Most of us live in a pre-critical universe, accept that the world is given, that the objects of our senses are actual; we never challenge this state of affairs. The philosopher, unlike us, begins by questioning and rejecting the world of the given, believing that what our senses present as given are the objects of illusion and deception. Plato would offer us his myth of the Cave, Descartes the myth of a Demon, and in our time we have the myth of ‘suspension’ (aufhebung):
“Through aufhebung, the positive immediacy of the self-reflexive I is cancelled, while the determinate negativity that accounts for the difference between immediate and its mediation … is preserved. In other words, the identity of what appears to be immediate is abolished or taken out of action, whereas the difference between the immediate and its mediation (the opposition) is preserved. (Reza Negarestani p. 7 Intelligence and Spirit).”
It’s this difference that makes a difference, this distance between what we perceive as the given (immediate) and its mediation. In our age when most of what we take as reality is mediated by technics and technological artifacts, we have closed down this distance and difference to the point that we must ask: Can such a suspension remain possible in an immersive environment such as ours, where reality is mediated and re-ontologized as information? Have we all become technological objects mediated by vast conglomerates of technics and technology? Is a critique of this state of affairs even possible, anymore? How does the philosopher break through this tissue of lies, this infosphere of mediated illusion and reach the sleepwalker of pre-critical worlds? How awaken the sleeper from her fall into the darkness of technological mediation, this collective mindedness of our sociocultural trap? We who have created languages to share in the collective enterprise of culture across time have become enmeshed and enslaved to its autonomous power to re-invent and shape, command and control who and what we are. How escape its mesh, distance ourselves from its hold on our minds? Is this not the task of our time? Exit the sociocultural death machine that is leading us all into a final terminus?