the compositional and decompositional pre-ontological realms into our planetary systems producing and productive of an energetic chaosmos.

Land would have us enter the death realms of Synthanatos – the terminal productive outcome of human history as a machinic process, yet it is virtually efficient throughout the duration of this process, functioning within a circuit that machines duration itself. In this way virtuality lends its temporality to the unconscious, which escapes specification within extended time series, provoking Freud to describe it as timeless. (MD, p. 5) Much like J.G. Ballard’s Chronotopia, or City of Timeless duration and assemblages of interlocked labyrinthine systems actively pursuing the eternity of desire without end, Land offers an ironic take on Anti-Oedipus as less a philosophy book than “an engineering manual; a package of software implements for hacking into the machinic unconscious, opening invasion channels” (MD, p. 5).

Deleuze and Guattari’s works inform Land’s visionary materialism, hyperbolical and poetic. Their rogue scholarship and inclusion of a multiplicity of scholarly examples of provocative examples from the encyclopedia of politics, sciences, philosophy, arts, economics etc., all flowing into a rhizomatic thought form that is anti-formalist and anti-representationalist, more diagrammatic and topological is apparent in the sparse and elegant notes of current gnomic Landian cultural critique.

CCRU: Hyperstition and the Lovecraft Mythos

When conceived rigorously as a literary and cinematic craft, horror is indistinguishable from a singular task: to make an object of the unknown, as the unknown.

—Nick Land. Phyl-Undhu: Abstract Horror, Exterminator

When we think of that which lies outside human mind and control – if we think of it at all? – we come up against the Real – a blank or resistance against which our mind struggles to make sense of that which is in itself not sensible, the unknown as unknown. In the Lovecraftian cosmos this is the thing which cannot be named. It cannot be reduced to signification, to meaning, to our language, our discourse for it is beyond discursivity, beyond the structures of our mental apparatus, our brains evolutionary survival systems. It is the realm my friend R. Scott Bakker terms “pure neglect”. That which cannot be known through human knowledge or linguistic practices.  So what happens when we rub up against the monstrous? We do as humans have always done: we take flight, we either stand immobilized and in terror like those fables warriors facing the Medusa and begin to turn to stone, or we turn and run blindly driven by the wild animal cunning of our body’s own ancient survival systems.

Seduction and fascination, fright and flight: the polar measure of the Human Security System bound by the logics of desire. In one of those prescient disquisitions and asides that William S. Burroughs was famous for he once spoke of the Time Prisons and  Control Systems of the Maya,

The ancient Mayans possessed one of the most precise and hermetic control calendars ever used on this planet, a calendar that in effect controlled what the populace did thought and felt on any given day. A study of this model system throws light on modern methods of control. Knowledge of the calendar was the monopoly of a priestly caste who maintained their position with minimal police and military force.6

The point here is that the vast global complex of early and late Neolithic Agricultural systems were based on the cycles and control of plants and animals, the careful patterning of the stars, seasons, cycles of seeding, harvesting, and productions of both plant and animal life for the growing human populations. With the rise of these agricultural civilizations came the need to protect and secure the resources for the City-States that held sway in these disparate regions along with their water (river) sources and the dirt (lands) in which the planting would take place. Over a period of time the mathematical calculation of stars and cycles of the seasons would regulate the human population itself bringing with it Law, Religion, Codification and regulations of the habits and minds of the citizenry. War machines would arise during this age producing new sciences of metallurgy and the production of weapons that would martial conflict across these early City-States that has of yet not abated. (Of course I leave out the details and do not as scholars would cite all the reputable authorities on such matters. A generalist and one who is conveying a lifetime of reading will not and cannot offer every authority in such fields in an unscholarly essay. I want.)

What we term the Industrial Revolution did not end the vast networks of Agricultural Civilization across our planet, it only exacerbated it bringing an accelerating depletion of the soil, plant, mineral, and animal systems that humans depend on for their livelihood and their survival. At the heart of this industrial system is that term we’ve all come to love or hate: Capital. The Left derides it, the Right defends it, but neither truly understands the deadly consequences of its dark heritage and future. Locked in our petty contemporary squabbles and political non-events we seem oblivious of the designs Capital has on us.

This is where CCRU enters…

There was a time when Murrumur asked Katak and Oddubb a question, and although this was very long ago it was the last question she has ever been known to ask. It was Ummnu – the last of the demons who provoked this question, since Murrumur felt her to be always nearby, and yet never ceased to be confused by her, so that eventually she asked: “How can the end be already in the middle of the beginning?”7

The collective’s research was closely tied to the work of philosophers Sadie Plant (around whom it was founded), Nick Land, and their colleagues throughout the 1990s, and in particular the emerging cyberfeminist thinking that would lead to the Virtual Futures conferences at Warwick in the middle of the decade. Although it only existed in an official capacity for little over two years—following the departure of Plant, the University of Warwick would deny any relationship to the renegade collective—the Ccru’s cultural impact has been significant. Those who were affiliated with the Ccru during and after its time as part of the University of Warwick Philosophy department include philosophers Iain Hamilton Grant, Ray Brassier and Reza Negarestani; cultural theorists Mark Fisher and Kodwo Eshun; publisher and philosopher Robin Mackay; digital media theorists Luciana Parisi and Matthew Fuller; electronic music artist and Hyperdub label head Steve Goodman, aka Kode9; writer and theorist Anna Greenspan; novelist Hari Kunzru; and artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, among others. Land and the Ccru collaborated frequently with the experimental art collective 0[rphan]d[rift>] (Maggie Roberts and Ranu Mukherjee),notably on Syzygy, a month-long multidisciplinary residency at Beaconsfield Contemporary Art gallery in South London, 1999, and on 0[rphan]d[rift>]’s Cyberpositive (London: Cabinet, 1995), a schizoid work of cut-and-paste cyberphilosophy. (see Wikipedia)

I only became aware of this subworld somewhere around 2007. A fulltime software architect, analyst, developer, contractor I was too busy in my professional life to venture too far outside my own field and explore the shadowlands of thought on the net at that time. Oh, I’d been a armchair radical for most of my life, reading anything and everything across the whole gamut of our socio-cultural inheritance. And, yet, coming upon the CCRU site and on Land’s work did not bring much new to me, only the reinforcement of a deep seeded voicing of that which I’d long thought and believed but as of yet had had no confirmation in some external group, philosophy, or real world voicing.

Freud would coin the term uncanny to describe not the new, but the old and familiar that had been repressed and forced out of site suddenly awakening, arising, emerging from its dark declivities into the light of consciousness to overpower our senses and mind with hints of the unknown unknowns surrounding us on all sides. At such times one feels a kinship with the darkness, the unknown, an uncanny feeling (affective) stirring that leads to fascination (seduction) or terror (fright and escape). Coming upon Land’s A Thirst for Annihilation only reinforced my delving’s into the undermining traditions of Spinoza, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche… those of Bataille and Deleuze/Guattari were still new to me. As an Anglo-Saxon American I realized my lack of linguistic prowess was a detriment that would forever be bound to translations and transcriptions because of age, work, and laziness. For me Nietzsche, Emerson, and the world of Henry Miller, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, Stanislaw Lem, Thomas Pynchon, and others of poetry, literature, and the few philosophers and scientists I’d read were the sustenance of my mental make up. I think we are all made up of a hodge-pod of learning if we’re non-academic and untrained minds and intellects not formed and shaped, controlled by the academic training and schooling, education systems of mind-prisioning.

Harold Bloom, not for his Idealism and Romantic proclivities which are the most retrograde aspect of his work, but rather for his theories of influence which would take in a wide array of counter-authoritarian and occult based kabbalistic, hermetic, magical, and other systems as well as the whole gamut of literary output of Western civ gave me aspects of how our society has been influenced (controlled and manipulated). The flowing from the stars upon our fates and our personalities is the prime meaning of “influence,” a meaning made personal between Shakespearean characters. Shakespeare also uses the word “influence” to mean “inspiration,” both in the sonnets and in the plays. This sense of an influx from elsewhere, or an Outside in process of the overpowering insurgence or invasion of an alien influencing first felt by those ancient Magi or Star gazers who would read starry events for signs and portents of the future’s influence in the present pervades this notion. For Bloom influence was more about anxiety than about the influence process itself, about the defensive measures we take to secure our personal and socio-cultural systems against the invasion of irrational forces outside our control. Eternal vigilance, paranoia, the policing of the hedgerows of civilization from the barbarians just outside the borders of mind and State, etc. “Influence” is a metaphor, one that implicates a matrix of relationships-imagistic, temporal, spiritual, psychological-all of them ultimately defensive in their nature. What matters most (and it is the central point of this book) is that the anxiety of influence comes out of a complex act of strong misreading, a creative interpretation that I call “poetic misprision.” (Bloom) This sense that art is both sublimation and achieved anxiety, a security system to keep the wolves at bay, to bind the irrational forces of Time and keep us locked away in the artificial climes of an endless artificial utopia. Oscar Wilde in the bitterness of the last years, after his incarceration for pederasty would speak of influence. Lord Henry Wotton’s elegant observations in The Picture of Dorian Gray, where he tells Dorian that all influence is immoral:

Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him.

The feeling of anxiety that creeps in on us when we wake up and realize that reading another’s work, a philosopher, poet, essayist, etc. that their thoughts are our thoughts, that their external exposure of the inside of our minds suddenly reveals a terrible secret “that my thoughts are not my own, but an Other’s”. We suddenly ask: How much of my mind is my own? Am I real? Do I have a distinct self? Or, am I just a copy of a copy, filled with the scripted thoughts, algorithms, systems of something else, someone else’s mental fabrications? Am I a robot of other’s stories, a mere script in a drama I am not even aware of, a stranger to myself and others? Have I ever had a thought of my own?

As Bloom would say,

Nietzsche and Freud are, so far as I can tell, the prime influences upon the theory of influence presented in this book. Nietzsche is the prophet of the antithetical, and his Genealogy of Morals is the profoundest study available to me of the revisionary and ascetic strains in the aesthetic temperament.

Bloom’s theory “rejects also the qualified Freudian optimism that happy substitution is possible, that a second chance can save us from the repetitive quest for our earliest attachments. Poets as poets cannot accept substitutions, and fight to the end to have their initial chance alone. Both Nietzsche and Freud underestimated poets and poetry, yet each yielded more power to phantasmagoria than it truly possesses. They too, despite their moral realism, over-idealized the imagination. Nietzsche’s disciple, Yeats, and Freud’s disciple, Otto Rank, show a greater awareness of the artist’s fight against art, and of the relation of this struggle to the artist’s antithetical battle against nature.” (Bloom, 48-49: The Anxiety of Influence)

Reading William Blake as a youth I remember in notebooks copying such statements as this one:

“I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”

This coupling of being bound by certain mental horizons, captured in others systems of thought and feeling, molded and modulated by discursive systems of language, thought, and feeling haunted me for years. The notion of the need to discover and create my own system to overcome the cultural blinkers of my own wayward and authoritarian civilization bound by religious and secular codes and regulatory systems of mind control techniques was and still is at the forefront of my project. Nihilism was only a first step in the direction of overcoming two millennia of command and control systems, but we will need to go beyond nihilism and discover a post-nihilist system based on a-signifying diagrammatical numerical and image based notions that are a-intentional, impersonal and outside the human matrix of discursive reason and logic. Obviously to the Turing Cops and regulatory bureaus of the current Reality Studio such a project is labeled mad and insane, schizoid and possibly fraught with sociopathic tendencies for the current population and will be summarily dismissed if not outlawed as well as its author bound in the crank status of the obscene and deranged fringe worlds of the insane and ludicrous.

That Land in his own life discovered by way of Rimbaud, Artaud, and others the path of deregulating the power of the reasoning mind as a way to overcome what he termed the Human Security System was something I’d already known by other means and ways. I of course grew up in the Sixties, experimenting naively with Acid, Meth-amphetamines, Psilocybin, Peyote (Mescaline), Dream-vine (Ayahuasca), etc. over a period of years led me to the innocent notion that magic, shamanism, and other primitive techniques from the Eleusis mysteries based on mushroom cults, etc. all were based on breaking out of our culture encrusted systems of mind control. Even at that time after hundreds of “trips” I understood emphatically that humanities religious systems and knowledge of gods came out of these dreamworlds and awakened travels into the irrational zones outside the protective hedges of our Reason bound “mind-forg’d mancles”. No one needed to teach me this, I just knew it intuitively. What it all meant was another matter, one that has of yet no actual definitive answer even now in my life. What’s real? What is reality? My search to understand what I’d experienced (experientially) first hand during these hundreds of sessions would lead me to read through the extant philosophical, scientific, anthropological, socio-cultural, historical, archeo-mythological, etc. record in every library and now online system to find out what other explorers across the centuries had discovered.

Yet, Land only went so far, and no further, ending in a psychic episode that Robin Mackay would stipulate as Land’s having “gone insane”.  Reading Fanged Noumena we get the hint that the world Land offered us up to that time was then abandoned, that the Land of that era died and in his place something from elsewhere came in and took over his life, Vauung. Daemon, demon… a changed man, a renegade to all that went before awakened another power of intelligence that would lead this new creature into what we mildly term Neoreactionary thought and culture. As the old Land abandoned the House he’d built artificial or physical (actual) he’d tell us off-handedly in “A Dirty Joke”,

I stole Vauung’s name because it was unused, on the basis of an exact qabbalistic entitlement. Yet, at least ‘up’ here, Vauung still confuses itself with me, with ruins and tatters. This might change. Names have powers and destinies. I have decided to let Vauung inherit the entire misfortune of my past (a perverse generosity at best). Its story might never emerge otherwise.

Maybe the Odysseus in us all should know this of transitional states and the becoming other of self and things, the mutant metamorphosis that defines us and moves through the cunning intelligence of all things. “In order to find its way through a world of change and instability and to master the Becoming by vying with it in cunning, intelligence must, in the eyes of the Greeks, in some way adopt the nature of this Becoming, assume its forms, just as Menelaus slips into the skin of a seal so as to triumph over the shifting, magic spells of Proteus. By dint of its own flexibility, then, intelligence must itself become constant movement, polymorphism reversal, deceit and duplicity.” (CIGCS)

Of this more at a future time…

In my next essay I’ll continue this down the rabbit hole into what CCRU discovered and brought forward in its hyperstitional matrix of metafictional forays into the unknown… stay tuned.

  1. Ccru. Ccru: Writings 1997-2003 (Kindle Locations 15-20). Time Spiral Press. Kindle Edition. CI
  2. Land, Nick. Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987 – 2007 (Kindle Locations 4146-4153). Urbanomic/Sequence Press. Kindle Edition.
  3. Land, Nick. A Thirst For Annihilation. Routledge; 1 edition (January 2, 1991)
  4. Detienne, Marcel and Jean-Pierre Vernant. Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society. Trans. Janet Lloyd. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1991, 1-54. (CIGCS)
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