The Paradox of the Anomalous
The concept of fate is weird in that it implies twisted forms of time and causality that are alien to ordinary perception, but it is also eerie in that it raises questions about agency: who or what is the entity that has woven fate?
—Mark Fisher, The Weird and the Eerie
Over the years I’ve thought about many of the experiences of my youth before such things as paranormal events were even registered in the culture I grew up in. With the divorce of my parents when I was twelve years of age I’d become a very young man, full of hate for both my father and for all forms of authority, a prime candidate for what our psychosocial police would label as mentally unstable and ready for a psychotic break. Raised within a deeply Christian worldview, the protestant world of Southern Methodist and Baptist I was already indoctrinated into apocalyptic and millennialist thought that was becoming more and more prevalent in that era. Yet, nothing prepared me for the darker influx of events I could neither understand nor control, and yet because of their power and my mistrust of authority was even more afraid to discuss with family or Church authorities. So I lived with the darkness for years, circling between anomalous events of affective madness, caught between seeking a rational explanation and a religious one. What if there were a new path forward that reduces this neither to secular-scientistic nor religious-mythic forms, but rather opens outward to what Quentin Meillassoux termed the “Great Outdoors” – a contingent opening that does not resolve experience of fact to sufficient reason or the exclusion of the middle but rather stays with the paradoxical and anomalous and listens to it on its own non-human terms rather than bringing it back into our circle of axioms, propositions, and philosophical frames of reference? What if dark realism is after all a non-human opening to a philosophy of the anomalous?